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Thread: History's Greatest Military Defeats

  1. #46
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    a few battles that take places in Asia

    Khan of Mongolia - forgotten his name already, but basically he's the asian napoleon that marches his tru from asia into Europe. centuries bk

    Japanese Invasion -

    Vietnam War

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by shek View Post
    Bulgar,
    Welcome back. Long time, no post!
    Yes, it has been a while. I will try to be more involved. At least while my break from college continues.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    how abt the war by the Japanese? they march their way east & southeast asia, defeating many forces.

    1 side of my view - They had killed so many people & damage their family & lfies

    other side of my view - for 1 nation to stand against so many nations (initial stages) @ such a fast pace is remarkable
    I agree that the Japanese advances in Asia during World War II were impressive. I think that your post would be better if you could name some of the specific battles and why they were decisive. Or, if you think that the entire war was decisive, explain why.

    The fact that the Japanese killed a bunch of people is not sufficient to establish a 'decisive' nature to their campaigns.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by shek View Post
    Bulgar,
    Welcome back. Long time, no post!
    Ditto.
    I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.

  5. #50
    WAB Resident Historian Senior Contributor Kansas Bear's Avatar
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    Battle of Sarikamis, Dec 29, 1914-Jan 2, 1915.

  6. #51
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    Couple more for you:

    Salamis: The decisive victory that turned back the Persian attempt to conquer Greece and probably saved all of Classical civilization from destruction.
    Adrianople: Largely by itself led to the collapse of the western Roman empire.
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  7. #52
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    What about the Battle of Tours in 732?
    Had Charles Martel and the Franks been defeated, Europe could have been lost to the Moors.

    Also, the battle of Lepanto ended Ottoman naval advances for good.

  8. #53
    An t-aimiréal chléthúil Senior Contributor crooks's Avatar
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    What about the Battle of Tours in 732?
    Had Charles Martel and the Franks been defeated, Europe could have been lost to the Moors.

    Also, the battle of Lepanto ended Ottoman naval advances for good.

  9. #54
    New Member Ledhead's Avatar
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    Hi y'all!

    Nice to be able to devout my first post here to one off my favourite subjects, the Byzantines.

    For me the greatest defeat is the combination of Nicopolis and the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
    It's hard not to at all weigh in the political consequences of a defeat. Both Manzikert and Myriocephalon have by recent scholars reconsidered as defeats which had more important political consequences which became apparant first after the defeats.

    A pure military great(est?) defeat would otherwise Cannae 216 BC be...
    Other suggestions of potential greatest defeats are Pydna 168 BC, Carrhae 53 BC, Teutoburger Forrest or Adrianople 378 AD.

  10. #55
    Padishah Shahanshah Senior Contributor xerxes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by temujin77 View Post
    4. Stalingrad. The Germans suffered 850,000 casualties, which I don't believe is the largest they had suffered in the European War (correct me if I'm wrong, please). The real significance, though, was that in addition to the setback suffered at Moscow the German Army morale was now on an irreversible downward spiral on the Russian Front.
    is this truth??

    von Paulus's Sixth Army numbered a quarter million man at its peak, afterwhich about 90,000 men were captured in Jan '43.

  11. #56
    Padishah Shahanshah Senior Contributor xerxes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crooks View Post
    What about the Battle of Tours in 732?
    Had Charles Martel and the Franks been defeated, Europe could have been lost to the Moors.
    though the battle of Tours was widely publicized the defeated army was less than a vanguard. I would say the defense of Contantinople against the Saracens was more significant, which caused the might of the army of the caliphs to be channel through north africa into Spain. I would say once in Spain they had lost their momentum and steam. The Moores vangaurd action at Tours looks to me more like a large raiding force.

    Quote Originally Posted by crooks View Post
    Also, the battle of Lepanto ended Ottoman naval advances for good.
    this one i agree. that battle did ended the myth of Ottoman invincibility in general and gradually the empire's resources were put on other uses. It was not as effective as the battle of Salamis which ended Persian naval arm for good.

  12. #57
    Senior Contributor Archer's Avatar
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    http://orbat.com/site/cimh/battles/Porus-Alexander.pdf

    Has a good account of the developing battle between Porus and Alexander. Though it does not cite its sources, it does seem fairly reasonable.

    But there is a point that Porus's hard fought defeat shattered the morale of Alexanders troops who were in no mood to do further campaigning, especially against the Nanda's who fielded a massive force with far greater numbers.

    Wiki:

    "As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand fighting elephants." Plutarch, Vita Alexandri, 62[10]


    Alexanders subsequent march has been catalogued elsewhere, I remember reading accounts, wherein his own stubborness had him punish his troops by constantly engaging in bloody town taking, one after another (as they had refused to obey his desire to invade the Indian empire). In one incident, he finally got wounded severely and had to be taken off the battlefield.

    Attrition warfare seems to be a defining Indian characteristic, perhaps thanks to the population density. Whether it be the Greeks or the Mughals or the Turks, they all gave up trying to subjugate the locals, thanks to constant, violent resistance, that finally became too much of a bother. The Mughals and Turks hence settled into an uneasy peace, and coopted the local chieftains and rajputs into their army even.
    Last edited by Archer; 23 Jan 07, at 22:42.
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  13. #58
    Padishah Shahanshah Senior Contributor xerxes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    Couple more for you:

    Salamis: The decisive victory that turned back the Persian attempt to conquer Greece and probably saved all of Classical civilization from destruction.
    Adrianople: Largely by itself led to the collapse of the western Roman empire.
    As romantic as what you wrote sounds ... why would you consider Persian occupation of Greece as "destruction of Greek civilization", while Persian occupation of Egypt was NOT a destruction of Egyptian civilization

    As you now the empire of Persians unlike that of Sarcens and Romans did not assimilate their subject into their realm. The empire of Persians was more like the British Empire where the masters of the empire sat on their throne, whereas the subjects did their daily routine.

    The empire of caliphs and that of the Romans did assimilated their conquered nations into their own.

    Inversely, the Mongoles assimilated themselves into conquered nations.

    Therefore, there are three major types of conquest/occupation/assimilation

    I dont think even Edward Gibbons - the author of the classical History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - agrees with you. If I were to quote him: "Rome, Greece, Persia, India and China were the pillars of civilization".

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
    As romantic as what you wrote sounds ... why would you consider Persian occupation of Greece as "destruction of Greek civilization", while Persian occupation of Egypt was NOT a destruction of Egyptian civilization.
    Because of the unique nature of what the Ancient Greeks bequeathed us. Not particularly great monuments, but a political system and a system of thought that relied critically on that political system. My opinion is that this would have been destroyed had the Persians conquered Greece, as IMHO they would probably have done had the Greeks lost at Salamis. That would have earth-shattering effects on the world we currently live in.
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  15. #60
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    for me it was the zulu war Battle of Ishlandwana where 1500 armed british soldiers where wiped out to the man by zulu,s who,s main weapon was the assegai,a bit dope and a certain mushroon that they mixed then snuffed it to give them that edge as it where,i stand corrected but i think that Britain is the only nation in the world to suffer a military defeat in this magnitude to a force that had no rifles,or very few to speak off.

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