¿Por qué César cruzó el Rubicón?

¿Por qué César cruzó el Rubicón?

El 10 de enero de 49 a. C., el general romano Julio César desafió un ultimátum que le propuso el Senado. Si traía a sus ejércitos veteranos a través del río Rubicón en el norte de Italia, la República estaría en un estado de guerra civil.

Plenamente consciente de la naturaleza trascendental de su decisión, César ignoró la advertencia y comenzó a marchar hacia el sur de Roma. A día de hoy, la frase “cruzar el Rubicón” significa emprender una acción tan decisiva que no puede haber marcha atrás.

Los historiadores ven la guerra civil que siguió a esta decisión como la culminación inevitable de un movimiento que había comenzado décadas antes.

El desmoronamiento de la República

Dado que el célebre general (y la mayor influencia en César) Cayo Mario había reformado las legiones romanas a lo largo de líneas más profesionales pagándolas él mismo, los soldados debían cada vez más su lealtad a sus generales en lugar de la idea más abstracta de una república ciudadana.

Como resultado, los hombres poderosos se volvieron aún más poderosos al desplegar sus propios ejércitos privados, y los últimos años turbulentos de la República ya habían visto derrumbarse el poder del Senado ante la ambición de Marius y su rival Sila.

La pareja fue seguida por los aún más formidables Pompeyo y César. Antes de sus hazañas militares en la Galia, César era mucho más joven de los dos, y solo saltó a la fama cuando fue elegido cónsul en el 59 a. C. Como cónsul, este ambicioso hombre de una familia noble menor se alió con el gran general Pompeyo y el rico político Craso para formar el Primer Triunvirato.

Juntos, César, Craso y Pompeyo (L-R), formaron el Primer Triunvirato. Crédito: Wikimedia Commons

César en la Galia

Estos hombres poderosos tenían poca necesidad del Senado, y en el 58 a. C. César usó su influencia para asegurar un mando en los Alpes que, al darle años de libertad y 20.000 hombres al mando, violó todas las leyes del Senado.

César utilizó los siguientes cinco años para convertirse en uno de los comandantes más brillantes y exitosos de la historia. El enorme, multirracial y famoso territorio de la Galia (la Francia moderna) fue conquistado y sometido en una de las conquistas más completas de la historia.

En sus reflexiones sobre la campaña, César se jactó más tarde de haber matado a un millón de galos, esclavizado a un millón más y dejado solo al millón restante intacto.

César se aseguró de que los relatos detallados y partidistas de sus hazañas regresaran a Roma, donde lo convirtieron en el favorito de la gente en una ciudad acosada por luchas internas en su ausencia. El Senado nunca había ordenado ni autorizado a César a atacar la Galia, pero desconfiaba de su popularidad y extendió su mando por otros cinco años cuando terminó en el 53 a. C.

Cuando Craso murió en el 54 a. C., el Senado se volvió hacia Pompeyo como el único hombre lo suficientemente fuerte para resistir a César, que ahora controlaba enormes extensiones de tierra en el norte sin ningún apoyo del Senado.

Mientras César limpiaba a sus enemigos restantes, Pompeyo gobernó como único cónsul, lo que lo convirtió en un dictador en todo menos en el nombre. Él también era un comandante famoso y brillante, pero ahora estaba envejeciendo mientras la estrella de César estaba en ascenso. Los celos y el miedo, combinados con la muerte de su esposa, que también era la hija de su César, hicieron que su alianza formal se rompiera durante la larga ausencia de este último.

El historiador y arqueólogo Simon Elliott responde a las preguntas clave que rodean a una de las figuras más convincentes de la historia: Julio César.

Ver ahora

'La suerte está echada'

En el 50 a. C., a César se le ordenó disolver su ejército y regresar a Roma, donde se le prohibió postularse para un segundo consulado y sería juzgado por traición y crímenes de guerra luego de sus conquistas sin licencia.

Con esto en mente, no es de extrañar que el orgulloso y ambicioso general, que sabía que disfrutaba de la adulación del pueblo, decidiera cruzar el río Rubicón con sus ejércitos el 10 de enero del 49 a. C.

La apuesta dio sus frutos. Después de años de guerra en Roma y en todas las provincias en una escala nunca antes vista, César salió victorioso y gobernó supremamente en Roma, con Pompeyo ahora muerto y olvidado.

Sin enemigos restantes, César fue nombrado dictador vitalicio, medida que culminó con su asesinato por parte de un grupo de senadores en el 44 a. C. Sin embargo, la marea no podía retroceder. El hijo adoptivo de César, Octavio, completaría el trabajo de su padre, convirtiéndose en el primer emperador romano verdadero como Augusto en el 27 a. C.

Este documental cuenta la historia del asesinato de Julio César en los 'Idus de marzo' en el 44 a. C. Con la Dra. Emma Southon y el profesor Marco Conti.

Ver ahora

Este día en la historia: Julio César cruza el Rubicón (55 a. C.)

Este día en la historia en el 55 a.C.- Julio César cruzó el río Rubicón e inicia una guerra civil en la República Romana. Hubo muchas guerras civiles en el siglo anterior, pero la iniciada por César iba a cambiar la historia romana para siempre. El río Rubicón se consideraba la línea divisoria entre Italia y el resto del Imperio. Cualquier general que dirigiera un ejército a través de este río estaba cometiendo un acto de traición contra el estado y era oficialmente un traidor. César tomó esta acción extraordinaria para asegurarse de que conservaba el control de su ejército. Había utilizado este ejército para conquistar la Galia, pero se había negado a renunciar al mando de este ejército en el momento señalado. En ese momento, las legiones de Roma eran personalmente leales a su comandante y no al Senado de Roma. Los legionarios del ejército de César y rsquos le eran más leales que Roma. Este fue un problema real para Roma y resultó en una serie interminable de guerras en el siglo I a.C.

Flickr (estatua de Julio César en el Louvre)

Creía que si lo hacía, sus numerosos enemigos en Roma lo harían encarcelar o incluso ejecutar. César sintió que no tenía más remedio que desafiar al Senado romano que creía que lo quería marginado o incluso muerto. Cuando cruzó el Rubicón, era consciente de las consecuencias, pero como siempre estaba preparado para una pelea.

Cuando el Senado romano se enteró de que César había cruzado el Rubicón, hubo un alboroto. Sin embargo, no tenían ejército con el que defender la ciudad y el ejército de César ocupó la ciudad y, en unas semanas, el resto de Italia. Bajo el liderazgo de Pompeyo el Grande, los senadores reunieron un ejército en los Balcanes. César cruzó a los Balcanes y derrotó al ejército de Pompeyo. Sin embargo, la guerra civil estaba lejos de terminar. Pronto hubo revueltas anti-cesáreas en todo el Imperio. Incluso el asesinato de Pompeyo en Egipto no puso fin a la Guerra Civil. Finalmente, César pudo someter al Imperio y se convirtió en el dictador de Roma. Era un rey en todo menos en el nombre. Esto despertó el resentimiento de muchos en la élite, aunque la gente amaba a César. Hubo una conspiración contra César y fue asesinado cuando ingresó a la Casa del Senado Romano. Esto inició otra guerra civil y esta fue una de Mark Anthony y Octavian. En una guerra civil posterior, Octavio (sobrino nieto de César) derrotó a Mark Anthony. Más tarde, Octavio se convirtió en Augusto, el primer emperador de Roma de facto. Cuando César cruzó el Rubicón, desencadenó una cadena de eventos que llevaron a la caída de la República Romana y al surgimiento de un sistema imperial en Roma.


Contenido

La Guerra Civil de César resultó de la larga subversión política de las instituciones del gobierno romano, que comenzó con la carrera de Tiberio Graco, continuando con las reformas marianas de las legiones, la sangrienta dictadura de Lucio Cornelio Sila, y completada por el Primer Triunvirato sobre Roma. La situación política se analiza en profundidad en las historias antiguas de Appian y Cassius Dio. También está cubierto en las biografías de Plutarco. Los comentarios de Julio César ofrecen algunos detalles políticos pero narran principalmente maniobras militares de la propia guerra civil.

