Logistics and structures of ancient armies??

Mar 2012
4,354
Sure, a forced contribution was an improvement upon direct pillaging as a lip service to the rule of law and the recognition that totally devastating lands an army wanted to conquer was probably bad idea. However many wars the idea of conquest was not really central as national identities and borders were fairly established and scorched earth or harsh confiscations or direct pillage was still relatively common even during Napoleonic wars and the U.S. war between the States.

The criticism was that saying Europeans had not the capability to supply a relatively modest army is different than saying Europeans did not demonstrate this ability because it wasn't necessary. Even Qing only needed to demonstrate this ability in one campaign and it was the second try when the first campaign floundered a bit due to supply issues.
Perdue isnt comparing the difference of the area of conquest, but on the difference in the economic harms brought by each. Forced contributions imply that the region's existing economic structure is being exploited, exhausting the region's resources beyond its capacity, leading to long term economic decline of the region. The harms include the decrease in value of the region as a future source of revenue and when pressured more could even lead to revolts. This was why Perdue spent so many pages focusing on Qing policy in Gansu. As the province which bore the bulk of the economic burden for the Zunghar campaign, the Qing mostly bought things there at market price or carried their own ration. Gansu did not suffer long term economic decline and became instead more integrated with the rest of the empire. I've already quoted this point by Perdue and other historians of European warfare many times in this thread and people still seem to miss the point and go on a tangent because they do not digest the information before responding.

Also, the Zunghar campaign was hardly the only campaign where the Qing did that, the Qing also made strict orders to buy things at market price only in the Nepalese campaign of 1792, no instance of forced contribution was ever demanded. As I already demonstrated earlier, even in the campaign against the three feudatories in the 1670s the Qing did not exploit the locals after conquering them, but gave them years of tax exemption for them to recover. This could only be done because the Qing had a sophisticated and flexible bureaucracy in handling grain relocation.

Finally, I am not sure if it is a an accurate statement of Duzungar Khanate as the "largest and most powerful nomadic polity on earth" without qualifying it as 'at that time' because Qing themselves where the descendants of Jurchen and battled the Ming who were descendants of the Mongols sort of... really so much time had passed the the culture changed along with population sizes, technology, and relative power it was a different era.
Whether a state is nomadic is determined by its socio-economic structure, not by its geneology.
A nomadic polity implies the ruling class wandered around grazing throughout the year, of which the Zungar state qualifies. The Jurchens were never nomadic, and even if they were they certainly settled down by the 18th century in Beijing. The Ming might have inherited Mongolian military and political institutions (in the same way the Mongols adopted certain Jin and Chinese institutions), but to imply that its a nomadic state is ridiculous.

As a nomadic state the Zunghars was the biggest military powerhouse of the era, they conquered the Khalkh Mongols in the 1690s, raided the Mongols of Inner Mongolia, conquered Tibet in 1717, and defeated the Kazakhs (who were also pressuring the Uzbeks) and subjugated large parts of their territory. The Kalmyks who subjugated the Nogai in the eastern Crimean steppe was also a small fleeing branch of the Oirat confederation eventually dominated by the Zungars.
 
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Oct 2017
169
Poland
@heavenlykaghan


Perdue isnt comparing the difference of the area of conquest, but on the difference in the economic harms brought by each.

If this is true then it makes everything easier for me. Because I would not need to talk about campaigns in barren lands. Istead, I only need to talk about campaigns were the Europeans didn't pillage.

But if we have to talk about barren lands, then you should read up about such things as:

1. Ivan IV's campaigns against remnants of the Golden Horde.
Ivan the Terrible

Those remnants were even stronger than the 18th century Zunghar Khanate. Just like Zunghars, there were hundreds of thousands of them, and just like Zunghars, they were quite divided which allowed Russia to easily conquer them in a similar way the Qing conquered Zunghars. Crimean Tatars were exceptional. One reason was their strong defensive position in the peninsula. Another reason was that unlike Kazan and Astrakhan Tatars, the Black Sea Tatars were strongly against Russia. And another reason was their military strength, they very often defeated the Russians in battles, so it doesn't matter how good the Russian logistics was.

