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Alexander the Great

[Na] Leader of the Macedonians. Born in 356 bc, Alexander was tutored in his early years by Aristotle before succeeding his father Philip as king of Macedonia and the mainland of ...

Alexander ‘the Great’

Alexander ‘the Great’ (336–323 bc)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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Current Version:
2004

... ‘the Great’ ( 336–323 bc ), son of Philip II and king of Macedon, was the greatest military commander of the ancient world; his achievements inspired envy and imitation from Roman generals such as Pompey , Caesar , and Trajan , and achieved legendary status in the Christian and Islamic worlds through the Romance of Alexander . The main surviving sources were written between 300 and 500 years after Alexander's death by the Greek authors Plutarch , who wrote a biography and also wrote two encomiastic essays; Arrian, whose history focuses on...

Alexander, Field Marshal Sir Harold

Alexander, Field Marshal Sir Harold (1891–1961)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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2003

..., Field Marshal Sir Harold ( 1891–1961 ), British Army officer who, from commanding the 1st British Division during the fall of France rose to become Allied Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean . Alexander , who was the fourth son of the Earl of Caledon, served with great distinction in the First World War , and by 1937 was the youngest general in the British Army. He took command of the British Expeditionary Force during the Dunkirk evacuation of May– June 1940 , was promoted lt-general that December, and succeeded Auchinleck at Southern...

Italian campaign

Italian campaign   Reference library

Brian Holden Reid

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History, Military History, Social sciences, Warfare and Defence
Length:
2,829 words
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...from the decisive point—closing the rear of the German Army. But even after the fall of Rome on 4 June, Alexander's second pursuit ordered three days later was wooden and hesitant. He gave the impression of preferring to close up to the next German defensive position—now identified by ULTRA as the Gothic Line —rather than to destroy German forces in the open. This failure in the pursuit was the most marked feature of the western Allies in the Second World War. After DIADEM the Italian campaign assumed a secondary status and six divisions (including the expert...

Brooke, Field Marshal Sir Alan

Brooke, Field Marshal Sir Alan (1883–1963)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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Current Version:
2003

...with Churchill and in negotiating with the Americans. The US Joint Chiefs of Staff were wary of the speed and clarity of his thinking—he never did get on with Marshall —but they soon accepted that they were dealing with someone who was ruthlessly professional, and his advice, especially early on, carried great weight. Brooke's other strength was the great skill with which he chose his generals and the loyalty with which he backed them. Alexander , Montgomery , and Slim were among his protégés and after the war Montgomery wrote to him: ‘I can only say...

GUlag

GUlag   Reference library

Akashi Yoji, Norman Davies, and Robert Service

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History, Military History, Social sciences, Warfare and Defence
Length:
1,918 words
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1

...to replace the Poles. Up to the time of my departure from Kolyma, July 7th, 1942 , no Poles had returned from Tchukotka.’ (Quoted in W. Anders, An Army in Exile , London, 1949 , p. 73). The scale of the GUlag's operation beggars belief. At the end of the Great Terror in March 1939 , up to 10% of the Soviet population may have found themselves in the camps. The historian Robert Conquest has estimated one million deaths per annum during the war years that followed. By the time of Stalin's death in 1953 the total number of victims of the GUlag probably...

Churchill as war leader

Churchill as war leader   Reference library

John Gooch

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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2003

...his ammunition. Ismay and his staff ensured that, notwithstanding the mercurial energies of their master, the military machinery ran as smoothly as possible. They were a ‘winning team’, as were the chiefs of staff after December 1941 , and the pairings of Alexander and Montgomery in the Western Desert and Alexander and Harding in Italy. Churchill was not disposed to share his leadership with other politicians: the Dominions were never offered full partnership at the highest levels and his service ministers were never more than civil administrators. He...

