The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World



  • I may have missed it, but it doesn’t look like anyone cited the Battle of Lepanto - 1571.  This should certainly rank among the top 2 or 3 naval battles in human history.  The battle stopped the expansion of the Ottoman empire and kept Europe Christian - for those who think that kind of thing is important.

    SS



  • It’s been brought up already but Saratoga is on the list while Yorktown has been omitted, and I believe that’s a huge mistake.  While Saratoga had great implications for the American Revolution in bringing other European Powers into the conflict, the result of Yorktown was a huge blow to British prestige and forced them to accept their losses.  It was the Tet Offensive of the 18th century, but it’s real impact is in the 225 years hence.  Imagine just how radically different the 20th century and two world wars would have been if North America were still divided between European Powers.



  • @saburo:

    I may have missed it, but it doesn’t look like anyone cited the Battle of Lepanto - 1571.  This should certainly rank among the top 2 or 3 naval battles in human history.  The battle stopped the expansion of the Ottoman empire and kept Europe Christian - for those who think that kind of thing is important.

    SS

    Dont forget about the Battle of Jutland!  That was a very important naval battle in WWI.  It stopped the Germans from gaining naval superiority and made them go back to the unrestricted submarine warfare policy (which eventually helped them lose instead of win.)



  • The battle of Zama. The defeat of Carthage that ensured Roman supremacy over the Mediterranean.

    The battle of Sharpsburg. Kept the U.S. unified. (unfortunately) 😛



  • @Mechanized:

    Dont forget about the Battle of Jutland!  That was a very important naval battle in WWI.  It stopped the Germans from gaining naval superiority and made them go back to the unrestricted submarine warfare policy (which eventually helped them lose instead of win.)

    I don’t see much decisiveness, tactical or strategic, in Jutland.  The only outcome that would have changed the outcome of the war would be the destruction of the British Fleet.  Churchill said of Jellicoe, “He is the only man that can lose the war in an afternoon.”  Even if the German High Seas Fleet is annihilated, the British have won nothing.  The submarine campaign the Germans waged operated independently of what the High Seas Fleet did.  They waged war on British shipping before and after Jutland, and what prompted a declaration of unrestricted warfare was the knowledge that Germany’s Army was going to run out of resources before the Entente forces did.



  • All Jutland may have done is foreshadow the end of the Battleships as the determining factor in Naval warfare… a lesson that was finally leanred for good at Midway.

    And a point THAT minor does not warrant the top 15.



  • I would contest the idea that Jutland is a determining factor in the demise of the battleship.  The first thing Britain demanded after the Armistice was the sinking of the German dreadnoughts.  Hindsight might show us early warning signs, but remember that in the inter-war period all naval treaties concentrated on restricting battleship development.  It was not until the start of hostilities in the Pacific that battleships were proven less effective.  If there had been a significant incidence of some weapon being distinctly better than the battleship, navies after the First World War would have jumped on the new bandwagon.



  • Oh, and since the point of this thread was to add five more battles, here’s my list:

    Mexico City (1847):  Established the U.S. as the dominant power in the Western Hemisphere, fulfilled the Manifest Destiny, and sewed the seeds of imperial aspirations that would culminate in greater involvement in world affairs as the 19th century ended.

    Antietam/Sharpsburg (1862):  Essentially ended the Confederate State’s bid for foreign recognition.  A lack of external support irreparably harmed the chances of a Southern victory.

    Sedan (1870):  It has been mentioned already, as it marks the ascension of Germany into imperial power status and begins her military aspirations that would culminate in two world wars.

    Hiroshima (1945):  No single discharge of a weapon has had so much impact upon the world.  The dropping of a single bomb changed warfare and world politics forever.  A 40-year Cold War and the threat of nuclear terrorist actions all stem from August 6, 1945.

    Huai-Hai (1948):  This is my sleeper.  This was the battle that broke the back of Nationalist Chinese forces.  Their losses along the Huai River and the Hai Railway prevented them from further contesting Communist forces for mainland China.  In the 50 years since, the political and economic impact on the region has been more significant than almost all of the battles during the Pacific Theater of World War II.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    7300 Battle of Cosmara Archipelago -Battlestar Ricon had to be scuttled

    7359 Battle of Molecay.  The Fifth Fleet lost in action.

    7360 Colonial Fleet ambushed at the Peace Conference. 
              Twelve Colonies of the Three Suns conquered.

    7362 Battle of Gomoray.  Battlestar Pegasus presumed destroyed.


  • 2007 AAR League

    @Imperious:

    3487 Battle of Molecay  -cains 5th fleet destroyed

    7300 Battle of Cosmara Archipelago -Battlestar Ricon had to be scuttled

    7359 Battle of Molecay.  The Fifth Fleet lost in action.
             
    7360 Colonial Fleet ambushed at the Peace Conference. 
              Twelve Colonies of the Three Suns conquered.

    7362 Battle of Gomoray.  Battlestar Pegasus presumed destroyed.

    Haha



  • @polywog:

    I can’t think of much to add to the original 15, but I suppose if you’re Canadian, you’re probably thankful that Benedict Arnold got stomped in his horribly bad invasion of Quebec at the start of the revolution.

    Can you say “Northern United States”?

    I wouldn’t at all say stomped.  In fact he was not defeated, merely not able to further advance due to the logistics.

    Battle of Yorktown would be more decisive.

    I would agree post 1851 of adding Midway and Stalingrad.  Both turned what looked to be certain defeat into victory and turned the tides in those theatres.



  • @whoman69:

    I wouldn’t at all say stomped.  In fact he was not defeated, merely not able to further advance due to the logistics.

    Logistically, beginning the overland journey from Boston to Quebec City in September was a dumb idea to begin with, but Arnold then lost the part of his army that hadn’t died from disease or exposure in his attack on the city itself. The city was held with the loss of only 5 of its defenders. Arnold should get credit, however, for having his men going into the attack on Dec 31st knowing that their enlistment was up the following day…


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