A mercenary, sometimes known as a soldier of fortune, is an individual who takes part in military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsider to the conflict, is not a member of any other official military. Mercenaries fight for money or other forms of payment rather than for political interests. In the last century, mercenaries have come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. Indeed, the Geneva Conventions declare that mercenaries are not recognized as legitimate combatants and do not have to be granted the same legal protections as captured soldiers of a regular army. In practice, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and political interests may overlap, as was the case among Italian condottieri. Protocol Additional GC 1977 is a 1977 amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions. Article 47 of the protocol provides the most accepted international definition of a mercenary, though not endorsed by some countries, including the United States.
The Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977 states: Art 47. Mercenaries 1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a prisoner of war. 2. A mercenary is any person who: is recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict. All the criteria must be met, according to the Geneva Convention, for a combatant to be described as a mercenary. According to the GC III, a captured soldier must be treated as a lawful combatant and, therefore, as a protected person with prisoner-of-war status until facing a competent tribunal; that tribunal, using criteria in APGC77 or some equivalent domestic law, may decide that the soldier is a mercenary. At that juncture, the mercenary soldier becomes an unlawful combatant but still must be "treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial", being still covered by GC IV Art 5; the only possible exception to GC IV Art 5 is when he is a national of the authority imprisoning him, in which case he would not be a mercenary soldier as defined in APGC77 Art 47.d.
If, after a regular trial, a captured soldier is found to be a mercenary he can expect treatment as a common criminal and may face execution. As mercenary soldiers may not qualify as PoWs, they cannot expect repatriation at war's end; the best known post-World War II example of this was on 28 June 1976 when, at the end of the Luanda Trial, an Angolan court sentenced three Britons and an American to death and nine other mercenaries to prison terms ranging from 16 to 30 years. The four mercenaries sentenced to death were shot by a firing squad on 10 July 1976; the legal status of civilian contractors depends upon the nature of their work and their nationalities with respect to that of the combatants. If they have not "in fact, taken a direct part in the hostilities", they are not mercenaries but civilians who have non-combat support roles and are entitled to protection under the Third Geneva Convention. On 4 December 1989, the United Nations passed resolution 44/34, the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use and Training of Mercenaries.
It entered into force on 20 October 2001 and is known as the UN Mercenary Convention. Article 1 contains the definition of a mercenary. Article 1.1 is similar to Article 47 of Protocol I, however Article 1.2 broadens the definition to include a non-national recruited to overthrow a "Government or otherwise undermining the constitutional order of a State. Critics have argued that APGC77 Art. 47 are designed to cover the activities of mercenaries in post-colonial Africa and do not address adequately the use of private military companies by sovereign states. The situation during the Iraq War and the continuing occupation of Iraq after the United Nations Security Council-sanctioned hand-over of power to the Iraqi government shows the difficulty of defining a mercenary soldier. While the United States governed Iraq, no U. S. citizen working as an armed guard could be classified as a mercenary because he was a national of a Party to the conflict. With the hand-over of power to the Iraqi government, if one does not consider the coalition forces to be continuing parties to the conflict in Iraq, but that their soldiers are "sent by a State, not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces" unless U.
S. citizens working as armed guards are lawfully certified residents of Iraq, i.e. "a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict", they are involved with
Philip A. G. Sabin is a British military historian, Professor of Strategic Studies in the War Studies Department of King's College London. Sabin is a member of the CAS Air Power Workshop, a small working group of scholars and other theorists convened by the Chief of Air Staff, he is a member of the Academic Advisory Panel of the Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies. His books on modern warfare include: The Future of United Kingdom Air Power, his works on ancient warfare include: Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World, which the Michigan War Studies Review called "engaging and fresh", The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare. The latter has been praised in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, which reported: "The editors as well as the authors can be congratulated on their efforts in producing this important reference work", an "accomplished work... teeming with numerous fascinating details". Among Sabin's articles are: ”The Mechanics of Battle in the Second Punic War”, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Vol. 41, No.
