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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Hi Nathan

As it is only polite as you have been kind enough to comment on the Cunetio site that I should comment on the Dunstable site.

Like you I will not comment on the host moving north - it is the site that matters....

I have to admit it certainly has its merits but I have always had a problem with a site where a small Roman Army of around 10,000 men, bursts out of a position into a host of at least 100,000 and would not become enveloped by the host in a "plain" scenario.

It is unlikely that the Brythons would not have had scouts in front of the main host so they would have picked up the fact that the Romans were there not just blocking the valley but also with the cavalry on the hills.

Possibly we need to understand the makeup of the army that Seutonius Paulinus had at this time.

I will make a stab of it but it is only a guess, hopefully someone else has done the research and has a better idea.

Suetonius had the fourteenth legion with the veterans of the twentieth, and auxiliaries from the neighbourhood, to the number of about ten thousand armed men, when he prepared to break off delay and fight a battle.

Probably the Fourteenth made up of its infantry (4,500), perhaps its auxilliaries (3,000 Batavians), Veterans of the Twentieth (1500)local auxilliaries as mentioned (500), Cavalry (1,000) a total of 10,500 men

The "valley" at Dunstable is about 1100 yards wide. The infantry are allegedly in close formation which gives each man about a 3 foot width. The ranks would have been 8 deep to enable the cuneus formation to be performed.

This would mean that all the infantry including most of the auxilliaries would have been in the valley with the cavalry on the hills.

If the Romans charged the Brythons there are no topographical feature that forces the Brythons to stay together or forces them back to the wagons that you state are 2 kilometres away so they can just expand sideways because the terrain is comparatively gentle at this point and they could absorb the Romans because if there are only 500 cavalry on each wing which would not be enough to contain the host.

Tacitus mentions that the Wagons were drawn up at the edge of a plain. There doesn't appear to be a plain and certainly no edge.

My other concern is that although there might have been woods behind the Romans there is also a road going through it. A few of kilometres behind the Roman Army is Icknield Way - the road to the heart of the Iceni.

The Ninth had already been ambushed possibly at the junction of Icknield Way and the road from Godmanchester to Colchester so it is quite possible that the Iceni already had this covered and would have known the area quite well.

It seems a risky strategy for Seutonius Paulinus to take because he would have been more than aware of the tribal trackways (many which were the basis of the Roman System) and he would have left himself exposed.

Finally although there is a valley the position itself can be outflanked on the right hand side as the slope is reasonably gentle.

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Messages In This Thread
Re: Calling all armchair generals! - by Ensifer - 03-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 02:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 05:40 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 05:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 09:42 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 10:10 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 08:36 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-27-2012, 01:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 08-05-2012, 02:24 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Deryk - 08-11-2012, 03:06 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-07-2014, 02:18 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-08-2014, 01:50 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-11-2014, 02:03 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-18-2014, 07:54 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-20-2014, 02:37 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-25-2014, 08:29 AM

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