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The Battle of Cannae - Detailed Description The Battle of Cannae on 2 August 216 BC serves as a classic example of a double-envelopment maneuver a way for an inferior force to defeat a superior force on open terrain Hannibal is still studied in military acadamies The battlefield is located in the Apulian plain on the right bank of the Aufidus modern Ofanto River about six miles south of Canosa di Puglia which itself is midway between Bari and Foggia on Italys east coast The army of Hannibal fronting west stood to the left of Aufidus Ofanto in the vicinity of the village Cannae2 situated near the mouth of the river and opposite the troops of the consuls Gaius Terentius Varroransferred and Lucius Aemilius Paulus The Opposing Forces Rome put a massive infantry force into the field against Hannibal The combined forces of the two consuls totalled had 55000 heavily armed men 8000 lightly armed men 6000 mounted men - involved in the actual battle - and in the two fortified camps 2600 heavily armed men 7400 lightly armed men a total of 10000 at his further disposition so that the total strength of the Roman army amounted to 79000 men It is known from Livy that the First Second and Third legions took part in the battle Paullus was with the First Legion Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus-to-be was also there at the age of about nineteen years with the Second legion Green as he was though he - along with Pulcher from the Third legion - was given temporary command of the remnants of the Roman army after the battle and before Varro was heard from Also present was Fabius Maximus the son of the ex-dictator Hannibals troops amounted to probably only 32000 heavily armed men including only 12000 Carthaginians the rest being Gauls and Iberians 8000 lightly armed men 10000 mounted men a total of 50000 Moreover Hannibals troops were most likely
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