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Forum LockedThe US Civil War and Military Innovation

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The US Civil War and Military Innovation
    Posted: 07-Feb-2008 at 14:34
Try wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_war
Total war is distinguished by its unprecedented intensity and extent. Theaters of operations span the globe; the scale of battle is practically limitless. Total war is fought heedless of the restraints of morality, custom, or international law, for the combatants are inspired by hatreds born of modern ideologies. Total war requires the mobilization not only of armed forces but also of whole populations. The most crucial determinant of total war is the widespread, indiscriminate, and deliberate inclusion of civilians as legitimate military targets
 
I think the underlined phrases apply to American Civil War.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2008 at 17:36
yeah thats exactly where i wanted to get to. so all conflicts ever that involved tribal forces are Total Wars according to definition because in tribal societies each able man is a warrior and tribal forces like Huns deliberately also kill civilians, or for example natives killing settlers in their lands. therefore we can exclude the ACW as first Total War unless we restrict the definition to "civilized" industrial societies.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2008 at 19:35

I agree with Temujin, but don't agree that the ACW involved the mobilisation of entire populations. I also don't think the inclusion of civilians as targets was either widespread or indiscriminate.

Even WW2, at least for the British and Americans, wasn't total by the 'entire population' criterion, but it was closer to total than the ACW.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Feb-2008 at 12:32
Originally posted by Temujin

yeah thats exactly where i wanted to get to. so all conflicts ever that involved tribal forces are Total Wars according to definition because in tribal societies each able man is a warrior and tribal forces like Huns deliberately also kill civilians, or for example natives killing settlers in their lands. therefore we can exclude the ACW as first Total War unless we restrict the definition to "civilized" industrial societies.
Point taken, indeed the conflicts at the beginning of the human society are total wars, according to the definition so it is probably restricted to conflicts starting from the late midlle age, I don't know exactly. Some of our leaders adopted  the scorched earth tactic when fighting the ottomans, and that also comes close to the definition.
I'm not an expert on ACW so my statement was only based on what I've read in several articles regarding this conflict. And large populations were indeed mobilized (not the whole p[opulation which is slightly different). While for civilians being directly targeted, most use Sherman's incursion as an example. I reapeat, I don't have extensive knowledge of the ACW.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 03:27
Originally posted by Cezar

While for civilians being directly targeted, most use Sherman's incursion as an example. 
Sherman systematically targetted civilian infrastructure.  Civilian casualties during Sherman's march, however, were very few.
 
The only part of the ACW where civilians were specificlly targetted on a large scale was the dirty war in Kansas / Missouri. In these states, most of the fighting both before and during the war was carried out be irregular units (Union "Jayhawker" militias, Confederate "Bushwacker" groups) using terror tactics. To the Confederacy's credit, most irregular Bushwackers or Ranger groups were never officially part of the Confederate army. The Union Army not only directly sponsored "Jay Hawker" militias, but converted several vicious militia groups into offical Union regiments.
 
In other areas civlians were specifically targetted, but on a far smaller scale. These areas include:
Appalachian Areas of Tennesse, North Carolina (Pro union locals targetted by Confederate militias
West Virginia (Pro Confederate Partisan Rangers / Pro Union militias terrorize opposing civilians)


Edited by Cryptic - 08-Aug-2008 at 03:41
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 08:07
Originally posted by Cryptic

Originally posted by Cezar

While for civilians being directly targeted, most use Sherman's incursion as an example. 
Sherman systematically targetted civilian infrastructure.  Civilian casualties during Sherman's march, however, were very few.
I stand corrected. That's what I meant. Thank you.
 
The only part of the ACW where civilians were specificlly targetted on a large scale was the dirty war in Kansas / Missouri. In these states, most of the fighting both before and during the war was carried out be irregular units (Union "Jayhawker" militias, Confederate "Bushwacker" groups) using terror tactics. To the Confederacy's credit, most irregular Bushwackers or Ranger groups were never officially part of the Confederate army. The Union Army not only directly sponsored "Jay Hawker" militias, but converted several vicious militia groups into offical Union regiments.
 
In other areas civlians were specifically targetted, but on a far smaller scale. These areas include:
Appalachian Areas of Tennesse, North Carolina (Pro union locals targetted by Confederate militias
West Virginia (Pro Confederate Partisan Rangers / Pro Union militias terrorize opposing civilians)
I know almost nothing about these. Sorry.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 17:04
^
You are welcome.
 
As a side note....
The sports teams of the University of Kansas are called Jay Hawks, after the pro union militias with brutal reputations.  Meanwhile the word to Bushwack (brutal pro confederate militias) means in American English to killy by ambush, treachery, or deception. 
 
No sports team would be called The BushWackers, but the name Jayhawks is ok. I guess it just shows that there are different standards for victors in any warWink


Edited by Cryptic - 08-Aug-2008 at 17:15
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2008 at 15:34
Originally posted by gcle2003

I'm not sure why you mentioned Warrior, which wasn't turretted, and wasn't the first ironclad, that being La Gloire a year or so earlier.


I think probably because Warrior was not really just a steel-clad ship like La Gloire, but the first steel hulled warship and thus an extremely important first in the evolutionary line of modern warships. 

Edited by edgewaters - 25-Oct-2008 at 16:00
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