Logistics and structures of ancient armies??

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,059
No it doesn't. You are comparing an empire at perhaps it's absolute bottom to the absolute peak.
And you insist on comparing the logistics of one type of warfare with those of a much different type of warfare, with much different geography, so you don't have a real justification for complaint.

Even before I stumbled upon the Dungan Revolt, I said that the Qing methods that Gansu would work if you had supplies available in the province to obtain, but there would be issues if their weren't. Again, if we can use examples from 17th century Europe, 19th century China is the very same region is surely just as justified.

And if you say a hundred years made such a fundamental difference, then the same thing applies to Europe as well, and all the comparisons with 17th century Europe are invalid. You yourself have invalidated Perdue's comparisons.

And also ignoring actual changes in governmental policies. Don't take this personally Bart, but you know nothing about internal Qing policies, that is why you would compare the Qing during Kangxi-Qianlong era where the Xiexiang system was still functioning, and then the mid Xianfeng era where the Xiexiang system collapsed in the 1850s.
Your are being personal, have repeatedly been personal, and just aren't being honest. You don't like the facts that the Dungan Revolt kind of undermines all the claims that were being made for Qing superiority, too bad.
And no offense, but you demonstrated no knowledge of the nature of fighting in Europe in the 17th century, and worse, Khagan flat out insist it doesn't matter, demonstrating either ignorance or dishonestly.

The examples of Perdue's given so far have been as invalid and more unjustified than my examples of the Dungan Revolts, being just as remote in time, and involving a different terrain and geography, and different fighting requirements.


Qing's collapse isn't just a military failure, but also an economic failure. To put the Dungan Rebellion as sort of a military issue ignores entirely the complex issues involved, and to think that the Dungan Rebellion exposed some sort of logistic issue Chinese always had is to put it frankly, stubbornly ignorant. To put it in ways you might comprehend, that is like saying the Social War is about war of independence while ignoring the underlying issues involved in the Social War.
Zuo Zongtang managed to overcome the same issues and put and end to the revolt, eliminating the looting and extortion of the Chinese armies in Gansu once he was put in charge. Did the Qing miraculously stop collapsing once he was put in charge? No, it didn't.

The problems with Qing logistics could be seen even in the examples that Perdue gave. The grain prices in Gansu increased 3 fold, which meant that Qing armies relied heavily on localized resources to support. That is all and well when there were local supplies to be had, but disastrous when they weren't, as was the case of the Gansu rebellion. And since there was little actual fighting n Gansu, the infrastructure wasn't damage, and the area would not suffer long term. But when there was fighting in the area, infrastructure would be damaged and the area would suffer.

The Qing at their peak in the 18th century weren't fighting anyone of comparable power, their enemies were all far less powerful. Russia throughout the period was fully occupied with fighting in Europe, and its far east possessions were more remote from its power base, and were in no position to seriously challenge the Qing, they simply couldn't devote military resources from the European theater.



Here is a google book link to Chinese and Indian Warfare – From the Classical Age to 1870 edited by Kaushik Roy, Peter Lorge. It is an interesting book from what I read so far.

https://books.google.com/books?id=6...classical age to 1870 Gansu logistics&f=false


Here is a little background on the Dungan Revolt. Upon closer reading

The Dungan Revolt (1862–77) or Tongzhi Hui Revolt (simplified Chinese: 同治回变/乱; traditional Chinese: 同治回變/亂; pinyin: Tóngzhì Huí Biàn/Luàn, Xiao'erjing: توْجِ حُوِ بِيًا/لُوًا, Dungan: Тунҗы Хуэй Бян/Луан) or Hui (Muslim) Minorities War was a mainly ethnic and religious war fought in 19th-century western China, mostly during the reign of the Tongzhi Emperor (r. 1861–75) of the Qing dynasty. The term sometimes includes the Panthay Rebellion in Yunnan, which occurred during the same period. However, this article relates specifically to the uprising by members of the Muslim Hui and other Muslim ethnic groups in China's Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia provinces, as well as in Xinjiang, between 1862 and 1877. The revolt arose over a pricing dispute involving bamboo poles, when a Han merchant selling to a Hui did not receive the amount demanded for the goods. A recorded 20.77 million population reduction in Shaanxi and Gansu occurred due to migration and war related death. A further 74.5% population reduction occurred in Gansu, and 44.7% in Shaanxi. In Shaanxi, 83.7% (~5.2 million) of the total loss occurred in the period of war as a consequence of mass migration and war-related death. Many civilian deaths were also caused by famine due to war conditions.
I noticed the 20 million population reduction I cited earlier wasn't all due to deaths, here are some figures just due to deaths.

The uprising of the Hui people occurred along the banks of the Yellow River in Gansu, Ningzia, and Shaanxi. The ultimate goal was to create a new Muslim country in these areas. It was a relatively unorganized assault, but it still had bloody results. Roughly 2 million Hui people were killed and about 6 million Han people died, which meant that more than 50% of the region’s population vanished. https://gohighbrow.com/dungan-revolt/
Regardless, the percentage of losses and the actual numbers exceed any war I know of in 18th century Europe. Losses during Napoleonic wars in the early 18th century may have been as high, but as a percentage they were far less, and the number of troops in the Napoleonic war was far greater. Many, most of those civilian losses would have been due to logistical problems of the Qing army. You can read about the civilian suffering of the population in the book Chinese and Indian Warfare - From Classical Age to 1870 I cited above.
 
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Aug 2015
1,843
Los Angeles
And you insist on comparing the logistics of one type of warfare with those of a much different type of warfare, with much different geography, so you don't have a real justification for complaint.
No, I am telling you that having supply depot in enemy territory under your control is entirely logical. You are the one bringing everything else out.

Unless you think everyone telling you how you are wrong is the same person, this royal 'you' is entirely misplaced.



Even before I stumbled upon the Dungan Revolt, I said that the Qing methods that Gansu would work if you had supplies available in the province to obtain, but there would be issues if their weren't. Again, if we can use examples from 17th century Europe, 19th century China is the very same region is surely just as justified.
Again, comprehend this. You are comparing the Kangxi-Qianlong era where the economy and the central government did not collapse, with the Xianfeng era where the economy and the central government pretty much did collapse.

Yes, yes, the Syria in 2000 and Syria today is the same region, and no, you can't compare them unless to say how war torn it is.

And if you say a hundred years made such a fundamental difference, then the same thing applies to Europe as well, and all the comparisons with 17th century Europe are invalid. You yourself have invalidated Perdue's comparisons.
See, what I actually said was

And also ignoring actual changes in governmental policies. Don't take this personally Bart, but you know nothing about internal Qing policies, that is why you would compare the Qing during Kangxi-Qianlong era where the Xiexiang system was still functioning, and then the mid Xianfeng era where the Xiexiang system collapsed in the 1850s.


And repeated twice now.

You can't use the Dungun Rebellion because the control group of 'Gansu' is NOT a control group when you can't exclude outside influences.