67, pp. 59–79. Air Power Review Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 21–34. In 2010, Sabin published a RAF CAPS Discussion Paper entitled: "The Current and Future Utility of Air and Space Power"; this Discussion Paper was republished as a'viewpoint' in Air Power Review, Volume 10 Number 3, pp. 155–173. In 2011, Sabin published "The Benefits and Limits of Computerization in Conflict Simulation" in Literary & Linguistic Computing, Vomume 26 Number 3, pp. 323–328. His most recent book is Simulating War: Studying Conflict Through Simulation Games; the Times Higher Education's reviewer wrote: "Sabin has written the most readable book on this topic to appear in a long time. It is well written and presents a lot of original material and new ideas on war-game design." Sabin has published books and conference papers including: The Third World War Scare in Britain: A Critical Analysis. The Future of United Kingdom Air Power. Philip Sabin and Michael Clarke, British Defence Choices for the Twenty-first Century: A Centre for Defence Studies Book.
Philip Sabin, Michael Whitby and Hans van Wees, Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare: Volume I: Greece, the Hellenistic World and the Rise of Rome Cambridge. Philip Sabin, Michael Whitby and Hans van Wees, editors, "Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare: Volume 2, Rome from the Late Republic to the Late Empire: Rome from the Late Republic to the Late Empire". Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World. Simulating War: Studying Conflict Through Simulation Games. King's College London - Professor Philip Sabin
Battle of the Lipari Islands
The Battle of the Lipari Islands or Lipara in 260 BC was the first encounter between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War. A Roman squadron of 17 ships commanded by the senior consul for the year Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio was trapped in Lipara harbour by 20 Carthaginian ships under Boodes; the inexperienced Romans made a poor showing. After some successes with their army in Sicily such as the conquest of Agrigentum, the Romans felt confident enough to build and equip a fleet that would allow them to control the Mediterranean Sea; the Republic ordered and drilled the crews of a fleet of about 150 quinqueremes and triremes in a record two months. The patrician Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio was given the command of fleet, he put to sea with the first 17 ships produced. As the first Roman warships they spent some time training in home waters before sailing to Messana. There they prepared for the main fleet's arrival and supported the logistics of Roman army at the crossing to Sicily.
While Scipio was at the Strait of Messina he received information that the garrison of Lipara was willing to defect to the Roman side. Lipara was the main port of the Lipari Islands and was a constant threat to Roman communications across the Strait. What happened next is described as a treacherous act of the Carthaginians, but the sources do not give much detail and are pro-Roman. Though the crews were still inexperienced and the newly designed and built ships were still undergoing their sea trials, the consul could not resist the temptation of conquering an important city without a fight and sailed to Lipara, it has been suggested by some ancient sources that the offer to surrender Lipara was a ruse inspired by Carthage to encourage the Romans to commit their ships where they could be ambushed. The Romans entered the harbour at Lipara; the Carthaginian fleet was commanded by Hannibal Gisco, the general defeated at the Battle of Agrigentum and was based at Panormus, modern-day Palermo, some 100 kilometres from Lipari.
When he heard of the Romans' advance to Lipara he despatched 20 ships under Boodes, a Carthaginian aristocrat, to the town. The Carthaginians trapped the Romans in the harbour. Boodes led his ships in an attack on the Romans inside the harbour the next morning. Scipio's men offered little resistance; the inexperienced crews were no match for the well drilled Carthaginians and were outfought. Some Romans fled inland and the consul himself was taken prisoner. All of the Roman ships were captured, most with little damage; the battle was little more than a skirmish, is notable as the first naval encounter of the Punic Wars and the first time Roman warships had been engaged in battle. Scipio was released ransomed, his easy defeat earned him the pejorative cognomen Asina. This cognomen was all the more insulting because "asina" was the feminine form of the word donkey, as opposed to the masculine form "asinus". In spite of this Scipio's career prospered and he was consul for a second time in 254. Shortly after the Lipara disaster the junior consul, Gaius Duilius, avenged the humiliation by winning the Battle of Mylae, a major fleet action in which the Carthaginians lost 44 ships.
