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Venice (Italy) (search for this): chapter 3
ance, and their possession would probably determine the result of the war. The capital of a state, from its political importance as well as its military influence, is almost always a decisive strategic point, and its capture is therefore frequently the object of an entire campaign. The possession of Genoa, Turin, Alexandria, Milan, &c., in 1796, both from their political and military importance, had a decided influence upon the results of the war in these several states. In the same way Venice, Rome, and Naples, in 1797, Vienna, in the campaigns of 1805 and 1809, Berlin, in 1806, Madrid, in 1808, and Paris, in 1814 and 1815. If Hannibal had captured the capital immediately after the battle of Cannae, he would thus have destroyed the Roman power. The taking of Washington, in 1814, had little or no influence on the war, for the place was then of no importance in itself, and was a mere nominal capital. It, however, greatly influenced our reputation abroad, and required many brilli
Cluses (France) (search for this): chapter 3
ess, but the latter exposed him to inevitable destruction. The little fort of Koenigsten, from its advantageous position, was more useful to the French, in 1813, than the vast works of Dresden. The little fort of Bard, with its handful of men, was near defeating the operations of Napoleon in 1800, by holding in check his entire army; whereas, on the other hand, the ill-advised lines of Ticino, in 1706, caused an army of 78,000 French to be defeated by only 40,000 men under Prince Eugene of Savoy. War, as has already been said, may be either offensive or defensive. If the attacking army be directed against an entire state, it becomes a war of invasion. If only a province, or a military position, or an army, be attacked, it is simply regarded as taking the initiative in offensive movements. Offensive war is ordinarily most advantageous in its moral and political influence. It is waged on a foreign soil, and therefore spares the country of the attacking force; it augments its o
China (China) (search for this): chapter 3
nternal affairs of nations as indefensible; but the principle is supported by the advocates of the old monarchies of Europe. Wars of insurrection to gain or to regain liberty; as was the case with the Americans in 1776, and the modern Greeks in 1821. Wars of independence from foreign dictation and control, as the wars of Poland against Russia, of the Netherlands against Spain, of France against the several coalitions of the allied powers, of the Spanish Peninsula against France, and of China and. India against England. The American war of 1812 partook largely of this character, and some judicious historians have denominated it the war of Independence, as distinguished from the war of the Revolution. Wars of opinion, like those which the Vendeans have sustained in support of the Bourbons, and those France has sustained against the allies, as also those of propagandism, waged against the smaller European states by the republican hordes of the French Revolution. To this class
Berlin (Berlin, Germany) (search for this): chapter 3
The capital of a state, from its political importance as well as its military influence, is almost always a decisive strategic point, and its capture is therefore frequently the object of an entire campaign. The possession of Genoa, Turin, Alexandria, Milan, &c., in 1796, both from their political and military importance, had a decided influence upon the results of the war in these several states. In the same way Venice, Rome, and Naples, in 1797, Vienna, in the campaigns of 1805 and 1809, Berlin, in 1806, Madrid, in 1808, and Paris, in 1814 and 1815. If Hannibal had captured the capital immediately after the battle of Cannae, he would thus have destroyed the Roman power. The taking of Washington, in 1814, had little or no influence on the war, for the place was then of no importance in itself, and was a mere nominal capital. It, however, greatly influenced our reputation abroad, and required many brilliant successes to wash the blot from our national escutcheon. Lines of defen
Ligny (Belgium) (search for this): chapter 3
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
Buffalo, N. Y. (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
