Siege of Tyre 332BC

During his attempt to overcome the Persian empire, Alexander the Great set his sights on the city of Tyre, one guarded by great walls and a city that would allow him to safely invade Egypt in the future as well as preventing revolts in Greece. Prior to this invasion, Alexander had battled Darius, the Persian King, at Issus and defeated him, leaving Darius to flee whilst he suffered an injury to the thigh. His siege of Tyre was good propaganda which would allow him to terrify Darius into submission whilst conquering much needed territory and naval fleets.

In order to attack the island, Alexander had to build a mole to provide access to the city. As well as this, he established two defence towers which were burnt down by the Tyrians in a desperate attempt to save their city. In response, the Macedonians contracted a broader mole and built more towers, as well as sailing around the island continuously to identify weak spots in the walls protecting it. The Tyrians filled ports with boulders so that Alexander’s fleets could not dock but they soon solved this problem by dragging the boulders away with chains and divers. This really shows how well adaptable Alexander’s tactics were when faced with difficulties in battle and out.


Because Alexander intended to pursue a land campaign, he disbanded his fleet in 333BC to save any unnecessary expense. To combat his lack of naval force, he hired a Phoenician fleet and a Cyprian fleet to help besiege Tyre. The Tyrian navy was strong and attacked the Cyprian’s however the Tyrians were soon defeated and Alexander was able to take control of the coastline facing the Mediterranean sea.

Alexander’s next stop… Gaza.


(All pictures from Google images.)







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