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Top 5 most scary battles?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2011.04  

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visitor
JDW 
Asked at 2011.04.27 00:38:36
Out of our entire history of Earth's thousands of battles.. which 5 would you presume would be the scariest to have fought in?
answer morpheus8250  Answered at 2011.04.27 00:38:36
The Teutoberg Forest, AD9.

Three Roman legions entered the German forest led by Prince Arminius who they thought was their ally. He led them into a trap where vast numbers of tribesmen slaughtered the Romans to the last man. 20,000 men went in; Nobody came out. Their bleached bones and rusted armour were found by another Roman expedition a few years later. The thought of being a Roman legionary, trapped without the possibility of escape, watching your comrades falling around you and knowing that your turn was next is enough to give me nightmares.

The Battle of Saragahi, 1897

Twenty-one soldiers of the British Indian Army manning an isolated communications post on the Afghan border were attacked by a force of about 10,000 tribesmen. The soldiers stayed and fought to the last man. The last man was a signaller who'd been in communication with headquarters. He signed off by saying that everyone else was dead and the enemy had just set the building that he was in on fire, so he was going out to deal with them.

The Battle of Fallujah, 2004

A few years ago I read 'House to House' by David Bellavia, who fought with the US Army Infantry in the Battle of Fallujah. I found his account of what he and his comrades went through - facing suicide bombers, insurgents so drugged up that they'd keep going even with limbs blown off, entire houses converted into IEDs - absolutely terrifying. A place where not only are your enemies determined to kill you, they actually welcome the opportunity to die as martyrs while doing so.

Battle of Ortona, December 20th-28th 1943

The ferocity of the battle between German paratroopers and Canadian infantry for control of this small Italian town led to it being nicknamed 'Little Stalingrad'. The Germans had fortified the town, blocked streets with rubble, laid barbed wire and mines, and constructed strong-points inside houses. The fighting was often at close-quarters, house to house and room to room. The Canadians used PIATs (a man-portable anti-tank weapon) or even artillery to blow holes in the walls of buildings occupied by the Germans, then throw in grenades and storm the place. The Germans, in what must be the earliest example of a building-contained IED, rigged a house with explosive charges, allowed the Canadians to enter, then blew it up leaving only one survivor. The Canadians retailated by demolishing another building on top of two German squads. After just over a week, the Germans pulled out, having killed over 1300 Canadians, while about the same number of civilians perished in the fighting. German casualties are unknown.

Gallipoli, 1915

Approximately 900 Australian soldiers charged the Turkish trenches in an area smaller than three tennis courts. They charged in four lines with fixed bayonets. The artillery fire meant to cover their advance stopped seven minutes too early, allowing the Turks to get back into position by the time they arrived. They concentrated the fire from their Maxim machine guns into an area about 64m wide, cutting men down by the dozen. Most of the Australians were killed while climbing out of their trenches while the rest fell in the 50m or so between there and the Turkish line. Only five of the attackers made it to that front line and they were killed almost immediately.

What has always stuck in my memory about this is that when the first line went down, the other three followed them up despite it being obvious what had happened to those who'd gone on before. Imagine yourself in the fourth wave, knowing that the previous three have been shot to pieces, and waiting to climb out of that trench and go where they just went.

Scary enough for you?
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