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  • Most disaterious campaign or battle

    Its Labor Day,i'm bored(the barbecuing and drinking won't be starting for another couple hours)so i wonder people think are worst military disasters of all time.Some of my picks would be as follows:

    Cannae:This one is a no brainer,Anytime you lose close to 60,000 men in one day things are bad.This saw the destruction of roman manpower after this battle they had to open the ranks to freed convicts and(oh the horror!)non-landed citizens.

    Trebia and Trasimene:These battles(along with Cannae)saw the loss of 100'000 men to the Romans in only a few short months,they prolonged the war immeasurably and put a irrational fear of Hannibal into the minds of the roman commanders.Thus they were usually already beaten before taking the feild.

    The Campaigns against the Parthians:These actions gained the Romans nothing except the loss of tens of thousands of soldiers and a bitter enemy.Their expansion to the East was stopped cold and they were stuck with a long series of border wars.

    The Mongol conquest of Russia:it left Russia a backwards and isolated state for many centuries.

    The Pennisulla Campaign American Civil War:Mclellan had the rebellion defeated all he needed to do was march on Richmond,instead he lost his nerve and hesitated then retreated.The war would last several more years at the cost of 600,000 lives.

    Battle of the Somme:Several hundered yards of trenches captured at the cost of 20'000 killed alone,the battle would carry on for months and several miles of territory would be regained,but at the loss of several hundered thousand men.

    I have a few more but its time to make a beer run,look foward to any replies,or disagreements

  • #2
    You've listed some of the biggest disasters of all time. Here are a few more:

    The Spanish Armada (1588) - Spain sends 150 ship fleet to assist in the invasion of England by the Duke of Parma. After being beaten by both the English fleet and poor weather, only 65 ships of the Armada make it back to Lisbon. This is the peak of Spanish power and England begins to rise as a great naval nation.

    Monongahela River (1755) - English General Edward Braddock leads a force of 1500 British regulars and colonial troops into the forest to seize the French stronghold at Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). Braddock fails to heed advice from the colonial troops about the nature of warfare in this part of the world and ends up being ambushed by 400 French and Indians. Over 1000 of the English force are killed or wounded and a war begins that will last for eight years.
    "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

    Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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    • #3
      Stalingrad

      Picket's Charge
      Editor-in-Chief
      GameSquad.com

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      • #4
        Re: Most disaterious campaign or battle

        Originally posted by John Paul

        The Pennisulla Campaign American Civil War:Mclellan had the rebellion defeated all he needed to do was march on Richmond,instead he lost his nerve and hesitated then retreated.The war would last several more years at the cost of 600,000 lives.
        I've started to make a small TOAW scenario covering the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War in 1862. The only problem I have come across is that the Union has overwhelming numbers and should be able to take Richmond every time!
        "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

        Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

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        • #5
          Re: Re: Most disaterious campaign or battle

          Originally posted by Chuck


          I've started to make a small TOAW scenario covering the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War in 1862. The only problem I have come across is that the Union has overwhelming numbers and should be able to take Richmond every time!
          Thats why i labled it a disaster,Mclellan had more troops,way more than the confederates could muster,instead he got into that habit of his of saying he was outnumbered and demanding more troops then he knew the union had.Yorktown saw the beggining of his hesitancy and later on he basically aboanded his troops when he spent all his time on a gunboat.

          Its interesting you mentioned Braddocks defeat i live only about 2 miles from where it happened.Technically war had not even been declared yet,though the disaster ended up changing the nature of the campaign.Instead of a quick relatively bloodless victory the war dragged on at great financial cost to the British,which led to higher taxes on the colonists,which led to the Revolution.I know that Washington kept impressing upon Braddock the need for speed in reaching the Point before the French could become aware of their march,by the time Braddock heeded his advice,leaving behind the Artillery and baggage trains it was too late.Though i will say this in Braddocks defense,i have travelled the forest trails between here and Cumberland,and he had to cut a road as he went how he could have moved any faster i don't know as the terrain and rivers impose forbidding obstacles to a army.Most of his Regulars had just been levied and as you said he did not understand forest warfare.

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          • #6
            Perhaps you could set a shock value for theUnion forces while Mclellan is in command,simulating his lack of resolve.

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            • #7
              Or even immobilize some of the formations for a period,this is what happened as he spent more time digging in against the Confederates than advancing.

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              • #8
                the first 6 month of Operation Barbarossa. One time (Battle of Kiev ??) a whole soviet army of 650.000 men surrendered.
                "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

                Henry Alfred Kissinger

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                • #9
                  Worst military loss......

                  Germany, summer - autumn 1940.

                  Battle of Britain. The Germans lost the chance to change history when their Luftwaffe was effectivly destroyed in the skies above Britain, they couldn't muster the size of forces engaged against the British ever again, even in Barbarossa. Not only did they lose so many Pilots and personnel they also lost valuable experience.

                  Napoleon, 1812.

