Logistics and structures of ancient armies??

Mar 2012
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1. The army reached the number of 180,000 men according to Davies. Although the Ukrainian Wiki says something different. Not counting rear servicemen (some 20,000 at the beginning), "Only now we can assume that the total number of Muscovite-Ukrainian troops reached 100 thousand people (taking into account the inaccuracy of the accounting of military men, "netchikov" and natural losses)" (Google translated). It should be noted that besides that 180,000 strong army,
"Yet another force under Grigorii Kosagov was given the mission of supporting the Zaporozhians in an attack upon the Dnepr fortress of Kazy-Kermen while the Don Cossacks launched a diversionary raid upon Azov."
Read Davies again. 180,000 is both combatants and support personnel. The military men which marched was only 112,902 in size. You can increase the size of your support personnel indefinitely if they are only carrying logistic train; its hardly a feat.

Shen Guo calculated that a 32 days round trip was the amount of time an army of 100,000 with 300,000 logistical support could stay in the field with neither foraging, supply line, or work animals.

This of course only pertains to infantry and sedentary warfare. War in the steppe could extend for hundreds of miles with much less support unit. Qing Shilu mentioned that the Qing army of 100,000 invading the Zunghars in the 1750s had soldiers with 5 mounts each that could carry 80 day's ration on their own. Kangxi did not bring a large logistical support across the Gobi and was hence restricted in the time he could march in the steppe.

If you want to count support personnel too, Yongle's campaign north in 1412 had a total of 500,000; of course only the 110,000 soldiers crossed the Gobi, the rest left behind. The Han campaign under Wudi in 119 BC was similar; 100,000 crossed the Gobi, and a 500,000 support unit was behind.





2. They took enough food for 4 months.
How much food you plan to bring and how much its used isn't the same because of unknown factors such as draft animal dying in the process and Perdue's point was that European armies often couldn't plan accurately ahead of time. You have yet to show me a single campaign where the Russians did in fact march for 4 months on barren land with 100,000. You have theories, but there are no actual feats like what the Qing did in fact accomplish.


3. They turned back not because they didn't take enough supplies, but because the horses drank a poisoned water and because the grass on the steppe was burned...
As you know, without grass and water on the steppe, the Qing would be unable to march too.
That's only a part of it, because the Mongolian steppe was bigger, burning the grass wouldn't exhaust the land. However, a sophisticated system of convoys with an integrated market was something the Qing had which the Russians also didn't have.



"Van Creveld's discussion provides only a few quantitative estimates, which emphasize the extreme difficulty of supplying eighteenth century European armies in the field. In a typical army of 60,000 men and 40,000 horses, the soldiers consumed 120,000 pounds of bread and 60,000 pounds of other food per day, and the horses required a total of 800,000 pounds of fodder per day. Of the total consumption of 980,000 pounds per day, only 120,000 pounds could be stored in magazines or moved in convoys. European armies thus could only be fed as long as they did not stop for too long in one place. "- Perdue


Grass clearly wasn't all of it, as in the campaign of 1689, where there was 117,446 men when after no more than 25 days of march:

"After this the Tatars no longer attempted attacks en masse and Golitsyn’s army was able to resume its progress – although with its cavalry now pulled inside its six wagenburgs for safety, and with mounting concern about diminish-ing food and water supplies"
Davies, p.182



The Qing comparison with Russia has already been made by Peter Perdue, I'm reposting this for the 5th time:
"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. "


4. About the duration of campaigns, this is what Wikis say(Google translated):

1687
"The troops advanced from different districts were to gather on the southern frontiers of the country by March 11, 1687, but because of delays, the charges ended later than this date, in mid-May. The bulk of the army gathered on the Merle River and marched on May 18th. "
"The retreat began June 28 "
"On August 13, the army of Golitsyn reached the banks of the Merla River, on August 24, she received a royal decree to stop the campaign and disband the army that participated in it. At the end of the campaign, troops of 5 and 7 thousand people were left on the southern frontiers of the state "to protect the Great Russian and Little Russian cities." For the next expedition to the Crimea, it was decided to build fortifications on the Samarka River, for which several regiments were left there. "

" In early May, the regiments moved past Poltava to the south, crossed the Oril and Samara and slowly moved towards the Kinshahi Water. "
"On August 14, the regiments returned to their original area - the banks of the Merlot River. Here Golitsyn dissolved the armed men at home. "

Are you seriously using wikipedia in a debate that involves scholarly sources? I expected a higher standard from you. Figures from Davies has already been cited, it was 112,902 soldiers marching on the steppe for a month.
 
