Intro to Military History – Gil-li Vardi
Essay 1 – The Decisive Battle
Oct. 19, 2012
The Decisive Battle of Nahāvand
Anthropologically speaking, fighting between groups of humans has most likely been present since before recorded history when foragers began grouping themselves into distinct “bands” for survival advantages. Suggestions for these pre-historic battles to have occurred also ensue from late Epipaleolithic or early Neolithic times (10,000 - 6,000 BC) in Germany and Sudan where “mass burials with skeletons with weapon trauma have been found.” With an untold number of conflicts and battles having occurred throughout the world’s history, there has certainly been a large variance in significance. Some conflicts have been lost with time and their memories will never surface again, while others will be studied and discussed for millennia. What makes this difference though? How do historians deem one conflict as dust in the wind and another as a moment that changed the world; a decisive battle for all history?
The main criterion for determining which battles can be portrayed as decisive comes with time. For a particular conflict to be decisive it needs to be a decision that transforms society. It has to alter, on a large scale, the course of the future for the world. While there have been a number of cultures throughout history that have caused widespread strife, one of great importance and conflict began its rising with a single campaign. Within this campaign, one battle stands out as the turning point, the decisive moment when the path split and led to large success for the aggressors and the downfall of the defenders. Skipping ahead and looking back, the religion of Islam has interacted, stressed, threatened, and fought numerous other religious groups and nations for approximately the last 1500 years. While the topic of world-scale religions as a whole has been and will continue to be discussed as long as all...