Battle of the Strait of Messina

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Coordinates: 38°14′45″N 15°37′57″E / 38.24583°N 15.63250°E / 38.24583; 15.63250

Battle of the strait of Messina
Part of the Pyrrhic War
Date 276 BC
Location Strait of Messina
Result Carthaginian victory
Carthage Epirus
Commanders and leaders
unknown Pyrrhus of Epirus
unknown 110 ships
Casualties and losses
unknown 70 ships

The Battle of the Strait of Messina was fought on 276 BC when a Carthaginian fleet attacked the Sicilian fleet of Pyrrhus of Epirus, who was crossing the strait to Italy. Pyrrhus had left Italy for Sicily on the Autumn of 278 BC and scored several major victories against the Carthaginian armies, but Roman successes against Pyrrhus' Italian allies convinced him to return to Italy.[1][2]

While Pyrrhus was transporting his troops to Rhegium he was attacked by the Carthaginians who inflicted heavy casualties on his fleet. Pyrrhus' surviving ships, amounting to 40 warships plus the transport ships, docked at Locri where he had left his son Alexander when he opened his Sicilian campaign.[3]



  1. ^ Mommsen 2008, p. 107
  2. ^ Venning & Drinkwater 2011, p. 80
  3. ^ Cowan 2007, p. 67