IE6 is not supported at this time. Please consider upgrading to Internet Explorer 9, FireFox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome.

Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven



You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Total War History
Moderated by Pitt

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.21 replies
Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Total War History » Hannibal's invasion of Rome
Bottom
Topic Subject:Hannibal's invasion of Rome
QuintusMarcellus
Ashigaru
posted 04-23-13 09:11 AM EDT (US)         
Hi new to the forums here. I would just like to see what the general opinion is of Hannibal's strategies and tactics in the Second Punic War. So post away!
AuthorReplies:
SongsOfBeitar
Ashigaru
posted 04-23-13 11:09 AM EDT (US)     1 / 21       
Hey Quintus Marcellus! Though a fairly new member myself I feel like I qualify to say 'Welcome'. There actually has been a lot of recent (some what fervent) discussion on this topic over here. It starts on post 45 of page two (link---> page 2) and I've been following it somewhat but haven't posted anything. Thought you might find it very intriguing.
QuintusMarcellus
Ashigaru
posted 04-24-13 08:07 AM EDT (US)     2 / 21       
Thanks, songs of beitar!
Pitt
Daimyo
posted 04-26-13 08:44 AM EDT (US)     3 / 21       
Welcome to the History Forum!

In addition to the most recent discussion, as referred to above, there are a few other interesting threads.

This thread has a rather wide-ranging discussion of the later Roman army, and this is a discussion of some aspects of the Polybian legion (i.e. at the time of the Punic Wars).

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins

[This message has been edited by Pitt (edited 04-26-2013 @ 10:49 AM).]

Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 04-26-13 08:18 PM EDT (US)     4 / 21       
Hi and Welcome! Feel free to broach other topics on Historical matters, this is a historical forum after all and as you can see from the Alternate History Thread, we do know our stuff(some of us like Pitt know too much.. ).

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Warlod Redvig
Ashigaru
posted 04-27-13 04:03 AM EDT (US)     5 / 21       
Welcome! Well, most of us know our stuff XD I, personally, am more of a 'let Pitt and co. discuss the actual history, I'll sit there nodding and pretending to understand'

In all seriousness though Welcome to Rome Heaven.

It is pleasant, when the sea is high and the winds are dashing the waves about, to watch from the shores the struggles of another - Lucretius
Thalassocracy
Ashigaru
posted 06-08-13 09:31 AM EDT (US)     6 / 21       
When I ask my friends about Hannibal, all they can easily think of first is the crossing of the elephants in the Alps.
Punic Hebil
Centurion
(id: Punic Hoplite)
posted 06-08-13 01:37 PM EDT (US)     7 / 21       
I'm generally quite glad when my friends can even come up with the Elephants and the Alps part

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 06-08-13 02:53 PM EDT (US)     8 / 21       
Most of my friends think of 'Silence of the Lambs' when asked about Hannibal.

Morons.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Belthronding
Ashigaru
(id: Orcrist_Beleg)
posted 06-09-13 04:56 PM EDT (US)     9 / 21       
^That is why we must stick together, Mr. T.

As for H. Barca, his invasion was a great feat made possible by surprise. His tactics and stratagems were superb, if not cautious. Rightfully so, being in enemy territory for over a decade. He stuck to his plan and did very well with it. Though the Roman navy, I believe, is what did him in. That and the Roman's refusal to fight a large scale battle with him after getting a few too many lessons in war.

Vini, Vidi, Vino.
Thalassocracy
Ashigaru
posted 06-09-13 10:43 PM EDT (US)     10 / 21       
But wasn't the Carthaginian Navy more superior than that of Rome's?
It was the unwillingness of Carthage to completely support
Hannibal's campaigns.

Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body...

[This message has been edited by Thalassocracy (edited 06-09-2013 @ 10:45 PM).]

Punic Hebil
Centurion
(id: Punic Hoplite)
posted 06-10-13 03:27 PM EDT (US)     11 / 21       
By this time Carthage's navy wasn't nearly as powerful as pre-First Punic War. Rome commanded the seas, all Carthage could do is small raids and transporting troops here and there, hoping Rome doesn't intercept them.

Carthage supported Hannibal, otherwise they would've handed him over to the Romans in the beginning. They just supported the other theaters because it seemed that they could gain more by helping other areas than helping Hannibal, who was handling himself quite nicely.

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
Thalassocracy
Ashigaru
posted 06-11-13 05:25 AM EDT (US)     12 / 21       
The topic was about Hannibal's invasions to Rome, therefore
I presume that it was during the Second Punic Wars.

