Sunday, September 16, 2012

Carthaginian Gen. Hannibal Shocked Rome By Bringing War Elephants Over The Alps In Winter

Hannibal led his troops from Carthage — the city in what is today’s Tunisia — along with elephants over the Alps in 218 B.C. to shock the… View Enlarged Image

Hannibal wanted to defeat the Roman Republic, the ancient enemy of his city, Carthage.

But Rome’s navy dominated the Mediterranean.

If his army came through Spain and France into northern Italy, the Romans would have plenty of warning to build a strong defense.

His only option was to stun them.

In one of the most audacious moves in history, Hannibal moved his massive army — with war elephants — over the Alps in the winter when the Romans thought this was impossible, then hammered them over the next 15 years.

Hannibal is considered by military historians as one of the greatest battlefield commanders of all time, emulated by generals from Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte to George Patton and Norman Schwarzkopf.

Hannibal (247-183 B.C.), who went by that one name, was the son of Hamilcar Barca, who led Carthage during the First Punic War (264-241 B.C.) against Rome.

After that conflict, Hamilcar took an army from Carthage — in today’s Tunisia in North Africa — to what is now Spain to gain access to mines that would rebuild his city’s wealth. He took his 9-year-old son with him.

Via Carthaginian Gen. Hannibal Shocked Rome By Bringing War Elephants Over The Alps In Winter - Investors.com