battle background

the battle of Isis was a battle between the Macedonian army (30000-40000 people) and the army of Persian Emperor Darius III (120000-130000 people) in Isis (now the north of iskendron, Turkey) near the ancient city of chiriqia (Asia Minor) in the autumn of 333 BC.

at the end of August 333 BC, after Alexander conquered the hinterland of Asia Minor, he immediately went south to enter Silesia, the last stronghold of the Persian Empire in Asia Minor. Assam, governor of Persia Silesia, continued to lure the enemy in depth and abandoned the dangerous mountain pass on the Taurus Mountains, making it easy for the Macedonian army to enter and occupy the capital tassus. At the same time, Darius, king of Persia, led hundreds of thousands of troops from Babylon and arrived in sokayi on the east side of the aman mountains in early September. He planned to use the plain terrain here to fight against Alexander.

Silesia, the Persian Province, is located in the southeast corner of Anatolia peninsula. It is the gateway of Asia Minor into the two river plain. There are Taurus Mountains around the West and north sides, Oman mountains running north and south to the East, and the vast two river plain to the east of the mountains. The Oman mountain range blocks the traffic from east to west. Only two mountain passes can pass through. One is the Oman mountain pass, which is located near the izus Valley in the north of the mountain range, and the other is the Syrian mountain pass, which is about 100 kilometers south of the Oman mountain pass. After Alexander arrived in Silesia, he was bedridden with wind and cold and recovered after more than a month of cultivation. He sent pamanio to lead his troops southward to control the Syrian pass and inquire about the movements of the Persian army. The pamanio Legion camped in the west of the Syrian mountain pass, sent exploration horses across the Syrian mountain pass to the East, and soon found the Persian army stationed in sokayi.


Alexander always had the ability to anticipate the enemy first. He received a report from pamanio and concluded that Darius would pass through the Syrian mountain pass in the south. At the end of October, Alexander left the wounded and sick in the camp of yisus and led a large force to March 60 kilometers south to the Syrian mountain pass, where he was ready to use the terrain to block Darius’s army. While Alexander was marching towards the Syrian pass, Darius sent his troops north from sokayi and passed through the Oman pass smoothly. He occupied Alexander’s camp left in izus, captured all the wounded soldiers and materials, and cut off Alexander’s way back. Darius cut off all the Macedonian patients’ hands and sent them to report to Alexander. Then he went 20 kilometers south from izus and camped on the Bank of pinaro river. Thus the battle of issus began with Alexander’s desperate situation. The battle of

began after the battle of

. At Alexander’s command, the Macedonian army made rapid progress on the right wing and pounced on the river. In an instant, the whole army shouted loudly and rushed to the enemy’s shore with the force of thunder, trying to intimidate the enemy with prestige, which made the Persian army feel psychological terror. At the same time, it tried to rush out of range as soon as possible, so as to reduce the losses caused by the stone attack of the Persian army. The Persian army could not stop the rapid attack of the Macedonian army. After the archers in front lost their effectiveness, they hurriedly turned around and fled, while the square infantry behind had no time to escape and collided with the archers. As a result, people crowded and collided with each other. The order was in great disorder. The Macedonian cavalry took the opportunity to kill, which quickly collapsed the left wing of the Persian army.

however, due to the attack speed of the right-wing cavalry led by Alexander, the two battalions on the right side of the phalanx also charged forward, while the other battalions of the central phalanx advanced slowly, and the steep river bank made it difficult for them to maintain a complete team with the two battalions on the right, resulting in a gap in the middle of the phalanx. The Persian phalanx soldiers saw the big gap in the Macedonian phalanx and quickly inserted it. So the battle between breakthrough and anti breakthrough began here. The Persian phalanx soldiers tried their best to use this breakthrough to expand the war results, press the Macedonian phalanx to the river and regain the lost victory of the left wing. The Macedonian phalanx soldiers were unwilling to retreat. They fought hard and fought actively. However, due to the disadvantage of the Macedonian phalanx, it received a large number of casualties. In the fierce battle, a Macedonian commander and 120 soldiers were killed, threatening the left wing of the whole Macedonian phalanx. At this time, Alexander led the right-wing cavalry to attack the Persian phalanx from the side and back, which greatly changed the situation of the attacked Macedonian phalanx.

at the same time, the left wing of the Macedonian army also launched a decisive battle of cavalry. The Persian cavalry rushed bravely across the piramus river towards the Macedonian cavalry in an attempt to force them back. The Persian cavalry attacked fiercely and did not give in. However, Darius, king of Persia, was frightened by this situation. He abandoned the whole army and fled alone regardless of the whole war situation, which had an important impact on the war situation. The Persian cavalry in the fierce battle saw that Darius had escaped, so they stopped attacking and retreated quickly. During the retreat, a large number of frightened people and horses crowded on the narrow road. The exhausted horses rushed and bumped because the load was too heavy, and many people were trampled to death. After a while, the central phalanx of the Persian army retreated without fighting. The Macedonian army pursued it, and many infantry and cavalry were cut down. It was not until nightfall that Alexander ordered to stop the pursuit and return to the camp.

evaluation of

the result of the battle of Isis was that the Macedonian army conquered the western part of the Persian kingdom and guaranteed the hegemony of the Macedonian fleet in the Aegean Sea. The victory of Isis opened the way for the Macedonian army to Syria and Egypt. Summing up the battle of issus, the battle command of Darius, king of Persia, is almost impeccable, and the strategic layout and tactical arrangement are commendable. Like Alexander, Darius put the elite troops on the right, expecting the Persian Armored Cavalry to break through here and detour to the side to attack the dense array of Macedonia. If Alexander hadn’t deployed the counter attack force, the Persian cavalry would easily complete the battle goal. Darius’s tactical intention in the middle road is very clear, that is, to induce the Macedonian dense array to cross the river and attack, and use the obstacles of the terrain to disrupt the formation of the Macedonian square array, so that Greek mercenaries can avoid the long and dense area of Macedonian infantrySpear, from the gap of the enemy formation, takes advantage of the weakness and approaches the fight.

the Persian army suffered a disastrous defeat in the battle of Isis. The main reason is that the organization and quality of the army are too far behind that of the Macedonian army. As the main achievement of the military reform of the Persian Empire, the combat effectiveness of kaldak infantry can not be compared with that of Macedonian infantry. The premature collapse of the left-wing front in Persia made Darius’s battle idea come to naught. Persian Armored Cavalry’s individual combat ability is no less than that of tesali cavalry. The only difference lies in organizational discipline. In addition, the Persian army lacked the coordinated operation of infantry and cavalry. After the cavalry opened the situation, they could not get the support of infantry and consolidate the results, which was also one of the reasons for the failure. It can be seen that the improvement of weapons and equipment can not make up for the gap of tactical thought. As for Darius’ imminent escape, it was understandable in the circumstances at that time. After the collapse of the Persian left front, the defeat was decided. Darius was besieged by Macedonian cavalry and continued to stay on the battlefield for fear of more or less bad luck. For Darius, the war resources of the Persian Empire were inexhaustible. As long as one life was saved, there was a chance. In fact, Darius returned to Babylon and reorganized a larger army. Two years later, the two sides met again at gaucamilla, and Alexander faced no less danger than the battle of issus.