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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
"Trolling"   ouch, a very serious accusation I'm glad you know me better.

At no point do I suggest the "guys doing the damage" are pedestrian, I am assuming there are rebellious young Brits on horseback and chariots able to move without the impediment of a horde. Such groups could easily sack a deserted London or St Albans and provide a harrying effect on Paulinus' group. In assuming they can go fast so at 30-40 miles a day I am working inside the thresholds you (Vindex) set in 2010;

"I've seen a reference somwhere (Hyland?) for cavalry doing up to 80km in a forced march (quite feasible) but I don't have my book to hand. I'll look it up later, but it's in her book Equus (off the top of my head)." Vindex Feb 2010. http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-21026.html

If they had hardened and motivated pedestrians I think this would probably be a better measure, ok, only 25 miles a day, but then again I wasn't basing my initial statement on pedestrians;
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_Cambrian_Patrol

or 54 miles in 24 hours
http://www.soldierscharity.org/events/the-cateran-yomp/

Throughout the debate, well before the thread, the topic has been constrained by "marching mathematics" Webster, Marix-Evans and Appleby have all relied heavily on this method. Sorry if questioning this approach, (mode, speed or route) undermines the threads credibility, fingers crossed I don't get a ban for heresy. For what it's worth I think a protracted discussion about timelines that concludes with a statement that a rebellion on which the lives and fates of entire tribes depended is constrained to a movement rate of a mere 8 miles a day needs to be challenged, it is too relaxed and entirely lacks the urgency which would accompany any rebellion, but I guess that's what happens when fighting wars 2000 years late from the comfort of an armchair.

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My quote was "off the top of my head" and was in the context of logistics required to support such things.

If I misread it then I apologise but it was not very clear to me that it was cavalry or mounted infantry I edited my post to remove vehicles as I assumed no one would expect roads to be of such a good standard to allow that sort of rate of travel.

By the bye, where would the "guys doing the damge" get all the horses from?
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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(01-10-2016, 10:00 AM)John1 Wrote: I think a protracted discussion about timelines that concludes with a statement that a rebellion on which the lives and fates of entire tribes is constrained to a movement rate of a mere 8 miles a day needs to be challenged, it is too relaxed and entirely lacks the urgency which would accompany any rebellion

What you cannot get away from is that wives and wagons were present at the final battle and those in sufficient numbers as to impede the retreat of the rebel army. They would have got there at the speed at which draught animals, plausibly oxen, will travel which, again plausibly, has been put at eight miles a day. I do not at all discount the likelihood that elements of the warband could have raided and foraged some miles ahead and to the sides of the line of advance, although other elements would almost certainly remained behind to defend the column of wagons, if necessary. What is almost vanishingly unlikely is that the raiding elements would have advanced 30 or 40 miles ahead of the main body and then had to wait for three or four days for it to catch up. What is far more likely is that the raiding parties would have remained in contact with the main body and returned to it each night with their spoils. The speed of a convoy is the speed of the slowest member, in this case the wagons.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
"My quote was "off the top of my head" and was in the context of logistics required to support such things."
Your quote was in line with the views of other commentators on that thread, what would your "not off the top of your head" view be now? 50 miles seemed to be the consensus. As a pedestrian, a couple of weeks ago I did 15 miles in 4 hours, old, unfit, living a soft life and capable of further if it hadn't been school run time, in my youth I was capable of 40 miles in 10 hours, I have a certificate somewhere, but I'm not sure that would be admissable as evidence here.

"where would the "guys doing the damage" get all the horses from?"
By the time of a post Colchester mobile phase I would guess their own and any they could find in Norfolk, Suffolk and a big chunk of Essex. How many would they need 100? 1000? maybe no more than that. Seems viable to me, do you have a different view, is there something I'm missing about the presence of horses at the time?

"you cannot get away from is that wives and wagons were present at the final battle"
Sure, but it doesn't mean they were in the vanguard or that they were driven all the way from Norfolk or that the lead units had the patience to wait for them. How many waggons would it take to choke the approach to any of the candidate sites? 8 meters per wagon could fill the choke point at Church Stowe (325m) with 40 waggons, 20 waggons if there are 50% opennings which would certainly still impede a fleeing horde, we should be careful not to over egg the "convoy" size as a determinant of anything.

   

"almost vanishingly unlikely is that the raiding elements would have advanced 30 or 40 miles ahead of the main body"
Well that's your opinion, you have a "main body", which is again your opinion. It's vanishingly unlikely that there wouldn't be scouting group and independent booty hunters quite close to Roman columns/sites. So how big does a group of mounted raiders have to be to be viable, 5, 10, 20, 100, 1000, all viable if a final force of 250,000 or even 25,000 is the real number.

