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How strategies in battle have adapted to the development of weapons

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Daniel Azaz

on 29 September 2014

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Transcript of How strategies in battle have adapted to the development of weapons

Personal Project
How strategies in battle have adapted to the development of weapons
Distance weapon that shoots projectiles
Appeared in China in 11th century
Includes types such as shotgun, rifle, machine gun etc.
Battles were fought in blocks of soldiers supported by cavalry and archers
They simply lined up against each other, and marched to fight
Battle between the French and English
Near Azincourt on 25 October 1415
Dispute over the French throne
Had marched 400 km in 16 days
1500 men-at-arms
7000 longbowmen
The French
Deployed in three lines
16,000 men-at-arms
Up to 6000 knights
3000 archers
12,000 mounted men-at-arms
The French
The English
Lost 7000-15,000 men
1500 noble prisoners
Lost 112 men
The Gun
Before the Gun
Battle of Agincourt
The result
After the Gun
Battle of Balaclava
Part of the Crimean War
British 93rd Highlanders vs Russian Ingermanland Hussars (Cavalry)
25 October 1854 near the city of Balaclava
The Thin Red Line
The British
93rd Sutherland Regiment of Foot under Campbell
500 men (not all involved)
Defending British base
Supported by artillery under Cpt. Barker
The Russians
400 horsemen
Ingermanland Hussars
The result
The British
No casualties
The Russians
Four cavalry divisions crushed
Russian retreat
Unknown casualties
What changed?
Still lots of charging with cavalry
Before the gun
Disperse before cavalry
Retaliate with halberds against cavalry
New formations include protection against cavalry (squares) and others. Campbell should have put his troops into a square, but his esteem of Russian cavalry was so low, he put the 93rd into double line to maximise kills
Propels projectiles by means of
Far more powerful than guns
Deadliest land-based weapon weapon in current use
Caused majority of military deaths since Napoleonic Wars
"God of War"- Stalin
Before Artillery
War before artillery was like war before the gun. However, it represented a huge advance, shooting massive projectiles which would crash down onto an enemy from above. Even catapults and trebuchets don't compare to the mobility (depends on type) and power of artillery
Battle of Wakefield
Relatively small battle
War of the Roses
House of Lancaster vs House of York
Dispute over the throne of England
30 December 1460 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Northern England
Sortied from Sandal Castle
9000 men
House of York
House of Lancaster
Up to 18,000 men
Half of army hidden in woods
House of Lancaster
200 Lancastrian deaths
The result
House of York
Approx. 2500 Yorkist deaths
Battle of Passchendaele/ Third Battle of Ypres
WW1 battle
Western front- Belgium
31 July-10 November 1917
British Empire, France, Belgium vs German Empire
Part of an offensive to capture ridges around Ypres
50 British, 6 French divisions
The Allies
German Empire
77 divisions
Increased to 83 divisions
1. The English moved forward to start the battle, prompting a cavalry assault from the French.
2. French cavalry charge English longbow men, cut down by sharpened stakes
3. English archers continue arrow barrage
4. French vanguard impeded by muddy field and English bombardment cut down by English men-at-arms
5. French troops start pushing English back
6. English archers run out of arrow, attack French with mallets and hatchets

The English
1. Russian cavalry charge 93rd Highlanders
2. 93rd forms double rank
3. Campbell: "There is no retreat from here, men. You must die where you stand"
4. Highlanders fire shots 500 yards (457m) and 250 yards (228m)
5. Highlanders continue fire with support from Marines and artillery
6. Russian cavalry collapses, attempts flanking maneuver
7. 93rd fires volley, Russian cavalry retreats
After the gun
No more marching straight to death
Asymmetric attack
New military formations
1. Richard of York sorties from Sandal Castle upon seeing Lancaster's meager 9000 men
2. Other half of Lancaster's army in forest comes out and attacks

After Artillery
Warning: Not guaranteed accurate
Capture of Westhoek
What changed?
Artillery changed the face of warfare
Massive shells dropping from the skies, destroying defences and soldiers
Armies don't gather in large groups
Development of No-Man's Land= Wasteland which is death to cross
Artillery bombardment warns of incoming attack
Building of reinforced bunkers and deep trenches
High ground and reconnaissance more important
The Result
(Whole battle of Passchendaele)
Canadian Corps captured high ground around Passchendaele
Up to 448,600 casualties
Tactical and strategic victory
Operational defeat (high casualty count)
Up to 410,000 deaths
25,000 prisoners
The Machine Gun
Automatic gun
Capable of firing 100s of rounds a minute
Invented by Richard Gatling- mid 19th century
Before the Machine Gun
Battle of Lutzen
Battle between Swedish Protestants and Holy Roman Catholics
Part of 30 Years War
Near Lutzen, Germany on 16 November 1632
Supported by German prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar
12,800 infantry
6200 cavalry
60 field guns
Holy Roman Empire
13,000 infantry
9000 cavalry
24 field guns
1. Swedes outflank Empire on left wing
2. Empire resists with cavalry counterattack
3. Counterattack collapses
4. Cavalry assault on left wing continues
5. Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus killed
6. Swedes attack entrenched Imperial centre
7. Swedes retreat, rally around reserve troops
8. Swedes capture Imperial artillery
9. Empire retreats
The Result
The Swedish
5000 casualties
Pyrrhic victory
Holy Roman Empire
5000 casualties
After the Machine Gun
Battle of the Somme
Going over the Top
Battle of the Somme is one of bloodiest battles ever
Crucial offensive against Germans
New warfare-trenches and tanks
1st July-17 November 1916 in France
Going over the Top- 1st July
British Empire and France vs German Empire and smaller German states
British Empire
German Empire
1. British rise out of the trenches
2. British charge German positions
3. German MGs cut British to pieces
4. Some British reach German lines
5. Germans kill rest of British point blanc in trenches
The result
British Empire
60,000 casualties
20,000 dead
Biggest British military disaster
German Empire
No known casualties
What changed?
Because of high fire rate
Definitely no charging
Cavalry becomes pointless
No-Man's Land
Enfilade = Flanking fire
Machine gun nests
Asymmetric units
Smaller units
If the Empire had MGs, Adolphus would have lost to a well-entrenched enemy shooting at cavalry
The Tank
Armoured fighting vehicle
Invented by the British
Visionaries: L. da Vinci, H.G. Wells
First used at Somme 15th September 1916
Extensive offensive/defensive capabilities
Large calibre cannon
Thick armour
Machine guns
Made to break through trenches and no-man's land
Before the Tank
Battle of Ardennes
Opening battle of WW1
21-23 August 1914
Part of Battle of Frontiers
Near Ardennes forest
Third Army: 168,000 men
Fourth Army: 193,000 men
German Empire
Fourth Army: 180,000 men
Fifth Army: 200,000 men
1. French attempt to attack German flank
2. Both sides get lost in fog
3. Both sides literally bump into each other
4. Small skirmishes
5. French bright blue outfit allows for German target practice
6. French charge Germans, while impeded by forest
7. Germans cut down French with artillery and MGs
After the Tank
Battle of Arras
United Kingdom
2000 men
74 tanks
60 supporting French tanks
Exact numbers unknown
Outnumbered British
United Kingdom
35 tanks
50-75 dead
175 captured, murdered by SS
300 casualties
400 captured
Many tanks destroyed
What changed?
Tanks can cross no-man's land
Cavalry alternative
Can break through enemy lines
Big step in mechanized warfare
Canadian Allied Forces carrying trench materials (ladders)

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