historical battles

Historical Battles ⚔️🎖️

Historical Battles Timeline ⚔️ Famous Battles in History 🎖️

This chronological list of historical battles covers all the important military engagements in recorded history.

  • ADDucation’s Historical Battles list was originally compiled by Robert Junker and last updated 12 Feb 2021.

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Historical Battles Where When Attackers Victors Defenders
Battle of Marathon 🇬🇷 Greece 490 BC Athenians and Plataeans. Attackers Persian invaders.
Battle of Issus 🇹🇷 Turkey 333 BC Macedonians under Alexander the Great. Attackers Persian minions under the command of Darius III.
Battle of Cannae 🇮🇹 Italy, Apulia 216 BC 40,000 Carthaginians (†8000) under Hannibal. Attackers 80,000 Romans († 70,000) under Lucius Paullus.
Battle of Teutoburg Forest 🇩🇪 Germany, Lower Saxony 9 AD Germans under Arminius. Attackers 3 Roman legions under Varus (Varus Battle).
2nd Battle of Lechfeld 🇩🇪 Germany, Bavaria 955 Hungarian troops attacked under Bulcsú. Defenders Saxony / Franconia / Bavaria under Otto I. / Red Konrad.
Battle of Hastings 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England, East Sussex 1066 9000 Normans under Duke William II attacked. Attackers 10,000 Anglo-Saxons under King Harold II.
Battle of Kosovo 🇽🇰 Kosovo Polje 1389 An estimated 20,000 Christian Serbs and Bosnians, led by Prince Lazar and Vuk Brankovic, attacked the Turks. Defenders 35,000 Turks (Ottoman Empire) under Sultan Murad I, Sultan Bayezid I and Yakub.
Battle of Grunwald 🇵🇱 Poland, Masuria 1410 27,000 German troops, under Grand Master Jungingen, attacked. Defenders 39,000 Poles and Lithuanians under Władysław II Jagiello.
Siege of Orléans 🇫🇷 France 1428/29 The French, under Joan of Arc, attacked the Burgundians and English. Attackers English and Burgundians under the Earl of Salisbury.
Battle of Constantinople (Istanbul) 🇹🇷 Turkey 1453 The Byzantines, under Emperor Constantine XI, attacked the Turks. Defenders 50,000 Turks under Sultan Mehmed II.
Battle of Towton 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England, Yorkshire 1461 The 40,000 strong House of York army, under Edward IV, attacked the House of Lancaster during the War of the Roses. Attackers 60,000 of the House of Lancaster under Henry Beaufort.
Battle of Hohenlinden 🇩🇪 Germany, near Munich 1800 100,000 French, under Moreau and Ney, attacked the Austrians and Bavarians. Attackers 120,000 Austrians under John of Austria.
Battle of Austerlitz 🇨🇿 Czechia 1805 73,000 French (139 guns), under Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte, attacked the Russian and Austrians (278 guns). Attackers 85,000 Russians and Austrians under Tsar Alexander I and Emperor Francis II.
Battle of Trafalgar Atlantic Ocean 1805 27 British ships, under Nelson, attacked French and Spanish ships. Attackers 33 Spanish and French ships under Villeneuve.
Battle of Leipzig 🇩🇪 Germany, Saxony 1813 210,000 Frenchmen, with 700 guns, under Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte, attacked the Prussians, Austrians and Russians. Defenders 310,000 Prussians, Austrians and Russians under Prince Schwarzenberg and Alexander I.
Battle of Hanau 🇩🇪 Germany, Frankfurt 1813 60,000 French troops, under Napoleon I, attacked the Bavarian and Austrian troops. Attackers 45,000 Bavarians / Austrians under Carl von Wrede.
Battle of Waterloo 🇧🇪 Belgium 1815 72,000 Frenchmen with 246 guns under Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte attacked. Defenders 68,000 English / Dutch (156 guns) and 31,000 Prussians under Wellington and Blücher.
Battle of Fredericksburg 🇺🇸 USA, Virginia 1862 72,000 Confederate soldiers, under General Lee, attacked Union troops. Attackers 100,000 Union army soldiers under General Burnside.
Battle of Gettysburg 🇺🇸 USA, Pennsylvania 1863 75,000 Confederates, under General Lee, attacked 88,000 Union soldiers. Defenders Union Army (88,000) under General Meade.
Battle of Königgrätz / Sadowa 🇨🇿 Czechia 1866 278,000 Prussians, under Chief of Staff Moltke, attacked Austrian forces. Attackers 271,000 Austrians under Benedek.
Battle of Sedan 🇫🇷 France 1870 120,000 Frenchmen, with 564 guns, attacked German forces. Defenders 200,000 Germans with 744 guns under Moltke.
Battle of Little Big Horn River 🇺🇸 USA 1876 Cheyenne, Dakota, and Arapaho, under chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, attacked. Attackers Cavalry Regiment under General Custer.
Battle of Tannenberg 🇵🇱 Poland 1914 300,000 Germans, under General Hindenburg, attacked Russian army. Attackers 2nd Russian Army (300,000) under Samsonov.
Battle of Verdun 🇫🇷 France 1916 75 French divisions (†167,000) under Joffre, Pétain and Nivelle attacked. Undecisive 50 German divisions (†150,000) under Falkenhayn.
Battle of Jutland North Sea, Skagerrak strait 1916 The Battle of Jutland was the last naval battle primarily fought by battleships.
  • Ships: 151 United Kingdom ships under Sir John Jellicoe and Sir David Beatty
  • Losses: 3 battlecruisers, 3 armored cruisers and 8 destroyers (113,300 tons) sunk. Killed: 6,094.
Undecisive
  • Ships: 99 German ships under Admiral Reinhard Scheer and Franz Hipper
  • Losses: 1 battlecruiser, 1 pre-dreadnought cruiser, 4 light cruisers, 5 torpedo boats (62,300 tons) sunk. Killed: 2,551.
Battle of Britain 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England 1940
  • Aircraft: 2,550 German Luftwaffe
  • Losses: 2,585 aircrew killed. 1,977 aircraft destroyed.

