2006-06-26

Do Not Disturb: Genius At Work

After considering lots of interesting possibilities, and weighting the different combinations, this is, probably, what's going to go into the book. More or less, anyway... Hehehe... :-)

I'll show you the Real Thing, but in the mean time, I can't wait to show you the battle of Memphis!

That's right, to show you! I have recreated the Battle of Memphis! Nod...

Now, this is a low scale, poor resolution sketch of the Real Battle, so please be kind with the author (who happens to be me, please be doubly kind!).

Ladies and gentlemen... With all of you, and only for you (considering the number of readers I have, this is basically true! :-) The Battle of Memphis!
...
...


Legend: Red is Greeks and Libyan rebels, Blue is loyal Persians (ahem!).

The rebel lineup is, after roll call, Left wing Libyan cavalry, Libyan and Egyptian infantry led by Pharao Inaros (and his generals; on the upper left of the image), Right wing is Greek epibatai, mercenary hoplites and Tesalian cavalry (depicted as a horrible diamon of 3 sides, i.e. a triangle, because I forgot it was a diamond configuration and drew a triangular Macedonian formation, my fault; all of this led by strategós Kharitimides and his commanders; holding the Place of Honor in the battle line). The Persian line is, Right wing assorted Median and Bactrian cavalry, and Memphis garrison and stationed army, plus the Eastern Fort army, led by the Lower Egypt army general; Center Persian infantry (basically Lidyan army and Upper Egypt Judean garrison from Elephantine; led by Megabyzos himself, because Artabazos is AFK because of illness) and Left wing, opposing the Greeks, the bulk of the Siryan army and cavalry (led by Megabyzos's commanders, including Megabazos).

Cavalry is marked by the crossed rectangles, infantry by the non crossed ones, and movements of the different units are marked in their own colors. The black line in the middle shows the infantry battle line after the clash between the armies, while the lines that leave the picture on the upper and lower sides mark the initial clash and further development of the cavalry units as they run away and pursuit each other.

I've left the picture very clean, in order for you, gentle reader, to clearly envision what's going on, once I get the pictures off the camera card, I'll show you the thing in its full glory, with all the gory details easily discernible... :-) For example, here's no distinction between shock troops and distance troops, or between heavy and light infantry, for example.

Of course, this battle is the final clash of a much more complex operation that's going on in several different layers and places, this is simply the signature to the whole thing...

As a final note, I am sure that the clever reader will have already guessed in which battle I have based this one, roughly---and only roughly, because I noticed the similarity only after I have saw the battle, not when it was happening---, to show Megabyzos's military genius. If you haven't, though, then you'll think I am really clever and a military genius myself, which will be very funny and will make me laugh until very late hours in the night before a chimney when I am an old, famous writer... :-)

Lastly, I know the picture is not scaled, don't be picky... If you press me enough, though, I'll make a scaled one, but be forewarned: the scale of these bussinesses is really beyond the experience of a XX Century born mind, unless you happen to have military experience... Don't complain if you feel scammed after it! But first, you'll have to insist... :-)

ΚΑΛΛΙΣΤΗ (and blessed Litha to all that celebrated!)

2 comments:

Pacal said...

Fascinating and yes I saw the similarity with Cannae rather quickly although I also see a similarity with Pharsalus.

I am wondering if you found any use for my idea about luring the Greeks and Egyptians/Libyans out into the desert, afterall it would increase the effectiveness of the Persian cavalry. Like Hannibla I see you seem to have a senario of Megabyzus taking maximum advantage of his one potential ace in the hole, his cavalry.

(On a side issue; one of the most annoying tendancies in military history is the annoying habit of many military historians of rating Scipio Africanus has a greater general than Hannibal because he defeated Hannibal at Zama. On this logic Grant was a greater general than Lee and Wellington a greater general than Napoleon. Its truly annoying. I'll believe it when someone explains how anything that Scipio did was the equal of Hannibal maintaining himself in Italy against huge odds for over a decade.)

But to get back to Megabyzus. Any feed back on my idea that Megabyzus sent, even before the battle at Memphis, a force on a wide strategic turning motion to block the retreat of the Greeks and Libyans / Egyptians back to Maria and Pharus,thus daringly ignoring the Greek Naval Superiority? And after Memphis demoralizing his enemies.

I still think that staying on Protopitis was a very dangerous idea however understandable, (i.e., the desire not to abandon their ships). A glance at the map would reveal just how difficult it would be the break the seige of the island and faced with a enemy like Megabyzus I wouldn't rate the chances very good.

Considering that the seige lasted 18 months I wonder if before the last relief force, which was cut to pieces shortly after the fall of Protopitis, is the Delian League attempted to break the seige and failed, although no disaster ensued? Its a possibility anyway. I suspect if such was the case they were simply unable to proceed up the Nile, I.e., their way was blocked.

Just my thoughts.

Pierre

Excalibor said...

Yeah, you got it! :-)

I swear I only noticed the similarities after I was done with it (and I will show you the full thing tomorrow): I tried to find a balanced disposition of troops, and ways for the Persians to neutralize and defeat the Greek and Egyptian troops.

I ended up with a mix of Cannae and Cunaxa, and the 'secret weapon' to defeat the Greek phalanx, the Pharsalus factor.

Thus, I am proudly walking on giants' shoulders, and I rest pretty sure that, hoplologically speaking, it will be a good battle, and one exciting to show as well!

As for your excellent ideas, don't you find several thousand rowers missing? And several thousand cavalry and other troops as well?

I am pushing for a mix of ideas, where part of Megabyzos's army is spreaded out throughout the Delta, to weaken the Greek control of the river. He must, then, resort to the sieged army, which is in good condition, but far from tranquil (it is well motivated, though!)

The idea is that his bold movement through the desert gets the Greeks by surprise (the Greek camp is by the river, North of Memphis, while the main camp is South West, controlling the White Fort and the route from Upper Egypt, at least the land route) and then forces a big battle. He has "weakened" his army by reducing his numbers, and now his army is way smaller than Inaros's...

The thing is that strategy and genius manage to lure the rebel army into a well set-up trap. Many will die and the rest will be forced to flee. The Libyans will flee to Mareia, as they find their way to Sais blocked by Persian troops. The Greeks, with the triremes already on the water, and without their top leaders, dead in the battle, will try to reach Naukratis (friedly harbor) only to find out that the Phoenician fleet is blocking their way completely, and are forced to settle in Prosopitis when they try to take the Kanopic branch of the river, towards Sais and Kanopos.

The rest is History, and will be told in the next chapter? :-)

How does it sound?

And yes, Scipio is surely overrated. Most of what he knew, he learned from Hannibal and his brothers. Winning a battle does not a military genius, and we know that Romans were particularly pathetic sometimes when chosing military leaders for their legions... But then, I think I sympathize with the Phoenicians and Hannibal, and I am probably a bit partial in here... :-)

Thanks and best regards!