Fifteen decisive Battles
(The), according to Sir E.S. Creasy, were: 1. The battle of MARATHON (Sept., 490 B.C.), when Miltiades, with 10,000 Greeks, defeated 100,000 Persians under Datis and Artaphernes.
2. The naval battle at SYRACUSE (Sep., 413 B.C.), when the Athenians under Nicias and Demosthenes were defeated with a loss of 40,000 killed and wounded, and their entire fleet.
3. The battle of ARBE'LA (Oct., 331 B.C.), when Alexander the Great overthrew Darius Codomanus for the third time.
4. The battle of METAURUS (207 B.C.), when the consuls Livius and Nero cut to pieces Hasdrubal's army, sent to reinforce Hannibal.
5. In A.D. 9 Arminius and the Gauls utterly overthrew the Romans under Varus, and thus established the independence of Gaul.
6. The battle of CHALONS (A.D. 451), when Aetius and Theodoric utterly defeated Attila, and saved Europe from devastation.
7. The battle of TOURS (Oct., 732 A.D.), when Charles Martel overthrew the Saracens under Abderahmen, and thus broke the Moslem yoke from Europe.
8. The battle of HASTINGS (Oct., 1066), when William of Normandy slew Harold II., and obtained the crown of England.
9. The battle of ORLEANS in 1429, when Joan of Arc secured the independence of France.
10. The defeat of the Spanish ARMADA in 1588, which destroyed the hopes of the Pope respecting England. 11. The battle of BLENHEIM (13 Aug., 1704), when Marlborough and Prince Eugene defeated Tallard, and
thus prevented Louis XIV. from carrying out his schemes. 12. The battle of PULTOWA (July, 1709), when Czar Peter utterly defeated Charles XII, of Sweden, and thus established the Muscovite power.
13. The battle of SARATOGA (Oct., 1777), when General Gates defeated the British under General Burgoyne, and thus secured for the United States the alliance of France.
14. The battle of VALMY (Sep., 1792), when the French Marshal Kellerman defeated the Duke of Brunswick, and thus established for a time the French republic.
15. The battle of WATERLOO (18 June, 1815), when Napoleon the Great was defeated by the Duke of Wellington, and Europe was restored to its normal condition.
The battle of GETTYSBURG, in Pennsylvania (3 July, 1863), when the Confederates, under the command of General Lee, were defeated by the Northern army, was certainly one of the most important, if not the most important, of the American Civil War.
The battle of SEDAN (Sep., 1870). when Napoleon gave up his sword to William, King of Prussia, which put an end to the empire of France.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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