Cannae 216 BC: Hannibal smashes Rome's Army (Campaign)

Cannae 216 BC: Hannibal smashes Rome's Army (Campaign) - Mark Healy An excellent, and concise at only 96 pages, summary of the second Punic war from it's initial encounters through to the titular battle of Cannae, the height of Hannibal's power at 216. Very little is said of the following years leading to Hannibal's recall to Africa and his defeat at the hands of Scipio Africanus, but this shouldn't be surprising given the tight focus of the book itself.

The coverage of the early war and it's major battles and personages is brief, but succinct and usable, and the comments on the personal situations of the primary source writers of this era make for illuminating reading (Livy and Polybius mainly). The battle of Cannae itself is very well described, with full colour diagrams displaying the troop formations at various stages of the battle, an in depth discussion of the likely troop makeup and size of each army (Hannibal was outnumbered by 2:1 or more) and the tactics being employed on both sides that led to Hannibal's most famous victory.

Highly recommended to any fans of ancient or military history, particularly anyone with an interest in the Republican Rome period, as the battles with Hannibal in Italy resulted in a significant shift in the Roman mindset and was a major milestone in a lot of ways on the transition from citizen republic to Roman Empire.