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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 543: Ballistae Bombardment Bahasa Indonesia

“Sound the attack; raise the starry flag!” Seclian ordered again.

Seclian was determined to forge ahead, but he was not reckless and knew that the cooperation between their ships was undoubtedly not as good as that of their opponents as they had just established the Theonian fleet. Therefore, he needed to take advantage of their sailors’ high morale and good condition due to their successive victories in great battles so that they could advance bravely and fight a one-on-one battle and use their high morale to defeat the enemy and win. But if he had followed the ship captain by temporarily evading, it would dampen the sailors’ morale. Furthermore, he was sure the Syracusan troops were attacking Megalos, so if the Theonian fleet retreated in front of the enemy and ignored their friendly forces, the only thing waiting for Seclian after the battle would no longer be the smiling face of Davos but the ruthless ‘Theonian Military Law’!

Thinking of this, he glared at the captain and said, “You are not suitable to be the captain; go to the stern and be a lookout!”

Seclian then ignored the captain’s excuses, went to the ship’s side, waved to the penteconters accompanying the ship to signal them to come closer, and then shouted, “Tell the sailors of every warship that this is the last battle of our Theonian Navy in this war. It is their last chance to earn merit and win the honour and rewards, so don’t miss this last opportunity!”

As each captain relayed Seclian’s word in the bottom cabin, the excited sailors shouted, “For victory, wipe out the Syracusans!!!…”

During the previous two hours of sailing, the sailors rowed slowly. But at this time, it seems that their body had warmed up. Under the repeated urging of the captain and after finishing their rations, the wooden oars in their hands seemed to have become weightless, and the sailors began to gradually speed up their rowing speed at the scorching excitement of battle…

Suddenly, someone sang the ode of Hades, and soon all the sailors sang in unison: As they sang the sacred and solemn lyrics passionately, it broke through the cabin and rang out in the blue sea…

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

When the Theonian fleet found the trace of enemy ships, the Syracusan fleet naturally saw the other party. And Paronisus, who had long been waiting, had arranged formation and immediately ordered to attack.

It is reasonable to say that the Syracusan ships were the first to attack; whether it is the increase in the rowing speed or the ship’s momentum, they should have had the advantage when both sides collided. But in fact, the Theonian ship’s impact is slightly stronger than Syracuse, which just shows the difference in the morale of both sides’ sailors…

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

The vast sea surface and the endless tide had covered up the collision between warships, making the battle at sea tend to be noiseless.

On land, Macias led the Syracusan allied army of about 12,000 men and arrived on the south bank of the Alcantara River. But instead of immediately attacking the town of Megalos as Antonios had expected, he ordered his army to halt their advance and began forming up. At the same time, they drove hundreds of wagons to the forefront.

After seeing so many loaded wagons, the soldiers on Megalos’ sentry tower realised why the Syracusan army was making such loud rumbling sounds as they advanced. Then amidst the loud neighing of the animals, the lookout’s eyes widened as they saw the Syracusan soldiers struggling to unload a ballista off the wagon.

“Did you just say that the Syracusan army deployed nearly 100 ballistae on the south bank of the Alcantara river?!” Antonios had wanted to remain calm after hearing the report, but the slight trembling of his tone could not hide the shock in his heart.

“Yes, legatus. They had arranged not only nearly a hundred ballista but also a few gastraphetes!” The lookout answered.

Before Antonios spoke, several captains looked at each other and said, “How can they have so many ballistae?”

“I think the Syracusans have brought all the ballista in their city. Besides, I heard from his majesty that Syracuse was the first to invent it…”

“It seems the Syracusans are determined to wipe us out here in Megalos!”

“Then we’ll have them know the might of our first legion!”

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

“Where are the Syracusan ballistae? Can our ballista hit them?” Asked Xanticles, the senior centurion of the second brigade.

“…about 500 metres from the southern wooden wall.” The lookout answered after thinking for a while.

“In other words, if their ballista uses 5 kilograms of stone projectiles, it could hit Megalos’ southern wall.” Giorgris immediately said with concern, “But for our ballista to hit them, we would need to move them forward and close to the southern wooden wall, which is not favourable to our ballista’s firing and make them vulnerable to attack. Moreover, we only have six ballistae!”