You are essentially saying, look, it's the same region Gansu, therefor it is a control group. Which I replied with no, because the Gansu you were using was facing a rebellion in 1850 alone with the Taiping Rebellion, and the Nian Rebellion in 1860. So when you say 'hey Chinese logistic in the 1863 was bad' the reply is not Chinese logistic was bad, but because Chinese were fighting 2 different rebellion elsewhere that are more consequential than the Dungun AND the Qing government was no longer able to provide xiexiang, therefore there are almost no money to pay for troops and even many local governmental functions.

That is to say, the problem in Somalia ISN'T a logistical problem. Much like the problem in Dungun ISN'T a logistical problem.


Your are being personal, have repeatedly been personal, and just aren't being honest. You don't like the facts that the Dungan Revolt kind of undermines all the claims that were being made for Qing superiority, too bad.
And no offense, but you demonstrated no knowledge of the nature of fighting in Europe in the 17th century, and worse, Khagan flat out insist it doesn't matter, demonstrating either ignorance or dishonestly.
See, I am just pointing to you why your examples are bad, because they are bad examples to use.

Let me repeat the bad examples you use.
1. You cannot set up supply depot in enemy territories.

False, while you probably won't be able to set up territory your enemy controlled, you can always set up supply depots in enemy territory you controlled.

2. If you don't know how soldiers purchase their supplies down to the exact wording, it's not true.

You probably don't remember what you eat last Thursday. It doesn't mean you didn't eat. We don't know how soldiers and their camps purchase supplies down to the T, but does that really affect we know they bought their supplies?

3. You think the difference of a hundred years or so validate your argument.

While completely ignoring plenty of internal problem Qing faced in 1860s.

The examples of Perdue's given so far have been as invalid and more unjustified than my examples of the Dungan Revolts, being just as remote in time, and involving a different terrain and geography, and different fighting requirements.
Except one was a functioning government, one wasn't.


Zuo Zongtang managed to overcome the same issues and put and end to the revolt, eliminating the looting and extortion of the Chinese armies in Gansu once he was put in charge. Did the Qing miraculously stop collapsing once he was put in charge? No, it didn't.
You know what changed? They won the Taiping Rebellion and the Nian Rebellion.

LOL.

Like I said, you know nothing and when the exact detail were pointed to you, literately you were told that the Qing was fighting the Taiping Rebellion and the Nian Rebellion, you don't look them up, you don't try to connect the dots in history, and dug in and then try to use your ignorance to mock me?



The problems with Qing logistics could be seen even in the examples that Perdue gave. The grain prices in Gansu increased 3 fold, which meant that Qing armies relied heavily on localized resources to support. That is all and well when there were local supplies to be had, but disastrous when they weren't, as was the case of the Gansu rebellion. And since there was little actual fighting n Gansu, the infrastructure wasn't damage, and the area would not suffer long term. But when there was fighting in the area, infrastructure would be damaged and the area would suffer.

To which applying Perdue's logic, guess where Zuo Zongtang's supply came from?

Oh, I bet you don't know that either. You just assume Zuo Zongtang carried all his supplies with him didn't you?
 
Feb 2011
6,119
Bart Dale said:
The examples of Europe from the 30 Years War is from the 17th century is from a different a different time period too, yet with the double standard so typical of Chinese posters, you have used them, and then whine when I used examples from a time period no more distance than the European examples that were given to justify Chinese superiority
Where did mariusj do what you accused him of? It was Heavenlykaghan who quoted Perdue on the 30 years war.

Mariusj said:
No it doesn't. You are comparing an empire at perhaps it's absolute bottom to the absolute peak......To put the Dungan Rebellion as sort of a military issue ignores entirely the complex issues involved, and to think that the Dungan Rebellion exposed some sort of logistic issue Chinese always had is to put it frankly, stubbornly ignorant. To put it in ways you might comprehend, that is like saying the Social War is about war of independence while ignoring the underlying issues involved in the Social War.....The Dungan Rebellion is a 19th century event, and a mid-late 19th century. What you are replying to is an 18th century event. That's like saying well since the US is a global power in the 20th century surely in the 19th century we were a global power as well; that surely in the 19th century Chinese military was crap, surely 18th century Chinese military was crap as well.

When I read this, I read: Mariusj says there is a wide gap in capability between the Qing at its height with the Qing at its low point, ergo you can't compare an empire at its height as if it's the same as the empire at its low point.

What you took out of this is: Mariusj don't want to compare different time period, and that makes him a "Chinese poster" with double standards, as typical of those Chinese posters.

Even if Mariusj did quote the 30 years war, did he say Europe was on the brink of collapse just before the war? If not, then it's not double standard. Also keep the racism to a minimum, please.

The Qing method of relying on a mixture.of interprovincial assistance and local resources did in work in resource poor Gansu, and the armies resorted to looting and extortion. Zuo Zongtang who ended the rebellion had to rely empire wide surge in interprovincial commitments. "Chinese and Indian Warfare - From.the Classical Age to the 1870" editors Kaushik Roy, Peter Longer;. E.Kaske pg 281.

The Dungan Rebellion is a better analogy with examples from 30 Years War Europe, with foreign armies from.differnt different provinces acting analogous to the foreign armies of different countries, the different provincial armies initially not all under a unified command. And the fighting took place in Gansu. Losing70% of the population does not show he Chinese logistics of the Qing army as superior to Euoropean armies. In fact, the Qing armies at the time were smaller than European ones, yet still the Qing had great difficult in supplying their armies in the Dungan rebellion.
Here is a more complete passage from the book you quoted from:

During the Era of Rebellions, much of the Chinese Empire was engulfed in a total war, using all available resources to suppress multiple rebellions. A mixture of interprovincial assistance and local resources provided the material basis for most of the Qing armies, and the conflict between the pressing needs of a violent force and a volatile population was mitigated by a complicated bureaucratic relationship between civil and military administrations as well as the system of contributions that allowed the exaction of resources from the wealthy gentry in exchange for giving them a stake in the government's success by selling them office and rank. This strategy failed in resource poor Gansu province in the north-west to the extent that the armies were overriding civil administrations and indulged in looting and extortion. In order for the province to emerge out of the mayhem, it had not only to be completely supplied by an empire-wide surge in interprovincial commitment, but the complicated network of checks and balances between various provincial and military administrations was also brought under the control of governor-general Zuo Zongtang who unified the war chests of two provinces with that of his own army and streamlined the supply chain under his command. At the same time, given the devastation of the population and administration of Gansu, the military leadership also had to take over the management of civil rehabilitation measures previously assumed by civil administrations.


