Top Ten Battles that Most Changed History

Some battles are decisive and are important in the scheme of history. Some change history in more ways than one. The battles on this list changed the landscape of history whether it be in terms of land, people, language, the course of war, or politically. These battles could have ended wars or started them or both. Some may have decided a war, some may have defined them. This list will go over the battles that changed history the most.

Feel free to add anything you feel worthy to be on this list.
The Top Ten
The Battle of Gettysburg

The Battle of Gettysburg was a pivotal battle in the American Civil War, 1861-1865. The Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee had been absolutely slamming the Union forces in the war of independence. In the North, civilians were growing restless and wanted an end to war and the Union soldiers were tired of defeats. President Abraham Lincoln needed a victory. He sent General George Meade to meet the Confederate armies and they met at Gettysburg. Fighting ensued for 3 days and it was pretty much a stalemate until a few major things happened. Their was a miscommunication command. His best subordinate, Stone Jackson, had died not long before the Battle and Lee had to promote incompetent generals. General J.E.B. Stuart abandoned the Battle, leaving Lee without a cavalry. To put the nail in the coffin, General Longstreet, one of his best generals, refused to attack a certain point. The Union made strong stands and ultimately held off the Confederates. It was a devastating loss for ...more

That's mainly why people should disobey orders every now and then these days. Though only if you know what you're doing.

Absolutely incredible list. Very well-made and well-researched. Well done 2storm.

Biggest battle in the American Civil War

The Battle of Stalingrad

On to WW2. Adolf Hitler made the stupid decision to invade Russia. He decided to invade the city of Stalingrad for multiple reasons. One it was named after Stalin himself. If Stalingrad fell, it would be an embarrassing and humiliating defeat. Also Stalingrad stood in the way of petroleum resources in Baku. The Battle ended up being one of longest and bloodiest battles of WW2. It lasted from August 23rd, 1942 to February 2nd, 1943. The battle was fought street by street. It ended with the German Generals being surrounded and they ended up surrendering due to a lack of resources. The result was decisive. Hitler would never recover in the East and the Soviet Union would lead the assault to Berlin.

Don't forget that the Nazis lost the grip of this battle because of the harsh cold climate. Not only the Soviets pushed back the Nazis by a very surprising counterattack, but also climate served on the Soviets side.

Hitler apparently seemed to make the same mistake of what Napoleon did a few centuries ago!

Also known as a battle taken place in world war 2. It was terribly long and one of the worst decisions Hitler has made in Russia. It was also named after Joseph Stalin himself. How interesting.

Hitler did Napoleon's mistake, thankfully.
I heard that Stalingrad survived thanks to potatoes, due to Nazis stopping food supplies. (No, really.)

The Battle of Midway

After the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Americans were crushed. The fleet in the Pacific had been decimated. The Americans sought revenge. They located the Japanese approaching Midway and they pretty much unleashed chaos on them. Stupidity by the Japanese chain of command would lead to this decisive result that changed the course of the War in the Pacific. If the Japanese captured Midway and destroyed the rest of the Pacific fleet, then America would have at least been subject to main land assault and they would not be able to focus on Europe. That would result in the loss of the Allied Powers.

The Japanese would've had a chance, but it turns out the Americans outwitted the Japanese because of cryptology and the way they used it.

The movie midway is my favorite war movie

The Battle of Thermopylae

The Battle of Thermopylae was a famous stand at the Hot Gates, a coastal pass at Thermopylae, by the Spartans. The Persians were quickly engulfing the whole of Greece and the mighty Sparta was the only nation standing in its way. The Spartans were vastly outnumbered and they were able to hold the gates for three days. Eventually, a Greek betrayed them and the Spartans were surrounded and killed. Ultimately, this battle would inspire thousands of Greeks to fight and the Spartans would be remembered as the group that fought tyranny. This battle would also lead to the decisive victories of Salamis; actually wasn't a victory, but it was a lot like Thermopylae, and Plataea. This battle would also be marked as a turning point in the 2nd Persian invasion.

The Battle of Marathon

So we talked about the 2nd Persian invasion, let's talk about the first. The Persians were smacking the Greeks. The Greeks had not won one battle. The successful strategy and armor would help the Greeks only lose 203 lives compared to the 6,000 lives the Persians lost. This would absolutely shock the Persians who retreated from Greece.

The Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings is so important to the country of England. The country was divided between Prince William of Normandy and King Harold of the Anglo-Saxons. After the death of King Edward; who had no heir, both King William, King Harold and Viking; Harald Hardrada claimed the throne. It was fought on the famous date of October 14th, 1066, which is the day before I am making this list. After defeating Harald Hardrada and his Vikings, King Harold heard Prince William has landed in England. He went down from the northern coast to London. Prince William destroyed a few towns and King Harold was forced to meet him in Hastings. The Battle was close, but it would end with King Harold being shot in the eye and William was made King. King William would make a lot of architectural changes and he changed the language dialect. He made it more proper. Ultimately this battle would change a lot in England.

