Hydaspes, Battle of the


Hydaspes, Battle of the

▪ 326 BC
      (326 BC), fourth and last pitched battle fought by Alexander the Great during his campaign of conquest in Asia. It took place after Alexander's conquest of the Achaemenidian Empire and immediately before his army began the journey homeward to Macedonia. Porus, the Indian ruler of the territory between the Jhelum and the Chenāb rivers (in modern Pakistan), was his opponent. After facing the Indians for days across an unfordable river, Alexander, by using diversionary tactics, managed to cross the stream above their camp. More troublesome to Alexander than the numerical superiority of Porus' 34,000-man army were the 200 elephants that threatened the effectiveness of the Macedonian cavalry. During the battle, Alexander overwhelmed Porus' left wing, forcing it back upon the elephants, which panicked and plunged riderless into the Indian ranks. The Macedonian phalanx then routed the enemy. Alexander made an alliance with Porus and allowed him to remain ruler in his kingdom.

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