Wars of Alexander the Great - Wikipedia
scholarship, however, in connection with Alexander it is almost certainly always . Darius and Alexander following the Battle of Issus: Implications in the First. Darius belonged to a collateral branch of the royal family and was placed on the throne by the In the spring of Philip's son Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont. Darius made no attempt to resist his crossing of the Euphrates and Tigris but offered battle at Gaugamela, east of modern Mosul. association with. The Battle of Gaugamela also called the Battle of Arbela was the decisive battle of Alexander Darius offered Alexander a marriage with his daughter Stateira II and all the territory west of the Halys River. Justin is less specific, not mentioning .
A small battle resulted, and Alexander's army managed to break through the city walls.
Memnon, however, now deployed his catapults, and Alexander's army fell back. Memnon then deployed his infantry, and shortly before Alexander would have received his first and only defeat, his infantry managed to break through the city walls, surprising the Persian forces and killing Orontobates.
Memnon, realizing the city was lost, set fire to it and withdrew with his army. A strong wind caused the fire to destroy much of the city. Alexander then committed the government of Caria to Ada; and she, in turn, formally adopted Alexander as her son, ensuring that the rule of Caria passed unconditionally to him upon her eventual death. His replacement was a Persian who had spent time in Macedonia called Pharnabazus.
He disrupted Alexander's supply routes by taking Aegean islands near the Hellespont and by fomenting rebellion in southern Greece. Meanwhile Darius took the Persian army to intercept Alexander. As his army approached Mount Taurusthey found only one route through which to pass, which was a narrow defile called "The Gates".
The defile was very narrow, and could have been easily defended. However, the Persian satrap of Cappadocia had an inflated view of his own abilities. He had been at the Battle of the Granicus Riverand had believed that Memnon's scorched Earth strategy would work here. He didn't realize that the different circumstances of the terrain made that strategy useless.
Had he mounted a credible defence of the defile, Alexander would have been easily repulsed. He left only a small contingent to guard the defile, and took his entire army to destroy the plain that lay ahead of Alexander's army.
The Persian contingent that was supposed to guard the defile soon abandoned it, and Alexander passed through without any problems. Alexander supposedly said after this incident that he had never been so lucky in his entire career.
Darius III - Wikipedia
Not thinking, Alexander jumped into the stream, suffered a cramp and then a convulsion, and was pulled out nearly dead. He quickly developed pneumoniabut none of his physicians would treat him, because they feared that, if he died, they would be held responsible.
One physician named Philip, who had treated Alexander since he was a child, agreed to treat him. Although he soon fell into a coma, he eventually recovered. After Alexander's forces successfully defeated the Persians at the Battle of the GranicusDarius took personal charge of his army, gathered a large army from the depths of the empire, and maneuvered to cut the Greek line of supply, requiring Alexander to countermarch his forces, setting the stage for the battle near the mouth of the Pinarus River and south of the village of Issus.
Darius was apparently unaware that, by deciding to stage the battle on a river bank, he was minimizing the numerical advantage his army had over Alexander's. This surprised Darius who mistakenly elected to hold the wrong position while Alexander instructed his infantry to take up a defensive posture. Alexander personally led the more elite Greek Companion cavalry against the Persian left up against the hills, and cut up the enemy on the less encumbering terrain, thereby generating a quick rout.
After achieving a breakthrough, Alexander demonstrated he could do the difficult and held the cavalry successfully in check after it broke the Persian right. Alexander then mounted his beloved horse Bucephalustook his place at the head of his Companion cavalryand led a direct assault against Darius.
The horses that were pulling Darius' chariot were injured, and began tossing at the yoke. Darius, about to fall off his chariot, instead jumped off.
He threw his royal diadem away, mounted a horse, and fled the scene. The Persian troops, realizing they had lost, either surrendered or fled with their hapless king. The Macedonian cavalry pursued the fleeing Persians for as long as there was light. As with most ancient battles, significant carnage occurred after the battle as pursuing Macedonians slaughtered their crowded, disorganized foe. The invading troops led by Alexander were outnumbered more than 2: The battle was a decisive Macedonian victory and it marked the beginning of the end of Persian power.
It was the first time the Persian army had been defeated with the King present on the field. Darius left his wife and an enormous amount of treasure behind as his army fled.
