Category Archive 'Alternate History'

05 Sep 2011

Could I Destroy the Entire Roman Empire During the Reign of Augustus if I Traveled Back in Time with a Modern U.S. Marine Infantry Battalion or MEU?

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Here is an intriguing plot line for an alternative history series along the lines of the Eric Flint’s 1632

Prufrock451 took us somewhat cursorily through the first week of the 35th MEU’s adventures in Ancient Rome. He has a series franchise here if he continues.

The Marines aren’t going to have any problems dealing with local military forces, as long as they still have ammunition and fuel. But when they inevitably run out of cartridges, what then? One detail I’d suggest to assist in plotting is to be sure to bring along a Navy support ship with an on-board machine shop.


Wikipedia tells us that a typical Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU, pronounced “Myuu”) has approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors. It is equipped with:

4 M1A1 main battle tank
7 to 16 Light Armored Vehicle
15 Amphibious Assault Vehicle
6 155mm howitzer: M198 or M777
8 M252 81mm mortar
8 BGM-71 Tube Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire Guided (TOW) missile weapon system
8 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile

4 to 6 AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters
3 UH-1N Twin Huey utility helicopter
12 CH-46E Sea Knight medium lift assault helicopter
4 CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift assault helicopter
6 AV-8B Harrier jet
2 KC-130 Hercules re-fueler/transport aircraft
Note: usually maintained in the continental United States

2 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit
1 LMT 3000 water purification unit
4 Tractor, Rubber Tire, Articulated Steering
2 TX51-19M Rough Terrain Forklift
3 D7 bulldozer
1 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement dump truck
4 Mk48 Logistics Vehicle System

7 500 gallon water containers
63 Humvee
30 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks

A Marine Infantry Battalion constitutes essentially the ground portion of an MEU, and may contain 2–5 companies, with a total of 500 to 1,200 Marines in the battalion.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

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