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1Historygenius
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Subutai
Con (against)
Winning
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Most Important Battles Challenge (5)

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Subutai
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,411 times Debate No: 29220
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1Historygenius

Pro

Hello, this is 1Historygenius, the Master Historian of this website, and YOU have been challenged to my fifth most important battles challenge!

Rules:

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!

No refutations! The Winner of the debate will simply be decided by the voters!

Too avoid any further confusion, here is a previous debate I did that people can use as a guideline: http://debate.org......
Report this Argument
Subutai

Con

I accept. Please begin.
Debate Round No. 1
1Historygenius

Pro

The Battle of Stalingrad
Year: 480 BC
Armies: Germany and other Axis Nations (Friedrich Paulus) vs. Soviet Union (Vasily Chuikov)

The Battle of Stalingrad (1942 to 1943) - At this battle, Germany and other Axis nations lost what is perhaps, the most important battle on the European Eastern Front in World War 2. Soviet troops were able to stop the Germans from taking total control of the city. Then, massed Soviet armies arrived on the flanks of the Axis troops and surrounded them, eventually leading to their surrender.

The Battle

What started a small battle led to the most important battle of World War 2. In 1942, the German 6th Army made up of 270,000 men was sent to attack Stalingrad, a Soviet city named after the nation's leader near the Volga River. The small amount of Soviet defenders did their best to stop the German army and soon the city was deadlocked for months. German and Soviet troops fought around the wreckage of the city. Soon the Germans and Soviets had millions of troops in and around the city.

By late 1942, the Soviets launched Operation Uranus which was an operation involving massive amounts of soldiers surrounding the Axis troops. The German commander, General Friedrich Paulus, asked Adolf Hitler allow a withdrawal, but Hitler refused. The Luftwaffe (German air force) tried to re-supply the 6th Army from the air, but failed. Two German Panzer divisions under the command of General Erich von Manstein were sent to try to breakthrough the Soviet troops, but failed. Eventually, the 6th Army was forced to surrender.

Had the Germans won?

If the Germans won, they would have won a great victory against the Soviets. Most Soviet oil fields are in the south near Stalingrad and if the Volga is captured then the Soviets would be unable to transport their oil up the river. The Soviets would lose a very valuable resource to the German war machine. This is because the oil field ins the caucuses would be guaranteed to be taken as the Germans in the south could focus their efforts there. The Germans could also set up on a defensive line on the bank of the Volga in case of counter attacks by the Red Army (so they might fail instead win when they launched their counter attack.

The Germans would likely then continue their campaign in the south, further spread out Soviet forces as they moved on which would contribute to the campaigns in the north and the center. This means the USSR would have a major problem and if the Germans capture Stalingrad, Leningrad, and Moscow, then this likely would have led to the Soviet surrender.

What happens after the USSR's surrender. The Germans take the land they want in the Soviet Union, mostly eastern Russian to get the important Ukraine, Crimea, Belarus, and the Baltic States. this was he could get resources to fuel his great empire. Death camps might be built in the new German territory leading to the genocide of people that the Nazis considered enemies.

All attention in war would turn to the west, where the Germans would no doubt reinforce the garrisons defending the new Atlantic Wall (a series of fortifications along the coast of western and northern Europe). This would make Allied military actions to invade Europe impossible, as they would not be succesful. The Germans would then put more money into their air force, navy, and the science departments.

The Luftwaffe and the German Navy would have more aircraft and ships to taken on the Allied ships and the V-2 rockets would be built to bomb Britain. This might lead to the possible construction of the nuclear rockets. Bombing Britain with an atomic warhead would be devastating leading to either Britain's surrender or atomic warfare. If Britain surrender, then the United States has to rely on building up the military in Africa (from Vichy France and Italian territory) to continue further operations.

Britain may not surrender due to the arrival of the United States' own atomic project. This would mean a deadly time of war between the Allies with their atomic bombs and the Axis with theirs, possibly leading to the destruction of all of Europe and even the world.

Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.youtube.com...
Subutai

Con

I would like to thank 1historygenius for presenting his arguments. I understand and accept that no rebuttals are allowed. If some of my quotes sound that way, I do not mean it. I will explain later when I get there.

The Battle of Kursk

Date: July 5th - August 23rd, 1943

Armies Engaged: Germany (Army Group Centre and Army Group South) versus The Soviet Union (Western Front, Bryansk Front, Central Front, Voronezh Front, and Steppe Front)

Main Leaders: Erich von Manstein (Germany) versus Georgy Zhukov (The Soviet Union)



The Battle

The Germans hoped to shorten their lines by eliminating the Kursk salient (also known as the Kursk bulge), created in the aftermath of their defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad. They envisioned pincers breaking through its northern and southern flanks to achieve a great encirclement of Red Army forces. The Soviets, however, had intelligence of the German Army's intentions, provided in part by the British. This and German delays to wait for new weapons, mainly the Tiger heavy tank and what would become the first significant battlefield appearance of the new Panther medium tank,gave the Red Army time to construct a series of defense lines and gather large reserve forces for a strategic counterattack.

