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August 2 - Battle of Cannae

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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: August 2 - Battle of Cannae
    Posted: 01-Aug-2005 at 19:38
A good day for making history!
You should try it!


On August 2, 216 BC Hannibal (247 BC-184 BC) routed the Roman army in the battle of Cannae, the worst defeat in Roman history.
Sixteen Roman Legions under the joint command of the two Consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentio Varro are decisively beaten by a much smaller Carthaginian army, thanks to the deployment of battle innovative tactics of its genial leader. 50.000 Roman soldiers are killed, amongst them Aemilius Paulus.
What was the greatest single disaster in Roman history and could have been the decisive battle that could have clinched the Second Punic War for Carthage, proved in its aftermath a somewhat inconsequential event. Rome dug in, raised another army or two and fought a defensive ,dogged and drawn-out war; - Hannibal who didnt have the strength to besiege Rome, exhausted himself and his army, strolling around Italy and waiting for fresh supplies from Carthage which never came to the extent he had wished for.
The Second Punic War that could have come to end on this day, if Hannibal could have kept the momentum, carried on for another dozen years and its story is told in an article on AEs main page.
The Romans- Part 2

The Potsdam Conference ended on August 2, 1945. The leaders of the victorious Allied countries had met in the small town near Berlin to discuss the future of the beaten Germany. Stalin, Truman and Churchill, later to be replaced by Attlee, decided on a number of measures to re-organise post-war Germany and to compensate the victims of Germanys aggression: De-Nazification and democratization, division of Germany in four allied occupation zones, payment of war reparations and the cession of Germanys Eastern provinces to Poland and the Soviet-Union, to name the main points. (It worked a treat, and today the Germans are one of the most happy, democratic and peace-loving people in the known universe,....I think!)

The Gulf of Tonking incident took place on August 2, 1964. A North-Vietnam patrol boat fell into the trap that had been set by the US Army and was provoked to fire a few shots at two American destroyers, without causing too much damage. (It was the WMD of the Vietnam War, it gave the USA the excuse and pretext to increase its military presence in Vietnam and eventually conduct a full blown war on the Vietnamese people.)

Talking of WMDs. On August 2, 1990 , the Iraqi army began its invasion of its neighbouring state Kuwait, which led to two Gulf wars, at the latest count. (Watch this space, however, for more to come!)

Full list:

Wikipedia
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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 00:00
I have always wondered something about the Carthiginian invasion of Italy. Couldn't the Carthiginians simply have built siege equipment to take Rome? Practically all of southern Italy was in his hands, with several undamaged cities who surrendered without a fight, including several former Roman allies. There must have been at least one engineer who could have guided the contruction of such machines. Of Rome's former allies, there must have been a few who had been inside the city and knew the weaknesses in its defenses.
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  Quote Raider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 04:00

 

Belisarius:

I think thye could have built, and the lack of siege equipment was not a key factor. Rome was a large city and the citizens could have protect the city while the help arrives. I suppose the romans could have sieged the besiegers like later Alesia, or Stalingrad in the WW2. In my opinion It was too risky.

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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 11:55
I've always been puzzled as to why he didn't go for Rome. Cases when an army takes a city despite being outnumbered by the garrison are not unheard of (eg. Samarkand 1221), and Hannibal had the tactical gift to do it. Maybe the reason was as said by one of his men:

 "You know how to gain a victory, Hannibal, but not how to use it." 
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  Quote TheodoreFelix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 12:08
I hate the quote, I really do, there is such little evidence for it and IMO, it was complete manufactured.

As for not marching on Rome, he had neither the equipment nor experienced men for it. He had no supply train to settle on but had to rely on the land around him for food and so that meant that he was costantly on the move because 30,000 big boys tend to chop through food fast. On top of all this, the Roman garrison was much bigger and outside forces numerically superior to Hannibal's can come at anytime from any city.

IMO, there was no way he could have settled and sieged Rome, not in the position he was in.
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  Quote Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 13:24
At the time of Second Punic War, Rome was not that big of a city and Hannibal controlled several large former Greek cities in the south. 30,000 men was sufficient for taking Rome.