Ivan IV send his soldiers 1,000 km beyond the Abatis line and further. Like when he sent 30,000 to Astrakhan. Expeditions against Kazan were larger. One of them numbered 150,000.

There are many other similarities with the Zunghar campaigns.
Here, p. 78:
Russia's Wars of Emergence, 1460-1730

The author notes that it took nearly six weeks to arrive at Kazan. He raises the question: how can Russian campaign succeed before it runs out of ressources?

The key to success was having weak oppontes. Kazan was quickly captured. Russia left there a garrison of 18,000 soldiers. After the subjjugation of Kazan it was easier to hold an army there and fight of rebels in next years. The same thing happend in Qing's wars. Zunghars were always easily defeated.

And just like in Qing campaigns, the Russians subjugated Tatars diplomatically at first, and then the Tatars were rebelling for many years which resulted in new Russian expeditions and destruction of Tatar states.

And Russians also had to hold some armies in Astrakhan and Kazan for years.

2. Siberian trade routs.

Siberian Route - Wikipedia
Babinov Road - Wikipedia

The Qing logistics you praise so highly were nothing more than trade. And Russia had similar, or even larger succeses in transporting goods over vast distances of barren lands. Those routs could be always used to supply large armies in the steppe, if there was such a need. At least if we count those Qing armies in Xinjiang as large. And it should also be noted that trade works poorly or doesn't work at all in enemy areas. But as I said, other than Black Sea Tatars, the steppe enemies coudn't really put up a significant resistance against Russia and Qing. So I guess Russian merchants could relatively easily supply armies in Tatar territories, even when Tatars theoretically rebelled. Similarly to what happend in Xinjiang.

3. War of 1735-39.
Rus - Rulers

Forced contributions imply that the region's existing economic structure is being exploited, exhausting the region's resources beyond its capacity, leading to long term economic decline of the region. The harms include the decrease in value of the region as a future source of revenue and when pressured more could even lead to revolts. This was why Perdue spent so many pages focusing on Qing policy in Gansu. As the province which bore the bulk of the economic burden for the Zunghar campaign, the Qing mostly bought things there at market price or carried their own ration. Gansu did not suffer long term economic decline and became instead more integrated with the rest of the empire.
Yes, but Gansu, and even Xinjiang can't be compared to places like Nordlingen. One was under occupation of Qing army. In the other, the occupation was contested. In places like Nordlingen there was an enemy army camp right next to your own camp. Any soldier who went out of a camp, could be suddenly killed by an enemy. And the camp itself could be attacked at any time. Merchants were being under attack as well.

And in the Thirty Years War, scorched earth tactics were used to destroy German lands on purpose.

Also, the Zunghar campaign was hardly the only campaign where the Qing did that, the Qing also made strict orders to buy things at market price only in the Nepalese campaign of 1792
And they weren't the only ones to do it. I told you about a similar Polish decree in Moldavia. And that was before Moldavia was subjugated. Even Napoleon made similar decrees regarding places such as Prussia or Duchy of Warsaw, though they failed. He had poor logistics, but in his defence I can say that such a big army would ruin the economy even if there was no illegal pillage. In post #130 I show that screenshot with a quote that proves the Qing had similar problems in Tibet. Not in 1792, but earlier. They had to withdraw their army in order to not ruin Tibetan economy. And Napoleon wanted to have a big army. So he had to ruin his empire's economy.

gave them years of tax exemption for them to recover. This could only be done because the Qing had a sophisticated and flexible bureaucracy in handling grain relocation.
It was just simple trade. Tax exemptions for destroyed or newly settled areas were often used in Poland, Russia and I can guess that in other European countries too. France is known for giving large amounts of bread to the poor in times of famine.

Whether a state is nomadic is determined by its socio-economic structure, not by its geneology.
I think you misinterpret his words. It seems he only wanted to say, that before Zunghars were the strongest nomad state, there existed nomad states which were even more powerful.

To be continued...
 
