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Gaugamela (or Arbela)

Battle Name : Gaugamela (or Arbela)

Date(s) : 01 October 0331 bc

Part of : The Conquests of Alexander ,

Outcome : A victory for Macedonians over Persians

Type of battle : Land


One of Alexander's finest victories and the end of Darius' rule of the Persian Empire. Having had his offers of peace refused, Darius drew up his host on the Plain of Gaugamela deploying elephants and chariots as well as cavalry and foot in two extended, deep lines. Darius wrongly anticipated a night attack, so kept his troops awake. The following day the Macedonians advanced into the Persian line in an echelon form with Alexander and his Companion cavalry leading the attack from he right flank. In what is thought to be the first recorded use of a tactical reserve, his troops were protected from envelopment by flanking columns of light troops and a phalanx of Thessalian infantry covered the camp.

As the lead Macedonian elements approached the Persian line, Alexander spotted a gap in the line and made straight for it, breaking right through and threatening Darius himself who fled the field. A Persian cavalry charge had, meanwhile, put great pressure on his left flank but his reserves held and his counter charge into the rear of the Persian right decided the day. The Persians fled and the pursuit began.

Casualty figures


Number engaged :

Casualties :
5,500 (11.70%)


Number engaged :

Casualties :
50,000 (25.00%)