El Primer Triunvirato (así denominado por Cicerón), integrado por Julio César, Craso y Pompeyo, ascendió al poder con la elección de César como cónsul en el 59 a. C. El Primer Triunvirato fue una alianza política no oficial, cuya esencia era el poderío militar de Pompeyo, la influencia política de César y el dinero de Craso. La alianza se consolidó aún más con el matrimonio de Pompeyo con Julia, la hija de César, en el 59 a. C. Al concluir el primer consulado de César, el Senado, en lugar de otorgarle un cargo de gobernador provincial, le encargó vigilar los bosques romanos. Creado especialmente por sus enemigos en el Senado, ese puesto estaba destinado a ocuparlo sin darle el mando de ejércitos o acumular riqueza y fama.

César, con la ayuda de Pompeyo y Craso, eludió los decretos del Senado mediante legislación aprobada por las asambleas populares. Los actos promovieron a César a gobernador romano de Illyricum y posteriormente se añadió la Galia Cisalpina Transalpina Galia (sur de Francia). Las diversas gobernaciones dieron a César el mando de un ejército de (inicialmente) cuatro legiones. El plazo de su proconsulado, que le concedía inmunidad procesal, se fijó en cinco años, en lugar del habitual de un año. Posteriormente, su mandato se amplió por otros cinco años. Durante los diez años, César usó sus fuerzas militares para conquistar la Galia e invadir Gran Bretaña, que era popular entre la gente, sin embargo, sus enemigos afirmaron que fue sin la autorización explícita del Senado. [5]

En el 52 a. C., al final del Primer Triunvirato, el Senado romano apoyó a Pompeyo como único cónsul, mientras que César se había convertido en un héroe militar y campeón del pueblo. Sabiendo que esperaba convertirse en cónsul cuando expirara su cargo de gobernador, el Senado, políticamente temeroso de él, le ordenó que renunciara al mando de su ejército. En diciembre del 50 a. C., César escribió al Senado que aceptaba renunciar a su mando militar si Pompeyo seguía su ejemplo. Ofendido, el Senado le exigió que disolviera su ejército inmediatamente, o sería declarado enemigo del pueblo. Ese fue un acto político ilegal ya que tenía derecho a conservar su ejército hasta que expirara su mandato.

Una razón secundaria para el deseo inmediato de César de otro consulado fue que el "imperium" de César o la seguridad del enjuiciamiento estaba a punto de expirar y sus enemigos en Roma tenían enjuiciamientos senatoriales esperándolo cuando se jubilara como gobernador de Iliria y Galia. Los posibles procesamientos fueron clamados por sus enemigos por supuestas irregularidades ocurridas en su consulado y por crímenes de guerra que se alegaba haber cometido durante sus campañas galas. Además, los partidarios de César, los tribunos Mark Antony y Quintus Cassius Longinus, vetaron el proyecto de ley y fueron rápidamente expulsados ​​del Senado. Luego se unieron a César, que había reunido su ejército, al que pidió apoyo militar contra el Senado. De acuerdo, su ejército llamó a la acción.

En el 50 a. C., al finalizar su mandato proconsular, el Senado dirigido por Pompeyo ordenó el regreso de César a Roma y la disolución de su ejército y prohibió su candidatura. en ausencia para un segundo consulado. Eso hizo que César pensara que sería procesado y marginado políticamente si entraba en Roma sin inmunidad consular o sin su ejército. A saber, Pompeyo lo acusó de insubordinación y traición.

Cruzando el Rubicón Editar

En enero del 49 a. C., los oponentes de César en el Senado, encabezados por Léntulo, Catón y Escipión, intentaron despojar a César de su mando (provincias y legiones) y obligarlo a regresar a Roma como ciudadano privado (sujeto a enjuiciamiento). Los aliados de César en el Senado, especialmente Mark Anthony, Curio, Cassius y Caelius Rufus, intentaron defender a su patrón, pero fueron amenazados con violencia. El 7 de enero, el Senado aprobó el consultum ultimum (declarando el estado de emergencia) y encargó a los cónsules, pretores, tribunos y procónsules la defensa del estado. Esa noche Antonio, Casio, Curio y Celio Rufo huyeron de Roma y se dirigieron al norte para unirse a César. [7]

El 10 de enero de 49 a. C., al mando de la Legio XIII, César cruzó el río Rubicón, el límite entre la provincia de la Galia Cisalpina al norte e Italia propiamente dicha al sur. Como estaba prohibido cruzar el Rubicón con un ejército, para que un general que regresara no intentara un golpe de estado, que desencadenó la guerra civil que siguió entre César y Pompeyo.

La población en general, que consideraba a César como un héroe, aprobó sus acciones. Los registros históricos difieren sobre el comentario decisivo que hizo César al cruzar el Rubicón: un informe es Alea iacta est (normalmente traducido como "La suerte está echada").

El propio relato de César sobre la Guerra Civil no menciona el cruce del río, sino que simplemente afirma que marchó a Rimini, una ciudad al sur del Rubicón, con su ejército. [8]

Marcha sobre Roma y la primera campaña hispana Editar

Dentro de una semana de haber pasado consultum ultimum (declarando el estado de emergencia y proscribiendo a César) llegaron a Roma noticias de que César había cruzado el Rubicón (10 de enero) y había tomado la ciudad italiana de Ariminum (12 de enero). [9] El 17 de enero, César había tomado las siguientes tres ciudades a lo largo de la Vía Flaminiana, y Marcus Anthonius (Mark Anthony) había tomado Arretium y controlaba la Vía Casiana. [9] El Senado, sin saber que César poseía una sola legión, temió lo peor y apoyó a Pompeyo, quien declaró que Roma no podía ser defendida. Escapó a Capua con aquellos políticos que lo apoyaban, los aristocráticos Optimates y los cónsules reinantes. Más tarde, Cicerón caracterizó el "signo exterior de debilidad" de Pompeyo en el sentido de que permitía la consolidación del poder de César.

A pesar de haberse retirado al centro de Italia, Pompeyo y las fuerzas del Senado superaban ampliamente en número a la única legión de César, y estaban compuestos por al menos 100 cohortes, o 10 legiones. [10] Estos incluyeron 5 cohortes en Iguvium bajo Thermus, 10 cohortes bajo Lentulus Spinther, 6 cohortes bajo Lucilius Hirrus guarneciendo Camerinum, 2 legiones de Marsi y Peligni extraídas de guarniciones en Alba y los distritos circundantes comandados por Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, 9 cohortes adicionales bajo los pretores L. Manlius y Rutilius Lupus y otras 5 legiones. Cicerón escribió [11] que desde el principio Pompeyo había planeado abandonar Roma. A medida que César avanzaba hacia el sur, Pompeyo se retiró hacia Brundisium, inicialmente ordenando a Domicio (comprometido con el levantamiento de tropas en Etruria) que detuviera el movimiento de César en Roma desde la dirección de la costa del Adriático.

Tardíamente, Pompeyo le pidió a Domicio que se retirara al sur para reunirse con las fuerzas de Pompeyo. Domicio ignoró la solicitud de Pompeyo creyendo que superaba en número a César tres a uno. César, sin embargo, había sido reforzado por dos legiones más de la Galia (la octava y la duodécima) y veintidós cohortes de reclutas (reclutados por Curio) y de hecho superaban en número a Domicio de cinco a tres. Domicio, después de ser aislado y atrapado cerca de Corfinium, se vio obligado a entregar su ejército de treinta y un cohortes (unas tres legiones) tras un breve asedio. Con deliberada clemencia, César liberó a Domicio y a los demás senadores que lo acompañaban e incluso devolvió 6.000.000 de sestercios que Domicio había tenido que pagar a sus tropas. Las treinta y una cohortes, sin embargo, fueron obligadas a prestar un nuevo juramento de lealtad a César y finalmente fueron enviadas a Sicilia bajo el mando de Asinius Pollio. [12] César tenía ahora tres legiones de veteranos y cincuenta y tres cohortes de reclutas en Corfinium. El ejército cesáreo en Italia ahora superaba en número a los republicanos (8: 5) y Pompeyo sabía que la península estaba perdida por el momento.

Pompeyo escapó a Brundisium, allí esperando transporte marítimo para sus legiones, a Epiro, en las provincias griegas orientales de la República, esperando que su influencia produjera dinero y ejércitos para un bloqueo marítimo de Italia propiamente dicha. Mientras tanto, los aristócratas, incluidos Metelo Escipión y Catón el Joven, se unieron a Pompeyo allí y dejaron una retaguardia en Capua.

César persiguió a Pompeyo hasta Brundisium, esperando la restauración de su alianza de diez años antes. A lo largo de las primeras etapas de la Gran Guerra Civil Romana, César le propuso con frecuencia a Pompeyo que ambos generales envainaran sus espadas. Pompeyo se negó, argumentando legalmente que César era su subordinado y, por lo tanto, estaba obligado a dejar de hacer campaña y despedir a sus ejércitos antes de cualquier negociación. Como comandante elegido por el Senado y con el respaldo de al menos uno de los cónsules actuales, Pompeyo tenía legitimidad, pero el cruce militar del Rubicón por parte de César lo convirtió en un de jure enemigo del Senado y del pueblo de Roma. Luego, César intentó atrapar a Pompeyo en Brundisium bloqueando la boca del puerto con topos de tierra de ambos lados, unidos en la parte más profunda por una serie de balsas, cada una de nueve metros cuadrados, cubiertas con una calzada de tierra y protegidas con pantallas y torres. Pompeyo respondió construyendo torres de artillería pesada en varios barcos mercantes y las usó para destruir las balsas mientras flotaban en su posición. Finalmente, en marzo del 49 a. C., Pompeyo escapó y huyó por mar a Epiro, dejando a César al mando de Italia. [13]

Aprovechando la ausencia de Pompeyo del continente italiano, César marchó hacia el oeste hasta Hispania. En ruta inició el asedio de Massilia. A los 27 días de zarpar llegó a la península ibérica. En Ilerda derrotó al ejército pompeyano políticamente sin líder, comandado por los legados Lucius Afranius y Marcus Petreius. Posteriormente pacificación de la Hispania romana.

Al regresar a Roma en diciembre del 49 a. C., César fue nombrado dictador, con Marco Antonio como su maestro de caballos. César mantuvo su dictadura durante once días, tiempo suficiente para ganarle un segundo mandato como cónsul con Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus como colega suyo. Posteriormente, César renovó su búsqueda de Pompeyo en Grecia.

Campañas griegas, ilirias y africanas Editar

Desde Brundisium, César cruzó el Estrecho de Otranto con siete legiones hasta el Golfo de Valona (no Palaesta en Epirus [Palase / Dhermi moderno, Albania], según lo informado por Lucan), [14] lo que llevó a Pompeyo a considerar tres cursos de acción: ( i) hacer una alianza con el rey de Partia, un antiguo aliado, muy al este (ii) invadir Italia con su armada superior y / o (iii) forzar una batalla decisiva con César. Una alianza parta no era factible ya que un general romano que luchaba contra legiones romanas con tropas extranjeras era cobarde, y el riesgo militar de una invasión italiana era políticamente desagradable porque los italianos, que treinta años antes se habían rebelado contra Roma, podrían levantarse contra él. Por lo tanto, siguiendo el consejo de sus consejeros, Pompeyo decidió diseñar una batalla decisiva. [ cita necesaria ]

Al final resultó que, Pompeyo se habría visto obligado a tomar la tercera opción de todos modos, ya que César había forzado su mano persiguiéndolo a Iliria y así, el 10 de julio de 48 a. C., los dos lucharon en la Batalla de Dyrrhachium. Con una pérdida de 1.000 legionarios veteranos, César se vio obligado a retirarse hacia el sur. Al negarse a creer que su ejército había superado a las legiones de César, Pompeyo malinterpretó la retirada como una finta en una trampa y, por lo tanto, no la persiguió para entregar la decisión decisiva. golpe de gracia, perdiendo así la iniciativa y su oportunidad de concluir rápidamente la guerra. Cerca de Pharsalus, César lanzó un vivac estratégico. Pompeyo atacó pero, a pesar de su ejército mucho más grande, fue definitivamente derrotado por las tropas de César. Una de las principales razones de la derrota de Pompeyo fue la falta de comunicación entre los jinetes de la caballería de vanguardia.

Lucha dinástica egipcia Editar

Pompeyo huyó al Egipto ptolemaico, donde fue asesinado por un oficial del rey Ptolomeo XIII. César persiguió al ejército pompeyano hasta Alejandría, donde acampó y se involucró en la Guerra Civil Alejandrina entre Ptolomeo y su hermana, esposa y corregente, Cleopatra VII. Quizás como resultado del papel de Ptolomeo en el asesinato de Pompeyo, César se puso del lado de Cleopatra y se dice que lloró al ver la cabeza de Pompeyo, que le fue ofrecida por el chambelán de Ptolomeo, Potino, como regalo.

En cualquier caso, César fue sitiado en Alejandría y después de que Mitrídates relevó la ciudad, César derrotó al ejército de Ptolomeo e instaló a Cleopatra como gobernante con quien engendró a su único hijo biológico conocido, Ptolomeo XV César, más conocido como "Cesarión". César y Cleopatra nunca se casaron porque la ley romana prohibía el matrimonio con un ciudadano no romano.

Guerra contra las farmacias editar

Después de pasar los primeros meses del 47 a. C. en Egipto, César fue a Siria y luego al Ponto para tratar con Farnaces II, el rey cliente de Pompeyo que se había aprovechado de la guerra civil para atacar a Deiotarus, amigo de los romanos, y convertirse en gobernante de Cólquida y Armenia menor. En Nicópolis, Farnaces había derrotado la poca oposición romana que pudo reunir el gobernador de Asia, Cneo Domicio Calvino. También había tomado la ciudad de Amisus, que era un aliado romano que convirtió a todos los niños en eunucos y vendió a los habitantes a los traficantes de esclavos. Después de la demostración de fuerza, Farnaces retrocedió para pacificar sus nuevas conquistas.

Sin embargo, el acercamiento extremadamente rápido de César en persona obligó a Farnaces a volver su atención a los romanos. Al principio, reconociendo la amenaza, hizo ofertas de sumisión con el único objeto de ganar tiempo hasta que la atención de César se posó en otra parte. No sirvió de nada, ya que César rápidamente derrotó a Farnaces en la Batalla de Zela (actual Zile en Turquía) con solo un pequeño destacamento de caballería. La victoria de César fue tan rápida y completa que en una carta a un amigo en Roma, dijo sobre la guerra corta, "Veni, vidi, vici" ("Vine, vi, conquisté"). De hecho, para su triunfo póntico, esa bien pudo haber sido la etiqueta que se muestra sobre el botín.

El propio Pharnaces huyó rápidamente de regreso al Bósforo, donde logró reunir una pequeña fuerza de tropas escitas y sármatas con las que pudo hacerse con el control de algunas ciudades, pero uno de sus antiguos gobernadores, Asandar, atacó a sus fuerzas y lo mató. . El historiador Appian afirma que Pharnaces murió en batalla, pero Cassius Dio dice que Pharnaces fue capturado y luego asesinado.

Campaña posterior en África y la guerra en Cato Editar

Mientras César había estado en Egipto e instaló a Cleopatra como única gobernante, cuatro de sus legiones veteranas acamparon, bajo el mando de Marco Antonio. Las legiones estaban esperando sus bajas y la bonificación que César les había prometido antes de la Batalla de Farsalia. Mientras César permanecía en Egipto, la situación se deterioró rápidamente. Antonio perdió el control de las tropas, que comenzaron a saquear propiedades al sur de la capital. Se enviaron varias delegaciones de diplomáticos para intentar sofocar el motín.

Nada funcionó, y los amotinados continuaron pidiendo sus bajas y pagos atrasados. Después de varios meses, César finalmente llegó para dirigirse a las legiones en persona. César sabía que necesitaba las legiones para lidiar con los partidarios de Pompeyo en el norte de África, ya que este último había reunido 14 legiones. César también sabía que no tenía los fondos para darles a los soldados su salario atrasado, y mucho menos el dinero necesario para inducirlos a volver a alistarse para la campaña del norte de África.

Cuando César se acercó al estrado del orador, un silencio cayó sobre los soldados amotinados. La mayoría estaban avergonzados por su papel en el motín en presencia de César. Preguntó a las tropas qué querían con su voz fría. Avergonzados de exigir dinero, los hombres empezaron a pedir su baja. César se dirigió sin rodeos a ellos como "ciudadanos", en lugar de "soldados", una indicación tácita de que ya se habían dado de baja en virtud de su deslealtad.

Continuó diciéndoles que todos serían dados de alta de inmediato. Dijo que les pagaría el dinero que les debía después de ganar la campaña del norte de África con otras legiones. Los soldados se sorprendieron ya que habían pasado 15 años de guerra con César y se habían vuelto ferozmente leales a él en el proceso. Nunca se les había ocurrido que César no los necesitaba.