Oct 2017
169
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@heavenlykaghan


I am not insulting you either
Is calling someone pathetic an insult or not?

where did I change any part of my original argument?
I'm not talking about some "original argument" because at no point in this discussion I managed to force you to reveal what you actually claim. This whole discussion is built on the following scheme:

heavenlykaghan: [Argument A] is true. Perdue, Davies or someone else said it.
raziel678: He didn't.
heavenlykaghan: Prove he didn't.
raziel678: Okay, it's hard to prove that something which doesn't exist just doesn't exist, but here's a short book you expect me to write everytime I answer your posts and in this huge post of mine I explain everything what Perdue/Davies/someone said and he never says [Argument A].
heavenlykaghan: Oh, you think I said [Argument A]? How stupid can you be? I actually meant [Argument B]. I will call a moderator on you for not understanding me.
raziel678: Okay, but [Argument B] is wrong as well.
heavenlykaghan: Perdue, Davies or someone else said it.
raziel678: He didn't.
heavenlykaghan: Prove he didn't.
raziel678: Okay, it's hard to prove that something which doesn't exist just doesn't exist, but here's a short book you expect me to write everytime I answer your posts and in this huge post of mine I explain everything what Perdue/Davies/someone said and he never says [Argument B].
heavenlykaghan: Oh, you think I said [Argument B]? How stupid can you be? I actually meant [Argument A]. I will call a moderator on you for not understanding me.
raziel678: The hell?! I already proved that [Argument A] is wrong.
heavenlykaghan: This discussion is very repetitive. I already told you that Perdue, Davies or someone else said that [Argument A] is true.
raziel678: He didn't.
heavenlykaghan: Prove he didn't.

And so on.

No, I get angry when you claim something to be wrong and insist on it when you've provided no valid evidence to refute it, and then accuse me of misinterpreting articles when its clearly you who did not have a solid grasp of the subject or what the author argued.
It's not a good reason to get angry.

I imagine an analogous situation: If you stubbornly criticized my theories, instead of getting nervous I would be glad that my theories are checked and someone pays so much attention to them. I would be grateful. Even if you were completely wrong in your criticism.

You should have more respect for the idea of devil's advocate. Even if I believed in your theories, I would still do a good deed by looking for places where your theory is not 100% proven.

I think the quotes are pretty self evident, and others here understand them perfectly.
Nothing is self-evident when it's not evident for your adversary in a discussion. But if you want, we can look for some mediator who will judge what is evident and what isn't. Maybe Ichon would agree.

I asked you to quote where I distorted Perdue because you claimed I did.
Yes you did.

When challenged just where you couldn't provide the quote and evidence
I provided.

1) No they didn't, they stayed in Zungharia, I already posted the contemporary source in Sheng Wuji to prove that, your unfamiliarity with the geographical names of the region mentioned in the quoted source is why your arguments only have comical values.
[...]
4) They left 30,000, more than half of the army, that is hardly a skeleton army.

As showed in my sources, the Qing stayed near Ili 1,000 KM from Hami for over 2 years, what is wrong with that claim?
Here you talk about the 1757 campaign and I talked about the 1755.

2) And?
3) It's in hostile territory and the logistics was provided by people from Gansu not from the locals, which is the main point.
And you were wrong when you first disagreed with me. Now we agree on this point.

By the way, here you said that the sources disprove me, so you distorted them as you always do. Please stop asking me to show you where you distort sources, because almost everything I do in my posts is correcting your distortions. So don't tell me I don't show you where you distort something. This is what this whole disucssion is about. About your misinterpretations. And a bit about Perdue's ignorance on European history, but he admited it and you don't really defend him.

Except Davies explicitly stated that the 20,000 were "slave retainers, carters, and sappers marching in the army's train", so they are not fighting soldiers.
You just repeat what I said. So you agree with me?

Even if we assume all the Cossacks were fighting soldiers, lets not forget the campaign never went beyond 100 KM nor reached its destination, so its hardly meaningful compared to an army that marched over 13 times its distance.
That's not the point of this part of the discussion.

You make a lot of assumptions on where the Russians marched, please cite an actual source.
You have three maps, that one in The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare, that in Davies' book and that in Разин История военного искусства т 3 which is posted on Wikipedia. The first one is inacurate, though it takes into account that the troops had to be relocated from all over Russia before the campaign, so it shows them marching from Moscow.

