Which was the Greatest Fighting force ever, Romans, Greeks,Mongols, Or the present USA.

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posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by Aelita

Originally posted by picard_is_actually_a_grey
In terms of influence: British empire. The empire days shaped the world we live in today, it'd basically take a global nuclear war to undo things.


That's a bit of an arbitrary statement. The Roman empire was before that, and sure enough they shaped the world in even deeper ways, invented road system, plumbing, etc etc. They really shaped all of Europe and much of North Africa and Middle East, and set a pattern on which future empires were built.



I contemplated adding them in too, unfortunately all their genius was lost in the dark ages and thus their influence. Perhaps their only lasting impression was forcing christianity in their latter days through the western holy roman empire onto europeans. OF course this was helped greatly to become a global religion through british conquests.




posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 06:03 PM
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The Spartans.

50 men held off the Mighty Persian army of tens of thousands.

Alexander the great.

Kicked the Persians asses when he was outnumbered 3-1.

Definitely the best.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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Alexander had fought a substantially weaker army at the cost of many lives. Plutarch states the Hydaspes confrontation "blunted" the courage of the Macedonians to advance further into India


The Macedonians never even wanted to go into India. They had been resisting Alexander for a while. These guys did not set out to build an empire, they set out to fight the Persians, and for the cause of "liberating" Greeks.

And that army was not weaker than Alexander's. They had an equal number of men (a little greater, really), plus 200 war elephants (which took Alexander's cavalry out of the battle). They also had a very strong defensive position across a river. Not to mention there had been huge monsoon rains which hit the morale of Alexander's troops hard.

And he did not lose that many men. He lost some 3000 by the very highest estimates. In comparison, the Indians lost some 25,000 plus.


Even Poros' final statement after the battle - "Treat me like a king" - could be interpreted many ways.


How so? Alexander had the guy brought before him because he admired the guy, and asked him how he wished to be treated.

Porus had remained loyal to Alexander long after his death.


You have to consider there is two sides to every story and I doubt Greek historians were unbaised their accounts.


No historical account backs those ravings up. No historian believes them. And yes, the Greek historians were some of the most reliable in the world.

All accounts of the battle have Porus's army breaking, and the Macedonians cutting them down as they ran. Porus lost both of his sons in the battle.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by Disturbed Deliverer


No historical account backs those ravings up. No historian believes them. And yes, the Greek historians were some of the most reliable in the world.

All accounts of the battle have Porus's army breaking, and the Macedonians cutting them down as they ran. Porus lost both of his sons in the battle.


Most reliable in the world LOL thats funny

There is a well known ethnic bias, religious bias and cultural bias in historical writings. Anything we claim to know about ancient history is 'assumed' rather than 'confirmed'. The facts which we assume to be true are only part of the entire picture.

The oldest accounts of Alexander those of Diodorus came three centuries after the life of Alexander. The accounts people consider the most ''reliable'' of Alexander are those of Arrian, Plutarch and Curtius Rufus are even longer after the fact composed four to five hundred years after Alexander's reign.

I dont know how anyone can think of it as fact if it was written a half of a millennium after the event in question. Not even factoring in a clear bais

[edit on 7-2-2005 by ShadowXIX]

[edit on 7-2-2005 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 07:16 PM
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There is a well known ethnic bias, religious bias and cultural bias in historical writings. Anything we claim to know about ancient history is 'assumed' rather than 'confirmed'. The facts which we assume to be true are only part of the entire picture.


There was bias, but that doesn't change the fact that the Greek historians were still the most reliable in the world at the time.


The oldest accounts of Alexander those of Diodorus came three centuries after the life of Alexander. The accounts people consider the most ''reliable'' of Alexander are those of Arrian, Plutarch and Curtius Rufus are even longer after the fact composed four to five hundred years after Alexander's reign.

I dont know how anyone can think of that as fact


That's great. You dispute this. There's still absolutely no evidence that Alexander lost, and it contradicts everything written and believed. If you're going to make these accusations, you need some pretty strong evidence.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by Disturbed Deliverer

I propose that the British military, infact, belongs at the very top of the list, because they controlled the largest empire, ever, anywhere on the globe. At one point they held and controlled a Quarter of the Globe, with a volunteer army and native conscripts. Truly, fantastically, impressive


How much did the British Empire really have to do with having an amazing military? It wasn't the most dominant in the world. European militaries could have competed with it.

It was an amazing empire, but nowhere near the great military.

