Gallic Wars
Battle of Vingeanne
52 BCE Jul 1

Battle of Vingeanne

Vingeanne, France

In July 52 BC the Roman general Julius Caesar fought an important battle of the Gallic Wars against a coalition of Gauls led by Vercingetorix. Caesar responded to an attack against Gallia Narbonensis by leading his forces east through Lingones territory towards Sequani territory, probably marching down the Vingeanne valley. He had recently recruited (or hired) German cavalry, and they would prove decisive.

The Gallic army held a very strong position guarded by high slopes, easy to defend. It was protected by the Vingeanne on the right, and the Badin, a small tributary of the Vingeanne, on its front. In the space between these two streams and the road from Dijon to Langres was an area 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) across, slightly uneven in some parts, almost flat everywhere else, mainly between the Vingeanne and the hillock of Montsuageon. Near the road, and to the west, rise hills which dominated the ground, as well as the whole country, up to the Badin and the Vingeanne.

The Gauls thought the Romans were retreating towards Italy and decided to attack. One group of Gallic cavalry blocked the Roman advance while two groups of cavalry harried the Roman's flanks. After hard fighting, the German cavalry broke the Gallic cavalry on the right and chased them back to the main Gallic infantry force. The remaining Gallic cavalry fled, and Vercingetorix was forced to retreat to Alesia, where he was besieged by the Romans.