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Tactics: was Re: [WarOf1812] Re: Battle of New Orleans

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  • PEGGY MATHEWS
    (snip) ... with ... to ... Without getting into a discussion of how France s ambitions were different than anyone else in a position of strength (for example
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 2, 2003
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      (snip)
      > I think France's 'standing alone against Europe' had quite a lot to do
      with
      > the fact that Nap was intent on conquering everyone who refused to toady
      to
      > him. ;-)

      Without getting into a discussion of how France's ambitions were different
      than anyone else in a position of strength (for example Frederick "the
      Great" taking Silesia or the multiple partitions of Poland), it is IMHO
      irrelevant to a question of tactics.

      (snip)
      >
      > Quite true, when the French could muster overwhelming numbers superior
      > strategy and tactics could be overwhelmed. However as he sat on his little
      > Principality I am sure the great emperor was forced to think that
      > Wellington's tactics might have been better. I am sure a year later, when
      he
      > was sitting on an even smaller island in the South Atlantic, where he was
      not
      > a princeling but a prisoner, he had been convinced of the superiority of
      > Wellington's tactics. Even if he didn't admit it! :-)

      Hmmm, in 1814 having never faced Wellington and having been successful the
      few (two?) times he faced the English, I would not expect any leader to
      consider tactics (as in battalion level) for their defeat. Certainly there
      was nothing innovative about the way the Austrians, Prussians, Russians and
      Swedes for example fought at Leipzig. They fought the same old way, and
      300,000 beat 180,000 (round numbers). In 1815 again the strategic odds were
      greatly against the French, Europe against a France publicly professing no
      aggression. And it would be impossible to state with any certainty what the
      outcome of Waterloo might have been had not the Prussians heavily swung the
      balance. But I do find it an interesting "what if" had, when Wellington was
      retiring the line in some disorder and Ney was screaming for infantry, what
      impact the 10,000 under Lobau already fighting the Prussians would have had.
      But I digress, excuse me.

      Again, I believe tactics have little to do with the issues you raise, unless
      you equate the training and discipline of the "big red machine" as a
      battlefield tactic. If that is the point then I concede that Joe Average
      British soldier, had a better track record on the battlefield than any other
      nation's Joe Average soldier.

      Respectfully,
      Michael
    • BritcomHMP@aol.com
      In a message dated 2/2/2003 10:38:17 PM Central Standard Time, ... Well Michael, you were the one who brought it up by saying Oh I don t know, maybe because
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 3, 2003
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        In a message dated 2/2/2003 10:38:17 PM Central Standard Time,
        ciefranche21e@... writes:


        > Without getting into a discussion of how France's ambitions were different
        > than anyone else in a position of strength (for example Frederick "the
        > Great" taking Silesia or the multiple partitions of Poland), it is IMHO
        > irrelevant to a question of tactics.
        >
        >

        Well Michael, you were the one who brought it up by saying
        "Oh I don't know, maybe because France stood alone against Europe?"
        I don't see why the REASON she was "standing alone against Europe" should be
        irrelevant. I didn't criticize it, or say it was different to anyone else's,
        I just wanted to point out that the implication in your statement that
        Imperial France was an innocent party is not quite how it was.




        (snip)

        > >
        > > Quite true, when the French could muster overwhelming numbers superior
        > > strategy and tactics could be overwhelmed. However as he sat on his little
        > > Principality I am sure the great emperor was forced to think that
        > > Wellington's tactics might have been better. I am sure a year later, when
        > he
        > > was sitting on an even smaller island in the South Atlantic, where he was
        > not
        > > a princeling but a prisoner, he had been convinced of the superiority of
        > > Wellington's tactics. Even if he didn't admit it! :-)
        >
        > Hmmm, in 1814 having never faced Wellington and having been successful the
        > few (two?) times he faced the English, I would not expect any leader to
        > consider tactics (as in battalion level) for their defeat. Certainly there
        > was nothing innovative about the way the Austrians, Prussians, Russians and
        > Swedes for example fought at Leipzig.

        True, they still beat him though:-)

        They fought the same old way, and

        > 300,000 beat 180,000 (round numbers). In 1815 again the strategic odds were
        > greatly against the French, Europe against a France publicly professing no
        > aggression. And it would be impossible to state with any certainty what the
        > outcome of Waterloo might have been had not the Prussians heavily swung the
        > balance. But I do find it an interesting "what if" had, when Wellington was
        > retiring the line in some disorder and Ney was screaming for infantry, what
        > impact the 10,000 under Lobau already fighting the Prussians would have had.
        > But I digress, excuse me.
        >

        Well if Lobau had not been fighting the Prussians they would have been able
        to get to their pre arranged rendezvous with Wellington sooner! If disaster
        had occurred at Waterloo Welly still had his fallback position at Hal. Of
        course Nap had no such fall back position, he never did, his ego could only
        conceive of victory.


        > Again, I believe tactics have little to do with the issues you raise, unless
        > you equate the training and discipline of the "big red machine" as a
        > battlefield tactic. If that is the point then I concede that Joe Average
        > British soldier, had a better track record on the battlefield than any other
        > nation's Joe Average soldier.
        >
        >

        The only issue I raised was that Napoleon lost. Twice. This in response to
        your statement
        "Even the vaunted Moore and Wellington knew when even their "tactics that so
        often in had made them victorious in Europe" meant nothing in the face of the
        odds.
        ;-) (i.e. Walchern 1809, Retreat to Corunna 1809, Retreat to Torres Verdes
        1810, Retreat from Burgos 1812, etc.)"

        Both of those generals were constantly outnumbered but managed to pull of
        some remarkable moves. Nap managed to get Welly & Blucher to separate before
        Waterloo so that on the morning when he faced each army he outnumbered them.
        By waiting 12 hours to give Grouch his orders and believing that the
        Prussians could not get to Wellington he messed up his advantage.

        And to bring this back to the point of the thread. If Humbert was indeed
        recruiting by recounting the glories of Naps victories, Nap was STILL on Elba
        until February 1815 so perhaps this was not the best selling point for a
        battle against the British! :-)

        Cheers

        Tim



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