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This Essay Is A Detaild Account Of The Battel Of Canne I Wich The Romans Where Defeated By Hanable And His Men. By Fredy1602

3253 words - 14 pages

The Battle of Cannae - Detailed DescriptionThe Battle of Cannae on 2 August, 216 BC serves as a classic example of a double-envelopment maneuver, a way for an inferior force to defeat a superior force on open terrain. Hannibal is still studied in military acadamies.The battlefield is located in the Apulian plain on the right bank of the Aufidus (modern Ofanto) River, about six miles south of Canosa di Puglia, which itself is midway between Bari and Foggia on Italy's east coast.The army of Hannibal, fronting west, stood to the left of Aufidus (Ofanto) in the vicinity of the village Cannae,(2) situated near the mouth of the river, and opposite the troops of the consuls Gaius Terentius ...view middle of the document...

They were a colourful mix of Gauls, Spaniards, Numidians and Carthaginians. A lot is made of the phychological impact his elephants had on terrified Roman troops. But by the battle of Cannae all Hannibal's elephants had died.In theory, the Roman sledgehammer should have crushed the Carthaginian menace, but for the way it was to be wielded.Disagreement between the ConsulsLivy and Polybius report a daily alternating commandership of the forces, although there is some doubt about how important an issue this was - this literary device may have been used to whitewash the role of Paulus in the disaster. Varro was reported as being in command during the day of battle, and Paullus is reported to be opposed to a confrontation.Hannibal's position, with a considerably superior enemy in his front and the sea, in his rear, was by no means a favorable one. Nevertheless, Consul Aemilius Paulus, in concurrence with Proconsul Servilius, wished to avoid a battle. Both feared the superior Carthaginian cavalry to which Hannibal particularly owed his victories on the Ticinus, on the Trebia and at the Trasimene lake. Terentius Varro, neverthelesss, wished to seek a decision and avenge the defeats suffered.Dispositions and tactics: cavalry on the flanksBoth generals wanted to employ the tactics for which their armies were best suited; we look now at why tactics influenced how the armies took their places on the battlefield. Where Varro wanted to lead a massive attack on the enemy's center and break through their lines, Hannibal planned to encircle the enemy with his cavalry. The legions were led by a man named Servilius, who was a war tribune--a position of command that rotated among six officers each year.The dispositions dictated the course of the battle. Both sides put their cavalry on the flanks. Varro drew up in three lines, which was the traditional battle formation. Hannibal made two adjustments in his setup. First, the weaker Gauls and Spaniards were pushed out in an arc, while the stronger Africans were held back on at each end of the infantry line. While Hannibal was outnumbered in infantry 2:1, his cavalry was superior to the Romans, expecially on his left.Hannibal first masked his moves as he drew up his army, by placing his light slingers and spearmen at the front. Behind them, he positioned his Celtic and Spanish swordsmen in a crescent in the center. On his left wing he stationed his Celtic and Spanish heavy cavalry, on the right he stationed his light Numidian cavalry.Hannibal put his most reliable (African) troops on the flanks and turned his center over to his less reliable Spanish and Gallic allies. Hannibal opposed to the enemy's front only his 20,000 Iberians and Gauls, which were probably 12 files deep. The greater part of his cavalry under Hasdrubal was placed on the left wing and the light Numidian on the right. In rear of this cavalry the 12,000 heavily armed Carthaginian infantry were formed equally divided between the two wings. He placed...

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