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Subdeacon Joe

Greatest Historic Change In Tactics

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That’s an interesting answer but I think an argument could also be made for cartridge firing repeaters.  It would be fun listening to expert historians (not me!) debate that question.

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Stirrups would be correct.  Next in line would be the Cannon, closely followed by the Machine Gun.  Unless we get into a discussion of Naval Warfare.  then it starts to get really complicated. 

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Just about every weapons improvement or new weapon system has brought about changes in tactics.  On the grand tactical scale, improved organization, i.e., Napoleon's corps system.

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I read a book years ago titled Bread.

It told how Napolean was able to field armies of 100k and more, when a large army before 1800 was 5000 or so.  The book stated that the French mastered large mobile kitchens that often traveled in front of armies.  Large armies before 1800 actually traveled as smaller armies and lived off captured groceries.

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46 minutes ago, Tom Bullweed said:

I read a book years ago titled Bread.

It told how Napolean was able to field armies of 100k and more, when a large army before 1800 was 5000 or so.  The book stated that the French mastered large mobile kitchens that often traveled in front of armies.  Large armies before 1800 actually traveled as smaller armies and lived off captured groceries.

Actually Tom, by and large, Napoleon's armies lived off the land.  The corps system allowed living off the land more practical for the large Grand Army.  British armies in the Napoleonic Wars avoided living off the land.  Wellington made plundering a capital offense.

 

Tom, I'd question that book you read about the mobile kitchens.  Certainly not the case during in the Napoleonic Wars. 

 

 

.

Edited by Birdgun Quail, SASS #63663
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I'd say the rock and the club, followed by the atlatl and the bow and arrow!

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I would think good shoes and boots, and good horse shoes.

 

..........Widder

 

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I had to laugh. In high school chemistry, we did an experiment boiling water in a paper cup. The goal was to show the transfer of heat into the water would keep the cup from burning, so long as the fire stayed below the level of the water. I explained it to our teacher, then, like the author of the piece, had to explain I read it in a Louis L'Amour novel.

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Even as late as the American Civil War, massed armies faced each other in huge numbers as they had in the Dark Ages.  Tactics amounted to having more soldiers on your side at any given battle.  Those tactics caused staggering numbers of casualties. General Grant changed tactics by pursuing opposing armies rather than trying to occupy territory.  Certainly he used his cavalry effectively, but they could have been just as effective riding bareback!

 

The development of cartridge firing repeating guns changed tactics more dramatically and permanently towards smaller units utilizing more firepower.  At least until combat aircraft and guided missiles came into being.

 

The stirrup was certainly important, as was the telegraph, preservation of food by canning, motorized cavalry...

 

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Nuclear weapons.

 

For the first time nations had to fight proxies instead of the actual enemy.  The also had to be careful not to be too successful or too "mean" lest some third party get mad and start TEOTWAWKI.

 

Fighting wars without doing everything you can to win.  That's a big change.

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29 minutes ago, Joke 'um said:

Nuclear weapons.

 

For the first time nations had to fight proxies instead of the actual enemy.  The also had to be careful not to be too successful or too "mean" lest some third party get mad and start TEOTWAWKI.

 

Fighting wars without doing everything you can to win.  That's a big change.

When we stopped fighting wars and turned to negotiations and cease fires.

 

We haven't truly fought a war to win since 1945.  Since them we've played political tiddely winks and have never since declared a war, fought to win, nor have we won one in that time.

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I remember being asked a similar question in high school. My response was to answer the question with a question; In what era or eras?

In the Bronze Age it was bronze swords and shields.

Then catapults. 

Then long bows. 
Then iron and steel. 
Then crossbows. 
and so on. 
 

I don’t remember the answer but I got the question wrong. 
 

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1 hour ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

When we stopped fighting wars and turned to negotiations and cease fires.

 

We haven't truly fought a war to win since 1945.  Since them we've played political tiddely winks and have never since declared a war, fought to win, nor have we won one in that time.

 

I realize that there was no declaration of war, but I was pretty impressed with the planning and execution of Desert Storm....and we certainly won that one.   Norman Schwarzkopf was my hero.

 

LL

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On 1/15/2020 at 4:18 PM, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

 

I realize that there was no declaration of war, but I was pretty impressed with the planning and execution of Desert Storm....and we certainly won that one.   Norman Schwarzkopf was my hero.

 

LL

WE won what?  They are still a force against us and most of the rest of the world, out of control and paying no attention to anyone.  We walked away from that one and thirty years on we still have very little control over anything in that part of the world.  That isn't a win in my world.  Just one more negotiated "peace" that they, like many others, ignore when ever they want to.

 

We "won" nothing and have been going downhill ever since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Forty Rod SASS 3935

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Damn it Jim!  I’m only a doctor!!   :angry:

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Paper.

 

Orders, records, training, organization, logistics.

 

Greatest historic change in tactics -- paper and written language.

Edited by Ozark Huckleberry

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9 minutes ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Paper.

 

Orders, records, training, organization, logistics.

 

Greatest historic change in tactics -- paper and written language.

YES!  You can bury an opposing army if you convince their leaders they need more reports.

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52 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

YES!  You can bury an opposing army if you convince their leaders they need more reports.

 

And you can take steps to ensure your own forces have the supplies they need, their combat leaders are properly trained in effective tactics and have information about their role in the fight and how they interact with other units.

