Sunday, March 04, 2018

The Most Decisive Ancient Naval Battles

via War History Online.
241 BCE: Battle of the Egadi/Aegates Islands

Though many of the battles are relatively unknown, the first Punic War between Rome and Carthage was a titanic struggle that would decide the ruler of the Western Mediterranean. The struggle was mainly for control of Sicily and while land battles were fought, the war largely revolved around vast naval battles.

The Romans were new to large-scale naval combat while the Carthaginians were descendants from the sea-mastering Phoenicians and had proud naval traditions. Initially met with several defeats, the Romans invented the spiked Corvus bridge to link to enemy vessels and let their superior swordsmanship shine. This proved costly however as the heavy bridges led to the loss of over 100,000 men through storms alone.
Story here. 

I'm not at all good on ancient naval battles (especially those in Asia...the ancient Koreans and Japanese had some EPIC at sea fighting!) but I've always wondered if this fight didn't birth the idea of the "original" Marines.

You know.  The idea of boarding ships in the middle of fight and going man on man to find out who gets to see the next sunrise....

All that leads me to this.  Is there a part to play for aggressive boarding parties in a major war today.  Not against pirates but against a peer foe.

Consider this.

The US Navy is pushing the idea of independent ship operations.  Could an enemy force (the Chinese) at the start of hostilities decide to launch an operation to grab one of those ships operating alone and steal her secrets?

I'm not even sure we would consider it an automatic act of war.  I'm guessing that the calls for calm would be heard worldwide, that Trump needs to find a peaceful solution and if they played it correctly, meaning that they blamed a local commander and stated they would return the ship and survivors as soon as the UN game by accusing the US of doing whatever wrong...allowing the Red Cross to visit the prisoners...while they steal anything onboard the ship that gave a clue to codes, networks, and other things.

And after that dance has been played out they strike with no mercy.

I know it sounds crazy but in this political climate I think it could EASILY work.

Side note.  I think the Russians would just blast it with trons and drive the crew batshit crazy!  Just joking...had to take a stab at the Russia-phobes.

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