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Thapsus 46 BC - Caesar's Most Complicated Campaign - Roman DOCUMENTARY

Jun 06, 2021


in Africa had gotten off to a bad start; He had rushed into the invasion, underestimating his opponents and, as a result, suffered a minor defeat, was greatly outnumbered and poorly supplied. However, as we have seen before, Caesar was often


deadly when he was cornered. Instead of rushing again, Caesar now focused on gathering reinforcements and supplies, and preparing for the upcoming Battle of Tapsus. Gods... I hate Gauls... Oops, sorry, wrong script, but can you blame us? This video is sponsored by Total War: Rome Remastered, so our nostalgia is natural. The good news is that developer Creative Assembly managed to find a perfect formula for the remaster: the game retains the spirit and mechanics that made it one of the best strategy games of all time and improves its features across the board.
thapsus 46 bc   caesar s most complicated campaign   roman documentary
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thapsus 46 bc   caesar s most complicated campaign   roman documentary

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The diplomacy system has been revised, with wider camera zoom levels and camera rotation on the campaign map now available. Total War: ROME REMASTERED includes the Barbarian Invasion and Alexander expansions in glorious new detail, and players will also gain access to the original ROME: Total War Collection on Windows. It's 50% off for owners of the original game for a limited time! Support our channel and pre-order the definitive version of one of the best strategy games of all time by clicking the link in the description! Caesar's first priority was to improve Ruspina's defenses and create trenches from the city to his camp and to the sea.
thapsus 46 bc   caesar s most complicated campaign   roman documentary
In doing so, Caesar ensured that his lines of communication remained secure while also providing a safe landing site for reinforcements and supplies. Caesar had been surprised by Labienus's tactic of mixing light troops with cavalry and decided to imitate it, removing light marines and archers from his ships to do so. Meanwhile, Scipio was on his way to join his force with Labienus and Petreyus, bringing with him al


