The most impressive fighting withdrawal in history

Jul 2018
497
Hong Kong
#1
Here're some of the finest examples.

401 - 399 BC : The Greek "Ten Thousand" 's long-way escape from the Persian Empire's heartland to the shore of the Black Sea

99 BC : Li Ling's desperate southward breakthrough with only 5,000 infantry under the heavy encirclement and onslaught of the Xiongnu cavalry numbered 80,000 strong for lasting over 10 days in hunger and disease, though ended in tragedic defeat, was the inspiring effort showing how tough these Han troops were

AD 1600 : Shimazu Yoshihiro's "advance retreat" just right through the large mass of the Eastern Army in the final stage of the Battle of Sekigahara, losing 90% of men in process. This was how the Shimazu clan's army retreated !

AD 1812 : Neverovski fought like a "lion" in the rearguard battle at Krasnyi in which he formed eight battalions and one dragoon regiment totalled approx. 5,000 men into one large square 6-rank deep tenaciously resist against 30-40 vehement attacks from Marshal Murat's huge amount of cavalry swarming in for half a day until the darkness descended, losing 1,500 men and 5 guns yet cohesively retreated in safety. It was perhaps the most impressive rear-guard battle against cavalry pursuit in the Napoleonic War

AD 1934 - 35 : The Chinese Red Army's "Long March" traversing 5,600 miles over 370 days, crossed numerous steep mountains and onrushing rivers on the way with the massive KMT troops tightly encircle the Communist soldiers and civilians broke out

AD 1950 : The UN army scored the complete success in the difficult winter retreat across the snowy, freezing ground from the Chosin Reservoir under the "human-wave" assault of the Chinese army which heavily outnumbered it, exhibited the excellent teamwork and co-ordination as well as the impact of the air dominance

Any other example you want to share ? Come on, go ahead.
 
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Jan 2016
465
Macedonia
#2
I would've also mentioned Xenophon's Ten Thousand and Mao's Long March.

Plus, the Taman Army's 1918 march out of encirclement in the Russian Civil War (25,000 poorly armed men + 25,000 unarmed civilians and stragglers fighting their way out of encirclement against three enemy armies in August-September 1918) is one of the most impressive:
Taman Army March of 1918
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,106
Netherlands
#4
Dunkirk and Gallipoli (the retreat not the attack) should get a mention.
Also the retreat of the French in WW1 upon the Marne was a success, despite all the flack their handling of the war gets.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2018
29
Texas
#5
Here're some of the finest examples.

401 - 399 BC : The Greek "Ten Thousand" 's long-way escape from the Persian Empire's heartland to the shore of the Black Sea

99 BC : Li Ling's desperate southward breakthrough with only 5,000 infantry under the heavy encirclement and onslaught of the Xiongnu cavalry numbered 80,000 strong for lasting over 10 days in hunger and disease, though ended in tragedic defeat, was the inspiring effort showing how tough these Han troops were

AD 1600 : Shimazu Yoshihiro's "advance retreat" just right through the large mass of the Eastern Army in the final stage of the Battle of Sekigahara, losing 90% of men in process. This was how the Shimazu clan's army retreated !

AD 1812 : Neverovski fought like a "lion" in the rearguard battle at Krasnyi in which he formed eight battalions and one dragoon regiment totalled approx. 5,000 men into one large square 6-rank deep tenaciously resist against 30-40 vehement attacks from Marshal Murat's huge amount of cavalry swarming in for half a day until the darkness descended, losing 1,500 men and 5 guns yet cohesively retreated in safety. It was perhaps the most impressive rear-guard battle against cavalry pursuit in the Napoleonic War

AD 1934 - 35 : The Chinese Red Army's "Long March" traversing 5,600 miles over 370 days, crossed numerous steep mountains and onrushing rivers on the way with the massive KMT troops tightly encircle the Communist soldiers and civilians broke out

AD 1950 : The UN army scored the complete success in the difficult winter retreat across the snowy, freezing ground from the Chosin Reservoir under the "human-wave" assault of the Chinese army which heavily outnumbered it, exhibited the excellent teamwork and co-ordination as well as the impact of the air dominance

Any other example you want to share ? Come on, go ahead.
The exact place where the Greeks sighted the sea is still marked by a cairn. Considering that their retreat was also an expedition of discovery through unknown lands makes it the most noteworthy retreat in history. It also set the stage for Alexander as it showed how weak the Persians were in that a small Greek army could wander through the heart of their Empire and still return mostly intact.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,588
#6
The exact place where the Greeks sighted the sea is still marked by a cairn. Considering that their retreat was also an expedition of discovery through unknown lands makes it the most noteworthy retreat in history. It also set the stage for Alexander as it showed how weak the Persians were in that a small Greek army could wander through the heart of their Empire and still return mostly intact.
Deveboynu Tepe? Have you been there? I have been to Turkey three different times and still not visited this spot but I definitely plan to at some point. I did not know the cairn was still visible, I read some archaeology magazine saying the remnants were found but thought that meant just a few loose stones.
 
Likes: Futurist
Mar 2016
1,116
Australia
#7
Suvorov's retreat/escape from the French army through the Alps:

After the victorious Italian theater, Suvorov planned to march on Paris, but instead was ordered to Switzerland to join up with the Russian forces already there and drive the French out. The Russian army under General Korsakov was defeated by Masséna at Zürich before Suvorov could reach and unite with them. Surrounded by Masséna’s 80,000 French troops, Suvorov with a force of 18,000 Russian regulars and 5,000 Cossacks, exhausted and short of provisions, led a strategic withdrawal from the Alps while fighting off the French. His host hoped to make its way over the Swiss passes to the Upper Rhine and arrive at Vorarlberg, where the army, much shattered and almost destitute of horses and artillery, went into winter quarters. When Suvorov battled his way through the snow-capped Alps his army was checked but never defeated. Suvorov refused to call it a retreat and commenced a trek through the deep snows of Panix Pass and into the 9,000-foot mountains of the Bündner Oberland, by then deep in snow. Thousands of Russians slipped from the cliffs or succumbed to cold and hunger, eventually escaping encirclement and reached Chur on the Rhine, with the bulk of his army intact at 16,000 men. For this marvel of strategic retreat, earning him the nickname of the Russian Hannibal, Suvorov became the fourth Generalissimo of Russia.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,178
Las Vegas, NV USA
#8
AD 1950 : The UN army scored the complete success in the difficult winter retreat across the snowy, freezing ground from the Chosin Reservoir under the "human-wave" assault of the Chinese army which heavily outnumbered it, exhibited the excellent teamwork and co-ordination as well as the impact of the air dominance
That's the first time I heard Mac's retreat from the Yalu praised. He allowed his forces to be divided by the Chosen Reservoir and shouldn't have been that far north in the first place. I suppose getting out of this mess deserves some praise, but should it go to Mac or subordinates.
 
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Likes: Futurist
Feb 2018
29
Texas
#10
Deveboynu Tepe? Have you been there? I have been to Turkey three different times and still not visited this spot but I definitely plan to at some point. I did not know the cairn was still visible, I read some archaeology magazine saying the remnants were found but thought that meant just a few loose stones.
I have never been to Turkey. Robin Waterfield, the noted historian, is seen standing by the "Cairn" in a photo. It is not an impressive structure but is circular in structure and it is more than just a few loose stones. Unfortunately. clouds blocked the view of the sea on that particular day.
 
Likes: Futurist