Certain battles acquire iconic status in history. The victors have been celebrated as heroes for centuries, the vanquished serve as a cautionary tale for all, and nations use these triumphs to establish their founding myths. These battles are commemorated in paintings, verse, and music, marked by monumental memorials, and used as the way points for the periodisation of history. Many of these battles have also experienced a significant cultural afterlife that has extended and expanded the meaning of the conflict across time and space. Thermopylae, Waterloo, Gallipoli—their names exist as recognizable shorthand for all. These are just a few of the great battles that have cast long shadows throughout history.
In this interactive map, you can explore the legacy of 10 key battles dating back to 480 BC through World War II. Each battle is featured in our Great Battles collection, a growing series telling the story of some of the world’s most iconic battles.
Learn more about the battles themselves and the lives of those who fought while also exploring each battle’s legacy in the collective imagination of the winners, the defeated, and all of history.
Featured image by by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash