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Alexander the Great, also known as Alexander III of Macedon (356–323B.C.), is conceivably the most successful military mastermind of theancient world. The warrior-king dominated territories that includedEgypt, Greece and the present-day Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey.Alexander spent his 13-year reign working to bring together the Eastand the West using military strength and cultural exchange. Hecombined battleground victories with kingdom-building tactics toextend his territories. Alexander’s character grew so rapidly thatby the time of his demise at the age thirty-two, people thought hepossessed godlike qualities. It is not always easy to separate factsand fiction from the tales narrated about Alexander. However, thereare eight great highlights from Alexander’s life1. Alexander the Great conquered more territories within ashort time because he was brave, a military strategist and utilizedthe mistakes of his enemies to make them afraid of his martial power.

The major battles Alexander participated illustrated his success. Atsome instances, he won wars because of luck. The enemies, in someinstances, could have defeated him if they put the due diligence ofapplying strategy in the battle. The warrior went to battle incountries such as Egypt, Syria, India, and Issus. Each of thesebattles was unique to the greatness of Alexander.2

Siege of Halicarnassus

The attack of Halicarnassus took place in 334 B.C. Alexander wasalways vulnerable to the Persian Navy because he lacked soldiers withexperience of fighting at the sea. The Persians constantly endeavoredto incite a confrontation with Alexander because they were guaranteedof an easy victory over the conqueror. In the end, the Persian Navytraveled to Halicarnassus to set up a new defense. The army was underthe leadership of the brother to the earlier queen of Halicarnassus,Ada. The queen’s sibling was driven by jealous to depose his sisterfrom the city. In 334 B.C, Alexander’s fame as warrior haddeveloped tremendously. Ada invited him to Alinda, the city she wasthen ruling after her brother took over Halicarnassus. It isnoteworthy that she showered the Macedonian conqueror with gifts inexchange of protection from future attacks. Alexander had sentinformants to meet with spies inside the walls of the Halicarnassuscity. The moles were supposed to remain in the city so that theycould open the gates for Alexander when he came to take to attack it.Nonetheless, the informants were not seen again after they enteredthe city. Fortunately, Alexanders’s army managed to breach thesecurity of the wall. In retaliation, Memnon, the commander of themercenaries hired to protect the city, used catapults that forcedAlexander and his army to retreat. This could have been the first warthat Alexander could have lost. However, he managed to smash throughthe capital walls taking it by shock because the defense believedthat it could not be broken. Afraid for his life, Memnon set fire onthe capital and ran. A wild wind prevented the fire from destroying abig part of the city. Alexander then gave the leadership to Ada, who,in turn, adopted him as her son so that he could take over theleadership upon her death3.The battle of Halicarnassus was significant to the success ofAlexander because he did not apply much force to win it, and provedthat he was a military strategist. Moreover, the treatment that thequeen of Ada accorded him was a confirmation that he was a greatconqueror who could rule in places that he was not designated to. Heapplied tactical skills to defeat the army without suffering manycasualties. Particularly, he first ran away to make the enemiesbelieve they had surrendered however, they breached the wall andattacked the guards before they could prepare to retaliate.


Memnon died soon after the combat. An Athenian named Karademasreplaced him. The king required Darius to control the militarypersonally during a major combat against Alexander. Karademas, whocontemplated that this would be too irresponsible, got into adisagreement with Darius` commanders. He insinuated that he shouldhead the armed forces because, as a Greek, he was a superiorcommander than several Persians. Karademas made some derogatoryremarks about Persian civilization, and Darius ordered him executed.Soon after that, Darius realized that he had done a mistake becausehe killed the only capable commander he had. He decided to take hisarmy to Babylon to prevent Alexander from approaching4.

