BATTLE OF ABOUKIR BAY
The Battle of Aboukir Bay, also known as the Battle of the Nile, was a naval battle during
the Napoleonic Wars between Great Britain and France, in which Admiral Horatio Nelson
The Battle of Abu Klea was an engagement between British forces and Dervishes in the
Sudan on January 17th 1885 at Abu Klea, a group of wells on the track from Korti to Metemmeh. A camel
corps with about 1800 troops under General Herbert Stewart, part of the British expedition to
relieve General Charles Gordon in Khartoum, was attacked by 10000 Dervishes. The British
force formed a square that was broken for a short time; it closed up again and beat off the
attack, but Colonel Frederick Burnaby, a noted soldier and explorer, was killed in the
The Battle of Acre was a victory for the crusaders on July the 12th 1191 during the Third
The Battle of Actium was a decisive naval engagement fought off the promontory of Actium on
September the 2nd, 31 BC, between the Roman fleet of Octavian, under the command of Marcus
Vipsanius Agrippa, and a combined Roman-Egyptian fleet commanded by Mark Antony and
Cleopatra. The battle represented the culmination of the old rivalry between Antony and
Octavian for control of the Roman world and had been preceded by a long period of
skirmishing, which included large armies encamped on opposite shores of the Ambracian Gulf.
Against the advice of his generals and allegedly at the behest of Cleopatra, who wanted an
opportunity to withdraw to Egypt, Antony launched the initial phase of the engagement. His
fleet of approximately 220 heavy craft equipped with missile- throwing devices attacked at
close range. Octavian's fleet of some 260 light vessels had greater maneuverability. The
outcome of the battle remained in doubt until Cleopatra, apparently alarmed by an enemy
maneuver, ordered the Egyptian contingent, about 60 vessels, to withdraw. Antony himself
followed her, but most of his remaining vessels were soon overtaken and annihilated. The
deserted army later surrendered to Octavian.
The Battle of Adowa was a decisive battle fought at Adowa, in north central Ethiopia on March
the 1st 1896. The Ethiopian army of King Menelik II defeated Italian forces, thereby halting
for the time Italy's move toward creating an African colonial empire.
The Battle of Adrianople was a victory at Adrianople, on July the 3rd 323 AD, for Constantine
I, ruler of the Western Roman Empire, during the Roman Civil Wars. Constantine defeated
Licinius, emperor of the East. Roughly 50000 soldiers were involved on each side and some
20000 were killed. The Battle of Adrianople was a major Visigoth victory on August the 9th,
378 AD, over the Romans at Adrianople. The Visigoths, under their chief, Fritigern, routed a
force of 30000 Romans under Emperor Valens. Valens and 20000 Romans were killed. Emperor
Theodosius I was subsequently forced in 382 to come to terms with the Visigoths.
The Battle of Aegospotami was a Spartan naval victory over the Athenians at the end of the
Peloponnesian War 405 BC off Aegospotami. Lysander's decisive victory over the Athenian fleet
broke the, until then unchallenged Athenian naval superiority and effectively ended the war.
An Athenian fleet of some 180 triremes lay at Aegospotami and 170 Peloponnesian ships, under
Lysander, lay at Lampsacus on the southern shore. On four successive days the Athenian fleet
rowed across the strait, hoping to draw Lysander's force out to give battle, but without
success. On the fifth day Lysander waited until the Athenians made their usual sortie and
returned to their base; once they had anchored, Lysander's fleet made a sudden dash across
the water, pounced on the anchored Athenians, captured 160 ships, and killed the crews.
The Battle of Agincourt was fought on the 25th of October 1415 at the French village of
The Battle of Albuera occurred on the 16th of May 1811, during the Peninsular War. It was an
Allied victory over the French at Albuera. A French army of about 23,000 troops under Marshal
Nicolas Soult, marching to relieve the siege of Badajoz, was met by the siege force of 30,000
Allied (British, Spanish, and Portuguese) troops under General William Beresford outside
Albuera. The French were able to retire in good order, taking about 500 prisoners with them,
but the siege of Badajoz was not raised. Of the 6, 000 British troops, only 1, 500 were not
wounded. On the morning of the 16th, Soult launched a feint attack against the Allied left
flank while directing his main force against the Allied right. Beresford had expected a
frontal attack and was unable to wheel his troops before the French struck. The Spanish
troops on the left were shattered by French musketry and a cavalry charge, and the British
2nd Division was brought from the other side of the field to stop the attack. The British
57th Foot lost 423 of their 575-strong contingent and earned themselves the nickname the
'Die- Hards'. There was little room to maneuver on the ridge, so the battle became a fierce
hand- to-hand affair. Beresford narrowly escaped capture and was preparing to retreat when
the British and Portuguese reserves were brought up and, charging up the hill into the face
of the French, routed them.
The Battle of Alford was fought on July the 2nd 1645 when General Baillie with a large body
of covenanters who was defeated by the marquis of Montrose.
The Battle of Angamos was a naval battle fought off Angamos Point, north of Antofagasta in
Chile on October the 8th 1879 between the Peruvian ironclad Huascar and the Chilean ironclad
Blanco Encalada and Almirante Cochrane, assisted by the corvette Covadonga. The battle lasted
one and a half hours when the Peruvians were forced to surrender.
The Battle of Anjou (Battle of Beauge) was fought between the English and French on the 22nd
of March 1421. The English were defeated. This was the first battle that turned the tide of
success against the English.
The Battle of Antietam was an important battle of the American Civil War. About 50,000
The Battle of Aquae Sexitae was a Roman victory in 102 BC over the invading Teutones. The
Romans, under Marius, decimated the Teutones at Aquae Sextiae, in what is now southern
France, and later defeated the Cimbri, allies of the Teutones.
The Battle of Arbela took place in 331 BC, in Assyria, and was a victory for Alexander the
The Battle of Aspern was an Austrian victory over Napoleon Bonaparte on the 21st and 22nd of
May 1809, his first defeat. The battle took place outside the village of Aspern, north-west
of Vienna. Following the French occupation of Vienna, Archduke Charles gathered the Austrian
Army across the river Danube and Napoleon sent 40,000 troops to confront him on the
Marchfield Plain, between the villages of Aspern and Essling. A confused battle ensued, after
which the Austrians held Essling and the French Aspern. On the following day Napoleon
attacked again and broke the Austrian centre, but the Austrians held firm and sent a force to
destroy the bridges behind the French. Napoleon ordered the attack to cease and the French
then fell back, fighting a rearguard action, to the village of Lobau.
The Battle of Austerlitz was one of the greatest military engagements won by Napoleon. It
The Battle of Ayacucho was the last major engagement of the South American war for
In the Crimean War, the Battle of Balaklava (Balaclava) was a Russian attack on British
The Battle of Bannockburn was fought between Scottish and English armies, near Bannockburn,
Scotland, on June the 24th, 1314, during the Scottish war of independence against England.
The battle began when the Scottish forces, numbering about 40,000 troops under the command of
Robert Bruce, king of Scotland, intercepted an army of about 60,000 commanded by Edward II of
England, which was en route to the relief of a besieged English stronghold at Stirling
Castle. After inconclusive skirmishing between patrols of the two armies, the English
launched a mass attack, led by cavalry, on the Scottish positions. Bruce, however, had
prepared the ground before his lines with a series of deep, camouflaged pits. The mounted
English troops blundered into the pits and were slain by Scottish pikemen. In the fighting
that followed, the English army was decisively defeated, losing an estimated 10,000 men.
Bruce' s victory, accomplished with about 4000 casualties, secured his throne and the
independence of Scotland.
The Battle of Bautzen was a French victory in the Napoleonic Wars over a combined Russian and
Prussian force on the 20th and 21st of May 1813, at Bautzen, about 40 km north-west of
Dresden. The victory was the result of Napoleon's insistence on punishing the Prussians for
deserting his alliance. Napoleon led 115,000 troops against the 100,000-strong combined army
under Marshal Gebhard von Blucher and Count Wittgenstein. He planned to make a frontal attack
to fix the troops on his front, while sending Marshal Michel Ney, approaching with another
body of troops, against the enemy's right flank. Three French corps crossed the river Spree
on the 20th of May and took Bautzen and a ridge of hills. The combined armies counterattacked
on the 21st of May and succeeded in pushing the French back some distance but were then
struck by Ney. Although the Russians and Prussians put up a powerful fight, they were
incapable of dealing simultaneously with both frontal and flank attacks and the frontal
attack, led by Marshal Nicolas Soult, broke through the centre while Ney was steadily
advancing from the flank. The combined force had no alternative but to retreat, which they
were able to achieve in good order, largely because Napoleon had no cavalry to harry them.
