Alexander the Great

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Alexander The Great is very important because he was made a king at the age of twenty.

He was a great leader as well, and had conquered most of the known world in only a thirteen year span.

During 355 B.C.

to 323 B.C.

Alexander lived a good life, he was able to construct great battle plans so he could win a battle even if he was greatly out numbered.

Three of his most memorable battles where at Granicus, Issus, and Gaugamela.

Alexander’s first battle was at Granicus.

The Prtsian satrap’s, Arsites and Mithridates ignored Memnon’s plan and met the Alexander and the Greeks at the Granicus River.

The water was deep and the current was fast because it was spring.

When they met on other sides of the river Alexander had his troops in a strategic formation.

He had the Agrianian assault troops, the Macedonian and the Paeonian cavalry on the right wing which he personally commanded.

On the left wing that was commanded by Parmenion.

Their was the Thessalian cavalry and the Greek cavalry.

He had placed the phalanx and the shield bearers in the middle of both the other wings.

By having his troops positioned this way it made his army have a larger front line than the Persians, which has set up there troops with more of their heavier cavalry which where about two thousand heavy armed men that where separated by the different satrapies that where behind them at the time.

Stationed on top of a rocky ledge over looking the river was a mixture of Greek mercenaries and hoplites.

Alexander wanted to make a diversion to give his troops more time to cross the river.

He had his royal cavalry led be Socrates crossing the river and attacking the Persian army.

Meanwhile Alexander made a hidden crossing across the river with the help of the Agrianians and most of the cavalry that he had at the time.

His plan worked with great success.

The Persian army was too overwhelmed by the attack by the royal cavalry, and also counterattacking on Parmenions side of the field.

Alexander then did a surprise attacking the strongest point of the Persian ranks.

Although his battle plan did work Alexander nearly died when he was attacked by the satraps as soon as they saw him.

Using his lance he unhorsed Mithridates, he was then surrounded by enemy forces.

He now had no lance and his helmet had been broken by a sword.

Spithridates was going to kill Alexander with his sword, but then his arm was cut off by the leader of the royal squadron, Cleitus.

By now the phalanxes had crossed the river in formation and had started to attack what was left of the Persian cavalry.

With their entire line broken the remaining cavalry retreated and fled the battle.

After the cavalry was no longer a problem Alexander ordered his men to attack the mercenaries that had remained on the rocky ledge.

This proved to be very difficult because they had stayed in formation.

Alexander however did not give up, before the battle he had said “The Greek solders that have betrayed their home and name.

I give no quarter.” Alexander then had just won his very first battle on Persian soil.

He had only lost twenty-five companions of the Macedonian cavalry, some dozen infantry and cavalry from other divisions.

The Persians on the other hand had casualties in the thousands. Issus was much like Grancius because the terrain was very similar.

They both had rivers that where overflowing, rocky ledges and the Persians had taken up a defense along one side of the river.

This time the Persians where far greater in numbers, and was commanded by the king himself.

When Alexander arrived at the river from the south, he quickly told his men to stop so that he would have more time to study the Persians position.

In the middle of his army Darius put his Greek Mercenaries and Cardace infantry.

He had positioned most of his cavalry on the right side near the water.

Other troops where placed on the heights intimidating the Greeks right wing.

Alexander then seeing that the Persian advance guards appeared on the battle field arranged his troops so that he has an immense front line that ran from the seacoast to the hills.

He then gave Parmenion who was commanding the right wing to stop the progress of the Persian cavalry that had started to attack.

Alexander on the other hand, with the help of the cavalry and the Agrianians, attacked the right wing of the Persian army.

This drove the troops from their positions on the hills and fighting in the way of the Persian formation.

The cavalry was fighting in the middle of the river.

The infantry then went along into fighting in the middle.

The phalanx had a great risk of being surrounded by the Greek mercenaries after they had gone all the way through the Cardace infantry.

Once both belongings sides had meet and the fighting rages on, both Alexander and Darius confronted each other on the battle field.

Some accounts tell of the two exchanged blows with a lance and Alexander being injured in the leg by the Great King.

When nightfall came to the field Darius had figured out that he would loose the fight and decided to flee the battle field on his chariot, leaving his brother Oxyathres to fend for himself in the battle.

Darius who had fled into the hill had to abandon his chariot and continue on horseback.

His chariot was later found by Macedonian troops and the emblems of his command.

Alexander had then established that he was in control of most of the Persian King’s belongings. Darius III had learned a lot from his experience at Issus.

He was responsive to the fact that his next battle would establish it’s impotent’s.

He had to make sure that his army was far greater than Alexander’s.

Darius was now surrounded with his solders and was waiting for the battle to start.

Alexander had once again came up with a genus battle strategy to beat the Persians once and for all.

He had his troops positioned normally like all his other battles except he had added extra infantry solders to the sides and a second row of infantry in the back, thus forming his army into a huge incontrovertible force that was protected on all sides.

Unlike at Granicus and Issus there was no river and the ground was hard and dry.

This caused the hooves from the horses to raise a giant cloud of dirt that made it nearly impossible to see.

Alexander benefited from this because now he could move his men to the right without the Persian army seeing it.

This was just the surprise that the infantry needed to overwhelm the Persian cavalry.

The scythed carts didn’t work in penetrating Alexander’s forces.

Alexander then quickly attacked the weakest spot in the Persians army.

Raising their war cry of Aalalalalalai.

This threw the entire Persian ranks into confusion.

Remembering what they had learned from the Triballians, the Shield Bearers and Foot Companions where able to not get trampled by the elephants, but doing so this created a gap that Persian troops could rush into.

This meant that Alexander had to pull troops out from the front to go help out at the rear.

In the confusion Darius again was able to turn his cart around and escape.

Never the less even the escape of t he Great King himself could not upset Alexander with his final victory agents the Persian Empire.

Perdiccas one of Alexander’s most trustworthy friends said that “even in the eyes of many of his enemies, the Macedonians king was seen as the new ruler of Asia.” Three of Alexander’s most memorable battles where at Granicus, Issus, and Gaugamela.

Alexander is very important because he had conquered most of the known world in only a thirteen year span; he was made a king at the age of twenty.

During 355 B.C.

to 323 B.C.

Alexander lived a good life; he was able to construct great battle plans so he could win a battle even if he was greatly out numbered.REFERENCEArchibald, Zofia.

(1992).

Ancient Greeks.

London: Quarto Publishing.Casati, Giampaolo.

(2004).

Alexander The Great, The Conqueror.

San Diego: Thunder Bay Press.Milton, Joyce.

(1980).

Sunrise Of Power.

London: Rizzoli Editore.