Normandy was of course in Gaulle [now France], and the Normans were what we would now call the French.
With victory in this battle, the "French" took over England in 1066, and they never left.

The Battle of Tours

Remember when the Muslims almost took over all of Europe? Probably not because schools don't like to talk about the Battle of Tours, but I will include it on this list. Muslims basically wanted to take over all of Europe. The Frankish powers said no. The Muslims tried anyway. They succeeded at the beginning. They made it all the way to modern day France and then Charles Martel met them. In October of 732, the Frankish armies met the Muslims In Tours. Not a lot of the exact details are known about this battle, but it resulted in complete and utter defeat for the Muslims, stopping their conquest. This battle would begin Frankish dominance in Europe. This would also be a factor in the start of the Crusades.

The Battle of Waterloo

After Napoleon Bonaparte escaped his exile in Elba, he quickly and quite impressively built up a powerful and big army. He also resumed his control as emperor of France. He attempted to barter peace, but was rejected; some scholars believe this was simply to buy Napoleon time. Instead the whole of Europe declared war on Napoleon. Not France, Napoleon. How much of a savage do you have to be declared war against by a whole continent. Anyways Napoleon set out and met a coalition army represented by the Duke of Wellington. The Duke of Wellington had studied Napoleon for years and was able to predict his moves. The coalition had won. It was a crushing defeat for Napoleon who was exiled to Saint Helena where he would spend the rest of his life. The Battle ended the Napoleonic Wars and would end any chance of Napoleon coming back.

The Battle of Normandy

You may ask why the Storming of Normandy is so low? I will explain why in a second. Seeing that the Allies were now winning on two fronts, Supreme Commander of the Allies, Dwight D. Eisenhower, decided to land in the beaches of Normandy. A operation known as the D-Day landings. You should already know that is was successful. It was an amazing victory. The reason I have it lower is it wasn't a tide turning event. The Allies were on pace to win the war. All the Normandy Landings did was accelerate the process. Still important, but I feel the items above are more important.

George S Patton would've played a very essential role and yet an intriguing role on this operation. But he was excluded because of his impulsive brand behavior.

To me, it would definitely change history if Patton was the main driving force behind the whole operation instead of Ike himself. Think about it. Maybe more of the lives of men could be saved or even the US forces can take over Normandy less than a day or two.

aka d-day
the final effort to defeat the nazis

The Battle of Gaugamela

I can almost guarantee 90% of you don't know what the Battle of Gaugamela was, so let me give you a history lesson. Alexander the Great was the king of Macedonia and he had already united/conquered Greece. He was bent on world domination. He was now on a mission to destroy the Persians once and for all. Alexander had victory after victory. He now showed down in the decisive battle of Gaugamela. He faced King Darius. This battle would be Alexander's finest victory and cement him in history. It was disastrous for the Persians as it would effectively end the Persian empire with the death of Darius at the end of the Battle. Hope you enjoyed the list. If you liked it you should comment or share it. Thank you for sticking to the end. I also plan on adding more items after this list goes out.

Very interesting list, hope more people look into it.

The Contenders
The Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Jericho
The Battle of Zama

During the 2nd Punic Wars, Scipio Africanus defeated two Carthaginian armies and forced a peace treaty on the city of Carthage. Hannibal had just come back from his mostly successful trip to the Italy. Carthage broke the treaty between Carthage and Rome. They sent Hannibal out to face Scipio. Scipio's cavalry was able to encircle the Carthaginian infantry after a fierce and bloody encounter between the infantries. The Carthaginians were slaughtered. This battle would end Carthage. This empire was the only one that could stand up to Rome and it was simply annihilated.

The Battle of Cannae

The Battle of Cannae was a disaster for the Romans. They absolutely slaughtered by Hannibal and the Carthaginians.

The Battle of Bunker Hill

The Battle of Bunker Hill was so pivotal in the American Revolution. The battle would turn the war to the Colonists favor. It showed the Colonist were a real threat despite losing.

The Battle of Puebla
The Battle of San Juan
The Battle of Afghanistan
Fall of Constantinople
The Battle of Teutoburg Forest

Another Roman slaughter. One of the first examples of a small force destroying a big one.

The Battle of Yorktown (1781)

The Battle of Yorktown practically ended the Revolution. They were on track to lose anyway, but this battle was still important.

The Battle of Zenta
Siege of Jerusalem
The Battle of Moscow
The Battle of Cynoscephalae
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