And before this it said:
Qing armies were small by contemporary European standards, but Gansu could not sustain even these armies in the long run. All the well-tested strategies of living off the land that had been helping the Qing military to survive multiple large-scale rebellions in the south and east of the empire - requisitioning stocks of county granaries, proxy purchase by county administrations to be refunded by the army or later by provincial authorities, purchase from merchants or grain contributions from the population - did not work here. Even if there was grain to buy, army funds remained unpaid, and the troops relied on contributions to a larger degree than in other corners of the empire. Of course, government troops were not supposed to use coercion to compel people to contribute. Gansu did have a legal basis for rewarding contributions with rank and office, the Gansu Contribution Regulations, according to which grain deliveries to the army camps were commuted into a silver value according to the market price, and this silver value was then used to calculate the price of offices and rank to bestow upon the contributor. Agents of both the Qingyang liangtai and the armies also extended their search far into Shaanxi province, as seen in the example in the introduction, mostly asking for silver in these places since grain was considered too bulky to be transported back into Gansu. During the first two or three years, army requests were met with a certain degree of enthusiasm on the side of the Han Chinese populations who greeted the government military as allies in their war against the Muslims. In Qingyang, local gentry volunteered to organize contributions with good success. However, resources soon wore thin..............In the end, efforts to obtain provisions locally in the poor province of Gansu proved unsuccessful. The hungry and demoralized troops started to mutiny leading to military backlash and plunging the province into years of bloody carnage that left 70 percent of its population dead. By the end of 1865, it was finally clear that grain could not be procured locally in Gansu and that the independent civilian-staffed liangtai was not a sustainable model for fighting a war in this province.......[Continues on to explain how the logistical problem was solved, such as purchasing grain from other provinces and shipping them to Gansu].

In another place the book said:
Sanshui county had seen its share of destruction and famine during the civil war between the Muslim (Hui) and non-Muslim (Han) Chinese that ravaged Shaanxi and Gansu since 1862. Contemporary population of historians estimate that the county lost 30 per cent of its population of almost 60,000. In 1873, the gazetteer listed about 1,800 men and 300 women who lost their lives when the Muslim rebels ransacked Han villages in 1862/1863 and 1867/1868. It does not list the Muslim losses, which may have been as high as 90 per cent of pre-war numbers, or the number of victims of the famine of 1876/1877 that was yet to happen.

The same book also has a nice table on animal carrying capacity, maintenance, and speed (I assume on good roads):

 

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Mar 2012
4,226
As I suspected, the he Qing logistics system proved inadequate in the Dungan Rebellion, some 20 million died, and 70% of Gansu.
Bart, if you bothered to read all of Perdue articles in their entirety, much of these are already addressed. The 19th century saw an increasing amount of loosening of government control over Gansu and an increased amount of social unrest even before the Taiping rebellion. By the time of the Taiping in the mid 19th century, where the Dungan rebellion occurred simultaneously, central command over the provinces was weakly enforced and the Qing state itself on the verge of political and economic collapse. Furthermore, Gansu's low population density and barrenness often made it more like a frontier region itself rather than an interior province and unlike other provinces, the lack of central government support could prove fatal:

To quote Perdue:
"Gansu, then, was one of the poorest of the Han-dominated regions of the empire, comparable in remoteness, sparseness of population, and low productivity to the recently settled Southwest. Unlike the Southwest, however, Gansu occupied a strategic military position guarding the corridor leading to Central Asia, where the Qing rulers conducted their most expansive military campaigns. Unlike the Southwest, too, it had no major mining resources, and its native non-Han peoples—Muslims, Tibetans, Mongols—were assimilated far less willingly to Chinese culture than the native peoples of the Southwest. Persistent tension, sometimes leading toward accommodation, sometimes toward violent revolt, characterized Gansu's social fabric throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.[17] Economically, however, Gansu increased its ties to interior China from the eighteenth century on. Shaanxi merchants controlled much of the province's internal trade. Goods from Hebei, Shanxi, Sichuan, and Henan supplied the civilian and military needs of the population. Gansu merchants, in turn, sold furs as far south as Hunan.[18] Private markets had much to do with drawing the regions together, but the institutions established by the Qing founders and perfected in the eighteenth century, interacting with the market economy, played an important role. The institution with the greatest influence on the agrarian sector was the national granary system."


"Reserve holdings rose to a peak near the end of the eighteenth century, rising from 30 million to 45 million shi . This was a volume of 31 to 46 million hectoliters, equivalent to a weight of milled rice of 261 to 391 million metric tons.[20] Along with this growth in holdings, however, appeared many signs of corrupt management, rotting of grain, and ineffective use of grain for price relief. Although the official level of grain stores dropped back to 30 million shi in the nineteenth century, the real level declined even more rapidly. Furthermore, granary reserves were increasingly diverted to other uses. By the mid-nineteenth century, the use of granary reserves for military supplies had become a very common cause of depletion of the system.

The system functioned well in the eighteenth century as long as officials maintained adequate supervision over granary accounts, took care to prevent spoilage by turning over the stocks, and used grain only for price leveling. Gansu is an example of a province where latent destructive forces of the granary system appeared very early.
Supplying military demands, in particular, was explicitly recognized as one of the functions of Gansu reserves. This made it all the more difficult to maintain high levels of reserves, despite the very great demands placed on Gansu by the center."


The Qing method of relying on a mixture.of interprovincial assistance and local resources did in work in resource poor Gansu, and the armies resorted to looting and extortion. Zuo Zongtang who ended the rebellion had to rely empire wide surge in interprovincial commitments. "Chinese and Indian Warfare - From.the Classical Age to the 1870" editors Kaushik Roy, Peter Longer;. E.Kaske pg 281.
The case of Gansu is more an instance of the break down of central control rather than poor logistic planning and execution. Even during the Taiping rebellion, the case of Gansu is an exception rather than a standard as stated in your very source:

"During the Era of Rebellions, much of the Chinese Empire was engulfed in a total war, using all available resources to suppress multiple rebellions. A mixture of interprovincial assistance and local resources provided the material basis for most of the Qing armies, and the conflict between the pressing needs of a violent force and a volatile population was mitigated by a complicated bureaucratic relationship between civil and military administrations as well as the system of contributions that allowed the exaction of resources from the wealthy gentry in exchange for giving them a stake in the government's success by selling them office and rank. This strategy failed in resource poor Gansu province in the north-west to the extent that the armies were overriding civil administrations and indulged in looting and extortion. In order for the province to emerge out of the mayhem, it had not only to be completely supplied by an empire-wide surge in interprovincial commitment, but the complicated network of checks and balances between various provincial and military administrations was also brought under the control of governor-general Zuo Zongtang who unified the war chests of two provinces with that of his own army and streamlined the supply chain under his command. At the same time, given the devastation of the population and administration of Gansu, the military leadership also had to take over the management of civil rehabilitation measures previously assumed by civil administrations."

Most of the wealthier and populated interior provinces still followed Qing regulations on controlling soldiers from pillaging the people, and when Zuo Zongtang was sent to the northwest to finally quell rebellions, order and discipline was still ultimately restored.

Furthermore, it should also be pointed out that the backbone of the Qing army since the Taiping rebellion were local militia units (often directly converted from bandit groups, Philip Kuhn already wrote an extensive book on the matter) whereas the backbone of the 18th century Qing army was the bannerman accompanied by the Green Standards. These armies had different power bases and training.



The Dungan Rebellion is a better analogy with examples from 30 Years War Europe, with foreign armies from.differnt different provinces acting analogous to the foreign armies of different countries, the different provincial armies initially not all under a unified command. And the fighting took place in Gansu. Losing70% of the population does not show he Chinese logistics of the Qing army as superior to Euoropean armies. In fact, the Qing armies at the time were smaller than European ones, yet still the Qing had great difficult in supplying their armies in the Dungan rebellion.
No. The Dungan rebellion is a horrible analogy as we are talking about a collapsing state which barely survived an empire wide rebellion having trouble controlling the local military from taking local resources from the people. It is more comparable to other empire wide rebellions such as the French or Russian communist revolutions. We see lots of pillaging of the people by the army, starvation and failed central control as well.
See for example, James Ryan, ‘The Sacralization of Violence: Bolshevik Justifications for Violence and Terror during the Civil War’, Slavic Review 74, 4 (Winter, 2015), 808–31.


