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Old December 27th, 2017, 04:16 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger View Post
There are some great battles listed. Here's one that has not, and I believe it captures the essence of the OP, thus warranting attention: The Battle of Vienna, 1683.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vienna

One man's explanation of its importance:
Turning the Ottoman Tide - John III Sobieski at Vienna 1683 | HistoryNet
Vienna 1526 was more important than Vienna 1683 but there is such a hype. Even more so if we consider military reforms in time just after Vienna which turned all Europe into a powerhouse when compared to all the others in the world.
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Old December 27th, 2017, 08:44 PM   #42
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I really dont see how Waterloo and Stalingrad (or Waterloo and Verdun as per a post above) can be compared... Waterloo is a half day battle with perhaps 200 000 men involved on a few square km.. Stalingrad is an operation lasting several months covering thousands of square km and with the involvement of millions of men

And that is the problem with the term "battle"... it covers too broad a spectrum....

My suggestion would be to reserve the term battle for a one day engagement ...(or perhaps a couple of days for rare cases) And use the term operation for the likes of Stalingrad, Verdun etc...
I would tend to agree. Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic, Battle for Stalingrad... these are more campaigns, campaign being described as 'a series of military operations intended to achieve a goal, confined to a particular area or involving a specified type of fighting.' Stalingrad (for me) sits better in this definition of a campaign than as an actual battle; it was a series of battles.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 12:12 AM   #43

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Battle of Leipzig 1813
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Old December 28th, 2017, 01:58 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by paranoid marvin View Post
I would tend to agree. Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic, Battle for Stalingrad... these are more campaigns, campaign being described as 'a series of military operations intended to achieve a goal, confined to a particular area or involving a specified type of fighting.' Stalingrad (for me) sits better in this definition of a campaign than as an actual battle; it was a series of battles.
If you want to, but it creates a problem of understanding.
Call the Battle of Verdun a military campaign is difficult.
I think you can tell the difference between the Belgian campaign in 1815 and Waterloo or that of 1805 and Austerlitz, or the campaign of the Gauls and Alesia.
Would you call the Battle of the Marne, a "campaign"?
Do you say the "campaign" of the Marne or the "campaign" of the Somme?

I think that the military history of the 20th century has led to the emergence of longer, more numerous and larger battles involving much larger numbers of troops, and consequently that applying the most frequent styles that were dominant before, narrowing down the subject of the discussion and making it more confusing.
In addition the OP didn't specify any time limits, it used the term battle in a general way and many other historumites quote battles you qualify "campaign" or "military operations intended to achieve a goal confined to a particular area..." .
It becomes more and more unclear, at least for me.....

That said if Darth Roach, changes his mind or claim that's what he meant and we didn't understand rightly, therefore no problem, but it's not still the case.

Last edited by phil1904; December 28th, 2017 at 02:01 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2018, 06:16 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by macon View Post
Vienna 1526 was more important than Vienna 1683 but there is such a hype. Even more so if we consider military reforms in time just after Vienna which turned all Europe into a powerhouse when compared to all the others in the world.
I agree here, though the siege was in 1529. 1526 was Mohacs - a necessary precondition for the siege of Vienna - and in 1532 we see the largest most important battle that never was, with some 100.000 Ottomans and Imperials managing to avoid battle (apart from the Steinfeld, were some 10000 Akinci get trapped and destroyed).

In 1683 Europe was militarily, economically and scientifically on the rise. A fall of Vienna would have been horrible for the remaining citizens, but not change the outcome of the Western/Ottoman struggle significantly. The day in 1529 when the walls of Vienna were breached (walls built with the ransom of Richard Lionhard) and when the oncoming Janissaries were stopped in the breach by Landsknechts and Spaniards, was one of the decisive moments of history.
If Vienna had fallen in 1529, with a young Suleyman the Magnificent leading the encouraged Ottomans, and Western Europe just being torn apart by Reformation - history would have changed substantially. From a secure base at Vienna Germany and Poland would be subject to constant raids and warfare, perhaps resulting in their ultimate conquest by the Ottomans. French support for the Ottomans would probably help them. Spain would perhaps divert more resources to help out the domain of its King/Emperor, and less to exploit the new world.

BTW: When the Reichstag heard of the incoming Ottoman invasion army, they took immediate action and ordered that all help and aid going to Vienna should be excempt from taxes.
Somehow parliaments have not changed...
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 03:56 AM   #46

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'Europe' or 'Western Europe' were not entities. A lot of posts are assuming they were. Just as 750 years earlier 'islam' was no longer an entity, another misconception often seen here.
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Old January 3rd, 2018, 04:26 AM   #47

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In terms of classical history? Chaeronea and Gaugamela in terms of influence are my personal favorites.

Cannae goes down (along with Gaugamela) as being the most inspirational and influential tactical lesson in military history.
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Old January 4th, 2018, 12:55 PM   #48
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No one has mentioned the battle of Kiev?! It was the largest encirclement in military history, resulting in the destruction of four Soviet armys (the 5th, 2lst, 26th, and 37th) and some 450,000 men being captured. When you add in the figures for KIA and WIA, the total losses are staggering.

That battle should have ended the Nazi-Soviet war right then and there, but it didn't. Somehow, the Red Army was able to survive and piece together its shattered forces. It relied very heavily on reservists after the monumental disaster at Kiev.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 03:34 AM   #49

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Originally Posted by Duke Valentino View Post
In terms of classical history? Chaeronea and Gaugamela in terms of influence are my personal favorites.

Cannae goes down (along with Gaugamela) as being the most inspirational and influential tactical lesson in military history.
Gaugamela is interesting. I will always ask who was counting? It's hazardous enough in medieval times without going back another 1000 years, for all the well-documented reasons.

But there's no doubt large numbers were involved but I see more modern estimates suggest the armies could have been quite close - 47,000 for Alexander and 55,000 (min) (simple Wiki source) for the Persians.

We've all probably seen the probable battlefield on TV - a vast open plain. Was Darius ever going to win if the numbers were anywhere near comparable?

In a vast open plain against a slightly smaller army but with Alexander having better troops and better leadership - no chance.

In a confined space like Issus with the better troops of Alexander - no chance.

His only chance would be to outwit Alexander and as Darius was probably bereft of anything but the most rudimentary military talent he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Smart move would have been to yield after the Granicus!
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