Saurons army

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Cridan 18/Oct/2004 at 09:53 AM
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Hmm this is a pretty intresting to think about... How big was saurons army I know in the movie it said 200,000 but i know this is false i know the actual number was more like 45,000 but this being so, he still had troops at various other places attacking Erebor, Mirkwood, Lorien etc... How big was his entire army? I would love to know the answer if any one knows
Collecthor 18/Oct/2004 at 10:12 AM
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Welcome to the Plaza, Cridan -- I’ve moved this thread to Basic Lore. You can read about starting threads in Advanced Lore in the first post of this thread: http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=46&TopicID=140373

Frodosson 18/Oct/2004 at 10:49 AM
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first-Welcome to the plaza!

second, numbers are a really fuzzy subject in tolkiens work. War wasn’t the main thing he talked about so i dobut your going to get a solid number here, but i would say a very large army,if you counted all of his troops. are you also including the Corsairs?

Galadrine 18/Oct/2004 at 11:17 AM
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I don’t believe Tolkien ever gives a specific number to how big Sauron’s army was.  All we really know was it was much larger than Rohan and Gondor’s army.  Maybe this is one reason why in the movies they said 200,000, because there was no specific number to follow by.
Alcarináro 18/Oct/2004 at 11:39 AM
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The good, well-researched estimates deduce that there were about 50,000 (give or take a up to ten thousand) troops from Mordor and allies at the Battle of Pelennor Fields.  Including the attacks on Lothlorien, the Woodland Realm, Erebor and Dale, and the troops that were kept in Mordor and used later at the Morannon, there would have been many many troops.  I would not say that there were two hundred thousand, but more like a bit over 100,000.
Cridan 18/Oct/2004 at 11:41 AM
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Yes i was counting every thing, Regular Haradrim / southrons, Corsairs of umbar Variags of khand, men of the east ( easterlings ) orcs from every where in mordor, any any other nation or group that aided sauron in his war with the free peoples of middle earth   ( thank you Tulkas for moving it for me )

Callenia 18/Oct/2004 at 12:04 PM
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(OOC:WoW! You’re a member three dayes to and you’ve got much more posts damnit :-P)
I asked myself the question to, and indeed you can’t base yourself on the movies, ’cause of course they won’t show everything (like Saurons has a lot of his troops still in Mordor, regrouping while there’s a war). if you want to know the exact number, you’ll have to go and search for it in the books although I don’t think they’ll give an exact number. You just know there were all these easterlings and southrons and so...good luck counting, I wish I could be of more use
Son of Huor 18/Oct/2004 at 02:24 PM
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There are no precise numbers in the books, but one could make a reasonable guess. Aragorn marches to the Morannon with little more than 10.000 men. But before that (during ’the briefing’) they speak of 25.000 men at the very most, and call it a triffle in comparison with the forces of Mordor. They even doubt that Sauron will take them seriously at all, if they march to his gates with so small an army. This emans that The armies of Mordor, even after the anihilation of the Morgul army (with it’s allies) had to be enormous. Add to that the armies spoken of that attacked Loriën for three times, the armies attacking Erebor and the Iron hills and you will see that 200,000 is not that absurd a guess at all.
Oin 18/Oct/2004 at 06:09 PM
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Son of Huor: Aragorn marches to the Morannon with less than 6,000 men, not 10,000. His army is reduced by fortifications at the Crossroads and men who leave from the army to take the enemy garrison at Cair Andros. The other remaining forces of the West either fight Sauron’s army in Anorien or defend Minas Tirith.
Gaijin00 19/Oct/2004 at 01:22 PM
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Well I think that Saurons army was about 200,000 "give or take a few thousand" because he mentions that it will take tens of thousands then he also has several thousands scattered across the countryside.

So I guess the best estimate would be 200,000, but if you feel like counting the whole army please get back to me because I would like to know.

Maik Razorwind 19/Oct/2004 at 01:39 PM
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It was really big. After all, he had also been using orcs for attacking occasionaly in Minas Tirith and Osgiliath before the events of the LotR and the War of the Ring and so, after taking into account everything i figure a number close to 100.000 orcs. But i have a question though, do the orcs of Moria count?
elf ranger79 19/Oct/2004 at 02:06 PM
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wow!i dont think that the ral number of sarouns army was given.plus i belive that i hard that that only 200,000 only went to the pellnor feilds.me with all my might doubt that saroun unleased his whole entire army in that battle.i think that saroun may have had over 200,000.a lot more.i mean come on the great saroun with only two hundred thousand orcs?i dont think so.
Cridan 19/Oct/2004 at 02:40 PM
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umm... There were 45,000 only at the pellenor... Not 200,000 like the movie said... Yes orcs from the misty mountains count. And The numbers in the movie are vastly different from the numbers in the book. Like 10,000 uruk-hai attacking helms deep... No way it was 10,000 all together but it was mostly men and orcs. bu that’s another story. I mean All the troops sauron had at his expense, every thing from the Far Harad to Mt. Gundabad...
Oin 19/Oct/2004 at 06:15 PM
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Cridan: Uruk-hai are orcs. However, I agree with your last post; Sauron would have had quite a large army due to the huge range of his influence and his seemingly infinite number of servants.

I would place the army before the Black Gate at 100,000 - 150,000. Sauron did not want to underestimate Isildur’s heir and Gandalf, and it seems that most of the host of Mordor was present, as well as a separate Easterling army.
Delator 20/Oct/2004 at 01:11 AM
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 I like this question, but I feel that if we take into account the many seperate armies that were used by Sauron in LOTR, then most of the estimates here are far too conservative.