Grand Alliance

Grand Alliance   Reference library

Michael Howard

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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2003

...the German defences with operation DIADEM and surged forward to capture Rome on 4 June. Once again, as in the previous September, glittering possibilities opened up. The Pisa–Rimini Line now appeared to Churchill far too modest an objective, as it did to General *Alexander , the Allied C-in-C in Italy. Alexander put forward far-reaching proposals, contingent on his retaining the ANVIL divisions, for an offensive that would break through the Gothic Line between Pisa and Rimini, overrun the plain of Lombardy, and thence strike north-east into Austria via the...

Gaulle, Brig-General Charles de and the Free French

Gaulle, Brig-General Charles de and the Free French   Reference library

P. M. H. Bell

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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2003

...as leader of the Free French, in which he acted with the connivance of a number of British officials and with at least the knowledge of the prime minister. In the event Muselier overreached himself, and de Gaulle was able to win over Churchill in support of his authority; but again the affair left a bitter aftertaste. Finally in March 1942 Muselier attempted to secede from de Gaulle's command, taking the Free French fleet with him. This time he had the support of A. V. Alexander , the First Lord of the Admiralty, and briefly that of the war cabinet. De...

Germany

Germany   Reference library

Jürgen Förster, Charles Messenger (Armed Forces), and Wolfgang Petter (Culture)

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History, Military History, Social sciences, Warfare and Defence
Length:
21,337 words
Illustration(s):
3

...the regime. The ‘White Rose’ was a group at Munich University in 1942–3 —its nucleus consisted of the students Sophie and Hans Scholl , Willi Graf , Christoph Probst , Alexander Schmorell , and Professor Kurt Huber— which used pamphlets to arouse a university movement against the regime. They were denounced by the university beadle on 18 February 1943 , tried with their friends, and executed. The abortive attempt to assassinate Hitler by Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg on 20 July 1944 was the last effort to avert catastrophe. The regime...

Italy

Italy   Reference library

Giorgio Rochat, Lucio Ceva (Intelligence), and Tr. John Gooch

The Oxford Companion to World War II

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Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History, Military History, Social sciences, Warfare and Defence
Length:
19,646 words
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2

...Parri (Party of Action). The second winter in the mountains was the worst. The Allied push came to a halt 15 km. (9.3 mi.) outside Bologna and, in a radio announcement which was also heard by the Germans, Alexander announced the suspension of operations for the winter, an error which the communists subsequently, but incorrectly, claimed had been a deliberate ploy by the British to rid themselves of politically inconvenient allies. Nevertheless, the Nazis and the fascists, who had already undertaken bloody reprisals against the civilian population ( see ...

Hydaspes, battle of the

Hydaspes, battle of the (326 bc)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

...battle of the ( 326 bc ). Alexanderthe Great’'s last major battle was fought in 326 bc by the river Hydaspes (modern Jhelum) as he advanced eastwards from Taxila to invade India. King Porus , ruler of the territory between the Jhelum and Chenab, deployed his army, which included numerous elephants, to thwart Alexander's crossing of the river, which was swollen by melting snows. For once Alexander was superior in numbers and, by splitting his army, feinting upstream and downstream, and exploiting the cover of various islands, he managed to...

Granicus, battle of the

Granicus, battle of the (334 bc)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

...battle of the ( 334 bc ). The first battle fought by Alexanderthe Great’ in his Persian campaign was fought in spring 334 bc at the Granicus river (modern Kocabas), shortly after Alexander crossed the Hellespont and marched east towards the provincial capital, Dascyleium. The Persian governors had assembled local Persian troops and a substantial contingent of Greek mercenaries. Although the mercenary Memnon of Rhodes recommended scorched-earth tactics until the Persians were better prepared, his strategy was dismissed as defeatist. The Persians...

Issus, battle of

Issus, battle of (November 333 bc)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

... bc ), the second major battle of the Persian campaign of Alexanderthe Great’ and his first encounter with Persian King Darius , fought on the narrow coastal plain between the Mediterranean and Amanus mountains, just north of modern Iskenderum (south-east Turkey), named after him. Darius had mobilized a large army and advanced to Damascus, where he was reinforced by Greek mercenaries previously attached to his navy. He then moved north-west through the Amanus Gates (Bahçe Pass) into Cilicia. Simultaneously, Alexander marched south-east across the Syrian...

