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DeleyanLee
01-09-2011, 02:30 AM
I'm looking for battles I can do deeper research on--doesn't matter what war as long as I can find something on it--where a stronger force encountered a weaker force along the lines of Agincourt, but it doesn't have to be that dramatic.

Any suggestions for inspiration are greatly appreciated!

alleycat
01-09-2011, 02:39 AM
The Battle of Thermopylae is a classic and one of the most famous battles in history. Like Agincourt, it was fought on a fairly narrow battlefield.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae

It also inspired one of the most famous epitaphs in history:

Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here obedient to their laws we lie.

whacko
01-09-2011, 02:45 AM
The Battle of Bannockburn - when proud Edward's army was sent home to think again.

Naturally, some believe that the Knight's Templars were involved.

I'll reserve judgement. While having a good snigger heh heh.

Regards

Whacko

Lhun
01-09-2011, 03:01 AM
You can't get any better example of being outnumbered than the battle of Thermopylae. It's the one "300" was based on. Though you should look up a little about the greek and persian sides as well, while 300 was a great action flick, the only historically correct facts in the movie can be summarized as: Greeks led by Leonidas fought Persians led by Xerxes I at Thermopylae and lost.

The Battle of Watling street is another good example, 10.000 romans vs. 50.000-230.000 (depending on estimate, 50k is probably closer) britons, and the romans not only kicked their asses, they also did that with (according to tacitus) negligible losses (~500).

The Battle of Alesia is another good example of at least 3:1 odds.

Duchessmary
01-09-2011, 03:47 AM
Scottish history: The Battle of Flodden, Solway Moss, etc

Stanmiller
01-09-2011, 03:53 AM
American Revolution, Southern Department, Battle of the Cowpens, where Loyalist forces under Tarleton ran up against an outgunned tactical genius named Daniel Morgan and got their asses kicked. Along with the Battle of Kings Mountain, it ultimately contributed to Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.
Stan

alleycat
01-09-2011, 03:56 AM
American Revolution, Southern Department, Battle of the Cowpens, where Loyalist forces under Tarleton ran up against an outgunned tactical genius named Daniel Morgan and got their asses kicked. Along with the Battle of Kings Mountain, it ultimately contributed to Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.
Stan
Strangely enough, we have a member here who is originally from Cowpens, and who just happens to be my pretend little sister.

Drachen Jager
01-09-2011, 04:03 AM
I'm not sure if it had a name, as it wasn't truly a 'battle' but a few dozen Canadian boys and Indians captured several hundred American soldiers during the war of 1812 by walking circles past the American scouts. The scouts reported the enemy force had them badly outnumbered and the commander surrendered.

waylander
01-10-2011, 12:27 AM
Scottish history: The Battle of Flodden, Solway Moss, etc


Someone I know reasonably well has a recent book out on Flodden entitled 'Flodden: A Scottish Tragedy' The book has been very favourably reviewed

KQ800
01-10-2011, 03:34 AM
Rorkes drift, 152 vs 4 thousand
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Rorke%27s_Drift

Battle of crécy, 9 thousand against 40 thousand
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cr%C3%A9cy


The entire Winter war of -39. The Soviet forces had three times as many soldiers as the Finns, 30 times as many aircraft, and a hundred times as many tanks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank). The finns fought every single battle outnumbered, outgunned and with the enemy controlling the sky.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_war



Battle of Abu Klea, 1,4 thousand against 13 thousand.
http://www.britishbattles.com/egypt-1882/abu-klea.htm
See also "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" by Kipling:

.So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
.You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
.An' 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ayrick 'ead of 'air -
..You big black boundin' beggar - for you broke a British square!

Lhun
01-10-2011, 07:22 AM
Battle of Camarón, 65 vs. 2000
Don't know how i managed to forget to include this one in the first post.

