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Battle of the Tuetoberg Forest

Discussion in 'Strategy & Tactics' started by Rimasta, Sep 22, 2014.

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  1. Rimasta

    Rimasta Member

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    I hope I posted this in the correct area. I was curious about the aftermath of the Battle of Tuetoberg Forest. After the battle, Rome never reconstituted those three legions lost, nor did they stand up new legions, causing the size of the Roman Army to drop for many years. My question is, why did Rome do this? Did they lack money or manpower, was Rome preoccupied at the time?
    I'm curious about this because Rome was a state whose existence seemed to rely on military expansion, so why after a defeat, would Rome give up? Rome survived Hannibal, so why did they halt before Arminus? If anyone has some insight I'd appreciate it, I've been searching around and all I can find is what happended, not the reason behind retreating behind Rhine River.
     
  2. cdxbow

    cdxbow Member

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    IIRC the 18th was raised against Pompey, so was a relaviely young legion, I don't know about the others, but that may have had something to do with it. I think there are at broadly at least two main reasons. The first is simple, superstition. The Romans were are superstitious lot, and here were 3 legions wiped out, a very unusual loss for the Romans. Those numbers would be forever be associated with bad luck.

    The second refects the state and management of the empire. The end of Julio-Claudians wasn't a good time for 'senior management', and a period where a number of groups were pushing against the gain by Augusta & Tiberius. After Tiberius Rome had some of the worst emperors in history, true nutcases in Caligula & Nero, the ineffectual and manipulated Claudius, ending with the disastrous Year of Four Emperors. Throw in the poisonous mummy/wife from hell, Agrippina the younger, manipulating things in the background for a few generations and you don't have a recipe for good management, planning or foresight and ultimately expansion. You wouldn't let any of that lot run a school tuckshop, much less an empire. Interestingly, despite this, empire itself, in many ways, kept rolled along. Historical inertia?
     
  3. Rimasta

    Rimasta Member

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    I see. It always struck me as odd Rome didn't try again to move east across the Rhine, especially since Rome had suffered other military disasters and yet they carried the day in the end. The reasoning you have though makes sense, I appreciate you taking the time.
     
  4. LondoBell

    LondoBell New Member

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    Mot of the legions that existed at the time were combined from legions that Caesar and Pompey made (brought up for the Gallic wars, Civil war) and ones made by Octavian or Antony for the other civil war. So most of the legions were relatively "young". Also, the 18th legion was remade by Nero in the Greek style (crap ton of pikes and the sort) for a planned Parthian campaign that never happened. it later served in the year of the four emperors and was disbanded by Vespasian when he came to power.
     
  5. LondoBell

    LondoBell New Member

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    My conjecture is that there as simply nothing to gain. The Germans were a relatively uncivilized people. therefore there was nothing to gain. Also, it may have been because the lack of funds. Wars plagued Rome at the time, including the Pannonian war, which excerpted great stress on the Roman army.

    back to my conjecture. You may say, "then why did they go to Britain?"
    the Romans went to Britain purely for Claudius's ego, to stabilize his position and give him a few military successes to back up his throne.

    It also may have been because the Germans were generally good fighters, the AUR (Army of the Upper Rhine) and ALR (Army of the Lower Rhine) consisted of 4 legions each for a reason.
     
  6. Waylander

    Waylander Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The moscito infestedt swamps and deep forests were even less hospitable than the British Isles. And nothing to gain apart from the people itself.

    I fully understand them not to go at it full tilt again. And it's not like they never crossed the Rhine again. There were several punishiment expeditions to keep the barbarians in check just to full invasion.
     
  7. LondoBell

    LondoBell New Member

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    Yep, Germanicus Caesar led some expeditions across the Rhine, I think he recovered two of the three Eagles that were captured by the Germans from Varus's expedition.
     
  8. Rimasta

    Rimasta Member

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    What does that have to do with the Battle of the Tuetoberg Forest and Rome's decision to not reconstitute the three legions it lost?