Originally Posted by PasLon
I think, with a reasonable time contraint, the fierciest battle would be the battle of Cannae. Im sure your all familiar with it, its where Hannible implemented this massive double envelopment, surrounded 70 thousand or so terrified Romans, and proceeded to slaughter them for a whole day. I think when men are backed into a corner, they fight hardest and fierciest. Plus the up close and personal nature of ancient warfare would have made it definitely a contender for the fiereciest fight.
Having just come off writing a term paper on the Punic wars, I think I might have something to say. Wars of this period were bloody; but generally not terribly "fierce". "Fierce" would imply a continuous swirling melee of un halted slaughter...ancient warfare did not look like that. The simple fact that both the Carthagrinian and Roman armies were heavily dependant on heavy infantry meant that both sides would only fight for short durations of time, back off, then go at it again.
In comparison, Stalingrad was fought 24 hours a day, every day, for it's entire durations. There were no pauses in the conflict; and troops would be fighting on the front for prolonged periods of time. This contrasts sharply with the battles of the Punic wars, were only a small percentage(the first ranks) of troops actually fought, and only then for small periods of time, a quarter of an hour at the most. To prove this, try pugilt(sticks with padded ends) fighting for a 3 minute bought...it's exhausting. That's with only a stick, and maybe some football/hockey gear on. The Romans and Carthaginians wore bronze and carried wooden shields(for the most part).