Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > War and Military History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

War and Military History War and Military History Forum - Warfare, Tactics, and Military Technology over the centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old July 11th, 2016, 03:43 PM   #11

sonofstars's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Aug 2014
From: Canada
Posts: 1,009

Also Early Prodigies (Alexander, Germanicus, Akbar, Napoleon, etc) vs Late Bloomers (Julius Caesar and most modern military commanders).

Last edited by sonofstars; July 11th, 2016 at 03:46 PM.
sonofstars is offline  
Remove Ads
Old July 11th, 2016, 09:27 PM   #12

Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar
General Without Peer
 
Joined: Jan 2015
From: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,275
Blog Entries: 19

Hannibal Barca (25 when he took command of Hispania), Philip of Macedon (23 when he led his first campaign), Han Xin (about 24 when Liu Bang gave him his first command) and Oda Nobunaga (was 13 when he led his first campaign, took over the clan at the age of 16 or 17) would be examples of an "Early Prodigy". A "Late Prodigy" would probably be Hamilcar Barca (was about 32 when he was first mentioned), Henri vicomte de Turenne (about 33 when he was given command of an army) and Cao Cao (the first time he led his own army was when he was 45).

More on Cao Cao: At the age of 20 (in 175) he had completed the district examinations and was appointed a district captain in Luoyang. From 177 to 178 he served as a Magistrate in Dunqiu county. By 180 he had been promoted to be a Court Counselor to Emperor Ling. He did not command troops until 184 where he led the cavalry troops in the war against the Yellow Turban rebels under the Imperial general Huangfu Song in Yu province, Ji province and You province. In 185 he was promoted to Chancellor of Jinan in Qing province, he was about 30 at the time, a post he held until 187.
But it was not until 190 (making him 45 years old) that Cao Cao commanded an army, his own army of about 5,000 men, as part of the alliance against the chancellor of state Dong Zhuo. He continued campaigning until his death in 220 when he was 65 years old. It is interesting that a man who led an army so late in life would be so skilled in so many of the categories listed.
Actually the "Record of Three Kingdoms" claims that he was as skilled as Bai Qi and Han Xin!

Last edited by Lord Oda Nobunaga; July 11th, 2016 at 09:38 PM.
Lord Oda Nobunaga is online now  
Old July 12th, 2016, 07:18 AM   #13

nuclearguy165's Avatar
Snake's Eye
 
Joined: Nov 2011
From: Ohio, USA
Posts: 3,610

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Oda Nobunaga View Post
Hannibal Barca (25 when he took command of Hispania), Philip of Macedon (23 when he led his first campaign), Han Xin (about 24 when Liu Bang gave him his first command) and Oda Nobunaga (was 13 when he led his first campaign, took over the clan at the age of 16 or 17) would be examples of an "Early Prodigy". A "Late Prodigy" would probably be Hamilcar Barca (was about 32 when he was first mentioned), Henri vicomte de Turenne (about 33 when he was given command of an army) and Cao Cao (the first time he led his own army was when he was 45).

More on Cao Cao: At the age of 20 (in 175) he had completed the district examinations and was appointed a district captain in Luoyang. From 177 to 178 he served as a Magistrate in Dunqiu county. By 180 he had been promoted to be a Court Counselor to Emperor Ling. He did not command troops until 184 where he led the cavalry troops in the war against the Yellow Turban rebels under the Imperial general Huangfu Song in Yu province, Ji province and You province. In 185 he was promoted to Chancellor of Jinan in Qing province, he was about 30 at the time, a post he held until 187.
But it was not until 190 (making him 45 years old) that Cao Cao commanded an army, his own army of about 5,000 men, as part of the alliance against the chancellor of state Dong Zhuo. He continued campaigning until his death in 220 when he was 65 years old. It is interesting that a man who led an army so late in life would be so skilled in so many of the categories listed.
Actually the "Record of Three Kingdoms" claims that he was as skilled as Bai Qi and Han Xin!
Charles XII of Sweden fits here as well, no? Charles won the Battle of Narva at just 18.

