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Julius Ratus

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Everything posted by Julius Ratus

  1. Whether or not US COIN tactics will work in Afghanistan and Iraq remains to be seen. There have been successes in both countries as well as failures. Going back to WWII for a second (and off topic, so I apologize) - There were cavalry charges in WWII. The Soviet Cossacks performed a number of cavalry missions. Generally they fought as mounted infantry, but at times would charge. I will have to dig out my books when I get home to find sources for this but they are out there and can be found. The big cavalry myth about the Polish Lancers charging German Panzers with lances is a partial myth. They were actually charging infantry in the open (successfully) when a number of German armoured cars pulled up, saw them, and machinegunned them down. As for German technical superiority - It is a bit overblown. They were better off than the Poles, Danes, Belgians, Dutch, and Norwegians. They had better tactics (or at least better executed) than either the French or the British in 1940. As far as technology goes, the Germans had no tanks comparable to the British Matildas and the Russian KV-1s and T-34s that were out in 1940. The French SOMUA tanks were probably better as well but suffered the usual French tank problem that they had two crewmen - Commander/Gunner/Loader and Driver whereas the German tanks (specifically the Pz38s, PzIIIs, and PzIVs) all had four crewmen. By the end of the war the Germans were getting worse and worse, though it is possible that a lot of their mystique comes from their ability to hold on so long against such great odds. At least one Soviet commander I have read about during Bagration referred to German tactics as "lazy". But yeah, this is an interesting period to discuss. When I have more time I will try to write some about COIN that I have read or heard from people who visited the Sandbox.
  2. Julius Ratus

    Ironic nationality battles

    How about the Russian General Barclay de Tolly in the Napoleonic Wars? A Baltic-German descendant of a Scottish family that had settled in Livonia and fought for the Russian Army against the French.
  3. Julius Ratus

    Huge Stash of Marijuana Found in Ancient Tomb

    has anyone tried it yet?
  4. Julius Ratus

    I miss ya'll

    Nice to see you. Nice to se you all. I have been out for several months now as well. If my internet keeps working I will try to be on a bit more often.
  5. Julius Ratus

    Bush and historians

    A quick civics lesson -- the president executes the law. Its the morons in congress that make the laws. Every foolish thing Bush is blamed for would not have happened if congress were not his willing accomplices. And, if memory serves me right, those burdeons on society havea lower approval rating then Bushie-boo had. I don't see things getting better. We have two senators (one of which couldn't finish one term in office) running the show. Another one is Sec. of State. I say its time we as a people impose term limits on those cretins.
  6. Julius Ratus

    Sad News

    Go with God, my friend. Vale from your Lictor, Julius Ratus.
  7. Julius Ratus

    Georgia on my Mind...

    I don't think everyone are fully aware of the situation. Back on the 8/2/08 the Georgians were already firing on Ossetian civilians and peacekeepers from the joint peacekeeping force (a combination of Georgian, Ossetian, and Russian Federation troops). On the 5th, the EU offered to mediate with the Georgians, offering to help them sort out differences with the Ossetians and Abkhazians. Popov, Russian Ambassador at Large to the region, announced that on the 7th, Ossetian and Georgian leaders would meet. Early on Thursday Georgian artillery bombarded Tskhinvali, the Ossetian capital. Popov met with the Georgian envoy, Yakobashvili, for two hours, but the talks were inconclusive. All the while, the Georgian military and Ossetian forces defending the capital battled. On the 8th, the Russian Federation sent in reinforcements for their peacekeepers (which as far as I can tell, initially only consisted of one battalion of motor rifles). According to the Defense Ministry, they were there to protect the lives of Russian peacekeepers, citizens of North Ossetia (part of Russia bordering Georgia, and citizens of the "self proclaimed republic [south Ossetia]. By 17.33 Moscow Time, 10 Russian peacekeepers had been killed, and thirty wounded. By 23.19 a further 12 had been killed, and 50 wounded. I have no statistics to the numbers of Georgians and Ossetians killed or wounded. Throughout today (the 9th) the Georgians continued shelling Ossetian areas. The above information comes from ITAR-TASS, the Russian state news agency, so obviously some information is lacking. For the western viewpoint, I have been mostly reading Yahoo news which is mostly Associated Press. I won't elaborate on it, since most readers here live in western countries and can turn on the TV (saving me from carpotunnel syndrome). BTW -- I would be interested in hearing Kosmo's take on this, since he is the only member I know of who currently lives in the former Soviet bloc. If you are reading this, what have Romanian news sources been saying about this? Also, a bit of further history on the situation. Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been running their own affairs since the early '90's when they won their independence from Georgia. Both provinces have had close relations with Russia sice their independence. Let me reiterate, both republics have been independent for the better part of two decades. An analogiy: basically this situation is the same as if Serbia were to invade Kossovo tommorrow, and the US would get involved on the side of the Kossovars. I can only hope that this war will end soon. Neither Russia nor Georgia can afford a long, costly war. It is tragic that two nations with such history should fight. Both nations would do well to remember their history of friendship, exemplified by Pyotr Bagration, the Georgian prince who died defending Russia from Napoleon so many years ago.
  8. Julius Ratus

