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Evaluation of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields
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AradanOfNumenor
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Evaluation of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Evaluation of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Battle of the Morannon during the Third Age of Arda
Samuel Stylianos Apogrimiotis

This is an evaluation I have made of these battles, and I thought I would post it here and see what the community thinks about. All criticism accepted, but please give valid reasons why, and not of personal whim. I will post this piece by piece, it is 20,000 words long. If ye are interested with my work I have completed an evaluation on the battles of the Fords of Isen and currently working on an evaluation of the Nírnaeth Arnoediad

Armament
The soldiers of Minas Tirith, the cream of Gondor's trained forces, were equipped in a mail hauberk, a steel helm, (a blue cape for the citadel guard) and a sword and a wooden steel reinforced shield (This clearly shows the wealth of Gondor even in it's decline). The rangers of Ithillien would have been equipped with camouflage leather and cloth, and a green cape akin to that of elfish making, and a Gondorian bow (although not a powerful as the famed steel-tipped bows of the Numenoreans, they were still of very good make). The soldiers from the outer fiefdoms most simply wore leather or such, but the men of Dol Amroth wore mail and hauberk of great quality akin to that of the elves, for knowledge of elfish craft and elfish blood ran through the veins of the men of that great city.
The orcs of Mordor would have been greatly armed, as unlike some people believe. The mountains of Mordor would have held great number of minerals and ores, and there were many smithies in Barad-Dur. They were similarly equipped in iron, and the shape of it would have been identical, as per regulation. For we know that the smithies of Mordor had great knowledge in craft, as we have seen from Grond, the wolf's head that smashed open the gates of Minas Tirith. T'was made of black iron (perhaps titanium?) and was shaped in the form of a wolf's head. For weapons, they would have axes, halberds, curved scimitars and on occasion (perhaps for captains and more important figures) maces wrought of iron. It is stated in the unfinished tales that orcs had their own black heavy mail, which solidifies my theory.
Of the eastern provinces not much can be told, they were likely at most and rarely equipped in leather, and for the most part wore the simple clothes of the desert, that kept out sand and protected against the heat. Only the serpent guard and other important units might of had iron, but 'tis unlikely. For weapons, they would have wielded for the most part scimitars and composite bows.
Description of Rohirrim equipment is scarce heard of, in a letter sent by Tolkien, he explains (indirectly) that the armor of the Rohirrim consisted primarily of primitive mail hauberks and leather vambraces. In the book Unfinished Tales, 'tis told both that Rohan had a lack of archers, but 'tis also stated that 1/3 of Eorl the Young’s muster were horse archers.

Old Post Jul 9th, 2012 06:25 AM
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testing, ok here comes part 2.

