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Greatest Blunder - Salamis vs Spanish Armada (Round 1)

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  • Greatest Blunder - Salamis vs Spanish Armada (Round 1)

    Battle of Salamis 480 BC



    Why?
    The Persian King Xerxes was too impatient to delay the battle. So he led his large fleet into the Straits of Salamis. However the straits were much too small for his large fleet. Cramped together, they were unable to maneuver as they should and thus became an easy prey for the smaller Greek navy...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Salamis

    Although heavily outnumbered, the Greek Allies were persuaded by the Athenian general Themistocles to bring the Persian fleet to battle again, in the hope that a victory would prevent naval operations against the Peloponessus. The Persian king Xerxes was also anxious for a decisive battle. As a result of subterfuge on the part of Themistocles, the Persian navy sailed into the Straits of Salamis and tried to block both entrances. In the cramped conditions of the Straits the great Persian numbers were an active hindrance, as ships struggled to maneuver and became disorganised. Seizing the opportunity, the Greek fleet formed in line and scored a decisive victory, sinking or capturing at least 200 Persian ships.



    The Spanish Armada campaign 1588



    Why?
    Bad planning, bad intelligence, a portion of bad luck and the underestimation of their Dutch and English enemies caused this huge expedition to fail miserably.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Armada

    The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, "Great and Most Fortunate Navy") was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England.
    In 1588, Philip planned an expedition to invade and conquer England, thereby suppressing support for the United Provinces— that part of the Low Countries that had successfully seceded from Spanish rule — and cutting off attacks by the English against Spanish possessions in the New World and against the Atlantic treasure fleets. The king was supported by Pope Sixtus V, who treated the invasion as a crusade, with the promise of a further subsidy should the Armada make land.
    The fleet set out with 22 warships of the Spanish Royal Navy and 108 converted merchant vessels, with the intention of sailing through the English Channel to anchor off the coast of Flanders, where the Duke of Parma's army of tercios would stand ready for an invasion of the South East of England.
    While awaiting communications from Parma's army, it was driven from its anchorage by an English fire ship attack, and in the ensuing battle at Gravelines the Spanish were forced to abandon their rendezvous with Parma's army.
    A return voyage to Spain was plotted, and the fleet sailed into the Atlantic, past Ireland, but severe storms disrupted the fleet's course. Of the fleet's initial complement, about 50 vessels failed to make it back to Spain.
    73
    Battle of Salamis 480 BC
    54.79%
    40
    Spanish Armada Campaign 1588
    45.21%
    33
    Last edited by Stratego; 16 May 10, 04:28.
    Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

    BORG

  • #2
    Which fleet was more arrogant?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Salinator View Post
      Which fleet was more arrogant?
      The Persians by far and therefore the bigger blunder. I don't think that the Spanish king had the ocean flogged for misbehaving.
      Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
        The Persians by far and therefore the bigger blunder.
        Indeed the Persians made a tactical blunder there that offered the Greeks a certain victory !

        The defeat of the Spanish Armada was 50% due to the fact of ill-planning, lowsy coordination and bad weather.
        Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

        It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

        Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

        BORG

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        • #5
          Salamis - Again hubris rears its ugly head. "..we have bigger and better equipment so we'll win..." Not so, tabouli breath, he who has a better plan will succeed. Remember that old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' til you do suck seed.." - Curly Howard
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          • #6
            Salamis hands down. England didn't conquer Spain but Greece/Macedon conquered Persia, a satrap there would have been prevented it. Besides they probably didn't even need to attack (could have landed elsewhere in Peloponnesia).

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            • #7
              Hmmm... Salamis marginally. Xerxes couldn't afford to ignore the Greeks, as they threatened the naval lifeline that kept his huge army fed - but all he needed to do was sit and wait - or if he absolutely must engage them, to feed elements of his fleet in at a time instead of jam-packing them in too close to maneuver. Bad time to 'learn the lessons of Thermopylae'!
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              • #8
                I think that the Armada is the bigger mistake. Spain could have easily invaded Britain if they played their hand a little different. And the formation they chose on every engagement was exactly wrong. Easy to blame bad weather, but it is a poor sailor that blames the weather. And certainly the Brits were able to brave the same seas to fend off the attacks.

                Salamis was bad on the Persian side, but a great victory for the Greeks. I don't think we should give Xerxes any of the credit for this one. Themistocles has already been recognized in this very forum for the genius of this battle.

                And it would be a sad day indeed if we voted Salamis as both the Greatest Blunder and Most Decisive Battle!

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                • #9
                  I would agree, Samalis can be attributed to the cunning of the greek general, the spanish armada suffered it's heaviest casualties to storms and rocks.

                  Sort of tricky to call rocks 'cunning'

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                  • #10
                    Salamis, poor planning trying to fit as many ships in to the confines of the Strait as did the Persians. No room to manuever. what a waste.
                    BoRG
                    "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"

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                    • #11
                      Salamis for me. Good arguments by all.

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                      • #12
                        Get your votes in now..........

                        Poll is set to close shortly!!!!
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                        • #13
                          This poll is now closed.........

                          However the thread remains open, so please feel free to continue discussion.

                          ACG wishes to thank all participants. We look forward to your continuing support in Round 2.
                          Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                          Prayers.

                          BoRG

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                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

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