Goldworthy, Adrian. The Fall of Carthage. London: Phoenix. ISBN 9780304366422. Harris, William Vernon. War and imperialism in Republican Rome, 327-70 B. C. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 9780198148661. Polybius, The General History of Polybius, Book I, 21
The Medjerda River, the classical Bagrada, is a river in North Africa flowing from northeast Algeria through Tunisia before emptying into the Gulf of Tunis and Lake of Tunis. With a length of 450 km, it is the longest river of Tunisia, it is known as the Wadi Majardah or Mejerha. The Medjerda River originates in the Tell Atlas, part of the Atlas Mountains, in northeastern Algeria and flows eastwards to Tunisia entering the Gulf of Utica of the Mediterranean Sea, its course has a length of 460 kilometres. It is the most important and longest rivers in Tunisia and is dammed in several locations, being a major supplier of water to the country's wheat crops; the Gulf of Utica was formed during the postglacial transgression about 6,000 years ago. Over time, fluvial deposits from the Medjerda filled up the northern part of the gulf; the succession of events during historical times has been inferred from ancient documents and archaeological evidence. Besides morphological ground observations and satellite photographs have been used to analyze how the landscape has evolved over the past 3,000 years.
The gulf's southern part was filled up in late ancient times. The sea withdrew from the northern part during the Middle Ages and modern times; the Ghar el Melh lagoon is the last vestige of. Following the last big flood in 1973, the Medjerda shifted, once again, its course, it now flows through a canal dug to evacuate the overflow of flood waters. The Medjerda is Tunisia's crucial waterway providing water to the country supply facilities, it is vital to the people living near the river. Water from the Medjerda is pivotal to the region's agriculture. A strategic river in North Africa, it was fought over and settled many times in history by the Berbers, Punics, Vandals, Byzantines and the Ottomans. Several major cities, such as Utica and Tunis were founded on or in close proximity to it; the former ports of Utica and Ghar el-Melh were, however closed off from the sea due to the silting of their harbors. Sidi Salem Dam
Carthage was a Phoenician state that included, during the 7th–3rd centuries BC, its wider sphere of influence known as the Carthaginian Empire. The empire extended over much of the coast of Northwest Africa as well as encompassing substantial parts of coastal Iberia and the islands of the western Mediterranean Sea. Phoenicians founded Carthage in 814 BC. A dependency of the Phoenician state of Tyre, Carthage gained independence around 650 BC and established its political hegemony over other Phoenician settlements throughout the western Mediterranean, this lasting until the end of the 3rd century BC. At the height of the city's prominence, it served as a major hub of trade, with trading stations extending throughout the region. For much of its history, Carthage was on hostile terms with the Greeks in Sicily and with the Roman Republic; the city had to deal with hostile Berbers, the indigenous inhabitants of the area where Carthage was built. In 146 BC, after the third and final Punic War, Roman forces destroyed Carthage redesigned and occupied the site of the city.
Nearly all of the other Phoenician city-states and former Carthaginian dependencies subsequently fell into Roman hands. According to Roman sources, Phoenician colonists from modern-day Lebanon, led by Dido, founded Carthage circa 814 BC. Queen Elissa was an exiled princess of the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre. At its peak, the metropolis she founded, came to be called the "shining city", ruling 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean Sea and leading the Phoenician world. Elissa's brother, Pygmalion of Tyre, had murdered the high priest. Elissa escaped the tyranny of her own country, founding the "new city" of Carthage and subsequently its dominions. Details of her life are sketchy and confusing, but the following can be deduced from various sources. According to Justin, Princess Elissa was the daughter of King Belus II of Tyre; when he died, the throne was jointly bequeathed to her brother and her. She married her uncle Acerbas known as Sychaeus, the High Priest of Melqart, a man with both authority and wealth comparable to the king.
