We live in times where battles are unheard of and we will forever be thankful for that. The truth of the matter, however, is that the peace we so enjoy now was earned with a price namely historical battles. Some of our ancestors had to fight to earn independence from other colonies or ensure they retained natural resources such as water, minerals, and crude oil within their territories. As expected the top battles in history were nasty, messy, and bloody. Millions of people lost their lives and thousands of others were left with permanent scars and wounds in their bodies. What are some of the greatest battles in history that changed the world? Here is the top list.
10. The Battle of Marathon: 490BC
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The Battle of Marathon took place in 490BC featuring Greek citizens and Persian invaders sent by King Darius 1. It makes it home to the top battles in history because despite the Greek army being outnumbered by the Persians, Greece went home with a great victory. The Persians had the motive of punishing the ancient Greeks because they supported the Ionians who were their enemies at the time. The Greeks led a forward march that scared off the Persians who ran to their navy ships leaving 6,000 of their men dead while only 200 Greeks lost their lives. This battle led to the Pleidippides apocryphal story who allegedly ran the first race from Marathon to Athens to report the Greek victory, only to die.
9. Vienna Siege: 1529
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The solid Ottoman Empire went through a decline as a result of the siege on Vienna. It is also the main reason Christianity is the dominant religion in Western and Central Europe as opposed to Islam. Suleiman II, the 10th sultan of the Empire took the frontline in one of the greatest battles in history with an army of 120,000 and an extra 200, 000 personnel on April 10, 1529. His aim was to demand the surrender of Vienna, Austria’s capital but to his surprise, Vienna’s military forces had prepared for war by fortifying their walls, preparing their artillery, and razing their dwellings and buildings.
8. Waterloo (Napoleonic wars): 1815
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You may remember the Napoleonic history battles from your history class which at the time felt like total time wastage. These wars changed European history forever. Before then, France dominated Europe under the leadership of a very notorious man known as Napoleon Bonaparte. The British and Prussian armies went up against the French armies at Waterloo, a fight that saw over 45,000 mean dead or wounded in one single day which marked the end of hundred days of the war. Before this, Napoleon had taken part in a number of other top battles in history hoping he would reclaim Europe. He was captured after Waterloo and peace returned to Europe at last!
7. The Battle of Britain (World War II): 1940
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The end of June 1940 saw one of the greatest battles in history when the Royal Air Force (RAF) defending the United Kingdom went up against the German Air Force (GAF). This battle is considered in history as the first big campaign fought by air forces. The Nazi German forces initiated this battle to compel the Britons to agree to a peace settlement between Germany and Britain.
6. The Battle of Trafalgar: 1805
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During the Napoleonic wars, one of the memorable historical battles called the Battle of Trafalgar took place on October 21, 1805, off the Cadiz Coast. The British Royal Navy fought against Spanish Navy and French Navy combined forces leaving a huge number of British forces dead. Albeit the losses, Admiral Horatio Nelson remains to be Britain’s naval hero even though he died in battle because he managed to thwart Napoleon’s invasion of England.
5. Battle of Hastings: 1066
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By now you realize the participation of England in the greatest battles in history. This particular one ensued when the Norman invader William (the Conqueror) fought and killed King Harold II at Senlac Hill, a region located near Hastings in England. William killed the king because according to him, the former King Edward the Confessor had promised him the English throne but later changed his mind on his death bed. He defeated the present king and went on to take over the kingship on Christmas Day, 1066.
4. The Battle of Yorktown: 1781
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On October 19, 1781, another revolutionary war between British forces and a combination of American forces on land and the French naval fleet at sea happened at Yorktown, Va. The efficient fighting machine under the rule of General Washington fought the rather boring battle which led to the British surrender and birth of the United States of America.
3. The Battle of Leipzig: 1813
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This battle is also called the Battle of Nations because it involved many nations including France, England, Austria, Sweden, Prussia, and Russia. This is, without doubt, one of the top battles in history where French forces under Napoleon went up against armies from the other aforementioned armies on October 16 to 19, 1813 at Leipzig, Saxony. The battle involved 600,000 soldiers where some of Napoleon’s forces included German, Italian, and Polish troops from the Confederation of the Rhine. Napoleon not only lost the battle but also lost his defeat in Paris, his Alba exile, and his final defeat at Waterloo.
2. The Battle of Stalingrad: 1942-1943
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The Battle of Stalingrad is one of the greatest battles in history which took place in World War II when the Soviet forces fought the Germans while maintaining control of Stalingrad beginning August 23, 1942, until February 2, 1943. Among all history battles, this is probably the bloodiest with over two million casualties. After this battle, Germany couldn’t recover and therefore lost further victories.
1. The Atomic Bombing of Japan: 1945
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The atomic bombings of Japan make it home to the top battles in history because it is the only time weapons of mass destruction have been used during battle. The American and Allied forces threw bombs at Japan’s cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima at the end of World War II causing the deaths of nearly 30,000 people. This is what the United States needed to establish its position as the world superpower until the Soviet Union came up with its own atomic bombs.
There you go- the greatest historical battles of all time. We cannot begin to imagine the negative consequences of these battles- we can only celebrate the great achievements we earned through them. Well, as always, thanks for finding time to read the article. We have more reads on the website; find time to go through those as well.
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