Could Nuclear War Doom Humanity’s Future? (5 out of 5)
Spanish historian jose buenoargues that war acts directly and decisively upon the existence of human beings, stripping them of their diabolical machinery and removing them from their burrows or their workshops, or appearing like a devastating storm over towns and cities , today here, tomorrow there, the steadfast persistence that reduces periods of peace to brief ceasefires.
By clearing the paths that had generated the first wars, he ended the military superiority of the nomadic, born horseman, brutal warrior, since the 16th century, that is, with the invention of firearms, namely artillery. that sedentary men were never able to disprove it. Tartar nomads were still burning Moscow in 1571, and the plundering of the city killed 150,000 inhabitants, many of them English, Flemish, German and Italian merchants who lived in the Third Rome. North Africa is still dominated by Barbary nomads in the 16th century. But the great Asiatic invasions, which, since the darkest and most distant historical times, have fallen upon Europe every four or five centuries, like a devastating plague, would be as soon as the artillery put the nomadic cavalry out of action.
It establishes that until 1500 the Asian threat was represented by the Turkish Empire of the Ottomans, but the Ottoman sultans were adopting new Western techniques of warfare; In that sense, he argues, they copied Christian warships and equipped them with powerful artillery, and their land armies that threatened the Danubian plain had excellent field artillery.
This also changes the fighter. This is because, according to José Bueno, the chaotic medieval retinue was replaced by professionals who earned a soldiery, and are therefore called soldiers. Thus, the soldier of the 16th century is no longer the warrior of the Middle Ages, nor is he still the soldier of modern armies. Recruited by kings and princes in the mountainous regions of Switzerland or in the poorer counties of Swabia, these German mercenaries, called lanschnet, were the best-paid they were recruited into the army. It happens – Bueno establishes – that soldiers from the same city join forces with enemy forces and soon after leaving their native village together they kill each other, defending a cause that is foreign to them. Was. Therefore, in the army of the Muslim sultans, in addition to the Janissaries of Christian origin, there were Albanians, slaves and Greeks.
According to his point of view, these professional soldiers formed heterogeneous units in which people of the most diverse nationalities mixed with their outer clothing, since these soldiers were not yet in uniform, and this freedom increased the clothing imagination of these adventurers, From the ribbons, bands and colored feathers of the huge caps of the cap, passing through the jerkins and multicolored breeches, which gave these soldiers the appearance of strange tropical birds. And Bueno says that these soldiers felt like mere instruments for an end of which they were unaware at the time. He gives the example of the Battle of Pavia, where the Swiss fought against the Swiss, the Germans against the Germans, when, as is well known, what was disputed there was whether Italy was going to fall prey to the French or the Spanish.
So it is clear that these soldiers were as terrifying to friends as they were to enemies. He says that, in this sense, the same excesses and rape and plunder were committed against the subjects of his prince as against the adversary. It shows that some popes plundered the towns and cities of the Papal States and when these mercenaries did not receive their pay in time, a delay which is frequent in all countries, they went in search of plunder, a used to attack the city and destroy it. He caught hold of the bone.
In that order – they say – the troops of Carlos V, in these and other matters, savagely sacked Rome from May 6 to May 13, 1527, dealing a cruel blow to the most refined and brilliant phase of the Italian Renaissance. , They scared the West. Because the city afflicted was Rome, and because the lives of the Pope and several cardinals were in danger. He also cites the fact that several other towns suffered the same fate, a common scourge of the military campaigns of the 16th and 17th centuries that culminated in the “Thirty Years’ War”. At the time, Antwerp, taken by Spanish troops in 1576, was also furious because they had to pay back pay, a brutal sacking that contributed to the decline of the city that had been the economic capital of the West for the previous hundred years.
(Jose Good, Life in the Age of Discovery.Mas-Ivars Editores, SL Valencia, Spain, 1971, pp. 118-119).
Candido Garon at acento.com.do