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Sunday, 29 April 2012


The first recorded battle in history in reliable detail was the Battle of Megiddo on April 16, 1457 BC. It was fought between Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large rebellious coalition of Canaanite vassal states led by the king of Kadesh. By reestablishing Egyptian dominance in the Levant, Thutmose III began a reign in which the Egyptian Empire reached its greatest expanse. The battle left such an impression on the Levantine people there that they believed the final battle of humanity would take place there as well. That's where the word Armageddon comes from.

In 585 BC, the Battle of the Eclipse between the Medes and the Athenians ended when an eclipse of the sun was seen as a sign of God’s disapproval.

The 1461 Battle of Townton in Yorkshire during the War of Roses saw some 50,000 engaged in the fight. As many as 27,000 died on the battlefield making it the largest and bloodiest ever fought on English soil.

The Battle of Cerignola was fought on April 28, 1503, between Spanish and French armies near Bari in Southern Italy. It is noted as the first battle in history won by gunpowder weapons, as the assault by Swiss pikemen and French cavalry was shattered by the fire of Spanish arquebusters behind a ditch.

Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba finds the corpse of Louis d'Armagnac at the Battle of Cerignola. Federico de Madrazo, 1835. Museo del Prado.

The 1547 Battle of Pinkie Cleugh was the last full scale military confrontation between England and Scotland. It resulted in a decisive victory for the forces of Edward VI.

In the early hours of July 6, 1685, King James II’s nephew, The Duke of Monmouth planned an attack on the King’s army camped at Sedgemoor, Somerset. But the weather had been very wet and local rivers and dikes were carrying away much of the excess water. Monmouth’s makeshift army spent too long trying to cross a flooded dike and was discovered. With the army raised, the well-equipped troops of the King routed the rebel in what was to be the last major battle fought on English soil.

Battle of Sedgemoor Memorial

George II and his forces defeated the French in Dettingen, Bavaria on June 27, 1743 during the War of the Austrian Succession: It was the last time that a British monarch personally led his troops into battle.

Thousands of people watched the Battle of Bunker Hill take place . People in the Boston area sat on rooftops, in trees, on church steeples, and in the rigging of ships in the harbor to watch the American revolutionaries battle the British.

During the 1777 Battle of Germantown, ia cease fire was called due to a small terrier wandering on the battlefield.

Napoleon constructed his battle plans in a sandbox.

More than 20,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing in action in the battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862. This was the bloodiest one-day fight during the Civil War.

The most American casualties in a single battle was at the Battle of Gettysburg, with 51,000.

During the 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, United States Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacked and sunk the Japanese Imperial Navy light aircraft carrier, Shōhō. The battle marked the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fought without visual contact between warring ships.

The Second Battle of El Alamein was fought between the British Empire forces under Montgomery and Germans and Italians under Rommel between October 23 and November 11, 1942. The victory for the Allies was a turning point in World War II. Later Winston Churchill said: "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat."

British infantry advances through the dust and smoke of the battle of El Alamein.

The Battle of Kursk took place during World War II when German and Soviet forces confronted each other on the Eastern Front in 1943. It was the final strategic offensive the Germans were able to mount in the east. The resulting decisive Soviet victory gave the Red Army the strategic initiative for the rest of the war. It remainbs the largest full-scale battle in history, and included the world's largest tank battle at Prokhorovka village and the costliest ever single day of aerial warfare.

US Army General Anthony McAuliffe responded to the German ultimatum of surrender during the World War II Battle of the Bulge with a single word, "NUTS!"

The Battle of Leyte Gulf - the largest naval battle in history - took place in and around the Philippines between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the U.S. Third and U.S. Seventh Fleets on October 25, 1944. Afterward was the first Kamikaze attack of the war.

The Siachen glacier is the highest battleground on earth, where India and Pakistan have fought intermittently since April 13, 1984. Both countries claim sovereignty over the entire Siachen region and maintain permanent military presence in the Siachen glacier locality at a height of over 20,000 feet.

Source The Daily Mail 2/7/05

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