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How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:45 am

I follow these ACW threads with interest, as I may one day take the plunge, seeing all the good offcial update and modding work that is being done. But I notice a trend to gradually increase the southern forces' advantage over the north. Part of this qualitative advantage theory must rest upon the "Lost Cause" theory. (One reb could whip 3 yanks, but not 4, especially when they were well fed.)

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Who is to say Hancock could not have been as good as Jackson, whose failings in the Peninsula oft go unnoticed. Sickles and Howard are overrated, I'd say, but not Hancock.

The northern troops, particularly in the east fought better defending their home terrain. Not only is this not reflected, but you wont get the huge straggling problem Lee faced in the Antietam campaign. Many southern soldiers figgered their job was only to defend the homeland.

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Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:38 am

This is an issue which many have voiced I think. The idea of progressive leadership ability instead of established. But I'm afraid there just isn't any other way to do it.

Hancock was a great general. Had he not been injured, he probably would have rivaled Grant. Sedgewick was also another star of the late war North. Meade is overrated in the game IMHO. He was pretty cautious, just like the many of the rest of the Union Generals. His inability to crush Lee following Gettysburg was a hard pill to swallow for many. He had 2 fresh Corps to fight with (6th and 12th underrr....Slocum and Sedgewick?) and a well rested 1st, 3rd, and 5th. In fact....after the 3rd day of action....only Hancock's 2nd Corps was not in fighting shape....and perhaps Howard's 11th (although I don't count the action on Culp's Hill as anything to deterr Howard's Corps as their position was well in hand through most of the fighting).

I believe criticism against Meade after Gettysburg is quite justified. His army was demorilized yes....but so was Lee's. Perhaps more so. He could have ended the war right there.

Hooker, was in my mind, other than Grant....the best General for the yanks in the east. Hooker had all the tools....he just got cocky....then he got drastically humbled....so much so that it cost him victory. After getting trounced at Chancellorsville....had he realized that he STILL outnumbered Lee 2-1, he could have destroyed Lee's army right then and there.

Sorry to digress :)

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Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:40 am

And about the northern troops themselves. They were better equipped...better trained....pretty much better at everything. They just didn't have anyone to lead them.

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Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:27 am

Banks6060 wrote:This is an issue which many have voiced I think. The idea of progressive leadership ability instead of established. But I'm afraid there just isn't any other way to do it.


It is posible to change this "easily", by modifying PROGRATIO in DB file. A leader earns his first EXP star with K exp points, his second with 3xK, then 6xK, in a progresion (1+2+3+4+...+n)xK.

It works the same as for any troop. A cavalry K is 5. An infantry is 10. An artillery is 20. And there are a lot of variations depending on the exact troop.

You could change the K for leaders to a very low level, for instance 1 to 5. Bur it is hard to say who should get the best numbers depending on the leaders real performance. Or just reduce all of them (3-0-0 instead of 3-1-1) but a lot LOW PROGRATIO for all.

So a leader with just 25 exp points could be 6 STARS EXP (if PROGRATIO 1), that means around +3/+3 to his OFF / DEFF stats.

SO-> We could say-> Jackson is a 5-3-3 (instead of a 5-4-4). But he has a PROGRATIO of 1. After a couple battles (BUT HE MUST FIGHT) sure he will turn into a 5-4-5 (3 exp stars are +1/+2) or so. (the same final result as now, as the first exp star the bonus would be +0/+1)

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Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:14 pm

Banks6060 wrote:This is an issue which many have voiced I think. The idea of progressive leadership ability instead of established. But I'm afraid there just isn't any other way to do it.

Hancock was a great general. Had he not been injured, he probably would have rivaled Grant. Sedgewick was also another star of the late war North. Meade is overrated in the game IMHO. He was pretty cautious, just like the many of the rest of the Union Generals. His inability to crush Lee following Gettysburg was a hard pill to swallow for many. He had 2 fresh Corps to fight with (6th and 12th underrr....Slocum and Sedgewick?) and a well rested 1st, 3rd, and 5th. In fact....after the 3rd day of action....only Hancock's 2nd Corps was not in fighting shape....and perhaps Howard's 11th (although I don't count the action on Culp's Hill as anything to deterr Howard's Corps as their position was well in hand through most of the fighting).