But the empire was supported gained and continuously held by its military. As far as others that 'could have' defeated them, the problem is, they didn't. No one took the british empire away from them. Sure those 'traitorous economists' in the north american colonies broke away, and yes, the Zulus wiped out entire columns of highly trained and well equiped british foot soldiers, but the empire remained, hell it expanded.

One can't discount a country that is able to hold 1/4 of the entire world and rule the seas. Whats america done, in all honesty? Not to knock it, but, really, what? They weren't required to end WWI, they absolutely made the difference in WWII, but, outside of that? The US didn't wipe out North Korea, had major operational problems in viet nam, in the past it did do a great job of taking away the Spanish Empire and certianly did a good job of defeating the Barbary Pirates. And the Iraq and Kosovar wars certianly demonstrate that it can really bring concentrated and combined power to bear on any enemy.

But hold an empire? The mongols dashed across the steppes and maintained, for generations, a set of empires that spanned all of asia. The greeks, at least under alexander, destroyed everything in their path and held on to it for decades. The Romans, hell the romans controlled an area somthing like what nato now holds, but faced constant pressure on all borders, from german raiders, scythian invaders, dacian empires, the full force of the parthians, and all that with a fantastically small army. Louis the 14th (or was it 17th) had an army that was just as big as the roman imperial army, but was only using it to defend and area that was once a single province of it!

Again, not knocking the US army, its the best on the globe, undefeatable really, any army that can conceivable pose a problem would come from a country that would use nuclear strike anyway. And talk about mobilization and power projection. A small unit of marines sent to Liberia caused the old tyrant of the country to evacuate, live in exile! All of iraq counquered, its actual armies destroyed so fantastically fast as to be unreal. But it can't hold territory, it can't promote empire, it can't do very much outside of defeating an enemy in the field, and, so far, has been pretty poor at dealing with guerilla tactics (more or less of course)

So the Imperial British military should certianlybe on any historical list, certainly if it includes the US also.



The Parthians used tactics very similiar to the Mongols, really. They relied extensively on cavalry, and horse archers.

Ye, this is true, but they used it very ineffectively and ultimately their own military was defeated by upstart persians from withint it. THe parthians couldn't really organize themselves for real sustainde campaigns. ANd keep in mind that the parthians, in one of the very few large roman campaigns against them, wiped out Crassus and his legions, and he was a Triumvir!


Alexander also faced a lot of cavalry when he fought the Persians. They had mercenaries from places like Scythia, who also fought like the Mongols.

Not quite the same as actual entire armies fighting in that mode tho, and I am a bit reluctant to include any specific commanders here, but rather think about it in terms of how the different groups dealt with each other on a consistent basis.

Now, it wasn't quite the same as fighting the Mongols, but Alexander showed he could beat armies similiar.
the bulk of the persian cavalry tho was tied up in their famous scythed chariots and the like tho, not wildly mobile horse archers. Also, the romans defeated the Scythians too on several occasions, but had major trouble with german troops when they were on horseback. Its certainly not a clear clut situation obviously, but the romans had great difficulty with the hunnic horsemen.


The greatest generals have always used cavalry as the backbone of their military.

Certainly, and the romansaccomplished some incredible things with an relatively small army that was certainly, regardless of which general was commanding, heavily loaded torwards infantry.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 07:30 PM
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But the empire was supported gained and continuously held by its military. As far as others that 'could have' defeated them, the problem is, they didn't. No one took the british empire away from them. Sure those 'traitorous economists' in the north american colonies broke away, and yes, the Zulus wiped out entire columns of highly trained and well equiped british foot soldiers, but the empire remained, hell it expanded.


They were no match for the French on the ground. They lost in the open field to Americans, who at the time were just poor farmers.

This is about best war machine, not empire.


One can't discount a country that is able to hold 1/4 of the entire world and rule the seas. Whats america done, in all honesty? Not to knock it, but, really, what? They weren't required to end WWI, they absolutely made the difference in WWII, but, outside of that? The US didn't wipe out North Korea, had major operational problems in viet nam, in the past it did do a great job of taking away the Spanish Empire and certianly did a good job of defeating the Barbary Pirates. And the Iraq and Kosovar wars certianly demonstrate that it can really bring concentrated and combined power to bear on any enemy.


Well, I believe I said you can't throw America into this because of that very same reason.


So the Imperial British military should certianlybe on any historical list, certainly if it includes the US also.


I believe their navy should, but I don't see much reason to include their entire military. Their empire was really about economic control more than anything, as well.