Advised months in advance that the attack would fall on the neck of the Kursk salient, the Soviets designed a plan to slow, redirect, exhaust, and progressively wear down the powerful German panzer spearheads by forcing them to attack through a vast interconnected web of minefields, pre-sighted artillery fire zones, and concealed anti-tank strong points comprising eight progressively spaced defense lines 250 km deep—more than 10 times as deep as the Maginot Line—and featuring a greater than 1:1 ratio of anti-tank guns to attacking vehicles. By far the most extensive defensive works ever constructed, it proved to be more than three times the depth necessary to contain the furthest extent of the German attack.

When the German forces had exhausted themselves against the defences, the Soviets responded with counter-offensives, which allowed the Red Army to retake Orel and Belgorod on 5 August and Kharkov on 23 August, and push the Germans back across a broad front.[1]

Implications

First, the Germans lost vaulable men they could not replace. Around 200000-500000 men were casulties, over 1000 tanks and 700 aircraft.[2]"At the time of their defeat at Kursk, they couldn't afford to lose as many tanks and men as they did in battle. The Soviets could replace their lost tanks and men much more easily than the Nazis could at that point in World War II on the Eastern Front."[7] This battle took away a lot from the Germans that could not be replaced, especially machines. Few were sent as reinforcements.

Second, it sealed Germany's fate on the Eastern Front and allowed the Western Front to be much more easily taken. "The significance or this battle in the Eastern Front cannot be denied. Hitler would take a huge gamble, committing a vital portion of his forces to the attack. This gamble, combined with military mistakes, would initiate a defeat that the Wehrmact could not recover from. The German failure also was linked to the Russian strategy and ability to hold off the enormous offensive. Zhukov's planned counter attack would seal Germany's fate, as it would begin in Kursk and lead a Soviet offensive towards Germany. Militarily the battle was critical for both sides success. Many argue that Stalingrad is what shifted the war; it was a significant victory, but it was truly Kursk that turned the tide for Russia and her allies."[3](Hope that last sentence didn't sound like a refutation.) "The battle of Kursk had ended Germany's expansion and would dictated its fate in the war. It is one of the most militarily significant battle in the whole Second World War. As the largest tank battle in history, it is not only important because of the numbers of manpower and resources involved, but it critically wounded Germany beyond recovery."[3]

Third, it opened the door for the Russians to enter Berlin. "When Hitler abandoned Operation Citadel on July 13, the Germans' last opportunity to influence events on a strategic level in the East was lost."[4] Because of their dimmed numbers in man and machine and loss of morale ([5]), the Germans were easily overrun by the vastly numerically superior, better equipped, and determined force that took Berlin less than two years after Kursk.

All of this put together had drastic influences on the war. Hilter, now faced with the inevitable march of the Russians on Berlin, funnled division after division from the Atlantic defences East just to keep the line stable and unbroken.[6] This left the Atlantic drastically unmanned and outgunned for the Allied landing at Normandy in 1944. As those numbers funneled east were barely enough to keep the front from collasping, soon, it was a three-way pincer movement against Germany from Russia, France, and Italy. The Germans were faced with an inevitable defeat in 1945.

In addition to possibly (but not likely) preventing Germany from winning the war, Kursk saved billions of dollars, millions of lives, and at least a year in time as that pincer movement was finally possible. Had the Germans won Kursk (and they certainly could have), it is unlikely there would have been a serious breach on any front for at least another year. It saved billions as less infrastrucutre had to be rebuilt and fewer soldiers had to be paid. It saved millions as another year of war would have killed millions both directly and indirectly (through concentration camps). Also, if another year had been added to the war, the atomic bomb may have been dropped several more times - and with devestating effect.

In conclusion, Kursk was extremely significant in ending the war quicker and with less lives lost. Kursk was the turning point of the war. "Accordingly, it was the Battle of Kursk that provided the turning point in the Eastern Front."[8]

Sources

For a more detailed order of battle list, please see: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]: Zetterling, Niklas; Frankson, Anders (2000). Kursk 1943: A Statistical Analysis. Cass Series on the Soviet (Russian) Study of War. London: Routledge, pp.116-7; Frieser, Karl-Heinz - Klaus Schmider, Klaus Schönherr, Gerhard Schreiber, Kristián Ungváry, Bernd Wegner (2007) (in German). Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg – Vol. 8: Die Ostfront 1943/44 – Der Krieg im Osten und an den Nebenfronten. München, pp. 201: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt München.; Bergström, Christer (2008). Bagration to Berlin — The Final Air Battle in the East: 1941–1945. Burgess Hill: Chervron/Ian Allen, pp. 120.
[3]: http://stalingrad_1943.tripod.com...
[4]: Rolf-Dieter Muller and Gerd R. Ueberschar, Hitlers War in the East 1941-1945 (Oxford, USA, 1997), pp. 127.
[5]: Clark, Alan. Barbarossa. New York: Quill, 1965., pp. 366.
[6]:
Zhukov, G.K. The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1971., pp. 476.
[7]: http://www.armchairgeneral.com...
[8]: http://www.allempires.com...
Debate Round No. 2
1Historygenius

Pro

The Battle of Salamis
Year: 480 BC
Fleets: Greek City-States (Eurybiades + Themistocles) vs. Achaemenid Empire (Xerxes I)

The Battle of Salamis (480 BC) - 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.

