Siege of Troy

Homer’s ‘Iliad’ gives us the archetypal war. Believed to have been written by the 7th century BC, it speaks of the beautiful Helen being ‘carried off’ by Paris, son of King Priam of Troy.
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Battle of Kadesh

An early blueprint for tactics was the battle of Kadesh, a strategically important city in northern Syria. In 1274BC the pharoah Rameses II took an army of four formations into the area, each of 500 chariots and 5,000 men.
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Battle of Pharsalus

Julius Caesar’s victory over Pompey at the battle of Pharsalus in central Greece in 48BC showed great generalship. Pompey came to the battle with over 40,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry, compared to Caesar’s greatly outnumbered 20,000 infantry and just 1,000 cavalry.
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Battle of Hastings

In 1066 William the Conqueror of Normandy invaded England. When the English king, Harold, heard the news of the landings, he was fighting an incursion by Harald Hardrada at Stamford Bridge near York.
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Horns of Hattin

On 2 July 1187, Saladin, the champion of Islam, attacked Tiberius with a possible 30,000 men. Jerusalem had become, by this time, a Christian Kingdom, there to receive pilgrims from Europe.
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Battle of Dunbar

In September 1650 a Scottish and French force of some 20,000 was on the verge of a great victory against the forces of the hated Oliver Cromwell. Riddled with desertion and sickness, Cromwell’s forces had been reduced to 11,000 and were encamped with their backs to the sea near Dunbar. Yet as the enemy moved down a hill to prepare to finish Cromwell off, Cromwell noticed two things.
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Battle of Waterloo

Napoleon finally came unstuck at the Battle of Waterloo by being beaten by many of his own tactics. The night before the battle, Wellington was able to choose his own defensive position taking the initiative away from Napoleon and hiding from view most of his troops. The night before the battle of 18 June 1815 there was a violent thunderstorm and, after a delay to allow the ground to dry, Napoleon was forced to attack through mud.
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Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade, during the Crimean War in 1854, is one of the greatest military blunders of all. Forming part of the defence of Balaclava from the Russians, the British commander, Lord Raglan, faced the daunting prospect of silencing heavy Russian guns at the end of a narrow valley, with infantry and light guns on the slopes.
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