Conference for military strategic studies.
Wars between Greece and Persia.
Intelligence begins to matter when states begin to worry about communications being intercepted.
Battle of Kadash in 1284 BC involves intel and deception. Egyptians capture scouts from hittite army –
plausible that these scouts provided deception info. Egyptians march north, fall into ambush.Able to
save themselves because as they walk into the ambush the egyptian forces capture another set of scouts
who warn them of ambush.All sorts of things in past events that utilized intelligence but we have no
record of it, can only extrapolate details.
Greco-Persian wars. Number of different historical accounts. Several historians writing at different
periods. Herodotus – good historian, quite accurate. Personally interviews egyptian priests to get their
view of their past from heiroglyphics. Some problems with his account, but first historian. Thucydides
and the Pelopennesian war. Problem with Herodotus involves his use of supernatural causation. But his
account of Greco-Persian war is secular.
Ionian rebellion – Ionia is under Persian control, there's a rebellion. Herodotus says there's one major
battle fought in 494 between an Ionian greek coalition and Persian sea power forces around Lades.
According to Herodotus it was up til then a see-saw campaign. Ionians holding their own, and greek
fleets have been hard for the persians to contain.At this point, greek and persian forces move against
each other, persians split greek forces through politics, convince large fraction of Ionians to rebel
against the greeks. Large fraction of Greek fleet sails away – suddenly the rest of the navy falls into
disarray and collapse. Ionia comes to terms with the Persians. But Herodotus' account, this political
warfare and subversion. If you can politically divide a force on the battlefield, you win a victory for
cheap, as Sun Tzu and Kautilya advocated.
Persian and The Greek Mainland – from persian POV, Ionia is difficult to control. Ionian greeks are
constantly in contact with mainland cities in Greece. For Persians to create stable western frontier, they
have to deal with Ionia and mainland Greece. Invade mainland greece to impose governments that
would be hindrance to Persian empire any longer. Defenseive manouevre to stabilize frontier. Seriously
threat to mainland Greece. First is famous battle of marathon, directly following Ionian war. Greeks
provide heavy army and forces for their army than any on earth – each carrying 50lbs weight in armor,
shield, helm, etc. However, would be exhausting and the helmet limits your vision – makes them bad in
rough territory. Persian heavy infantry is nowhere near as heavy – Persian forces have to move across
half of asia, have to be able to move long distance. Persians find it pointless to create army like the
greeks – would be difficult, as well. Hire greek mercenaries whenever they need them, instead. Greeks
have military advantage to their home playing field, but take them elsewhere and they become limited
in value – bothAthens and Sparta in the 400s make sustained efforts to invade Persia and fail, because
their weaknesses become significant.
Intelligence failure in Greek and Persian wars – Persians don't understand how they'll fair against
Greeks when the Greeks are on their own territory. Xerxes and some of his Greek advisors don't
understand how the greek system operates – staggered by what greek forces can do in home territory. Intel failure here about net assessment.
After failure to invadeAthens, Xerxes decides he must settle the problem of Greece – makes
investment in inquiring intel. Every greek city is deeply factionalized, one faction always willing to sell
out another. Xerxes starts to offer to provide home to significant Greek politicians that are kicked out of
the city. Gets one of the two kings of Sparta.Acquires good political intelligence, making effort to
understand political divisions among the greeks. - Good understanding of politics between greek cities,
but don't understand what it's like to be on the other end of a charge of Greek forces. Trireme –
specialized warship – 3 banks of oars on each side, either rams with a large bronze ram at the front or
go side by side and have a land battle fought at sea. Persians create fleet of triremes from cities under
their control, around 1000 (guesswork figures). Entire greek world has probably around 400 triremes.
No difference in quality of navy, but in quantity. Xerxes sends 80,000 soldiers into Greece.As he
advances, his army and navy move along the cost. Persians are clearly playing political warfare – first
stage of Persian invasion is very successful, catches Greeks slightly by surprise. Clear that Xerxes is in
communication with factions in Greek cities. Trying to intimidate the greeks into giving up. Working
with traders among various greek cities to get them to come to your side.
First intel failure happens as Persian forces move south. In order to get into central greece, you have to
move through pass at Themopoli. Narrow place, flat open coastal plain. Can move around it but not
easily. Greeks know this can be a defensive position.Also understand if you don't stop Persians at
Thermopoli, the persians will be into central gree