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Ilerda (49 BC)

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Ilerda (49 BC)
Scenario Description
After driving Gnaeus Pompey from Italy, Julius Caesar moved against Pompey’s forces in Spain. Caesar had sent Gaius Fabius ahead to secure the passes over the Pyrenees and at the Sicoris River. Fabius succeeded, and his opponent, Pompey’s lieutenant Afranius, was forced to retire southward. Caesar followed Afranius and camped about a half mile from his enemy and the town of Ilerda. Between the enemy camp and town there was a hillock, which appeared to Caesar as the best strategic position in the area. However, Afranius saw what Caesar intended and managed to gain the hill first, leaving Caesar’s army in an awkward position. To relieve this situation, Caesar led his legions forward, but after some initial success they pressed their attack too far. The enemy effectively showered them with missiles from higher ground. Caesar’s veterans were in a difficult position. They were taking unnecessary losses where they stood, but would take as many losses withdrawing. Caesar ordered forward his cavalry, which relived the pressure and gave his legions the opportunity to withdraw. The battle ended in a stalemate as both sides pulled back. A three-month campaign followed, in which Caesar masterfully outmaneuvered Afranius, forcing the Pompeian army of seven veteran legions in Spain to surrender without fighting another major battle.
Scenario Date
Lleida, Spain
Battle Name
Battle of Ilerda
Battle Narrative
The Battle of Ilerda took place in June 49 BC between the forces of Julius Caesar and the Spanish army of Pompey Magnus, led by his legates Lucius Afranius and Marcus Petreius. Unlike many of the other battles of the civil war, this was more a campaign of manoeuvre than actual fighting.
Introduction to Wikipedia Article
Narrative Source
Wikipedia: Battle of Ilerda
Additional Information
Caesars Civil War


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