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The Most Important Battles in US History

Updated February 1, 2021 32.3k votes 4.3k voters 229.6k views67 items

List RulesVote 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.

  • 1
    The Invasion of Normandy was the invasion by and establishment of Western Allied forces in...  more
  • 2

    Battle of Midway

    Midway Atoll, United States of America
    The Battle of Midway was a crucial and decisive naval battle in the Pacific Theatre of World...  more

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  • 3

    Battle of Gettysburg

    Pennsylvania, United States of America
    The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg,...  more

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  • 4

    Siege of Yorktown

    Virginia, United States of America
    The Battle of Yorktown or Siege of Yorktown was fought from April 5 to May 4, 1862, as part of...  more
  • 5

    Battles of Saratoga

    New York, United States of America
    The Battles of Saratoga marked the climax of the Saratoga campaign giving a decisive victory...  more
  • 6

    Battles of Lexington and Concord

    Massachusetts, United States of America
    The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American...  more
  • 7

    Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
    The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese...  more

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  • 8

    Battle of Trenton

    Trenton, New Jersey
    The Battle of Trenton was a small but pivotal battle during the American Revolutionary War...  more
  • 9

    Battle of the Bulge

    Ardennes, Belgium
    The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely...  more

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    #40 of 49 The Most Incredible Sieges of All Time#7 of 7 Pivotal Battles of World War 2 (European Front)

  • 10

    Battle of Bunker Hill

    Charlestown, Boston
    The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775, during the Siege of Boston in the early...  more
  • 11

    Battle of Antietam

    Sharpsburg, Maryland
    The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South,...  more
  • 12

    Vicksburg Campaign

    Vicksburg, Mississippi
    The Vicksburg Campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in the Western Theater of the...  more
  • 13

    Battle of Iwo Jima

    Iwo Jima, Japan
    The Battle of Iwo Jima was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces landed and...  more
  • 14

    Battle of Okinawa

    Okinawa Island, Japan
    The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of...  more

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    #3 of 12 The 12 Most Consequential Final Battles In The History of Warfare#194 of 212 List of Naval Battles

  • 15

    Guadalcanal Campaign

    Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
    The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation...  more
  • 16

    Battle of Shiloh

    Tennessee, United States of America
    The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major battle in the...  more
  • 17

    Battle of Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter, Charleston
    The Battle of Fort Sumter was the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter, near Charleston,...  more
  • 18

    Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

    Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga
    The Capture of Fort Ticonderoga occurred during the American Revolutionary War on May 10,...  more
  • 19

    Battle of New Orleans

    Chalmette, United States of America
    The Battle of New Orleans was a series of engagements fought between December 24, 1814,...  more
  • 20
    The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought during 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the...  more
  • 21
    The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign,...  more
  • 22

    Battle of the Alamo

    San Antonio, Texas
    The Battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege,...  more
  • 23
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  • 24

    Battle of San Jacinto

    Deer Park, Texas
    The Battle of San Jacinto, fought on April 21, 1836, in present-day Harris County, Texas, was...  more
  • 25
    Decided the American Revolution, allowed the Siege of Yorktown. A rare strategic defeat for the Royal Navy.
    The Battle of the Chesapeake, also known as the Battle of the Virginia Capes or simply the...  more