Historical Warfare

Discuss historical events and information concerning any culture, time, or location in our world (or even the frontier beyond).

Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby swift as the wind » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:58 am

When considering the size of all the professional armies or citizen soldiers ever fielded.....the german wehrmacht 6th army that attacked soviet russia in june 1941...has been estimated at over 2 million men and for the most part excellently equipped...[minus winter wear...ha ha]..did not gain victory......and there has not ever been an army of that size fielded before or since...."THIS IS THE ART OF WAR"
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:00 am

swift as the wind wrote:the german wehrmacht 6th army that attacked soviet russia in june 1941...has been estimated at over 2 million men and for the most part excellently equipped


Are you sure? Because i feel like you mean German Army Group Center, 2 mill to one army and at that time in the war really?
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby Tao Qian » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:12 pm

I also think than the 6th army was not so big.

What about the battle of Panipat?

Babur the moghul with 12000 troops against an Indian army of 100000... Well that wikipedia says.

If not, again in India, Plassey, 3000 british and auxiliar troops against more than 50000 indians...
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby Ranbir » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:18 pm

TooMuchBaijiu wrote:
I really can't find this information anywhere, so 100 internets to anyone who holds this bit of trivia. Remember, the outnumbered side has to actually win, so Thermopylae or Mogadishu doesn't count.


So tactical victory not strategic?
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:48 pm

Hey, I got replies!

Tao Qian wrote:
What about the battle of Panipat?

Babur the moghul with 12000 troops against an Indian army of 100000... Well that wikipedia says.

If not, again in India, Plassey, 3000 british and auxiliar troops against more than 50000 indians...


Both Panipat and another victory won by same Emperor at Khanwa both look like great choices. Plassey, too. Great choices.

Ranbir wrote:So tactical victory not strategic?


The victor doesn't have to win the war or gain anything particularly useful out of it-I'm just looking for pitched battles where the victor was exponentially outnumbered, and it doesn't matter if the larger army was starving or lead by incompetent generals or if the victors brought AK-47's to a knife fight or any other clear strategic/logistic advantage.

So I suppose tactical is what I'm going for, yes.
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby Jiang Zhi » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:25 pm

Got some big numbers in the pre-Han periods

Battle of Julu - Xiang Yu (50k to 60k) vs. Qin (200k to 300k)

Battle of Pengcheng - Xiang Yu (30k) vs. Liu Bang (560k) <-- largest so far, mainly because Liu Bang's army was a collective alliance of other kings, princes and dukes that couldn't control their armies. It's a miracle that he ever became emperor considering the number of battles he lost. I can't recall him winning one against Xiang Yu other than Gaixia.

Battle of Jingxing - Han Xin (30k) vs. Zhao State (200k)

Then, for the Taiping Rebellion, any battle where the Qing army beat the Taiping, they were outnumbered by a lot.
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby princeherry » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:42 am

The first archaeological record of what could be a prehistoric battle is at a Mesolithic site known as Cemetery 117. It was determined to be about 14,340 to 13,140 years old and located on the Nile near the Egypt-Sudan border. It contains a large number of bodies, many with arrowheads embedded in their skeletons, which indicates that they may have been the casualties of a battle. Some question this conclusion by arguing that the bodies may have accumulated over many decades, and may even be evidence of the murder of trespassers rather than actual battles. Nearly half of the bodies are female, and this fact also causes some to question the argument for large-scale warfare.

Beginning around 12,000 BC, combat was transformed by the development of bows, maces, and slings. The bow seems to have been the most important weapon in the development of early warfare, in that it enabled attacks to be launched with far less risk to the attacker when compared to the risk involved in the use of mêlée combat weaponry. While there are no cave paintings of battles between men armed with clubs, the development of the bow is concurrent with the first known depictions of organized warfare consisting of clear illustrations of two or more groups of men attacking each other. These figures are arrayed in lines and columns with a distinctly garbed leader at the front. Some paintings even portray still-recognizable tactics like flankings and envelopments.
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby Cao Chao » Sat May 28, 2011 4:30 am

Jiang Zhi wrote:Got some big numbers in the pre-Han periods

Battle of Julu - Xiang Yu (50k to 60k) vs. Qin (200k to 300k)

Battle of Pengcheng - Xiang Yu (30k) vs. Liu Bang (560k) <-- largest so far, mainly because Liu Bang's army was a collective alliance of other kings, princes and dukes that couldn't control their armies. It's a miracle that he ever became emperor considering the number of battles he lost. I can't recall him winning one against Xiang Yu other than Gaixia.

Battle of Jingxing - Han Xin (30k) vs. Zhao State (200k)

Then, for the Taiping Rebellion, any battle where the Qing army beat the Taiping, they were outnumbered by a lot.

I'm sure, if you want to count, they'll all be dwarfed by the purported figures present at the Battle of Changping. If you consider that 400,000 Zhao troops were supposedly buried alive by Bai Qi after they their surrender, you can imagine the size of the armies involved.

If you consider something more modern, I would have to say that the biggest battle is probably the Battle of Kursk. 2.69 million troops were involved in attempting to reduce and defend a Russian salient.
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby TooMuchBaijiu » Sun May 29, 2011 2:17 am

Jiang Zhi wrote:Got some big numbers in the pre-Han periods

Battle of Julu - Xiang Yu (50k to 60k) vs. Qin (200k to 300k)


That is a good choice, but the victors at Panipat and Plassey were more outnumbered.

Battle of Pengcheng - Xiang Yu (30k) vs. Liu Bang (560k) <-- largest so far, mainly because Liu Bang's army was a collective alliance of other kings, princes and dukes that couldn't control their armies. It's a miracle that he ever became emperor considering the number of battles he lost. I can't recall him winning one against Xiang Yu other than Gaixia.


Here I think we have a new winner. And the outnumbered party was the attacker, too! Extra points for choosing technologically even opponents, and extra points to Xiang Yu for being badass.

Battle of Jingxing - Han Xin (30k) vs. Zhao State (200k)


Can't win twice.

Then, for the Taiping Rebellion, any battle where the Qing army beat the Taiping, they were outnumbered by a lot.


Looking for battles, not wars.

Cao Chao wrote:I'm sure, if you want to count, they'll all be dwarfed by the purported figures present at the Battle of Changping. If you consider that 400,000 Zhao troops were supposedly buried alive by Bai Qi after they their surrender, you can imagine the size of the armies involved.


I'm loathe to even consider Changping a battle...it was more of a massacre. The 400,000 buried by Qin was the bulk of the army (only the youngest soldiers were allowed to live) and besides, Qin outnumbered Zhao. The idea was to find an vastly outnumbered opponent who won, not the bloodiest battle.

If you consider something more modern, I would have to say that the biggest battle is probably the Battle of Kursk. 2.69 million troops were involved in attempting to reduce and defend a Russian salient.


Same problem as Changping; the victors had larger numbers, and it wasn't even a classical formation battle. If you want to talk about the bloodiest formation battles, I'd nominate Fei River, where Jin destroyed a vastly superior Former Qin army.
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Re: Historical Warfare

Unread postby Lord Yang Jiahua » Sun May 29, 2011 9:21 pm

I got one:
Battle of Guagemela(arbela)
Alexander The Great: 50,000 troops(or was it 30K).
Versus
Darius II : 200,000 Persian troops.
Alexander won!! Persians got owned!
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