This led to increased rivalry between the monarchy. Pygmalion was a tyrant, lover of both gold and intrigue, who desired the authority and fortune enjoyed by Acerbas. Pygmalion assassinated Acerbas in the temple and kept the misdeed concealed from his sister for a long time, deceiving her with lies about her husband's death. At the same time, the people of Tyre called for a single sovereign. In the Roman epic of Virgil, the Aeneid, Queen Dido, the Greek name for Elissa, is first introduced as a esteemed character. In just seven years, since their exodus from Tyre, the Carthaginians have rebuilt a successful kingdom under her rule, her subjects present her with a festival of praise. Her character is perceived by Virgil as more noble when she offers asylum to Aeneas and his men, who had escaped from Troy. A spirit in the form of the messenger god, sent by Jupiter, reminds Aeneas that his mission is not to stay in Carthage with his new-found love, but to sail to Italy to found Rome. Virgil ends his legend of Dido with the story that, when Aeneas tells Dido, her heart broken, she orders a pyre to be built where she falls upon Aeneas' sword.
As she lay dying, she predicted eternal strife between Aeneas' people and her own: "rise up from my bones, avenging spirit" she says, an invocation of Hannibal. Aeneas goes on to found the Roman Kingdom; the details of Virgil's story do not, form part of the original legend and are significant as an indication of Rome's attitude towards the city she had founded, exemplified by Cato the Elder's much-repeated utterance, "Carthago delenda est", "Carthage must be destroyed". The Phoenicians established numerous colonial cities along the coasts of the Mediterranean to provide safe harbors for their merchant fleets, to maintain a Phoenician monopoly on an area's natural resources, to conduct trade free of outside interference, they were motivated to found these cities by a desire to satisfy the demand for trade goods or to escape the necessity of paying tribute to the succession of empires that ruled Tyre and Byblos, by fear of complete Greek colonization of that part of the Mediterranean suitable for commerce.
The Phoenicians lacked the population or necessity to establish large self-sustaining cities abroad, most of their colonial cities had fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, but Carthage and a few others developed larger populations. Although Strabo's claim that the Tyrians founded three hundred colonies along the west African coast is exaggerated, colonies were established in Tunisia, Algeria, to a much lesser extent, on the arid coast of Libya; the Phoenicians were active in Cyprus, Corsica, the Balearic Islands and Sicily, as well as on the European mainland at present-day Genoa in Italy and Marseille in present-day France. The settlements at Crete and Sicily were in perpetual conflict with the Greeks, but the Phoenicians managed to control all of Sicily for a limited time; the entire area came under the leadership and protection of Carthage, which in turn dispatched its own colonists to found new cities or to reinforce those that declined with the loss of primacy of Tyre and Sidon. The first colonies were settled on the two paths to Iberia's mineral wealth — along the Northwest African coast and on Sicily and the Ba
Siege of Lilybaeum (250 BC)
The Siege of Lilybaeum was a battle of the First Punic War that pitted a Roman Consular army led by Gaius Atilius Regulus Serranus and Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus against a Carthaginian army under the command of the general Himilcon. The battle resulted in a Roman retreat from the siege after the destruction of their fleet at Drepana. After their victory at the Battle of Panormus of the previous year, the Roman Senate decided to raise an army to decisively put an end to the fighting in Sicily. To this end, a new fleet was commissioned to be made up of 240 ships; the two consuls that year were sent to Sicily at the head of four legions. The Roman forces were made up of up to 100,000 men, including the crews of galleys and the auxiliary troops that accompanied the legions. Caius Atilius Regulus Serranus and Lucius Manlius Vulso Longus both had significant military experience having both served as consuls; the Romans arrived at Lilybaeum and began their siege of the city, building siege works around the city including rams, trenches and siege towers.
