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What about swimming ?


Dakara
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  • Stan` changed the title to What about swimming ?
5 hours ago, Dakara said:

For light infantry? when they swimming, 0 armor and move speed -50%

Swimming over rivers would be okay, swimming over oceans would not. Also combat while swimming would be awkward. Wet bowstrings should not be good for shooting, so even after getting out on the water you need some time to dry the bowstring.

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Swimming OP. Best sport full stop. 

On topic: I feel like this would be a nice thing to give to athenian units. Perhaps that naval hero that is super bad could enable swimming in some way? and maybe Athenian marines could swim without hero or upgrade.

Perhaps the animations could have the swimmers tug some of their gear on inflated animal bladders?

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3 hours ago, Gurken Khan said:

Maybe that could be a way the soldiers were able to cross a river. (Historical references?) Otherwise I don't really see them do it with their armors and weapons.

You're talking to the right man, I know a little about everything. even if I am not a professional historian.

Quoting

"" Roman soldiers could swim with their armor on and were taught to swim as part of their military training regimen. The legionaries were trained to be the jack of all trades of the Roman military: they were expected to be able to fulfill a great number of different roles both on and off the battlefield, and so, part of that capability was being able to wade across rivers and other bodies of water to quickly reach a battle, siege, or other locale that required immediate military or engineering expertise.

 

To support this, there are a number of primary sources that we can draw upon, the ones that I am well-read in date from the later periods of the Roman Empire, but I am sure that there are sources that exist from the earlier eras as well.

 

The first, and perhaps best direct evidence comes to us from a little ditty, dating from the from the time of Hadrian (AD 117-138) written on a soldier's grave, which describes the exploits of a member of the Germani Corporis Custodes, an elite bodyguard of the Emperor. It reads as such:

 

I am the man, once well known to the riverbanks in Pannonia

 

brave and foremost amongst a thousand Batavi,

 

who, with Hadrian as judge, could swim the wide waters of the deep Danube in full battle kit.

 

From my bow I shot an arrow which, while it hung in the air and fell back, I hit and broke with another.

 

Whom no Roman or foreigner ever outdid,

 

no soldier with the spear, no Parthian with the bow,

 

here I lie, on this ever-mindful stone, have I bequeathed my deeds

 

to memory.

 

Let anyone see if after me he can match my deeds.

 

I set my own standard, being the first to bring of such feats.

Additionally, the 5th Century Roman military manual De Re Militari by Flavius Vegetius Renatus, elaborates a bit on the act of swimming in the legions. In the early parts of the manual, he has a small section titled:

 

Learning to Swim

 

Every young soldier, without exception, should in the summer months be taught to swim; for it is sometimes impossible to pass rivers on bridges, but the flying and pursuing army both are often obliged to swim over them. A sudden melting of snow or fall of rain often makes them overflow their banks, and in such a situation, the danger is as great from ignorance in swimming as from the enemy.

 

Later on, Vegetius explains a bit about drilling, including this important section, which mentions how the men were continually practiced in swimming in the sea or in rivers.

 

But even in winter, if it did not rain or snow, they were obliged to perform their drills in the field, lest an intermission of discipline should affect both the courage and constitution of the soldier. In short, both legionary and auxiliary troops should continually be drilled in cutting wood, carrying burdens, passing ditches, swimming in the sea or in rivers, marching in the full step and even running with their arms and baggage, so that, inured to labor in peace, they may find no difficulty in war.

 

Overall, it can be surmised that troops were indeed taught to swim and fully expected to be able to swim in battle kit if the situation necessitated it, however, if there were no pressing matters, it is likely that the soldiers were bidden to take off their armor and wade across, so as to prevent rust and decay. I know that this is attested to in the later Byzantine military manuals, but someone with more expertise in the early Roman works might be able to elaborate further on this.

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11 hours ago, Gurken Khan said:

Otherwise I don't really see them do it with their armors and weapons.

How heavy were these armour? Weapons aren't really an issue. Then again, we swim with fins, which makes carrying spears and harpoons a lot easier.

Based on anecdotal evidence, it's pretty plausible. Maybe biased viewpoint because everyone here knows how to swim by the time they are 6 years old.

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1 hour ago, smiley said:

How heavy were these armour? Weapons aren't really an issue. Then again, we swim with fins, which makes carrying spears and harpoons a lot easier.

Based on anecdotal evidence, it's pretty plausible. Maybe biased viewpoint because everyone here knows how to swim by the time they are 6 years old.

there are also several battles where they drowned, as in Trebia and Trastimeno, or Maxentius on River Tiber.

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The Urinatores (urinator means in Latin diver or diver) were the first unit of divers with permanent character of which there is news, according to Ávila Recatero (1989). They were selected and trained in different parts of the Roman Empire to perform specific missions such as infiltrating cities and ports for sabotage or sending communications; but they were not special operations units.

https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urinatores

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3 hours ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

there are also several battles where they drowned, as in Trebia and Trastimeno, or Maxentius on River Tiber.

AoE2 Tueton Campaign taught me that Frederick Barbarossa also drowned due to his armour. But medieval full body armor maybe a lot more heavier than bronze age armor,  but I literally know nothing about that.

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In 425 BCE the Athenians isolated a large number of Spartans on Sphacteria. The Spartans offered rewards (including freedom to Helots) to take smallcraft or even swim to the island with food.

The battle was incredibly peculiar for what it revealed about Spartan notions about citizenship, class, and in turn what it meant for the Athenian position after having captured over 400 Spartans.

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On 12/11/2021 at 7:15 AM, smiley said:

AoE2 Tueton Campaign taught me that Frederick Barbarossa also drowned due to his armour. But medieval full body armor maybe a lot more heavier than bronze age armor,  but I literally know nothing about that.

you would have to see the whole context.

Not all equipment sinks and those that could sink, it would be necessary to see if they did not use any help, I saw that they already knew how to float in certain situations, I have not found the case in which a soldier improvised his equipment to be able to swim.

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History

Archaeological and other evidence shows swimming to have been practiced as early as 2500 BCE in Egypt and thereafter in Assyrian, Greek, and Roman civilizations. In Greece and Rome swimming was a part of martial training and was, with the alphabet, also part of elementary education for males. In the Orient swimming dates back at least to the 1st century BC, there being some evidence of swimming races then in Japan.

"Assyrian King Assur-nasir-Pal's army used inflatable animal skins to cross a moat. Records of death from cold water immersion date to ancient times."

--- speaking of the Barbarossa case --

The lack of swimming in Europe during the Middle Ages is explained by some authorities as having been caused by a fear that swimming spread infection and caused epidemics. 

Edited by Lion.Kanzen
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