Plus, no one ever really saw Alexander's full strength. After gaining control over Persia, he had almost limitless resources. He now had war elephants under his command. It's pretty scary to think of what he could have done given just a few more years.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by Disturbed Deliverer

That's great. You dispute this. There's still absolutely no evidence that Alexander lost, and it contradicts everything written and believed. If you're going to make these accusations, you need some pretty strong evidence.


Im not making these claims just trying to show that others like "Prof. Dinesh Agrawal ' have and he even claims Ethiopic texts and others support his account. I doubt we are getting the whole picture from either side.

When your dealing with accounts hundreds of years later I think you would be llucky to 50% of the facts of the real event.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 07:41 PM
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Im not making these claims just trying to show that others like "Prof. Dinesh Agrawal ' have and he even claims Ethiopic texts and others support his account. I doubt we are getting the whole picture from either side.


Ethiopic texts? How are those reliable?

There are a lot of nuts who argue a lot of different things when it comes to history. How about we just stick with the mainstream views here?


When your dealing with accounts hundreds of years later I think you would be llucky to 50% of the facts of the real event.


People think that with all ancient texts, and they are found to be un-altered more then not. Look at the bible. They aren't dead-on, no. We can still get an idea of how reliable they truly are by looking at their other works, and checking that with older sources.

These guys writing about Alexander are reliable. Until something really contradicts them, then we'll take their word.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 08:14 PM
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I think in power of miulitary i think is the americans. although the romans greek mongols and such were powerful they have an advantage over modern militaries. IN their times communication was not as great. so now lets say the US decided to attack mexico, an enemy that would probably easily fall in an all out war with the US, many nations may see this as unnessicary violence and declare war on the US. in roman times nations far away may not known completely about these roman conquerors until they were at their doorstep. also places like Gaul at roman times were less strong nation and more groups of tribes that might have similiar cultures.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 08:32 PM
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Originally posted by Disturbed Deliverer
They were no match for the French on the ground.

The French or Napoleon?


They lost in the open field to Americans, who at the time were just poor farmers.

And the US left viet nam because of 'poor farmers'. And the romans fought nothing more than 'poor farmers' on the germanic front.

I understand what you are saying, that the brits relied on stuff other than military force to control the world, and of course they were sometimes defeated. Heck teh Zulus defeated them at isiwhandala, but no one is considering the zulus as a super force. But the fact is, the British carved out an empire, the french had, what, canada? The British conquered and held all of india and fought a massive war against the empire of china just to ensure that tehy could sell drugs to them. I'll agree than an average unit of foot troopers from the imperial army can't be guarenteed to defeat any other unit put against it, but there's certainly a lot more to a military system than a small group of men.


This is about best war machine, not empire.

Then the award goes to Soviet Nuke Arsenals. Nothing, anywhere, can defeat them, and they were more destructive than American Nukes.

It's pretty scary to think of what he could have done given just a few more years.

Yes, to say the least really. He took an army, marched it from greece to defeat all of persia, liberate egypt, and invade central asia, pakistan, and india, and then returned. I am certain that there'd've been many willing recruits for a new army. Alexander, I think, would probably be at the top of any 'commander' list and the army under him probably would've defeated an legion or mongol horse horde.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 08:33 PM
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Alexander the Great...bar none....

Strategy, politics, military battle prowess, you name it... Back in the day when leaders actually were on the battlefield.... And he integrated conquered cultures and interwove them with the Roman ideals....then again, when you're a general and tutored by philosophers, what do you expect?



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 08:38 PM
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I think in power of miulitary i think is the americans. although the romans greek mongols and such were powerful they have an advantage over modern militaries. IN their times communication was not as great. so now lets say the US decided to attack mexico, an enemy that would probably easily fall in an all out war with the US, many nations may see this as unnessicary violence and declare war on the US. in roman times nations far away may not known completely about these roman conquerors until they were at their doorstep. also places like Gaul at roman times were less strong nation and more groups of tribes that might have similiar cultures.


I think its more appropriate to look at how effective it was during their day. Obviously if you go further in time technology increases.


The French or Napoleon?


Both. Even before Napoleon arrived the French were dealing with the British, and a large alliance against them fairly well.


I understand what you are saying, that the brits relied on stuff other than military force to control the world, and of course they were sometimes defeated. Heck teh Zulus defeated them at isiwhandala, but no one is considering the zulus as a super force. But the fact is, the British carved out an empire, the french had, what, canada? The British conquered and held all of india and fought a massive war against the empire of china just to ensure that tehy could sell drugs to them. I'll agree than an average unit of foot troopers from the imperial army can't be guarenteed to defeat any other unit put against it, but there's certainly a lot more to a military system than a small group of men.


Does any of that really make their military as capable as the Mongols? Military strength wasn't their strongest point.


