The history of the human race is always moving forward. Sometimes, though, conflict gets in the way of things, and things stall a bit. This is what happens when countries encounter battles, and nations encounter wars.
Why do such battles and wars happen? If we look at the earliest recorded history, we can see several obvious reasons for such moves: expansion being one. Smaller nations that are already affluent find themselves embarking on expeditions that aim to claim uncharted territories in unknown places. Whenever they encounter resistance from indigenous peoples occupying the land, though, this is where expansion turns into invasions, thereby forming small battles and even large-scale wars.
Many major battles throughout history have also been turning points in human development as well. And whether we like it or not, these events actually still influence and even continue to shape humankind in the present time and day.
So, do you think you can identify some of these battles, or even some of the crucial details and information involving famous battles of history? Open this quiz and take a look!
The Battle of Marathon was when the Persian King Darius I attacked the ancient Greeks for siding with the Ionians, who had revolted from him. However, 6,000 Persians died, compared to less then 200 Greeks. Pheidippides, a messenger, supposedly ran non-stop to Athens to deliver the good news, but died upon delivering the message.
Pizarro was a conquistador from Spain, and the battle of Cajamarca is famous for having taken the most amount of land in one major battle. He used modern technology and cavalry troops to defeat the 30,000-strong Incan Army, with a force numbering nearly 4,000 soldiers only. This victory is why Spanish culture and language has become a dominant force in South America.
General George Washington and his French counterpart, Comte de Rochambeau, joined forces to make the British surrender in this landmark battle. Though the battle may have been boring, relatively speaking, the British retreat from the American colonies allowed for the creation of the United States of America.
While the Germans initially captured Stalingrad (now Volgograd), close combat and counterattacks chipped away at the German forces. Combined with the savage Russian winter, it was no surprise that Russia was able to retake the city after six months.
A combination of Allied forces was able to land on the French coastline, eventually reaching nearly a million soldiers deployed. As the forces retook France, Germany was forced into a weaker position, and this started the downfall of the Nazis on the Western front.
The Battle of Leipzig was important not only for being the downfall of Napoleon, but also because it marked the first time that many nations cooperated with each other as allies to bring down a common enemy. It should be noted, though, that one reason why they won was that Napoleon had lost many experienced men in the fight with Russia, because he underestimated how brutal winter there could be.
The Battle of Zama was the end of 60 years of fighting. Hannibal had, until then, been successful in fighting off the Romans. This time, however, the elephants he intended to use as barreling tanks against the Roman troops ran away.
When Julius Caesar won over Pompey Magnus in the Battle of Pharsalus, it was a symbolic victory as well as a physical one. This battle would pave the way for the Roman Republic to become the Roman Empire, as Pompey was supported by the Roman senators.
British Admiral Horatio Nelson was able to prevent Napoleon’s forces from defeating the British Navy, but he died doing so. He was shot by a sniper during the battle, and died hours later.
The Battle of Hastings in 1066 pushed the Germanic Anglo-Saxons out of England, and the French Normans were put into power, thanks to the victory of William the Conqueror and the death of King Harold II. Because of this, French culture and language merged with Germanic ones in the British Islands, creating England and the English language we know today.
Yes, you read it right, the battle took place after the war ended in 1814 with the Treaty of Ghent, but in the old days, word was slow to get around. General Andrew Jackson first gained national recognition because of his actions in this battle, and this most probably led him to go on a political path, as he became the seventh President of the United States, and the founder of the modern Democratic Party.
The Siege of Jerusalem eventually led to the creation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and Christian forces kept control of it for 200 years. In that time, the city became a center for colonization, and it also became part of the Silk Road.
In what could be one of the worst cases of misreading another country in recent history, Japan went ahead with the attack on Pearl Harbor to prevent the United States from entering the Second World War. Instead, it did precisely the opposite, as the United States became a major force in Allied operations.
The Battle of Solferino was the last big battle where armies were under the direct command of kings. The aftermath for the wounded was a major health disaster. With the establishment of the Red Cross and the Geneva Convention, new rules of warfare allowed for a more “civilized” approach in the aftermath of conflicts.
Joan of Arc couldn’t have come at a better time to Orleans when it was under siege. Her experience in the Hundred Years’ war, combined with her charismatic personality, helped the French take back key areas, and effectively end the siege.
Napoleon’s troops were met by an army made up of British and Prussian troops, all of whom were led by the Duke of Wellington. Had Napoleon not been stopped at this point, it’s possible that he would have risen to power again, and modern Europe would have been very different if that happened.
