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Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War

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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by Fox2!   » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:22 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Things were a bit clearer when most soldiers were equipped with muzzle loading smoothbores - then a good bayonet charge could cause the moral of many defenders to break and they'd scatter. Except with the very best trained and motivated troops it wasn't possible to lay down enough fire to break such a charge if driven home with determination. But by the turn of the century the much longer range, and much high rate of fire, of breech loading magazine rifles made sustaining such a charge almost infeasible - no mater how fired up the attackers were.


Add machine guns, and fifteen years later you get Paschendale.
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by Relax   » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:24 pm

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Actually, the frontal charge was dead and gone with the introduction of the rifle and a good shovel via the American Revolutionary War of Independence where a few ignorants of "military matters", hounded and harassed a vastly superior force into leaving. The frontal charge was only kept alive by stubborn, pigheaded, glory hound fools.

The entire 19th century battlefield from the USA to S. Africa, to 1870 war between Germany/France was one gigantic slaughter of frontal charges which ultimately culminated in WWI finally forcing the last vestiges of stubborn old glory hound fools OUT of military service.

A field operable machine gun and ubiquitous barbed wire was just the final nail in the frontal charges coffin where even reactionairy old fools brought up on Knighthood chivalry of facing your enemy in plain view could see that anyone so "chivalrous" was a corpse standing.
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:46 am

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Relax wrote:Actually, the frontal charge was dead and gone with the introduction of the rifle and a good shovel via the American Revolutionary War of Independence where a few ignorants of "military matters", hounded and harassed a vastly superior force into leaving. The frontal charge was only kept alive by stubborn, pigheaded, glory hound fools.
.

Especially back then riflemen were scirmishers. Fine for harassing an enemy as long as you're willing and able to run or hide should they turn on you. And assuming they lack cavalry to run you down. But a force of Revolutionary War riflemen could never hold a position against an equal number of musketmen willing to mount a frontal charge. The attackers can just cover too much ground in the minute or so it takes to reload a pre-minie ball rifle. (1/4 the rate of a contemporary smoothbore musket). Now the rifle's got a lot more effective range - so you can probably get off a second round. But two volleys, a minute or so apart, isn't enough to break a determined charge. (The bigger risk is the attackers might be goaded into starting to run too early and exhaust themselves before closing all the way)
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by Relax   » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:06 am

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Fine, if you want to move the date to the introduction of the mini ball and the American Civil War where bayonets weren't even used except in very rare instances. I'll give you another 50 years. ;) The shovel for digging and the axe for felling and making makeshift fences/barriers were all important.
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:24 am

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Relax wrote:Fine, if you want to move the date to the introduction of the mini ball and the American Civil War where bayonets weren't even used except in very rare instances. I'll give you another 50 years. ;) The shovel for digging and the axe for felling and making makeshift fences/barriers were all important.

And there I'd tend to agree - there were many examples of failures to frontally charge significant trenchworks, especially those backed by dug-in artillery.

And you could view much Sherman's maneuvers through the Georgia mountains, on his way to Atlanta, as evidence that at least one General on the Union side finally realized the near futility of frontal charges. (Though the case would be stronger if he hadn't then frontally charged Johnston's Conferate forces dug in at Kennesaw Mountain)
But for most of that campaign Sherman used his superior numbers to fix and flank the Confederates at a series of mountain passes. But finding other passes the Conferates lacked the forces to fortify Sherman was repeatedly able to send forces to threaten the Confederate's rear - giving them the choice to abandon their fortifications and withdraw to the next set of passes or be trapped and besieged.
Unfortunately Sherman didn't have enough operational mobility to managed to cut off the Confederate Army's retreat once he outflanked them. But it still allowed him to eventually capture Atlanta with far low losses than trying to fight a series of bloody frontal assaults through the mountains.

But as Buller discovered 35 years later in South Africa, you can only use that tactic if you've got enough numerical superiority and mobility. Too few men, or too little transport, and the enemy can repossession and dig in in front of your flanking attempt.
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by Daryl   » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:05 am

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An exception to the rule was the Battle of Beersheba in WW1, which my grand father participated in. The Australian Light Horse (mounted infantry) were successful in a sort of cavalry charge against well dug in defenders who had artillery and machine guns. The planner Allenby used good tricks like diversions, manoevour, and attacking very early; plus the defenders were expecting an infantry charge so had their sights set too high. The other 90% was plain luck, otherwise I wouldn't be here to post.
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by Rincewind   » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:16 pm

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Relax wrote:Towed pods? Say what?

Hero: Wonder woman who came up with the idea was twiddling her thumbs at Hancock station.

Hancock battle; wouldn't happen. Go straight at Manticore. Ditch everything else. Would have rolled Manticore. Twice as many SD's. A few less DN's. With an extra 300+++ BB's to smash whatever they wish. Would have Obliterated Manticore home system. Especially since "officially" they weren't at war.

This is like saying Hitler had an Atomic bomb and the means to deliver it against either London or Moscow but chose not to use it... To say that Haven wasn't used to attacking straight at the capital system, is also rather absurd as that is EXACTLY, precisely what the PRH had been doing for the last hundred years while expanding.

And yes, I realize that DW's OOB 1905 has problems as he has the PRH with more DD's, CL's than Manticore even though Manticore has many times more merchant marine and oddball stations for said merchant marine to protect than Haven does. Yes, DW didn't have his universe completely fleshed out back then, but we can only use what has been provided to base our analysis on.


