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Battle of Issus (333 B.C.)

Battle of Issus (333 B.C.)

The battle ended with the overwhelming victory of the Macedonian army over the Persian army led by Darius III.



Issus, Battle of Issus, Alexander the Great, Darius III, Darius, Alexander III, battle, Persian Empire, army, military history, Persian, Macedonian, Pinarus, heavy infantry, light infantry, mercenary, warfare, king, battle order, tactics, cavalry, antiquity, history

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Stage 1

Darius III and his army were located in the easternmost bay of the Mediterranean Sea. As usual, the Persian king positioned himself behind a center reinforced by Greek mercenaries and he sent a unit to the other side of the Pinarus River. The location was not favorable for him, but for the smaller Macedonian army. The narrow area between the Issus bay and the surrounding mountains ideally matched Alexander’s strategy. As planned, he marched with his army to the other side of the Pinarus River, where he deployed his troops.

Stage 2

Before the battle, Darius decided to call back his unit located across the river, while Alexander reorganized his cavalry to protect the left flank. The battle was fought on rough terrain. The heavy infantry of the Macedonian right flank crossed the Pinarus River and pushed back the Persian left flank. A bitter struggle broke out at the center and near the bay. The Persians were superior on rough terrain, so the Macedonian army was split. Both sides suffered great losses.

Stage 3

The battle took a favorable turn for the Macedonian troops when the heavy infantry soldiers who had scattered the Persian left flank attacked the advancing Persian center from the side. Thus, in all flanks, the Macedonians were decisively superior. The Persian army broke up, the disorganized soldiers fled in full rout, and so did their king. Only after all his units were safe, did Alexander order the carnage that would follow.

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