Mar 2012
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1689
"March 17, 1689, the army launched a campaign. "
"On June 29, the Moscow army reached Merlot, where Golitsyn dissolved the armed men from their homes."
The actual campaign in 1689 didn't start off until April 20th at the earliest marching from Novobogoroditskoe. By May 20th, it turned back because of both shortage of food and the lack of fodder. This was at most no more than 60 days and it too was a failed campaign.



It succeeded in the 2nd campaign. They reached Perekop. And in 18th century they were in Crimea and in Moldavia.
The 2nd campaign wasn't across as big of a steppe land, and reaching Perekop and taking it is not the same thing. The second campaign failed in its objective and turned back after 30 days of marching. Novobogoroditskoe to Perekop is also only around 130 miles (210 KM), less than 1/6 the distance of what the Qing army accomplished.
The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare


No



They marched in ONE route. Not in 5 separate ones.

In the 2nd campaign, "From there it followed the same route as the previous expedition but made somewhat better time by marching in six separate columns, screened by a vanguard under the command of A. S. Shein. Greater care was also taken to send patrols ahead to reconnoitre and stop the Tatars from firing the steppe, and to send out detachments to establish a series of a small forward stations with wells and caches of hay. A reserve corps under I. F. Volynskii was left behind on the Samara to help in resupply efforts ".

2. 30,000-40,000 men in each one route against up to 180,000 men in one route.
It was 112,902 soldiers and only 180,000 when adding supply personnel. The Qing had 107,000 soldiers. Compare like with like. All three routes of the Qing army marched over 1,300 KM, the Russian campaign failed precisely because it couldn't divide its army into separate rapidly moving columns and only moved slowly. It's poor strategic planning, not a feat.



1. His campaign lasted for 99 days, that is less than the 2nd Perekop campaign.
No, it lasted 60 days on barren steppe and it was a failed campaign that marched less than 1/6 the distance Kangxi's army marched. Kangxi's campaign only lasted 99 days because it was a success. Yong Le's Mongolian campaigns in the early 15th century lasted 4 months because the Ming army didn't achieve its objective.


3. Perekop campaigns are good examples, because we know that in those campaigns Russians couldn't replenish their supplies. We can't say it for sure about other campaigns(though as it turns out, the Qing were replenishing their supplies as well, so I need you to prove that Kangxi didn't find any food during the campaign).
Except the Perekop campaign failed, and it marched less distance. This is not even comparing Qianlong's campaigns, which lasted 1-2 years.

But if you just want examples of a Russian army marching for over 1,000 km, you should find it in studies about Russian conquest of Siberia. In 1618, Russian state just reestablished itself, and in 1639 they already reached the Pacific, while in Europe at the same time they fought wars which were more costly than those fought in Asia by both Russia and China.
Poor comparison. The Russian campaigns in Siberia is a drawn out process that lasted over a century in multiple campaigns where the size of the army was never beyond a couple of thousand. You might as well compare the entire span of the Qing Empire with Russia in the 18th century (which is roughly comparable in extent). Compare like with like.


If you want to know the exact distances in the conquest of Siberia, you have to read about it yourself, because I'm losing interest in the discussion.
Already done that, and its utterly irrelevant to Perdue's argument. Don't just throw in campaigns with totally different context and lump them together. We are comparing a single campaign on barren land with around 100,000 soldiers (not including supply personnel).


I can give you examples of Polish and Tatar raids which were longer than 1,000 km, but first you have to tell me:

- Do we meassure the distance from the state border, or from the point were the army started marching, or from the point it entered an enemy occupied area?
- Do we count the distance they marched through friendly foreign land?
- Do we count the distance on rivers or seas?
- What about stops? If the army stopped marching for 1 year and then marched again, do we still count it as one march? What if they stopped in a camp in a field and what if they were temporary deconcentrated?
- What if the territory they marched through was already occupied by some units which get there earlier?
Are you not paying attention to what I demanded throughout this thread?
I don't want enemy vs. own territory, I want marching on barren land (not seas or settled lands) regardless of who controlled it. This isn't rocket science, what Perdue is arguing is that the Qing can live off the barren land for over a year by Qianlong's time. If you can find a case where they could camp in a location without pillaging or forcing contributions on the locals, then yes it counts (the size of the army also matters, so don't give me some isolated garrisons with just a thousand or so men).



How do you define a campaign and how do you meassure its size?