I believe criticism against Meade after Gettysburg is quite justified. His army was demorilized yes....but so was Lee's. Perhaps more so. He could have ended the war right there.

Hooker, was in my mind, other than Grant....the best General for the yanks in the east. Hooker had all the tools....he just got cocky....then he got drastically humbled....so much so that it cost him victory. After getting trounced at Chancellorsville....had he realized that he STILL outnumbered Lee 2-1, he could have destroyed Lee's army right then and there.

Sorry to digress :)



Im gonna have to disagree 1st Corp was pretty chewed up at the 1st day. They lost their Corp commander (Reynolds) and were in dissary. 3rd Corp was just as bad as alot of the senior commanders were either killed/wounded thanks to Sickles advancing to the Peach Orchard/ Devils Den/ Etc. We could second guess and have Meade push a counter attack before Lee crossed back to Virginia. And I think Meade's Cav did meet up with Lee but could not engage becasue of weather. If I remember correctly.

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Well...

Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:56 am

I think that there was a large amount of talent in the Army of Northern Virginia..but Grant and Sherman had a huge strategic vision as well..I still consider the best campaign of the war Grant's Vicksburg campaign. If you look at th war by theatre you would notice that the victory ratio in the first two years was reversed..North won most in the west..South in the east ...so it comes out in a wash.

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Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:48 pm

This is a issue with a lot of opinions of course. I do think that the general opinion that at the start of the war the Southern troops had a edge is a fair assessment. The fact that much of the forces available at the beginning of the war where state militias. The Souther state militias where much more serious affairs, due to the threat (and reality) of slave uprisings.

I do think this initial advantage was lost quite quickly. Once they'd "seen the elephant" and got organized I wouldn't say there was much to choose between the Southern or the Northern volunteer.

Some notable exceptions were the cavalry, where the south had a large early advantage that they kept intact much longer, and the artillery where the North was started with and retained a advantage for the course of the war.

Another are where the North dominated was in the area of RR operations and specialized RR units. Certainly a lot of this was due to material advantages but quite a bit was also due to the actual units involved.

As to leadership its hard to say. Certainly the South had some extremely talented commanders, in particular Forrest, AS Johnston, Lee, Jackson, et all, but the North also came up with some as well (Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Hancock, and with with caveats McClellan and Sheridan). I would say the South had more good leaders and especially fewer really bad ones.

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Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:30 am

North Carolina boys can whip New York boys. But, when Alabama boys face Wisconsin boys, it's a draw.

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Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:54 am

You can't forget the reality of the difficulties attackers faced in the Civil War when trying to measure the "quality" of the troops. Many CSA victories happened when they sat back and let the Union attack first, then counterattacked a demoralized and weakened foe. Some of the biggest Union victories of the early war period were the rare occurences when they were defending, such as at Shiloh and Gettysburg. Meanwhile Lee's legendary skill didn't save him from high casualties in the rare battles he took the tactical initiative in, such as Seven Days and Gettysburg. So I tend to think the CSA quality advantage at the average soldier level is overrated, even though I agree they had better generals at the beginning of the war, for various reasons.

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Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:15 pm

Banks6060 wrote:Meade is overrated in the game IMHO. He was pretty cautious, just like the many of the rest of the Union Generals. His inability to crush Lee following Gettysburg was a hard pill to swallow for many. He had 2 fresh Corps to fight with (6th and 12th underrr....Slocum and Sedgewick?) and a well rested 1st, 3rd, and 5th. In fact....after the 3rd day of action....only Hancock's 2nd Corps was not in fighting shape....and perhaps Howard's 11th (although I don't count the action on Culp's Hill as anything to deterr Howard's Corps as their position was well in hand through most of the fighting).

I believe criticism against Meade after Gettysburg is quite justified. His army was demorilized yes....but so was Lee's. Perhaps more so. He could have ended the war right there.


Banks6060,

You may want to take a look at ONE CONTINUOUS FIGHT: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863 by Eric Wittenberg et al. It may not change your mind, but it definitely is an interesting counterpoint to your characterization of Meade.