The Battle

At this battle, a fleet from the Greek City-States (most ships from Athens) 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). In fact, the Persian crews were even better than the Greek crews. Most of the Greek ships (specifically the ones from Athens) were new and just built with inexperienced crews. However, the Greeks made tactics specifically to conquer the Persian fleet. 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. Chances are, the Greeks would not be able to expand through colonization if they were under Persian rule they would be giving taxes and looking to a Persian emperor. Chances today we would be looking at a different kind of democracy, likely from Scandanavia which founded its own democracy. So instead of learning and following Hellenistic democracy we would we learning and following pre-Harald in Norway. This would have an impact on all democracies across the world in the future.

Its important to remember that victory was almost certain for the Persians because Xerxes I, the Persian commander, planned to build a pontoon bridge into Athens, but because the Greeks now significantly controlled the seas, this was impossible.

After Salamis, the Greeks were permanently safe from conquest. Many historians believe that if the Greeks lost at Salamis, history would have changed as we know it. This is because most of the ideals we get are from Ancient Greece. The celebrated blossoming of influential Greek culture only happened after Salamis. If the Persians won at Salamis, then they would be able to build their pontoon bridge and enter Athens. Based on the numbers of Persian troops it is unlikely that the troops defending Athens could hold out. This means that Athens (and Greece on a further extent), the heart of Greek education and culture, would be under Persian rule leading to a lack of Greek expansion of culture and education in Europe.

Greek philosophy, personal freedom, and democracy have always played a major role in the building of many nations and modern governments today. Just look at the United States or the French Republic. These are two major examples of the building of democracy which was no doubt influenced by the Greeks. Rationalist philosophers that were major in the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment would have not had this information from Ancient Greece that helped influence them in making major works. [1,2,3]

Sources

1. Discussed by Green (The Year of Salamis), p xxiii and Holland, pp xvi–xxii
2. Holland, ppxvixvii.
3. http://web.archive.org...


Subutai

Con

Thanks 1Historygenius for showing a lot of effort into the debate.

The Battle of Adrianople

Date: August 9th, 378

Armies Engaged: The Eastern Roman Empire (Army of Thrace and the 1st and 2nd Armies in Emperor's Presence) versus The Goths (Various Forces)

Main Leaders: Emperor Valens (The Eastern Roman Empire) versus Fritigern (The Goths)



The Battle

On the morning of 9 August, Valens decamped from Adrianople, where he left the imperial treasury and administration under the guard of the legions. The reconnaissance of the preceding days informed him of the location of the Gothic camp north of the city. Valens arrived there after marching for seven hours over difficult terrain.
At around 14:30,the Roman troops arrived in disorder, exhausted and dehydrated, facing the Gothic camp that had been set up on the top of a hill. The Goths, except for their cavalry, took position in front of their wagon circle,inside of which were their families and possessions. Fritigern's objective was to delay the Romans, in order to give enough time for the Gothic cavalry to return. The fields were burnt by the Goths to delay and harass the Romans with smoke, and negotiations began for an exchange of hostages. The negotiations exasperated the Roman soldiers who seemed to hold the stronger position, but they gained precious time for Fritigern.

A detachment of Romans began the battle without orders to do so, believing they would have an easy victory, and perhaps over-eager to exact revenge on the Goths after two years of unchecked devastation throughout the Balkans. The imperial scholae of shield-archers under the command of the Iberian prince Bacurius attacked, but lacking support they were easily pushed back. Then the Roman left-wing reached the circle of wagons, but it was too late. At that moment, the Gothic cavalry, alerted by messengers from the embattled wagon circle, arrived to support the infantry. The cavalry surrounded the Roman troops, who were already in disarray after the failure of the first assault. The Romans retreated to the base of the hill where they were unable to maneuver, encumbered by their heavy armor and long shields. The casualties, exhaustion, and psychological pressure led to a rout of the Roman army. The cavalry continued their attack, and the massacre continued until nightfall.[1]

Implications

First, the Roman Empire was no longer seen as the greatest military power in the region. That now passed to the barbarians. "The Battle of Adrianople marks the point in history where the military initiative passed to the barbarians and should never be truly be regained again by Rome."[2][5] In addition to this, a large number or prime soldiers were lost during this battle, including the Emperor himself. "A huge portion of the Eastern Roman Empire’s military strength was destroyed and the Emperor was dead."[3] Roman forces were never able to fully recover their strength. This was the major driver behind hiring barbarian mercenaries for the Roman armies. As the borders of the empire were no longer defensible, barbarians poured in hoping to espace the Huns. This obviously had major impacts on defense as the army was even weaker than before, allowing other barbarian tribes to invade.[4]