The Battle of Beachy Head was an English naval defeat in the Channel on the 30th of June 1690
by a French force sailing to London in support of a proposed Jacobite rebellion. The English
army at the time under William of Orange was almost entirely occupied in Ireland where the
exiled King James II was based. Taking advantage of this weakness, Louis XIV of France
prepared a large fleet to attack London, raise a Jacobite rebellion in support of James II,
and invade England. Despite this victory, James suffered a series of reverses and was forced
to flee to France, so the proposed invasion never took place.
See "Battle of Anjou"
The Battle of Bennington was fought during the American War of
Independence near the village of Bennington, on August the 16th, 1777. The British general John Burgoyne, on his march
south from Canada to join another British force at Albany, sent 800 Hessian dragoons and
Indians, placed under the command of the German colonel Friedrich Baum, to capture the
American supply base at Bennington. Detachments of the Vermont and New Hampshire militia
decisively defeated the British forces, including reinforcements dispatched by Burgoyne after
the battle had begun. British casualties were 207 killed and wounded - including Baum, who
died two days later - and 600 men taken prisoner; American casualties were 14 killed and 12
The Battle of Beresina was a partial victory of Russian forces over the French army
The Battle of Blackwater was fought in Ireland on August 14th 1598 when the Irish chief
O'Neil defeated the English under Sir Henry Bagnall. Pope Clement VIII sent O'Neil a
consecrated plume, and granted to his followers the same indulgence as to Crusaders.
The Battle of Bladensburg was an unsuccessful American attempt to check the British advance
on Washington on the 24th of August 1814 during the American War. The British entered
Washington later the same day.
The Battle of Blenheim was fought during the Spanish Succession, on August the 13th, 1704,
near the village of Blenheim in Bavaria. Anglo-Austrian forces, led by the British military
leader John Churchill, 1st duke of Marlborough, and the Austrian general Eugene of Savoy,
defeated the French and Bavarians under the French marshal Camille de Tallard and Maximilian
II Emanuel, elector of Bavaria. The British and Austrian casualties were 4500 killed and 7500
wounded. The French and Bavarians lost a large but undetermined number; 11,000 were taken
prisoner. After this defeat French military domination of Europe began to decline.
The Battle of Blore Heath took place on the 23rd of September 1459 during the Wars of the
Roses between the Lancastrians under Lord Audley and the Yorkists under Lord Salisbury who
was marching from Yorkshire to join the Duke of York at Ludlow. Lord Audley was ordered to
intercept the Yorkist force and the two armies met head on two and a half miles east of
Market Drayton at a place called Blore Heath. Lord Salisbury, with 3,000 troops was
outnumbered by more than two to one, but could not avoid giving battle. Audley took up a
position just west of a little stream that crosses the Market Drayton-Newcastle-under-lyme
road, and Salisbury's men were drawn up about 150 yards east of the present Audley Cross,
which marks the spot where Lord Audley fell. The Yorkist left rested upon the boggy edge of a
wood, but their right was in the air and Salisbury made a laager of his wagons to protect
this flank. Whether Lord Salisbury feigned retreat in order to draw Lord Audley on is not
certain, but the Lancastrian commander was definitely the one to attack. Two cavalry charges
were repulsed, the first with heavy loss to the Lancastrians and then they mounted an
infantry attack up the hill to the Yorkist position. But this too failed; there was no
support from the cavalry, Lord Audley had already fallen and 500 Lancastrians chose this
moment to desert to the enemy. Salisbury's victory was complete and in the pursuit, which
continued for two miles, the slaughter was heavy. Possibly 2000 Lancastrians perished in this
battle, but less than 200 Yorkists fell.
The Battle of Boomplaats was fought between the Boers and British in 1848 during which Sir
Harry Smith defeated Pretorius .
The Battle of Borodino was fought on September the 7th, 1812, during the Napoleonic Wars,
between a French army under Napoleon and a Russian army under Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov in and
around the village of Borodino, about 110 km south-west of Moscow. To halt Napoleon's advance
on Moscow, about 125, 000 Russians had built earthworks along the highway at Borodino. The
French army, about 130,000 men, reached the position on September the 6th and began an
assault early the next day. After maneuvering the enemy commander into massing his strength
in the centre, Napoleon ordered a fierce bombardment and then a cavalry attack that broke
through the lines. The Russians retired, and the French occupied Moscow without further
resistance. Russian casualties in the battle, generally regarded as the costliest of the 19th
century, were about 42,000 men. Napoleon lost about 32,000 men. The battle is described in
Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace.
The Battle of Bosworth Field was the last battle between the houses of York and Lancaster,
and occurred on August 22nd 1485, when Richard III was defeated by the earl of Richmond,
afterwards Henry VII, and slain through the desertion of Sir William Stanley.
The Battle of Bouvines occurred on the 27th of July 1214 when
Philip Augustus of France was victorious over the emperor Otho and his allies.
The Battle of Boyaca was one of the decisive battles in the wars of independence waged
The Battle of Breitenfeld was a victory of a joint Swedish-Saxon force under King Gustavus
Adolphus over Imperial forces under Count Tilly during the Thirty Years War on the 17th of
September 1631 at Breitenfeld, about 10 km from Leipzig. While Gustavus was negotiating
alliances with Brandenburg and Saxony, Tilly sacked Magdeburg, which he had promised to
relieve. The Swedes were joined by the Saxons and Tilly driven back.
The Battle of Briar's Creek occurred on the 3rd of March 1779 when a 2000 strong American
army under general Ashe was totally defeated by the English under general Prevost.
The Battle of Brices Cross Roads was fought during the American Civil War and ended in a
notable Confederate victory. The engagement took place in north-eastern Mississippi near
Tupelo. On June the 10th, 1864, forces of the Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest
engaged in battle with numerically superior Union troops under General Samuel Davis Sturgis,
routing the enemy and capturing their artillery, supplies, and 1500 of their men. Although
the battle was not decisive in relieving the beleaguered Confederacy, it is considered a
brilliant tactical triumph for Forrest.
The Battle of Brienne occurred on the 29th of January 1814 when the allied armies of Russia
and Prussia under Blucher were defeated by the French.
The Battle of Bronker's Spruit was an ambush by Boer forces, at Bronker's Spruit in the
Transvaal in 1880 which shot down a detachment of 250 British soldiers before any declaration
of war had been made.
The Battle of Brunanburh was fought between on one side Athelstan and his brother Eadmund and
on the other Anlaf of Dublin, Constantine of Scotland, the Celtic king of Northumberland and
the Northumbrian Danes in 937. Athelstan and his brother won a decisive victory which
practically established the unity of England for many years.
The battle of Buena Vista was fought during the Mexican War on February the 22nd and 23rd,
1847, in and around Buena Vista. About 5000 American troops commanded by Gen. Zachary Taylor
defeated some 15,000 Mexicans under General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and inflicted about
1500 casualties. American losses totaled 746. Santa Anna retreated, and Taylor was left in
control of northern Mexico. By weakening Santa Anna's forces, Taylor helped the American
campaign in the south, hastening the end of the war.
The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought near Boston in the USA on the 17th of June 1775 between
nearly 3000 British and 5000 Americans. The Americans were compelled to retreat after a
fierce conflict. This was the first battle of the American War of Independence.
The Battle of Busaco was fought between English and Portuguese armies under the Duke of
Wellington and the French under Marshal Andre Massena on the 27th of September 1810 during
the Peninsular War. Wellington bought the British a little more time in delaying the French
invasion of Portugal and reduced the enemy's force.
The Battle of Cadiz was a naval battle which took place on July 21st 1640 when a French
squadron under Armand de Breze defeated a Spanish convoy by employing a hitherto unknown
tactic of attacking the Spanish convoy from both sides. The Spanish lost five vessels and
about a thousand men, while the French losses were small.
The Battle of Caldera Bay occurred during the civil war in Chile in 1891 and was fought
between the Congressionalist ironclad Blanco Encalada and the Balmacedist torpedo gunboats
Almirante Lynch and Almirante Condell who torpedoed the ironclad amidships and sank her in
The Battle of Camden was the greatest British victory in the
American War of Independence. It took place on the 16th of August 1780, near Camden in South
Carolina. The Americans had sent an army to South Carolina to attack the British headquarters
at Camden. Lord Cornwallis collected his troops and attacked; though much inferior in
strength, his force was of disciplined regulars, while the American force was largely
composed of untrained militia, and the Americans were comprehensively defeated. They lost
over 1,000 killed and wounded and about the same number of prisoners were taken, as well as a
large quantity of stores, and at the time it seemed that the American cause was doomed.
However, following the defeat by the French over the British fleet at Chesapeake Bay in 1781,
Cornwallis was forced to surrender, effectively ending British hopes in the war.
