Best Military Tactics In History.

Oct 2007
96
New York, NY
#12
This could be a very comprehensive thread, TheMusicMan!

For details, look into:

In April of 1632, Gustavus Adolphus’ application of a smoke screen of wet burning straw and gunpowder, along with calculated artillery fire, to cover his convergent diversionary and real flank attacks across the River Lech (near modern Rain, Germany) to defeat the entrenched army of ‘Old Man Tilly was extraordinary (amorally, of course). He essentially effectuated an envelopment on an enemy in defilade (across a river no less) via a constructed boat-bridge the enemy couldn’t see.

In December of 1942, Hermann Balck’s ‘fire brigade’ operations against much more numerous Soviet forces along the River Chir (near Surovikino, Russia) was a textbook display of armored mobile defense.

James :)
 
Mar 2016
1,097
Australia
#13
Timur's trick during his Indian campaign of stacking a bunch of hay on the backs of camels and then lighting it on fire and sending the camels running towards the charging elephants in the other army so that it terrified and confused the elephants so much that they turned and stampeded into their own infantry is pretty brilliant.
 
Oct 2007
96
New York, NY
#14
Indeed, tradition seems to hold that the Megarians broke the siege of their city in 266 BCE by Antigonus II by neutralizing his elephants with ‘incendiary pigs’ (the poor swine were daubed with pitch, set afire and let loose toward the elephants)! According to Pliny the Elder, elephants were specifically scared of the squealing exuded by pigs. Many examples of such biological tactics exist in the stratagem genre, etc., amid the ancient record.

James 😊
 
Feb 2019
243
Thrace
#15
Timur's trick during his Indian campaign of stacking a bunch of hay on the backs of camels and then lighting it on fire and sending the camels running towards the charging elephants in the other army so that it terrified and confused the elephants so much that they turned and stampeded into their own infantry is pretty brilliant.
This whole sentence was such a cliffhanger :D
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,541
#17
Philip at the Battle of Chaeronea luring the enemy army off the high ground with a slow retreat then turning and destroying them.

Caesar at Alesia, probably the definitive example of ancient siege tactics.

A couple others I remember the story but not exactly who it should be attributed to- the night attack by a Warlord in feudal Japan where he charged enemy camps of thousands with only a couple hundred samurai but the night attack combined with making it to the opposing leaders tent and killing him led to the rout of an army probably impossible to defeat in a pitched battle.

Chinese official defending a city from Wei attack who ordered his small garrison out into the hills behind the city while opening the gates of the city and showing himself relaxed and enjoying a tea ceremony on the walls in front of the enemy army. The enemy suspicious of a trap marched around the city into the hills where they were promptly ambushed by the garrison sent away from the city earlier.
 
Jul 2017
2,283
Australia
#19
Philip of Macedon captured a seaside city by making a diversionary assault by land, occupying the enemy garrison; while this was happening he had ships lashed together and siege towers rolled through them onto the seaside walls which were undefended.
 
Jul 2018
289
London
#20
I don't know if it really qualifies as a tactic, but surely had a tactical impact.
British deceptions throughout WWII reached levels of complexity and sophistication hardly seen anywhere else. The pipelines at El Alamein and the whole of Fortitude are the first examples that come to mind.
 

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