Sunday, May 12, 2013

Two Similar Victory - Bold Cunning and Speed and Leadership


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What’s so strange about this campaign — aside from giving the lie to any notion of Grant as a crude butcher who knew nothing of maneuver — is how little it looks like anything else in the Civil War, which did tend to be a matter of large armies crashing into each other with incredible bravery, but also with massive casualties on both sides, and little in the way of decisive results. Instead, here we get a campaign of rapid marches, defeating an enemy in detail, and achieving an utterly decisive victory at the end; it looks like Bonaparte in Italy, 1796, not the 1863 universe of battle. 


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"Bonaparte goes up in the mountains. He spreads his forces out .
The enemy doesn’t know where he is so they begin to spread their
forces out. Then at the last minute he quickly concentrates his forces,
he achieves mass superiority at one point and then blasts them.
It’s lightning."

 "In a fortnight he [Bonaparte] was ready for the field and made his first move.
Five days later he had already four times defeated the Austrians.
Then he turned upon the Sardinians, who in another 5 days
were in helpless retreat on Turin."
- Wilkinson , Spenser "The French army before Napoleon ;
lectures delivered before the University of Oxford" pp 9-10

Battle of Dego 14-15 April 1796.Austrian cavalry came with sensational news that Dego is full of sleeping French veterans. Austrians "promptly hit Dego like a rockslide."

Grant  took very similar tacit which Bonaparte did Italy about 67 years ago! Surprise Surprise and Ruthless!