Amazing & Shocking Facts: Why did the Invasion of Alexander of Macedon fail? - The Fearless Indian
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Amazing & Shocking Facts: Why did the Invasion of Alexander of Macedon fail?

  • Sukanya Iyer
  • February 20, 2020
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In 326 BCE, Alexander of Macedon invaded India, it comprised battle hardened Macedonian soldiers, Greek cavalry, Balkan Fighters and Persian allies, so handling victory to Alexander is like describing Hitler as the conqueror for Russia because the Germans advanced up to Stalingrad.

When did Alexander Invaded India?

The Indian campaign of Alexander the Great began in326 BC. After conquering Persia, Alexander launched a campaign into India. The Battle of the Jhelum river against a regional Indian King, Porus is considered by many Historians, Peter Connolly being one of them, as the costliest battle that the Armies of Alexander fought.

What was the Rationale for this Campaign?

The rationale for this campaign is usually said to be Alexander’s desire to conquer the entire Known world, according to Greeks which ended in India. After the conquests of Carthage and Rome, Alexander died in Babylon on June 11, 323 BC. In 321 BC, two years after Alexander’s death, Chandragupta Maurya of Magadha founded the Maurya Empire in India. After the death of Spitamenes and his marriage to Roxana to cement his relations with his new central Asian Satrapies.

What we found after analysis was that for some strange reasons, History lied to us, let me give you detailed Version—

First of all, we have to look into the details of whether “Did the European force headed by Alexander really “Conquer” India and “Vanquish” the Indians under the Paurava King Porus as claimed by Western (British) writers and Historians? “

Marshall Gregory Zhukov, the legendary Russian Commander, said the Macedonians had suffered a catastrophic defeat in India. In the final part of this analysis, fact and Fiction are separated. After defeating Persia in the year 334 BCE, Alexander of Macedon was irresistibly drawn towards the great Indian Landmass. The Persians, warned him the country was no easy target, that several famous conquerors had fallen at the gates of India. The Persians told him how their greatest King Porus, who had conquered much of a civilised world, had been killed in the battle with Indian Soldiers exactly two centuries before Alexander.

The Assyrian queen Semiramis, who had crossed the Indus with 400,000 highly trained troops, escaped with just 20 troops, the rest being slaughtered by Indians. What we find to our Surprise is that in Ancient India, 150 years ago, before Alexander, Indian Archers and Cavalry formed a significant component of the Persian Army and played a Key role in subduing Thebes in Central Greece. Alexander was fearless. He wanted to invade India. It would prove to be a strategic blunder. In Zhukov’s words—

“Following alexander’s failure to gain a Position in India and the defeat of his Successor of Seleucus Nikator, the relationship between Indians and the Greeks & Romans was mainly through trade and diplomacy. Also, the Greeks and other ancient people did not see themselves as in any way superior, Only different”.

Why did Alexander of Macedon invade India?

The above statement by Russia’s marshal Gregory Zhukov on the Macedonian invasion of India in 326 BCE is very significant one because unlike the prejudiced colonial and western historians, the Greeks, and later Romans, viewed Indians differently. According to Alexander, that the Indians were the noblest among all Asians. In fact Arrian and other Greeks say that the Indians were relentless in their attacks on the invaders. What the historians found was that Punjab & Sindh were fierce, the in the Eastern parts of India, the men were superior in stature and courage. But the claim of western Historians, in whose view the one victory over King Porus amounted to the “Conquest of India”. But the Greeks never ever claimed that.

Let me give you a brief of all the battles fought by Alexander over Porus during Invasion period. —

Battle of Hydaspes—This was the hardest ever battle, described by Greek writers, battle of Hydaspes(Jhelum) as the hardest fought battle of all Alexander’s battles. According to a professor of history at University of Houston, Frank Lee Holt, “The only reference in Arrian’s history to a victory celebration by Alexander’s army was after the battle with Porus”. I was quite shocking to know the fact that; Alexander’s army did not indulge in celebrations after the Battle of Gaugamela where they defeated 200,000 Persians. There were no festivities announced after the battle of Issus where they defeated a mixed force of Persian Cavalry and Greek mercenaries. They also considered themselves extremely Lucky to survive after the clash with the Hindu army, with its elephant corps.