La resistencia de los soldados se derrumbó. Abarrotaron el estrado y suplicaron que los llevaran al norte de África. César fingió indignación y luego se dejó conquistar. Cuando anunció que les permitiría unirse a la campaña, una gran ovación surgió entre las tropas reunidas. A través de esa psicología inversa, César reclutó a cuatro entusiastas legiones de veteranos para invadir el norte de África sin gastar un solo sestercio.

César rápidamente obtuvo una victoria significativa en la batalla de Thapsus en el 46 a. C. sobre las fuerzas de Metellus Scipio, Catón el Joven y Juba, quienes se suicidaron.

Segunda campaña hispana y fin de la guerra Editar

Sin embargo, los hijos de Pompeyo, Cneo Pompeyo y Sexto Pompeyo, junto con Tito Labieno, antiguo legado propretoriano de César (legatus propraetore y segundo al mando en la Guerra de las Galias), escapó a Hispania. César lo persiguió y derrotó a los últimos restos de la oposición en la batalla de Munda en marzo del 45 a. C. Mientras tanto, César había sido elegido para su tercer y cuarto mandato como cónsul en el 46 a. C. (con Marco Emilio Lepido) y el 45 a. C. (sine collega, sin colega).

  • 49 a. C.
    • 1 de enero: el Senado romano recibe una propuesta de Julio César para que él y Pompeyo dicten sus órdenes simultáneamente. El Senado responde que César debe entregar inmediatamente su mando.
    • 10 de enero: Julio César lidera su 13ª Legión a través del Rubicón, que separa su jurisdicción (Galia Cisalpina) de la del Senado (Italia), y así inicia una guerra civil.
    • 15 de febrero: César comienza el asedio de Corfinium contra Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, que retuvo la ciudad contra las órdenes de Pompeyo.
    • 21 de febrero: Corfinium se rinde a César después de una semana incruenta en la que Ahenobarbus es socavado por sus oficiales.
    • Febrero, huida de Pompeyo a Epiro (en Grecia occidental) con la mayor parte del Senado, a pesar del asedio de Brundisium por parte de César en marzo.
    • 9 de marzo, avance de César contra las fuerzas pompeyanas en Hispania
    • 19 de abril, asedio de Massilia por parte de César contra el pompeyano Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, más tarde el asedio fue realizado por Cesarian Gaius Trebonius
    • Junio, llegada de César a Hispania, donde pudo apoderarse de los pasos de los Pirineos defendidos por los pompeyanos L. Afranius y M. Petreius.
    • El 30 de julio, César rodeó al ejército de Afranio y Petreyo en la Batalla de Ilerda.
    • 2 de agosto, los pompeyanos de Ilerda se rindieron a César
    • 24 de agosto: el general de César, Cayo Escribonio Curio, es derrotado en el norte de África por los pompeyanos bajo Atcio Varo y el rey Juba I de Numidia (a quien derrotó anteriormente en la Batalla de Utica) en la Batalla del río Bagradas) y se suicida.
    • Septiembre Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, un cesáreo, derrotó a las fuerzas navales combinadas pompeyano-masilianas en la batalla naval de Massilia, mientras que la flota cesárea en el Adriático fue derrotada cerca de Curicta (Krk)
    • 6 de septiembre, Massilia se rindió a César, regresando de Hispania.
    • Octubre, César nombrado dictador en Roma preside su propia elección como cónsul y dimite después de once días.
    • 4 de enero, Caesar aterrizó en Caesar's Beach en Palasë (Palaeste) [15]
    • Marzo, Antonio se unió a César
    • 10 de julio: Batalla de Dyrrhachium, Julio César apenas evita una derrota catastrófica de Pompeyo en Macedonia, se retira a Tesalia.
    • 9 de agosto: Batalla de Farsalia: Julio César derrota decisivamente a Pompeyo en Farsalia y Pompeyo huye a Egipto.
    • El 28 de septiembre, César se enteró de que Pompeyo fue asesinado.
    • Asedio de Alejandría
    • Diciembre, Farnaces, rey del Bósforo derrotó al cesáreo Cneo Domicio Calvino en la Batalla de Nicópolis (o Nikopol).
    • Diciembre: Batalla en Alejandría, Egipto entre las fuerzas de César y su aliada Cleopatra VII de Egipto y las del rey rival Ptolomeo XIII de Egipto y la reina Arsinoe IV. Los dos últimos son derrotados y huyen de la ciudad. Cleopatra se convierte en reina de Egipto. Durante la batalla, parte de la Biblioteca de Alejandría se incendia y se quema parcialmente.
    • César es nombrado dictador por un año.
    • Febrero: César y su aliada Cleopatra derrotan a las fuerzas de la reina egipcia rival Arsinoe IV en la Batalla del Nilo, Ptolomeo fue asesinado, César luego relevó a sus fuerzas sitiadas en Alejandría.
    • Mayo: César derrotó a Farnaces II de Ponto, rey del Bósforo en la Batalla de Zela. (Esta es la guerra que César describió concisamente veni, vidi, vici.) Cleopatra VII de Egipto asciende a su hermano menor Ptolomeo XIV de Egipto a co-gobernante.
    • Agosto, César sofocó un motín de sus veteranos en Roma.
    • Octubre, invasión de África por parte de César, contra Metelo Escipión y Labieno, antiguo lugarteniente de César en la Galia.
    • 4 de enero: César escapa por poco de la derrota de su antiguo segundo al mando, Titus Labienus, en la Batalla de Ruspina, casi un tercio del ejército de César muere.
    • 6 de febrero: César derrota al ejército combinado de seguidores de Pompeya y númidas bajo Metelo Escipión y Juba en la Batalla de Tápsus. Cato se suicida. Posteriormente, se le concede el cargo de Dictador durante los próximos diez años.
    • Noviembre: César parte hacia Hispania más lejana para hacer frente a un nuevo brote de resistencia.
    • César, en su papel de Pontifex Maximus, reforma el calendario romano para crear el calendario juliano. El año de transición se amplía a 445 días para sincronizar el nuevo calendario y el ciclo estacional. los Calendario juliano seguiría siendo el estándar en el mundo occidental durante más de 1600 años, hasta que fue reemplazado por el Calendario Gregoriano en 1582.
    • César nombra heredero a su sobrino nieto Cayo Octavio.
    • 1 de enero: entra en vigor el calendario juliano
    • 17 de marzo: En su última victoria, César derrota a las fuerzas pompeyanas de Titus Labienus y Pompey el joven en la batalla de Munda. Pompeyo el joven fue ejecutado y Labieno murió en la batalla, pero Sexto Pompeyo escapó para tomar el mando de los restos de la flota pompeyana.
    • Los veteranos de las Legiones de César Legio XIII Gémina y Legio X Equestris desmovilizado. Los veteranos de la décima legión se asentarían en Narbo, mientras que los de la decimotercera recibirían tierras algo mejores en la propia Italia.
    • César probablemente escribe los Comentarios en este año.
    • Julio César es nombrado Dictador perpetuo ("dictador a perpetuidad")
    • Julio César planea una invasión del Imperio parto
    • Julio César es asesinado el 15 de marzo, Idus de marzo.

    Posteriormente, César fue proclamado dictador primero durante diez años y luego a perpetuidad. Este último arreglo desencadenó la conspiración que condujo a su asesinato en los Idus de marzo del 44 a. C. Después de esto, el hijo adoptivo de Antonio y César, Octavio, libraría otra guerra civil contra los restos de la facción Optimates y Liberatores, lo que finalmente resultó en el establecimiento del Imperio Romano.


    Julio César fue asesinado por el senado de Roma. César fue aclamado como un héroe por su victoria sobre Pompeyo. Por esta razón, el pueblo romano quería que César fuera rey (tanto como César quería ser rey). Sin embargo, el senado creyó que César sería un dictador y decidió matarlo.

    ¿Cómo retrata la historia a César? Se convirtió en dictador y hubo una ceremonia para que César lo coronara rey. Su guardaespaldas Marc Anthony tenía la corona y se la colocó en la cabeza, pero Julius se negó. Lo hizo porque Roma era solo una República durante ese tiempo y nadie realmente quería tener un rey.


    En el rubicón

    Cuando Julio César condujo a sus tropas desde la Galia en enero de 49 a.E.C., se detuvo en el extremo norte de un puente. As he stood, he debated whether or not to cross the Rubicon, a river separating Cisalpine Gaul—the piece of land where Italy joins the mainland and at the time inhabited by Celts—from the Italian peninsula. When he was making this decision, Caesar was contemplating committing a heinous crime.

