Friday, May 09, 2008

Infighting breaks out between Alanican units (Campaign 96)


The month of Augusta started well for Alanicus, who celebrated a vast wine yield. moral was high and his troops seemed to sense a victory in the air. It was in this month that the Army of Anotolia was brought up to full strength and mobilized into action for his cause.

With such high numbers of new troops in the East, the province of Arabia soon sent envoys to seek peace and join the growing Alanican Empire. Alanicus paid their top officials anyway to cement the peace and guarantee their loyalty in the coming months. However, all these new factors came into play in a very unexpected and unwelcome way for Alanicus, who was still in Egypt.
The large bodies of newly raised troops in the provinces mixed with the vast quantities of fresh wine, led to an out break of fighting between members of the 6th Farrata and the new Auxiliary units garrisoned in the area. The fighting had started after a friendly wrestling match had turned nasty, when a legionary had been mocked for losing. By the time Alanicus received word of the infighting, hundreds of Auxiliaries and legionaries were unfit for duty due to the brawling and there were reports of forty deaths.
Alanicus was not happy! From Egypt, he sent orders to the Army of Anotolia to prepare for action at once. "Busy soldiers are less likely to hack each other to pieces" announced Alanicus as he studied his charts of Syria. With this much pent up aggression floating around his units, Alanicus knew the time had come to let them lose on the enemy. Alanicus set the army of Anatolia into motion across the deserts of Syria to re-enforce him in Egypt. With Tullician forces arriving daily in Aegyptus, Alanicus prayed to the Gods that it would make good time and reach him before the main attack started.

2 comments:

Scutatus said...

(As recorded by Paulus the Scribe during the Administration of Alanicus in Egyptus)

It is said that upon hearing of his squabbling forces Alanicus entered into a writhing fit of apoplectic frenzy. Three Egyptian slave girls and a eunuch lost their lives that day and the closest Sarmatian bodyguard found himself banished to the remotest outpost on the eastern frontier.

Alanicus ranted for many a long hour, but when he finally calmed down enough to be understood he gave instruction for the following words to be recorded:

"I am not happy! I bring my forces to the Egyptian paradise and this is how they repay me? I give them wealth, women and wine and they thank me with squabbling?! Forty deaths? Forty pointless deaths? For what? For a meaningless wine induced camp squabble? Yet again my forces fight amongst themselves, squandering our strength. It is intolerable! The infighting in my forces must stop. Stop do you hear, stop! They behave like barbarians! They shame the Eagle they serve under! Where is their pride? What right do such brutes have to call themselves Romans? Enough! Enough I say! There will be discipline, they shall behave like true Romans, even if I have to beat it into them!

It would appear that I have erred. My forces are too disparate. My soldiers have clearly not yet found a common brotherhood. And too many have yet to taste action. They accordingly lack a purpose. Without a common identity and a common cause to bring them together they turn upon one another. It is clear to me that my soldiers have been idle too long. My forces sit around growing fat and lazy with nothing to do. They grow restless and discipline has gone to the dogs! They need action to focus their minds, to keep them occupied, to bond them together. To hone them once more into the disciplined fighting machine that is worthy of the name Roman.

So action they shall have. From this moment on no soldier shall have more than one rest day in any given week. Triple the patrols, double the watch, I want building programmes in every camp and in every city in a garrison's jurisdiction. From this day on any man that is seen to fight with a comrade shall be proclaimed a traitor to my cause and shall be dealt with accordingly. Justice will fit the crime. Be warned my loyal brothers in arms, I have been lenient and generous but do not take my good nature for granted! Should you turn your back on my brotherhood again you shall not live to regret it! Soldiers of Alanicus do not fight amongst themselves. The infighting will stop. You will be disciplined upstanding soldiers of the empire, as befitting your station and Roman name, or you will die a traitor's death. I have no time for Romans who would shame the Eagle. Do not test my patience again.

Yes, tell them, one and all, loyal soldiers of mine, do not fight amongst yourselves. Save the fight for the enemy! The time draws near when battle will be joined, I see it dawning upon the horizon. All preparations are made and the time comes to march. Look not to your own brothers in arms for your dispute. Look to the west, the west! There you shall have a fight a plenty my loyal sword brothers. It breaks my heart to see you shedding the blood of each other, wasting the souls of my warriors. It makes me weep to see the fallen lost in such a futile manner, to see our strength lessened by our own hands. Would you give us to the enemy so willingly? In just a few short weeks the real fight will begin - this I promise you! And then I would have you fight and kill and maim to your heart's content. But fight not amongst yourselves. I would have every man loyal to me saving themselves for the true enemy. Or I would not have that man at all.

Since the Anatolian and Syrian legions are the worst culprits, let them march into the Arabian deserts, have them wade through the black sludge of the Nile, be sure they climb the steepest Syrian hillsides. Bid them build the strongest walls and fortresses on my Egyptian frontier and the grandest palaces in Alexandria. Have them erect the largest Triumphal Arch ever constructed. That will keep them busy. By Jove I shall work the squabbling out of them. I will build them into the closest knit units the Empire have ever seen. By the time I am finished with them the whole army will be united together, brothers in arms, tough and disciplined and ready for anything.

United we stand, divided we fall, Let my army know brotherhood or let it know death!"

This proclamation was read out loud to all the forces in the East, and it is said that the legions cheered upon it's hearing. Overnight, the in fighting ceased and discipline was restored, but for the softest of grumbling.

simon said...

Secundus; "BURP!....He said What?"