1. Do we count only soldiers or rear servicemen too? You know, they both needed supplies and both were in a camp.
2. You are talking about an army concentrated in one camp, or the whole army of a contry? Do we count local militiamen?
3. Do we count foreign allies who followed orders of a Polsih or Russian commander?
4. We are not sure about the actual size of their armies. The discussion about it is eternal and inconclusive. I can only give you various estimates.
No, we only count soldiers, because you can add rear servicemen on indefinitely; its not a feat, but a burden. There is nothing difficult in doing that.
To quote Shen Kuo of the Song period on logistics:

"Whenever the army marches, because grain has to be sent to deal with the enemy, it is the most urgent matter. Sending grain is not only expensive but it is also hard to be transported far. It is calculated that a commoner can carry 6 dou of rice, in a campaign the soldier carries 5 days of grain by himself, if each commoner supports a soldier, it can last 18 days in one trip: with 6 dou of grain, a person eats 2 sheng per day, with two people eating, it will be used up in 18 days. If we calculate the return journey, we can only advance 9 days. If 2 commoners supports a soldier the trip can last 26 days; the grain is 1 dan 2 dou, eaten by 3 people, 6 sheng per day, in 8 days, the grain carried by one person will already be exhausted..3 person supporting a soldier is the limit, if we sent 100,000 soldiers, one out of three will carry the ration which mean the fighting men will number 70,000, we would already need 300,000 logistic men to carry the ration in support, it is hard to add to that."


In short, what Shen Kuo is essentially saying is that there is a decreasing amount of return after 3 porters per soldier, because the porters must themselves eat. Adding additional porters over 3 per soldier aren't going to allow the army to stay in the field that much longer. Just look at the calculated results. A soldier without porters can last 5 days. With 1 porter per soldier the army can last 18 days. With 2 porter per soldier the army can last 22 days. With 3 porters per soldier the army can last 24.5 days. So an addition of 1 porter per soldier gives an additional 13 days in the field. Adding another porter per soldier gives an additional 4 days in the field. Adding yet another porter per soldier gives only an additional 1.5 days. There is a decreasing rate of return.




Their limit was above 120 days because they had food for 4 months.
Planning 4 months and actually carrying it out is two different things. You also didn't consider that Kangxi's campaign was over 6-13 times the distance as the Russian campaigns. You can easily carry out a plan at the doorsteps of your frontiers. If an army can only march 200 KM in a month, then its mobility is already severely limited compared to one which can march 4 times the distance in the same time.
 
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Mar 2012
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Okay, tell me more about those sources. We should discuss about them instead of Perdue's articles, because his articles don't focus on such details.
Perdue's article was pretty clear in multiple places that they didn't come back to China, if it did, then it would count as a separate campaign, not the same one. This is common sense.
I do not see how you can read this straight forward passage in any other way other than the Qing army being on the steppe (not returning in the middle) for several years.

"broke through the logistical barrier by constructing a suppoy route leading through the Gansu corridor into Xinjiang could the Chinese support large armies in the steppe for several years at a time".

As for the primary sources. I can only direct you to a few passages, since its too big of a volume to post on the entire Zunghar campaigns.

Qing Gaozong Shilu, v.465

"The Ministry of the Military petitioned: Next year we sent an army. The western route will send 20,000. They will all arrive on camp in the 4th month....From the 15th of the first month, moving every three days. From Jiayu pass (gansu) sending to the military camp....
Petitioning again: the 30,000 soldiers send on the northern route must arrive on the fourth month of next year to arrive at the camp, so the planned time to annihilate the enemy will not be missed...From the beginning of the 2nd month (around April), they set off. They probably won't arrive in the 4th month. The Mongols practice nomadism. We should probably take advantage of grass in autumn of this year and set off then, in the middle of the marching, use nomadism to slow down, choose a relatively warmer place to pass the winter and set off again."
军机大臣等奏、明年进兵。西路所派兵二万名。俱于明年四月内、令至军营。方于进兵日期无误。但所派兵、远近不等。明年春草未生时。势难趱行。其索伦、巴尔虎、兵三千。应交该将军。令于明年正月初十内至京师。自京师送至军营。应交直隶等省各督抚。照往金川兵例。或用马。或用车。自正月十五日起。间三日、起程一次。其由嘉峪关、送至军营。如何备马之处。交永常办理。其察哈尔兵二千。应令总管固穆扎布带领。会同京师派出侍卫各员。带四十日口粮。乘今年秋令起程。沿途牧养马畜。前至推河等处时。令将军策楞等。自军营差人换给马匹。酌办口粮。送至西路、驻劄哈密军营。其口粮由永常处办给。新降厄鲁特兵一千。即令车凌乌巴什带领。于四月内赴西路军营。其阿拉善兵五百名。交永常、鄂昌、派员照例办理。令公衮楚克带领。于四月底至军营。至西安、凉州、庄浪、满洲兵。及甘肃各营、安西绿营兵。俱离军营甚近。应令该将军等、会同永常、照例支给行装口粮。如期调集。得旨、依议。索伦、巴尔虎兵。著派三格、纳木球、带领。西安满洲兵。著派都赉、丰安、带领。凉州、庄浪、满洲兵。著派纳迈、齐努浑、带领。甘肃、安西、绿营兵。著派豆斌、李中楷、傅魁、马得胜、带领。  

