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Total War Heaven » Forums » Total War History » Has quantity ever paid off?
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Topic Subject:Has quantity ever paid off?
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bloodswan
The Shaman
posted 07 March 2007 04:01 EDT (US)         
Most of the time it is quality of forces rather than quantity that wins the day. My obvious example being the Mongols and the fact that they were outnumbered in almost every battle they won sometimes significantly outnumbered.

Has quantity ever payed off in the long run?

AuthorReplies:
Stormraider
Tribunus Militum
posted 12 March 2007 12:23 EDT (US)     26 / 46       

Quote:

Uh, what? The US troops and equipment were vastly superior to the Vietnamese opposites. the US lost the political war, not the military one.

I think he's speaking strictly of the infantryman's gear, and in that case I'd agree with him. The NVA knew the terrain, their equipment was better suited to it, and the original M-16 was a piece of plastic crap pre-modification.

It was the American superiority in all other forms of firepower that initially took its toll. The NVA couldn't match the US Air Force, Artillery, or Armour (though the latter played a rather small role).


"we have an agenda, a character assassination agenda, assassinating characters is what we do for a living" - Sukkit
MEGAS_ALEXANDROS
Legionary
posted 12 March 2007 12:25 EDT (US)     27 / 46       
In my army days i participated in a NATO excersise called "Dynamic Mix 2000". The battalion i was in consisted of 1 US Marines company 1 Hungarian Mech. Inf. company and 1 Greek Mech. inf. Company. As such there were three main rifles the M-16 the AK-47 and the G3A3/A4.

One day we all made practice shots using the "foreign" rifles (US Marines with G3s and AKs, Hungarians with G3s and M-16s and Greeks with Aks and M-16s), from personall experience i say this, while the M-16s were jamming one after the other the AK-47s kept on firing (and to my surprise our G3s experienced in total only 2 jams). It also kicks a lot but Greek soldiers were familiar with such a kick as the G3s also kick a lot.


My son ask for another Kingdom equal to thyself for Macedonia is too small for thee!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phillip II of Macedon towards his son Alexander the Great
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 12 March 2007 13:03 EDT (US)     28 / 46       
Quantity is a very useful thing to have and it can play an important part in obtaining victory. However, it's hard to define in many cases whether quantity or quality won the day, as there are many examples of battles where the victor had a majority but also an army of high quality. It's best to have both.

Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 12 March 2007 13:06 EDT (US)     29 / 46       
I'm assuming that after our brief diversion into the C20 this topic is back on track.

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Primus Pilus
Legionary
posted 12 March 2007 15:59 EDT (US)     30 / 46       
Damn. Just when I was to mention the atrociously sub-standard M60...

"I see no difference between war and terrorism. Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich."

Sir Peter Ustinov

AugustusCurly
Legionary
posted 13 March 2007 21:56 EDT (US)     31 / 46       

Quote:

However, it's hard to define in many cases whether quantity or quality won the day

I agree, sometimes we say "So and so won and had more troops, so quantity won," when in actuallity they would have won even outnumbered because they had better troops/terrain (that should be factored into quality as well). Also, it may be hard to decide whether quality. quantity, or generals was the decider. Often times we just don't know. In the pre-modern (early gunpowder to Boney) quantity or Generals paid off (how hard is it to shoot a gun? Alot easier than properly weilding a blade or bow I can tell you that), but in the past it could often be quality (Romans vs Barbarians for example) or sometimes it was just generals (Hannibal comes to mind).

(\__/)Gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math
(O.o )a Kilometre is whats known in American as "too far to walk", and a litre is known as "too much beer for one man".-Bored Scotsman
( >< )Beer brands are the power ranger action figures for adults.-Angelo the Sailor
Easter is indeed very commercial. But hey, that's what keeps the economy going. Discussion is useless, chocolate eggs are delicious. Voila.-TheKid951
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 17 March 2007 22:04 EDT (US)     32 / 46       

Quote:

or sometimes it was just generals (Hannibal comes to mind).


Yes but I think the point of the thread is that the Romans were able to constantly replenish their losses and wear down the Carthagian invaders.

