The alpine invasion of Italy was a military operation that would shake the Mediterranean World of 218 BC with repercussions for more than two decades. It was a world war in the sense that it involved about three-quarters of the population of the entire Punic-Greco-Roman world and few people living in the Mediterranean were able to escape it. Virtually every family in Rome lost a member or members in the swath of destruction brought down on them by Hannibal and his Carthaginian armies.
The task was daunting to say the least. It involved the mobilization of between 60,000 and 100,000 troops including Iberian and Celtic tribesmen and the training of a war-elephant corps, all of which had to be provisioned along the way.