Marathon, Waterloo, and Gettysburg the most famous battles?

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major bill

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I would be interested to know who they polled and how the question was asked. I would include Stalingrad in my list.
I doubt if the magazine polled anyone. Being a Civil War magazine they were aiming at people who would read a Civil War magazine. If it was a World War Two magazine, I expect they would use at least one World War Two battle.

I would think I studied the Battle of Waterloo very briefly, Gettysburg a bit more, but not sure any high school history class I was in even touched on the Battle of Marathon. Schools differ and your high school may have studied Marathon.
 
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I doubt if the magazine polled anyone. Being a Civil War magazine they were aiming at people who would read a Civil War magazine. If it was a World War Two magazine, I expect they would use at least one World War Two battle.

I would think I studied the Battle of Waterloo very briefly, Gettysburg a bit more, but not sure any high school history class I was in even touched on the Battle of Marathon. Schools differ and your high school may have studied Marathon.
It is not likely that anyone would know that the Olympic marathon footrace is based on the distance from the Marathon battlefield to Athens - the distance run by Pheidippides to announce to the Athenians the news of their great victory over the Persians.
 

Will Carry

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Iwo Jima. Marines.

Okinawa, however was the Ultimate Battle. It was a naval battle without precedent, a desperate air battle and a land battle where America's firepower of 49 aircraft carriers and almost all her battleships cruisers and destroyers, was negated by the Japanese going underground. Forcing the Marines and soldiers to slug it out at close quarters. The Navy, Marines and Army suffered so many casualties that the real figures were kept secret. In that respect the Japanese achieved their objective. To make the Americans reluctant to invade Japan.

5a8f0259391d94e20f8b462b-750-563.jpg
 
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ErnieMac

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I doubt if the magazine polled anyone. Being a Civil War magazine they were aiming at people who would read a Civil War magazine. If it was a World War Two magazine, I expect they would use at least one World War Two battle.

I would think I studied the Battle of Waterloo very briefly, Gettysburg a bit more, but not sure any high school history class I was in even touched on the Battle of Marathon. Schools differ and your high school may have studied Marathon.
I'm of an age where these things were taught in my junior high and high school years. I did learn about Marathon, Hastings and Waterloo. Not in any great detail, but enough to place them in the flow of history.
 

Ian Peavot

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One of the problems with trying to reconcile 'memorable or notable battles' is that they often get remembered for the wrong reasons. So therefore when asked, why? the average person will answer subjectively with that which is most memorable, like those famous heroic failures, Little big Horn, Dien Bien Phu, Gettysburg, Waterloo Etc. These questions are generational and educationally influenced, the older person can remember further back and depending on which way the wind is blowing, history education in schools can be erratic and military history may not be flavour of the month. If, however you pose the same question to a target group that is made up of more academically minded people you'll most likely get an objective response and those answers would be based more upon the technical merits of the military endeavor.
 

luinrina

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I learned about Marathon (battle and the sport's origin) in my history class. I don't remember hearing about Hastings in school but I read a historical novel that played in that time era and covered the battle, so it's not an unknown to me. Waterloo was mentioned in school when we covered Napoleon, but since I lived in the suburbs of Leipzig back then, we discussed more the Battle of Leipzig (and visited the monument) since it had more meaning for us.

We extensively covered WWII in school and I thus know about D-Day, but I've honestly never before heard of Market Garden. Though I do know that air raids were flown both by the Germans and the Allies. I've also heard about Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima, having watched the respective movies (though I have yet to see Flags of Our Fathers) and read up a bit on both afterward.

I know about Prestonpans and Culloden after having read and seen Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

From a European point of view, Waterloo is quite famous. Gettysburg has been more or less glossed over in my history class, so apparently not famous enough for better coverage. Marathon? Not sure what answer people would give - depends on whether ancient history is taught in detail or raced through.
 
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ariete

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One of the problems with trying to reconcile 'memorable or notable battles' is that they often get remembered for the wrong reasons. So therefore when asked, why? the average person will answer subjectively with that which is most memorable, like those famous heroic failures, Little big Horn, Dien Bien Phu, Gettysburg, Waterloo Etc. These questions are generational and educationally influenced, the older person can remember further back and depending on which way the wind is blowing, history education in schools can be erratic and military history may not be flavour of the month. If, however you pose the same question to a target group that is made up of more academically minded people you'll most likely get an objective response and those answers would be based more upon the technical merits of the military endeavor.
I agree with everybody, depending on the pool, even if in this case, like @major bill wrote, it should refer to civil war enthusiastics. Anyway, considering sex, age, location, tastes of the respondents, i tend to exclude the level of istruction because, like i readed also here in the previous posts, education system is always worst, and this seems everywhere and expecially for a controversial matter like history, for the reasons each one can find and anyway well mildly described in the post i quoted above. Rather, if not expecially, here in Italy, the cradle of the european civilization, history is basically ignored, in school at first, like many other things .. too much explicit contents, and anyway this kind of knowledge don't make never enough in marketable terms.

