from 264 BC to 146 BC, Rome and Carthage in northern Africa fought a long-term war for hegemony in the western Mediterranean, known as the “Punic War” (at that time, Rome called Carthage Punic). In this war which lasted for more than 100 years, the Second Punic War (or Hannibal war) was the most intense and decisive.
Hannibal was born in 247 BC. His father hamilka was a famous general of Carthage. Hannibal left Carthage at the age of 9 and went to Spain with his father. He grew up in the military camp and participated in many battles, in which he learned the application of the art of war. In 221 BC, Hannibal, 25, was appointed supreme commander of Carthage’s army in Spain. Then Hannibal launched a series of Conquest wars in Spain. In 219 BC, Hannibal sent troops to attack the city of sagonto, Rome’s ally in Spain, which greatly annoyed Rome. Therefore, he officially declared war on Carthage in March 218 BC, and the Second Punic War broke out.
at the beginning of the war, Hannibal determined the strategy of crossing the Alps and marching into Italy from land with amazing courage. In April 218 BC, Hannibal led 90000 infantry, 12000 cavalry and 37 war elephants, broke through many difficulties and obstacles from the city of new Carthage in Spain, and crossed the Alps to the northern Italian plain at the end of September. The Romans were unprepared and defeated by Hannibal. After knocking on the north gate of Italy, Hannibal continued to move south towards the Adriatic coast in order to attack the Roman rear.
in the spring of 216 BC, Hannibal captured canny city in southern Italy. Canny is an important granary of Rome. If canny is lost, Rome will fall into greater difficulties. Therefore, Rome is determined to recapture it with all its strength. On August 2 of the same year, on the plain near canny City, Hannibal fought a famous battle with Rome, known as canny battle in history. In this battle, Rome invested all its troops, 80000 infantry and 6000 cavalry; The Carthage army invested 40000 infantry and 14000 cavalry. In terms of power comparison, the Roman army has an absolute advantage, which is reflected in the number of infantry, while the Carthage army has an obvious advantage in the number of cavalry.
the formation of the Roman army is: infantry in the center and cavalry on both wings. The infantry are arranged in 70 columns, divided into left, middle and right. The heavy infantry are placed in the center of the formation, and there is a certain distance between each column. The cavalry is placed on the left and right wings of the infantry: on the right is a small number of cavalry composed of Roman citizens, and on the left is the cavalry of the Italian League. The whole formation highlights the depth, and its advantage is to break through the opponent’s front with the strong impact of heavy infantry. Roman consul varo commanded the right wing, another consul Paulus commanded the Middle Road, Sevilla commanded the left wing, and each commander selected 1000 cavalry as mobile forces to attack when necessary.
in response to varo’s tactics, Hannibal arranged his troops into a half moon: the left and right wings were the main force, composed of cavalry and heavy infantry; The infantry are prominently deployed in the center, weak in the front and strong in the back, and the central force is the weakest. In this way, the overall formation of the Carthage army was in a “convex” shape, facing the enemy. Hannibal’s intention was to lure the main force of the Roman army to attack here with prominent infantry, lure it into his own array, and then use the strong cavalry and heavy infantry on both wings to wipe out the two winged cavalry of the Roman army first, and then detour back to the enemy array to form a potential of flanking attack. Hannibal personally commanded the central road, his nephew Hanno commanded the right wing, and his brother Margo commanded the left wing. In addition, Hannibal also selected 3000 cavalry beside him as a reserve force. At the same time, Hannibal ordered 500 light soldiers to carry spears, shields and daggers to prepare for a fake surrender mission. Hannibal also made a detailed understanding of the weather law of Canna and mastered the situation that there is generally a strong southeast wind at noon. Based on this, he expanded all the squares to the northwest in order to make full use of the favorable factors of natural forces. In order to cut off the enemy’s retreat, Hannibal sent an elite force to ambush in the woods behind the enemy line, so as to attack the enemy from behind when the wind rises.
the ruins of the ancient city of Carthage
when the Carthage army was finished, the Roman army commander valo temporarily adjusted his array in view of the enemy’s strong wings and weak middle, reduced the front, increased the depth, and enhanced the strength of the central array, in an attempt to defeat Hannibal’s central array with absolute advantage. This adjustment was right in Hannibal’s mind, and the main force of the Roman army was unable to fight flexibly due to narrowing the distance between them.
before the decisive battle, the commanders of both sides rode horses back to encourage their soldiers. Varo asked his soldiers to remember their parents and children in the hall and fight for their own survival. Hannibal Lecter encouraged his soldiers not to forget the glory of the past and to fight for it.
battle of Canny
at 9 a.m. on August 2, 216 BC, the bugle sounded, the infantry on both sides shouted, and the archers, stone throwers and archers threw “bullets” at each other, and the battle began! The Roman infantry first attacked the central part of the enemy line and stormed the prominent infantry of the Carthage army. According to the predetermined plan, the central array of the Carthage army gradually contracted, resulting in the formation of the left, right and center into a “concave” shape. When varo saw this, he thought that the enemy’s square array was out of strength, so he commanded the main force to launch a more violent attack. As a result, Roman infantry converged from both sides to the center, and the team became longer and longer. At this time, 500 light infantry of the Carthage army suddenly “surrendered” to the Roman army. The Roman army collected their spears and shields and placed these “demobilized soldiers” behind the formation. Varo saw the enemy’s “surrender” and that the enemy’s central array was continuing to “retreat”. Thinking that the critical moment of the battle had come, he put all the reserves into the battle. Hannibal Lecter is an old hand in mastering the temperature of the battlefield. He sees that the time is ripe and