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H. Wager Halleck , A. M. , Lieut. of Engineers, U. S. Army ., Elements of Military Art and Science; or, Course of Instruction in Strategy, Fortification, Tactis of Battles &c., Embracing the Duties of Staff, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Engineers. Adapted to the Use of Volunteers and Militia., Chapter 2: Strategy.—General divisions of the Art.—Rules for planning a Campaign.—Analysis of the military operations of Napoleon (search)
and, he gained numerous victories, and barely failed of complete success. Again in 1815, with an army of only one hundred and twenty thousand men against an allied force of two hundred and twenty thousand, by his central advance on Charleroi and Ligny, he gained a most decided advantage over the enemy — an advantage lost by the eccentric movement of Grouchy: and even in 1813, his central position at Dresden would have secured him most decisive advantages, had not the faults of his lieutenants 1796, Napoleon's campaigns of 1805 and 1809 against Austria, and of 1806 and 1807 against Prussia and Russia, of 1808 in Spain, his manoeuvres in 1814, between the battle of Brienne and that of Paris, and his operations previous to the battle of Ligny in 1815, are all brilliant examples under this head. To change the line of operations, in the middle of a campaign, and follow accidental lines, is always a delicate affair, and can only be resorted to by a general of great skill, and with dis
H. Wager Halleck , A. M. , Lieut. of Engineers, U. S. Army ., Elements of Military Art and Science; or, Course of Instruction in Strategy, Fortification, Tactis of Battles &c., Embracing the Duties of Staff, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Engineers. Adapted to the Use of Volunteers and Militia., Chapter 3: Fortifications.Their importance in the defence of States proved by numerous historical examples (search)
more than six or seven hours between forces on the field of battle; but in this instance, the state of the ground rendered the movements so slow as to prolong the battle for about twelve hours; thus enabling the allies to effect a concentration in time to save Wellington. Many of Napoleon's brilliant victories resulted from merely bringing troops to bear suddenly upon some decisive point. Rivoli in 1796-7, Marengo in 1800, Ulm in 1805, Jena in 1806, Ratisbon in 1809, Brienne in 1814, and Ligny in 1815, are familiar examples. But this concentration of forces, even with a regular army, cannot be calculated on by the general with any degree of certainty, unless his communications are perfectly secure. And this difficulty is very much increased where the troops are new and undisciplined. When a country like ours is invaded, large numbers of such troops must suddenly be called into the field. Not knowing the designs of the invaders, much time will be lost in marches and countermarc
H. Wager Halleck , A. M. , Lieut. of Engineers, U. S. Army ., Elements of Military Art and Science; or, Course of Instruction in Strategy, Fortification, Tactis of Battles &c., Embracing the Duties of Staff, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Engineers. Adapted to the Use of Volunteers and Militia., Chapter 5: Tactics.The twelve orders of battle, with examples of each.—Different Formations of infantry, cavalry, artillery, and engineers on the field of battle, with the Modes of bringing troops into action (search)
ch precedes it; and all may be combined towards a single object, and extended with the necessary ensemble. At the battle of the Pyramids, Napoleon formed the oblique order in echelon by squares. Portions of his forces were arranged in echelon in some of his other battles. (Figure 25.) The combined order in columns on the centre and one extremity at the same time, is better suited than either of the preceding for attacking a strong contiguous line. Napoleon employed this order at Wagram, Ligny, Bautzen, Borodino, and Waterloo. It is impossible to lay down, as a general rule, which of these orders of battle should be employed, or that either should be exclusively followed throughout the whole battle. The question must be decided by the general himself on the ground, where all the circumstances may be duly weighed. An order well suited to one position might be the worst possible in another. Tactics is in this respect the very reverse of strategy — the latter being subject to m
e Prince Eugene. The field was so cut up by the Adda and the canals of Rittorto and Pendina, that Prince Eugene could make no use of his horse. If, when master of the bridge of Rittorto, he had been able to charge the French with a body of cavalry, there had been no doubt of his complete success. After a battle, and in the pursuit of a flying enemy, cavalry is invaluable. If Napoleon had possessed a suitable number of mounted troops, with an able commander, at the battles of Lutzen and Ligny, the results of these victories had been decisive; whereas they were really without consequence. On the other hand, the Prussian army in 1806, after the battle of Jena, and Napoleon's army in 1815 at Waterloo, were completely cut to pieces by the skilful use of cavalry in the pursuit of a defeated and dispirited foe. The want of good cavalry was severely felt in the war of the American Revolution. Had Washington possessed a few good squadrons of horse, his surprise and defeat in the lin