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Wars of Alexander the Great: Battle of the Granicus

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Wars of Alexander the Great: Battle of the Granicus

The Battle of the Granicus

Photograph Source: Public Domain

Battle of the Granicus: Conflict & Date:

The Battle of the Granicus was fought in May 334 BC during the Wars of Alexander the Great (335-323).

Armies & Commanders:

Macedons

  • Alexander the Great
  • Parmenion
  • 47,000 men

    Persians (Achaemenids)

  • Arsames & other satraps
  • Memnon of Rhodes
  • 24,500 men

  • Battle of the Granicus Overview:

    Marching east from Greece, Alexander and his 47,000 men encountered the Persians along the banks of the Granicus River near the site of Troy. Moving into battle formation, Alexander placed his infantry in the center of the line with his cavalry on the wings. The Persians lined up with their cavalry in front and a body of infantry, consisting of Persians and Greek mercenaries, to the rear. The battle opened with a feint from the Macedonian left consisting of cavalry and light infantry.

    As the Persians shifted their forces to meet this advance, Alexander charged forward with his Companions (heavy cavalry) and broke the weakened center of the Persian line. The Persians counterattacked and the young Macedonian king was stunned by a blow from an axe. As the attacker moved in for the kill, he was cut down by Cleitus the Black. Alexander quickly recovered and turned the Companions' attack to the left to roll up the Persian line. This move, combined with a general advance from the Macedonian army destroyed the resolve of the Persians and their forces broke, fleeing the field.

    Aftermath of the Granicus:

    When the fighting ended, Alexander had suffered approximately 350 killed as opposed to 4,000 on the Persian side. Among the dead were the Persian leaders Mithridates, Rhoesaces, and Spithridates. Marching against the Greeks cities of Asia Minor, Alexander consolidated his position before moving against the Persians. He would win subsequent victories at Issus (333 BC) and Gaugamela (331 BC).

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