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

sine iustis armis - 'without proper weapons', I think (Tacitus). These 200 men, I think, would be all that Catus had available - beneficiarii on his staff,stationarii guarding the port and the docks, plus perhaps some of the men he'd been using on his tax surveys. They didn't have 'proper weapons', presumably, because they weren't intended as combat troops.


Tacitus seems to imply that Catus didn't do much at all apart from look after his own interests but that could have been because he was not impressed by the State Administration Office in general but was highly supportive of the Military Arm. 

Again it seems incredulous that the people of Colchester, if they and Catus had thought they were about to be attacked would not have evacuated the women and children nor built defences that we are aware of.  In fact Tacitus implies they were attacked in a state of peace, so I maintain that they did not feel that they were in danger. 

As you said earlier 150,000 people on the move would have been impossible to hide IF they were moving as one body but a number of smaller groups coming together to muster around Colchester would have been much easier and quicker to move as well as being easier to slip under the radar or to be presented as a "local show".

I still maintain that this was not a mass migration and it is rare for people to take their children or old aged to war. This was a well planned campaign to take back their lands, their wealth and their way of life in their homelands.

This army in my opinion was made up of tribal warbands, a very mobile force, like the insurgents of today, able to strike quickly using cavalry, chariots and horse drawn wagons for transport and logistics. There is no reason to suppose that young women were not capable of driving wagons and providing support for the fighters.       

Nathan wrote:

........if they'd gone home again after Colchester there would be no reason for Catus to flee, 


Catus must have been shocked that his intelligence was so incorrect and that Colchester had been completely destroyed. He had lost control of the facts and what was happening at the tribal level and would have automatically thought in the Roman fashion (as we tend to do today) that as he was the cause of the revolt and that they were coming for him and for the treasures of London. So he fled.

The Brythonic society was not based on the Roman ideal and they had their own lifestyle. The Romans had brought no benefits to the local people at this time and the way the Romans lived,as stated by Tacitus, was only for the benefit of the Roman Empire and at the beginning the local aristocracy but even this was becoming too high a price to bear.

London was a Roman invention manly for the benefit of traders and tax gatherers of the Roman Empire and had no value for the Brythons. Archeology leads us to believe that at this time London contained a very few roundhouses which presumably was the continuation of the cereal trade etc.from the tribes. Most of the trade would have been for the military and the incoming Roman citizens.   

Nathan wrote

........and no reason for Paulinus to even go to London, let alone evacuate it. If the rebels were heading back north again, by going to London Paulinus would be placing a hostile enemy between himself and his route of retreat and reinforcement. He would have remained somewhere in the Midlands instead and waited for back-up. He didn't, so the rebels must have continued south-west after leaving Colchester.  

If there was a paucity of information (which clearly there was) regarding the very fluid situation that SP was faced with there are a number of reasons why he would have led the 14th to London depending on his plans.

Perhaps he was hoping to meet Catus in London to get detailed intelligence.


It seems inconceivable that a cautious man such as SP would not have sent out scouts to gain information of what was happening so would have been aware of an approaching force of 150,000 reaching London at the same time as himself before he committed to the advance.

It may well of been that SP was surprised that London had not been attacked and strategically needed to capture the supplies for his own use or to destroy them to prevent them getting into the enemy's hands.   

As we have discussed perhaps he was expecting to meet up with the 9th and the 2nd Legions and then advance on Colchester with a combined force of perhaps 15,000 + men. 

As we know neither of these forces were available to him for various reasons and Tacitus makes it clear that by the time he got to London the he knew the 9th had been defeated badly, to such an extent SP thought it prudent to withdraw as London could not be defended with the limited forces (small army) at his command.

So he may well have withdrawn because he realised that this was a full blown rebellion that he needed more forces to deal with (plan 1) or a place where he could gain strategic advantage because of the topography (plan 2) or both (plan 3). 

Nathan wrote:

One wagon could perhaps go at 15 miles a day, or even a few wagons. Hundreds of wagons could not. The larger the army, the slower it moves, and a force of the size that Boudica is supposed to have been leading would have moved very slowly indeed.


You are of course correct which is why the idea of a huge host travelling together seems wrong.

Nathan wrote:

You could imagine smaller groups splitting off and moving faster, but they would have been easier to defeat individually. Far better if they stick together and use their strength of numbers, which is their only advantage over the Romans 

   
I believe that this is exactly the modus operandi of the Brythons who harried a marching column as they did with Caesar in BC54 (which SP was concerned about - which is why he turned to face them) and also mustered for battle only, not travelling together.

The Brythons never won any pitched battles over the Romans as far as I understand it so an organised battle was not really what they wanted unless the odds were vastly in their favour but their best bet was to defeat a diisorganised army on the march.

The brilliance of SP was to turn the tables on them by forcing them to attack him in a place that could be defended by a few men and work against a large host - in a seige situation which they were used to - wherever that was.
  




    
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 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 Theoderic - 09-09-2016, 12:29 PM

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