Old Post Jul 9th, 2012 06:26 AM
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Gondor - Prior to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Minas Tirith held the main reserve of Gondor's strength prior to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. According to Beregond there is at least three companies of the citadel, the third been the one he was stationed in. But it is evident the citadel guards, being professional soldiers would be ordered furthermore into battalions. Drawing from Tolkien's experience in World War 1, a battalion was generally 200-500 men. So if we assume there are five companies of the guards then there are 1000 to 2500 citadel guards in total, minimum and maximum. A good 1000 men to man the walls of the seventh gate that leads to the citadel. But these are the upper levels. The majority of Gondor's fighting force was it's frontline troops, which in Minas Tirith were drawn from the cities population. The women and children were all evacuated, and apart from the old men, the majority of the able-bodied men of the city were in the defense. But we must remember that not all them were in Minas Tirith, as most likely more than half were manning the outer defenses, which we will come to later. It must be considered that Denethor would not be willing to spare more men to the outer defenses without making sure that Minas Tirith itself had sufficient force to man the walls and defend the city if all the outer troops were eliminated. But we must also consider that Denethor would have been aware that reinforcements from the outer fiefdoms would arrive, and he must of known of their numbers as he had in his possession a palantir, and therefore Minas Tirith wouldn't be too heavily garrisoned. A good 2000-3000 men would be manning the walls plus the citadel guard, an extra 1000 troops.
The Rammas wall encompassed the entirety of the Pelennor, and was under repair, and therefore a good amount of men was needed to keep guard and labor. 500 to 1000 would be garrisoned there, but really the best guess here would be 500. Denethor although ignorant, was still overseeing the preparations, and would not likely spend much needed men (Osgiliath) manning the Rammas when they would be better needed on frontline cities, such as Osgiliath and Cair Andros. And in retreat the troops could fall back and defend the Rammas, therefore destroying the need of having too many troops garrisoned there in the first place.
Osgiliath would need to have an ample force of men to defend it, as it was where Sauron would strike hardest, being the only safe crossing along the Anduin for hundreds of leagues. We know that the vanguard of Mordor's hosts that attacked Osgiliath outnumbered its garrison ten to one, yet rewed the exchange (Faramir). We also know that this attachment was the main force around the walls of Minas Tirith during the siege and the Battle of the Pelennor, so they must have been sufficient enough in numbers to assault the walls and still be in good numbers at the battle. 10000 would be a reasonable number, considering that the death rate 1:10 explained by Faramir, with around 1000 Gondor casualties at Osgiliath (1:10) with 2000 men garrisoned there.
Cair Andros, an isle between the western and eastern shore of the Anduin must of had sufficient men to man it, but none could be spared too so far a distance, as stated by Denethor. A mixed force of Easterlings and Orcs assaulted it. It is later stated as King Aragon Elessar marched to the Morannon with 7000 men, 1000 afraid he sent to liberate Cair Andros. We can therefore assume if that amount of men was at the least sufficient to man it, then there were 500-1000 men manning it.
In Ithillien dwelt Faramir and his company of rangers, according to Frodo 200-300 in number. Therefore we can logically assume that it consists of 250 men. They later reinforced the garrison of Osgiliath.

Totals: Min. Max. Rec. Mean. A total Gondorian force of around 8000 men.
Minas Tirith 2000 3000 3000 2500
Rammas 500 1000 500 750
Osgiliath 2500 3000 2000 2750
Cair Andros 500 1000 1000 750
Ithillien 200 250 250 225
Outer Fiefdoms 2500 2700 2700 2600
Total 8200 10950 7950 9575

