Thread Rating:
  • 3 Vote(s) - 4.33 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(09-04-2016, 10:19 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(09-04-2016, 08:47 PM)Renatus Wrote: Allowing the rebels to disperse to their homelands might not necessarily have been a bad thing.

Militarily, perhaps. But to allow such a thing would be very damaging to Roman prestige and to Paulinus's reputation and political future. The rebels had sacked two Roman towns and beaten an expeditionary force sent against them; Paulinus had a field army - albeit a small one - and it was his clear duty to oppose them. If he allowed them to return home he would not only appear weak and irresolute, but would be facing a lengthy punitive campaign with much gore and no glory.

I'm not sure that I agree with this. As you have repeatedly and rightly said, Paulinus was a cautious general and his natural instinct would have been to avoid engaging the enemy until he had amassed sufficient forces to ensure victory. Even if this had involved allowing the rebels to return to their homelands, if he had subsequently carried the war to them and defeated them, any perception of irresolution would have been eliminated. He had, after all, the example of Fabius Maximus, whose tactics were criticised at the time but were later vindicated and who was consequently hailed as a great Roman hero.

That said, I think that the Roman instinct generally, when faced with a revolt, was to try to nip it in the bud as quickly as possible with whatever forces were immediately at hand. This may be why Petilius Cerialis, despite losing half a legion and being criticised by Tacitus for recklessness, does not seem to have suffered official censure. Mind you, it might have been a different story if he had lost the Eagle!

(09-04-2016, 10:19 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(09-04-2016, 08:47 PM)Renatus Wrote: The legions were trained, according to Vegetius, to march at the military pace of 20 miles in eight summer hours and a full pace of 24 miles in the same period.

That would be Roman miles, equating to approx 18.4 and 22.1 modern miles respectively.

That makes my 15 statute miles a day a respectable 16.3 Roman miles.

(09-04-2016, 10:19 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(09-04-2016, 08:47 PM)Renatus Wrote: how realistic would it have been to expect Poenius Postumus and the men of the Second Legion to have reached the battle site in time to take part in the battle?

A good question! If they were at Exeter and he only gave them the order to move when he was considering evacuating London, then, as you say, there would be no chance of them reaching him in time.

This is not a foregone conclusion, however. If matters had progressed a little more slowly, they might have got there in time. Nevertheless, Tacitus' claim that he committed suicide because he had cheated his legion of the glory of participating in the victory, rather than merely the chance of doing so, does seem to imply that, even as things turned out, he could have actually reached the battle site in time, if he had only followed the order to march.

(09-04-2016, 10:19 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: So - either he ordered them to join him at an earlier point (either when making his initial plans, or as soon as he heard of Cerialis's defeat), or they were based somewhere closer than Exeter. If they were at Gloucester they could have joined him in about 4-5 days, I think.

Gloucester is approximately 90 miles from Tring, so they could have made it in six days, well within the time-scale that I have suggested.

If the Second was based at Gloucester at the time, the Twentieth was presumably at Usk. Usk is about 125 miles from Tring, so the Twentieth could have reached the suggested battle site in just over eight days, travelling via Gloucester and Cirencester. If they did pass through Gloucester, with the veterans of the Twentieth on the march and those of the Second staying put, I can imagine some interesting conversations between Postumus and the praefectus castrorum of the Twentieth!
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply


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 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
RE: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand. - by Renatus - 09-05-2016, 05:39 PM

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Armchair Wall walking mcbishop 3 2,748 01-11-2012, 03:22 AM
Last Post: Vindex

Forum Jump: