History, Interesting

10 Battles that Changed the Course of History

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Violence has never been the solution to any problem as it merely creates more problems rather than solving it.

The aftermath of a war is always disastrous to both sides as it results in many casualties (army and civilians), destruction, financial losses, and unimaginable terror trauma.

Still, mankind have been involved in wars ever since they started living in communities and dwellings. Wars are fought due to many reasons. While some are fought for power and conquests, others are fought because of misunderstandings and misdirection.

A war is technically a large scale event comprising of a number of battles involving one or more nations or establishments. The outcome of a war is usually determined by the number of battles won or lost.

While there have been countless battles over the course of history, only a handful have actually changed the course of the world.

So today, we look at ten important battles that changed the history of the world.

 

10. The Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BCE 

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The Battle of Gaugamela was fought between the Macedonians (led by Alexander the Great) and the Persian Empire (lead by Darius III) on October 1, 331 BC. This was one of Alexander’s finest triumph as he managed to defeat Darius III even though his army was heavily outnumbered by the Persians.

The aftermath of this war resulted in Alexander consolidating his power in the Middle East by conquering Babylon and half of Persia.

 

9. The Battle of Tours, 732 CE

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The Battle of Tours, aka Battle of Poitiers, was fought between Francia (backed by Burgundian forces, Lombard kingdom and other forces from Europe) and the Umayyad Caliphate on October 10, 732 EC.

Despite having a relative smaller army, Francia emerged victorious and prevented the Umayyad Caliphate from introducing Islam to Europe. Things would have certainly been very different had the Umayyad Caliphate emerged victorious.

 

8. Battle of Yarmouk, 636 CE

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This battle was fought between the Byzantine Empire (an offshoot of the Roman Empire) and Muslim Arab forces of the Rashidun Caliphate in 636 CE in present day Syria.

The result of this battle was a decisive victory for Muslim Arabs and the end of the Byzantine rule in Syria. This battle proved to be a turning point in the history of the Middle East as Islam became the prominent religion in this region.

 

7. Battle of Hastings, 1066

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The Battle of Hastings was fought between the Norman-French army led by William the conqueror and the English commanded by Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson in Hastings in 1066 CE.

The aftermath of this battle resulted in William the Conqueror’s army emerging victorious and ending the Anglo-Saxon rule of England.

 

6. Second Battle of Tarain, 1192 CE

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After being defeated in the First Battle of Tarain, Mohammed Ghori led his Ghurid army for a second time against the Rajput army led by Prithviraj Chauhan in 1192 CE.

This time Mohammed Ghori emerged victorious as his army defeat the Rajputs and ended the imperial power of the Chauhan Dynasty. This battle is considered to be a turning point in the history of India as Muslim supremacy was established in northern India after this battle.

 

5. Mongol siege of Kaifeng, 1232 to 1233

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The Mongols and the Jin Empire of China had been at war for nearly 20 years after the Jurchens refused to become the Mongols vassal state.

After gaining many decisive victories against the Jins over the years, the Mongols arrived at the walls of Kaifeng, the capital of the Jin Empire, on April 8, 1232. The siege lasted for a year before the city finally fell on February 26, 1233.

Following the siege of Kaifeng, the Jin dynasty fell in less in two years after the siege of Caizhou in 1234.

 

4. Battle of Yorktown, 1781

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The Battle of Yorktown, also known as the siege of Yorktown, was the last armed conflict in the American War of Independence.

Backed by France, the American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington defeated the British Army commanded by Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis.

This defeat ended the British rule in America as they were forced to sign the Treaty of Paris (on September 3, 1783) and acknowledge the United States of America as a sovereign and independent state.

 

 3. Battle of Austerlitz, 1805

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The Battle of Austerlitz is considered to be one of the most important battles of the Napoleonic Wars as it helped Napoleon Bonaparte consolidate his power in Europe.

Fought between France and the Russian Empire (backed by the Holy Roman Empire), this battle resulted in a decisive French victory despite them being outnumbered by the enemy.

The aftermath of the war resulted in the Treaty of Pressburg, end of the Third Coalition and the Creation of the Confederation of the Rhine and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.

 

2. Battle of Waterloo, 1815

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The Battle of Waterloo was fought between the First French Empire led by Napoleon Bonaparte and the Seventh Coalition consisting of the British, Netherlands, Kingdom of Hanover , Nassau (state) Nassau, Brunswick and Prussia in 1815.

This battle resulted in the defeat of the French forces and the end of the First French Empire. Napoleon, one of the greatest commanders in history, was captured and exiled to St Helena, where he died on May 5, 1821 

 

1.  Battle of Stalingrad, 1942-1943

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The Battle of Stalingrad fought between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union from 1942-1943 is considered to be one of the most important battles in the Second World War as this conflict effectively changed the course of the great war.

Despite sustaining heavy losses (1.1 million), the Soviet Union managed to win the Battle of Stalingrad. The Nazis also suffered heavy losses (750,000) and it is believed that this is one of the reasons that resulted in their defeat in the Second World War.

 

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