Second, and very importantly, the Western Roman Empire would never have fallen so quickly, if even at all in the foreseeable future. Stopping the barbarian hordes would have secured the empire's borders from other invasions. "The Gothic rebellion would have ended right then and there, with any survivors expelled to the borders. Roman military strength would have remained at a high level so the upcoming barbarian incursions could have been more ably confronted."[3] Obviously, the sack of Rome would not have happened and Roman dominance would continue.

That very thing right there would have had enormous implications on history. If the Roman Empire was not in danger, the Dark Ages could never have ushered in. "Perhaps more importantly, the Roman spirit would not have had to deal with the immense blow that the loss to the barbarians and the death of Valens was. Certainly, it would be fair to say that Rome, east and west, would have lasted longer then it did but how much longer is open for debate. It may have been just a few years or decades. Or maybe the Dark Ages might never have happened."[3] It's safe to say that the Roman Empire would have lasted longer and if superceded, most likely could be ushered into the Eastern Roman Empire.

Thus, with the Roman Empire still around, classical antiquity's vast knowledge would still have been there and gained upon instead of being disintegrated in the Dark Ages. Humanity would be further along today. This would have caused Latin to still be the predominant language. The languages we know and speak today would be all but gone.

All of this is very likely. On the more speculative side, with a strong Empire (both East and West), the rise of Islam would have been slowed down, if never happened at all. When strength returned to the Empire, they could invade the Middle East, and possibly even Asia, conquering India, China, and Japan, and ceasing those nations from existing. Africa would be reshaped too. The implications on the Americas is pure speculation, but it is likely that the Americas would be much different than we know them today. Who knows what history would be like today?

This quote sums it all, "The mighty Empire which layed the foundation for so much of European culture and society began its descent at the crest of a hill, just north of that city."[3] Laying the foundation for the medieval European empires.

Sources

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]: http://www.roman-empire.net...
[3]: http://neverfeltbetter.wordpress.com...
[4]: http://www.historynet.com...
[5]: Lanning, Michael Lee. The Battle 100: The Stories Behind History's Most Influential Battles.
Debate Round No. 3
1Historygenius

Pro

Battle of Tours (Poitiers)
Year: 732
Armies: The Franks (Charles Martel) vs. Umayyad Caliphate (Abdul Rahman)

The Battle of Tours (732) - At this battle, Frank troops led by Charles "The Hammer" Martel fought off and destroyed a much larger Islamic force that was part of the Umayyad Caliphate (the Moors). The Caliphate force led by Abdul Rahman was unable to defeat the Franks and he was forced to retreat. Had he won, Europe would have likely fallen to Islam.

The Battle

For many years, Islamic forces in the Umayyad Caliphate (or the Moors) were expanding all over the Middle East and North Africa. Now it was time to conquer Europe. One of the most key battles in which the Caliphate tried to take Europe was a battle between them and the Franks led by Charles Martel. Martel had a total of 20,000 troops. The Caliphate army led by Abdul Rahman could have been as small as 30,000, but as high as 300,000. It was vastly larger than the Frank army. However, against all the odds, Martel and the Franks held off the Caliphate. It was at this battle that Charles Martel may have earned his nickname, "Charles The Hammer." [3]

Had Rahman won?

If Rahman won, chances are they won have taken over Europe. Many people credit Martel as the savior of Europe. The defeat of the talented Martel would open up Europe and even just taking France would have major effects in history. It does not seem possible that other, more mediocre generals, would be able to do what Martel could not. [3]

The famous historian Edward Gibbon:

"A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet." [4]

Historian William E. Watson writes that:

"There is clearly some justification for ranking Tours-Poitiers among the most significant events in Frankish history when one considers the result of the battle in light of the remarkable record of the successful establishment by Muslims of Islamic political and cultural dominance along the entire eastern and southern rim of the former Christian, Roman world. The rapid Muslim conquest of Palestine, Syria, Egypt and the North African coast all the way to Morocco in the seventh century resulted in the permanent imposition by force of Islamic culture onto a previously Christian and largely non-Arab base."