Kautilya

Kautilya (c.300 bc)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

...of the Arthasastra , the classic ancient Hindu political text. Kautilya was the PM and chief political adviser to Chandragupta, ruler of the Magadha empire from 320 bc to c. 297 bc . Under Kautilya's guidance, Chandragupta consolidated his dynasty, defeated Seleucos Nicator's attempt to claim the heritage of Alexanderthe Great’ in India, and expanded his empire. However, Kautilya is more important for the political theories expounded in the Arthasastra . The central idea of Kautilya's doctrine was the prosperity of king and country and the king's...

Nine Worthies

Nine Worthies   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology

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Current Version:
2010

...Worthies The Nine Worthies are a topos developed in the Late Middle Ages of nine great heroes, historical or legendary, who between them represented the epitome of chivalry and law. They first appear in a fourteenth-century work by Jean de Longuyon . Three were pagans: Hector , Alexander the Great , and Julius Caesar , respectively, the hero of the Trojan War, the conqueror of the ancient world, and the greatest general and first emperor of Rome. Three were ancient Hebrews: Joshua, David, and Judas Maccabaeus, respectively, the winner of the battle of...

Macedonian army

Macedonian army   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

...he pitched camp to suit the needs of his baggage animals. The mercenaries were kept under tight control (a Tarentine commander was dismissed for taking a warm bath) and morale was high, since the king set an example in battle and bravery was rewarded. Alexanderthe Great’ inherited a formidable fighting machine, ready for the conquest of Persia. The perfection of the troops' training was revealed when a display of parade-ground drill helped to extricate the army from a trap in the Balkan mountains. They were trained to cope with the unusual, whether heavy...

Warring States period

Warring States period (453–221 bc)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

...with Classical Greece, Alexanderthe Great’, the Peloponnesian wars , and the early Punic wars in southern Europe. In this period Chinese armies were first commanded by professional generals including the first military theorist, Sun-tzu , iron weapons were first introduced on a large scale, and the first version of the Great Wall of China was built at the beginning of the 3rd century bc . Confucius , the Chinese philosopher, died in 479 bc . A quarter of a century later the leaders of the Wei, Han, and Chao clans attacked the ruler of Chin and...

Chaeronea, battle of

Chaeronea, battle of (338)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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Current Version:
2004

...the Cephissus valley, an important north–south route through central Greece, and provided a suitable defensive position to block forces advancing south from Thermopylae. In 338 the combined armies of Athens and Thebes, the two most powerful Greek cities, confronted Philip's Macedonians here, with the Athenians occupying the left wing, the Thebans the right. Details of the hard-fought battle are uncertain, but Philip probably enticed the Athenians out of line by a feigned retreat and then launched his cavalry, commanded by his son Alexander (‘the Great’) ,...

Khyber Pass

Khyber Pass   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

...the highest point of the pass at Landi Kotal 3,500 feet (1,067 metres). All rulers of northern India experienced difficulties in the Khyber Pass although we know little of its history until the time of the Mughals. Among conquerors it was probably not used by Alexanderthe Great’ but probably was exploited by the Ghaznevids. The Mughals, who also ruled in Kabul, needed the pass and under Akbar ‘the Great’ a road was built. Sometimes the Mughals fought in the pass (and were heavily defeated in 1672 ) but mainly they paid for transit. The capture of the...

Thebes

Thebes   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Military History

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2004

...Epaminondas at the battle of Mantineia ( 362 ), Thebes' hegemony was short. In a futile effort to stop Macedonian aggrandizement, it anchored the Greek right wing at the battle of Chaeronea ( 338 ), where the Sacred Band, an élite corps of 300 Theban fighters, was slaughtered to the man. On the death of Philip II of Macedon, Thebes revolted against the Macedonian yoke, only to fall to Alexanderthe Great’, who destroyed the city and sold the inhabitants into slavery, an act of terror that shocked Greece and ended centuries of uninterrupted political...

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