Xerxes Battle Analysis

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The actual battle happened five days after the Persians had arrived in Thermopylae. This was when Xerxes had finally decided to give his orders to attack. On the first day, the first initial attack started with 5000 archers from Xerxes’ army firing arrows at the Greeks, but the attack was ineffective as the light Persian bows were no match for the Greeks’ thick bronze shields, helmets and armor. Xerxes then sent in ten thousand infantry soldiers. They charged the Greek phalanx and were powerless against it as their training and equipment were completely inferior to those of the Greeks. The Greeks then pushed back and thousands of Persians were cut down while the others were crushed to death by the press of men or hurled off the cliffs to drown…show more content…
Faced with overwhelming odds, they retreated to a hilltop and planned to make a final stand but they were no match. Leonidas had learned about this and convened a council of war with his surviving generals ordering them to retreat. Most of the Greeks then retreated with only a mixed unit of around 1400 men stayed with the 300 Spartans to defend the pass against Xerxes. As daylight came, Xerxes paused allowing time for the immortals to advance towards the rear of the Greek forces. He then ordered a fresh wave of ten thousand infantry to advance against the Greeks. This time the Greeks did not stand and wait for the Persians to come to them but in a last attempt to take as many of the enemy with them as they could they advanced into the wider part of the path, meeting the Persians and fighting with them there. The struggle was brutal and vicious and despite the odds, it lasted for hours as the Greeks inflicted as much damage upon the Persian forces as they could. It was at this point, when the fighting was at its most bitter in which Leonidas was shot down by Persian archers and also that two of Xerxes’ own brothers were killed. As the immortals now had the Greeks surrounded, they withdrew on a hill not far behind the Phokian wall and made one last stand. Tearing down part of the wall, Xerxes had now

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