In 333 BC, on this day the last King of Achaemenid Persia, Darius III was captured by soldiers of the invading Macedonian forces near the mouth of the Pinarus River in southern Anatolia.
Battle of IssusAfter Alexander's forces had successfully forced a crossing of the Hellespont, Persian satraps led by a Greek mercenary, Memnon of Rhodes had been defeated in a prior encounter at the Battle of the Granicus. And so in this second great battle for primacy in Asia, Darius chose to take personal charge of his army, gathering a large army from the depths of the empire. He maneuvered to cut the Macedonian line of supply, requiring Alexander to countermarch his forces, setting the stage for the battle near the mouth of the Pinarus River and south of the village of Issus.
The prospects for Persian victory seemed reasonable. Initially, Alexander chose what was apparently unfavorable ground to attack across which was in fact a feint meant to pin and hold the Persian forces. But this tactic surprised Darius who mistakenly elected to hold position while Alexander then led the true attack personally on the right while instructing the Macedonian phalanx trained infantry, his main body, to make contact and just hold the main Persian army in check; thus in essence he advanced to take up a defensive posture. Meanwhile Alexander personally led the elite Macedonian Companion cavalry against the Persian left up against the hills, and cut up the enemy on the less encumbering terrain generating a quick rout. After achieving a breakthrough, Alexander demonstrated he could achieve the difficult task of holding the cavalry successfully in check after it broke the Persian right. Alexander regrouped, then turned the body into the right flank of the Persian center, butchering Darius' body guard and under generals, provoking a panic and flight
Sensing defeat, Darius hesistated to flee the battlefield due to his reluctance to abandon many family members and a huge amount of treasure. And his departure was impeded by a general rout of fleeing Persian troops that led to a short chariot chase ending in his capture shortly before dark.