Sunday, December 18, 2016

Editio IV

(Off the coast of Italia in the Mare Tyrrhenum. 267 BC Summer) Admiral Brutus and the Classis I 'Misenensis' (Roman Fleet) had put into the port of Neopolis for refitting and rest after pursuing a Etruscan battle fleet to no effect. The Etruscan League fleet had been able to decline battle and disappeared out in the Mediterranean.

A Etruscan ship sinks while Admiral Brutas's
 flagship is totally surrounded
Intelligence had come into Brutus's hands however of other Etruscan fleets operating near the Italia coast northwest of Rome. The Classis I sailed out of port and northward up the coast and found a fleet of enemy transports. On a calm sunny sea the two forces deployed for battle.

The Romans opened fire and set-off the battle with their long range Quinguereme ships armed with ballista. Flaming projectiles soared up from the Roman line and hit home on the packed Etruscan League transports. The Etruscans only hope was to close with the enemy and use their bigger numbers in fighting men to survive.

Soon the two forces were tangled together. Roman ships firing javelin missiles and ballistas rounds while the Etruscans at every change grappled and then boarded for hand to hand combat. Admiral Brutus had done a poor job directing the fleet and actually got cut off in a swarm of Etruscan transports. Three of the Etruscan vessels grappled the Roman flagship and boarded. The Roman fighters were overwhelmed and Brutus was slain.

Three large Quinguereme ships abandoned their long range ballista fire and steeled them selves to charge the enemy. At flank speed with the rowers pulling at an brisk pace the large Quingueremes rammed into Etruscan transports. The battle which had been on a razors edge between defeat and victory turned in the Roman's favor. The whole Etruscan fleet was sunk. But this was a pirric victory for the Romans; they had lost their admiral and half the fleet while vanquishing an inferior foe.

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