Siege of Alesia, 52 BC animated battle map
By Jonathan Webb
(Ensure you hit F5 or View Show)
Vercingetorix versus Julius Caesar: A Gallic army under Vercingetorix is besieged by a Roman army under Caesar but a relief army is on its way. How will Caesar react to this turn of the tables and even have a chance at defeating Vercingetorix?
When studying the most successful men in history, one will notice that they seem destined to be great and that nothing stands in their way. Caesar is no exception.
A fortress swarming with enemies and an even larger enemy relief force stood in Caesar’s way. This battle does not appear to be a siege because Caesar was able to switch roles as the situation suited him. When Vercingetorix sent his cavalry away, the Romans were able to forage unmolested and proceed to starve out the besieged Gauls. When the Gallic relief army arrived, Caesar assumed the role as the besieged in a nearly impenetrable position which the Gauls attacked frantically with no result. Keep in mind that it was not only the Gauls within Alesia without any supplies who surrendered, but the relief army as well. Caesar defeated two forces in this battle: one which was besieged and another which was besieging.
Okay, so I kind of cheated on the first “siege” I animated because it can also be considered a battle. I was worried that a siege would play out rather dull due to a lack of movement. I do not think this animation was dull at all and while I will still have to use some creativity to ensure it is not, I will be more inclined to animate another siege in the near future. You will notice I animate the Gallic relief army as being roughly 100,000 infantry and 8,000 cavalry. This is a classic case where I will use the lowest recorded estimate because I am a strong proponent of logistics over nearly every other consideration.
- Jonathan Webb
Cummins, Joseph. Turn Around and Run Like Hell: Amazing Stories of Unconventional Military Strategies that Worked. London: Murdoch, 2007.
Dupuy, Trevor Nevitt. The Military Life of Julius Caear: Imperator. New York: Franklin Watts, 1969.
Fuller, J.F.C. Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier and Tyrant. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1965.
Goldsworthy, Adrian. Caesar. London: Orion, 2007.
Warry, John. Warfare in the Classical World. London: Salamander, 1980.
Gallic cavalry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_35_figure_1.htm
Gallic infantry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_35_figure_1.htm
Julius Caesar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Caesar
Map of the Roman Empire: http://historical.atlas.verbix.com/republic.html
Map of the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_map_projections
Roman cavalry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_59_figure_1.htm
Roman infantry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_59_figure_1.htm
Tags: 0s BC, Ancient Era, attack from a defensive position, cavalry, envelopment of a single flank, Gallic Wars, Gauls, infantry, Julius Caesar, land, modern day France, Romans, Season 3, siege, Vercingetorix, Western Europe
Weider History Group