ront, and moved on a line oblique or nearly parallel to this base. They had pursued the same plan of operations in the Seven Years War. The Russians, in 1812, based perpendicularly on the Oka and the Kalouga, and extended their flank march on Wiozma and Krasnoi; in 1813, the allies, based perpendicularly on Bohemia, succeeded in paralyzing Napoleon's on the Elbe. An American army moving by Lake Champlain, would be based perpendicular on the great line of communication between Boston and Buffalo; if moving from the New England states on Quebec and Montreal, the line of operations would be oblique; and if moving from the Niagara frontier by Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, the line would be nearly parallel both to our base and to the enemy's line of defence — an operation, under the circumstances, exceedingly objectionable. Any point in the theatre of operations which gives to the possessor an advantage over his opponent, is regarded as strategic. Their geographical position an
Sedan (France) (search for this): chapter 3
case a second or third base further in the interior becomes indispensable for a good defence. A French army carrying on military operations against Germany would make the Rhine its first base; but if driven from this it would form a second base on the Meuse or Moselle, a third on the Seine, and a fourth on the Loire; or, when driven from the first base, it would take others perpendicular to the front of defence, either to the right, on Befort and Besancon, or to the left, on Mezieres and Sedan. If acting offensively against Prussia and Russia, the Rhine and the Main would form the first base, the Elbe and the Oder the second, the Vistula the third, the Nieman the fourth, and the Dwina and the Dnieper the fifth. A French army operating against Spain would have the Pyrenees for its first base; the line of the Ebro for a second, resting its wings on the gulf of Gascony and the Mediterranean. If from this position it advance its left, possessing itself of the kingdom of Valencia
Rivoli (Italy) (search for this): chapter 3
in front, on the flanks, and in rear; the Roman consuls were defeated: but the central strategic position of Napoleon at Rivoli was eminently successful. At the battle of Austerlitz the allies had projected a strategic movement to their left, in orforce; they are named thus to distinguish them from tactical positions or fields of battle. The positions of Napoleon at Rivoli, Verona, and Legnano, in 1796 and 1797, to watch the Adige; his positions on the Passarge, in 1807, and in Saxony and Silain body of the Austrians, under Alvinzi, advanced against Napoleon, on three separate lines, intending to concentrate at Rivoli, and then attack the French in mass; but Napoleon took his strategic position at Rivoli, and overthrew the enemy's corps Rivoli, and overthrew the enemy's corps as they successively appeared. In the same way the Archduke Charles took an interior position, between Moreau and Jourdan, in 1796, and prevented them from concentrating their forces on a single point. Wurmser and Quasdanowich attempted to concentr
Austria (Austria) (search for this): chapter 3
affairs of Poland, of England in the government of India, Austria and the allied powers in the affairs of France during the in the seven years war, of Russia again between France and Austria, in 1805, and between France and Prussia, in 1806, are exa people of a state engage, like those of the Swiss against Austria and the Duke of Burgundy, of the Catalans in 1712, of the pendent theatre of operations. A war between France and Austria may embrace all Italy and Germany, but the theatre of oper with a small force, the large and successive armies which Austria sent against him. In 1805 his operations were both interioles in 1796, Napoleon's campaigns of 1805 and 1809 against Austria, and of 1806 and 1807 against Prussia and Russia, of 1808 nly 50,000 combatants, could not venture to penetrate into Austria, with Mantua and its garrison of 25,000 men in his rear, arapidly through Switzerland to the right extremity of the Austrian line, and by this movement alone conquered all the countr
France (France) (search for this): chapter 3
ustria and the allied powers in the affairs of France during the Revolution and under the empire, ariam against Louis XIV., in 1688, of Russia and France in the seven years war, of Russia again between France and Austria, in 1805, and between France and Prussia, in 1806, are examples under the secont Russia, of the Netherlands against Spain, of France against the several coalitions of the allied pustained in support of the Bourbons, and those France has sustained against the allies, as also thos war of the Roses in England, of the league in France, of the Guelphs and Ghibelines in Italy, and oo another continent. Some of the wars between France and England embraced the two hemispheres. Tnt lines of defence. The Alpine range between France and Piedmont, with its fortified passes; the Rrt. Histoire des Campagnes de 1814 et 1815, en France. Vaudoncourt. Essai sur l'art Militaire, &c. bray. War in Spain, Portugal, and the South of France. John Jones. Peninsular war. Napier. Notices [3 more...]
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