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Forum LockedJust how could Persia lose to Greece?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Turenne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 14:47

To my mind, it was all a matter of superior military doctrin for the greeks, and the inner decay of the Persian empire.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 15:29
Originally posted by Turenne Turenne wrote:

To my mind, it was all a matter of superior military doctrin for the greeks, and the inner decay of the Persian empire.



The Greeks did not have a superior way of going about military matters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Asawar Hazaraspa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 19:20

Actually from the military point of view it is true that Macedonian army of Alexander was a formidable force but one shouldn't forget that military prowess expected from the Persians was not the same as the early Achamenians. But this militray prowess rendered unsuccssful when the powerful Greek kingdom of Bactria despite of resistence ceased to exist in front battle style of the Iranian and Yuezi horsemen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 19:47
True, let's not forget that the main Greek fighting force (at least in the early stages) that of the heavy infantry (hoplites) was a result of social-economic development and suitable for the rugged Greek terrain. Not for the steppes of central Asia.
 
Alexander (and of course his father Philip) developed a combined arms doctrine, using light infantry (lessons learned from Iphicrates), psiloi, light and heavy cavalry and of course their famous Macedonian phalanx. This worked much better and was more flexible than the traditional Greek phalanx.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2008 at 00:26
Originally posted by Asawar Hazaraspa Asawar Hazaraspa wrote:

Actually from the military point of view it is true that Macedonian army of Alexander was a formidable force but one shouldn't forget that military prowess expected from the Persians was not the same as the early Achamenians. But this militray prowess rendered unsuccssful when the powerful Greek kingdom of Bactria despite of resistence ceased to exist in front battle style of the Iranian and Yuezi horsemen.



Xerxes did not use unconventional warfare. He wanted to glorify himself as a great king of the Achaemenids. Cyrus the Great excelled at using unconventional tactics when fighting against other Middle Eastern Kingdoms. A swift cavalry raid through mainland Greece could have won the war. But there is no glory in doing so. Instead Xerxes used numbers as his force multiplier. Each way of doing warfare is different but not "better" by any means.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2008 at 08:03
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa Darius of Parsa wrote:

A swift cavalry raid through mainland Greece could have won the war. 
 
There's absolutely no way for cavalry to operate effectively in Greece. Please check a geographical atlas of Greece and note the terrain.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2008 at 15:16
The raiding party would not partake in any battles. They would just burn crops and set aflame farms. It is entirely possible for a raiding battalion of horsemen to win the war by just doing so. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2008 at 18:51
Darius, your analysis is very inadequate. One cannot conquer without securing bases of resupply, that is cities and ports. Cavalry cannot breach city walls. Cavalry cannot simply live of the land. They need supplies, food, weapons, clothes etc. to sustain themselves.
In any case, cavalry is not an option without infantry and navy. Otherwise they will be destroyed once they encounter heavy infantry and -trust me- at some point they would.
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Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote capcartoonist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2008 at 08:49
The factors contributing to Alexander's success would be:
 
1.  Possession of the best heavy infantry available (Macedonian hoplites)
2.  Combined arms tactics
3.  Darius' yellow streak
 
Gaugamela was a close thing -- the Persians were trashing the Macedonian left wing, but Alexander pressed home his attack on the right.  As soon as the Macedonians got close to Darius, the Great King turned and fled.  And what's good for the king is good for the rest of the army.  If Darius had pulled back a short distance and thrown his ten thousand Immortals around his position he might have won the day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2008 at 15:45
The greeks had no problem with the immortals


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nickmard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2009 at 14:28
It looks like people have not added to this thread for some time...
 
I'm going to throw in my 2 cents worth..
I have Persian heritage, but also respect and admire the Greeks as they both respected each other. At the time of Alexander the respect between these two great Civilizations was emense and the recent tit for tat between these two parties is a result of modern Politics.
The whole concept of the wonderful western greek democratic freedom fighters defeating the evil eastern slave mongering despots is 100% rubbish.
 
In my opinion the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander because of these two main reasons:
1. The Macedonians had a superior professional army with competant able Commanders
2. The Persian empire was in decay and had a weak King/Emperor (Darius III)
 
When studying and discussing History we need to be un-biased and professional. The Persians were beaten, fair and square (anybody who debates this is delusional) . But it was not the end of the story for the Persians, they came back again and again.
 
The Greek influence on the Post Achemenid Iranian dyansties has to be noted. The Parthians and Sassanians owed alot to the greeks.
 
P.S . Can people stop refering to the Achaemenids as slave mongers, as they had no slaves. Workers were paid for work and soldiers also. Please dont forget that Greece was built on slavery, not the other way around.
 
Respect to Hellas, respect to Persia.
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