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  • Military Blunders Tournament Commentary

    I got the nod from Stratego to post an official commentary thread, so here we go... Jump in, anybody, there are more readers than ya'll might think...

    It looks like we already have the frontrunners in a close contest here.

    I noticed that the 4th Crusade is emerging, but it's being dominated by two selections which are very close to each other in votes.

    Lets get some facts out for...


    Battle in the Teutoburg Forest 9 AD

    and

    Battle of Cannae 216 BC



    Originally posted by ala Wiki

    Battle in the Teutoburg Forest

    Upon hearing of the defeat, the Emperor Augustus, according to the Roman historian Suetonius in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars, was so shaken by the news that he stood butting his head against the walls of his palace, repeatedly shouting Quintili Vare, legiones redde! ('Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!'). The three legion numbers were never used again by the Romans after this defeat, unlike other legions that were restructured - a case unique in Roman history.

    The battle abruptly ended the period of triumphant Roman expansion that had followed the end of the Civil Wars 40 years earlier. Augustus' stepson Tiberius took effective control, and prepared for the continuation of the war.

    The Germanic tribes, on the other hand, profited greatly from the plunder of their victory, and gradually began to move to a higher stage of development, although they were still a long way from political unification. This was apparently the goal of Arminius, who immediately sent Varus' severed head to Marbod, king of the Marcomanni, the other most powerful Germanic ruler, with the offer of an anti-Roman alliance. Marbod declined the offer, sent the head on to Rome for burial, and remained neutral throughout the ensuing war. Only thereafter did a brief, inconclusive war break out between the two Germanic leaders.
    Originally posted by ala Wiki

    Battle of Cannae

    For a brief period of time, the Romans were in complete disarray. Their best armies in the peninsula were destroyed, the few remnants severely demoralized, and the only remaining consul (Varro) completely discredited. It was a complete catastrophe for the Romans.

    Rome had lost one-fifth (150,000) of the entire population of citizens over seventeen years of age. Furthermore, the morale effect of this victory was such that most of Southern Italy joined Hannibal's cause. Following the battle, the commander of the Numidian cavalry Maharbal urged Hannibal to seize the opportunity and march immediately on Rome.

    So immediately after Cannae Hannibal sent a delegation led by Carthalo to negotiate a peace treaty with the Senate on moderate terms. Yet despite the multiple catastrophes Rome had suffered, the Roman Senate refused to parley. Instead, they re-doubled their efforts, declaring full mobilization of the male Roman population, and raised new legions enlisting landless peasants and even slaves. The Romans, after experiencing this catastrophic defeat and losing other battles, had at this point learned their lesson.
    And we've got some early leaders in section two as well it seems. Favorites are the obvious choices it seesms, Agincourt and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Both are well known, and have been featured in discussion at ACG in the past for those interested in making an informed choice. It may take a bit of searching, but I'd suspect you'll find something here. Less known is the third-place candidate, the Siege of Vienna. Perhaps someone will put forth a solid argument for that event.

    Let's throw a few notes down on the leading blunders...


    Originally posted by ala Wiki
    The Spanish Armada campaign 1588

    English losses were comparatively few, and none of their ships had been sunk.

    In the words of Geoffrey Parker, by 1588 'the capital ships of the Elizabethan navy constituted the most powerful battlefleet afloat anywhere in the world.

    In England, the boost to national pride lasted for years, and Elizabeth's legend persisted and grew long after her death. The victory was acclaimed by the English as their greatest since Agincourt.

    The Anglo-Spanish War dragged on to a stalemate that left Spanish power in Europe and the Americas undeniably dominant.
    Originally posted by ala Wiki
    Battle of Agincourt 1415

    Due to a lack of reliable sources it is impossible to give a precise figure for the French and English casualties.

    However, it is clear that though the English were outnumbered, their losses were far lower than those of the French.

    One widely used estimate puts the English casualties at 450, not an insignificant number in an army of about 8,500, but far less than the thousands the French lost, nearly all of whom were killed or captured.

    The French suffered heavily. Three dukes, at least eight counts, a viscount and an archbishop died, along with numerous other nobles.

    Estimates of the number of prisoners vary between 700 and 2,200, amongst them the Duke of Orléans (the famous poet Charles d'Orléans) and Jean Le Maingre (known as Boucicault) Marshal of France.
    Also noteworthy are Wallachian-Ottoman war and the Battle of Kircholm.

    First, we have Dracula, who manages to sneak-attack 200,000 Ottoman troops and run them off his land with a meager fighting force... Impressive.

    And Kircholm, the humiliating defeat of the Swedes in what must have been record time... are there no points for a quick finish?

    This seems a no-brainer for me, at least at the top of the list. Napoleon never should've messed with Russia; it was his undoing.

    The Crimean War and the Battle of Yorktown have been given notice, and with any luck Bob or someone else will step in with some thoughts about that.

    But the US Invasion of Canada scoring votes seems to be a mistake to me. I've stolen a few notes from wikipedia on the subject because it isn't one that I've studied.