Initially, it was standard for each Theonian legion to have ten ballistae, but during the Battle of Crotone, they left the ballistae and other equipment on the north bank of the Neto River. Afterwards, the army rapidly marched to surround Scylletium, so the first legion did not have time to retrieve the ballistae belonging to them. In the end, it was Davos who, considering that the first legion would attack Sicily, had urgently collected six relative complete ballistae from the Syracusan camp they occupied and handed them to the first legion after the engineers made an emergency repair. The Syracusan ballistae were not only large and bulky but didn’t have distance measuring devices, so their accuracy was poor. However, they could fire a maximum of about 30 kilograms of stone projectiles.

“It seems that officers of the Syracusan army are cautious and have a detailed understanding of our way of fighting.” Antonios, who was also worried, said, “Have the soldiers take cover and survive the early ballistae bombardments until the enemy soldiers start attacking the town…”

But before Antonios finished speaking, he heard a continuous thunderous sound, which made the senior officers in the tent pale.

At this moment, the soldiers on the southern wall of Megalos saw the frightening sight of hundreds of stone projectiles and short spears raining down all over the sky like a meteor shower that even the battle-hardened veterans trembled.

“Retreat! Quickly retreat from the wall and avoid it!” The officers shouted anxiously.

Fortunately, when the Syracusan put so many ballistae in the forefront, the officers of the first legion had already begun withdrawing the soldiers they sent to the wall. But a few soldiers were still left on the wall due to the ladder’s narrowness and the enemy arranging the ballistae so fast.

So at this point, the soldiers simply jumped down from the walkway. Fortunately, it was only three metres high, and it wouldn’t cause them significant injuries. After landing, these experienced soldiers immediately picked up the long shield they had thrown down, covered their heads and crawled. Although their posture was ugly and embarrassing, their action in such a critical situation was correct.

That was because just a moment after they jumped off the wooden wall, they heard a loud boom that shook the whole wall. Some stone projectiles hit the wall and broke the pillars; Some stone projectiles passed through the wall, smashed the muddy ground and blasted off the dust. But on the dusty battlefield, the most terrible was the wooden chips that broke and flew out of the wooden wall. These hundreds of tiny, irregular wood chips scattered in all directions due to the powerful force from the stone projectiles, easily piercing the legs, feet, arms, and even the thick chest armour of the few soldiers who did not have the time to retreat further away…

After a round of bombardment, the southern wooden wall was now in tatters. Part of it broke, leaving a surprisingly large hole; part of the wall collapsed inwardly, revealing openings for the enemy to break in; and several sentry towers behind the wall had also crumbled…

Taking advantage of the enemy’s reloading of the stone projectiles, the soldiers rushed forward and helped their fallen and groaning comrades to the rear.

At this time, Leotychides heard a cry not far away. As a Spartan, he hated crying the most in wartime, as it meant weakness and would affect morale.

“What’s happening over there?!” He roared, and immediately a soldier ran over in a panic and said while sobbing, “Centurion, platoon leader Pamanius, he…he…”

Leotychides’ heart sunk as he hurried over.

Seeing him coming, the soldiers hurriedly went out of the way.

A short spear fired from a gastraphetes directly pierced Pamanius’ left chest and nailed him to the wall of a wooden house and was no longer breathing.

“It’s all my fault! It’s all my fault! If I hadn’t been slow and fell, the platoon leader wouldn’t have…run over to pull me…” A soldier pounded his chest and burst into tears.

Leotychides glanced at the soldier, who had a wood chip lodged in his thigh and blood oozing outward that stained his entire calf, “Help him to the back and find the medical camp to treat him.”

Then several soldiers came forward to help the wounded soldier, who still cried bitterly and didn’t want to go.

“Hurry up and heal your leg, then come back to kill the enemy and avenge platoon leader Pamanius!” Leotychides roared, making the soldier stop crying. He immediately wiped away his tears and said to Pamanius’ body with a determined look, “Platoon leader, wait for me in the Hall of Valour!”

Then the soldiers supported the wounded soldier.

Leotychides glanced at Pamanius with a complicated expression: As his former platoon leader, Pamanius had given him a lot of care and attention when he first joined the legion. But because of Leotychides’ outstanding performance, he was quickly promoted to becoming a centurion, while Pamanius became his subordinate instead. However, Pamanius never flaunted his seniority and always carried out Leotychides’ orders strictly and earnestly. He was a respectable and excellent officer of the Theonian legion!


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