There's a lot of difference due to technological advancement. For instance, even a small child or very weak adults can easily kill someone with a gun. The same can't be said for a child in Roman-era melee combat.Soldiers with 15 years old, and less, had recently (in the last 50 years) been seen them in many wars around the world, such in Liberia, Serra Leone, Congo, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Libya, Cambodia, or with the drug lords in Asia, and Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia). And I am only talking bout some places that they were mostly used.
Yes, but see the first part of post #17. Medieval period.There's a lot of difference due to technological advancement. For instance, even a small child or very weak adults can easily kill someone with a gun. The same can't be said for a child in Roman-era melee combat.
This is exactly why we are trying to discourage child and teenage soldiers as much as possible.Keep in mind Hitler Jugend was a special case. The SS could not conscript in Germany, but could do so in the German Populations in the occupied areas. Since German Youth was called up at 18 for Army Duty, the SS, Kreigsmarine and Luftwaffe could accept younger volunteers. The 17 year old class was a fairly large group of males. The Hitler Jugend encouraged its member to volunteer at 17, before the Army could draft them.
In the years that followed, the age of conscription went lower and lower. Officially the Germans drafted down to the age of 16. Those younger kids were part of the Volkstrum. Most German males went to school until 16, after which they applied for college prep schools or they became apprentices.
Looking back to my High School years, I entered at 14, was 5'8" and weighed 160 pounds. I was not large compared to the other football players. We had Running Backs bigger than me! Three of them went to LSU! My age class was a bit short. We were all well nourished and were put on a weight lifting program. The Army was drafting 18 year olds that did not do well in class. In school there were many smaller males. If you could be selective you could get a number of 17 and 18 year olds that could serve. I graduated at 17. I was still 5'8" and now weighed 190.
Back in Roman Times different peoples had different nutrition standards. Many tribes raised males to be warriors. Some allowed women to fight. In Gaul, the young men could serve as Javelin throwers and slingers. As they grew older and bigger, they graduated into Spearmen and took part of the Tribal Line.
These days some areas use Child Soldiers. The SKS and AK 47 are scaled small enough for children could use them. This interferes with a child's mental maturation and often ruins the person's body development. They are given drugs and alcohol and are encouraged to kill without mercy. This scars the young ones mental development.
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