Most Important Battles Challenge (3)
Debate Rounds (5)
Hello, this is 1Historygenius, the Master Historian of this website, and YOU have been challenged to my third most important battles challenge!
We will debate battles for different wars and time periods. What happens is that every round a battle will be placed by each person. The voters will decide who has the more important battle for that round. Who ever has the most will get the most points from the votes and thus win. Sieges are not included in this. Just land and naval battles.
No semantics or trolling!
Round 1 is for acceptance!
Well, I'm not one to decline a debate challenge. I ACCEPT.
I know you said no sematics, but I think it's only fair to define important, as having the greatest impact on the course of history. I don't think that will be a big issue in the debate, but it's just a common framework we can work with. I also assume that by battle we mean a military engagement. Rap battles, for instance, or the cold war, may be important but not battles.
I wish my opponent good luck. LET THE BATTLES BEGIN!
The Battle of Salamis
Year: 480 BC
Fleets: Greek City-States (Eurybiades + Themistocles) vs. Achaemenid Empire (Xerxes I)
At this battle, a fleet from the Greek City-States commanded by Eurybiades and Themistocles fought off the Islamic Achaemenid Empire fleet (Persia) commanded by Xerxes I. The Persian fleet was much more larger than the Greek fleet (some say it was 1,000 Persian ships vs. 378 Greek ships). When the Persian ships entered the Straits of Salamis in cramped conditions, they were easily defeated by the Greeks. Some say if they won it would have change a lot.
Had the Persians won?
They would have likely changed history by defeating the Greeks here. As it would have effect Greek progress in civilization and thus change progress in the western world.
Salamais was undoubtedly a very cool battle, but it did not have a significant impact on history. One can draw comparisons between it and Gallipoli, where thousands of allied soldiers were massacred trying to climb a well-fortified Turkish cliff - Turkey was always pretty much guaranteed to win if for no other reason than that they were well-prepared. For sure, if the Ottoman Empire had fallen completely (which would have taken much more than just victory at Gallipoli), pressure could be applied to the entendre forces from the rear, but that does not mean victory in the war, nor does it mean, as my opponent seemed to suggest, that all the Turkish achievements since would not have happened. Even if Greece did fall, at worst we might be calling Aristotle a Persian today. Alexander would likely have conquered them all the same.
Moreover, Salamais was not a battle Xerxes needed to win to win the war. He also had a really massive land invasion, which defeated Greece's best soldiers - as can be witnessed in the movie "300". These legendary battles, including the well-known battle of Marathon, probably had a somewhat greater impact than Salamis did, if for no other reason than that they actually proved the decisive battles that finally convinced the army of Xerxes to turn back. Marathon was ten years after Salamais, and yet Xerxes was still sending many, many soldiers over to Greece.
My battle: Battle of Kalinga
My opponent begins with an ancient battle - well then, so will I.
Kalinga was, in 262 BC, the site of one of the deadliest battles in history. 2,000,000 people, most of them civilians, were slain. Ashoka the Great, the Mauryan leader, led an army of 400,000 against the tiny republic of Kalinga, in modern north-eastern India. According to Pliny the Elder, Kalinga's numbered only a little over 60,000 (including 700 war elephants - some estimates, however, put the number at upwards of 150,000). Ashoka won the battle but at a heavy cost, losing around 100,000 of his own men. The battlefield itself was beside the Daya river, which ran red with blood when the battle was finished.
When the battle was finished, and Ashoka had his victory, it is said that a woman approached him, wailing. When she was asked what her problem was, she told Ashoka "Your actions have taken from me my father, husband, and son. Now what will I have left to live for?" From that day forth, Ashoka decided to accept Buddhism, and stop fighting wars. He went on to lead his empire through many decades of prosperity. On a hill besides the battle site, among his other edicts, Ashoka had carved an apology for conquering the Kalingas. It remains there to this day.
Why was this battle important?
First, the acceptance of Buddhism by Ashoka and the Mauryans generally was one of the principal catalysts for the spread of Buddhism. Had it remained only a minor thing in a few monasteries, it seems extremely unlikely that it would have had so strong an influence on the world as it did. Buddhism continues to be a major force in the world today, and this battle is the one that inspired a man to nurture its growth.
Secondly, as a consequence of that, it changed the nature of the Maurya Empire. Previously military conflict was believed to be the main way for an emperor to attain greatness. From that day forth, it was the Dharma. This led to a flourishing of the arts in India - an era of happiness and prosperity, much like the golden age of, say, Greece.
Third, it was a really deadly battle, one of the deadliest in human history (depending on how exactly it is measured, perhaps THE deadliest). The sheer depopulation of the region had enormous ramifications for centuries to come. Remember this was at a time when the total population of the world was much smaller than it is today.
Finally, the battle's outcome created one of the first unified Indias (well, the very south excluded, but even they paid Ashoka tribute). This unification provided a model for countless future conquest and disputes that continue to this day, but also a model for peace and prosperity in the region.
I thank my opponent for a fun discussion. By the way, my battle for this round was going to be the battle of Liepzig, a personal favourite of mine.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded
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