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Alexander the Great vs Hannibal of Cartha

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Poll Question: Who would win this battle??
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Alexander the Great vs Hannibal of Cartha
    Posted: 14-Jul-2007 at 06:07

Who would win this battle Alexander or Hannibal??? I know this battle between the two would be evenly matched and probably alot of other people would agree with me on that. But in this case scenario there can only be one who will come out triumphant so in your opinion who would win this battle and why???

Due to numerous accounts of mentionings of the battlefield etc. Well the battlefield is set on flat ground there is no trees nothing else but flat ground. The weather is perfect the sun is ou, not too hot, not too cold its just a perfect day for a battle. There is no location.
 
As for the armies Alexander using his army during the battle of Gaugamela and Hannibal using his army at the battle of Cannae. Both armies with about the same numbers about 50,000 on both sides. Only two masterminds will decide how this battle ends.
 
 
 
 


Edited by ezycompany - 25-Aug-2007 at 10:09
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jul-2007 at 06:39
It's very hard to say but I would be backing on Hannibal. Military technology had advanced considerably and the nations that were still using Phalanx tactics like the Diodachi states were promptly defeated by those that had developed multiple-role troops. Hannibal had the advantage of legionary-ish troops against Alexander's hoplites. Remember the battle of Cynosephalae? Alexander's hoplites could easily be flanked if they were on anything but flat terrain. I'm seriously betting on Hannibal - Alexander knew how to win a victory against other Hoplite-bearing nations and eastern light infantry, but no way to exploit that victory. Hannibal was a brilliant commander who knew not to occupy towns or not to get distracted - just to break the Roman army and take Rome as soon as he could - an Ancient "Blitzkrieg"- Yup. Hannibal is my bet.
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  Quote sunnyspot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 02:07
Originally posted by Earl Aster

It's very hard to say but I would be backing on Hannibal. Military technology had advanced considerably and the nations that were still using Phalanx tactics like the Diodachi states were promptly defeated by those that had developed multiple-role troops. Hannibal had the advantage of legionary-ish troops against Alexander's hoplites. Remember the battle of Cynosephalae? Alexander's hoplites could easily be flanked if they were on anything but flat terrain. I'm seriously betting on Hannibal - Alexander knew how to win a victory against other Hoplite-bearing nations and eastern light infantry, but no way to exploit that victory. Hannibal was a brilliant commander who knew not to occupy towns or not to get distracted - just to break the Roman army and take Rome as soon as he could - an Ancient "Blitzkrieg"- Yup. Hannibal is my bet.


They would probably decimate each other. But I tip Alexander - not because of his phalanx, which the Romans would have been able to maneavure around, but his hard bitten generals - Phillip's old guard. I see them standing at the end of the battle, victorious. It was these old grizzeled war veterans that war the anvil of the Macedonian army - proved time and time again in his wars against the Greeks and Persians.
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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 05:05
This is one of the most classical questions in history forums LOL Honestly I don't know what to say.


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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 05:26
Because I believe Hannibal was a better general, I would pick him to take the cake.
However, as is the case with all of these comparisons and general/army face-offs, they are completely dependent on a myriad of external factors of the mere general/army himself/itself.
I have moved this thread to historical amusement, but please do feel to continue discussion over these two great generals.
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 06:08

I can certainly see Sunnyspot's point about Alexander's generals - those men like Ptolemy, Selucos and Antiochus could really have been an asset in this make-believe-battle, but frankly, when it comes to sheer military technological superiority, in this battle it would go to Hannibal. Hannibal's light legionary-like troops would easily be able to defeat a Phalanx. This battle wouldn't be Phalanx against Phalanx, it would be light troops, heavy troops, elephants, missile troops and cavalry versus phalanx, missile troops and cavalary. When looking at it in this way, one can see that Hannibal has the ability over Alexander to flank.

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  Quote sunnyspot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2007 at 00:36
Originally posted by Earl Aster

I can certainly see Sunnyspot's point about Alexander's generals - those men like Ptolemy, Selucos and Antiochus could really have been an asset in this make-believe-battle, but frankly, when it comes to sheer military technological superiority, in this battle it would go to Hannibal. Hannibal's light legionary-like troops would easily be able to defeat a Phalanx. This battle wouldn't be Phalanx against Phalanx, it would be light troops, heavy troops, elephants, missile troops and cavalry versus phalanx, missile troops and cavalary. When looking at it in this way, one can see that Hannibal has the ability over Alexander to flank.



You left out the best of them. Who can forget Cleitus, Parmenion, Hephaistion - brutal warriors...
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2007 at 07:06

How many of them were there, then? Alexander's never been an area that i've read up on heavily

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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2007 at 14:55
If it is alexander at his height against hannibal against his height, alexander would win without a doubt.  He was a superior general, and his phallanx was simply there to hold the enemy (hannibals) line while he took his cavalry through the opposing cavalry (inferior numidians in this case) and hit the enemy in the flank and rear.  Phallanx is the anvil and the companion cavalry is the hammer.  Alexander had better troops and better generals.
There were a ton of them some of the more famous ones are:  Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, Lysimachus, Parmenion, Antigonus, Cleitus, Hephaestion, Antipater, Craterus, Perdiccas etc.
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann

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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2007 at 16:28
Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, Lysimachus, Parmenion, Antigonus, Cleitus, Hephaestion, Antipater, Craterus, Perdiccas etc.
 
