Battle of Plataea

Today on August 27, 479 BCE, Greek warriors annihilate the Persian army at the Battle of Plataea.

The Battle of Plataea was the last major land battle of the Second Persian Invasion of Greece. In the year prior to Plataea, Xerxes and his massive Persian army had defeated the Greeks at the Battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium. However, the Greeks had won a decisive, and important, naval victory at the Battle of Salamis. After, Xerxes retreated back to northern Greece and then returned to Persia. He left his army under the command of General Mardonius to finish conquering Greece the following year.

Rather than wait for another attack, a powerful alliance of Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth, and Megara united to drive out the Persians once and for all. Together they fielded a massive Greek army and marched north to attack Mardonius. The Greeks were patient and refused to be drawn into prime calvary terrain around the Persian camp.

The Greek frontline had temporarily fragmented. The Persians believed they were in an all-out retreat and pursued them with all their forces. The Greek’s halted the retreat and began slaughtering the lightly armored Persian soldiers. At the same time, the Greek’s also destroyed the remaining Persian fleet, and effectively eliminated any Persian presence in Greece.

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