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Thread: What if? Roman Army vs. USMC MEU

  1. #1

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    What if? Roman Army vs. USMC MEU

    I recently read this article, and scanned through some of the original reddit threads on the matter, and naturally had to ask the esteemed members of the board this question:

    What would be the result if a (single!) USMC MEU were to somehow be transported into ancient Italy around 33 B.C.E, and suddenly got the inkling to take on the entire Roman army, with the eventual goal of capturing Rome itself?

    Keep in mind:

    - The marines are unable to be resupplied. So fuel, ammunition, and spare parts are finite. Once they run out, they're gone forever. They can live off the land, however.

    - The marines' terrain maps are useless due to the reversal of 2,000+ years of geographic evolution. (No GPS either, obviously.)

    - On the plus side, not only do the marines retain all of their training, but they also retain all of the knowledge and information available to them right now. (Personally, I would consider this their biggest advantage.)


    So, with those caveats mentioned, how would your scenarios play out?

    Have at it, Wabbits!


    Here's the link to the original article, for those interested in a little more background:
    Rome, Sweet Rome: Could a Single Marine Unit Destroy the Roman Empire? - Popular Mechanics

    Link to the initial reddit thread:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/co...empire_during/
    Last edited by joshduck541; 18 Jan 12, at 05:24. Reason: Added extra link

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    A Self Important Senior Contributor troung's Avatar
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    Senior Contributor Red Team's Avatar
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    The Romans would bow down to the divine-like might of the USMC, declare them as a vanguard sent by the Gods, and cater to their every whim.

    Or the Marines shoot and pillage everything.
    "Draft beer, not people."

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Are the Marines equipped with M113's


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    Contributor ace16807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Are the Marines equipped with M113's

    You only need one green dragon to take the entire world.

  6. #6
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Wow...this takes me back to 2007 or so when this place was full of wacky "what if" scenarios....
    Last edited by YellowFever; 18 Jan 12, at 08:28.

  7. #7
    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    jokes aside,
    If the marines commander knows about Cortez it would not take the romans on alone, a alliance with a population hostile to Rome such as Parthia for instance would give them the balance in numbers.
    The Romans would probably seek to fortify their camps with wood, stone, earthworks to compensate the disparity in firepower, the mechanization advantage of the marines would be short term since finding oil and refining it with the technology of the time is a long term process.
    Also confronted with a enemy that wins consistently every battle, Rome might revert to the old Fabian strategy.
    J'ai en marre.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    The MEU has engineers.As such it has an infinite supply of black powder,muskets and the like,even without any modern machinery that allow smokeless powder and cartridges to be made.There's also lots of oil,that can supply every vehicle,with a few modifications to the engine.

    USMC Victor.

    Now,you can close the thread.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    for argument sake, a MEU has probably a company worth of of engineers, even drilling one oil well would require drilling, tubing ,safety valves , piping that needs to be created from almost scratch to say nothing about prospecting ( assuming they have maps or Intel were historical wells where placed )
    J'ai en marre.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Numbers don't matter.Know how does.You have a few engineers and tens of thousands of slaves.
    You have no need to drill during that age.Oil just popped at the surface.Even if you need to,the basic knowldege existed to make the pipes,locations etc..
    ohh,and I forgot something also in reach for the ancient world(had they thought about it):electricity.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Numbers don't matter.Know how does.You have a few engineers and tens of thousands of slaves.
    You have no need to drill during that age.Oil just popped at the surface.Even if you need to,the basic knowldege existed to make the pipes,locations etc..
    ohh,and I forgot something also in reach for the ancient world(had they thought about it):electricity.
    I'd hate to be engineer under your command.

    On a second thought, it has advantages and it's better then being your slave I guess.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    You could have a nice life with me as a beautiful woman.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  13. #13
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    romans all die from easily transmittable diseases.

    if you want a more interesting take on a quasi-similar subject, try harry turtledove's lost legion/videssos series.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  14. #14
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    A good chunk of Romans die.The rest have the right genes and survive.Since the Marines already formed their autonomous state in former Helmand,now Marinestan,they do show tendencies to form their empire.O hail Chesty Puller!
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  15. #15
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    helmand my foot. half of them migrate to camp lejeune-istan and the other half migrates to camp pendleton, sort of like salmon returning to fresh water to breed.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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