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Felix Marcellus

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About Felix Marcellus

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  1. Felix Marcellus

    Contributions Of Roman Warfare

    Actually it was the Europeans that failed to learn from the ACW and suffered so badly in WWI. The Americans foolishly followed the European leed and forgot what they had learned 56 years earlier. Spurius, I hear a lot of people say that. Lessons from the American Civil War were lost in WWI. I don't know what they could've learned that would've made a difference. Cavalry and therefore maneuver warfare was temporarily made obsolete by very accurate artillery and exponentially more improved machine guns. Maneuver is what was lacking in WWI. That's why WWI ended up becoming a conflict fought in trenches. They could've studied the ACW backwards and forwards and it still would not have prevented WWI from being a war of attrition fought in the trenches. There was no precedent for this type of war with the type of technology being used to fight it. Technology surpassed Tactics. Improvements typically were slow and new technology had time to be integrated. In WWI the technology exploded and entered the conflict before military leadership could figure out how to properly use it or counter it. The answer was the tank. And the tank slowly made its way onto the battlefield. Unfortunately it wasn't perfected enough to break the stalemate and kickstart maneuver warfare again. At least not until after the war was basically already over.
  2. Felix Marcellus

    Contributions Of Roman Warfare

    What was amateur about the 18th and 19th century? I may be biased, but the American military during the Civil War, including the Confederate military which was made from scratch, was a very talented military machine. Nobody before the Union Navy used Naval Gunfire Support as effectively. Combined Arms was born in the US Civil War and perfected by Germany with the blitzkrieg. The American leadership was very well educated in military history. I'd say some pretty brilliant leaders (some of the most brilliant were born in the American Civil War. The German Army of 1860 that defeated France and united Germany was a pretty fine military machine itself. Definitely none of them were perfect, but they could hold their own. Amateur would be the armies of WWI which was 20th century. And I wouldn't really call them amateur. I'd say the ineffectiveness of the various militaries in WWI was due more to the fact that technology had by far surpassed known tactics which gave the appearance of incompetence. Didn't do badly? Holy Cow man! He revolutionized the way militaries organize. He created the battle staff. There were no corps before Napolean. THe man was an organizational genious. Didn't do badly???? C'mon now. Give the little guy some credit. As for what we learned from Rome, here's one thing. Rome gave modern day armies one of its first looks, if not the first look, at preparatory fires. And looking at how the US preps an objective today I'd say it's probably one of the most important lessons we learned from Rome.
  3. I would think anytime any country falls, that country's military plays some part in it. Either because they were unable to defend the country from an invader, they overthrew the government themselves, sucked up too much money from the coffers, etc. I could be wrong. Maybe an ineffective or parasitic military is more a symptom of a nation in decline than it is the actual cause of their fall. I think Rome fell because of a lack of accountability. Governors and armies were responsible for their little niche within the empire rather than being responsible to Rome for its overall defense. IE, the eastern empire survived and remained successful for a thousand more years where the rest fell. Lack of teamwork here people. There's no "I" in Rome. Satellite Communications and a digitized grid would've helped the Romans out a lot.
  4. Felix Marcellus

    Imitation Legions

    Info on King Juba The above link mentioned King Juba of Numidia supplying four of his legions to help the Pompeiians fight Caesar. So there's one example. I assume since they were the Numidian Kings legions that they were trained by him and not the Romans. But I don't know that for sure.
  5. Felix Marcellus

    Imitation Legions

    Disclaimer.... "Video Game" History contained in this post. OK, disclaimer is done. Now. I don't really know the answer to the topic question. This may lead someone to conduct further research and find an answer. I myself will look too. But in Rome Total War (and I think only in the Rome Total Realism MOD, but am not sure) the Numidians and Seleucids can recruit Imitation Legions. Now I do know Hannibal trained his troops like the legions after a certain amount of time fighting them. I do remember reading that. I don't know if it was so much him wanting to imitate their system or the fact that many of his troops were not well enough armed. So he took the captured Roman Arms and gave them to some of his men. And I guess the logic would be if you're going to arm yourselves like the Romans you have to train the way they fight to employ the weapons to their strengths.
  6. Felix Marcellus

    Surender Not Acceptable

    I hate the fact that I actually know something about this topic. Not strictly relevant to Rome but as an example that this does happen during warfare in some cultures. In '91 I was in Turkey/Northern Iraq for Operation Provide Comfort. I worked with Special Forces A-teams who were training the Kurdish guerrillas against the Iraqis. The Iraqis had been very harsh on the Kurds exterminating whole villages, gassing, raping, etc. The SF guys were pretty taken aback about the fact that the Kurds bragged about raping captured male Iraqi soldiers before executing them. Harsh and disturbing but apparently it happens in warfare even in our time. I agree. And I think many can't comprehend it because they think of rape as a sex driven event. Male on male rape in the situation you described above would be more an issue of humiliating your enemy. Think about the Abu Ghurayb pictures. If you think that's humiliating to an Arab, imagine how they'd have reacted if on top of all that the males were raped by other males. I personally cannot think of anything more humiliating than being violated by another man.
  7. Felix Marcellus

    New Total War Game

    I loved MTW when it came out. And really it is still a great game. Though, after playing Rome, it seems well below par. I don't play MTW campaigns anymore, but I do go back and fight custom battles every once in awhile. I love that medieval period. I can't wait for MTWII
  8. Felix Marcellus


