The Punic Wars Throughout History: The Battle Of Cannae

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Military tactics have evolved throughout history, one of the most important examples is the battle of Cannae. Facing all-out war against Rome for the second time, Carthage employed tactics the likes of which had not been seen. Hannibal Barca during the second Punic war forced Rome’s hand at the Battle of Cannae. Utilizing previous battle experience, the unorthodox makeup of his army and his overwhelming military tactics.

Following the events of the first Punic war between Rome and carthage, Spain was divided into two parts. The Ebro River acting as the border between Rome to the north and Cartharge to the south. During the peace between the first and second Punic wars, the town of Saguntam, a port city on the Mediterranean Coast, became
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As he fought his way through the Gaulic tribes, many joined Hannibal in his conquest against Rome. In 216BCE Rome appointed two consuls, Gaius Terenitus Varro and Lucius Amelius Paullus. Instead of commanding separate armies, Varro and Paullus were forced by the Roman senate to combine their separate forces into one penultimate force. They commanded eight enlarged roman legions made up of approximately 5,000 infantry and 300 cavalry as opposed to the more traditional 4,000 infantry and 200 horse. Once the allied forces of Rome are taken into account, Varro and Paullus had command over some 80,000 to 90,000 men. Hannibal’s cavalry consisted of Spanish, Celtic and Numidian, his infantry a varied mix of Spanish and Gaulish light infantry with African heavy Infantry as the backbone of his army. The unpredictability of the Gaulish infantry was a problem for Hannibal in previous battles, he intermixed the Spanish infantry amongst the Celts. The Spaniards and Celts used similar shields however their primary weapons differed greatly. Celtic swords were more of a slashing weapon, designed to be used in wide arcs. Spanish weapons were more of a thrusting weapon designed for the grueling task of face to face combat. The mixture of Spanish and Gauls worked well, with the Spaniards able to keep the Celts somewhat in check. The African heavy infantry were very similar in equipment to the Roman heavy infantry. Hannibal used his previous victories to outfit his African troops with better and stronger equipment as needed. His Numidian Cavalry were very efficient at chasing down a foe, his Spanish and Celtic horse worked similar to their infantry counterpart albeit on horseback. Hannibal included in his army Balearic slingers and spearmen from numerous nationalities. In total, Hannibal is said to of had no more than 40,000 infantry and

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