The Battle of Camperdown took place on October the 11th 1797 when Admiral Adam Duncan bore
down upon the Dutch under De Winter, broke through the Dutch line, and engaged closely from
leeward. The action was bloody and determined on both sides, and resulted in a decisive
victory for the British, who captured seven ships of the line (including both flagships), two
50's and two frigates.
The Battle of Cape Henry occurred on the 16th of March 1781. The British occupied Portsmouth
on the James River south of Chesapeake Bay in America, the French having a squadron at
Newport, Rhode Island. An indecisive battle ensued in which the French lost more heavily and
the British regained command of Chesapeake Bay.
The Battle of Cape Ortegal took place on November the 4th 1805 between an English fleet and a
small French fleet. The battle resulted in the capture of all the French ships.
The Battle of Cape St Vincent was a British defeat of a Spanish fleet on the 14th of February
1797 off Cape St Vincent on the Portuguese coast; the British victory wrecked French plans to
invade England, and the two British commanders were both honored for this crucial victory:
John Jervis became Lord St Vincent and Horatio Nelson gained his knighthood. A Spanish fleet
of 27 ships was en route to join with the French fleet at Brest, to protect the invasion
force, when it encountered a British fleet of fifteen ships under Admiral John Jervis. The
British were in tight line formation, whereas the Spanish were in two loose groups. Jervis
headed for the gap between the two groups, intending to get to the windward side of one group
and attack it, which would give him freedom of maneuver but would prevent the leeward
Spanish group from coming close. Admiral Horatio Nelson, at the rear of the British line, saw
that the leeward French could, in fact, circle around and come on Jervis from the rear, and
in total disobedience of his orders, sailed on his own to attack the Spanish line which was
already showing signs of the movement Nelson had foreseen. He engaged them single-handed for
some time before other ships from Jervis' command, seeing the threat, came to support him. A
fierce fight ensued, and four Spanish ships and 3,000 prisoners were taken. The remainder of
the Spanish fleet turned back to Cadiz, but Jervis did not pursue.
The Battle of Cape Ushant was an indecisive encounter on July 27th 1778 between the British
under Admiral Augustus Keppel and a French fleet under Comte d'Orvilliers. A second Battle of
Cape Ushant (The Glorious First of June) occurred in 1794 when a British fleet under Admiral
Lord Howe claimed six prizes off a French fleet under Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse.
The Battle of Chancellorsville was a comprehensive victory of General Robert E Lee's
Confederate forces over Joseph Hooker's Union troops on the 1st of May 1863 during the
American Civil War. Lee intercepted an intended Union attack on Richmond at Chancellorsville,
Virginia, USA, and shattered the Union forces. Lee secured a remarkable victory, defeating a
force three times the size of his own, but Thomas Jackson, perhaps his best general, was
mortally wounded during the battle and his loss was a grave blow to the Confederate campaign.
See "Battle of Cold Harbor"
The Battle of Chickamauga Creek occurred on September the 19th and 20th 1863, during the
American Civil War. Some 55,000 Union troops, led by Rosecrans, were engaged by 70,000
Confederates, led by Bragg, near Chattanooga. Union losses were 16,000, Confederate losses
18,000, making this one of the war's bloodiest battles.
The Battle of Chillianwallah was fought between the Sikh forces in considerable strength, and
the British commanded by lord Gough, on 13 January 1849. The Sikhs were completely routed,
but the loss to the British was severe, with about 750 killed and 2000 wounded.
The Battle of Cold Harbor was a battle during the
American Civil War. It took place on June 3rd 1864 and involved the defeat of the Federal army of the Potomac under General Grant by
the Confederate army of Virginia under General Lee. The battle is also known as The Battle of
The Battle of Copenhagen was a naval victory on the 2nd of April 1801 by a British fleet
under Sir Hyde Parker and Nelson over the Danish fleet. Nelson put his telescope to his blind
eye and refused to see Parker's signal for withdrawal.
The Battle of Corunna took place on January 16th 1809 during the Peninsular War. At the
battle the British under Sir John Moore defeated the French at Soult. However, Sir John Moore
was killed at the battle.
The Battle of Crecy took place in 1346, during the Hundred Years' War, when the English under
Edward III routed a largely superior French army under Philip VI. The French losses amounted
to over 31,000 including the King of Bohemia, 10 other princes and some 1200 knights. It was
the first English battle in which the cannon was used, but victory was the result of the
shooting of the English long-bow men.
The Battle of Culloden was a defeat in 1746 of the Jacobite rebel army of the British prince
Charles Edward Stuart (the 'Young Pretender') by the Duke of Cumberland on a stretch of
moorland in Inverness-shire, Scotland. This battle effectively ended the military challenge
of the Jacobite rebellion.
The Battle of Cunaxa took place in 401 BC between Cyrus the Younger with Orientals and Greek
mercenaries against the Persians under his brother Artaxerxes. Cyrus was killed but the
Greeks refused to surrender and were allowed to march to the coast.
The Battle of Dettingen took place on June 27th 1743 during the War of the Austrian
Succession. The British and Hanoverians under George II with the Austrians, defeated the
French under Marshal Noailles. This was the last occasion when a British monarch led his
troops to battle.
The Battle of Dresden was a French victory in battle for control of the German city of
Dresden during the Napoleonic wars. It was fought on the 27th of August 1813 between 80,000
French troops and an Allied army of almost 200, 000 Austrian, Prussian, and Russian troops.
The Allies lost some 38,000 troops; the French about 10, 000. The Allied army under Count
Schwarzenburg of Austria advanced on Dresden which had been captured by the French, forcing
Napoleon Bonaparte to hurry back from Silesia to take control. On the evening of the 26th of
August the Allies began a heavy artillery bombardment of the city and then attacked with six
columns of infantry. The French repulsed the attack at every point and as night fell, the
Austrians withdrew. During the night more reinforcements reached Napoleon and in the morning
he launched an attack against both wings of the Allied army: General Joachim Murat of Naples
and his cavalry went against the left flank, while Marshal Michel Ney, with the guards
infantry, attacked the Russians on the right. The fighting raged all day and as night began
to fall, Schwarzenburg realized he could make no further progress and ordered a withdrawal.
The Battle of Dunbar took place on April 27th 1296 when Edward I of England was defeated by
the Scots under John Baliol. A second Battle of Dunbar occurred on September 3rd 1650 when
the Parliamentarians under Oliver Cromwell routed the Scottish Royalists under David Leslie.
The Battle of Dungan-Hill took place on the 8th of August 1647 between the English and the
Irish. The English decisively defeated the Irish, killing roughly 6000 with no consequential
The Battle of Dunsinane occurred on Dunsinane hill on the 27th of July 1054 and took place
between king Macbeth formerly the thane of Glammis, and Siward, earl of Northumberland.
Edward the Confessor had sent Siward on behalf of Malcolm III, whose father Duncan had been
murdered by the usurper Macbeth. Macbeth was defeated, and it was said was pursued to
Lumphaman and there slain in 1056 or 1057.
The Battle of Duppel was fought during the Prusso-Danish War and comprised a successful
German assault on a fortified position in Schleswig-Holstein during March 1868 , then
occupied by the Danes, which opened the way for the invasion of Denmark. A previous German
attack in 1848 had been halted at Duppel. The principal fort was protected by a chain of ten
earthwork redoubts which the Germans now besieged having learned from their earlier defeat.
Artillery bombardments appeared to do little damage, since the earthworks simply absorbed
shell-fire and no effective breaches were made in the defenses. After almost three weeks, an
astute German observer noted that the Danish commander was in the habit of withdrawing his
troops from the foremost redoubt at dawn, so as to protect the troops from the daily shell-fire, returning them in the evening. The Germans waited until they had left and then launched
a sudden attack which turned into a race to occupy the redoubt first. The Germans won,
breaching the line, and the Danish garrison surrendered.
The Battle of Dupplin Moor took place on August 12th 1332 when Edward Baliol and the Scottish
barons defeated a numerically superior force of King David of Scotland under the Earl of Mar
and obtained the crown for three months.
The Battle of Eckmuhl was a French victory over 76,000 Austrians under the Archduke Charles,
at Eckmuhl on the 22nd of April 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars. The Austrians occupied
Ratisbon but found Napoleon had cut their line of communication with a force of some 90,000
troops. In the hope of restoring it, the Archduke led his army out of the town and occupied a
position on a hill at Eckmuhl and prepared for battle. Napoleon attacked, cut the Austrian
army in two and reduced it to a shambles, driving them across the river Danube and back to
the safety of Ratisbon.
