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Old November 13th, 2017, 10:39 AM   #11

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Originally Posted by Maoistic View Post
The Zulu commander Nitshingoya Khoza at the Battle of Isandlwana. He understood perfectly that his vastly superior numbers (15 to 1) weren't going to cut it against British rifles and gatling guns, and thus decided to use what were pretty much guerrilla tactics that eventually allowed his army to use superior numbers effectively.

.................................................. ..........

Whats your source for this?

Because the British expected the Zulu to fight a guerrilla war and prepared for such it was as a great shock that the Zulu were actually wanted to fight in open battle.

At Isandlwana the Zulu attacked the British camp but because the British never dreamed that the Zulu would attack them it was poorly positioned for defence. Even worse Chelmsford marches out (there were no gatling guns) with half his redcoats to investigate a report of an enemy force.

No great Zulu tactics at all-- infact because they succeeded at Isandlwana (ignoring Rorkes Drift) they become emboldened a seek set piece battles which generally go badly.

They should have stuck to guerrilla tactics but didn't.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 11:42 AM   #12

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Originally Posted by mariusj View Post
It's really easy to flank someone and envelop them when you have the numbers.
Not really. Look at the Battle of Lepizig where Schwarzenberg had to charge in repeatedly against Napoleon's flank, which was held by Marmont's corps. Marmont almost carried the day and had he also been supported by say St. Cyr's corps, he probably would have held that flank indefinitely.

Generally it is not about numbers but how you use those numbers. Hence the premise of the thread. The fact that Marmont and Ney had a decent position was the reason that they were able to withstand so many of Schwarzenberg's attacks for an entire day.

Last edited by Lord Oda Nobunaga; November 13th, 2017 at 11:47 AM.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lord Oda Nobunaga View Post
Not really. Look at the Battle of Lepizig where Schwarzenberg had to charge in repeatedly against Napoleon's flank, which was held by Marmont's corps. Marmont almost carried the day and had he also been supported by say St. Cyr's corps, he probably would have held that flank indefinitely.

Generally it is not about numbers but how you use those numbers. Hence the premise of the thread. The fact that Marmont and Ney had a decent position was the reason that they were able to withstand so many of Schwarzenberg's attacks for an entire day.
I don't know enough about these period to respond.

But generally, are you saying when I said
"It's really easy to flank someone and envelop them when you have the numbers."

Is any different from what you said
"
Generally it is not about numbers but how you use those numbers."

Like, is flanking someone not how you use your numbers? I am not sure what we are even arguing or debating. My point was, if you have a numeric advantage, and you use them, isn't that expected? You expect a competent general to do certain things. They don't have to be brilliant, just competent, and certain things just come naturally. Like camp near water, secure your supply, envelop your enemies. When you have more man, these come much easier. You have more man than they do, so you have more man securing your supplies and harass their supplies etc etc.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:42 PM   #14

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Battle of Baecula (208 BC)

Although Scipio Africanus is generally thought to have outnumbered the Carthaginians at this battle, it still stands as an impressive feat given that he was fighting uphill against a very formidable defensive position. Baecula witnessed Scipio's first use of infantry flanking columns which were the hallmarks most of his battles.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:57 PM   #15

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusj View Post
I don't know enough about these period to respond.

But generally, are you saying when I said
"It's really easy to flank someone and envelop them when you have the numbers."

Is any different from what you said
"
Generally it is not about numbers but how you use those numbers."

Like, is flanking someone not how you use your numbers? I am not sure what we are even arguing or debating. My point was, if you have a numeric advantage, and you use them, isn't that expected? You expect a competent general to do certain things. They don't have to be brilliant, just competent, and certain things just come naturally. Like camp near water, secure your supply, envelop your enemies. When you have more man, these come much easier. You have more man than they do, so you have more man securing your supplies and harass their supplies etc etc.
That is actually what I meant. Generally when you divide your army for a flanking maneuver you are dividing your numerical strength, destroying the possibility for creating a point of concentration and opening yourself to be annihilated piecemeal. Hence it is not so much on the inherent value of those kinds of tactics but rather the circumstances under which they are performed. For instance an army of 60,000 men that has a superior position would easily defeat a more numerous army of 80,000 men, assuming the general in charge doesn't screw up.
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