DeleyanLee
01-11-2011, 02:04 AM
Thanks, guys! Tons of fun reading in store for me here. :D

Any other suggestions, please post!

blacbird
01-11-2011, 02:48 AM
Gettysburg. Probably the most heavily documented battle in U.S. history.

mscelina
01-11-2011, 02:56 AM
You can't do better IMO than to snag a copy of Caesar's Gallic Wars. You can learn all aspects of his battles against the Germanic and Gallic tribes on various types of terrains, with different kinds of odds and under different leaders. The eighth book wasn't written by Caesar, and the seventh book which deals with the battle against Vercingetorix is probably the most famous, but there's valuable information and strategy to be found in all of them.

DeleyanLee
01-11-2011, 05:36 AM
I'm actually reviewing that one, Celina. LOL! GMTA. I've also got some Herodetus coming up next. :D

KQ800
01-11-2011, 03:29 PM
Battle of Camarón, 65 vs. 2000
Don't know how i managed to forget to include this one in the first post.

Is it really "along the lines of Agincourt" if the weaker side is completely annihilated?

That's more along the lines of Iwo Jima imho.

Lhun
01-11-2011, 07:53 PM
Depends on what's meant by "along the lines". The result wasn't similar of course.

Vomaxx
01-11-2011, 08:49 PM
Battle of Muret, 1213, during the Albigensian Crusade: Simon de Montfort, with about 900 knights, completely defeats Pedro II of Aragon, who had around 30,000 troops. Among the dead was King Pedro.

WalkingContradiction
01-11-2011, 09:03 PM
The Battle of Cannae in 216 BC. Hannibals forces were 'only' outnumbered 2:1, but it was fought on an open field, no ambush! Thus it's simply astonishing how he managed to kill almost all the Romans with not even losing half his men.

KQ800
01-11-2011, 09:49 PM
The siege of Malta, not a single battle, technically.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Malta_%281565%29

SirOtter
01-11-2011, 09:56 PM
Rorkes drift, 152 vs 4 thousand
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Rorke%27s_Drift


I recommend watching the film Zulu for this one. Not completely accurate, but closer than most war films, and well done overall. Donald Morris' The Washing of the Spears is the best book on the Zulu Wars I've been able to find.

shakeysix
01-11-2011, 09:57 PM
we had exchange students and teachers from russia in our school one semester. they were from a city called veronezh in the ussr. the teachers were the children of people who fought the invading germans during ww2 on the banks of the don. they told some horrific war stories. i think that the odds were greatly in the german's favor but the russians managed to derail them at veronezh. --s6

Fokker Aeroplanbau
01-11-2011, 10:20 PM
Hmm, The Old Guard at Waterloo deserves a look by the thread's starter, as well as the Battle of the Alamo. If we're going to concentrate on the American continents then I'd be an idiot to omit The Battle of Camerone (that famous day in French Foreign Legion history!). I suppose the Battle of Little Big Horn would also fit the criteria, but that an ending that may not be 100% what the OP's looking for. Rorke's Drift has been mentioned, but not Isandhlwana interestingly enough. Can't forget Rorke's Drift raison d'être, can we?

Moving to a more contemporary era, the World War II defense of Wake Atoll deserves a look over. Equally, the defense of Betio Island and Tarawa Atoll merit a once-over (also, Corridor). The Americans also did a smashing job with the defense of Bastogne and the famous reply "Nuts" sparks the imagination.

Last, but certainly not least, is the defense of the Arnhem Bridge. It was made into a smashing movie "A Bridge to Far" (which I suggest everyone watch) and has become ingrained into American culture better than any other contemporary battle. It's definitely one of the best examples wanted by the topic thread.

SirOtter
01-11-2011, 11:01 PM
Can't forget Rorke's Drift raison d'être, can we?

For that matter, the antecedent to Hastings deserves note. Stamford Bridge was a brilliant victory over the Vikings, but the loss of so many of Harold Godwinson's best troops went a long way towards costing him a win at Hastings.

