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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 209: Battle of Trionto River (V) Bahasa Indonesia

But the freemen of Theonia are different, they have come from various places, and have developed the habit of only being concerned about their own interest. Even before they have become a preparatory citizens of Theonia, most of them have not received hoplite training or been on the battlefield since they were young. And more than half a year of intensive training couldn’t completely eliminate their long-standing habits. So when the enemy’s spear stabbed a freeman’s right chest, he should have left it to his comrade on the right to defend it and use his spear to counter-attack, and force the other side to defend in order to reduce the pressure. However, due to his instinctive reaction, he drew back his shield, and as a result, his comrade on the left had half of his body exposed to the spear of the enemy…this kind of vicious cycle led to the fact that everyone could only take care of themselves, so that the frontline is no longer tightly closed, not only they are unable to effectively advance together, but they had also let the Crotonians squeeze in from the gap, and use their own ability to further disrupt the Theonian’s formation.

The first legion of Theonia was originally the legion with the most number of veterans and also the strongest among the legions. They used to have four brigades who are all veterans, but a large number of veterans were recruited to serve as officers at all ranks of the three legions, and Davos had also sent 300 veterans to the reserve team and as a result, a large number of new recruits have to be added, which led to a sharp decline in their combat strength. Even under the condition of occupying a favourable terrain and taking the lead as soon as the war started, not only did they not take the opportunity to drive all the enemies on the opposite side down the river, but after a long period of stalemate, they had actually began to retreat slowly under the crazy counter-attack of the Crotonians….

The squad of Arsinis was initially in the second row at the frontline, but several of the front row soldiers had fallen, so he loudly shouted and commanded his men to work together to drive the incoming enemy out and fill in the gap. After a long time of fighting, the arms of Arsinis had swollen with pain, and he was even more exhausted due to commanding these ignorant recruits. However, the fierce gaze from the helmets of the enemy has constantly reminded him, ‘Fight! Keep on fighting! Otherwise, only defeat and death awaits!’

“It’s the responsibility of the captain to lead his soldiers to fight bravely and win!” This is the advice given to him by his former squad captain, Xethippus, who is now a platoon captain, when he went to congratulate him by becoming a platoon captain and he had always kept it in his mind.

In the most difficult moment of the battle, these low-level officers of Theonia played an important role as a pillar.

In the battle of hoplites, Theonia was at a disadvantage, but in the battle of light infantry, Theonia has the upper hand. Not only is the number of light infantries increased by a thousand, but more than half of them are veterans from Asia Minor, and they have three kinds of light infantries: Stone slingers, archers and peltast, and they are all from Rhodes, Crete and Thrace, which are the famous places of light infantries in the Mediterranean sea. So how can it be possible for Crotone, who does not attach importance to the use of light infantry, to fight against it. Even though there were hoplites between the two sides, the light infantry of Crotone were getting killed and were forced to retreat due to the arrows and stones that were shot accurately.

Once the protection of the light infantry weakened, the rear of Crotone’s hoplite formation were then attacked by the light infantry of Theonia. Generally, these soldiers in the rear of the phalanx formation have not participated in the battle, and should still be energetic, but the fact is that most of them have been soaking in the river for a long time, and the river water in early spring is freezing, which has taken a lot of heat from them, and has made them hungry and exhausted. Therefore, in the face of the enemy’s long-ranged attack, their response has become somewhat sluggish. If not for the hoplites being well protected, their casualties would be extremely heavy.

Because each side has its own difficulties and disadvantages, they ended up being in a stalemate.

In the face of this situation, Milo was not in a hurry, because he has already achieved his goal by having a stalemate. Because the key to the victory of Crotone comes from the 7,000 odd men who have circled downstream of the Trionto river, and he firmly believed that the final victory would belong to Crotone.

And the archon of Theonia, Davos, also held the same idea, and he had already gotten the good news from one of the cavalry of Ledes, ‘The troops of Crotone in the lower reaches of the Trionto river have either been killed or have surrendered. Ledes and Epiphanes will lead their troops to rest a bit and then they will then cross the Trionto river and attack the rear of the army of Crotone.’

Davos was finally relieved and looking at the scratching and frustrated expression of the man next to him, he could not stop himself from teasing him, “Matonis, is your scalp itchy?”

“Grand legatus!-” Matonis complained loudly, “The last time when we went to capture Nerulum, our brigade failed to participate in the battle and so we didn’t manage to join the triumphant return! And this time, you have kidnapped me as the captain of the reserve team. We are going to win soon, and it’s too unfair that I am still stuck here doing nothing!”

Davos smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it should now be the time for you to join.”

