Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Battle of Artemisium

The Battle of Artemisium, or Battle of Artemisium, was a series of naval engagements between the Greek and Persian forces early in the Greek campaigns of Xerxes I Shah Achaemenian, in 480 BC.

The Greeks were commanded by the Spartan Eurybiades. The battle of Artemisium was fought nearly simultaneously with the land battle of Thermopylae, 40 miles away and was part of Greek strategy to block the Persian southward advance at two neighboring bottlenecks, on land and sea, north of central Greece.

The battle of Artemisium was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and others, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I. The Allied Greek fleet has about 380 ships, with the largest contingent supplied by Athens about 180 ships.

The Persian ships – which in fact were manned by subject peoples, such as Phoenicians, Egyptians and Ionian Greeks may have numbers 450 or more.

The Persian suffered a loss of 400 ships near the coast of Magnesia in a storm which caught them unprepared. In the same manner they lost another 200 ships which has been sent around Euboea to seal the straits separating the island from the mainland.

The fight was something of an infantry battle on the water. The Persian preferred boarding tactics to ramming. They fight by bringing their ships alongside the Greek’s and sending over the thirty Persian foot soldiers who ride aboard each ship. The Greeks fought back with their own ship’s soldiers, about 40 per vessel.

In the final encounter, the Greeks broke the news of the forcing of Thermopylae was received. The Persian failed to capitalize on the situation and so the series of engagements were essentially indecisive.

The Battle of Artemisium inspired the Greeks the new confidence, and the second naval action at Salamis, two thousand Persian vessels were engaged against three hundred and eighty Greek, terminated in the defeat of the Persian.
Battle of Artemisium

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