Discussion Civil War Battlefield Fighting Strategy

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Coonewah Creek

First Sergeant
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Jun 1, 2018
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1,262
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Northern Alabama
Mass formations had been in use since ancient times.
Which led to some interesting observations for those commanders clever enough to take advantage of them. In the days of sword and shield, it was natural for the man to the left in line to want to instinctively draw back and to the right somewhat to gain the added protection of the man to his right's shield. This led to battle lines advancing against the enemy would necessarily strike with their right flank first. The more successful commanders took advantage of this fact by massing greater concentration of men on the right to increase the "shock" value as the lines closed, right to left down the attacker's line.
 

damYankee

1st Lieutenant
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Aug 12, 2011
Messages
3,909
The reluctance of military institutions to adapt to the ever improving long range weaponry and the introduction of automatic weapons is unfathomable.
That is always the challenge, adapting military thinking and tactically thinking to advancing technology.
 

Joshism

Sergeant Major
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Apr 30, 2012
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Jupiter, FL
That is always the challenge, adapting military thinking and tactically thinking to advancing technology.
And usually only a few, if any, militaries successfully figure out how to maximize the new technology. Then everyone else copies or otherwise adapts.

Even when a game-changing technology comes around with proper tactics to use it often militaries don't properly commit. The tank is a great example. Or the Japanese realizing the power of aircraft carriers while hedging their bets with superbattleships.
 
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Lubliner

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Nov 27, 2018
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Tactically speaking of their mindset and desire, it seems to me they were aiming for the principle, 'break and scatter' the enemy with shock attacks. It does seem the overall loss such as Cold Harbor was repeating the same mistake as occurred at Fredericksburg. First Bull Run was a good example of unnerving an enemy to break and scatter. Maybe they all wanted similar results, and could not find the keys of success there after.
Lubliner.
 
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