Por que César cruzou o Rubicão?

Por que César cruzou o Rubicão?


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Em 10 de janeiro de 49 aC, o general romano Júlio César desafiou um ultimato que lhe fora dado pelo Senado. Se ele trouxesse seus exércitos veteranos para o outro lado do rio Rubicão, no norte da Itália, a República estaria em um estado de guerra civil.

Totalmente ciente da natureza importante de sua decisão, César ignorou o aviso e começou a marchar para o sul em Roma. Até hoje, a frase “cruzar o Rubicão” significa empreender uma ação tão decisiva que não há como voltar atrás.

A guerra civil que se seguiu a essa decisão é vista pelos historiadores como o culminar inevitável de um movimento iniciado décadas antes.

O desmoronamento da república

Desde que o célebre general (e grande influência sobre César) Gaius Marius reformara as legiões romanas segundo linhas mais profissionais, pagando-as pessoalmente, os soldados deviam cada vez mais sua lealdade a seus generais do que à ideia mais abstrata de uma república cidadã.

Como resultado, os homens poderosos se tornaram ainda mais poderosos ao colocar em campo seus próprios exércitos particulares, e os últimos anos conturbados da República já haviam visto o poder do Senado desmoronar em face da ambição de Mário e de seu rival Sila.

A dupla foi seguida pelos ainda mais formidáveis ​​Pompeu e César. Antes de suas façanhas militares na Gália, César era o mais jovem dos dois, e só ganhou destaque quando eleito cônsul em 59 aC. Como cônsul, este homem ambicioso de uma família nobre menor aliou-se ao grande general Pompeu e ao rico político Crasso para formar o Primeiro Triunvirato.

Juntos, César, Crasso e Pompeu (L-R) formaram o Primeiro Triunvirato. Crédito: Wikimedia Commons

César na Gália

Esses homens poderosos tinham pouca necessidade do Senado e, em 58 aC, César usou sua influência para garantir um comando nos Alpes que, ao dar-lhe anos de liberdade e 20.000 homens para comandar, infringiu todas as leis do Senado.

César usou os cinco anos seguintes para se tornar um dos comandantes mais brilhantes e bem-sucedidos da história. O enorme, multi-racial e famoso território temível da Gália (a França moderna) foi conquistado e subjugado em uma das conquistas mais completas da história.

Em suas reflexões sobre a campanha, César mais tarde se gabou de ter matado um milhão de gauleses, escravizado mais um milhão e deixado apenas o milhão restante intocado.

César assegurou-se de que relatos detalhados e partidários de suas façanhas chegassem a Roma, onde o tornaram o querido do povo em uma cidade cercada por brigas internas em sua ausência. O Senado nunca ordenou ou mesmo autorizou César a atacar a Gália, mas desconfiou de sua popularidade e estendeu seu comando por mais cinco anos quando terminou em 53 aC.

Quando Crasso morreu em 54 aC, o Senado voltou-se para Pompeu como o único homem forte o suficiente para resistir a César, que agora controlava grandes extensões de terra no norte sem qualquer apoio do Senado.

Enquanto César enxugava seus inimigos restantes, Pompeu governava como único cônsul - o que o tornava um ditador em tudo, exceto no nome. Ele também era um comandante famoso e brilhante, mas agora estava envelhecendo enquanto a estrela de César estava em ascensão. Ciúme e medo, combinados com a morte de sua esposa - que também era filha de César - fizeram com que sua aliança formal se rompesse durante a longa ausência deste.

O historiador e arqueólogo Simon Elliott responde às questões-chave que cercam uma das figuras mais atraentes da história - Júlio César.

Assista agora

‘A sorte está lançada’

Em 50 aC, César recebeu ordens de dispersar seu exército e retornar a Roma, onde foi proibido de concorrer a um segundo consulado e seria julgado por traição e crimes de guerra após suas conquistas sem licença.

Com isso em mente, não é de se estranhar que o orgulhoso e ambicioso general, que sabia que gostava da adulação do povo, decidisse cruzar o rio Rubicão com seus exércitos em 10 de janeiro de 49 aC.

A aposta valeu a pena. Depois de anos de guerra em Roma e através das províncias em uma escala nunca antes vista, César foi vitorioso e governou supremo em Roma, com Pompeu agora morto e esquecido.