    I agree with that. That kid who played young Alexander had a much more inspirational voice. Just the one line in the scene with Bucephalus where he said, "Buy him for me father". He had more passion in that one line than the veteran actor Farrell displayed in the entire movie.
  9. One theme I've pulled out of this thread is that the Parthians caused the Romans problems because of their horse archers. I would imagine that an infantry based military would have problems with them on the first encounter. But it seems to me that the counter to Horse Archers is not only obvious, but very easy execute. Simple. ARchers vs Horse Archers. Horses offer much larger targets than humans and therefore would be much easier targets. I would think that the Roman Auxiliary Archers would have no trouble dealing with horse archers. The second solution would be the Ballistae. Our resident Roman Army experts here can post more specifics than I can, but don't the Ballistae out range any bows of that era. Well placed Ballistae and archers covered by Infantry or Cavalry would easily counter Horse Archers and any Cavalry trying to take out the Roman Archers. And then there is the Roman ability to fortify their positions. THey could just dig in or form Testudo to mitigate the arrows. Meanwhile, send out some cavalry to set up ambushes for the Horse Archers. I can see where it would be a pain in the butt fighting Horse Archers, but being a nuisance doesn't necessarily equate to being a "worthy opponent" in my book.
  10. Felix Marcellus

    Hannibal's Invasion Of Italy

    A little off topic, but I just have to express myself. It's kind of funny to me. I just came from another discussion board that primarily discusses politics. This debate between Virgil and Spartan would've resulted in name calling and trollism. And it would've happened quick. I need to copy and paste your discussion into that board to show those bozos how to disagree while being agreeable. Great posts people. The best part about this site is most of you know what you're talking about and back it up. I think I can still count on one hand the number of discussions I've seen get heated. And even then nothing compared to other boards I've visited. My gratitude to all of you posting on this site, educating me and keeping it civilized.
  11. Felix Marcellus

    Caesar Vs Celts/germanic Tribes

    Nothing wrong with Vs threads provided they relate to Rome which this clearly does. So what do people think ? Were the Celts Caesar defeated a pathetic rable, as some anti Caesarians would have you think ? Is Caesars status as a general deserved ? Yes he deserves his status as a great general. THe Gauls may have been a rabble, but that doesn't take away the fact he conquered all of France with so few men while the Gauls were able to consistenty throw hundreds of thousands at him. Not to mention the other "rabble" he fought.... Pompey's legions. Caesar fought and defeated the best the world had to offer at the time.
  12. Felix Marcellus

    Alexanders Strategic Blunder?

    Felix, if you don't like these hypothetical threads, don't post in them. I love hypothetical threads. They're the best. I was just having some fun.
  13. Felix Marcellus

    Alexanders Strategic Blunder?

    What if Alexander didn't go east or west. What if he went north all the way up into Sarmatia and Germania Magna. But Alexander dies before the conquest is finished. THe Germans and Sarmatians ally to form a strong army made up of the phalanx (which they learned from their Macedonian antagonists) and excellent cavalry which I believe Sarmatia already had. Then Germania and Sarmatia move west and conquer Gaul and Iberia, then invade Rome. But then some brilliant Roman invents the M1A1 Abrams. Now the Germanians and Sarmatians are retreating back across the Rhine. But then a German invents the IED. NOw everybody's yelling at Bush to withdraw the troops. And John Kerry said, "Well, I voted for Caesar before I voted against him." Tom Delay said, "What illegally funded trip to Britannia?" But then Dick Durbin said, "The legionaires are Nazi's." Rumsfeld slapped him and said, "You dummy, the Nazis don't exist yet."
  14. The Romans ability to move faster than the Gauls could be attributed to factors other than physical ability. If you take charge of 100,000 men and I take charge of 40,000 men and we race our armies to a certain point, I'm going to beat your very large and cumbersome force. THe Gauls had to move in huge numbers. Seems to me that not until Napolean came around was a commander able to lead such huge numbers quickly and efficiently to a given location. Had Vercingetorix picked 40,000 of his best men he may well have been able to match the marching range and speed of the Romans. Who knows. I'll never believe the Romans were physically superior to anyone though. THey lost more than enough battles to disprove that theory. Discipline and Training won the many battles. Likewise, it prevented complete disaster in defeat. BUt the Roman Empire conquered due to manpower, resources and unrivaled stubborness. Ask Hannibal about Roman stubbornness. He got schooled in it.
  15. OK, well look at Roman Military History. THe Gauls sacked Rome long before Caesar conquered them. Where was the physical superiority there. Epirus managed to beat the Romans. THe Samnites even scored some victories against them. And need I even mention Hannibal? Surely such physically superior specimens would never lose a battle against such inferior humans. It is the system that allowed the Romans to survive these defeats. The leaders learned from their mistakes. Adjustments were made. More importantly, the system allowed for legions to be stood up and ready for combat in a short amount of time because the Standard Operating Procedures were already in place. Whereas other nations would've conscripted peasants, handed them a spear (if they were lucky) and prayed they could get a victory with such a rabble. Not the Romans. They could field force after force of professional soldiers almost at will. That has nothing to do with physical superiority. That's all organizational and management skill. The legion (not a Roman) extended the boundaries of the empire. I wouldn't doubt one bit that some later legions were entirely non-Roman. If not entirely non-Roman than largely non-Roman. Do you magically become physically superior when you join a Roman Legion? If so than I guess I agree with you. The Eastern Roman Empire certainly would've been mostly non-Roman. The Eastern Roman Empire lasted 1000 years beyond the western one. But the western one was physically superior. I don't get it. Please tell me you're just playing devil's advocate. What about the British. Will we one day find out they carved out a world wide empire because they were also physically superior? Or maybe that the Mongols were physically superior? You can't tell me the French under Napolean were physically superior. They were too short.