The Battle of El Teb took place on February 4th 1884 during the Sudan Campaign. A force of
Sudanese under Osman Digna practically annihilated an Egyptian column under Baker Pasha which
was marching to relieve Sinkat.
The Battle of Elandsaagte took place on October 21st 1899 during the 2nd Boer War when the
British under General French drove a strong force of Boers from their position, capturing the
leader, General Koch.
The Battle of Elba occurred on August 28th 1652 off Elba between the English under Admiral
Richard Badiley and the Dutch under admiral Van Gelen. The English lost the Phoenix and had
to withdraw into Porto Longone. On the following 20th of November the British under Captain
Owen Cox recaptured the Phoenix.
The Battle of Ethandune took place in 878 when the West Saxons under King Alfred inflicted a
crushing defeat on the Danes under Guthrum.
The Battle of Eutaw Springs took place on September 8th 1781 and was the last serious
engagement of the American War of Independence. The British under General Stewart gained a
victory over the Americans under Greene at Eutaw Springs, South Carolina.
The Battle of Evesham took place on August 4th 1265 during the Barons' War. The Royalists in
largely superior numbers under Prince Edward defeated the Barons under Simon de Montfort, who
was slain at Evesham, Worcestershire, thus ending the war.
The first Battle of Falkirk took place on July 22nd 1298 when a superior force of English
under Edward I routed the Scots under Sir William Wallace. The second Battle of Falkirk
occurred on January 16th 1746 when the Highland rebels of '45 inch under the Young Pretender
defeated the British under General Hawley.
The Battle of Ferkeh occurred during the Sudan campaign when the army of the dervishes was
surprised and wiped out by the British under Kitchener on June 7th 1896 when on his march
toward Dongola. The battle lasted from 5 to 7 am and resulted in the death of 1000 dervishes
and 20 Egyptians.
The Battle of Ferozeshah took place during the 1st Sikh War on December 22nd and 23rd 1845.
The British and native troops under Lord Gough defeated 50, 000 Sikhs.
The Battle of Fort Donelson occurred during the American Civil War, and involved the capture
by Union forces under General Ulysses S Grant on the 15th of February 1862 of two vital
Confederate strong points: Fort Henry, on the Tennessee river, and Fort Donelson, on the
Cumberland river, about 19 km away. Fort Henry fell to Grant' s attack quite easily and he
then moved overland to attack Donelson, to which most of Henry's garrison had fled. An
initial attack by Union gunboats failed but the Confederate commander Brigadier- General
Gideon Pillow was not confident of holding the fort and formed a striking column to breach
the Union lines, so that the rest of the garrison could escape. The sally began well, taking
one Union division by surprise and swinging it back on the rest of the Union line, but Grant
sent a reserve corps under General Lew Wallace to deal with the Confederate column and
ordered a frontal attack on the earthworks around the fort in order to draw defenders away
from the attempted breakout. By the end of the day the Confederate column was back inside the
fort, the Union lines were redrawn, and a renewed attack was planned for the following
morning. Pillow decided to surrender but as no Confederate general had yet surrendered to a
Union force, he was apprehensive of what might happen to him if he fell into Union hands. He
fled, passing command to Brigadier John Floyd. Floyd also fled, in turn passing the command
to General Simon Bolivar Buckner who surrendered the following morning.
The Battle of Fort George was fought at Niagara on 27th May 1813 during the American War and
resulted in a victory for the Americans.
The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought on December 13th, 1862 during the American Civil War.
The Federals under General Burnside attacked the Confederates under General Lee, who were
occupying a strong position on the hills; they were repulsed, but Lee was unable to follow up
The Battle of Friedland was fought on June 14th 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars. The Russians
and Prussians under Bennigsen were routed by the French under Napoleon I and Lannes.
The Battle of Froeschwiller was the first major battle of the Franco- Prussian War. It took
place on the 6th of August 1870 around the village of Froeschwiller in eastern France. The
Prussian victory proved the potential of breech-loading artillery to dominate a battle and
the futility of using cavalry against even breech-loading small arms. Bavarian and Prussian
troops crossed the frontier into France on the 4th of August, taking the town of Wissembourg.
The French withdrew, and for a time the two armies lost contact with each other. Marshal
Marie MacMahon decided to prepare a strong defensive position on the Froeschwiller ridge with
troops of the 1st and 7th Corps, and instructed 5th Corps, then further north, to join him.
The 5th Corps could not assemble quickly enough as it was spread out along the frontier so
MacMahon had only 48,000 troops instead of the 76, 000 he had hoped for. On the evening of
the 5th of August, Prussian patrols arrived on the river Sauerbach at Worth and opened fire
on French patrols on the other side. Other advancing German units also came across the French
positions the following morning and the battle began without any formal orders as these
individual contacts began to spread and intensify. Prussian artillery was brought up and
rapidly dominated the French artillery, while German commanders called for reinforcements. On
the southern flank of the French position, the German 11th Corps made a major attack which
swept all before it. In desperation the French commander launched a cavalry charge which
found itself confined in farmyards, vineyards, and the village of Morsbronn, where the
Prussians were able to shoot them down with impunity; nine French squadrons were totally
destroyed for no Prussian loss. The German 5th Corps attacked further north and after
desperate fighting managed to drive the French back. On the northern flank the Bavarian corps
sustained severe losses as they came out of a forest into an open area well covered by
the French infantry, but overcame the initial setback and began pressing south, putting the
French under pressure in three directions. After an unsuccessful counterattack with his
reserves, MacMahon realized that further resistance was futile, as his regiments were melting
away; at about 4 p.m. the Prussians stormed into the village of Froeschwiller while the
surviving French made their escape as best they could, leaving 11,000 dead and wounded and
9,200 prisoners behind. German casualties were about 11,000 killed and wounded.
The Battle of Fuentes d'Onoro was fought on May 3rd to 5th 1811 during the Peninsular War,
and was one of the most hotly contested battles of the war. Massena on his way to relieve
Almeida, attacked Wellington, but failed to capture the position and retired in good order.
Wellington's doubtful victory then secured the evacuation of Almeida.
The Battle of Gaugamela occurred during the Asiatic campaign of Alexander the Great, and was
a Macedonian victory over the Persians in 331 BC, about 80 km north-east of Nineveh (now Al
Mawsil, Iraq). This battle broke the rule of Darius and gave Alexander the whole of Asia
Minor. Alexander, at the head of a force of about 47,000 Macedonians and Greeks, was
confronted by about 120,000 Persians under Darius. He personally led his right wing in an
attack against the junction of the Persian centre and left wing, separating them and then
taking the Persian centre in its flank. The Macedonian left was also pressing the Persians
hard; Darius' forces gave way between the two Macedonian wings and a rout ensued with Darius
forced to flee. Alexander's force pursued them hard, with considerable slaughter, before the
last of the Persians managed to escape.
The Battle of Gisors was an English victory for Richard I over the French on the 10th of
October 1198. It was at the battle that Richard I made the cry ' Dieu et mon droit' (God and
my right) which afterwards became the motto of the arms of England.
The Battle of Granson was a Swiss victory over Charles the Bold in 1476 at Granson on the
south-east end of Lake Neuchatel. The town was captured by the Swiss in 1475 but the Duke of
Burgundy recaptured it in February 1476 and massacred the entire garrison. The Swiss advanced
on the town with a force of 18,000 and Charles, at the head of a 36,000-strong Burgundian
force, tried to lure them out of the mountains and into open country by retreating. The Swiss
followed closely and attacked his rearguard, whereupon Charles panicked and fled with the
rest of his army. The Swiss pursued, completely destroyed his camp, and scattered his army.
The Battle of Gravelines was fought on Monday the 29th of July, 1588 during the English-Spanish Naval War. The Spanish Armada had entered the English Channel on Saturday the 20th of
July 1588. The Spaniards saw no signs of their enemy. But the next morning, when they were
off Plymouth, sixty English ships attacked them in a manner which they little expected.
