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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Ancient Era

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The Ancient Era Discuss Ancient Warfare! Romans, Carthaginians, Greeks, etc.

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  #31  
Old 15 Sep 17, 16:23
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Roman soldiers did need to deploy a range of skills other than skill at arms and I think it's fairly likely that an auxiliary cohort at a frontier post would have had the services of armourers, saddlers, farriers, etc, although possibly not a swordsmith.

Issue weaponry would presumably have come up with other ordnance stores mades at government works father south.
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  #32  
Old 15 Sep 17, 17:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Hadrian's Wall was a strategic failure. How much money was used protecting Roman territory from relatively few peoples? Better to conquer Scotland like Wales. Rome never impacted upon the Pays de Galles with its usual infra structure. Wales gained increased trade without increased government input, and the Welsh loved them for it. Edward 1 even designed a major PoW castle around the fact that Rome was considered more than decent by the locals in the second millennium AD.
Severus tried. It cost 50,000 men and god knows how much money. It simply was not worth the effort. And as Mark pointed out, it wasn't the Berlin Wall. It was there to regulate trade (that donkey load of goods you want to move south needs to go through a gate and pay tax), deter small time raids, and also was a great piece of Imperial Roman propaganda.

Strategically it did it's job very well for over 250 years.
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  #33  
Old 15 Sep 17, 18:09
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
Wild speculation again. As I said before the military are still notorious for profligacy when it comes to dumping broken equipment and just because the metal fittings are intact doesn't mean that the leather etc was. It may just have been easier to dump the broken kit and draw new ones from store than to salvage the metal.
Tale of Washington's retreat from New York: while retreating south on a ridge parallel to the Hackensack River, soldiers who were tired of carrying large iron cauldrons used to prepare meals casually let the cauldrons roll gently down the ridge and into the river, such was the profligacy of an army that had quite little in the way of provisions.

Between 400 and 410 AD, did Roman authority in Britain slowly erode, or did it come to a quick and discernible end? If it was the former, then could it be that the soldiers manning Hadrian's Wall, who likely hadn't been paid in quite some time, simply deserted their posts, walked off with whatever gear they fancied, and left the rest -- the stuff being found by archeologists today?
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  #34  
Old 15 Sep 17, 18:19
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Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
Tale of Washington's retreat from New York: while retreating south on a ridge parallel to the Hackensack River, soldiers who were tired of carrying large iron cauldrons used to prepare meals casually let the cauldrons roll gently down the ridge and into the river, such was the profligacy of an army that had quite little in the way of provisions.

Between 400 and 410 AD, did Roman authority in Britain slowly erode, or did it come to a quick and discernible end? If it was the former, then could it be that the soldiers manning Hadrian's Wall, who likely hadn't been paid in quite some time, simply deserted their posts, walked off with whatever gear they fancied, and left the rest -- the stuff being found by archeologists today?
Britain had been slipping for sometime, but the legions were never pushed out - they were taken to Gaul to support yet another pretender to the Purple... and never returned. The message from Rome was 'Um... we have our own problems right now, but once they are done we will send them back. We promise. Really'

Gaul and Hispania had been overrun on new years day a couple of years earlier, and the western empire was under threat externally and internally. Those legions were never going to go home because so many more important places were being smacked around.

Not lost. Abandoned.
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  #35  
Old 15 Sep 17, 18:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
Hadrian's Wall was a strategic failure. How much money was used protecting Roman territory from relatively few peoples? Better to conquer Scotland like Wales. Rome never impacted upon the Pays de Galles with its usual infra structure. Wales gained increased trade without increased government input, and the Welsh loved them for it. Edward 1 even designed a major PoW castle around the fact that Rome was considered more than decent by the locals in the second millennium AD.
Wasn't Agricola on the wa to conquering what would become Scotland when he was recalled to Rome due to the Emperor's jealousy?
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  #36  
Old 15 Sep 17, 23:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojik View Post
Severus tried. It cost 50,000 men and god knows how much money. It simply was not worth the effort. And as Mark pointed out, it wasn't the Berlin Wall. It was there to regulate trade (that donkey load of goods you want to move south needs to go through a gate and pay tax), deter small time raids, and also was a great piece of Imperial Roman propaganda.

Strategically it did it's job very well for over 250 years.
I thought the wall was steep enough and high enough to keep cattle and sheep from going over it. These animals were the status symbols of a wealthy tribe member. I don't see that many herds in between Hadrian's and Antonine's Walls. If your chance of primo booty is decreased badly there is less enthusiasm to go on raids across the wall.

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  #37  
Old 16 Sep 17, 01:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowygerry View Post
Sure, but the fun in archeology is taking the evidence found and weaving a plausible story around it,

"What now could have caused the Roman soldiers on the extreme border of the Empire to leave perfectly usable gear behind ?"

The realistic answer is no doubt - as pointed out above -

"**** happens - now, as it did then..."

But that's no good for a military history board is it
In 1978, my platoon leader lost his M-16 at our bivouac site in the Wildflecken training area. Lost. His. Weapon. Lost it! Our platoon had to stay behind and police the site for 3 hours until, fortunately, someone found it.

It's perfectly reasonable to me that a Roman soldier could lose a sword.

Just as reasonable that it was a damaged sword and not worth carrying out.
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  #38  
Old 16 Sep 17, 05:04
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Thumbs up

Kind of reminds me of the Plod who put his MP5 on the roof of his Police car while he put some kit in it, got in and drove off. A little old lady toddled into the nick toting said MP5 and said to the desk Sergeant...

"Is this one of yours dear, it was lying in the road outside?"

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