On the other hand, states such as France and Sweden in the thirty years war were still fully functional, cohesive, and internally stable. Most of the battles occurred in external territories like Germany or at best frontier regions of these states, no different from the Qing wars with foreign states such as the Zunghars, Burma, or Annam in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Perdue compared like with like; Qing campaigns in Mongolia and Xinjiang in the 17th and 18th centuries with French and Swedish campaigns in Germany. Both were campaigning on external territory and all of these examples were stable states expanding beyond their borders, not crushing empire wide internal rebellions within. The Qing campaign was even more difficult to conduct because the barren lands of Xinjiang and Mongolia provided little resources for the Qing army to feed on.


Perdue:
"Transport costs escalated astronomically beyond the Great Wall. Interior overland transport costs were 0.2 taels per 100 li in the Northwest, very high by Chinese standards already. In the first Zunghar campaign, it cost 251,000 taels to carry 100,000 shi of grain from districts west of the Yellow River in Gansu to Suzhou in Gansu, a straight-line distance of five to six hundred kiometers. The route from Suzhou to Hami, by contrast, a straing-line distance of 600 kilometers, in actuality was over 1000 kilometers long, took one month to travel, and cost 7.7 taels per ski. Thus the total cost of moving 100,000 shi of grain from the core production areas in western Gansu to Hami was nearly one million taels, up to ten times the purchase cost of the grain itself. Furthermore, the mules, camels, carts, porters and rations for these porters had to be bought on China's interior markets, because population in the steppe was so sparse. During the second campaign, surpluses remained in Barkul from the first campaign, and officials made efforts to avoid transporting large amounts from the interior. They gave tea to troops in Urumqi to exchange for mutton and bread and supplied silver for purchases of grain, tobacco, and other goods. Even so, they needed to ship large amounts from Shanxi and Gansu. The third campaign once again required shipment of 100,000 shi of grain from Suzhou to Hami, using 3,800 carts. These figures indicate the enormous logistical problems for the Qing armies simply to move supplies from grain producing areas in the Northwest to the major military storehouses at Hami and Barkul. Travel conditions beyond Hami were even more difficult."

The conclusion again:
"The ability to supply up to fifty thousand soldiers for several years with grain, meat, weapons, and horses transported over thousands of miles of steppe, desert, and steep mountains represented an amazing feat of organization. By contrast, European armies at this time wriggled instead of marching on their stomachs. As Martin van Creveld remarks of European armies before the nineteenth century: 'In no instance that I have come across is there any question of a force on the move being supplied solely by convoys regularly shuttling between it and its base, and it was even been claimed that the mathematics involved in this kind of operation were too sophisticated for the military commander of the age to tackle', Although Louis XIV's forces could exceed 100,000 men, he could move them only slowly, and he could not feed them from his own supply lines. Armies had to prey on the local population in order to survive. The Qing armies, by contrast, moved quickly across the vast reaches of the steppes supported by relay posts which shipped rations to the men and fodder to the horses. Qing commanders made careful efforts to spare the local population the burdens of military supply, either by having soldiers carry their rations with them, or by giving them money to buy grain at market prices. The real victory of early Qing rulers was their ability to draw off the resources of a rapidly commercializing economy to serve national defense needs without inflicting excessive damage on the rural economy."


The examples of fighting nomads like the Zunghars is not the same thing as fighting more settled peopled. With the lower population density, and fewer fortifications, you don't have to worry about the pockets of resistance in the areas you conquer in the same way you have to do with more settled areas.

That is why the comparison of the campaign against the Zunghars is a much different affair. It is much easier to set up these depots in more empty lands than more settled lands.

When the Qing had to fight in more settled lands, as in the Dungan Revolt they faced different set of logistic problems, and largely failed.
It certainly wasn't. Supplying an army on sparse lands are vastly more expensive as Perdue already demonstrated. Pocket resistance is only a potential thorn, seventeenth and eighteenth century European armies cannot even properly feed themselves unless they were operating inside their own country or they "were obliged to live off the land when on campaign outside their frontiers, with all the restraints which this entailed." By living off of the land, the author talked about forced contribution, and most European armies of the time could not march in lands without population that they can feed off of. For these armies "strategy had become an appendage of logistics." You failed to grasp this fundamental point that multiple scholars I cited were making. Saying that its easier to set up depots in empty lands than settled lands just shows that you don't even have a superficial understanding of logistics or what the hell Perdue was even writing.


The examples of Europe from the 30 Years War is from the 17th century is from a different a different time period too, yet with the double standard so typical of Chinese posters, you have used them, and then whine when I used examples from a time period no more distance than the European examples that were given to justify Chinese superiority. At least my examples were from the exact same region, just a different type of warfare.
Read the cited articles and books before you continue, because this is getting really repetitive and tedious. The cited European logistics were from both the 17th and 18th century, Tallet already noted that the situation got better in the late 17th and 18th centuries, but did not fundamentally solve the problems. Living off of the population through forced contributions was still a phenomenon common in European armies in the 18th century. Perdue also used the example of both Kangxi's campaign against the Zunghars in the late 17th century and for Qianlong. Therefore they are from the same period. Your frivolous example comes from the 1860s in a time when central command was breaking down in regard to local units quelling internal rebellions and did not have enough control or resources to fund Gansu, a period irrelevant to Perdue's comparison. This is despite the fact that we have direct data on the 18th century in the same region under a functional government and you chose to ignore it.
 
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Mar 2012
4,226
Kaghan, I appreciate that you have looked at the studies again, but you still pay too little attention to them. You treat both Perdue and other sources in a very arbitrary way. I think that we could talk in a more civilized way. At the beginning I was interested in Chinese logistics and I wanted to learn something about it from you. However, when I went into the discussion on this subject, you felt attacked and started to defend your position at all costs. Now I have examined this topic and the whole discussion has ceased to be interesting. It would be good if we were just talking about logistics in various times and places, instead of fighting for who is right. There are certainly many things that I could learn from you about Chinese logistics. Especially if you speak Chinese (I do not know where you are from). But first you would have to stop taking it so personally. For some reason, you got really caught up in a particular thesis and you do not want to see anything that does not fit.
Don't be a hypocrite and play the victim with me. You are the one who started commenting on who is right and wrong in post 107 by stating the following (and you are still maintaining that you interpreted Perdue more correctly than I did even when you clearly didn't):
"I have read the works of Perdue and I am afraid that my premonition that you lack understanding of logistics has been confirmed. Both European and Chinese."
If you want to be cocky and challenge me on the issue of logistics, you better do better than whatever you are doing now and provide the exact details and breakdowns in comparison or you will get shut down because I don't treat people who only talk the talk kindly.

Your posts show that you don't even understand what Perdue is arguing or that the sources you cited yourself actually supports what he wrote. Even now, all you are doing is quoting verbose texts without even critically analyzing what they mean and I will demonstrate that below clearly.