Mordor - Prior to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Minas Morgul contained the vanguard of the allied Mordor armies, and the forces that took most participation throughout both the assault of Osgiliath and the besiegement of Minas Tirith. We have already established that the vanguard of the Morgul host was 10000 in number, followed up by another 10000 orcs.
From the Black Gates came the main host (as is stated in the books, describing that the Morgul host was not the biggest host that was now sent against them i.e. Gondor) of 40000 orcs. This makes a total thereof of 60,000 orcs, plus another 60,000 in Mordor (plus Easterlings and evil men which we will come to in a second). Some would say that there was more orcs, like 100,000, but I couldn't disagree less. If there were 100,000 orcs, plus all of the Easterlings, Southrons and men of Khand, there would be now way that Gondor could have one the battle. Plus we must be if not conservative, realistic. The lands of Gogoroth and Nurn are extremely fertile, but even if this humungous army of 170,000 orcs (100,000 orcs, 60,000 from Morannon and 10,000 Easterlings) were to be stationed here for years, there would not be enough fertility to support it all. Because although it is possible, it is said that Sauron only sent half of his stationed force in Gogoroth to participate in the siege of Minas Tirith, (excluding the orcs of Morgul and the evil men...) as he still feared an allied victory and would not take the gambit.
The Easterlings held the road leading to Minas Tirith against the Rohirrim. Théoden had 6000 men, and would not dare attack them, therefore the Easterlings force had to be larger. But not too large, as the Easterlings were forced to set down stakes and trenches that horses would have trouble fighting and navigating through. I would give the conservative amount of 10,000. Remembering that not all the Easterlings force was stationed there. If I were the Easterlings commander, I would definitely not risk open war with the horses of the Rohirrim, as I would have a lack of spears (taking from nomadic tribes of the steppes and middle-east, who instead used scimitars and horse-archers) and would therefore resolve to setting up stakes and trenches and hold the road against Théoden. Considering also that the Easterlings were most likely in a clan society, with chieftains in charge of certain lands, and it would be hard to gather men and armor and weapons for war, therefore lessening their effectiveness and ability to summon more men from their country.
We know that regiments of the Haradrim had joined the Morgul Host as it drew nigh Osgiliath. I suspect some 10,000, which would be 5 regiments.
This also includes Southrons who breached the Rammas; I suspect their numbers to be 20,000. As it is said the Rohirrim were thrice and more outnumbered by their cavalry alone (there must have been some infantry as they led the looting of the Pelennor before they were driven back by the sortie of Gondor)
And of Khand there would also be battalions of strength. Another 10000 men, those stationed in Osgiliath for the sacking of Minas Tirith. This I believe is a good conservative figure assuming again that they are united tribes, living in most inhospitable conditions. The difficulty of not only drawing men from the many tribes but the manufacture of their weapons and armor or in this case low quality will determine the number of men. But we must also consider the Sauron had been drawing men out of the east for some time now.
There is therefore a combined force of 20,000 orcs of the Morgul Host, 40000 orcs issued from the black gate with 10,000 Easterlings, 10,000 Haradrim with the mighty mumakil elephants, 20,000 Southrons and 10,000 men held in Osgiliath for the sacking of the city, including the troll men of far Harad, commanded personally by the Witch Kings 'captain'. A total fighting force of 110,000. Even then, I would believe that I have exaggerated the forces of the evil men.

Old Post Jul 9th, 2012 06:26 AM
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Osgiliath - Capture of the Fords of Osgiliath
We have worked out that there were 2000 men in Osgiliath, strengthened by Faramir's company of rangers, 250 strong from Cair Andros. Plus men from Minas Tirith that were 'willing to go or that could be spared'. That means that if men could be spared from the walls then there was a yet small surplus of men available, plus those that were willing to go. I would assume this force would need to travel to Osgiliath in haste. It can't be to small as such as 50-100 as to be a waste of time and ineffective, but not too much as to be considered a good reinforcement of Osgiliath. The numbers would range something from 200-300 men. 250 I will say. So the total garrison would have been 2500. We know that the fords were assaulted and captured, and that Faramir retreated to the Rammas, and further to Minas Tirith after the sortie had been made. Overall, Faramir is stated to lose 1/3 of his men in the assault and following battles. Something like 1800 men escaped from Osgiliath, along men from the Rammas, another 300 men who survived, and fugitives from Cair Andros. If we assume they were assaulted by the host that issued from the black gate, and that they lost 1/3 of their men that would be another 600 troops. And assuming that another 1/3 of that was wounded and unable to battle, that would be a total of 1800.

Of the sortie
The sortie led by Denethor must not have been big, as he said they had few horses, but we must assume that 500 of the knights of Dol Amroth had their own horses. The force couldn't be too small as to not make an impact on the orcs and Southrons looting the Pelennor. Considering also that they broke rank and were not ordered. I believe that there were 700, 500 of Prince Imrahil, and 200 of mounted Gondorians.

