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  1. #1
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    Apres Cannae

    "Of a truth the gods do not give the same man everything: you know how to gain a victory, Hannibal, but you do not know how to make use of it." A quote attributed to Maharbal after Cannae.

    Suppose:

    A. Immeadiately after Cannae Hannibal waits for nothing, gathers all walking he can and goes straight for Rome? Maybe 1 weeks forced march; see map File:Hannibal route of invasion.gif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    B. Suppose he waits 2-3 days (no longer than a week) and then leaves for Rome with a slightly better equiped and repaired army?

    Which gives him the better chance of bringing Rome to the negotiations table? Can he do this at all?

    It is often said that Hannibal lacked seige equiptment... Starvation was and is single greatest seige method of forcing a seige.

    I know this is an old one but not seen it posed here where we have so many people experienced in the realities of war.



    Just as a note my solution: Send the cavalry and any fresh infantry ahead (must have had a few), not to hurt anyone seriously but to make them think the full army is coming then follow when troops are patched up and supplies laid up etc with the main army asap. He should also NOT have sent all the Senators rings to Carthage but to his Gallic allies to encourage further immeadiate recruitment. Then proceed to Rome and starve them out while figuring out how to make a battering ram.

    Remember he is NOT trying to destroy Rome but to 'liberate' Italy from Rome.
    Last edited by snapper; 06 Mar 12, at 14:18.

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    My 2 Sestertii.Hannibal had 10-12% KIA at Cannae.Meaning that he had at least 3-4 times that amount of WIA.There was no fresh infantry and no fresh cavalry.Hannibal army right after Cannae is combat ineffective.The Romans,shock aside,still had enough forces to defend the city and more were raised after the battle quickly.They may not have been efective or able to engage the Carthaginians on the field,but they had no need to.Marching on Rome was for everyone a statement that Hannibal wanted to end the war.Failure to take the city would have meant the loss of the Punic army and even if the army somehow survived,the loss of prestige and the continuation of the Roman league intact.Greek cities in the South would not have changed sides without a strong Carthaginian army present.

    Hannibal used and abused the Gauls.They may have risen against Rome while Hannibal was present and they kept fighting victoriously(in defensive) long after he left.But they were still reeling after their defeat at Telamon 9 years earlier.Gallic politics were also divided.Without the Punic army in their midst,there was no real catalyst to unite and take offense.

    Hannibal's chance layed with the Carthaginian Senate stopping being itself and send him all resources available.
    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. #3

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    Snapper Reply

    "Just as a note my solution: Send the cavalry and any fresh infantry ahead (must have had a few), not to hurt anyone seriously but to make them think the full army is coming then follow when troops are patched up and supplies laid up etc with the main army asap..."

    You run the risk of suffering defeat in detail.

    "...He should also NOT have sent all the Senators rings to Carthage but to his Gallic allies to encourage further immeadiate recruitment..."

    Nicely-done. Sooo very english.

    "...Then proceed to Rome and starve them out while figuring out how to make a battering ram."

    Hopefully unnecessary once the Romans see the accumulated masses before them courtesy of your adroit touch with those rings.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  4. #4
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    Fabious is still the show stopper

  5. #5
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    The Roman Senate met the surviving Consul Varro and thanked him for having faith in the force of his country and engage Hannibal at Cannae.Enough said.
    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

  6. #6
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    Colonel: With all respect IF Hannibal marches on Rome, either A or B as above, then the Fabian strategy of NOT fighting Hannibal is a non starter, starve or fight; you chose.

    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    Hopefully unnecessary once the Romans see the accumulated masses before them courtesy of your adroit touch with those rings.
    Hannibal of the Rings!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    They may not have been efective or able to engage the Carthaginians on the field
    Isn't that enough to lay seige?
    Last edited by snapper; 06 Mar 12, at 19:29.

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