And:

"Had Charles Martel suffered at Tours-Poitiers the fate of King Roderic at the Rio Barbate, it is doubtful that a "do-nothing" sovereign of the Merovingian realm could have later succeeded where his talented major domus had failed. Indeed, as Charles was the progenitor of the Carolingian line of Frankish rulers and grandfather of Charlemagne, one can even say with a degree of certainty that the subsequent history of the West would have proceeded along vastly different currents had ‘Abd ar-Rahman been victorious at Tours-Poitiers in 732." [1]

Historian Paul Davis argues that had the Arabs won at Tours, then they probably would have been unstoppable. This is because of the preservation of classical literature and education in the Catholic monasteries led to the end of the terrible Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. How could Christanity and the basis of western society at the time advance into the "rebirth" of Europe that has played a critical part in the world today. Indeed, the entire western power could be centered around Islam and its basis of society. [2,3,5]

Finally, historian Victor Davis Hanson writes:

"Recent scholars have suggested Poitiers, so poorly recorded in contemporary sources, was a mere raid and thus a construct of western mythmaking or that a Muslim victory might have been preferable to continued Frankish dominance. What is clear is that Poitiers marked a general continuance of the successful defense of Europe, (from the Muslims). Flush from the victory at Tours, Charles Martel went on to clear southern France from Islamic attackers for decades, unify the warring kingdoms into the foundations of the Carolingian Empire, and ensure ready and reliable troops from local estates." [6]

Sources:

1. Watson, William, E. (1993). The Battle of Tours-Poitiers Revisited. Providence: Studies in Western Civilization v.2 n.1.
2. Davis, Paul 1999, p. 105.
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, Chapter LII.
5. The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions
6. Hanson, Victor Davis, 2001, p. 167

http://www.youtube.com...

Subutai

Con

Thannks 1Historygenius for your dedication.

The Battle of Chalons

Date: June 20th, 451

Armies Engaged: The Western Roman Empire (and various barbarian elements) versus The Huns (various forces)

Main Leaders: Flavius Aetius (The Western Roman Empire) versus Attila the Hun (The Huns)



The Battle

Playing for time, Attila did not give the order to advance until late in the day with the goal of allowing his men to retreat after nightfall if defeated. Pressing forward they moved up the right side of the ridge with the Huns in the center and the Gepids and Ostrogoths on the right and left respectively. Aetius' men climbed the left slope of the ridge with his Romans on the left, the Alans in the center, and Theodoric's Visigoths on the right. With the armies in place, the Huns advanced to take the top of the ridge. Moving quickly, Aetius' men reached the crest first.

Taking the top of the ridge, they repulsed Attila's assault and sent his men reeling back in disorder. Seeing an opportunity, Theodoric's Visigoths surged forward attacking the retreating Hunnic forces. As he struggled to reorganize his men, Attila's own household unit was attacked forcing him to fall back to his fortified camp. Pursuing, Aetius' men compelled the rest of the Hunnic forces to follow their leader, though Theodoric was killed in the fighting. With Theodoric dead, his son, Thorismund, assumed command of the Visigoths. With nightfall the fighting ended.
The next morning, Attila prepared for the expected Roman attack. In the Roman camp, Thorismund advocated assaulting the Huns, but was dissuaded by Aetius. Realizing that Attila had been defeated and his advance stopped, Aetius began to assess the political situation. He realized that if the Huns were completely destroyed, that the Visigoths would likely end their alliance with Rome and would become a threat. To prevent this, he suggested that Thorismund immediately return to the Visigoth capital at Tolosa to claim his father's throne before one of his brothers seized it. Thorismund agreed and departed with his men. Aetius used similar tactics to dismiss his other Frankish allies before withdrawaling with his Roman troops. Initially believing the Roman withdrawal to be a ruse, Attila waited several days before breaking camp and retreating back across the Rhine.[1]

Implications

This battle pretty much saved western civilization.

Attila's attacks on the Western empire were soon renewed, but never with such peril to the civilized world as had menaced it before his defeat at Chalons; and on his death, two years after that battle, the vast empire which his genius had founded was soon dissevered by the successful revolts of the subject nations. The name of the Huns ceased for some centuries to inspire terror in Western Europe, and their ascendancy passed away with the life of the great king by whom it had been so fearfully augmented.[4][5]

"Edward Creasy in his book Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World states: '…the battle not only rescued for a time from destruction the old age of Rome, but preserved for centuries of power and glory the Germanic element in the civilization of modern Europe.' The clash at Chalons was a monumental conflict. It pitted two of the towering figures of Late Antiquity, the fierce Attila the Hun, and the noble Roman Flavius Aetius against each other. If Flavius had not been successful in holding back the Hun invasion, the whole course of Western history might have been changed."[2][3]

It should never be forgotten that in the summer of 451 and again in 452, the whole fate of western civilization hung in the balance. Had the Hunnish army not been halted in these two successive campaigns, had its leader toppled Valentinian from his throne and set up his own capital at Ravenna or Rome, there is little doubt that both Gaul and Italy would have been reduced to spiritual and cultural deserts.[4][7]

If Attila had won, the discomfiture of the mighty attempt of Attila to found a new anti-Christian dynasty upon the wreck of the temporal power of Rome, at the end of the term of twelve hundred years, to which its duration had been limited by the forebodings of the heathen.[4][6][9]