Hitler did not have the Atom Bomb but he did have some extremely nasty chemical weapons. Yet he was deterred from using them because he thought that Great Britain had similar weapons & would have retaliated in kind only on a much larger scale: (Great Britain did not have as lethal chemical weapons as the German's nerve agents, however they did have a means of delivering far more over a greater number of targets).

There is precedent for even a dictatorial regime being deterred from using their most destructive weapons.
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by lyonheart   » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:03 am

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Hi Jonathan_S,

Quite good as always, kudos.

While riflemen occasionally made a difference in a few battles in our revolutionary war, there was that period known as the Napoleonic wars, where lots of frontal charges went home despite all the riflemen could do, NTM artillery, just as Jonathan said.

While both England and the US experimented with arming the common soldier with rifles after the wars [including the War of 1812], the minie ball finally made every soldier too deadly to charge, since he now had the same rate of fire, even when holding 7-8 yards of front all by himself, as at Petersburg.

But since the ACW was fought by "neobarbs", the effete civilized Europeans refused to learn until 1870 and 1914 where they repeated the ACW fiascoes if not far worse on far larger scales, despite such object lessons as the Russo-Turkish war of 1877 [3rd Plevna etc], and the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5 [where to begin?] but the wise observers were vastly outnumbered by all the ignorant superior officers who insisted the rifle was nothing except to hang a bayonet on, or that massed aimed rifle fire could defeat machine guns, trenches were for cowards, etc.

Of course we had US Army cavalry generals in 1940 who insisted a cavalryman or even a squad with a .45 auto pistol in hand could somehow defeat a machine gun.

These generals spent around 30 years learning and reinforcing what they think they know, what were the odds it was all obsolete and worthless?

How many people do you know who still believe local history stories and health nostrums etc that have been disproved for decades if not half a century, etc?

L

Jonathan_S wrote:
Relax wrote:Actually, the frontal charge was dead and gone with the introduction of the rifle and a good shovel via the American Revolutionary War of Independence where a few ignorants of "military matters", hounded and harassed a vastly superior force into leaving. The frontal charge was only kept alive by stubborn, pigheaded, glory hound fools.
.

Especially back then riflemen were scirmishers. Fine for harassing an enemy as long as you're willing and able to run or hide should they turn on you. And assuming they lack cavalry to run you down. But a force of Revolutionary War riflemen could never hold a position against an equal number of musketmen willing to mount a frontal charge. The attackers can just cover too much ground in the minute or so it takes to reload a pre-minie ball rifle. (1/4 the rate of a contemporary smoothbore musket). Now the rifle's got a lot more effective range - so you can probably get off a second round. But two volleys, a minute or so apart, isn't enough to break a determined charge. (The bigger risk is the attackers might be goaded into starting to run too early and exhaust themselves before closing all the way)
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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Re: Honorverse Analytics: Why Manticore Won the War
Post by ldwechsler   » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:29 am

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lyonheart wrote:Hi Jonathan_S,

Quite good as always, kudos.

While riflemen occasionally made a difference in a few battles in our revolutionary war, there was that period known as the Napoleonic wars, where lots of frontal charges went home despite all the riflemen could do, NTM artillery, just as Jonathan said.

While both England and the US experimented with arming the common soldier with rifles after the wars [including the War of 1812], the minie ball finally made every soldier too deadly to charge, since he now had the same rate of fire, even when holding 7-8 yards of front all by himself, as at Petersburg.

But since the ACW was fought by "neobarbs", the effete civilized Europeans refused to learn until 1870 and 1914 where they repeated the ACW fiascoes if not far worse on far larger scales, despite such object lessons as the Russo-Turkish war of 1877 [3rd Plevna etc], and the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5 [where to begin?] but the wise observers were vastly outnumbered by all the ignorant superior officers who insisted the rifle was nothing except to hang a bayonet on, or that massed aimed rifle fire could defeat machine guns, trenches were for cowards, etc.

Of course we had US Army cavalry generals in 1940 who insisted a cavalryman or even a squad with a .45 auto pistol in hand could somehow defeat a machine gun.

These generals spent around 30 years learning and reinforcing what they think they know, what were the odds it was all obsolete and worthless?

How many people do you know who still believe local history stories and health nostrums etc that have been disproved for decades if not half a century, etc?


.
Especially back then riflemen were scirmishers. Fine for harassing an enemy as long as you're willing and able to run or hide should they turn on you. And assuming they lack cavalry to run you down. But a force of Revolutionary War riflemen could never hold a position against an equal number of musketmen willing to mount a frontal charge. The attackers can just cover too much ground in the minute or so it takes to reload a pre-minie ball rifle. (1/4 the rate of a contemporary smoothbore musket). Now the rifle's got a lot more effective range - so you can probably get off a second round. But two volleys, a minute or so apart, isn't enough to break a determined charge. (The bigger risk is the attackers might be goaded into starting to run too early and exhaust themselves before closing all the way)


The problem is that generals learn one thing and as they move up fewer people are willing to tell them the truth. In Vietnam, I actually heard one general tell a colonel that we needed to use bayonets more. They would frighten the enemy. Of course, that enemy was hidden away and might boobytrap the area we would be expected to go through.

That's why a few, albeit a very few, top leaders were fragged.
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