I would also like to add that other than Belisarius' brilliant defense of Rome against the Ostrogoths, Rome has never withstood a siege anywhere in its history.
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  Quote TheodoreFelix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 13:53
The control was fleeting. And Hannibal didnt gain southern cities until a bit later. When Rome had recovered. Add this to the fact that cities around Rome, latin ones, were still loyal to it even after the defeat and were willing to give soldiers until the very end(when they had been drained). During a siege, Hannibal stoof a good chance of getting hit from the rear by a relief army On top of that, I doubt Hannnibal could have taken the walls simply by attacking it, he would have needed to starve it. But in enemy territory and consideriong your reliance on the land for food. Hannibal would have run n out of supplies far before Rome.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2005 at 06:18
Goldsworthy points out that a conquest of Rome would have been improbable even had Hannibal marched on the city right after winning Cannae. This is for a number of reasons:

*Lack of proper siege weaponry and engineers
*Lack of a certain supply line to the defecting colonies (the besieging army could easily run out of supplies long before the besieged Romans).
*The presence of a very sizeable garrison in Rome.
*The threat of a relief force
*Unreliability of mercenaries and tribal allies, being moored in one place was likely to see them drift away. The prospect of loot kept them loyal much of the time.
*Hannibal would be thoroughly unable to defend the recently defected colonies in South Italy
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Aug-2012 at 19:34
1798: British defeat the Frogs at the Battle of the Nile
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
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  Quote Delenda est Roma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 12:00
Contrary to popular opinion Livy mentions Hannibal's use of siege weapons at several sieges. They weren't that hard to build so were built on site. A siege of Rome was not likely to be a sucess. Cannae was 2 weeks or more away from Rome, it was garrisoned by two urban legions with 1,500 marines at Ostia. Not to mention the slave and criminal legions that were raised. To supply himself at a siege of Rome he would have to forage. Usually 1/3 to 2/3 of his army would have to be foraging at any given time. The surrounding land would quickly run out of food and Hannibal would starve before Rome. So the only legitimate options are an assault. With all the troops stationed in Rome an assault would br foolhardy and cause the destruction of Hannibal's army so he prudently did not march on Rome. We also have to remember Hannibal's army had fought a long battle and sustained nearly 6,000 casualties. Time was needed for them to recover. Also the large number of Roman prisoners was a problem. Basically Hannibal had a choice attack Rome and quite probably not suceed or secure the defection of Southern Italy.
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  Quote Delenda est Roma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 12:02
Also to keep in mind Rome had legions stationed in Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia it could recall as relieving armies. And as an answer to the person who stated that the Latins never stopped supplying Rome this is false. 12 Latin cities refused to supply Rome with any more men or supplies during the war. They were left alone until the crisis ended then they were ruthelessly punished.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 13:10
Originally posted by Delenda est Roma

Contrary to popular opinion Livy mentions Hannibal's use of siege weapons at several sieges. They weren't that hard to build so were built on site. A siege of Rome was not likely to be a sucess. Cannae was 2 weeks or more away from Rome, it was garrisoned by two urban legions with 1,500 marines at Ostia. Not to mention the slave and criminal legions that were raised. To supply himself at a siege of Rome he would have to forage. Usually 1/3 to 2/3 of his army would have to be foraging at any given time. The surrounding land would quickly run out of food and Hannibal would starve before Rome. So the only legitimate options are an assault. With all the troops stationed in Rome an assault would br foolhardy and cause the destruction of Hannibal's army so he prudently did not march on Rome. We also have to remember Hannibal's army had fought a long battle and sustained nearly 6,000 casualties. Time was needed for them to recover. Also the large number of Roman prisoners was a problem. Basically Hannibal had a choice attack Rome and quite probably not suceed or secure the defection of Southern Italy.
Exactly how long after Cannae was meant to have happened did Livy start writing these things, Delenda est Roma? While I'm at, Delenda est Roma, can you tell me when Livy was born?
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  Quote Delenda est Roma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 13:24
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livy
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  Quote Delenda est Roma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 13:28
"About 25% of the work survives.[3]"
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licinius_Macer
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  Quote Delenda est Roma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 13:30
Livy while not contemporary used accounts that were. Even his and Polybius' works which are known world wide only a fraction of the originals survive. They reference and quote contemporary sources. Polybius interviewed men who participated in the wars.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 13:43
Delenda est Roma, I asked two simple questions as you seemed to me a person who could easily source the answers, and present them here on this thread, so a comparison could simply be made. Have I got you all wrong or can you do this for the people reading this thread? I hope you don't mind.Smile
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  Quote Delenda est Roma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Aug-2012 at 13:56
I provuded a source to answer your question. But if you like I can provide the info here without tou having to do any work.

Born 59 BC
Died 17 AD

Your other question is slightly biased as to show Livy wasn't contemporary but anyway:

Ab urbe condita libri — often shortened to Ab urbe condita — is a monumental history of ancient Rome written in Latin sometime between 27 and 25 BC[1] by the historian Titus Livius, known in English as Livy.

Oh and Livy's sources are included in this link
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ab_Urbe_Condita_(book)#section_6

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