    I suspect the Canadian and British nationalism of a few of our members is clouding the topic, because it doesn't seem to be a Great Blunder... Am I mistaken?

    Here's the notes...

    Originally posted by ala Wiki
    Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia 1812

    The Russian victory over the French army in 1812 marked a huge blow to Napoleon's ambitions of European dominance. This war was the reason the other coalition allies triumphed once and for all over Napoleon.

    His army was shattered, and morale was low, both for French troops still in Russia, fighting battles just before the campaign ended, and for the troops on other fronts.

    Out of an original force of 500,000–600,000, only 40,000 frost-bitten and half starved survivors stumbled back into France.

    The Russian campaign was the decisive turning-point of the Napoleonic Wars that ultimately led to Napoleon's defeat and exile on the island of Elba.

    The campaign also had revealed that Napoleon was not invincible, putting an end to his reputation as an undefeated military genius.
    Originally posted by ala Wiki
    US invasion of Canada 1812-1813

    Battles were fought on the frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River and separated the U.S. from Upper and Lower Canada.

    During the war, the Americans and British invaded each other's territory. These invasions were unsuccessful or temporary.

    At the end of the war, the British held parts of Maine and some outposts in the sparsely populated West, while the Americans held Canadian territory near Detroit.

    The decisive use of naval power came on the Great Lakes and depended on a contest of building ships.

    In 1813, the Americans won control of Lake Erie and cut off British and Native American forces to the west from their supplies.

    Control of Lake Ontario changed hands several times, with neither side able or willing to take advantage of the temporary superiority.
    And, just as an aside, let's given mention to one of the lesser-known, but still great, blunders.

    The Battle of Wabash in 1791, featuring bogus supply lines, poor quality soldiers, and inept commanders...

    Anyone want to put something more substantial forward on what seems like a gimme with that one?

    Now we're talking. I don't know how to wage a war properly, but I am a student of great mistakes in 20th century warfare. I'm a bit shocked that The Battle of the Bulge is not represented, but also that only battle in the American Vietnam war was offered. Also, I would've that the Somme and a few more WWI meatgrinders might have been listed. But, we can work with this set, can't we?

    Let's look high-vote battles first...

    Originally posted by ala Wiki
    The Gallipoli Campaign 1915-1916

    The Ottoman victory over the Allies at Gallipoli renewed Turkey's visions for the empire and the meteoric rise of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk).

    In Mesopotamia the Turks surrounded a British expedition at Kut Al Amara, forcing their surrender in 1916.

    From southern Palestine the Turks pushed into the Sinai with the aim of capturing the Suez Canal and driving the British from Egypt.

    Defeat at the Battle of Romani marked the end of that ambition and for the remainder of the war the British were on the offensive in the Middle East.

    Lord Kitchener was too popular to be punished, but he never recovered his old reputation for invincibility and was increasingly sidelined by his colleagues until his death the following year.
    Battle of Little Big Horn 1876

    In the end, the hilltop was probably too small to accommodate the survivors and wounded. Fire from the southeast made it impossible for Custer's men to secure a defensive position all around Last Stand Hill.

    The extent of the soldiers' resistance indicated they had few doubts about their prospects for survival.

    According to Cheyenne and Sioux testimony, the command structure rapidly broke down, although smaller "last stands" were apparently made by several groups.

    Custer's remaining companies C (half of it), E, and F were soon eradicated, with the final 28 survivors making a running dash through Indian lines south for the river.

    Their deaths ended the battle and completed the Lakota annihilation of Custer's five companies.

    By almost all accounts, the Lakota annihilated Custer's force within an hour of engagement.
    Originally posted by ala Wiki
    Battle of Isandlwana 1879

    The battle was a decisive victory for the Zulus and caused the defeat of the first British invasion.

    The British army had received its worst defeat fighting against a technologically inferior indigenous force.

    Isandlwana was an immediate catastrophe for the British.

    Following the news of Isandlwana the British and Colonials were in complete panic over the possibility of a counter invasion of Natal by the Zulus.
    Originally posted by ala Wiki
    Bay of Pigs invasion 1961

    The Cuban armed forces, trained and equipped by Eastern Bloc nations, defeated the exile combatants in three days.

    The defeat was attributed to lack of early realization of the impossibility of success by covert means, inadequate aircraft, limitations of armaments, pilots and air attacks to attempt plausible deniability, and ultimately, loss of important ships and lack of ammunition.

    Aircrews killed in action totaled 6 from the Cuban air force, 10 Cuban exiles and 4 American airmen. 114 Cuban exiles from Brigade 2506 were reportedly killed in action.

    Cuba's losses during the conflict are variously reported by US writers as 4,000 killed, wounded or missing, or about 5,000. Cuban sources report over 2,200 casualties. The final toll reported was 176 killed in action in Cuban armed forces during the conflict. The 15 April airfield attacks left 7 Cubans dead and 54 wounded.
    But let's not leave out The Franco-Prussian War 1870, Battle of France 1940, and Raid on Dieppe 1942. All blunders in their own right, the French's failure to anticipate the change from static warfare to rapid mobile warfare certainly was responsible for some of the losses in France, but the complete failure at Dieppe also deserves proper attention.

