The most impressive fighting withdrawal in history

Dec 2018
112
Cheyenne
Sun Tzu made a point in his book to always allow the enemy a way to avoid dying for glory. Otherwise he will fight with super human strength because he clearly has nothing left to live for
Eh, the human body and mind has its limits. Once morale hits a certain point resistance will evaporate rather quickly. See the starving Japanese forces in Manchuria. Glory doesn't mean much when your belly is empty and body ravaged by disease.
 
Mar 2019
1,839
Kansas
Eh, the human body and mind has its limits. Once morale hits a certain point resistance will evaporate rather quickly. See the starving Japanese forces in Manchuria. Glory doesn't mean much when your belly is empty and body ravaged by disease.
But remember some of the best remembered battles are last stands where one side realized the only option was death. And I think culturally the Japanese were outliers when discussing modern combat operations.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,682
Eh, the human body and mind has its limits. Once morale hits a certain point resistance will evaporate rather quickly. See the starving Japanese forces in Manchuria. Glory doesn't mean much when your belly is empty and body ravaged by disease.
Same war but the island campaigns when only few dozens from many thousands of Japanese surrendered because they believed they had no retreat.
 
Dec 2018
112
Cheyenne
But remember some of the best remembered battles are last stands where one side realized the only option was death. And I think culturally the Japanese were outliers when discussing modern combat operations.
I just disagree with Sun Tzu in regards to human nature. Last stands usually involve sieges where the defenders have the advantage of terrain or protection. Usually when forces are surrounded or a position is taken, discipline and resistance tends to break down fast.

Humans are animals after all and fear and panic will overwhelm all other senses when it comes down to hit. Well disciplined, motivated and fed armies will fight it out, but most troops will look for a way to escape. The Mongols used to create escape lanes for surrounded armies and cut down the panicking armies in the open field. Not much different then the massive hunts Ghengis Khan would organize where he would sweep an entire region of its wildlife. These hunts were really just war games to the steppe peoples.
Same war but the island campaigns when only few dozens from many thousands of Japanese surrendered because they believed they had no retreat.
They also fought very poorly, usually engaging in suicidal charges that were more wasteful than anything or outright blowing themselves up. Again in this instance terrain allowed the Japanese to put a stiffer resistance. In Manchuria they collapsed like a deck of cards with a significant amount of soldiers captured.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,240
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I just disagree with Sun Tzu in regards to human nature. Last stands usually involve sieges where the defenders have the advantage of terrain or protection. Usually when forces are surrounded or a position is taken, discipline and resistance tends to break down fast.
Well, the last pockets of resistance by the British at Isandlwana apparently fought very bravely, surrounded as they were by Zulu.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,646
Spain
Sun Tzu made a point in his book to always allow the enemy a way to avoid dying for glory. Otherwise he will fight with super human strength because he clearly has nothing left to live for
Well in our cowardly world... Burgeiois world words as Honor, Glory, Fame... means nothing.. but in other times.. these worlds have some value... of course.. only between Elite... but yes...they were knights looking for the Glory...as Bayard or as García de Paredes...
 
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