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

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Feb 3, 2003
      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.


      > >
      > > 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
      ;-) (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! :-)



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