Sem nenhum inimigo remanescente, César foi feito ditador vitalício, um movimento que culminou com seu assassinato por um grupo de senadores em 44 aC. A maré não poderia ser revertida, no entanto. O filho adotivo de César, Otaviano, completaria a obra de seu pai, tornando-se o primeiro verdadeiro imperador romano como Augusto em 27 aC.

Este documentário conta a história do assassinato de Júlio César nos 'idos de março' em 44 aC. Apresentando a Dra. Emma Southon e o Professor Marco Conti.

Assista agora

Este dia na história: Júlio César cruza o Rubicão (55 aC)

Este dia na história, em 55 a.C.- Júlio César cruzou o rio Rubicão e iniciou uma guerra civil na República Romana. Houve muitas guerras civis no século anterior, mas a iniciada por César mudaria a história romana para sempre. O rio Rubicão foi considerado a linha divisória entre a Itália e o resto do Império. Qualquer general que liderasse um exército através deste rio estava cometendo um ato de traição contra o estado e era oficialmente um traidor. César tomou essa ação extraordinária para garantir que ele retivesse o controle de seu exército. Ele havia usado esse exército para conquistar a Gália, mas se recusou a renunciar ao comando desse exército na hora marcada. Nessa época, as legiões de Roma eram pessoalmente leais ao seu comandante e não ao Senado de Roma. Os legionários do exército de César eram mais leais a ele do que Roma. Este foi um problema real para Roma e resultou em uma série interminável de guerras no primeiro século a.C.

Flickr (estátua de Júlio César no Louvre)

Ele acreditava que, se fizesse isso, seus muitos inimigos em Roma o prenderiam ou até mesmo executariam. César sentiu que não tinha escolha a não ser desafiar o Senado Romano, que ele acreditava que o queria afastado ou mesmo morto. Quando ele cruzou o Rubicão, ele estava bem ciente das consequências, mas ele estava como sempre preparado para a luta.

Quando o Senado Romano soube que César havia cruzado o Rubicão, houve rebuliço. No entanto, eles não tinham nenhum exército com o qual defender a cidade e o exército de César ocupou a cidade e dentro de semanas, o resto da Itália. Sob a liderança de Pompeu, o Grande, os senadores montaram um exército nos Bálcãs. César entrou nos Bálcãs e derrotou o exército de Pompeu. No entanto, a guerra civil estava longe de terminar. Logo houve revoltas anti-cesarianas em todo o Império. Mesmo o assassinato de Pompeu no Egito não pôs fim à Guerra Civil. Eventualmente, César foi capaz de subjugar o Império e se tornou o ditador de Roma. Ele era um rei em tudo, menos no nome. Isso despertou o ressentimento de muitos na elite, embora o povo amasse César. Houve uma conspiração contra César e ele foi assassinado ao entrar no Senado Romano. Isso deu início a outra guerra civil e esta foi uma de Mark Anthony e Octavian. Em uma guerra civil posterior, Otaviano (sobrinho-neto de César) derrotou Mark Anthony. Otaviano mais tarde se tornou Augusto, o primeiro imperador de Roma de fato. Quando César cruzou o Rubicão, ele desencadeou uma cadeia de eventos que levou à queda da República Romana e ao surgimento de um sistema imperial em Roma.


Conteúdo

A Guerra Civil de César resultou da longa subversão política das instituições do governo romano, que começou com a carreira de Tibério Graco, continuando com as reformas marianas das legiões, a ditadura sangrenta de Lúcio Cornélio Sula e concluída pelo Primeiro Triunvirato sobre Roma. A situação política é discutida em profundidade nas antigas histórias de Apiano e Cássio Dio. Também é abordado nas biografias de Plutarco. Os comentários de Júlio César oferecem alguns detalhes políticos, mas principalmente narram manobras militares da própria guerra civil.

