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The miracle of the “1-0-2” in history: the battle of Carthage on the Alps

Few people know that the famous General Hannibal Barca of the Carthaginian Empire led 70,000 troops across the Alps, creating a 1-0-2 miracle in history.

Rome was one of the most powerful empires of ancient times. This empire has grown from a small territory to a greater power.

During its expansion, the Roman Empire fought wars and destroyed many other empires and civilizations, usually the Carthaginian civilization (the Carthaginian Empire – the once powerful empire that was once the mighty Carthaginian Empire). hegemony of the Mediterranean region before Roman times).

The empire was destroyed by the Romans through three Punic Wars (the Romans called the Carthaginians Punici, so the three wars between Rome and Carthage were called the Punic Wars).

The beginning of the conflict between the Carthaginians and the Romans

According to many sources, around the 9th or 8th century BC.
These towns quickly developed, invading the surrounding lands, forming the Phoenician colony of Carthage. Around 650 BC, Carthage gained independence from the Phoenicians.

By the 6th century BC, Carthage had grown into a mighty and magnificent empire, hailed by many as the “pearl of the Mediterranean”.

Before the advent of Rome, Carthage was the true “lord” of the Mediterranean Sea with powerful and warlike naval fleets.

The resurgence and expansion of the Romans in the Mediterranean region was so strong that conflict between Carthage and Rome was inevitable.

The First Punic War broke out from 264 to 241 BC and it was also the first time that the Carthaginians suffered a bitter defeat at sea.

They had to sign a treaty with the Romans to abandon Sicily (in present-day Italy). Fearing the power of Carthage, Rome wanted to build a buffer between the two empires to ensure some security from the sea.

As a result, they pushed the Carthaginians off many islands in the Mediterranean Sea. After the First Punic War, the Carthaginians responded by putting pressure on Rome to increase their strength in Europe, especially in the Spanish colony. And this is where Hannibal’s journey begins.

Hannibal Barca and the miracle of crossing the Alps

Hannibal Barca (247 – 183 BC) was a famous Carthaginian general known for his exploits during the Second Punic War.

His name – Hannibal means “joy of Baal” – the god of the Carthaginian religion, and the surname Barca means “lightning”.


Portrait of the famous General Hannibal Barca.

He is considered one of the greatest generals in ancient history. In combat, he’s a flexible and creative general who often takes unexpected and unique steps to achieve his goals.

Hannibal was also an excellent military strategist and politician. He left many lessons in strategy and tactics for the global art of warfare.

Hannibal Barca was the son of Hamilcar Barca, the Commander-in-Chief of the Carthaginian army during the First Punic War. From an early age he was educated in many areas by Greek masters and proved to be an understanding man in many areas.

From the age of 10, he walks with his father to the lands of southern Spain. Growing up, Hannibal quickly revealed his abilities and became an exceptional military talent, leading the cavalry team fighting in Spain to achieve many glorious feats.

He had always harbored hatred of the Roman Empire and always wanted to lead an army to avenge the archenemy of the Carthaginians.

Hannibal Barca said: “We will find or create a way”.

In Spain, Hannibal – Hamilcar Barca’s father died in action. His brother-in-law, Hasdrubal, took command of the army. However, in 221 BC, Hasdrubal was assassinated. Therefore, Hannibal Barca was promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the Army in place of his brother-in-law and approved by the Carthaginian government.

From that moment until 218 BC, he was busy preparing for the march to Rome. Hannibal quickly allied himself with lands that were at odds with the Romans to profit from his march and put Rome under siege.

In 219 BC, Hannibal besieged and attacked Saguntum – an ally of Rome in Spain and destroyed this city after 8 months. This was the pretext for the rapid outbreak of the Second Punic War.

The Romans aggressively concentrated their troops to prepare for war, with the planned plan to send troops to Spain and then continue to land in Africa to fight the Carthaginian Empire. However, Hannibal was “a step faster” when he made the “unthinkable” trip.

In the fall of 218 BC, Hannibal sent the Carthaginian army on an unprecedented march. With a number of 80,000 to 100,000 men, he and his army crossed the Pyrenees, then the Alps – the natural border of Rome which seemed impassable with many other lands of Europe to attack by surprise the Roman rear.

Despite the harsh climate of the high mountains and strong resistance from the tribes, Hannibal’s army was determined to leave. Along the way, Hannibal always spoke to the soldiers, encouraging them to move forward with enthusiasm.

Hannibal is always calm so that he can make cold, sober decisions. Despite a careful study of the path as well as certain preparations, Hannibal’s army still encountered certain difficulties such as scarce water resources, unfavorable weather, mountains blocking the road, avalanches …

Sur la même route, l’armée d’Hannibal doit travailler ensemble pour casser de gros rochers ou laisser la place aux éléphants pour avancer.

Meme de nombreux soldats, éléphants et chevaux de guerre sont morts au milieu de la route à cause d’avalanches et de blizzards dus à avoir dû marcher pendant l’hiver froid sur de hautes montagnes.

Ce voyage “impensable” est long de 1600 km. Au bout de cinq mois, l’armée d’Hannibal traversa les Apls, mit le pied dans le nord de l’Italie et commença à attaquer les arrières romains.

With the feat of crossing the Alps, the Carthaginian army also suffered heavy losses. It is estimated that a third of Hannibal’s army remained permanently on the difficult and arduous route through the Alps from Spain to northern Italy.

Reaching Roman territory, its army was reduced to nearly 50,000 men, including infantry, cavalry and war elephants. Here, after receiving some reinforcements from his allies, he began his assault on the Roman rear as planned.

The war is full of trials and tragic endings

After arriving in northern Rome, a sudden superiority soon manifested itself in Hannibal’s army, defeating the Romans in great battles on Italian soil, typically the Battle of Cannes – the battle that made Hannibal a monument of world military history.

His army destroyed a large number of Roman troops, destroyed many materials and constructions, stole a lot of things to bring back to Carthage. The army isolated Rome and forced the Romans into a passive position for a long time.

However, Hannibal alone could not reverse the defeat of the Carthaginians. From 212 BC, the initiative went to the Romans.

In 202 BC, in the battle of Zama, Hannibal was defeated by the Roman general Scipio the African. The Carthaginian Empire failed in the Second Punic Battle, and Carthaginian rule in the Mediterranean fell.

Hannibal fled to many places but was always hunted down and threatened by the Romans. Rome has always viewed him as a potential threat.

Finally, in 183 BC.

The once famous general in ancient history ended up living in anguish of fate and met a tragic end. The Carthaginian Empire after the Second Punic War was like a flame that died in the wind, they lost most of their territory.

Finally, in 146 BC, during the Third Punic War – also the last time launched by the Romans, the once glorious Carthaginian Empire was completely destroyed. The rest of the land was annexed and became Roman territory, Carthage disappeared completely in the course of history.

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