Alexander marched his soldiers to the east via Cappadocia, in astretch of nearly 150 km. As his soldiers approached the Mountain ofTaurus, they found only one way through which to pass, which was anarrow valley named Gates. The passage was extremely slender and theycould have protected it effortlessly. The Persian military ofCappadocia had an exaggerated view of its own capabilities. They hadbeen at the combat of the River Granicus, and they had supposed thatMemnon`s scorching terrain tactic would function there. They did notunderstand that the different circumstances of the topography madethat tactic ineffective. Had they come up with a convincingresistance, would have repelled Alexander effortlessly. Darius leftonly a small group to watch the city while he took the rest of theforces to guard the plain that lay in front of Alexander`scombatants. However, the Persian group that was supposed to guard thecity soon deserted it, and Alexander passed through with no troubles.He allegedly claimed, after the event, that he had never been sofortunate in his whole life5.Syria was significant to the success of Alexander. His victoriousreputation spread all over after winning the battle thus, making himthe most feared general of that time. Nonetheless, Alexander utilizedhis military strategies to exploit the weaknesses of his uninformedassailants. King Darius lacked a knowledgeable general after hekilled Karademas, and he made a mistake of taking most of his army toput a blockade on Alexander’s path to the city. Unfortunately, theyleft they left the city unguarded therefore, giving the Macedonianconqueror an opportunity to take the city with no resistance.

Battle of Issus

The conflict of Issus happened in November 333 B.C. Darius tookpersonal charge of his armed forces, and gathered many soldiers fromall parts of the empire after Alexander`s military fruitfullyoverpowered the Persians in the Battle of the Granicus. He managed toprevent the Greeks the essential supply of food. The action provokedAlexander to countermarch his armed forces thereby, setting theplatform for the conflict near the start of River Pinarus, which wassouth of the rural community of Issus. Darius was uninformed that, bydeciding to stage the fight on a riverside, he was reducing thenumerical benefit that his military had over Alexander`s fighters6.

Originally, Alexander chose unfavorable grounds. This astonishedDarius who wrongly selected to hold the general’s position whileAlexander instructed his army to take up a self-protective stance.The Macedonian warrior led a more elite Greek army against thePersians in person. After achieving a breakthrough, he demonstratedthat he could do the unexpected. Besides, he held the armysuccessfully after it broke the Persians’ walls. The horses thatwere pulling Darius` chariot could not run fast as expected becausethey were injured. The Persian King jumped off his chariot because hewas about to fall off. Moreover, he threw his royal crown away,climbed another horse, and fled the battlefield. The Persian army,knowing they had lost, either surrendered or fled with theirill-fated ruler. The Macedonian cavalry pursued the escaping Persiansfor as long as there was sunlight. As with most ancient battles,significant carnage occurred after the skirmish. The Macedonianspursuing the disorganized foes slaughtered them mercilessly7.The success of Alexander in Issus was important because he wonregardless of the numerical advantage the assailant army had. Thevictory proves that he was a brave military strategist who could winbattles despite having weaknesses that made him vulnerable to defeat.The success also helped to illustrate how his military tactics wereimportant to his victories. In the modern day military studies, thebattle is frequently used to illustrate Alexander’s militarysuccess in exploiting the vulnerabilities of the enemies to overcomethem.

The Siege of Gaza

Gaza was built on a hill. The people residents and their Nabataeanassociates did not desire to lose the profitable trade in the city.Batis, the commander of Gaza, declined to give in to Alexander. Afterthree futile attacks, Gaza was lastly taken by might, but not beforeAlexander received a grave shoulder injury. After the Macedonianwarrior conquered Gaza, the men were killed while the children andwomen were sold into slavery. Alexander, who liked bravery in hisfoes, might have been compelled to show compassion to the courage ofthe Persian general. He was, however, annoyed at Batis` denial tokneel down, besides, the rival commander`s arrogant silence andscornful behavior8.Alexander marched into Egypt after conquering Gaza. The Egyptiansdisliked the Persians because they considered the nation as a smallkingdom. They, however, welcomed Alexander as their king and gave himthe throne of the Pharaohs. The eligibility of Alexander to be giventhe throne of the pharaohs was proof that he was a successfulmilitary think tank. Besides, the Macedonian sustained a seriousshoulder injury because he was a brave fighter who sought victoryalongside his army. Gaza was a well-guarded city because he attackedtwo times unsuccessfully. His resilience of conquering the cityproves he was a brave and focused leader who used all the means toachieve his ambitions. Furthermore, his action of showing mercy andadmiration to Bati’s military capabilities proves he was anexcellent military strategist. He wanted to recruit Bati as one ofhis loyal fighters as he could help him to strengthen the militarycapability of his team.