Then the award goes to Soviet Nuke Arsenals. Nothing, anywhere, can defeat them, and they were more destructive than American Nukes.


More destructive, but a lot less reliable. The number of nukes they had didn't give them any real edge over their competition.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 10:26 PM
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Are we talking Armies or Generals?

There has been Great Armies lead by poor Generals and poor armies lead by Great Generals.

Rome had a fantastic military the was often poorly lead which resulted in great loses several times

A Good example for a Great Army with a great General would be Rommel in North Africa.

An Example of a poorly equipped, trained and armed army lead by a Great General was the Southern Army lead by Robert E Lee, where they defeated a better equipped and more numerous army over and over.

It all depends on the standards that you apply.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 10:30 PM
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ShadowXIX, the Indian king was Por, and then translated to Poros.
Found one of many sources indicating this:


Among the more significant and more dangerous battles that Alexander III of Macedon lead is also the great battle with the huge army at Por. Namely, in the summer of BC 327 after leaving a powerful army in the restless Baktria, Alexander III of Macedon once again crossed the Parapamis River with approximately 40,000 people, amongst which there were many new followers. In the spring of BC 326, having had conquered the Indus River, he continued his expedition and conquering of Punjab going towards the Southeast. Near the Hidasp River he came across serious opposition from the numerous army of Por. Por (or Pn’ros, POROS, according to other sources, and according to Indian sources PAURAVA or PARVATAKA) was king of the ancient Indian state of the central part of Punjab. In BC 326 in the spring battle near the Hidasp River (Dgelam) headed by the great army, which included many war elephants, Por as a “…governor of that side of the Indus…” gave strong opposition to the Macedonian entrance and scientific exploration of Punjab. Nevertheless, through skillful tactic and use of so-called “misleading maneuvers” the ingenuous strategist and tactician, the unsurpassable military leader of all time, Alexander III of Macedon with only “…one part of his infantry and best cavalry” he crossed the 900m wide river Hidasp and scored a very difficult but significant and bright victory over the huge army of Por which had 30,000 infantrymen, 6,000 cavalry, 420 battle carts and 200 elephants. Against the Macedonians, according to Arian, they lost 20,000 infantrymen, 3,000 cavalry and were dispersed by the invincible Macedonian Phalanx and unconquerable Macedonian cavalry. In this battle, according to Arian, they lost only 230 cavalry and 60 infantry men.

Respecting his great, clever, fast, and brave rival, the captive and heavily wounded Por asked that he be treated like a “king,” which meant that he be killed. However, the generous and human Alexander III of Macedon treated the Indian king truly like a king: he restored his royal dignity, he returned his previous governing, and even granted him additional land in which, according to Plutarch, there were “…fifteen tribes, five thousand larger cities and many villages” and thus made him a loyal vassal ruler of part of the Great Macedonian Empire, which at the time spanned over a territory of 3.8 million square kilometers. Of course, Por’s ruling was constantly controlled by a Macedonian deputy in Punjab. It seems that after the foundation of the city of Bukefalia, and an entire 9 years after the battle near the Hidasp River, in BC 317 King Por was killed by the Macedonian deputy Evdem. At least this is what sources and military historians say, analysing the huge, inestimable Macedonian contribution to the development of works on war in the world, who opened the doors for spreading of the great Macedonian culture towards the East and throughout the civilized world giving this great Macedonian civilization tremendous opportunities for permanent growth and development with new impulses.

GREAT BATTLES OF THE ANCIENT MACEDONIANS

And this:


Alexander's crossing force consisted of 5000 cavalry and 4000 infantry. The two crossings required were relatively easy with the river water often only chest high. The crossing commenced at night so that the force would be on the other side by dawn. When Porus was informed of the crossing he sent a force of two thousand men with fifty chariots under the command of his son. The chariots got mired in mud and all of them were lost. Porus' son was killed. Porus then directed his main force to the crossing. The battle was a decisive victory for the Macedonians. About one third of his army was killed and one third captured including Porus himself. The war elephants caused some problem for the Macedonians but not much. The elephant drivers, the mahouts, were killed by Alexander's archers and the elephants themselves were maimed. The elephants once blinded and their trunks cut by swords were as much of a danger to Porus' forces as the Macedonians.

