Was there ever a chance for the Carthage to win the Punic Wars?
>>5773079Maybe if they'd made a third strike on Pearl Harbour, but to do that they'd need to have not stop the panzers at Dunkirk.
Hmm. maybe if they waited for the russian winter.
>>5773079There was a chance, not a great chance, but a chance to win the first one. Even roman resilience can't endlessly absorb lost fleets, those things are huge manpower sinks in the ancient world. If they had come up with some way to avoid the corvus and let their generally better rowers carry those early battles, things could have been a lot different.After that though, it's probably too late.
They had a real chance at winning the first one, yes. That war in general was a big clusterfuck of disasters for both sides with multiple fleets being entirely lost due to storms or battle. Towards the end of the war both sides were so strapped for cash that when the Roman needed to build a new navy they found themselves out of funds, and had to rely on loans from the Roman aristocracy to fund this endeavor. Had that fleet been lost Rome probably wouldn't have been able to field another, but it managed to inflict a serious enough defeat on that of the Carthaginians that they were forced to sue for peace. The fact that the affluent of Rome risked their fortunes in many cases to help the war effort out of pure patriotism is something that really left an impression on me about Roman virtues during this period in their history.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Aegates
>>5773079Absolutely, if Masinissa had not defeated Syphax
>>5773143>He actually thinks the fucking Numidians turning at the close of the 2nd punic war was decisive.I mean, let's say that it doesn't happen, and the Romans are never actually able to successfully win at Bagradas or Zama. They've still chased the Carthaginians out of Italy proper and overrun all of what's now Spain. They've still got control of the seas. They still have a larger manpower pool, better finances, and have all the initiative. And that's IF and only if keeping the Numidians makes Tunisia impregnable, which is extremely dubious.
>overrun all of what's now SpainTheir hold over Spain was still insecure at that point. Not too long after Zama, there was major uprisings in Spain and the Romans had to deal with Gauls who were simultaneously making a their life hell.If only Antiochus III wasn't a complete retard and didn't delay his invasion of Greece --- as Hannibal was desperate for. Then Carthage may of had a chance.The exhausted Romans couldn't deal with a simultaneous assault from Spain, Gauls, Carthage AND the Seleucid Empire.
>>5773079>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_MetaurusHad these reinforcements linked up with Hannibal, his army would have outnumbered the Romans for the first time in the war, and more importantly, given Hannibal the troops that he would need to break out of the south and ravage the northern farmlands, which were literally the only thing keeping Romans, both the city and its soldiers, fed. No farms, no food, and you know what an army marches on.Yes, Rome still had a huge manpower reserve with respect to the Carthaginians but this sort of reductionist thinking is exactly what inspired the Romans to blunder into Cannae in the first place. It glosses over several key details.A: Rome had lost virtually all of their experienced officers. Even the B-team had been wiped out. By the time of Cannae it was amateurs leading amateurs, and any future endeavor after that was like Romans would be like rounding up old farts, JROTC-nazis, and pussies who were too scared to enlist the first few times and shuffling them all into battle against Navy SEALS. You simply can't expect raw, green recruits to perform at the level of elite professionals led by an actual military genius, no matter how many you're funneling into the grinder.B: Hannibal's troops lasted for years ravaging Italy. Their gear obviously didn't. They kept up the fight by helping themselves to the Roman armories. What did that leave the Romans with? Whatever pitchfork or crappy old iron plowshare that he could beat into something resembling a sword. So not only were these their shittiest reserves, but they were also armed with busted old personal equipment while the elites had the finest gear that money could steal. The state was broke, the only thing keeping them in the fight was Scipio Africanus, the absolute mad-lad who raised his own private army and went on a rampage in Spain and then took the fight to Africa against the wishes of the state, who wanted him to return to Italy.1/2
