Friday 27 December 2019

Ecnomus 256 BC

"Meanwhile the carthaginian commanders had briefly adressed their men. They pointed out to them that victory in this battle would ensure the war in the future being confined to the question of the possession of Sicily; while if they were beaten they would have hereafter to fight for their native land and for all that they held dear."
Polybius, Histories, book I.

 We wrap up the year with this first punic war battle, the romans are deployed in four divisions forming an arrowhead while the carthaginians advance in a crescent
 The Romans fan out from their formation while the punic flanks advance
 Keeping their center behind
 The advance punic ships turn towards the center
 While the romans launch their wings against the enemy
 Superior numbers board and sink this carthaginian monoreme
 While superior skill carries the day in this combat
 In the punic turn a quinquereme smashes apart a light galley
 In the other flank another roman monoreme is run down
 An african galley sinks burned out by artillery fire
 Moving backwards, a roman ship boards and sinks the last enemy monoreme
 Another roman goes down to a blaze
 An unfortunate roman ship is rammed and sunk
 But the romans keep launching effective boarding actions with their corvi, and soon the first punic quinquereme is taken by assault
 Followed by another
 Her crew depleted by legionary swords, this ship sunks blazing from stem to stern
 The oportunistic romans gang up on the isolated flanking ships, swamping the deck with legionaries
 With the enemy trapped by the corvus the italians have a field day butchering the crews
 Even through fire the crew of the roman flagship takes her foe down
 In the right flank another carthaginian surrenders
 The legions cut a bloody path through the center too, sinking ship after ship

 The retreating ships on the punic left flank are caugh by the corvi and swept away
 The mobile triremes help tip some combats Rome's way
Despite the roman superiority a lone punic galley manages to win a boarding, sinking one foe
 Battle comes to an end with the remaining carthaginians scattered amongst the roman squadrons
For a loss of only six galleys the romans have destroyed no less than 14, a decisive victory worthy of a triumph for the two consuls sharing the command!


  1. Well played and well reported. Thanks.

  2. Très belle bataille navale, une superbe collection de navires!