Hannibal Barca is rightly considered one of the greatest generals in history.
When war broke out with Rome in 218 BCE most generals in Rome assumed the war would take the same course as its predecessor. That is, it would be a strictly naval affair.
Hannibal had other ideas.
He took his army of 59,000 men and 60 elephants and crossed the Pyrenees and the Alps and invaded Rome. By the time he reached Northern Italy in November of 218 BCE he had 26,000 men and 20 elephants remaining.
One observer remarked that Hannibal's troops looked like beggars.
At the River Trebia, when 40,000 Romans were crushed by Hannibal's hungry, injured and exhausted 26,000 men, the Romans learned that they were anything but beggars.
At the end of the day, 30,000 Romans were dead or captured.
Hannibal then moved south into the heart of Rome.
To be continued...