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Military History/Navy seals against Roman Army


This is a question made into an spanich forum:

EjÚrcito romano con 60.000 unidades vs 200 Navy Seals.   

Roman Legiosn number 60000 units against 200 Navy seals.

Infinite rounds. No tanks, no exposives, not air support.

Open flat field. 6 kmn betwwen lines. No previous preparation

Who wins? Strategy?


I imagine the Seals would win.

These kind of comparisons are a bit ridiculous and really prove nothing.

If you assume the Roman Legionnaires were brain dead automatons, that would willingly march into a chainsaw for the Emperor, then they might just win given their overwhelming numbers.

More than likely, the Legions would disintegrate and run before they came within Pilum range of the seals.

This is why.

The Seals, would be divided into say ten teams of twenty men each. Each 20 man team would have four machine guns, one firing the 5.56 mm and another 7.65mm rounds, either the M240 or M249SAW.

This would given them a total of 40 machine guns.  The 7.62mm would be good out to 1100 meters firing in barrage mode. The 5.56 would be effective out to 800 meters in barrage mode.

Each 20 man team would have at least 2 Barrett .50 cal sniper rifles and possibly a M40 7.65 or a Lapua .338 magnum.

If you do not know what barrage fire for machine guns is, I will explain. You never see it in the movies and it was actually the way machine guns were first used.  They were fired like artillery. In WWI that is how they were used. They were fired at a high angle so the bullets fell at nearly 45 degrees into a "beaten zone" that was shaped like a large oval ().  The attacking soldiers had to march or run through a rainstorm of dropping bullets. The Somme demonstrated what it could do to attacking troops.

So the Seals would start barrage fire at about 11 yards. They would move their 7.65 guns side to side very slowly, the Brits would "tap" the recievers to move the gun muzzle a few millimeters while firing hosing their part of the field of fire.

Since the Legionaries had to cover 6 kms, the Seals would go to ground, and the Legionnaires would not even see them when the Centurions started dropping at 2 kilometers. The Barrett snipers would begin shooting all the leaders in the Legion, before they could even see who they were attacking.

At 1000-1200 meters the bullets would start to rain down on the tightly backed formations of the legion. Since a 160 grain 7.65mm bullet can go through about 1 meter of pine board, they would have no trouble piercing the Legionnaire's scutum,and Lorca Segmentata.

Since they would not begin to run till they got to about 100 meters in order to throw their pilum, you could assume that they would be under barrage fire for nearly 15 minutes. Walking speed is about 4 kilometers an hour so it would take them 15 minutes to cover the 1000 yards.

During that time, casualties would be horrendous. Men accustomed to fighting with spears and swords would suddenly see their comrade's head exploding caused by something they did not understand.  Some might make a connection between the penetrating injuries and led shot that sling armed Velites used in battle, but the distance would baffle them. since they were very superstitious, fear would set in. Leaderless, and suffering losses like nothing they had ever experienced, I doubt they would get closer than 500 meters to the Seal line.

At 700 yards the rifle armed Seals would commence firing adding their volume of fire to the machine gun fire. The other 20 5.56mm machine guns would begin barrage or direct fire at this time as well.

The surviving legionnaires would be hit by a new and even more dense blizzard of bullets.

You did not say whether the Seals would have their rifle mounted grenade launchers, if so they would have started used them at their extreme range of 150 m. They would used these to target the last remaining coherent groups of legionnaires to break up those formations.

In my estimation I doubt it would get to this point.  There would be no leaders, since the standards and dress of those members were designed to be distinctive and to make them stand out, so they would all have been killed between 2000m and 500 yards.  The Barrett could start taking out leaders at 2000 yards with the other conventional snipers pitching in at 1000 yards.

The .50 cal slug or 12.5 mm could penetrate whole ranks of legionnaires, hitting the first man in a file and penetrating 5-6 men behind him.

I truly believe superstition and fear would cause the legion to disintegrate long before they came within effective range of any of the Roman weapons.

The only specialized tactics would be assigning ranges and targets for the snipers, laying down overlapping fields of fire for the longer range machine guns, and doing the same for the shorter range M249s. Fire discipline would need to be enforced for the riflemen, to conserve their "punch" till what was left of the Romans were within effective range.

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Keith H. Patton


I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.


I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
historical periods.

B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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