Top 10 greatest tactical and strategic masterpieces.

Discussion in 'Military History & Tactics' started by AUSTERLITZ, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Given the late interest in this section i decided to start a thread.

    Alright the battles are here judged only on the basis of tactical genius.Not decisiveness or impact on history.

    The strategic masterpieces means campaigns.Here decisiveness and impact is a factor.

    So give up ur top 10 greatest tactical battles .
    With another 10 expanded possible list.

    And top 10 campaigns.
    With another 10 expanded possible list.

    Try to avoid battles that were won by technological superirity mostly,like agincourt.
     
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  2. Majnun

    Majnun FULL MEMBER

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    Khalid bin Walid and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk immediately come to mind. Specifically, I think of the novelty of Khalid bin Walid's strategy during the battle of Mutah, when the enemy outnumbered the Muslim forces, and three generals had already been lost. The mantle of leadership was thrust upon Khalid bin Walid. He sent some troops back and ordered them to come back, generating great dust and making it seem that reinforcements were coming. This lowered the enemy morale and eventually, after heavy fighting, the Muslims won the war.
    I think that Haider Ali used a similar strategy when most of his soldiers didn't have any weapons.
     
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  3. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer PROFESSIONAL

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    Heh.

    Good move.

    My top ten tactically interesting battles, with a separate post for another ten:
    1. Leuktra: Epaminondas against the Spartans;
    2. Gaugamela: Alexander the Great against the Achaemenid Persians;
    3. Cannae: Hannibal Barca against the Romans;
    4. Dara: Belisarius against the Sassanians;
    5. Mohi: Subotai against the Hungarians;
    6. Breitenfeld: Gustavus Adolphus Magnus against the Imperial forces;
    7. Blenheim: Marlborough against the French;
    8. Rossbach: Frederick II the Great against the French;
    9. Narva: Charles XII against the Russians;
    10. Austerlitz: Napoleon against the Austrians and Russians.

    There are more which can be assigned to Hannibal (Trasimene, for instance), to Subotai, to Gustavus Adolphus (Leutzen), to Marlborough (his other three, or perhaps just his Ramillies, as the other two were too bloody), Frederick II (Hohenfriedberg), and a host from the young Napoleon. And then on to Wellington, and to other battles from the Wars of Islamic Conquest, some striking ones from the 14th and 15th centuries, Suvorov's battles, more French Revolutionary and Napoleonic battles, the American Civil War, and finally the two World Wars. Some ruthless triage might decide another ten - barely. It will be touch and go; let's see.

    Going back to your definition of tactical masterpiece, from a plain listing, how will anyone know why one battle is considered a tactical masterpiece and another isn't? That also applies, with greater force, to the strategic campaigns.

    I am also confident that there will be some at least who make a hash of the difference between battle and campaign, between tactics and strategy. But no matter.

    Looking forward to your comments.
     
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  4. GUNS-N- ROSES

    GUNS-N- ROSES FULL MEMBER

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    great thread. i guess this will seperate men from boys.

    while the intention is good, i wd say the its a very subjective thread. tactical in wat sense? is it because of brilliant operations/planning or importance of battle in strategic campaign and its contribution in end result.

    @ jon, i wd agree with most of u r choices.good job. i havent really thought on my top 10 list. give me time i l think abt it and post mine shortly. thanx for this thread.
     
  5. IndianArmy

    IndianArmy PROFESSIONAL

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    The best strategic Masterpiece You can Ever Tell is the great Wall Of China.... Hats Off to those who Created it...
     
  6. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer PROFESSIONAL

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    jon? D'you mean jon asad? I thought he'd changed his nick to something soul-stirring and brave. Is he still using this one?

    as far as the last post by some bloke called joe is concerned, the use of tactical is simple: every battle listed has some specific feature about its execution that to his mind represents tactical brilliance. Just a reminder about what it is not:


    so it isn't importance in terms of operations/planning, nor is it contribution to the end result, if by that you mean the outcome of the campaign or of the war.

