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65

sides got locked into relatively short lines of heavily defended trench warfare with little prospect of gains for either side. The lines on the Western Front were not by any stretch of the imagination "short". The Western Front ran all the way from Switzerland to the Atlantic Ocean. Side attacks? Well the Race to the Sea (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


54

It's actually quite difficult to point to a specific answer because, as your Boudica example shows, in many cases casualty estimates are not very reliable. The 80,000 figure given for Boudica's forces is considered to be a rhetorical device and not an actual factual number - a problem that plagues many pre-modern accounts. Another difficulty is measuring ...


50

The battle caused mass casualties. The commemoration is part of the mourning. Example: Stalingrad from the German viewpoint. The battle showed outstanding heroism from the defeated side. The commemoration celebrates the heroes. Example: Camerone from the Foreign Legion viewpoint. The battle was perceived as perfidy from the winning side. The defeated side is ...


41

Battle of the Alamo is certainly remembered in Texas, and they certainly lost that battle. Pearl Harbor was a major loss to the United States, and is still commemorated annually. In these two cases the prior losses became rallying cries in future battles, which were victories. The Romans lost the Battle of the Caudine Forks, 321 BC, for which the ...


38

Battle of Mohi might be what you are looking for. It's not a perfect fit but that's the closest I could find. It was fought on 11th April 1241 between Kingdom of Hungary and Golden Horde. The Battle itself was in fact three sub-battles packed into one, all fought in one day. Fight at the Sajó bridge - Midnight Duke Coloman of Slavonia, brother to King ...


30

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 ...


28

There were no "sides" where one might perform a side-attack. After the initial German push was defeated at the First Battle of the Marne, the British and French attacked the Germans at the First Battle of the Aisne. There, both the Germans and the Entente found how effective entrenching was against attacking troops. Having failed the frontal attacks and ...


28

Pearl Harbor attack: Discarding the materiel lost, the USA had 2,335 killed and 1,143 wounded, while Japan had only 64 killed and 1 prisoner. That makes a ratio of 1:56. If one adds in the materiel probably the difference is quite bigger. Battle of Sidi Barrani: During operation Compass, the British had 624 losses, while Italy had 2,194 killed, 2,286 ...


23

The main reason was that the allies were prepared to fight WW1 all over again. The Germans had very different ideas. The allies were ready to fight a static trench war in Belgium. Problem was that Belgium declared neutrality in 1936. That created huge problems for the allied planners. Allied officers were not allowed to coordinate with Belgium before ...


21

The question as it stands would require a book to answer it. Luckily for you, the book has been written: "Naval Warfare Under Oars, 4th to 16th Century" by Rodgers (1940). To quote from Chapter 8 on the Italian Naval Wars in the 13th century: Tactical Customs Ordinarily, squadrons moved in column with the admiral leading; in battle the fleet formed ...


19

In order to be strategically pointless, it must be the case that a victory the other way would have had a negligibly different effect on subsequent historical events. Consider the possibility that as the two British columns approach the French/Spanish line of battle a fluke shot explodes the magazine on Royal Sovereign at the head of the Lee Column (think H....


18

The existing answers provide detail on why side attacks and real breakthroughs were impossible in practice. I want to add a theoretic level why strategists might also wouldn't want them. To answer your question with emphasis on the "accept" part, I would like to refer you to a military theorist who foresaw some developments and is thus still taught at many ...


16

The last king to lead in battle is George II in the Battle of Dettingen. The last one to die in battle was Richard III at Bosworth.


16

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.


16

Your question is underpinned by a key misunderstanding of the course of an ancient or medieval battle: the slaughter occurs in the pursuit (or endgame if you will), not what might be termed the battle proper (or midgame). Prior to the invention of artillery, and breech-loading and automatic rifles, very little death is dealt out during the main course of ...


15

In a thread on his site's now-deleted forum, Dan cited: 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 apparently brigadier) who brought footage of the ...


15

Per your comment "I am interested in ... the conditions under which the loser comes to actively keep memories of the battle alive." Conditions for retaining a memorial of the defeat include the symbolism associated with the battle the larger cultural reasons/struggles behind the battle celebration of martyrs the sense of group identity it offers, ...


14

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 multi-...


13

Oh boy, this is the moment to speak of the most awesome battle ever. You see, in winter 1794, a French Hussard regiment was sent to prevent a Dutch fleet, stuck in Den Helder to rejoin british forces. The Dutch Republic was in a state close to civil war and the fealty of those ship was in question. And so, a cavalry regiment had the exceptionnal ...


13

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; ...


13

It's accurate to say it wasn't much of a battle. The bridge was only lightly defended by two sections of the Sichuan clique's 24th Army, an extremely poor quality regional unit. There is no claim in Chinese sources that the defenders possessed machine guns, which would have been quite out of the ordinary for such subpar units. Their main defense preparation ...


13

Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC between Alexander and Darius III's Persians. One of Alexande's great victories. Even if we take the highest estimate for Alexander's casualties (1,500) and the lowest for Darius III's army (40,000), it still gives a ratio of 26.67 to 1. Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC between the Romans and the Parthians. This is the famous battle ...


12

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 ...


12

Lots. Probably the most well-known example is that the Jews used to take their God (inside the Arc of the Covenant) into battle with them. (Of course in their accounts, the magic often worked). A much more modern version came out of the Ghost Dance of the late 19th Century. Through a combination of native and Mormon theological elements, a group of Lakota ...


11

Yes, the bone fields are still there. Especially around the Pitomnik Airfield, where balkas - eroded river banks - aren't plowed like the fields around them, and are littered with bones. I can show photos. I was there. There are still bones everywhere. You just have to slow down and look. Still, as of 1996, the Germans were allowed in to begin the business ...


11

I am Adrienne Mayor and I never wrote that Porus used any kind of poison weapons, not swords or arrows and certainly not poisoned elephant tusks, as claimed on About.com and the Univ. of Washington sites See my "Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World" (Overlook/Duckworth, 2003, 2009) pp 88-91 and ...


11

The battle of Thermopylae (300 Spartans) is a prime example:-) I think no comments are required because everyone knows this example very well. Persian literature of that time did not survive to our days, but one can be reasonably sure that Persians did not consider this battle as something very important. Moreover, one can conjecture that the battle is so ...


11

It sounds like the legend of Robert Bruce and the spider. Bruce was King of Scots and leading the resistance against King Edward I of England. Things weren't going well, and Bruce was on the run during the winter of 1306–07. Supposedly (according to the most common version of the legend) Bruce hid in a cave on Rathlin Island off the north coast of Ireland. ...


11

Tsushima 1905. 117 vs 4380 dead. Fleet engagement, so the Japanese + Russian numbers of men, combined, probably were over your 10k threshold, but that 4380 looks like it was most of Russian fleet. The Invicible Armada lost 15000 men in 1588, but most of that was also due to weather on the retreat trip around Scotland. English losses were about 400. The ...


11

1988 - Battle of Afabet Fought between an Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) force of around 15,000 and an Ethiopian army numbering 20 to 25,000, this was a huge defeat for the latter. Ethiopian casualties were over 18,000 killed or captured while EPLF casualties amounted to only 394 (125 killed, 269 wounded, giving a ratio of at least 45 to 1. ...


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