    If Caesar brought his troops from Gaul into Italy, he would be violating his role as a provincial authority and would essentially be declaring himself an enemy of the state and the Senate, fomenting civil war. But if he didn't bring his troops into Italy, Caesar would be forced to relinquish his command and likely be forced into exile, giving up his military glory and ending his political future.

    Caesar definitely debated for a while about what to do. He realized how important his decision was, especially since Rome had already undergone a ​civil dispute a few decades earlier. According to Suetonius, Caesar quipped, "Even yet we may drawback, but once cross yon little bridge, and the whole issue is with the sword." Plutarch reports that he spent time with his friends "estimating the great evils of all mankind which would follow their passage of the river and the wide fame of it which they would leave to posterity."


    49 BC – Why did Julius Caesar Say: “The Die is Cast”?

    Crossing the Rubicon even today means making a risky decision after which there is no going back. Namely, the Rubicon was a river in Italy south of which no Roman general was allowed to lead an army. This decree was intended to protect Rome from military dictators who could impose their authority by taking Rome with their military forces.

    On this day, Julius Caesar decided to cross the Rubicon River with his 13th legion and head towards Rome. By that act, both Caesar and his legionaries were automatically sentenced to death under Roman law. Apparently Caesar then said the famous sentence: “The die is cast.” (Latin: “Alea iacta est”), precisely because there was no turning back. However, Caesar was able to win the civil war, and since the Senate fled from Rome, the death sentence was never applied to him or his legionaries.


    Down to the River

    The day before the crossing, Caesar acted as if nothing unusual was happening. The conqueror of Gaul attended a public event in Ravenna and carefully examined plans for a gladiator school. Secretly, he had ordered his cohorts to proceed to the banks of the river and wait for him there. Later, during dinner that night, he told his guests he would have to leave them for a moment. A chariot pulled by mules from a nearby bakery was waiting for him outside, and after a considerable delay in finding the exact position of his troops, he eventually managed to join them on the bank. Here he mulled the agonizing choice that lay before him.

    Writing around a century and a half later, the historian Suetonius produced an account of this moment that reveals the legendary status the event had attained in the Roman mind. Still unsure whether to advance, a man of extraordinary height and beauty appeared, clearly sent by the gods. “The apparition snatched a trumpet from one of them, rushed to the river, and sounding the war-note with mighty blast, strode to the opposite bank. Then Caesar cried: ‘Take we the course which the signs of the gods and the false dealing of our foes point out. The die is cast.’”


    Crossing the Rubicon

    The thousands of young men who flew in the terror-filled skies over Nazi-occupied Europe laid the foundation for American air power well into the 21st century, all while confronting some of the most timeless questions in the history of human conflict.

    In February 42, Brigadier General Ira Eaker’s Eighth Air Force consisted of seven men and no aircraft, a humble beginning for an aerial armada that would quickly grow so large it would dwarf America’s biggest corporations in size and dominate the skies over Western Europe during World War II.

    The history of the Eighth, particularly its adoption of a controversial strategic bombing philosophy that by 1945 had brought Nazi Germany to its knees, is the subject of historian Donald Miller’s recent book Masters of the Air. The ultimate success of this strategic bombing force, which sprang from the imagination of pioneers such as Brig. Gen. William “Billy” Mitchell following World War I, laid the groundwork for how the United States has fought its battles for aerial superiority ever since.

    No dry-as-dust scholastic treatise, Miller’s book bridges the divide that so often separates academic and popular history, giving due attention to the brave young men who had to face the “exploding bombs, burning fuel, smoke, and torn flesh of war” as the aspirations of Mitchell and the remarkable men who followed, such as General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, were translated into reality.

    World War II: The story of the Eighth Air Force and the air war in Europe has to be one of the most exhaustively covered topics in military history. What led you to write this book?

    Miller: Most books on the Eighth fall into two broad categories. There are academic works that focus on the impact of strategic bombing—whether or not it worked—and ignore or lightly pass over the combat experience. And then there are books written largely for airpower buffs. These tend to be lightly researched and deal almost entirely with blood-and-thunder stories in the skies. My book is about men in combat, air warriors fighting an entirely new kind of warfare. I also deal with the economic, psychological and social impact of strategic bombing, as well as its morality. There are two sets of victims in the bomber war: the boys who did the bombing and those they bombed. Both victims suffered appalling casualties, mental as well as physical. It’s these people I’m interested in. War is a great indicator of character it puts human beings under extreme stress, and under stress we reveal ourselves most completely. I’m interested in fear, what it is and how people respond to it, how they deal with it or succumb to it. These are the deeply human questions that Stephen Crane asks in his classic novel The Red Badge of Courage. Will I fight or will I run? How will I stand up to fear-filled experience? Who will help me? What made the story of the air war doubly interesting to me is that the moral questions it brings up are universal and eternal, questions about ends and means, good and evil. What kind of behavior is morally justifiable to bring down a morally repugnant regime? When is force proportionate, and when is it disproportionate? Does the achievement of good (i.e., the eradication of an evil regime) justify the killing of noncombatants? These are not easy answers, but since we live in a world at war it is important to constantly reexamine the gray areas. Post–World War I bomber theorists such as Billy Mitchell and the Italian General Giulio Douhet envisioned a new type of warfare where the primary target was not the enemy’s army but its highly vulnerable civilian population. These prophets of bomber warfare were convinced that civilians lacked the fortitude to stand up to vertical warfare waged with high explosives, fire bombs and poison gases—that generation’s equivalent in terror-generating capacity of atomic warfare. The wars of the future, they said, would be decided swiftly, precisely because the decisive blows would be directed at civilians who when intimidated by cataclysmic bombing would force their governments to capitulate. This, of course, is the idea behind terror bombing today, including 9/11 it aims to demoralize its victims and weaken the spirit of resistance, but as World War II showed, terror bombing rarely accomplishes this.

    WWII: What is your opinion of the “Greatest Generation” hype, and is that term misused?

    Miller: I don’t buy the idea of the Greatest Generation, even though my own father served in the U.S. Army Air Forces [USAAF] in World War II. This was a generation like any other in our history, made up of both the good and the bad, but one that lived in crisis times and responded with stoic courage to that challenge, just as the Founding Fathers did, just as Lincoln and Grant’s generation did. Several years ago I was doing a book signing in New Orleans and a Vietnam vet told me that his father had told him that he had not served in a real war. Well, any fighting man who puts his life on the line for his country is a hero in my book, whether he’s in Grenada or on Iwo Jima. And let’s not forget, most of the men and women of the so-called Greatest Generation buried their heads in the sand while fascism was on the march in Europe. It took an invasion of American soil to wake them up. But once awakened, they were absolutely sensational.

    WWII: After returning from the August 17, 1942, mission to bomb the railroad marshaling yard at Rouen, France, Colonel Frank Armstrong, commander of the 97th Bombardment Group, exclaimed, “We ruined Rouen,” setting a precedent for exaggeration that you say was a feature of AAF bombing reports for the remainder of the war. Why were such claims made so routinely, and did they hurt the cause of strategic bombing?

    Miller: They were made out of weakness. In 1942 and early 1943, the Eighth Air Force was an undersized, poorly trained outfit that could not bomb accurately or effectively and was getting pounded by the Luftwaffe. Churchill was urging Roosevelt to disband the Eighth, fold it into Britain’s Bomber Command and have it bomb entire cities—targets it could hit—under the cover of darkness. That didn’t happen, of course, but the Eighth continued to hit targets it could not destroy: impregnable Nazi U-boat pens on the coast of France and airplane manufacturing plants and ball-bearing factories that were either quickly rebuilt or dispersed and hidden all over the Reich by Albert Speer, Hitler’s minister of armaments. American bomber barons and AAF publicists continued to argue, against all the evidence, that these early raids were effective. So when the AAF finally suggested a target—Germany’s synthetic oil plants—it could take out with lethal consequences for the enemy, commanders like General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, his chief air adviser for the D-Day invasion, did not give this target the attention it deserved until after D-Day, which for them was, quite understandably, the paramount objective of Allied military strategy at that moment.

    WWII: In the 1930s, the U.S. Army Air Corps came to be dominated by what has been called the “Bomber Mafia,” airpower theorists dedicated single-mindedly to the idea of strategic bombing. Could the United States have taken another course in regard to aerial warfare?