    What happens within a battle is tactical; what happens getting to the battle is grand tactical; what happens in putting together battles, other military actions and political actions along with military actions is strategic.

    Napoleon's decision to move elements of the Grand Armee from coastal France facing England to attack the Austrians and Russians was strategic; his decision earlier to cross the Rhine and swing north to isolate Mack's troops at Ulm was grand tactics; so also his movement of troops from Ulm to Brno, to give battle to the allies nearby; his marching across the enemy's front at Austerlitz and hitting him at an oblique angle was tactical. Note that our thread promoter, also called Austerlitz, prefers the term "operations" to what I have called "grand tactics".
     
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  7. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 RESEARCH & DEV

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    Muhammad Bin qasim

    He at the age of 17 started conquering south asia..

    he's also responsible for the spread of islam in SOuth asia.

    at the age of 17 and conquering any country at that time was nt an easy work

    he was really a brave and tactical person.
     
  8. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer PROFESSIONAL

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    Could you describe any one of his battles and explain what tactical innovations he provided, please? Any battle will do; the emphasis is on the tactical innovation. You do know what that means, of course?
     
  9. notorious_eagle

    notorious_eagle PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Excellent list, now lets look at some of Germany's brilliance in land warfare.

    Battle of Gazala - Example of Rommel's tactical brilliance. An attack on the North followed immediately by an attack on the South in an outflanking manoeuvre, one can only expect something like this from Rommel.

    Battle of Sedan - The Germans manage to advance through the Meuse, protect their rear, trap the Allied strongest armies and advance to the English Channel unchallenged. Simply a master stroke by the Germans, after this it was only mop up.

    Battle of Kiev - This was the classic example of double envelopment, they trapped 5 Russian Armies.

    Battle of Tannenburg - The Germans manage to outmanoeuvre numerically superior Russians without much contact, sheer brilliance. After this battle, the Russians were on the defence throughout the war.
     
  10. CardSharp

    CardSharp ELITE MEMBER

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    Pfffft didn't even work a lot of the time. lol.




    Great idea austerlitz and great posts Joe.
     
  11. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Well about the tactics and strategy thing joe has alreday more or less answered it,but to clarify.

    By Tactics i meant the brilliant use of whatever resources at ur disposal in A BATTLE.

    By strategy it can be brilliant logistics,superb manuevering whatver it takes to win with a heavy priority on manuevering...as that is typically the hallmark of great generals and lowest on bribing or defecting enemy commanders.


    Now onto my list.

    Campaigns.

    1.Blitzkreig 1940 Fall of france.

    The Quintessential campaign of modern warfare.

    2.Campaign of 1805

    Napoleon's greatest campaign,starting with the superb manuevre at ulm,culminating at austerlitz,with 200000 men napoleon defaets the allied coalition total strength of more than 400000.

    3.Alexander's persian campaign.

    The logistical approach and the superb manuevering with sieges at halicarnassus,and 3 great battles culminating at gaugamela.


    4.Caesar's gallic campaign

    The campaign that defined caesar.

    5.Hannibal's italian campaign

    3 great victories,17 yrs on roman soil totally outnumbered yet undefeated.Had he siege engines rome would be a footnote in history.

    6..Khalid ibn al walid's campaign against the byzantine empire

    The campaign that made islam into a game changer in asia.

    7.Napoleon's italian campaign 1796

    The ever outnumbered bonaparte in his first and one of the most brilliant campaigns,centred around mantua with great battles at rivoli,arcola,castiglione,bassano.

    8.Mongol campaign against eastern europe

    Subotai's trademark campaign.This could be much higher i just can't find what to replace.

    9.The seven years war

    Frederick's brilliant defense of prussia.

    10.The vietnamese war

    Vo ngyen gap and his superb use of guerilla tactics.The greatest assymetrical warfare campaign in history.


    Probables.

    11.Gustavas adolphus campaign in northern germany.

    12.Mongol campaign of china.

