Hannibal and the Second Punic War

3216 WordsDec 8, 201013 Pages
History has given the world many great military minds. In recent times the world has seen such men as Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and Erwin Rommel. From ancient times, schools teach about Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Scipio Africanus, and Germanicus. But few have accomplished the feats of Hannibal Barca in the Second Punic War. His major accomplishment, marching his army through the Pyrenees and the Alps and into what is now Italy, is a military accomplishment worth honoring. During his march, Hannibal defeated the Romans in three decisive battles; Trebia, Trasimene, and his most decisive and well fought victory at Cannae. When Hannibal finally arrived in Italy, he maintained an Army there for…show more content…
Hannibal, after organizing his troops, then began his march on Rome. His expedition force numbered somewhere around 70,000 infantry, 9,000 cavalry, and included approximately thirty-six war elephants. They set out on a treacherous journey through the Pyrenees Mountains, Gaul, the Alps, and the Apennine Mountains. Eventually he entered Italy by way of the mouth of the Arno River and marched his army into the region of Etruria. Along the way, Hannibal battled with tribes along the way, causing significant damages to his numbers. During his march, Hannibal engaged in three significant battles with the Romans, those of Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. Hannibal’s first major encounter with Roman troops took place at the River Trebia on Italian soil. Here he fought against the Consul Tiberius Sempronius Longus, who was eager to engage in battle with Hannibal for various reasons. One of the major contributing factors to his desire for battle was “…no doubt, the approach of the consular elections.” Even against the warnings of Publius Cornelius Scipio, the other Roman consul who had been wounded in a previous minor skirmish, Sempronius engaged in battle with the Carthaginians in 218 B.C. Hannibal, camped out on the other side of the river, knew a battle was inevitable. Livy states: “[Hannibal] took every possible measure to ensure that he should not lose his chance; now was the moment, while the Roman troops were still raw, and the

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