Three Great Battles of Alexander the Great Dissertation

201. 117 Task 1

3. )Discuss three major challenges of Alexander the Great with reference to the options supplied and their larger and political and army context. To what factors would you attribute his success?


A military commander's success for the battlefield is usually not always only determined by his (or her) own splendour. Victory is often due to his opponent's circumstances, both in the military and strategic context, not to mention the political scenario, and even cultural factors. This is certainly the case in the case of the young California king Alexander III of Macedonia (better known as Alexander the Great). In the fourth century BC he crushed the Persian Empire in 3 decisive events, these staying the battles of the Granicus, the Naturels, and Gaugamela. He did this not only by his own guru, but was also assisted simply by his adversary, King Darius III, fantastic mistakes, as well as the state of the empire he ruled.

In evaluating the reasons for Alexander's achievement, one need to first evaluate the state of the opposing armies. Alexander was fortunate in that he inherited a very strong war machine from his father, Phillip II. And a lot more, Phillip was responsible for the combination of the phalanx with cavalry and lightweight infantry. This kind of innovation allowed the phalanx to be safeguarded the cavalry and soldires from flanking attacks, and making similar movements that belongs to them. 1 (A variation of this kind of a creation was used in at the Granicus, for example , in which a double phalanx was outfitted by cavalry, with light troops in front. ) Apart from this, the military services was perfectly organized (the command structure was even more decentralized than the Persian army), well versed in tactics (especially the sand iron formation applied so decisively at Gaugamela), and very well funded, due to Phillip's conquests of neighbouring Greek declares.


This was a marked contrast to the Local Army, an enormous conglomeration of nationalities, by no means welded into one well-organized device. Even the better troops, Ancient greek language mercenaries and Persian cavalry, found themselves under the control of relatively incompetent satraps (regional governors). 2 Lots of the native prices only gear were regular hunting weaponry. The Greek writer Xenophon was incredibly scathing from the Persian armed service machine, not forgetting the overall point out of the empire. 3 In his opinion, riddled with corruption, militarily weak, and over-extended, the empire was ripe for invasion.

One of the primary weaknesses in the Persian Empire, was that their power was not dependent on virtually any advanced armed service technique. Completely no historical equivalent of the atomic explosive device or overwhelming air electrical power. Persian armed service might relaxed on the chariot, a form of struggling with that possibly in Alexander's day was over a 1, 000 years old. The moment pitted against an enemy with revolutionary military means at his disposal (such as Alexander), the result was inevitable. four

This is demonstrated very convincingly in Gaugamela. If the two hundred scythed chariots incurred Alexander's lines (on floor that Darius had levelled in advance), the Macedonians simply opened their rates high and allowed them to move through, where troops in the back brought the drivers and horses straight down. Some historians present a much more gruesome picture of the a result of the chariot's scythes, although whatever the truth, they were most certainly not decisive. 5


What is even more remarkable is that what happened towards the chariots by Gaugamela took place nearly 85 years previously to another Persian army at Cunaxa. Obviously Darius would not take this into mind, which illustrates his deficit as a armed forces leader.

A key component of Alexander's elegance was his ability to foresee his opponent's strategy. six At the Granicus, he may see the Persians were not competent of meeting his troops because of their quantities, equipment and position. Consequently he used his outstanding mobility to draw the enemy down into the oceanbed where they will...

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1) Michael jordan M Sage, Warfare in Ancient Greece, London: Routledge Press, 1996, p. 189.

2) Jack port Cassin-Scott, The Greek and Persian Battles 500-323 N. C., London, uk: Osprey Submitting, 1977, p. 29.

3) J. Farrenheit. C. Bigger, The Generalship of Alexander the Great, Nyc: Da Capo Press, 60, p. seventy nine.

4) David Keegan, As well as Of Warfare, London: Random House, 93, p. 178.

5) Nick Sekunda & John Warry, Alexander the truly amazing: His Soldires and Campaigns 334-323 BC, London: Osprey Publishing, 1998, p. one hundred ten.

12) Quintus Curtius Rufus, The History of Alexander, Suffolk: Richard Clay-based (The Chaucer Press) Limited, 1984, p. 43.

15) Filson, Stormie, ‘Battle of Gaugamela: Cure of a Continent ', Armed service History, 5: 17 (October 2000), pp. 68.

17) Peter Green, Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B. C.: A Traditional Biography, La: University of California Press, 1991, l. 231.