    13.Napoleon.s campaign of 1806.17 day destruction of prussia.

    14.Moltke's campaign of 1871.The campaign that shaped ww1 and proved the age of railways had arrived.

    15.Wellington's peninsular campaign.The spanish ulcer,its comes late because it wouldn't have succeeded without many factors that were there to aid it,spanish guerilla resistance and supply of information on french movements.Huge french logistical problems.It could be higher though about 10-11.

    16.Marlbrough's brilliant campaign in central europe.
    This too i consider more or less on par with adolphus's campaign so could be higher.

    other than these...saladin's campaign comes to mind.

    feel free to add the last 3.

    battle will post soon.
     
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  12. AUSTERLITZ

    AUSTERLITZ PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    @wall thing.........Fixed fortifications are monuments to human stupidity - napoleon bonaparte. Also sometimes attributed to helmuth moltke the elder.
    Though the great wall did succeed partly in warding of the huns...the chinese emperor would have been better off creating a army with that expense,as i remember the great wall fell when the defenders deserted and surrendered without even fighting...proving right the proverb a wall is only as good as the man behind it.The romans used walls to deadly effect,but only as long as its infantry remained world class..when they declined not all the walls could wrad of the barbarian invasions.
    Same for the french army and its maginot line.

    Onto battles,this is a real problem for me as there are so many.

    However i did make a list.

    1.Cannae

    THE cannae,every generals wet dream from the day it was fought.

    2.Austerlitz

    Deception,outnumbered,total battlefield mastery ,manuevre,surprise,
    second greatest in my book.

    3.Pharsalus.

    Caesar's greatest victory.

    4.Battle of walaja

    Khalid ibn al waleed's double envelopment.Superb victory.

    5.Battle of gaugamela.

    Alexander's greatest victory.

    6.Leuctra

    The first oblique angle victory.

    7.Sedan.

    The original german kesselschacht battle.

    8.alesia

    Caesar's great use of circumvillation.

    9.yamrouk

    Khalid ibn al waleed's superb use of cavalry to gain local superiority at all points of importance and defeating the numerically larger enemy in detail.

    10.Mohi

    subotai's great victory.

    11.Trasimene

    greatest ambush in military history.

    For extended possibles.

    My choices

    Battle of fraustadt.Another of the few classic examples of a deliberate double envelopment.Swedish victory.

    Battle of blenheim.Marlbrough's best.

    Battle of rivoli.The most brilliant victory of the italian campaign

    Battle of dresden.Brilliant use of the counterattack flanking manuevre by napoleon with massive allied casualities.

    Battle of breitenfield.Gustavas adolphus signature victory.

    Battle of freidland,napoleon's great victory over russia.

    Battle of hydaspes,tactically one of alexander's best.

    Battle of hohenfreidberg.Greatest victory of the war of austrian succesion.

    Battle of leuthen.Greatest victory of the seven yrs war.

    h.mention;Battle of ramillies/battle of salamanca/battle of aurestadt.

    Now i have deliberately left out 20th century battles as battles ceased to be battles and more resembled operations due to the numbers available from ww1 onwards.
    So stalingrad,kharkov,kiev.....are not on the list.
     
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  13. CardSharp

    CardSharp ELITE MEMBER

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    Am not sure what specific event you are referring to and also point of information? It wasn't to keep the huns out. The northern various tribes the wall is meant to keep out doesn't include the huns.
     
  14. SekrutYakhni

    SekrutYakhni SENIOR MEMBER

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    I took European history way back and look at the paranoia of those people---

    There was this war i.e. Battle of the Trench (Ghazwa Khandaq)-- I do not want to go into further details as it will create flame war...

    Anyways, according to that book, Europeans were the first to use that tactic...


    I think that the trench which people dug in Prophet Muhammad's era is one of the several master pieces.
     
  15. GUNS-N- ROSES

    GUNS-N- ROSES FULL MEMBER

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    sorry i think i had too much cafeeine. i mean joe not jon. i apologise wholeheartedly. by the way great choices.