At the time of second Punic war, Carthage on the contrary, was still a very powerful force compared to that during third Punic war.

Despite loosing Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica to Rome.
Carthage compensated by conquering plenty of lands in Iberia.

Rome didn't gain absolute naval dominion in the Mediterranean
until Carthage's defeat ( and arguably after subduing the Seleucids and Macedonia )

Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body...

[This message has been edited by Thalassocracy (edited 06-11-2013 @ 05:26 AM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 06-11-13 07:57 AM EDT (US)     13 / 21       
Carthage's supremacy upon the sea was pretty much broken by the end of the First Punic war.

They did not recover well. By the time of the Second Punic War, it was pretty much parity- both sides had good navies, though I do believe the Carthaginians had a bit of an edge- but not by much. Certainly not enough to help win battles, as shown, but enough so to make the Romans want to limit the Carthaginian fleets to ten triremes as a condition of peace to end the war.
The Carthaginian navy had been defeated by the Romans in two major encounters, but neither side was usually able to stop the other from raiding each other's coasts. An exception was in 217 BC, when a Carthaginian fleet of 70 quinqueremes was intercepted off the coast of Etruria by a Roman fleet of 120 quinqueremes and retreated without giving battle
This pretty much sums up the naval aspect of the war. Apply an exception or two to any given year of the war and the you will probably have a pretty accurate record of the maritime struggle.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 06-11-2013 @ 08:00 AM).]

Pitt
Daimyo
posted 06-14-13 05:46 AM EDT (US)     14 / 21       
I recall a similar discussion in another thread not too long ago. Carthage, despite apparent political opposition to the Barcids, did make occasional efforts to aid Hannibal in Italy, only to be undone by bad luck and/or the Roman fleet.

The Carthaginian Senate made a serious and dedicated attempt to destroy the Roman control of Sicily, which Rome had acquired at the end of the First Punic War. They also organised an expedition to retake Sardinia.

The former involved a considerable allocation of resources. A large fleet was gathered to break the blockade of Syracuse, but the Carthaginian commander ultimately chose to withdraw rather than fight a battle with the Roman fleet.

Broadly speaking, Carthage made little effort to challenge the Roman fleet in the Second Punic war. They may well, arguably reasonably, have decided that Roman resources were such that the attempt would fail in any event. Additionally, it's quite possible that Rome's navy was qualitatively superior to Carthage's. it certainly had experience from the Illyrian War. Navies couldn't be created overnight, and Rome had not lost the advantage it accred from being the ultimate victor at sea in the previous war. The first naval encounter of the war ended in Roman victory. (To muddy the waters slightly, it was relatively small-scale, and part of the Roman fleet was made up of Massiliotes).

The activities of the Scipios in Spain posed a real threat to Carthage's ability to wage war, and they had to be opposed. Carthaginian control of Spain depended on having considerable forces there, such that they could overawe local opposition and defeat Roman incursions.

Carthage may not have had the resources, and apparently not the will, to create a vast fleet at the same time as recruiting its armies. Even the vast resources Rome committed to the war were stretched to their limit after Cannae in 216 BC, at least for a year or two.

Sicily was the major battleground of the First Punic War and its ports and harbours were of immense value when it came to naval operations around Italy. Whilever the Roman fleet was based there, attempts to reinforce Hannibal In southern Italy were problematic at best.

With hindsight we can say that the armies sent to Sicily would have been better employed in Italy, but that's a statement ex post facto.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins
Alex_the_Bold
Ashigaru
posted 06-14-13 09:56 AM EDT (US)     15 / 21       
In addition, the Carthaginian Senate was conservative in its foreign policy, as most Senates were. So, they prefered to keep Iberia under their command rather than send more troops in Italy, in what at first seemed a lost fight.

However, after the victory at Cannae, they sent reinforcements which were defeated in the the battle of Beneventum.

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
markdienekes
Ashigaru
posted 06-22-13 03:45 AM EDT (US)     16 / 21       
I think it was because they may have hoped it could be achieved by Hannibal in Italy - i.e, getting the Romans to negotiate peace in typical Hellenistic fashion, beat them on the field - once it was clear the Romans wouldn't behave as expected, more armies were raised. Hasdrubal Barca doesn't appear to have ever expected to march in to Italy judging from his reaction to the senate's orders in 216 BC (Livy, 23.27)

These are just some of the passages in Livy that reveal a number of naval operations and landings of forces from Africa during the war, which shows that despite the Romans having 'naval dominance', the Carthaginians still moved considerable forces to various theaters of war:

