- Mar 2013
There is a huge difference between supplying 100% of supplies and 50% when talking about armies. We can supply bases in Antartica during the winter with small impediment but at the end of the day they only require food and fuel. A base on the moon would require food, fuel, oxygen, water, and more. Similarly an army marching that can get fodder for horses, water, and even half its daily consumption of food from local supplies is effectively using far fewer supplies than an army marching thru a desert that needs to carry everything.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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the reasons the early colonies failed was because of the difficulty of supply. The reason heavenlykaghan is using the example of the barren lands and the distance is that it demonstrates the organization and capacity of the Qing to supply nearly 100% of supplies for 30k men over a relatively vast distance. My main criticism is that Europeans did not have such vast areas of barren lands to campaign in so they never needed to develop nor had the chance to demonstrate such capacity as the Qing in this same historical period- the colonies come closest but due to naval supply being much cheaper is not a fair comparison.
Sure, Qing and Europe both used rivers when able- where are the rivers in Hexi corridor? There is Gobi desert to the north and quite inhospitable high plains and mountains for 1000ks in the south.
20,000 men marching thru Siberia or the Saharha is way different than marching thru the Black Forest or the Great Alföld.
Not sure what you mean "it worked" with those examples as they all included local supply and foraging to some extent.