    Cheesus

    An thus, more Christians are given a bad name. These morons do more damage than any persecution ever has.
  9. Julius Ratus

    Masters Degree

    In the fall I will be starting my Masters Degree in History. My first class will be Roman Religion. I am greatly looking forward to it. To all of you Graduates out there, is there any advice you can give me?
  10. Julius Ratus

    Masters Degree

    Thanks. All I have to balance are my one or two classes a semester, and 40 hours of work. No wife nor kids, so there is one less thing to worry about. All in all, I am rather looking forward to it and am confident that I should do well.
  11. Julius Ratus

    I know I'm never here so here is a game

    Here's who I knew. Going left to right, bottom to top. If I didn't know who it was, they aren't listed. Charlie Chaplin Mike Tyson Vladimir Putin Allbert Einstein Noah Sigmund Freud (?) Saddam Hussein Iosif Stalin Father Time (?) Karl Marx Freidrich Engels (?) Abe Lincoln Mao Tse Tung Kung Fu Tzu Audrie Hepburn Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Genghis Khan Elvis Pressly William Shakespeare Socrates Vladimir Lenin Peter I Romanov Bruce Lee Sir Winston Churchill Napoleon Bonaparte Ernesto 'Che' Guevara Fidel Castro
  12. Julius Ratus

    George Carlin died

    Nice quote, Neph. I saw the news at work, first thing in the morning yesterday. I first felt shock followed quickly by denial. Denial turned to grief, which gave way to anger. I then said the 'seven deadly words'. Adios Muchacho.
  13. Julius Ratus

    Sander van Dorst.

    Hey all, I have been reading this thread every day, but have kept my mouth shut so far. Here's my $.02 Augusta -- First off, you will get a reaming when Caldrail reads this for using modern terms to describe Roman ranks. Just be prepared. I think that you are on the right track, though. For your question on whether any Roman advanced from the ranks to the head of an army, I don't know of any examples off hand. That sounds like something Northern Neal or Caldrail might know, though. Caldrail -- I understand that you prefer to use Roman terminology. They are more accurate and appropriate, but are not terms that modern people often relate to. This is why we use modern terms to describe the Legion. The only forces that have recently fielded the rank Centurion are the 'M' Battallions in the Royal Italian Army in the Second World War. Most armies have something like a Sergeant or a Captain. These are totally different ranks, and neither correspond directly to a Centurion, but both of these modern ranks fulfill some of the responsibilities that a Centurion would have posessed in the ancient world. Many people can better understand the function of ancient ranks better if they can relate them to a modern rank, especially if they have military experience. I study military history in all eras. I have to keep track of the functions of Captains, Hauptsturmfuhrers, Centuii, Kapitani, so on and so forth. All four of those ranks share some common duties. This is because ranks have a common purpose throughout the ages, they tell soldiers who is in charge. Every army has had a rank structure. Always. A Centurion outranks a Miles. A Legatus outranks a Centurion. The Emperor is the top of the foodchain. RW -- Please, man. Take a step back and cool off. I know it must seem like everyone is picking on you, but that is not the case. All that has been asked of you is that you back up your arguments with sources. Some of your more recent posts have been a little better referenced. Good work! Now all you need to do is not be so defensive. When people correct you, it is not a challenge. There are some really knollegable people here on this forum. Listen to what they have to say and learn.
  14. Julius Ratus

    Civics Education

    80% here. I did better on the polotics and history than on the economics.
  15. Julius Ratus

    MiG-15

    Hence the phrase, 'Yeah, and I'm a Chinese jet pilot!' Caldrail and GO gave you an idea, perhaps you could draw a Sabre to make a comparison of the two. It would also give you more practice on the shiny metal skin of the planes (not that you seem to need much practice!) Still, please continue to post your artwork, I find that it really adds to the forum.
  16. Julius Ratus

    MiG-15

    Very Nice! Let me know when you get around to tanks. I can't wait to see them.
  17. I would assume that they used a lot of mules. Marius' mules. From what I know, the Romans frequently used the legions for construction projects like road work.
  18. Julius Ratus

    Sander van Dorst.