Hasdrubal, the Carthaginian commander, did not feel himself strong enough in either arm, and kept himself safe by taking up strong positions at a distance from the enemy; until, in response to his many earnest appeals for reinforcements, 4000 infantry and 1000 cavalry were sent to him from Africa. Then, recovering his confidence, he moved nearer the enemy, and gave orders for the fleet to be put into readiness to protect the islands and the coast. (23.26)

In the meanwhile the news was brought to Carthage that things had gone badly in Spain and that almost all the communities in that country had gone over to Rome. Mago, Hannibal's brother, was preparing to transport to Italy a force of 12,000 infantry, 1500 cavalry, and 20 elephants, escorted by a fleet of 60 warships. On the receipt of this news, however, some were in favour of Mago, with such a fleet and army as he had, going to Spain instead of Italy, but whilst they were deliberating there was a sudden gleam of hope that Sardinia might be recovered. They were told that "there was only a small Roman army there, the old praetor, A. Cornelius, who knew the province well, was leaving and a fresh one was expected; the Sardinians, too, were tired of their long subjection, and during the last twelve months the government had been harsh and rapacious and had crushed them with a heavy tax and an unfair exaction of corn. Nothing was wanting but a leader to head their revolt. "This report was brought by some secret agents from their leaders, the prime mover in the matter being Hampsicora, the most influential and wealthy man amongst them at that time. Perturbed by the news from Spain, and at the same time elated by the Sardinian report, they sent Mago with his fleet and army to Spain and selected Hasdrubal to conduct the operations in Sardinia, assigning to him a force about as large as the one they had furnished to Mago. (23.32)

The army sent to Sardinia was defeated there (Livy, 23.40) and shortly afterwards, a naval battle took place in which Hasdrubal was defeated by Titus Otacilius Crassus (23.41) as Hasdrubal was returning to Africa.

Very few were influenced by Hanno's speech. His well-known dislike of the Barcas deprived his words of weight and they were too much preoccupied with the delightful news they had just heard to listen to anything which would make them feel less cause for joy. They fancied that if they were willing to make a slight effort the war would soon be over. A resolution was accordingly passed with great enthusiasm to reinforce Hannibal with 4000 Numidians, 40 elephants, and 500 talents of silver. (23.13)

But they did not remain quiet long, for just after this battle an order was received from Carthage for Hasdrubal to lead his army as soon as he could into Italy. This became generally known throughout Spain and the result was that there was a universal feeling in favour of Rome. Hasdrubal at once sent a despatch to Carthage pointing out what mischief the mere rumour of his departure had caused, and also that if he did really leave Spain it would pass into the hands of the Romans before he crossed the Ebro. He went on to say that not only had he neither a force nor a general to leave in his place, but the Roman generals were men whom he found it difficult to oppose even when his strength was equal to theirs. If, therefore, they were at all anxious to retain Spain they should send a man with a powerful army to succeed him, and even though all went well with his successor he would not find it an easy province to govern. (23.27) (this passage is relevant to understand the one below)

Although this despatch made a great impression on the senate, they decided that as Italy demanded their first and closest attention, the arrangements about Hannibal and his forces must not be altered. Himilco was sent with a large and well-appointed army and an augmented fleet to hold and defend Spain by sea and land. As soon as he had brought his military and naval forces across he formed an entrenched camp, hauled his ships up on the beach and surrounded them with a rampart. After providing for the safety of his force he started with a picked body of cavalry, and marching as rapidly as possible, and being equally on the alert whether passing through doubtful or through hostile tribes, succeeded in reaching Hasdrubal. After laying before him the resolutions and instructions of the senate and being in his turn shown in what way the war was to be managed in Spain, he returned to his camp. (23.28)

Himilco, who had been for a considerable time cruising with his fleet off the promontory of Pachynus, returned to Carthage as soon as he heard that Syracuse had been seized by Hippocrates. Supported by the envoys from Hippocrates and by a despatch from Hannibal in which he said that the time had arrived for winning back Sicily in the most glorious way, and by the weight of his own personal presence, he had no difficulty in persuading the government to send to Sicily as large a force as they could of both infantry and cavalry. Sailing back to the island he landed at Heraclea an army of 20,000 infantry, 3000 cavalry, and twelve elephants, a very much stronger force than he had with him at Pachynus (24.35)

After Marcellus' departure from Sicily a Carthaginian fleet landed a force of 8000 infantry and 3000 Numidian horse. (26.21)

In regards to strengthening Hannibal's brother Mago's position in northern Italy:

To Mago they sent not only instructions but also 25 warships, a force of 6000 infantry, 800 cavalry and 7 elephants. A large amount of money was also forwarded to him to enable him to raise a body of mercenaries, with which he might be able to move nearer Rome and form a junction with Hannibal. Such were the preparations and plans of Carthage. (29.4)

[This message has been edited by markdienekes (edited 06-22-2013 @ 05:16 AM).]