O Primeiro Triunvirato (assim denominado por Cícero), compreendendo Júlio César, Crasso e Pompeu, ascendeu ao poder com a eleição de César como cônsul em 59 aC. O Primeiro Triunvirato foi uma aliança política não oficial, cuja substância era o poderio militar de Pompeu, a influência política de César e o dinheiro de Crasso. A aliança foi ainda mais consolidada pelo casamento de Pompeu com Júlia, filha de César, em 59 aC. Na conclusão do primeiro consulado de César, o Senado, em vez de conceder-lhe um governo provincial, incumbiu-o de zelar pelas florestas romanas. Criada especialmente por seus inimigos no Senado, essa posição tinha o objetivo de ocupá-lo sem dar-lhe o comando de exércitos ou acumular riqueza e fama.

César, com a ajuda de Pompeu e Crasso, evitou os decretos do Senado por meio de legislação aprovada pelas assembléias populares. Os atos promoveram César a governador romano de Ilírico e a Gália Cisalpina A Gália Transalpina (sul da França) foi adicionada posteriormente. Os vários governos deram a César o comando de um exército de (inicialmente) quatro legiões. O prazo de seu proconsulsão, que lhe permitiu imunidade de processo, foi fixado em cinco anos, ao invés do habitual um ano. Seu mandato foi posteriormente estendido por mais cinco anos. Durante os dez anos, César usou suas forças militares para conquistar a Gália e invadir a Grã-Bretanha, que era popular entre o povo, mas seus inimigos alegaram que isso não foi feito sem autorização explícita do Senado. [5]

Em 52 aC, no final do Primeiro Triunvirato, o Senado Romano apoiava Pompeu como único cônsul. Enquanto isso, César havia se tornado um herói militar e campeão do povo. Sabendo que ele esperava ser cônsul quando seu governo expirasse, o Senado, politicamente temeroso dele, ordenou que ele renunciasse ao comando de seu exército. Em dezembro de 50 aC, César escreveu ao Senado que concordava em renunciar ao comando militar se Pompeu fizesse o mesmo. Ofendido, o Senado exigiu que ele dissolvesse seu exército imediatamente, ou seria declarado inimigo do povo. Esse foi um ato político ilegal, pois ele tinha o direito de manter seu exército até o término de seu mandato.

Uma razão secundária para o desejo imediato de César por outro cônsul era que o "império" de César ou sua proteção contra a acusação estava para expirar e seus inimigos em Roma tinham processos senatoriais esperando por ele após a aposentadoria como governador da Ilíria e da Gália. Os possíveis processos foram clamados por seus inimigos por supostas irregularidades ocorridas em seu consulado e crimes de guerra alegados ter sido cometidos durante suas campanhas na Gália. Além disso, os leais a César, os tribunos Marco Antônio e Quinto Cássio Longino, vetaram o projeto e foram rapidamente expulsos do Senado. Eles então se juntaram a César, que havia montado seu exército, que pediu apoio militar contra o Senado. Concordando, seu exército pediu ação.

Em 50 aC, ao término de seu mandato proconsular, o Senado liderado por Pompeu ordenou o retorno de César a Roma e a dispersão de seu exército e proibiu sua candidatura à eleição na ausência para um segundo consulado. Isso fez César pensar que seria processado e tornado politicamente marginal se entrasse em Roma sem imunidade consular ou seu exército. A saber, Pompeu o acusou de insubordinação e traição.

Crossing the Rubicon Edit

Em janeiro de 49 aC, os oponentes de César no Senado, liderados por Lentulus, Cato e Scipio, tentaram tirar César de seu comando (províncias e legiões) e forçá-lo a retornar a Roma como cidadão particular (sujeito a processo). Os aliados de César no Senado, especialmente Marcos Antônio, Cúrio, Cássio e Célio Rufo, tentaram defender seu patrono, mas foram ameaçados de violência. Em 7 de janeiro, o Senado aprovou o consultum ultimum (declarando o estado de emergência) e encarregou os cônsules, pretores, tribunos e procônsules da defesa do estado. Naquela noite, Antônio, Cássio, Cúrio e Célio Rufo fugiram de Roma e se dirigiram para o norte para se juntar a César. [7]

Em 10 de janeiro de 49 aC, comandando a Legio XIII, César cruzou o rio Rubicão, limite entre a província da Gália Cisalpina ao norte e a própria Itália ao sul. Como cruzar o Rubicão com um exército foi proibido, para que um general não voltasse a tentar um golpe de Estado, que desencadeou a guerra civil que se seguiu entre César e Pompeu.