Other two maps are accurate and backed by Davies' book and studies on which the Wiki article is based.

Samara is on the northern edge of the steppe zone
It's not.

Davies clearly used it as the starting point into empty steppe
He used it as the concentration point of Russians and Cossacks.

and did not mention that they are only marching on enemy steppe
Nobody says he mentioned.

Besides even if you only want to include enemy barren zone, the distance north of Zamiin Uud is already enemy steppe territory and the Qing still had to march some 800 KM, 4 times further than what the Russians marched.
1. It doesn't matter how far they marched. I don't use the Perekop campaigns as an example of a long distance march. We talk about those campaigns for two reasons. One reason is that they are among proofs that some European armies could camp or march for months without replenishing supplies. Though you don't even claim that Qing didn't replenish supplies. You say in 1755-60 they used trade and convoys. As for 1696, the Chinese have captured Galdan's supplies, so they had replenishments. Second reason for talking about Perekop is that I simply correct your false claims about those campaigns (size, distance, time, number of campaigns, number of routs, other details).

2. In order to be polite for you, I use a definition of an enemy area, which allows you to claim that Kangxi marched through 800 or more kilometers of enemy land. The definition is: area where you can be attacked by enemy (local people or regular soldiers) at any point in time and space. Now, I don't know all the details of 1696 campaign, so I need you to assure me that already when the Qing were 800 km away from the destination point, they were in danger of being attacked by Zunghars, and all the way - for 800 km - they expected to meet enemies at any time.

3. I never said that marching for 1,000 km of enemy land is impressive(though it kinda is, but it's another topic). I said that sending supplies over 1,000 km of enemy land is impressive. Were supply convoys from Hami attacked by Zunghars all the way for 1,000 km?

4. Now I think I was wrong when I said that Russians or Poles never send supplies so deep into enemy land. But I also see now, that each logistical endeavor should be judged separately. For example, in 1660, Russians were theoretically some 500 km deep into Polish territory and they just put down a rebellion in the back. But at that exact time their occupation was so strong that convoys passing through some of the occupied areas were probably more safe than on Siberian trade routs in the middle of Russia, so maybe we should count Siberian trade as passing through enemy areas. It's hard to judge this. Another important detail is that it's easier to convoy supplies through places were only some local inhabitants can oppose you and harder in places where you have actual enemy fortifications with regular soldiers. So a campaign wich takes place 100 km deep into enemy territory can be a larger logistical challenge than a campaign which takes place 1,000 or more kilometers deep into area which belongs to enemies. Every case should be judged separately.
 
Oct 2017
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The point being they never successfully marched even 300 km into the steppe
What do you mean by succesfully? That they must defeat the enemy? Russians were not able to defeat Tatars in battle during those campaigns, the logistics couldn't change it. But Russians won in early 18th century, and they defeated Kazan and Astrakhan in the middle of 16th.

And if you care only about steppes, no matter if enemy, than, well, Polish and Russian armies were marching through hundreds of kilometers of steppes and uninhabited forests all the time. By the way, unlike steppes, forests were often considered literally impassable for armies.

In comparison Kangxi succeeded in feeding his army
He took food for a few months. Just like Russians. Just before the clash with Galdan, lack of supplies forced Kangxi to turn back.

Before claiming what is or is not an over-interpretation, you should cite a source what the exact distance Golitsyn marched was
Your own source says that Golitsyn turned back 210 km from Perekop.

What other armies? I do not see it in Davies book. Cite it.
I already did:
"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."

So there were 4 routs, and then 3, when Russians joined the Cossacks at Samara. Those two had to march in 1 rout between Samara and Perekop. I imagine that Kangxi risked his army being defeated when its divided, but the army would move slower in one route. Moving such a large mass would be a larger logistical achievement tough.

dividing it was simply a more efficient method
And this is what Russians did on many occasions. But in those campaigns they couldn't. On the other hand, maybe the small divisions of that one route in the second campaign were already enough to maximize the army's speed.

