Alexander the Great and the battle of Gaugamela
Of all the people in history that I would like to meet, old Alex the great would be numero uno.
The main reason for this would be his charisma
, personal bravery and toughness, and also because he seemed to be ahead of his time with his proposed concord of the east and the west.
Now I am no expert in these things (as you can tell) but it seems to me that a lot of the ancient rulers were fond of just killing everyone that they conquered, Alexander the great
, I feel, was not this way, he was intelligent, and possessed a wisdom
beyond his years.
What he did in his short life is indeed incredible, and it is unsurpassed in its scope and speed.
He lead the army
from the front, and at Issus
went for the king himself, a wise, if extremely dangerous move. It worked because the Persian
army was prone to decapitation.
The way he defeated the 200,000 strong Persian Army was in part this personal courage to lead from the front and his sublime tactical knowledge and the ability to adapt and innovate.
When advancing into battle the Persian army under Darius
easily overlapped Alexander’s 40,000 strong line.
To counter this he formed his flanking units, which were mixed infantry and cavalry into protective 'flaps' which attached to each end of his line at a roughly 90 degree angle.
behind the front line in the middle he place a second line of sarissa
troops that had orders to about face if the Persians came around the flanks into the rear.
Thus the entire army could form into a rectangle in a short space of time for all around protection.
This was not needed.
Advancing in a right incline toward the Persian centre right, Alexander succeeded in drawing off Persian units form the enemy line where Darius himself was stationed.
These troops under Bessus
Darius' soon to be betrayer and murderer where then engaged by Alexander’s elite Cavalry
the royal lancers and Thessalian heavy horse.
Charging in 'dragons teeth' wedges these squadrons ripped through the Persian Horse men toward the gap created by Alexander’s feint.
Alexander himself leading one of these wedges charged Darius' chariot and let fly with a javelin that apparently killed the Persian King's chariot driver.
Darius fled, and as news of his flight circulated the dust-choked battleground the Persian army, also, took flight and the battle was effectively over.
Some say his extreme bravery was a result of his competition with the Homeric
heroes of the Iliad
in particular Achilles
He had a copy of Iliad that he kept under his bed and it seems he had studied on Achilles' sulking and selfish ways and sought to go him one better by leading by example and not just chasing individual glory as Achilles did.
He certainly was respected by his men, many of whom were twice his age, he never asked anyone to do anything that he wouldn't do himself.
He was the tip of the spear of the tip of the spear.
All his wounds were in the front.