The Battle of Cannes - one of the largest battles of antiquity
The Battle of Cannes was the biggest battleThe Second Punic War, which lasted from 218 to 201 BCE. This battle literally put the Roman Republic on the brink of collapse. The world might not have known such a majestic empire, which it became somewhat later. But first things first.
Prehistory of the battle
At the first stage of the Second Punic WarCarthaginian commander Hannibal managed to win a number of victories: under Ticinus, Trebbia. These were not the greatest battles of antiquity. Rome knew and lost and more majestic battles. But now the republic literally stood on the verge of collapse. This significantly improvedThe position of Carthage and provided him withstrategic initiative in this conflict. In the spring of 217 BC. the troops of this North African state entered Italy and in another battle at Lake Trasimeno destroyed the 40 thousandth formation of Roman legionaries. However, Hannibal did not dare attack Rome, because he risked losing his own army under the walls of a well-protected city. It was decided to isolate Rome from the north (which has already been done) and from the south. On the south coast of Italy, and rushed to the commander.
The General Battle
Here the Carthaginians occupied a small fortress inApulia. Actually, here also occurred on August 2, 216 BC. the Battle of Cannes. Hannibal set up his army in the fortress of the same name, when the Roman army, which had recovered from previous attacks, approached under the command of Consul Varro. The numerical ratio on the day of the battle was clearly on the side of the latter. Against 80 thousand well-armed Roman soldiers Hannibal could expose only 50 thousand soldiers under his command. The Battle of Cannes threatened the Carthaginians with complete defeat, which would mean defeat for them in the war. Hannibal built his troops before the battle in a very original way. He refusedfrom the strong saturation of the central part of theirHowever, he placed impressive forces on the flanks of his army. When the battle began, the central forces drew the attention of the main Roman order for a certain time. This enabled the powerful wings of the Hannibal army to overturn the flanks of the Romans, consisting of light cavalry. After this first stage of the battle the Carthaginians actually surrounded the Roman infantry, inflicting blows from the flanks and from the rear. The Battle of Cannes developed according to the scenario conceived by Hannibal. The army, built originally by the crescent, was able to enter the rear of the Italian legionnaires in smaller numbers, after which the latter were defeated.
Results of the battle
The Battle of Cannes ended in the complete defeat of the numerous Roman armies. According to a number of ancient testimonies Italians lost about 50 thousand killed, anda few thousand more were taken prisonerCarthaginians. Only a few managed to escape by flight. The troops of Hannibal, on the contrary, had relatively small losses: about 8,000 killed. However, in the opinion of a significant number of modern historians, Hannibal was never able to use in the future the fruits of this grand victory. Although he was able to defeat the Roman army in an open battle, but he still did not have the strength to take a protected city. For several years, the republic has managed to recover from the crushing defeat and gradually tilt the scales of this war to its side.