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Khalid ibn al-Walid versus Andarzaghar: A Rashidun army under Khalid seeks to annihilate a Sassanid Persian army under Andarzaghar before a second Sassanid Persian army can arrive. Can Khalid decisively defeat Andarzaghar without it being just a pyrrhic victory before the second army arrives?
This is yet another important stepping stone to Muslim conquest of the Middle East, each one more remarkable than the last.
This battle is touted as the East’s answer to Cannae, both of which involve commanders using a double envelopment maneuver to annihilate a larger army. It is said that Khalid had never heard of Hannibal and his execution of the double envelopment maneuver is certainly unique to Hannibal’s at Cannae. While Hannibal’s double envelopment has been studied extensively, its result explained by the Roman commander’s impetuousness against Hannibal’s brilliant deployment and execution, Khalid’s double envelopment requires more explanation. How did the Rashidun cavalry simply deploy in the Persian rear and remain there until the climax of the battle without being detected? This is a common mistake of ancient and medieval commanders (see Daras or Torvioll), but it still requires further explanation in this case.
After I announced Season V, I held a poll asking viewers to vote on which animation they would like to see released first. Tyre, Cowpens and Six Days’ took an early lead but Walaja somehow beat them all. I was shocked to see such interest in a medieval, non-European battle. The result was abandoning two animations halfway done while I hurried to finish Walaja.
I am glad that this battle did not feature an intense debate over numbers and casualties as I went through with Yarmuk. Sources were relatively few for this battle so I have personally filled in a few holes that arose in my research with common sense. I have no doubt that any of them will arouse suspicion or even be noticed.
– Jonathan Webb
Akram, Agha Ibrahim. The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin al-Waleed – His Life and Campaigns. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Muir, William. Annals of the Early Caliphate A.D. 632-680. Amsterdam: Oriental, 1968.
Tabari, Jarir al. The Challenge to the Empires. Translated by Khalid Yahya Blankinship, vol. XI of The History of al-Tabari. Albany: State University, 1993.
Map of the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_map_projections
Map of Western Eurasia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Persia_600ad.jpg.
Rashidun cavalry: www.tedtoy.com/newtoysoldiers.htm
Rashidun cavalry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_96_figure_1.htm
Rashidun infantry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_100_figure_1.htm
Sassanid Persian cavalry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_73b_figure_1.htm
Sassanid Persian infantry: http://www.dbaol.com/armies/army_73b_figure_1.htm
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