Major battle of the Second Punic War betwen the army of Carthage, under command of Hannibal, and forces of the Roman Republic, under the consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro. The battle was one of the example of military genius of Hannibal, who managed to defeat much larger forces of enemy (almost 2-1 advance).
Hannibal planned the battle different from typical for the era form - usually the centre of the lines were the strongest infantry units, while the flank were weaker and covered by cavalry. Hannibal placed his weaker units in the centre and stronger on the flanks, also made use of the superiority of his cavalry over the Roman cavalry. First step was creating the crescent-like formation with centre pushed forward and flanks kept back. When Roman legions have advanced the Carthaginian cavalry managed to destroy Roman cavalry on left flank and went behind the enemy forces to attack the cavalry on the right flank.
During that time Romans have reached the Carthaginian lines, but the units setup by Hannibal to be in the middle begun their planned fall back and thus they dragged the Roman forces into trap - now the strong flanks of Carthaginian army attacked the weak flanks of Roman legions and soon the Carthaginian cavalry attacked them from behind.
It was great victory for Carthaginians - they killed between 50 and 75 thousands of the Romans (out of about 85 thousands) and took 10,000 prisoners, while losing only about 6,000 men out of 50 thousands.
Carthaginian commander Hannibal plans attack on Rome from side they did not expected - he is about to cross the Alps with his whole army.