Thalassocracy
Ashigaru
posted 06-22-13 07:38 AM EDT (US)     17 / 21       
Thus when asked; "Why did Hannibal fail?" or "Why did Carthage loose the second Punic war?"

What would be the best answer?

Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body...
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 06-22-13 08:02 AM EDT (US)     18 / 21       
Roman stubbornness and resolution.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
markdienekes
Ashigaru
posted 06-22-13 10:21 AM EDT (US)     19 / 21       
There are numerous things that culminated in Hannibal's loss, the most important being that he couldn't persuade enough of Rome's allies to leave her and Rome's military response on the peninsular - to which he simply didn't have the manpower to contend, even with his allies in Italy.

The best book that explains his strategic loss is Between Rome and Carthage: Southern Italy during the Second Punic War. Well worth reading:

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Rome-Carthage-Southern-during/dp/0521516943/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371914364&sr=8-1&keywords=between+rome+and+carthage

Of course, many events outside Italy also influenced the war - the most important being, in my opinion, the Battle of Dertossa in 215 BC when the Scipio brothers defeated Hasdrubal Barca at the Ebro, which prevented Hannibal from being reinforced at a critical juncture from both north and southern Italy (due to one army's utter defeat, and another, Mago's, being diverted to Spain to make up these losses).

[This message has been edited by markdienekes (edited 06-22-2013 @ 10:25 AM).]

ShieldWall
Ashigaru
posted 06-22-13 10:40 AM EDT (US)     20 / 21       
Hannibal's objective was to inflict a series of heavy defeats on the Romans, which he did, and then break up their alliance system around Italy to relegate them to a second rate power that could never again threaten Carthage. In this he underestimated the strength of that system and the willingness of a number of allies to stick with Rome come what may.

I would say the ultimate reason for Hannibal's defeat was that he did not understand the Roman mentality. His idea was one of honourable foes coming together to fight a war where the loser would admit defeat and submit to the will of the victor. Rome didn't see matters in quite the same way. They would either be victorious or lose completely, they would not admit defeat. So from their point of view it was a fight to the death, and they would continue to fight no matter how many times they were defeated. Hannibal did not have the military resources or the political sway to overcome that.
DominicusUltimus
Legate
posted 06-22-13 11:21 AM EDT (US)     21 / 21       
Some would consider Hannibal's decision not to persecute a war of destruction against the Romans as flawed, as I myself did a few months past, but upon further examination he had no reason to belief that the Romans would continue to fight to the death no matter how many defeats he inflicted upon them.

Hannibal's strategy to inflict heavy tactical defeats on the Romans and force them to the negotiating table was in line with the Hellenistic way of warfare. This was inspired by the wars conducted by the Successor Kingdoms in the eastern Mediterranean where one side would vanquish the other in a large pitched battle and bring the loser to the negotiating table where they would discuss and eventually agree to a treaty concerning the transfer of territories, possible marriage alliances and reparations for the costs of the war which would obviously favor the victor. Wars were not meant to be fought until one side was destroyed, but until one party recognized the martial superiority of the other and capitulated to their demands. Unfortunately for Hannibal, the Romans didn't fight, or even think, like the Successors of Alexander.

The Battle of Caudine Forks was a humiliating Roman defeat and the last time the Romans ever considered surrendering as an acceptable outcome to any military conflicted. The memory of this shameful defeat was crucial in influencing the way the Romans approached warfare throughout their history. In war, the Romans would rather fight to the death until the last man, woman and child were dead rather than agree to a humiliating peace treaty or any outcome where they were the losing party.

Had he fought a similar war against the Macedonians, the Seleucids, the Egyptians or the Parthians, Hannibal would've undoubtedly emerged as the victor but none of these empires were the enemy of Carthage. The Romans were, and it was a twisted form of irony that the one opponent he'd been forced to reckon with was the one that would never fight by his rules.

"Life is more fun when you are insane. Just let go occasionally".- yakcamkir 12:14
"It is not numbers, but vision that wins wars." - Antiochus VII Sidetes
"My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel Grayhair
Angel of Total War: Rome II Heaven and the Total War: Attila Forums
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven | HeavenGames