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Forum LockedStupid mistakes that cost or nearly cost a battle

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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Stupid mistakes that cost or nearly cost a battle
    Posted: 23-May-2009 at 16:43

Hello to you all

Since nobody has ever raised this subject I would like raise it.

 

What are the most trivial or stupid mistakes that happened which either lead to direct failure in a military campaign or nearly lead to one.

 

I remember reading that a German officer in either Jan or Feb of 1940 crashed his plane in Belgium and he had on him the detailed initial plans for the German offensive that would happen in May. Although the plan was adjusted the main features remained the same yet the French and allies didn't take the plan seriously.

 
Another incident is when the Lee's plans for his Gettysburg offensive reached the Federals in a stupid manner that I forgot. They quickly acted on it and it may have saved the union.
 
Any shared events?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2009 at 18:37
^
That was Antietam, it was a letter to a subordinate which was left in a field.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2009 at 21:34
Cannae. Varro had the bright idea of just ditching all plans and formation, and just directed all troops towards Hannibal's centre. (Simplification)

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 15:13
Hello to you all
 
Here is one. In 207 Hasdrubal came to help Hannibal in his Italian expedition when his messengers having the strategy for conquest fell into the hands of Claudious Nero who moved his army through Italy in remarkable march and won Metaurus completely eliminating any chance for Hannibal to win in Italy and solidyfying Rome's allies there.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Domen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-May-2009 at 16:18
Polish counteroffensive at the Bzura in 1939 (first phase of the battle of Bzura) was the Polish "lost victory" and later cost the battle.

General Kutrzeba well took advantage of the favourable moment, and took the initiative at the moment, when he had got local superiority over German forces (9 IX). Later he successfully continued his attack for one day in conditions of the balance of power (10 IX) and for two days in difficult conditions of enemy superiority over his forces (11 - 12 IX), just in in order to resign and stop his attack on 13 IX - despite the fact, that Polish counteroffensive was still progressing (slower than at the beginning, but it was progressing).

In addition, it happened so that the moment when general Kutrzeba decided to stop his attack (because of allegedly stiffening German resistance), exactly coincided with the moment when general Blaskowitz finally and decisively ordered the general retreat of his 8th Army.

In consequence, on 13 IX Poles withdrew to the north behind the Bzura river, and at the same time Germans retreated to the south, behind the city of Lodz. Both armies retreated !!!

Astonishment of Germans must have been considerable, when - while once again marching to the north on 14 IX (in the face of lack of any further Polish pressure after the German retreat behind the city of Lodz) - they did not encounter literally any Polish units south of the Bzura river!

In other words - in the moment when the scale of victory decisively turned for the Polish side, despite numerical and material superiority of the enemy - Kutrzeba decided to stop the counteroffensive, instead of chasing and finishing off the already beaten along the whole frontline at the Bzura enemy.

Kutrzeba made a serious mistake - he did not finish the once started job, despite the fact that he was yet making his way towards the end of it. He hesitated and doubted in strength of his forces in the most inappropriate moment - when determination was indispensable.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2009 at 15:52
Charge of the Light Brigade - "Hey soldiers, I think our command wants us to charge up a hill at a fortified battery. Sounds great!" Though it did not cost the battle, it cost the lives of thousands of British cavalry. Had say, the Red Line faltered, the Russians could have won the battle.

Battle of Stirling Bridge - "Okay, instead of just firing into the lightly armored Scots relentlessly with our longbowmen, let's charge our cavalry across the bridge into phalanx-esque Scottish schiltrons." The English outnumbered the Scots and had better trained troops.

Battle of Lipany - "Hey, let's leave our fortified wagons and attack the enemy." Enemy counterattacks and ends Hussite rebellion.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote hiddenhistory Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2009 at 21:57
custer at the big horn had he kept his command togethere he could have won and been a hero
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2009 at 22:49
Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

Charge of the Light Brigade - "Hey soldiers, I think our command wants us to charge up a hill at a fortified battery. Sounds great!" Though it did not cost the battle, it cost the lives of thousands of British cavalry.

Actually it didn't. The Light Brigade when it charged, consisted of less than 700 men. It suffered 103 dead and 130 wounded, which doesn't add up to "the lives of thousands of British cavalry..."

