Battle cry

Battle cry

:"For other uses, see Battle cry (disambiguation)"

A battle cry is a yell or chant taken up in battle, usually by members of the same military unit. Battle cries are not necessarily articulate, although they often aim to invoke patriotic or religious sentiment. Their purpose is a combination of arousing aggression and esprit de corps on one's own side and causing intimidation on the hostile side.Battle cries are a universal form of display behaviour (i.e. threat display) aiming at competitive advantage, ideally by overstating one's own aggressive potential to a point where the enemy prefers to avoid confrontation altogether and opts to flee. In order to overstate one's potential for aggression, battle cries need to be as loud as possible, and have historically often been amplified by acoustic devices such as horns, drums, conches, carnyxes, bagpipes, bugles etc. (see also military music).

Battle cries are closely related to other behavioral patterns of human aggression, such as war dances and taunting, performed during the "warming up" phase preceding the escalation of physical violence.

From the Middle Ages, many cries appeared on standards and were adopted as mottoes, an example being the motto "Dieu et mon droit" ("God and my right") of the English kings. It is said that this was Edward III's rallying cry during the Battle of Crécy.

The word Slogan originally derives from "sluagh-gairm" or "sluagh-ghairm" (sluagh = "people", "army" and gairm = "call", "proclamation"), the Scottish Gaelic word for "gathering-cry" and — in times of war — for "battle-cry". The word changed later on to "slughorn", "sluggorne", and slogan.

Tribal warfare

Māori warriors traditionally performed a "haka", a posture dance with chanted vocals, before battle to intimidate their enemies. The All Blacks rugby union team performs a "haka" before each international match. Many Native Americans used animal sounds to frighten and communicate. Some Native American ethnic groups are famous for their ability to imitate these sounds.



The war cry is an aspect of epic battle in Homer: in the "Iliad", Diomedes is conventionally called "Diomedes of the loud war cry." Hellenes and Akkadians alike uttered the cry "alala" in battle, a cry not far from "Alleluia" (Burkert 1992:39-40) and Ottoman Turkish "Allah Allah".The troops of ancient Athens, during the Medic Wars and the Peloponnesian War were noted for going into battle shouting "Alala", which was supposed to emulate the cry of the owl, the bird of their patron goddess Athena. Fact|date=June 2008

*the Biblical account of the Battle of Jericho has the battle-cry of the Israelites, amplified by horn-calls, collapse the fortifications of the city under siege
*Plutarch reports that the Ambrones at the Battle of Aquae Sextiae were shouting their own tribal name, "Ambrones!"
* The late Roman and Byzantine empires used "Nobiscum Deus" (Latin, "God with us"), as their battle cry.

Middle Ages

* "Allahu Akbar" (the "Takbir") meaning "God is great" in Arabic — was common in Muslim armies or commonly used by Muslim warriors such as Cheemas in battle, and is still heard today by soldiers throughout the Muslim world, as well as "Yaa Dhiskiaon", an onomatopoeic sound referring to gunpowder.huh
* The Hungarian conquerors used to shout the "Huj,Huj,Hajrá!!" battle cry (pronounced "hui,hui,hairaaa!"meaning "Faster,Faster,Faster!"), when they attacked on their horses.
* At the Battle of Hastings, Wace records that the housecarls of the Saxon army cried "Olicrosse!" and "Godamite!" (Old English, "Holy Cross" and "God Almighty", respectively), while the fyrd cried "Ut! Ut! Ut!" ("Out! Out! Out!").
* The Normans' cry at the Battle of Hastings was "Dex Aie!" (Old Norman, "God aid us!"). This was last used by the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry during the First World War.
* The Crusaders used the cry "Caelum Denique!" (Latin, "Heaven at last!"). The Crusaders, especially the religious orders, also used "Deus vult" (Latin, "God wills it").
* In Spain, during the Reconquista (718-1492 AD) and the conquest of America, they cried "Santiago y cierra, España" ("Saint James and attack" [ cerrar] " in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española.] , Spain") or simply "Santiago", looking for holy protection from St. James, the patron saint of Spain.
* The French knights of the Middle Ages used to cry "Montjoie! St Denis!", calling upon the patron saint of France.
* The Portuguese troops, after the 14th century, used to cry "Portugal e São Jorge!" (Portugal and Saint George), calling for the patron saint of Portugal. Before that the Portuguese used the common iberian cry "Santiago!".
* The Anglo-Gascon knights of the Middle Ages used to cry "Guyenne! Saint George!" during their fights against the French.
*"Hrr na ně!" (Czech, "At them!") was used by Hussite warriors during the Hussite Wars. Modern Czech infantry often uses "Hurá!" while charging (similar to the Red Army cry mentioned above).
* The Almogavars used to cry "Desperta ferro!", which translates from Catalan as "Awake the iron!". They used to cry this shout the dawn before a battle, while they beat their swords on the nearby rocks to keep them clean from the rust. In the dim light many sparks were lighted, which scared the enemy watching them, as explained by Ramon Muntaner. Is now used by Spanish paratroopers.