    You can find the answer to your question in actual history. If you want to read about a group of Roman legions, and a British Regiment being ambushed, look up the Teutoburgerwald for the Romans and Isandlawana (probably spelled wrong) for the 24th Foot. In both cases it was a massacre.
  19. Julius Ratus

    wiki edit of the Roman Empire

    The Republic, Empire, Regal Period, Byzantine Empire, etc. are all constructs made by historians. I doubt that Augustus saw himself as ending the Republic and replacing it with the Empire. He probably though he was preserving the Republic. Also, Rome had an empire well before Augustus. I tend to use the 476 AD date because it is commonly considered to be the end of the period we call the Empire.
  20. I did a good bit of research on this topic while at the university. There is not to much for me to add to this discussion. As usual, Caldrail has repeatedly hit the nail on the head, in matters dealing with the Roman military. What I will add is that the Romans frequently used mercenary cavalry, or had allied contingents to make up for their general lack of cavalry. (By 'general lack' I mean that 120 Cavalry in a Legion of 5000 or so is not a very high ratio.) In the Early Republic, the majority of the cavalry were fielded by the legions of the Socii. By the Second Punic War mercenaries/foreign allies start being used; Numidians. By the Late Republic mercenary usage was widespread. Caesar used Germans and Gauls to great effect in all his wars. At Pharsalus Pompey used a whole hoard of varried cavalry units, under the command of Labienus. I haven't done much research on the Late Empire, but I think this trend towards mercenary cavalry continuing. As Caldrail has pointed out, cavalry was not used during the ancient era as it was in Mediaeval times. For one thing, most horses were generally of a smaller breed that they are today. (Read Xenophon's 'Cavalry Commander' and 'Horsemanship' for more tidbits on ancient horses. The titles may be a bit off, but both are in the 'Scripta Minora'.) The only armies of the classical era, to the best of my knolledge, who used shock cavalry were the Macedonians and the Parthians. Most armies used them as harassment forces.
  21. Julius Ratus

    Regarding the Italian Revolts

    D.) Surrender, because Rome is way to hardcore to be beaten. If I had to lead the traitors, I would have marched directly on the city. Cut off the head and the body will fall. It would be a long shot, though.
  22. Julius Ratus

    The Levy of the Annual Regular Legio

    Do you have a source for this definition? It sounds like you may be confusing the Tribunus Plebis with the Tribunus Militum. The Tribune of the Plebs was a political rank, not military. The Military Tribunes (and the later Tribuni Angusticalii and Laticlavii) were subordinates to the commander of the Legion. My information is from Wikipedia (sorry, I'm at work), but I think that other sources will back the given definaition as well.
  23. Julius Ratus

    The Levy of the Annual Regular Legio

    I just caught this. I haven't edited my post so you all can laugh at me being a moron. I was trying to work and write. Unfortunately, I did neither well yesterday. As RW pointed out, a Cohort was six Centuriae, and a Legion is 10 Cohorts. Mea Culpa. I think my analogy can be salvaged, by comparing the Legion to a Brigade (which RW has already done). Like a Napoleonic Brigade, a Roman Legion is made up of several independant/semi-independant units: Battalions or Cohorts. Once again, mea culpa.
  24. Julius Ratus

    The Levy of the Annual Regular Legio

    Here's my take on the issue. The difference between a Roman military formation and a modern one, is how they are used. A modern army requires a pyramidal structure, because of how it operates. The parts of the whole (platoons, companies, battalions, etc.) must be able to operate independently while maintaining command and control of the whole force. This is accomplished by having each unit commanded by an officer who is in full command of his unit, but is subordinate to other officers from the larger units. A Captain commands his unit, but is subordinate to the Major or Lieutenant Colonel of the Battalion. A Roman formation fought in a battle line. The units were not independent, in fact, the line only operated correctly if all the units fought together as one. To accomplish this, you need an overall commander, and subordinates who make sure everything is working properly, not necessarily commanding. Now, if you want to compare the Legion to another force, you must find one that fought in a similar style. Here I make my caveats. I like comparisons because they help us better understand what we are looking at, but a comparison can never be perfect. You are always comparing two different things. For the purpose of comparing the Legion to a more modern unit, I will use a typical British Regiment from the Napoleonic Era. My reasons for picking this unit is because it shares some similarities with a Roman Legionary formation, and because I understand it well enough that I can aspire to some degree of accuracy. (Caveat: The Regiment and the Legion deployed differently, with the Regiment being slip up into one or more battalions, which were the actual fighting unit and were deployed separately. For the sake of my comparison I will be describing a Regiment consisting of only one battalion.) At the top of the Battalion you have a Lieutenant Colonel (or a full Colonel in the case of a single Battalion Regiment). He correlates to the Legionary Consul, Proconsul, Legate, etc. This is the top guy in the formation. Below him are the Military Tribunes (and various other officers), and the Majors, in the Regiment. These officers do not command regular units, they can command collections of Companies/Centuriae but are not regular commanders. They are the Colonel
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