The Battle of Thermopylae: What gives?
Well, that's a touchy subject to many Greeks. The official story is that the Greeks were wiped out due to the treason of a local named Ephialtes, who led the Persians around the back way to outflank the Greeks on the 2d day of the actual battle.
But here's the real story: Not knowing he was being outflanked, Leonidas dismissed the bulk of the army, keeping only 300 Spartans, 400 Thebans, and 700 Thespians
. Now, what good he thought 700 actors would do is left to your imagination, but the end result was predictable. The Thespians kept stopping to deliver asides, and the Persians - being no-nonsense people - stabbed them. The battle was over within another day.
The Greeks, however, managed to defeat the Persian navy with Salamis (How they beat them with sandwich meat is a mystery, but it IS established fact, look it up for yourself), and eventually, the Greeks beat the Persians at the battle of placenta (which is pretty fucking gross, if you ask me).