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Our branding, Citadel Plans, was loosely inspired by the very unique strategies used by Julius Caesar to win the Battle of Alesia in 52bc. This little-known engagement is an excellent example of resisting impulse decisions, developing a long-term strategy, and creating unusual solutions.
The event started as Caesar was leading his military campaign against the Gaul’s in what is today central France. The Gaul army had taken a position inside Alesia, a walled city on a hilltop. This move gave the Gaul's the strategic advantage.
Most leaders of the day would simply attack the walled city directly; that’s how it had always been done. Caesar resisted this impulse decision and instead did something completely unorthodox by having his troops build a 10-mile wall around Alesia, effectively surrounding the city. This trapped the Gaul’s inside and swung the strategic advantage to Caesar.
However, before the wall was finished some Gaul soldiers did manage to escape to go for help. This development created a new problem for Caesar. He knew reinforcements would soon arrive at his rear to rescue the army trapped inside Alesia, and that he would be vulnerable.
Caesar now shows his genius by doing something unthinkable. He orders a second wall built outside of the first, essentially sandwiching himself into a “circular fortress” between the trapped army inside Alesia and the reinforcements outside. This swings the strategic advantage back in his favor.
Caesar won the engagement even though he was outnumbered 5 to 1 by some estimates . This is due to his rational thought during times of duress, smart strategic planning, and innovative ideas that create new ways to solve problems. Although Aleisia is a battle we believe there are similarities to situations we face in the financial world today. We are inspired by Caesar's leadership and attempt to learn lessons from history to better serve our clients today.
Learn more about this amazing piece of history here: