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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:59 pm 
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Kameolontti wrote:
Anthropoid wrote:
I find it hard to believe those things were practical. How much space would team mates need between them? How does all that whirling around defeat a phalanx? What happens when some little teenage guy with a sling jumps out and bops you in the back of the head with a sling bullet?

Sorry but I've always though big ass two handers are more bullshit than not. I could be convinced otherwise if you could point me to accounts that showed how these weapons really helped in combat.

Modern guys waving them around to cheering audiences just seems like some fun for all to me.

I'll stick with my Roman armor, two javelins and a gladius. As long as I'm in my testudo I'm good to go against some barbarian waving his big thang


Roman style army fell out of use since Rome fell. There were late medieval attempts to revive short sword + shield style heavy infantry but they were more often catastrophic than not.

Bear in mind that by medieval times cavalry charges had become far more powerful - the armor of cavalry was substantially better, they had lances and all sorts of nice tech such as stirrups and proper saddles.

The rank and file of any army would be pikemen ever since cavalry had developed to have strong charge.

Where does the zweihänder or greatsword come into play? Well, just like a modern ATGM isn't a jack of all trades, it has specific role. Same with greatswords. You don't have a formation of 2,000 people uniformly armed with them. Instead they have certain roles such as defending the flag carrier, scattered individually in front of pike formation to hack at enemy pikes, defending gates and bridges and so.

For example there are many drawings of Landsknecht where some of them have greatswords while most of them have polearms.

For actual battlefield thing you could have slingers as skirmishers though crossbows and javelins would be far more common in that role. Crossbows can pack quite a lot more punch than a sling and when everyone has a helmet and at least a mail + gambeson and often a breastplate on top of a brigandine a sling is no longer as useful as it was in earlier times.

The pike was the ubiquitous infantry melee weapon and often spiced up with various polearms. These troops would indeed have one handed swords as backup weapons. Archers typically used crossbows and sometimes pavises but also bows were used and mounted crossbowmen were very good at harassing. These archers too would have armor but often less of it on arms and legs while also having swords as backup weapons.

Heavy cavalry would often be nobles, they would have full plate often on top of mail and gambeson and they would not only have an 'armory' with them on a campaign but also their own squires and several horses, at least a horse or two for the marches and one for actual battles, if they were wealthy the horses would be actual war horse breeds, if not they would simply use what they had for war horses. What is clear is that no one rode with the war horse breed around from place to place, it would be unladen until the eve of battle.

I haven't read of many instances where slingers were deployed in European battlefields in medieval era. I find that people preferred crossbowmen or mercenary longbowmen until firearms became available when everyone wanted to have as many guns as possible.


Roman legion was a truly powerful unit type in it's prime but they struggles against cavalry civilizations and as cavalry improved they were increasingly outphased as Romans themselves adopted more and more cavalry.

Selection of the defensive position can negate the punch of armored knights on horseback; Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:29 am 
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nero wrote:
Selection of the defensive position can negate the punch of armored knights on horseback; Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt. ;)


It was well known at the time that horses and infantry don't charge very well through freshly tilled muddy field, through a bottleneck against prepared positions. It doesn't help when the charge itself isn't committed into at full but the general witnesses his cavalry having taken off without permission and after a few moments of hesitation sends the infantry too, both infantry and cavalry arriving at front piecemeal.

When even in perfect terrain you wouldn't want to charge infantry head-on but rather their flanks and rear.

It was kind of like how Finns mowed down countless Soviets who were freezing their butts off trying to wade forward in deep snow while suffering mechanical failures due to their gun oils freezing.

This is why it's called "high ground", because it amplifies the strength of the unit occupying it. It's why people built castles and walls in the absence of similar natural protection or to amplify the effects of natural barriers.

It is the mistake of the enemy commander not to realize that the enemy is in unassailable position.


PS. Hundred Years' War ended with English committing to the same folly at Battle of Castillon.

French prepared an artillery park with enfilading firing zones and trenches. The English commander crushed the French vanguard force at the priory and mistook the remainder of French force retreating, charged their artillery park positions before his reinforcements had arrived and had thousands of English longbowmen slain for roughly 100 French losses, English casualties totaling 4,000.

"Crécy in reverse", French artillery decimated up to 6 English soldiers with each shot.


The people who keep bringing up Agincourt and others, you don't hear them talking about Castillon.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:09 pm 
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Kameolontti wrote:
...
"Crécy in reverse", French artillery decimated up to 6 English soldiers with each shot.


The people who keep bringing up Agincourt and others, you don't hear them talking about Castillon.

The English don't want to talk about Castillon for the obvious reasons.

Crécy in reverse meme is false, while the defending side won, the difference was that in Crécy the numerically inferior side won, while in Castillon the French had the superior numbers.

I would compare Castillion to Poltava. There are many similarities.

So it goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:45 pm 
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nero wrote:
Kameolontti wrote:
...
"Crécy in reverse", French artillery decimated up to 6 English soldiers with each shot.


The people who keep bringing up Agincourt and others, you don't hear them talking about Castillon.

The English don't want to talk about Castillon for the obvious reasons.

Crécy in reverse meme is false, while the defending side won, the difference was that in Crécy the numerically inferior side won, while in Castillon the French had the superior numbers.

I would compare Castillion to Poltava. There are many similarities.

So it goes.


I agree. The strength at Castillon was 3:4 in France's favor, whereas it was 2:1 in France's favor at Crécy, though I wouldn't be surprised by an English interpretation that the French had 300,000 troops and the English only had fifteen longbowmen who were all out of arrows and very pissed. Then again every country has these revisions, Finland also. English love to exaggerate the longbow, Japanese the katana - which is the only sword that can cut an MBT in half - and Finns keep talking about this submachine gun with which their ancestors blew up tanks, shot down aircraft and even used as counter artillery in a pinch.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Kameolontti wrote:
nero wrote:
...
The English don't want to talk about Castillon for the obvious reasons.

Crécy in reverse meme is false, while the defending side won, the difference was that in Crécy the numerically inferior side won, while in Castillon the French had the superior numbers.

I would compare Castillion to Poltava. There are many similarities.

So it goes.


I agree. The strength at Castillon was 3:4 in France's favor, whereas it was 2:1 in France's favor at Crécy, though I wouldn't be surprised by an English interpretation that the French had 300,000 troops and the English only had fifteen longbowmen who were all out of arrows and very pissed. Then again every country has these revisions, Finland also. English love to exaggerate the longbow, Japanese the katana - which is the only sword that can cut an MBT in half - and Finns keep talking about this submachine gun with which their ancestors blew up tanks, shot down aircraft and even used as counter artillery in a pinch.

It is not a good idea to attack against a prepared position with an inferior force.

But there must be counter examples to the above lemma.

I challenge examples of success in such situations, and the reasons.

Thermopylae does not count, Spartans lost. The same with Alamo.

Go on. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:56 pm 
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Operation Compass

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:51 am 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capture_of_Malacca_(1511)

Sultanate of Malacca
20,000 men
2,000 to 3,000 artillery pieces
Fortified city with a central fortress

Portuguese Empire
700 Portuguese soldiers
300 malabarese auxiliaries
11 carracks
3 caravels
2 galleys

Portuguese storm the city, capturing it with 28 dead. They used a ruse where they got inside the gates in a merchant ship. Portuguese discover naval charts, establish contact with China and capture the immensely strategic trade hub.

Sultan leads his armies to retake the city but is repulsed by Portuguese. Sultan flees to Bintan, seizes control and tries to harass Portuguese until they assault Bintan and vassalize it.

Sultan's son lives on as Alauddin and founds Sultanate of Johor which he leads to have less hostile relations with Portuguese.


-----------------

Sobieski's charge at Battle of Vienna 1683, leading 18,000 cavalry against massively overwhelming Ottoman forces that had established defensive positions around Vienna during the siege of the city.

The cavalry charge decimated it's own number in enemy troops and capturing more while the rest of the entire Ottoman army was routed.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vienna


-----------------
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fraustadt

Sweden
3,700 infantry
5,700 cavalry

Saxony
9,000 infantry
4,000 cavalry

Tsardom of Russia, Saxony's ally
6,300 infantry


Sweden attacks against 1:2 odds, it's cavalry charge through swamps with difficulty but Saxons do not react. Swedes are allowed to regroup after crossing the swamp and then charged and routed their enemies' elite forces on the right flank, as the Swedes are charging the Saxon cavalry in the left flank they are utterly routed due to being demoralized at the slaughter and destruction on their right flank. The infantry in the rear routed as Swedes were able to ride to oppose them.

Russians on the Saxon left flank were trying to make their uniforms look like those of Saxons but as the Swedish infantry charged them head on through their volleys of muskets and artillery the Swedes discovered this ruse and ordered their infantry to focus on the Russians while their cavalry swooped in from behind.

There's also a song:


Saxon casualties ended up being 150% of the Swedish total strength, their combined army completely decimated.

------------------------
Battle of Ilomantsi (1944)

Soviets were fighting to crush Finnish defenses, an operation closely conjoining with respective D-Day invasion, where Soviets threw 450,000 elite troops to attack Finland through the south as part of Vyborg-Petrozavodsk Offensive, along with 800 tanks, 10,500 artillery and 1,600 aircraft.

The offensive was grinded to a halt after initial gains - at first Finnish forces were fleeing in terror where they weren't completely decimated by the initial artillery barrage and assaults by Guards divisions and heavy armor.

Battle of Ilomantsi was one of the Finnish successes, a counter-attack against the Soviet offensive near the village of Ilomantsi.

Finland
7,000 troops, reinforced to 14,500

Soviet Union
16,000 troops, reinforced to 20,000


For map, check the video at 31:50
https://youtu.be/VU7MzlmpwJ4?t=1906
34:47
https://youtu.be/VU7MzlmpwJ4?t=2087
35:13
https://youtu.be/VU7MzlmpwJ4?t=2113

Captured equipment 48:52
https://youtu.be/VU7MzlmpwJ4?t=2932

Finnish forces had been fighting grueling delaying battles against the Soviet push and had only two days to prepare themselves for their own counter offensive.

Spearhead Battalion got within a kilometer from the bridge, pocketing the southern enemy division in the area while also chopping them to 'mottis' according to the motti-doctrine.

Single Finnish division surrounded and decimated two Red Army rifle divisions, capturing most of their equipment intact during less than two weeks of fighting.

Quote:
This was the ninth major Finnish defense victory in a period of only a few weeks following the main Soviet offense against the Finnish forces launched in June 1944. Moscow now could only conclude that the Finns had plenty of fight left in them.

General Raappana's men had fired within ten days over 36,000 artillery shells, aimed at the Soviet forces. The Soviet artillery participating in Ilomantsi were able to fire only 10,000 shells during the same period. The main reason for the poorer Soviet artillery outcome was the Finnish disturbance tactics. For instance, a Finnish guerrilla detachment led by the Knight of the Mannerheim Cross, Lieutenant Heikki Nykänen, destroyed a Soviet convoy of 30 trucks carrying artillery rounds to the battle scene.

The Finns had achieved victory, and the remnants of the two Red Army divisions had barely escaped destruction by breaking out from the encirclements. After the battle, Stavka (Soviet Armed Forces Headquarters) brought its offensive to a halt and gave up its demand for Finland’s unconditional surrender.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:01 am 
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BATTLE OF XUAN LOC
http://vnafmamn.com/xuanloc_battle.html
SETUP

During the closing days of the 1975 North Vietnamese Offensive, four VPA divisions were pitted against a small ARVN force, dug-in astride the rugged hills near Xuan Loc - a town of 30,000 people located along one of the key roads into the capital, Saigon. Advancing in strength down the coastal highway were the VPA 5th, 6th, 7th and 341st Divisions, massed with artillery and T-54 tanks. Defiantly blocking their way were the ARVN 18th Divisions, Long Khanh provincial forces, and 82nd Ranger Battalion. On 12 April 1975, the 1st Airborne Brigade, made up of four Airborne Battalions and one Airborne artillery battalion, was moved into the area of operations by helicopter.
Xuan Loc Map
BRIEF SUMMARY

The battle which followed was unique in many respects for the Vietnam War, involving units of divisional size, devastatingly effective VNAF airpower and sophisticated US-made BLU-82 Daisy Cutter Bomb Live Unit-82s. For nearly 2 weeks, the ARVN held Xuan Loc and counterattacked against impossible odds. In contrast to the general impression of total collapse on the part of the ARVN, it was described as 'heroic and gallant' by the South Vietnamese defenders. It was one of the few places where the ARVN, though outnumbered, stood and fought with a tenacity which stunned their opponents. The stand of the ARVN so impressed the rest of the entire South Vietnamese Army, that previously routed, they grew confident again. News reporters were flown in from around the world to witness the battlefield strewn with VPA casualties, repelled in assault after assault with heavy losses. After 12 days and nights of ferocious combat against the North Vietnamese Communist forces, the steel defensive line at Xuan Loc (Long Khanh) still held firm. The forces of the North Vietnamese 4th Corps engaged in the battle had suffered heavy losses. For this reason the Headquarters of the Ho Chi Minh Campaign hastily changed their plan for the attack on Saigon. The forces of the North Vietnamese 3rd Corps in Tay Ninh and 2nd at the Nuoc Trong base would be used to make the "major effort" to attack and capture Saigon. The VPA 4th Corps would abandon its efforts against Xuan Loc and would become a "reserve force". For this reason, Xuan Loc was no longer a "hot point," and the Headquarters of ARVN 3rd Corps/Military Region 3 ordered the 18th Infantry Division and all units participating in the Xuan Loc (Long Khanh) battle to retreat to Bien Hoa on 20 April 1975 to establish a new line defending the outer approaches to Saigon. The retreat back to Bien Hoa to assume the new mission was carried out during the night of 20 April 1975.
Image
Where were we? We were suppose to bomb N Vietnam if they attacked, the Dems stopped that. We promised resupplies, the Dems stopped that.

Russia and China supplied N. Vietnam, no problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:30 am 
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@abradley, I guess democrats had a heart towards the opinions and interests of Russians and Chinese. You know, because you guys must take their hopes and desires into count.

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 Post subject: Re: Military stuff ... past and present.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:05 pm 
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Kameolontti wrote:
@abradley, I guess democrats had a heart towards the opinions and interests of Russians and Chinese. You know, because you guys must take their hopes and desires into count.
No, to the left wing Americans.

They love lefties.

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