A população em geral, que considerava César um herói, aprovou suas ações. Os registros históricos divergem sobre o comentário decisivo que César fez sobre a travessia do Rubicão: um relatório é Alea iacta est (geralmente traduzido como "A sorte está lançada").

O próprio relato de César sobre a Guerra Civil não menciona a travessia do rio, mas simplesmente afirma que ele marchou para Rimini, uma cidade ao sul do Rubicão, com seu exército. [8]

Marcha em Roma e no início da campanha hispânica Editar

Dentro de uma semana após passar o consultum ultimum (declarando estado de emergência e proibindo César) notícias chegaram a Roma de que César havia cruzado o Rubicão (10 de janeiro) e tomado a cidade italiana de Ariminum (12 de janeiro). [9] Em 17 de janeiro, César conquistou as três cidades seguintes ao longo da Via Flaminiana, e que Marco Antônio (Marco Antônio) tomou Arretium e controlou a Via Cassiana. [9] O Senado, sem saber que César possuía apenas uma legião, temeu o pior e apoiou Pompeu, que declarou que Roma não poderia ser defendida. Ele escapou para Cápua com aqueles políticos que o apoiaram, os aristocratas Optimates e os cônsules reinantes. Cícero mais tarde caracterizou o "sinal externo de fraqueza" de Pompeu como permitindo a consolidação do poder de César.

Apesar de ter recuado para o centro da Itália, Pompeu e as forças senatoriais superavam em muito a legião única de César e eram compostos de pelo menos 100 coortes, ou 10 legiões. [10] Estas incluíram 5 coortes em Iguaçu sob Thermus, 10 coortes sob Lentulus Spinther, 6 coortes sob Lucilius Hirrus guarnecendo Camerinum, 2 legiões de Marsi e Peligni retiradas de guarnições em Alba e nos distritos circundantes que foram comandados por Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, 9 outras coortes sob os pretores L. Manlius e Rutilius Lupus e 5 outras legiões. Cícero escreveu [11] que, desde o início, Pompeu planejava abandonar Roma. À medida que César avançava para o sul, Pompeu recuou em direção a Brundísio, inicialmente ordenando a Domício (engajado em levantar tropas na Etrúria) que parasse o movimento de César em Roma na direção do litoral do Adriático.

Tardiamente, Pompeu pediu a Domício que recuasse para o sul para se encontrar com as forças de Pompeu. Domício ignorou o pedido de Pompeu, acreditando que ele superava César em três para um. César, porém, fora reforçado por mais duas legiões da Gália (a oitava e a décima segunda) e vinte e duas coortes de recrutas (recrutadas por Cúrio) e na verdade superava Domício em cinco para três. Domício depois de ser isolado e preso perto de Corfínio, foi forçado a render seu exército de trinta e uma coortes (cerca de três legiões) após um breve cerco. Com clemência deliberada, César libertou Domício e os outros senadores com ele e até devolveu 6.000.000 de sestércios que Domício teve de pagar às suas tropas. As trinta e uma coortes, no entanto, fizeram um novo juramento de lealdade a César e foram enviadas para a Sicília sob o comando de Asinius Pólio. [12] César agora tinha três legiões veteranas e cinquenta e três coortes de recrutas em Corfínio. O exército cesariano na Itália agora superava os republicanos (8: 5) e Pompeu sabia que a península estava perdida por enquanto.

Pompeu fugiu para Brundísio, onde aguardava o transporte marítimo de suas legiões, para Épiro, nas províncias gregas orientais da República, esperando que sua influência rendesse dinheiro e exércitos para um bloqueio marítimo da própria Itália. Enquanto isso, os aristocratas, incluindo Metelo Cipião e Cato, o Jovem, juntaram-se a Pompeu ali e deixaram a retaguarda em Cápua.

