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Battles of the Ancient Mediterranean

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Battles of the Ancient Mediterranean

Postby Anatol » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:01 pm

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The military capabilities of ancient navies were determined by the muscle power of massed oarsmen and the inability of warships to remain at sea for long or in rough weather. Phoenicia, the first naval innovator, was the source of Persian power, after which Athens dominated the eastern Mediterranean in the fifth century BC. Ships’ sizes and costs increased significantly in the fourth century, with Carthage and then Rome emerging as the dominant powers in the western Mediterranean, and Rome was eventually dominant everywhere. Navies required substantial infrastructures of harbors and dockyards, of which important remains survive at Athens and Carthage.
The aims of naval warfare in the ancient Mediterranean had much in common with later periods but were more limited in scope than in the modern world. The primary function of sea power was identical with that identified in the nineteenth century the projection of military force by the rapid and economical movement of troops, or by the prevention of the same. It had a smaller role in the protection or disruption of trade or in the suppression of piracy. This was due to the need for military vessels to rely on oar power in a sea where winds were unreliable and because the use of simple, square sailing rigs effectively ruled out tacking into the wind. Since it was not always possible to travel under sail, warships often had to operate under oars, and this was always the case in battle. This enforced their reliance on large crews of oarsmen, who had to disembark for victualing and watering on a daily basis; it imposed severe logistical restrictions on the movements of fleets; and it determined the essential nature, strategy, and tactics of war at sea. The vulnerability of long warships to high waves and bad weather also restricted naval movements in general to the summer months, between mid‐May and mid‐September
Fleets were used both for the actual movement of land forces, as in the first Persian expedition to Greece in 490 BC, and to protect armies marching along the coast from being circumvented and attacked from the rear. They were, of course, essential for the conquest of island states such as those of the Aegean in the fifth century BC, and simply to carry troops to territories that could only practicably be approached by sea, such as Sicily and North Africa in the Punic and Roman periods. In the Hellenistic era, they were also used to break into harbors, conduct naval sieges, and assault coastal fortifications.
See the confrontation: 1. Ionian Greece and the Persian Empire, when the cities of the Ionian Greeks were ravaged - “BATTLE AT LADA 494 BC.” - 500f – viewtopic. php? f = 2 & t = 17164. 2.Rima and Syracuse, when Rome ravaged Syracuse - “THE Siege of Syracuse 212-213 BC” - 2100f – viewtopic. php? F = 2 & t = 17142. Most of the major naval battles in antiquity were fought when one fleet tried to block the movement of military force carried or defended by another. See standoff: 1. Athens and Sparta, when Sparta manages to destroy the Athenian fleet in 405 - “THE BATTLE AT AYGOS - POTAMOS 405 BC” - 900f - viewtopic.php? f = 2 & t = 17161. 2. Athens and the Persian Empire, when Athens manages to destroy the Persian fleet in 480. - “THE BATTLE AT SALAMIN 480 BC” - 700f - viewtopic.php? F = 2 & t = 14946.
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