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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:58 AM   #1
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Caesar's Best Campaign ?

What campaign shows Caesar at his best objectively as a general and why?
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Old December 30th, 2017, 01:38 AM   #2

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I would argue that though Alesia is not his most flawless campaign it also shows Caesar at his best. Vercingetorix carried out an insurgency campaign that likes of which no Roman commander had ever seen, possibly no commander prior had been forced to endured. Most generals would have just given up and retreated but Caesar chose to not only continue the campaign but move on to the offensive against Vercingetorix. Not only did Caesar perform quite well but he also defeated Vercingetorix and completely ended his revolt. I'll leave it at that for now but I can get into more details later.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 06:39 AM   #3

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I really like Caesar's Illerda campaign. Alesia campaign was also great.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 07:01 AM   #4

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Posting the same question [not exactly an OP] in two different sections ... this makes me think to Christmas holidays homework.

Anyway my personal preference [so it's subjective, not objective] is for the first amphibious assault to Great Britain. Caesar simply did [as the first one] all what modern amphibious units have been doing in the last century. Close artillery coverage included.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 11:00 AM   #5
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Old December 30th, 2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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"In the military sciences, the term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plans incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war."

Vercingetorix's Revolt was the perfect example of Caesar's abilities and that of his army. During that campaign, even if his book was even remotely true, the things he did were amazing. From the rapid mobilization to start the campaign following word of the rebellion reaching him when they thought he couldn't stop it, to crossing the Alps after snowfall started, to his army outmaneuvering Vercingetorix's with ease, his ability to ignore the realities of logistics and then get away with it through sheer audacity, skill, incredible performance of the army he created, and some luck.

Alesia was perfection, Caesar and his army showcased all the strengths of the Roman military, none of its usual weaknesses. They did nearly everything right, they made great guesses, fantastic job analyzing the battlefield conditions and terrain, creating clear objectives that perfectly support his strategy, utilizing his infantry as engineers, delegation of authority to competent subordinates, using natural resources as a force multiplier, etc.

He's not the only one in history who did something that brilliant, but it was notable enough that its really worth studying.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 01:09 PM   #7

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The Llerda Campaign.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 03:36 PM   #8
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Why Illerda over Alesia?
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Old December 30th, 2017, 03:53 PM   #9

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While Ilerda was a flawless campaign I don't think that even then it was Caesar necessarily at his best. I think that Alesia and Pharsalus really show Caesar overcoming adversity. On every level Alesia was absolutely ridiculous and there was no reason for Caesar to have won that other than his performance being good and very consistent.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 04:17 PM   #10

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What makes the Alesia campaign so impressive.

-Caesar had collected bad harvests in Gaul during 54 BC
-he had to split up his legions in order to control the territory
-the Gauls seemed to have a universal feeling of discontent at Roman rule, even some of the Roman allies, growing discontent continued all throughout 53 BC
-Vercingetorix got away with an unprecedented claim of being King of Gaul, by contrast his own father had attempted to make himself King of Gergovia and the Arverni tribe for which he was defeated and executed
-Vercingetorix began his campaign in the winter, when the Romans had not mobilized and could not be supplied adequately, he started off by going for the weakest link, the Aedui tribe and besieging them at Gorgobina
-Caesar mobilized his forces and rather than confront Vercingetorix he actually moved south to secure his rear area and establish a line of communications taking the oppida at Vellaunodunum, Cenabum and Noviodunum
-by using the indirect approach Vercingetorix was forced to end his siege of the Aedui tribe and attempt to stop Caesar from ripping apart his coalition
-Caesar drew Vercingetorix out to fight at Noviodunum and despite attempting to pin down the Gallic army Vercingetorix decided to play to his insurgency strengths, namely his mobility
-Vercingetorix retreated to Gergovia, avoiding pitched battles and burning everything in his wake
-Vercingetorix chose not to burn Avaricum so as not to insult his allies the Bituriges
-Caesar rather than retreat decided to give chase and besieged Avaricum (in the typically complex Roman fashion), taking that city as a fortified base and the supplies within it
-Caesar then moved on Gergovia and laid siege to it, Vercingetorix got the Aedui to defect to his side and so they attacked Caesar from behind, at which point Vercingetorix also attacked, Caesar managed to fight his way out but was forced to retreat, likewise the Gauls did not press on their attack but used this opportunity to retreat to Alesia and burn the surrounding area
-again Caesar chose to pursue despite suffering from attrition yet again and decided to lay siege to Alesia
-Vercingetorix does not seem to have had anywhere else to go and so he probably saw this as a last stand, calling for reinforcements from other tribes to attack Caesar from behind
-for whatever reason the Gauls abandoned their mobility advantage and found themselves trapped at Alesia, though it is likely that they never expected Caesar to give chase after such a hard fought campaign especially now that Gaul had been devastated and burned
-the battle of Alesia was fought and the rest is history
-Caesar then spent 51 BC putting out the embers of the Gallic revolt
-other smaller scale but wider spread revolts broke out across Gaul which Caesar put down fairly rapidly by sending cavalry patrols and legions
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