Why the Greeks Won the Greco-Persian War
There are times in history that something will happen and it will defy all logic. It was one of those times when a few Greek city/states joined together and defeated the invasion force of the massive Persian Empire. The Greeks were able to win the Greco-Persian War because of their naval victories over the Persians, a few key strategic victories on land, as well as the cause for which they were fighting. The naval victories were the most important contribution to the overall success against the Persians. The Persian fleet was protecting the land forces from being outflanked and after they were defeated the longer had that protection. While the Greeks had very few overall victories in battle they did have some strategic victories. The Battle of Thermopylae is an example of a strategic success for the Greeks. The morale of the Persian army was extremely affected by the stout resistance put up by King Leonidas and his fellow Spartans. The Greeks fought so hard against overwhelming odds because of what they were fighting for. They were fighting for their country and their freedom. They fought so hard because they did not want to let down the man next to them in the formation. Several things contributed to the Greeks success against the Persian invasion that happened during the Second Greco-Persian War.
The main reason that the Greeks were able to win the Second Greco-Persian War was the fact that their victory on the sea dealt a crippling blow to the land army. The Greeks owe their naval success to a man named Themistocles. If it had not been for him then Athens would have not used some newly found silver to build 200 new ships for their navy. These ships were later used in the war against the Persians. The two forces were working in unison and they were dependent upon each other for victory. The Persian naval forces were there in order to protect the flank of the army's advance. If the Persian navy were not present then the Greeks would have been able to get on ships and sail to a spot behind the Persian lines and outflank them. They also delivered supplies to the armies that were necessary for its survival.
The deathblow was dealt at the Battle of Salamis. It was a culmination of misfortune for the Persian navy. The Persians lost many ships to bad weather conditions. That is the only thing that allowed the Greeks a chance to win. If it had not been for those losses in the storms then the Greeks would been up against two ships for each one of theirs. A large Persian contingent of about 200 ships was destroyed while on maneuver to get behind the Greek navy. More tragedy would strike the Persians when stormy weather struck and damaged their ships during the Battle of Artemisium.
The Battle of Salamis was the icing on the cake for the Greeks. They were able to defeat the larger Persian fleet by dictating the terms of the battle. They choose a location that favored their smaller swifter ships...