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Firearms +++


Automatic firearms and high explosives would win battles. Mortars, antitank vs formed men. Machineguns with no bunkers, walls and gates would be no obstacle. Do the marines have diesel humvees and APCs? If so, they can make fuel and just run people over.

The real question would be morale. Would the US Marines have the desire to usurp authority from a political body (Senatorial, even with an emperor) that for the most part peacefully represents the people. Slavery and Christianity would be factors. Is this post Theodosius? Would Marines instead help by defeating the Huns or keep the empire from splitting east from west?

The one factor which is hard to consider is the ability of armies to adapt the weaponry of the enemy. The romans would develop gunpowder grenades, poison gas, greek fire and suicide tactics if the enemy is god-like but bleeds. Also, disease would be a factor. The water of the ancient world was dangerous to drink. Could the shrewd romans ply the marines with beer and broads, turn them into romans, like that Trek episode. Then it would be marine vs marine, assassination and betrayal.

I pick the romans to win because they are the ones defending from an invader who is ignorant of the period. Would a marine kill a child? A roman certainly would; they viewed life as only precious through kinship. The former marines who write these what-if stories are idealistic and naive, like many lacking imagination in our modern military. They see their own values as the norm and no room for variance. They even misjudge the enemy all too often.

An interesting question to ask is if NASA could conquer the roman empire or Silicon Valley, Bill Gates or Zuckerberg, Magic Johnson or Einstein? A modern man in ancient times, "Lest Darkness Falls."



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