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Instead of ceasing their attacks, the northerners learned that not only could their incursions gain them quick access to goods, but they could also be used as a threat to request even more aid from the Chinese. Over the next thousand years, relations continued in this fashion. Then, in the 13th century A. His grandson, Kublai Khan, would succeed in capturing all of China and founding a new dynasty: the Yuan. It was overthrown by a peasant revolt in The Mongol court fled the capital and took refuge on the steppes.
But going on the attack would prove disastrous in , when they suffered a devastating defeat at the Battle of Tumu. From the 15th century on, the dynasty moved more and more onto the defensive. Such measures failed to prevent a surge in border attacks by the emboldened Mongols, in part a tactic to force the Chinese to trade the goods so desperately needed on the steppes. Trading posts were built on the border. The number of Mongol attacks fell, and China could wind down its expensive military campaigns.
In parallel with these diplomatic and economic maneuvers, the Ming embarked on building the Great Wall. Extensive construction began in the 16th and 17th centuries. Much of this massive barrier snaking up and down the hills still stands today. Earlier fortifications had taken the form of earthworks, but under the Ming program, they would be made from a stone base covered with brick. An astonishing 5, miles in length, the new fortifications were vastly more ambitious than any of the previous structures, costing as much as a hundred times more than earlier walls, according to some chroniclers.
The Ming rulers were determined their wall would withstand both nomadic aggression and the slower assaults of weather and time. So far, its victory against erosion is an unqualified success.
‘Space bubbles’ may have aided enemy in fatal Afghan battle
Sometimes these were undertaken by armies numbering as many as , men, as well as by smaller groups of nomads. One example of the latter took place in Wo Yan in , when a score of Mongol warriors attacked a tower in the middle of the night using grappling hooks to climb the wall. But just as they reached the top, the snorting of their horses alerted the Chinese guards. Whether they serve as watchmen on the signal towers or guards in the passes Philip combined infantry, cavalry, and primitive artillery into a trained, organized, and maneuverable fighting force backed up by engineers and a rudimentary signaling system.
His son Alexander became an accomplished strategist and tactician with his concern for planning, keeping open lines of communication and supply, security, relentless pursuit of foes, and the use of surprise. Hannibal was a supreme tactician whose crushing victories taught the Romans that the flexible attack tactics of their legions needed to be supplemented by unity of command and an improved cavalry. The Romans eventually replaced their citizen-soldiers with a paid professional army whose training, equipment, skill at fortification, road building, and siege warfare became legendary.
The Byzantine emperors studied Roman strategy and tactics and wrote some of the first essays on the subject. The Middle Ages saw a decline in the study and application of strategy — with the exception of the great Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan. Medieval tactics began with an emphasis on defensive fortifications, siegecraft, and armored cavalry. The introduction, however, of such new developments as the crossbow, longbow, halberd, pike, and, above all, gunpowder began to revolutionize the conduct of war. The Emergence of Modern Warfare.
Gustav II Adolf, king of Sweden r. His disciplined national standing army — differing from the common use of mercenaries — was organized into small, mobile units armed with highly superior, maneuverable firepower and supplemented by mounted dragoons his creation armed with carbine and saber. Frederick II the Great of Prussia r. In the Seven Years' War , Frederick faced a coalition whose various forces almost surrounded Prussia.
Using a strategy of interior lines, Frederick — supported by a highly disciplined army and horse artillery his creation — would quickly maneuver, assemble a superior force at some decisive point along the line of encirclement, and, with massed howitzer fire, strike hard against an enemy flank before moving to another point. With Napoleon I, however, the age of modern warfare was born. The French Revolution had produced a mass patriot army organized into loose divisional formations.
Napoleon carefully planned his campaigns and quickly maneuvered his troops by forced marches to a selected field of battle. His battles began with skirmishing and cannonading, followed by an overwhelming concentration of forces in shock bayonet attacks against enemy flanks in turning and enveloping movements designed to utterly destroy opposing forces.
Because of the greater complexities of warfare, a rudimentary general staff began to emerge under Napoleon. The 19th Century: Theory and Technological Change.
Napoleonic strategy and tactics were closely studied by the first great theorists of war, the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz — and the French general Antoine Jomini — Clausewitz's On War —34; Eng. Jomini, on the other hand, emphasized occupying enemy territory through carefully planned, rapid, and precise geometric maneuvers. Whereas Jomini's theories had influence in France and North America, Clausewitz's teachings in particular were influential on the great Prussian military strategists of the 19th century, Helmuth von Moltke — architect of victory in the Franco-Prussian War — and Alfred von Schlieffen — creator of the Schlieffen plan defense against Russia and envelopment of France , which Germany applied in a modified form at the beginning of World War I.
The 19th century was an era of far-reaching technological change that vastly altered the scope of tactics and strategy, an alteration seen in what has been called the first total war, the U.
11f. Washington at Valley Forge
Civil War. Railroads and steamships increased the volume, reach, and speed of mobilization and of conscription. The consistent support of war industry became critical.
The growth in range and accuracy of rifle firepower created new tactical problems: artillery had to be placed farther behind the lines, massed charges became ineffective if not disastrous, cavalry became limited to reconnaissance and skirmish, and troops began to fight from trenches and use grenades and land mines. Telegraph communications linked widening theaters of war and made large-scale strategy and tactics possible.
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During the U. Civil War the large-scale strategy of the North blockade, division of the Confederacy, destruction of the Confederate armies and supplies backed by superior industry and manpower were the key factors in its victory.
The development of the machine gun late in the 19th century would have its most telling effect in World War I. World War I began with immense, rapid, national mobilizations and classical offensive maneuvers, but after mutual attempts at envelopment at and after the Battle of the Marne, stationary trench warfare ensued across a wide battlefront. A war of attrition set in that called for total national involvement in the war effort.
Two key technological developments in the war were to fashion the strategic and tactical debates of the s and s. They insisted that airpower alone could win wars, not only by striking at enemy forces but by strategic bombing —the massive attack on cities, industries, and lines of communication and supply that characterized part of Allied strategy during World War II. The more populous Allies could better afford the losses, especially with the recent entry of the United States on their side, but the battle had delivered a blow to the collective morale of the British Expeditionary Force.
Passchendaele, often remembered as the low point of the British war effort, remains synonymous with the terrible and costly fighting on the Western Front. History Second Ypres Festubert St.
Strategy and Tactics, Military
Canada and the First World War. Second Ypres Festubert St. Horrible Conditions Launched on 31 July , the British offensive in Flanders had aimed to drive the Germans away from the essential Channel Ports and to eliminate U-Boat bases on the coast.