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Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:06 am

Banks6060 wrote:. Meade is overrated in the game IMHO. He was pretty cautious, just like the many of the rest of the Union Generals. His inability to crush Lee following Gettysburg was a hard pill to swallow for many. He had 2 fresh Corps to fight with (6th and 12th underrr....Slocum and Sedgewick?) and a well rested 1st, 3rd, and 5th. In fact....after the 3rd day of action....only Hancock's 2nd Corps was not in fighting shape....and perhaps Howard's 11th (although I don't count the action on Culp's Hill as anything to deterr Howard's Corps as their position was well in hand through most of the fighting).


I have to disagree. While the 6th Corps was fresh, the 12th Corps had been heavily engaged. On the evening of July 2nd, most of the 12th Corps was ordered from Culp's Hill to reinforce the Union left on Cemetary Ridge. This was a serious mistake as the reinforcements were not needed and the movement left Greene's brigade essentially alone to defend the corps' line, which was then attacked by Johnson's division. Greene managed to hold Culp's Hill and, after the fighting had died down, the rest of the 12th Corps returned to find Confederates holding their breastworks. There was heavy fighting on the morning of July 3rd, as Ewell Corps attacked the 12th Corps and the 12th Corps, in turn, tried to regain its initial line. While the most of the Federals had the protection of terrain and defensive works which kept their casualties down, hours of being under fire exhausted ammunition and nerves. By the time Ewell had withdrawn the 12th Corps was used up.

As to the other corps. The 1st and 11th Corps had been shattered on July 1. Out of 9,500 men in the 1st Corps, 5,600 had become casualties, and the 11th Corps lost 3,400 out of 7,000 men. Generals such Reynolds and Barlow were dead or severly wounded. Both corps were so badly mauled that they would cease to be independant commands. The 3rd Corps suffered 4100 casualties out of 10,000 men, the 5th Corps about 2,200 out of 11,000, and the 2nd Corps 4,350 out of 10,500. Again, these numbers do not directly reflect the loss of senior commanders (Hancock, Gibbon, Sickles, Cross, Zook, Weed, Vincent, etc) or the loss of artillery horses. The 3rd Corps would also cease to be an independant command. Based on the casualties taken, the loss of senior commanders, and low field rations, I would argue that only the 6th Corps was in fighting shape after Pickett had been repulsed.

The popular image of Meade as a cautious commander is somewhat justified, but Harry Pfanz argues in his 3 books that at Gettysburg Meade was an active, hands-on commander who reacted quickly and aggresively to the battle as it unfolded, perhaps because he had recently been a corps commander. Lee, on the other hand, took a much more passive, hands-off approach when it came to orders. It's important to remember that Dan Sickles played a role in how the public came to see Meade. Sickles had his leg ampuated on the evening of July 2nd and less than 12 hours later was being carried to Washington, which he arrived at on July 5th. One of his first visitors was President Lincoln- Sickles made sure Lincoln heard his version of what had happened on July 2nd first, since there was a good chance that Sickles could be courtmartialed. Thereafter Sickles and others did much to undermine Meade by portraying him as an overcatious, indecisive general. This campaign lasted into the 20th century and ended only with Sickles death in 1913. Meade's legacy was not helped by his outward modesty, his temper, conflicts with the press, and the presence of Grant. Certainly he showed both a reluctance and lack of skill in aggresively moving against Lee's entrenched army in later campaigns, but it's important to consider the atmosphere in which these actions were viewed.


Of course, the ANV also suffered heavy casualties and lost several division and brigadier generals. The question remains as to whether Meade could have landed a decisive blow during Lee's retreat. He had been commander of the AoP for less than a week. It had suffered significant casualties among both enlisted men and its officers. And as Meade would find later in 1863 and as both he and Grant would find in 1864, there was still plenty of fight left in the Army of Northern Virginia.
I was not a Wisconsin soldier, and have not been honorably discharged, but at the judgment day I want to be with Wisconsin soldiers.

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Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:00 am

What if again?

In relation to Gettysburg, I think if Grant is in Command then the war is over. I dont think he would let Lee escape. Not with Sherman at his side anyway! But then the same would apply to Antietam as well where the war should really have finished, again Lee was allowed to escape.

But then if Jackson is there on day1 at Getysburg and not Ewell - again who knows. It is all part of the joy about arguements about events.

