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Re: [SCA-JML] Kagemusha question--just curious

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  • sigrune@aol.com
    ... Greetings Gerard, I would like to point out that contemporary accounts do paint Katsumori as and incompetent. True to many depictions he routinely ignored
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 22, 2006
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      >Dear Sloveig Throndardottir,
      >Katsumori was not inept. He just ran into a revolution
      >in tactics! At the barricades Oda used mass
      >controlled gunfire rotating ranks for the first time.
      >Over 4000 gunmen in three ranks with spear men waited
      >behind a defensive fence. No army would have stood up
      >to this firepower.

      Greetings Gerard,

      I would like to point out that contemporary accounts do paint Katsumori as and incompetent. True to many depictions he routinely ignored the advice of his councilors, and when egaging the Tokugawa/Oda force at Shitagahara (Nagashino) he failed to take appropriate caution when his scouts did not report back, knew that there were defensive walls erected, and that he would need to cross a stream with a steep opposite bank in the final leg of his charge.

      He also comitted his forces in waves, and after several waves failed he proceeded to continue sending them. Katsumori was given ample opportunity to withdraw, between waves the Tokugawa/Oda forces had made attempts to advance, nor to persue if Katsumori broke the engagement (though he may not have noticed this) The use of massed gunfire I do not feel was a unique tactic, what is noted about it, it it might have been the largest gathering used on the field up till that time, the technique was used by the Takeda themselves on a smaller scale, and is a hold over from the days of the bow.

      Also the number of guns is a Edo period embellishment, conteporary records set the number at about 2000. A little over twice the number recored as being owned by Takeda in 1572-3 (900).

      Following Nagashino, it is conceiveable Katsumori could have sued for peace to Ieyasu, Ieyasu expected it, and was prepared to grant it, enough so that for 6 more years Nobunaga and Ieyasu did not push the issue to go and finish off the Takeda, despite repeated failed attacks by Katusmori. Some of the reasons often cited for Ieyasu and Nobunaga's decision to eleminate the Takeda was Katsumori's construction of a new castle, and the rebellion of Kiso Yoshimasa. The latter being and event that threatened to undermine Oda's plans by opening up a war front exactly where he did not need one.

      -Takeda
    • Solveig Throndardottir
      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! I am quite familiar with the 4000 man matchlock formation and the palisade. Not only does it appear prominently in
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 22, 2006
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        Noble Cousin!

        Greetings from Solveig! I am quite familiar with the 4000 man matchlock
        formation and the palisade. Not only does it appear prominently in
        Kurosawa's movie, it is graphically described in the novel Taiko. It is
        also described in several history books that I have. While the use of
        firepower by the Oda troops was as stong and well thought out as you
        wrote, simply sending waves of troops against it was inept. The rate of
        fire was obviously rapid, the number of matchlocks apparent, and the
        emplacement behind an open palisade was also visible.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar

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      • sigrune@aol.com
        ... In Katsumori s defense, (Jeesh, I never thought I would say that) according to accounts of Shitaragahara, at the commencement of battle a good portion of
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 22, 2006
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          Solveig Throndardottir writes:

          >The rate of fire was obviously rapid, the number of
          >matchlocks apparent, and the emplacement behind an open
          >palisade was also visible.

          In Katsumori's defense, (Jeesh, I never thought I would say that) according to accounts of Shitaragahara, at the commencement of battle a good portion of the field was obscured by fog and mist. It is doubtful that Katsumori knew the full extent of the defensive works, nor an accurate count of the troops arrayed against him. Most of his scouts had been killed in sorties the night previous and in the early morning, so he lacked information... Then again proceeding blindly when your scouts fail to report is a classic bone-head manuver.

          I feel his greatest folly (after battle was joined) was continuing to press the attack, when withdrawl was a very valid option. After the first charge, or at least the second, he should have quit the field.

          Attacking a force over 2.5 times your size; while they are occupying a defensive position, on terrain that is naturally problematic to your strongest asset; is just plain dumb.

          -Takeda Akimasa
        • Solveig Throndardottir
          Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! Katsumori also made the classic blunder of not really picking the battlefield. Sometimes you can win when you just
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 22, 2006
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            Noble Cousin!

            Greetings from Solveig! Katsumori also made the classic blunder of not
            really picking the battlefield. Sometimes you can win when you just
            blunder into battle, but the odds are already against you. Shingen was
            a great general. Katsumori wasn't a worthy successor.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar

            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
            | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
            | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
            | the trash by my email filters. |
            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+


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