I am not "caught up" in any particular thesis, I am posting what I think is a far more exhaustive study than yours, since even now, you've not provided anything directly challenging what Perdue is arguing. Don't blame any disagreement on other's psychology, blame it on the insufficiency of your sources and the quality of your responses.



Read more. I read it and say that you are wrong. The quotes you provide are taken out of context. From the general context of all these books, it appears that Europe used the same methods. But if you care so much about the quotes, I will throw a few here, but they do not matter without the context:
No they are not. They are right on point actually. I repeat, Perdue compared like with like; Qing campaigns in Mongolia and Xinjiang in the 17th and 18th centuries with French and Swedish campaigns in Germany. Both were campaigning on external territory and all of these examples were stable states expanding beyond their borders, not crushing empire wide internal rebellions within. The Qing campaign was even more difficult to conduct because the barren lands of Xinjiang and Mongolia provided little resources for the Qing army to feed on.

The 1556 Decree on Service enhanced military planning on the southern
frontier by making it possible to project in advance how many cavalrymen and
their slave and peasant retainers would be available for mobilization into different
forms of service and to calculate the costs of their deployment (in this regard it
functioned somewhat like the Ottoman
timar
system, which established the
ratio between
cift
allotments and the number of
sipahi
cavalrymen and the
cebeli
retainers they were to support). The additional recordkeeping involved in
inspections, promotions, and setting new cash and land entitlement rates also
stimulated further bureaucratization of the central military secretariat. By 1566
the secretaries for military affairs had their own offi
ce, the
Razriadnaia izba
,
which was expanded and renamed the
Razriadnyi prikaz
(Military Chancellery)
over the next decades.
The forces on the southern frontier also increased in size and structural
complexity as a consequence of Muscovite mastery of gunpowder technology.




Very little is known about the logistics of southern array operations in this
period, primarily because provisioning and transport remained for the most part
privately arranged and so went undocumented. The state played little role in
corps logistics because the bulk of the corps still consisted of middle service class
cavalrymen required to provide their own stores suffi
cient for three to four
month’s campaign, carried on their own packhorses and carts and sent ahead to
the muster point soon after mobilization had been announced. Any additional
provisions cavalrymen might subsequently need they would have to purchase
or forage for themselves from the villages near where they were stationed.
Musketeers and gunners did get rations money from the state, but they were still
expected to purchase their own supplies with it. The government’s primary
contribution to logistics was therefore limited to providing transport and drivers
(out of the
iam
post system, or specially requisitioned from taxpayers) to the
musketeers, gunners, and artillery, which elements were usually smaller in the
southern arrays than on campaigns on enemy soil on the western front.
Each corps had its own baggage train, refl ecting the fact that corps traveled
along separate routes and joined together for general battle on one fi
eld only
under unusual circumstances. On major operations on foreign territory, at least,
Muscovite army baggage trains tended to be very large even by the standards of
the time and their management required the appointment of special train
commanders



But baggage trains for the corps of the Borderland
and Riazan’ arrays were probably of much smaller proportion, for these corps
were not intended to make long marches across enemy territory and could draw
from local supply sources along the Abatis Line.
18
Local supply sources came in three forms. The larger or more strategically
positioned garrison towns along the Bank and Abatis Line (Kolomna, Tula,
Pronsk, Voronezh, etc.) held state granaries, fi
lled by grain taxation or govern-
ment purchase and designed to provision their defenders in time of siege or
blockade; these could also serve as rudimentary magazines from which the corps
could also draw. Merchant sutlers sometimes delivered supplies for sale, although
we cannot tell whether they were operating on government contract and under
instruction to provision particular units. Probably most supplemental provision-
ing was not state-organized but undertaken by servicemen arranging their own
occasional purchases of local food and fodder from townsmen and villagers,
with the government attempting some regulation by insisting these purchases
be made at fair market price so as not to exploit the tsar’s taxpayers (when
operating on enemy territory, of course, the army was free to seize what it
needed and extort “contributions”).
19



The Smolensk campaign also required more elaborate logistics than previous
operations. The traditional formation cavalry
sotnia
(century) could not be
expected to cart in enough of their own food and fodder to last through the
entire siege, which would likely be a protracted affair given the imposing
fortifi
cations at Smolensk; but there would have to be controls upon their efforts
to supplement their stores by foraging lest they provoke resistance from the
rural population of Dorogobuzh and Smolensk districts and frustrate the aim of
“restoring” them to Muscovy. On arriving at Smolensk the army would in fact
fi nd most area foodstuffs already gathered up by the Poles for storage inside
Smolensk, the residue to be had only at astronomical prices; purchasing would
therefore be abandoned for exactions remunerated at below market price. These
forced deliveries were organized by assigning particular villages to provision
particular regiments.
Some supplemental stores – especially fodder for the cavalry – had been
cached at two marchroute magazines on Muscovite territory – at Mozhaisk and
Viaz’ma. A third magazine was founded at Dorogobuzh once it was liberated
from the Poles. The Mozhaisk and Viaz’ma magazines appear to have been
inadequate, for the army experienced serious provisioning problems while it
was still on the march to the Lithuanian border. The Dorogobuzh magazine fell
back into the hands of the Poles in October 1633.
The most signifi cant complication, though, was the much larger proportion
of this expeditionary army dependent upon rations money. This left the govern-
ment more responsible for collecting and delivering provisions than on previous
campaigns.
The provisions carted to Smolensk to be purchased with rations money had to come from two sources. One source was private contract. The Chancellery
of Foreign Provender contracted with hundreds of merchant sutlers to purchase
provisions for the Smolensk army, arranging with particular sutlers to deliver to
particular regiments, which bought these stores at prices fi
xed by the
government, usually at a little below Moscow market price. The other source
was the Germans’ ration (
nemetskii korm
), a tax in kind levied on Muscovite
taxpayers at the rate of 19–26,000 kg rusks, 9–13,000 kg barley fl our, and 1,600
kg salt pork per
sokha.
These stores were delivered to Smolensk by the same
sutlers and sold at the same prices; the money given for them was then used by
the Chancellery of Foreign Provender to buy up additional supplies.
In its fi rst months on enemy territory (August–December 1632) very little
reached the army, either through private sutlery or through the Germans’
ration. Deliveries of the Germans’ ration did improve from December 1632 to
October 1633; by the end of this period about 2.45 to 3 million kg of rye fl
our,
1.4 to 1.9 million kg of rusks, and 9,100 kg of salt pork were delivered. But this
was still inadequate, for it had become necessary to allow traditional formation
servicemen as well as troops in the foreign contingent to purchase Germans’
rations in order to survive.



On 15–18 May 1654 three Muscovite army groups invaded Lithuania. V. P.



Just more subjective tropes and numbers with no context to make any objective comparisons with.



