The Blood Bath Of Battles
In 480 BC in the warm gates near artimesium a group of 300 Spartans stood in front of a oncoming wall of Persian immortals and warriors.I personally find that the Spartans were killing machines that destroyed anything in there path.The Spartans fought in this blood bath for two days,they trained for that very moment. Leonidas knew it was a suicide mission, but they fight for honour and glory.
The Spartans used the phalanx formation , Diodorus says "the men stood shoulder to shoulder" and the Greeks were "superior in valour and in the great size of their shields." This is describing the Greek phalanx formation.Men formed a wall of overlapping shields and layered spear points protruding out from the sides of the shields, which I personally find very smart because if there spear was taken, or was thrown they could easily take out the swords when they had to stab the Persians. one the first day of battle, Xerxes finally attacked the Greeks. He ordered five thousand archers to fire arrows at the Greeks, but the shields and helmets deflected the missiles, no permanent damage was made.After that, Xerxes sent a force of ten thousand men against the Greeks, to take them prisoner and bring them to him. The Persians soon found themselves sending wave of around 10,000 men.,they fought at the narrowest part of the pass, in a strategic attempt to use as few soldiers at once as possible.The weaker shields and shorter spears and swords of the Persians prevented them from engaging the Greek hoplites. Herodotus says that "the units for each city were kept together:units were rotated in and out of the battle to prevent fatigue, which implies the Greeks had more men than necessary to block the pass".They wouldn't lose many people per wave of ten thousand only about three or five a wave.
Spartan swords were made from iron or bronze, the swords were short swords, made for thrusting . The Spartan hoplites only took out their swords if their spear was lost or broken in battle as their tactics relied heavily on making a wall or phalanx against the enemy with their large Hoplon Shields with their spears pointing outwards.Their shields were made of a thick bronze metal and went from there knees to the top of their heads so they could block themselves very well.The spears were called a dory they were about 7 to 9 feet and was held in one hand, while the other arm would hold up their shields and block the Persians,I personally find they had great war tactics and the Greek blacksmiths made great swords,spears and shields.
When a Greek traitor told Xerxes about a secret passage through the mountains, the Persian king sent his best soldiers to take the secret path and so come up behind the Greeks. At dawn on the third day of battle, the Greeks discovered that they had been betrayed. Leonidas, the Spartan leader, chose to fight to the end, knowing that his men could never win this battle. He told the remaining Greek soldiers to flee while they could for their life,they say that the rest of the soldiers that stayed fought until they were even bare handed.
Leonidas was a great General and after all the Spartans were slaughtered/killed the Persian army could march into central Greece, in destruction but, although the Greeks had lost this battle, the courage that was shownby the Spartans boosted the other Greeks to show courage, They were not ready just yet to surrender to the Persians.This battle of Thermoplyae has been remembered as a huge blood bath and will not be forgotten.