César perseguiu Pompeu até Brundísio, esperando a restauração de sua aliança de dez anos antes. Durante os primeiros estágios da Grande Guerra Civil Romana, César freqüentemente propunha a Pompeu que ambos os generais embainhassem suas espadas. Pompeu recusou, argumentando legalisticamente que César era seu subordinado e, portanto, era obrigado a interromper a campanha e demitir seus exércitos antes de qualquer negociação. Como comandante escolhido pelo Senado e com o apoio de pelo menos um dos cônsules atuais, Pompeu tinha legitimidade, mas a travessia militar de César do Rubicão rendeu-lhe um de jure inimigo do Senado e do povo de Roma. César então tentou prender Pompeu em Brundisium bloqueando a entrada do porto com toupeiras de terra de ambos os lados, unidas na parte mais profunda por uma série de jangadas, cada uma com nove metros quadrados, cobertas por uma passagem de terra e protegidas por telas e torres. Pompeu reagiu construindo torres para a artilharia pesada em vários navios mercantes e as usou para destruir as jangadas à medida que flutuavam em posição. Por fim, em março de 49 aC, Pompeu escapou e fugiu por mar para o Épiro, deixando César no comando completo da Itália. [13]

Aproveitando a ausência de Pompeu do continente italiano, César marchou para o oeste, para a Hispânia. Onroute ele começou o cerco de Massilia. No prazo de 27 dias após a partida, ele chegou à Península Ibérica. Em Ilerda, ele derrotou o exército de Pompeu politicamente sem liderança, comandado pelos legados Lúcio Afrânio e Marco Petreio. Depois, pacificando a Hispânia Romana.

Retornando a Roma em dezembro de 49 aC, César foi nomeado ditador, com Marco Antônio como seu Mestre do Cavalo. César manteve sua ditadura por onze dias, mandato suficiente para lhe render um segundo mandato como cônsul, com Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus como seu colega. Posteriormente, César renovou sua perseguição a Pompeu na Grécia.

Campanhas grega, ilíria e africana Editar

De Brundisium, César cruzou o Estreito de Otranto com sete legiões até o Golfo de Valona (não Palaesta no Épiro [moderno Palase / Dhermi, Albânia], conforme relatado por Lucan), [14] levando Pompeu a considerar três cursos de ação: ( i) fazer uma aliança com o Rei da Pártia, um antigo aliado, distante a leste (ii) para invadir a Itália com sua marinha superior e / ou (iii) para forçar uma batalha decisiva com César. Uma aliança parta não era viável, pois um general romano lutando contra legiões romanas com tropas estrangeiras era covarde, e o risco militar de uma invasão italiana era politicamente desagradável porque os italianos, que trinta anos antes haviam se rebelado contra Roma, poderiam se rebelar contra ele. Assim, a conselho de seus conselheiros, Pompeu decidiu arquitetar uma batalha decisiva. [ citação necessária ]

Como se viu, Pompeu teria sido obrigado a tomar a terceira opção de qualquer maneira, já que César forçou sua mão ao persegui-lo até a Ilíria e assim, em 10 de julho de 48 aC, os dois lutaram na Batalha de Dirráquio. Com a perda de 1.000 legionários veteranos, César foi forçado a recuar para o sul. Recusando-se a acreditar que seu exército havia superado as legiões de César, Pompeu interpretou erroneamente a retirada como uma finta para uma armadilha e, portanto, não deu perseguição para entregar o decisivo golpe de misericórdia, perdendo assim a iniciativa e a chance de concluir a guerra rapidamente. Perto de Farsala, César montou um acampamento estratégico. Pompeu atacou, mas, apesar de seu exército muito maior, foi definitivamente derrotado pelas tropas de César. Um dos principais motivos da derrota de Pompeu foi a falta de comunicação entre os cavaleiros da cavalaria da frente.

Luta dinástica egípcia Editar

Pompeu fugiu para o Egito ptolomaico, onde foi assassinado por um oficial do rei Ptolomeu XIII. César perseguiu o exército de Pompeu até Alexandria, onde acampou e se envolveu com a Guerra Civil Alexandrina entre Ptolomeu e sua irmã, esposa e co-regente, Cleópatra VII. Talvez como resultado do papel de Ptolomeu no assassinato de Pompeu, César ficou do lado de Cleópatra e dizem que chorou ao ver a cabeça de Pompeu, que foi oferecida a ele pelo camareiro de Ptolomeu, Potino, como um presente.

