|533||Battle of Ad Decimum (Decium)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Outcome:||Byzantine victory against the Vandals and capture of Carthage||13 September 533|
|War & Enemy:||
|The Battlefield|| Location:
Near ancient Carthage in modern Tunisia
| Modern Country:
|The Byzantines(emperor: Justinian I)||The Enemies|
|Commander:||General Belisarius||King Gelimer|
|Forces:||15000 men, 92 warships||11,000|
|Background story:|| The first of the western states that Justinian attacked was the Vandal kingdom of North Africa. King Hilderic, who had good relations with Justinian and the North African Christian clergy, had been overthrown by his cousin Gelimer in 530. Imprisoned, the deposed king appealed to Justinian.
In 533, Belisarius with a fleet of 92 dromons escorting 500 transports, landed in Tunisia with an army of about 15,000 men, as well as a number of barbarian troops, mainly Huns.
Gelimer, with 11,000 men under his command, had advance warning of the approach of Belisarius' 15,000-man army and chose to take a strong position along the road to Carthage near the 10th mile post marker ("Ad Decimum"). He divided his forces, sending 2,000 men under his nephew Gibamund across a salt pan in an effort to flank enemy's army, which was advancing in narrow columns along the road. Another Vandal force, under Gelimer's brother Ammatas, was assigned to block the road near Ad Decimum.
Both Gibamund and Ammatas failed to accomplish their missions and were killed. Gelimer's main force, however, inflicted serious casualties on Belisarius's troops along the main road. Belisarius's mercenary cavalry was routed by the Vandals, and even though Gelimer was outnumbered, his men were performing well in the fighting, until Gelimer heard of his brother’ s death and decided to bury him.
Belisarius was able to regroup his forces south of Ad Decimum and launch a counterattack, which drove the Vandals back and soon routed them. Gelimer was forced to abandon Carthage.
|Aftermath:||After loosing Carthage, Gelimer fled in Numidia where he waited for his brother, Tzazo, who was campaigning in Sardinia. When the two brothers joined forces, they marched to Carthage.|