Isonzo is in the italian popular culture just because they made us an head like a ballon for the WW1 celebrations, and this just because WW2 here in Italy is forbidden, a bit like today in the US for everything about the Confederacy ..

some gamers know a lot of the battles their beloved games are refighting.
Sure, game made a lot to spread the passion for military history, but isn't my case, i've always readed and studied history since i was kid despite basically i never assisted to a lesson of history in all my life, i swear you, and yes i know, it's too much indecent !
 

Waterloo50

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Battle of Towton 29th March Yorkshire England 1461.

Est Dead 28,000 that's dead btw

War of the Roses

1 small stone slab to honour the dead , Nobody has ever heard of the battle in Britain

It is well that Americans honour their dead because in Britain apart from Nov 11th end of the first World War we have forgotten how to.
Or the battle of the Atlantic, I made a point of studying the Battle of Britain, I reckon I’ve been reading up on it for 30 odd years but your right, for the most part people haven’t heard of it, strange really when you consider how close we came.
 
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David Knight

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Battle of Towton 29th March Yorkshire England 1461.

Est Dead 28,000 that's dead btw

War of the Roses

1 small stone slab to honour the dead , Nobody has ever heard of the battle in Britain

It is well that Americans honour their dead because in Britain apart from Nov 11th end of the first World War we have forgotten how to.
I live about 9 miles from Towton and visit once a year. Very important battle as the throne changed hands but compared to Bosworth Field in is unknown.
 

David Knight

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Totally depends upon what period of history and what the outcome of the battle was. To be seriously important it would have to change the course of history.

Therefore Marathon would count as would Waterloo (although I bet most think it is a n ABBA song) as Napoleon and France were defeated never again to threaten Europe.

The Relief of the Siege of Vienna by Jan Sobieski which prevented the Turkish/Ottoman invasion of Europe.

For America I guess Gettysburg is famous but did it really cause the defeat of the Confederacy?

In WWII D-Day was mssive but the breakout later in 1944 around St. Lo and Caen and the capture of large Germany forces in the Falaise Pocket was more decisive. The Soviet contribution to defeating the Third Reich is completely overlooked but was essential so Stalingrad as the turning point and Kursk as the start of the end for the Germans in the East are more decisive.

Impossible question to answer but Fame is often short lived and those that remain in the memory are those that people talk about.
 

ErnieMac

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Or the battle of the Atlantic, I made a point of studying the Battle of Britain, I reckon I’ve been reading up on it for 30 odd years but your right, for the most part people haven’t heard of it, strange really when you consider how close we came.
When it comes to naval warfare the Battle of the Atlantic was crucial to allied victory in WWII. Other naval contest would include Lepanto, the Spanish Armada, Jutland and Midway.
 
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Greywolf

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World wide I would put these in the mix: Agree with others on Towton and Waterloo.

Stalingrad
Kursk
Battle of Britain

Other US battle I would add:
Guadalcanal
 
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Waterloo50

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so far away from Jutland (once again that Britisch nonsenseof ill/weird naming of battles

Blenheim anybody? name is Blindheim and the battle wasn't there
Well, it was a decisive battle and many people know it as Jutland, mention Jutland to most people and they’re bound to tell you it’s where the German navy ran never to be seen again...it’s Jutland, we won so we get to call it what we want. :bomb:
 
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rbasin

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Iwo Jima. Marines.

Okinawa, however was the Ultimate Battle. It was a naval battle without precedent, a desperate air battle and a land battle where America's firepower of 49 aircraft carriers and almost all her battleships cruisers and destroyers, was negated by the Japanese going underground. Forcing the Marines and soldiers to slug it out at close quarters. The Navy, Marines and Army suffered so many casualties that the real figures were kept secret. In that respect the Japanese achieved their objective. To make the Americans reluctant to invade Japan.

View attachment 258995
With air superiority over Japan, there was no reason to invade Japan.
 

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the battle of Skagerak was a major German victory

the overall comparison of fleets was a draw

psychological it was a British victory since the high command didn't want to risk ther fleet afterwards


but You lost the battle by margines no British fleet had to endure before and after
(ok not counting those two Uboot operations - life bait squad & Scaba Flow)
 
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