Marlborough

Sep 2013
321
SouthWest USA
#31
The cut and thrust of your entire argument seems to be an intense dislike for Catholics, as it always has whenever I have had encounters with you. And please, this time, don't cite Wikipedia at me. Don't bring up Macaulay or Trevelyan. Find an academically sound, up-to-date source. Whiggish histories are always problematic, and operate on phony triumphalist suppositions.

I was expecting (perhaps wrongly) more than ad hominem attacks from you. "Find an academically sound, up-to-date sources." Wow. :think:

My "intense dislike for Catholics"? Too funny. Fact is, my mother's family probably have been Catholics centuries before your relatives even heard the name of Christ. And they still are. (Personally, I find religion and theological arguments both silly and sad. All too often, religion has been used as one more excuse to kill each other, or at least, to demand conformity and obedience.)

I don't know whether it is quaint or scary that there are those who still cling to antiquated notions such as the "divine right of kings" or "the Great Chain of Being." That said, the usurpation of the throne from an autocratic James II by his daughter and son-in-law was an important step toward the development of a more tolerant and enlightened (as well as secular!) modern world.




guy also known as gaius
 
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Jan 2019
259
Montreal, QC
#33
I was expecting (perhaps wrongly) more than ad hominem attacks from you. "Find an academically sound, up-to-date sources." Wow. :think:

My "intense dislike for Catholics"? Too funny. Fact is, my mother's family probably have been Catholics centuries before your relatives even heard the name of Christ. And they still are. (Personally, I find religion and theological arguments both silly and sad. All too often, religion has been used as one more excuse to kill each other, or at least, to demand conformity and obedience.)

I don't know whether it is quaint or scary that there are those who still cling to antiquated notions such as the "divine right of kings" or "the Great Chain of Being." That said, the usurpation of the throne from an autocratic James II by his daughter and son-in-law was an important step toward the development of a more tolerant and enlightened (as well as secular!) modern world.




guy also known as gaius
It's not an ad hominem. I'm not attacking you as a person - I'm sure you're lovely - but rather, your instance upon Whiggery. All I'm saying is that, in academia, especially as it pertains to the Revolution, we don't rely on Macaulay. I am doing my thesis on this topic, so I do believe that I am right in saying that Whiggish histories have been thoroughly criticised, debunked, and replaced throughout the century. But what do I know? It's not like I read about this stuff day in and day out.

"Before my relatives have even heard the name of Christ." It's not like my French and German ancestors were Catholic, right? Even though my ancestors were Catholics, I'm an Anglican, so my defence of James VII/II isn't based upon the fact that we're coreligionists. (NB that's not a strawman, just a tangent I thought to go on.) I genuinely believe that he was what we could call an enlightened despot, and was a much better king than those like you and many, many others give him credit for. Your critique on religion could be translated to the treatment of Catholics in England, especially following William and Mary's succession... :think: And before you bring up the "Killing Times", keep in mind that Covenanters espoused extreme anti-monarchical and republican views, and were persecuted for sedition and treason, and not for reasons of mere religion. I am not justifying it, but placing it within context. Louis XIV's persecution of the Huguenots was on a different level than the Restoration persecution of the Covenanters under the Clarendon Code. One was for the extirpation of heresy, the other one was an attempt to ensure civil obedience and avoid war.

I've never said I believe in the Divine Right of Kings! I just think that James VII/II was not a bad king nor a bad man, just the wrong king at the wrong time. Also, you say tolerant, but the Bill of Rights had more religious limitations than James himself ever put forth... The Declaration of Indulgence offered more religious freedom than the BoR did. There's more nuance to this than you are lending it. C'est tout.

At any rate -- we have monopolised poor @Mangekyou 's thread. We have established over the years that we're never going to agree with each other on the topic, and just go around in circles each time. Since I know little to nothing of Churchill, I'll bow out right here, and observe.
 
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Likes: WhatAnArtist
Feb 2019
602
Serbia
#34
Since we have not actually discussed Marlborough in the last few posts I would like to get back on topic.

I believe that the Danube March, while potentially quite risky, was indeed one of the greatest operations of the era. The fact that Marlborough went with his international army on such a risky journey, crossed so much ground in comparatively little time and fought a large battle at the end of it and achieved a decisive victory earns him the place as one of the greatest commanders in history, and this is just one of his actions.

What makes it impressive to me is that the army remained in tact and suffered pretty much no significant losses from attrition during the march. In an age where attrition casualties and the potential collapse of discipline were possible for much less this was truly remarkable.
 

Mangekyou

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
7,911
UK
#35
What makes it impressive to me is that the army remained in tact and suffered pretty much no significant losses from attrition during the march. In an age where attrition casualties and the potential collapse of discipline were possible for much less this was truly remarkable.
It shows his logistical awareness and abilities. He used the queens gold to buy soldiers and supplies, which were stationed at certain points along the route. This helped the quickness of the march and also used resources effectively. This included things like new shoes, etc.
 
Mar 2016
1,106
Australia
#36
Since we have not actually discussed Marlborough in the last few posts I would like to get back on topic.

