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.


James Lacey, writing in World History Encyclopedia, makes the following points regarding the Battle of Teutoburg Forest between Roman forces and Germanic tribes;
  • 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