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Thread: Battle of Thermopylae...

  1. #1 Battle of Thermopylae... 
    Forum Freshman Lightingbird's Avatar
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    I'm sure this has been posted on this forum before but I thought I'd post up some questions.

    Anyone know the exact number or best estimate of the death toll on the persian side of that battle. I've always heard mixed information. My next question spawns from that one. I know the rough numbers of sparta small force and aids from their nearby allies. What was the actual army strength of King Xerves? Did the persians use any siege? I guess my biggest confusion is that while I admire this great battle and those that stood and fought hard. It still seems odd that such a large force could not topple so many very easily.


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  3. #2 Re: Battle of Thermopylae... 
    Forum Senior TvEye's Avatar
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    Without the ability to surround the spartans, the superior numbers of persians were less meaningful. they were forced to attack in waves. The persian army consisted of large numbers of slaves and soliders accreted from captured territories. The spartans were better trained. The battle is actually still discussed in...


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  4. #3 Re: Battle of Thermopylae... 
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    ... Military training, not as the story of the few who essentially defeated the many, but because it illuminates the advantages of superior training. Were the persians equally trained, their superior numbers would eventually have overwhelmed the spartans regardless. Ie. Even one spartan per two persians would have overwhelmed...
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  5. #4 Re: Battle of Thermopylae... 
    Forum Senior TvEye's Avatar
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    inevitably. The persians simply were not well trained enough to go into an effectively one-on-one battle with the spartans. Excuse the multiple posts, i'm on a cell phone. Character limit.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Lightingbird's Avatar
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    Yes I've been doing some research on the training. The advanced weapons of the times they were using. It seems really amazing. Sure they were defeated but they had to use archers with bronze arrowheads to finally crush them. From my understanding it was a onslaught of archers that had them covered from a hill or something.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    The number of 'Greeks' is estimated to be 5000, the number of Persians is estimated to be 220,000 at most because of the amount of food and water needed to support them. The Persian death toll is thought to be 20,000, Wiki Link. I agree that it does seem odd, but there are modern equivalents such as Rorke's Drift where 139 British soldiers defended themselves against 4,000/5,000 Zulu's.
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  8. #7  
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    Agreed^^^

    Although at that battle it was firearms versus spears, bows, and shields. That pretty much makes sense.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Sort of. Earlier on that day the Zulus had beaten another British Garrison. From that they had weapons and ammunition, the difference was that the British solders had a the training to use their weapons quicker and more accurately than the Zulus, training as Tveye said.
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