Em qualquer caso, César foi sitiado em Alexandria e depois que Mitrídates libertou a cidade, César derrotou o exército de Ptolomeu e instalou Cleópatra como governante com quem teve seu único filho biológico conhecido, Ptolomeu XV César, mais conhecido como "Cesarião". César e Cleópatra nunca se casaram porque a lei romana proibia o casamento com um cidadão não romano.

Guerra contra Pharnaces Editar

Depois de passar os primeiros meses de 47 aC no Egito, César foi para a Síria e depois para Ponto para lidar com Farnácios II, o rei cliente de Pompeu que havia se aproveitado da guerra civil para atacar o amigo romano Deiotaro e tornar-se governante de Cólquida e menor Armênia. Em Nicópolis, Farnaces derrotou a pequena oposição romana que o governador da Ásia, Cneu Domício Calvino, conseguiu reunir. Ele também havia tomado a cidade de Amisus, que era um aliado romano que transformava todos os meninos em eunucos e vendia os habitantes a traficantes de escravos. Após a demonstração de força, Pharnaces recuou para pacificar suas novas conquistas.

No entanto, a abordagem extremamente rápida de César em pessoa forçou Farnaces a voltar sua atenção para os romanos. A princípio, reconhecendo a ameaça, ele fez ofertas de submissão com o único objetivo de ganhar tempo até que a atenção de César se voltasse para outro lugar. Não adiantou, pois César rapidamente derrotou Farnaces na Batalha de Zela (o moderno Zile na Turquia) com apenas um pequeno destacamento de cavalaria. A vitória de César foi tão rápida e completa que, em uma carta a um amigo em Roma, ele fez a famosa frase da curta guerra: "Veni, vidi, vici" ("Eu vim, vi, venci"). Na verdade, para seu triunfo Pôntico, esse pode muito bem ter sido o rótulo exibido acima dos despojos.

O próprio Farnaces fugiu rapidamente de volta para o Bósforo, onde conseguiu reunir uma pequena força de tropas citas e sármatas com as quais conseguiu obter o controle de algumas cidades, mas um de seus ex-governadores, Asandar, atacou suas forças e o matou . O historiador Appian afirma que Pharnaces morreu em batalha, mas Cassius Dio diz que Pharnaces foi capturado e depois morto.

Campanha posterior na África e a guerra em Cato Editar

Enquanto César estava no Egito e instalou Cleópatra como governante único, quatro de suas legiões veteranas acamparam, sob o comando de Marco Antônio. As legiões estavam esperando por suas dispensas e pelo pagamento do bônus que César havia prometido a eles antes da Batalha de Farsália. Como César permaneceu no Egito, a situação se deteriorou rapidamente. Antônio perdeu o controle das tropas, que começaram a saquear propriedades ao sul da capital. Várias delegações de diplomatas foram enviadas para tentar conter o motim.

Nada funcionou e os amotinados continuaram a pedir dispensas e salários atrasados. Depois de vários meses, César finalmente chegou para falar pessoalmente às legiões. César sabia que precisava das legiões para lidar com os partidários de Pompeu no norte da África, já que este último havia reunido 14 legiões. César também sabia que não tinha fundos para devolver o pagamento aos soldados, muito menos o dinheiro necessário para induzi-los a se alistar novamente na campanha do Norte da África.

Quando César se aproximou do palanque do palestrante, um silêncio caiu sobre os soldados amotinados. A maioria ficou envergonhada por seu papel no motim na presença de César. Ele perguntou às tropas o que elas queriam com sua voz fria. Envergonhados de exigir dinheiro, os homens começaram a clamar pela dispensa. César os chamou de "cidadãos", em vez de "soldados", uma indicação tácita de que já haviam se despedido em virtude de sua deslealdade.

Ele continuou, dizendo-lhes que todos teriam alta imediatamente. Ele disse que pagaria a eles o dinheiro que devia a eles depois que vencesse a campanha do Norte da África com outras legiões. Os soldados ficaram chocados, pois haviam passado 15 anos de guerra com César e se tornaram ferozmente leais a ele no processo. Nunca lhes ocorreu que César não precisasse deles.

