Battle of Miletus 412 BC

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2 months 4 days ago #3372 by The-Admiral
I am going to try and create a scenario on vassal. I have a few old ones that I never published, but where's the fun in that, so I wanted to come up with something new. The above battle seems to fit.

Fred Eugene Ray, in his book ‘Land Battles in 5th Century B.C. Greece, believes the battlefield was restricted and this is borne out by an examination of an ancient map of Miletus. The battle was clearly fought within close distance of the city walls as the defeated Milesians and their allies had little difficulty in retiring to the city. Kalabak Hill to the west and the coast to the east, acting as delimiters to the battlefield. This was an advantage for both sides; for the outnumbered Milesians so they couldn’t be enveloped by the larger Athenian army, and for the Athenians so that they couldn’t be outflanked by the Persian cavalry for which they had no counter; the said cavalry probably acting as a rear guard to ensure the safety of any withdrawal.
This is an interesting battle due to the presence of the Persian satrap Tissaphernes along with his own cavalry and mercenaries. Who these mercs were I have no clue, but as Thucydides describes them as barbarians, they were certainly not Greek, although the snobby Greeks pretty much described everyone as barbarians, even the uncouth Greek Macedonians. Ray postulates they were Carians. That is as possible as anything else.
We don’t know the Milesians were outnumbered, but the fact that the Athenians wanted to place the city under siege is not something they would consider against a numerically superior force. But they couldn’t have been greatly outnumbered or else they would not have come out to risk battle. We know the Athenian force had 3,500 spearmen, composed of 1000 Athenians, 1000 Allies and 1500 Argives. Ray postulates 2,600 – 2,800 spearmen for the Milesians, and this seems reasonable: 800 Milesians that we know of, plus 200 Peloponnesians and 800 Chians from allied ships in the harbour, and 800 – 1000 Mercenaries plus 600 Persian cavalry.

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