Of course you could argue after Bull Run1 - had the CSA had the ability to press home any advantage after thier Victory there who knows. I suspect that Lee having had seized the initiative there might well have pulled off something dramatic? Who knows he was not in command at that point and that might actually have something more to do with the politics of the time and Virginias not joining CSA till after Sumpter.

The game does reflect this political dimension in that replacing Generals who perhaps need to replaced does not come without consequences. Especially in the CSA.

The political will did not exist in the South to invade the North by the time it did it was far too late and when they did Invade - it was I believe a fatal mistake that led the CSA to defeat at Gettysburg when Vicksburg needed to be relieved as a matter of urgency.

For me the CSA had lost the war before the first shot had been fired. So any theoretical advantages the South may have had is pretty much cancelled out by other Political, Economic, Industrial etc disadvantages.

I doubt that Grant and Sherman would have been anywhere near as successful as they were if they had been CSA Generals.
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Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:57 pm

The south formed cadres for new units from their trained officers and men at the beginning of the war whereas the Union kept their regulars together. This gave the Union one or two outstanding brigades but severely handicapped the large majority of its army (especially those brigades with elected or 'political' generals). The CSA brigades' raw recruits had a few well trained regular-army officers and men in each brigade to learn from and this expertise diffused throughout their entire army.

The south started the war with proportionately more trained officers and men. In fact, to this day, there's a preponderance of southerners in the US Army.

Perceptions regarding the relative qualities of the armies were coloured by expectations grounded in the Napoleonic era. The attack was supposed to deliver results and even attacks with inferior forces were expected to stand a good chance of success for a force with high morale. The minié-type rifle put paid to these ideas, but it took a long time for perceptions to catch up.

The difficulty of attacking against rifles contributed to many Union failures to pursue and destroy the enemy following a successful engagement. Battles were long and attacks heavily paid for in blood. They *should* have pursued but exhaustion, hypothermia etc, after battles often lasting several days presented special difficulties.

As regards generals, the Union had many fine commanders -- it's just that they had an equally large number of absolute incompetents they couldn't get rid of.

Regards,
dduff

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Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:48 am

As to the quality of the Northern generals, especially early on I just read a interesting point.
Many of those early generals were political chieftains. Their support was needed for the war generally but more specifically for the early raising of troops. When you take this into account the use of Ben Butler, Burnsides, et all makes more sense.

\Its also worth noting that the south had a few of these as well. The war had quite a free talented non-professionals on both sides (with Forest being the shining example of course), and as to professionals that didn't do so well just think about Little Mac.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:35 am

Try using maths to answer who had a qualitive advantge in a battle or campaign, easier to argue about then.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:24 pm

How to meausure superiority of combatents. one way is to compare what a commander has in resources, and what he removes from the enemies resources compared with the cost of his own rersources. Or in buissines, if it cost me 2 to produce an item and it can only sell for 2 im breaking even, if it sells for 4 im running 100% profit. the same is true for generalship, give a general manpower what he does with it can be adduced as a cost benifit ratio. This is done by taking the amount of manpower he has, the manpower of the opoistion force he removes as killed/wounded/captured, which is divided into his starting mapower, this yeilds his infliction rate, ditto for the opoenet, then his own losses as a percent of his own starting force yields his cost to in flict rate. Taking his cost to inflict and infliction rate gives you a cost benifit value. As does his oposite number. You now have a number value of what a commander achieves with the resources given to him, all the force multipliers like defensive posture in advantage terrain ect, are not really required as whatever they are the generals chose to give and acept battle.

Example, in the eastern theatre in 62, the AoP ( Mac) and ANV (Lee) from Aug 27 to Sept 17th saw engements at 2nd Bull run, South Mtn, Harpers ferry and Antietam. A total of 201,000 US and 137,000 CS forces were used in this campaign, 44,900 USW and 28,000 CS became casulties.( we could add in losses from sickness as this is also a measure of effiecency of the two forces, for instance in ww2 more time was lost to treating sexual disease in ETO, 14 days per case a man was lost to service, than to treating gunshot wounds).So Mac inflicting rate is 13.9% and cost to so is 22% so a total value of -8.1%. if normalized for ease of understanding, for every 100 men he has, he will lose 8% more than he inflicts. Lee otoh, inflicts 32.7% at a cost of doing so of 20.3% so his effiecency is +12.4%, is for every 100 men he has he will inflict 12% more than he losses, the superiority of the CS is therfore 20% over the US in the period. What does mean?, well, it means 100 CS effectivly fight as 120 US when the US hasa superiority of numbers of 68% more manpower. This is a value of superiority for a campaign season, if we take just the value of Antietam we find Mac inflict 18.2% at a cost of 16.4%, a +1.8%, while Lee inflicts 23.6% while suffering a loss of 26.3% a value of -2.7%.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:25 pm

