10 Coolest Battles You’ve Never Heard Of
Only one of these real battles from history made it to the big screen. Well, with English-speaking actors anyway. Many films have been made about these movies, but none you can find, or enjoy without subtitles.They're too small to be included in most history classes. Wikipedia is probably your best bet in reading about these. But the heroism, the sacrifices, the bravery and the carnage in these 10 battles is amazing.
We Americans like to think of D-Day as the turning point of World War II, but that's only because the Germans lost the Battle of Stalingrad. Had they won, the Germans could have easily repelled the Allied forces at D-Day. It was a months-long siege where each side knew if they won, the war was theirs, if they lost, the war was hopeless. Try to find the 1993 German film, "Stalingrad" or read Anthony Beevor's "Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege."
If you've heard of Hannibal, the famed Cartheginian general, you probably remember his failed attempt to invade Rome from the north through the Alps. You may not know that prior to that he destroyed a Roman army twice his size with nearly 80,000 soldiers. You may also not know that defeating him took the Romans 17 years and that he almost won.
During the Great Depression farmers were struggling in Australia. To make matters worse, migrating emus (like ostriches) were eating crops and destroying rabbit fences. The military was sent to cull them with machine guns. It was largely a fiasco and humorously dubbed, "The Emu War"
A company of Irish troops (in their first combat engagement since Irish independence in 1921) defended themselves in the African Congo in 1961. A rebel army attacked the Irish (serving as UN peacekeepers) and the small group of Irish, heavily outnumbered and outgunned, fought ferociously and skillfully until finally surrendering after running out of ammo.
A story from Chinese myth and legend, knowing the facts from the fiction is hard to do, but it's considered ridiculously epic (like the Norman invasion of Britain, or Joan of Arc, or the Spartans vs. Assyrians). It was romanticized in the appropriately-named novel "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms."
In 1210 the Mongolians sent 100,000 to invade the Jin Dynasty in northern China. Although the Chinese had 500,000 (or more) and were well fortified, it was a complete massacre.
Australian and Canadian forces defended a valley from a Chinese army 5-times their size during the Korean War. Had the Chinese won the battle South Korea may have fallen to the communists. Although South Korean forces retreated, the Australians, and particularly the Canadians, held their position on hillsides above the valley and forced the Chinese to retreat.
This is the battle the famous Michael Caine film "ZULU" is based on. 130 British forces held a small mission farm from an attack by 5,000 Zulu warriors in 1879 in South Africa.
This is the famous tank battle in World War II between Germans and Russians. Nearly a million soldiers died total after the giant land and air battle in 1943. It was the first time a major German offensive was halted.
The King of Poland and the Holy Roman Empire beat back a 200,000-strong siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Empire. There were 70,000 European troops and what is believed to be the greatest force of calvary in human history was involved in a 20,000 -horse calvary charge. The battle led to a loss of the war and afterwards the Ottomans never again tried to conquer Europe.