    Miller: ¡Oh si! We could have gone the German way and adopted an entirely tactical air force. I did not go into this in the book, but I think it is geography that dictates here. Think of Germany’s frontiers. In the east you have the Soviet Union, and to the west France. No matter how a war develops, once it does the Germans know they are going to have to quickly move to defend those borders with troops or as it turns out to be the case, since they are the aggressor, to have to launch a massive land invasion quickly and effectively. Great Britain was in a different situation. It had committed sizeable ground forces to [Europe] during World War I and had suffered terribly. As a result, the British tried to take advantage of its separation from the mainland and developed a sizeable navy as well as an air force. America was even more isolated—both geographically and politically—so it developed an air force intended to protect its borders and made combat aircraft to sell to the British and the French. It is really geopolitics that enters the picture as the future belligerent powers begin to consider how to develop their own air power, and this explains why each country creates the kind of air force it does.

    WWII: Who were the key players in the evolution of American air power?

    Miller: First of all there is General Hap Arnold, who directed AAF operations worldwide from a desk in Washington. He was an insistent proponent of an independent air force and a doctrinaire believer that America’s heavy bombers would not need fighter escorts over German airspace. He is a wonderful character because his life is a timeline of the evolution of American air power. He was trained to fly by the Wright brothers, was a disciple of Billy Mitchell and in the 1930s was given the funding and authority to build what became the largest air force in the world. He was volatile, with a quick-trigger temper, who kept unrelenting pressure on his commanders in Europe to get fast and decisive results, knowing that the very survival of the Eighth Air Force was in jeopardy. Then there is his friend Ira Eaker, his co-author of several books on air-power theory. Eaker was sent to England in early 1942 to build the Eighth Air Force from nothing. In a little over a year, he created an organization the size of General Motors, one of the greatest striking forces in history. Then there’s Jimmy Doolittle, the first American to bomb Japan. He replaces Eaker in January 1944 because Arnold does not think Eaker is aggressive enough, and Doolittle immediately orders his fighter pilots to not only escort the bombers, but to also aggressively engage the Luftwaffe, to destroy its fighter force in all-out air combat. He is also an interesting character because he has an edge he is outspoken, at times to the point of insubordination. Later in the war, when the Eighth resorts, for a brief time, to terror bombing—the indiscriminate bombing of civilians—he opposes it on both military and moral grounds. That took courage.

    WWII: Who was the greatest American air leader of the war?

    Miller: Carl Spaatz. He oversaw the whole thing, as commander of the American air arm in Europe. Although more subdued on the surface than his boss, he had Arnold’s blazing passion. An inspiring leader, he was also a team player. Unlike Sir Arthur Harris, head of the RAF’s Bomber Command, he didn’t kick and scream about diverting heavy bombers to support Operation Overlord, even though he would have preferred to send his bombers against Nazi oil. And he and his staff are the ones who came up with the idea of bombing Germany’s oil facilities with relentless resolve. They brought it to the top of the list for discussion and then pressed insistently for its acceptance.

    WWII: Historian Stephen McFarland said, “The American air war in World War II was the fruit of six staff officers working with adding machines in extreme heat and humidity, largely without intelligence in formation, divorced from the exploding bombs, burning fuel, smoke, and torn flesh of war.” Why did the AAF’s early leaders, some of whom had seen combat, seem at times unaware of what aerial combat was really like?

    Miller: They were transfixed by the power and potential of their new weapon, the Flying Fortress. The Bomber Mafia got so enthusiastic about what that plane could do that they became blind to the challenges it would face. They weren’t empathic they didn’t try to understand their enemy, what he could do and would do to stop that bomber. This was a case of rampaging hubris. They had been pushing the theory of strategic bombing since the Army Air Corps’ inception, and the B-17 gave them the bombload and combat radius to finally prove the theory. When the B-17 first took to the air, it was as fast as any fighter in the sky, but when our bombers were sent into the wildly unpredictable European weather, against the best air defense system in the world, with undertrained crews and with leaders with no heavy bombing experience to fall back on, U.S. bombing doctrine collapsed. Yet the Bomber Mafia kept insisting their bombers could get through to the targets without long-range escort fighters. For men like Arnold, Eaker and Spaatz, strategic bombing had become more than a doctrine it had become an unexamined creed, based more on faith than fact.

    WWII: A principal goal of the AAF leadership was the creation of an independent air force. Did this desire impact U.S. strategy during the air war in Europe?

    Miller: It really became an issue toward the end of the war when the question of the terror bombing of German cities came to the fore. On one hand, you had Arnold telling Spaatz that unless he destroyed the German military economy soon, Arthur “Bomber” Harris would get the credit for winning the air war and the AAF would never get its independence. On the other hand, you had Eaker, who was now commanding Allied bombing operations in the Mediterranean theater, warning Spaatz that if the AAF started targeting civilians it would tarnish its war record and damage its chances for autonomy.

    WWII: Things did not all go according to plan. The P-51 Mustang, for example, is justifiably regarded by many as the top Allied fighter of the war. Yet, you say that it almost slipped through the cracks. How?

    Miller: It was the air leaders’ single minded focus on bombers. It was not until the Eighth began to sustain staggering casualties when it sent its bombers into the heart of Germany in 1943 that Hap Arnold began to push for development of a long-range fighter. He didn’t push hard enough, however, until the end of that summer, after the Regensburg-Schweinfurt and Ploesti raids, suicidal missions on which the Eighth accomplished little and suffered unsustainable losses. Arnold admitted after the war that this was a huge mistake. It was more than that it was a mistake that could have lost the air war. Fortunately, there were other people inside the AAF who believed strongly in the Mustang and pushed its development. The fact that the P-51 was deployed at exactly the right time, just before D-Day, is one of the miracles of the war. That winter and spring before the invasion, Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks decimated the Luftwaffe in brutal aerial combat, allowing the invasion to go forward. In those battles of attrition—the greatest air battles ever fought—the bombers were the bait. They were hitting targets, like Berlin, that the Luftwaffe had to come up and defend, and in defending them they were mauled—losing, most critically, their finest pilots. Although ingeniously hidden German aircraft plants continued to produce fighters in great numbers up to the fall of 1944, there were not enough trained pilots or enough fuel to turn them into an effective air defense system.

    WWII: The Eighth often takes the blame for the appalling D-Day losses suffered by the GIs of the 1st and 29th Infantry divisions on Omaha Beach. Was the AAF’s performance on June 6, 1944, a success or a failure?

    Miller: In reading about the D-Day landings, both the Eighth and Ninth Air forces seem like the bastard stepchildren. It’s unfair to overlook their immense contribution. Remember, 28,000 Americans were killed during the buildup to the invasion, and in the Battle of Normandy, 10,000 of these were just before D-Day. That’s a lot of lives, far more than were lost on the beaches on June 6. The Ninth Air Force did an incredible job on the ground after Normandy. Major General Pete Quesada, one of the war’s greatest tactical commanders, was remarkable. He gets over there and tells his pilots: “I’m going to take you to the front lines so you can see the beating the guys on the ground are taking. I’m going to take you to the hospitals to show you what war does to people. You might not want to do any of this dive-bombing stuff, but it helps.” He also puts pilots in tanks and gives them radios so they can talk air force language to the guys flying the Thunderbolts and tracking down enemy tanks and performing aerial artillery operations for infantry. They did an incredible job. I remember standing on the bluffs of Omaha Beach with a bunch of veterans and what really struck me was who wasn’t there on D-Day. The U-boats weren’t there, and the Messerschmitts and Focke Wulfs weren’t there. If they had been, it would have been a very different battle.

    WWII: In the months leading up to D-Day, General Eisenhower and the leaders of the strategic bombing campaign found themselves locked in a terrific debate over the use of air power to support the invasion. Was Eisenhower right in asserting that he must have complete control of the AAF?

    Miller: Eisenhower was absolutely right in that great showdown with the Allied air commanders. But he was also right, a little later, to give in to Spaatz’s pressure and allow two strikes against Nazi oil as well. They were the beginning of truly effective strategic bombing. The Eighth had finally found a vital and vulnerable industry, one without which Germany could not win the war and having achieved air supremacy, it was able to hit it repeatedly and effectively until Germany ran out of oil.

    WWII: You say that the February 3, 1945, raid on Berlin was a more important turning point than the decision to firebomb Tokyo in March 1945. Wasn’t the Berlin mission just another in a long series of strikes on the German capital?

