‘Deja Vu all over again!’

I found the following page:Battle of Guagamela on the web which is maintained by Joseph Berrigan.

I was prompted to search for it because the rapid success, and in particular the manner of it, by the Coalition forces, reminded me of another occasion. Then, as now, a smaller occidental army won a victory in Iraq against a larger force by ‘going straight for the jugular’.

“He conquered the lands between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and found the Persian army at the plains of Guagamela, (near modern Irbil, Iraq). For Darius this would be a do or die situation because if he lost this battle, it would be the end of the Persian Empire. He had already been defeated at Granicus and Issus. He chose his battle on a level plain so that he could most effectively utilized his vast cavalry, which was his main force.

On the morning of October 1, 331 BC, the two armies met on the battlefield at Guagamela. A furious battle seesawed back and forth until a gap opened in the Persians right center and Alexander led a charge straight at Darius as he had done at the Battle of Issus. There was fierce hand-to- hand combat with the Macedonians proving superior. Darius felt threatened with Alexander and his elite forces so close to him and decided to flee. And, just as at Issus, when the Persians saw their king fleeing, they decided to do the same. The Macedonians swept through the Persian forces and slaughtered them.”

What’s particularly resonant about events past and present, is that Darius, (the earlier despotic ruler), had a poor grasp of military tactics and when he was attacked directly by Alexander at the battle of Issus, he abandoned his mother, wife and children and just ran.

Ominously, before the above quoted final defeat of Darius, Alexander attacked Syria, besieged Gaza and was proclaimed Pharoah by the Egyptians. Furthermore, after the final victory over Darius, Alexander lead his Macedonian troops into what is today Iran and burned Persepolis, (City of the Persians), down to the ground.

Since I am making this link between historical events and my fears of it as precedent for current events, it should be noted that Alexander went on to conquer what is modern day Pakistan before he finally stopped.

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