So you say, that Qing couldn't send 100,000 in one rout if they had to?

Are you seriously telling me that the Qing conquering a largely barren territory of 600,000 sq miles whereas the Russians failing to conquer a territory several times smaller does not matter? The logistical difficulties involved in the former is magnitudes more overwhelming.
Just go read my point again:
"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)."

By now, I know that Kangxi replenished his supplies.

Marching into land with no intense resistance is missing the point Perdue was making. Settling down is not a military campaign.
So the Qing never made any campaigns against Zunghars.

Except the Galdan campaign of 1696 already had as many soldiers and it marched further, accomplishing its political objective. The Zunghar campaign had 30,000-50,000, its merely around 2-3 times smaller than the Perekop campaigns
They sometimes had only 20,000 in one rout. 20,000 vs 180,000. I'm not saying it makes your points invalid. I'm just using your arbitrary arguments to show how inconsitent you are. I can always make arbitrary wishes about what I expect the Qing to do, just like you make such wishes about what you expect the Russians to do.

Siberian campaigns involve a few hundred to a thousand
Sometimes about 1,500 in one expedition (http://bazhum.muzhp.pl/media//files...upskie_Studia_Historyczne-r1999-t7-s39-50.pdf). And since you count all routs as one army, you should count all simultaneous armies in Siberia as one army.

they moved extremely slowly.
They didn't.

The Qing Empire under Qianlong was around 5.3 million sq miles, the contemporary Russian Empire is at most a few hundred sq miles larger, and much of it is not even settled. The Qing conquered all of it in just a century; the Russians took over two centuries when it started marching east in the 16th century (that's not even including the Russian polity that existed way before that). There is not much point in talking about the mild difference in area but plenty about the speed and resistance involved in such conquests.
This part of the discussion is completely obvious and very easy for me. It's also a secondary topic. So I'm not interested in talking about it. You don't understand anything anyway.

If you actually understand what Perdue argued, then you should be aware that one of the main point is that the Qing army didn't force contributions, and if you insist it did, you'll need to provide the evidence
I never said they forced contributions.

Don't give me vague explanations, you know full well that Perdue provided the exact marching distance and context and I expect the same from you if you want to refute his source. Also, please cite the source in verbatim, I'm not exactly keen in trusting your interpretation of them, especially after our last few unproductive exchanges.
Perdue wrote a book. I refute you (not him, because you have different claims than him) on the basis of hundreds of books and articles I read. Do you expect me to write a whole book being a study of all those primary and secondary sources? I already kinda wrote a book if we compile everything I wrote about history on the internet. But I'm not going to write a whole book on logistics just for you. You don't even understand anything. Just the sources you already know should be enough to correct yor mistakes. But if you are willing to read more, I can give you a lot of titles, though they are mostly Polish.

Suddenly what? That was what I argued since the beginning
It wasn't. Even now I don't know what you claim. Hell, you yourself don't know what you claim.

You say Perdue makes multiple claims. So he talks both about barren land and enemy territory. But you also say he talks only about barren land and nothing about enemy territory. So he doesn't make multiple claims. But then you say "Perdue isnt comparing the difference of the area of conquest". So he makes zero claims in this topic. Three different stories.

You claimed I misinterpreted Perdue
Yes.

you first mentioned that European armies didn't need contribution in their own land, and that the Qing was no different and would need contribution in enemy land too
I never said the Qing needed contributions. Actually, I said the opposite.

You are confusing two unrelated things. When I said this:
"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."
I am talking about enemy land, not barren land
I never doubted it. But that's not the point.
 
Oct 2017
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The comparison with Russia was a different topic purely in regard to campaign in barren land, and has nothing to do with the topic on forced contributions.

The entire argument was to show that the Qing army can campaign in land without exploiting local resources (that is forcing contributions or the land is just empty). Therefore, campaigning in both steppe and enemy land shows that.
It's a new claim. But I like this one. It means that it's pointless to talk about steppes, barren lands, foreign lands and so on. We only need to say if the European armies can use tactics different than pillage and contributions in order to supply their armies. And you already agreed that they can. Russians, Turks and Poles showed it both in friendly and enemy territory. For now you agreed only with the friendly territory part, but this is enough now when you say that the type of area doesn't matter.