While we know a lot about the make-up of the force sent to siege Minas Tirith, we know little about the actual numbers. 50,000 sounds like a good estimate, and I certainly don’t think it was 200,000.  Three seperate assaults on Lorien, and while we know that Minas Tirith bore the brunt of the Dark Lord’s hatred, I highly doubt the total size of the force against Lorien could be much smaller, as Sauron would not take lightly the power contained in Lorien. Also we have the northern force against Erebor, which was probably of similar size as they managed to lay siege to the Lonely Mountain. So we have three seperate forces, consisting of no less than 120,000 men.

The total of Sauron’s forces at the Black Gates is not easily guessed, but I would say Oin is probably close with his estimate of 100,000 - 150,000. I’ll call it 130,000, so that combined with the attacking forces, we now have a nice round number of 250,000 soldiers.

This is only what is mentioned in the book. It is certain that Sauron did not totally empty Mordor and it’s strongholds, so I would guess there were at least another 100,000 still in Mordor that were not mobilized. The book also mentions slaves who work the fields in the southeast of Mordor, and I’m certain that they are not only quite numerous, but could likely be pressed into military service if the need arose...though they would probably require oversight by a Nazgul or something to make sure they remained loyal in the field. Call that another 100,000, which is being conservative given the size of Mordor’s armies and the primitive farming methods available.

So far I’ve only covered Mordor, and we already have 450,000. This doesn’t take into account whatever soldiers Harad and the Eastern lands hadn’t yet sent or were keeping at home. We have no way of knowing to what extent the armies of Harad and the East were mobilized, but I would guess that no more than half had actually been sent into battle during the course of LOTR. We have no way of knowing how many, if any, men were left behind to keep the lands secure, but I would bet that Sauron would not leave the East completely devoid of military presence. We also have no way of knowing what sort of call up of non-effectives might be put in place if great need arose. I’m sure that not every able-bodied man of the East was actually in the army, so if necessary, the armies of the Easterlings could likely be many times the size that were actually being used. And then of course we have the Orcs of the Misty Mts, which add many thousands to the total, although we have no exact numbers for them.

In my answer to Cridan’s original question, I’ll assume that Sauron needs EVERY single combat-able man or orc. That he might ever need such a force I highly doubt, but Cridan asked the size of the entire army. Mordor troops and called-up slaves, as I stated above, total 450,000. Add another 50,000 for the Misty Mt. orcs and perhaps the men of Harad that were left behind. That gives us half a million soldiers. If we call up all able bodies from the east, I would think we could likely add at least 200,000. My final answer for a full call-up of Saurons forces would be 700,000 able-bodied soldiers. This, in my opinion, would be a conservative estimate, as we have no data on the actual population of the lands to the east. It would not suprise me if the force were twice as large, but I’m assuming a relatively sparse population in lands under the Dark Lords power, so again, and finally, I call it 700,000.

Sorry for the rant... I do so love these types of questions.

Forod 20/Oct/2004 at 11:55 AM
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I too read the books and read that the number of Mordor unit in the battle of Pelenor Fields was somewhere around 45,000 not what the movies say which is around 200,000.  Sauron had other soldiers fighting in many places but no where near as much as in the great war.  All together i would say about 52,000
LordMithrandir 20/Oct/2004 at 01:24 PM
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I belive that no one knows the exact numbers of Saurons entire army because Tolkien hardly ever mentioned any numbers. He used expressions like "vaste", "huge", "powerful" , "great" army and so on. The movies has taken the liberty to give some of Saurons armies a number,but that should not be used as a source to find out the real size of Sauronsmachine of war.
Eraisuithon 20/Oct/2004 at 06:13 PM
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I’m not very sure because his full army never stayed in one place, it was all spread out and the biggest collection of Saurons troops at a time was 200,000 but at the south gates there were about 10,000 which is hard to imagon. His army did spend some time at Sauron’s tower and near the forest ( I’ve forgoten the name ) , the one with the ents, so you might not get a solid number. I’d might guess around 400,000 but it is very hard to be ceartian. There might be some good websites that might give you a good rounded number and you should get a few numgers then advrage them up to get a approcsiment idea or you could ask google, yahoo, ask jeeves or any other search sites, I suggest using google, it’s very good. I am quite sure that Uruk-Hi count and so do the non-orks, The black riders count but it is pointless to count them because they’re are

only nine of them. It annoys me so much when you can’t get an exact number on something.     X(    Each man on the elephants, or whatever you call them, might add up to mabey 1000 or mabey 100. I’m not making sense am I? Sorry for the spelling mistakes. Frodosson might have an answer. JRR Tolkin dosn’t fouses much on the war that much. Too bad Tolkin’s dead, I’d E-mail him everyday. Sorry if I’m going off the subject a bit. I have the tendency to lose track on what i’m saying. 700,000 is a good guess and so is 650,000, I don’t think. Tolkin didn’t put much numbers in the book and the movie isn’t a good sorese of info. Some people came up with puney answers like 150,000 which isn’t even close, or at lease I think. Oviously the book said that Sauron didn’t empty all of Mordor but I don’t know if that counts or not. The orks/ slaves left in Mordor might not be war orkes. I think i’m spelling orkes wrong. Well to top it all off I am sure that there is about 700,000-800,000.