A pitched battle is a large-scale battle between two opposing forces that is typically fought in a predetermined location. Pitched battles are usually carefully planned and involve the use of all available forces. They can be very bloody and destructive, and often result in significant casualties. Pitched battles have been a feature of warfare throughout history. Some of the most famous pitched battles include the Battle of Marathon, the Battle of Hastings, and the Battle of Waterloo. These battles were all decisive in their outcome and had a major impact on the course of history. In modern warfare, pitched battles are less common than they once were. This is due to the development of new weapons and technologies, such as tanks, aircraft, and nuclear weapons. These weapons have made it possible to fight wars without having to engage in close-quarters combat. However, pitched battles still occur from time to time, and they can still be very bloody and destructive.
The Shakespeare connection
The idea of a battle being pitched appears in Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, Part 1. In the play, the Duke of York says:
“Now is the day of destiny,
To which we are invited by the voice
Of war, to pitch our battle in the plain.”
The battle was a decisive victory for the Yorkists, and it helped to set the stage for the Wars of the Roses.
“Pitched battle” in literature
One of the earliest examples can be found in the epic poem “The Iliad,” which tells the story of the Trojan War. In Book V of the poem, the Greek and Trojan armies engage in a pitched battle that lasts for days. The battle is bloody and costly, and neither side is able to gain a decisive advantage.
“So they spoke, and the two armies clashed in a pitched battle, and the din of war rose to heaven. The Trojans were like a fire that sweeps through a mountain forest, when the wind is blowing strong, and the dry leaves crackle and blaze. The Greeks were like a river in flood, when the rains have swollen it, and it rushes down to the sea, tearing up trees and bushes in its path.
The battle raged all day long, and neither side could gain an advantage. The Trojans fought with great courage, but the Greeks were led by the great warrior Diomedes, who was inspired by the goddess Athena. Diomedes killed many Trojans, including the Trojan prince Hector’s brother, Troilus.
By nightfall, the battle was still raging, and neither side had won. The Greeks and Trojans withdrew to their camps, exhausted and wounded, but determined to continue the fight the next day.”
In The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte by Thomas Carlyle the author describes the Battle of Austerlitz as a “pitched battle”:
“The battle itself was a pitched battle, in the old style; a real fight, hand to hand, of French against Austrian, Russian and Prussian: the last pitched battle that Europe saw for many a long year.”
“Pitched battle” in popular culture
The phrase “pitched battle” has been used in popular culture in a variety of ways. In films and television, it is often used to describe scenes of violence and conflict. For example, the movie “Braveheart” features a number of pitched battles between the Scottish and English armies. And, the television show “Game of Thrones” is known for its many graphic depictions of pitched battles.
In video games, the phrase is often used to describe multiplayer modes where players fight against each other in large-scale battles. For example, the game “World of Warcraft” features a number of pitched battles between players of different factions. And, the game “Battlefield” is known for its large-scale multiplayer battles.
In board games, the phrase “pitched battle” is often used to describe a game mechanic where players fight against each other in a large-scale battle. For example, the game “Risk” is a board game where players fight to conquer the world through pitched battles. And, the game “Catan” features a pitched battle between players for control of the island of Catan.
“Pitched battle” used as a metaphor
The term “pitched battle” is often used as a metaphor to describe any kind of intense conflict or struggle. It suggests that the conflict is evenly matched and likely to be bloody and destructive. The metaphor can be used to describe a wide variety of conflicts, from physical battles to metaphorical struggles. For example, we might say that two companies are engaged in a pitched battle for market share, or that two political parties are locked in a pitched battle over the future of the country.
The phrase “pitched battle” is a powerful image that can be used to evoke a sense of excitement, danger, and suspense.
Sentences using “pitched battle”
- The two armies fought a pitched battle for control of the city.
- The two companies are locked in a pitched battle for market share.
- The two candidates fought a pitched battle for the presidency.
- The two athletes battled it out in a pitched battle for the gold medal.
- The student fought a pitched battle against procrastination.
- The writer fought a pitched battle against writer’s block.
- The athlete fought a pitched battle against the record.
- The company fought a pitched battle against bankruptcy.
Synonyms for pitched battle
fierce contest, brawl, fight, intense battle, melee, riot, rumble.