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Generals/leaders who won a war against the odds.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 09:59
Originally posted by centrix redux centrix redux wrote:


Perhaps you forgot the header in the op.....who won a war against the odds.
Battles are part of that process not the entire process.


Yes. And i thought his invasion of Mexico and occupation of Mexico city did a lot to bring the Mexican American war to an end. The odds were always against him. At any moment, from any misstep, he could have suffered his own personal Alamo, a thousand times over. Even Wellington thought he was a goner once he learned of Scott's invasion and intent to abandon his logistical base on the Mexican coast.


Originally posted by Centrix Redux Centrix Redux wrote:

Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Taylor was a fine general but i'd still put my money on Scott. Tactically or strategically, Scott was our preeminent 19th century military thinker. Too bad he never wrote a book? Did he ever publish any papers in his time?
 
 
You asked so here ya go.
 
Memoirs of Lieut.-General Scott, LL. D (1864)
 
 


That looks cool. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 10:13
I wish to give a mention to general Belisarios, the inspired and dashing commander who time and again bested opponents using woefully inadequate resources. Outnumbered many times over, he extinguished the only other nation with a decent navy in the Med Sea, which had been a bane for the Romans for a century. This battle is especially noteworthy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tricamarum

His ability to hold out during the Gothic siege of Rome is testament to his superb abilities as a commander.

http://balisunset.hubpages.com/hub/Battle-of-Rome-537-538-AD

Few generals have achieved so much when so inadequately furnished with resources.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Apr 2012 at 14:39
Captain V, yes, by October 1947 the French had recognized that the Indochina War (really the Vietnam War, since Vietnam was the principal theater and the Vietnamese the center of balance) could not be won and that if anything was going to be salvaged that would keep Vietnam in a friendly relationship with France, independence was a prerequisite. However, by that time the Cold War was well underway and the French unable to support a Communist party state, ergo the war continued while the French tried to splice together solutions that would unify the non-Communist nationalists. Before the war 75% of the French Armed Forces in Indochina were indigenous Indochinese. By Dien Bien Phu, 40% of French Army combat strength in Indochina consisted of indigenous Indochinese. That figure does not include the Armies of the State of Vietnam, or the Khmer and Lao Kingdoms. (These latter much smaller than what became the ARVN)

Understand that France was recuperating from World War II, and Indochina was not on the agenda except by default. There were some 35 major political crises which overturned governments, only 20 of which managed to take the reins of power for a few months. This in a period of 8 years. Yes, the French had ruled out dealing with HCM, and we've already had the discussion vis-a-vis when and why the U.S. recognized Tito, but not Ho Chi Minh. By 1950, the French viewed their mission in Vietnam as one of providing a bulwark against communist aggression until the Vietnamese Nationalists could get their act together. Something they never really did. ((f we take Korea as a successful model, that would have been a forty year mission) The U.S. military's mission in Vietnam was the same. Buy time for the ARVN, and the RVN government until they could stand on their own.

Look, I assume you live in Vancouver, and I know you have some Vietnamese there. Go down and find one of their bookstores and pull out a Vietnamese history of the war. Ask them if the book covers the "nationalist" side, or the "Communist" side and note that "Nationalist" refers to the ARVNs. 

As for French colonialism, I would recommend Henri Brunschwig's Mythes et Realities de l'Imperialisme Colonial Francais 1871-1914 for starters, though I'm sure Marr has something on it. That, and a little knowledge of Vietnamese history will explain a lot that was going on from 1945-56 (when the last French troops left, at Diem's order).  When the French arrived in Vietnam, the country was recovering from nearly a century of war (and its Army was occupying Cambodia, whose population was being forced to 'become Vietnamese"). The French built the South into a prosperous region, and undertook similar projects in the Center and North. Their impact upon VIetnam and Vietnamese culture was far greater than that of the Americans up until recently. All the old communists spoke French much better than you or I, and had great respect for their civilization, adopting a fair amount of it for their own.

I'm derailing the thread, so I'll quit. Suffice it to say that we both agree that HCM was not a general who won a war against the odds. But since war is an extension of politics, we can both agree that he was a war leader who did. Much to Vietnam's detriment, though they are slowly recovering.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2012 at 09:16
Mr L- we are asked here to believe that France changed course 180 degrees, renounced colonialism, and opted for the US favoured paradigm of anything but communism, within a short space of time during this period. In fact France had offered only a sort of quasi-independence to Vietnam, one that would have seen continued French domination in important spheres. It's not surprising the HCM, and others, continued to see a colonial war in progress. Perhaps some in France did worry about a communist conspiracy to dominate Asia, but in light of history up to that time, it seems unlikely that this was the main motivation to stay on in Vietnam. The US (at least since the McCarthy era) has always seen a sharper divide between communism and other shades of political conviction than have Europeans. A number of French communists had been elected at various levels in France, and a great many did not equate communism with slavery and all manner of excess. It was only a few years later that De Gaulle pulled France out of the NATO command structure, and flew to Moscow to have a chat about future alignments. And De Gaulle was on the right wing of French politics. Initially, it was the Viet Minh who had the most popular support, despite the downhill course of events that followed. The French had trouble trying to cobble together some sort of credible oppostion. If their intent was truly to let Vietnam go its own way, then why not withdraw, and let them work out their own history from that point? They did not, because the hope was that some sort of French influence would prevail in the region, as it would in the rest of France's colonial possessions. It was the US that went through contortions on the issue, initially opposing colonialism, but then supporting it substaintially as it seemed to have communists as the alternative.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Apr 2012 at 15:50
Captain, in re your:  " It's not surprising the HCM, and others, continued to see a colonial war in progress."