SirOtter
01-11-2011, 11:05 PM
How could I forget Alesia? Julius Caesar seiging and beseiged, starving Vercingetorix out while holding off 120,000 Gauls from outside his fortifications.

SirOtter
01-11-2011, 11:22 PM
Has anyone mentioned New Orleans?

We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down,
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannonballs
And powdered his behind,
And when we touched the powder off
The gator lost his mind.

We fired our guns, but the British kept a-comin'
Though there wasn't near as many as there was a while ago,
We fired once more and they began a-runnin',
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

shakeysix
01-12-2011, 07:13 PM
my father was in tarawa. he operated an amphibious tractor. he said tarawa was worse than iwo jima---s6

hammerklavier
01-14-2011, 01:52 AM
The Battle of Cannae in 216 BC. Hannibals forces were 'only' outnumbered 2:1, but it was fought on an open field, no ambush! Thus it's simply astonishing how he managed to kill almost all the Romans with not even losing half his men.


And also, Hannibal's final battle (that he commanded) against Scipio. He did lose, but would have won if only he'd kept the treacherous roman calvary occupied longer (treacherous because they used to be his allies). A brilliant general.


Alexander fought several such battles, two against the Persians, and one against the Scytians. and, I think, one against the Indians as well. (Probably why he's called "The Great").

chuckgalle
01-18-2011, 09:43 PM
A second on the winter's war of '39. In a particularly dramatic battle Maj. Keravuori and his platoon led Russian tanks, soldiers and trucks numbering in the thousands onto a frozen dammed lake, and when they were centered, and Keravuori's men safe, a Finnish folk song played on the radio was the cue to open the dam. Nothing survived.

Nick Blaze
01-21-2011, 03:48 AM
The battle of Red Cliff (Chi Bi). In this battle, about 35,000 troops defeated over a million troops in ancient China, around 200 AD. The battle was one through strategy, as is normal in China (and, as I study more and more military texts) not terrible common aside from simple ambushes, in western warfare.

I can give you many more details if you like. Essentially, Zhuge Liang, a tactician for Shu (a dynasty) teamed with Wu (another dynasty) with Zhou Yu at the force's helm. Cao Cao (Wei commander, controlling the Han emperor as a puppet) led a naval force over the Yangtze river, where the kingdom of Wu resides. Through political intrigue, reading and manipulating enemy general's weakness and strengths, Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu were able to burn the fleet of over a million soldiers to the ground, which would have been considered impossible due to the unpredictable southern winds, and because of the two expert naval commander Cao Cao employed (and how Wu and Shu convinced Cao Cao to execute them).

There is another battle about a particular gate I forget the name of. Xiahou Dun guarded it against 40,000 men with only 800, or something to that effect. Or how Cao Cao managed to defeat Yuan Shao's troops. Or let's delve into Wu Qi's accomplishments, with over 70 battles and no losses.

lizbeth dylan
01-21-2011, 04:23 AM
Visited Franklin TN and toured the Carter and Carnton plantations. The tour guide at the Carter house described the Battle at Franklin as one of the harshest of the Civil War.

When the tour guide was describing it, it reminded me of the fighting scenes in the movie, 300. Here is a link to one of the Carter house sites: http://www.carter-house.org/the-battle-of-franklin/

SlightlyEpic
01-21-2011, 04:30 AM
How about the Charge Of The Light Brigade by Lord Tennyson about the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854?

"Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred..."

and of course...
"Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die."

Reading his poem always gives me the shivers.

__________________
I just finished an article on trade show staffing and helpful rules for your trade show cadre (http://www.pinnacledisplays.com/10-commandments-for-trade-show-staffing-success.htm).

Lhun
01-21-2011, 08:49 PM
The battle of Red Cliff (Chi Bi). In this battle, about 35,000 troops defeated over a million troops in ancient China, around 200 AD.That's quite a lot. Is that a historical claim or a realistic estimate? I.e. the Battle of Thermopylae involved 25.000 greeks vs. 70.000-300.000 persians according to our best available estimates, but Herodotus wrote there were two and half million persians.

