16984Re: What constitutes a surprise?
- Mar 2, 2003--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "slippymississippi
<slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, "josepharose<josepharose@y...>"
> <josepharose@y...> wrote:the
> > Mr. Keene:
> > The common criteria of a surprise, just quickly, would be that
> > size, makeup, location, movement, and/or intentions of the enemyof
> > are not known with a corresponding lack of preparation to
> > adequately receive any potential attack.
> Generally speaking, if a "surprise" doesn't give you any tactical
> advantage, it's not a real surprise. Please feel free to enlighten
> us as to the advantages gained by attacking a superior gunboat-
> supported federal force directly on its line of supply, on grounds
> its choosing?The Shiloh surprise *did* give the Rebs a tactical advantage.
Without a surprise, their attack should have been hurled back with
severe casualties. Instead, they came all too close to destroying
Grant's army. Even failing to do that, they inflicted many more
> > At Shiloh, Grant did not know the enemy's size, movement, anddirect
> > location and he totally misread their intentions; he was,
> > consequently, almost completely unprepared for the ensuing attack.
> So you're saying that Sherman should have disobeyed Halleck's
> order and swept the roads with infantry to determine the strengthIf Grant had an army and thought that the enemy has less than a
> and/or intentions of the enemy?
brigade, I think that he--not Sherman--should have cleared his front
to discover what confronted him. Instead, he was surprised.
> > At Mill Springs, on the other hand, Thomas knew the enemy'sattack,
> > location the day before, and in preparation for a surprise
> > IIRC, had vedettes a long ways out, backed by pickets, which inGrant thought that the Rebel army was in Corinth. He should have had
> > turn were backed by an advance regiment.
> And how, pray tell, is Grant going to post these vedettes "a long
> ways out" when the federal cavalry, outclassed already by the
> superior confederate cavalry, was outnumbered almost 4 to 1?
vedettes out from the very beginning--not just on April 4th or 5th.
If the vedettes were driven in, he should have responded in such a
way as to either a) sweep away a small force of reconnaissance (as
Sherman apparently thought they were) or b) discover that you are
about to be attacked in strength (which is what really happened).
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