Hamilcar Barca invades Egypt instead of Iberia?

As it says on the tin folks, had Hamilcar turned East instead of West in 236BC what are the potential outcomes of a Barca/Carthaginian Egypt? Or is it more likely the Carthaginians secure an early demise and an earlier 2nd Punic War?
 
Hamilcar gets his men slaughtered as they try to land on the swampy beaches against the organized, well-equip army of the Egyptains rather than slowly expanding influence against more disorganized Iberian tribesmen and petty kings from secure coastal power centers.
 
Hamilcar gets his men slaughtered as they try to land on the swampy beaches against the organized, well-equip army of the Egyptains rather than slowly expanding influence against more disorganized Iberian tribesmen and petty kings from secure coastal power centers.
The landing isn't likely to be opposed, for the simple reason that fleets move faster than armies and can get to an open beach and disembark before the Egyptians would be able to form up to oppose them. Tactically, the Carthaginians' more flexible infantry could have an advantage against the Egyptian pike phalanx.

That said, I think Cyrenacia would be a preliminary conquest and base for further attacks on Egypt. It's further from the core of Egyptian territory, so Hamilcar's force would have a chance of better establishing itself before the main clash. Moreover, the Seleukids had just lost important territories in Syria to the Egyptians; there would be a strong possibility of them drawing off substantial Egyptian forces if Hamilcar made the appropriate overtures.
 
As it says on the tin folks, had Hamilcar turned East instead of West in 236BC what are the potential outcomes of a Barca/Carthaginian Egypt?
Well, what would be the reasons?
Iberia was kinda the European Peru since centuries at this point : a land famed for its wealth especially in precious metals, and was a focus of Phoenician traders approximately since then. Barcids were focused on conquering this, because it was a relatively easy and immediate ressources pool to both repay Rome, compensate for the heavily loss of Sicily, and make a big pile of cash. Diverting Carthaginian's attention from the peninsula would require much : maybe a deeper Lagid/Roman agreement than IOTL (Ptolemies tended to favour, mostly morally IOTL, Rome in the First Punic War) but critically something preventing them to do a number on Iberians. It's possily, then, less about Hamilcar turning East, than Hamilcar suffering (for some reasons) an humiliating defeat followed by death on battlefield or death by crucifixion (the traditional fate of defeated Carthaginian generals).

As @dandan_noodles well said : the focus would be Cyrenaica. It wouldn't be this far-fetched to see a renew of its autonomy/semi-independence within Lagid Egypt, and his governor/sub-king pulling an Ophalas. A Carthaginian counter-attack could end up with a full-fledged commercial/military war with Ptolemies.

Or is it more likely the Carthaginians secure an early demise and an earlier 2nd Punic War?
This war against Ptolemies would likely include, eventually, Romans and the Second Punic War being only one theater of the Carthaginian/Ptolemaic war, IMO.
 
As @dandan_noodles well said : the focus would be Cyrenaica. It wouldn't be this far-fetched to see a renew of its autonomy/semi-independence within Lagid Egypt, and his governor/sub-king pulling an Ophalas. A Carthaginian counter-attack could end up with a full-fledged commercial/military war with Ptolemies.
Would the terrain permit the Carthaginians and Egyptians to dispatch armies to Cyrenacia by land, or would they have to come by sea? Nowadays the area outside the former pentopolis region seems fairly inhospitable, but I remember reading that in ancient times the desertification was not so advanced.
 
Would the terrain permit the Carthaginians and Egyptians to dispatch armies to Cyrenacia by land, or would they have to come by sea? Nowadays the area outside the former pentopolis region seems fairly inhospitable, but I remember reading that in ancient times the desertification was not so advanced.
It was doable to have armies crossing the Libyan coast, while not entirely safe : Ophellas' armies suffered significant hardship taking the coastal way. I think Carthaginian navy would be more than able to support logistically the campaigning army, and possibly having generals pulling another army, this time coming by sea.
That said, I think the fights would happen either in Africa, either in Egypt but not in Libya except between allied tribes, due to the same climatic and ground obstacles.
 
Why would he? Carthage already has plenty of grain--Egypt's primary natural resource--and gains much more from trading Iberia's metals than Egypt's wheat. Furthermore, while it might well be possible for Hamilcar and Hannibal to defeat the Ptolemies and the pike phalanx, the knowledge that they will be fighting a disciplined army means that there is a much greater risk involved in attacking...especially if the Egyptian navy (possibly in coordination with the Romans) could threaten the Carthaginian logistics in Cyrenacia. And, of course, Rome will take much of Spain in the interim.

Yet it would be rather interesting if he chose to & managed to do so. I think it rather likely that he allies with the Seleukids to crush Egypt from both sides, with the Carthaginians taking Cyrenacia and at minimum establishing suzerainity over Egypt proper while the Seleukids gain full control of the Levant and a free hand in Arabia. If this alliance holds up, Rome will have the unenviable task of taking on both the Seleukids and Carthaginians. If that alliance breaks apart (which to me seems far more likely), Rome can ally with the Seleukids against an overextended Carthage. The ramifications of this would be enormous; the Seleukids and Romans would come into contact much earlier and who knows where that would end up. Overall, I'd imagine that Rome leaves Asia alone much more than OTL and focuses its expansion northward much earlier, but it's rather hard to predict how any of the nebulous and fast-changing alliances of the era would end up playing out.
 
So to get this straight. Hamilcar instead of invading on his own Iberia, invades instead the Egypt of Ptolemy III Euergetes. Same one that just 5 years prior had marched his army all the way to Babylon during the 3rd Syrian war and ended said war annexing the whole coast of Syria including the Seleucids capital port. And accidentally sports the largest fleet in the Mediterranean. (Granted this did not stop Antigonus from defeating it off Andros)

Somehow I don't think this ends out very well for Hamilcar when Ptolemy shows up with 200-300 ships and 75,000 men to take care of the problem...
 
The landing isn't likely to be opposed, for the simple reason that fleets move faster than armies and can get to an open beach and disembark before the Egyptians would be able to form up to oppose them. Tactically, the Carthaginians' more flexible infantry could have an advantage against the Egyptian pike phalanx.

That said, I think Cyrenacia would be a preliminary conquest and base for further attacks on Egypt. It's further from the core of Egyptian territory, so Hamilcar's force would have a chance of better establishing itself before the main clash. Moreover, the Seleukids had just lost important territories in Syria to the Egyptians; there would be a strong possibility of them drawing off substantial Egyptian forces if Hamilcar made the appropriate overtures.
You say that as though a large invasion fleet and army can be organized in the region's main trade hub (which includes putting out a large number of mercenary contracts) without word getting to Egypt. Second, you can't just draw up on any old beach and sustain a major campaign from there; there needs to be a substantial amount of nearby food to forage in order to sustain a large army, and Egypt's good agricultural territory is highly compact around the Nile (Which also facilitates Egypt's ability to launch a concentrated counterattack against Hamilcar's coastal foothold). The Delta is really the only base from which an army of the required size to have a prayer of beating the Egyptians could try to sustain itself, where they run the risk of illness (As the Crusaders would learn in a little over a millennium) and moving inland runs the risk of the Egyptians utilizing the Nile flooding and the systems they use to control it.
 
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