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Old 08-29-2013, 06:59 AM
 
13,134 posts, read 40,628,085 times
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Originally Posted by salty dong View Post
dear posters I know I am a bit behind the times but I hope some of you pick this up
I live between the roman fort in mancetter and the roman camp 3 miles away protecting the site of pottery working
whilst there are no bones found on this site I am not surprised as the whole area has been
extensivley mined for roadstone . but I can confirm there has recently been dug up several romans in battle dress in the exact area of the battle there has also been a british chariot and burial dug up just outside the fort.
but this whole area floods really badly and the river moves about like a snake. allied to this a canal and a railway has been built straight through the site. The site which locals believe is where the brits are buried and the chariot has been found is OLDBURY intriguing huh
I'm curious as is this in reference to the ''Battle of Watling Street'' ?
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:56 AM
 
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In naval history, sand was spread on the decks before battle so that the sailors would not slip in the blood. I was in the navy, and I can picture myself watching the crew spread sand.........
And I can just wonder about the courage those sailors had as they sailed into the enemy line. They new the cannon fire was going to come in. If we only could see the devastation to the enemy fleets and their sailors say at the battle of Trafalgar.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
And I can just wonder about the courage those sailors had as they sailed into the enemy line. They new the cannon fire was going to come in. If we only could see the devastation to the enemy fleets and their sailors say at the battle of Trafalgar.
It must have been like hell on Earth. I think the lucky ones were those just killed by a cannon or musket ball. The unlucky ones were hit with random shrapnel from a musketoon or were covered in splinters. Either of those often led to infection followed by an amputation at best or a slow agonizing death at worst.
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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After the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, the bodies of the dead Texian defenders (180-200) were stacked up like cordwood and burned.
I believe the same thing was done with General Santa Anna's dead troops.

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Old 08-29-2013, 11:07 PM
 
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Quote:
It must have been like hell on Earth.
You know when you say that I think of the description in 'Neptune's Inferno' of the cruiser night action Nov 12-13 1942 off Guadalcanal. It was there that Admiral Callaghan with Task Force 57.4 met Rear Admiral Abe in a terrible battle. Both forces came at each other in line and were shooting at each other practically at point blank range. It was termed a blind, head-on collision in the dark. Guns were at the horizontal and shells were ripping through steel and hulls. At times ships did not even know who they were firing at in the din. Callaghan lost his life as well as most of his senior staff in the battle. It was brutal action. I guess if you think about most naval action is brutal under any circumstances.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
After the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, the bodies of the dead Texian defenders (180-200) were stacked up like cordwood and burned.
I believe the same thing was done with General Santa Anna's dead troops.
Interestingly, while it was likely standard procedure, given that there were in total more than a thousand bodies, it was also punishment. Some of the the defenders were from neighboring villages and families came to take the bodies home to bury. They were denied. Only one family was allowed to bring their son's body home.

For the texicans, it was also meant as symbolic punishment, dying and being disposed of with no recognition, the equivilant of medieveal wars leaving the enemy out in the field to rot.

Of course, it wasn't a strategic battle at all and Santa Anna could have rode past San Antonio and caught up with Houson before they were ready and it well might have ended entirely differently.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
After the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, the bodies of the dead Texian defenders (180-200) were stacked up like cordwood and burned.
I believe the same thing was done with General Santa Anna's dead troops.
Burning was pretty common throughout history. They would dig a shallow pit, pile in the corpses, let them burn and then fill in the pit. Sometimes natural features were used like tossing all the bodies into an area between two hills and then covering them with dirt. Sometimes the bodies were just left out to rot. In general though, it wasn't the winning army that was doing any of this work. From Greece to Napoleon it usually went something like this:

1. Winning soldiers loot the battlefield.
2. Camp followers loot the battlefield.
3. Local residents loot the battlefield.
4. Field hospital arrives and removes/cares for the wounded.
5. Local residents with perhaps the help of religious orders bury and/or burn the dead.

Step five was incredibly time consuming so unless there was an immediate reason to do it the bodies were often just left where they were. The former battlefields often ended up as very high yield farm plots years later and it was very common for the farmers to turn up bones while plowing. These were generally collected and then dumped in a shallow grave or river. If there was a monastary or church nearby the bones would sometimes find their way into a crypt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
You know when you say that I think of the description in 'Neptune's Inferno' of the cruiser night action Nov 12-13 1942 off Guadalcanal. It was there that Admiral Callaghan with Task Force 57.4 met Rear Admiral Abe in a terrible battle. Both forces came at each other in line and were shooting at each other practically at point blank range. It was termed a blind, head-on collision in the dark. Guns were at the horizontal and shells were ripping through steel and hulls. At times ships did not even know who they were firing at in the din. Callaghan lost his life as well as most of his senior staff in the battle. It was brutal action. I guess if you think about most naval action is brutal under any circumstances.
Naval battles are extremely intense, especially the close-in actions. It's the equivalent of two armies building fortifications a few yards apart and then blasting away at each other with cannons. Even that may not be a totally accurate analogy, as at least in the golden age of sail chances are the average field army had less cannons then a single ship-of-the-line.

I think what strikes me the most in naval combat, especially in the age of sail is the anticipation. Imagine being on HMS Victory at Trafalgar as you crossed the T. You would be lumbering toward the enemy line painfully slowly with the occasional shot splashing around you. You would slowly pull up to an enemy ship...waiting...waiting...waiting...and then everyone opens fire and the world explodes. Then back to waiting as cannons are re-loaded, the decks are cleared and the ships maneuver for another pass. A meeting engagement where broadsides were exchanged would be even more agonizing. On a clear day, the two ships could watch each other approaching for sometimes hours before they were in position to exchange fire for a few brief moments and then go back to maneuvering.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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I've been reading Rick Atkinson's victory trilogy this summer, I'm about a third of the way through "Guns At Last Light", the final volume. Just yesterday I came across a reference to the German retreat from Southern France after the Dragoon landings in August of 1944. The Allies had absolute air supremacy and did great butchery to the German units retreating up the Rhone Valley. The roads became so carpeted with German dead that pilots were reporting that they could smell them from 2500 feet on down. The retreat route became known as the "Avenue of Stenches."

Of course unlike the ancients,or Santa Anna for that matter, by the time of WW II the bulldozer was the popular solution to disposing of bodies. Dig a huge pit and shove em in like debris.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Naval battles are extremely intense, especially the close-in actions. It's the equivalent of two armies building fortifications a few yards apart and then blasting away at each other with cannons. Even that may not be a totally accurate analogy, as at least in the golden age of sail chances are the average field army had less cannons then a single ship-of-the-line.
I did read that those 'ships' of the time were considered to be the most awesome symbols of power and destruction for their time. I believe they were noted the largest 'machine-like' objects of their day. And you didn't want to be int he line of wehat they called 'raking' fire. Broadsides were bad enough but that kind of fire went the length of the ship and destroyed everything in its path. There was no 'wood' as such to stop the cannon balls.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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My Dad was in the Aleutian Campaign of 1943. I've got a couple photos he took of the trench burial of some of the Japanese dead after their final Banzai charge against the American lines in the Battle of Attu.
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