Load Carriage and its Force Impact

Rob Marc Orr, Rodney R Pope, Venerina Johnston, Julia Coyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Just as history records that military personnel have been carrying heavy loads for over two millennia (Orr, 2010), so too does it show their impact on military force sustainment and combat effectiveness. Around 800BC, the heavy loads carried by Assyrian soldiers reduced their mobility and led them to experiment continually with their shields in order to lighten
their loads (Gabriel, 2002). Around 400BC, the long marches of Cyrus’ ‘infamous 10,000’, an army of Greek mercenaries accompanied by Xenophon, would have resulted in numerous stress fractures, torn ligaments, muscle damage, blisters and abrasions. While some of these injuries can be considered minor in the context of today’s available treatments, for the Cyrean soldier they could have been a matter of life or death as they hobbled to keep up with the moving army (Lee, 2007).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Defence Force Journal: journal of the Australian profession of arms
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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