indian relay

Teepee Dreamin’

When I arrived at Crow Agency, Montana for the Crow Fair, I did not know what to expect. My time there will always be remembered fondly. Meteor showers, a maze of endless teepees, horse culture, random photo adventures, swimming in the baking heat, rodeos, Indian relays, the pow wow, exchanging stories late at night, teasing one another, learning about the Crow traditions. I was so fortunate to have found an amazing family that took me under their wing. Also blessed with new friendships that I will cherish forever. Aho Miigwetch!

Military Mondays: Battle of Hydaspes 326 BC

As suggested by: @jakeluden

After the battle of Gabai in 328 BC and his marriage of Roxanna to satisfy the satraps, Alexanders empire now stretched from Greece to Modern day Afghanistan. He wasn’t even 30 years old yet. Alexanders appetite for conquest was insastiable. Alexander took 40,000 infantry and 7,000 horse and campaigned into India. While there he would face his most worthy opponent and win one of his most stunning victories. 

To cross into India he had to cross two massive rivers, the Indus and Hydaspes river. Once ferrying his army across the Indus he faced a 2 month long march to the hydapses. Waiting for Alexanders army at the Hydaspes was a general of Considerable talent and skill. King Porus of Pauravas and a force of 50,000 Indian warriors. But not only infantry and cavalry. But a monster of the ancient era. Porus’s army has 200 war elephants. Alexander knows this army is impossible to attack head on. He now begins his grand deception.

Alexander begins by moving his army up and down the river, porus shadows his every move, after a few weeks porus gets fed up believing there is no need to move his whole army up and down the river, he posts sentries on the opposite side. Next Alexander commands his men to be noisy, although this may sound stupid, The Indian army is now accustomed to the sound of Alexanders men. 2 weeks later Alexander leaves camp under the cover of night. Taking with him 5000 horse and 6000 infantry. The Indian army notices nothing. Alexander even sets up a fake command tent so the sentries notice nothing. Alexander picked a spot 17 miles upstream. Crossing chest deep, a storm quietens his movements, by the time alexander crosses, its early morning and the Indian scouts have relayed to porus that Alexander has crossed. 

Porus is now faced with a dillemma, if he goes after Alexander then the force on the opposite side of the river will attack, if he stays put, he will be pincered. Porus sends 2000 horse and 200 chariots led by his son porus jnr, Alexander had augmented his force with 1000 Iranian light cavalry from his conquest of Persia,  these Iranian horsemen fire arrows with deady accuracy that impedes the smaller force, he now sends in his heavy cavalry and smashes the indian horse, among the dead is porus jnr.

Porus realises a larger force is needed and leads the bulk of his army upstream to face alexander while leaving a small rearguard to defend the river should the greeks on the opposite side, attempt to cross. Meanwhile Alexander still has one last trick up his sleeve, he had stationed a reserve force of around 4500 infantry and 2000 cavalry at the crossing point, these fresh troops join alexanders. Porus is now expecting a smaller force. 

Porus places his 200 Elephants in the vanguard, 30,000 infantry in the centre, 2000 cavalry and 100 war chariots on each wing. Porus rode on a war elephant. Alexander commanded his cavalry to attack the left flank, porus see’s this and brings the cavalry from his right over to his left. 

Porus’s right flank now numbers at 4000, the greek flank numbers 5000 heavy cavalry. Keeping his 2000 reinforcements in reserve. His 2000 reinforcements are then sent to attack the right flank which is unguarded, instead of attacking the centre from the flank, they ride behind porus’s infantry and arrive behind the indian left flank and crush all of Porus’s cavalry in once swift move. He now takes his horse and attacks the left flank of the Indian Infantry, even though encircled Porus refuses to surrender, the encircled elephants panic and attempt to flee, trampling their own troops. Porus survives, although he is badly wounded, but keeps fighting, Alexander respects and admires this man who had so bravley fought on. Once captured porus was asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated. 

“Treat me as a king would treat another king” Porus responded

Amazed by porus’s honour and dignity Alexander allows porus to retain the title of king. and absorbs his kingdom into the macedonian empire. This would be alexanders last engagement in India. And his men mutiny before he can fight his next battle. 3 years later Alexander was dead and his empire would fracture. 

If you have any ideas for what I should post for next military monday, it can be anything, a battle, a leader, an idea, a concept or tactic, a military unit or formation. Do not hesitate to send in your suggestions, either by message or comment.