"What is far more likely is that the raiding parties would have remained in contact with the main body and returned to it each night with their spoils. The speed of a convoy is the speed of the slowest member, in this case the wagons."
A mixed confederation of pumped up 20 year olds looking for a fight and a reputation, going home for tea and waiting for granny in her waggon? I doubt this, too cautious by far in a country with 4 million or fewer inhabitants, loads of space to roam and raid away from the apparently lumbering Roman Army. I think you are using convoy assumptions that are wise now, or even then, in the case of the Romans, but a scratch horde is probably advancing and foraging at their own marching pace with little central organisation.

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(01-10-2016, 02:20 PM)John1 Wrote: it doesn't mean... they were driven all the way from Norfolk

They would still have needed wagons to transport the plunder of Colchester; whether they seized them there or brought them from home is immaterial.



(01-10-2016, 02:20 PM)John1 Wrote: a scratch horde is probably advancing and foraging at their own marching pace with little central organisation.


Precisely!

There may well have been foragers or scouts moving ahead of the main body of rebels, but they would not have attacked a Roman force of ten thousand unsupported. Since we're talking about the speed it would have taken the main force to reach London from Colchester, and then the battle site from London, we must, as Michael says, base our estimates on the slowest elements.

What's this curious obsession with tea and packed lunches about anyway? Are you still thinking about your sausages?
Nathan Ross
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"needed wagons to transport the plunder of Colchester"  
and then taken it back to Iceni land rather than deeper into enemy territory. It doesn't mean we have a single MASSIVE horde dictated to by the logistics guys insisting all plunder was retained with the group as it went walk about. Any self respecting pillager would be off home to bank the spoils before heading out for more with more friends and relatives who had missed the first round.

"but they would not have attacked a Roman force of ten thousand unsupported."
I don't think anyone is suggesting they did. I'm quite comfortable with some of them torching a deserted London or St Albans, and even being a pain to Paulinus' London trip.

"we must, as Michael says, base our estimates on the slowest elements."
Only if we buy into a single horde plodding around the country and sticking tight together, and some of us don't. (trying hard not to use the P word but you are testing my resolve)

"Since we're talking about the speed it would have taken the main force to reach London from Colchester"
I'm not. 
After Colchester we don't know who went where in what numbers. I still think it's very possible that after Colchester most of the force went home with their plunder and reformed at a later date to sort out Paulinus. This opens up an entirely different geography and time line for the final battle.

"still thinking about your sausages?"
Steady, I thought we agreed no more sausages or packed lunches !!!!!! Doing a great line in Chocolate Brownies today though.

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(01-10-2016, 02:20 PM)John1 Wrote: How many waggons would it take to choke the approach to any of the candidate sites? 8 meters per wagon could fill the choke point at Church Stowe (325m) with 40 waggons, 20 waggons if there are 50% opennings which would certainly still impede a fleeing horde

Nathan has dealt with most of the points that I would have made, so I will concentrate on this one. We are not talking about 'choke points', are we? Read your Tacitus: . . . quae super extremum ambitum campi posuerant, '. . . which they had placed on the extreme edge of the plain.' They must have been there in considerable numbers because, despite their position, they still blocked the warriors' escape.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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(01-10-2016, 05:00 PM)Renatus Wrote:
(01-10-2016, 02:20 PM)John1 Wrote: How many waggons would it take to choke the approach to any of the candidate sites? 8 meters per wagon could fill the choke point at Church Stowe (325m) with 40 waggons, 20 waggons if there are 50% opennings which would certainly still impede a fleeing horde

Nathan has dealt with most of the points that I would have made, so I will concentrate on this one. We are not talking about 'choke points', are we? Read your Tacitus: . . . quae super extremum ambitum campi posuerant, '. . . which they had placed on the extreme edge of the plain.' They must have been there in considerable numbers because, despite their position, they still blocked the warriors' escape.

So would you give us a number and location based on your preferred site? 10? 50? 100? 1000? 10000? Latin's lovely but how about some geography?

As for "choke point" it must have been a narrow point the fleeing horde had to pass through or they would have gone around it, terrain beats latin on this one.
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(01-10-2016, 04:47 PM)John1 Wrote: Any self respecting pillager would be off home to bank the spoils before heading out for more with more friends and relatives who had missed the first round . . . Only if we buy into a single horde plodding around the country and sticking tight together, and some of us don't . . . I still think it's very possible that after Colchester most of the force went home with their plunder and reformed at a later date to sort out Paulinus. This opens up an entirely different geography and time line for the final battle.