Nick Blaze
01-22-2011, 12:32 AM
That's quite a lot. Is that a historical claim or a realistic estimate? I.e. the Battle of Thermopylae involved 25.000 greeks vs. 70.000-300.000 persians according to our best available estimates, but Herodotus wrote there were two and half million persians.

According to fiction, the number says close to 1.5 million. But it was very possible there were 800,000 actual soldiers, since immediately before charging south, Cao Cao had conquered Yuan Shao and his sons, incorporating over a million soldiers into his army. He wouldn't march with all of them or else his base would be too weak. However, there was no doubt at least 150,000 men, such as peasants and craftsmen, accompanied them for various other kinds of work. Some historians still believe this is exaggerated, but many military strategists of days past say that Cao Cao knew his enemy and knew that he had no immediate threat at his home. The only threat was Ma Chao to the northwest, which was flanked by one of his best generals and crack troops.

In total, on the Allied Shu and Wu forces, there were 50,000. During the first ground attack Cao Cao made, both forces were combined. Afterwards, though, in a ploy to catch Cao Cao off guard, Shu went back home so the forces were reduced to about 40,000 or less. This, and due to many threats and attacks on Zhuge Liang's life (because Zhou Yu knew he would be a threat to Wu later on) caused Shu to leave, and with this extra weakness, urged Wei to attack even more.

Drachen Jager
01-22-2011, 12:56 AM
Cao Cao's TOTAL army was about 800,000. The estimated number in that battle is around 220,000, and 70,000 of them were conscripts.

Liu Bei had approximately 50,000 men.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Battle_of_Red_Cliff

Nick Blaze
01-22-2011, 01:46 AM
Did you really just use Wikipedia as a source?

Drachen Jager
01-22-2011, 03:19 AM
Oh you are one of those people who does not believe Wikipedia can possibly be accurate.

I didn't see you sourcing ANY of your statements other than, "According to fiction..." I certainly hope you do not consider novels a more reliable source than Wikipedia.

If you have better information and you wish to argue the point, then argue the point, don't go knocking my source when you have not provided a better one.

Nick Blaze
01-22-2011, 03:24 AM
I won't argue the point. I only stated what I learned in college, but all information can be flawed. Although it's not as drastic, 220,000 is still four to 1 ratio.

Lhun
01-22-2011, 03:49 AM
According to fiction, the number says close to 1.5 million. But it was very possible there were 800,000 actual soldiers, since immediately before charging south, Cao Cao had conquered Yuan Shao and his sons, incorporating over a million soldiers into his army. He wouldn't march with all of them or else his base would be too weak. However, there was no doubt at least 150,000 men, such as peasants and craftsmen, accompanied them for various other kinds of work. Some historians still believe this is exaggerated, but many military strategists of days past say that Cao Cao knew his enemy and knew that he had no immediate threat at his home. The only threat was Ma Chao to the northwest, which was flanked by one of his best generals and crack troops.

In total, on the Allied Shu and Wu forces, there were 50,000. During the first ground attack Cao Cao made, both forces were combined. Afterwards, though, in a ploy to catch Cao Cao off guard, Shu went back home so the forces were reduced to about 40,000 or less. This, and due to many threats and attacks on Zhuge Liang's life (because Zhou Yu knew he would be a threat to Wu later on) caused Shu to leave, and with this extra weakness, urged Wei to attack even more.Sounds quite interesting. Unfortunately i haven't read a lot about older chinese conflicts, i'll need to check that period out some time. (Though i disagree with with you on strategic battles being uncommon in europe)

Zeusmiester
01-22-2011, 04:06 AM
the three that pop into my head immediately are
the battle of thermopoly aka 300
the battle of the bulge ---- got to love those from the 101st division
then the battle of the alamo---typical small vs large battle..
or even Custers last stand.. where better arms did not equal a win..
good luck in your writings.
Zeus