The greed of the Macedonians helped to persuade them to keep going, as did the large number of Persian concubines and prostitutes they picked up in the battle. Darius, now fearing for both his throne and his life, sent a letter to Alexander in which he promised to pay a substantial ransom in exchange for the prisoners of war, and agreeing to a treaty of alliance with and the forfeiture of half of his empire to Alexander.
Darius received a response which began "King Alexander to Darius". In the letter, Alexander blamed Darius for his father's death and claimed Darius was but a vulgar usurper, who planned to take Macedonia. He agreed to return the prisoners without ransom, but told Darius that he and Alexander were not equals, and that Darius was to henceforth address Alexander as "King of all Asia".
Darius was also curtly informed that, if he wanted to dispute Alexander's claim to the Achaemenid throne, that he would have to stand and fight, and that if he instead fled, Alexander would pursue and kill him. By this, Alexander revealed for the first time that his plan was to conquer the entire Persian Empire. Tyre was the site of the only remaining Persian port that did not capitulate to Alexander. Even by this point in the war, the Persian navy still posed a major threat to Alexander.
Tyre, the largest and most important city-state of Phoeniciawas located both on the Mediterranean coast as well as a nearby Island with two natural harbors on the landward side. At the time of the siege, the city held approximately 40, people, though the women and children were evacuated to Carthagean ancient Phoenician colony. The Tyrians politely told Alexander that their town was neutral in the war, and that allowing him to offer sacrifices to Melqart would be tantamount to recognizing him as their king.
Alexander considered building a causeway that would allow his army to take the town by force. His engineers didn't believe it would be possible to successfully build such a massive structure, and so Alexander sent peace envoys once more to propose an alliance.
Battle of Gaugamela
The Tyrians believed this to be a sign of weakness, and so they killed the envoys and threw their bodies over the city wall. The dissent against Alexander's plans to take the city by force disappeared, and his engineers began to design the structure.
Alexander began with an engineering feat that shows the true extent of his brilliance; as he could not attack the city from sea, he built a kilometer-long causeway stretching out to the island on a natural land bridge no more than two meters deep.
The Tyrians, however, quickly devised a counterattack. They used an old horse transport ship, filling it with dried branches, pitch, sulfur, and various other combustibles. They then lit it on fire, creating what we might call a primitive form of napalmand ran it up onto the causeway. Since a major Persian aim was to allow as little imperial territory as possible to fall into enemy hands, Alexander knew Darius would be compelled to defend that fertile region.
In addition, Alexander, bivouacked in that area, could easily maintain his army on that longer but more fertile route to Babylon. Learning that his Macedonian enemy would not be playing into his hands by traveling down the Euphrates Valley, Darius guessed that Alexander intended to ford the Tigris, probably at Mosul.
The Persian king dispatched scouts to cover and report from all main routes across northern Mesopotamia. In the meantime, he marched his main army north to Arbela Irbilroughly 50 miles east of Mosul. From there, Darius would rely on intelligence reports to guide the direction of his march, his primary aim being to intercept Alexander.
Alexander had in fact probably intended to cross the Tigris at Mosul, but in view of the difficulty of fording the river and the prospect of plunging his men into battle immediately after, he instead proceeded farther north, most likely to somewhere between Abu Dahir and Abu Wajnam, seeking a safer crossing and two days of rest.
Darius could not hope to get his army farther north to intercept the crossing on such short notice. Instead, at last ascertaining the direction of the Macedonian advance, he hastily chose the plain near Gaugamela as a reasonably suitable battlefield. One drawback to his chosen site was the range of hills that lay about three miles northeast of the area earmarked for the Persian line. To an enemy who advanced from that direction, those hills afforded a convenient vantage point from which to observe any movement or alterations in the Persian order of battle.
In addition, when he decided to march to Gaugamela, Darius forfeited the element of surprise. Any confidence Darius may have had in himself as a commander was once again diminished. After a four-day march from the banks of the Tigris to Gaugamela, Alexander established his camp.
Then, from September 25 to 28, his men recouped their strength while Alexander met with his generals. What occurred in those secret councils can only be guessed.
No historical record has been found of how the Macedonian king planned his offensives. On the fourth night, Alexander moved his men into battle order, planning to confront the Persians at dawn.
Three miles away from the field, however, he ordered another halt—risking some loss of morale among troops whose adrenaline had been raised to a fighting pitch. His soldiers were able to see for the first time the vast numbers of warriors they faced.
In addition, Darius had amassed an infantry contingent of mixed nationality who, it has been surmised, were most probably untrained men hurriedly summoned from the hills.
