(264 to 241 BC) Carthage seemed to have many significant strategic advantages at the beginning of the conflict.
Carthage Generals were both experienced and accomplished.
Carthage had a larger and wealthier territory.
- Economic Advantages.
- Carthage was the Mediterranean's largest producer of silver, mined in Iberia.
- Carthaginian trade-relations with the Iberians, and the naval might that enforced Carthage's monopoly on this trade and the Atlantic tin trade,made it the sole significant broker of tin and maker of bronze in its day.
- In addition to manufacturing, Carthage practised highly advanced and productive agriculture,using iron ploughs, irrigation,and crop rotation.
- Economic Advantages.
The Carthage Navy was both larger and more experienced than that of Rome who built their Navy for the war. The Romans territory at the beginning of the First Punic war was all connected on the Italian peninsula so Rome didn't require a significant Navy at the time, while the Carthage territory was distributed around the Mediteranian did require sailors for both trade and defense.
Carthage had the large Army.
Meanwhile, Carthage had begun to build a mercenary army in Africa, which was to be shipped to Sicily to meet the Romans. According to the historian Philinus, this army was composed of 50,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and 60 elephants and partly composed of Ligurians, Celts and Iberians.
- Sicily, a major front for the war favored the use of the Navy which was a Carthage strength.
- Carthage had heavily fortified and defended towns on Sicily a major front in the war. These towns were used as both refuges and supply depots during the conflict.
Example of the Effectiveness of War Elephants, in the First Punic War battle of Bagradas the Carthaginians under the command of Xanthippus used a line of 100 war elephants to help destroy the Romans. The War Elephants were the vanguard, engaged first and tied down the bulk of the Roman infantry in the center.
What were Rome's strategic advantages, and more importantly how did they marshal these strategies to win a war fought around the Mediterranean against an entrenched superior sea and economic power?
Again I'm looking for the strategies Rome employed not just the tactics.