They further attempted to mine underneath the city walls and to block the city's port with their fleet. The Carthaginian force was up to this point, based exclusively on a force of 10,000 mercenaries inside the city. Carthage had relied on mercenary armies and did not maintain its own standing army. According to the historian Polybius, many of the mercenary captains gathered together and decided to desert to the Roman side after fears were raised that they did not stand a chance against the Romans; the Carthaginian command gained knowledge of this plot and the traitors were not allowed to return to the city once they entered the Roman camp. The loyalty of the remaining mercenaries was thereafter not in question and the city was shortly thereafter reinforced by fresh troops from Carthage; the fleet that brought these reinforcements sailed to the Carthaginian base at modern day Trapani and were able to run the Roman blockade of Lilybaeum to bring supplies to the town. After a storm destroyed the Roman defensive works protecting their siege craft, the Carthaginians came out of the city on sorties and set most of the Roman siege weapons on fire, destroying them.
This damage could have been repaired with time. The following year and non battle tested consuls arrived at the siege with reinforcements; the senior consul, Publius Claudius Pulcher, decided to launch an attack against the Carthaginian fleet at the First Battle of Drepana which turned into the worst naval disaster for the Roman fleet in the entire war. 93 of their ships were captured by the Carthaginian navy, with a mere 30 Roman ships escaping destruction or capture. Publius Claudius Pulcher was disgraced and called back to Rome where he was fined for his incompetence. Shortly after the defeat at Drepana, another Roman fleet under the second new consul, Lucius Junius Pullus, was destroyed by the Carthaginians; the Romans attempted to reroute all trade away from the city in an effort to isolate Drepana. In response, Carthage designated Hamilcar Barca, the Carthaginian chief of Sicily in 247 BC to concentrate his forces elsewhere on the island. Attempts to take Lilybaeum by the Romans did not stop until their decisive victory at the Battle of the Aegates Islands in 241 BC.
This defeat forced Carthage to negotiate a peace on Roman terms. One of the terms that Carthage was obliged to agree to was the complete abandonment of Sicily which included Lilybaeum. Roman consul Publius Claudius Pulcher was disgraced, he received a heavy fine as a result of losing the engagement. Polybius; the Histories. The Loeb Classical Library. Translated by W. R. Paton. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Diodorus Siculus; the Library of History. The Loeb Classical Library. Translated by C. H. Oldfather. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Walbank, F. W.. A Historical Commentary on Polybius. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Freeman, E. A.. The History of Sicily. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Morrison, J. S.. Greek and Roman Oared Warships, 399-30 B. C. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Siege of Lilybaeum, 250-241 B. C
Battle of the Aegates
The Battle of the Aegates was fought off the Aegadian Islands, off the western coast of the island of Sicily on 10 March 241 BC. It was the final naval battle fought between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War; the better-trained Roman fleet defeated a hastily raised and ill-trained Punic fleet, a decisive Roman victory as Carthage sued for peace, resulting in the Peace of Lutatius leading to Carthage surrendering Sicily and some adjoining islands to Rome. The Carthaginians had gained command of the sea after their victory in the Battle of Drepanum and the Battle of Phintias in 249 BC, but they held only two cities in Sicily: Lilybaeum and Drepanum; the Carthaginian state was led by the landed aristocracy at the time, they preferred to expand across northern Africa instead of pursuing an aggressive policy in Sicily. Hanno "The Great" has been in charge of operations in Africa since 248 BC and had conquered considerable territory by 241 BC; the Carthaginian leadership thought Rome had been defeated and invested little manpower in Sicily.
