5 Battle of the Milvian Bridge (28 October 312)
It was a battle between two Roman Emperors: Constantine I and Maxentius. So the story goes, before battle, God came to Constantine in a dream in which he was told to mark his soldiers with heavenly signs so they would find victory. What followed was a battle of ancient sword clashing in the most gigantic of proportions. 220,000 men attacked one another mercilessly, with a focus to control the Milvian Bridge. A temporary bridge set over the water caused the watery deaths of many soldiers. Maxentius even found a watery death himself (though nobody is really sure how he ended up in the water). The battle was epic, but even more important was the result of the victory. The Battle of the Milvian Bridge paved the way for Constantine’s total control of the Western Empire and thus in turn Christianity became Rome’s major religion and eventually the major religion of Europe.
4 Battle of Mars-la-Tour (1870)
What made this battle between Prussia and France during the Franco-Prussian War so epic? A crazy attack by Calvary units and a little something called the Von Bredow’s “˜Death Ride’.Not to mention that about 30,000 Prussians decided to go up against 127,000 French troops.Now remember, this was 1870, so this is essentially modern war. Calvary charges tended to not be too successful anymore. But using the heavy haze of gunfire and smoke, cavalry officer Friedrich William Adalbert von Bredowdecided to charge the French artillery lines. Miraculously,it worked, and it was far too late for the French when they saw the Prussian Calvary bursting into view to kick some serious behind. The Prussians saw heavy causalities as gun fire tore them apart, but this epic charge through a haze of “˜modern’ gunfire on horseback, this insane tossing of the dice, saw the Prussians finding victory. Afterwards, people would claim Calvary chargers were still useful in battle, regardless of the changing times.
3 Battle of Sekigahara or the Battle for the Sundered Realm (1600)
Imagine two massive clans struggling for power in Japan ““ East vs. West, their final battle culminating in a battle of around 170,778 men. The battle of Sekigahara was a power struggle between feudal lords who used other clan powers to aid them. Tokugawa Ieyasuwas the victor of this battle after clearing the way to the Shogunate (or Shogun) and taking the position for himself. Think of it: thousands of Japanese warriors firing arquebus’ at one another (that’s a sort of old-school rifle to you) while charging on horseback, slashing at one another with swords and pikes, all struggling for the ultimate and power and control of Japan. Intense.
2 The Battle of Kadesh (1274 B.C.)
The battle of Kadesh was a battle of chariots, and when I say it was the battle of chariots I mean over 5,000, and even maybe up to 6,000 were used in the attacks. How epic is that? Imagine this: thousands of horses charging one another, men riding in the back, the THWAPING!of bows, the singing of blades “” it was like the film Gladiator on steroids. The battle was part of the Egyptian Empire deciding to take back many of their native lands from the Hittite Empire. At one point during the battle, Ramesses II, the Pharaoh at the time, found himself nearly alone, taking on the Hittite army, calling upon his Gods to save him in battle. Amazingly, undermanned, he found victory. With a mix of chariots and composite bows, the Egyptian army wrecked the Hittites. At the end of the gory, feverish battle, the Hittites were pinned against the Orontes River and were forced to retreat into it, with most drowning to their deaths.
1 Battle of Ormac Bay (1944)
It was the first and only time during World War II in which attacks from the air, from the water, from the land and even under the sea happened all at once. Ormac Bay was a fast, fiery, violent explosion of attacks in the Philippines between the U.S. and Imperial Japan during the November of 1944. American Allies landed on the island of Leyte which was defended by 20,000 Japanese soldiers. The Japanese, knowing that if the allies took control of the Philippines, their oil supplies would be overrun so they struck hard and fast. These ten days of battling resulted in bomb runs by aircraft, followed by sweeping attacks from battleships and carriers and even moved onto submarine attacks. In the end, 29 ships sunk along with 1 sub and a patrol boat. This flurry of air-to-sea battle gave the Imperial Japanese a shaky hold on the Philippines after the Allies victory.
So there you have it. There are plenty of epic and important battles long remembered yet not often taught or talked about, and these are certainly the 5 most notable.