...But not all of them were Diodachi, no? Only a handful of the ones that you mentioned ever formed his successor states.
 
Justinian, why are you always under the conviction that Alexander could definatley have beaten Hannibal and other generals of that time?
 
A- the unit types are completely different
B- good general or no, cavalry or no, the Roman and Carthaginian units are centuries ahead in military technology
C - It depends on the general- despite popular belief, Alexander was not infallible
 
Frankly, we just don't know, but Alexander could not have just smashed his way through any Roman-era army. I'd like to see him take on Trajan's Elite Legions in the Parthian campagins, or Pompey's legions in the Mithradic wars, or Allatus's cavalry at the battle of Magnesia! Having a Phalanx face a Legion is a little like having a flintlock muskeeteer face and aquebus- the same era but one still much more powerful than the other.
 
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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2007 at 15:02
Originally posted by Earl Aster

Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, Lysimachus, Parmenion, Antigonus, Cleitus, Hephaestion, Antipater, Craterus, Perdiccas etc.
 
...But not all of them were Diodachi, no? Only a handful of the ones that you mentioned ever formed his successor states.
 
Justinian, why are you always under the conviction that Alexander could definatley have beaten Hannibal and other generals of that time?
 
A- the unit types are completely different
B- good general or no, cavalry or no, the Roman and Carthaginian units are centuries ahead in military technology
C - It depends on the general- despite popular belief, Alexander was not infallible
 
Frankly, we just don't know, but Alexander could not have just smashed his way through any Roman-era army. I'd like to see him take on Trajan's Elite Legions in the Parthian campagins, or Pompey's legions in the Mithradic wars, or Allatus's cavalry at the battle of Magnesia! Having a Phalanx face a Legion is a little like having a flintlock muskeeteer face and aquebus- the same era but one still much more powerful than the other.
 
In the beginning all of these generals supported the regent and Alexander's successors; his son and half brother.  Once these two were out of the way then the wars began.  Remember that many of these generals killed each other off before the successor states were set up.  So you are right in the sense that only a few of them set up successor states.
 
I admit I am biased in favor of Alexander, even though I am a big fan of Hannibal (see avatar).  Since this discussion is all hypothetical, I can only guess what would happen.  That being said I look at Alexander who never lost a battle and fought multiple enemies with completely different tactics on the fly and beat all of them.  Hannibal fought one enemy who used heavy infantry and repeatedly beat them until that enemy used hannibals main weapon against him (numidian cavalry).  I hope that explains why it appears I think Alexander is invincible.Wink
 
Edit:  In regards to military technology, even if one side has inferior technology depending on the situation it might not make a difference.  There are numerous examples of inferior armies beating superior ones, even if that is unlikely.
 
Perhaps I missed it but is it suppose to be alexander and military technology circa 330 b.c. versus hannibal and the military technology of 220 b.c.?


Edited by Justinian - 17-Jul-2007 at 15:06
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2007 at 19:42
I can see your point, but also look at these variables - the Persian empire was crumbling after numerous civil wars (Cambyses II etc.), and their vast size eventually made them cumbersome, like all large empires. Darius III/Codomannus was appointed by Bagoas, the Grand Vizier who murdered Artaxerxes III in 338 BC, used him like a puppet. Yes, Bagoas was later killed, but the fact that courtiers were more and more frequently doing things like this (khabash in Egypt, for example...) clearly shows an empire in its slow demise. Darius wasn't even trained in running an empire- he had never held a previous post! Even when Xenophon marched the 10'000 to hell and back through Persia, we can see that Artaxerxes's forces were simply not planned enough to contain them, despite the fact that Xenophon and his generals were not as "powerful" as Alexander. The gradual pressure from Greece had begun to nibble away at the corners of the Persian empire - the Egyptians revolted, with Necetabo II being declared Pharoah and promptly killed by Atraxerxes's forces near Elephantine. Greek incursions such as those of the Athenian archon Cimon and later generals, had begun to take their toll. The peoples of the foreign lands that they subdued, such as the Carthaginians, began to become restless (they refused to row in the Persian navy of several occasions). I'm not disputing the fact that Alexander was a brilliant general in his time, but also, in his time the Persian empire was crumbling and was nothing like as powerful at the time of Marthon. If Alexander had succeeded against fighting a more unified and powerful persian empire some 200 years earlier, now that is the question...
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  Quote Kamikaze 738 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2007 at 22:48
Im leading with Alexander in this one but Im not discrediting Hannibal, both were great generals for their time. The thing is, Hannibal never truely faced against a Macedonian phalanx before so I dont really know how Hannibal will react. Hannibal cant deploy his troops like in Cannae because its nearly impossible to encircle Alexander's army. I think it would all be about the cavalry, which ever wins decides the fate of the army and I think Alexander's Companions can defeat any Numidians cavalry. Thats why I think Alexander could defeat Hannibal, without the cavalry Hannibal cant stop a flanking (even if the Libyian Spearmens were deployed). Thats just my opinion, its hard deciding which is better when you are comparing history's greatest generals... 

