The 5 Most Important Battles That Shaped Modern America And Europe

Published April 10, 2017
Updated February 1, 2024

Battle of Tours, October 10, 732

Battle Of Tours

Wikimedia Commons“Bataille de Poitiers” by Charles de Steuben, shows Charles Martel’s victory over Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi.

Today, the Battle of Tours is a little-known fight that nevertheless had huge consequences over the course of European history.

Also called the Battle of Poitiers, it took place in 732 and was fought between the Carolingian Franks (led by Charles Martel) and Umayyad Caliphate forces (led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi).

Though the Muslim forces outnumbered the Franks by thousands when they invaded Europe, the Carolingians under Martel’s guidance managed to drive the intruders off the continent.

Saracen Invaders

Wikimedia Commons“The Saracen Army outside Paris” by Julius Schnorr, 1822-1827

Historians regard this as the turning point of Christianity and Islam in Europe, with the Franks’ victory securing the role of Christianity as the continent’s primary religion to this day.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.