Their numbers didn't do them much good in the huge defeats they suffered but it did win the war for them.


-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

Roman Warlord
Legionary
posted 18 March 2007 11:32 EDT (US)     33 / 46       
Coming to the point about being able to shoot a gun in napoleon times is said that the british were able to deliver 4 shoots to the french 3 which made a big diffrence and allowed quality to win (along with other tactics).
Legio Yow
Legionary
posted 18 March 2007 12:08 EDT (US)     34 / 46       
The Zulus never would have "won" Isandwhalana (I won't even try to spell it properly) without numbers.

"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
aznninjahitman
Legionary
posted 19 March 2007 20:40 EDT (US)     35 / 46       
...and are you British, by any chance, old man?

我送你離開 千里之外 你無聲黑白
沈默年代 或許不該 太遙遠的相愛
我送你離開 天涯之外 你是否還在
琴聲何來 生死難猜 用一生 去等待

As Water on Rock
Legio Yow
Legionary
posted 19 March 2007 20:58 EDT (US)     36 / 46       
No, but seeing the casualties rates and the enormous numerical advantage of the Zulus, I feel confident in saying that numbers did, indeed, win that battle.

"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
CaptainFishpants
VIP
posted 21 March 2007 05:25 EDT (US)     37 / 46       
Quantity almost certainly paid off for the Red Army at the battle of Kursk. The enormous number of artillery pieces they had nullified the advantage that the Germans had in terms of combat skills. Quantity and good-enough quality paid off too, in terms of the T-34 tank: it was probably not as "good quality" as its German opponents, yet it was the right piece of kit available in overwhelming numbers.

And as a comment on another post: the Zulus won at Isandhlwana thanks to numbers, in part, and thanks to a time-over-distance problem for the defenders. The time taken to reload and fire enough times to kill the Zulu attackers was more than the time it took for them to close to stabbing range. However, that isn't to denigrate the quality of the Zulu infantry -- it takes a hell of a lot of guts to charge into volley fire.


----

Gentlemen should exercise caution and wear stout-sided boots when using the Fintry-Kyle Escape Apparatus. Ladies, children, servants and those of a nervous disposition should be strongly encouraged to seek other means of hurried egress.

Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 21 March 2007 07:07 EDT (US)     38 / 46       
Hello CaptainFishpants.
Good to see you around these parts.

-Love Gaius
TWH Seraph, TWH Grand Zinquisitor & Crazy Gaius the Banstick Kid

Got news regarding Total War games that should be publicised? Then email m2twnews@heavengames.com. My blog.
Nelson was the typical Englishman: hot-headed, impetuous, unreliable, passionate, emotional & boisterous. Wellington was the typical Irishman: cold, reserved, calculating, unsentimental & ruthless" - George Bernard Shaw
Vote for McCain...he's not dead just yet! - HP Lovesauce

D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 21 March 2007 10:14 EDT (US)     39 / 46       
In fact at Isandlwhana the British lost because their line was too extended. They had deployed on a long front to support Durnford's colonial horse. When Durnford's ammunition failed his men mounted and fell back leaving G Coy 2/24' flank exposed as the Zulu swept through Durnford's former position. When the redcoats were firing their slow deliberate volleys the Zulu lay down and sought what cover they could. Only when G Coy was taken in the flank and destroyed did the rest of the 24th fall back. Most of them made it to the wagons and held out in company squares for some hours - well after the last fugitive fled.

NB, the ammunition shortfall I refer to was solely that of the Native Horse. The 24th suffered no ammunition shortage until they were forced into their company squares late in the battle.


Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.

[This message has been edited by D Furius Venator (edited 03-21-2007 @ 10:18 AM).]

AugustusCurly
Legionary
posted 21 March 2007 17:34 EDT (US)     40 / 46       

Quote:

Quantity almost certainly paid off for the Red Army at the battle of Kursk. The enormous number of artillery pieces they had nullified the advantage that the Germans had in terms of combat skills. Quantity and good-enough quality paid off too, in terms of the T-34 tank: it was probably not as "good quality" as its German opponents, yet it was the right piece of kit available in overwhelming numbers.


