Ancient Roman "Tank"

(This shield looks like something from a science fiction movie!)

I was looking up the shield designs of Roman soldiers when I came upon this interesting fact.
When the Roman army went into battle they developed a strategy called, "Testudo" (it became known as the, ‘Tortoise’).

The command, "As One" was given and each soldier would stand with his shield overlapping the shield of the soldier next to him.

This made an near impregnable battle formation.  It crushed the front lines of the enemy. I've read that this locking shields strategy won many battles.

I'll add more interesting posts about Ancient Rome from time to time.



  1. You are right. It's not actually a tank. But it functions like a tank by protecting the solders from arrows, spears and attacking enemy troops.

  2. it be cool if modern day army s did that,except with with machine guns and lighter,more stronger shields that could withstand ENEMY FIRE

  3. Actually it wasn't really a battle formation. It was slow, blind, and too tight to fight with swords or spears. In fact it often made the Romans vulnerable to attack, as it was not manuverable. So it's unlikely it did any crushing of enemy lines. It is however, perfect for getting a large number of highly trained heavy infantry to a location (usually a wall) while protecting them from arrows, slings, stones, and javelins. If a tank had no guns on it and moved very slowly to deploy troops behind enemy lines that would be a far more accurate comparison. I highly recommend looking up the "Macedonian phalanx" for a better ancient tank, as Alexander the Great used this battle formation to walk through enemy armies multiple times larger than his own.


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