The entire Persian line was fronted by some scythe chariots, so named because of the sickle-like knives protruding from their wheels. A small number of Asian elephants loomed over the Persian host. The total numbers of the Persian army have been estimated by historians at anywhere fromto an implausible one million. For Alexander, precise numbers made little difference.
Even at the most conservative estimate, he was grossly outnumbered. His battle plan would have to be brilliant. He spent most of that night not in slumber, but in forging that plan. Rather than being daunted by such odds, Alexander mapped out a strategy destined to be emulated by later generals such as Napoleon Bonaparte. At one point in the wee hours General Parmenion came to him, proposing a night attack on the unsuspecting enemy. In addition to the obvious difficulty of maintaining the coherence of his forces at night, Alexander gave Parmenion a more personal reason for rejecting such stealthy action: Alexander must defeat his enemies openly and honestly.
As the sun rose on September 30, Alexander delivered a brief address to his officers. They did not need speeches to inspire them, he declared—they had their own courage and pride to sustain them. He asked them to remember that they were not merely fighting for Asia Minor or Egypt, but for sovereignty over all Asia. Then he led his army forward, trailing the main line behind him at an oblique angle of about 30 degrees.
Armed primarily with the xiston, a shortened version of the infantry sarissa, the Companions were divided into eight squadrons and fought in a wedge-shaped or triangular formation, an innovation credited to Philip II.
A unit of men most often 16 deep, its spears extended much farther than the swords of the enemy, giving it great strength in the attack. The flanks of the phalanx were protected by some 3, troops specially trained for the task, called the Royal Adjutants. At Gaugamela, Alexander had a rough total of 12, men in his phalanx battalions, supported from the rear by an additional 12, foot soldiers, most of them slingers and javelineers.
Extending to the left of the central phalanx battalions were light infantry and Greek horsemen, including the powerful Thessalian cavalry under General Parmenion.
Each Thessalian squadron formed a tactical unit arranged in rhomboid or diamond formation, whose primary task was to hold the left wing steady. Again, the cavalry protected the flanks of a force of mercenaries. His foot soldiers were screened by cavalry so that his line appeared much weaker than it was—an intentional arrangement. As Alexander marched, he offered Darius the tempting bait of a shorter Macedonian right flank against a longer Persian left.
Still, the Persians stood fast, and as Alexander continued extending his line, he threatened to move the battle off the ground specially prepared for cavalry and chariot maneuvers. It became a contest of nerves. But the intention of their attack was to entice, and therefore irretrievably commit the Persian left wing. The Persian left pursued vigorously, not expecting the scores of infantry lying in wait behind the Macedonian right.
Darius then called his next shot. The main body of cavalry, a fighting force of roughly 8, commanded by his cousin, Bessus, thundered into the assault.
Meanwhile, Darius launched his scythe chariots and sent his elephants into action. Alexander deployed his javelineers, whose missiles killed or disabled most of the chariot drivers before they had a chance to inflict any damage. Still, Darius must have felt confident. The elephants were an experiment. The chariots, though they had failed in other confrontations, had been worth another try.
But the Macedonian right wing was heavily engaged. Darius ordered a general advance, pouring more men into the mayhem on his left.
Adding to that fact, an awkward situation was developing near the junction of the Persian center and the Persian left wing. As men poured into the Macedonian right wing and the struggle there intensified, the battle line stretched still farther to the left, thinning and therefore weakening the Persian front.
At that point, the only Persian cavalry still not committed to the battle were those roughly opposite Alexander and his Companions. The Persians had sacrificed depth in the process of extending their line in an effort to keep their front continuous.
The Companions were now ready to crash into the loosely woven Persian ranks. Alexander gathered his still-available forces into a gigantic wedge. At the tip of this wedge was the Royal Guard and Companion Cavalry. Trailing down on the left were the remaining phalanx battalions; on the right were the Thracian infantry and archers as well as the javelineers who had been previously deployed against the chariots. Through the dust rising out of the conflict, Darius watched Alexander and his dreaded cavalry emerge in nearly perfect order.
With the assistance of his phalanx, Alexander beat back the Persian line in the direction of Darius, threatening him in both flank and rear. Although they created a certain degree of havoc, the rescuers were unsuccessful, either killed or chased away by the Macedonian slingers and javelineers.
Bessus was still battling the Macedonian right when he saw the Companions break through the Persian line.