Tags: s BC , Alexander the Great , amphibious landing , Ancient Era , cavalry , chariot , envelopment of a single flank , infantry , King Porus , land , Macedonians , modern day India , Pauravans , penetration of the center , Season 1 , Southern Asia , war elephant. I am currently writing a high school history essay on Alexanders battles and finding some difficulty in regards to the battle that was fought at the hydapsis river. I would be very grateful if you guys could adress the following issues that I have in regards to the actual battle and final outcome? The experts appear to accept that Alexander won the battle at the hydapsis river. His treatment of King Porus seems out of character and appears more like an excuse. I do not believe that no matter how charismatic and great leader he was, his men would not have had the morale or energy to fight an army greater then theirs and also an army that included over a war elephants!
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The battle resulted in a complete Macedonian victory and the annexation of the Punjab, which lay beyond the confines of the defeated Persian empire, into the Alexandrian Empire. Alexander's tactics to cross the monsoon-swollen river despite close Indian surveillance to catch Porus' army in the flank has been referred as one of his "masterpieces".
The battle is historically significant for opening up India for Greek political Seleucid, Greco-bactrian Indo-Greek and cultural influences Greco-Buddhist art which was to continue for many centuries.
The battle took place on the east bank of the Hydaspes River now called the river Jhelum, a tributary of the river Indus in what is now the Punjab province of Pakistan.
Later, Alexander founded a city on the site of the battle, which he called Nicaea ; this city has not yet been discovered. After Alexander defeated the last of the Achaemenid Empire 's forces under Bessus and Spitamenes in BC, he began a new campaign to further extend his empire towards India in BC.
Alexander's army is estimated at about 6, The main train went into modern-day Pakistan through the Khyber Pass, but a smaller force under the personal command of Alexander went through the northern route, taking the fortress of Aornos modern-day Pir-Sar, Pakistan on the way, a place of high mythological significance to the Greeks, as, according to legend, Herakles had failed to occupy it, when he had campaigned to India.
In early spring of the next year, he combined his forces and allied with Taxiles also Ambhi , the King of Taxila, against his neighbor, the King of Hydaspes.
Alexander had to subdue King Porus in order to keep marching east. To leave such a strong opponent at his flanks would endanger any further exploit. He could also not afford to show any sign of weakness if he wanted to keep the loyalty of the already subdued Indian princes. Porus had to defend his kingdom and chose the perfect spot to check Alexander's advance.
Although he lost the battle, he became the most successful recorded opponent of Alexander. Porus drew up on the south bank of the Jhelum River, and was set to repel any crossings. The Jhelum River was deep and fast enough that any opposed crossing would probably doom the entire attacking force. Alexander knew that a direct crossing had little chances of success and thus tried to find alternative fords. He moved his mounted troops up and down the river bank each night, Porus shadowing him.
His plan was a classic pincer maneuver. He left his general Craterus behind with most of the army, while he crossed the river upstream with a strong contingent, consisting, according to Arrian of 6, foot and 5, horse, though it is probable that it was larger.
Craterus was to ford the river and attack if Porus faced Alexander with all his troops, but to hold his position if Porus faced Alexander with only a part of his army.
Porus perceived his opponent's maneuver and sent a small cavalry and chariot force under his son to fight off Alexander, hoping that he would be able to prevent his crossing.
Alexander had already passed, and easily routed his opponent, the chariots in particular being impeded by the mud near the shore of the river, with Porus' son among the dead. Porus understood that Alexander had crossed to his side of the river and hastened to face him with the best part of his army, leaving behind a small detachment to disrupt the landing of Craterus' force, should he try to cross the river. An imaginary Indian war elephant against Alexander's army, by Johannes van den Avele.
When Porus reached the point where Alexander's army was arrayed, he deployed his forces and commenced the attack. The Indians were poised with cavalry on both flanks, their center comprising infantry with elephants towering among or before them in equal intervals.
The elephants caused much harm to the Macedonian phalanx, but were eventually repulsed by the dense pikes of the phallangitai, wreaking much havoc upon their own lines.
Alexander started the battle by sending horse archers to shower the Indian left cavalry wing. Then, he led the charge against the weakened Indian wing. The rest of the Indian cavalry galloped to their hard pressed kinsmen but at this moment, Coenus's cavalry contingent appeared on the Indian rear. The Indians tried to form a double phalanx, but the necessary complicated maneuvers brought even more confusion into their ranks making it easier for the Macedonian horse to conquer.
