Reno's Malfeasance -- or not Jun 22, 2011 21:22:54 GMT -5
Post by Clair on Jun 22, 2011 21:22:54 GMT -5
My thought process goes like this:
1. Custer was CLEARLY doing a "fix and flank" tactic after he heard that the Warriors were not running, but were coming out to face Reno. He would expect his advance guard to either blow through them if he could, or dismount and fix them in place by threatening the village if he couldn't get into the village itself because of resistance.
2. Reno's mission, then, is to keep as many Warriors tied up with him as he could until Custer was able to attack them in the flank.
3. Reno could be expected to hold any defensive position...out on the plain, along the river, in the woods, is irrelevant...for around two hours EASILY. That's what the 100 rounds per man are designed for. So Custer would expect to have that much time to get into position and make a good attack until Reno was actually in trouble. In any case, Benteen would soon be along to bolster Reno's position, so Reno is very safe.
4. Reno KNOWS, that if he fails to fix the enemy, then the enemy will be able to block Custer's flank attack, and ruin the regiment's mission.
5. Reno also KNOWS that to run in the face of such an enemy will probably result in MORE deaths of his Soldiers, not less, than if he just hunkers down in the timber, with a tight perimeter.
So I see absolutely no support of the regiment's mission, nor any benefit to Reno's safety, by leaving the timber. It was such an incompetent professional decision that he could have been tried for negligence of duty had his superiors desired to air their dirty laundry in the aftermath of an embarrassing massacre.
That pretty much sums up my judgment of Reno's decision to withdraw.