And the chances of losing your audience entirely increase without bound.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:03 pm

Math is beyond many to to understand, but it is a valuable tool to answering questions of opinion only.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:24 pm

Statistics are best defined as "Lying with numbers". Too easy to dazzle people who have not taken a statistics class....

:niark:

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:42 pm

As noted, the south may have initially had an advantage due to the larger percentage of West Point graduates in their ranks and the strength of the militia tradition across the south. But it is worth remembering that at this time, even in the north, most of the population lived off the land. Americans north and south were well-versed in the use of weapons. What many think is a southern superiority, based off some early battles, was in fact mainly the edge the defense played at a time when Napoleonic tactics had not accommodated to the new reality of rifled weaponry. Yes, there were some big southern offensive victories like Chancellorsville, but these tended to be the exceptions that proved the rule. Generally, the attacker suffered, even in victory, and for every Chancellorsville you can point to a Gettysburg 3rd Day or a Franklin. On occasion, Union attackers carried the day in spectacular fashion (e.g. Missionary Ridge) but it was more common to have battles end with both sides licking their wounds and crawling away to recover (Shiloh, Antietam).

Out West, there was no discernable difference in the toughness and morale of the two sides - the Union western soldiers were just as backwoods as their opponents. Even in the east, you can read tales where in places like Harper's Ferry, when it was retaken by the Union later in the war and held by Union militia, Union officers would remark at how the Union soldiers looked like rebels in their dress and manner.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:53 am

elxaime wrote:As noted, the south may have initially had an advantage due to the larger percentage of West Point graduates in their ranks and the strength of the militia tradition across the south.


Maybe not such an advantage at all; I believe Maj. Gen. George Pickett said, "The Yankees got all the smart ones and see where it got them."

The Federal performance, in the early war years, sure backs this idea up. Engineers are not always the best leaders of men.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:42 am

Straight Arrow wrote:
elxaime wrote:As noted, the south may have initially had an advantage due to the larger percentage of West Point graduates in their ranks and the strength of the militia tradition across the south.


Maybe not such an advantage at all; I believe Maj. Gen. George Pickett said, "The Yankees got all the smart ones and see where it got them."

The Federal performance, in the early war years, sure backs this idea up. Engineers are not always the best leaders of men.


Weren't Lee and Beauregard both engineers?

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:47 am

I think the greatest difference between the Federals and Confederates was that the Rebels believed they had every right to leave the Union and even those Southerners who didn't give a hoot about slavery, slaves were a wealthy man's subject, felt they were fighting for their homeland. Northerners were fighting for something far more philosophical.

Many Northerners had never seen an African-American, let alone known any. Until Harriet Beecher Stowe presented her story of the slaves plight, slavery was a foreign institution. Many who were against slavery, feared the thought of their cities and towns being over run by former slaves fleeing the South and taking work from them.

From everything I've read, the soldiers on both sides fought with much the same courage and determination throughout the war. At the beginning of the war many of the Northern leaders, who often saw their service as a matter of prestige and fame, especially those who had political aspirations, even modest ones, when faced with their own mortality on the battlefield suddenly found that risking one's life for possible political gains was a naive equation and lost their determination when it was most necessary. It took time to distill the pool of officers to produce a potent leadership throughout the army.

