Published at 12th of January 2021 02:21:07 PM
Matonis cursed at those timid Crotonians, so without any other choice, he just let some soldiers participate in the construction of the bridge .
The river is not too wide or too deep, so with sufficient labor, the soldiers on both sides of the river will soon complete the construction of the wooden bridge under the command of the engineering camp and in accordance with the bridge building steps in the 《Military Law》 . However, Matonis received a report from the scout that about 8,000 Crotonian light infantry are coming to attack them!
His lethargic expression suddenly brightened, “Brothers, stand up, we will soon fight!”
What kind of people bring what kind of soldiers . The soldiers, who had been lying down and resting, had stood up immediately and put on their equipment, and quickly approached the earthen wall and were keeping an eye out with excitement, and the soldiers who were building the bridge had also rushed back after hearing about it .
It wasn’t long before they saw the Crotonians .
After Milo fled back to Krimisa, Milo had specially questioned the very few surviving soldiers under Philederus, and came to a surprising conclusion, ‘The army of Philederus was defeated by the light infantry of Theonia!’ And currently, he has less heavy infantry and more light infantry, which is why he decided to copy the tactics of the enemy . He had even allowed some of the soldiers of the fleet of Crotone that was docked at the port of Krimisa to join the battle .
8,000 men then came ashore from the southern bank of the river . And under his leadership, they stormed along the river to the troops of Theonia that is stationed in the southern bank of the river .
When he saw the trenches and walls built by the Theonians, Milo laughed: The Theonians have bounded their own hands and feet, and had made it more favorable to the attack of light infantry .
Two hundred meters away from the Theonians, he loosely spread out his troops and surrounded the Theonians with a semi-circular formation, with the rear of the enemy being the river .
With an order, the archers advanced to within 100 meters and began shooting arrows .
For the hoplites of Theonia with the protection of the wall, the sky filled with arrows seems frightening, but it did not do much harm to them, as they only need to raise their shield to cover their head . The Theonian soldiers even have the time to joke around, “The Crotonians must have known that our arrows were nearly used up in the last battle, so they have come to send us more . ” But the relaxed mood of the Theonian hoplites soon disappeared .
The light infantry of Crotone continued to move forward, and once the distance was only about 50 meters, the accuracy of their archers greatly increased .
Of course, the Theonian hoplites, who were protected by their round shield and the earthen wall, had still only suffered little damage .
However, once the peltast of Crotone continued to advance within 30 meters, the Theonian hoplites began to feel the pressure . Naturally, just by squatting behind the wall will make them not suffer any damage . Anyway, the enemies are light infantry, so they will not dare fight them head-on . However, shrinking their head like a turtle is not the style of Matonis, what is more, once they shrink to the wall, they won’t be able to know the movement of the enemy . What if they bypass the defensive line and go down the river to burn the wooden bridge that is currently being constructed?!
Matonis is now the commander of the south bank troops and he knows exactly what his responsibilities are .
“Javelins!” With a roar, he suddenly stood up from behind the wall, quickly put down his shield, leaned back and without even running up and by just relying on his core strength and arm strength, he manage to throw his javelin to more than 20 meters and pierced through the chest of a Crotonian peltast, and then immediately squatted down .
The Theonian soldiers, who had been suppressed by the arrows, got the order of Matonis and immediately began to fight back . Countless javelins flew over the walls and trenches, plunging into the Crotonian army and splashing blood . While the arrows and javelins of Crotone also fell on the hoplites of Theonia and the casualties on both sides began to increase .
Milo paid close attention to the development of the situation and he began to appreciate the advantage of using a large number of light infantry to attack the simple hoplites . Unfortunately, the Theonian’s hoplite is not the traditional Greek hoplites, and the javelins thrown by them had caused great damage to the light infantry of Crotone who had weak protection and the ratio of casualty on both sides varied greatly .
However Milo believed that trading a few light infantry for a hoplite is worth doing, because Crotone is currently not short of freemen and sailors, and the only thing they lack is citizens who can serve as hoplites .
“Strategos Epiphanes, the enemy’s attack on the south bank is now fierce! Strategos Matonis wants your reinforcements!” The herald brought the message of Matonis .
“I know!” Epiphanes frowned and responded . He thought for a while and said, “Antiliochus!”
“I want you to lead the slingers across the river and immediately support Matonis!” Epiphanes looking at the centurion of the slingers, he then added, “Remember! Don’t enter the camp of Matonis, otherwise, the narrow camp will make you unable to avoid the attack of the large number of light infantry of Crotone! So you have to go around the periphery of the enemy and attack them with the long range of the slingers!”
“I understand strategos!” Antiliochus hurriedly went to gather his men .
