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Old 12-03-2018, 12:01 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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mingna View Post
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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.
Exactly

What is a stryker brigade? A group of soldiers on wagons that have fossil fuel engine as opposed to a horse. What is an attack helicopter? A horse that can levitate. What is a machine gun? And musket that has auto fire.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:50 AM
Status: "True liberal" (set 25 days ago)
 
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No. Generals in 1914, who had 50 years of more recent wars to study, were out of step with the weapons that had developed since then. Tactics dithered for the 3 years before finally adapting in 1918 to the then-reality. And it wasn't the stars of 1914 that adapted. It was lesser known and less invested ones who finally succeeded.

How could generals from 1814 run a war in 1944? Not just the tactics but the supply, communications, politics, etc. They would have to go through the same slaughter filled learning that Haig, Foch, etc. had to 40 years earlier.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
No. Generals in 1914, who had 50 years of more recent wars to study, were out of step with the weapons that had developed since then. Tactics dithered for the 3 years before finally adapting in 1918 to the then-reality. And it wasn't the stars of 1914 that adapted. It was lesser known and less invested ones who finally succeeded.

How could generals from 1814 run a war in 1944? Not just the tactics but the supply, communications, politics, etc. They would have to go through the same slaughter filled learning that Haig, Foch, etc. had to 40 years earlier.
None of those generals were as good as the great ones like Napoleon, or Alexander etc, etc.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:46 PM
 
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Could they, having been born in modern times, and having grown up training with modern equipment and modern thought, be able to lead armies? Probably. The basic charisma and leadership skills would be there. But could they, having been transported Dr Who style onto the modern battlefield successfully command an army? No. The strategy, tactics, logistics, and speed would overwhelm their thought processes.

And cadets still read Sun Tzu. And Clausewitz. And Douhet, Spaatz, Mitchell, and LeMay. Let's not forget Ike, Patton, and Rommel.

Would Napoleon even be able to comprehend MAD?
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Elysium
5,916 posts, read 3,192,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
No. Generals in 1914, who had 50 years of more recent wars to study, were out of step with the weapons that had developed since then. Tactics dithered for the 3 years before finally adapting in 1918 to the then-reality. And it wasn't the stars of 1914 that adapted. It was lesser known and less invested ones who finally succeeded.

How could generals from 1814 run a war in 1944? Not just the tactics but the supply, communications, politics, etc. They would have to go through the same slaughter filled learning that Haig, Foch, etc. had to 40 years earlier.
And being from 1814 they would have been far more forward to see for themselves than the corp and army commanders in WWI, thus more likely to be part of the slaughter like the Colonels and Brigadiers of that day.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:47 AM
Status: "True liberal" (set 25 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taiko View Post
And being from 1814 they would have been far more forward to see for themselves than the corp and army commanders in WWI, thus more likely to be part of the slaughter like the Colonels and Brigadiers of that day.
Waterloo was fought by 100 - 120 thousand men. The Somme was fought by two million. The front at Waterloo could be observed by a telescope. Waterloo lasted a day. The Somme, 6 months. The Somme's front could only be seen by from an airplane. Flags, drums and bugles were used to communicate at Waterloo. Landlines and early wirelesses were used at the Somme. Airplanes were not used for reconnaissance even in 1914.

Even had Wellington and Napoleon been schooled in the best military academies of the day, they would not have fared better than the other generals. Only experience taught the lessons of the new weapons, barbed wire and gas. Of the use and limits of railroads, camouflage. The design of defenses, placement and sighting of artillery.

On the Eastern Front, too. Even without the stalemate, it was a war no generals were prepared for.

I read a story about Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. At a party, after a hostess at a reception apologized for French officers who had turned their backs on him, Wellesley said: "I have seen their backs before, madam."
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post

Would Napoleon even be able to comprehend MAD?
The counter argument seems to be that these generals need only concern themselves with overall war strategy and not battlefield tactics, so all these technical and logistical tactical elements would not matter. However they forget that Napolean didn't spend his time in Paris moving around chess pieces on a map of Europe and telling his marshalls what to do. He was on the battlefield making the decisions. The tactics were his, he was "hands on". Same with Wellesley, who loved a good defensive battle. Their very command style alone would not match modern warfare.
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Old Today, 12:19 AM
 
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I think we have to look at it this way.

How will modern day generals fare in command if they, in reverse, sent back through time to say American Revolution, Imjin War, Crusades, Byzantine Arab Wars, Gallic Wars, etc etc? Things were a lot more difficult. Storing food, and water was even more difficult. Can modern day field commanders figure out how to move an entire tribe like the Cimbrii from the Jutland Peninsula down to Pannonia, west across the Danube, to the Pyrenees, and then into the Po Valley? Or move the Carthaginian army from North Africa, through Spain, across the Alps, and in Italy, and then back to North Africa? And they dont get any modern day equipment with them.

The truth is our ancestors had less to work with. They had to figure things out more on their own then modern man does. They had to use more brain power. That in itself is the greatest, most transferable skillset. Modern times everything is easier to do, especially learning. If any ancient great military leader given time to learn about modern war, modern tech, they will excel handily.
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