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Old November 12th, 2017, 10:44 PM   #1

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Battle where winning commander had numerical advantage but made solid tactical choice


Any battles where you feel that even though a certain commander may have held a sizeable numerical advantage he still made strong tactical choices?
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:18 AM   #2
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Bernard Montgomery - Second Battle of El Alamein (23 October-5 November 1942) 8th Army had definite numerical , material and firepower superiorty. At the other hand Panzer Army Africa had excellent pre prepared defensive positions reinforced with vast minefield. 8th Army had to attack frontally because overflanking enemy defences was impossible due to geography. So advantage supported with anti tank anti infantry firepower lied defender. Montgomery used proven World War I infantry tactics like "bite and hold" , "stonk" artillery barrages , minimasing his own casaulties and maximising enemy's as much as possible until Axis forces broke.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:19 AM   #3
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It's really easy to flank someone and envelop them when you have the numbers.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusj View Post
It's really easy to flank someone and envelop them when you have the numbers.
Not if one flank was on Mediterranean Sea and other flank was on Quattara Depression impossible to pass through with motorised vehicles.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:31 AM   #5

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It is possible, and people who say "but they outnumbered etc." are kidding themselves. It still takes a good tactical plan to win as efficiently as possible.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 03:01 AM   #6

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Numbers is only part of the story.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 03:21 AM   #7

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Part of being better is making sure you have the numbers.
If they are available to you.

Vittoria 1813 80 000 Allies vs 60 000 French.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 04:22 AM   #8

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Majority of Napoleon battles.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 07:30 AM   #9

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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.

Alexander against Porus in the Hydaspes. Alexander's victory is extremely overrated, but one has to admit that his defeat of an army with elephants, which the Greeks had rarely faced before, is nevertheless solid tactical thinking.

The Nazis, it must be said. Not only did Hitler have much more superior numbers to Poland and other European states (I think he also had more than France, though I'm not sure and feel free to correct me), but he effectively used them to their maximum capacity.

The Ottoman siege of Constantinople as well. The Ottomans had the superior numbers, but Mehmed wasn't an idiot and knew that the walls of the city were well-protected and the Romans were being supported by Western European states (indeed, Italian mercenaries were there and they were keeping the Ottomans at bay). Had Mehmed been an idiot and just swarmed Constantinople with superior numbers, he wouldn't have conquered it and his empire would have been severely weakened.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 09:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edric Streona View Post
Part of being better is making sure you have the numbers.
If they are available to you.

Vittoria 1813 80 000 Allies vs 60 000 French.
If we talk strictly of 'battles where ..... ' then I don't see any need to bring in the strategy of where and when to fight. Of course it is nice to have the enemy run into you while you have a giant army waiting for them, but often times you take what you can because politically, strategically, and logistically, that's what you can handle.

Valerian didn't take his entire army with him. For political reasons some troops must be left behind to deal with the Germanic tribes. Quite some troops. He also left enough troops behind with his imperial treasury that traveled with him that Ballistas could mount a battle of attrition after he was thoroughly defeated. That's for practical reasons. He didn't recall Odaenthasus and his proconsular legion[s] or raise any auxiliary from Palmyra, because he just wasn't sure how much he can expect from Odaenthasus, although we all know he probably should have call in the greatest military commander of that period.

So yah Valerian didn't take what is available to him, because while they are 'available' they really weren't. He sure would like to have them with him in Odessa though.
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