The Greatest Tactical Battle of Antiquity — Cannae

2,236 years ago, at the Battle of Cannae, Hannibal of Carthage annihilated a much larger Roman army with tactics still studied to this day.

On 2 August 216 B.C., during the Second Punic War, an army of 50,000 Carthaginians, under the command of Hannibal, met a Roman army of some 71,000 men on a field near the ancient village of Cannae in Italy.  By the end of the day, virtually every Roman soldier on the battlefield was slaughtered or captured.  This is the story:

Hannibal proved to be antiquity’s greatest tactician, but only a mediocre strategist.  His decision not to march on Rome itself ultimately allowed Rome, with its advantage in size and logistics, to wear down Hannibal’s army, ending in Hannibal’s defeat fifteen years later.