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posted by LaminatorX on Monday March 10 2014, @10:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the And-on-the-org-chart-bind-them dept.

nobbis writes:

"From 'A Tolkienist's Perspective Blog' : a two part article part 1 part 2 about the military structure in Mordor. There is a hierarchy chart if you want a summary.

Was the rapid collapse of the military following the destruction of the ring indicative of the fragility of this structure , and its susceptibility to a decapitation strike ? Would a flatter hierarchy or something similar to the Imperial Military or Starfleet have been more resilient?"

 
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by webcommando on Monday March 10 2014, @05:16PM

    by webcommando (1995) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:16PM (#14116)

    Quote: "Come on! the "collapse" was the only way Tolkien could justify how a small human army could survive the encounter with the orcs. You know, it would be quite a let down to get Frodo to finally destroy the ring and then return to the gates and find that Aragorn and the others had been slaughtered."

    I'm not completely versed in military hierarchy or how military structure was done in the past. This topic does offer an opportunity to think about it though. What would really happen if the person bankrolling the operation is destroyed in an instance? I'm assuming most of the forces are there by coercion or being paid. Surely if you aren't going to be supported (not just pay, but supplies), you wouldn't worry much about slaying the "enemy".

    I know orcs hate the race of men, but what really would happen if it was suddenly every "man" for themselves? Wouldn't different tribes begin to fight with each other for whatever resources are left or just head back home?

    I could also see them raiding in small groups. However, would it be a cohesive army capable of rolling over the human army? I think probably not. Who is left to step in keep everyone in line? What would happen to a gang if the head of the family and all his lieutenants disappeared instantly. I think there would be too much infighting to take control to worry much about what is going on outside the gang.

    I know this is all pure speculation or thought experiment to be anthing more than just a conversation starter. I welcome someone's insight who has more experience or knowledge in this area.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by VLM on Monday March 10 2014, @05:49PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 10 2014, @05:49PM (#14135)

    Aside from taking control:

    "And that's the plan, note that first wave is predicted to take about 80% casualties"
    "Oh, I don't like that"
    "Well, you can obey, or take 100% casualties as a traitor"
    "Err, uh yeah, now that you put it that way..."

    Vs

    "Well, that was the plan as written, but he's dead now. Note that first wave was predicted to take about 80% casualties, but with lack of intel it might be higher"
    "Oh, I don't like that. My sword says your team goes first. You go first, I must insist."

    There is the very practical situation that the land and "people" were the same before the leader arrived and they never successfully organized to beat the good guys. So now the leader is gone so its not all that unlikely they'll lose badly as it always was.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by monster on Monday March 10 2014, @05:54PM

    by monster (1260) on Monday March 10 2014, @05:54PM (#14139) Journal

    What would really happen if the person bankrolling the operation is destroyed in an instance? I'm assuming most of the forces are there by coercion or being paid. Surely if you aren't going to be supported (not just pay, but supplies), you wouldn't worry much about slaying the "enemy".

    Maybe, but you have to keep an eye to the fact that this is "old style" or hand-on-hand warfare. Even if the orcs were to know that their master had been destroyed at that same moment, they were fighting at arm's length. In those battles soldiers were able to see or hear from their nearby fellows at most, that is why trumpets and horns were so used to signal. In a situation like that, turning your back to the enemy gets you little more than a quick death, unless the enemy is unable/unwilling to pursue (the difference meaning an orderly retreat, a rout or a slaughter). And the book presents the battle as somewhat big (the human army being clearly outnumbered in a suicide mission to buy time for Frodo) so we are talking to several thousand orcs at least. For reference, many battles of ancient history or even middle ages were between armies of those size.

    It is the most "jumping the shark" moment in the movies, when the ground collapses below the whole orc army, even doing a semicircle around the heroes to avoid them.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Joe Desertrat on Monday March 10 2014, @07:44PM

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Monday March 10 2014, @07:44PM (#14202)

    Sauron and the Nazgul controlled mostly by fear. The orcs didn't like the Nazgul but obeyed them. Now imagine suddenly that fear and all leadership was suddenly removed, as well as towers crashing down, the mountain destroying itself, etc. The idea of of an army continuing to press an attack under those conditions is remote. Most would probably immediately take flight for anywhere but there. Assuming the men of Gondor were still organized any small, dispirited resistance would be easily mopped up. Further down the road the slave farms would have likely been in revolt, those paying tribute to Sauron would be looking out for themselves instead, etc.