Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Battle Reports/AAR - Can we trust them?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Battle Reports/AAR - Can we trust them?

    In Sheridan's report of the Cavalry Corps' actions in the Overland Campaign, he wrote: "The result was constant success and the almost total annihilation of the rebel cavalry. We marched when and where we pleased; we were always the attacking party, and always successful."

    This is a flat out lie, right?

    Are there other famous examples of commanders telling such lies?
    My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Zouave View Post
    In Sheridan's report of the Cavalry Corps' actions in the Overland Campaign, he wrote: "The result was constant success and the almost total annihilation of the rebel cavalry. We marched when and where we pleased; we were always the attacking party, and always successful."

    This is a flat out lie, right?

    Are there other famous examples of commanders telling such lies?
    It depends.

    Usually a battle report filed within a month or two of the battle tends to be accurate and reliable. That said, cases of battlefield controversy could cause amended battle reports to be filed that are at least partisan.

    Amended reports could also be filed later by self promoting officers, like Daniel Ruggles, who filed a report a year after the battle of Shiloh in which he greatly enhanced his own role in the action.

    Time passing also has to be taken into account.

    Stonewall Jackson for instance was almost a year behind on his reports before War Department pressure convinced him to start filing in December of 1862. For example, Jackson's Second Manassas Report was not filed until April 27th of 1863, almost nine months after the battle happened. This can explain certain details missing in the report. By comparison, Longstreet filed his report only a little over a month after Second Manassas on October 10th, 1862.
    Last edited by semperpietas; 01 Nov 12, 19:46.
    "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

    Pyrrhus Travels West:
    Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Zouave View Post
      In Sheridan's report of the Cavalry Corps' actions in the Overland Campaign, he wrote: "The result was constant success and the almost total annihilation of the rebel cavalry. We marched when and where we pleased; we were always the attacking party, and always successful."

      This is a flat out lie, right?

      Are there other famous examples of commanders telling such lies?
      Zouave, if you are interested in looking in the
      or's, look up the Union prison reports.
      In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
      Robert E. Lee

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Zouave View Post
        In Sheridan's report of the Cavalry Corps' actions in the Overland Campaign, he wrote: "The result was constant success and the almost total annihilation of the rebel cavalry. We marched when and where we pleased; we were always the attacking party, and always successful."

        This is a flat out lie, right?

        Are there other famous examples of commanders telling such lies?
        I just finished "Fields of Blood: the Prairie Grove Campaign" & both sides are telling some whoppers. I plan on doing a review of the book & will mention these as well.
        The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
          I just finished "Fields of Blood: the Prairie Grove Campaign" & both sides are telling some whoppers. I plan on doing a review of the book & will mention these as well.
          That is a good book. I have to stop by the battlefield some time. Might even take and upload pictures.
          "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

          Pyrrhus Travels West:
          Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

          Comment


          • #6
            Just as accurate as the reports I read from the production and sales managers where I've worked.

            I cant see reading any report and thinking you will get a clear balanced view. You have to ask who, what, when, and where about the writing of a report before you can use it. In a lot of reports what was not said is as important as whats in it, and the nature of the exaggerations is as revealing as any accuracy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Zouave View Post
              In Sheridan's report of the Cavalry Corps' actions in the Overland Campaign, he wrote: "The result was constant success and the almost total annihilation of the rebel cavalry. We marched when and where we pleased; we were always the attacking party, and always successful."

              This is a flat out lie, right?

              Are there other famous examples of commanders telling such lies?
              It is indeed an outright lie.

              My experience is that it depends whose report you're referring to. Some are quite honest and accurate and some are definitely not.
              "If you want to have some fun, jine the cavalry"

              Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown Stuart

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Marjirnet View Post
                Just as accurate as the reports I read from the production and sales managers where I've worked.

                I cant see reading any report and thinking you will get a clear balanced view. You have to ask who, what, when, and where about the writing of a report before you can use it. In a lot of reports what was not said is as important as whats in it, and the nature of the exaggerations is as revealing as any accuracy.
                It's called salesmanship, like the techniques of a used car salesman. Reminds of the Watergate crisis of the 1970s, a picture of Nixon with the caption 'would you buy a used car from this man?' Also the expression snake oil salesman used in the late 1800s.
                When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nº 8
                Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
                "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

                Comment

                Latest Topics

                Collapse

                Working...
                X