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14

We have essentially three references on this topic. Of these, only Caesar's could have had political motivations, as he was engaged in a campaign against the Britons. His account, however, is only marginal compared to the others, in that he does not clearly state that the Celts went to battle naked. On the other hand, both Polybius and Diodourus Siculus look ...


9

In most cases, they would forage (or pillage) from neighboring areas. As in invading army, they had no qualms about taking whatever they wanted or needed. In situations where they were sending troops considerable distances or for prolonged periods of time, they had to develop other methods. In some situations they would create relay stations, which would ...


9

WWI was a pivotal time in military tactics due to the number of technological advances in warfare that had been relatively unused until that point in time. Machine guns had developed to a point that isn't much different from modern designs; field artillery had gotten a lot bigger, was capable of indirect fire, and had many different munition options; ...


9

I think this may be a(nother) case of alleged American exceptionalism :) Is there any known intrinsic reason as to why American Civil War generals might have led their troops into multi-day battles as a result of new invention in warfare, or is it perhaps simply the case that this war consisted of a long string of battles, hence also of relatively many ...


7

In the Kronstadt Rebellion soviet forces advanced over seasonal sea ice to attack a rebelling naval fortification. Once again, at the Battle of Ogdensburg, during the War of 1812, British forces attacked American forces over the frozen St Lawrence river. In this case coming under artillery fire whilst on the river, which must have been interesting.


7

Yes. However, I don't think you're are giving Napoleon enough credit here as the driver of events. It appears that the entire point of Ligny was to prevent exactly that. Here's what wikipedia (currently) has to say: The battle of Ligny is a prime example of a tactical win and a strategic loss. However, had the left wing of Napoleon´s army succeeded ...


6

A prime example would be the Siege of Malta by the Ottomans in 1565. The Ottomans outnumbered the defenders 5 to 1, according to the numbers given by Francisco Balbi di Correggio, but did not succeed in conquering the island.


6

You might find this enlightening: Naval tactics in the Age of Sail Also: Line of Battle To address your main points: Distance: The fleets could get pretty close, Battle of the Chesapeake page has a quite good map. Also it was possible for ships to pair off a fight in close quarters like at Quiberon Bay). I can't say, but the artists representations look ...


6

At Agincourt (1415) the English reportedly had 1,500 men-at-arms (aka: Knights) and 7,000 longbowmen. That would be a ratio of nearly 5 longbowmen per knight. The French side has a lot of conflicting estimates of size, but by all accounts was very heavily weighted toward men-at-arms. Estimates generally run north of 10,000, with only about 5,000 archers and ...


5

The Battle of Strasbourg when the Roman army of Julian the Apostate fought the Alamanni in 357 AD. Outnumbered 2-1 the Roman army nevertheless routed their opposing army with minimal losses. Also most of Belisarius' battles were fought against vastly larger forces.


5

Taking this to mean numerical inferiority and restricting to cases where the weaker side won, these are the biggest disparities I can find. The easiest way to win while significantly outnumbered is to defend a strong fortress in a siege, as shown in Eger where 2100 to 2300 Hungarian defenders held out against an Ottoman force with 35000 to 40000 men. In ...


4

This is kind of a tough question because to some degree the side which wins a battle is kind of by definition the "stronger" side. That being said, a couple examples from the American Civil War: Chancellorsville: Probably the best example of the bunch. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had a force of around 60,000 opposing a Union force led by "Fighting ...


4

Prior to the Franco Prussian War of 1870, the only formal international treaties on the conduct of war were: 1856 Paris Declaration Respecting Maritime Law, which Privateering 1864 Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field which codified the treatment of wounded in the field and the ...


4

The equipment for a knight was very expensive to create and maintain, it was therefore reserved for the rich, the nobility. Those were of course also the main group of people who could afford horses trained for riding as warhorses (which is quite different training from general riding and draft horses), so my guess is it would be unlikely to see a knight on ...


4

I'd say William Hiseland, who fought in the Battle of Malplaquet at the age of 89. The Scotsman newspaper writes about it: At the Battle of Malplaquet, the regiment probably had the youngest and oldest participants on the battlefield. The wife of a soldier, Private McBain, handed over their three-week old baby son to him just before the battle ...


4

I don't know enough about other wars to know if the American Civil War featured more multi-day battles, but will take a stab at why it did, and why others might not. The North and South had very different advantages. The North had a numerical advantage that ran has high as 2 to 1 in the latter part, while the South had the better generals. Thus, There were ...


3

By making a search over some var memorial archives you can find remarkably old soldiers. For example, Drobyshev Illarion Pavlovich born in 1839 was killed in 1948 in combat with bandits in Tambov Oblast. HGe was deputy-commander of a company, and if the documents are correct he was 109 years old. http://obd-memorial.ru/html/info.htm?id=9862711 ...


2

The Peschanka/Stalingrad "bone fields" are discussed in this thread on Dan Carlin's forum. Dan cites: Donovan Webster, Aftermath: The Remnants of War: From Landmines to Chemical Warfare — The Devastating Effects of Modern Combat The other main source, whom I think Dan mentions in that show, is Walter Seledec, an Austrian TV editor/official (and ...


2

How can you discount the "2 tanks vs. 1 million spearmen" and still take into account Rorke's Drift? A breech-loaded rifle is a very massive technological improvement over a spear, regardless of whether or not you're in favorable terrain (which the missionary station can HARDLY be counted as one) In anycase, most of Britain's battles fit into your ...


2

There are two episodes from WW2 in Russia come to mind. Panfilov's Twenty-Eight Guardsmen This is an episode every school kid from former Soviet Union studied in history course. The story is that 28 soldiers were able to withstand the attack of German tanks of Panzer Division while destroying many tanks and a lot of infantry. Almost all of them perished. ...


2

I doubt a whole army would have gone into battle en masse naked, but there is enough hearsay to assume that there were some naked warriors. I think it almost impossible to prove or disprove this, but I believe it likely that there were celtic warriors who fought naked. Where they Viking style beserkers who had too many hallucinogens, or where they slaves ...


2

An important way to supply an army always was the transportation by water. Persian invasions of Greece were actually large scale combined ground force-fleet operations, as it is clearly seen from Herodotes description. Same applies to Hannibal's campain and to several operations of Alexander the Great. In general, rivers and sea was one of the important ...


1

It was his plan all along. The line of hills south of town were the obvious defensive position for an army, but Buford didn't have enough men to defend the entire line so he placed his defensive line north of town. If he could hold the Confederate infantry off long enough, it would give the Union infantry time to come up behind him and begin occupying the ...


1

This battle was the battle of New Orleans, early in 1815. The peace treaty for the War of 1812 had been signed in Europe, but the Americans didn't yet know it (in the days before telecommunications). Nor did the British attackers headed to Louisiana. Jackson adopted a fortified position and let the British attack over rough terrain. The result was a ...


1

It was unknown amongst the Allied armies in which direction Napoleon would march. He might have chosen to march into Belgium, which in addition to cutting Wellington off from supply could have led the Belgians to rise in revolt against the Kingdom of the Netherlands, of which they had only lately been forced to become a part. He might have marched on Prussia ...



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