The establishment of the light infantry brigade(the seventh brigade) of the Theonian legion is somewhat different from that of the hoplites . According to the 《Military Law》, the hoplite brigade has five centurias under its jurisdiction, each of which has 200 men and a total of 1,000 men; Although the established light infantry brigade has 1,000 men, there are only three centurias, namely, the centuria of the slingers, the centuria of the archers and the centuria of the peltasts, and the number of people under each centuria is varied .
This is because compared to the hoplite, the light infantry has a higher need for expertise and though the peltast has it better, the archers and slingers have it harder to become a qualified light infantry without long-term training . Therefore, the composition of the light infantry brigade of Theonia is often determined by the actual situation of their region . For example: The light infantry of the first legion, the numbers of each centuria are almost the same, but their peltast are actually the Thracian peltast soldiers; The light infantry of the second legion mainly came from the preparatory citizens of Thurii, and most of them were born as freemen and sailors, so they had more archers and fewer peltast; The light infantry of the third legion mainly came from the Lucanians, so the majority of them are peltast . Because the formation of the light infantry is loose, flexible and rarely in direct contact with the enemy, so more or less, the light infantry has little influence on commanding operations .
“Strategos, now that Antiliochus has taken the slingers, wouldn’t the warship of Crotone that is moored in the river, take this opportunity to go up against the river to destroy our newly built wooden bridge once they see that our number has decreased… . ” The centurion of the peltast, Zeniaris, said worryingly .
“I really hope that they will come . Even if we now have fewer soldiers, I have the confidence of destroying them! Not like now that we can neither attack nor retreat, and just allow those wooden ships that are staying there to hold us here, and we can’t even go to reinforce our comrades on the other side!” Said Epiphanes angrily .
“Since they don’t dare to come, then we can just go and attack them!” Interjected by a handsome young man, a guard besides Epiphanes .
Epiphanes slapped him on the back of the head and said with a smile, “Idiot, the place where the enemies’ ship is anchored is the deepest part of the river . If we were to attack those warships, it would be like attacking enemies that are on the top of the wall, and my own loss will be larger, while the loss of the enemy will be small . So why should I do this kind of battle knowing that I will suffer losses?”
“Now that we are on the river bank and there are some obstacles in the river, will the enemy who knew that they will be beaten passively still continue to come here? Will they do such a stupid thing?!” The handsome guard asked back .
For a moment, Epiphanes was speechless and then he gave him a nudge with his hand, and then laughed, “Okay, it seems that you have made great progress!” Then he sighed helplessly, “It seems that we are both wasting each other’s time! The grand legatus asked us to protect the wooden bridge, and I had thought that this was a simple task, but turns out, it is really a troublesome task!”
While Milo and Matonis are battling, Davos has been informed that Milo dared to attack with light infantry, although he was surprised, he still wasn’t worried, “Inform Ledes that his cavalry is temporarily under the command of the first legion . I believe that Kapus will soon be able to repel the enemy!”
Kapus, the legatus of the first legion and under the authority of Davos, had immediately mobilized three hoplite brigade and the cavalry to quickly cross the river, and try to get around the rear of the Crotonians and cut off their retreat .
Who would have thought that when Milo learned that the reinforcements of Theonia were soon coming and even with his advantage, he still ordered their retreat .
And so, the battle came to a hasty end . Among the 2,000 hoplites led by Matonis, there were 500 casualties and most of them were wounded . While there were more than 700 casualties among the 8,000 men of Milo, most of them were deaths . However, Matonis thought that he had suffered a loss, while Milo thought that Crotone had won a small victory because they had managed to strike the arrogant Theonians and would delay their progress in building the camp and besieging Krimisa .
But when Milo returned to the city, he had immediately gotten a grave report, ‘A large number of troops from the north were entering the camp of Theonia . ’
‘They must be the reinforcements from Nerulum!’ Milo suddenly tensed up .
In fact, there are not only the 5,000 soldiers from Nerulum entering the camp of Theonia, but also the 3,000 troops of Laos, which had brought the total number of soldiers of Theonia at the frontline to 22,000 .
The already high morale of the camp of Theonia is now filled with cheering at this moment… .
Davos then went out to greet the worn out archon of Laos, Avinoges, as well as the many high-ranking officers, such as the senior centurion of the first brigade of the third legion – Bagul, his adjutant – Asistes, and the senior centurion of the second brigade – Litom .
Asistes saluted respectfully, then apologetically said, “Grand Legatus, we are late!”
“It had taken you more than three days to get to Krimisa from Nerulum, is this still slow?!” After a serious reply, Davos then praised them with a smile, “You have arrived at the right time, and the next part of the battle will depend on you!”