                  Two things which contributed to his overall defeat. the First in his own words '' I should never have left Berlin standing'' after his defeat of Prussia. And secondly his assault on Russia, although he reached Moscow there was little left for him by the Russians when he got there. The losses he suffered were horrendous.

                  French Nobility, 1415.

                  Agincourt, British Longbow comes of age and kills most of the Nobility of France in a muddy field between a wood and a village, Agincourt.

                  The Somme. 1916.

                  As said previously, the War up to then for most British people was a grand adventure, Kitcheners Army was youthful and excited. On the night of the 1st of July most of them were dead. 20'000 dead in one day, 60'000 dead in the two months of smaller Battles after the 'Big Push'. And that was just British casualties.

                  Teutoberger Wald. September 9 AD.

                  The Romans lost three entire Legions in continuous attacks to Cherusci and other Germanic tribes, the Cherusci leader Arminius was actually taught how to fight by the Romans in Rome itself.
                  As I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no Evil.

                  For I am the meanest mother f***** in the valley.

                  George Patton jr.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Worst military loss......

                    Originally posted by Alvis_Striker


                    Teutoberger Wald. September 9 AD.

                    The Romans lost three entire Legions in continuous attacks to Cherusci and other Germanic tribes, the Cherusci leader Arminius was actually taught how to fight by the Romans in Rome itself.
                    I'm still suprised that the Romans saw this as one of the greatest disasters in their history.Prior to this there were at least a half a dozen battles were they had lost more men.One thing i never see mentioned is if they were traveling with their Auxillary Legions
                    ,if they were then that would explain the reaction it caused,as the losses would be doubled.Perhaps,this is just the amatuer historian in me,they were already showing manpower strains from their many wars(both internal and external)and were no longer able to replace those lost.Their reactions were certainly different then their forefathers who kept plugging along no matter what the cost.I know their fear of barbarians(i know its not PC)played a part in this.

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                    • #11
                      heres a couple more

                      Kohima:The Japanese failure to capture this isolated outpost had grave repercussions for their invasion of India.to add insult to injury many of the defenders were administration personnel or convalescing soldiers.

                      The fall of Constatinople:Though by the time of its fall the Byzantine Empire was reduced to the lands around the city,it still shocked the Western world and allowed the Turks uninterrupted access into Eastern Europe.The consequences of which were still being played out in the latter part of the last century.

                      The Siege of Vienna:The Turkish Failure to capture the city in two seperate sieges marked the end of the spread of Islam into Europe,and the eventual rolling back to its present day borders. This was the highwater mark of Islamic conquest afterwards it would be a slow and steady decline.*

                      The Siege of Khe San:this is more a senseless military operation than a disaster.The goal of the building of the fire base,which had no strategic importance,was to lure the NVA into a battle of attrition in which US firepower would decimate them.After a lengthy and costly siege the NVA moved the bulk of their forces away from the base,thereby negating the bases purpose.Yet the base was still held despite the withdrawal of enemy forces and the only effect was to add to casulties.This could very well have turned out to be a disaster as the base was in very great danger of being overrun,and there was talk of using tactical nuclear weapons to keep this from happening.

                      *I should have wrote the highwater mark of Islamic conquest in the west.

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                      • #12
                        May June 40.
                        Certainly the biggest French military disaster (and the competition is hard !)
                        I am reading a book on this subject, more precisly on the period before that campaign. The author relates the errors, unpreparednesses and inconsistencies caracterizing France in that period. He needs 2 volumes for that.
                        There was a thing I didn’t know : The French GHQ perfectly knew, even before Poland, the potential of the German war machine. During two kriegspiels, in 1936 and 1938, the French general who played the German side used their panzers and their planes exactly like the German did it in 40, and won. In the 1938 one, that general launched a panzer attack across the Ardennes, with the same result as in reality. What was the French reaction ? « We mustn’t use the tank en masse » ; « The Germans will not attack accross the Ardennes ».
                        The 1936 kriegspiel proved another thing. His subject was a German invasion of Czecoslovakia, and a Franco-Posih reaction against this attack. Germany had the capacity (in 1936) to overrun Czecoslovakia, then turn its forces against Poland, and finally against France. Poland and France together could do nothing against that.
                        Monsieur de La Palice est mort
                        Mort devant Pavie.
                        Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
                        Il était encore en vie...

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                        • #13
                          Here are a few in the Chinese history

                          About 250 B.C. , Chang Ping, The Army of Kingdom Qing surrounded and subdued the huge garrison of Kingdom Zhao at the town called Chang Ping, 400,000 men surrendered. And all of them were buried alive. Kingdom Zhao was soon fully conquered by Qing, followed by another disastrous defeat of the Army of Kingdom Chu by Qing ---- Qing united China by 221 B.C.

                          About 180 A.D., A warlord in northern part of China called Cao Cao, in revenge of his father's murder by another warlord Tao Qian, who controled a nearby state, commanded a huge cruel campaign, during which he not only defeated Tao's army, but levelled the whole state as well. An estimated 400,000 civilians were killed ruthlessly (that is about 1/10 of the Chinese population by then.)

