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Thread: carthiginian army in reality

  1. #1

    Default carthiginian army in reality

    I think yu can explain me this i have read many books about the punic wars i know the battles and the events . what i cant understand is how the hell Carthaginians combined pikemen , hoplites , celts , and roman like infantry in the same battle line ? don't they fought in different styles especially hoplites and celts or pikemen and iberians?

  2. #2

    Default Re: carthiginian army in reality

    They fought in different styles, but there is little reason they can't fight together in a battle line. Even Macedonian-style phalanxes would often end up with gaps in the line which were filled by lighter infantry.

    On top of that, depth permits multiple lines of battle. An example of that might be Zama where Hannibal had most of his Libyan/Punic levies (who probably fought in phalanx) together in the second line with a mixed bag of (likely) light infantry fighting in the first line.

  3. #3

    Default Re: carthiginian army in reality

    There was no typical Carthaginian army or formation. They used what they could recruit and what would work for the enemy they were facing.

  4. #4
    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: carthiginian army in reality

    Though from Theodore Ayrault Dodge's Hannibal, most field battles that Hannibal fought were based on the phalanx in the centre, with perhaps Cannae being the most high-profile exception. There is some indication that in the later Second Punic, formations split into more than one line in some of the bigger battles, and particularly at Zama, for greater depth, to counter the Roman triple line.

    I think militarily speaking, the phalanx would probably have been kept in the centre where they could deliver their heavy frontal blow while the flanks would always be mobile melee infantry like the Samnites, Lucanians, Gauls and Iberians. It makes no sense otherwise to distribute your phalanx all over the place where their shock value would be diluted. Though it is questionable how long this arrangement might have lasted, considering the rate at which Hannibal was being attritioned/attrited/howeveryouspellit. I'm sure at a certain point his phalanx would have been whittled down till it was not very militarily effective.


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