By 52 BC, Caesar had brought the Gauls to their knees, yet in the winter of that year, under Vercingetorix, they rose in arms against him with such fury that all seemed lost. No sooner had Caesar brought his legions together than the vanguard of the Gaulish horse bore down on him at the town of Noviodunum. Drawing up his regular cavalry in battle line, Caesar sent it to meet the Gauls. Before long his men began to waiver. At that critical moment, when all was at stake, Caesar threw his Germani into the fray-‘some four hundred horsemen he had with him from the beginning’. The Gauls, unable to withstand their onslaught, broke and fled. Caesar’s horse guard thus saved him from being trapped in certain defeat.