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5

Speaking as a New Zealander, the Gallipoli campaign in WW1 is a pretty good example. A complete unmitigated disaster (and not much happier on the Turkish side), but we commemorate it (as do the Australians) because the occasion played a major part in the development of a national identify separate from Britain.


7

The battle of Thermopylae (300 Spartans) is a prime example:-) I think no comments are required because everyone knows this example very well. Persian literature of that time did not survive to our days, but one can be reasonably sure that Persians did not consider this battle as something very important. Moreover, one can conjecture that the battle is so ...


2

Lost battles are most often commemorated when they preceded, or led to, a win. For instance, Bunker Hill was a technically lost battle that led to the successful siege of Boston. The loss of the Alamo, in Texas, preceded the Texas victory at San Jacinto. The ancient Greek equivalent of the Alamo, Thermopylae, was followed by a victory at Salamis. Pearl ...


1

Great responses as usual. The Battle of Kosovo is a major example of the "genre." The overriding theme in "by winning you lose" usually comes down to the idea of a Pyrhric Victory where the enemy achieves a tactical success but at such a cost it becomes a strategic defeat (Bunker Hill in US military lore.) For entire Campaigns certainly Napoleon's against ...


4

One case I haven't seen covered by existing answers is when the commemorator lost the battle but won the war, to so speak. The Battle of Borodino was a disaster for the Russians, who lost a third of their army, as well as one of the most high-profile generals. After the battle, the Russian army retreated in disarray and Napoleon captured Moscow. And yet ...


5

The Battle of Grunwald (taking place near Grunwald/Tannenberg) was a battle fought in 1410 between Polish-Lithuanian army on one side, and Teutonic Knights on the other. The battle resulted in a decisive Polish-Lithuanian victory. In 1914, as a part of WW1, the Battle of Tannenberg was actually fought near Allenstein between Germany and Russia, resulting in ...


42

The battle caused mass casualties. The commemoration is part of the mourning. Example: Stalingrad from the German viewpoint. The battle showed outstanding heroism from the defeated side. The commemoration celebrates the heroes. Example: Camerone from the Foreign Legion viewpoint. The battle was perceived as perfidy from the winning side. The defeated side is ...


10

Per your comment "I am interested in ... the conditions under which the loser comes to actively keep memories of the battle alive." Conditions for retaining a memorial of the defeat include the symbolism associated with the battle the larger cultural reasons/struggles behind the battle celebration of martyrs the sense of group identity it ...


36

Battle of the Alamo is certainly remembered in Texas, and they certainly lost that battle. Pearl Harbor was a major loss to the United States, and is still commemorated annually. In these two cases the prior losses became rallying cries in future battles, which were victories. The Romans lost the Battle of the Caudine Forks, 321 BC, for which the ...


8

My impression is that the siege of Sevastopol (1854) is more remembered by the side that lost (Russians). Some of the great Russian literature is written about it, and it is very much reflected in Russian art. Museum commemorating this siege is the main sightseeing in Sevastopol. It is true this siege is remembered by the British and French as well (one of ...


1

Even though Napoleon had "broken camp" at Boulogne before the battle, Trafalgar "made sure" that this camp would stay broken. because the French (and Spanish) suffered such severe losses that the invasion of Britain was impossible for some years. This ensured that French might would be headed east to Austria, Prussia, and ultimately Russia, after 1805; that ...



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