Sheremetev’s Army Group North, about 15,000 men out of Novgorod, Pskov,
and Velikie Luki, marched against Nevel’, Polotsk, and Vitebsk; A. N.
Trubetskoi’s Army Group South, another 15,000 troops out of Briansk,
advanced towards Mstislavl’, Orsha, and Smolensk. The largest force, the
41,000-man Army Group Center, marching from Moscow against Dorogobuzh
and Smolensk, consisted of Great, Vanguard, and Rear Guard corps under Ia.
K. Cherkasskii, N. I. Odoevskii, and M. M. Temkin-Rostovskii and the elite
Tsar’s Corps under the personal command of Tsar Aleksei. Foreign formation
cavalry and infantry comprised a large proportion of these forces, particularly in
the Tsar’s Corps, and Tsar Aleksei even had a regiment of Polish-model hussar
lancers. The artillery taken into Lithuania reportedly exceeded 4,000 guns.
Jakob Kettler, Duke of Courland, observed, “No one has such an army.”
1
Hetman Khmel’nyts’kyi had also pledged Ukrainian troops for the campaign in
Lithuania: Colonel I. N. Zolotarenko was to take 20,000 mounted and foot
cossacks north through Starodub into Lithuania to occupy territory along the
line Gomel’–Propoisk–Staryi Bykhov, support Army Group South, and protect
the Hetmanate from Lithuanian counterattack.


One reason for Muscovy’s initial success on the Lithuanian front was over-
whelming numerical superiority. Counting Zolotarenko’s cossacks the invaders
numbered about 100,000 men,



On the
whole their logistic preparations had been sound. They used the Dnepr and
Western Dvina to move their heavy guns and stores into the Lithuanian interior.
Velikie Luki had already been prepared as a forward base and magazine for most
of the invading corps; the middle service class troops had shipped their personal
stores here in advance of the invasion, and about 3.9 million kg of state grain
had been stored here in new barns for the foreign formation infantry and cavalry
contingents.




To lead a column of 132,000 Muscovite troops and support personnel and
100,000 horses from the banks of the Samara across 300 km of empty steppe was
an enormous logistical challenge.


This source came from Brian Davies' Warfare, State and Society on the Black Sea Steppe, 1500–1700 on the Russian Crimean campaign of 1687.
The campaign never actually reached its destination and the Russians turned back in just a month and a half of traveling.
The Russians only campaigned 300 KM into the steppe.
Let me quote Perdue again so you understand the difference of distance he is emphasizing here:

"Transport costs escalated astronomically beyond the Great Wall. Interior overland transport costs were 0.2 taels per 100 li in the Northwest, very high by Chinese standards already. In the first Zunghar campaign, it cost 251,000 taels to carry 100,000 shi of grain from districts west of the Yellow River in Gansu to Suzhou in Gansu, a straight-line distance of five to six hundred kiometers. The route from Suzhou to Hami, by contrast, a straing-line distance of 600 kilometers, in actuality was over 1000 kilometers long, took one month to travel, and cost 7.7 taels per ski. Thus the total cost of moving 100,000 shi of grain from the core production areas in western Gansu to Hami was nearly one million taels, up to ten times the purchase cost of the grain itself. Furthermore, the mules, camels, carts, porters and rations for these porters had to be bought on China's interior markets, because population in the steppe was so sparse. During the second campaign, surpluses remained in Barkul from the first campaign, and officials made efforts to avoid transporting large amounts from the interior. They gave tea to troops in Urumqi to exchange for mutton and bread and supplied silver for purchases of grain, tobacco, and other goods. Even so, they needed to ship large amounts from Shanxi and Gansu. The third campaign once again required shipment of 100,000 shi of grain from Suzhou to Hami, using 3,800 carts. These figures indicate the enormous logistical problems for the Qing armies simply to move supplies from grain producing areas in the Northwest to the major military storehouses at Hami and Barkul. Travel conditions beyond Hami were even more difficult."

The distance to Hami alone was over 1,000 KM. We are talking about Qing armies capable of sustaining themselves for years over thousands of miles.

"The ability to supply up to fifty thousand soldiers for several years with grain, meat, weapons, and horses transported over thousands of miles of steppe, desert, and steep mountains represented an amazing feat of organization. By contrast, European armies at this time wriggled instead of marching on their stomachs."

Logistics become exponentially more expensive the further the distance unless there are population to extract resources from.


Furthermore, Davies also noted the lack of fodder in the Russian campaign:

"There is no mention of forward magazines being established along the marchroute south of the Samara, however. In any event, it was a shortage of fodder, not rations, that would plague the first expedition. Sixty-seven thousand wagonloads of hay were delivered to Belgorod and Sevsk, but merely to fatten the expedition’s horses on the eve of campaign; to take supplemental feed along on the march would have required several thousand more wagons be added to the train. Golitsyn made a fatal error in wagering the expedition’s success upon finding sufficient green forage in the steppe."



As you can see, European armies did not need forced extractions. They did it only far away from their borders. As for Qing, they sometimes bought something from the Mongols, but they usually took food with them and then returned to their borders to resupply. Sometimes happened that an army abroad was waiting for supplies, but it seems that
None of your sources said they didn't need forced extractions. Stop speculating. Perdue clearly said Qing armies were on campaign for years in the Zunghar war, read the damn article before you comment.


1. Usually it was a small army.
2. The distance from the border was not particularly large, though I'm not sure about all the cases.
3. The Chinese handled it worse than the Russians.
1) The Qing army was 150,000 large with each route being 50,000, compared to 132,000 Russians divided into 5 routes.

2) The Qing army marched over 1,000 KM in the Mongolian campaign of 1696 and thousands of miles in the Zunghar campaign compared to just 300 KM in the Russian Crimean campaign of 1687 (which never even reached their destination).

3) Nothing in the sources indicates that, the only thing we know was that the Russians had trouble finding fodder for their horses, whereas the Qing army didn't.
There were different European soldiers and different Chinese soldiers. Probably not every Chinese soldier used a Mongolian diet, and some European soldiers used it. Often the soldiers withstood long without food, or they fed on anything, even human meat. Besides, the food taken by Russian and Polish soldiers sometimes lasted longer than in the case of the Chinese.

Not everywhere in Europe, but there were places like "300 km of empty steppe".
Cite your source or stop speculating.


https://imgur.com/a/G3wm7vF







Like I said, please stop taking it so personally. Unlike you, I'm not going to write something like "ha, admit that you are wrong, I won and you lost." I just want to know what the truth is. There are some truths that you know better than me, and there are things about which I know better than you and I just try to explain to you what you do not understand.
Comments like these without considering the context is meaningless. All winter campaigns are relatively more troublesome, just because there are cases where the army withdrew in winter (plenty of armies even in modern times did that) doesn't mean the Qing cannot campaign in winters because they clearly did in the Xinjiang campaigns when they lived in foreign territory for years.

I am not surprised that you have problems understanding Perdue because his works are poorly written.
It seems that according to Perdue, the incredible achievement of Chinese logistics was not the ability to maintain an army on foreign soil, only the ability to move and maintain the army on its own land. It is a bit ridiculous that he thinks that Europe has failed to do the same and that he thinks that European local populations suffered more than Chinese. The usual march of the army caused a crisis in China, small, but still.
Piffles. You tell me I don't understand Perdue, when you don't even know the Zunghar campaign was just that; a campaign on foreign soil.

