The battle of Alesia, or often referred to as one of the craziest battles in history. The battle was between the Romans, led by Julius Caesar, and the celtic race of Gaul, led by Vercingetorix. For most of the 50s, the Romans spent their time fighting the Gauls and trying to gain territory, the Romans also saw the Gauls as barbarians, initially where most of the two states beef originated. The battle took place in 52 BCE. Shortly after Vercingetorix was appointed power of the Gaul army, Caesar was notified that every Roman civilian in the city senabum had been murdered. Followed by many other Roman cities being murdered by the Gaul army. This trail of murders begun a game of cat and mouse between the two states and eventually lead Vercingetorix and his 60 thousand followers to reside in the hill tops of Alesia.
“The actual stronghold of Alesia was in an extremely lofty position on top of a hill, apparently impregnable except by means of a siege. On two sides the foot of this hill was washed by rivers, and for about three miles there stretched a plain in front of the town.” described by Julius Caesar himself. Caesar, known for his quick and decisive maneuvering, assess the the battlefield quickly. The Roman army quickly began to build a ten foot wall surrounding Alesia, called a circumvolution, trapping them in and blocking out outside resources. Caesar knew that an attack on the city wouldn't have worked out in the favor of the Romans due to the fact that the Romans were completely outnumbered by the Gauls. Vercingetorix made many attempts to stop this building ut they all failed due to the walls defenses which include a 20 foot wide pit followed by 2 more V shaped pits, both 15 feet deep. One of them turned into a moat by a near by river. Scattered around, multiple smaller pits with metal spikes at the bottom. If any of Vervingetorixs ended up making it across all of these obstacles they would end up facing a 2 foot wall with projecting metal spikes.
During the construction of the deathly entrapments a cavalry battle between the Romans and the Gauls broke out in the 3 miles between the two walls, those being caesars wall and Alesia's wall. In the beginning, the Gauls took the upper hand, that is until Caesar sent in his German troops. The fear that these troops struck into the Gauls was so mighty that it sent all Gaul troops running back toward Alessia. Men began to abandon their horses and attempt to climb the wall. This shook Vercingetorix so much that he closed the gates back into Alessia, trapping the remainder of his own troops outside the walls, left to be killed by the Germans.
As the building of the wall continued, there was slim to nothing the Gauls could do. Vercingetorix, in ultimate fear of the Romans, took a daring chance. In the night he sent 12,000 cavalry passed Roman lines, to their tribes and bring back as many more men as they could. They returned with a massive amount of support, as many as 240,000 infantry and nearly 8,000 cavalry. In light of these new reinforcements, caesar, shocked and frankly, with nothing else to do, built another wall. Now, having one wall trapping Vercingetorix in Alessia and the other blocking the overall majority of his men out. However, in the process trapping him and his men, in the middle of the two.
Meanwhile, in Alesia, rations began to dwindle, not only for Vercingetorix's men but for the several civilians living in the town. This was probably to the two enormous walls being built around their city. Vercingetorix decided to send as many as 3,000 woman and children out of Alesia to try and escape through Caesars wall. Caesar, being the super sweet and compassionate guy everyone knew him to be, wouldn't let them through and when they tried to re enter Alesia, neither would Vercingetorix. Leaving the people to starve in between the two walls.
The Gauls are obviously desperate at this point. The Gauls planned a night raid in hope of maybe, possibly catching the Romans unprepared. The Gauls came equipped with hurdles to get over the tortuous pits and ladders to cross the trenches and to top it off grappling hooks to try and overcome the protruding wall spikes. The Gauls also came armed with many arrows men in order to fend off Romans. However, the Gauls took yet another loss. With outstanding casualties from both sides. The Gauls really can't seem to get the upper hand. However, the immense amounts of reinforcements are still standing idly buy waiting to attack. A weak point in Caesar's wall had recently come to light, that of atop a steep hill in which the construction could not take place. The men on the outside decided to take advantage of this particular point.
This battle began in the day, where Vercingetorix set his men from inside of Alessia out, to attack the Romans from the inside out. While the men on the outside sent the men battling the Romans from the outside in. The Romans Were faced with battles on both fronts. The Gauls were gaining the upper hand while picking at the weak spots in Caesars force. Caesar, seeing his forces fall to pieces decided to enter the battle himself, he began to reroute his troops, seeing his current plan literally falling to pieces. He sent cavalry around the Gauls outer troops in order to attack them from behind. The sight of the Roman cavalry attacking the Gauls from behind struck fear into each and everyone of their hearts, this was the beginning of the end of the Gallic war. At this point the Gauls had nowhere to escape, and so, with romans attacking them from every angle there was nothing for them to do. The Gauls were torn to pieces. And Caesar had won.
After this embarrassing loss Vercingetorix rode to Caesar and surrendered. He was put in jail for 6 years and later forced to be in a parade for Caesar. Then he was executed.
Story by Aislinn Nash