○又奏、调往北路兵三万名。务于明岁四月内、俱至军营。方不误进剿之期。臣等酌议、京兵四千。于明岁二月初旬起程。黑龙江兵二千。于明岁二月十五内至京。起程前往。列于京兵之末。以五百名为一队。间三日、起程一次。其索伦巴尔虎兵五千。或于今年秋间起程。或俟明年起程。应令该将军速筹定议具奏办理。察哈尔兵二千。赏给两个月口粮。令于二月初间起程。四月内未必能到。蒙古兵习于游牧。不如乘今年秋间水草。即令起程。沿途游牧缓行。择暖燠处过冬。再行前往


The campaign planned to march off in autumn (before December), passing winter in steppe land through nomadism, and reach their destination in the 4th month (~June). That's around half a year in a one way trip alone (marching to enemy land should also be faster than marching back so in the two Russian campaigns, we are most likely overestimating their total time spent on the steppe), explicitly including winter.
Whether or not its friendly territory, it is barren steppe and that was Perdue's argument.




I demonstrated that Russians did march 300 km into barren enemy land. They also subjugated the territory which spans for over 4,000 km from Ural to the Pacific in 1533-1639 despite the Time of Troubles in 1598-1613.
You do realize that 300 KM is still less than a quarter the distance of over 1300 KM that Kangxi and Qianlong marched do you not (yes, most of it is in enemy territory too as anything north of the Gobi was controlled by Galdan in 1695 and the Gobi itself was garrisoned by neither the Zunghars nor the Qing; so its still not Qing controlled)?



And we are not talking about marching into a barren land, but about sending supplies 1,000 km into enemy territory, which the Chinese didn't do. I think in Europe you will not find 1,000 km of barren land, so only when colonising other continents the European powers had an occasion to go 1,000 km deep into a barren land and they did it.
If you didn't even know that Perdue is talking about barren land, and not enemy territory, then you just further confirmed to me that you have no idea what what he argued. Perdue's point wasn't that Qing could march to enemy territory and European armies can't, its that the Qing could feed themselves with convoys and buying local goods, whereas European armies had to pillage local population or force contribution. If you want to talk about simple enemy territory regardless of population settlement, then you forgot that the entirety of China proper was also conquered; faster than any European conquest of a comparable area and permanent too.
Secondly, coming back to the campaigns discussed previously, Kangxi marched into enemy land (Galdan controlled Mongolia) as did Qianlong's campaign in 1755 (Zunghar controlled land west of Hami), so I have no idea why you said the Qing didn't do that when they did just that.

Russia did it in Siberia.
Not in a single campaign with tens of thousands of soldiers.

So the campaign of 1755 is the only one where the Qing supposedly survived in enemy area without any local supplies for a year or longer, and I showed that they didn't
I don't see you analyzing anything outside of what Perdue already wrote, and he wrote that they lasted over a year. Where is the data for the other two campaigns or are you just pulling things out of thin air? I will get back to you after I scrutinize the primary texts later, in the mean time, quit making baseless speculations that doesn't have a solid source base.
 
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Mar 2012
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The actual campaign started not in May 1754, but somewhere in 1755 and on 17.10.1755 they were already in Beijing. So they fought in Xinjiang only for a short time, a few months at max. Not only that. In Xinjiang they probably found some supplies, firstly, because they cooperated with Amursana and most Zunghars surrenderded without fighting, secondly, because they defeated Dawaci, so they could take supplies from him. And after defeating him at Ili on June 20, the campaign ended. On the way back to Hami, they marched through friendly territory. And the armies were not very large, 20,000 + 30,000.

