Best Military Tactics In History.

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
3,675
Slovenia
#21
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.
Oda Nobunaga defeating Imagawa Yoshimoto
Battle of Okehazama - Wikipedia
 
Sep 2012
1,608
London, centre of my world
#22
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.
Wasn't the Battle of the River Plate won by deception? - the British pretended that a much heavier force (Force H) was close by, when it was in fact nowhere near and also preventing the Graf Spee from leaving port by ensuring Article 16 of the Hague Convention was enforced (by making British and French merchant ships leave over a 24-hour period).

Battle of the River Plate - Wikipedia
 
Sep 2017
635
United States
#23
I found Caesar's tactic of hiding infantry with orders to use their pila as spears amongst his cavalry in order to make up for the fact Pompey had much more cavalry a pretty neat trick. Definitely not something to use every time, as doing so really limits the mobility of the cavalry until they are free to detach, but a good way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage.
 
Oct 2007
96
New York, NY
#24
Millennium 7 said:
Wasn't the Battle of the River Plate won by deception? - the British pretended that a much heavier force (Force H) was close by, when it was in fact nowhere near and also preventing the Graf Spee from leaving port by ensuring Article 16 of the Hague Convention was enforced (by making British and French merchant ships leave over a 24-hour period).
Yes, but interestingly, before the Graf Spee had successfully berthed in a neutral port (Montevideo) after taking serious damage amid prior action, she actually pulled of her own ruses north of St. Helena: admiral Langsdorff captured a few allied ships after painting his turrets to look like an allied ship from afar.

Regarding the ‘animals on fire’ tricks, of course it must have been counter-productive at times, and surely failed often, as the poor animals in panic and/or pain would seemingly contort all over the place. But the examples we read in Classical and Chinese texts (Alexander was apparently apprised by Porus of the efficacy of squealing pigs to dismay elephants) are too prevalent for these irregular war tactics/counter-tactics to be apocryphal. When the method worked, it must have happened so because the users funneled the poor animals in a viable manner of some sort. Even the experts of the time of natural history, Pliny and Aelian, wrote of the behavioral dynamics of pigs and elephants, etc. Hannibal’s oxen stratagem is one of the most lauded examples, along with his catapulting of large jars containing poisonous snakes onto the decks of the enemy ships over three decades later; his critics have often pressed he shouldn’t have been in such a trapped position in the first place, but even though he spoke Latin, his pronunciation of ‘Casinum’ was mistakenly taken for ‘Casilinum’ by his guides, hence winding up in the wrong region! But those critics can now retort with ‘he should have had better guides and translators’. Sure, and he shouldn’t have left his crystal ball in Spain!

In terms of deception leading to smashing successes, and if we follow the pertaining traditions uncritically, the Trojan Horse and Gideon’s defeat of the Midianites in the Jezreel Valley - both occurring around 1200 BCE - originated all of this (at least on record; there are always precedents).

James :)
 
Last edited:
Mar 2019
10
Amsterdam
#26
The greatest military battle tactic that ever happened might be impossible to pinpoint. Simply because it might have never ever been recorded. There are substantial gaps throughout the history of civilization. Opposing sides of war write or rewrite history, third parties exterminate, hide or alter facts for the need of the few. That is a sad truth. Thus we know only of the most famous ones! But the truly crazy ones might have been lost in the anal of delete history pages.

But for the sake of the question my favorite and ingenious battle tactic used was during WW2:

During World War, the British army dropped disguised manuals into enemy lines, which contained instructions on how a soldier could fake illnesses to get himself off active duty. These manuals which were disguised as sports manual had step-by-step instructions to fake a wide range of illnesses and ailments from a simple throat infection to a life-threatening disease such as Tuberculosis.

Once the Nazi caught wind of this, they stopped sending their troops home who claimed to have said illnesses. Not only did this get healthy enemy troops sent home, it eventually ended with genuinely ill troops being sent back into combat spreading real disease among their ranks.

However is this the greatest battle tactic? For some yes for others no. And there are some that have never been recorded. To solve this problem luckily we have projects that are trying to preserve events as they happen. One such project is Historia - a consensus-based, immutable historical record blockchain system designed for record keeping of current events (future history) with emphasis on absolute accuracy and seeks to prevent all assimilations of falsehoods into the historical record. Thus in the future such questions could be answered in more depth with a wider choice of options.
 
Mar 2016
749
Australia
#27
The greatest military battle tactic that ever happened might be impossible to pinpoint. Simply because it might have never ever been recorded. There are substantial gaps throughout the history of civilization. Opposing sides of war write or rewrite history, third parties exterminate, hide or alter facts for the need of the few. That is a sad truth. Thus we know only of the most famous ones! But the truly crazy ones might have been lost in the anal of delete history pages.

But for the sake of the question my favorite and ingenious battle tactic used was during WW2:

During World War, the British army dropped disguised manuals into enemy lines, which contained instructions on how a soldier could fake illnesses to get himself off active duty. These manuals which were disguised as sports manual had step-by-step instructions to fake a wide range of illnesses and ailments from a simple throat infection to a life-threatening disease such as Tuberculosis.

Once the Nazi caught wind of this, they stopped sending their troops home who claimed to have said illnesses. Not only did this get healthy enemy troops sent home, it eventually ended with genuinely ill troops being sent back into combat spreading real disease among their ranks.

However is this the greatest battle tactic? For some yes for others no. And there are some that have never been recorded. To solve this problem luckily we have projects that are trying to preserve events as they happen. One such project is Historia - a consensus-based, immutable historical record blockchain system designed for record keeping of current events (future history) with emphasis on absolute accuracy and seeks to prevent all assimilations of falsehoods into the historical record. Thus in the future such questions could be answered in more depth with a wider choice of options.
This comment reads like an advertisement for Historia. Are you a contributor or owner of that site?
 
Likes: frogsofwar
Jan 2016
385
Ohio
#28
The greatest military battle tactic that ever happened might be impossible to pinpoint. Simply because it might have never ever been recorded.
I have actually thought a lot about this particular point. Battles that may have had an impact on history but happened pre-history so that it simply was not recorded.

I am sure these battles weren't large scale though right? Maybe just couple hundreds or maybe thousands? Regardless, I am sure there a great warriors that have existed who were famous in their times but weren't written into history.
 
Mar 2019
10
Amsterdam
#30
I have actually thought a lot about this particular point. Battles that may have had an impact on history but happened pre-history so that it simply was not recorded.

I am sure these battles weren't large scale though right? Maybe just a couple hundreds or maybe thousands? Regardless, I am sure there a great warriors that have existed who were famous in their times but weren't written into history.
It depends really. Could have been easily both. Asian usually had huge battles. Also, I think these battles were simply erased or as you said not recorded for one or another reason.
 

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