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Old 04-11-2009, 09:38 AM
 
65 posts, read 239,584 times
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There were a lot of key battles throughout history, but i want to know which one was the most important. i believe that it was Hitler's loss at Stalingrad, or the American victory at Fort McHenry. what do you think is the most important key battle in history?
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,347 posts, read 60,534,984 times
Reputation: 60935
Too many to list:
US:
Battle of Trenton
Battle of Saratoga
Battle of Lake Erie
Antietam
Gettysburg
Fall of Vicksburg
Belleau Wood
Midway
Tet offensive
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
10,261 posts, read 21,747,586 times
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Herman's defeat of Varus. Had the Germans been Romanized God knows what today's world would be like. Probably a better place though.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,113,519 times
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Here we go again, starting another superlatives war without any agreed upon definition of what constitutes "important" and "key."

I would suggest that all who start such threads, begin them with a statement regarding how the author has decided to define his or her terms. For example, in this particular case, perhaps the emphasis should be placed upon the scale of consequences in determining importance. As such, any battle which simply played a part in the ultimate outcome would certainly be secondary to a battle which was decisive to the outcome. Gettysburg was important in that it frustrated Confederate plans, but this decided the direction the remainder of the war would take, it did not decide the war.

What did decide the Civil War? There were two elements which could have swung the war in favor of the South. One was European recognition or intervention. This remained a possibility, perhaps it could be said to have been likely, until the Emancipation Proclamation. After that there was no chance that the heavily anti slavery Great Britain was going to make common cause with a nation fighting to retain the institution, against a nation fighting to end it. In that a loss at Antietam would have delayed the announcement of the proclamation, the failure of the Confederates to win there was crucial.

The other time that the South was close to winning was the summer of '64 when Grant and Sherman's campaigns were stalled, the casualty lists were staggering for the North, and the Democrats were preparing to run on a peace platform which promised to end the war. The frustrated mood of the voters was such that Lincoln's re-election seemed doomed, and if Lincoln had been defeated, that would have been the ballgame. Then the capture of Atlanta, the destruction of Early's valley army at Cedar Creek, and the taking of Mobile turned things around completely. Suddenly victory was in clear sight and Lincoln's re-election assured. And that was the ballgame for the South.

One could further argue that had not Jefferson Davis lost patience with Joe Johnston and replaced him with the hyper aggressive Hood, Atlanta might have been able to hold out for several more months. Instead, Hood wrecked a good portion of his force by going over to the offensive and greatly hastening the fall of the city. Thus, the singular key or imprtant moment wasn't a battle, it was a bad executive decision.

So, if we agree that scale of consequence defines importance, we should be drawn to those battles which produced the most immense and long lasting results. That Europe remained Christian rather than becoming Islamic would have to be viewed as massively consequential for history and we may look to two battles which were critical. The first was Tours in 732 when Charles Martel routed the Muslims , ended their previously unbroken expansion, and set the stage for the next several centuries of Islamic forced removal from western Europe.

The second was the Battle of Vienna in 1683 which like Tours, maked the high water mark of Islamic expansion in Eastern Europe and changed the Ottoman Empire from a growing concern to a stagnant, and ultimately, shrinking one.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:58 AM
 
65 posts, read 239,584 times
Reputation: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Here we go again, starting another superlatives war without any agreed upon definition of what constitutes "important" and "key."

I would suggest that all who start such threads, begin them with a statement regarding how the author has decided to define his or her terms. For example, in this particular case, perhaps the emphasis should be placed upon the scale of consequences in determining importance. As such, any battle which simply played a part in the ultimate outcome would certainly be secondary to a battle which was decisive to the outcome. Gettysburg was important in that it frustrated Confederate plans, but this decided the direction the remainder of the war would take, it did not decide the war.

What did decide the Civil War? There were two elements which could have swung the war in favor of the South. One was European recognition or intervention. This remained a possibility, perhaps it could be said to have been likely, until the Emancipation Proclamation. After that there was no chance that the heavily anti slavery Great Britain was going to make common cause with a nation fighting to retain the institution, against a nation fighting to end it. In that a loss at Antietam would have delayed the announcement of the proclamation, the failure of the Confederates to win there was crucial.

The other time that the South was close to winning was the summer of '64 when Grant and Sherman's campaigns were stalled, the casualty lists were staggering for the North, and the Democrats were preparing to run on a peace platform which promised to end the war. The frustrated mood of the voters was such that Lincoln's re-election seemed doomed, and if Lincoln had been defeated, that would have been the ballgame. Then the capture of Atlanta, the destruction of Early's valley army at Cedar Creek, and the taking of Mobile turned things around completely. Suddenly victory was in clear sight and Lincoln's re-election assured. And that was the ballgame for the South.

One could further argue that had not Jefferson Davis lost patience with Joe Johnston and replaced him with the hyper aggressive Hood, Atlanta might have been able to hold out for several more months. Instead, Hood wrecked a good portion of his force by going over to the offensive and greatly hastening the fall of the city. Thus, the singular key or imprtant moment wasn't a battle, it was a bad executive decision.

So, if we agree that scale of consequence defines importance, we should be drawn to those battles which produced the most immense and long lasting results. That Europe remained Christian rather than becoming Islamic would have to be viewed as massively consequential for history and we may look to two battles which were critical. The first was Tours in 732 when Charles Martel routed the Muslims , ended their previously unbroken expansion, and set the stage for the next several centuries of Islamic forced removal from western Europe.

The second was the Battle of Vienna in 1683 which like Tours, maked the high water mark of Islamic expansion in Eastern Europe and changed the Ottoman Empire from a growing concern to a stagnant, and ultimately, shrinking one.
sorry, i didnt make that clear, yes i agree that consequence defines importance
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:40 AM
 
28,895 posts, read 54,144,437 times
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What about the Battle of Marathon?
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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I am amazed, based on the geographic and political consequences, that nobody has mentioned the battle of San Jacinto, 173 years ago today.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
10,261 posts, read 21,747,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semperlost View Post
I am amazed, based on the geographic and political consequences, that nobody has mentioned the battle of San Jacinto, 173 years ago today.
Indeed, the results were tragic for both Mexico and The United States.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,012 posts, read 29,713,752 times
Reputation: 11309
Battle of Gaugamela
Battle of Zama
Battle of Tours, the great Charles Martel (civilization saver )
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. area
62 posts, read 163,187 times
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Battle of New Orleans. Old Hickory saved our bacon. Had we lost the Battle of New Orleans the Treaty of Ghent would have been worthless to protect us.
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