Carthage at this time was feeling the logistical strain of the prolonged conflict. In addition to maintaining a fleet and soldiers in Sicily, they were fighting the Libyans and Numidians in northern Africa; as a result, Hamilcar Barca was given a small army when he took command in Sicily in 248 BC, the Carthaginian fleet was withdrawn so that, by 242 BC, Carthage had no ships to speak of in Sicily. Carthage was feeling the financial strain of the war, which had led Carthage to request a 2000 talent loan from Egypt, refused. Rome had rebuilt her fleets after losing up to 600 ships in a storm in 255 BC and another 150 ships in 253 BC; the Drepana defeat and loss of the fleet so demoralized the Romans that they waited seven years before building another fleet. The absence of Roman ships caused Carthage, thinking the Romans would not venture into the sea again, to decommission her navy, sparing the financially strained state the expense of building and repairing ships, plus training and provisioning the crews.
The years preceding the battle were quiet. Hostilities between Roman and Carthaginian forces stalled, becoming concentrated in small-scale land operations in Sicily. Hamilcar's strategic goal was to maintain a stalemate, as he had neither the resources to win the war nor the authority to peacefully settle it. Hamilcar was in command of a mercenary army composed of multiple nationalities and his ability to lead this force demonstrated his skill as a field commander, he employed combined arms tactics, as Alexander and Pyrrhus had done, his strategy was similar to the one employed by Quintus Fabius Maximus in the Second Punic War against Hannibal, the eldest son of Hamilcar Barca, in Italy during 217 BC. Hamilcar’s landing at Heirkte drew the Romans away to defend that port city and resupply point and gave Drepana some breathing room. Subsequent naval raids along the Sicilian and Italian coasts did not lead to a permanent result. Guerrilla warfare kept the Roman legions pinned down and preserved Carthage's toehold in Sicily, although Roman forces which had bypassed Hamilcar forced him to recapture Mount Eryx from Rome, so he could better defend Drepana.
While Hamilcar’s activities kept the Carthaginian flag flying in Sicily and after 20 years of war both states were financially and demographically exhausted.. Realizing they could not defeat Hamilcar on land, without a fleet, blockade Drepana and Lilybaeum, Rome decided to build a new fleet. With the state coffers exhausted, the Senate approached Rome's wealthy citizens; these Roman citizens showed their patriotism by financing the construction of one ship apiece. The result was a fleet of 200 quinqueremes, built and crewed without government expense; the Romans had copied the design of a Carthaginian ship when first they decided to build a fleet in 260 BC. The Romans modelled the new fleet on the ship commanded by Hannibal the Rhodian, who had evaded the Roman blockading ships at Lilybaeum until his fast and manoeuvrable ship was captured; the new Roman fleet was completed in 242 BC and entrusted to the consul Gaius Lutatius Catulus, assisted by the praetor Quintus Valerius Falto. Romans had learned from past misfortunes at sea and their light, manoeuvrable ships were now more resistant to adverse weather conditions, with the corvus having been abandoned.
Catulus and Falto to drilled the crews in manoeuvrers and exercises before leaving Italy, creating a fleet with crews at the peak of their fighting ability. After arriving in Sicily with 200 Quinqueremes and 700 transports, Lutatius seized the harbour of Drepana and the anchorages off Lilybaeum uncontested, as there were no Carthaginian ships to counter the Roman fleet. Lutatius built siege works around Drepana, he blockaded Lilybaeum and Drepana, to cut their access to Carthage. The intent was to cut Hamilcar Barca's communication lines with Carthage. For the rest of the year Catulus waited for the Carthaginian response; the fleet and its crew trained and drilled while the siege was conducted to remain in peak condition. The senate granted him a proconsulship for 241 BC; the Carthaginians were unprepared for Rome's actions. The garrisons of Lilybaeum and Hamilcar’s army at Eryx held fast, but without supplies from Carthage they could not hold out indefinitely. Now that Rome had seized the initiative with a battle ready fleet blockading Carthaginian holdings in Sicily, without warships the unescorted Carthaginian supply ships would fall prey to the Romans.