"Transport costs escalated astronomically beyond the Great Wall. Interior overland transport costs were 0.2 taels per 100 li in the Northwest, very high by Chinese standards already. In the first Zunghar campaign, it cost 251,000 taels to carry 100,000 shi of grain from districts west of the Yellow River in Gansu to Suzhou in Gansu, a straight-line distance of five to six hundred kiometers. The route from Suzhou to Hami, by contrast, a straing-line distance of 600 kilometers, in actuality was over 1000 kilometers long, took one month to travel, and cost 7.7 taels per ski. Thus the total cost of moving 100,000 shi of grain from the core production areas in western Gansu to Hami was nearly one million taels, up to ten times the purchase cost of the grain itself. Furthermore, the mules, camels, carts, porters and rations for these porters had to be bought on China's interior markets, because population in the steppe was so sparse. During the second campaign, surpluses remained in Barkul from the first campaign, and officials made efforts to avoid transporting large amounts from the interior. They gave tea to troops in Urumqi to exchange for mutton and bread and supplied silver for purchases of grain, tobacco, and other goods. Even so, they needed to ship large amounts from Shanxi and Gansu. The third campaign once again required shipment of 100,000 shi of grain from Suzhou to Hami, using 3,800 carts. These figures indicate the enormous logistical problems for the Qing armies simply to move supplies from grain producing areas in the Northwest to the major military storehouses at Hami and Barkul. Travel conditions beyond Hami were even more difficult."
"The Qing armies, by contrast, moved quickly across the vast reaches of the steppes supported by relay posts which shipped rations to the men and fodder to the horses. Qing commanders made careful efforts to spare the local population the burdens of military supply, either by having soldiers carry their rations with them, or by giving them money to buy grain at market prices. The real victory of early Qing rulers was their ability to draw off the resources of a rapidly commercializing economy to serve national defense needs without inflicting excessive damage on the rural economy."

In the 1750s, the Qing only controlled up to Hami, all land beyond that were Zunghar territory.


Nonsense. Again, read anything about it. I will give some quotes taken out of context (you need to know the context!). I have already given you quotes about the purchases made by the army. Now something about commercialization.
:deadhorse: No one said European armies didn't purchase. The point is they cannot do that alone with no forced contributions. Pay attention to what the sources actually say. That is your own sources.


"Therefore many armies, including that of France when it moved beyond its depots continued to live off of the land well into the eighteenth century. In such cases the army increasingly used a system pioneered by the Spanish Army of Flanders in the 1570s and perfected during the Thirty Years War...it aimed to limit soldiers' pillage of a region...in this system armies extracted regular payments in money or kind from a region under threat of force. In return for the Kontributions, occupying commanders promised to safeguard the region from violence by their soldiers...Sometimes armies' demands exceeded a locale's ability to pay, and soldiers resorted to seizing forcibly what they wished or took hostages to assure final payment - as did the Swedes in 1631 when they evacuated Munich with a third of their Kontribution, unpaid. Sometimes, too, an army might be driven from an area after it had collected what it needed, only to be replaced by its opponents with fresh demands on civilians. The system could thus still be extremely costly for inhabitants and have long-term consequences, due to the period's recurring warfare. In the prosperous Basse-Meuse region the cost of Kontributions doubled - and sometimes tripled-the nomal levels of taxes in the 1690s, a burden from which the area nonetheless recovered eventually. In economically less strong areas, like Nordlingen in Germany, early modern military exactions contributed to long-term decline."


Violence in Early Modern Europe 1500-1800 p.64



Perdue on the Qing army:




Perdue:

"The campaign of 1755-60 drew most of their grain supplies from Gansu, and the army purchased its supplies on the market. The local effect was to drive prices up by a factor of three, but so far as I know at this point, no major subsistence crisis ensued. Mobilization of ever-normal granary stocks, plus relief campaigns, combined with the more important impact of the private grain market to ensure regular flows of grain following established marketing links. In this way, the establishment of the commercial grain economy of the Northwest served as the foundation for the conquest of Inner Asia. "



"my current limited and rather chauvinist impression is that the Qing state was much more successful than Muscovy. Russian state provisioning remained almost exclusively military; there seems to have been no concern about sparing the civilian population the burdens of provisioning or with giving it regular relief. The Muscovite grain trade had such a low level of commercialization that market purchases only rarely proved possible. Agricultural yields improved in the southern region, but at the cost of the extension of serfdom. "


The sources are very self evident. There are no evidence of forced contributions on the locals in the Qing Zunghar campaigns, whereas forced contributions are a major method in European campaigns of the 17th and 18th century. No one said European armies couldn't purchase locally, but that they can't rely only on convoys and purchases alone. These sources are very straight forward at establishing that.



It is worth noting that European wars in the 17th century were much more demanding than the 18th century wars of China. Despite this, Qing encountered great difficulties.

More demanding in what way? The Qing armies sent on campaigns were larger (150,000), and traveled thousands of miles away from home for years. These are objective numbers free from your simple subjective tropes.


And this is also true for many European armies which operated either close to their borders or far from the border but for a few months only. Just like the Qing.
Except the Qing operated over a thousand miles away from its borders for years. If you bothered to read Perdue carefully, you would have caught that, but you haven't, and that's why you are just wasting more of our time.




Are you sure? Was it not 50,000 in total? Besides, it is true for Western Europe, but armies in Eastern Europe were larger than in the West.
Read Perdue again. This is what he wrote: "The campaigns of 1755-60 included three main armies, totalling 50,000 men each, who stayed on each campaign for one to two years. "

The Zunghar campaigns mobilized 150,000 divided into three routes traveling over a thousand miles in foreign lands for over a year. Kangxi's 1696 campaign with 107,000 soldiers might have only lasted 3-4 months, but it was still divided into three routes with the Central Army 37,000 in strength marching 1100 km across the Gobi; the East Route with 35,000 traveling 1300 KM, and the west Route army of 35,000 traveling 900-1100 km to the Tula River; as opposed to the 132,000 Russians in the 1687 Crimean campaign divided into 5 routes that only traveled less than 300 KM on the steppe for barely three months.

Armies in Eastern Europe might have reached the total size of the Qing expeditionary armies, but they traveled much closer to home and were generally divided into smaller units of 20,000 (there are special cases of 40,000-50,000 but Qing armies were consistently of that size).
 
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Eh, you're arguing with me all the time instead of just trying to figure out what's true. If you had any evidence for your thesis, I would agree with you a long time ago. Personally, I just want to know the truth, and because I think I know more about it than you do, I show you where you're wrong. However, there is more and more aggression on your part, all this discussion is a fight for you that you have to win. I do not see any further point in this discussion, so I will focus on just one detail. Maybe somehow we will come to some understanding, and then it will be a good idea to talk about other points.


You reapeat this qoute:
"Therefore many armies, including that of France when it moved beyond its depots continued to live off of the land"


And you say that it says "black", when it clearly says "white". The French lived off of the land only when they moved beyond the depots. They did not need forced extractions when they were close to the depots.



It is also worth noting that you claimed that Perdue did not write anything about retreating in the winter. I do not know if Qing could fight in the winter, but I know you keep telling me that I do not understand Perdue, then you say that he has never written about retreating for the winter, it turns out he did, then again you want to be the only authority to interpret Perdue. It would be good if you gave other sources because Perdue writes in such a way that we argue about what he means.
 
