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Viggen

WIN!!! Legio XVII: Battle of Zama

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Win a free download of Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War.

Comment or asks the author a question below and stand a chance to download it for free Legio XVII: Battle of Zama

 

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Author Thomas A. Timmes has agreed to give away three free copies of his latest eBook Legio XVII: Battle of Zama.  All you have to do is ask the author a question in this forum.  It may be a question about his Legio XVII book series, the 2nd Punic War, or about writing in general.  The author will answer each question and then pick the three best questions and announce the winners on July 1, 2015.

 

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Thomas A. Timmes, a 28 year active duty veteran of the U.S. Army, holds the Bronze Star for Valor and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for combat in Vietnam. He served with the 3rd and 8th Mechanized Infantry Divisions in Germany during the Cold War as an Infantry Platoon Leader, Company Commander, and Battalion and Brigade Operations Officer.

 

Tom has extensive experience with Military Psychological Operations as a Team Leader, an Executive Officer, and Battalion Commander of an airborne unit. Tom also served on the Department of the Army Staff and the Joint Staff in the Pentagon. After retiring as a Colonel, Tom joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense and was involved with the planning, deployment, and execution of numerous overseas military operations.

 

He worked in the Department of Defense for 42 years including 24 years in the Pentagon. Tom earned military and civilian awards including the Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Combat Infantryman's Badge, holds a Master's Degree in History, and is a member of the National History Honor Society.

 

In 2013, he was designated a Distinguished Member of the Psychological Operations Regiment. Tom is married and has five children and nine grandchildren.

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Thanks to the author for this giveaway.

My question would be why you choose to write your novels during the time period of ancient rome.

Thank you for asking an excellent question.  I addressed this question in the Preface to my first book, Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War, but upon reflection, I realized that a complete answer goes much deeper.  Your question really got me thinking because, I believe, it speaks to the much broader issue of what drives our interests, hobbies, and, perhaps, even our choice of employment.  I'm not sure how widely this may apply, but for me, Personality is behind so much of what motivates me to do what I do.

 

I like order, neatness, logical rules, an orderly progression of events, simplicity and justice, which is pretty hard to find in our world.  I found the order I was seeking by joining the Army.  We were a good match!  As I read about ancient Rome, I admired the Republican period as an era that shared my views.  To this day, I have little desire to read about the Imperial period or of Rome in decline.  I can't identify with it, too messy, whereas I feel comfortable with Rome in the 300-100 BC time period.  So, the short answer is that I'm more at home with Rome during the Punic and Gallic wars, than Rome of a later period.  Thanks for a thoughtful question!

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...first my sincere apologies, around 20 posts of the last week or so got deleted permanently and some

of those are also replies to this competition. I had to do an emergency server switch and in the process of

mixed I.P. adresses and new server this unforunately happend. I know of deleted posts by R.Walsh and

another gentleman from south africa who posted today. I am going to extend the competition for another

two weeks and rerun the promotion in order to give everyone a fair chance. Again i am very sorry

 

Sincerely

Vigen

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Good call Viggen.  Too bad about the server problem.  I remember Mr. Walsh's question, so it's not lost. 

 

This post addresses the missing question from the South African Armor officer.  First accept my congratulations for a long and distinguished career in the SANDF.  In the picture you posted, it appeared you were atop an Oliphant Mark Two tank?

 

You asked an interesting question, which as I recall, addressed Roman Officer training vis a vis the use of mercenaries by the Carthaginians as a possible reason for Roman victories in Spain and at Zama.

 

I scanned Vegetius and read several articles that discussed Roman Officer training.  Best I can determine is that there was no formal Roman Officer training and education programs like those that exist in most modern armies today.  There was no Roman equivalent of West Point, Officer Basic and Advance Courses, Command and General Staff College or Senior Service Colleges not to mention the innumerable shorter courses most Officers are required to attend.

 

It appears that Roman leaders learned their skills via on-the-job training.  Fathers took their Roman sons on campaigns to begin the process and individuals were appointed to leadership positions to observe and learn.

 

Despite this lack of formal training and education, the Roman Officer corps performed admirably.  I attribute this to the corps of professional officers in lower, but highly influential, leadership positions such as the Centurions.  A few intangible factors also contributed to Roman Army success.  The men were similarly trained and equipped.  They were disciplined and physically conditioned.  They had esprit de corps, knew the man on their left and right, fought for one another, trusted their leadership, and were subsequently honored for their service.

 

Use of mercenaries presents a whole host of problems including language incompatibility, differing tactics and weapons, questionable loyalty and physical stamina, and lack of common command and control techniques, to name a few.

 

For these reasons, I agree with your hypothesis that a homogenous army has the advantage over an army comprised mostly of mercenaries from several different cultures.

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...this competition is on hold due to technical issues and will be repeated soon, all entries up today automatically enter the follow up contest.

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