Best Military Tactics In History.

Oct 2014
29
Britain
Julius Caesar building fortifications around Alesia in 52 BC . Wellingtons defensive positions at Torre Vedra 1810 and the defensive success it gave him over the French. But there are many (different) tactical methods which have been used to great tactical success. Although not always translated into the strategic successes of the two above:
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Apr 2019
68
United States
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Mongols. They could basically launch a bunch of arrows and then use their quickness to charge the opponent. Their quickness was easy for feigning retreats and flanking and they could outmaneuver their enemies in close range and use their sabers.
 

pugsville

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
10,099
There is no "best" Military tactic, in any general or universal sense. Tehre are principels that you can talk about but the dveil is always in the details, context, opponent, armies, terrain,. There's best in this situation or that situation, but without the conext "best" is meaningless. Whatever tactic can be examined tehre will be a case where it lead to utter disaster, fiegn retareat so easily turns into real restreat and panic. Tactics are situational and cannot be evaluated outside of their conext.
 
May 2018
1,069
Michigan
Julius Caesar building fortifications around Alesia in 52 BC . Wellingtons defensive positions at Torre Vedra 1810 and the defensive success it gave him over the French. But there are many (different) tactical methods which have been used to great tactical success. Although not always translated into the strategic successes of the two above:
.
Torres Vedras is an underrated campaign for Wellington. He managed to defeat an entire French Army under the command of one of Napoleon's best Marshals with nominal casualties with the French suffering egriegiously.
 
Dec 2009
970
UK
The feint retreats of the huns, mongols and other nomadic tribes were immesly successfull countless times and was to a large extent what made them so powerful.
The most effective weapon they had was logistics.

They could plague your lands like locusts and you couldn't attack them unless they stood their ground which they rarely did unless they thought they could win.

They were also coming from the East in tidal waves of hordes, a tribe could start of small but as they head West defeating and absorbing Turkic tribes along the way that 1,000 tribe could become 20,000 within a few years in a snowball effect.

There really wasn't much most kingdoms could do unless they had a high stone wall city and could hold out or until the Gun powder era ended their effectiveness for good.
 
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Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
There really wasn't much most kingdoms could do unless they had a high stone wall city and could hold out or until the Gun powder era ended their effectiveness for good
They were defeated in a few pitched battles by European kingdoms, and in the 14th century the Golden Horde was defeated repeatedly and pushed out of Europe for good, and this was before gunpower became a big factor. It was only the initial wave of Mongol invasions in the mid-13th century that were devastatingly effective and hard to counter.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,783
Sydney
Best military tactic in history is to avoid a fight if the result would be disastrous
 
Oct 2018
2,128
Sydney
Some clever tactics by the fourth-century BC Athenian general Iphicrates, who was evidently a big fan of deception:

Frontinus, Stratagemata 1.4.7: When the Athenian general Iphicrates was engaged in a campaign against the Spartan Anaxibius on the Hellespont near Abydus, he had to lead his army on one occasion through places occupied by enemy patrols, hemmed in on the one side by precipitous mountains, and on the other washed by the sea. For some time he delayed, and then on an unusually cold day, when no one suspected such a move, he selected his most rugged men, rubbed them down with oil and warmed them up with wine, and then ordered them to skirt the very edge of the p31 sea, swimming across the places that were too precipitous to pass. Thus by an unexpected attack from the rear he overwhelmed the guards of the defile. (See also Polyaenus, Stratagemata 3.9.33)

2.1.5: Iphicrates, the Athenian, having discovered that the enemy regularly ate at the same hour, commanded his own troops to eat at an earlier hour, and then led them out to battle. When the enemy came forth, he so detained them as to afford them no opportunity either of fighting or of withdrawing. Then, as the day drew to a close, he led his troops back, but nevertheless held them under arms. The enemy, exhausted both by standing in the line and by hunger, straightway hurried off to rest and eat, whereupon Iphicrates again led forth his troops, and finding the enemy disorganized, attacked their camp. (See also Polyaenus, Stratagemata 3.9.53)

2.1.6: When the same Iphicrates had his camp for several days near the Lacedaemonians, and each side was in the habit of going forth at a regular hour for forage and wood, he one day sent out slaves and camp-followers in the dress of soldiers for this service, holding back his fighting men; and as soon as the enemy had dispersed on similar errands, he captured their camp. Then as they came running back from all quarters to the mêlée, unarmed and carrying their bundles, he easily slew or captured them. (See also Polyaenus, Stratagemata 3.9.52)

2.5.42: Iphicrates, the Athenian, on one occasion in the Chersonesus, aware that Anaxibius, commander of the Spartans, was proceeding with his troops by land, disembarked a large force of men from his vessels and placed them in ambush, but directed his ships to sail in full view of the enemy, as though loaded with all his forces. When the Spartans were thus thrown off their guard and apprehended no danger, Iphicrates, attacking them by land from the rear as they marched along, crushed and routed them. (For a more detailed account, see Xenophon, Hellenika 4.8.32-39)

Polyaenus, Stratagemata 3.9.58: When Iphicrates was commander at Chios, he suspected that a group of the Chians were supporting the Lacedaemonians. In order to prove their guilt, he ordered the captains of some ships to weigh anchor secretly during the night, and then to return into the harbour the next morning, dressed in Lacedaemonian clothes. As soon as those, who favoured the Lacedaemonian cause, saw the ships, they ran with joy to the harbour to greet them. Then Iphicrates advanced with a body of troops from the city, arrested them, and sent them to Athens to be punished. (See also Frontinus, Stratagemata 4.7.23)

3.9.62: Iphicrates captured many of the Odrysians in Thrace. When he was being harassed by the enemy's slings and arrows, he stripped his prisoners naked, and with their hands tied behind their backs placed them in front of his army. The Odrysians saw that their friends had been put in the place of danger, and stopped attacking from a distance with slings and arrows.
 
Apr 2018
790
India
During the Battle of Asal Uttar of 1965 India-Pakistan War, the 1st Armoured Division and 11th Infantry Division of Pakistani Army crossed the border and occupied the town of Khem Karan in Punjab. The Indian defenders fell back to the town of Tarn Taran Sahib in a horseshoe shaped defensive formation. At night, the Indian Army flooded the sugarcane fields ahead of Khem Karan. Subsequently, the advancing Pakistani tanks got bogged down in the muddy fields. Quite a few were abandoned, many were sitting ducks to the Indian counterattack. Cost them total 99 tanks in the muddy fields, mostly M47 and M48 Pattons, a few Shermans and Chafees.

Battle of Asal Uttar - Wikipedia
 

macon

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
4,198
Slovenia, EU
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.
It was a repeat of Alexander at Gaugamela. He also mixed infantry into cavalry.