Well he did originally reject the Stg 44 because of it.AWdeV said:No, but not having the experience wouldn't be likely to make it worse methinks.
NovaTitan said:I've had something in my mind this afternoon about combat experience providing a better general than an equivalent that only used theory and practice from teachers/scholars. Throughout history you end up with individuals, particularly princes, that have undergone military training both physical and mental. These princes would then become kings without real military experience other than the training, and end up soundly defeating enemies in pitched battles using their learned tactics/strategy.
What I've wondered is if that general would have been better at his job if he were to join combat in one of these battles to understand the combat and difficulties of his and his enemy's military firsthand.
I mean, you do end up with kings that do join the frontlines, such as King Henry V in the Battle of Agincourt. Richard the Lionheart particularly loved battle and used his English funds for the Crusades. I think Saladin didn't engage in battle but used strategy alone. Presumably, Alexander the Great rode out into battle as well.
I do not think Genghis Khan ever did such a thing.
These are examples of land battles, but I also have the same question for naval engagements. Would an admiral be better if he had experience as a naval soldier both in modern and ancient/medieval times?
Winterz said:I doubt any General or other high ranking officer that never saw combat with their own "hands" can be as good as the ones who have experinced it all.....experience makes skill.
To trully know it..you must see it and you must interact with it, books aren't enough although they can still make you good but not that good.
Swadius said:I think it's important to take into account that they can't be a general at all, good or bad, if everything they know if derived from combat experience.
Narses was a bro, he liked curb-stomped the Goths at Busta Gallorum.Aqtai said:A good general should be good at tactics, strategy and be charismatic so he can inspire his men to follow his orders. combat experience is not a prerequisite.
Narses was one of Justinians greatest generals and completed the reconquest of Italy. Narses was a Eunuch who had a civilian administrative career until he was given troops to command during the Nika riots; he was in his 50ies. He was sent to Italy 20 years later and defeated the Ostrogoths and Franks in several battles. He eventually recaptured Rome.
No, you're confusing the role of the general with that of the commander in chief. A general leads an army in battle, the commander is the one responsible for the overall conduct of the war. The general's task is simply to win the battle he's asked to wage; while an understanding of the strategic goals or overall picture of the war are useful (insofar as they can influence the strategy he adopts on the ground) it's not his place to make decisions at that level.Swadius said:this I believe is what a general is for.
Not really. Theory is something that's not particularly useful until things like combined arms begin to make an appearance. Until then, it's simply a case of understanding how to ensure your troops are victorious which broadly speaking is something you can learn entirely from experience.Direct combat experience might help him, but there are limits to what he can derive from his experiences.
Archonsod said:Um, not really. You might want to try reading Clauswitz rather than Sun Tzu, he knew what he was talking about There are certain elements of warfare that can be enhanced by an understanding of theory; for example the ability to identify and understand the goals of yourself and your enemy. There are however those which can only be taught by experience, such as avoiding panic.Devercia said:Also note that theory is a synthesizer of experience. If the theory is perfect than experience becomes redundant.
It's possible to understand electrical theory however, because electricity along with the rest of physics is based on predictable, repeatable patterns. A given material will always conduct electricity to a specified value, always. You don't have that in war, it is by it's nature unpredictable. An entire battle can be won or lost on a simple factor like whether it rained on the morning or not.Devercia said:The purpose of a theory is to provide a set of rules and sometimes just guidelines from which to come to a conclusion about a particular situation. Sounds like synthesized experience to me. My experience tells might tell me that shoving a fork into an electrical socket is not wise. Basic understanding of electrical, biological and mechanical theory would allow me to imagine what would happen if I did, which is the moment I would synthesize the experience. Going about the actual experience would be redundant, as I said. That said, theory has its obvious limits, its not divination.
Yes, but that's one of the reasons Sun Tzu isn't the best source for military tactics. If you force troops into a forlorn hope, they have this nasty habit of surrendering.If you're talking about avoiding panic in others, Sun Tsu talks about that by forcing them into a forlorn hope for victory by removing all avenue of escape.
That tends to be a gross oversimplification. Cavalry could and was indeed used in the same way it had been during the Franco-Prussian and Boer war; while some sabre cavalry did exist they'd been heading towards obsolescence since the Napoleonic wars and nothing much had changed.Urlik said:WWI generals weren't really prepared for the way that war changed and many took a long time getting used to the fact that they couldn't use cavalry in the ways it had previously been used.