Yes, because all lands west of Hami isn't friendly territory, and neither is the land north of the Gobi when Kangxi marched against Galdan. The Qing marched them, yes or no? If you accept that, then the Qing marched in enemy territory.
I don't see how it is an answer for my words: "Now you revert what you said. When I said thet Perdue talks about Qing supplying their armies on friendly territory, you disagreed. Now you say it yourself. You now claim again that Europe couldn't supply armies on friendly territory. Though you made a little change. Now you emphasize that it has to be not settled land."

The point of the passage was to show transporting supply personnel isn't a feat.
Depends on what you mean by supply personnel. If it stays in the camp, it is a feat. If it stays on the supply lines then it isn't a feat. Your source counts that camp personel as soldiers.

20,000 of 50,000 came back, that is not most of them. Who said its friendly territory?
Here you talk about the 1757 campaign and I talked about the 1755.

the Qing was constantly in hostile steppe territory from March of 1757 to 1758, a period of one year.
Ili is in enemy territory. The Qing army was surrounded by resistant groups.
And the rebels occupied the whole 1,000 km long road between the Qing army and its supply magazines and the convoys still broke through that 1,000 km of rebels and reached the army which waited for supplies?

First, this is not what I asked you to prove, you said:
"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
Yes. And you said that only in the first campaign they fought in areas with no local supplies. You said that the second and third campaign took place in areas where local supplies exist.

Second, you didn't show anything. I showed that the Qing did in fact campaign even in Zunghar territory for one whole year,
No, they spend a year. Seven months destroying Amursana's rebellion alone and 4 months to mop up the remainder resistance.
Here you talk about the 1757 campaign and I talked about the 1755.

I suspect that you are misinterpreting the word "rebellion" as if its Qing territory. It's not, when Amursana "rebelled", there was no Qing army stationed in the area, the entire Zunghar state was resisting and the Qing had to move a new army there.
It was subjugated by Qing until it rebelled. But what you say here is mostly in line with my words, though for meticulousness it should be noted that there was one small Qing unit in the Zunghar state.

The point isn't what degree of resistance the Qing army faced
That wasn't my point. Go read it again.

they campaigned in territory where they had little local resources to draw upon
Ok. So they had local supplies, just not enough for the whole army?

Raziel, do you even read the sources you bring up yourself?
This is what Davie's book say on p.72:

[...]

So no, the Russians did not buy everything at market price in that campaign, they forced contributions.
Previously you didn't count buying below market price as contributions. It would sound funny to call it contributions. You even said something about Qing buying below market price.

Besides that, I gave you examples of armies buying for market price. In enemy territory! As for you, you only gave examples of Qing buying supplies in places where no enemy army occupies the area at the time when the Qing buy supplies.

Show me which foreign campaign did the Russians depend purely on interior convoys or buying things at market price and not force contributions on populations at values below market price.
Practically all campaigns agaisnt nomads and half-nomads, since there were little local supplies. Smolensk campaign and some other campaigns used some local supplies, but relied mostly on supplies coming from Russia.

Don't compare settlements spread out over a century to one time military campaigns.
I don't.

Show me where these armies didn't need contribution. Cite the source.
Candia. Do you think that Crete island could supply two armies for 21 years? The Turks needed to ship their supplies. If you really think that contribution system allowed such a small island to supply a large number of soldiers for such a long time, then I guess you no longer claim that the contribution system leads to significant economic losses.

As for the Swedes, the entire Sweden didn't have enough ressources to supply its army, so it couldn't supply the whole army with convoys from Sweden. Logistically, they were in quite difficult situation and they had to find ways around it.

No its not wrong, because it doesn't change the fact that the Qing campaigned in winter,
In that example they only camped in winter. I wouldn't call it campaigning. I said previously that by campaigning i mean camping, marching and fighting. And in the example they camped in some safe place away from the enemy. It wasn't an actual war.

But maybe in next campaigns they actually campaigned in winter. About 1757-60, I asked you "Did they relocate during winter? Was their camp attacked by rebels in winter?". If at least one is true, then I will count that as a winter campaign.

