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Largest Battles In History

Battle of Salsu

Goguryeo was a kingdom that ruled across the north and center of the Korean peninsula. Its territory extended into Manchuria, encroaching on Sui Dynasty territory. The Sui forces vastly outnumbered the Goguryeo. General Mondeok carried out a strategy. The goal was to repel Sui forces before retreating to the Salsu River, where the Goguryeo had set a trap. The river had been blocked, allowing the Sui to join the shallow water. When they did, the Goguryeo breached the dam and drowned a large number of Sui men. The remainder were readily vanquished. 1)

Battle of Wuhan

Beginning in 1931, Japan conquered Chinese territory. The Chinese made repeated attempts to free themselves. The Japanese Imperial Army invaded farther into China in 1937 in order to suppress Chinese nationalism. Wuhan, China's second-largest city at the time, was crucial to the uprising. Through air supremacy, Japan scored a decisive victory, killing or capturing the majority of Chinese ships and aircraft. Their ground troops, on the other hand, were mostly intact, although the Japanese army suffered significant losses. The Chinese army was then able to contribute to Japan's defeat in World War II. 2)

Battle of Kiev

The Battle of Kiev was one of the USSR's worst defeats of the war. Soviet forces were stationed near Kiev on the Southwestern front. The troops stationed at the front were crucial to German forces, but they were concentrated on pushing towards Moscow. When Hitler discovered that the Soviet troops in Kiev were in trouble, he shifted his forces from Moscow to Kiev. The German forces surrounded the Soviet troops, cutting off supplies and reinforcements. Thousands of Kiev citizens were killed in bombing raids. 3)

Battle of Normandy

Most people know this conflict as D-Day, which is commemorated every year on June 6. In 1940, France surrendered to Germany. By 1943, the United States had entered the war. The Allies were preparing to launch an invasion of Nazi-occupied territory. They started the operation by targeting German airfields and manufacturing facilities. Later, amphibious craft assisted by fighter planes and naval guns landed on the beaches of Normandy. Within two months, the majority of the German soldiers had been captured or murdered. 4)

Battle of Changping

This clash is regarded as the decisive war that resulted in the unification of all Chinese states. Zhao was one of the most powerful nations still fighting against Qin, which controlled much of western China. All other competitors had been defeated by the Qin. In terms of military strength, there wasn't much of a difference between the two. The Qin general, on the other hand, duped Zhao into a trap, separating their soldiers into two controllable divisions. Zhao surrendered after 46 days. 5)

Battle of Verdun

Throughout the history of France, the city of Verdun has served as a significant military bastion. It is located on the Meuse River and is flanked by several forts and a citadel. The German army believed it could conquer the Meuse Heights, a high elevation from which to launch an artillery attack on the city. 6)

Somme Offensive

The Allied forces (British and French) had already decided to strike German fortifications on the River Somme when the German army launched its offensive on Verdun. As a result, while defending their positions at Verdun, the French were unable to deploy the promised men to the offensive. As a result, the British troops were overrun on the first day. They lost a little over 57,000 men. 7)

Battle of Berlin

This was a pivotal fight in the European war against Nazi Germany. It led to the collapse of Berlin and the suicides of Adolf Hitler and members of his staff. Hitler had ordered troops to hold out against Soviet forces in Hungary earlier in the year. German ground forces were weakened as a result of the attempt. The Soviets would launch a land attack on Berlin, while the Allies would contribute some air power. 8)

Battle of Stalingrad

This was the largest fight of World War II and the largest combat in history. The conflict involved about 2.2 million troops from both sides, with about half of them dying (there were significant civilian casualties in the battle). Stalingrad was a major industrial center in the construction of armaments and transportation down the Volga River. On its banks, the city was established. Germany thought it was critical to conquer the city. Their attack began with air attacks and progressed to the ground. 9)

Battle of Marathon

On September 12, the two armies faced each other. The Greeks were waiting behind entanglements made of olive tree trunks when, during the night, they received information from Ionian fugitives from the Persian army forcibly conscripted into the enemy forces. These gave the news of the lack of horsemen in the Persian camp. Upon this news, Miltiades picked up the sleeping soldiers and launched an assault on the enemy by reforming the formation so that the wings were twice as strong as the center. By attacking, the Athenians made it significantly more difficult for the enemies to use their most dangerous weapon - the bows, by attacking from the side from which the distance they had to travel under fire was minimal (about 8 stadia or 1,500 meters). The Greeks struck hardest on the wings, and there they immediately successfully left the center of their forces behind, bound the enemy with fighting, formed a semicircle, and flanked Darius' troops. The Persians, caught in the clutches of the attackers, seeing the advantage of the Greeks, began to retreat towards their own ships. The Persian army retreated, leaving 6400 dead on the battlefield at Marathon, while the Greeks lost only 192 men. It was then that Philippides was sent to Athens to announce the Greek victory. He ran a distance of about 40 km to convey the news of the Greek victory. He also relayed the news of the approaching Persian army and, according to legend, died of exhaustion. A few days later, the Spartans appeared on the battlefield, who, having counted the dead, congratulated the victors and returned, having found no more enemies. 10)