I believe that the Danube March, while potentially quite risky, was indeed one of the greatest operations of the era. The fact that Marlborough went with his international army on such a risky journey, crossed so much ground in comparatively little time and fought a large battle at the end of it and achieved a decisive victory earns him the place as one of the greatest commanders in history, and this is just one of his actions.

What makes it impressive to me is that the army remained in tact and suffered pretty much no significant losses from attrition during the march. In an age where attrition casualties and the potential collapse of discipline were possible for much less this was truly remarkable.
Well said. When one reads in-depth studies of campaigns one begins to realise that often the hardest thing for a commander to do is not winning a battle, but preserving the integrity of his army through keeping high morale and ensuring logistics are sound. We tend to overlook just how hard it is to move tens of thousands of men across a continent - doing so in secrecy is especially amazing. I'm currently reading Thunder on the Danube - a military history of the War of the Fourth Coalition - and from a logistical and reconnaissance perspective the Austrians had enormous problems even moving their army across the border from Austria to Bavaria! And that was while they had numerical superiority and the element of surprise. It was an outdated and inefficient logistics system that caused so much trouble, and caused the army to move so slowly. And keeping in mind that Marlborough achieved such staggering feats a full century before this, it really puts into perspective the enormity of his achievement and the difference that even one single commander could make.
 
Likes: Mangekyou
Feb 2019
602
Serbia
#37
Well said. When one reads in-depth studies of campaigns one begins to realise that often the hardest thing for a commander to do is not winning a battle, but preserving the integrity of his army through keeping high morale and ensuring logistics are sound. We tend to overlook just how hard it is to move tens of thousands of men across a continent - doing so in secrecy is especially amazing. I'm currently reading Thunder on the Danube - a military history of the War of the Fourth Coalition - and from a logistical and reconnaissance perspective the Austrians had enormous problems even moving their army across the border from Austria to Bavaria! And that was while they had numerical superiority and the element of surprise. It was an outdated and inefficient logistics system that caused so much trouble, and caused the army to move so slowly. And keeping in mind that Marlborough achieved such staggering feats a full century before this, it really puts into perspective the enormity of his achievement and the difference that even one single commander could make.
I agree. What most people and your average Armchair Generals (I fall into this category too at times...) often neglect is that there is a whole lot to military campaigns and leadership skills than just being able to win battles in a flashy way. Most people don't have a view beyond tactical and thus these operations are neglected. De Tolly is a good example. He lost more battles than he won against Napoleon and while competent, wasn't too flashy as a tactician. Yet as a reformer and strategist he was brilliant and pulled off a brilliant strategic campaign. Archduke Charles falls into this category too I believe. He lost more battles than he won but his maneuvers, especially his Rhine Campaign in 1796, were pretty remarkable.
 
Nov 2011
4,713
Ohio, USA
#38
Well said. When one reads in-depth studies of campaigns one begins to realise that often the hardest thing for a commander to do is not winning a battle, but preserving the integrity of his army through keeping high morale and ensuring logistics are sound. We tend to overlook just how hard it is to move tens of thousands of men across a continent - doing so in secrecy is especially amazing. I'm currently reading Thunder on the Danube - a military history of the War of the Fourth Coalition - and from a logistical and reconnaissance perspective the Austrians had enormous problems even moving their army across the border from Austria to Bavaria! And that was while they had numerical superiority and the element of surprise. It was an outdated and inefficient logistics system that caused so much trouble, and caused the army to move so slowly. And keeping in mind that Marlborough achieved such staggering feats a full century before this, it really puts into perspective the enormity of his achievement and the difference that even one single commander could make.
Yeah, but keep in mind that it was partially that numerical superiority possessed by the Austrians during the War of the Fifth Coalition that made logistics and maneuver so much more difficult for them. Not only that, but Austrian corps commanders had so much less experience leading large formations than their French counter-parts did, and so lacked the same kind of initiative.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,491
Sydney
#39
Certainly before the twentieth century the biggest conundrum for a commander was having an army on the battlefield

assembling it , moving it , feeding it were challenging the best minds
the thirty years war saw armies moving like locusts looking for areas not yet utterly wasted
Wallenstein reputation was less his military skills than the fact that he could raise armies and kept them in the field

back to Marlborough times
Louis XIV was the first to establish a military branch solely concerned with providing bread to the troops
the "Train" was an instant success
with the standardization of weapons , the organic body of engineering troops
the institution of drill and parades Louis set a standard all had to imitate
it is quite telling that both Marlborough and prince Eugene were educated in the shadow of Louis army

P.S. reading about the late 17th century politics I keep bumping into the Mazarinettes
a bunch of young women nieces and related to the great minister Mazarin
their love affairs , marriages and lives intersect the whole gamut of events
from one being Eugene mother to Hortense the most beautiful of the lot who became the lover of Charles II
succeeding in this most scandalous court in out-scandalizing them all
with her cross dressing , sulfurous love affairs and fighting a mock duel dressed in nightgown
 

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