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Old November 7th, 2012, 03:39 AM   #11
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Logistics are very important as well.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 06:24 AM   #12

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Winning battles.
True enough. But what characteristic is most important in the completion of that objective. It would be a fallacy to say "the ultimate variable in an army winning is winning." I am just wondering (like every amateur military thinker in existence) what is the prime attribute that allows superior militaries victory? But I don't want to put words in your mouth. Would you mind clarifying if you have the time?

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you made some good points, i would just like to pick on one of them, generalship.
Indeed, if I had to choose something besides my own observation this would be it. A group without leadership is a mob, but with leadership it becomes an army.

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Strategy. Logistics are very important as well.
Do all these fold into Organization/Discipline?

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The trouble with this sort of discussion is that it revolves around a 'top trumps' mentality. People are listing various things to add to the strength of a possible conflict that aren't in themselves wrong but are theoretical or ephemeral, in that it may be desirable to have these features but they aren't necessarily attainable in the heat of the moment.
I most certainly agree that these things discussed are quite ephemeral and ambiguous, and I give a slight nod to this in the point on leadership, but I would say that a battle is fought by humans, and humans are constantly running conscious and unconscious cause-and-effect and cost benefit analysis' in their heads. Because of this a battle and it's combatants can be controlled or coordinated on this idea. Also, (please do not think I am attacking you, I just want to address some good points you brought up.) do you think that management and preparedness could be folded into Organization/ Discipline. And, would you categorize talent with Leadership?
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Old November 7th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mancipium ut pudor View Post
Do all these fold into Organization/Discipline?
Not in my view.

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Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:

* Design, development, acquisition, storage, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of materiel.
* Transport of personnel.
* Acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities.
* Acquisition or furnishing of services.
* Medical and health service support.
Military_logistics Military_logistics

It is said that an Army marches on its stomach. A very good example would be the current war in Afghanistan. I am sure you are aware that the US has made lots of concessions to Pakistan as they have no other land route to supply their troops stationed there with the required materials and support.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 02:14 PM   #14
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First, let us try to debunk a most prevalent myth; any heroic trait of any heroic commander is not the only factor that determines a victorious army.

Naturally in spite of the overwhelming apologetic promotion of so many commanders all along History by themselves and / or their fans.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 02:27 PM   #15

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What about a component of strategy ... fantasy?

The consequence of fantasy in strategy is usually being quite unpredictable and being unpredictable is a great advantage in war.

Remember the Maginot Line: it made the defensive global strategy of French Army terribly predictable and "fixed". No flexibility at all.

This to point out that to be victorious requires also to be very competitive in the passive phases of a conflict [when an Army is on a defensive stance], not only during the active phases [when the Army attacks].
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Old November 7th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #16
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Then, either for dancing or for fighting, two (at least) are required.

Ergo, your first absolute requirement for any victorious army is a loser side.

In practice, it is easy to verify that (analogous to any other serious human enterprise) for the optimal performance of any army the optimal contribution of each and any single of his parts & members is ultimately an absolute requirement.

Conversely, for the eventual failure of any army, typically the failure of any single critical part of member is all what is required.
(As previously stated, any part or member of any army might ultimately become critical)

The natural corollary is that in practice battles are regularly a long succession of mistakes from both sides.

Therefore, victory overwhelmingly corresponds to the side that may commit less & lesser mistakes.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #17

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War is an art. There's no what specifically makes a victorious army. It's things as simple as luck, as complex and quantifiable as military science/logistics and as intellectual as strategy/tactics. A victorious army needs brave and capable people, and likely needs a lot of them. Generally you can divide a lot of these things into theoretically distinct parts but they are the sum of a whole. Oh yea, lots of money and advanced technology helps too.

Last edited by hisstoryin; November 7th, 2012 at 03:27 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 03:14 PM   #18

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Here are three qualities I would consider:

- Luck
- Leadership
- Discipline
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Old November 7th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
First, let us try to debunk a most prevalent myth; any heroic trait of any heroic commander is not the only factor that determines a victorious army.

Naturally in spite of the overwhelming apologetic promotion of so many commanders all along History by themselves and / or their fans.
I'd agree with you. A heroic commander may be an important factor in a small battle but not in a proper war.

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What about a component of strategy ... fantasy?

The consequence of fantasy in strategy is usually being quite unpredictable and being unpredictable is a great advantage in war.

Remember the Maginot Line: it made the defensive global strategy of French Army terribly predictable and "fixed". No flexibility at all.

This to point out that to be victorious requires also to be very competitive in the passive phases of a conflict [when an Army is on a defensive stance], not only during the active phases [when the Army attacks].
Fantasy? I could not quite get it. In my view strategy is summing up the situation and then using your resources to best defeat the enemy.

Not really aware about the French Army but yes - attack is the best form of defense and the element of surprise is very important. Sow confusion and fear in the ranks of the enemy and keep him guessing.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 06:29 PM   #20

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Originally Posted by Jhangora View Post
In my view strategy is summing up the situation and then using your resources to best defeat the enemy.
I think strategy is supposed to refer to where and when you deploy your soldiers; whereas tactics is how you deploy those soldiers during an engagement. I might be a bit off though.
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