So the campaign of 1755 is the only one where the Qing supposedly survived in enemy area without any local supplies for a year or longer, and I showed that they didn't.
Stop speculating blindly and challenge Perdue's article when you have no sources to work with. I've checked the 19th century Sheng Wuji written by Wei Yuan volume 4, and this campaign started in the beginning of the 2nd month of the twentieth year of Qianlong (1755) "In the 2nd month of the 22nd year, the two routes set off. Bandi was made the general of the pacified north, left from the northern route, and Amursana was made to support him...the two routes had 25,000 each, 70,000 horses, the western route left from Balishen and the northern route left from Uliyasutai, each brought 2 months of ration. They planned to meet at Boluotala River (Boluotala River is 300 li northeast of Ili)."
Sheng Wuji, Zhonghua shuju v.2 1984 p. 151

Dawaci was defeated at the end of the 6th month and was delivered to Beijing in the 10th month. Traveling back to Hami alone probably took another two months, and to Beijing for 1-2 months. This mean the first Zunghar campaign lasted 6-7 months total, in barren enemy land.

The campaign of 1757, "in the third month, the border pacifying northern support general Chengun Zhabu set out from the northern route, the right general Zhao Hui set out from the west...in the sixth month, Zhao Hui and Fude pursued to the Khazakhs...Ablai took their horses, the Amu rebel was shocked, he escaped with 8 people to the borders of Russia...This winter, Amursana died of smallpox...after that Chengun Zhabu returned to the Uliyasutai garrison, but Zhao Hui and Fude remained in the field for winter."

Amursana died in the 9th month of 1757.
This entire campaign lasted around 7 months. Afterwards, the northern route army of Chengun Zhabu returned to Uliyasutai, but 30,000 of the Qing army under Zhao Hui and Fude remained for the winter crushing rebellions and remnant resistant groups. This army remained in Xinjiang into the next year and in the 5th month of the next year (1758), Zhao Hui led over 10,000 soldier from Zungharia and attacked kucha, and in the 10/6 of the same year, the army attacked Yarkand. The siege lasted over 3 months, and "the emperor worried that Zhao Hui and Fude's two armies were campaigning outside for so long, the generals and soldiers were all tired" and send further military aid under Namu Zhaer and the Solon and Chahar cavalries for support. Zhao Hui and Fude's army went on to capture Aksu. The Uighur resistance have been fighting the Qing army "since the winter of the previous year (1758)" and the resistance lasted until 7/10 of 1759 when the Uighur chieftains were finally crushed and the victory reported to the emperor in the 8th month.

Sheng Wuji, v.4 p.165


In another words, in the 2nd campaign, at least 30,000 Qing soldiers campaigned continuously from the third month of 1757 to the seventh month of 1759; nearly 2.5 years on foreign soil, and yes, explicitly mentioning through winter as well.


As for finding supplies in Xinjiang, the entire Zunghar population only had a couple of hundred thousand people and Amursana's faction was the minority so you'll have to provide the evidence that they've provided any significant logistic support for the Qing army.


So what do you actually claim? If I understand you correctly, you claim that the Qing didn't buy supplies from people of the enemy land (that is, from Zunghars before 20th of June 1755 and later when the Zunghar rebels occupied Xinjiang and from Kazakhs, if the Kazakh Khanate was even an enemy), Qing took those supplies forcibly and only remunerated it with money.

So Europeans were even better, because they often tried to buy supplies from enemy local people for market prices.

I already showed you examples of European armies surviving for months in enemy territory without forcibly taking food and paying nothing it.
Facepalm. Raziel, are you incapable of understanding an academic article or are you just not reading hard enough? That is clearly not what Perdue is arguing. If you want to challenge Perdue, provide an actual source, not your baseless opinion because this is getting old, and I'm not the only one who is tired of repeatedly posting what Perdue actually wrote:



The Qing:

"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. "


"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."


Europe:

"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

Europeans required forced contributions (more than they bought) in foreign territory which caused long term economic decline in places like Nordlingen Germany.
The Qing used convoys from Gansu, not Xinjiang (where it was campaigning) and bought supplies at a market price without forcing contributions at all.

This is very straight forward, you are making this more repetitive than it is necessary.







