What do you believe was the most important sea battle in world history?
The sea battle in the gulf of Leyte, Philippines in October 1945 between the fleet commanded by Admiral Nimitz and the Japanese fleet. It cleared for the landing of General MacArthur in Leyte on October 24. From Leyte, the troops of MacArthur moved on to Mindoro then to gulf of Lingayen then toward Manila. MacArthur planned to make Luzon the jumping board of his troops toward Japan whose surrender is mainly credited to the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. However, MacArthur said the atomic bombs were not necessary to bring about the surrender of Japan as his troops were ready to land in Japan.
This sea battle is more modern than that between the fleet commanded by Horatio Nelson of England and that of the Spanish armada that saw its demise then and there. It also saw the rise of the English navy as the supreme sea power.
Without question the Battle of Midway. It was devastating to the Japanese navy and, only six months after Pearl Harbor, was a great victory for the United States
The Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE.
The battle secured the defeat of the Persian Empire by the Greeks and allowed Athens to grow and dominate the Mediterranean Sea. If the Greeks had lost the battle then the whole of Western history would have been radically different. Europe would not have seen the pre-eminence it did at the end of the ancient period and most likely our ideas of philosophy, religion, political thought would be dominated by Central Asian philosophes, such as Zoroastrianism, the then dominant faith within the Persian Empire.
This battle was only the beginning of the end for the Persians but it led to a string of wars that was to culminate with the ultimate victory by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.
Well definitely the Battle of Midway has to be considered; although since someone has covered that I will suggest another for consideration. One that was also filled with coincidences and misfortunate events for the agressors. The year was 1571; the battle took place on October 7th, off the coast of Greece. It was a battle that engulfed the whole of the Ottoman Empire's ships and they were met by a significantly smaller number of allied Catholic nations' fleet. It was a battle that prevented Muslims from expanding in the Mediterranean and preventing their influence from spreading west.
Within 5 hours the Ottoman Empire's fleet was destroyed. At the battle, the Catholic League lost 50 galleys and suffered approximately 13,000 casualties. This was offset by the freeing of a similar number of Christian slaves from the Ottoman ships. In addition to the death of Ali Pasha (commander of the Ottoman Navy), the Ottomans lost 25,000 killed and wounded and an additional 3,500 captured. Their fleet lost 210 ships, of which 130 were captured.
I was just going to write about the Battle of Lepanto. I think it is very important as it stopped Muslim Expansion into Western Europe. Also the battle of Trafalgar, which pretty much made it impossible for Napoleon to invade Britain.
Absolutely important to world history connorj-- forgot about Lepanto--so thanks for the reminder. Surprised no ones mentioned 1588 and a little skirmish and weak storm lol.
Most important in terms of what? There have been a number of ancient and medieval sea battles that had significant impacts on the course of history.
Try the question phrased this way: What do you believe is the most important sea battle *overall, all factors included* in world history? In my opinion the question shouldn't be too hard to grasp cerebrally as the great answers on here attest to.
I think everyone is narrowing their thoughts a little too much. Without a doubt, to me, it was the Battle of the Atlantic. The Allied navy against the German U-Boats. If that battle is not won there is no African, Italian or Normandy campaigns. There is no second front for the Russians. Winning that extended slugging match in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic was the single most important factor in why the Allies were able to bring the resources of an entire planet to bear against Hitler.
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