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Peter Inker's Caesar's Gallic Triumph The Battle of Alesia 52BC PDF

By Peter Inker

In fifty two B.C. at Alesia in what's now Burgundy in France Julius Caesar pulled off one of many nice feats of Roman hands. His seriously outnumbered military completely defeated the mixed forces of the Gallic tribes led through Vercingetorix and accomplished the Roman conquest of Gaul. The Alesia crusade, and the epic siege within which it culminated, used to be one in all Caesar s best army achievements, and it has involved historians ever because.

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This last point was made all the more central when Caesar’s political interests were thrown into sharp relief by an unprovoked campaign against the Belgae the year after his initial invasion (57BC). Alternatively, Caesar’s crossing into Gaul was taken by other Gallic tribes as a helpful event that would further their own political ambitions. Many Gallic tribes felt that siding with Caesar was in their interests and the larger tribal groups, who aimed to benefit from his activities, supported Caesar’s actions.

If the defences at Alesia are exceptional, this is only because the management of the army was exceptional and equal to the Herculean task. Motivation to create such an engineering feat was an important factor in Caesar’s army. Infantry training tended to focus on physical ability, including running, jumping, marching and building – clearly necessary for the construction work. Increasingly, espirt de corps was also encouraged. The legions began to be individualized by number and by name. Added to this, individual legions were picked out by nicknames, often recognizing their exploits, and by use of awards and honours on their banners and standards.

Although the Roman legion is now seen as the epitome of military genius, the reality was somewhat different; in fact, Rome’s success as a military power seems to have been due more to its ability to learn from its mistakes. Rome’s brilliance was that it could accept its weaknesses and adopt the successful elements of its enemies, whilst all the time placing these within a structured military system. In due course, the legion developed from the propertied man’s annual obligation to fight to protect his land during the summer months, to the requirement for all males to fight lengthy warfare for a campaigning season (usually March to October) and finally to professional soldiers paid to fight constantly over prolonged periods of many years.

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Caesar's Gallic Triumph The Battle of Alesia 52BC by Peter Inker

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