Last edited by nuclearguy165; July 12th, 2016 at 07:24 AM.
nuclearguy165 is offline  
Old July 12th, 2016, 07:30 AM   #14

Asherman's Avatar
Moderator
 
Joined: May 2013
From: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 2,603
Blog Entries: 34

VHS, you are commended for tackling Clausewitz in Chinese translation. I've know Doctoral candidates who were intimidated, and who didn't see the applications of the book to subjects far afield from military sciences. Your post above already demonstrate your learning. On War is one of the most useful studies on organization and winning any competition. "War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means."

It must be apparent to all that I prefer the careful study and structure of analysis, over emotional reaction to single/few examples. Listing people by their legends and popularity seems a waste of time since there is nothing to be learned in the exercise. I Love all of the people listed above and George Washington, RE Lee, the young Napoleon, Marlborough, Marshall, Grant, etc., etc. That's not an ordered list, and I love/hate 'em for different readings. None are perfect, and the closer an individual is to total failure, the more interesting their back-story might be.

The list from Clausewitz is, if memory serves, near the beginning of a much longer analysis and discussion of the importance and needs of a successful commander. BTW, Clausewitz was a Prussian Officer during the Napoleonic Wars, and so he tended to like Wellington, and admire Napoleon. Jomini, who is often studied with Clausewitz, was also a teacher and his book "The Art of War" is considered by many as a more practical study of lessons from Napoleonic Wars. Clausewitz is more theoretical and he delves more deeply into regions often neglected by top flight military historians.

I intended here to give you Jomini's list of the characteristics of successful military command. I had the book off the shelf within the last month, and now can't find it. Perhaps someone else can supply what I can not today.

Don't hold me to any of this:

Successful commanders have talent:

1. In inspiring subordinates to act with courage above and beyond what human's normally do. Subordinates sacrifice themselves for the greater "glory" of their fellows and organization. A slogan popular in the Grande Arme was that, every soldier carries a Marshal's Baton in his knapsack". "Moral is 9/10 of every victory".

2. In quickly discerning the advantages and problems with each potential battlefield, and adjusts his plan accordingly. As a general rule, its take the high ground. The Roman Army at Cannae held the high ground against Hannibal with a vastly greater force whose flanks outreached the Carthaginian Army. Hannibal, consolidated his men on swampy ground next to a lake, and out of view of the Roman command. When the Romans attacked it was bye-bye to lots and lots of Roman guys. Wellington is another who could see a battlefield at a glance and fit his actions to it.

3. Effectively mislead the enemy into positions where his forces are reduced and surprised when attacked with superior forces. Surprise!

4. Manage his logistics to maintain an effective fighting force. Adequate food, appropriate clothing, equipment, arms and munitions is often the tipping point of battle.

5. Knowledge of what the enemy commander is capable of, his character and intentions is often vital.

I have a feeling here that I'm mixing advice from more than one famous military writer, so best to stop before making any greater fool of myself.

Last edited by Asherman; July 12th, 2016 at 07:32 AM.
Asherman is offline  
Old July 12th, 2016, 10:29 AM   #15

Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar
General Without Peer
 
Joined: Jan 2015
From: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,275
Blog Entries: 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by VHS View Post
Let's make it clearer:
1) The commander-in-chief who is in general command. (If On War is correct, this would be an all-rounder.)
2) Operational
3) Intelligence
4) Logistics
5) Irregular or guerrilla warfare
6) Maintenance or repairs
7) Defense
8) Offense

Unfortunately, many people have been placed in the wrong position.
I think Defense and Offense would be sub-categories of tactical. Not all commanders are tactical, some can best serve on the strategic level and while they might command armies they could delegate the tactical engagements or battles to a subordinate on the Corps level or Army level.

I don't think the Commander-in-Chief necessarily needs to be an all rounder. Chances are he would be spending his time inside of the main HQ coordinating Armies and entire Fronts or Army Groups which would be commanded by other generals. That said the Commander-in-Chief's priorities are to formulate the grand strategy, coordinate with the various armies and fronts and ensure that his staff in his personal HQ are delegating all of this and doing their jobs as they should be and if he is also the ruler of a state then he must dictate political and diplomatic goals as well as military.

I also do not understand #6 "Maintenance or repairs" what exactly does this mean? Repair what exactly? A fort or a ship? I would also say that repairing would be a job for a subordinate. This category as well could also go under logistics or if in the case of fortifications then defense for you or tactical in my case.

