Meanwhile, Nero had panicked and made himself impossible. In June, the Senate had recognized Galba as the new ruler of the empire, and Nero had committed suicide. Among those who did not share the almost universal rejoicing, were the soldiers of the armies of the Rhine in Germania Inferior and Superior. They thought they had done a good job by suppressing the revolt of Vindex, but now discovered that their courageous deeds were explained as an attempt to obstruct the accession of Galba. The fact that Verginius Rufus was imediately replaced (by Marcus Hordeonius Flaccus) did little to ease the discontent.
The native population made more or less the same discovery. They had prudently sided with the legions of the Rhine, but were now suspected by the emperor. For example, Galba dismissed the Batavian cavalry that guarded the emperor's life. This dishonorable discharge did little to improve the situation in the Rhineland.
In January 69, matters came to a head, when the army of Germania Inferior proclaimed their commander Aulus Aulus Vitellius emperor. Like Nero, Galba was unable to cope with a rival. He panicked, offended important senators, and incurred the wrath of the soldiers of the Praetorian guard, who lynched him on the Forum. He was succeeded by a rich senator named Marcus Salvius Otho, who inherited the war against Vitellius.
He did not long enjoy his position. His army was no match for the experienced soldiers of Vitellius, who had -moreover- received support from the legions of Germania Superior and Britannia. In April, Otho was defeated on the plains of the river Po, and committed suicide.