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Most Important Battles Challenge (6)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 864 times Debate No: 35163
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)





We will debate battles for different wars and time periods. What happens is that every round a battle will be placed by each debater. Whoever 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. It is encouraged that a simple overview of the battle is given then each side states their personal reasons why it was important. The voters then look at each round and will vote for who they think showed what battles were more important.

No semantics or trolling!

Round 1 is for acceptance!

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

I request that all my previous challengers do not take this up because I will want to take on someone new.

Too avoid any further confusion, here is a previous debate I did that people can use as a guideline:


Sounds like a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Ok then, first round, first battle.

Battle of Stalingrad
Year: 1942 to 1943
Armies: Germany and other Axis Nations (Freidrich Paulus) vs. Soviet Union (Vasily Chuikov)

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.


Every user with an interest in history knows about the Battle of Stalingrad. Had the Germans won and been able to stop the Soviet counter attack, they would have had a free hand in taking the oil fields in the Cacuses, which were of paramount importance. Hitler's oil reserves were running out and his Italian allies along with his Afrika Korps had been ground down in North Africa and were unable to take the British oil fields in the Middle East. This meant that taking the Soviet Union's oil fields was the last hope for Germany to continue the fight.

If Germany takes the oil fields, then Hitler can support his gigantic war machine as the Germans advance on all fronts into Leningrad, Moscow, and soon Soviet Central Asia. Chances are, the Soviets would be too demoralized to fight any longer even with their large population. Stalin would be very frustrated with the loss of his city. If the USSR surrenders, then the Americans and the British are stuck in a very dangerous position. Likely their best chance of victory would be to race use atomic bombs on Germany. An invasion into France with German reinforcements on the Atlantic Wall would be a total disaster. Keep in mind, that the Germans would accelerate progress on the their own V2 rockets and their jet fighters and bombers giving them a stronger advantage over the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force.



Hahaha I like the fact you used one of your opponents battles from this debate.

‘’ ‘’

The Battle of the Atlantic

September 3, 1939 – May 8, 1945

Allied vs Axis



The Battle of the Atlantic is considered ‘’ longest, largest, and most complex" naval battle in history’’. Fought between the allied and axis forces was a running battle thought world war 2 fought between the Nazi U-boats and the allied convoys destined for Britain. As an island nation, the United Kingdom was highly dependent on imported goods. Britain required more than a million tons of imported material per week in order to be able to survive and fight. The U-boats were tasked with torpedoing any ship crossing the Atlantic carrying supplies to Britain. To start off with the U-boats had great success. To combat this allied forces launched a large campaign to protect its convoys from german U-boats and destroy them. Total casualties amounted to nearly 100,000 seamen. (


The Germans failed to stop the flow of strategic supplies to Britain. This failure resulted in the build-up of troops and supplies needed for the D-day Landings. The defeat of the U-boat was a necessary precursor for accumulation of Allied troops and supplies to ensure Germany's defeat.


Without the securing of the shipping channels between the USA and Britain, Britain would of run out of supplies and be unable to defend herself against a Nazi invasion. Also without the open shipping channels there would be no way of getting the resources needed for D-day making the invasion of occupied Europe impossible. This would have led to the fall of Britain and left the Nazis able to focus all there military might on Russia in which case the if Britain had fell with the full Nazi army available to attack Stalingrad the battle could have been much different.

Debate Round No. 2


Battle of Waterloo
Year: 1815
Armies: France (Napoleon Bonaparte) vs. Britain, Prussia, and their Allies (Duke of Wellington and Gebhard von Blucher)

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. After a failed attack by his elite Old Guard on the British and Dutch line, he withdrew and was eventually forced into exile again.


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.



Battle of Gettysburg

July 1–3, 1863

United States vs Confederate States

Described as the turning point of the civil war the battle of Gettysburg took place in Pennsylvania , Gettysburg, the union army consisted of 93,921 and the confederation army of 71,699 the battle took place over three days with a total number of around 50,000 casualties. The Battles changed the balance of the war confederation army advancing north taking into union territory the first time. The Union held a strong defensive position and refused to charge the attacking soldiers. This led to great casualties for the confederation army as they tried to entice the union soldiers to leave their defensive fortified position. The union successfully defended repeated attacks by Confederation forces ending the confederations hope of advancing into union territory. This battle was the turning point of the war that Lead to a decisive victory for the union over the confederation forces.


