Friday, November 03, 2006

Famous Generals: Part One

These were the brilliant military minds of the past. In the first of this series of posts on Famous Generals, I will begin with Hannibal Barca. A complete list of generals can be found here.
Hannibal originates from the Mediteranean (247 – 183 BC) and was one of the greatest military leaders and strategists of all time. Hi greatest enemy was Rome and its armies. He was so good, the Romans even adopted some of his strategies in their war-making. He hailed from Carthage, a city that was located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis across from the center of modern Tunis in Tunisia in Northern Africa. He is most well-known for invading Italy. He marched from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy – all this with a contingent of war-elephants! He entered Gaul with 50,000 foot soldiers and 9,000 horsemen and by the time he was nearing Rome his army numbered 38,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry, and thirty-seven war elephants. He defeated all on his way to Rome, including Capua, but was not strong enough for Rome itself.
All of this took about 10 years, during which the Romans regrouped and planned an attack on Northern Africa. This forced Hannibal back Carthage where he was defeated in the Battle of Zama. The Carthaginian Senate then subsequently forced him into exile. After About eight years in exile, the Romans demanded that he surrender himself, but he decided that suicide was a better way out.
In all he has been described as one of the most brilliant military minds ever and has induced fear in the hearts of the Romans for a while. Remember, all this happened before Julius Caesar, who only came into power round about 50BC. Hannibal’s wars were won not on numbers, but by battle-tactics. The armies he battled were mostly of larger numbers and had greatly respected generals who lead them. Even military geniuses like Napoleon Bonaparte referred to Hannibal in awe. Even long after his death, he would still be remembered in Rome and the rest of Italy as terrifying and people would exclaim “Hannibal is at the gate!” in situations of disaster. Also, when kids behave badly, mothers would say: “Behave well or Hannibal will come and get you!".

PS: I want to do a post on Famous Generals once a month. Please let me know if this bores you to death and I’ll change the subject!


JR's Thumbprints said...

I think a series of posts on Famous Generals would be very interesting, especially if you decide to include current ones who have the potential of becoming famous.

diana said...

JR's Thumbprints said...

"I think a series of posts on Famous Generals would be very interesting, especially if you decide to include current ones who have the potential of becoming famous."

Or "infamous"! I also think that maps with the routes that you describe would be very nice.

Anonymous said...

Not at all. Rather I should like you not restrict yourself to just Generals but to great warriors. You seem to have a lucid style and could try on this count.

SteelJaw said...

Ok, looks like its a go for the Generals!! Watch this space...



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