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"the diekplous: my 2-parts tactical discussion" Topic

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Alkedo04 Dec 2021 8:37 a.m. PST

Hi there,

I read a lot from various authors about the diekplous manouver, trying to clear my mind about what was that about, exactly, from the tactical point of view. After all, it is a crucial manouver in ancient naval warfare!

I decided to share what I got from my readings, because playing with my friends at the club I realized this is such a key but also obscure subject. Since I believe being fully aware of historical tactics makes wargaming much more enjoyable, please find below my brief presentation. Hope you enjoy!



Gray Bear04 Dec 2021 10:35 a.m. PST

Good discussion. Looking forward to reading Part 2. Thank you for your efforts snd posting it here.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2021 11:07 a.m. PST

Good explanations. I think you also made an important point up front when you mentioned ships in line and not moving. We are so used to first sailing vessels, then steam battleships, and finally steam powered carrier groups moving about that we don't think of ships staying in one place.


Prince Alberts Revenge04 Dec 2021 2:07 p.m. PST

Incredibly interesting. I remember reading about this in Paul Hague's naval wargaming books. I always wondered how they would successfully work. I also like the diagrams with your wonderful sculpts. Much appreciated.

Bellerophon199304 Dec 2021 7:28 p.m. PST

Could you furnish us with a bibliography for further reading? You mention the scholarly debate on this, I'd love to follow along with it.

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP04 Dec 2021 9:12 p.m. PST

I look forward to part 2!

Alkedo05 Dec 2021 8:10 a.m. PST

Many thanks and I am glad this sparked some interest. I promise I will try to do part 2 in short time, even if that will require a lot of pictures and quite complex discussion!

Grelber, you raise an interesting point that I wish I had stressed more in the post. The target enemy formation is indeed probably likely to be stationary. Also, this is relevant for discussing the "line abreast" school. A fleet in line abreast will certainly close with the enemy at slow speed, to avoid losing order and thus exposing flanks. Which in turn implies that to perform a line abreast diekplous, you would start from speed zero, or very close!

Bellerophon, this is a good idea, I will add ASAP to the post. Actually I was also planning to do another post on a few interesting papers that can be reached on the internet, some of which I used for this post. I need to think how to do it.

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2021 10:59 a.m. PST

Can't wait for part 2!

I have thought a lot about this myself.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2021 6:12 a.m. PST

Great read, I am writing my own rules for Trireme warfare at the moment and have just made a change based on your article, thank you!

williamb06 Dec 2021 10:20 a.m. PST

Interesting post. The Diekplus was possible because the opposing lines would have to leave enough space between friendly ships to avoid fouling oars. Will you be including the Anastrophe in your discussion?

Alkedo06 Dec 2021 11:49 a.m. PST

Well, I did add a brief bibliography. I suggest you sign up for a month to JSTOR so you can download the papers you are interested in – it's a very cheap options for a lot of good reading!

Herkybird, glad to hear, and enjoy the work! I myself am working on some mods for He Hemetera Talassa which I will share when are ready.

Williamb: yes indeed the anastrophe will be there, as the key manouver for getting close enough to try a diekplous and escape safely if needed. I would also discuss some more about proper distances, in meters!

williamb08 Dec 2021 6:49 a.m. PST

Rams, Ravens, and Wrecks did a two part blog post about the Diekplous also. He came to the conclusion that oar shears were the result of a failed Diekplous.

Alkedo11 Dec 2021 9:39 a.m. PST

williamb, thanks for pointing that out, I went to read. That's a great blog I already knew. It is interesting the line ahead diekplous interpretation that he – in my view most correctly – disputed in his second article. I wonder where he got that from!

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