The decisive victory ended any chance of a confederation victory. If the confederation forces had won the battle they would of stood a good chance of winning of the war. If this had happened the world would be a much different place. Today the area known as the USA would now be 5 or 6 different countries. The countries would have a different political system with very different values. Slavery would almost certainly still be in effect. During world war 1 and 2 the separate countries may of formed a coalition but there effectiveness as a fighting force is highly questionable because each army would be led by a different commander with no overall commander. The separate countries would be unlikely to o developed into the sole superpower of the world and the USA would have had significantly less impact in the world. There are very few battles that have changed the history of the world forever this is such a battle.

Debate Round No. 3


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

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]


1. Discussed by Green (The Year of Salamis), p xxiii and Holland, pp xvi–xxii
2. Holland, ppxvixvii.



Battle of Marathon

, and Platea vs Persian Empire

490 BC

The Battle of took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece . It was fought between the citizens of Athens, and Platea, and a Persian army . The battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army decisively defeated the Persians despite being out number by 10 - 1, The victory marked the turning point In the Greco-Persian wars.


The defeat at Marathon barely touched the vast resources of the Persian empire, yet for the Greeks it was an enormously significant victory. It was the first time the Greeks had beaten the Persians, proving that the Persians were not invincible, and that resistance, rather than subjugation, was possible.

The battle was a defining moment for the young Athenian democracy, showing what might be achieved through unity and self-belief; indeed, the battle effectively marks the start of a "golden age" for Athens. This was also applicable to Greece as a whole; "their victory endowed the Greeks with a faith in their destiny that was to endure for three centuries, during which western culture was born.

Debate Round No. 4


Battle of Teutoburg Forest
Year: 9 BC
Armies: The Roman Empire (Publius Quinctilius Varus) vs. Germanic Tribes (Arminius)

The Battle

Agitated by the Roman Empire's attempts at romanization, Roman officer Arminius (a man of German heritage) set a trap and betrayed Varus, the commander of all Roman forces in Germania. Several barbarians tribes were assembled and numbered up to 32,000 men. Arminius convinced Varus to move out to deal with an uprising in Germania. The three Roman legions along with auxiliary troops and civilians, numbering up to 20,000 men marched their way to the uprising. They eventually started marching through Teutoburg Forest where the German barbarians were hidden.

The Roman line was very extended and is believed to be as long as nine miles. Many Roman troops did not have experience in dealing with Germans. Arminius had learned from Roman tactics on how exaclty his opponents preferred to fight. Roman legions were good in open fields and tight formations, but in the forest they were stuck between trees and a river. The Germans attacked and surrounded the Romans and their allies. The Romans were surprised and took many loses with the battle all day. They eventually started a night retreat, but found themselves still trapped and unable to breakout. Varus committed suicide. Almost the entire Roman force was destroyed.


This is the turning point in Roman expansion into Eastern Europe. The Romans will hold territory down into the Balkans, but were unable to gain a firm grip on Germania. Had the battle resulted in an unexpected Roman victory or had it no occured at all, the Romans who have no doubt held Germania and could expand further into Poland and possibly even Russia. With the Mongols moving west, these two great civilizations would meet and either agree to peace of have an ultimate war to see what ancient surpower was truly the best.

The Battle of Teutoburg Forest also contributed to the rise of German nationalism and the 1800s and the 1900s. This battle represented the power when Germans are united together and this nationalist spirit was key against Napoleon I and Napoleon III's France as well as Austro-Hungary. Without examples like this battle, the possibly of a united Germany may have never happened because the German people would never realize how poweful they could be when united.



Battle of Cannae

August 2, 216 BC

Roman Republic vs Carthaginian Republic


The Battle of Cannae was a major battle of the 2nd Punic War it took place on August 2, 216 BC in Apulia. The army of Carthage under Hannibal decisively defeated a larger army of the Roman Republic under t. The battle is regarded as one of the greatest tactical feats in history and, in numbers killed, the second greatest defeat of Rome.

Having recovered from their losses at Trebia and Lake Trasimene, the Romans decided to engage Hannibal at Cannae, with roughly 86,000 Roman and allied troops. The Romans massed their Heavy infantry in a deeper formation than usual while Hannibal utilized the double-envelipment tactic. This was so successful that the Roman army was effectively destroyed as a fighting force.


Cannae played a major role in shaping the military structure of the Roman Republican army At Cannae, the Roman infantry assumed a formation similar to the Greek Phalanx. This delivered them into Hannibal's trap, since their inability to maneuverer independently from the mass of the army made it impossible for them to counter the encircling tactics employed by the Carthaginian cavalry

In the years following Cannae, reforms in tactics were introduced to address these deficiencies. First, the Romans "articulated the phalanx, then divided it into columns, and finally split it up into a great number of small tactical bodies that were capable, now of closing together in a compact impenetrable union. Following Cannae, the Roman army gradually developed into a professional force. This allowed Rome to become the dominant force in Europe in later years.