>>5773079Those 37,000 soldiers who showed up at Metaurus represent the combined strength of both consular armies, the rest of their active duty reserves were holed up in the south keeping Hannibal boxed in, playing a low-stakes game of trying to wind up the clock and keep the fight going against Hannibal for as long as possibleThe second Punic War was the ancient warfare equivalent of Rocky vs Apollo. On the surface, Apollo held all the advantages: bigger, stronger, more experienced, has access to superior resources, and absolutely dominates in the early game. But Rocky had the heart and guts to go the distance, to keep fighting his ass off even when the chips were at their lowest and defeat seemed certain. Even when it seemed like fate had dealt the Romans their final blow, the fog of ancient warfare graced them with a lucky break: a Carthaginian messenger took a wrong turn going through northern Italy, and ended up in Roman hands. They now knew exactly how many troops Hasdrubal was bringing, where they were headed, and how fast they were going. The consuls jumped like mad dogs at this opportunity, timing the battle with perfect precision, so that the Romans were fresh, and fighting uphill against Carthaginians exhausted after the march, and having the sun in their eyesThough this is a very conventional ancient battle, with no complex field maneuvers to make it of much interest to tacticians, I think this battle represents a sort of prelude to the battle of Zama, showing that the Romans could still hit hard and decisively even after getting their asses handed to them for so long. And the real strength of the Romans, which went unappreciated by all but a handful of Romans, at best, was the strength of their alliance with the other Italian city-states, who clung to Rome despite brutal military setbacks that would have fragmented an empire built on naked conquest alone. 2/2
>>5773600>Had these reinforcements linked up with Hannibal, his army would have outnumbered the Romans for the first time in the war,What if the Romans do something as drastically impossible as recalling forces from Sicily or Spain? Huh?>given Hannibal the troops that he would need to break out of the south and ravage the northern farmlands, which were literally the only thing keeping Romans, both the city and its soldiers, fed. No farms, no food, and you know what an army marches on.Yes, because that worked out so well in the years between 216 and 211 before he got boxed into Crotona>A: Rome had lost virtually all of their experienced officers.This is just wrong. How exactly do you explain the successful Roman offensives pretty much everywhere outside of Italy? For that matter, since the "officers" were more or less the senatorial class, how would that even happen? Rome did not have a meritocratic military officership. It was always amateurs leading amateurs, and there is 0 evidence to indicate that they were fighting worse after Cannae than at points before it.>What did that leave the Romans with? Whatever pitchfork or crappy old iron plowshare that he could beat into something resembling a sword.There is zero evidence for this.>The state was brokeOr this> The state was broke, the only thing keeping them in the fight was Scipio Africanus,Or this.
It's fascinating to me because the second Punic war seems to have been the most balanced conflict in history The first was heavily skewed in favor of Carthage while the third... yeah, just an execution
>>5773214>The exhausted Romans couldn't deal with a simultaneous assault from Spain, Gauls, Carthage AND the Seleucid Empire.There is no indication the Romans were "exhausted" circa 203. There is not going to be perfect coordination from 4 separate actors striking all across the Mediterreanean, who all have different interests. Rome, in any case, holds the naval advantage, a very heavy one. That in turn means they are easily the most mobile army in the conflict, and means they can concentrate on these threats one at a time, smashing each in turn, whereas it would be extremely difficult for this ad-hoc coalition to do anything remotely similar.Furthermore, you've moved your goalposts rather massively. (along with making some massive errors in fact) First it was just Syphax coming up on top in the Numidian civil war. Now it's that AND the Selucids entering the war AND the Celtiberian war breaking out 20 years early. Seriously, get real.
>>5773627>What if the Romans do something as drastically impossible as recalling forces from Sicily or Spain? Huh?How are they going to do that when they're starving?>Yes, because that worked out so well in the years between 216 and 211 before he got boxed into CrotonaAnd you think it wouldn't make any difference with his army now almost tripled in size?>. How exactly do you explain the successful Roman offensives pretty much everywhere outside of Italy?I already did. You need to work on your reading comprehension>Scipio Africanus, the absolute mad-lad who raised his own private army and went on a rampage in Spain and then took the fight to Africa against the wishes of the state, who wanted him to return to Italy.He pulled off several long-shot victories against the Carthaginians in Spain and frankly, you're borderline insulting the Romans for trying to make light of such a formidable foe.>There is zero evidence for this.Then why didn't the Romans simply raise the monster army of all armies to simply stomp Hannibal under the weight of all that manpower? What was stopping them, if it was as simple as you make it out to be?