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468 Battle of Cape Bon  (Battle of Carthage) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: A heavy defeat of a big Byzantine army by the Vandals of Carthage 468
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Vandalic War
Battle Type:
Naval Battle
The Battlefield Cape Bon Location:
Cape Bon, Tunisia, near the site of ancient Carthage
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  Leo I the Thracian) The Enemies
Commander: Basiliscus King Genseric
Forces: 1,113 ships, 100,000 men Unknown
Losses: 700 ships, 70,000 men
Background story: Eastern Emperor Leo I, Western Emperor Anthemius, and General Marcellinus (independent ruler of Illiricum) organized an expedition against the Vandals in Carthage, North Africa. The purpose was to punish the Vandals for the sacking of Rome in 455 and, of course, to restore Roman control in Africa.
The combined amphibious operation was one of the greatest military undertakings recorded in world history. Basiliscus, brother-in-law of Leo, sailed with the main Byzantine force directly to Carthage, while Marcellinus attacked and took Sardinia, and a third army, commanded by Heraclius of Edessa, landed on the Libyan coast east of Carthage.
The Battle:
Cape Bon
Byzantine dromon
Sardinia and Libya were already conquered by Marcellinus and Heraclius, when Basiliscus cast anchor off the Promontorium Mercurii, now Cape Bon, opposite Sicily, about forty miles from Carthage. Genseric requested Basiliscus to allow him five days to think over the conditions of a peace. During the negotiations, he gathered his ships and suddenly attacked the Roman fleet. The Vandals had filled many vessels with combustible materials. During the night, these fire-ships were propelled against the unsuspecting Roman fleet. The Byzantines tried to escape from the trap, but their maneuvers were blocked by the attack of other Vandal vessels. Basiliscus fled in the heat of the battle.
Aftermath: One of the biggest amphibious operations in world history. After the destruction of the Byzantines and the murder of Marcellinus in Sicily, Leo agreed to make peace.