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Show #008: Hannibal and the Second Punic War

Show #008 - Hannibal


Hannibal was a Punic Carthaginian military commander who is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history.

Military history expert Barry Jacbosen reviews the tactics and innovations he used in the Second Punic War that made him one of the most feared opponents of the ancient Romans.

Barry placed Hannibal in the #2 spot in his list of “Top 25 Commanders in the Ancient World”.

Arguably the greatest general of antiquity (see notes below), Hannibal faced and nearly oveHannibalBarca bustrcame the greatest power of the ancient world, Rome, on it’s own soil. He was master of all of the military arts but one: in matters of strategy, tactics, and (the most important) logistics he has no superior. However, unlike Alexander, he never conducted a truly great siege; though he did take some strong places. His inability to besiege and capture Rome ultimately doomed his efforts to failure. Strategically he took a great many risks, but all were calculated and the ground work carefully prepared for success. He understood that Rome could only be defeated if deprived of its recruiting grounds in Italy; and braved the Alps to take the war to his enemy and shatter their Italian alliances. Though he ultimately failed in this, he never lost a battle till his last; and was able to defeat every army the Romans sent against him. Tactically he was a master, and in this he is unsurpassed in ancient history. But perhaps his greatest feat was not getting his army over the Alps (however impressive this was); but in maintaining that army on enemy soil for 13 years. In this he was neither aided nor resupplied from home; relying only upon his own genius and resource. To the very end, his army (largely mercenaries with no national tie to bind them) stayed loyal and followed wherever the master led.


History Bytes Suite of Shows

History Bytes takes an in-depth look at the events and personalities of the past, and discusses their impacts on today’s complex world.

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The host is Barry Jacobsen, noted military historian, former Green Beret, and associate producer of “Deadliest Warrior”. His co-host and producer is Leslie Eastman, biochemist, science writer/political pundit, and amateur Egyptologist.

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