Where in the sources do you find support for any of this?

(01-10-2016, 05:08 PM)John1 Wrote: Latin's lovely but how about some geography? . . . terrain beats latin on this one.

But it doesn't beat history - unless you want to rewrite it, of course.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
Reply
"Where in the sources do you find support for any of this?" 

same place you are finding a single big horde stomping around Roman roads and not daring to go away from that main body which may or may not exist....between the lines.




"But it doesn't beat history - unless you want to rewrite it, of course."

In this case it probably does, history does not tell us where the battlefield is located, so we are obliged to work with location and topography instead, that would be geography. If the battlefield is found then history is made and the gaps in the text can be written, no re-writing required, just more illumination on limited and questionable historical texts.


Got that waggon location and capacity plan for Tring yet?
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(01-10-2016, 02:20 PM)John1 Wrote: "My quote was "off the top of my head" and was in the context of logistics required to support such things."
Your quote was in line with the views of other commentators on that thread, what would your "not off the top of your head" view be now? 50 miles seemed to be the consensus. As a pedestrian, a couple of weeks ago I did 15 miles in 4 hours, old, unfit, living a soft life and capable of further if it hadn't been school run time, in my youth I was capable of 40 miles in 10 hours, I have a certificate somewhere, but I'm not sure that would be admissable as evidence here.


78040

From the link you quoted :

"Edit:

I have now found my Hyland reference as mentioned above. (Equus page 192ff) The 80km a day (50 miles) is associated with Gallienus' rapid strike force. "

Please note, "rapid strike force" not a continuous day-in , day-out movement as you are implying here.

A native British pony of the time is certainly no more than 15hh probably more a pony of 14hh and upwards. I would doubt such a pony could move quickly across country over several days carrying a man plus whatever weaponry and armour he had. It would collapse or go lame, more than likely, after three or four days of such treatment. It could then become part of the fresh meat ration, of course.
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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"day-in , day-out movement as you are implying here."

I didn't think I was implying that at all. 
The 30-40 mile range I state (not 50) is a one off day travel and strike, then maybe a few days off licking wounds enjoying spoil, after all day in day out at 50 miles would put them up in Scotland in no time...... I would also think that pillaged mounts were a disposal commodity to be ridden hard and treated mean. That one 50 mile rapid strike, is equivalent to a week of the 8 mile a day model, this  demonstrates the degree of flexibility there has to be in these time/distance models. They are not the anchor that everyone from Webster to the thread is suggesting.
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Renatus wrote:

 

What you cannot get away from is that wives and wagons were present at the final battle and those in sufficient numbers as to impede the retreat of the rebel army. They would have got there at the speed at which draught animals, plausibly oxen, will travel which, again plausibly, has been put at eight miles a day. 


The problem here is that there appears to be that there are different interpretations not of only the "horde" but of the movement of Boudica and her forces.

 

John and I are of the opinion that Boudica and her military forces returned to their homelands after destroying Colchester and awaited further developments, whilst others are of differing opinions.

 

These range between the whole tribe of the Iceni (and the Trinovantes and others?) moving on after razing Colchester to the ground and then wandering on to London pillaging the whole way, then destroying London and its remnants of defenders and then perhaps following SP to St Albans...... gathering forces the whole way....... or plodding along half drunk on booze and exhilaration with their oxen to take on those Romans.

 

It is in my opinion more complex than the latter.

 

The locals had been fighting the Romans since Caesar's invasions a century before and understood their tactics.

 

What was noticeable in the first invasion in 55BC that although the Legions were able to beat the locals in a structured battle they couldn't finish the job because they had little cavalry and the Brythons would retreat swiftly to fight another day.

 

On his second invasion Caesar brought 1700 cavalry with him and was far more successful in defeating the Brythonic infantry. This forced the opposing general Cassivellaunus to send his infantry home and carry on the fight with his cavalry and 4,000 chariots. 

 

With this force he harried Caesar all the way to near St Albans and never fought a pitched battle again actually negotiating a cease fire with Caesar and payng only a few reparations.

 

The Brythons were swift and used to fighting with their warbands of cavalry and chariots.

 

I agree with John that it would have been quite possible for the mounted warbands to have travelled from the Trinovantes or Iceni homelands to either London or St Albans in 3 days and there may have been many hundreds or even thousands of warriors in a number of warbands originally protecting their borders from a Roman counter attack after the rebellion against Colchester.