Porus' capture did not result in his execution for holding up Alexander's advance through India as might have been expeted. When the captured Porus was brought before Alexander asked him, "How do you want me to treat you?" Porus answered "Like a king." This answer which two interpretations: 1. Treat me like the king that I am. 2. Treat me with the generosity of the noble king that you, Alexander, are. This answer pleased Alexander and he must have been in a good mood because he freed Porus and gave him back the rulership of his kingdom under Alexander's overlordship. Alexander even added some new territory to Porus' kingdom. Alexander's treatment of Porus fits in with mythology of the times; i.e., that monarchs are special, noble people ordained by the gods to rule and deserving of regal treatment even in defeat.

Alexander of Macedonia

Your first linked site to pothos.org mentions:


Anyway, a few weeks after Hydaspes Alexander ordered the southbound retreat towards Babylon. Some controversial statements were made by (predominantly Indian) historians, hinting at the possibilty that Alexander was actually defeated by Poros. Poros' final statement after the battle - "Treat me like a king" - could be interpreted both ways around for sure. For some food for thought visit Alexander the ordinary, a webpage that advocates Alexander's defeat at the Jhelum.

Alexander the Great's Home on the Web

I followed the link given that pothos.org insinuates or "advocates" Alexanders defeat at the Jhelum (Hidasp River/Dgelam) and this is what was "advocated":


325BC - Alexander expands his empire into India

Alexander has arrived back in this capital (Susa, Persia), his army victorious in their Indian campaign - but almost halved in numbers by the toll taken on them by hear, hunger and thirst on the long march from the Punjab.

Alexander had fought his way across Afghanistan and penetrated the Khyber Pass to descend on to the Punjab plain where he vanquished Porus, the last rajah to have been brought under Persian influence. Porus met him on a river bank with 40,000 men and 200 elephants, but Alexander secretly crossed the river by night and swept down on Porus' exposed flank. Some 20,000 Indian infantry and 3,000 cavalry were killed, for the loss of about 80 of Alexander's men.

It has been an heroic saga, with Alexander winning battle after battle, year after year. He struck through the Hindu Kush into Turkestan, crossed the Oxus river to reach Samarkand and captured the Scythian chief Oxartes, whose daughter Roxana he married.

325BC - Alexander expands his empire into India

Still not seeing any indications of a defeat or loss. The above quoted areas also address your insistance to the mention of Por and his saying "Like a king."

More can be provided, if necessary.




seekerof



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:15 PM
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Are we talking Armies or Generals?


It's basically greatest war machine. Generals probably wouldn't qualify unless they were the head of the entire military.



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:27 PM
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DD

My point was the two are hard to separate. Most would not like admitting it but the Nazis had one hell of an Army with Great Generals.

The Confederacy had Great Generals with a rather poor army but won victory after victory.

The Romans had the finest war Machine for hundreds of years that often won IN SPITE of its leadership.

So many factors go into the mix its hard to say (fill in the blank) was the greatest army



posted on Feb, 7 2005 @ 11:47 PM
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I guess it depends on how you look at it.

I personally look to see which militaries had the greatest success at the least cost, and the Mongols and Alexander the Great easily rank above everyone. Their downfall was not really the military, but luck and politics.

Rome's military was run conservatively, I guess. They had a very set system that lacked a lot of versatility. The general followed a proven pattern that would work the majority of the time, but would still fail on occasion. They weren't willing to take as many risks.

Militaries like the Confederates and Nazis were ultimately defeated militarily. They bit off more then they could chew. Their leadership made big time mistakes. I don't think they could qualfiy as the best because of that.

It's all really up to interpretation. If you're looking for a safe military doctrine that will usually win, you'd probably go with someone like the Romans. If just raw military capability, Alexander the Great.



posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 12:00 AM
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Originally posted by Disturbed Deliverer
Militaries like the Confederates and Nazis were ultimately defeated militarily. They bit off more then they could chew. Their leadership made big time mistakes. I don't think they could qualify as the best because of that.


Those were man for man two very powerful and motivated Armies whither you believe in the systems that spawned them or not. The Armies and Generals of both made few mistakes on the battlefield but were both brought down through attrition.

Can you name me very many mistakes made ON THE BATTLEFIELD by these armies? A few of course but not many. If Hitler hadnt attacked Russia Germany could have argueably won WW2 and if equaly supplied and manned Lee could have won the Civil war.

Another good one for its time and place was the Zulu army before the British beat them.

Usually its a matter of new tatics, motivation, and Leadership



posted on Feb, 8 2005 @ 12:23 AM
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I never disagreed they were good armies.

They still didn't have the dominance of a military like the Mongols, though. The Nazis battled back and forth in Africa with the British. There were many mistakes made in the actual Russian campaign. The generals were not perfect. The soldiers were not overwhelmingly better then their competition. They still took some heavy losses.





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