Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Somthing else for the Hannibal discussion.

Expand Messages
  • Jim Bloom
    Hannibal lost the war because he could not supply his armies The great Carthaginian general Hannibal and his army of tens of thousands of Iberian and
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      Hannibal lost the war because he could not supply his armies

      The great Carthaginian general Hannibal and his army of tens of
      thousands of Iberian and north-African soldiers was able to
      repeatedly defeat the Romans. However, Hannibal ultimately lost the
      Second Punic War (218-201 BC) and with it the struggle for hegemony
      in the Mediterranean. Historians at Nijmegen University have studied
      the supply and storage of goods during the war. They discovered that
      Hannibal lost because he was unable to supply his armies
      properly at critical moments. The master strategist was defeated by
      logistics. Funding for the study came from the NWO's GW.

      The Nijmegen study has clarified why Hannibal's victories in battle
      did not ultimately lead to his winning the war. The Carthaginians did
      not campaign in Italy according to a strategic plan but according to
      a logistical pattern which involved plundering one fertile area after
      the other while on the move and overwintering in areas were the grain
      stores were full. In the early years of the war, this approach led to
      a string of successes, but it also meant that Hannibal was unable to
      exert any constant pressure on the Roman forces.

      When the mighty city-state of Capua north of Naples went over to the
      Carthaginians, the nature of the war changed. Rome now had an area
      were it could switch to a system of delaying tactics designed to
      harass the enemy while avoiding a pitched battle. The army assembled
      around the rebel city and directed cargoes of grain to stores
      roundabout. While the Roman soldiers were well fed and built up their
      strength for the attack, Hannibal had serious problems with his
      supplies. His army plundered the hinterland of Capua, which he could
      only come to the aid of sporadically and for short periods. He was
      also unable to besiege Rome because his troops would have starved
      before its walls. By saving Rome and conquering Capua, the Romans
      eventually succeeded in winning the Second Punic War.

      Further information:
      Paul Erdkamp (Nijmegen University)
      T +31 24 356 4067 or -361 2856, F +31 24 361 2807
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.