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Post Reply Anicent Rome army vs Anicent China army
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Posted 3/29/16

Hail_King_Kakao wrote:

Didn't the ancient chinese have gunpowder.
Also, Chinese Kung-fu is obviously superior to whatever barbaric excuse for martial arts those europeans had.


While they had gunpowder, they were not using gunpowder based weaponry until after the fall of the Roman Empire. Gunpowder weaponry such as the fire lance did not appear until around the 10th century AD and firearms did not appear until the 13 century AD.


While Kung-Fu looks cool on TV it is borderline useless against an armed, professional army and would have been used as a desperate measure of last resort.
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Posted 3/29/16

Voc666IV wrote:


While they had gunpowder, they were not using gunpowder based weaponry until after the fall of the Roman Empire. Gunpowder weaponry such as the fire lance did not appear until around the 10th century AD and firearms did not appear until the 13 century AD.


While Kung-Fu looks cool on TV it is borderline useless against an armed, professional army and would have been used as a desperate measure of last resort.


Are you really saying a country that produced philosophers like Confucius, Laozi, and military strategists like Sun Tzu are incapable of seeing the virtues of discipline and order . Mate I think when it comes to two things China kicks Rome's ass.
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Posted 3/29/16

Ranwolf wrote:


Voc666IV wrote:


While they had gunpowder, they were not using gunpowder based weaponry until after the fall of the Roman Empire. Gunpowder weaponry such as the fire lance did not appear until around the 10th century AD and firearms did not appear until the 13 century AD.


While Kung-Fu looks cool on TV it is borderline useless against an armed, professional army and would have been used as a desperate measure of last resort.


Are you really saying a country that produced philosophers like Confucius, Laozi, and military strategists like Sun Tzu are incapable of seeing the virtues of discipline and order . Mate I think when it comes to two things China kicks Rome's ass.


What are you on about? Drop your Sinophilia; I was talking about how Kung-Fu would not do much use in armed combat.
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Posted 3/29/16

nanikore2 wrote:
I wasn't talking about horsemen

I was giving a single example of military innovation. Many could be listed for both Chinese and Roman.

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Posted 3/29/16

Ranwolf wrote:
China endured before the fall of Rome and it endured after the fall of Rome. And the fact it rose to become the modern day Superpower it is now says a lot about the worth of its military doctrine.

The Chinese were not a single continuous empire. They fragmented and reformed several times. China has conquered many times, both in part and in whole. Both the Mongols and the Manchus conquered the entirety of China. (Yuan Dynasty and Qing Dynasty respectively.)

Their current military doctrine only came about after the rise of Marxism - after they were conquered by the Japanese in WWII.


When do you think the last of the Roman empire fell?
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Posted 3/29/16 , edited 3/29/16

Dariamus wrote:


Ranwolf wrote:
China endured before the fall of Rome and it endured after the fall of Rome. And the fact it rose to become the modern day Superpower it is now says a lot about the worth of its military doctrine.

The Chinese were not a single continuous empire. They fragmented and reformed several times. China has conquered many times, both in part and in whole. Both the Mongols and the Manchus conquered the entirety of China. (Yuan Dynasty and Qing Dynasty respectively.)

Their current military doctrine only came about after the rise of Marxism - after they were conquered by the Japanese in WWII.


When do you think the last of the Roman empire fell?


Mate I wouldn't call occupying a few coastal cities and Nanking for a few years as a total conquering of China mate. And Constantinople did not consider itself a part of the Roman Empire. And based on its cultural and social practices they weren't.
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Posted 3/29/16 , edited 3/29/16

Ranwolf wrote:
Mate I wouldn't call occupying a few coastal cities and Nanking for a few years as a total conquering of China mate. And Constantinople did not consider itself a part of the Roman Empire. And based on its cultural and social practices they weren't.


A few years only because the allies forced Japan to return all territories in Korea and China after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. China is one of the most conquered countries in the world, not counting all the times it has fragmented into separate kingdoms, some of which were themselves conquered by invaders.

As for Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, it very much regarded itself as Roman. The very name, "Byzantine Empire" is a term imposed by Scholars after the fall of Constantinople solely as a means of distinguishing between eastern and western segments of the Roman Empire.


Both "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire (Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tôn Rhōmaiōn; Latin: Imperium Romanum),[2] or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".[3]


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Posted 3/29/16

Dariamus wrote:


Ranwolf wrote:
Mate I wouldn't call occupying a few coastal cities and Nanking for a few years as a total conquering of China mate. And Constantinople did not consider itself a part of the Roman Empire. And based on its cultural and social practices they weren't.


A few years only because the allies forced Japan to return all territories in Korea and China after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As for Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire, it very much regarded itself as Roman. The very name, "Byzantine Empire" is a term imposed by Scholars after the fall of Constantinople solely as a means of distinguishing between eastern and western segments of the Roman Empire.


