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Document Analysis of Julius Caesar's The Gallic War - Essay Example

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The British Invasion: Insights on Caesar’s Gallic Campaign Ashley Sali History 100-001 Name of Professor Professor November 18, 2013 Word count: 1099 The British Invasion: Insights on Caesar’s Gallic Campaign Julius Caesar’s The Gallic War is an excellent source of insights on Roman military tactics, the Roman soldier and, of course, Caesar’s leadership characteristics…
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Document Analysis of Julius Caesars The Gallic War
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Document Analysis of Julius Caesar's The Gallic War

Download file to see previous pages... The Invasion of Britain The year 55 BC was Caesar's first attempt at invading Britain. It cannot be considered a complete success in the sense that after the excursion, the army went back to Gaul and Britain was not occupied. But from the Roman position, most assuredly from Caesar’s point of view, the invasion was a resounding especially when he already received the homage of British tribal chiefs and kings. This, undoubtedly, was the needed evidence to show how the territory has already been conquered as far as the campaign is concerned. This first foray, however, has provided Caesar a fleeting glimpse of the Britain and its societies. When they arrived, they found societies made up of large tribes and clans. Leaders of these groups were not averse to calling themselves kings even when all their constituents were an amalgamation of families and clans. In Caesar’s eyes we are provided some details about how the early Britons conducted their affairs. For instance, he found this out for himself when he noted that the Cantii (people of Kent) have several kings from various kingdoms found in the region. Military Strategy The first campaign involved several skirmishes with the Britons. The Romans had achieved a certain degree of success. And there were several accounts that provided a clear idea about the Roman military strategy in Gaul. The Britons like their distant Gaul cousins are also tribal in the way they wage their war. They adopted the guerilla tactic, which, of course, proved ineffective in the long run. Caesar's legions were equipped and experienced in fighting in this condition. The soldiers had the benefit of Roman training, which produced the world’s first truly professional soldiers, those that considered their work as duty and responsibility, obeying the chain of command and are immune to external influence. Additionally, Caesar’s soldiers were already used to fighting similar strategies in their war with Gallic tribes. The long campaign in Gaul has equipped them with better understanding in regard to the most effective approach in dealing with their British opponents. Essentially, the strategy adopted in Britain was composed of two major components: the scorch earth strategy and the show of force. The former was adopted in response to the large British force. In addition, based from Caesar’s commentaries, the Britons also proved adept in stealth and treachery. So the strategy entailed the burning and destruction of fields and property and the plunder of supplies in order to deprive the opposition the resources to sustain their operations and weaken them in an effort to resolve conflict the soonest possible time. After a year passed, Caesar decided to lead another invasion and the campaign this time became a bigger conflict. The Romans and the Britons faced off in several bloody battles. The latter, of course, sustained the most damage since the training and discipline of the Roman force were unmatched. The poorly equipped British – though far superior in number – were still technically savages, too untrained, wielding rudimentary tools. The show of force was crucial in this campaign as demonstrated in the sheer number of Roman soldiers mobilized and the use of war machines and implements such as war elephants, which, of course, deterred much of the local populace. It is important to note ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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