I would submit that what HCM saw was the possibility of a Vietnamese government that was not the exclusive domain of his own Party, and that was what he was truly opposed to. History has shown that the French were quite willing to leave at a time when the Viet Minh had been forced to accept the division of their country. And they left because of political events in the South, brought about by that 'puppet' Diem. 

As for this:  "a great many did not equate communism with slavery and all manner of excess."  I disagree. They certainly did, and they hoped to bring just those events to their own countries.  A little food for thought:  http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/how-highbrows-killed-culture/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2012 at 12:36
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Captain, in re your:  " It's not surprising the HCM, and others, continued to see a colonial war in progress."

I would submit that what HCM saw was the possibility of a Vietnamese government that was not the exclusive domain of his own Party, and that was what he was truly opposed to. History has shown that the French were quite willing to leave at a time when the Viet Minh had been forced to accept the division of their country. And they left because of political events in the South, brought about by that 'puppet' Diem. 
 
When were the French willing to leave? It's a little like saying the US was willing to leave Vietnam after Tet, after Kent State, after numerous demonstrations and riots and draft evasion, after the failure of the eleventh hour bombing campaign, and after the non-progress of the Paris peace negociations. They eventually left after military defeat, and lack of support for the war at home, foreshadowing the American experience. HCM fought a colonial war against the French, who wanted to hold on, even if in the guise of a loose political "association", until the end. That HCM wanted things his way, and was willing to shoot opponents, is what it is. It is unsavory, but not unprecedented, including in your own country, historically.
 
Initiatally, support in Vietnam was for the Viet Minh, despite later developments, or what you or I might think. I could say to you today, Mr L, that the policies of the Republican Party, as expounded in the primary campaigns, woud be disasterous for the future of the US. Is that a license for intervention from other countries? I think not.
 
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


As for this:  "a great many did not equate communism with slavery and all manner of excess."  I disagree. They certainly did, and they hoped to bring just those events to their own countries.  A little food for thought:  http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/how-highbrows-killed-culture/
 
As for your food for thought, I pretty much agree that the '50s were a good time for the US (and Canada) in a number of ways. One of the main reasons: governments at last abandoned the idea that the market place should be totally free of interventions of any kind. Interventions were massive at that time, including a 90% personal tax rate, and an equivalently high corporate rate. These funds allowed the public to achieve the goal of a middle class society, until then never really realized. The twin blows of the great depression, and the biggest bloodletting of modern times, meant that a new system must be built- going back was not an option, at least not without outright rebellion. Today those sort of policies would have Republicans writhing in agony, and militias in Idaho loading up ammuntion clips as fast as their fingers would allow. Yet that is the basis for the Nirvana espoused in the ariticle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlesXII Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2012 at 06:55
CharlesXII won against a russian army whit 10k swedish soilders against a 40k russian army and won, CharlesXII was leading the attack.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2012 at 07:22
Then he lost at Poltava and lost Big time. St Petersburg would have been New Stockholm.
 
An interesting man Charles XII. He foresaw what Russia would become but the Turks and Poles were too blinded to see the future.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2012 at 09:21
Originally posted by Centrix Redux Centrix Redux wrote:

George Washington and his Continental Army.

I second that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 00:45
When did Washington win a battle against the odds?

In fact when did Washington win a battle?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 07:26
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

When did Washington win a battle against the odds?

In fact when did Washington win a battle?


 And I thought you had no sense of humor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2012 at 18:30
Can't answer the question? I wonder why?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 01:44
Stop it Graham.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2012 at 03:52
Answering the question would be easy enough, no?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CharlesXII Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 01:17
Yes becuse he was injured at that battle and the two other Generals dident wanna coop whit eachother.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SPQR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2012 at 02:03
some Confederate Generals deserve to be listed as well, like Nathan Bedford Forest, Lee, Johnston, and Jackson.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buerebista 12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2013 at 04:48
Hey what about the victory of Michael the Brave, prince of Wallachia, in 1495 with an army of about 20.000 men against the turkish vizir Sinan Pasha who led an army of 120.000 men in the moors from Calugareni?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2013 at 05:25
Originally posted by Buerebista 12 Buerebista 12 wrote:

Hey what about the victory of Michael the Brave, prince of Wallachia, in 1495 with an army of about 20.000 men against the turkish vizir Sinan Pasha who led an army of 120.000 men in the moors from Calugareni?
 
If the Turks had 120k men they would have reached Paris before the year ended.
 
From Ottoman records, and they do have very detailed records of practically everything, the total number of Janissaries back then was about 10k and they almost never participated together. The Timariouts, the closest equivalent to provincial levies, number 40k and too were largely employed locally rather than in participate en masse in campaigns.
 
For a really bad defeat for the Ottomans in that period, perhaps Hunyadis victory in Belgrade in 1456 is a better example.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buerebista 12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2013 at 01:59
Sorry my fault, the year was 1595 and in the battle was not only the jenicers, were also the spahies (cavalry troops) and auxiliary troops. But the main thing is that the turks made this campaign after the prince Mihai was with his army next to Istanbul (about 30 km) and all the Balkans were in fire.
Best regards 
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