Julius Caesar’s victory over Pompey at the battle of Pharsalus in central Greece in 48BC showed great generalship. Pompey came to the battle with over 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry, compared to Caesar’s greatly outnumbered 20,000 infantry and just 1,000 cavalry.

Noticing that Pompey seemed to be massing his cavalry on the left, he suspected a flanking operation. As such, he removed a cohort from each of his Legions and hid them in the rear. Sure enough, Pompey attacked and broke the flank. But then, as Caesar’s infantry prevailed in the centre, Pompey’s cavalry was brought to a halt by the surprise reserve force. Pompey lost thousands to Caesar’s 230 casualties.

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