Hannibal :Elephants Over The Alps To Attack Rome

Hannibal of Carthage as a boy watched his father Hamilcar Barca go off to wars, and by the age of nine Hannibal accompanied his father to battles into Spain. Soon hardened by the roughness and brutality of war Hannibal matured quickly. Hannibal, son of the famous General began to prove his own personal worth. As he grew into a man Hannibal was given more and more authority of troops and he proved a gifted leader.
Hannibal, born in Carthage in 247 BC, Hannibal grew up in comfort and ease in Carthage, a tropical paradise in those times.

But he remembered his fathers hatred of Rome, and that hatred sealed Hannibals life. The problem for the city state of Carthage was that it had been founded by Phoenicians and they were traders, not warriors. So while Carthage thrived in trade through the sea, they were never fully equipped to beat back the Romans, who seemed a city state on a steady rampage against another neighbor and raising more soldiers to win more battles.

Phoenician created Carthage had mostly an army of mercenaries, who could disappear at the slightest sense of trouble. The traders of Carthage required an army, but this was more defence, and in particular as Roman ships began raiding Carthaginian supply ships and raid on Carthage itself The life in Carthage became as if in a siege. Hannibal was by his fathers side when he died in battle that brought most of Spain under Carthaginian control. Hannibal was just 18. Hannibal was appointed commander of the Carthaginian army.

Appointed commander, Hannibal had to serve under his brother in law, who died in battle in 221 BC. Hannibal then was chosen by the soldiers as their natural leader. He who would be under his brother in law was called Hasdrubal.Life in Carthage was one of fear and attack, yet often the Carthaginian army was elsewhere fighting battles in Spain or elsewhere. The famous march with elephant through the Alps finally was undertaken by Hannibal and his men after so many Roman raids on their shops and their cities. For the next five hundred years and more, this was the one great attack where barbarians were at the gates.

Scholar ask what was the secret of his success. Firstly he had a genius for strategy. He was able to control and move his various forces, whether soldiers, sailors or elephant handler. He had an uncanny sense for what was beginning to happen and he could immediately swing his forces into the weak position. This was the beginning of the second Punic war and Hannibal was quickly on the offense. The battle ended with Hannibals retreat, but later as massive victory over Rome, it was said at one battle of the 76,000 Roman soldiers that 70,000 had been killed.

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