James Lacey argues that in 9 AD, a failure in command and control allied with overconfidence led the Roman Army to one of its greatest defeats— a defeat that created a Latin-Germanic divide in Western Europe that is still with us today.
- In previous battles, Varus, the Roman commander, had successfully applied standard Roman tactics.
- He saw no reason to change those tactics in this battle.
- He trusted the Roman-educated, Germanic tribal leader, Arminius—and ignored warnings that Arminius was not to be trusted.
- A failure of reconnaissance and underestimating enemy capability led to Varus's legions being ambushed by a well-organised Germanic attack.
- Despite a fighting retreat, three legions were wiped out.
- The Rhine River became the permanent northern boundary of the Roman Empire.
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Source Information: World History Encyclopedia