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Re:

Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:39 am

Sarkus wrote:You can't forget the reality of the difficulties attackers faced in the Civil War when trying to measure the "quality" of the troops. Many CSA victories happened when they sat back and let the Union attack first, then counterattacked a demoralized and weakened foe. Some of the biggest Union victories of the early war period were the rare occurences when they were defending, such as at Shiloh and Gettysburg. Meanwhile Lee's legendary skill didn't save him from high casualties in the rare battles he took the tactical initiative in, such as Seven Days and Gettysburg. So I tend to think the CSA quality advantage at the average soldier level is overrated, even though I agree they had better generals at the beginning of the war, for various reasons.


well, for all of this, it was very simple reason, and it was rifle used, technology of this time simply greatly favored defensive fire over ofensive fire.
So battle tactic was realy simple, if you are attacking, pound enemy defence with as many arty shels as you can, and once they suffered enough, charge with infatry. if you lack arty support, you are screwed.
for defence having enough arty was allways welcomed, but not necceary for sucefull defence and later succesfull counteratack and winning battle.
and for lees getysburg, well that is one of battles that he should stop at beggining, since he lacked not only enough arty for support, but keep assaulting practicaly ideal defensive positions, i never understanded why so good general, forced to continue one failed attack after another.
here you can come with another example of weird leadership performance, compared to legend, and that is napoleons waterloo, but here i know resons, napoleons health was bad at time of waterloo and he did some bad decision in namming of marchals, due to politic reasons.
but booth these battles do have one more commonality , and that is iven if they were won by oposite site than in reality, it will change nothing, war was allready lost for booth sides, onlyest result will be just prolonging of war.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:05 am

hanny1 wrote:Try using maths to answer who had a qualitive advantge in a battle or campaign, easier to argue about then.


math, math,math....hmmm..how can you use it for anything so compes like battle ?
if by math you meaned sheer numbers of troops, weapons, etc, it isnt that simple, you need to consider terrain, quality of troops, leadership..etc.
What math moddifier will get excelent commander, and how big poor one ?
how your math will work in very famous meeting of spartans and persians at some not much known place that time (now exist with very different shape).

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:21 am

No, he basically put statistics together comparing the number of troops lead by a leader compared to the losses suffered by his force, and concluded that the leader with fewer losses per capita was the better leader. However he did not take into account whether the leader was acting in an offensive or defensive role, nor whether he achieved his goal, nor the importance and effects the battle had on a larger scale, because that is far more difficult to put into a spreadsheet, if not impossible.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:33 pm

hanny1 wrote:How to meausure superiority of combatents. one way is to compare what a commander has in resources, and what he removes from the enemies resources compared with the cost of his own rersources. Or in buissines, if it cost me 2 to produce an item and it can only sell for 2 im breaking even, if it sells for 4 im running 100% profit. the same is true for generalship, give a general manpower what he does with it can be adduced as a cost benifit ratio. This is done by taking the amount of manpower he has, the manpower of the opoistion force he removes as killed/wounded/captured, which is divided into his starting mapower, this yeilds his infliction rate, ditto for the opoenet, then his own losses as a percent of his own starting force yields his cost to in flict rate. Taking his cost to inflict and infliction rate gives you a cost benifit value. As does his oposite number. You now have a number value of what a commander achieves with the resources given to him, all the force multipliers like defensive posture in advantage terrain ect, are not really required as whatever they are the generals chose to give and acept battle.

Example, in the eastern theatre in 62, the AoP ( Mac) and ANV (Lee) from Aug 27 to Sept 17th saw engements at 2nd Bull run, South Mtn, Harpers ferry and Antietam. A total of 201,000 US and 137,000 CS forces were used in this campaign, 44,900 USW and 28,000 CS became casulties.( we could add in losses from sickness as this is also a measure of effiecency of the two forces, for instance in ww2 more time was lost to treating sexual disease in ETO, 14 days per case a man was lost to service, than to treating gunshot wounds).So Mac inflicting rate is 13.9% and cost to so is 22% so a total value of -8.1%. if normalized for ease of understanding, for every 100 men he has, he will lose 8% more than he inflicts. Lee otoh, inflicts 32.7% at a cost of doing so of 20.3% so his effiecency is +12.4%, is for every 100 men he has he will inflict 12% more than he losses, the superiority of the CS is therfore 20% over the US in the period. What does mean?, well, it means 100 CS effectivly fight as 120 US when the US hasa superiority of numbers of 68% more manpower. This is a value of superiority for a campaign season, if we take just the value of Antietam we find Mac inflict 18.2% at a cost of 16.4%, a +1.8%, while Lee inflicts 23.6% while suffering a loss of 26.3% a value of -2.7%.


