Most Important Battles Challenge (7)
Debate Rounds (5)
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 intentions for these debates is that they always be quick and simple. 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!
Here is how the format looks:
Round 1: Introduction/acceptance
Round 2: Present debate
Round 3: Present debate
Round 4: Present debate
Round 5: Present debate
The Ottoman Turks' unsuccessful siege of Vienna in 1529 marked the beginning of the long decline of their empire. It also stopped the advance of Islam into central and western Europe, and ensured that the Christian rather than the Muslim religion and culture would dominate the region.
In 1520, Suleiman II had become the tenth sultan of the Ottoman Empire, which reached from the Persian frontier to West Africa and included much of the Balkans. Suleiman had inherited the largest, best-trained army in the world, containing superior elements of infantry, cavalry, engineering, and artillery. At the heart of his army were elite legions of Janissaries, mercenary slaves taken captive as children from Christians and raised as Muslim soldiers. From his capital of Constantinople, the Turkish sultan immediately began making plans to expand his empire even farther.
Suleiman had also inherited a strong navy, which he used with his army to besiege the island fortress of Rhodes, his first conquest. Granting safe passage to the defenders in exchange for their surrender, the Sultan took control of Rhodes and much of the Mediterranean in 1522. This victory demonstrated that Suleiman would honor peace agreements. In following battles where enemies did not surrender peacefully, however, he displayed his displeasure by razing cities, massacring the adult males, and selling the women and children into slavery.
By 1528, Suleiman had neutralized Hungary and placed his own puppet on their throne. All that now stood between the Turks and Western Europe was Austria and its Spanish and French allies. Taking advantage of discord between his enemies, Suleiman made a secret alliance with King Francis I of France. Pope Clement VII in Rome, while not allying directly with the Muslim Sultan, withdrew religious and political support from the Austrians.
As a result, by the spring of 1529, King Charles and his Austrians stood alone to repel the Ottoman invaders. On April 10, Suleiman and his army of more than 120,000, accompanied by as many as 200,000 support personnel and camp followers, departed Constantinople for the Austrian capital of Vienna. Along the way, the huge army captured towns and raided the countryside for supplies and slaves.
All the while, Vienna, under the able military leadership of Count Niklas von Salm-Reifferscheidt and Wilhelm von Rogendorf, prepared for the pending battle. Their task appeared impossible. The city's walls, only five to six feet thick, were designed to repel medieval attackers rather than the advanced cast-cannon artillery of the Turks. The entire Austrian garrison numbered only about 20,000 soldiers supported by 72 cannons. The only reinforcements who arrived in the city were a detachment of 700 musket-armed infantrymen from Spain.
Despite its disadvantages, Vienna had several natural factors supporting its defense. The Danube blocked any approach from the north, and the smaller Wiener Back waterway ran along its eastern side, leaving only the south and west to be defended. The Vienna generals took full advantage of the weeks before the arrival of the Turks. They razed dwellings and other buildings outside the south and west walls to open fields of fire for their cannons and muskets. They dug trenches and placed other obstacles on avenues of approach. They brought in supplies for a long siege within the walls and evacuated many of the city's women and children, not only to reduce the need for food and supplies but also to prevent the consequences if the Turks were victorious.
One other factor greatly aided Vienna: the summer of 1529 was one of the wettest in history. The constant rains delayed the Ottoman advance and made conditions difficult for the marching army. By the time they finally reached Vienna in September, winter was approaching, and the defenders were as prepared as possible.
Upon his arrival, Suleiman asked for the city's surrender. When the Austrians refused, he began an artillery barrage against the walls with his 300 cannons and ordered his miners to dig under the walls and lay explosives to breach the defenses. The Austrians came out from behind their walls to attack the engineers and artillerymen and dig counter-trenches. Several times over the next three weeks, the invaders' artillery and mines achieved small breaches in the wall, but the Viennese soldiers quickly filled the gaps and repelled any entry into the city.
By October 12, the cold winds of winter were sweeping the city. Suleiman ordered another attack with his Janissaries in the lead. Two underground mines near the city's southern gate opened the way briefly for the mercenaries, but the staunch Viennese defenders filled the opening and killed more than 1200. Two days later, Suleiman ordered one last attack, but the Viennese held firm once again.
For the first time, Suleiman had failed. Scores of his never-before-defeated Janissaries lay dead outside the walls. The Turkish army had no choice but to burn their huge camp and withdraw back toward Constantinople, but before they departed they massacred the thousands of captives they had taken on the way to Vienna. Along their long route home, many more Turks died at the hands of raiding parties that struck their flanks.
The loss at Vienna did not greatly decrease the power of the Ottoman Empire. It did, however, stop the Muslim advance into Europe. Suleiman and his army experienced many successes after Vienna, but these victories were in the east against the Persians rather than in the west against the Europeans. The Ottoman Empire survived for centuries, but its high-water mark lay somewhere along the Vienna city wall.
Following the battle for Vienna, the countries of the west no longer viewed the Turks and the Janissaries as invincible. Now that the Austrians had kept the great menace from the east and assured the continuation of the region's culture and Christianity, the European countries could return to fighting among themselves along Catholic and Protestant lines.
If Vienna had fallen to Suleiman, his army would have continued their offensive the following spring into the German provinces. There is a strong possibility that Suleiman's Empire might have eventually reached all the way to the North Sea, the alliance with France notwithstanding. Instead, after Vienna, the Ottomans did not venture again into Europe; the Empire's power and influence began its slow but steady decline.
You already broke the rules. Your disqualified.
danny123 forfeited this round.
The Battle of Stalingrad
Year: 480 BC
Armies: Germany and other Axis Nations (Friedrich Paulus) vs. Soviet Union (Vasily Chuikov)
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.
danny123 forfeited this round.
Battle of Waterloo
Armies: France (Napoleon Bonaparte) vs. Britain, Prussia, and their Allies (Duke of Wellington and Gebhard von Blucher)
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.
danny123 forfeited this round.
danny123 forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Contra 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited several rounds.
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