Invasion of India

After the passing of Spitamenes, Alexander wedded Roxana tostrengthen his relations with Central Asia. The marriage made him toconcentrate on the Indian continent. Alexander called all the leadersof the previous territory of Gandhara, the modern day Pakistan, toappear before him and tender to his power. Omphis, the leader ofTaxila, and with an empire that extended from the Indus to theHydaspes, accepted the sermon. Nonetheless, the leaders of some hilltribes such as the Aspasioi and Assakenoi areas of the Kambojas,refused the invitation9.

In the wintry weather of 327/326 B.C, Alexander led an operationagainst the clans in person. A violent fight ensued with theAspasioi. The Macedonian was injured on the shoulder by a dart, butfinally, the Aspasioi lost the battle. Alexander then faced theAssakenoi, who battled courageously and offered mulish opposition inthe city of Massaga, Ora, and Aornos. Massaga was finally taken afternumerous days of bloody combat in which Alexander himself was injuredseriously in the ankle. Not only did Alexander massacre the wholepopulation of Massaga, but also destroyed its buildings to rubbles. Arelated massacre then followed at Ora, an extra stronghold of theAssakenoi. Alexander pursued close behind their footsteps andcaptured the tactical hill after the third day of a bloody battle.Additionally, Alexander crossed the Indus, fought, and won a heroiccombat against a home leader called Porus, who ruled the Punjab are.After the battle, Alexander was overwhelmed by Porus’ courage inthe battle. Consequently, he collaborated and elected him as ruler ofone of the empires Alexander conquered. It is notable that theMacedonian warrior also added Porus the leadership of additionallands that he had conquered10.Alexander affirmed his legend of excellent military approach as heensured to destroy the Aspasioi city completely after conquering it.He also killed all the people who lived there, which was probably oneof his cunning ways to intimidate other enemies who could attempt toresist him. Furthermore, the battle of Issus brings him out as abrave person because he attacked the city at least three times beforehe eventually succeeded. Finally, he saved Porus, the ruler ofPunjab, because of his courage. He assigned him to rule over the landhe conquered in India.


In conclusion, Alexander the great was cunning, brave, and sharpmilitary strategist who easily spotted weaknesses and capitalized onthe vulnerabilities to defeat his rivals easily. In fact, he was themost successful military leader of his time. In his entire militarycareer, he won almost all his battles. Considering his young age, thesuccess mesmerized many people, including the foes. During his reignin Macedonia, Alexander managed to conquer several territories acrossthe world. The success made people think that he possessed godlikequalities thus, they easily submitted to him. In many ancientstories, the tale of Alexander is used to illustrate how perfectionand hard work could lead to human success.


Eyres, Harry. 2013. &quotWhy Alexander Truly is Great.&quotFinancial Times, Nov 15, 22.http://search.proquest.com/docview/250146283?accountid=45049.

O`Neill, Mary. 2015. &quotAlexander the Great Conquered the WorldDare: The Ruling Warrior Sharpened His Troops to the Hilt.&quotInvestor`s Business Daily, Sep 28.http://search.proquest.com/docview/1716405761?accountid=45049.

Timothy, Van Mieghem. 2011. &quotLessons Learned from Alexander theGreat.&quot Quality Progress 31 (1): 41-46.http://search.proquest.com/docview/214755782?accountid=45049.

Williams, Clay. 1997. &quotThe Genius of Alexander the Great.&quotLibrary Journal 122 (5): 73.http://search.proquest.com/docview/196786753?accountid=45049.

1 Eyres, &quotWhy Alexander Truly is Great,&quot N.p

2 Eyres, &quotWhy Alexander Truly is Great.&quot N.p

3 O`Neill, “Alexander the Great Conquered the World Dare,” N.p.

4 O`Neill, “&quotAlexander the Great Conquered the World Dare,” N.p.

5 Timothy, “Lessons Learned from Alexander the Great,&quot P. 43

6 Williams, &quotThe Genius of Alexander the Great.” P. 73

7 Williams, &quotThe Genius of Alexander the Great.” P. 73

8 Timothy, “Lessons Learned from Alexander the Great,&quot P. 42

9 Eyres, “Why Alexander Truly is Great,” N.p

10 O`Neill, “&quotAlexander the Great Conquered the World Dare,” N.p.