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

Thank you both for your replies

I think that Nathan is correct in that this particular position is vulnerable to being surrounded but as Renatus points out the steepness and wooded nature of the valley sides and rear would, in my opinion, have proved an effective barrier especially if defended with calthrops (tribulus) scattered liberally within the woods once the Roman Army and civilians had descended into the valley from their position on the plateau.

It is in places an extremely steep hill and would have been an ideal place for anti personnel weapons not requiring any human support.

The valley on the Wendover Woods side of the “Tring Plateau” fits the classic steep sided valley description with the woods in the rear, with a 1,000 yard width defile that Tacitus describes.

Everything that Renatus postulates in his summation of this site certainly holds water and the conditions are right.

We have in the past accepted this as a fact only looking for a site that fits the description assuming that the result was a foregone conclusion.

Having said this it appears that this configuration is not perhaps as straight forward for a successful outcome for SP as Tacitus makes out.

As Nathan points out it is the huge number of Brythons opposing the Roman Army that is the problem.

Bursting out of the defile into the Brythonic host on the plain doesn’t really work once the Roman army is outside of the valley because of the width of the Brythonic army.

In my opinion the Roman army would have been surrounded and destroyed because the Brythons could not have been contained. (see the diagrams here)

[attachment=7820]Tringpics3e.pdf[/attachment]

So although the valley at Wendover Woods fits the physical criteria is it a valid battle arena?

Possibly not.

It is the sheer number of the Brythons that are in the field – I have only allowed for 80,000, in the diagrams in close order (at 1 meter per man) and even at that scale it is an overwhelming force to advance against.

If we are to believe Dio it was around 230,000.

If we are talking about a host of 230,000 the Brythonic host could have had a front of 145 miles width in close order as a single row as opposed to the Roman line of 7 miles at a similar density.

Small wonder the Brythons were confident.

So the key is to somehow both extend the Roman line and to reduce the Brythonic line to match – certainly a difficult task.

So either SP would have had to have been a superb tactician or very lucky yet Tacitus does say that he was one of the best generals in his generation (Corbulo being the other) so perhaps he was both.

I believe that there is another scenario at the Tring plateau which shows a way that SP proved that he was a great general and used the terrain and subterfuge to his advantage.

To re-inforce the point that the battle site was in this area I would like to review the texts (or rather the implications behind them).

Whereas I believe that we have often under estimated the Brythons, I am now wondering whether perhaps we have also completely misjudged Seutonius Paulinus and thereby misunderstood the reasoning behind his actions.

We often seem to be forcing a solution to fit the actions rather than understanding the reasoning behind the actions.

There are two major questions that have never been satisfactorily answered to my mind, regarding SP’s actions when he arrived in London.

1. Why did he take the refugees with him?
2. Why did he retrace his steps up Watling Street and not escape to the West?

Has Tacitus in order not to outshine his father in law concealed SPs genius or have we missed a point that for a Roman mind would have been so obvious that it would have put into context every part of the texts of both Dio and Tacitus but not to the present day reader?

Kind Regards – Deryk


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.pdf   Tringpics3e.pdf (Size: 585.09 KB / Downloads: 2)
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
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Deryk - 08-25-2013, 04:17 PM
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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