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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Double Envelopment

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  • Jack Lawrence
    The attacks at Missionary Ridge were a study in ineptitude, as much as I admire Sherman. The attack by Sherman was that most difficult of maneuvers, a river
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 21, 2011
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      The attacks at Missionary Ridge were a study in ineptitude, as much as I
      admire Sherman.

      The attack by Sherman was that most difficult of maneuvers, a river
      crossing.

      In a brilliant movement, Sherman crossed the river in an early morning
      attack. He laid into Braggs right flank with vigor. But Unfortunately, he
      assaulted the wrong hill "(tunnel hill) and did Bragg little damage. Bragg
      was the next hill south.The purpose was to roll up Braggs flank, so it was
      not an envelopment. It was a flanking attack.

      Anyway, it gets more interesting.

      Having crossed the river, Sherman is a real threat to Bragg right, who
      strips his strength during the day from Missionary Ridge (Braggs center) to
      support his right.

      In effect, Sherman becomes a holding action at that point, anchoring Bragg
      on his right and forcing him to strip his center.

      Hooker, fresh from his battle above the clouds, hits Bragg in the left
      flank. I don't think it was really that hard, but it caused Bragg to
      reinforce his left, which actual collapsed in on itself.

      Hooker's action was also a flank attack.

      Then Thomas attacks Braggs center. This is a frontal assault. Against
      Missionary Ridge. Which is what, a 80 degree slope?
      Thomas was ordered to just demonstrate against the center but the Thomas
      boys were real soldiers, not those Celt descendants from the east.

      They "demonstrated" to the top of the ridge, driving Bragg back through the
      Rossville gap.

      The funny thing is, this action evolved, not intentional, to Lee's echelon
      attack at Gettysburg. They attacked the flank, which forced the opposing
      force to weaken it's center to strengthen it's flanks.
      The Thomas boys did the "hey diddle go up the middle" into Braggs weakened
      center thing and the south was sundered into three parts. It was unplanned,
      but this is what seasoned soldiers do.

      There was no envelopment, but a discussion by those more schooled than I'm
      such as Dave Powell, over what would have happened had an envelopment been
      developed would be interesting.
      Personally, I don't think Grant was ready for that until Appomattox.

      Regards,

      jack

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "william" <banbruner@...>
      To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:48 PM
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Double Envelopment


      > Would you consider the tactics at Missionary Ridge a double envelopment?
      > ie Thomas in front, Sherman on the left flank and Hooker on the right
      > flank.
      >
      > Bill Bruner
      >
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Ronald black" <rblack0981@...>
      > wrote:
      >>
      >> This tactic was certainly in Napoleon's book. European military planning
      >> called for three combat elements, the first was a base force to pin an
      >> enemy army, another was a manever force to attack a flank and the third
      >> force was to deliver the "coup de grasse". West Point used written
      >> material to train cadets that had a strong french influence, such as
      >> Jomini. It seems most of the West Point trained officers forgot this
      >> part of the training. Also, don't forgot the many political appointees
      >> as a general officer, never had this training. During the civil war,
      >> tactics used were very elementary and costly in human lives, such as the
      >> frontal assault. The most successful combat leaders were the ones who
      >> used mobile tactics and manevers such as Forrest and Grant. Yes, Grant
      >> because he did not let a repulse end his campaign, he manevered around
      >> the flanks of the enemy and moved on. Generals Lee and Jackson are also
      >> included. It bothers me to include Custer as well as I don't care for
      >> nim but he is in. Many of the civil war combat leaders got their
      >> reputations based on a good defensive style but were shy on the offensive
      >> side. Notice I use the term "Combat Leader" as now many fine officers
      >> can be included of all ranks. The finest single-event performance during
      >> the civil war of a brigade commander in the confederate Army of Tennessee
      >> was a colonel in temporary command of a brigade at the Battle of
      >> Chickamauga, Colonel John S. Fulton. Most of the best combat leaders of
      >> the civil war were in 1861, Colonels, Majors and Captains. Most of the
      >> 1861 general officers were gone by 1863-64.
      >> Regards
      >> Ron
      >>
      >> Ron
      >> ----- Original Message -----
      >> From: Rick Moody
      >> To: civilwarwest
      >> Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2011 5:47 PM
      >> Subject: [civilwarwest] Double Envelopment
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> This tactic used by General Daniel Morgan at the Cowpens to defeat
      >> Tarleton has always perked my interest. Was this tactic successfully
      >> planned and implemented in the Western Theater or anywhere else in the
      >> CW?
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> -- Sent from my Palm Pre
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
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