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How did the Men of the West keep from being defeated at the Battle of the Black Gate?

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Even with Sauron himself being defeated, it was pretty well stated that the armies of Mordor and its allies greatly outnumbered the armies of the West.

While I can understand, if Sauron's armies of orcs and trolls might be weakened or killed if they were vulnerable to sunlight, surely the Easterlings, Haradians, Rhun people, etc could wipe the floor with the warriors of Rohan and Gondor.

I'm curious if they were only fighting on Sauron's side because they were afraid of him (though I have a feeling that, to quote Aragorn or was it someone else, as they stated to the Dunlandings after the Battle of Helms Deep, that they had sided with the enemy and had fought them and got death as their reward, but that they would have gotten little better had they succeeded and won the battle) or if they were controlled by him (meaning that they weren't even acting of their own free will) or if there was some other reason they decided to sue for peace rather than try and take down Gondor and Rohan.
 

Merroe

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As regards the part of the army strictly belonging to Mordor (trolls and orcs), their will was broken as soon as Sauron's sole attention was no longer on them but on the presence of the Ring at Mount Doom:

The Power that drove them on and filled them with hate and fury was wavering, its will was removed from them; and now looking in the eyes of their enemies they saw a deadly light and were afraid.

The ensuing demise of Sauron was apparent for all to see:

And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush fell.

The resulting panic broke the ranks of Easterlings and Southrons:

But the Men of Rhûn and of Harad, Easterling and Southron, saw the ruin of their war and the great majesty and glory of the Captains of the West. And those that were deepest and longest in evil servitude, hating the West, and yet were men proud and bold, in their turn now gathered themselves for a last stand of desperate battle. But the most part fled eastward as they could; and some cast their weapons down and sued for mercy.

Why did they not fight on, you're asking? Their strong ally and dominator was no more. What's the point of trying to win 1 battle, when the whole war is already lost... so, following Sauron's demise, they could choose their options with renewed free will.
 

Squint-eyed Southerner

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In addition, panic in battle spreads quickly., and often unstoppably. There are many historical examples, of which I'm sure Tolkien was aware.
 

Olorgando

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Sauron must have ruled over much of Middle-earth (especially in the east and south?) for much of the Second Age. After his downfall at its end, he would probably (in whatever form) have retreated to his "strongholds" there. The first invasion of Gondor, by Easterlings, is mentioned for the year 490 Third Age in Appendix B in RoTK. Strife with the (near) south at Umbar occurs a bit over 400 years later (933 TA), a conquest of (near) Harad for 1050 TA. So for many of these vassals of Sauron he must have seemed like a god from immense antiquity. And Barad-dûr must have been an absolutely awe-inspiring fortress (I think it would have been twice as high as the Burj Chalifa in Dubai?!?). 😲

To see this mountain of a building really, finally crash to ruins, and realize that those guys opposing them had somehow "killed" their god - probably as impressive to them as say some stone-age tribesmen watching an air fleet of B-52's engaged in carpet bombing. Or perhaps even that atomic mushroom cloud above Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You just want to bet the *bleeeeep* out of there. 🤯
 

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