For the category of Intelligence I do think this is vital but I feel it would go more under the category of strategy or operational. A commanding general very rarely puts themselves in charge of intelligence and is usually the job of a subordinate. An example would be the head of the CIA who is not a commanding general but nevertheless has a crucial role. Actually my list was made to have field commanders and campaign generals in mind.
Lord Oda Nobunaga is online now  
Old July 12th, 2016, 11:45 AM   #16
Lecturer
 
Joined: Jan 2016
From: Macedonia
Posts: 432

Tactical has many subcategories

1) offensive
2) defensive
3) innovator (Hannibal tops this)
4) facilitator (the one who doesn't bring something new to tactics but he excells in what already exists, ie. Marlborough)
5) planner (the one who is better in planning tactics than executing them, ie. Tilly @ Breitenfeld)
6) executor (this one is a subordinate great at executing tactics better than planning, ie. Massena)
7) besieger
8) frontal
9) flanker
10) daring (he who uses unorthodox methods in battle for tactical purposes, like flying columns, combined arms groups, a fourth line etc. Guys such as Gustavus, Alexander or Caesar fit into this category, who are characterized by strong belief in themselves)
11) cautious (he who knows of the aforementioned methods but he deems them too dangerous to execute in the mid of battle, ie. Kutuzov, Wellington etc. These guys are most of the time persons characterized by composure)


Based on those criteria, Frederick for example can be called a "daring, offensive innovator, good at both planning and execution, an aficionado of the flanking assault, average at siege warfare"

Wellington on the other hand can be called a "cautious, defensive facilitator, good at both planning and execution, more familiar with the frontal assault, average at siege warfare".


That's about tactics. Other fields have their subdivisions too.
Don Cartagena is offline  
Old July 12th, 2016, 07:41 PM   #17

VHS's Avatar
VHS
Viable Human Solutions
 
Joined: Dec 2015
From: Human habitat of Canada
Posts: 2,597

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Cartagena View Post
Tactical has many subcategories

1) offensive
2) defensive
3) innovator (Hannibal tops this)
4) facilitator (the one who doesn't bring something new to tactics but he excells in what already exists, ie. Marlborough)
5) planner (the one who is better in planning tactics than executing them, ie. Tilly @ Breitenfeld)
6) executor (this one is a subordinate great at executing tactics better than planning, ie. Massena)
7) besieger
8) frontal
9) flanker
10) daring (he who uses unorthodox methods in battle for tactical purposes, like flying columns, combined arms groups, a fourth line etc. Guys such as Gustavus, Alexander or Caesar fit into this category, who are characterized by strong belief in themselves)
11) cautious (he who knows of the aforementioned methods but he deems them too dangerous to execute in the mid of battle, ie. Kutuzov, Wellington etc. These guys are most of the time persons characterized by composure)


Based on those criteria, Frederick for example can be called a "daring, offensive innovator, good at both planning and execution, an aficionado of the flanking assault, average at siege warfare"

Wellington on the other hand can be called a "cautious, defensive facilitator, good at both planning and execution, more familiar with the frontal assault, average at siege warfare".


That's about tactics. Other fields have their subdivisions too.
Zhuge Liang, the well-known commander of the Shu military during the Three Kingdoms era, was known to be cautious because he could not afford more losses.
I guess Shu was doomed strategically since the loss of Guan Yu.
On the other hand, his daring general Wei Yan proposed a surprise attack on Chang'An; although the cost might be minimal, Zhuge Liang still didn't approve it.
The losses by Guan Yu and Liu Bei probably meant that Shu lacked the material and human resources to restore the Han Dynasty.
VHS is online now  
Old July 13th, 2016, 04:06 AM   #18

The Living Daylights's Avatar
Archivist
 
Joined: Jul 2016
From: Somewhere far, far away...
Posts: 147

I don't have a list myself, but I definitely feel that military generals (or people in general) are better divided based on their approach to things and their mindset as opposed to how successful they were.
The Living Daylights is offline  
Old July 17th, 2016, 07:49 PM   #19

VHS's Avatar
VHS
Viable Human Solutions
 
Joined: Dec 2015
From: Human habitat of Canada
Posts: 2,597

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherman View Post
VHS, you are commended for tackling Clausewitz in Chinese translation. I've know Doctoral candidates who were intimidated, and who didn't see the applications of the book to subjects far afield from military sciences. Your post above already demonstrate your learning. On War is one of the most useful studies on organization and winning any competition. "War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means."