 

If it is being assumed that the Roman cavalry could do 30 miles a day, so could the Brythons.


Also both London and St Albans had been emptied / evacuated of any major fighting force.



Wagons and women were at the final battle but I am not sure that these were necessarily wives and no children or families are mentioned at all.

 

If these were young women they would be able to travel quickly with the men and they may have travelled on wagons drawn by horses and not by oxen.  

 
Having said that I agree that the Roman army and their refugees would have been able to escape the infantry and wagons but this may have been at the risk of being badly mauled by the war bands. This, in my opinion, was a risk that SP was not prepared to take and which is why he found somewhere to fight…..


 

Vindex wrote:

 

If I misread it then I apologise but it was not very clear to me that it was cavalry or mounted infantry I edited my post to remove vehicles as I assumed no one would expect roads to be of such a good standard to allow that sort of rate of travel.

 

The archeological reconstruction of the “Wetwang Chariot” shows that these vehicles were extremely agile and didn’t need metalled roads. Again referring to Caesar there were chariots which the Brythons used to great effect without Roman roads.

 

 

Vindex wrote:

 

By the bye, where would the "guys doing the damage" get all the horses from?

 

I think that the Brythonic society may well have been “horse based”.  On the coins it is noticeable that the symbols are often wheat on one side and a horse on the other.

 

Perhaps this was an indication of their power base and their pride.

 

As a further reflection it would be  interesting to understand why the fort at Lunt with its equestrian centre was built sometimes in the AD60s – perhaps to train captured horses?

 

Cheers - Deryk

PS: Happy New Year     Smile  

 
Deryk
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(01-10-2016, 04:47 PM)John1 Wrote: After Colchester we don't know who went where in what numbers. I still think it's very possible that after Colchester most of the force went home with their plunder and reformed at a later date to sort out Paulinus.

But why would Paulinus have first marched down to London, thought about fighting a battle there, and then evacuated it together with much of the population if the rebels were not approaching the city in considerable force?

There were almost certainly a number of smaller rebel bands, some operating fairly independently. But if the rebels had scattered after the sack of Colchester Paulinus could have dealt with them piecemeal, and it would have become a guerilla-style counter-insurgency campaign. We know, however (if we believe Tacitus at all!) that the conclusive battle featured a very large horde of rebels all together in the same place. And if they were travelling with wagons and women this was surely no rapid strike force.


(01-10-2016, 06:47 PM)Theoderic Wrote: Wagons and women were at the final battle but I am not sure that these were necessarily wives and no children or families are mentioned at all.

The word Tacitus uses is coniuges. That usually denotes wives, I think. But yes, it would have been clearer if he'd mentioned families too - however, we must assume, I think, that many married couples would not have wanted to leave their children back at home with the old people and in-laws!


(01-10-2016, 05:08 PM)John1 Wrote: As for "choke point" it must have been a narrow point fleeing horde had to pass through or they would have gone around it, terrain beats latin on this one.

I've suggested before that Tacitus may have been exaggerating the point about the wagons 'blocking the exits to the plain' - unless we're talking about a huge number of vehicles! A routed army will tend to flee towards its baggage camp, especially if there are wives and others in danger. If the Romans were following close behind this may have accounted for the resulting slaughter.

Meanwhile, I could point out that my Dunstable site features both a 'plain' and a 'choke point', if one is required! [Image: wink.png]
Nathan Ross
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"if the rebels were not approaching the city in considerable force?"
Maybe he thought they were, maybe he thought they might, either way he didn't see it as a good place to make a stand. 
(He probably wanted to be near the bulk of his troops and new garrisons up at the RV on Watling Street...... Wink )

"But if the rebels had scattered after the sack of Colchester Paulinus could have dealt with them piecemeal,"
Or he could hold a position north on Wating Street to gather his forces and strike at Iceni territory from the North West. Following them up from the south leads to a pitched battle on the Iceni home turf in a place of their choosing and giving them maximum access to men, material and morale. Returning to safe Iceni territory is not "scattering" rather falling back to a secure base.

"the conclusive battle featured a very large horde of rebels all together in the same place."
Yes I believe Tacitus, but mustering a force of the scale he suggests, having swollen its numbers since Colchester would have taken time, it's unlikely they would have broken off a route march and gone straight into contact. A muster of either side is likely to have taken days.

"many married couples would not have wanted to leave their children back at home with the old people and in-laws!"
you have to be kidding, that sounds like paradise (spoken as a father of 7 year old twins)

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