"In the end, the Christian Visigoths of King Theodoric and the forces of Flavius Aetius fought together at Chalons preserving for centuries the power and glory of the Germanic element. Through the church and through the civilization that remained and developed, the conditions for the creation of modern Europe were set. Perhaps Rome's last great service to the West was to serve as a buffer between the Asiatic Huns and the Germanic Barbarians whose destiny was to lay the medieval foundations of the modern, western nations." [2] "If he [Attila the Hun] had won the day the heathen Huns instead of the Christian Germans would have become the most powerful people of Europe. That is why this conflict at Chalons is counted as one of the great battles of the world."[8]

Sources

[1]: http://militaryhistory.about.com...
[2]: http://www.wzaponline.com...
[3]: Creasy, Edward. Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World. Pennsylvania: The Military Service Publishing Company, 1955.
[4]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5]: Herbert Attila book i., line 13.
[6]: Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volume II, p.537
[7]: Norwich, Byzantium: the Early Centuries. 1997, p. 158.
[8]: http://www.mainlesson.com...
[9]: http://www.literaturemania.com...;


Debate Round No. 4
1Historygenius

Pro

Battle of Waterloo
Year: 1815
Armies: French (Napoleon Bonaparte) vs. British-Dutch-Prussia (Duke of Wellington and Gebhard von Blucher)

The Battle of Waterloo (1812) - At this battle, French troops led by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte lost to the British-Dutch-Prussian armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard von Blucher. Had he won, he would have been unstoppable.

The Battle

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to power in France. He had been the emperor before, but was forced into exile during his failed conquest of Europe. Now back, the powers that had defeated him returned. Britain, Prussia, Austria, and Russia were all against him. Britishm Belgian, and Dutch troops commanded by the Duke of Wellington landed in Belgium and were suppose to meet a Prussia force commanded by Gebhard von Blucher. Napoleon decided to attack and take each army one at a time.
At the battle, the British, Belgian, and Dutch occupied a ridge which stopped several frontal assaults that Napoleon launched. Soon Prussian troops from Blucher were on the field and Napoleon was being forced to split his army. French reinforcements under Marshal Emmanuel de Groucy did not arrive. An infamous attack occured when the Napoleon subordinate, Marshal Michel Ney, launched a cavalry charge on the British. Wellington responded by forming infantry squared. This devastated the French cavalry for the rest of the battle. After a failed attack by his elite Old Guard on the British line, he withdrew and was eventually forced into exile again. [1,2,3]

Had he won?

Napoleon would have likely been unstoppable. He had nearly conquered Europe before and he could have possible conquered all of it if he was given a second try. This is mainly because of the spreading apart of his allies. Wellington would have been forced back to the Belgian coast to evacuate with the British. The Dutch, Belgians, and Prussians would be left to fend for themselves. The Prussians would be in a very bad position because they would be stuck between Napoleon and his reinforcements. The Dutch and the Belgians could in no way stand up to Napoleon.

As for Napoleon's two other enemies, Austria and Russia, they would be stuck in the same position they were in 1805. The Austrians would have to either advance into France or wait for the Russians. The latter was a bad choice in 1805 as it led to defeat and loss of 45,000 Austrian troops at the Battle of Ulm while the former means than an outnumbered Austria would be taking on the power of Napoleon. The emperor would shift his army south along with reinforcements to Italy.

When Napoleon would defeat the Austrians and Prussians he would likely have greater France. This means Belgium and northern Italy. If he wished to continue his conquests as in 1805 to 1812, he could move into Europe, force Prussia and Austria into alliances while putting back in the Duchy of Warsaw and other satelittes. This time he would either learn from, or not make the mistake of invading Russia, leading to a Britain-France stalemate at sea. Napoleon could then possibly rule until the end of his reign and then give it to his child or other relative to maintain the French empire.

Napoleon would no doubt implement his Napoleonic Code and other reforms as he had before. Some of these chages included:

1. Civil order was created under him, which gave equality to all males and protection of property and wealth. Females on the other hand were given limited rights under his rule.
2. The Bank of France was France's central bank was estasblished under him.
3. Power was much more centralized under his rule.
4. The Concordat of 1801 allowed Catholics to practice and allowed Napoleon to appoint major church positions. He would maintain these under his new empire if he won at Waterloo.
5. Napoleon has increased censorhip under his regime, this would likely continue.

More important is the fact that a new French Empire would likely prevent World War 1 and World War 2 from happening as the Austrians and Prussians would all be under his rule. Prussia would be unable to form Germany and the Austrian Empire would be much more weaker. Northern Italy would be under French control as well, taking out three nations that played a key role in the World War 1. In addition, if he did not invade Russia again then he could head south for the Ottoman Empire and takeover the Balkans. France would be the dominant force on mainland Europe. This would mean Napoleon could build a navy not just to take on the Royal Navy, but to expand around the globe. [4,5,6]

Sources

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.britishbattles.com...
3. http://www.battleofwaterloo.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6.
Black, Jeremy. The Battle of Waterloo. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.


