During the Second Punic War, Rome was threatened by the relentless attacks by Carthage’s Hannibal who led a brilliant campaign, far from his home of Carthage in North Africa, across the Iberian Peninsula to bleed the young empire dry over several years. Hoping to destroy his lines of supply, a young general by the name of Scipio Africanus led a force into what is now present-day Spain, leading a successful series of battles behind his lines to sever the arteries feeding his armies. In the Battle of Ilipa, in 206 BC, Scipio was confronted by Carthaginian forces mustered together to reclaim what he had taken from them. According to certain figures, his army of 48,000 faced down an army made up of 54,500 which included a number of fearsome war elephants. In their first few confrontations, Scipio placed his best soldiers at the center of his formation with his allies on the flanks, convincing the Carthaginians to focus their best strength in the center with their weaker forces along their own flanks.