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  • Most Significant Battle

    I was challenged to post a poll related to the most "significant" battles in history, so here it is.

    A couple of caveats up front: talking about the most significant battle is every bit as subjective as "best general". I accept that up front.

    I should also say that the selections in this poll are decidedly "western" in orientation. That's due to the limited knowledge of the poster. Feel free to educate me about other potenial battles of significance.

    Some words on the poll choices (in on particular order):

    1) Marathon, 490BC: Had the greeks lost, it would most surely have been the end of democracy. It would also have potentially meant "eastern" domination of Europe. Would there have even been a Roman Empire had the Persians dominated asia minor?

    2) Battle of Diu, 1509: In this battle, which took place in the Indian Ocean, a fleet of Portugeuse defeated a muslim fleet resulting in western dominance of the spice trade routes. The beginning of the decline of Dar e-Salaam?

    3) Tet, 1968: The North Vietnamese trade the destruction of the Viet Cong for the ultimate defeat of the United States.

    4) Tsushima, 1905: The first outright defeat of an old, european empire by a "new world" power.

    5) Jutland, 1916: There was only one way the British could have lost in World War I.

    6) Sedan, 1870: Germany enters the world stage, setting the table for WWI.

    7) Cannae, 216BC: Carthages finest hour, Rome's worst.

    8) Hastings, 1066: Britain moves from Viking to european sphere of influence.

    9) Yorktown, 1781: A colony wins it's independence.

    10) Britain, 1940: The first battle fought exclusively in the air. Perhaps the turning point of the Second World War??

    11) Leipzig, 1813: First significant cooperation of allies against Napolean.

    12) Plains of Abraham, 1759: Ensured that Britain dominated North America. Call it Canadian content, if you like.

    There are many others, of course, but this will do for a start.
    0
    Marathon
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    Diu
    0%
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    Tet
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    Tsushima
    0%
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    Jutland
    0%
    0
    Sedan
    0%
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    Cannae
    0%
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    Hastings
    0%
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    Yorktown
    0%
    0
    Battle of Britain
    0%
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    Leipzig
    0%
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    Plains of Abraham
    0%
    0

  • #2
    Battle of Britain because if the British lost Operation Sea Lion the invasion of England could have went ahead and if they were taken over what would the allies use as a jumping off point for any invasion of nazi europe.
    Hell was full, so I came back.

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    • #3
      I've gotta toss my vote in for Marathon. Battle of Britain killed Sealion, Yorktown began a revolution, but at Marathon a political way of thinking was preserved that has echoed through the ages. Would democracy have survived anyway? No idea, but would later Roman society been heavily influenced by a people who lost their war at Marathon, probably not and how would that have rippled through history.
      So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.

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      • #4
        That was my way of thinking about it as well, Sun.

        While it might seem like arrogance, democracy is essentially a western concept (flame away) and who knows if it might have been developed if the Greeks had lost. This does not even consider the impact on philosophy, science, medicine, etc.

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        • #5
          Sea lion would never have worked.

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          • #6
            I decided to go with Yorktown, because democracy may have servived without the Greeks, but Id definetly be British if Yorktown had gone diffrently or not happened at all.

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            • #7
              I prefer for turning point of WWII: Moscow battle or Stalingrad or Kursk.

              I fear to mention but Eger battle against the Turks in XV. century would saved the Austria and maybe Europe... (but I know my lobby power is too small on behalf of Hungarians).

              One more: Nandorfehervar battle in 1456, and that is the reason in Europe ringing the church bell at noon ordered by the Pope for this victorious battle against the Turks...
              a brain cell

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              • #8
                Originally posted by laszlo.nemedi
                I prefer for turning point of WWII: Moscow battle or Stalingrad or Kursk.

                I fear to mention but Eger battle against the Turks in XV. century would saved the Austria and maybe Europe... (but I know my lobby power is too small on behalf of Hungarians).

                One more: Nandorfehervar battle in 1456, and that is the reason in Europe ringing the church bell at noon ordered by the Pope for this victorious battle against the Turks...
                Hi,

                I'm not sure if we're talking about the exact same battles but if you're referring to the defeat of the Turks at Vienna, I did consider putting this battle in the list.

                Hey, I put the Plains of Abraham on the list as a Canadian thing. I almost put Queenstown Heights, where the British defeated the Americans to save Canada in 1812 (but that's a little TOO Canadian centric). Go ahead and blow Hungary's horn.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DingBat
                  Hi,

                  I'm not sure if we're talking about the exact same battles but if you're referring to the defeat of the Turks at Vienna, I did consider putting this battle in the list.

                  Hey, I put the Plains of Abraham on the list as a Canadian thing. I almost put Queenstown Heights, where the British defeated the Americans to save Canada in 1812 (but that's a little TOO Canadian centric). Go ahead and blow Hungary's horn.
                  Buuuuuuuu, I blow... :thumb:
                  a brain cell

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not quite sure why Cannae is in there? Hannibal won, had he lost , the Romans would have won the war that much quicker. How this would have significantly changed history is hard to fathom, other than maybe never hearing about Scipio Africanus.
                    " If it be now, tis not to come: if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all"

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                    • #11
                      In many ways, you're right. Cannae did not alter the outcome of the Punic wars in any way. However, I have heard it described that Cannae represents the single worst 24 hours in the history of any western military organization. For that reason, I put it in the list.

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                      • #12
                        Agincourt.
                        When six - seven thousand soldiers defeat about 24,000, that's impressive, to say the least.
                        Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jim H. Moreno
                          Agincourt.
                          When six - seven thousand soldiers defeat about 24,000, that's impressive, to say the least.
                          And the battle could have been decisive if there hadn't been Jeanne d'Arc after .

                          LaPalice.
                          Monsieur de La Palice est mort
                          Mort devant Pavie.
                          Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
                          Il était encore en vie...

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                          • #14
                            Agincourt was great!

                            And so is the poll, Dingbat! Great stuff. :thumb:

                            I picked Battle of Britain for one reason only - it's the lone airwar. 'Modern' conflicts need to see supremacy in the air prior to launching large scale operations under ideal circumstances.

                            Air in WWII shocked a lot of diehard 'BB King of the sea' types, and changed modern conflict forever. The Battle of Britain really didn't amount to much (win or lose) as far as Sealion goes. Sealion was wildest fantasy, and couldn't have been pulled off under any circumstances.

                            But the way wars are now fought has more to do with this type of campaign than anything that had come prior.
                            "When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home."

                            Winston Churchill

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                            • #15
                              Most important battle

                              At the risk of appearing adversarial, I think that attempting to pick a "most important" battle is more difficult than picking a General. Of all the landmark battles chronicled by historians, rulers, commanders, "grunts' and others, they were for a variety of reasons, with differnt kinds of armies, and by a variety of polities, some democratic, some not. So we find ourselves saying, was Actium more pivotal than the Somme; or did Bull Run mean more than Kursk? On and on, ad nauseam, ad infinitum. In addition, different cultures obviously have different viewpoints, e.g., to an American, Borodino scarcely merits notice, while for the Russians, it was one of the most pivotal in their history, on a par with Poltava, Kazan, Stalingrad and Leningrad. There are perhaps "signature battles that are used to illuistrate a certain type of warfare, such as Cannae, or Alexander's Battle of the Hydaspes. SO, in more words than was needed, I expect, I must conclude that picking the most important battle is well nigh impossible.
                              Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                              (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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