Weird History

The Most Important Battles in US History

List Rules
Vote simply on how impactful a given battle was to the course of US history, regardless of whether you were happy with the outcome, etc.

The most significant major battles in American history, ranked by everyone. Anyone can vote on this list, making these rankings a good way to determine how important these battles were to the development of the United States. Therefore, your votes should be based on how crucial you feel these battles were, not whether you are a fan of the outcome or how much you agree with the reasons for fighting.

The course of US history was significantly altered by each of these famous battles in American history. There may be obscure wars in US History, but these famous American battles helped the US become the country it is today, for better or worse. There's no denying that, whether or not you agree with the politics of war, these important battles were fought during some of the most important wars in history and left their mark on many countries, not just the United States. Many even rank among the most important historical events in US history, or even world history.

Bear in mind, these results are not limited to battles fought within the territory of the United States. Feel free to include any other battles that you think directly impacted the future course of events in the United States.

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Ranked by
  • Battle of Midway
    1
    Midway Atoll, United States of America
    • Part of: Pacific War, World War II
    • Combatants: United States of America, Empire of Japan
    • Commanders: Isoroku Yamamoto, Chūichi Nagumo, Chester W. Nimitz, Tamon Yamaguchi, Raymond A. Spruance
  • Invasion of Normandy
    2
    • Part of: Operation Overlord, World War II, Normandy Campaign
    • Events: Battle of Carentan, Operation Spring, Operation Martlet, Sword Beach Landings, Battle of Verrières Ridge
    • Combatants: Netherlands, Kingdom of Greece, Nazi Germany, Free French, New Zealand
    • Commanders: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Omar Bradley
  • Siege of Yorktown
    3
    Virginia, United States of America
    • Part of: American Civil War, Peninsula Campaign
    • Events: Battle of Lee's Mills
    • Combatants: Confederate States of America, United States of America, Union
    • Commanders: Joseph E. Johnston, George B. McClellan
  • Battle of Gettysburg
    4
    Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Part of: American Civil War, Gettysburg Campaign
    • Events: Battle of Gettysburg, Second Day, Battle of Gettysburg, First Day, Anderson's assault
    • Combatants: Confederate States of America, United States of America, Union
    • Commanders: George Meade, Robert E. Lee
  • Battles of Lexington and Concord
    5
    Massachusetts, United States of America
    • Part of: American Revolutionary War
    • Combatants: Province of Massachusetts Bay, United Kingdom
  • Battles of Saratoga
    6
    New York, United States of America
    • Part of: American Revolutionary War
    • Combatants: Kingdom of Great Britain, Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Hanau, United States of America
    • Commanders: Benedict Arnold, John Burgoyne
  • Attack on Pearl Harbor
    7
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States of America
    • Part of: Pacific War, World War II
    • Combatants: United States of America, Empire of Japan
    • Commanders: Isoroku Yamamoto, Chūichi Nagumo
  • Battle of the Bulge
    8
    Ardennes, Belgium
    • Part of: World War II
    • Events: Losheim Gap, Operation Bodenplatte, Siege of Bastogne, Battle of St. Vith, Elsenborn Ridge
    • Combatants: United States of America, United Kingdom, Nazi Germany
    • Commanders: George S. Patton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Josef Dietrich
  • Battle of Trenton
    9
    Trenton, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Part of: New York and New Jersey campaign, American Revolutionary War
    • Events: George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River
    • Combatants: Kingdom of Great Britain, Hesse, Patriot, Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel
    • Commanders: Johann Rall, George Washington
  • Battle of Bunker Hill
    10
    Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Part of: American Revolutionary War
    • Combatants: Province of Massachusetts Bay, Kingdom of Great Britain, Connecticut Colony, Patriot
    • Commanders: Henry Clinton, William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe
  • Vicksburg Campaign
    11
    Vicksburg, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Part of: Western Theater of the American Civil War
    • Events: Grant's Operations Against Vicksburg, Yazoo Pass Expedition
    • Combatants: Confederate States of America, Union
  • Battle of Antietam
    12
    Sharpsburg, Maryland, United States of America
    • Part of: Maryland Campaign, American Civil War
    • Combatants: Confederate States of America, United States of America, Union
    • Commanders: Robert E. Lee, George B. McClellan
  • Battle of Okinawa
    13
    Okinawa Island, Japan
    • Part of: Pacific War, World War II
    • Events: Cactus Ridge, The Pinnacle, Battle of Okinawa
    • Combatants: United States of America, Empire of Japan, United Kingdom
    • Commanders: Seiichi Itō, Minoru Ōta, Joseph Stilwell, Roy Geiger, Mitsuru Ushijima
  • Battle of the Coral Sea
    14
    • Part of: Pacific War, World War II
    • Events: Invasion of Tulagi
    • Combatants: Allies of World War II, Empire of Japan
    • Commanders: Douglas MacArthur, Thomas C. Kinkaid
  • Battle of Iwo Jima
    15
    Iwo Jima, Japan
    • Part of: Pacific War, World War II
    • Combatants: United States of America, Empire of Japan
    • Commanders: Marc Mitscher, Holland Smith, Graves B. Erskine, Tadamichi Kuribayashi, Alexander Vandegrift
  • 16

    Civil War

  • Guadalcanal Campaign
    17
    Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
    • Part of: Pacific War, World War II
    • Events: Battle of Edson's Ridge
    • Combatants: Allies of World War II, Empire of Japan
    • Commanders: Isoroku Yamamoto, William Halsey, Jr.
  • Battle of Shiloh
    18
    Tennessee, United States of America
    • Part of: American Civil War
    • Combatants: Confederate States of America, United States of America, Ulysses S. Grant, Union
    • Commanders: Ulysses S. Grant, P. G. T. Beauregard, Don Carlos Buell, Albert Sidney Johnston
  • Allied invasion of Sicily
    19
    • Part of: World War II, Italian Campaign
    • Events: Battle of Gela, Operation Ladbroke, Battle of Troina, Operation Fustian, Operation Chestnut
    • Combatants: Allies of World War II, Kingdom of Italy, Axis powers, Nazi Germany
    • Commanders: George S. Patton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Harold Alexander
  • Battle of Cowpens
    20
    South Carolina, United States of America
    • Part of: American Revolutionary War
    • Combatants: Kingdom of Great Britain
  • Capture of Fort Ticonderoga
    21
    Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, New York
    • Part of: Invasion of Canada, American Revolutionary War
    • Combatants: Province of Massachusetts Bay, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Kingdom of Great Britain, Connecticut Colony
    • Commanders: Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold, William Delaplace
  • Battle of Fort Sumter
    22
    Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina
    • Part of: American Civil War
    • Combatants: Confederate States of America, Union
    • Commanders: Robert Anderson, P. G. T. Beauregard
  • Battle of New Orleans
    23
    Chalmette, United States of America
    • Part of: War of 1812
    • Combatants: Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, United States of America, United Kingdom
    • Commanders: John Coffee, John Lambert, Edward Pakenham, Alexander Cochrane, William Carroll
  • Battle of Fort McHenry
    24

    Battle of Fort McHenry

    Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
    • Part of: War of 1812
  • Battle of the Chesapeake
    25
    • Part of: American Revolutionary War
    • Combatants: Early modern France, Kingdom of Great Britain
    • Commanders: François Joseph Paul de Grasse
    Decided the American Revolution, allowed the Siege of Yorktown. A rare strategic defeat for the Royal Navy.