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Gondorian Military Forces

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Within a century of Gondor's founding, her armed forces were put to a severe test during the [[War of the Last Alliance]].  In alliance with [[Arnor]] and Elven forces from [[Lindon]] and [[Rhovanion]], Gondor fought a series of battle with the forces of [[Sauron]].  Sauron's ground forces were completely infantry based, and the allies were predominately infantry as well.  This was a result of having brought few horses with them after the Downfall of Númenor.  The War was a long struggle of attrition involving hundreds of thousands of troops on each side, and Gondor's casualties were serious while Arnor's were crippling.  In this great conflict, Gondor's troops fought in close, well ordered regiments, with infantry in front and archers behind.  Archers were also used as mobile reserves, with companies of them moved from on weak spot in the battle line to another.{{ref|1}}
 
Within a century of Gondor's founding, her armed forces were put to a severe test during the [[War of the Last Alliance]].  In alliance with [[Arnor]] and Elven forces from [[Lindon]] and [[Rhovanion]], Gondor fought a series of battle with the forces of [[Sauron]].  Sauron's ground forces were completely infantry based, and the allies were predominately infantry as well.  This was a result of having brought few horses with them after the Downfall of Númenor.  The War was a long struggle of attrition involving hundreds of thousands of troops on each side, and Gondor's casualties were serious while Arnor's were crippling.  In this great conflict, Gondor's troops fought in close, well ordered regiments, with infantry in front and archers behind.  Archers were also used as mobile reserves, with companies of them moved from on weak spot in the battle line to another.{{ref|1}}
  
Gondor's infantrymen were well-armored, carrying large, broad shields.  They were made of multi-layered wood, and edged in metal.  They always bore the device of the tree of Gondor, in metal.  Infantrymen wore heavy armor, so they definitely considered heavy infantry.  Above their tunics, they wore a layer of chain mail extending down to their knees and elbows.  This ended with heavy gauntlets on the forearms, and heavy knee boots.  Soldiers also wore plate armor, with a heavy embossed breastplate and backplate.  Steel greaves extended downwards from the breastplate to the knees for added protection.  All of this was topped off with a large steel helmet, with cheek plates, and a curved neck piece to protect the next from enemy blows.  Decorative wings were usually attached, and the helmet was often edged in bronze.{{ref|2}}   
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Gondor's infantrymen were well-armored, carrying large, broad [[shields]].  They were made of multi-layered wood, and edged in metal.  They always bore the device of the tree of Gondor, in metal.  Infantrymen wore heavy armor, so they definitely considered heavy infantry.  Above their tunics, they wore a layer of chain mail extending down to their knees and elbows.  This ended with heavy gauntlets on the forearms, and heavy knee boots.  Soldiers also wore plate armor, with a heavy embossed breastplate and backplate.  Steel greaves extended downwards from the breastplate to the knees for added protection.  All of this was topped off with a large steel [[helmet]], with cheek plates, and a curved neck piece to protect the next from enemy blows.  Decorative wings were usually attached, and the helmet was often edged in bronze.{{ref|2}}   
  
The weapons used by the infantry included spears, swords, axes, and bows.
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The weapons used by the infantry included spears, swords, axes, and bows. Gondorian spears were very long, around nine feet.  The point was made of steel, and often two feet long.  It was designed to be used as a thrusting weapons, as opposed to elven spears, which were often thrown.  Swords were usually of medium length-- longer than a short sword, but shorter than a broadsword.  They were usually designed to be used one-handed
  
 
=== The Third Age ===   
 
=== The Third Age ===   

Revision as of 17:49, 28 August 2008

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The Gondorian Military Forces were the most powerful defense forces in Middle-earth from the late Second Age into the the Fourth Age. From the War of the Last Alliance to the War of the Ring, they formed the core of several campaigns against Sauron and his allies, like the Witch-king of Angmar and Saruman. They were made up of three main constituents-- the infantry, the calvary, and the navy.
Gondorian military banner


Contents

Infantry of Gondor

In The War of the Last Alliance

Within a century of Gondor's founding, her armed forces were put to a severe test during the War of the Last Alliance. In alliance with Arnor and Elven forces from Lindon and Rhovanion, Gondor fought a series of battle with the forces of Sauron. Sauron's ground forces were completely infantry based, and the allies were predominately infantry as well. This was a result of having brought few horses with them after the Downfall of Númenor. The War was a long struggle of attrition involving hundreds of thousands of troops on each side, and Gondor's casualties were serious while Arnor's were crippling. In this great conflict, Gondor's troops fought in close, well ordered regiments, with infantry in front and archers behind. Archers were also used as mobile reserves, with companies of them moved from on weak spot in the battle line to another.Template:Ref

Gondor's infantrymen were well-armored, carrying large, broad shields. They were made of multi-layered wood, and edged in metal. They always bore the device of the tree of Gondor, in metal. Infantrymen wore heavy armor, so they definitely considered heavy infantry. Above their tunics, they wore a layer of chain mail extending down to their knees and elbows. This ended with heavy gauntlets on the forearms, and heavy knee boots. Soldiers also wore plate armor, with a heavy embossed breastplate and backplate. Steel greaves extended downwards from the breastplate to the knees for added protection. All of this was topped off with a large steel helmet, with cheek plates, and a curved neck piece to protect the next from enemy blows. Decorative wings were usually attached, and the helmet was often edged in bronze.Template:Ref

The weapons used by the infantry included spears, swords, axes, and bows. Gondorian spears were very long, around nine feet. The point was made of steel, and often two feet long. It was designed to be used as a thrusting weapons, as opposed to elven spears, which were often thrown. Swords were usually of medium length-- longer than a short sword, but shorter than a broadsword. They were usually designed to be used one-handed

The Third Age

During the Third Age, Gondor's land forces were called on to perform a number of tasks, including maintaining a watch over Mordor. They suffered during Gondor's civil war, when they were divided over Castamir's rule.

Gondorian Knights and Cavalry Forces

Traditionally, Gondor had a small cavalry force. In the last quarter of the Third Age, it's close ally Rohan often supplied its main cavalry component. This was true during the Wainrider/Balchoth War, and well as during the War of the Ring.

Gondorian Naval Forces

Dol Amroth's ensign shows its sea theme
The Gondorian Navy constituted the sea-going defense forces of the Southern kingdom of Gondor. They were often in action against opposition naval forces from Pelargir or Umbar, renegade fiefs of Gondor.

Gondorian Special Forces

Gondorian Special Forces were armed men operating often behind enemy lines. Late in the Third Age, and the power of Mordor grew, Gondor withdrew most of its conventional forces from east of the Anduin, including North and South Ithilien. They did not abandon the area completely, however, and maintained a guerrilla presence there, the Rangers of Ithilien. During the War of the Ring, this force was commanded by Faramir, son of Denethor II. They acted as a reconnaissance force, and often harassed Sauron's forces, like the Southrons.

References

  1. Template:Note The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare, The Last Alliance of Elves and Men, pp. 5-6.