The Greek Navy at the Battle of Salamis among the Best 5 in History

September 22, 2021

NEW YORK – The Greek Navy at the Battle of Salamis during the Second Persian Invasion in 480 BC is among the best five navies in history, according to an article in The National Interest (TNI).

“The most powerful navy of each period of human history is always relative,” TNI reported, pointing out that “the Greek Navy recounted by Herodotus is nowhere near as powerful as the U.S. Navy of Samuel Eliot Morison.”

Nevertheless, both made a sizable contribution to the security of their respective countries,” TNI reported, noting that “each was the most powerful navy of its time, and shaped the world around it to make the world we know today.”

“The Greek Navy at the time of Second Persian invasion was not the largest in the known world,” TNI reported, adding that “instead, it beat that navy [Persian] and through its victory preserved western civilization.”

“A land power, the Persian Empire created a navy out of conquered seafaring nations,” TNI reported, noting that “this multinational force included Phoenicians, Egyptians, Cypriots, and sailors from various parts of Greece and Asia Minor.”

“The Persian fleet numbered 1,207 triremes – the standard oared warship of the time – but lost roughly 250 before Salamis to storms and skirmishing at Artemisium,” TNI reported, adding that “the Greeks, led by Athens and Sparta, assembled a force of 381 triremes” and “although outnumbered at least two to one, the Greek Navy at Salamis inflicted such losses that the Persian Navy was forced to withdraw.”

“The Greek naval victory at Salamis had two major outcomes,” TNI reported, noting that “the Greek Navy protected the sea flank of the Greek armies, preventing Xerxes from outflanking them with an amphibious landing,” and “second, Persian losses were significant enough that Xerxes ordered a withdrawal of the navy, and the invasion was brought to a halt.”

The Chinese Navy in 1433 AD, the British Royal Navy from 1815-1918, the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1941, and the United States Navy in 1945 were also on the list of best navies in history.


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