Furthermore Hannibal’s tactics were used during the gulf war by the modern American army showing Hannibal’s victory has had a lasting a decisive impact on military tactics that is still relevant today.

Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
Thank you, G131994. I do not mind clarifying the rationale.

You are correct that the Battle of the Atlantic was won by the Allies, and I may have been vague in my choice of wording.

I was forced to consider the materials provided in the text, and respect a very low tolerance for using facts that I may know to be true, but which were not expressed in the debate.

Pitted against Stalingrad, the Battle of the Atlantic was less important to the outcome of the conflict in Europe. (According to the data presented in this debate.) Here's why: Stalingrad was the battle that defeated Hitler in Europe. The Battle of the Atlantic was simply a battle that allowed the US and Great Britain to assist the Soviets in the conquest of Germany.

In other words, if the US and UK had "lost" the Battle of the Atlantic, Hitler still would have been defeated by the Soviet Union, as a result of Stalingrad. In fact, considering the massive damage that the Germans did to American-Anglo shipping lines, a reasonable person might conclude that the Allies DID lose control of the Atlantic during this period.

(Much of this was concluded by me after reading the source data that you provided.)

I hope that this helps to clarify my logic. If you still feel that I have made an error, please let me know. I am happy to discuss the matter further.
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
First off, this was a good debate, and both of you did a good job with your arguments.

Stalingrad vs. The Battle of the Atlantic: The main argument here is which WWII battle had a greater effect on the war. Pro was able to prove more conclusively that Stalingrad was more important, as D-Day wasn't as important.

Waterloo vs. Gettysburg: Waterloo was by far more important. While Gettysburg was "arguably" the turning point of the American Civil War, it only affected one country - the United States. Waterloo, on the other hand, affected Europe, and by default, most of the world. Had Napoleon won, the world would most likely be drastically different.

Salamis vs. Marathon: This was difficult. Both battles saved western civilization from the Persian Empire. However, while Salamis virtually ended the Greco-Persian war, Marathon was basically only a morale boost. I give the edge to Salamis because the war ended there, while at Marathon, the war "began" there (as in the Greeks realized they could defeat the Persians).

Teutoburg Forest vs. Cannae: This was another difficult one. One ended Roman conquest, one "began" it. The Romans learned important tactical skills after Cannae, including Fabian tactics. I give a slight edge to Cannae, as Teutoburg Forest would not have been possible without it.

Overall, pro wins 3-1 on battles.
Posted by G131994 3 years ago
DeFoo I welcome your comments however
The allies won the battle of the Atlantic, Had the axis forces won it would of greatly changed the course of history. With Britain being starved in to surrender.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
No rebuttals were allowed, so each reader is permitted quite a wide degree of discretion in evaluation. My own observations are as follows:

Stalingrad V The Battle of the Atlantic:
The Battle of the Atlantic did not change the outcome of the war; the Allies still won despite the U-boat attacks. Stalingrad, by contrast, did.
Win: Stalingrad.

Waterloo V Gettysburg:

The outcome of Waterloo was not in doubt, and the French Emperor would have still been defeated by Russia. Gettysburg, on the other hand, was a surprise win for The US against a savage velociraptor rebel force. This victory turned back a massive invasion of the northern states, and dissallowed any such future offensive action.
Win: Gettysburg.

Salamis V Marathon

Either of these two conflicts could have ended Western Culture, including the fledgling democratic institutions being nurtured there. Both were decided entirely on the battlefields, with little other considerations from economics, politics, or social momentum. I was forced to award the score to the battle that came first - as it was a prerequisite for the later struggle.
Win: Salamis.

Teutoburg Forest V Hannibal's Invasion of Rome
Pro points out the crushing nature of the German forces against the Romans, as well as the superiority of their tactics. Hannibal provided a similar lesson to the Romans. The Difference, according to this debate, is that in the case of Hannibal the Romans learned the lesson - and became much stronger as a result. In the case of Germania, the Romans simply did not return.
Win: Hannibal.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by DeFool 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I explain better in the comments. Briefly, we are afforded (as per R1) a very great deal of interpretation in evaluating the battles presented. For my part, I tried to restrict my observations to only the facts presented in the debate. S&G and sources go to Pro, for slightly fewer errors, and Con having had forgotten to provide videos in one round.