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Marching camp construction
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(01-10-2019, 04:00 PM)Stug50 Wrote: Thanks for responding, your thoughts on this are very interesting. I had initially wondered if during a march through a hostile area a decision would have been made to locate a camp whilst on route, (a sort of snap decision, here will do) it strikes me that sending out an advanced party to scout for a potential marching camp site would have been an extremely risky business, if for example the scouting party were spotted in a particular area, it could be an obvious sign that the main body of the army was heading in that general direction
Thanks for asking the question.

I totally agree with what your saying about the risk of moving. I ended up writing a massive reply, but I thought when I looked at it, it didn't address your question and was over the top so I cut it.

Like you I am having problems reconciling the idea of the ruthless invincible fighting machine  on the battlefield - with the extremely vulnerable long thin line of people moving from one camp to another. It's so obvious that all an enemy has to do is wait for the Romans to attempt to move from one camp to the next (unbuilt) one and given the line is so vulnerable its game over for the Romans.

(01-10-2019, 04:00 PM)Stug50 Wrote: .... setting out the camp is spot on but it does all sound very time consuming, given your list of components required to complete the camp I imagine that the outer defences would have been of vital importance and would have been the first thing to be constructed, the rest would have been marked out and completed as time permitted.
I've surveyed 1km x 100m piece of woodland, and even though it was quite overgrown, it isn't as difficult as you might imagine once you've worked out the system.

The basics are this:

You place two flags on the "line". Then you walk into the wood as far as you can (50m?) and put in another flag in line with the first two. You then repeat to make a line as long as you like. It's normally within a m over 1km which is good enough. Then you set out lines at right angles - aligning one side of a right angle along the initial line - and marking the perpendicular with another flag. When practised, you can place flags almost as quickly as you can walk. A camp 600x400 has 2km of earthworks. So it can probably be set out in 0.5-1hour (depending on the density of vegetation).  

(01-10-2019, 04:00 PM)Stug50 Wrote:  There must have been lookouts placed some considerable distance from the camp to give early warning of potential threats especially whilst the men were preoccupied with the construction of the camp. I suppose that we mustn’t forget that the Roman army were masters at moving through hostile territory and they would have had marching camp construction down to a fine art.
It hadn't occurred to me to place lookouts! (LOL)

I used to play Rome Total war and always wondered why anyone with bother with light calvary in an army as they were almost useless in a battle. However, as a result of your question, I'm now seeing more and more uses for light cavalry. I suggested sending out small units the day before the move to travel around 90miles (30miles out, 30miles Scouting, 30miles back). They need to go out in all likely directions the enemy may come from. They can't go out each day, so if you assume a 4 groups of 3 ,on two days that's 24. If you then also have them posted as look outs on the day, that might be another couple of dozen. If you're also using them as messengers, and you're actively spying on enemy strongholds  ... the numbers soon start mounting up.

Thanks for the question. I think I've been misled by the Rome Total war experience where you only play the battle itself and you can see everything clearly on a map. But the bit it misses out: the logistics of moving from one camp to the next are really complex.
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Messages In This Thread
Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-09-2019, 11:27 AM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-09-2019, 04:25 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by agrimensor - 01-10-2019, 08:21 AM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-10-2019, 01:36 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-10-2019, 04:00 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-10-2019, 09:00 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-10-2019, 10:24 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-11-2019, 10:32 AM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-11-2019, 11:07 AM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-11-2019, 10:50 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-11-2019, 11:22 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-12-2019, 01:01 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-13-2019, 12:01 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-13-2019, 01:25 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by MonsGraupius - 01-13-2019, 06:00 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-13-2019, 07:01 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Nathan Ross - 01-13-2019, 07:45 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-13-2019, 08:37 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Steve Kaye - 01-15-2019, 01:49 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Stug50 - 01-15-2019, 09:39 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Mark Hygate - 01-15-2019, 08:02 PM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Mark Hygate - 01-16-2019, 10:55 AM
RE: Marching camp construction - by Damian Roe - 03-08-2019, 04:25 PM

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