Characters · The Punic Wars: Rome Carthage and the Struggle for the Mediterranean Æ PDF DOC TXT eBook or Kindle ePUB free

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Characters · The Punic Wars: Rome, Carthage, and the Struggle for the Mediterranean Æ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free å The Punic Wars triggered an era of astonishing human misfortune Resulting from a mighty power struggle between the miTactical levels to show how they were governed by the same military principles used by nations today His thought provoking final chapter relates these wars’ lessons to modern times in an impressive argument for adapting the experience of the past to the needs of the future While the history of the Punic Wars dates back over 2000 years Bagnall’s comprehensive account demonstrates that this ancient conflict is remarkable both for its scope and its contemporary relevanc. I usually don't like military history but Bagnall shows enough of the cultural and political history to put it into context I thought he did a very good job of showing how and why the wars started as well as lessons to be learned whether you agree or not

Nigel Bagnall Ï 2 Characters

Ional eye to bear in analyzing the Punic Wars here He marshals classic military strategists such as Livy Polybius and Diodorus to plot the wars’ campaigns in Spain Africa Sicily and the Peloponnese and follows Hannibal’s daring but unsuccessful strike into the heart of Italy But Bagnall goes beyond military strategy to discuss the force structures and politics of Rome and Carthage at their heights And he contrasts their conduct of battle at strategic operational and. Excellent factual account of the events involved with an emphasis on military strategy Might be a bit dry for some but as a history fan I got a lot out of it

Review å PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ï Nigel Bagnall

The Punic Wars Rome Carthage and the Struggle for the MediterraneanThe Punic Wars triggered an era of astonishing human misfortune Resulting from a mighty power struggle between the military confederation of Rome and the trading empire of Carthage between 264 241 BC 218 201 BC and 149 146 bc the wars were fought over a period of 118 years Massive man made devastation on both sides left RBCome’s population radically depleted and Carthage razed and erased from the map Sir Nigel Bagnall brings his military experience and a modern profess. As far as second careers go there are worse things for a career military man to do than write histories of two of the most famous conflicts in ancient history Retired UK Field Marshal Nigel Bagnall first of these in order of writing if not in order of historic occurrence is his fine history of the Punic Wars the long the first two anyway and bloody conflicts that saw Carthage's extermination and Rome's ascendancy as the paramount central and western Mediterranean power He starts with an overall survey of the two combatants with a précis of their respective histories constitutions military forces and religions It's a good backgrounder although the relevance of the religions isn't made manifest in the book His survey of Sicily is particularly good with an emphasis on Syracuse as a counterbalance to Carthage's power in Sicily and the chapter also presages his take on the causes of the First Punic War by arguing there were no overwhelming strategic reasons for the land bound Rome to go to war with the maritime Carthage The reasons sprang from unstable politics in what could be called a neutral zone in eastern Sicily between Rome and Carthage The Roman move in Messana which included evicting the Carthaginian garrison which started the First Punic War is argued by Bagnall to be an act of short term opportunism against a Carthage that posed no threat to Rome Here I think Bagnall overlooks what Rome would've perceived as the importance of the Syracusan counterweight as a Carthaginian foothold there could've blocked off any future Roman intervention against a future move against SyracuseHis narrative of the First Punic War sets the tone for the whole book The narrative style is lucid and engaging and interspersed with his expert military analysis One good example on a tactical level is Xanthippus correcting the earlier Carthaginian error of defending on broken ground which nullified their advantage in cavalry with an open ground battle at Tunis where he crushed the Roman army His analyses are the strongest draw His extended commentary a whole chapter after the close of the First Punic War breaks down for the uninitiated the difference between the strategic operational and tactical levels of warfare His analysis of the Roman and Carthaginian efforts will follow that breakdown Strategically he asserts that the opportunistic nature of Rome’s move into Messana also meant that they started with no coherent strategy Carthage arguably missed a strategic opportunity in not using its naval assets to go on the offensive in Italy something which Hannibal would rectify Bagnall’s speculation that Carthage chose a defensive strategy because of early reverses that led them to a permanent sense of tactical inferiority against the Romans is a good one Again this is something that Hannibal would rectify in the rematch Rome also made the mistake of diffusive initiatives and failed to develop an effective cavalry arm They would pay a far higher price for that in the next conflictHe even subjects the conflicts of the entr’acte to this analysis for example faulting the Illyrians in the losing war against Rome with objectives that their force structure couldn’t support In fact a strong point of this book is a close look at those conflicts with the Carthaginian conuest of Spain being particularly important for future events while Rome’s essentially shaking down a weakened Carthage for Sardinia and Corsica does much to explain Carthage’s desire for revengeBagnall also does a fine job with the Second Punic War He highlights Hannibal’s successful use of maneuver and mobile forces in his three epic victories at the Trebbia Lake Trasimene and Cannae and overall illumines how much of Carthage’s effort in Italy owed to Hannibal’s genius He explains Hannibal’s strategy as being fundamentally political Hannibal didn’t expect to be able to take and burn down Rome but he could break its political hold on its allies but repeatedly smashing Rome’s armies This reuired that he exploit his superior operational and tactical mobility However as Bagnall observes once Hannibal acuired allies which defected from Rome his need to protect them smothered that flexibility His take on the Spanish and African campaigns of Scipio Africanus illustrates another argument of the book which is that victory would go to the party that could best move away from its preexisting doctinres For example Scipio’s willingness to bypass the Carthaginian armies to effect a coup de main against the Carthaginian base at Nova Carthago Likewise his brilliant victory at Ilipa was a function of his ability to wrong foot the Carthaginian’s through a change in the disposition of his armyThe Third Punic War isn’t given as much coverage but it’s still done well Bagnall’s epilogue is a good summing up of the strategicoperationaltactical lessons learned but I thought his attempt to analogize those to contemporary for 1990 politics was awkward and misplaced There are surely better ways to address the idea of NATO military preparedness for example then drawing attention to Carthage’s lack thereof at the onset of the First Punic WarAlthough Bagnall became a fellow at Oxford's Balliol College after retirement he was not a professional historian and this work is of a narrative book than a scholarly one You won't find indications of original research there are no footendnotes and only a limited bibliography On the other hand where the classical sources conflict his comparative analyses are plausible It is a fine work nonetheless and I'd certainly recommend it as an introduction to the subject especially as it covers all three of the Punic Wars at once