Battle in the Teutoburg Forest

Varus' forces consisted of three legions, six cohorts of foreign auxiliary troops, and three cavalry units. These units did not have sufficient combat experience in fighting the Germans in very specific terrain conditions (a densely forested mountainous area crisscrossed by ravines). In addition, as a result of Varus' mistakes, the Roman units did not march in battle formation, being burdened with rolling stock and numerous camp personnel. When the Romans entered the wilderness (probably just north of Osnabrück), they were forced to move along a narrow and muddy path. As Cassius Dion writes, Varus neglected to send groups of scouts even in this situation. The line of very fast marching troops stretched very dangerously to about 15 kilometers. Then they were suddenly attacked by Germanic warriors, but the Romans managed to break their fortified camp for the night and the next morning break out of their encirclement into more open terrain in the region of the Wiehn mountains (near modern Ostercappeln). Due to very heavy rains, however, the heavy-armed legionaries had their mobility severely hampered and their use of bows and shields limited. The Romans then undertook a night march to slip out of the encirclement, but fell into another trap prepared by Arminius at the foot of the Kalkriese hill (near present-day Osnabrück). Along the road, where the ambush was set up, an earth and stone wall was erected, from behind which the Germans were able to safely raze their opponents. The Romans, in desperation, tried to make a frontal attack on the wall but were unable to force it through. The Germans' final attack wrought annihilation: during the fighting, which lasted three days and two nights, three Roman legions fell. Of the approximately 20,000 legionaries and several thousand men of auxiliary services and accompanying civilians, only a dozen or so soldiers who managed to escape through the marshes survived, and several hundred were taken, prisoner. A desperate Varus, unable to break through towards the Rhine, committed suicide with his officers. 11)

Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings was a decisive clash fought on October 14, 1066, during the Norman invasion of England between Norman troops led by William the Conqueror and the Anglo-Saxon common and guard forces commanded by King Harold II. Since it resulted in the invaders from the European continent overrunning the entire country, the Battle of Hastings is considered one of the decisive battles in the history of the world. 12)

The Battle of Königgrätz

The battle began with an attack from the west, across the current of the Bystrzyca River (a tributary of the Elbe), by Prussian troops from the 1st Army and the Elbe Army (a total of about 140,000 soldiers). Due to poorly issued orders, the Prussian 2nd Army (about 115,000 soldiers), marching from the north, was significantly delayed, and for most of the time, the Austrian Northern Army (about 260,000 soldiers) had a significant numerical advantage over the Prussian 1st Army and Elbe Army. An additional advantage for the Austrians was artillery support, which inflicted heavy losses on the Prussians. Due to the poor quality of Austrian command, the Austrian brigades assembled at Hradec Králové were not brought into the battle in time. When they finally emerged, counterattacking on the left flank of the Prussian 1st Army, the Prussian 2nd Army came from the north and hit the exposed flank. A bypass of the Austrians' left flank also took place in the south. Under these conditions, most of the units of the Austrian Northern Army disintegrated. Masses of refugees, abandoning their equipment, headed east and southeast, beyond the Elbe line. In an attempt to stop the Prussians from pursuing the disintegrating Austrian troops, a bloody charge took place at Stresetice - executed by the Austrian 3rd reserve cavalry division (heavy cavalry). One heavy brigade (6 squadrons) headed for Rozberic after pushing back 2 squadrons of Prussian lancers came under massive fire and was decimated. Witnesses described how the cavalrymen collapsed in whole rows from Prussian salvos. The remnants of the brigade turned back to the rear in panic, trashing an Austrian field hospital. Another brigade sent to Problus suffered a similar fate. The commander of the 3rd Cavalry Division, Count Coudenhove (a very conservative cavalryman), directed another brigade against a line of 50 Prussian guns near Stresetic. Fire from these guns and infantry knocked out 400 cavalrymen from this brigade. A panicked retreat scattered the last of Colonel Abele's compact Austrian infantry brigade on the left wing. In a thirty-minute charge, Count Coudenhove lost 700 men and 900 horses, 1/4th of his state. The Austrians suffered a severe defeat, but the Prussians, exhausted after the battle, were no longer able to pursue the enemy. 13)

Battle of Saratoga

In the summer of 1777, the British army, consisting of about 10,000 men under the command of General John Burgoyne, attacked from Canada southward to capture the city of Albany on the Hudson River in upstate New York, with the aim of capturing the river valley and cutting the American colonies in half. The Americans (General Horatio Gates) were unable to stop the march of the strong British army in open battle. Instead, they used very effective delaying tactics, destroying bridges and setting up ambushes, which slowed the British army's march to a few kilometers per day. A monument commemorating the American victory was erected at the site where the British army's surrender act was signed The British army was eventually cornered by regular American troops numbering about 15,000 near the town of Saratoga. British attempts to break out of the trap through a series of attacks between September 17 and October 8 failed. The exhausted British army surrendered to the overwhelming American forces on October 17, 1777. 14)