Instead of closing with the enemy, in the traditional style, the English passed by the
Spanish fleet, each ship firing, as it passed, a terrific broadside. The Spaniards could not
reply, for, with their inadequate guns, they were out of range. Nor could they close with the
enemy, for the English sailed away. All that week the entire Armada moved slowly up the
Channel; there were two minor fights off the Dorset coast and the Isle of Wight. On Saturday
the 27th of July, a week after they had entered the Channel, the Spaniards dropped anchor in
Calais Roads. Here Medina Sidonia sent a message to Parma, and perhaps intended waiting for
him. But he was not allowed to do so. Drake, taking advantage of a favorable
wind, sent fire-ships among the Spanish fleet. Only a few ships were actually set on fire, but the rest
cut their cables and made for the open sea. The Spaniards were driven from Calais. On the
29th of July, the wind again favored the English, for it blew strongly towards the Flemish
coast, from which the Spaniards struggled to get away. As they did so, broadside after
broadside from the English guns battered their ships and cut down their soldiers. It was a
terrible slaughter; and the Spaniards, as at Plymouth, could make no effective reply from
their own feeble guns. Only a lucky change in the direction of the wind saved the Spaniards
from being driven upon the sandbanks of Flanders. Though they lost only two or three ships at
Gravelines, the whole fleet was badly damaged - how badly was shown in the sequel. For Medina
Sidonia, recognizing defeat, determined to sail round Great Britain and make for and - a
friendly Catholic country, as he thought. But his ships battered by the English guns at Gravelines,
were in no condition to make so long a voyage. All leaked badly, a great storm arose, and
there were no friendly harbors in England or Scotland. Soon the majority of the ships became
wrecks. Many of them were driven on to the inhospitable shores of Scotland and Ireland; in
Ireland hundreds of Spanish soldiers were murdered by the natives, who turned out to be
little better than savages. Of the 130 ships which had made up the Armada, only fifty reached
The Battle of Gravelotte was a Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian War on the 18th of
August 1870; the battle took place on a ridge near Gravelotte and although the Prussians
gained an important strategic victory, isolating General Francois Bazaine in Metz, it cost
them over 20,000 casualties, compared to French losses of around 13,000. The victory left the
bulk of the Prussian forces free to concentrate upon Marshal Marie MacMahon's army which they
destroyed at Sedan.
The Battle of Guildford Court House was an indecisive battle fought on the 15th of March 1781
between the British under Cornwallis and the Americans under Greene during the American War
of Independence. Lord Cornwallis' force of 1300 British troops attacked a stronger American
force under General Nathaneal Greene which was in a well-prepared defensive position. By a
series of attacks on individual strong points the British eventually put the Americans to
flight, leaving their guns, stores, and wounded behind. However, the British sustained 548
casualties, almost half Cornwallis' force, leaving him too weak to pursue the enemy or carry
out further operations for some time.
The Battle of Haarlem occurred during the Netherlands War of Independence, and involved a
siege of Haarlem, capital of the province of North Holland, by 30,000 Spanish troops from the
11th of December 1572 until the 12th of July 1753. Although severely outnumbered, the
garrison put up a valiant resistance, inflicting a heavy toll on the Spanish who lost some
12,000 casualties. In revenge, the Spanish massacred the entire garrison and hundreds of
civilians when the city eventually surrendered.
The Battle of Hallue River occurred during the
Franco-Prussian War between the 23rd and the 24th of December 1870 on a bend of the Hallue river 8 km north-east of Amiens. Citizen armies
had been raised all over France since the siege of Paris and the northern army, under the
command of General Louis Faidherbe, clashed with a smaller regular Prussian force while
attempting to take Amiens. Faidherbe held off the initial Prussian assault but did not trust
his irregular force to see off a second attack and withdrew.
The Battle of Hampton Roads was the first battle between
armored warships. It was an inconclusive naval engagement during the American Civil War between the Confederate Virginia
and the Union battleship Monitor on the 8th of March 1862 off the south-east coast of
Virginia. Neither vessel made any impression on the other after several hours of exchanging
fire and eventually both withdrew.
The Battle of Haslach was a French victory over the Austrians on the 11th of October 1805
during the Napoleonic Wars at Haslach. A 6000-strong French force under General Pierre de
L'Etang Dupont was marching on Ulm when he was stopped by an Austrian force of 60000 troops
under the Archduke Ferdinand which commanded the heights around his route. He immediately
occupied and fortified the village of Haslach, which was then attacked by about 25000 of the
Austrians. Dupont managed to hold them off until nightfall, then disengaged and withdrew,
taking 4000 Austrian prisoners with him.
The Battle of Hattin was a major defeat for the Crusaders by Saladin on the 4th of July 1187
at a village in Palestine 8 km north-west of Tiberias. A force of Frankish Crusaders was
completely wiped out, destroying the military power of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. A column of
Frankish Crusaders was marching to the relief of the citadel of Tiberias which was under
siege by Saladin. The column was attacked by a Saracen army and brought to a halt at Hattin,
a place with no water. Harassing attacks during the night ensured that the Crusaders had no
rest, and the lack of water demoralized them. On the following morning they were in no
condition to withstand attack; the Saracens swept around in two wings and completely
annihilated the Crusader force.
The Battle of Inkerman was an infantry battle of the Crimean War fought on the 5th of
November 1854 when the Russians attacked the British forces besieging Sebastopol and were
repulsed. In the battle 8,000 British soldiers sustained a hand-to-hand combat with 50,000
The Battle of Jellalabad was an Afghan siege in 1841 of an isolated British outpost at
Jellalabad (now Jalalabad). The siege was lifted after five months when a British
counterattack routed the Afghans, driving them back to Kabul. The outpost was little more
than a wide place in the road with a fort, held by about 2,000 troops under General Sir
Robert Sale. After the massacre of the British force in Kabul, Jellallabad was surrounded by
Afghan forces which launched a series of attacks on the force. The British managed to beat
off the assaults, and even captured 300 sheep from the besieging force when rations ran
short. Eventually, after five months under siege, Sale mounted an attack against the Afghan
forces, captured their main camp, baggage, stores, guns, and horses and the Afghans fled to
The Battle of Jena was a comprehensive French victory over the combined Prussian and Saxon
armies on the 14th of October 1806 at Jena, Germany during the Napoleonic Wars. Prussian and
Saxon losses amounted to some 40, 000 troops and 200 guns, while French casualties were
14,000. Napoleon so broke the Prussian forces that they were unable to prevent him marching
on Berlin, and this disaster led to the complete overhaul and re-organisation of the Prussian
Army which laid the foundations for its subsequent military prowess.
The Battle of Junin was an engagement of the Peruvian War of Independence, fought in the
highlands near Lima on August the 6th 1824. The preceding February the royalists had regained
control of Lima, and, having regrouped in Trujillo, Simon Bolivar in June led his rebel
forces south to confront the Spanish. The two armies met on the plains of Junin, north-west
of Jauja Valley. The battle was an hour-long, hand-to-hand cavalry clash with lance and
saber; no firearms were used. About 250 Spaniards and 150 patriots were killed. Although
little more than a skirmish, the battle greatly enhanced the morale of the victorious
patriots, and the chastised Spanish subsequently evacuated Lima.
The Battle of Kentish Knock was fought a little way north-east of North Foreland on September
the 28th 1652 between two Dutch fleets under Witte, de Witte and De Ruyter and the English
fleet of Blake and Penn. The Dutch were beaten.
The Battle of Killiecrankie was an overwhelming defeat of Government forces by Jacobite
Highlanders under the command of Graham of Claverhouse, known as 'Bonnie Dundee', in 1689 at
a gorge near the village of Killiecrankie in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
The Battle of Kunersdorf was a Russian victory over Frederick the Great on the 12th of August
1759 during the seven Years War. Frederick was attempting to save Dresden from the advancing
Russian army. Having somewhat less than half the troops the Russians had, Frederick decided
to make an encircling attack from the flanks, but his plans were ruined by his troops getting
lost in the forests and failing to co-ordinate their attacks. He was decisively defeated by
the Russians, losing half his army and almost all his artillery. Dresden fell three weeks
The Battle of Langensalza in the Austro-Prussian War, was a Prussian victory on the 27th of
June 1866 over a Hanoverian army fighting on the Austrian side. The Hanoverians initially
beat off the Prussians, inflicting losses of about 1,400 killed and 900 taken prisoner, while
themselves losing about 1, 400. However, the Prussian army was deployed in strength in this
area and reinforcements quickly arrived and surrounded the Hanoverians, forcing their
The Battle of Lepanto was a naval engagement fought on October the 7th 1571, in the Gulf of
Lepanto (now the Gulf of Corinth) between an Ottoman Turkish fleet and that of the Holy
League, an alliance of Spain, Venice, Genoa, and the Papal States formed by Pope Julius II in
1511. Both sides sustained heavy casualties, but the Holy League won decisively, capturing
more than 100 galleys and freeing thousands of Christian slaves. The battle was the first
major victory of the Christians against the Ottoman Empire, and as such it was
psychologically important. It was of small practical impact, however, for the Turks retained
supremacy on land and quickly renewed their fleet.
The Battle of Ligny was a French victory over the Prussians on the 16th of June 1805 during
Napoleon' s ' Hundred Days', at Ligny, a Belgian village 14 km north-east of Charleroi. It
was Napoleon Bonaparte's final attempt to overcome the Prussian army before he went on to
Waterloo to meet the British alone.