Of all the historical battles this is the only one fought primarily by aircraft.

Defenders
  • Aircraft: 1,963 Royal Air Force
  • Losses: 1,542 aircrew killed. 1,744 aircraft destroyed.
Pearl Harbor 🇺🇸 USA, Hawaii 1941 4,000 American soldiers, on 10 ships and 261 aircraft were killed. Attackers Surprise attack by 360 Japanese aircraft under Admiral Chūichi Nagumo. Perspectives from both Japanese and American perspectives.
Battle of Midway Pacific Ocean 1942
  • Ships: 3 fleet cruisers, 7 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 15 destroyers, 16 submarines
  • Aircraft: 360 carrier and land based
  • Losses: 1 fleet carrier and 1 destroyer sunk. Around 150 aircraft destroyed. Killed: Over 300.

The most recent of all naval historical battles.

Attackers
  • Ships: 4 fleet carriers, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 12 destroyers
  • Aircraft: 264 carrier based and floatplanes
  • Losses: 4 fleet carriers and 1 heavy cruiser sunk. 1 heavy cruiser damaged. 248 aircraft destroyed.Killed: 3,057.
Battle of Stalingrad 🇷🇺 Russia 1942 850,000 German, Italian and Romanian soldiers, under Generalfeldmarschall (Grand Admiral) Paulus, attacked a much larger Soviet army. Defenders 1,700,000 Soviet soldiers under Zhukov, Timoshenko and Vasilevsky.
Battle of Ardennes 🇧🇪 Belgium 1944 250,000 German soldiers, under Rundstedt, attacked US army forces. Defenders 1st and 3rd US Army (400,000) under Eisenhower.
Battle of Huế 🇻🇳 Vietnam 1968 10,000 († 668) US Americans and South Vietnamese attacked. Attackers 10,000 († 2400[US] OR 5133[VN] North Vietnamese.
Gulf War 🇰🇼 Kuwait, 🇮🇶 Iraq 1991 490,000 [1] Coalition forces under US General Schwarzkopf, attacked Iraqi forces. Attackers 550,000 Iraqi soldiers during the Gulf War.
Battle of Baghdad 🇮🇶 Iraq 2003 45,000 Iraqis under Saddam Hussein attacked American-led forces. Defenders 300,000 Americans under Commander Franks.

Historical battles notes: : Died. [1] Coalition forces from Kuwait, USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, Iraqi Kurdistan plus 30 other countries. [US] MACV US Military Assistance Command figures. [VN] PAVN Vietnam People’s Army of Vietnam figures.

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