Battle of the Catalaunian Fields 451 CE

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Map Code: Ax00395

This battle is commonly marked as a double watershed, signalling the demise of the Hunnish Empire and the last significant military victory of the Western Roman Empire. In fact, Attila, the Hunnish king, was still capable of invading Italy and marching on Rome the following year. It is without doubt, though, that the massive casualties inflicted in the battle substantially undermined the longer-term military capacity of both sides. In the battle, Attila launched his crack Hunnish forces at the Romans and their allies in the centre of the enemy army. Anticipating this, Aetius, the Roman commander, had placed the Alans, natives of the area, in the centre, leaving his elite troops, the Visigoths, on one wing, with Romans and Franks on the other, where they counterattacked against the weaker Hunnish flanks. Attila was driven back and briefly surrounded in his own camp. His forces finally decamped, with Attila’s aura of invincibility tarnished.

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