    Miller: No, the earlier raids were aimed at military targets exclusively. On February 3, the AAF crossed a moral threshold. It targeted refugees at railroad stations who were escaping the Red Army. The idea was that the bombing would create transportation bottlenecks that would delay the movement of German troops to the collapsing Eastern Front. Thousands of civilians had already been killed in American raids on marshaling yards in the built-up areas of German cities, but up to now—except for a raid against Munster in October 1943—German civilians had not been directly targeted. Remember, however, that in February 1945 there was tremendous pressure to finish the war in Europe and move men and resources to the Pacific. It might have been wrong to deliberately target civilians, but it was equally wrong not to finish off the Nazis as soon as possible. Every day victory was delayed, thousands of innocent people inside the Reich died. Most people don’t realize that there was a crisis of confidence in the Allied camp in January 1945. I’ve read the reports of the meetings of the senior military leaders. These men were despondent. They had just been surprised by a tremendous German offensive in the Ardennes—the Battle of the Bulge—and intelligence reports indicated that the Germans were speeding up the production of new jet fighter planes and of fast, silent-running submarines with supplemental electric motors that would allow them to remain submerged for up to 72 hours. The Combined Chiefs of Staff had expected to win the European war by Christmas 1944. Now it looked to them like the war might last far into 1945, with the defeat of Japan coming 18 months or so after that. This led to pressure for stepped-up bombing, and this included bombing population centers in the hope of extinguishing the last embers of German resolve. The bombing of refugees in Berlin and other cities of eastern Germany, including the fire bombing of Dresden, was the direct outgrowth of this January crisis. This bombing was ineffective, however. The bombing that brought the German economy to complete collapse was the kind of bombing the Eighth had been doing since D-Day: heavy and repeated attacks on German oil and transportation targets.

    WWII: In September 1939, Roosevelt urged the belligerent European powers to refrain from the “inhuman barbarism” of targeting civilians, but within three years he was proclaiming to Congress that the people of Germany were going to be hit “heavily and relentlessly.” Was this escalation of violence deliberate or a natural progression?

    Miller: As General William T. Sherman noted, almost all wars have a built-in dynamic, a demonic capacity for acceleration and excess, not necessarily by deliberate decision, but by the process of harnessing a people’s emotions and material resources to finish off the enemy, especially if one side is convinced it is fighting for a just cause. Yes, wars—especially total war—fly out of control. Yet it is wrong to criminalize the behavior of American air commanders who resorted to terror bombing in the last month of the war out of a desperate desire to finish off a repugnant enemy, one that was already defeated but wouldn’t admit it.

    WWII: Operations Thunderclap and Clarion make it clear that U.S. leaders had crossed the Rubicon in terms of targeting civilians. Did any senior AAF leaders oppose this?

    Miller: Doolittle kept saying that the emphasis should remain on military targets, that bombing the military economy was working. Spaatz agreed, but he reluctantly condoned the Clarion campaign of February 1945—the bombing of small German towns and cities to bring the war home to those who had not yet been bombed—as a desperate long-shot effort to quicken the end of the war. When it didn’t work, he called a halt to terror bombing at the end of February.

    WWII: You cite an internal memo from Maj. Gen. George C. McDonald, head of Eighth Air Force intelligence, to Maj. Gen. Frederick Anderson, Spaatz’s deputy commander, in which McDonald says that if the bombing of civilian targets is to be seen as “the shortest way to victory, it follows as a corollary that our ground forces, similarly, should be directed to kill all civilians and demolish all buildings in the Reich.” How were Allied leaders able to make the distinction between the methods used by air and ground commanders to achieve the desired end?

    Miller: McDonald’s letter is amazing. It’s almost insubordination. I had never read anything like it before. That letter must have been a wake-up call, for it ended with a plea, similar to Doolittle’s, that the Eighth return to—and I quote—“the demonstrated methods of making the most effective contribution to the conquest of the enemy.” To fight the war more humanely was also, in this case, to fight it more effectively. For Spaatz, who had immense respect for McDonald, the letter must have come as a shock, and it undoubtedly had an influence on his decision to issue a new bombing directive that stated in the strongest language that only military objectives were to be attacked.

    WWII: The concept of blitzkrieg has come under a great deal of scrutiny from historians recently. In your book you talk about the Reich’s “blitzkrieg economy.” What was that, and does it provide a different view of Germany’s wartime economy than we generally have?

    Miller: The theory of the blitzkrieg economy purports to dispel one of the most popular misconceptions about the Nazis: that from the start of the war in 1939 they had ruthlessly mobilized the resources of the German state for total war. This theory originated with the work that the American economist John Kenneth Galbraith did in 1945 for the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. After interviewing Speer and other German economy leaders, Galbraith concluded—and other economists and historians later built on his theory—that Nazi Germany had initially mobilized at a level sufficient only to support a series of cheap and easy victories over its European neighbors. These were supposedly blitzkrieg wars, won by lightning-quick ground and air assaults, and they were supported, supposedly, by a blitzkrieg economy, a production system mobilized only for the short term. It was a guns-and-butter economy that didn’t force the civilian population to make deep sacrifices. It was only later, after the German army was stopped in front of Moscow in the winter of 1941-42, that Hitler purportedly began a program of all-out mobilization. Recent research by historians like Williamson Murray and Richard Overy dispels the idea of a blitzkrieg economy. German production records indicate that Hitler had already begun preparing in the mid-1930s for a global war of racial conquest and had followed a course of steadily expanding military preparedness. As early as 1939, the Nazis made severe cutbacks in consumer production and moved resources and labor from the consumer to the military sector of the economy. Germany actually mobilized a much greater part of its female workforce than Great Britain, which mobilized women to a greater extent than any other Allied nation except the Soviet Union. Hitler, it is clear, expected to fight a great war of European and possibly global conquest, but it came up on him faster than he expected, provoked by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and his economy was not yet up to speed to fight both the Soviet Union and a production colossus like the United States, for there was a lot of waste and flab in the economy. Speer’s so-called production miracle was not achieved by converting a blitzkrieg economy into a total war economy. He simply used more effectively, and with less military interference, resources already being committed to all-out war. He and his teams of technocrats brought to peak performance a war economy that had already begun to be rationalized in 1941 by his predecessor Fritz Todt, who was killed in a plane crash in 1942. With Hitler’s vast European conquests, Speer had virtually the entire continent to draw upon for his shortages of labor and raw materials: oil from Romania, coal from Polish Silesia, slave and contract labor from every country the Nazis had occupied.

    WWII: There has been a great deal of debate in academic circles about the true value of the strategic bombing effort. Detractors say the expenditure in blood and treasure far exceeded the actual results. To back up these arguments they often turn to Galbraith, who comes off poorly in your book. ¿Por qué?

    Miller: I lost a lot of respect for Galbraith. I cut my teeth intellectually on his work—impressive, sharply argued books such as The New Industrial State y The Affluent Society. When I started this book, I believed he was right—that strategic bombing was a failure, or at best a limited success. Yet when I read the report he wrote for the Strategic Bombing Survey, I found him arguing that the bombing that was done in 1944-45 delivered unrecoverable blows to the German economy. What’s going on here, I asked myself? Here’s what I think happened. In his Vietnam era writings, Galbraith called the air war against Germany a disastrous failure, leaving unsuspecting readers to assume that he had arrived at his conclusion in 1945. In his understandable opposition to President Lyndon Johnson’s first large-scale bombing of North Vietnam, Operation Rolling Thunder, Galbraith insisted that strategic bombing had never worked, not in Vietnam, not in Korea, not even in World War II. And prominent journalists and historians, among them David Halberstam and I.F. Stone, have taken a page from him and argued that the Strategic Bombing Survey, which Galbraith was instrumental in drafting, proved conclusively that strategic bombing had not worked. Now it is one thing to challenge the AAF’s claims about strategic bombing and quite another to argue that the bombing survey says what it decidedly does not. The survey—and I have read all 200 or so volumes—argues unambiguously that bombing was decisive. And the extensive archival research I did for my book, in this country and in Europe, convinced me that while bombing did not win the war, the war could not have been won without it. As Speer pointed out, the losses inflicted by the Allied bombers was for Germany the “greatest lost battle of the war.” And it was the Americans, he told British interrogators, who delivered the most telling blows, destroying indispensable areas of the economy, not entire cities. I think the idea that strategic bombing was a failure is one of the great myths of the war. While bombing depressed morale, morale bombing did not work. Conducted predominately by the British, it was designed to crush the spirits of German workers to the point where they either rose up against their government or walked away from their jobs in order to protect their homes and families. Morale bombing did neither, for it was based on a flawed understanding of how people react to a crushing, long-term catastrophe and on a wildly optimistic view of the German people’s opportunities to revolt. Bombing produced political passivity—people stopped caring about public issues and became consumed with their own private battles for survival. This is not behavior that nurtures revolt. Even if you lose faith in the government, how in a police state do you translate your disillusionment into active revolt? Germans of conscience, as well as those who came to their senses toward the end and admitted defeat, lived in a society in which complaining people were hanged from lampposts by Nazi vigilantes for the crime of defeatism.