Subutai

Con

I would like to thank 1Historygenius a lot for putting all his effort into this debate. I have really enjoyed this debate.

The Battle of the Badger Mouth

Date: August - October, 1211

Armies Engaged: The Mongol Empire (Various Forces) versus The Jin Dynasty (Various Forces)

Main Leaders: Genghis Khan (The Mongol Empire) versus Emperor Wei Shao Wang of Jin (The Jin Dynasty)



The Battle

After the battle of Wush a Bao, the neighboring counties were evacuated of troops and those troops were stationed at the Badger Mouth pass.

The Jin armies were overconfident in the defensive position of the pass, and its ability to funnel the Mongol army which preferred open steppes for combat. The Jin general deliberately drew Genghis to fight there, withdrawing soldiers from cities for hundreds of miles and stationing them all at Badger Mouth. This force was the last thing standing between Genghis and the emperor. In all, there were between 400,000 and 500,000 Jin soldiers assembled to stop the brutal Mongol advance, which had laid waste to everything west of Yanjing. Genghis sent men over the peaks surrounding the Pass, which the Jin general thought was impossible, and then attacked the much larger army from both sides. As Genghis attacked the front of the Jin armies in the mouth of the badger, the forces which had scaled the mountain first routed the Jin cavalry from behind and then joined the assault on the main force. It was one of the bloodiest battles in history, and almost every Jin soldier was killed. It is said that bones still lay on the spot ten years later for 30 miles around.

Even with this defeat, the Jin dynasty took precedence in conquering the Song dynasty instead of facing the Mongols.[1]

Implications

The Mongols put 90% of their standing army into battle and 15% of their eventual army. If a decisive defeat of the Mongols occured here, the fragile ties that binded the many clans to Genghis Khan (because he was perceived as a God; if he was defeated, he obviously wasn't the chosen one and Mongolia would revert to its earlier tribal state) would have been broken. At best, the Mongol conquest would have been extremely slowed down and certainly would never cross the Himalays. At worst, the entire Mongol state would descend into chaos and would be conquered by the Chinese soon (after the Jins defeated the Songs; the Jins could easily defeat the Mongols with a more coordinated, stronger, bigger army; as it was, it took the Mongols 23 more years to defeat the Jins, even with this decisive victory).[1]

Therefore, we can easily conclude that a defeat at Badger Mouth would have virtually stopped the Mongol's conquests in their tracks, most likely forever. Therefore, all of the effects of the Mongolian invasion on the rest of the world would have never happened. Looking at what the Mongolian invasion did.

One, modern demographics would be changed to an unimaginable degree. Some hypothesize that the Mongols killed 17% of the world's population in that time.[2] In addition, Genghis Khan raped so many women that of the Mongol Empires former bounds, 8% of the male population (and a comparable degree of the female population) is a direct descendent of Genghis Khan, and many more are related to his family.[3] Finally, this is more speculation than the other two statistics, but it is possible that the Mongol Empire brought the Black Death to Europe. This is possible because it was the Mongols who helped open up the Silk Road which brought the pestilence to Europe, and the plague originated from the Mongol area.[4] The plague killed 33% of Europe's population, 50% of China's, and 12% of Africa's. World population declined fron 450 million to 350 million. and people with skin diseases and non-Christians were exterminated throughout Europe as a result. The Brotherhood of the Flagellants also reached its peak in this age. None of this would have happened had the Mongols lost Badger Creek.

Two, the cultural impacts would be even greater. Many cultures and nations were wiped out once taken over by the Mongols, and not a trace left behind of them, forever lost to history. But the effects are far more reaching than that. I will take three examples, that of Russia, the Islamic world, and Europe (and ultimately America).

The impact of a non-Mongol invaded Russia would be staggering. Many historians attribute Russia's xenophobia with the invasion of the Mongols, they were weary of foreigners (Russia suffered severely under the Mongols compared to, say, China).[5] This xenophobia is what set Russia back from the rest of Europe a good 200 years. If the Mongols had never come, Russia would most likely have developed right alongside the rest of Europe. A strong, industralized, heavily populated, Russian state would have had amazing consequences on world history. For example, Russian dominace over Europe would be likely, Russia's empire would be far more reaching (who knows, we might be a Russian-based society) and the rest of Europe far less reaching, and the Soviet Union may never have existed. WWI may never have happened, and thus WWII (Russia, in my opinion, was one of the main culprits behind WWI). One only needs to imagine how this would have affected history.

As a result of the Mongol invasions, the Islamic world was sent into a slow but steady rate of decline and a movement of secular learning to fundumentalism. "The psychological impact of the invasion was incalcuable. Before the Mongols swept through, the Islamic world... was intellectually vigorous, bold, adventuresome, full of poetry and science and art... after the invasion, the dour conservatism of the fundamentalists darkens it all."[6] The Middle East now fell behind the world, and the whole Muslim world suffered as a result. Certain regions of the Middle East are further behind and their economies still not as big as the days before the Mongol invasion.[7] Thus, the development of the world was slowed. The great Arabic scholars and intellectuals were killed, their cities and academic centers destroyed, and their culture of learning, including much math and science, forgotten. The changing of Muslim culture from progressive to regressive doomed the only scientific/intellectual culture in the world at the time. It was not until the enlightenment some 300 years later that classical and Arabic culture was rediscovered and their knowledge relearned.