It must be apparent to all that I prefer the careful study and structure of analysis, over emotional reaction to single/few examples. Listing people by their legends and popularity seems a waste of time since there is nothing to be learned in the exercise. I Love all of the people listed above and George Washington, RE Lee, the young Napoleon, Marlborough, Marshall, Grant, etc., etc. That's not an ordered list, and I love/hate 'em for different readings. None are perfect, and the closer an individual is to total failure, the more interesting their back-story might be.

The list from Clausewitz is, if memory serves, near the beginning of a much longer analysis and discussion of the importance and needs of a successful commander. BTW, Clausewitz was a Prussian Officer during the Napoleonic Wars, and so he tended to like Wellington, and admire Napoleon. Jomini, who is often studied with Clausewitz, was also a teacher and his book "The Art of War" is considered by many as a more practical study of lessons from Napoleonic Wars. Clausewitz is more theoretical and he delves more deeply into regions often neglected by top flight military historians.

I intended here to give you Jomini's list of the characteristics of successful military command. I had the book off the shelf within the last month, and now can't find it. Perhaps someone else can supply what I can not today.

Don't hold me to any of this:

Successful commanders have talent:

1. In inspiring subordinates to act with courage above and beyond what human's normally do. Subordinates sacrifice themselves for the greater "glory" of their fellows and organization. A slogan popular in the Grande Arme was that, every soldier carries a Marshal's Baton in his knapsack". "Moral is 9/10 of every victory".

2. In quickly discerning the advantages and problems with each potential battlefield, and adjusts his plan accordingly. As a general rule, its take the high ground. The Roman Army at Cannae held the high ground against Hannibal with a vastly greater force whose flanks outreached the Carthaginian Army. Hannibal, consolidated his men on swampy ground next to a lake, and out of view of the Roman command. When the Romans attacked it was bye-bye to lots and lots of Roman guys. Wellington is another who could see a battlefield at a glance and fit his actions to it.

3. Effectively mislead the enemy into positions where his forces are reduced and surprised when attacked with superior forces. Surprise!

4. Manage his logistics to maintain an effective fighting force. Adequate food, appropriate clothing, equipment, arms and munitions is often the tipping point of battle.

5. Knowledge of what the enemy commander is capable of, his character and intentions is often vital.

I have a feeling here that I'm mixing advice from more than one famous military writer, so best to stop before making any greater fool of myself.
The Chinese translation of On War is so awful that I switch to the English translation again.

Carl von Clausewitz: ON WAR. Table of Contents.

Victorian English is still NOT that different from contemporary English.
VHS is online now  
Old January 12th, 2017, 12:26 AM   #20

Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar
General Without Peer
 
Joined: Jan 2015
From: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,275
Blog Entries: 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclearguy165 View Post
Charles XII of Sweden fits here as well, no? Charles won the Battle of Narva at just 18.
For some reason I always miss your posts.
Yes I suppose that Charles XII does count as an early prodigy.

I'm sure that there are many others as well.
I believe that Conde was 22 at the time of Rocroi.

Napoleon was 22 or 23 when he led his military activity in Corsica with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 24 at Toulon I believe, with the rank of Major.
He was 26 when he put down the uprising in Paris and was appointed to command the Army of Italy.
Lord Oda Nobunaga is online now  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > War and Military History

Tags
discuss, leaders, military, types



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Homosexual military leaders Don Cartagena General History 51 March 28th, 2016 11:19 PM
What types of gladiators had advantages over what types? OgreBattle War and Military History 2 November 24th, 2015 10:44 AM
Lets discuss the greatest military generals of the Pre Sultanate India greatstreetwarrior Asian History 0 June 5th, 2015 02:15 AM
Top 100 greatest military leaders of all times.IMO. Gevorg of Armenia War and Military History 32 December 30th, 2012 02:59 AM
Greatest Political Leaders to act as Military Leaders DIVUS IVLIVS War and Military History 5 September 12th, 2009 10:17 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.