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Battle of Gaugamela Area Today

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Battle of Gaugamela summary

The Battle of Gaugamela (also called the Battle of Arbela,) took place in 331 BC between Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. The battleresulted in a decisive victory for the Greeks and led to the fall of the Persian Empire

  1. On the eve of battle Alexander's generals suggested a surprise night attack. Alexander dismissed this idea, proclaiming that he would not steal his victory. Darius, fearing a night attack, kept his army awake and on alert for the whole night, while Alexander's was allowed to sleep.
  2. The battle began with the Persians already present at the carefully prepared battlefield. The Greeks arrived late because Alexander overslept claiming the battle had already been won.
  3. The phalanx moves towards the center of the Persian line. The Greeks advanced with the wings echeloned back at 45 degree angles to lure the Persian cavalry to attack. While the phalanxes battled the Persian infantry, Darius sent a large part of his cavalry and some of his regular infantry to attack Parmenion's forces on the left.
  4. Alexander rides all the way to the edge of the right flank, accompanied by his Companion Cavalry. His plan is to draw as much of the Persian cavalry as possible to the flanks.
  5. Darius launched his chariots but new tactics destroy most of them.
  6. Alexander attacks the Persian center but his left is pressed hard by the Persian cavalry. A gap opens and his camp is attacked.
  7. Alexander abandons his pursuit of Darius and returns to help his left. The Persian Army falls into disorder and flees.