Trevor and I went for a walk tonight, and because its its favorite topic right now, we talked about military tactics in history. He’s been playing the Total War game series, which allows you to general various armies and go head-to-head with them or to fight against the A.I. At some point we started talking about the Native Americans in general and specifically about the Aztecs. Most people understand that when the Aztecs ran across Cortes they simply did not have the military technology to compete. But what most people do understand is they didn’t have the right ideas either. Cortez and the Spanish not only had a huge weapon advantage over the Aztecs, but the also had an idea advantage.
For instance the Aztec fought a kind warfare that was significantly different form the Spanish. They didn’t even have the same goals. Aztecs fought wars to gain people for sacrifices. To them killing was completely secondary, and killing too much actually counter productive. So a typical Aztec victorious battle would mean ganging up on a neighboring tribe, killing enough of them so they quit, picking 10-20 people of that tribe for sacrifice, and making sure you got 20 more people each year.
Now counter this against the Spanish. Their idea of a victorious battle would start with killing so many of the other guys that you either were to exhausted to kill any more, or they ran away. For them, killing was the goal. It was why you went to war. And a vanquished enemy didn’t just pay you tribute every year, you went and took EVERYTHING from him.
Mind you, the Aztecs were not stupid. Not even primitive. They just had never come across certain ideas about war and warfare before, and it was their inexperience with these ideas that proved to be so fatal. Well that and small pox.
Anyway, it was while we were talking about this, about the native American Indians having the largest WTF experience in history, that Trevor suggested he’d like to see the look on the Aztecs faces when they got charged for the first time by Egyptian chariots.
And that’s when he came up with the idea for a tv show: Aztecs React To…. Every week the Aztecs face a new enemy. Every week its pretty much the same results, Well not quite. The Aztecs really did kick ass, for armies in their area. Pound for pound they were certainly tough.
So we went from Aztecs React To Egyptian Chariots, to
Aztecs React To A Roman fighting square, to
Aztecs React To Napoleon’s Army, to
Aztecs React To modern day U.S. Marines, to
Aztecs React To the 50 cal machine gun, to
Aztecs React To the M1 Abrams tank, to
Aztecs React To Apache Helicopters, to
I think you can see where this was going. Soon it was time for bed.