Of the losses of Mordor and the garrison of Gondor at the beginning of the siege of Minas Tirith
The garrison in Minas Tirith, 3000, add on the 2700 reinforcements of the outer fiefdoms, take away the 250 Faramir took with him, and add on the 1800, survivors of the out-forts would be 7250 men, and say that there were 50 casualties in the mounted sortie, of which 200 were mounted Gondorian troops, to bring the total to 7200 during the siege of Gondor.
'Tis said that the hosts of Mordor would pay 10:1, and if the casualties in Osgiliath were 800, then there would be 8000 casualties of the Morgul host (ALERT at this point the Morgul host is defined as the combined forces of the 20,000 orc host from Minas Morgul, the 10,000 men from Khand and the 18000 serpent cavalry of the Southrons, of which they had 2000 infantry as raiders armed with scimitars), leaving 42000 troops on the west bank of Osgiliath. They then suffered some casualties during the attack on the Rammas were we must consider the breadth of the wall and also the thin garrison of troops along it's wall. Another 2000 casualties, and the sortie against the pillaging orcs and scimitar wielding Southrons, another 1000, which almost completely annihilates the Southrons fighting force, and take 5,000 men of Rhun (those regiments that joined the Morgul host as it drew nigh to Osgiliath) that were stationed in Osgiliath for the sacking of Minas Tirith, plus 5000 men of Rhun that joined the Morgul host for the siege. Plus additional eastern reserves from Mordor that swelled the garrison at Osgiliath to 10,000. That leaves a total of 34,000 troops assaulting the walls of Minas Tirith (These are the orcs <not many evil men left in the Morgul Host Khand excluded> that took the brunt of the assault on the city and around it's walls). Then we must consider the host that issued from the black gate, 70,000 troops (10,000 Easterlings and 60,000 cavalry), where 10,000 Easterlings split off from the host and held the road to Minas Tirith against Théoden’s muster, the 60,000 orcs took Cair Andros by assault. Again if we use the 10:1 ratio and the 1/3 average casualties, we get 3000 casualties against the black gate host. The garrison left there was small, as we know that Aragorn entrusted 1000 troops with the liberation of the city, including the lack of orcish archers, there would probably be a garrison of 2000 orcs. The host now with 35000 marched on to Minas Tirith. A total war 64000 surrounding the white city. (May it be noted that the Witch King kept no garrison on the Rammas, which allowed the Rohirrim to march straight onto the Morannon host.)

Of the Siege of Minas Tirith
It is said that great multitudes of tents were drawn up around the city, both of black (representing orcs) and blood red (representing the Southrons). Great trenches were made out of bowshot from the wall, and catapults fired over the battlements and into the first level of the city. In the mid night the Witch-King decided to roll forth the great siege engines. At this point, 'tis said that many of the garrison on the wall abandoned their posts and fled to the safety of the second level, and only a few remained on the wall and oppressed the assault. Among them were definitely the swan men-at-arms of Dol Amroth and the hardiest of the garrison, as well as Mithrandir and Prince Imrahil. And that many parts of the garrison on the outer walls were cut off from retreat. The siege engines were destroyed through what seemed to be fire arrows, and 'tis described that they kept coming wave after wave. If there were 100 orcs in a single tower, and say to each wave there were 20 engines, and that there were five waves of them, then 10,000 orcs assaulted the walls. But the main strike came onto the gate with Grond. And surrounding it was 'innumerable' orcs, and they were slaughtered in the thousands by Gondorian archers upon the walls, and their bodies piled up, though there were to few archers to inflict massive casualties. As Grond broke the gate and the Witch-King rode in, the Rohirrim had arrived.
'Tis said there were few on the outer wall, and that most fell back to the second gate. I think around 2000 men stayed, including the 700 men at arms of Dol Amroth, and repelled the invaders. These were the hardiest of Gondor's troops. Let's assume that 2/3 of the siege engines were destroyed, and 1/3 came upon the walls, or rather 3300 orcs, and were repelled by the defenders using the 10:1 ratio, including deaths from falling debris, 400 Gondorian casualties by dawn. Plus an extra 4000 orc casualties being shot down from the archers above the gate, would amount to 14,000 deaths and a remaining force of 20,000 about the walls, as they were described to be in strength at the time of Aragorn's attack.