                          About 750 A.D., A huge riot/rebel lead by the then supreme general, An Lusan, of the west border defense of the brilliant Tang Dynasty burst out from the vast land he controlled (mainly the territory of southern Russia today). He caught whole China totally unprepared. Within months, he captured the capital, overrun the majority of the west defense of Tang Dynasty, reached and controlled the territories upto today's central China! After 2 years hard struggle, the Royal Tang army finally could reorganized and amassed nearly 1 million troops and met the rebels main force --- only to be slaughtered again. Although during the next 10 years, the fight all over China put off the ruthless rebellion, more or less thanks to An's own cruelty and his subordinates', the glory of the Great Tang Empire was since then forever history.

                          Around 1300 A.D. The Conquest of almost the whole Europa-Asia Continent by Genghiskan. Although most of the time, his core troops hardly exceeded 100,000 mongol elite cavalries, he not only defeated any enemies he ever faced, but also razed each city he captured, killed almost everyone --- even kids and old men, he came to conquer. A rough estimate was a total of 100 million people were killed during his grand campaign. That was 1/4 of the world popluation by then. One example was the Sichuan State of the Song Dynasty, before the war, the population was 40 million, after the war, only 500,000 alive.

                          1840 A.D. The British marine defeated the Chinese army from Southern China, the city of GuangZhou. There were merely 20,000 British soldiers involved throughout the whole campaign, they were launching amphibitous attack from the sea and defeated a whole nation of 300 million people. Since then, China became colonies of many countries. (many blame the weapon for the failture, I think NOT. Just if the Chinese government were a least bit less corrupted, just if the 300 million people managed a bit not to fail themselves so completely, there is no way for 20,000 men, even with nuclear weapons to win against 300 million!)

                          Dec. 13, 1937, Nanking, China
                          The Japanese Imperial army overrun the defense of Chinese garrison at Nanking, the then Capital city of China. During the following 6 weeks, 340,000 POW and civilians were slaughtered, in the city of Nanking solely. In fact, in almost all major cities in southeastern China that was conquered by the Japanese by then, horrible slaughter and rape were constant. Roughly over 1 million victims were estimated, let alone the vast amount of people starved during this period.
                          The overall loss of China during the 8 year anti-Japan war was 30 million.
                          Attn to ALL my opponents:

                          If you sent me your turn and after 24 hours, you still did not get anything from me, please be sure to post in the forum to ask for what is going on.

                          Remember, I ALWAYS reply within 24 hours, even if I do NOT have time to play my turn, in which case I will at least send you email to tell you that I will have to play it later, but I DO receive your turn.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks ER

                            I was hoping someone would come up with some non-western battles,i hadn't realized Khan had killed so many people.Remind me to ask you for advice for when i play The new Romance of the three Kingdoms game coming out,i feel like i need a doctorate in Chinese history just to play the game.Cao Cao,the Yellow Turbans,Its all Greek..i mean Chinese to me.

                            Lapalice,How did the French army view the results of the test?did they ignore it or did they view the conclusions as unrealistic?Its not uncommon for nations to draw up battleplans or results well before a conflict.the Conduct of the war in the pacific was basically War plan Orange which was first drafted in the 20's,though with a few major changes.

                            I still got one more round in my chamber,but i'm gonna hold off on it(many people probablely never even heard of this little adventure,but you guys here probablely have)Then i'll surrender.btw earlier Maddog posted Picketts charge and i'm wondering,Say if against all odds it had succeded and the south won Gettysburg,would a victory there have seriously improved the confederates chances of winning the war or would the Unions industrial and manpower resources have still overwhelmed them.I'm of the opinion the only way they could have won was with foreign intervention,which was made mute by the Emancipation Proclomation.though its tough to tell how a defeat would have affected public morale..etc..etc.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Thanks ER

                              Originally posted by John Paul
                              I was hoping someone would come up with some non-western battles,i hadn't realized Khan had killed so many people.Remind me to ask you for advice for when i play The new Romance of the three Kingdoms game coming out,i feel like i need a doctorate in Chinese history just to play the game.Cao Cao,the Yellow Turbans,Its all Greek..i mean Chinese to me.
                              Sure, John.. Yea, Cao Cao would be the main character in that game, as well as in history, he was the main figure indeed. he is a combo of cruel devil and strong politician, a twist of reformer and in fact, a brilliant military genius. :P
                              And may surprise you a bit... that I am comfortable to call myself a real expert of that piece of history of China. (of course, all the games with that topic as well )
                              Attn to ALL my opponents:

                              If you sent me your turn and after 24 hours, you still did not get anything from me, please be sure to post in the forum to ask for what is going on.

                              Remember, I ALWAYS reply within 24 hours, even if I do NOT have time to play my turn, in which case I will at least send you email to tell you that I will have to play it later, but I DO receive your turn.

                              Comment

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