 

 

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The introduction of the mass use of ranged weaponry

 

Western infantry tactics really didn't change from ancient times and the Greek phalanx until the late 19th Century.  Line up side by side, so many people wide, so many lines deep. Greek phalanx, Roman maniple, English battle, Scottish sheltron, Anglo-Saxon and Norse shield wall,  Napoleonic attack column.  Same formation, different armament.

 

The English figured out how to break it in the Middle Ages- ranged weaponry with enough accuracy and power to actually do damage.  Agincourt, Crecy, most of Wellington's battles against the French,...  Find high ground to slow the enemy's advance and to extend your range slightly, LINE up so you have maximum firepower at your disposal and pound the snot out of that block of men until they quit or they get to you.  By the time they get to you, their formation- the strength of the whole concept- is ragged and the men are wore out physically and mentally, so charge down, butcher them a while and get back into formation.

 

The long bow, the musket and, finally, the rifled musket using the Minie ball is what broke the mass formations that the West had relied on for millennium.

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Currency

...be it cash, coins, or colored stones - currency in any form.

 

The invention of currency gave human beings a really good reason to wage war against one another while simultaneously having to provide a defense for their OWN currency.

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I agree that we really didn't "win" the Persian Gulf War. We scored an easy early victory and then stopped shooting before too many of our guys actually got hurt. Unfortunately we were still playing political tiddely winks at the time because we didn't want to upset the Russians too much, who only promised not to intervene after we promised not to do any more than just kick the Iraqis out of Kuwait.

 

I have to agree that nuclear weapons probably changed the military landscape more than any other. If it wasn't for those we'd have fought World War Three with Russia and China by now. They say the First Word War didn't really end in 1918, as it directly led to the Second World War. By the same token WW2 left a lot of unfinished business that remains unfinished simply because everyone is afraid we'll all end up nuking each other.

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The spear. Reason being it was the first time you could field a very large army conscripted of minimally trained troops. Swords, shields, bows, etc all required extensive training, but spears were a natural movement that also gave an advantage of distance against other weaponry.

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Quite obviously there were many "technologies" discovered or invented over time that completely altered the course of warfare. The horse. Stirrups. Spears. Broadswords. Bows & arrows. Artillery. Firearms. Written communication. Repeating weapons. Machine guns. The airplane. The A-bomb. Electronic warfare. We'll still be adding to this list in a thousand years, assuming we haven't all managed to kill each other off by then.

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There was a theory years ago, during the emergence of the nuclear age, which went something like this:  In the event of a nuclear war, the most likely survivors would be those people/groups that are under cover.  Two general examples are office staff (remember, generalities ) in places like the pentagon that has subterranean levels and prisons.   In the battle for survival, who would win?  The prisoners who have brute force, or the clerks who have organization?  The Romans conquered a good part of the known world, at one time, not because they were better fighters, but they were organized and disciplined.

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7 minutes ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

Quite obviously there were many "technologies" discovered or invented over time that completely altered the course of warfare. The horse. Stirrups. Spears. Broadswords. Bows & arrows. Artillery. Firearms. Written communication. Repeating weapons. Machine guns. The airplane. The A-bomb. Electronic warfare. We'll still be adding to this list in a thousand years, assuming we haven't all managed to kill each other off by then.

Don't forget the plasma rifle in a 40 watt range

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8 minutes ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

There was a theory years ago, during the emergence of the nuclear age, which went something like this:  In the event of a nuclear war, the most likely survivors would be those people/groups that are under cover.  Two general examples are office staff (remember, generalities ) in places like the pentagon that has subterranean levels and prisons.   In the battle for survival, who would win?  The prisoners who have brute force, or the clerks who have organization?  The Romans conquered a good part of the known world, at one time, not because they were better fighters, but they were organized and disciplined.


Might make an interesting book — two armies pounding at each other to the brink of destruction,  but then they realize they could work things out if they just helped each other wipe out both their command structures . . . .

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That theory has popped up in a number of sci fi movies and books.  Seems like even in Battlestar Gallactica, the highest living ranking government official that ended up being president was the secretary of education.

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22 hours ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

There was a theory years ago, during the emergence of the nuclear age, which went something like this:  In the event of a nuclear war, the most likely survivors would be those people/groups that are under cover.  Two general examples are office staff (remember, generalities ) in places like the pentagon that has subterranean levels and prisons.   In the battle for survival, who would win?  The prisoners who have brute force, or the clerks who have organization?  The Romans conquered a good part of the known world, at one time, not because they were better fighters, but they were organized and disciplined.

"Under cover" is a relative term.  You might be under sufficient cover to prevent death or injuries from being crushed, but succumb to radiation.  Even non-nuclear explosions at close range can cause serious injuries!  It turns out that some troops in Iraq who were near the impact/explosions from the Iranian ballistic missiles have been medevacted to Landstuhl, Germany to check them for concussion/brain damage!  (Contrary to the media crowing about how we were lied to about "no injuries to our troops", this sounds more precautionary, as it was stated by the military that those troops cleared would be returned to duty.)

What was the biggest improvement in tactics?  The development of the human brain (or perhaps the opposable thumb...even chimpanzees are known to use clubs against other chimps!).  All the technological developments, all the changes in military tactics, influenced by advancing technology has originated in the craniums of some humanoid beings! 

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The greatest change in tactics began the day that Woman was invented. 

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48 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Wasn’t that day six?

See, didn't take long. Man was carefree and happy for less than a week. After that, the battle of the sexes began. Pretty sure that the record is Man - 0, Women - Won

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