King Alexander at only 25 years old, his reputation already one of greatness had led his men into Asia. To his soldiers, their invasion of Persia was to fight back after half a century of devastation brought onto Greece during the Persian wars between 499 and 448 BC. Alexander’s private desire, however, was to cast a shadow on the large Persian empire by winning all its lands and bringing it under his rule. Gaugamela, named after the village it was fought by, was the decisive battle in the struggle between Alexander III and Darius II for the Persian Empire. The battle occurred in 331 BC, this battle was one of importance as it shows a significant amount of Alexander’s tactical and military genius while including examples of his great
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Darius then launched the elephants and chariots against the phalanx but Alexander had foreseen this problem and all his men followed their detailed instructions. The Agrianians stopped the majority of the chariots and elephants before they even reached the phalanx. The rest caused many of the infantry to panic but because of their training and discipline they followed Alexander’s orders and broke ranks at precisely the right moment allowing the elephants and chariots to pass through corridors made for them so the attack failed miserably as it caused very minimal damage. If Alexander had not thought of this intelligent tactic then the elephants and chariots would certainly have caused great destruction to the phalanx. But his simple yet ingenious plan worked brilliantly, saving them from possible defeat.
Darius, after seeing this failure, saw that he was not on the winning side and desperately ordered a general offence where his whole line advanced. Darius also quickly ordered his very strong right wing cavalry, led by Mazaeus, to attack Alexander’s left wing cavalry, under the command of Parmenio. The Persian cavalry was significantly superior to that of Alexander’s; hence Parmenio was under a great deal of pressure. Alexander put a lot of trust in to Parmenio and he obviously believed he could deal with the pressure or he would not have placed him in the situation.
Darius was still intent on using his cavalry on his left wing