Hannibal Daring's Hannibal Barca

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The most prominent image that comes up when researching Hannibal Barca, the great Carthaginian general, is the War Elephant. Hannibal amazingly crossed the Alps with his army and 37 African elephants to carry out a surprise attack on his enemy, the Roman Empire. Daring moves like these were his calling card and his revolutionary strategy. Hannibal’s background, his strategy of surprise, and his strategy of leadership, consistently lead him to steal victory from his enemy, and that insured him a place in history as a military mastermind.
Hannibal Barca was born in Carthage in approximately 247 B.C. He was the son of the famous Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca. “Hannibal was tutored by Greek’s he spoke the language fluently, and he had a
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“He wanted to surprise his enemies, so instead of attacking from the sea, he decided to sweep down from the north.” (Over the Alps with elephants, Rogers) He left from his base in Spain traveled through France and over the treacherous mountains of Italy. The army Hannibal led over the Alps consisted of almost 90 thousand soldiers and 37 African elephants. His choice to take on the seemingly insurmountable task of traveling over the Alps in late winter was only surpassed by his decision to make the trip with war elephants. But why would he take the war elephants? “He took them because elephants had a devastating effect upon horses who hated and feared their smell. They could also cause chaos among soldiers who had never before seen these huge creatures close up.” (Over the Alps with elephants, Rogers) Hannibal basically took them as a surprise strategy against his enemy and succeeded. Even beyond his surprise march over the Alps, and shocking war elephants, Hannibal Barca’s name is forever tied with the battle of Cannae. In this battle Hannibal designed a plan which caused “the double encirclement of a Roman army in 216 BC that has set the standard ever since for the perfect tactical victory.” (Sometimes the crowning achievements of great military commanders are not the most famous one,
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