Both "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire (Ancient Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tôn Rhōmaiōn; Latin: Imperium Romanum),[2] or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".[3]




Mate the Japanese never got more than a few hundred kilometers into interior China despite the amount of troops they threw against the Chinese. The Chinese neither needed nor even wanted outside help.

Also the fact there was even two Roman Emperors says a lot about the fracturing of the Roman Empire . And the Byzantines lost to the Ottomans eventually anyways.
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Posted 3/29/16

Ranwolf wrote:


Mate the Japanese never got more than a few hundred kilometers into interior China despite the amount of troops they threw against the Chinese. The Chinese neither needed nor even wanted outside help.

Also the fact there was even two Roman Emperors says a lot about the fracturing of the Roman Empire . And the Byzantines lost to the Ottomans eventually anyways.



Initially the Japanese scored major victories, such as the Battle of Shanghai, and by the end of 1937 captured the Chinese capital of Nanking. After failing to stop the Japanese in Wuhan, the Chinese central government was relocated to Chongqing in the Chinese interior. By 1939, after Chinese victories in Changsha and Guangxi, and with stretched lines of communications deep into the Chinese interior territories, the war had reached a stalemate. The Japanese were also unable to defeat the Chinese communist forces in Shaanxi, which continued to perform sabotage operations against the Japanese using guerrilla warfare tactics. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following day (December 8, 1941) the United States declared war on Japan. The United States began to aid China via airlift matériel over the Himalayas after the Allied defeat in Burma that closed the Burma Road. In 1944 Japan launched a massive invasion and conquered Henan and Changsha. However, this failed to bring about the surrender of Chinese forces. In 1945, Chinese Expeditionary Force resumed its advance in Burma and completed the Ledo road linking India and China. At the same time, China launched large counteroffensives in South China and retook the west Hunan and Guangxi.

Despite continuing to occupy much of China's territory, Japan eventually surrendered on September 2, 1945 to Allied forces following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria. The remaining Japanese occupation troops in China (excluding Manchuria) formally surrendered on September 9, 1945 with the following International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened on April 29, 1946. At the outcome of the Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, the Allies of World War II decided to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan by restoring all the territories that Japan annexed from China, including Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, to the Republic of China, and to expel Japan from the Korean Peninsula. China was recognized as one of the Big Four of Allies during the war[21][22] and became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council at the end of the war.[23]


It was only with allied support that Japan was stalemated and not until after supply chains were established on the Ledo road was China able to begin pushing the Japanese back.

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Posted 3/29/16

Dariamus wrote:




Initially the Japanese scored major victories, such as the Battle of Shanghai, and by the end of 1937 captured the Chinese capital of Nanking. After failing to stop the Japanese in Wuhan, the Chinese central government was relocated to Chongqing in the Chinese interior. By 1939, after Chinese victories in Changsha and Guangxi, and with stretched lines of communications deep into the Chinese interior territories, the war had reached a stalemate. The Japanese were also unable to defeat the Chinese communist forces in Shaanxi, which continued to perform sabotage operations against the Japanese using guerrilla warfare tactics. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the following day (December 8, 1941) the United States declared war on Japan. The United States began to aid China via airlift matériel over the Himalayas after the Allied defeat in Burma that closed the Burma Road. In 1944 Japan launched a massive invasion and conquered Henan and Changsha. However, this failed to bring about the surrender of Chinese forces. In 1945, Chinese Expeditionary Force resumed its advance in Burma and completed the Ledo road linking India and China. At the same time, China launched large counteroffensives in South China and retook the west Hunan and Guangxi.

Despite continuing to occupy much of China's territory, Japan eventually surrendered on September 2, 1945 to Allied forces following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet invasion of Japanese-held Manchuria. The remaining Japanese occupation troops in China (excluding Manchuria) formally surrendered on September 9, 1945 with the following International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened on April 29, 1946. At the outcome of the Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, the Allies of World War II decided to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan by restoring all the territories that Japan annexed from China, including Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, to the Republic of China, and to expel Japan from the Korean Peninsula. China was recognized as one of the Big Four of Allies during the war[21][22] and became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council at the end of the war.[23]


It was only with allied support that Japan was stalemated and not until after supply chains were established on the Ledo road was China able to begin pushing the Japanese back.



I know you Americans like to paint yourselves in the best light possible but you should do your research first. Yes the Battle of Changsha and the Battle of Hengyang were both strategic victories for the IJA they were tactical losses as well. They didn't have enough troops to maintain an effective control over their newly won territory. So much so they continued to bleed men and material in increasingly futile attempts to established said control.

All allied aid did was speed up the inevitable. The IJA was fighting on hostile ground against a far larger and dare I say more motivated enemy with supply lines stretching back to mainland Japan. The Chinese could afford horrific losses in way the IJA never could even dream of , especially since they were stupid enough to declare war against another power that outnumbered them.