Qing campaigned in winter, which you argued they couldn't
I only said that Perdue makes such an impression on me and I asked you to explain if the Qing could campaing in winter. I never thought they couldn't campiagn in winter. And I also never thought they could campaign. I just don't know and I still have some doubts about their abilities to campaign in winter.

Perdue never said the Qing can't campaign in winter
He said that the emperor demanded impossible when he scolded his commanders for not campaigning in winter. The winter campaign was... impossible. At least according to Perdue. And I know that Perdue knows about campaign against Chigunjav. This is why I gave those two hypothesises.

2) If you are not going to give a context or sources, don't use it as an example.
You are the one who should know the details of the campaign against Chingunjav. So tell me the details.

Perdue merely mentioned one case where the Qing had to withdraw in winter, you interpreted that as the Qing can't campaign in winter period, ignoring the context behind every campaign being different. Again, by your logic the Germans in WW2 cannot campaign in winter, which is ludicrous.
False analogy. Germans were defeated by the Red Army. The Qing were not defeated and Perdue simply writes that they had to withdraw because of winter. And I don't say they actually withdrew because of winter. I only say that Perdue wrote it.
 
Oct 2017
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Well let me show you where I didn't in fact distory Perdue, and how you are distorting him all over. First of all, your random quote does not show me distorting Perdue. You said I misunderstood him. I didn't. You are the one who misinterpreted him in saying that the Qing can't campaign in winter. Perdue argued the opposite. You thought the Qing army returned in 1755 while on campaign, especially in winter, a baseless speculation that is now proven wrong.

Second of all, the reason I showed the quote is pretty clear. The Russians showed "no concern about sparing the civilian population the burdens of provisioning or with giving it regular relief." The Smolensk campaign in fact showed just that, the Russians had to force contributions on populations at below market price. The fact that you used this campaign to "disprove me" shows to me that you just don't understand what Perdue or the other historians you cite on European warfare is arguing.
It's a pointless response to my question:"And why do you give this qoute when you try to prove that the 1st Perekop campaign didn't have enough food? One has nothing to do with the other. "

Zungaria is steppe on enemy land. He talked about Hami, Barkul and Uliastai as well as Gansu to show Qing logistic preparations in these areas.
Those places used to be in Zungaria but at the time the presence of the Qing army wasn't contested there. Perdue talked about those places and he did not address the problem of areas occupied by enemies.

In the Smolensk case, we have similar example of Russians forcing contributions on areas already under their control (because they couldn't on enemy territory)
And this is where you are wrong. Poles and Russians contested each other's presence in the Smolensk province for the duration of the entire war. Polish and Russian armies were both present in the province and attacked each other all the time. There could have been some places in the province where the Russian occupation was not contested at some point in time, but certainly not all places where Russia forced contributions were free from attacks of Poles on Russians. Though as I said, those weren't actual contributions. They remunerated it with money and there was not much local supplies to begin with.

the Qing didn't do that in Gansu, and that was Perdue's point
Very well. And in some periods, armies of some European countries practically never used contributions in their own territories. Though it's hard to tell how does it differ from normal taxes.

You are asking this question because you didn't understand Perdue's point, because he already answered that and I will highlight the answer below.
I repeat: It doesn't look like your "fundamental point".

The Qing didn't burden the local population and Perdue wasn't just talking about Gansu here, he was talking about the sparsely settled nomadic regions too.
He simply did not address the problem of areas occupied by enemies. You give me quotes which don't talk specifically about areas where the Qing occupation was contested. In those quotes he doesn't say what Qing did there. We can't just assume that they did the same as in their own territory.

I've even seen a decree from 1793 Nepalese campaign recorded in the Qingding Balebu Jilue where the Qing gave a similar order asking to buy things in Tibet at market price.
This is an argument. Were there enemy armies or guerrillas present in Tibet at the time? Did they attack the Qing soldiers or their supply service?