After saying this, he then issued an order, “Signal the order for the formation change, let the soldiers at the frontline to retreat and the soldiers in the second line to go forward!”

“Grand legatus, we are about to win. So why should we bother to make a very difficult formation change! Most of them are new recruits, if something goes wrong, it will cause the entire phalanx-” Although Matonis is eager to fight, he doesn’t want to see the union be defeated.

“The formation that we have trained for so long has never been used in actual combat. If we don’t accumulate experience now that we are about to win, then when?!” Davos then seriously added, “What’s more, we have retreated in order to lure all the enemies onto the bank of the river, which will make it more difficult for them to escape. Matonis, you are the instructor of the recruits, so you should be confident in the results of the soldier’s long-term training and the commanding of the officers!”

“You are the one in charge, so you have the final say! Then is it our turn to join the battle?!” Matonis was no longer entangled with this issue, and had instead taken the initiative to join the battle.

“Lead your men to the right-wing of the phalanx, at the junction between the second legion and the three reserve brigades. In case the sudden advance of the enemy will cause chaos, you will need to rush forward in time to block the enemy’s attack and gain time for the soldiers to reorganize their formation!”

“Understood. I will now go! Brothers!-” Matonis then began shouting.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

The soldiers led by Arsinis were still struggling with the enemy.

At this time, the salpinx at the rear sounded, which had motivated him. When he heard it again for the second time, he knew that it was the sound that signals for a “formation change”.

“Brothers, hold on! We will soon be able to rest!” The officers at the frontline, like Arsinis, reminded the soldiers loudly.

Then, the centurias at the second line quickly change position, one centuria remained in its place, while the centuria adjacent to its place retreated. After a while, the whole phalanx formation changed from the original thick long snake formation to a well-organized “checkerboard” formation formed by a small phalanx of a centuria. Due to some of the soldiers at the frontline of the whole phalanx formation not having the support of the soldiers at the rear, they were forced to retreat under the pressure of the enemy but in the end…they finally manage to withdraw between the gaps of the “checkerboard” formation under the command of the centuria’s drums and military flag.

When the drum of the centuria that Arsinis belonged to didn’t ring, he knew that his centuria was not very lucky, and because the centuria at their rear didn’t withdraw, they couldn’t even retreat for a bit.

At this time, the platoon captain, Xethippus, shouted out, “Brothers, protect our flanks!”

With the retreat of the centurias that are near them, the enemy then took advantage of the situation to rush in. Because the frontline of the Theonian formation did not retreat as a whole, the attack of the Crotonians on the formation became uneven, and the two sides’ frontline then interlocked, and the centuria that Arsinis belonged to was under the pressure of getting surrounded on three sides, but the enemy who had squeezed into the gap was also under the same situation. However, The troops of Theonia were prepared with their retreat and every small phalanx formation that met with the enemy was under the strong command of the centurion. On the contrary, the Crotonians were unprepared and disordered, and due to this, even though the Theonians were retreating, the Crotonians couldn’t take advantage of this opportunity to cause greater damage and confusion to the Theonians.

Then the drums of the centuria sounded, and the 20 x 10 phalanx formation formed by the four platoon units began to wave rhythmically together with the central military flag and began to slowly retreat…Arsinis, while defending against the attack of the enemy with his spears and shields, followed the retreat of the centuria at the rear, and their centuria also began to retreat orderly. When the rear centuria stopped moving, Arsinis and the others were then able to withdraw from the gap between the scattered phalanx…after several rounds of retreat, the soldiers at the frontline were finally able to successfully withdraw to the rear, and the soldiers at the second line manage to rearranged themselves into the dense formations and become the frontline of the entire formation.

The reason why the formation was smoothly changed and there was no big confusion(so that the worries of Davos did not become a reality) is that the Crotonians have never seen any army that has dare to carry out such bold and strange formation that were changing back and forth in such a fierce battle, and so they have failed to take effective countermeasures in time. Secondly, when fighting in a dense formation, the army of Crotone is better than Theonia, who has a large number of recruits. However, once the dense formation of both sides is divided into smaller phalanx formations due to the formation change, the targeted training conducted by the Theonians with platoon and centurias as the tactical units have played a big role, and their command is much more efficient and their actions are more flexible. On the contrary, the actions of Crotone and training are mainly based on large phalanx formation, and their command system is crude. After the soldiers poured into the gaps, their commanding became less effective and fell into disorder, and they had to fight on their own way and were at a disadvantage.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Milo, who was soaking in the river, heard the salpinx and drums of the enemy, which had caused him to be puzzled. Then the formation, which had been in a deadlock for a long time, began to advance forward….


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