Sunday, December 18, 2016

Editio V.

(Off the coast of Italia in the Mare Tyrrhenum. 272 BC Fall) With Admiral Brutus lost, the new commander of the Classis I 'Misenensis' was Sextus Luculles. The fleet had barely time to put in effect what repairs they could and once gain the Roman force set sail northward up the Italia coastline. This sortie found the Classis I with only six ships, but along with them sailed the Legio III 'Libertrix' in transports.

An Etruscan ship on fire. Note Roman ship ramming.
The goal of the sortie was to get the 3rd Legion ashore on the Corsica Island. There the Legion would support the 1st and 2nd Legions already going ashore on the northwest tip of Corsica. The Roman Legions would then be ready to battle for the last Etruscan city of Alalia.

The Roman fleet first encountered three Etruscan fleets off the shores of Corsica, Admiral Luculles decided discretion was the better part of valor and fled towards Italia. In sight of land Luculles noticed that one of the Etruscan fleets had advanced to far to receive the support of the other Etruscan Fleets. He turned back towards the foe and initiated combat.

With Naval battleships and a whole Legion on transports the Romans had the advantage. But again poor command decisions and awful maneuvers hamstrung the Romans. The second Roman Admiral in a year found himself surrounded and Luculles went down with his ship. But the preponderance of force for the Romans made itself felt and the Etruscans were ground down to two ships, which successfully fled the engagement. The battle was a tactical failure, but a strategic success for the Romans. While the Etruscans were tied up the 1st and 2nd Legions landed and marched south towards Alalia on the Island of Corsica.
A roman ship of war finds itself entangled with two Etruscan transports. The red clad roman marines can be seen
holding against the boarding Etruscans.  

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