Also, understand that Xinjiang, Tibet and Mongolia, even after conquered was still outer imperium and not a part of the central bureaucracy. So do not compare them to what European states did on their own national territory, compare them to what they did in conquered foreign territory.
Do you mean that Xinjiang had an autonomy, its own government, money and army? Well, Spanish Road ran through foreign states. Russia had many autonomus regions, also in Ukraine ( Cossack Hetmanate - Wikipedia ). So my comparisons are very good.

You have yet to show me the distance the Russian army marched was 300 KM.
What do you not understand here? That the march between Samara and Perekop, as described in books and shown on maps, is over 400 km long? If you don't trust my measurements, go measure it yourself on the map. Google Maps is helpful. Do you not understand that we know where those places are today on the map and we can meassure the distances?

I said it didn't reach its destination whereas the second campaign didn't have enough food after reaching it and hence both failed in their objective.
This is not what you said. And your new words about the second campaign are misleading.

The distance of 210 KM was between a Russian fortress to Perekop.
No.

Furthermore, I did not count any steppe territory in my calculation of Qing campaigns, I only counted ones where the Qing had no forward bases at the time of the campaign. In the Qianlong campaign of 1755, I counted the Qing army as marching only from Uliatsutai and Hami, both of which are either on steppe or desert territory.
I know. And I said this:

"But before 1687, from my knowledge, the most southern fortress on the route of their march was Kolomak. 600 km of march one way(400 km in straight line). So it seems that at least in the first campaign they would have to guard themselves for 1,200 km of march if they reached Perekop. For the second campaign the line of fortresses was extended to Samara."

And remember that the Qing replenished their supplies during campaigns. The Russians marched both ways without replenishments in Perekop campaigns(I explained it with more details previously).

Don't mince words.
The 132,000 into five route was taken from Davies as a planned invasion
Now there's really no redemption for you. Davies didn't say it. You didn't say it.

you still deny that the Qing can camapign in winter
I don't. I just don't know if they could campaign in winter and I want to know.

Im not wrong about Napoleon, because he did campaign in winter, but do you admit you are wrong about Germany? Do you imply that Napoleon or the Nazi cannot campaign winter in any situation, period?
You are wrong about Napoleon.

I never said Nazi Germany couldn't campaign in winter.

Yes, I say that Napoleon couldn't campaign in winter at any point during Napoleonic wars. No matter if his enemies were weak or strong.

Napoleonic art of war treated winter as a season in which one does not fight. His army would survive if Russia had a similar view on winter or if Russia left enough ressources to pillage. But it was stupid to count on those things and Napoleon's army starved and froze to death. Even without scorched earth tactics, Russia could easily deplete Napoleon of his supplies. It would be enough to hold his army in one place for some time. They gave up on Smolensk too easily and then decided that they don't want to be trapped in Moscow so they gave up on it as well. But if they had enough soldiers to hold Moscow and still fight battles outside of it, then without giving up on Moscow they would hold Napoleon's army until it runs out of supplies. And Napolenic logitics wasn't ready to survive for long in one place. The army needed to constantly capture new areas to pillage.

Also you are the one who is obsessed about foreign territory,
Where?

I'm not sure what the criticism is directed towards. Again, all warfare is conditioned on strategic needs; that doesn't mean we can't compare them.
But saying "Europeans didn't go 1,000 km deep into enemy steppes so it means they couldn't do it" is not a good comparison if you can't find an instance where Europeans had an opportunity to do it and just failed because of lack of logistical skills.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,831
Dispargum
Raziel, It's not really fair to revive a conversation that's been dormant for two months. There comes a point where insisting on getting the last word in just makes you look silly.

Moderator.
 
Oct 2017
169
Poland
Raziel, It's not really fair to revive a conversation that's been dormant for two months. There comes a point where insisting on getting the last word in just makes you look silly.

Moderator.

Please look at post #139. Kaghan revived the discussion after 5 months. But I'm fne with such practices, because I don't want to waste too much time for this topic. I just visit this discussion once in a while and answer when someone writes to me. So it's good when the discussion goes slowly.

Also, not a very nice use of ad personam.

'Europeans'??? Who are these?
Basically, anyone outside of China in mid-18th century was worse in Kaghan's opinion, it seems.