Battle of Argentoratum (357
By Chris Jones
In 357 AD, a large army of 35,000 Germanic tribesmen crossed the Rhine
under the command of their King Chnodomar. The Emperor Julian the Apostate
marched to intercept them with an army of 13,000, comprised of 4,500
legionnaries, 5,500 auxilliaries, 600 heavy Clibanarii cavalry with both
man and horse armoured, and other troops.
Julian advanced his forces for some 21 miles on a hot August morning
before crossing a hill to find the Germans arrayed before him. He quickly
advanced with a line of Auxiliaries backed by his legions forming the left
wing and centre. His right wing was formed of the heavy cavalry backed up
by Auxillaries (Batavii and Regii). Skirmishers were deployed to cover his
right flank, and Light Horse covered his left.
The Germans were formed in a line with some troops hidden in a large
wood on their right flank. The German noble cavalry were dismounted either
because they felt they had no chance against the Roman heavy cavalry or to
bolster the morale of the infantry.
As the Roman battlelines advanced, the Roman left wing halted before
the woods and began to skirmish, fearing a trap. Seeing the Romans did not
intend to advance any further, the Germans in the wood broke cover in a
rush but were easily driven back. This was followed by a general advance
by the German line.
The Roman left wing held but on the right the Roman cavalry fell back
in disorder when the Roman Clibannarii commander was killed. The
supporting Batavii and Regii Auxillaries now countercharged the Germans,
driving them back. A final charge by German nobles broke through the Roman
centre but was halted and eventually recoiled by the Primani Legion. The
Romans now advanced, driving back the Germans who broke and ran, suffering
severe losses in the pursuit, including many tribesmen who drown in the
Rhine. King Chnodomar was captured. Over 6000 Germans were killed for the
loss of 250 Romans.
Simulating Argentoratum in DBA
Order of Battle
Late Roman -- 1x Kn, 2x Cv, 1x Lh, 4x Bd, 3x Ax, 1x
German (Early Alamannic) -- 1x Bd, 9x Wb, 2x
The battlefield is open except for a large hill centered on the Roman
baseline (which the Romans have just crossed over) and a large wood in the
German half of the board located on the Roman left flank.
Normal DBA, except the Germans may place troops in ambush in the
Last Update: June 12, 2000
My thanks to Chris Jones for this scenario. Comments, questions, and
suggestions are welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley at email@example.com.