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Thread: Apres Cannae

  1. #16
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Hannibal lost between 5000 to 8000 men.The higher the number,higher the Roman patriotism of the historian.If he had lost more,we would have known.
    Are you including Gallic and Spanish losses?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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  2. #17
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    All KIA's.A bit more than half were Gauls.Polybius and Titus Livius included them,I'm just relaying information.Can't kill them if they lied
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    All KIA's.A bit more than half were Gauls.Polybius and Titus Livius included them,I'm just relaying information.Can't kill them if they lied
    We are derailing, either KIA+WIA numbers are wrong or 20k is a figure too small for the men that would be fit to participate in the siege. Unless of course Hannibal's casualties were 60%, which were not.

    Anyway, the fact remains that Hannibal can't effectively siege Rome, even if all 50k troops he had prior are alive and well. Can we move on?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Hannibal was a maneuver general, not a positional general. A fantastic tactician but a poor strategist. He never did once forced a Roman army to accept battle.
    Ok... now I am getting lost! A 'tactician' relates to battlefield tactics right and a strategist to 'campaign movement', with logistics (food, weapons, clothes etc) thrown in? So Hannibal is not a strategist? The whole concept of over the Alps and all? That IS a strategic concept yes? (Not sure if I have terms right when addressing the military).

    You say that Hannibal never managed to bring a Roman army to battle Sir; yes but only after Fabius Maximus was appointed Dictator/assumed command, and his express policy was NOT to give battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Sara,nope.The besieger has more problems than the besieged,if the city is prepared and well supplied with food and water.Whatever can be foraged will be gone soon,even if the defenders don't practice scorched earth and foul water and poor food will affect even a modern high tech army with dysenteria.Back then it was much worse and whole armies perished by disease in front of fortified walls.If there is a relief force or one that can harass the besiegers,it's even worse.In short,those are the reasons fortified cities were a functional concept for thousands of years.If you remember,Vercingetorix was sorta forced into Alesia and the city wasn't properly supplied,an impediment compounded by being overcrowded.

    None apply to Rome after Cannae.The city was well supplied after Trasimene.The defenders outnumbered what Hannibal could bring to Rome right after Cannae.Hannibal in a fixed position is an easy target for a commander like Fabius,as the Colonel said.Fabius has an intact fleet,a league of loyal city to harass Hannibal's meagre logistic lifeline and superior numbers.Roman Senate and the most loyal cities were acutely aware of these advantages,thus while the situation was serious,it was not desperate and nobody from the core of Roman power tried to bail out.
    Ok so you have more (useless) soldiers than Hannibal 2/3rds of whom may change sides. IF he beseiges Rome every day he sits outside the greater the likelihood that City A (particularly the Greek cities - who Hannibal was allied with in their homeland) will defect. The odds on manpower COULD change very rapidly.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Ok... now I am getting lost! A 'tactician' relates to battlefield tactics right and a strategist to 'campaign movement', with logistics (food, weapons, clothes etc) thrown in? So Hannibal is not a strategist? The whole concept of over the Alps and all? That IS a strategic concept yes? (Not sure if I have terms right when addressing the military).
    The move across the Alps was a fantastic piece of strategic surprise but it was squandered when he could not bring the Romans into a battle of annihilation. Cannae does not count. Rome was not annihilated.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    You say that Hannibal never managed to bring a Roman army to battle Sir; yes but only after Fabius Maximus was appointed Dictator/assumed command, and his express policy was NOT to give battle.
    I said that he was never able to force battle. He could not force the Romans to a battle that they had to fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Ok so you have more (useless) soldiers than Hannibal 2/3rds of whom may change sides. IF he beseiges Rome every day he sits outside the greater the likelihood that City A (particularly the Greek cities - who Hannibal was allied with in their homeland) will defect. The odds on manpower COULD change very rapidly.
    Wellington once said, if you face Napoleon, run away. If you face his Marshalls, stand and fight.

    Hannibal could not defend two cities at once.

  6. #21
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    We are derailing, either KIA+WIA numbers are wrong or 20k is a figure too small for the men that would be fit to participate in the siege. Unless of course Hannibal's casualties were 60%, which were not.

    Anyway, the fact remains that Hannibal can't effectively siege Rome, even if all 50k troops he had prior are alive and well. Can we move on?
    I see why you're confused.Ancient sources give the KIA's.The WIA's are estimated based on typical engagements and modern studies about ancient battles.Some certainly died,some were disabled permanently,while others recovered.Againt some adversaries,it is resonable to say that a higher WIA/KIA ratio existed,based on their tactics and weapons.Like the Parthians,Dacians and Thracians.

    Now ,we can move on
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Well I asked for a military view and am grateful for your opinions, though I not entirely convinced; marching on Rome surely is the ONE way to force Rome to accept battle? If they are defeated there, outside the very gates of Rome, it's pretty much game over.

    Never mind... Suppose Hastrubal had not been defeated? Would the presence of a second Carthaginian/allied army in the immeadiate theatre have alowed Hannibal to win the 2nd Punic War?

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Well I asked for a military view and am grateful for your opinions, though I not entirely convinced; marching on Rome surely is the ONE way to force Rome to accept battle?
    Is it Rome or Hannibal who offers battle?

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Never mind... Suppose Hastrubal had not been defeated? Would the presence of a second Carthaginian/allied army in the immeadiate theatre have alowed Hannibal to win the 2nd Punic War?
    Hastrubal was no Hannibal.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 08 Mar 12, at 14:47.

  9. #24
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    How come Hannibal did not practice scorched earth policy? He could have raided Roman farms, industries, sea ports, ala Mongol style. It would have the effect of bottling up Roman armies in the cities and Romans would have lost the country side effectively losing control of its empire.

  10. #25
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    The reason why Hannibal did not do it and why Fabious did was that Hannibal's men got nothing to eat. Fabious burned everything in front of Hannibal, leaving Hannibal's men nothing to eat.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Is it Rome or Hannibal who offers battle?

    Hastrubal was no Hannibal.
    Beseiging Rome forces them to give battle no? If Hannibal is sitting outside Rome another supporting army has forage duty or guard our back duty.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Beseiging Rome forces them to give battle no? If Hannibal is sitting outside Rome another supporting army has forage duty or guard our back duty.
    S,

    You seem to ignore Mihais's comment that Hannibal was in no position to siege Rome.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  13. #28
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    If he marches on Rome and kills people trying to get in or out it's enough.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Beseiging Rome forces them to give battle no? If Hannibal is sitting outside Rome another supporting army has forage duty or guard our back duty.
    You're not understanding. Who defines the battlefield? Rome or Hannibal? Who has setup the battlefield the way he wants it?

  15. #30
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    I suppose this depends on who has the better scouts? Well I am sure that is NOT the answer but IF Hannibal can get to the Roman walls fast enough to 'bottle them up' then if/when they come out he can dictate where to fight. I am not sure he would have chosen Cannae with his back to a river but he managed to improvise/fluke his way through that one. Lake Trasimene certainly he engineered and the Trebia ambush etc but Cannae? IF he goes to Rome and forces a Roman army to fight the chances are he wins. Rome can then be sat out.

    I see your point that he cannot force a Roman army to fight in a tactical sense (although in a strategic sense he has already done this) but the "Now I am coming for you Rome" means surely they HAVE to fight him? IF he didn't chose Cannae - and why would he? - I cannot see why another battle forced upon him would result in a different outcome. So I suppose it depends on if he can get the Romans to fight.

    I suppose it is possible they could do a Kutuzov a la 1812 but what then politicaly for their allies?
    Last edited by snapper; 08 Mar 12, at 23:35.

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