Old Post Jul 9th, 2012 06:27 AM
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Of Théoden’s muster
Théoden would have had initially in Edoras his household eored of 120 mounted men, we know that together Theodred and Elfhelm mustered from Edoras and the surrounding areas 15 eoreds and 1 company of archers, or rather, 1800 cavalry. On Théoden’s ride westward, he assembled 'more than a thousand' fighting men, old and young'. And since Eomer was with the king his eored of 120 men must be included. In the Folde and Harrowdale in a full muster was expected 4000 minus those from Edoras, but only 2000 were called up. In Helm's Deep the amount of defenders manning it were 2000 strong, the original garrison was somewhere between 800-1000 men, as Théoden reinforced it before the siege with 1000 and more men. Erkenbrands reinforcements were 1000 strong from the Westfold, including fugitives from the Battle of the Fords of Isen. If he had gathered 25% of the 1440 riders other than those that were wounded or slain, that would mean that around 600 of them were from Westfold. The Westmark was required to provide it's 4000 men, the forces of Erkenbrand largely unscathed, plus the garrison of Helm's Deep (half killed) would have attributed to 1500. I The Westfold therefore should have produced 2500 men, and perhaps a little more since 'twas not a full muster, and lets say they bring 2000. Aldburg was where they east-mark organized their military, though it was located in the Folde. It would have had 2 eoreds (240) to regulate the city (apart from Eomer's eored which was at Edoras). When looking at the east-mark, it was an unimportant and largely nomadic part of Rohan. With the 4000 mustered from Edoras and 3500 men from Western Rohan, 2500 from the east would have completed the 10,000 muster at Dunharrow.

Of Aragon's reinforcements from the outer fiefdoms
We know that the outer Fiefdoms brought 2700 men, less than 3000 full told. And that it 'twas only 1/10 of the strength they were sparing. We can assume that 27,000 men were gathered on the corsair ships, with an estimated 4000 slaves who were brought with him to row the ships, which constituted the 4000-troop surplus that marched to Minas Tirith.

Casualties of the Battle:
We know that there were two days after the battle 4500 Rohirrim (500 dismounted, 1000 horsed, 3000 under Elfhelm to waylay the Easterling army in Anorien), 2000 from Aragorn's surplus and 3500 from the remaining men who were drawn to form the host of the west (excluding the 3000 under Elfhelm). We also know also that the city was better defended then before it was besieged. If the total combined force at the Pelennor was 39900, and there were 13300 casualties, then a total of 26600 remained. Take away 3000 slaves who were liberated. But Aragorn said that extra reinforcements were come up on small boats, an extra 3000, which evens the forces out. From 26600, we can take out the 7000 led by Aragorn that marched on the Morannon, then subtract the 3000 under Elfhelm, which gives us 16600, plus the extra 2000 who were not put into the host of the west amounts to 18600 defending Minas Tirith. (On a personal note, that is far to great a defense against one host of Easterlings, which were smartly ambushed and defeated 3000 Rohirrim).

Battle of the Morannon
The Host of the West, numbering 7000, contained 500 dismounted Rohirrim, 1000 horsed Rohirrim, 2000 men from Aragorn’s surplus of 4000 troops and 3500 from Minas Tirith, combining to a grand total of 6000 infantry and 1000 foot. During the march to the Morannon Aragorn sent 1000 men to liberate Cair Andros from the orcs, remnants of the Morannon host who had been lightly garrisoned there. So he arrived at the black gates with 6000 in all. Sauron had taken the bait, and drew all his orc reserves to the black gate, which outnumbered Aragorn ten times and more. Here we have our remaining 60000 that Sauron kept in reserve, plus I suspect the 'more' than ten times would be a small reserve of Easterlings, 5000 I would say, as they were present in the battle. But I am certain that this was not the whole force contained in Mordor. There would have been thousands of orcs farer east into Mordor, and around Nurn, plus thousands of slaves that could have been put to arms that labored around the river Nurn. And they were already most likely being drawn up by Sauron. There is not much to tell of the battle except that Aragorn arrayed his forces on two small hill forts.

Old Post Jul 9th, 2012 06:27 AM
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Wow that was big...

Old Post Jul 9th, 2012 06:28 AM
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