10 golden rules of fitness for First World War soldiers

1. Listen to your instructor

The commands given by army gymnastic staff instructors should be followed at all times, not simply because they are senior non-commissioned officers, or because their physique is a clear sign of their prowess at demonstrating physical training. Their experience and valuable knowledge will help guide you, motivate you, and instil a sense of self-belief that you have been trained, not just to be fit, but to be fighting fit!

2. Keep it interesting

Physical training needn’t be boring. It is true that the training tables produced by the army gymnastic staff will become progressively more demanding, so recruits and trained soldiers alike will be pushed to achieve their optimum physical potential. However, time can be set aside during the physical training sessions for games such as Indian club relay-races, wrestling for pegs, and bomb ball, which are not only fun and add a competitive element to training, but also provide practical application of the exercises from the training tables.

3. Don’t run before you can walk

Physical training tables have been developed using scientific principles and in-depth knowledge of human physiology. With this in mind, make sure you do not skip a table and hope to make it up another day. They have been designed to be progressive, and the completion of one table will ensure you are ready to continue with the next, steadily improving your physical development.

4. Be realistic

The amount of time available for physical and recreational training will vary depending on where you are located – those soldiers in the trenches will clearly not have the same access as those in the rear to space and equipment to carry out certain activities. Training tables have been developed to allow these soldiers to perform exercises throughout the day as the opportunity arises. No need to worry though, your instructor will not announce to the Germans when you are exercising! Commands relating to your exercises will be performed by a show of fingers.

5. Training for sport is training for war

Sports and games are the natural way to train for war. Football, cricket, boxing, etc mimic battle, and develop the qualities needed for war. But participation in sport and games should be voluntary, as the voluntary spirit is the spirit of ‘one more effort’.

6. Stick it!

What compels a man in war? The ‘fighting spirit’ of course – but what does this mean? Is it dashing over the top? No, it is ‘sticking it’ – sticking it to the hardships of war, sticking it when you are injured, sticking it when you are sick, sticking it when you’re tired or have heard bad news or are on the back foot.

And how is this fighting spirit indoctrinated? Through a soldier’s participation in games. If you are hit by a punch in a boxing bout, do you bow down and walk away? No, you clench your teeth, hide your feelings from your opponent and fight back. That is the fighting spirit; that is sticking it!

7. Make it count

Physical training and bayonet training, both under the control of army gymnastic staff instructors, are carried out for the benefit of you, the soldier, but more importantly for the soldiers either side of you.

It is essential that a soldier takes advantage of the opportunities to carry out such training, and when doing so, makes every exercise and every attack performed on a bayonet training dummy count.

As the bayonet training manual says, “each dummy must be regarded as an actual armed opponent”, and each armed opponent will become an actual dummy when he meets the British soldier.

8. Improvise

As with nearly every aspect of military life, there are times that the soldier will have to improvise to carry out their physical and bayonet training. The exercises compiled in the training tables provide enough scope for an instructor to supplement or improvise the necessary equipment required to carry out the exercise.

When the apparatus cannot be improvised, many of the exercises may be completed regardless. When bayonet fencing rifles are in short supply, use sticks. When no assault course exists, simply fill hessian sacks with straw and soil, and suspend the sack from a rope hanging from a tree. By being resourceful, your training continues.

9. Too sick to train?

At times you may become injured or sick and unable to train. While this may be frustrating, it is important that you adhere to the medical staff’s advice and only conduct exercises that are suited to your current situation. Remedial training tables have been developed to allow those suffering from constipation and slight stomach troubles, for example. The exercises are not severe and can be beneficial, but if there is any question of ulcers or diarrhoea they should not be performed.

10. LISTEN TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR!

This point cannot be stressed more emphatically. The gymnastic staff instructors and assistant instructors are experts in physical conditioning. Their training is scientific in nature, and their knowledge of human physiology and anatomy is second only to medical professionals.  

INDIA WIN GOLD IN FIELD HOCKEY at the Asian games after 16 long years! In a nail biting contest, India defeated Pakistan 4-2 in the penalty shootout. Well played Pakistan.

INDIA win women’s 4x400m relay gold. The quartet of Priyanka Panwar, Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and M R Poovamma won an easy race in 3:28.68 to improve upon the earlier Games record of 3:29.02 which was also in the name of the gold-winning Indian team in 2010.