The Battle of Linkoping (Battle of Stangebro) was a Swedish victory over the Poles in 1598,
during the Swedish-Polish wars. Sigismund III, king of Poland, succeeded his father as king
of Sweden in 1592 and attempted to establish a Catholic ascendancy in Sweden, a policy
vigorously opposed by the Lutheran Swedes who elected his uncle Charles as regent of Sweden
in place of Sigismund's nominee in 1595. When Sigismund eventually set out for Sweden in
1598, his army was ambushed and totally destroyed by the Swedes. Charles then became King
Charles IX of Sweden in 1599 and the Polish hold over Sweden was broken.
The Battle of Manila Bay occurred on May the 1st 1898 during the Spanish- American war. A
Spanish squadron under Admiral Montijo was destroyed in Manila Bay by a US squadron under
Commodore George Dewey.
The Battle of Marsaglia took place in Piedmont, northern Italy on the 4th of October 1693 and
saw the imperialists under prince Eugene and the duke of Savoy defeated by the French under
The Battle of Marston-Moor occurred during the English Civil War when the Scots and
Parliamentary army were besieging York when prince Rupert, joined by the marquis of Newcastle
determined to raise the siege. Both sides drew up at Marston-moor on the 2nd of July 1644 and
the contest was long undecided. Rupert, commanding the right wing of the Royalists, was
opposed by Oliver Cromwell, at the head of the troops disciplined by himself. Oliver Cromwell
was victorious, driving his opponents off the field and followed his opponents to a second
victorious engagement taking the prince's artillery, a blow from which the Royalists never
The Battle of Mill Springs was a Union victory during the American Civil War on the 18th of
January 1862 at Mill Springs, a village about 16 km west of Somerset, Kentucky. It was the
first significant defeat suffered by the Confederates. The Confederate defensive line,
intended to keep out the Union forces, was held at Mill Springs by about 4,500 troops under
Major-General Thomas H Crittenden. At the start of the 1862 campaign, Union General George H
Thomas advanced on Mill Springs with a force of about 4,000 troops and Crittenden decided to
pre-empt matters by attacking first. After fierce fighting, the Confederates were driven
back, losing 12 guns and a considerable number of troops, while Union casualties were fewer
The Battle of Minden took place on August 1st 1759 between the English, Hessians and
Hanoverians (under prince Ferdinand of Brunswick), and the French (under marshal De
Contades), who were beaten and driven to the ramparts of Minden.
The Battle of Naseby took place on the 14th of June 1645 and was a decisive victory for the
Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War. The battle took place near Naseby in
Northamptonshire, after Charles I's storming and sacking of Leicester. Led by Fairfax and
Oliver Cromwell, the New Model Army outnumbered the Cavalier force by about one-third. Prince
Rupert's cavalry squandered an early advantage, as at Edgehill, and after a bitter struggle
the Roundhead forces proved superior, and the Cavaliers suffered extremely heavy losses.
The Battle of Nashville was a Union victory over the Confederate army on the 15th and 16th of
December 1864 at Nashville, Tennessee. The Confederates were driven out of Tennessee and
never threatened the state again.
The Battle of Navarino was a sea battle that took place on October the 20th 1827 in which the
defeat of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet by a combined British, French, and Russian fleet decided
The Battle of Navas de Tolosa was fought in 1212 between Yakub Almansur of the Almohades and
the kings of Aragon, Castile and Navarre. The Almonhades lost the battle and with it Spain.
The Battle of North Foreland was an action fought on June the 2nd 1653 during the Dutch war
between a Dutch fleet under Tromp, De Ruyter and others and a British fleet under Monck,
Dean, Penn and Lawson. The Dutch took flight on the second day having lost eleven ships.
The Battle of Omdurman was fought on September 2nd 1898 during the Sudan Campaign. 23,000
British and Egyptian troops under Kitchener defeated 50,000 Dervishes under the Khalifa with
a great slaughter of the Dervishes, and the destruction of the Mahdist state, thereby
beginning British dominance in the Sudan.
The Battle of Oriskany military was fought near Oriskany, New York, on August the 6th, 1777
during the American War of Independence, between a force of Loyalists led by the British
colonial administrator Sir John Johnson and the Mohawk Indian chief Joseph Brant, both under
the command of the British officer Barry St. Leger, on one side; and Americans under General
Nicholas Herkimer, on the other. Herkimer was mortally wounded in the battle, and more than a
third of the forces on each side were killed or wounded. The British were forced to retreat,
thus ending hopes for a British victory at Saratoga. A monument, erected in 1880, marks the
site of the battleground, which is now a public park.
The Battle of Otterburn was fought in August 1388 when a force of 2800 Scots under the Earls
of Douglas, Dunbar and Moray routed a force of 8600 English under Henry Percy. The battle was
fought at night by moonlight which prevented the English from employing their archers. The
battle is also known as Chevy Chase.
The Battle of Philiphaugh took place on September the 13th 1645 and was a victory for Sir
David Leslie over the Royalists under the Marquis of Montrose.
The Battle of Prague was fought during the Seven Years War on 6th May 1757 and resulted in
the Allies being defeated by Frederick.
The Battle of Preston took place between the 17th and the 19th of August 1648 and was an
encounter in which effectively ended the second phase of the English Civil War. On one side
were the invading Scottish Engagers under Hamilton. On the other was Oliver Cromwell's New
Model Army. The raw Scottish recruits, although greatly superior in numbers, were no match
for the English veterans. Oliver Cromwell caught up with them at Preston and dispersed them
in a series of running battles.
The Battle of Prestonpans was the first major engagement of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. A
small Hanoverian army under Sir John Cope was routed by the Highlanders of the equally small
Jacobite army, leaving the way clear for the Young Pretender's subsequent invasion of
The Battle of Salamis during the Persian Wars, was a Greek naval victory over the Persians in
480 BC in the Strait of Salamis south-west of Athens. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the
Greeks inflicted a crushing defeat on the invading Persians which effectively destroyed their
fleet. After the sack of Athens by the Persians, the commanders of some 370 Greek war galleys
then lying off the island of Salamis debated what action they could take; their debate was
ended by the appearance of the Persian fleet in the Bay of Phalerum. Themistocles, the
Athenian commander of the Greek fleet, sent a fake message, ostensibly from a spy, to the
Persians warning that the Greek fleet was about to withdraw and that the Persians should
blockade the entrance to the Bay of Eleusis. The Persians fell for the ruse and spread their
1, 000 ships thinly across the bay. The Persians were so confident they could deal with a
mere 370 vessels that they had a throne prepared for their king, Xerxes, on nearby Mount
Aegaleus so that he would have a grandstand view from which to watch the anticipated crushing
of the Greek fleet. Unfortunately, the Greeks came out into the bay at full speed, broke the
Persian line, and then sowed mayhem in all directions, sinking over 500 Persian ships for the
loss of only about 40 of their own. Xerxes, disgusted at this humiliation, returned to Asia,
leaving a subordinate; Mardonius, to continue the land campaign.
The Battle of Saratoga was a British defeat by the Americans in September 1777 near Saratoga
Springs, about 240 km north of New York, during the American War of Independence. General
John Burgoyne was marching a British column of about 4,000 troops from Canada to join General
Sir William Howe who was based lower down the Hudson River. They met a 3,000-strong American
force under Benedict Amold near Saratoga on the 19th of September. After two hours of hard
fighting, the result was inconclusive, though both sides suffered severe casualties and
eventually withdrew. Burgoyne launched another attack on the 7th of October, but the
Americans were prepared for it and met him with a spoiling attack, forcing the British to
retreat 19 km from Saratoga and entrench. On the 17th of October Burgoyne surrendered to the
American commander General Horatio Gates, who by now had some 5,000 troops. Under the terms
The Battle of South Foreland was a naval battle fought in 1217 between the French and
English, when Eustace, a monk in the service of Louis of France attempted a landing at the
mouth of the Thames. He was intercepted by Hubert de Burgh, the governor of Dover Castle, and
the French fleet was destroyed, 15 out of the original 80 escaping.
The Battle of Spithead was a naval encounter fought in 1545 between the English fleet and the
French fleet. The French were kept at bay and finally driven off.
The first Battle of St Albans occurred on the 22nd of May 1455, during the Wars of the Roses
between the Duke of York and King Henry VI, at St Albans where the king's forces awaited the
Duke of York and his forces who were marching against them. The King had with him the Dukes
of Somerset and Buckingham, Lord Pembroke, Lord Northumberland and Lord Devon and about 2000
men. The Lancastrians attempted to hold the town behind two barriers in Hollywell and St
Peter's Streets against Yorkist attacks from the east. Two frontal attacks made no headway,
but Warwick infiltrated his troops through an unguarded part of the town's defence spreading
out took both barricades in the flank. The whole action lasted only half an hour and no more
than 150 Lancastrians were killed; but the toll among their senior officers was very heavy.