While the Battle of Gettysburg seemed at first to be a Confederate victory, by the third day, the Union had gained the upper hand. President Abraham Lincoln honored the dead from this battle with a famous speech, where he defended the idea that all men are created equal.
The problem in battle with heavy armor is that it gives the user mobility and endurance problems, so in Agincourt that day, the wet and muddy ground made these issues even worse. Without proper footing, the French lost 5,000 men, with 1,000 captured, while The English side lost only 140.
The Battle of Antietam Creek was the first one in the Civil War that would make a Union victory possible. It was the first time that Confederate forces could not fulfill their goals, and the question of how capable they were would lead to a lack of external support, and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The battle in the skies over Britain marks the one of the first times that Nazi forces failed to achieve their objective during World War II. It lasted for 57 nights, and killed or wounded hundreds of thousands. However, the spirited defense forced Germany to abandon any plan of invasion.
Although the British forces tried to capture rebel leaders and destroy supply lines in Lexington and Concord, their tactical advantage was lost when Paul Revere was able to warn the colonists. Armed colonists known as The Minutemen stood their ground, and a year later, the British left Boston.
Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax went against Charles I, and they won the battle because of the overwhelming number of Parliamentarian men under their command. All the Royalists who tried to escape were then brutally slaughtered, and the outcome of the battle led to the first time a ruling king or queen was publicly executed – in this case, Charles I.
The Tet Offensive in 1968 was named after the Vietnamese New Year, when the North Vietnamese forces launched many attacks at the same time all over the country. This eventually led to the U.S.A. leaving Vietnam, so the communists took over South Vietnam in 1975.
When the Duke of Medina Sidonia tried to overthrow Elizabeth I of England, the Queen decided enough was enough, and a naval battle happened. Although the Spanish Armada only had minor losses due to the battle, it was the unpredictable English weather that got to them, and only half of the fleet made it back to Spain.
The Battle of the Alamo centered on the defense of U.S. forces inside a mission and fortress compound. The Mexican Army was eventually defeated, with fleeing Mexican troops being slaughtered.
The Siege of Vienna in 1529 was notable for its failure. Had the Ottoman Empire succeeded in breaching the city’s defenses and overwhelming the city’s troops, Central and Western Europe would have more Islamic influences today.
Control of Iwo Jima was a questionable goal, as it seemed neither the navy or the army could use it as a base for operations in the area. However, the initial need for Iwo Jima was as a refueling point for fighter escort planes in Japan, as some historians insist.
The Spanish laid siege to the city of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, and it took only 80 days for the city to fall into Spanish hands. Prior to the Spanish attacks, the smallpox virus killed as much as 25% of the population in the empire, and some Mexican forces had also aligned themselves with Hernan Cortes, the Spanish leader. As a result, Spain ruled Mexico for nearly 300 years.
The Unites States of America flexed its military might for the first time with their attack on the Japanese forces who took over Guadalcanal Island. It took six months to liberate the island, and the victory made possible victory for the country in the South Pacific.
The Battle of Okinawa centered on the need to take control of the airbases, so that Allied forces could use them to invade the Japanese mainland. While American forces lost only 12,520 soldiers, the Japanese lost 100,000. Civilian deaths were at about the same level as the casualties of the Japanese forces.
The Battle of Midway was a complex operation from the Japanese point of view, as their goal was to lure American forces into a trap. Unfortunately, the Americans also knew about this, since they had broken the encryption for Japanese communications, and set up their own trap. The clear victory of the United States over Japanese forces in this battle was a sign of how the war in the Pacific would progress.
The battle took place between the Huai River and the Lun Hai Railway. It was a series of defeats for the Nationalist party, and it led to many defections to the Communist Party. There would have been no Communist China without the victory in Huai-Hai.
Russia and Japan fell into war in 1904 over territorial disputes concerning Manchuria and Korea, but with Japan winning, the social unrest in Russia shot up, and would culminate in the 1905 Russian Revolution. This battle would arguably start Japan’s ideas about becoming more active in the Pacific region, which would foreshadow conflicts between the U.S. and Japan in the future.
The Fall of Constantinople had many far-reaching effects in history. Due to this event, trade routes to India were closed off, and Spain eventually sent Columbus to find a route to the East through the seas. This event also marked the end of the Middle Ages, as exploration sponsored by various countries would eventually lead to the Renaissance.
The invading Muslim army would have been able to cross the mountains in the Pyrenees, if it weren’t for the actions of the mostly unarmored army under Charles “The Hammer” Martel in Tours, France. The Moorish general named Abd-er Rahman would have conquered most of Europe, and would have established Islam as the major dominant religion there.