I was just watching a yt video about the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) between a collections of Greeks and the Persian army. The Greeks marched into battle and for the last 100 or so yards they had to run, under heavy arrow fire, towards the enemy in full battle kit of about 70 lbs (or 32 kg). Then they fought for three hours, beating back the Persians quite literally into the water. After which they had to force march back to Athens to defend the city against a second Persian army that was headed for their city using boats sailing around the coast, all on an at least at the end empty stomach.
It is estimated the boats took 10 hours to sail from Marathon to Athens. The second army left before the Greeks and Persians clashed in Marathon and when they arrived in Athens they were met by the same Greeks (+ reinforcements) in full battle order and partially rested. So when the Greeks were finished with the first Persian army, they had less than 7 hours to make it back to Athens and be ready for the Persian second army. Eventually the Persians didn’t have the guts to land their troops a second time and face these “demons” again on the beaches near Athens and they sailed off.
How long would it take for a modern army/men to do this nowadays, fully rested? Or even after fighting for several hours, brutally and then being led on a forced march back for 22 miles in full battle order, without a proper meal or anything?
Was it a “superhuman” feat that the Greeks pulled off? Were they trained better (from a very young age trained to be soldiers in both combat skills and endurance)? Of course individual endurance and fitness was more important back then than it is now (not saying it still isn’t important in modern times, but back then you had to swing swords for hours on end while now you have to run/march and fire weapons).
EDIT: the modern troops would not have access to vehicles.
from Robert Haycroft RSS Feed https://www.reddit.com/r/Military/comments/6qq0oi/how_long_would_it_take_for_a_modern_army_of/