Somerset, Northumberland and Clifford were killed; Buckingham's son died of wounds and
Buckingham himself was wounded.
See "Battle of Guise"
The Battle of St. Mathieu was an indecisive naval battle outside of Brest
harbor in 1512. A fleet under Lord Edward Howard with forty-five ships made the mouth of Camaret Bay on August
the 10th just as a fleet of thirty- nine French ships were leaving Brest. The English
blockaded Brest with the French fleet in it. A fleet of French galleys from the Mediterranean
entered the neighbouring bay of Blanc Sablon, and the English tried to cut them out but were
repulsed with heavy losses and the lord high admiral himself was driven overboard and
The Battle of Stamford Bridge was fought in 1066 between the English under Harold and the
Vikings under Hardraada of Norway. Hardraada was slain, but the battle weakened Harold's
force for the ensuing Battle of Hastings which occurred later the same year.
See "Battle of Linkoping"
The Battle of Stoke Field, took place on the 16th of June 1487, and was a victory for Henry
VII over the Lancastrian rebels, securing the safety of the Tudor dynasty and marking the end
of the War of the Roses. The battle occurred following an impostor called Lambert Simnel made
out that he was Edward, Earl of Warwick. Sponsored by an Oxford priest and supported by the
Earl of Lincoln he was crowned king of England in Dublin on May the 24th 1487 and on the 4th
of June landed in Lancashire with Lincoln and Lovell and 1500 German mercenaries. As they
marched they collected reinforcements. The 9000 strong rebel army met Henry and his 6000
strong army at Stoke Field, near Nottingham. The Royalists advanced in to the attack and in
the next three hours wiped out the rebel army with the cost of 2000 of Henry's troops. Lovell
and the commander of the German mercenaries, Martin Schwartz were killed and Simnel was
captured and put to work in the royal kitchens. Lovell escaped by swimming the Trent and was
never seen alive again.
The Battle of Stoney Creek was fought on 6th June 1813 during the American War and resulted
in the Americans being routed.
The Battle of Talana Hill was fought on the 20th October 1899 and resulted in a Boer
The Battle of the Boyne occurred near the Boyne River in Ireland on the 1st of July 1690 when
William III defeated his father-in-law, James II.
The Battle of the Brandywine was fought on September the 11th, 1777 during the American War
Of Independence, about 40 km south-west of Philadelphia. An army of 18,000 men, under General
William Howe, then commander in chief of British forces in North America, reached American
positions along Brandywine Creek during a march on Philadelphia. While a part of the British
army made a frontal feint at General George Washington's force of about 11, 000 men near
Chadds Ford, another force, under General George Cornwallis, struck the American right flank;
Washington subsequently ordered a withdrawal to Chester. Rearguard units blocked British
pursuit, and Howe was unable to reach Philadelphia until September the 26th. British
casualties totaled about 600; American, about 900 killed and wounded and 400 captured.
The Battle of The Dunes was a victory obtained by Turenne over the Spaniards under Don John
of Austria and Conde on the dunes at Dunkirk on June 14th 1658.
See "Battle of Aboukir Bay"
The Battle of the Sound was fought on November the 8th 1658 between a Dutch fleet and a
Swedish fleet under Wrangel. The Dutch completely defeated the Swedes and relieved
The Battle of the Wilderness was fought during the American Civil War, on May the 5th and
6th, 1864, in a densely thicketed woodland known as the Wilderness, in north-east Virginia.
The engagement involved the Army of Northern Virginia, about 62,000 troops under the
Confederate general Robert Lee, and the Army of the Potomac, about 115,000 troops under the
Union general George Meade. The Union commander in chief, Grant, directed Meade's command
during the fighting. Determined to sever Lee's lines of communication with Richmond, capital
of the Confederacy, Grant sent his army across the Rapidan River during the night of May the
3rd, with the intention of moving through the Wilderness into battle positions under cover of
darkness. Transport failure kept the Union army in the forest throughout May the 4th. On the
morning of May the 5th, Lee prepared to attack. Planning to flank the Union line, Lee marched
on Grant's forces with two infantry corps, under the Confederate generals Richard Stoddert
Ewell and Ambrose Powell Hill. Lee delayed going into action until another infantry corps,
under James Longstreet, could be brought up to support Ewell and Hill. Informed of Lee' s
preparations, Grant took the initiative and attacked first. Two Union infantry corps opened
the battle with an attack against Ewell, and one remained temporarily in reserve; a fourth
corps, under the command of General Ambrose Everett Burnside, was located too far north of
the battlefield to be brought immediately into action. Communication difficulties split the
battle into disjointed engagements. The terrain precluded effective use of cavalry or
artillery. The infantry fighting, much of it hand to hand, was declared by Grant to be the
hardest he had ever seen. The forest caught fire, burning many men to death. In the action on
May the 5th, the Confederate forces under Ewell and Hill repulsed Union forces in the
morning. In the afternoon the Union reserve corps under Winfield Scott Hancock attacked
Hill's forces, inflicting heavy Confederate losses in a four hour fight with the firing lines
only about 45 m apart. The Union assault ended, however, without success. On May the 6th,
Grant renewed the Union drive against Hill, with Hancock attacking again while the other two
Union corps blocked Ewell. Hill's defeat appeared certain until Longstreet's corps saved the
Confederate situation. Burnside, coming to help Hancock with Union reinforcements, arrived
too late because of the difficult terrain. The two-day battle ended at nightfall without a
decisive outcome. During the night of May the 6th, Philip Henry Sheridan, commanding a Union
cavalry corps, fought to some advantage against a Confederate cavalry corps of two divisions
led by James Ewell Brown Stuart, but the action was inconsequential. The true significance of
the Wilderness lay in what happened after the fighting. Although the Union forces had
suffered some 17, 500 casualties to the Confederacy's 7000, Grant, instead of retreating,
moved south toward Spotsylvania and engaged in another battle there, demonstrating for the
first time that his army would be willing to fight every day and suffer tremendous casualties
in order to wear down and destroy Lee's army.
The Battle of Trafalgar took place on October 21st 1805, and was a victory for the British
fleet under Nelson over the French and Spanish fleets under Villeneuve. The battle took place
off Cape Trafalgar in south-west Spain. The British fleet consisted of 27 sail-of-the-line
ships and the enemy fleet 33. The battle began around noon and ended about five. During the
battle Nelson was shot and mortally wounded, but lived long enough to know the day was won.
The victory destroyed the French and Spanish fleets and secured Britain from invasion.
The Battle of Turin took place on September 7th 1706 when Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, having
joined the European league against Louis XIV, with the help of Prince Eugene and an imperial
army defeated the French army that had invaded Piedmont and besieged Turin.
The Battle of Vigo Bay occurred in 1702 and saw the French fleet under Admiral
Chateau-Renault attacked and defeated by a combined English and Dutch force under Sir G Rooke
and Admiral Van Almonde.
The Battle of Waterloo took place during the Napoleonic Wars, on June 18th 1815 when the
allied British, Belgian and Hanoverian forces under the Duke of Wellington, with some 50,000
Prussians under Blucher, utterly routed the French army under Napoleon.
The Battle of Yorktown was a decisive British defeat in the
American War of Independence from September to October 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia. The
British commander Lord Cornwallis had withdrawn into Yorktown where he was besieged by 7,000
French and 8,850 American troops and could only wait for reinforcements to arrive by sea.
However, the Royal Navy lost command of the sea at the Battle of Chesapeake and with no
reinforcements or supplies forthcoming, Cornwallis was forced to surrender on the 19th of
October, effectively ending the war.
The Battle of Zama was fought in 202 BC in Numidia (now Algeria), in which the Carthaginians
under Hannibal were defeated by the Romans under the younger Scipio, so ending the Second
Punic War. The Carthaginians were forced to give up Spain and were also subject to harsh
peace terms. The Carthaginians had 80 elephants as their shock arm, but these got out of
control, some turning back and throwing their own cavalry into disorder. The Romans, simply
parted their ranks to allow the elephants to dash past, then closed up and attacked the
Carthaginians, killing 20,000 according to legend although Hannibal himself escaped.
The Battle of Zorndorf was a Prussian victory over the Russians on the 25th of August 1758 at
Zorndorf, during the Seven Years War. Zorndorf was the bloodiest battle of the war, with each
side sustaining over 10,000 casualties. The Russians were besieging Kostrzyn (then known as
Kustrin) with an army of 40,000 when Frederick the Great brought up an army of 25,000 to
raise the siege. Frederick attacked the Russian lines and after a day- long battle drove them
out and into retreat.