1. In Smolensk campaign, the Russians gave remunerations for supplies they took from the local population.
2. Poles in Moscow survived for long with food they bought.
3. In 1673-74, Poles were buying supplies in Moldavia and Ottoman Podolia, they survived for many months.
4. 2nd Perekop campaign lasted for over 100 days.
Prove to me that the Russians only bought supplies and nothing else. Cite the source, I'm tired of your claims without a source citation (and no wikipedia).
Perdue already addressed this, and if you have nothing to challenge it, I'm not interested in your opinion:
"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. "

In many cases its hard to tell if forced extractions were used because primary and secondary sources don't pay it much attention. I can say that in most Polish campaings in every army's camp there was a market place. But also in almost every campaign, Poles and Russians were purposefully using pillage. Not because they couldn't pay, but because pillage was a good tactic. But in some cases they didn't pillage and here we can see that they had the logistical skill to survive without forced extractions.
So you admit that Poles and Russians purposely pillaged in every campaign. Then find me a case where they didn't pillage nor forced contributions for a duration and cite the source.
 
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And I think you are wrong when you calim that the Qing were well supplied on enemy territory. Kangxi had to retreat to avoid logistical problems, in 1755 the Qing left only a skeleton army in Xinjiang despite the fact that it was a friendly territory at the time, in later campaigns Tseleng and Dardanga had large logistical problems, the Qing also pillaged local populations(scorched earth and extermination policies, I'm also curious how they treated cities they captured, any informations on that?) and 3,000 Chinese soldiers were a heavy burden for Tibet - they retreated because of logistical problems and that was in the time of peace.
The campaign of 1755 already lasted 6-7 months, that is far more time than what any Russian army lasted on the steppe, which is no more than two months. The campaign of 1757 also lasted 7 months for 50,000 soldiers, and at least 30,000 campaigned continuously for nearly 2.5 years. The support from Qing came in the 11th month of 1758, so around 50,000 in the third campaign also continuously fought on hostile territory for around 8 months. The extermination policy is done after the Zunghars were already pacified, it has nothing to do with logistical problems.


As you can see, this is not what Perdue meant. And the fact that the Qing retreated in winter makes me think that you should prove that they were able to fight in winter. I never said they couldn't, all I said was that there are some events that indicate they couldn't fight a winter war and you still didn't prove they could. Instead, you pretended that they never retreated in winter. And that the 1755 campaign lasted 1-2 years and in that campaign the Qing camped, marched or fought in snow. That campaign wouldn't be even called a 1755 campaign if it lasted 2 years.
Raziel, if you don't know something, don't make it up; much less challenge scholars on what they explicitly said just because it doesn't cater to your predetermined conclusion. I've already quoted from Qing sources and that it is exactly what Perdue meant. Wei Yuan even explicitly mentioned Qing staying on campaign during winter; so point proven, you just didn't read enough into the subject, so let us end at that.




This is nice ;)
It would be nicer if you actually provide an academic or primary source, as I repeatedly told you to do, to which you still haven't done (unless you consider the joke of a source in wikipedia as legitimate).


Xinjiang was conquered in 1755 and then it became possible to support large armies for many years in Xinjiang, but only when it was a friendly territory. It seems that the Qing couldn't fight a winter war in Xinjiang when it was an enemy territory.
Xinjiang was not completely conquered in 1755, and Amursana rebelled right afterwards; to which the Qing army had to crush his rebellion and the Uighur resistance further south for two and a half years. Stop making unverifiable assumptions and distorting what Perdue actually meant.



Yes, it was empty because Russia didn't control it. But Russia also had steppes it controled and those were not empty, because there were supply depots.
No Raziel, only the area south of the Samara river was steppe territory, learn your basic geography.

As you can see, it didn't.
Reading an academic article clearly isn't your strong point, I think we can all see that.

Most of them.
You said I distorted Perdue, cite a single place where I did and don't make me ask again or I will ask the moderator to rule this as you trolling. You are treating your baseless speculations as facts and its getting ludicrously comical, especially when you can't cite a single source to prove them.


The Russians were being endangered by Tatar attacks since they entered that empty steppe. That means it was an enemy steppe. But before they reached that empty steppe, they marched probably through some 200 km of Russian-controlled steppe, where they had safe bases. I never said that I base my knowledge of Perekop campaigns on Davies only.
Raziel, look up the geography of the area around Samara before making ignorant assumptions. Samara is at the northern end of the steppe zone.


You never said:
- That pre 19th century Russia never reached Perekop or further into steppes(in reality they did it several times and they took over the whole Crimean Khanate) ?
- That they couldn't carry supplies for 3 months?
- That the 1st Perekop campaign had 112,902 men in 5 seperate routes?
1) I only said the campaign of 1687 never even reached 300 KM, and it didn't. I didn't say Russia didn't reach Perekop; if you think I did, quote my post where I said that. So yes, strawman again.
2) Never said that. I only said they failed to reach their objective in the campaign of 1687 and the campaign only lasted a month. So another strawman. Furthermore, even the campaign of 1689 only reached 210 KM, not 300.
3) They are five corps, as Davies stated, which joined into one route.