Most Surprising & Amazing fact about alexander of Macedon—

According to Greeks, alexander was apparently so impressed by Porus he gave back his Kingdom plus the territories of King Ambhi of Taxila who had fought alongside the Macedonians. Alexander’s ally on the condition he would be given Porus Kingdom. So why reward the enemy, whose army had just mauled the Macedonians? The only answer is at the battle of Hydaspes, the Macedonians realised they were dealing with an enemy of uncommon valour. Sensing defeat they called for a Truce, which Porus had accepted. Here we find a twist—The Indian King struck a bargain—in return for Ambhi’s territories, would assist the Macedonians in leaving India safely.

Alexander’s post—Hydaspes charitable behaviour, as per Greek is very much uncharacteristic and very much unlikely. For, in battles before and after, he used to massacre everyone in the cities he subdued. As they journeyed, alexander and his soldiers saw many new and strange sights. They passed through boundless forests of mighty trees beneath whose branches roosted flock of of wild peacocks. They saw serpents, glittering with golden scales, glide swiftly through the underwood. At length alexander reached the city of Lahore and marched on the banks of river Sutlej beyond. He was very curious and eager to reach the holy river Ganga and conquer the people there. But his men had worn out of the hardships of the way, also fighting under the sun or rains of India, and begged him to go no further. So greatly, against his will Alexander turned back. The Greeks never returned, they settled down the rivers Jhelum and Indus. And very little was known about India those days. The fighters thought that they reached Nile and that they would return home very soon, but they soon discovered their mistake and after long journeying’s reached Macedonia again.

Alexander marched North of India, he hadn’t really conquered, the people although he left Greek garrisons and Greek rulers behind him, and when he died the people quickly revolted against the rule of Macedonia. So, all trace of alexander& his conquests had vanished and the names of the cities which he founded had been changed. But for long ages, the work of the great “Secunder”, as he was known and called him too, lived in the memory of the Indians.

Who defeated Alexander the Great in India?

Greeks believe and say that Alexander was not defeated militarily. He defeated King Porus at the Battle of Hydaspes, albeit with high casualties. The King however, did not proceed further, was forced to retreat. The reasons that the army were Mutinied were—

Soldiers terribly missed their families and became tired of endless battles.

Greek Soldiers feared the might of Nanda army, which had 6,000 war Elephants.

Alexander was also very much wounded. Indian arrow penetrated one of his lungs in the Mallian Campaign

What we can draw conclusions from the above points, according to me is that it was the might and fighting spirit of the Indian Army. Battle of Hydaspes and the Mallian Campaign, Indian resistance was fierce. It was a tough battle for Alexander unlike Persia, In India he had to Siege each Indian city one by one to capture it. If he invaded Nanda empire he then had to face severe fight from opposite side, and probably ended up in the defeat. Greek soldiers know very well about this, and lost their hope to fight. Alexander was also severely wounded due to fierce fight and relentless resistance of the Indian Army as well.

Under severe & Extreme weather conditions, lands, rivers, and people defeated Alexander the Macedonian. What we find in other places that Alexander conquered, he left no satrap, he founded no monument and left no permanent monument in India. I really wonder was his journey just was a conquest to India, or it was misjudged territory by Alexander in the greed of Capturing more territories.  Many version of this Greedy Conqueror Alexander, The Greek & Roman Civilisations are the Wellspring of the Western thought process, science & culture, religion, so A defeat for Alexander would be quite disheartening for them to accept and digest at all. I leave at this juncture for you all to Keep Guessing, My Conclusion – India is a Nation, though many tried to attack & destroy our civilization & Culture, but all will come and go, we are strong Rashtra & a Nation which will destroy enemies with our noblest intentions, similarly we hope Pakistan gets a straight & clear message that India & Indians will always be” UNITEDFOREVER”. We have a master Strategist Like Chanakya, Chandragupta Maurya, Our PM Modi who walks the talk with his strategies has Put Proxies in their Places.

Vande Mataram

Dr.S. Sukanya Iyer

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