Early modern to modern (1500 to 1914) war cries

* The various Gaelic-speaking peoples have a long tradition of employing battle cries. One used by the Irish people is "Faugh a Ballaugh!" (correctly "Fág an Bealach!")), Irish for "Clear the way!" The O'Neill family motto is the Irish "An Lamh Dearg Abú", in English "The Red Hand" — the heraldic symbol of O'Neill and Ulster — followed by "Abú," which is phonetic and can only be translated at high volume. "Tiocfaidh ár lá" is another cry used, primarily by the Irish Republican Army, which translates into "our day will come" in reference to that organisation's desire for Northern Ireland to secede from the United Kingdom and join with the Republic of Ireland as a 32-county socialist republic. It has become the unofficial slogan of the Irish Republican movement and is sometimes shouted as "Beidh ár lá linn", or "We shall have our day!"
*some Scottish clans have war cries in adition to their motto, slogan, or rallying cry:-
**Clan Mackintosh: "Loch Moigh"
**Clan Urquhart: "Trust and go forward"
**Clan Munro: "Caisteal Folais'n a Theine" ("Castle Foulis in flames")
**Clan Forbes: "Lonach" (a mountain in Strathdon)

* In Sweden, during the Great Nordic War, the Swedish Caroleans, would chant "Med Guds hjälp vilja vi strida" (With Gods help, we want to fight) before going into battle.
* The Ottoman Turkish armies used to cry out "Allah! Allah! Allah!" when charging foes, which gives the same sound as "Alala" cry of ancient Greeks.
*"¡Tierra y Libertad!" (Spanish, "Land and Freedom") was made popular by the Mexican revolutionary, Emiliano Zapata.
* During the Battle of San Jacinto, the Texian volunteers rushed into the fight crying, "Remember The Alamo, Remember Goliad!"
* The Rebel yell, a call taken up by troops fighting on the side of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
* Late in the US Civil War, Confederate Army troops in the Virginia theater of war claimed that Union soldiers of the Army of The Potomac charging their positions would utter a battle cry which sounded either like "huzzah" or "hurrah" (Huzzah coming from a British cry). Confederate troops said that they found the battle cry unnerving, mostly because it revealed the size of the oncoming Union forces, which usually well outnumbered the defending Confederates, and that battle was soon to be had.


* "Har Har Mahadev!" meaning "Mahadev- the Hindu God" in Marathi — was used by the Marathas who formed the Maratha Empire. It is still used by the Maratha regiment of the Indian Army.
*Pakistan Army, in addition to "Allahu Akbar", also uses "Pakistan Zindabad", meaning in Urdu and Persian, "Long Live Pakistan". Some regiments use their own individual war cries (as seen below)
*The Indian Army uses the cry "Jai Hind" which is Hindi for "Rule/Victory for India". Some regiments use their own individual war cries (as seen below).
*Pakistans Frontier Force Regiment uses the cry "Labbaik" (Arabic/Persian for "we are here").
* Sikh soldiers have historically used "Jo Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal", meaning "He who cries God is Truth, is Ever Blessed". This is still used by the soldiers of the Indian Army's Sikh, Sikh Light Infantry and Punjab regiments.
* Gurkha soldiers have historically used "Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali", meaning "Victory to goddess Mahakali, The Gorkhas Are Here", This is still used by soldiers Gurkha regiments of the Indian Army and British Army.
* In Japan during World War II, the kamikaze pilots' battle cry was "Banzai!" (meaning "Ten thousand years", adapted from Chinese "wànsùi"). Many people misunderstood "Tora, Tora, Tora!" (Japanese, "Tiger, Tiger, Tiger!") as a battle cry. But this was the content of the radio signal which indicated that the Pearl Harbor attack had been a complete success in catching the enemy unaware.
* The Parachute Regiment of the British Army has traditionally used the unique battle-cry "Wahoo Mohammed!" when going into battle. Its use originates from WW2, 1942-1943, when men of the 1st Airborne Division were used for conventional combat for the first time in Tunisia, during the North African campaign. The first para VC was won there.

* The modern Israeli battle cry, the Hebrew "Kadima!", translates literally into English as "Forward!" It has since become the name of an Israeli political party founded by Ariel Sharon. Another 2 Israeli battle crys are "Akharai!", which translates as "After Me!" and "Iti!", which translates as "With me!" and is associated with the Givati Brigade.