My responses on this topic were vague because I didn't want to discuss it. But if you really insist...

As far as I know, the Nazi Germany, unlike Napoleon, was able to fight, march and camp in winter. So it seems you are just wrong with this comparison, but if you are right and Germans really couldn't fight a winter war then their technological advantege over the 16th century Poles only makes the German incompetence even worse. I think it would also show that their logistics was worse than the Polish logistics of 1919-21, though I'm not an expert on the 20th century.

As for Napoleonic France, its art of war was in general worse than that of Poland in years 1576-1717. In many aspects its art of war was also worse than that of 17th century France. Russia had better art of war as well.

The answer for your question is: yes, it means that Napoleon couldn't campaign there in winter and it shows that he didn't have a logistical skill which Poles and Russians had in 16th century.
Reading clearly isn't your strong point is it? Where did I say the Germans can't campaign in winter? Do you not understand what sarcasm is? I am mocking your claim that the Qing army can't campaign in winter because they withdrew in winter; by such logic the Germans can't campaign in winter because they also withdrew in winter during the Soviet campaign. The same applies to Napoleon.

Hey, I don't hide that I don't know their geography very well. The whole time I ask you to teach me about those campaigns. But you tell me untrue things and you prove them with qoutes which are deprived of details about the actual campaigns.
Come, lets see how far this comedy of a conversation continues. I've babysitted you throughout Perdue's article, and even told you where and how far Ili and Mongolia was from Hami and Beijing and who controlled it, yet you still had the ignorance to say that the Qing army was not campaigning in foreign territory. Ignorance is not a sin, but insisting on your stance after being exposed and ironically accusing me of lying is well, just pathetic on your part and doesn't reflect well on your intellectual integrity at all.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,531
I am not sure the Qing campaigns in Mongolia make the best comparisons since those campaigns absolutely required a high level of logistics support or they are simply impossible as there exists not even close to enough food to take from the locals to feed a large army but the point about Qing internal markets and the granary system supplying Gansu and armies operating further west is quite true- far as I am aware Europeans had nothing quite similar but mostly because they never required it- not that it was impossible to establish but simply there was no reason for such an elaborate system due smaller populations and ability of armies to survive by requisitioning up until the era of full mobilizations and multiple corps over 50k soldiers on several fronts.

Also all of the Qing armies marching were 30,000 or less and were not skirmishing or fighting continuously- most of the time was spent just chasing the nomads who were outnumbered. European armies of this same era (1600-1700) were typically 20-30,000 but were usually fighting full battles quite often per campaign and opposed by equal numbers of men in the enemy armies so the circumstances are a bit different.

Next, the number of soldiers Qing could project was multiple times larger than any contemporary European state IF the Qing fully mobilized to the same degree as many European states were mobilized. Qing population was somewhere around 200-400 million over the centuries it ruled China. France which was the most populated western European nation for most of this period was 20-30 million people but was putting into the field armies of similar numbers to Qing in active campaigns for nearly half of the 18th century (France was involved in 5 major wars in this century and numerous smaller conflicts).
 
Mar 2012
4,323
I am not sure the Qing campaigns in Mongolia make the best comparisons since those campaigns absolutely required a high level of logistics support or they are simply impossible as there exists not even close to enough food to take from the locals to feed a large army but the point about Qing internal markets and the granary system supplying Gansu and armies operating further west is quite true- far as I am aware Europeans had nothing quite similar but mostly because they never required it- not that it was impossible to establish but simply there was no reason for such an elaborate system due smaller populations and ability of armies to survive by requisitioning up until the era of full mobilizations and multiple corps over 50k soldiers on several fronts.
The soldiers in Europe which already marched a few hundred KM into enemy territory were already pillaging and forcing contributions; leading to long term economic decline of these regions. These armies cannot march far (well over 100 KM) from settled populations in any sizable number. That was Perdue, and a number of other scholar's point. Saying that there was no conditions for Europe to develop similar levels of logistic planning is like saying there was no condition for the Qing to develop maritime empire or industrialization; not having the condition does not mean they had immediate access to it and can develop it at a whim or that the comparison is invalid.
 
Oct 2017
161
Poland
@Ichon

the point about Qing internal markets and the granary system supplying Gansu and armies operating further west is quite true- far as I am aware Europeans had nothing quite similar but mostly because they never required it
Since Gansu(and Xinjiang from 1755, interrupted in 1755-56 by a rebellion) was controlled by Qing, I have to disagree with you here. Inside their own territories, the European powers had very economic and sophisticated supply systems with trade, magazines and everything. Likely even better than the Qing had.