Aug 2015
1,843
Los Angeles
And you say that it says "black", when it clearly says "white". The French lived off of the land only when they moved beyond the depots. They did not need forced extractions when they were close to the depots.

I am curious at what exactly you think happened when the French 'lived off the land'.
 
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I am curious at what exactly you think happened when the French 'lived off the land'.

It depends on the situation. Sometimes they did not do much harm, at other times they were exterminating local population on purpose, like in Vendee. And sometimes they were just losing control over their army. Wars were complex and French army wasn't always the same. I'm not going to paint any army as ideal, the same goes for the Qing.


Edit:
And if you are curious what logistical strategies were used, it's well described in the studies I linked. To sum it up: requsitions, contributions, quarters, pillage, trade, and also soldiers had some food in baggage but it seems that the practice of having large quantities of food in wagons was more popular in Eastern Europe.
 
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Eh, you're arguing with me all the time instead of just trying to figure out what's true. If you had any evidence for your thesis, I would agree with you a long time ago. Personally, I just want to know the truth, and because I think I know more about it than you do, I show you where you're wrong. However, there is more and more aggression on your part, all this discussion is a fight for you that you have to win. I do not see any further point in this discussion, so I will focus on just one detail. Maybe somehow we will come to some understanding, and then it will be a good idea to talk aboutBher points.
No, Raziel, I established my conclusions based on actual source materials, which is more than can be said for your arguments. You accuse me of lacking evidence?
By evidence, do you mean all the sources I cited above and before, quoting them in verbatim, including yours, which actually proved what I argued or are you just saying that even when you don't even understand what these sources meant? That wouldn't surprise me, as you seem to arbitrarily pick out what Peter Perdue and the other historians I cited wrote and ignore the main points which outright contradicts your position. If you want to blame my lack of patience with you, blame it on your debating methods as you initiated the accusations and even worse, continuously repeated things I've already debunked and not understanding what is posted and quoted.



You reapeat this qoute:
"Therefore many armies, including that of France when it moved beyond its depots continued to live off of the land"


And you say that it says "black", when it clearly says "white". The French lived off of the land only when they moved beyond the depots. They did not need forced extractions when they were close to the depots.
I think you are missing the point completely. The lack of ability to supply depots in foreign lands and the lack of ability to buy local products without forced extraction when depots are insufficient is the characteristic of the French (and other European armies) which contrasted them with the contemporary Qing army of the 18th century as Perdue argued.


It is also worth noting that you claimed that Perdue did not write anything about retreating in the winter. I do not know if Qing could fight in the winter, but I know you keep telling me that I do not understand Perdue, then you say that he has never written about retreating for the winter, it turns out he did, then again you want to be the only authority to interpret Perdue. It would be good if you gave other sources because Perdue writes in such a way that we argue about what he means.
Read this passage from Perdue again, because I'm just repeating myself:
"The campaigns of 1755-60 included three main armies, totalling 50,000 men each, who stayed on each campaign for one to two years. "
If you are campaigning in foreign territory for 1-2 years without returning, then you are not retreating in winter are you? It should be common sense that a year has four seasons.
Having the ability to campaign during winter, and retreating during winter because of difficulties in addition to the weather are not the same thing. Even Napoleon and the German army faced difficulties in the Russian winter and was forced to retreat, does that mean they cannot campaign there?
 
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Haevenly Kaghan, I don't remember the whole discussion very well, but I red some of my previous posts and they seem to already answer your newest post.

The lack of ability to supply depots in foreign lands
And previously I said:
As you can see, European armies did not need forced extractions. They did it only far away from their borders. As for Qing, they sometimes bought something from the Mongols, but they usually took food with them and then returned to their borders to resupply. Sometimes happened that an army abroad was waiting for supplies, but it seems that
1. Usually it was a small army.
2. The distance from the border was not particularly large, though I'm not sure about all the cases.
3. The Chinese handled it worse than the Russians.


Perdue doesn't give evidence to disprove that. Everything you quoted is so vague that it can't prove your point.

Besides, the Poles send food to depots, for example, in Livonia, which was occupied by Polish and enemy armies at the same time, so it was a foreign territory. They did it when local merchants didn't have anything left to sell.

And if by "supply depots in foreign lands" you mean that the Qing supllied the foreign depots by buying food from the local population on foreign territory, then you are talking about something which was not an achievement at all. Everybody did that. Only if Qing sent food from inside their borders to the foreign depots, it would be an achievement, but as I said, Poles and Russians did it too.

lack of ability to buy local products without forced extraction
I already showed you that trade was a common way in which European armies were supplied. At least in those times and places where it was possible to employ that strategy and when the army did not purposely plunder the enemy lands. Perdue just doesn't know about it and with no evidence he assumes it didn't exist. He is not the best authority in this matter.

Read this passage from Perdue again, because I'm just repeating myself:
"The campaigns of 1755-60 included three main armies, totalling 50,000 men each, who stayed on each campaign for one to two years. "
If you are campaigning in foreign territory for 1-2 years without returning, then you are not retreating in winter are you? It should be common sense that a year has four seasons.
Having the ability to campaign during winter, and retreating during winter because of difficulties in addition to the weather are not the same thing. Even Napoleon and the German army faced difficulties in the Russian winter and was forced to retreat, does that mean they cannot campaign there?

1. You claimed that Perdue did not write anything about retreating in the winter. It doesn't matter if the Qing stayed for the winter a few times in their campaigns. What matters, is that you say that Perdue said one thing, when he clearly said the opposite thing. As far as I remember, you said, that Perdue never mentioned a single instance when the Qing retreated in winter. But I showed you that he talked about at least 2 specific examples and he even used words "yearly winter withdrawal" suggesting that the Qing never stayed for winter.

2. As I said, Perdue counts Gansu and Inner Mongolia as foreign territory. But they were completely subjugated by Qing, so for me they don't count as foreign lands.

Previously I said:
It seems that according to Perdue, the incredible achievement of Chinese logistics was not the ability to maintain an army on foreign soil, only the ability to move and maintain the army on its own land. It is a bit ridiculous that he thinks that Europe has failed to do the same and that he thinks that European local populations suffered more than Chinese. The usual march of the army caused a crisis in China, small, but still.

_________

So until you provide more evidence, we can't say if that foreign territory in which the Qing stayed in years 1755-60 was indeed what I count as foreign territory. And I just mentioned the evidence that they did retreat in winter during that time.

And I think you don't understand what Perdue means by "The campaigns of 1755-60 included three main armies, totalling 50,000 men each, who stayed on each campaign for one to two years. "
It seems that he actually said that there were three campaigns, each one lasted for 1-2 years and each had 50,000 men. So the Qing main armies never had more than 50,000 men in total during those campaigns. One 50,000 men army started a campaign and then it disbanded and another 50,000 men army was formed. By "stayed on campaign" Perdue doesn't mean that the army stayed on enemy territory, or even in Gansu. He only says that the soldiers were not sent to their homes and families before 1-2 years have passed.

3." Even Napoleon and the German army faced difficulties in the Russian winter and was forced to retreat, does that mean they cannot campaign there? "

Right, they couldn't campaign in Russia in winter. And that shows that their logistics was worse than Polish and Russian logistics during Polish-Russian wars.
 

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