all of the Optimate leaders and the entirety of his army, bringing his total to over 60 thousand. Such an army would already have been larger than the one Pompey had and, to make matters worse for Caesar, there was also the possibility that the Numidian king Juba would join Scipio with his own force, including his famous elephants.
thapsus 46 bc   caesar s most complicated campaign   roman documentary
With the fortifications improved, Caesar turned his attention to supplies. The Optimates had previously stripped the area of ​​corn and most of the local labor force was forced to join his army, making that year's harvest particularly poor. Caesar was forced to buy supplies from wealthy people living in the area and ration them for his army. Several of his scattered transports were pursued by the Optimate armada and captured or burned. Caesar ordered the rest of his ships to patrol the port of Ruspina, to keep the area clear for the early arrival of troops and supplies from Sicily. Just when things were starting to look disastrous, Caesar had a stroke of luck.
The Optimate army under Scipio had stopped briefly at Utica, where Cato, the figurehead and political leader of the faction, was based. While the army was there, Cato began to berate Pompey's children for not having achieved as much as his father at his age. Ashamed and hoping to prove his worth, Gnaeus took 2,000 slaves and freedmen and attacked the nearby kingdom of Western Mauretania, ruled by King Bogud. The Mauritanians lured Gnaeus near the city of Ascurum, before leaving and quickly defeating the small force. Humiliated, Gnaeus retreated to the Balearic Islands, but his actions had far-reaching consequences. Having left a considerable garrison at Utica, Scipio now marched towards Labienus and Petreyus, uniting the two armies and establishing a camp three miles from Caesar's position.
They immediately begin using their large cavalry forces to keep Caesar inside his fortifications, further worsening his supply situation. Juba began marching towards his allies in hopes of contributing to a quick and definitive victory over Caesar, but Gnaeus' actions now showed the consequences of him. The king of Eastern Mauretania, Bochus, learned of Juba's departure and invaded Numidia to avenge Optimate's attack on his brother Bogud. Commanding the Mauritanian armies was Publius Sitio, who had been operating in Africa as a mercenary since the Catherine Conspiracy. He successfully captured the Numidian city of Cirta and then proceeded to pillage and plunder the surrounding area.
At that time Juba had almost reached Scipio, but upon hearing the news he withdrew to defend Numidia. Meanwhile, some of the local citizens had begun sending messages to Caesar complaining about the harsh rule of the Optimates. Some cities even requested garrisons, promising to feed and house them in return, an offer Caesar gladly accepted by sending 3 cohorts to improve his supply situation. Initially, Caesar planned to wait for the weather to improve to ensure that his troops could cross safely from Sicily, but now he ordered them to be sent regardless of the conditions, showing how desperate he was.
Scipio did not remain inactive while all this was happening. Labienus, commanding most of the Optimate cavalry, maintained a relentless campaign of harassment, fighting a series of skirmishes with Caesar's cavalry who ventured out on patrol. Labienus continued to look for ways to keep Caesar's forces occupied, including attacking the cities of Leptis and Acyla, but was repelled by Caesar's cohorts now garrisoned there. However, these attacks were effective in maintaining pressure on Caesar. Similarly, Scipio would march his army out of the camp every day and put them in battle formation, including elephants, hoping to intimidate the recruits of Caesar's army.
Caesar made a show of indifference and kept his men working on his fortifications, but never raised his own army for battle. He knew that to have any chance of victory he would need more men, especially more veterans. His best move was to keep his men behind their fortifications of trenches and stockades and bide his time. His patience paid off. Sallust had arrived at Cercina, site of a large supply of Optimate grain that was poorly defended. He easily drove off the garrison and immediately sent the supplies to Caesar. At the same time, two experienced legions, the 13th and 14th, were finally dispatched from Lilybaeum.
Good luck with the weather and Caesar's patrol fleet allowed the legions and supplies to reach Ruspina with relative ease. Shortly afterward, Scipio sent two Gaetulian spies to Caesar's camp to assess the new situation. However, the Gaetuli, who had benefited greatly from the actions of Caesar's uncle-in-law Gaius Marius during and after the Jugurtine War, immediately defected to Caesar. They informed him of Scipio's numbers and the morale of his men and, in particular, that the 4th and 6th Optimate Legions were hesitant and eager to join Caesar. Although Scipio and Labienus had done well to maintain the pressure, they had delayed too long and lost the initiative: Caesar now had the men and supplies he needed to go on the offensive and wanted to force a battle with Scipio before the Numidian army overpowered him. did. return.
On January 25, he sent transports back to Sicily to pick up the rest of his army and then marched his entire force out of the camp. His first objective was to take and fortify the chain of semicircular hills that surrounded the city. Seeking to use tactics similar to those of Dyrrachium, Caesar quickly seized as many hills as he could and ordered fortifications to be built to create a line of palisades on the hilltops. Hoping to force Caesar to return to his original position, Scipio marched his entire army out of the camp with Labienus commanding the vast cavalry force, preparing for battle.
Initially, Caesar thought it was a bluff, but when the enemy approached in formation, he gathered his legions on the hills for battle and sent a small detachment of Spanish auxiliaries to seize the only hill still held. of Scipio. The Numidians occupying the position there were quickly driven away and Labienus led most of his right wing of cavalry to cover his retreat. Caesar noticed that Labienus had strayed too far from Optimate's main battle line and sent his own left wing of cavalry to charge through the hole, before returning to attack Labienus from the rear. A large property prevented Labienus from seeing this movement until the enemy cavalry was already behind him.
With the cavalry pushing from his rear and the Spanish auxiliaries attacking from the front, Labienus was caught in a pincer and ordered a retreat. He and the fast Numidian horsemen were able to escape, but his Gallic and Germanic cavalry were slower. He was surrounded and, despite brave resistance, reduced to a man. Seeing that his right flank was in ruins, Scipio quickly ordered a retreat and returned to his camp. Caesar, feeling robbed, did the same. However, he soon attempted to force a battle again, this time leading his army towards the city of Uzitta, an important water source for Scipio, which was located just outside the Optimate camp.
Scipio led his army out of the camp and placed them on either side of the city in a strong defensive position. Caesar eagerly readied his men for battle, but was reluctant to attack Scipio in such a strong place. For the rest of the day the armies remained facing each other, until Caesar ordered a retreat. Frustrated once again, Caesar returned to his camp and continued to further fortify his position on the ridge. Scipio had been delayed for good reason. Immediately after the cavalry skirmish in which the Gallic and Germanic cavalry were lost, he sent a message to Juba demanding his help.
Juba, who owed his kingdom to Pompey, agreed. He left his general Saburra, the victor of Bagradas, to fight Siege, and marched towards Scipio with three Roman-trained Numidian legions, 800 heavy cavalry, more light infantry and cavalry, and 30 more elephants. The Optimates now had 8 Roman and 3 Numidian legions, approximately 55,000 men, almost 16,000 cavalry, 60 elephants, and perhaps up to 20,000 light infantry; a total of around 90,000 men, a truly colossal force. Scipio thought it was his turn to go on the offensive. His fleet had been pursuing any of Caesar's ships that had strayed in the crossing from Sicily, and the prisoners were brought before him.
He now showed several captured veterans of the 14th outside his camp, tortured them to death there, and left their bodies outside. He also began once again leading his army out of the camp every day to further intimidate Caesar and his men. However, these actions had the opposite effect. The execution of his men infuriated Caesar and he was also encouraged by Juba's numbers: they were not as significant as he feared, which meant that Siege was distracting much of the Numidian forces and confirmed that Scipio had no more aces left. under the sleeve. . After this, a stalemate arose.
Both sides prepared regularly for battle, but no serious confrontation was fought, and neither wanted to be the one to attack a fortified opponent. Several cavalry skirmishes were fought, with neither side able to gain a significant advantage over the other. Two more veteran legions, the 10th and 9th, arrived, and Caesar attempted to use them to break the stalemate, building two long trenches from his camp to Utizza, despite constant harassment from Labienus's cavalry. He built himself a new camp at the end of these trenches, where he built siege weapons such as scorpions and catapults and began bombarding Utizza.
Caesar's constant pressure and the proximity of his new camp to Scipio's encouraged some of the Optimate troops, mainly Getullians, but also several men from the 4th and 6th legions to switch sides. Scipio could not allow this to continue and once again ordered his army into battle formation. Caesar did the same, but the open ground in frontHe generously recalled many of his oldest veterans and won four triumphs, one each for Gaul, Egypt, Asia, and Africa. After defeating Cato, his position was now supreme. The Senate gave him incredible powers, including censorship powers for 3 years and dictatorial powers for 10, an unprecedented level of power.
For all intents and purposes, Caesar was now the sole ruler of the Roman Republic. However, although he had already won the Civil War twice, once at Pharsalia and once at Thapsus, the war was not over. Pompey's sons, Varus and Labienus, still resisted him in Spain. More battles were to come and we will cover them soon, so make sure you are subscribed and have hit the bell button to watch the next video in the series. Please consider liking, commenting and sharing; It's a great help. Our videos would be impossible without our kind sponsors and YouTube channel members, whose ranks you can join via the links in the description to find out our schedule, get early access to our videos, access our discord, and much more.
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