Heavenly Kaghan, I'm writting a long post.
By the way, I think that what Ichon wanted to say was not that "Europe didn't have the skill to do the same things as Qing did, because Europe didn't have the opportunity to develop this skill". It's more like "They had the skill, but didn't have the opportunity to use it". Europe had those skills, but simply didn't march with 20,000 soldiers through 1,000 km of steppes, because they never found a large enemy force so deep into barren land. At least this is one of my thesis.
 
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Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,531
@Ichon



Since Gansu(and Xinjiang from 1755, interrupted in 1755-56 by a rebellion) was controlled by Qing, I have to disagree with you here. Inside their own territories, the European powers had very economic and sophisticated supply systems with trade, magazines and everything. Likely even better than the Qing had.
Europe had granaries and internal markets but simply not on the scale of the Qing and the closest Europe came to needing to supply an army over such long distances was the colonization of the Americas but it was mostly shipborne and never required such a concentration of force as Qing needed in this example anywhere near this era.

European armies marching in Europe were usually able to supply from local populations- not that this was the best system but it worked mostly until armies were simply too large and required more than food to function.

Qing armies did usually buy most of their goods on local markets which European armies did not always do even when mustered in home territory but it was at least attempted to function that way in many European states by the 18th century even if those attempts often failed no differently than it sometimes failed in the Qing during times of turmoil.

The soldiers in Europe which already marched a few hundred KM into enemy territory were already pillaging and forcing contributions; leading to long term economic decline of these regions. These armies cannot march far (well over 100 KM) from settled populations in any sizable number. That was Perdue, and a number of other scholar's point. Saying that there was no conditions for Europe to develop similar levels of logistic planning is like saying there was no condition for the Qing to develop maritime empire or industrialization; not having the condition does not mean they had immediate access to it and can develop it at a whim or that the comparison is invalid.
I am not disputing Purdue- just saying there are hardly any places in Europe in the 18th century that were more than 100 KM from a settled population. Only a few areas and only a handful of campaigns were done in those areas- when not supplied by ships almost all failed largely due to logistical reasons because Europeans rarely campaigned in such areas. Qing had the advantage of centuries of awareness of campaigns vs nomadic peoples in relatively barren lands.

The other aspect is that the Qing supply system was a mixed system of dual civilian/military use and with the Qing having a population at least 3-4x the largest European states and a granary network meant to support 100s of thousands in a single province was easily adapted to supplying an army of 30,000. Europeans with ocean access nearly vast majority of their most dense populated regions never built huge granaries in this era because while there were repeated famines few occurred repeatedly in the same area and since most areas of Europe were controlled by different competing governments famine and granary were not addressed as it was under Qing rule
 
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Oct 2017
161
Poland
the closest Europe came to needing to supply an army over such long distances was the colonization of the Americas
What are you talking about? The market from which European soldiers were buying supplies in friendly territory was as wide as the whole Earth. They were using goods from colonies and from all sides of Europe.

Even if you count only the land travel, merchants selling oxen were traveling with herds of oxen from the proximity of Black Sea to the Rhine river or further. But from what I know, the Qing trade used rivers. As did the Russian trade which spanned for many thousands of km.

never required such a concentration of force as Qing needed in this example anywhere near this era.
20,000 in one place is a large concentration of power? You know, European armies often surpassed that. Especially Ottomans quite often had some 200,000 men in one place.

European armies marching in Europe were usually able to supply from local populations
They weren't. Even in ancient times, before Romans were starting a campaign, they needed to collect supplies first. Europeans couldn't just go anywhere in Europe and hope to survive there if the supplies weren't ready in advance. When Western-Europeans operated deep into enemy territory they had problems surviving because the supplies weren't prepared for them in advance. They also couldn't really trade much, because they were surrounded by enemies. So they were taking supplies forcibly, sometimes with money remunerations. But here we are talking about what was happening on friendly soil in 17-18th century.

Qing armies did usually buy most of their goods on local markets which European armies did not always do even when mustered in home territory but it was at least attempted to function that way in many European states by the 18th century even if those attempts often failed
But it worked when France invaded Netherlands, right? It worked when Ottomans campaigned against Austria, when Russia campaigned against Poland and when the Spaniards marched along the Spanish Road. It worked during Marlborough's long march to the Danube.
 

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