    And my personal favorite picks includes Operation Market Garden... Let's find a proper blame for that blunder... I'll start with the British...
    "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

    BoRG

  • #2
    Somebody drag ol Bob Evens in here!

    Damned good to see this... you da Mann!

    Hmmm... Market Garden... yup, it was the British!


    Last edited by Admiral; 25 Apr 10, 00:02.
    On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

    ACG History Today

    BoRG

    Comment


    • #3
      I think we are halfway through the votes !
      We can usually count around the 70 votes per round...



      Greets,
      Stratego
      Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

      It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

      Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

      BORG

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Stratego View Post
        I think we are halfway through the votes !
        We can usually count around the 70 votes per round...
        Is it just me, or did there used to be more votes per round in the first few tournaments?

        Maybe there should be more hype, eh?
        "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

        BoRG

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
          Is it just me, or did there used to be more votes per round in the first few tournaments?

          Maybe there should be more hype, eh?
          I'm holding my massive votes til the end.
          Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

          Prayers.

          BoRG

          http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
            Is it just me, or did there used to be more votes per round in the first few tournaments?

            Maybe there should be more hype, eh?
            You could enlist the Miller Light folks to come up with some commercials for the tourney. Instead of tastes great! - Less filling!, you could have marginal celebrities and famous atheletes chanting

            Big Blunder!
            Not so!

            Comment


            • #7
              I'll see if I can harness the Visual Communications nerds at the newspaper into creating a graphic
              "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

              BoRG

              Comment


              • #8






                Last edited by The Ibis; 25 Apr 10, 23:19.

                Comment


                • #9
                  COOL!

                  You can git their keisters in here so they can bask in the kudos for it, too!

                  Then they might actually be able to say that they learnt themselves something while they wuz away at college...

                  HAR!


                  On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                  ACG History Today

                  BoRG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, this certainly is a large preliminary tournament. Once we get it down to 32 teams, it will get real interesting.

                    Now as far as my commentating, there has to be some contract negotiations. Isn't that how these things work? Do you expect a colossal talent like mine to work for free? I'm surprised my former partner hasn't demanded any concessions for his time and service. His is also an enormous talent, and even bigger ego, so I'm sure PM's demands will be forthcoming. As for me, The Battle of Adowa had better make the Field of 32 or I will take my microphone and go home. In a snit!
                    Now you know what I want, make it happen. Also pick out all the brown M & M's from the bowl that had better be in my trailer, and always have a cold case of beer in their as well. I'll let you know what kind from day to day. Now I'm done.
                    Last edited by R. Evans; 26 Apr 10, 12:35.
                    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh boy, once it get's down to the final match - I wonder who of the TWO is going to make it?



                      FRANCE 1940

                      or

                      LECHFELD 955
                      Regards
                      Kruska

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Neither will make it that far!


                        On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                        ACG History Today

                        BoRG

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Admiral View Post
                          Neither will make it that far!



                          d'ooh


                          Regards
                          Kruska
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by Kruska; 26 Apr 10, 13:14.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In fact, I'll make a realistic predicament as I look into my crystal ball !!!!

                            These two will meet up in the finals:

                            Teutoburger Forest 9 AD





                            VS



                            The Spanish Armada 1588





                            Greets,
                            The "all-seeing" Stratego
                            Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

                            It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

                            Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

                            BORG

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm in agreement with our illustrious leader. I think, Kruska, you're underestimating Teutobourg Forest or even Cannae. Especially the 1st one. It's well-known and features a disciplined army being cut to pieces by "barbarians". There's also the "Give me back my legions" quote and the fact that the Romans never really ventured far into Germany again. I have a feeling that Teutobourg will go far into this tournament and possibly win the entire thing. Plus there are a heckuava alot of Rome fans on the forum. It's not my personal favorite, but it's up there.

                              Cannae speaks for itself, although for me that was less a Roman blunder than just them meeting a superior general at the height of his powers.

                              And don't dismiss Little Big Horn out of hand either. While it didn't really change anything as far as Native Americans losing their lands, it does hold a powerful fascination for Americans. And at last count, there were alot of Americans as members of this forum. A vainglorious general leading his men into a massacre, warriors defending their women and children close to the battle, remember Custer thought he was attacking a village, the Reno/Benteen controversies, all contribute to a powerful story. Again, not one of my favorites, but it probably is for alot of members here. Certainly the most well-known in the US.


                              And now down to brass tacks my dear Admiral, have my demands been met? Will Adowa be given a pass to the brackets? Is my personal trailer ready? M & Ms? Beer? You know that the longer my demands go unanswered, the more I'll add to them. Now I also want a Pizza Hut pepperoni lover's large thin crust whenever I'm hungry.
                              Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

                              Comment

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