Nick Blaze
01-22-2011, 04:18 AM
Sounds quite interesting. Unfortunately i haven't read a lot about older chinese conflicts, i'll need to check that period out some time. (Though i disagree with with you on strategic battles being uncommon in europe)

There are exceptions, as with Hannibal and a few others, but it was far less common. "A great strategist will end the battle before any soldiers need pick up arms." This may mean diplomacy, but this could also refer to spying and psychologically breaking down the general/s.

Lhun
01-22-2011, 05:05 AM
There are exceptions, as with Hannibal and a few others, but it was far less common. "A great strategist will end the battle before any soldiers need pick up arms." This may mean diplomacy, but this could also refer to spying and psychologically breaking down the general/s.Well, as i said i don't know about chinese battles, so i can't whether it was more or less common in comparison, but i certainly wasn't uncommon. And not just strategy on the battlefield either, Napoleon winning the support of the general populace is one of the best examples.
If there's any period where battles tended to happen as unorganized brawls, it's probably the medieval period of fractured central european states, where there were no professional armies. (and thus no professional generals)

Nick Blaze
01-22-2011, 07:11 AM
Well, as i said i don't know about chinese battles, so i can't whether it was more or less common in comparison, but i certainly wasn't uncommon. And not just strategy on the battlefield either, Napoleon winning the support of the general populace is one of the best examples.
If there's any period where battles tended to happen as unorganized brawls, it's probably the medieval period of fractured central european states, where there were no professional armies. (and thus no professional generals)

This is true, and please forgive me as I have no respect for the man himself, but Hitler was an amazing strategist in every respect. Of course, he had to deal with modern warfare, whereas most strategists listed barely, if ever, had to deal with black powder.

Napoleon, and I being French, was a great commander. There's a difference between a good commander and a good tactician. A commander can rally the troops and the country, while a tactician never has to even see the battlefield. Napoleon did, of course. Just sayin'.

Xelebes
01-22-2011, 08:17 AM
Canadian History: Operation Switchblade (WWII). On a narrow isthmus with guns on both sides, Canadians took out both batteries and took the peninsula & island.

Histry Nerd
01-23-2011, 03:55 AM
There are several books on just this subject. My favorite is To the Last Cartridge by Robert Barr Smith. He tells the stories of more than twenty battles and actions, mostly lopsided affairs, many of which turned out much differently than the numbers might have predicted.

Some of the battles he mentions are:

Evesham, 1265
Constantinople, 1453
Trenton, 1776
Antietam, 1862
Gettysburg, 1863 (Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the 20th Maine on Little Round Top)
Nery, 1914
Dien Bien Phu, 1954
LZ X-Ray, 1965

To these I will add a few more:

Stirling Bridge, 1297
The Spanish Armada, 1588
Trafalgar, 1805
Fredericksburg, 1862
Chancellorsville, 1863 (After which Lee is said to have remarked, "I was too weak to defend, so I attacked.")
The Battle of Britain, 1940

You can find background on any of these online. PM me if you need more detailed information.

Hope it helps!
HN

Rufus Coppertop
01-25-2011, 05:59 PM
I'm actually reviewing that one, Celina. LOL! GMTA. I've also got some Herodetus coming up next. :D

Herodotus rocks! So does Caesar. Cassius Dio, Appian and Livy are fabulous as well.

Rufus Coppertop
01-25-2011, 06:09 PM
Has anyone mentioned New Orleans?

We fired our guns, but the British kept a-comin'
Though there wasn't near as many as there was a while ago,
We fired once more and they began a-runnin',
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

I wouldn't take that song as representative of reality. The British did not run down the Mississippi. They probably should have. Jackson and his men were holding a very strong position. Fact is, the British fought bravely and took heavy casualties. They were not cowards.