A resistência dos soldados entrou em colapso. Eles lotaram o estrado e imploraram para serem levados para o Norte da África. César fingiu indignação e depois se deixou conquistar. Quando ele anunciou que permitiria que eles se juntassem à campanha, uma grande alegria surgiu das tropas reunidas. Por meio dessa psicologia reversa, César alistou novamente quatro entusiastas legiões de veteranos para invadir o Norte da África sem gastar uma única sesterce.

César rapidamente obteve uma vitória significativa na Batalha de Thapsus em 46 aC sobre as forças de Metelo Cipião, Cato, o Jovem e Juba, que cometeram suicídio.

Segunda campanha hispânica e fim da guerra Editar

No entanto, os filhos de Pompeu, Gnaeus Pompeius e Sextus Pompeius, junto com Tito Labieno, o ex-legado propretoriano de César (legatus propraetore e segundo em comando na Guerra da Gália), fugiu para a Hispânia. César perseguiu e derrotou os últimos remanescentes da oposição na Batalha de Munda em março de 45 aC. Enquanto isso, César havia sido eleito para seu terceiro e quarto mandatos como cônsul em 46 aC (com Marcus Aemilius Lepidus) e 45 aC (sine collega, sem um colega).

  • 49 a.C.
    • 1º de janeiro: O Senado Romano recebe uma proposta de Júlio César de que ele e Pompeu devem estabelecer seus comandos simultaneamente. O Senado responde que César deve render imediatamente seu comando.
    • 10 de janeiro: Júlio César lidera sua 13ª Legion pelo Rubicão, que separa sua jurisdição (Gália Cisalpina) da do Senado (Itália), e assim inicia uma guerra civil.
    • 15 de fevereiro: César começa o cerco de Corfínio contra Lúcio Domício Ahenobarbo, que controlou a cidade contra as ordens de Pompeu.
    • 21 de fevereiro: Corfínio é entregue a César após uma semana sem derramamento de sangue em que Ahenobarbo é minado por seus oficiais.
    • Fevereiro, a fuga de Pompeu para o Épiro (na Grécia Ocidental) com a maior parte do Senado, apesar do cerco de César a Brundísio em março
    • 9 de março, o avanço de César contra as forças de Pompeu na Hispânia
    • 19 de abril, o cerco de César a Massilia contra o pompeiano Lúcio Domício Ahenobarbo, mais tarde o cerco foi conduzido por Cesariano Gaius Trebonius
    • Junho, a chegada de César à Hispânia, onde foi capaz de tomar as passagens dos Pirenéus defendidas pelo pompeiano L. Afranius e M. Petreius.
    • 30 de julho, César cercou o exército de Afrânio e Petreio na Batalha de Ilerda
    • 2 de agosto, os pompeianos em Ilerda se renderam a César
    • 24 de agosto: o general de César Gaius Scribonius Curio, é derrotado no Norte da África pelos Pompeianos sob Attius Varus e Rei Juba I da Numídia (a quem ele derrotou antes na Batalha de Utica) na Batalha do Rio Bagradas), e comete suicídio.
    • Setembro Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, um cesariano, derrotou as forças navais combinadas Pompeia-Massilian na Batalha naval de Massilia, enquanto a frota de Cesariana no Adriático foi derrotada perto de Curicta (Krk)
    • 6 de setembro, Massilia se rendeu a César, voltando da Hispânia
    • Outubro, César nomeado ditador em Roma preside sua própria eleição como cônsul e renuncia após onze dias
    • 4 de janeiro, César pousou na Praia de César em Palasë (Palaeste) [15]
    • Março, Antônio juntou-se a César
    • 10 de julho: Batalha de Dirráquio, Júlio César mal evita uma derrota catastrófica para Pompeu na Macedônia, ele se retira para a Tessália.
    • 9 de agosto: Batalha de Farsália: Júlio César derrota de forma decisiva Pompeu em Farsália e Pompeu foge para o Egito.
    • 28 de setembro, César soube que Pompeu foi assassinado.
    • Cerco de alexandria
    • Dezembro, Farnaces, Rei do Bósforo derrotou Cesariano Domício Calvino na Batalha de Nicópolis (ou Nikopol)
    • Dezembro: Batalha em Alexandria, Egito, entre as forças de César e sua aliada Cleópatra VII do Egito e as do rei Ptolomeu XIII do Egito e da Rainha Arsinoe IV. Os dois últimos são derrotados e fogem da cidade. Cleópatra se torna rainha do Egito. Durante a batalha, parte da Biblioteca de Alexandria pega fogo e é parcialmente queimada.
    • César é nomeado ditador por um ano.
    • Fevereiro: César e sua aliada Cleópatra derrotam as forças da rival egípcia Rainha Arsinoe IV na Batalha do Nilo, Ptolomeu foi morto, César então aliviou suas forças sitiadas em Alexandria
    • Maio: César derrotou Farnácios II do Ponto, rei do Bósforo na Batalha de Zela. (Esta é a guerra que César descreveu concisamente veni, vidi, vici.) Cleópatra VII do Egito promove seu irmão mais novo Ptolomeu XIV do Egito a co-governante.
    • Agosto, César sufocou um motim de seus veteranos em Roma.
    • Outubro, invasão de César da África, contra Metelo Cipião e Labieno, ex-tenente de César na Gália
    • 4 de janeiro: César escapa por pouco da derrota por seu ex-segundo em comando Tito Labieno na Batalha de Ruspina, quase 1/3 do exército de César é morto.
    • 6 de fevereiro: César derrota o exército combinado de seguidores de Pompeu e númidas sob o comando de Metelo Cipião e Juba na Batalha de Thapsus. Cato comete suicídio. Depois, ele recebe o cargo de Ditador pelos próximos dez anos.
    • Novembro: César parte para a Farther Hispania para lidar com um novo surto de resistência.
    • César, em seu papel de Pontifex Maximus, reforma o calendário romano para criar o calendário juliano. O ano de transição é estendido para 445 dias para sincronizar o novo calendário e o ciclo sazonal. o Calendário juliano permaneceria o padrão no mundo ocidental por mais de 1600 anos, até ser substituído pelo calendário gregoriano em 1582.
    • César nomeia seu sobrinho-neto Gaius Octavius ​​seu herdeiro.
    • 1º de janeiro: o calendário juliano entra em vigor
    • 17 de março: Em sua última vitória, César derrota as forças de Pompeu de Tito Labieno e Pompeu, o mais jovem, na Batalha de Munda. Pompeu, o mais jovem, foi executado e Labieno morreu em batalha, mas Sexto Pompeu escapou para assumir o comando dos remanescentes da frota de Pompeu.
    • Os veteranos das Legiões de César Legio XIII Gemina e Legio X Equestris desmobilizado. Os veteranos da 10ª legião seriam assentados em Narbo, enquanto os da 13ª receberiam terras um pouco melhores na própria Itália.
    • César provavelmente escreve os Comentários neste ano
    • Júlio César é nomeado Ditador perpétuo ("ditador perpétuo")
    • Júlio César planeja uma invasão do Império Parta
    • Júlio César é assassinado em 15 de março, idos de março.