The Chinese are masters of time and pressure , something the Romans cracked under time and time again.
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Posted 3/29/16 , edited 3/31/16

Ranwolf wrote:


Steelmonk wrote:



Besides, there is the fact that China has never been able to attack another nation and win except before 0 BC... So could the Chinese beat the Roman Legion? The Qin would have to have a much larger force, and remember this, the Romans kicked the crap out of the Carthaginians, Parthians, Persians, Egyptians etc (none of them small or weak empires). So even though the Chinese were good at defending, historically attacking wasn't their forte. My money is on the hardcore legion. Not to mention generals like Scipio and Julius, who were known to be bad ass fighters in and of themselves. Martial art are ok, but personal victory has everything to do with the weapon you're trained to use on the battle field. I'd rather have 40 more hours of rifle work than 40 hours of CQC. You know what I'm talking about. By the way the picture of Legionaries tortoising up says it all.


Yes cause a lack of overtly Imperialistic tendencies means a General and their army is worse than a General and his Army from a country that is overtly Imperialistic. Mate those imperialistic tendencies were the fall of Rome, it got crushed under the weight of it's own glory. Not to mention the everyone from the Emperor down was an idiot, I mean who builds an economy based around the spoils of war basically.

China endured before the fall of Rome and it endured after the fall of Rome. And the fact it rose to become the modern day Superpower it is now says a lot about the worth of its military doctrine.


Wow! mad? sorry didn't mean to piss you off.
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Posted 3/29/16 , edited 3/29/16

Ranwolf wrote:


Voc666IV wrote:


While they had gunpowder, they were not using gunpowder based weaponry until after the fall of the Roman Empire. Gunpowder weaponry such as the fire lance did not appear until around the 10th century AD and firearms did not appear until the 13 century AD.


While Kung-Fu looks cool on TV it is borderline useless against an armed, professional army and would have been used as a desperate measure of last resort.


Are you really saying a country that produced philosophers like Confucius, Laozi, and military strategists like Sun Tzu are incapable of seeing the virtues of discipline and order . Mate I think when it comes to two things China kicks Rome's ass.


I just realized it doesn't matter what anyone else says, if it's against Chinese history they must be wrong in your eyes. Are you a Chinese history teacher? or are you Chinese? I'm trying not to insult but you seem overly angry over a weak China or a China in the a negative light.
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Posted 3/29/16 , edited 3/29/16

Steelmonk wrote:



I just realized it doesn't matter what anyone else says, if it's against Chinese history they must be wrong in your eyes. Are you a Chinese history teacher? or are you Chinese? I'm trying not to insult but you seem overly angry over a weak China or a China in the a negative light.


Nah mate I am just tired of the west trying to pain the east as weak. It gets on my nerves when neither side can't see the strengths of either approach. I also dislike the twisting of facts to suit a personal opinion.
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Posted 3/29/16 , edited 3/29/16
This debate really needs some ground rules. You can't just speculate the ideal conditions for one side to win then say they would win.


Ranwolf wrote:
To be the most fair and even comparison it would have to be Late Era Roman Empire versus The Han Dynasty.


Okay, so assuming the height of each then. Let us also assume equal numbers, neutral terrain and combined arms of archers / cavalry / infantry on both sides. So no if there is x than y wins arguments. We're all squared up. So where does that leave us? Personally, I don't think either side would outright kick the other's ass. It would be a bloody mess of a fight.

The key point of contention here seems to be Han crossbow usage. Which is a good point, but not one I think is as effective as presented. Romans had crossbows as well along side an assortment of small, amusing artillery weapons. Both armies are also well drilled in cycling missile volleys. Han crossbow drills could certainly cut in to any light armour infantry on the field. But it would be less effective at digging in to legionnaires and their overlapping shield walls. Penetrating a shield is one thing, going through a shield and still having enough power to penetrate armour is another. Penetrating two shields and armour? Rather tricky.

The biggest problem with this topic though is that there really isn't any accurate information or surviving examples of complete Han crossbows to gauge their effectiveness with. And from what I can see, this is some sort of long standing internet bitchfest of an argument that has been raging across historical forums for years. >.>


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Posted 3/29/16
Just the personal opinion of an amateur enthusiast here, but I think this isn't a question one could easily resolve, just because comparing apples to apples is too difficult. Which Roman army, which Chinese army? The armies of Scipio, Julius Ceasar, Constantine and Justinian are different things from different eras. Are you comparing one of them to the Qin dynasty (which would be better compared to Alexander and his successors), the Han dynasty, Three Kingdoms period, or some other period?

Throughout the Classical ancient period, I suspect the real answer is that at some times the West was superior and at others the East was superior. I suspect Julius Caesar would have kicked Chinese butt, but only a few years later, Guangwu would have kicked Roman butt right back.

In reality, it's a silly question. They were both amazing empires with amazing militaries, and our modern world is really just the continuation of both civilizations together.
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