The following is a South Korean training video.  It shows some remarkable infantry tactics, a kind of update of ancient infantry tactics.  South Korean protests get rather unruly, as the video may suggest.

Note the flanking maneuver from 2:33-3:20 or  so, where a wing of the enemy is cut off and destroyed (presumably in this case, they would merely be arrested).  Also the use of a kind of pure-infantry bounding overwatch from 5:30-7:00.  This allows them to advance against significant resistance, including incendiaries, and capture territory while maintaining formation.


Eric Blair said...

If you watch one of the follow up videos, you can see why they have tactics to deal with the erzatz flame thrower--apparently it was used in a real protest.

I remember seeing the riot police out in Seoul in 1987. The had big smilely faces on their riot shields.

Grim said...

Yeah, I saw that. That was apparently a protest by military veterans who had been denied their pensions for a long time. George Washington faced down a similar incident with a pair of spectacles.

Seriously, though, this is an impressive display of the application of ancient warfare principles to a modern problem. They maintain a reserve, to reinforce sections of the shield wall that become stretched or come under pressure. They practice the capacity to advance a rear rank through the front rank to allow the front rank to retire and rest. The diagonal move elongates the line, and then they reinforce their line from the reserve so that they begin to have advantages of numbers: then the rest of the reserve pierces through the center, cuts off one wing of the enemy attack, and has it flanked while still maintaining the full force.

I love that this lets them restore order with nothing more than shields, discipline, and batons. It's an impressive display.

Eric Blair said...

Yeah, George was a special guy. He knew how to handle men.

As for the police, they can't very well just shoot into the crowd. While satisfying, that will just creat new problems.

The Romans themselves used legionaries to put down urban riots, just using batons and shields.

(Although there were a couple of instances of getting stern with crowds--the 'Nike' riots in Constantinople during the reign of Justinian being the most notorious occasion.)