Sfidò le Alpi con quarantamila uomini, migliaia di cavalli e quaranta elefanti per rispondere alla dichiarazione di guerra di Roma

Le montagne innevate svettavano imponenti con le cime celate dalle nubi, i valichi erano lacerati dagli echi di ostili dei.

Un mondo grigio, freddo e turbinoso.

Questo mondo deve essere apparso agli occhi dei soldati cartaginesi, cresciuti nei caldi deserti nordafricani, quando iniziarono il loro cammino attraverso le Alpi.

Fu una decisione difficile quella presa da Annibale, il loro capo, probabilmente la più difficile della sua carriera.

Tuttavia, l’audacia di Annibale non era inferiore a quella di nessun altro capo, a ventinove anni era comandante in capo delle armate cartaginesi già da tre anni.

Sapeva che i romani, convinti che avrebbe invaso l’Italia passando lungo la via costiera, avevano già predisposto l’esercito per fermarlo.
Annibale prese la sua decisione: valicare le Alpi.


Era l’autunno del 218 a.C., conscio che mai prima era stata tentata una simile impresa, partì alla testa di un numeroso esercito attraverso ghiacciai e montagne rocciose.

Poco dopo che l’esercito arrancava per risalire i monti, fu attaccato dalle tribù degli Allobrogi, appostati sulle alture.

Gli animali dei cartaginesi, feriti e spaventati, fuggirono impazziti lungo lo stretto passo sul quale avanzava l’esercito.
Fu un caos.
Uomini e cavalli cercarono di salvarsi, ma caddero dalle pendici scoscese della montagna.

Fortunatamente, appostato su un punto più alto e sicuro, Annibale con migliaia di uomini, controllava il procedere dei Cartaginesi.
Poté così correre in soccorso dei suoi uomini e mettere in fuga gli Allobrogi.
Quella prima scaramuccia vittoriosa permise ai cartaginesi una breve tregua per recuperare le forze e ripartire speditamente.

Giorni dopo, alcuni uomini delle tribù locali si offrirono di procurare delle guide ad Annibale.

I cartaginesi furono condotti attraverso una profonda gola, da un lato un precipizio e dall’altro una parete a picco.

Appostati in cima alla parete alcuni uomini delle stesse tribù iniziarono a bersagliare gli uomini di Annibale con macigni e lance.

Fu una carneficina.
La colonna cartaginese fu tagliata in due.
Annibale, con alcuni suoi uomini, fu costretto a passare la notte su di uno spiazzo roccioso cercando di difendersi dai continui attacchi.

Il resto dell’esercito si era perso nell’oscurità.

Al mattino seguente Annibale riuscì a riunirsi al resto delle truppe.
Per alcuni giorni gli uomini delle tribù continuarono ad attaccare, ma troppo impauriti dagli elefanti evitarono lo scontro frontale e preferirono ritirarsi.

Il morale dei cartaginesi era a terra.

Il terreno sempre più aspro e tutto intorno solo ghiaccio, nessun pascolo per gli animali, nessun riparo, nessuna guida, prigionieri di un nemico invisibile, sconfitti dalla natura.
Più volte l’esercito prese dei tornanti sbagliati. Dei 40.000 uomini partiti con Annibale solo in 14.000 riuscirono a raggiungere l’altro versante.

Nel decimo giorno di cammino, con l’esercitò allo stremo, finalmente lo scenario cambiò, dopo montagne, ghiacciai e valichi, in lontananza videro un’estesa pianura.

Gli uomini si accamparono lungo le rive del Po, recuperarono le forze, si riunirono ai dispersi ed iniziarono la discesa, che richiese altri tre giorni.
Nonostante tutto, una volta giunti ai piedi delle montagne i soldati di Annibale tornarono ad essere un esercito efficiente e disciplinato.

Avventatamente i romani avevano dichiarato guerra a Cartagine, ora Annibale aveva compiuto l’impossibile: portare la battaglia nel territorio romano.

Guerre Puniche

291 pensiero su “ANNIBALE”
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