Hannibal Crosses the Alps
In CCXVIII BCE the Carthaginian general Hannibal launched what is considered one of the greatest military feats in history. He and his army invaded Rome from the north by crossing the Alps mountain range.
Hannibal is believed to have entered the foothills of the Alps with about 50 000 infantry, 9 000 cavalry, 37 elephants, siege engines and pack animals.
Due to extreme cold, land slides, bad weather, hostile tribes and some bad luck the army emerged on Roman soil 15 days later with with about 38 000 soldiers, 8000 cavalry & perhaps 12 elephants.
There is still much argument about the exact route Hannibal’s forces took but it is estimated they traveled about 280 kms or 173 miles to cross the Alps during that time.
Controversy also exists about where Hannibal’s elephants came from? – It is thought he used the now extinct North African Forest elephant.
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