Post by blaque on Jul 17, 2017 16:59:34 GMT -5
Now had Custer pressed home a flanking attack they might have had the same outcome. But I don't see how these can be compared.
The battle of the Little Big Horn was only a one wing attack with that wing left out to dry.
But before your stunning proposal of the Normandy landings as a more appropriate choice, here and now I must give up. Obviously you win!
No, obviously you missed the point. Normandy would only be appropriate if only one wave of men was sent to the beaches....The rest leave for places unknown. Just like Custer did at the Little Big Horn. We know what the first wave of men got at Normandy....They got obliterated, Just like Reno was about to get.....Obliterated.
As it’s often the case, it seems I have failed to explain my point clearly. The similarities I referred to are mainly in regard to the approach of the battle, from the time of day or the intense heat, to the tactical situation of both sides, the characteristics of their forces, their relative strength and awareness, the options available to the attacker, the agressive choice finally taken, etc. From that point many things change, as you remark in your post, and these differences explain the different aftermath of both battles. My contention is that since both battles do have many points in common, it’s likely that we may find in their points of divergence the conditions influencing victory and defeat.
For instance, Custer’s two-pronged attack failed to be simultaneous (unlike D’Aumale’s), so that the left was routing from the valley by the time the right was still manouevering to deliver his attack. In contrast, D’Aumale’s double attack was timely executed, his small but well deployed reserve did largely contribute to the success, and his field officers leading the various detachments, far from faltering or distrusting his dispositions, acted with boldness and resolve, and even on their own initiative when circumstances demanded it, ably departing from their original instructions to better carry out their assigned task. Little of this happened at the LBH.
One of the things we may learn from Taguin is that the 7th Cavalry –contrary to what many people believe– was not doomed from the time an attack upon the LBH villages was decided at the Officer’s Call of June 25th. The chance for a resounding victory was there, with a bit of luck –which Custer, like the French, had by taking the villages unaware in midday– and by delivering an attack as efficient and determined as D’Aumale’s against the Arab camps.
I don’t mean that Custer was an incompetent ass when compared to D’Aumale. It's only fair to say that the French General gave his attack orders after being correctly informed by his scouts that the Smalah was standing, while Custer was initially misled into thinking that the villages ahead were on the run. Besides, D’Aumale was not the least bothered by the retreating routes his enemy could take, since all of them led to an inhospitable desert and suited the strategic aim of the campaign. Custer was much more constrained in this respect, and I think the decisions he took with this concern in mind help explain his defeat.