Posted: March 13th, 2023
One of the main reasons for this is that Hannibal did not follow up on his victory at Cannae with either a siege or further attacks on Rome. Following Cannae, it would have been reasonable for him to march towards Rome even if he had no intention of attempting its capture; this could have given him the upper hand politically and allowed him to apply pressure on the Senate while they were preoccupied dealing with such a threat (Hanfmann & Knowles, 1966). Instead however, he chose simply to remain in Apulia near Cannae while continuing guerrilla tactics throughout Italy rather than engaging large scale battles with Roman forces. As Michael Mitchel notes “Hannibal effectively wasted two years following Cannae as he conducted raids throughout southern Italy which resulted in little overall gain” (Mitchel 2019). Such delays gave Rome time for their own strategies – including recruiting new conscripts and levying fresh allies – enabling them ultimately prevail over their adversary.
All told then whilst it is true that many regard Hannibals victories over Romans forces as some great tactical masterstroke despite this alone being insufficient secure ultimate success required both sound tactical capabilities decisive leadership skills capable exploiting every asset available ensure advantageous position enemy both militarily politically terms political expediency brought about end Second Punic War therefore notwithstanding brilliance displayed battlefield must concede general who won battle lost war due inability capitalise upon advantages held following initial successes
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