Battle Analysis: The Ancient Battle Of Thermopylae

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Battle Analysis
SSG Briceida Casas
Senior Leader Course 16-006
SFC Chase Tippets

The ancient battle of Thermopylae has been retold numerous times and famously depicted on screen as a heroic and tragic Greek battle. The legendary Spartan King, Leonidas and his 300 formidable royal body guards led a coalition of Greek warriors against a much larger opponent, the Persian King Xerxes. Against the odds, the Greeks stood their ground and deterred Xerxes Army for 3 days at the Thermopylae pass, known as the Hot Gates. Xerxes might have won a tactical battle, however, the Spartans proved that superior training, equipment, and intimate familiarity with the terrain were critical force multipliers. The Spartan power, will and perseverance came from an undying sense of patriotism and duty. 300 Spartans and countless Greeks may have lost their lives at the Thermopylae pass but their courage rallied the Greek states to fight and prevail against a tyrant. The in-depth preparation, tactical expertise, the loyalty and courage these warriors displayed are the defining factors that made this battle a strategic win for the Greeks.
Persia, under King Darius’ rule expanded its level of influence into Western Europe with hopes of conquering Athens, Greece between 522-486
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The pass created a bottleneck effect which prevented an all-out Persian assault. The Battle of Thermopylae was fought in 480 B.C. and comprised of Greek Forces, led by the Spartan King Leonidas (Britannica, 2016). King Xerxes exhausted four years collecting weapons, men and supplies for his campaign to conquer Greece. Xerxes managed to amass a force of approximately two million men and four thousand ships that sailed through a canal that was “dug across the Isthmus of Actium near Mr. Athos, remains which are still visible” (Mark,
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