ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • History & Archaeology»
  • Ancient History

The Roman Slaughter at Teutoburg Forest near Kalkriese, Sept. 9 AD

Updated on October 24, 2010
German warriors
German warriors
Depiction of battle
Depiction of battle
Roman soldier
Roman soldier

The Roman disaster in the TeutoburgForest in September, 9 A.D remains one of the great defeats of the Roman Empire. Led by one of Rome’s favorite son’s, German born Arminius, turned on those that loved and trained him, he secretly led four German tribes (18000 men) into deadly battle with Varus’ Roman Army. Arminius was a trusted and loyal officer of the legion, but German. He always was. While he truly became a Roman in all ways, when it came to the Roman conquest of Germany, his allegiance secretly changed and he plotted to lead Rome's legions into a killing zone. The German ambush at the KalkrieseNarrows ( a narrow strip of land only 220m wide) caught the Romans by complete surprise with an ambush. Within three days, all 20,000 Roman soldiers had been killed in a savage and brutal bloodletting. The battle began on the second day as the Romans approached the narrows and the German attacked. Some historians believe that the battle lasted no longer than three hours, with the main deluge taking only 30 minutes. However, Roman writings clearly indicate it was over a period of three days, with Day 2 as being the when the massacre occurred.

The attack was top secret. As the Roman legions approached the narrow one lane path which lied between the 110m Kalkriese Hill and the Great Moor swamp (near present day Engter, Germany, off Hwy B218) Arminius, which was scouting far ahead, switched loyalties and vanished. Varus, the legion commander, never saw him again. The Roman soldiers casually and with their guard down, walked in single file past a 4-5 ft. high mud wall with trees and brush on both sides and the swamp a few hundred yards away. They never suspected what awaited them behind the wall and in the woods until Arminius issued the attack order.

The Roman advance into Germany in September, 9 AD, consisted mostly of the 17th, 18th, and 19th legions, 3000 non-roman and about 400 cavalry. Varus was the commander and was basically on a patrol mission and goodwill tour in Germany. The German tribes were not friendly to Rome and Rome was never really successful there. Roman forts were located at Alsio, Haltern and Oberaden. The German tribes became united under Arminius, at least for this battle. They consisted of Bructeri, Chatti, Cherusci, Marsi, Chauci and totaled 15000 men who were savages and poorly armed when compared to the Roman soldier.

When the first legion approached the "wicked narrows" on that fateful day, normally, the legion would occupy a width of space of 16 yds, however, because of the terrain, the soldiers had to enter and move in single file along the path-this weakened Roman tactics monumentally. The geographics of the battlefield made it impossible to employ Roman tactics very well, there simply was no space. When the attack began, the German tribes came out of nowhere from both sides of the path instantly causing mayhem in brutal in your face combat. The Germans sent in their men in waves under the command of Arminius as Roman reinforcements entered. The German tribes attacked the legions Ballistas and archers before they could be employed and their supply train was wiped out.

The battle was really man for man, chaotic, brutal and savage. Varus had little time to conduct "proper" military tactics of any sort. As the battle went on, it was apparent some Roman soldiers chose to flee the debacle, most did not get far and only a few did escape with the news of the battle.

The Germans lost around 7000 men. They were fighting for their land while the Romans in Germany considered it a fringe area and not really valuable as a colony. It was Rome's backwater area and lesser quality troops were sent there as well.

After the battle, 20,000 dead Romans laid. Any still living were beheaded by the victors. It was a blow Rome never really got over.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 5 years ago

      Yes, thanks

    • profile image

      Jenn 5 years ago

      I'm making a YouTube video about Rome, and I was wondering if I could use your Roman soldier image for it. I will give you full credit and put this URL in the link, but can I?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)