A History Lesson (Because I feel like it)
Rome was once one of the largest empires ever to have existed. (Title of the largest goes to the mongols) This was brought about by the legions, and upheld by the Civil Service system established by Augustus. Today I will focus on the legions and when I come back from Aruba I will focus on the civil service system.
The legions could be marching while carrying all of their equipment, and then ready to fight in 30 seconds. This meant that if they encountered an enemy host they could form up before the enemy reached them. This is what made them such an effective fighting force.
In this picture there are two novice legionaries sparring, with one of them learning how a shield can be used other than for blocking. However, this would not have been employed historically, as the wall formed by the shields was the key to a maniple’s (a maniple is an individual fighting force, its name derived from the latin manus “hand”, so literally “a handful”) success, and if a force survived even something like that the offending officer could be demoted or even discharged. The reason this would not work was because the barbarians would use longer weapons that could reach past an outstretched shield.
Tom, you might be interested in this action in New York recently.