Battle of Poitiers

The battle occurred after about a week of minor skirmishes and mutual observation by both sides. The battlefield lay in an unspecified place between Poitiers and Tours, probably near Cenon-sur-Vienne. The Arab forces probably numbered several thousand warriors, mostly light cavalry. They were probably arranged in several lines, with a camp in their rear. The Franks may have had a numerical advantage over their opponent. As it seems, they had about equal numbers of infantry and cavalry (armed heavier than the Arab cavalry). Charles decided to adopt a defensive battle, hoping to wring out the enemy in subsequent attacks on his position. There is no certainty about the formation his army adopted. Newer historical studies state that the majordomo hurried at least some of his horsemen and, together with his infantrymen, formed a dense phalanx on one of the hills[3]. According to older works, the formation of the Franks looked as follows: in the center stood the infantry, formed into several wedges, separated by small gaps. In front of them stood archers and slingers. On both wings, the cavalry was positioned, with Prince Odo commanding on the right flank. Initially, neither side started fighting. Eventually, the Arabs began to attack the Frankish position. Successive charges broke down each time. Abd ar-Rahman's light cavalry was not able to strike so strongly as to break the enemy's formation. Repeated attacks brought more and more losses. The battle turned out to be very bloody, and the Franks defended themselves fiercely until nightfall. During this time Odo managed to occupy the Arab left wing from the side and forced it to retreat. Soon the rest of Abd ar-Rahman's troops retreated to camp. Perhaps this was due to battle fatigue and discouragement. News quickly spread in the camp of the death of the commander - he was probably killed in one of the charges against the Franks' position. The soldiers were overwhelmed by panic and fled the camp under cover of darkness, heading south. According to some Muslim sources, Adb ar-Rahaman managed to withdraw his troops to Narbonne and was killed there by his sub-commanders. 15)

Battle of Poltava

The Battle of Poltava was an armed clash that took place on July 8, 1709, during the Great Northern War, fought at Poltava in Left Bank Ukraine between the troops of Swedish King Charles XII and the Russian army of Tsar Peter the Great. As a result of the battle, the Swedish army was shattered. 16)

Battle on the Catalaunian Fields

Aetius, a commander, and politician put into practice the Roman principle of “divide and rule” (divide et impera). Above all, he managed to win over the Visigoths, who hated the Ostrogoths; the Salic Franks, who were reluctant to take revenge for the plundering of their lands; the Burgundians, who wanted revenge for the plundering of their lands; and a number of smaller allies, including Sangiban's Alans, who were still on the side of the Huns at Orléans. In the first line, in the middle of the Roman army, Sangiban fought. Attila noticed him and launched an attack on him. Aetius did not move his retreats, thus getting rid of an inconvenient ally. Sangiban was killed, while the center of the Roman army was weakening. At the same time, the Ostrogoths fought the Visigoths on Attila's right wing. The Visigoths began to retreat, followed by the Ostrogoths moving away from Attila. However, the retreat of the Visigoths was a sham. The Ostrogoths were drawn away from the main force and then Theoderic's heavy cavalry appeared on their flank. The battle was very fierce and bloody. Roman historians speak of one hundred and seventy thousand dead (this number is most likely exaggerated). This does not change the fact that it was one of the greatest battles of antiquity. The charge of Theoderic saved the Romans. The Huns, having no way to defend themselves, retreated in panic. Despite the victory, Aetius allowed the Huns to retreat. He did not destroy them, although he had the opportunity to do so. During the victorious attack, Theoderic was killed. According to one version, he fell from his horse; another says he was stabbed with a javelin by Andag, one of the Ostrogoth chiefs. In practice, thanks to Theoderic, Aetius won the battle and prevented Attila's march on Rome. 17)

Battle of Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo was an armed clash that occurred on June 18, 1815, and was Napoleon Bonaparte's last battle. The former Emperor of the French returned unexpectedly from exile in Elba and took over the reign for a period of 100 days. In a short period of time, he assembled an army of more than 100,000, with which he moved towards Brussels, where the still unresolved armies of the Sixth Coalition - Wellington's English and Blücher's Prussian - stood. After two victorious clashes on June 16 at Quatre Bras and Ligny, Napoleon came face to face with Wellington at Waterloo. The initially victorious battle turned into a defeat after the arrival of Blücher's army, and the French army ceased to exist. Napoleon had to abdicate again on June 22. The battle, one of the most important battles in the history of the world, laid the foundation for the new order that, based on the provisions of the Congress of Vienna, was to reign in Europe throughout the next century. 18)

largest_battles_in_history.txt · Last modified: 2022/10/07 02:48 by aga