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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:20 AM   #1

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Military genius


What, for you, are the qualifying factors that determine if someone is a military genius?
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:26 AM   #2

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There are several factors, IMHO.

In no particular order,just on top of my head, here's a few:

1. Knowing when to fight and when to retreat
2. Knowing where to fight
3. Making use of the troops you have and playing out their strengths.
4. Use the terrain where you are to maximise your strength and, if possible, limit or negate the opponents strengths.
5. knowing how to motivate your troops.
6. Know how to adapt your tactics to unforeseen circumstances.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:31 AM   #3

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Intresting question. And I can see exactly where it stems from.

In my opinion it depends ALOT on the milatry capabiltiy of your oponents.

Hannibal/Napoleon/Caesar/Alexander achieved victory whilst being outnumbered by opponents with equal technology to them. = Milatry genius

Other people such as Brooke, Clive, Kitchener, Custer achieved victory only because of the technological advantage they had.

The exception to this all is of course Shaka (this is whom this threads about after all) who applied the stratergy of direct warfare rather than show warfare. Yes he did win battles but only out of sheer shock and awe, as no one in the history of Southern African warfare, had ever done anything as bold as actually attacking your opponent.

The main thing to consider being how would they compare against similar opponents, with similar technolgy and the same mindset.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:39 AM   #4

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But Shaka did beat a numerically superior tribe, after they had adopted the iklwa.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:51 AM   #5

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According to Liddell Hart

- observation and intuition skills
- ability to surprise the enemy
- speed of thought and action
- (of course) strategical and tactical skills
- obtain the most from your troops
- to know when to attack and when to stop

The greatest and rarest gift is
- great imagination(to be an innovator/ahead of your time)
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Old June 12th, 2012, 05:56 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
The exception to this all is of course Shaka (this is whom this threads about after all) who applied the stratergy of direct warfare rather than show warfare. Yes he did win battles but only out of sheer shock and awe, as no one in the history of Southern African warfare, had ever done anything as bold as actually attacking your opponent.
Ummm??? "no one in the history of Southern African warfare"??? I am a bit confused by this statement, But what period of South African Warfare are you speaking of???
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Old June 12th, 2012, 07:08 AM   #7

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The use of the term military genius is overused. In fact, I'm not sure there is any such thing as a military genius.

For students of the American Civil War, the name Hooker (as in Joseph) is synonymous with incompetence for his handling of the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville. But had Hooker could just as easily been remembered for his "genius" had he not lost his nerve. Because he hesitated he lost his chance.

MacArthur's landing at Inchon is an example of the other side of the same coin. MacArthur rightly deserves credit for his audacity in the Inchon landings, but had it gone south, his reputation might be something quite difference.

The difference between mullet and genius is a razor's edge.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 07:13 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cell View Post
Ummm??? "no one in the history of Southern African warfare"??? I am a bit confused by this statement, But what period of South African Warfare are you speaking of???
The pre Shaka days.

Prior to Shaka actually attacking his opponents most South African conflicts just consisted of a lot of singing and dancing untill one side went home. Then Shaka actually began to attack his opponents, rather than singing at them, something for which they were utterly unprepared.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 07:21 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnmowerman View Post
The pre Shaka days.

Prior to Shaka actually attacking his opponents most South African conflicts just consisted of a lot of singing and dancing untill one side went home. Then Shaka actually began to attack his opponents, rather than singing at them, something for which they were utterly unprepared.
Look, if you want argue about Shaka, put it on the actual Shaka thread.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 07:22 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
The use of the term military genius is overused. In fact, I'm not sure there is any such thing as a military genius.

For students of the American Civil War, the name Hooker (as in Joseph) is synonymous with incompetence for his handling of the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville. But had Hooker could just as easily been remembered for his "genius" had he not lost his nerve. Because he hesitated he lost his chance.

MacArthur's landing at Inchon is an example of the other side of the same coin. MacArthur rightly deserves credit for his audacity in the Inchon landings, but had it gone south, his reputation might be something quite difference.

The difference between mullet and genius is a razor's edge.
Agreed. Success based on audacity is often mistaken for genius. I would go so far to say that in the realm of military tactics and strategy, there is nothing new under the sun. Sure, advances in technology facilitate new methods of implementing tactics, but the basis and objective of a tactic or strategy remain unchanged. Personally, I believe the only military geniuses in the human history were "Thog", who came up with the flanking attack to take the water hole, and "Grep" who came up with the interior defense to counter it.
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