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


Also - where would they have evactuated to? Colchester was a military settlement, home to a large number of veteran legionaries. Short of heading for London, 50 miles away, it was probably the safest place in the vicinity. Or so the 'secret accomplices' may have argued...


Certainly a good point…..but then why no defences at all?  

50 miles against losing your life and your family’s lives – I know which I would have chosen….

Nathan wrote:

Traditional hit and run insurgency tactics would have worked well against a scattered foe, but for attacking cities and disciplined armies in the field the rebels needed vast numbers, so keeping everyone more or less together would have been critical.


Typically hit and run tactics and ambushes is how the Brythons were successful in fighting the Romans over the previous 18 years and indeed a century before against Julius Caesar by harrying his foragers and the edges of the column of some 15,000 men.

There were very few cities in Britannia apart from Colchester, London and St Albans. None of these were defended or indeed defensible. That it is not really the point.

To be effective against either cities or a large army they would not have to travel together but to agree to muster at a particular place and particular time. This would appear to be how they fought prior to this so I find it difficult to see why their tactics would change.

Their standard successful tactics were surprise, ambush and hit and run which is why they were so hard to defeat because they had no cities to defend and therefore could retreat swiftly into the countryside which they did unless they were caught by the cavalry or trapped as in Boudica’s final battle although many tens of thousands escaped to fight on.

I think that you can equate it to Colonial Powers invading Afghanistan where although they have all the fire power and the disciplined professional armies the tribal warlords as such have never been defeated since the RAJ including the Russians and the Americans
 
Nathan wrote:

Their defeat of Cerialis was probably a pitched battle. No source implies that it was an ambush, or that Cerialis was attacked on the march; he knew he was in hostile territory, advancing against a sizeable enemy, and would have been keeping good march discipline. 

We know he had a camp (to which he retreated), and it seems the infantry were deployed separately to the cavalry (which would have been on the wings in a standard battle array, and thus managed to escape the rout intact).

So it seems likely that Cerialis met the rebels somewhere near Colchester, deployed for battle, but was overwhelmed by their vastly superior numbers.


The defeat of the Ninth Legion is undocumented (although a number of scenarios have been postulated) and there is no other evidence of the Roman Army being defeated by the Brythons in an organised battle since the invasion although they did manage to have a two day battle at the Medway before they were defeated and scattered to fight again at the Thames

Having said that all scenarios are possible including the weight of numbers as you propose but if that is the case it would seem again that this was a well organised and disciplined army who admittedly defeated a depleted Legionary force of around 2,000 infantry and a cavalry force of whom we have no numbers.

With this small force it would be surprising if even Cerealis lined up against the full Brythonic Army in full battle array......

Again this small Roman force seems to have had no understanding of the numbers of the army they were up against so the intelligence is sadly lacking not only at Colchester but also London and with Cerealis and therefore no doubt with SP.
   
Nathan wrote:

I still think the scheme that Michael proposed some time ago makes the best sense: Paulinus marched initially towards Colchester, intending to meet Cerialis en route, perhaps at Godmanchester. By the time he arrived there, the rebels had taken Colchester and Cerialis had marched off ahead to confront them, and been defeated. 

Paulinus, hearing of this and realising that the next rebel target would be London, which had supplies of grain and a large number of vulnerable civilians, redirected his march south from Godmanchester, through the margins of rebel territory, to arrive at London after two or three days, ahead of the main rebel advance.


I value Michael’s view on this and certainly it fits the texts but if this was the case surely Cerelias would have informed SP that the situation was worse than he thought and that he was continuing on towards Colchester.

I would have thought that one of SP's major objectives would have been to secure Verulamium as this was a Roman Colony (London was not) and there were Roman citizens there who had to be protected. From there it is only 25 odd miles to London which would possibly have been easier to get to rather than go farther east.  

That doesn’t mean that SP didn’t go to Godmanchester and found that the Ninth had left and then decided to go to London for the reasons you list, but not because the Brythons were advancing there but because it had not been attacked as yet and he needed more intelligence which he hoped to gain from Catus.

Nathan wrote

It (London) had warehouses full of Roman grain, which the rebels needed. It was the centre of provincial administration, and the home of the hated procurator. So it had both logistical, military and symbolic value, I would say. 


I think that this answers your need for SP to go to London but not necessarily the Brythons.
 
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 - 09-10-2016, 03:46 PM

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