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The Battle of SalamisJust across the water, off the coast of the island of Salamis, the Athenian navy and its allies congregated. Salamis was perhaps the only place off Greece where the Persians could not make use of their vastly superior numbers. The narrowness of the channel would also maximizethe greater maneuverability of the superior Greek triremes.A Spartan was appointed commander in chief because of the respect and decisiveness such seasoned warriors evoked in their men, but few were under any illusion as to the real mastermind behind the plan. Themistocles of Athens had spent years preparing for this fateful confrontation with Persia, and now his moment had arrived. But as the days of waiting wore on, and the flames of ravaged Athens gathered in the distant skies, the war council began to lose itsnerve…With his plan under threat, Themistocles was forced to take the initiative. By night he sent a messenger to the Persian king, Xerxes, informing him that the Greeks intended to flee. Unless he acted now, Xerxes would lose the opportunity to defeat the Greeks in one fell swoop. The Persian king took the bait.As dawn broke Xerxes sat upon his portable throne overlooking the sea, and prepared to relish his victory over the defiant Greeks. However, as his vast armada sailed into the narrow straits between Salamis and the coast, they were met not by a fleet in disarray, but a well-ordered line of triremes, packed with Greek crewmen singing battle songs. Themistocles had forced them to
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World History, Battle of Thermopylae, Persians, Battle of Salamis, King Xerxes, Salamis