Edited by Kamikaze 738 - 17-Jul-2007 at 22:50
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  Quote sunnyspot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jul-2007 at 01:56

Earl Aster,

I back the Macedonian General.

It was the way these guys conducted themselves. Think about how many strong men they had to cut down.

What I think about is how several thousand Macedonians, on the left at the battle of Gaugamela, can hold back such a massively numerous force (in hand to hand combat) for how long? A half hour - An hour. Super fit boxers can only manage 'MINUTES' in the ring under fire, with rests in between. Think about the heavy armour and weapons they carried, and using them in a hand to hand bloodbath for AN HOUR or so, while your loins are screaming out 'die'.

Take these guys - and they would decimate ANY force that came at them in equal numbers.
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jul-2007 at 12:38
Take these guys - and they would decimate ANY force that came at them in equal numbers.
 
If you look at my statement, you'll see my evidence for suggesting that the Persia that Alexander attacked was simply not as powerful as the one which attempted to invade Greece centuries before. He was a brilliant general - that is not in dispute. I just find it irritating that so many people will not relinquish the athmosphere surrounding Alexander that they got from the myth and substituting it for historical realism. Regarding what you were saying about the strength of Alexander's soldiers, sunnyspot, that doesn't suggest anything about the abilites of the general as a tactical leader. Greek hoplites were exceptionally well trained and many of them would run the hoplite racing in the Olympics and the training sessions. This entailed running with full armour. If we consider the amount of wars that the average Greek or Macedonian would have partaken in, we can see that his experience would frankly have been increadibally high- he would have been used to the weight of his armour and of the turmoil of the many forced marches that he would have been made to endure. Speaking about the strength of Alexander's men is clearly a mythically inspired act, because frankly, most men of the ancient world have been used to copious war. Also, not all Macedonian soldiers carried such heavy equipment - many, such as peltasts and light cavalry could have been more or less naked. In many respects, the Persians wore more heavy garments and more of them. Look at Thermopyle and Marathon, look at Ipsus and Magnesia - all these examples of Greek battles show hours and hours of fighting under heavy armour and stress. Just because Alexander's men did it (like most soldiers of the time did), then how does that give him more credibility? By your logic, the Roman legions commanders would have been brilliant because of what their legionaries were wearing. Think again - armour and troop types doesn't neccesarily do any justice to Alexander the great.
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  Quote Kamikaze 738 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2007 at 00:30
Originally posted by sunnyspot

What I think about is how several thousand Macedonians, on the left at the battle of Gaugamela, can hold back such a massively numerous force (in hand to hand combat) for how long? A half hour - An hour. Super fit boxers can only manage 'MINUTES' in the ring under fire, with rests in between.


I think at the Battle of Cannae, the center of Hannibal's troops fought for nearly 4 hours... Dead
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  Quote elenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2007 at 05:53

I think comparisons can be so unfair. What Alexander had going for him were good generals and troops with foreknowledge of enemy tactics. Hannibal, after crossing the Alps, had to rebuild his army from irregulars and he often mistrusted the skill of his new generals. Then (as an obsessed man) he seemed to doubt his own skill. The totally unnecessary elephants slowed him down when he had more than enough skills to do without them. For all the problems, that would have would have led to a huge loss by a lesser man, he still managed to cream the Roman army for a decade. We dont know what he could have done if he had his original army, but I say if that were the case he could of taken Rome or beaten Alexander.

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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2007 at 05:59
Originally posted by Kamikaze 738

Originally posted by sunnyspot

What I think about is how several thousand Macedonians, on the left at the battle of Gaugamela, can hold back such a massively numerous force (in hand to hand combat) for how long? A half hour - An hour. Super fit boxers can only manage 'MINUTES' in the ring under fire, with rests in between.


I think at the Battle of Cannae, the center of Hannibal's troops fought for nearly 4 hours... Dead

This is indeed the case. Hannibal's centre not only had to undertake the orderly retreat, but then fight back. Furthermore, they then had the task of finishing off an entire Roman army (upwards of 60,000 men by this stage, though they had support on the flanks and rear now). Although the Romans were doomed, they still had plenty of fight in them, and Hannibal had to call it to an end when his troops were on the brink of complete exhaustion. Hence, a couple of thousand escaped to the nearby village, only to be sent to Sicily as a punishment. So, if endurance is anything, Hannibal's troops really have it going for them.
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2007 at 08:40
Yes, but that was by neccesity - just because in that battle Hannibal's troops displayed endurance, it doesn't mean that the Romans would have shown just as much if the situation was reversed.
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  Quote elenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2007 at 23:41
Some of Hannibal's troops were trained gladiators and showed during battle. That the Romans trained men to die for amusement at the circuses cost them dearly. Supermen of their own creation were set loose against them.
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