EDIT: Wiki says 110 dead...........

Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

Battle of Stirling Bridge - "Okay, instead of just firing into the lightly armored Scots relentlessly with our longbowmen, let's charge our cavalry across the bridge into phalanx-esque Scottish schiltrons." The English outnumbered the Scots and had better trained troops.

The English knights were allowed to get a significant amount of their men across the bridge before the Scottish army showed itself.......




Edited by Chookie - 03-Jun-2009 at 22:55
They make a desert and they call it peace
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 00:30
Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, absolute folly for the Confederates, losing countless men at Gettysburg. I heard that at Bighorn that if Custer would have waited x amount of days he would have had Gatling guns and reinforcements.

Great thread

Edited by Sun Tzu - 04-Jun-2009 at 00:31
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 07:54

1940, German armoured columns were about 100 Km long and were virtually at a standstill in the Ardennes from May 10 to May 13. Reconnaisance saw this opportunity of magnimous proportions yet Gamelien refused to send bomber. Only after Sedan fell did he realize how bad the situation was.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 19:14
Originally posted by Sun Tzu

I heard that at Bighorn that if Custer would have waited x amount of days he would have had Gatling guns and reinforcements.

Great thread


yeah but the problem here is that the Sioux & allies were hard to grasp, they were basically on a huge raid and Custer at LBH had the opportunity to attack them. the infantry and artillery were too slow for this kind of warfare.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote hiddenhistory Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 11:15

dont not important, fact is if he had done a proper re con, kept his troop togethere and used correct tactics he would have won

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jun-2009 at 18:00
Originally posted by Chookie

Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

Charge of the Light Brigade - "Hey soldiers, I think our command wants us to charge up a hill at a fortified battery. Sounds great!" Though it did not cost the battle, it cost the lives of thousands of British cavalry.

Actually it didn't. The Light Brigade when it charged, consisted of less than 700 men. It suffered 103 dead and 130 wounded, which doesn't add up to "the lives of thousands of British cavalry..."

EDIT: Wiki says 110 dead...........

Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

Battle of Stirling Bridge - "Okay, instead of just firing into the lightly armored Scots relentlessly with our longbowmen, let's charge our cavalry across the bridge into phalanx-esque Scottish schiltrons." The English outnumbered the Scots and had better trained troops.

The English knights were allowed to get a significant amount of their men across the bridge before the Scottish army showed itself.......



Alright, I exaggerated on the Light Brigade part. Had the Light Brigade been an actual brigade (instead of 700 men), this could have cost the Brits the battle.

But, as for Stirling Bridge, I never said that the Scots were immediately defending the bridge. But still, with a lack of knowledge about where the Scottish army, it is a stupid mistake to lead an army with cavalry across a bridge. Cavalry are not meant to sit still, but to charge. It is pretty hard to charge if the enemy can enclose you.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Whiteice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 01:54
June of 1944...Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt refused to move his troops to where he thought the invasion "D-Day" would be to where it actually was happening even after numerous troops were landed there. Granted, he was thoroughly fooled by the Allies, I still believe he had enough time to relocate his troops to Normandy before it was too late.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wulfstan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 20:04
Ironically the Scottish victory of Stirling Bridge actually prevented a civil war in England. King Edward I was at odds with some of his nobility, particularly Earl Bigod and Earl Bohun, but the Scottish victory kindled patriotic emotions in England and baronial opposition to Edward faded. King Edward was thus able to recruit a large army the following year 1298 and inflict a crushing defeat on the Scots at Falkirk.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Jun-2009 at 21:15
Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa

.......... it is a stupid mistake to lead an army with cavalry across a bridge. Cavalry are not meant to sit still, but to charge. It is pretty hard to charge if the enemy can enclose you.

Actually it wasn't all that stupid. One of the principal roles for cavalry was scouting and reconnaissance. That said, I totally agree that it was stupid to lead off with heavy cavalry.


Enough said on that point I think, so I'll propose another stupid mistake, one which had it's effects on world history - the decision of Vercingetorix to fort-up in Alesia and allow Julius Caeser to besiege him.
They make a desert and they call it peace
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