Battle Stories of Angels at War

Raffaello's painting "The Meeting Between Leo the Great and Attila"

Raphael/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


When soldiers fight powerful enemies in battle, they may have even more powerful forces helping them: angels. Throughout history, many people at war have prayed for needs such as courage, strength, protection, comfort, encouragement, and guidance. Sometimes, soldiers have reported, angels appear to help meet such needs in wartime. Here's a look at some of the most famous angel stories from battle.

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Angels on the Front Lines

angels of mons WWI

Alfred Pearse/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


The World War I battle that took place near Mons, Belgium in 1914 became famous for its accounts of an army of angels that stood on the front lines between the two warring sides: the British and the Germans. Over six days as the battle raged on, many soldiers and officers from both sides reported that angels dressed in shining white clothing appeared during fierce fighting, sometimes floating in between the two armies or stretching out their hands toward the men.

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Voices Calling Out

Joan of Arc kneeling before angel

Henryk Siemiradzki/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


Joan of Arc, a devout French girl who lived during the 1400s, reported that she heard angelic voices calling out to her to help drive the English army out of France during the Hundred Years War. Between ages 13 and 16, Joan said, she heard and sometimes saw angels (led by Archangel Michael) urging her to meet with Charles, the French Dauphin, and tell him that he should let her command the French army. Charles eventually did give Joan permission to lead the army, despite her lack of military experience. Following the personal guidance of Archangel Michael, Joan successfully led the charge to drive the English invaders out of France, and her many startling predictions about various future events (based on information she said the angels gave her) came true.

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Angels Escorting Souls to Heaven

Halifax Explosion angels
Public Domain

After one of the worst explosions in history -- the Halifax Explosion -- happened in Canada during World War 1, angels appeared to escort the souls of dying people to heaven. Some survivors also said that they suspect guardian angels may have helped them survive inexplicably in a blast that killed about 1,900 people. Why some survived and some didn't is a mystery that only God knows, according to his purposes. Approximately 9,000 of the survivors were injured and about 30,000 survivors had their homes either lost or damaged by the powerful blast, which happened after a French ship (carrying extremely explosive materials like TNT and acid) and a Belgian ship collided in Halifax Harbor. The explosion was so intense that it created a tsunami in the harbor and completely destroyed buildings in the area. Yet angels reportedly showed up in the midst of the tragic suffering to take some to the afterlife and comfort others who had to deal with the aftermath.

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Vision of a New Nation

George Washington in Prayer at Valley Forge

Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


General George Washington told his military aides at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War that a female angel had visited him there to present a dramatic vision of America’s future. The angel commanded him to “look and learn” while watching the vision she showed him of future wars America would fight with other nations and the hardships and victories that would result. As the vision concluded, the angel declared: “Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land, and the Union.” General Washington told his aides that he felt as if the vision had shown him “the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States.”

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Flaming Swords

Raffaello's painting "The Meeting Between Leo the Great and Attila"

Raphael/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


When notorious warrior Attila the Hun and his massive army tried to invade Rome during the year 452, Pope Leo I met with Attila to plead with him to stop threatening Rome. Many people were surprised that, in response, Attila immediately withdrew his army from Rome. Attila said he left the city because he saw two imposing angels wielding flaming swords standing beside Pope Leo I while he was speaking. The angels threatened to kill Attila if he proceeded to invade Rome, Attila reported.

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Invincible Power

battle of Kurukshetra

Artist/maker unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


In the Bhavagad Gita, Lord Krishna (an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu) says that divine beings sometimes help humans fight for righteousness. Comparing his spiritually empowered army to the enemy’s army before the battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna declares in chapter 1, verse 10: “Our army is invincible, while their army is easy to conquer.”

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An Army of Angels

prophet Elisha

Providence Lithograph Company/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain


The Torah and the Bible say in the sixth chapter of 2 Kings that the prophet Elisha gained confidence during war because an invisible army of angels was protecting the Israelites. When one of Elisha’s servants who couldn’t see the angels at first saw the enemy’s army surround the city where they were staying, he panicked and asked Elisha what to do. Verse 16 reports that Elisha replied: “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Elisha prayed that God would open the servant’s eyes, and then the servant was able to see a whole army of angels with chariots of fire in the hills above the city.

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Guarding Children From a Rebel Army

Sad Angel

Cole Vineyard/Getty Images

During the Jeunesse Rebellion in the Republic of Congo in the 1960s, a rebel army planned to attack a boarding school that was home to about 200 children. But despite multiple attempts to storm the school over three days, the army never actually got inside the school. Every time the army approached, the soldiers would stop suddenly and retreat. Finally, they gave up entirely and left the area. Why? A captured rebel said that his army saw an angelic army appear whenever they approached the school: hundreds of angels standing guard around it.

Constant Spiritual Battles Between Good and Evil

Whether or not they intervene in human wars, angels are always fighting spiritual battles between good and evil in the world. Angels are just a prayer away whenever you need help fighting a battle in your own life.

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Your Citation
Hopler, Whitney. "Battle Stories of Angels at War." Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, Hopler, Whitney. (2021, February 8). Battle Stories of Angels at War. Retrieved from Hopler, Whitney. "Battle Stories of Angels at War." Learn Religions. (accessed May 9, 2021).