Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I is for Incendiaries

“Behold from your walls the lands laid waste with fire and sword“ –Livy The History of Rome

Incendiaries are a bedrock of warfare, fire has brought cities and nations to their knees for millennia. Fire has always been a dangerous tool for man, and when applied to warfare it is absolutely devastating. Whether it be a simple torched tossed in building or Greek Fire being hurled in the faces of enemies, fire brings a whole new element to combat.

One of the simplest tactics involving incendiaries was known as the ‘scorched earth’ policies.  This involved groups of soldiers surrounding an enemy keep or stronghold and burning the crops to the ground.  This policy destroyed food, supplies and trade routes. Often times a besieged city would use this tactic on their own lands to deprive their attackers of the resources and of forage. 

Another form of incendiary is hot substances such as heated oil or sand, which would  get under armor and clothes burning the flesh of the victim.  Even boiling water poured on person could melt the skin right off the bone.

I intended to write more for this post but the baby was crying when I was writing this, so I will see you guys next time

1 comment:

  1. And don't forget the use of Napalm and White Phosphorous in more modern times!

    Loving the blog entries - I'm now follower Number 10!