honestly, if you were my commanding officer at war, and perented this to my and other man...ques who will be shot first at deployment ?
you can use your belowed statistic and match, where number counts and matter, like in indutry, production, or logisticks, but you cant use it for actual combat.
and simply chosing place where to fight or not, is not only matter of generals, there are others things to consider, forcing enemy to fight in place favorable to you and bad for enemy is one greatesr arts in art of war.
just imagine sitution, where union general will tell to his troops, we will not fight here, terrain is not good here and i will get bad "hanny1 rating" (tm), lets leave washington to rebel hands and fight later in more favorable terrain, numbers and time for us.

czert2
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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:11 pm

Captain_Orso wrote:No, he basically put statistics together comparing the number of troops lead by a leader compared to the losses suffered by his force, and concluded that the leader with fewer losses per capita was the better leader. However he did not take into account whether the leader was acting in an offensive or defensive role, nor whether he achieved his goal, nor the importance and effects the battle had on a larger scale, because that is far more difficult to put into a spreadsheet, if not impossible.


and thats if why, and rightly so, one comenter writen "statistic is lying by numbers". And you simply cant put just some numbers (total number of troops, loses, etc) to determine who is better/more efficient leader, because by just considering this you will get flawed ressults.
just imagine my earlier exampe of battle at thermopylae. do number crunch for historical scenario. now put same spartans to plain terrain without any defensive bonus, do you think you will get same result as in previous case ? (for inspiration you can look for other battles of that time period).
obvious answer is no, you will get very different result, which is breaking basic rule of statisticks, and math - if you put same imput (same leadership, troop numbers, quality ..etc) you are bound to get (nearly) same results every time.
numbers which he showed are interesing from statistical/history/military viewpoint, but have absolutly zero value to show how good or bad was ledearship/troops of any side.
his method of using troops numbers and causalties ratio of inflickted/lost can have some value only if aplied over long enough time to eliminate short therm infulence (place of battles, weather, troop fatigue, supply at hand..etc).
actualy i did read some statistick of WWII, cant tell name of book or author, in which they analyzed whole war, from begining to end, and figured that most effective force off whole war was germans , with 100 of troops as beseline to get "job done", while americand did have around 108 and russians, worst at 120 (from head, actual numbers can differ).
and now, just imagine if some enlighted soviet general, will tell to stalin, lets just roll over and dont ressist hitler, we will get bad statisical performance. and imagine how today world will look if they did.

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:14 pm

Gentlemen, strategy wins wars. The Confederacy had no war winning strategy from day one. None of the West Point geniuses in the CSA had spent one day of the previous decade preparing the South to wage a war of attrition. The "just leave us alone" strategy of Jeff Davis suffered from fatal flaws. If you defend everywhere, then everywhere you will be weak. Total defense totally surrenders the initiative to the Union. Lee's two invasions of the North ended in retreat. Making the Union pay for every victory doesn't work because the Union has several times the South's manpower. The Union, with a fairly strong central government, was far better at organizing railroad use, the blockade and manufacturing. The lifeblood of the CSA, blockade runners, were basically freebooters in competition with each other. No government entity aided or organized them. Also, one ship brought enough shoes for the entire Confederate army, but the footwear sat on the dock as more lucrative cargo was moved by the remaining trains. The South never had enough tactical superiority to overcome its lack of a winning grand strategy.
I'm the 51st shade of gray. Eat, pray, Charge!

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Re: How great was the southern qualitative advantage over the north?

Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:06 am

czert2 wrote:
hanny1 wrote:Try using maths to answer who had a qualitive advantge in a battle or campaign, easier to argue about then.


math, math,math....hmmm..how can you use it for anything so compes like battle ?
if by math you meaned sheer numbers of troops, weapons, etc, it isnt that simple, you need to consider terrain, quality of troops, leadership..etc.
What math moddifier will get excelent commander, and how big poor one ?
how your math will work in very famous meeting of spartans and persians at some not much known place that time (now exist with very different shape).

Because that's how to use math to understand warfare.
Try numbers predictions and warfare by DuPoy, the organisation that correctly predicted the casualty rates, before they occur, for GW1, Iraq and Bosnia, by using maths from a database of past military engagements.

DuPoy worked on the HERo database you refer to for Ww2 eastern front German and soviet combat superiority, appearing in works by Dunnigan to statistical explain German superiority on the eastern front.
Last edited by hanny1 on Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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