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greatest (ancient) battle?





storyteller
Which battle (in ancient time) do you think is the greatest battle victory?
deanhills
This is a little difficult for me. Two stand out for me. Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, and the battle of Stalingrad during WWII. Would have been interesting if the Germans had won Stalingrad although even if they had, they would have been tripped up somewhere in Russia. Hell has no fury like Russians scorned by Germans or French trying to invade their country. Little to beat those long and harsh winters as well. The long and harsh winters are of the best "arsenals" the Russians have had in historic warfare.
storyteller
deanhills wrote:
This is a little difficult for me. Two stand out for me. Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, and the battle of Stalingrad during WWII. Would have been interesting if the Germans had won Stalingrad although even if they had, they would have been tripped up somewhere in Russia. Hell has no fury like Russians scorned by Germans or French trying to invade their country. Little to beat those long and harsh winters as well. The long and harsh winters are of the best "arsenals" the Russians have had in historic warfare.


I was hoping for battles in ancient times (or in ancient history), but whether or not it is ancient, I'll still take what I can get.

I am familiar with Waterloo, but absolutely clueless with the battle of Stalingrad. Nevertheless, I've learned something new today.

My real interests is in ancient or medieval warfare.

For ancient battle, I would have to say Hannibal's victory over the Romans in the Battle of Cannae in 216 BCE.

The amazing thing is how Hannibal was able not only drive off the Roman cavalry on both flanks, but boxed up the Roman legions and allies, on all 4 sides.

The Carthaginians had stronger cavalry, but numerically smaller in infantry number.

Romans:
80,000 infantry (unknown number of light infantry, 40,000 is made out of 8 legions)
6400 cavalry

Hannibal:
approx. 45,000 infantry (of which about 8000 of these were light infantry)
11,000 cavalry (of which the Numidians numbered 4000 light cavalry)
boinsterman
The actual battle of Thermopylae, as portrayed in the movie "300".

The Spartan king Leonidas, with 300 Spartans and 14,000 other Greeks, held off a Persian army of between 50,000 and 2.5 million men, along with an equal number of support personel, for several days. They lost only when a brigade of Persian "Immortals" used an alternate route to gain a position above the Spartans from which to rain arrows on them. Until then, the Persians sent waves of an estimated 10,000 men at a time against the Spartan line--without breaking it.

This is significant because it demonstrates the value of superior training and tactics, more than any other battle I know of, and has done much to inspire military officers everywhere since. Also, and perhaps because of it, all modern martial arts are in fact descended from Spartan training, known as "prajna". The Greeks brought it to the near east, and it spread in another form to China. Some attack forms such as front kicks remain exactly the same as practiced then, as depicted in pottery from that period.

Edit: The pottery I refer to is from aincient Sparta, not China, which that last sentence might interpreted to mean.
KurtAlden
I think the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest is well worth considering as an epic battle. Three entire Roman legions plus auxiliaries totaling around 20,000 men were wiped out by Germanic tribesmen totalling around half that number in a series of battles. Though the numbers were small compared to other battles the impact was massive, the loss of a Roman legion was literally unheard of, let alone 3 at once, it send shockwaves through Rome. It effectively ended Roman expansion into Northern Europe and the 3 defeated legions were never re-formed so great was the shame
fwagers15
The Battle of Marathon stands out as a vital one. It was essentially the turning point of the Greco-Persian wars, where Greece really stood their ground and fended off the invading Persians without the assistance of Sparta.
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