Hannibal: The Background, Strategies, Tactics and by Nic Fields

By Nic Fields

Osprey Command sequence #11

By the tip of the 1st Punic struggle opposed to Carthage, the Romans had decreased the capital urban of the Carthaginian Empire to a heap of ashes and destroyed its tradition. In 219 BC, although, Hannibal, the eldest son of the charismatic common Hamilcar Barca, begun the second one Punic conflict and used to be such a success that he threatened to ruin Roman strength thoroughly. Hannibal used to be a funky, considerate normal, and will arguably be defined because the maximum common of antiquity. His genius rested on a mix of bluff, double bluff, and a capability to exploit all troop kinds to their most sensible virtue. The conflict of Cannae continues to be a chef-d'oeuvre to which generations of next generals have aspired.

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Additional resources for Hannibal: The Background, Strategies, Tactics and Battlefield Experiences of the Greatest Commanders of History

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For Hannibal's elephants and cavalry the battle of Zama was over. It was now time for the main business to commence, and the opposing first lines (the hastati and the mercenaries) clashed and set to. 1). It was indeed a soldier's battle, with each man fighting for his own hand, a life-and-death struggle in a most brutal sense. Once the hastati, now probably reinforced by some of the principes, had eventually broken and scattered the second Carthaginian line, it too by all accounts having put up a desperate display of doggedness, Scipio redeployed his second and third lines on either wing of the first.

By the autumn of 202 BC the time had come for Hannibal to meet his Roman doppelganger, Scipio, on the field of Zama. 1-10, cf. 1, 2), each with an interpreter although both spoke Greek, and Hannibal perhaps Latin (cf. 24). 2), and he likens it to a bout between two wrestlers. For their meeting our two men of violence have come dressed for war. Scipio wears an Etrusco-Corinthian style of helmet with a horsehair crest, and a short, decorated and muscled cuirass of bronze. The latter has two rows of pteruges of white linen with gilded fringes, and is bound round with a specially tied linen waistband.

He was to gain the pejorative cognomen 'Cunctator', the Delayer, because, recognizing that he was not able to cope with Hannibal on the field of battle, he wisely chose to conduct a campaign of delays and limited-scale war, the one thing Hannibal could not afford, but also the one thing the Romans could not tolerate or understand. 3). There can be little doubt, by exercising the privilege of hindsight, that at this time Fabius' strategy of caution and delay was the correct one, and that his appointment prevented yet another consular army being served up to meet its almost inevitable doom at Hannibal's hands in 217 BC.

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