The remaining Indian cavalry fled among the elephants for protection, but the beasts were already out of control and would soon retreat exhausted from the field, leaving the rest of Porus's army encircled by the Macedonian horse and phalanx. At this time, the phallangitai locked their shields and advanced upon the confused enemy. Porus, after putting up a brave fight, surrendered and the battle was finally over. According to Justin,  during the battle, Porus challenged Alexander, who charged him on horseback.
Alexander fell off his horse in the ensuing duel, his bodyguards carrying him off and capturing Porus. According to Arrian, Macedonian losses amounted to Fuller sees as "more realistic" the figure given by Diodorus of about 1,,   a large number for a victor, yet not improbable, considering the partial success of the Indian war elephants. Indian losses amounted to 23, according to Arrian, 12, dead and over 9, men captured according to Diodorus.
Around 80 elephants were captured alive. Two sons of Porus were killed during the battle, as well as his relative and ally Spitakes, and most of his chieftains. The bravery, war skills and princely attitude of Porus greatly impressed Alexander, who allowed him to rule Hydaspes in Alexander's name.
Wounded in his shoulder, standing at over 2. The Macedonian regent founded two cities, one at the spot of the battle called Nicaea Greek for Victory in commemoration of his success and one on the other side of the Hydaspes called Alexandria Bucephalus , to honor his faithful steed, which died soon after this battle. His army, exhausted from the continuous campaigning and frightened at the prospect of facing yet another gigantic Indian army, demanded that they should return to the west.
This happened at the Hyphasis modern Beas , the exact spot being believed to be at 'Kathgarh' in Indora tehsil of Himachal Pradesh with nearest rail head at Pathankot, Punjab. Alexander finally gave in and turned south, along the Indus, securing the banks of the river as the borders of his empire. Sign In Don't have an account? Result Decisive Macedonian victory. Alexander's Indian campaign. Cophen Aornos Hydaspes Mallian Campaign. Contents [ show ]. When he saw that Alexander was winning a brilliant victory he pressed on and, as his men were fresh, took over the pursuit.
For having found it hard enough to defeat an enemy who brought but twenty thousand foot and two thousand horse into the field, they thought they had reason to oppose Alexander's design of leading them on to pass the Ganges, too, which they were told was thirty-two furlongs broad and a fathom deep, and the banks on the further side covered with multitudes of enemies.
Greece and Rome At War. Macdonald Phoebus Ltd, , p. Eggermont, Alexander's campaign in Southern Punjab Categories :. Cancel Save. Part of the Wars of Alexander the Great.
A painting by Andre Castaigne depicting the phalanx attacking the centre during the Battle of the Hydaspes. Date May BC. Decisive Macedonian victory. This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia view authors.
Battle of the Hydaspes
The battle resulted in a complete Macedonian victory and the annexation of the Punjab, which lay beyond the confines of the defeated Persian empire, into the Alexandrian Empire. Alexander's tactics to cross the monsoon-swollen river despite close Indian surveillance to catch Porus' army in the flank has been referred as one of his "masterpieces". The battle is historically significant for opening up India for Greek political Seleucid, Greco-bactrian Indo-Greek and cultural influences Greco-Buddhist art which was to continue for many centuries. The battle took place on the east bank of the Hydaspes River now called the river Jhelum, a tributary of the river Indus in what is now the Punjab province of Pakistan.
Wars of Alexander the Great: Battle of the Hydaspes River
In May , the Macedonian king Alexander the Great and his ally, raja Ambhi of Taxila , defeated Porus , a raja who had not been able to surrender himself to Alexander. There were heavy rains - the monsoon seems to have started early - and the river Jhelum, already wide in May because of the melting waters of the Himalayas, became very wide. This must have been somewehere near modern Jhelum. Scholars have proposed other sites further down the stream at Haranpur and Jalalpur , but palaeohydrological research has shown that the Jhelum was far from these places until the eighth century CE. This was the main road along the Cophen , to Peucelaotis , across the Indus , to Taxila, into the direction of Lahore, and beyond, to Patna on the plains of the Ganges.