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Old January 30th, 2015, 01:18 AM   #1

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Management of huge armies


So I've been wondering, how could one general lead a huge army? The general couldn't have possibly seen the whole battlefield at once.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 01:56 AM   #2

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He couldn't. That's why armies are divided into divisions, battalions, squads, etc. So they can be broken up and sent off to accomplish different strategic goals. Before radio, messengers were usually used to keep all the various units in communication. A leader might have his own division that he commanded personally, but the rest of the army was in the hands of the various division commanders.

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Old January 30th, 2015, 01:58 AM   #3
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In an army, there are always at least several of high officers. And these high officers also have their own subordinates. There's a thing called "chain of command". Having many capable officers is one of the biggest reason why Temujin was that successful in his conquest.
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Old January 30th, 2015, 02:37 AM   #4

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Old January 30th, 2015, 04:45 AM   #5
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"Management of many is the same as management of few. It's matter of organization."

Sun Tzu
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Old January 30th, 2015, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arras View Post
"Management of many is the same as management of few. It's matter of organization."

Sun Tzu
In theory it is correct.

In practice however, it tends to more difficult to organize many, as opposed to few, in the chaos of war, I guess.

The reason behind it is that peacetime organization and training only goes so far in preparing for war.

In many wars, armies made crucial blunders when it came to effective organization of forces. Prime example of terrible organization of the many, would be French armies in 1940.

American army in Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom operations would be the example of good organization of the many.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 01:04 AM   #7

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Generals in the modern world need management skills as much as leadership and strategic nous (not to mention some measure of political acumen, or as we now observe, awareness of modern media and its implications). The RAF have been showing recruitment adverts lately in which they mention "battlefield managers", presumably at a lower rank than the senior commander. A modern army is a hugely complex enterprise and no genrral can afford to ignore that.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 02:05 PM   #8
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"Management of many is the same as management of few. It's matter of organization."
-- Sun Tzu

This is why I think Sun Tzu is over rated., meaningless platitude. And this one is actually wrong. Leadership organizational methods differ radically between small groups were the leader can have real depth of Knowledge of his men and subordinates, and much large forces where they cannot. A 5 man hunting party and an army of millions are NOT managed the same way other than by idiots.
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Old January 31st, 2015, 05:06 PM   #9

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Yes but we live in the IT generation where we have a better informed class of idiot!
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Old January 31st, 2015, 07:57 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsville View Post
"Management of many is the same as management of few. It's matter of organization."
-- Sun Tzu

This is why I think Sun Tzu is over rated., meaningless platitude. And this one is actually wrong. Leadership organizational methods differ radically between small groups were the leader can have real depth of Knowledge of his men and subordinates, and much large forces where they cannot. A 5 man hunting party and an army of millions are NOT managed the same way other than by idiots.
The point is that a leader of 10 men knows each of those 10 and their capabilities. A leader of 10,000 probably only knows 10 men who each lead 1,000 and so on up or down in scale. Of course the methods aren't exactly the same and a leader of 100,000 might be as concerned about the 3 men who are not fighting but in charge of 30,000 men moving supplies but leadership principals don't change just because the knowledge and attributes of the men who are under a leader change if someone is actually leading with correct regard to qualities of leadership.
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