    César foi posteriormente proclamado ditador, primeiro por dez anos e depois para sempre. O último arranjo desencadeou a conspiração que levou ao seu assassinato nos idos de março em 44 aC. Depois disso, o filho adotivo de Antônio e César, Otávio, travaria outra guerra civil contra os remanescentes da facção Optimates e Liberatores, resultando no estabelecimento do Império Romano.


    Júlio César foi morto pelo Senado de Roma. César foi considerado um herói por sua vitória sobre Pompeu. Por esta razão, o povo romano queria que César fosse rei (tanto quanto César queria ser rei). No entanto, o senado acreditou que César seria um ditador e decidiu matá-lo.

    Como a história retrata César? Ele se tornou ditador e houve uma cerimônia para César coroá-lo rei. Seu guarda-costas Marc Anthony estava com a coroa e a colocou em sua cabeça, mas Julius recusou. Ele fez isso porque Roma era apenas uma república durante o tempo e ninguém realmente queria ter um rei.


    No Rubicon

    Quando Júlio César liderou suas tropas da Gália em janeiro de 49 a.C., ele fez uma pausa na extremidade norte de uma ponte. 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, yes! 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. Como?

    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. Porque?

    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 e A Sociedade Afluente. 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 se inscrever, clique aqui.


    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.

    Na verdade. 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.

    Nós vamos. 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? - História

    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).


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