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Old 11-29-2018, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
Probably any Napoleonic commander who was adept at cavalry operations could have been successfull at mechanized warfare. Mobile units moving ahead of infantry and striking enemy strong points. Tanks or men on horses. The basic concept is identical.

Yes, especially in terms of mechanized warfare. I do wonder how they would have grasped air power and airborne operations, which essentially turns the battlefield from 2D to 3D.
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Old 11-29-2018, 12:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
Probably any Napoleonic commander who was adept at cavalry operations could have been successfull at mechanized warfare. Mobile units moving ahead of infantry and striking enemy strong points. Tanks or men on horses. The basic concept is identical.
Or anyone with the intelligence, flexibility of thought, and foresight to recognized how to best utilize this new technology for strategic purposes. Someone who is able to break down warfare into: strategy, objective, and technique, then shift or apply whatever tools they have at hand to make it all happen.

Such as Charles de Gaulle, who although trained as an army officer in more conventional warfare, recognized after WWI the importance of utilizing tanks for any future warfare tactics. It's too bad France did not fully embrace de Gaulle's ideas, using it in only limited capacity at the start of WWII. Instead, it was said his book on this new use of tanks greatly influenced Hiltler, and later the German's successful use of tanks to achieve blitzkrieg.
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Old 11-29-2018, 02:04 PM
 
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The word I should have used was method and not "technique".
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Old 11-29-2018, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mingna View Post
The word I should have used was method and not "technique".

We knew what you meant.


You're right about DeGaulle. French tanks were on par if not superior to the ones the Germans had in 1940 (And actually had more in the theater), yet the French were idiots when it came to doctrine. Most French tanks didn't even have radios, as a way to make armored units conform to their defensive doctrine, consigning them to infantry support.
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
We knew what you meant.


You're right about DeGaulle. French tanks were on par if not superior to the ones the Germans had in 1940 (And actually had more in the theater), yet the French were idiots when it came to doctrine. Most French tanks didn't even have radios, as a way to make armored units conform to their defensive doctrine, consigning them to infantry support.
Unlike the Napoleonic generals, de Gaulle had the advantage of familiarity with tanks, even though they were of limited and ineffective use in WWI. His skill was being able to think outside the box, and envision a new use for them in warfare- how to better deploy them as tools of war. It’s too bad his ideas were thwarted by rigid, conservative leaders like Petain.
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Old 11-29-2018, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
Probably any Napoleonic commander who was adept at cavalry operations could have been successfull at mechanized warfare. Mobile units moving ahead of infantry and striking enemy strong points. Tanks or men on horses. The basic concept is identical.
I disagree. The roles are very different. As opposed to the shock value of armor (tanks, etc) either in advance of infantry or along with infantry (i.e. the blitzkreig), cavalry only moved ahead of infantry to screen an advance, recon, or to raid. Otherwise it's offensive role was limited to a flanking role, or it was used to charge a broken infantry division in flight.
Being very vulnerable to both muskets and massed bayonets, cavalry moving ahead of infantry and striking strong points would be butchered.
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Old 11-30-2018, 07:22 AM
 
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In truth, I think the pre-20th Century general most likely to quickly grasp modern warfare would have been Stonewall Jackson.
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Old 11-30-2018, 04:52 PM
 
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LOL modern day military leaders spend much less time studying the art of war. Think about what they actually do learn while at places like West Point. It is not military tactics and strategy. They are taking college classes. Back during Napoleon's time, that societal class started much earlier. They began with individual skills like fencing, and horsemanship. Modern day military leaders, in fact, study on up men like Napoleon when they get a chance to actually learn military science.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
LOL modern day military leaders spend much less time studying the art of war. Think about what they actually do learn while at places like West Point. It is not military tactics and strategy. They are taking college classes. Back during Napoleon's time, that societal class started much earlier. They began with individual skills like fencing, and horsemanship. Modern day military leaders, in fact, study on up men like Napoleon when they get a chance to actually learn military science.
Of course. But maybe you misunderstood, that was not what I was suggesting, or only suggesting, with the terms "arts of war". West Point has always been a college first, with the focus on engineering initially (which was understandable and a practical military skill - artillery officers in particular needed a good grasp of mathematics, and engineering was important to mapping, fortifications, etc - that training curriculum has obviously changing dramatically in 200 years). Some tactical training mixed in as they graduate as junior officers.

Again I was focusing on practical training and experience that occurs while a junior officer, moving up from managing a platoon, to a brigade, to a division, to an entire army. The basic theories of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz, and even Forrest ("get there the firstist with the mostist") still apply, but when you get to the practical application they differ considerably.

But I don't understand - are you truly suggesting Napolean can take a time machine just jump right in and lead a Stryker brigade during the Iraq invasion? - including deployment, logistics, training, equipment, support, intelligence, electronic warfare, NBC preparation, recon, fire support, communication...all the elements a commander has to know about to be successful in the field.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Of course. But maybe you misunderstood, that was not what I was suggesting, or only suggesting, with the terms "arts of war". West Point has always been a college first, with the focus on engineering initially (which was understandable and a practical military skill - artillery officers in particular needed a good grasp of mathematics, and engineering was important to mapping, fortifications, etc - that training curriculum has obviously changing dramatically in 200 years). Some tactical training mixed in as they graduate as junior officers.

Again I was focusing on practical training and experience that occurs while a junior officer, moving up from managing a platoon, to a brigade, to a division, to an entire army. The basic theories of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz, and even Forrest ("get there the firstist with the mostist") still apply, but when you get to the practical application they differ considerably.

But I don't understand - are you truly suggesting Napolean can take a time machine just jump right in and lead a Stryker brigade during the Iraq invasion? - including deployment, logistics, training, equipment, support, intelligence, electronic warfare, NBC preparation, recon, fire support, communication...all the elements a commander has to know about to be successful in the field.




Perhaps not all on his own during the actual battle, but any gifted and effective leader will retain those core abilities regardless of the external conditions.

He could be briefed on only the necessary info regarding the technical capabilities of new tools/weapons, their limitations, and any other critical info needed in order for him to make the best military decisions. A smart general would surround himself with smart officers ( and other support services) to help him make the best decisions.
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