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


View Poll Results: Who has contributed most to military tactics and strategy? (multi choice)
Alexander The Great 20 29.41%
Hannibal Barca 21 30.88%
Julius Caesar 10 14.71%
Cyrus The Great 3 4.41%
Genghis Khan 14 20.59%
Subutai 4 5.88%
Napoleon Bonaparte 35 51.47%
Charlemagne 3 4.41%
Alexander Surorov 7 10.29%
Saladin 5 7.35%
Stonewall Jackson 1 1.47%
Yi Sun-Sin 7 10.29%
John Churchill 4 5.88%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 4th, 2012, 01:04 AM   #91

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The Diadochi inherited the same army and tactical system, yet were unable to match Alexander in tactics or strategy.
Was that partly because they were often up against similar styled armies?(Alexander didn't have to fight an army like his own for example)
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Old December 4th, 2012, 02:09 AM   #92

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Was that partly because they were often up against similar styled armies?(Alexander didn't have to fight an army like his own for example)
Thats pretty much what it was down to Mark, and despite that they were still able carve out their own dynasties within the framework of Alexander's.

They were still substantially stronger than the armies of the Greek City States, as amptly proven during the Lamian war, where after the death of the able Athenian General, Leosthenes, they (city states) suffered decisive land and naval defeats.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:32 AM   #93

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Sun tzu's art of war though appeared in the west in the 20th century had been a very influencial book in the far east for hundreds of years.It was compulsory reading for bureaucratic/military examinations in imperial china.
In japan it was greatly popular all 3 shoguns hideyoshi,nobunaga,tokugawa leyasu and most daimyos and samurai strategists read it or had a copy.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 01:17 AM   #94

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Who do you think has contributed the most to the development of the military strategy and tactics we use today?
Since tactics and strategy are circumstantial, plus constrained by enviromental, political, logistical, personality, character, technical, fashion, economic, and equipment availability, it follows that strategy as a theoretical science is not entirely relevant to the battlefield in the manner assumed. Therefore to say one man or another is most responsible for modern tactics is a non starter since strategy and tactics must suit the situation rather more importantly than adhering to some philosophy and doctrine accumuklated over periods of time - I'm sure many of you can think of real world confrontations where the winner was the leader who adapted his ideas better than the other. I'm sure there are many of you who can also point at unconventional tactics as being important to victory.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 01:21 AM   #95

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Since tactics and strategy are circumstantial, plus constrained by enviromental, political, logistical, personality, character, technical, fashion, economic, and equipment availability, it follows that strategy as a theoretical science is not entirely relevant to the battlefield in the manner assumed. Therefore to say one man or another is most responsible for modern tactics is a non starter since strategy and tactics must suit the situation rather more importantly than adhering to some philosophy and doctrine accumuklated over periods of time - I'm sure many of you can think of real world confrontations where the winner was the leader who adapted his ideas better than the other. I'm sure there are many of you who can also point at unconventional tactics as being important to victory.
There is also the strategy of Non-Strategy. The idea being that if you go into the battle with a per-conceived strategy you will be less flexible and so you should only start strategizing when the conflict actually begins and you have to figure out what to do in the situation as it unfolds; instead of trying to force your own ideas on a situation that may or may not be conducive to them.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:36 AM   #96

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Non-strategy? That would only work with small forces playing it by ear, and even then, operating without some game plan would be a risky enterprise. With larger forces the necessary coordination requires adherence to some initial overall strategy. What matters more is your ability to adapt your plans according to circumstance.

I can't think of any campaign undertaken without some prior strategic thinking (though I dare say some members might be able to). It's in the nature of armed groups to agree on action in some way, or else that group rapidly fragments.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 04:00 AM   #97

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Originally Posted by caldrail View Post
Non-strategy? That would only work with small forces playing it by ear, and even then, operating without some game plan would be a risky enterprise. With larger forces the necessary coordination requires adherence to some initial overall strategy. What matters more is your ability to adapt your plans according to circumstance.

I can't think of any campaign undertaken without some prior strategic thinking (though I dare say some members might be able to). It's in the nature of armed groups to agree on action in some way, or else that group rapidly fragments.
From an American standpoint, the closest I could come to a "non-strategy" in a campaign would be a good part of the Indian pacification efforts in the American West. Even then there was the general strategic goal established, but the attaining of it was largely "winging it".

For a battle, the closest would be Bastogne. MacAuliffe's strategy was, of course, to hold the town. His forming of "flying companies" of riflemen that would be deployed as needed day to day to counter serious threats of breakthroughs, was "winging it".
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Old December 9th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #98
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Von Manstein


Actually, when talking about military tactics and strategy, we should refer to the greatest conflict in history, the Second World War. This has shaped the world as we know it. Blitzkrieg has helped shape modern military tactics since 1945.
Erich von Manstein created the strategy that won western Europe for the Third Reich in a matter of weeks; he recovered the disastrous situation on the eastern front after the debacle at Stalingrad with his counter attack at Kharkov; and he achieved success with the Cherkassy breakout when the Wehrmacht was supposedly on the run. Whenever he was given operational control, German forces excelled themselves, even in the later stages of the war. If Hitler had given Manstein strategic control of the eastern front, the outcome may have been very different.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #99

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Actually, when talking about military tactics and strategy, we should refer to the greatest conflict in history, the Second World War. This has shaped the world as we know it. Blitzkrieg has helped shape modern military tactics since 1945.
Erich von Manstein created the strategy that won western Europe for the Third Reich in a matter of weeks; he recovered the disastrous situation on the eastern front after the debacle at Stalingrad with his counter attack at Kharkov; and he achieved success with the Cherkassy breakout when the Wehrmacht was supposedly on the run. Whenever he was given operational control, German forces excelled themselves, even in the later stages of the war. If Hitler had given Manstein strategic control of the eastern front, the outcome may have been very different.
But not necessarily in Germany's favor. I've seen a couple of World War II Magazine articles that covered the "if only the Fuhrer had listened to me" arguments that various generals made during the war... and the end conclusion, while they might have kept Germany in a stronger position then it was, it would have bought them only 6 months and the first city to be hit by a nuclear weapon would be a German city.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 10:03 PM   #100
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Von Manstein?


Sam-Nary's argument has some validity. At the dawn of the atomic age, the very success of the Third Reich could have been its downfall. In addition, when speaking of Hitler's strategy, it was invariably bound up in politics, especially with regard to communist Russia. If the disgruntled Ukrainians, Belo-Russians and a host of other peoples could have been brought onside, Stalin's grip on power would have been fatally weakened - but such a shrewd policy just wasn't in the nature of Nazism.
Despite the "if the fuhrer had listened to me" apologists, Manstein proved himself as a major strategist and, most improtantly, he had the respect of the Waffen SS. The core of this historical argument is about military tactics and strategy - and Manstein's victories are still being studied as relevant in military academies today. (though, arguably, one could also say that Guderian was equally influential)
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