But Islam's decline led to Europe's rise. The Middle East's descent kept the Islamic forces, fresh off their victories from the Crusades at bay from being set loose on Europe. This obviously saved Europe and Christianity from utter destruction at the hands of the Muslims. A Muslim Europe would have unimaginable consequences, for example our culture would be European, not Arabic. The world would be further ahead as Islamic knowledge flowed west, and exploration started sooner, thus its impact on the US and the rest of the Americas. Muslims culture stayed in the East and Europe's kings and kingdoms, in addition to Christianity stayed intact.

In conclusion, the Mongol invasions killed tens of millions (potentially hundreds of millions), destroyed whole nations, created xenophobia in the ones that didn't and set them back a whole 200 years, set the whole world back 300 years in knowledge, and made a strong genetic footprint in Asia. And none of this would have happened if the Mongols had been decisively defeated at the battle of the Badger Creek. It is arguably the most important battle in world history.

Sources

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]: http://users.erols.com...
[3]: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com...
[4]: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com...
[5]: Holland, Cecelia. The Death That Saved Europe: The Mongols Turn Back. What If: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been. Vol. Collected. New York: American Historical Publications, 2001. Print. pp. 101
[6]: ibid, pp. 102
[7]: ibid, pp. 100
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by STALIN 3 years ago
STALIN
Truly an amazing debate.
Posted by BlackVoid 4 years ago
BlackVoid
R2: Tie. You both essentially run the same impacts - millions of lives being saved and prevention of multiple atomic bombings. R3: Con's arguments of Latin being a predominant language, the Dark ages being pevented, and the middle east/some Asian countries not even existing outweigh Pro's R3 pretty clearly. Although potential changes in personal freedom and democracy are important, several of the most important countries of today's world not existing is even more so. On R4, lol, Thett basically said the same thing I was going to, so just look at his part on this one. Regarding R5, it would have helped Pro to further illustrate his censorship and centralization arguments in more detail. As it is, all I see is "power more centralized" and "more censorship", which is pretty vague so I'm not sure how to weigh it. That leaves the impact of lessened women's rights and the establishment of the Bank of France vs The Black Death being prevented in Europe, the prevention of the Mongol invasions (tens of millions killed) and the world's knowledge being set back potentially by centuries. The choice is clear.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
wtf how is HG winning he CLEARLY lost R5 and R4
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
RFD:

Round two goes to Pro. I was surprised and impressed at how strong Con's arguments were, but a Russian defeat at Stalingrad would've had a FAR greater chance of carrying Germany to victory because of the oil fields and defensive position along the Volga as Pro brought up. Cons impacts cant outweigh, and again they came impressively close, but there's a reason Stalingrad is considered the most important battle of WWII.

R3 was really difficult to judge. In the end I hand it to Con simply because while the western world certainly is STRONGLY influenced by Greek ideals, the East and Africa really arent. Con wins when he argues that the surviving Roman empire would have conquered more of the world and spread its culture, which changes not only the culture of the western world (no dark ages) but the eastern world as well.

R4 goes to Con as well. Both run the impact of the destruction of civilization, but Pros link is a lot more shaky, as I have to assume not only that Islam would conquer all of France, but the entire west AND would destroy the classical knowledge, even if I'm not allowed to judge by what I already know (am I? Islamic culture at the time was a lot more scholarly than Western culture) but this is just a huge link story. Compare this to Cons argument that failure to stop an army rampaging through Europe would destroy much of western culture and the contrast is obvious. Cons impact is a lot more stable/likely

R4. was a clear Con win. Pro has good arguments on how Europe would be different, but they're very easily outweighed by Cons impacts about no Mongol empire.I would know since I wrote most of them. I am tempted to give conduct to Pro because Con copied some of my arguments almost verbatim, but I dont really care.

3-1 Con win
Posted by Subutai 4 years ago
Subutai
Damn. My Adrianople video got deleted because of copyright infringment. Sorry about that.

Also, thanks for this wonderful debate HG.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
lol
Posted by Subutai 4 years ago
Subutai
Stop stealing all the good battles. Tours was my R4.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
LOL I accidentally put 480 BC, that is supposed to be for Salamis.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
A nice choice to take on Stalingrad!
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 4 years ago
BlackVoid
1HistorygeniusSubutaiTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
1HistorygeniusSubutaiTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Though Pro certainly brought some unorthodox and unusual battles to what's normally seen on these types of debates, I still felt Pro's were more important, if less interesting.
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
1HistorygeniusSubutaiTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: comments