Actually, looking hat the designs of the Panzer IV and the T-34, the T034 was better in almost every way it seems except that it had no radio equipment while the Germans did have that. It had a larger primary gun, was faster and had a longer operational range. I found armor, but it says that the T-34 had 70 millimeters while the Germans had between 10 and 80 millimeters (why it wasn’t consistent I don’t know). So the T-34 outclassed the Panzer IV except for radio, but that could be factored as very important.

Back to TW History, can stupidity be counted as bad quality? Knights (especially French ones) had a bad habit of messing up big time, charging at the wrong time, charging strait ahead, ect. That makes more medieval victories quality over quantity.


(\__/)Gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math
(O.o )a Kilometre is whats known in American as "too far to walk", and a litre is known as "too much beer for one man".-Bored Scotsman
( >< )Beer brands are the power ranger action figures for adults.-Angelo the Sailor
Easter is indeed very commercial. But hey, that's what keeps the economy going. Discussion is useless, chocolate eggs are delicious. Voila.-TheKid951
aznninjahitman
Legionary
posted 21 March 2007 22:43 EDT (US)     41 / 46       
I'll hypothesize that the armor difference is reported because of different standards in different parts of the German holdings, at different eras of the war. If they lost the steel mills, or the hematite mines, they would face shortages and be forced to produce thinner armor.

Also, it may have depended on terrain and intended uses. An amphibious tank would need less armor to increase the buoyancy-weight balance.


我送你離開 千里之外 你無聲黑白
沈默年代 或許不該 太遙遠的相愛
我送你離開 天涯之外 你是否還在
琴聲何來 生死難猜 用一生 去等待

As Water on Rock
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 22 March 2007 14:14 EDT (US)     42 / 46       
Fascinating as all this is, let's return to pre 1815 discussion (ideally pre 1530).

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
el_bandito
Legionary
posted 22 March 2007 23:31 EDT (US)     43 / 46       
Have faith Furius. Next time I'm free I'll give some examples of siege battles, where the attackers simply won by sheer numbers in ancient China.

Michael Jackson
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 23 March 2007 13:05 EDT (US)     44 / 46       

Quote:

Knights (especially French ones) had a bad habit of messing up big time, charging at the wrong time, charging strait ahead, ect. That makes more medieval victories quality over quantity.


What is your thinking here?
Knights suffered defeats so knight were bad, therefore when knights won it must be because they had a numerical superiority?

If that is indeed what you are suggesting, I can only say that:
1. That's not a valid basis for an argument
2. You need to study knightly armies and battles in more detail.

Knights were a very flexible military formation and they learned from their mistakes. Hence why, even after Kortrijk, Bannockburn, Crécy, and Azincourt, knights or heavy cavalry formed an important and sometimes even leading part of the majority of armies until the early 16th century.


Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
AugustusCurly
Legionary
posted 23 March 2007 16:37 EDT (US)     45 / 46       

Quote:

If that is indeed what you are suggesting, I can only say that:
1. That's not a valid basis for an argument
2. You need to study knightly armies and battles in more detail.


I apologize for not being clear, at certain times knights could be pretty stupid (though not always or even often), at these times, I think that that might count as a reduction in their quality. By not means am I saying knights were bad/obsolete/stupid in general, just some of the time.

(\__/)Gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math
(O.o )a Kilometre is whats known in American as "too far to walk", and a litre is known as "too much beer for one man".-Bored Scotsman
( >< )Beer brands are the power ranger action figures for adults.-Angelo the Sailor
Easter is indeed very commercial. But hey, that's what keeps the economy going. Discussion is useless, chocolate eggs are delicious. Voila.-TheKid951
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 23 March 2007 16:53 EDT (US)     46 / 46       
Well, knights are certainly a problematic case as they were both a social order and a fighting force; at times these two factors would conflict and ruin a battle. However, this was not exclusively a medieval problem, and we can find battles being ruined due to stupidity or incompetence on the part of the high command in all eras; we must remember that nobility was an important requirement for command in the army until the 19th century, and still today the stupid can get into high places if they have the right connections or are good speakers.

The knight in general, however, who was trained from childhood in the ways of war, can not be doubted as a military force if properly commanded.


Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
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