* The Russian Army battle cry had traditionally been "Ura!" (pronounced "oo-rah," thought to mean "Hurrah!" coming from the Turkish word for "kill"). A common warcry during the Second World War was "Oorrah Pobieda", meaning oo-rah Victory. Many nations use a battle cry or shout of acknowledgment that has a similar sound to this, although explanations can vary wildly. For example, the U.S. Marines also shout "Oo-rah" — although the derivation is different — and the U.S. Army shouts "Hooah!". The U.S. Navy SEAL Teams use "Hoo-YAH!" for motivation in training. The Argentine Navy shouts something that sounds like "Ua! Ua! Ua!", while the Greek Army battle cry is "Aera!", i.e. (sweep them away like the) wind.
* Another warcry used by Russian (albeit Soviet) soldiers during the Second World War, was "Za Stalina!", meaning "For Stalin!"
* The Bulgarian army traditionally uses "Ura" as a battle cry, although it differs slightly from the Russian one. The Russians put the emphasis on the "r", while Bulgarians shout predominantly the "a". Serbian army also uses "ura" as a battle cry when charging. During second balkan war, and World War I, Serbian and Bulgarian army were enemies, so it was actually difficult to tell them apart. When these clashes are presented in popular literature, one can find that Bulgarian cry is spelled as"Ure", and Serbian as "Ura", notably "Serbian Trilogy" uses this figure to make distinction between them.
* A Finnish battle cry "Hakkaa päälle!", which roughly translates as "Cut them down!", gave the colloquial name, "Hakkapeliitta" for the Finnish cavalry in the Thirty Years' War. One Finnish battle cry during World War II, since popularized by "The Unknown Soldier", was "Tulta munille!" which — again roughly — translates as "Fire at their balls!".


* Michael is one of the principal angels in Abrahamic tradition; his name was said to have been the war-cry of the angels in the battle fought in heaven against Satan and his followers.
* The peoples of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth had several different battle cries throughout its history:
**In "The Lord of the Rings", a battle cry of Aragorn is "Elendil!", which was the name of the first High King of Gondor and Arnor.
**In "The Lord of the Rings", the battle cry of the Rohirrim at the Battle of Helm's Deep, when they are about to ride out is "Forth, Eorlingas!" a name the Rohirrim give themselves after Eorl, first lord of Rohan.
**A traditional battle cry of the Dwarves and used by Gimli runs "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" (Dwarvish "Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!").
**The battle cry of the Hobbits is "The Shire!" — the name of their land (although they almost never participated in battles). The Took warcry, used by Peregrin Took, is "A Took! A Took!"
**At the attack on Weathertop, Frodo uses "Elbereth Gilthoniel!", the Queen of the Valar, as a battle cry against the Nazgûl.
**A traditional battle cry of the Men of the North in the First Age, as told in the "Silmarillion", runs "Lacho calad! Drego morn!" ("Flame, light! Flee, night!").
**Boromir and Faramir both shout "Gondor! Gondor!" at separate fights.
*In the movie (based on the book by C.S.Lewis), Peter Pevensie shouts "For Narnia and For Aslan!" just before leading the Narnians to the Battle of Beruna.
* In "", Lucy Lawless based her war-cry on the ululation or wail often heard from Arab women. It is often spelled "Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi!", but it is pronounced "A-le-le-le-le-le-le-le-le!" (see Alala).
* In the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, the Dwarfs, a traditional battle cry in the Dwarfish language is "T'dr'duzk b'hazg t't!", meaning "Today is a good day for someone else to die!" After it is declared, someone must die.
*In the fictional universe of Dune, the Fremen often shout the name of their messiah, Muad'dib, or Mahdi (a title), when charging into combat. Another Fremen battle cry is, "Ya hya chouhada!" which translates to "Long live the fighters!" In the Dune film, this is taken a step further, when the Fremen activate their weirding modules (sound based weapons), by yelling Muad'dib.
*In Star Trek, the Klingon characters often shout "Today is a good day to die!" as a Battle Cry. Jem'Hadar characters shout "Victory is Life!"

ee also

* Slogan (heraldry)
* Threat display
* Mobbing call
* Alarm call
* Advertising slogan
* Catch phrase
* Football chant
* List of political slogans
* Meme
* Military slang
* Newspeak
* Public relations
* Soundbite
* Tripartite motto
* Kiai


*Burkert, Walter, 1992. "The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influences on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age", p 39f.
* Guilhem Pepin, ‘Les cris de guerre « Guyenne ! » et « Saint George ! ». L’expression d’une identité politique du duché d’Aquitaine anglo-gascon’, "Le Moyen Age", cxii (2006) pp 263-81

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