Think history is boring? Wait till you see how some of the most epic battles in history were fought and won by underdogs. Take a look at these 5 historic battles won against great odds that prove it’s never too late to turn a situation around, even if it is a battle.
#1. The Spanish Armada, 1588
The classic defeat of Spanish army by British army even when the latter had lesser and smaller ships. The battle arose because of a family feud between Philip II of Spain and his sister-in-law Elizabeth I of Britain. Philip tried to attack Elizabeth after she refused his marriage proposal after the death of his wife Mary I. But things didn’t turn out quite well for the dejected lover. The English met them at a French Harbor, scattered the Spanish arm and than sank many of their ships.
#2. Siege of Vienna, 1529
Sultan Suleiman I, of the Ottoman Empire snatched control of Southern Hungary in August 1526. afterwards, he marched forward to take the whole of it. But during that time, Wilhelm von Roggendorf, the Marshall of Austria took control of a small garrison of Vienna and gathered around 20,000 men and 75 artillery guns to fight 100,00 men and 500 artillery of the Ottoman empire. The Ottoman were digging tunnels so to counter that the Marshall had bowls of water filled with dried peas placed along the road. So everytime the Ottomans made a move, they would know. As a result, they were successful in destroying their attacker’s mines and made them retreat.
#3. Battle of Issus, 333 BC
The battle took place in what we today called Turkey. Alexander the great defeated Darius III, then Persian king just with 30,000- 40,000 of his men while the Persian army was 100,000 men strong. Alexander used some of his men as decoy which were supposed to simply hold the Persian army, in the meantime, he attacked Persians’ left flank with his remaining men. This side consisted of younger and inexperienced soldiers while Alexander’s men were more experienced. Darius realized the danger and fled leaving his army in chaos.
#4. Battle of Carrhae, 53 BC
This battle marked the defeat of the richest Roman of his time- Marcus Licinius Crassus. The battle was between Romans who had a huge army of thousands of cavalrymen and an even bigger auxiliary force and the Parthians from north-eastern Iran who strength only comprised of 12,000 men. But over 9000 of them were horse archers which proved to be an advantage for the Parthians and this was unlike any of the battles Romans had fought before. No surprise then that the Romans suffered one of the worst defeats in history.
#5. Battle of Vitkov Hill, 1420 AD
This was one of the largest battles that occurred during the Middle Ages where 12,000 Hussite forces under the command of Jan Zizka fought over 50,000 crusaders from the Roman empire. During the battle the Hussite forces had entered the city of Prague but were faced with a larger army. But Jan Zizka decided to defend a vineyard that was naturally protected by a steep cliff towards its north. The Hussaite army managed to push the crusading army down the steep cliff which led to ‘fall’ and thus rerouted them.