The Battle of Zurich occurred during the French Revolutionary Wars, and resulted in the
defeat of two Russian armies by the French in June 1799 in the mountains near Zurich,
Switzerland, forcing the Tsar to withdraw from the coalition against the French. The
French had invaded Switzerland and created the Helvetian Republic in 1798, and in response the
Archduke Charles Louis of the Holy Roman Empire led a coalition army into Switzerland and
defeated the French under Marshal Andre Massena. Shortly after, the Archduke became ill and
the Russian General Alexander Korsakov entered Switzerland with 30,000 Russian troops to take
over command of the coalition troops there. At the same time the Russian Marshal Alexei
Suvarov, based in northern Italy, set out across the St Gotthard Pass to join Korsakov,
bringing another 40,000 troops. Massena sent a corps of troops to harass Suvarov in the
mountains, then turned his main strength on Korsakov, defeating him and scattering his army.
He then turned and attacked Suvarov, who retreated, harassed by French ambushes and short of
supplies. Suvarov returned to Italy leaving about 14,000 casualties behind him.
The Battle off the Lizard was fought on June the 12th 1652 at the beginning of the first
Dutch War, when Sir George Ayscue overtook the Dutch outward bound East Indian fleet of forty
merchantmen, and secured six prizes.
See "Battle of Otterburn"
The Edgehill Fight was the first important engagement of the English civil war. It occurred
on the 23rd of October, 1642 and took place between the royalists under prince Rupert and the
parliament army under the earl of Essex. At the battle, the earl of Lindsay who commanded the
royal foot was mortally wounded. The action was indecisive, but the parliament claimed a
The Expedition to Portugal occurred in 1589, during the English-Spanish Naval War. It was arranged that an English army should land in Portugal to assist Dom
Antonio (the Portuguese pretender) to gain the throne and expel the Spaniards from his
country. An English Armada, larger than the Spanish Armada, was assembled under Drake; on
board was an army of about 15000 men. The expedition sailed, landed at Corunna and sacked the
town, then went on towards Lisbon. But Drake failed to force the passage of the Tagus, and
the army, owing to its lack of siege-guns, was repulsed from Lisbon with some slight loss.
There was no sign of the expected Portuguese rising on behalf of Dom Antonio. And so,
terribly reduced by sickness, the English Armada returned home. Elizabeth was extremely
angry: England had lost 10000 men and she had lost all the money she had invested in the
expedition. Drake was in disgrace for the next five years, during which time little was
attempted at sea beyond raids against Spanish treasure ships
The Massacre of Glencoe took place in 1692. The Master of Stair, William III' s chief
minister in Scotland, took the accidental late submission of the clan of Glencoe as an
opportunity to teach the Highlanders a lesson. He requested of the king permission to
exterminate the clan on the grounds that they had in the past been guilty of acts of
brigandage and murder, and upon receiving assent, he sent to Glencoe a party of
soldiers who arrived pretending to be friends with the clan. They proceeded to live with the clansmen,
dining with them, joking with them and playing cards with them until the morning of February
the 13th 1692 when, whilst it was still dark, the soldiers surrounded the clansmen's huts and
dragging them from their beds murdered them, firing at those who fled. The incident caused a
scandal and resulted in the dismissal of the Master of Stair, and the first public sympathy
for the Highlanders from the lowland Scottish.
The Raid on Cadiz took place during the English-Spanish Naval War. Commissioned by queen
Elizabeth I to reconnoiter Spanish ports, Francis Drake made straight for Cadiz, the
head-quarters of the Spanish fleet. With characteristic boldness he left twenty of his
twenty-four ships outside, and entered the harbor with only four vessels. But Drake's
apparent rashness was grounded on confidence. He knew that the heavily armed ships which
Henry VIII had laid down, and which had been improved since, gave the English an immense
advantage over the Spanish galleys. These galleys depended on their power to ram and sink
their opponent with their steel- shod beaks; they were no match against Drake's broadsides.
As the galleys dashed towards him he opened fire. A dreadful execution was done; the naked
galley-slaves were mown down in hundreds, and it was impossible for the survivors to row
towards the English ships. The victors of Lepanto were beaten by a weapon against which they
were powerless; the slaughter at Cadiz in 1587 closed the era of galley warfare for ever.
The siege of Acre was an unsuccessful French siege from the 17th of March to the 21st of May
1799 of a seaport and town in Palestine, 130 km north-west of Jerusalem, during Napoleon
Bonaparte's abortive attempt to carve out a French empire. Acre has been the focus of many
military operations throughout history, notably during the various Crusades. The city was
defended by the Turks, aided by a small British naval force, and Napoleon began the siege on
March the 17th. A French assault was beaten off, and the approach of a Syrian relief army
forced Napoleon to withdraw most of his force to deal with this threat. The siege was then
resumed, with seven more assaults being made without success, while the defenders made a
number of sorties, and Napoleon finally raised the siege and departed on the 21st of May.
The Siege of Alesia was Julius Caesar's final defeat of the Gauls in 52 BC, completing the
Roman conquest of Gaul. Napoleon III erected a statue of Vercingetorix on the site of the
battle 1864. The town, identified with Alise-Ste-Reine in northern France, was the Gauls'
last stronghold. It was held by about 80,000 foot and 15, 000 horse troops under
Vercingetorix, while the Romans besieging them consisted of about 50,000 troops, mainly
legionaries. The Belgii, another Gallic tribe, sent a relief force which attempted to break
through the Roman lines but was so decisively defeated that the town immediately surrendered.
The Siege of Badajoz was a costly British victory over Napoleonic forces in the Peninsular
War during March and April 1812. Badajoz was an important fortress in Spain on the border
with Portugal, which the Spanish surrendered to the French in February 1811. It was
recaptured by the Duke of Wellington at a cost of some 5, 000 casualties.
The Siege of Emessa took place in 272 when the Palmyrenians under Zenobia were completely
defeated by the Romans under Aurelian, who at once laid siege to Palmyra which he took in 273
after a stubborn defence.
The Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful combined French and Spanish siege of the
British-held fortress of Gibraltar from 1779 to 1783 during the American War of Independence.
The French and Spanish fleets entered the Bay of Gibraltar in June 1779, while attacks were
also made by the land approach with extensive siege works. Admiral Sir George Rodney managed
to drive off the combined fleets long enough to permit supply ships to reach the
harbor in January 1780, and another major re-supply took place in 1781; from time to time small ships
managed to run the blockade, but starvation came very close at various times, although a
British sortie in November 1781 partially destroyed the siege works threatening the north.
Throughout the siege, there were regular artillery exchanges. The final Spanish attack took
place in September 1782 with an army of 40,000, aided by the combined French and Spanish
fleets. The attack was accompanied by an intense artillery bombardment, to which the
defenders replied with red-hot shot, damaging many of the warships and floating batteries.
Great losses were inflicted on the attacking force and the siege was finally raised on the
6th of February 1783.
The Siege of Orleans occurred during the Hundred Years' War. The town of Orleans, held by a
French garrison under Dunois, the Bastard of Orleans, was laid siege by the Earl of Salisbury
on October 12th 1428. The siege dragged on until April 1429. On April 29th 1429 Joan of Arc
entered the town and on May the 3rd the French assumed the offensive and on May the 7th the
siege was lifted.
The siege of Yorktown was an action of the American Civil War. On April the 5th, 1862, the
numerically superior Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by George McClellan, surrounded
Yorktown, which was held by 13, 000 Confederate troops under John Magruder. The siege
continued for almost a month. On May the 3rd, the Confederate commander Joseph Johnston
withdrew his forces toward Richmond before McClellan could use his newly arrived artillery.
St James' Fight was a battle of the second Dutch war, fought on St James' day, 1666, between
Albermarle and Rupert and the Dutch under De Ruyter, in the Thames estuary. The battle
resulted in the Dutch being driven to their own coast with the loss of twenty ships.
The Walcheren Expedition was a British army farce during the Napoleonic Wars. It was intended
as a diversion in favor of Austria, to destroy the French fleet in the Cheldt and capture
Antwerp, which Napoleon was making a great arsenal. An army of some 40,000 under Chatham and
a fleet under Sir Richard Strachan left Portsmouth in July 1809. Antwerp which was weakly
held was reinforced by Bernadotte and King Louis Bonaparte, whilst Chatham took Flushing on
August the 15th and occupied Walcheren, South Beveland and Schouwen. Of the troops landed on
fever- stricken Walcheren, 7,000 died and 15,000 were disabled; and the partial dismantlement
of Flushing, evacuated on December the 23rd, after the treaty of Schonbrunn, was the only
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