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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Battle of Granicus was an important victory in Alexander's goal of crushing the Persian Empire. The Persians were not concerned about the approaching Macedonian forces. They were not concerned about upstart Alexander and did not necessarily respect his military acumen. They decided to take a defensive position along the banks of the River Granicus, located in the northeastern part of Asia Minor. The Persians placed their cavalry right on the river bank and were supported by infantry of Greek mercenaries behind them. They felt the river would be a considerable barrier. The battle between the two forces occurred in May of 334 BC and was over rather quickly with Alexander's forces winning the melee. Alexander concentrated his attack on the center and took heavy losses. The Persian weaponry was no match for the long lances that the Macedonians employed. Much of the Persian leadership was killed early and the troops were an unorganized mess almost from the start. Adding to the folly was the fact that the cavalry was trapped by the muddy river bank and the infantry behind them. Their chariots were rendered ineffective by the muddy conditions.

The Persians suffered heavy losses in the defeat and were in retreat after the loss. The battle was a turning point for Alexander because it almost assured a future defeat of the Persian Empire.