    WWII: Your book is exhaustive in its treatment of both the theory and practice of the air war in Europe. Was there something you had to leave out that you would have liked to include?

    Miller: I would have liked to do a little more on people like Robert McNamara, who instituted statistical control in the AAF. People like him did two things that were very important. First, using primitive computer punch cards, they developed a selection system for Army recruits that allowed the AAF to identify the cream of the crop. This ended up robbing the infantry of a lot of good men and making the AAF an elite outfit. Second, they were instrumental—and after the war would become more so—in target selection. This is a story that needs to be told. I’d have loved to pursue it, but it is a big story that deserves its own book.

    Chris Anderson is the editor of Segunda Guerra Mundial Revista.

    Originally published in the December 2006 issue of World War II. Para suscribirse, haga clic aquí.


    Why is Caesar crossing the Rubicon with his army considered so epic when others had also recently led armies into Rome?

    I just finished reading The Storm Before The Storm (great book), and I guess I just never realized that Sulla, Marius, and then Sulla again had all led armies into Rome. I always thought of Caesar's grand crossing of the Rubicon to be such an epic turning point in the history of rome, but he wasn't even the first to lead an army on Rome.

    Is this just a case of "history is written by the victors"/Caesar's name is one of the most famous in history, or is there some part of the story that I'm missing?

    Also, for the average citizen of Rome, was this just a normal occurrence now? (althought still scary I'm sure, that's 4 times an army was led into Rome in like 25 years) Or was this still seen as a major event at the time.

    I think its because Sulla had tried to set things up so it wouldn't happen again. It had returned to being that understood boundary and been followed once again for years since he came into power. So it had back at least some of its significance.

    The next part comes from it being a gamble. The die is cast. It was the moment when war was certain, and the point of no return that would lead to the imperial dynasty.

    The biggest part though is the Caesar wrote about everything he did as propaganda. So we have much more written about this action and thus its more dramatized as well. With more writings comes a deeper intrusion of popular awareness, greatly increasing significance/

    Also, animosity between Caesar and the Senate had grown to that point that Caesar's hand was forced. He only led a single legion and the Senate was so scared that they fled the city.

    Realmente no. There was a particularlly good thread about this on AskHistorians a couple of years ago. In essence, it was because crossing the Rubicon was publicized by Lucan, a poet who lived 150 years later, and wrote the poem Pharsalia. Caesar himself didn't mention it, nor did Cicero or any surviving letters of the period.

    Sulla crossing the Rubicon was a major event in the long history of a powerful nation. Caesar crossing the Rubicon was a major event in world history that helped to define the direction of western culture.

    Too many people confuse significance with something being the first. Caesar is remembered because his crossing was more impact and important.

    View crossing the rubicon less as a magical event that had never been done before, but rather, the symbolic breaking of a law that made armed conflict with the senate inevitable.

    So in the same way people will talk about Franz Ferdinand as being one of the most famous political assassins. I mean he wasn't the first person to commit murder.

    Julius Caesar is not remembered because he was the first to cross the rubicon and enter into armed conflict with the senate, but because he was the last.

    Except Franz Ferdinand didn't commit any assassinations. he was merely assassinated himself

    Yes, if Julius Caesar had been crushed, it would have been just a footnote in history.

    Bien. In theory what you say makes sense, but I would argue that Sulla's crossing was way more important then Caesar's crossing. Sulla's invasion of Italy was way more influential, as this had never happened before. This was the first time in Roman history in which you had a true civil war, where actual Roman soldiers fought other Roman soldiers. Before Sulla's crossing this was simply not done, and although gangs and street violence between senators sometimes occurred it never escalated from this level. After Sulla's invasion everybody saw this as an opportunity. Even when there were no actual civil wars the threat of using their legions to enforce demands was a constant factor in Roman politics, which after Sulla became so utterly dysfunctional and dominated by general-consuls because of this that many historians have the republic end with Sulla instead of Caesar (others don't have it end long after Augustus).

    Compare that to Caesar: his invasion and subsequent rule as dictator for life weren't that different then what Sulla did (though Sulla eventually abdicated). What actually made Caesar so influential is that he died popular, and that his successor Octavius managed to reform the system to the empire, which is the real revolutionary event. Honestly without Octavian Caesar's death likely would have just continued the same situation that had existed after Sulla's death of an utterly dysfunctional republic dominated by strong-men.

    I think the real reason why Caesar's crossing is more well-known is partially the sources from his campaigns as well as his later fame which was in large part caused by his sources on the Gallic war as well as the fact that the next couple of emperors were all of his dynasty and had every reason to praise him as well.

    Your opinion might differ, but I would say that in terms of what was more influential: Sulla's invasion or Caesar's invasion Iɽ answer Sulla's because of the importance of the precedent it set. Caesar's invasion can really only be said to be more important if you count Octavian's life after that to all be part of it, but by that logic you could also say that Caesar's crossing was only due to Sulla's, and thus Sulla's crossing would still be the more important.


    Why Did Caesar Cross the Rubicon? - Historia

    This Day In History: January 10, 49 BC

    On this day in history, 49 BC, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with a legion of his soldiers, which was against Roman law. Specifically, Governors of Roman provinces (promagistrates) were not allowed to bring any part of their army within Italy itself and, if they tried, they automatically forfeited their right to rule, even in their own province. The only ones who were allowed to command soldiers in Italy were consuls or preators. This act of leading his troops into Italy would have meant Caesar’s execution and the execution of any soldier who followed him, had he failed in his conquest. Caesar was initially heading to Rome to stand trial for various charges, by order of the Senate. According to the historian Suetonius, Caesar wasn’t at first sure whether he’d bring his soldiers with him or come quietly, but he ultimately made the decision to march on Rome.

    Shortly after the news hit Rome that Caesar was coming with an army, many of the Senators, along with the consuls G. Claudius Marcellus and L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, a.k.a. Pompey (Caesar’s chief rival for power who was supporting the Senate), fled Rome. Somewhat humorously, they were under the impression that Caesar was bringing nearly his whole army to Rome. Instead, he was just bringing one legion, which was largely outnumbered by the forces Pompey and his allies had at their disposal. Never-the-less, they fled and after a four year struggle, Caesar was victorious and Pompey fled to Egypt where he was assassinated. Caesar then became Dictator Perpetuus of Rome. This appointment and changes within the government that happened in the aftermath ultimately led to the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire.

    Interestingly, despite the Rubicon once signifying the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy proper, the exact location of the river was lost to history until quite recently. The river’s location was initially lost primarily because it was a very small river, of no major size or importance, other than as a convenient border landmark. Thus, when Augustus merged the northern province of Cisalpine Gaul into Italy proper, it ceased to be a border and which river it was exactly gradually faded from history.

    Thanks to occasional flooding of the region until around the 14th or 15th centuries, the course of the river also frequently changed with very little of it thought to still follow the original course, excepting the upper regions. In the 14th and 15th centuries, various mechanisms were put in place to prevent flooding and to regulate somewhat the paths of many rivers in that region to accommodate agricultural endeavors. This flooding and eventual regulation of the rivers’ paths further made it difficult to decipher which river was actually the Rubicon.

    Various rivers were proposed as candidates, but the correct theory wasn’t proposed until 1933, namely what now is called the Fiumicino with the crossing likely being somewhere around the present day industrial town of Savignano sul Rubicone (which incidentally was called Savignano di Romagna, before 1991). This theory wasn’t proven until about 58 years later in 1991 when scholars, using various historical texts, managed to triangulate the exact distance from Rome to the Rubicon at 199 miles (320 km). Following Roman roads of the day and other evidence, they then were able to deduce where exactly the original Rubicon had been and which river today was once the Rubicon (the Fiumicino river today is about 1 mile away from where the Rubicon used to flow around that crossing site).


    Ver el vídeo: De Dónde viene la Expresión CRUZAR EL RUBIcóN?