Underestimating the Enemys capabilities

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Today is the 137th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn in which LTC George A Custer and the Seventh Cavalry managed to achieve the lasting fame that he craved. Sadly for he and 267 others, it was achieved at the cost of the total annihilation of 5 Cav Troops and himself. Apparently he discovered what seems common sense and yet often is ignored- that you can't force the enemy to act as you wish them to act, and they often act in accordance with their plans and capabilities rather than playing their assigned role in your plans.

    I've never been to the battlefield though I have long wanted to go- unfortunately it's not exactly on the way to anywhere else.:wink: Anybody on here ever visited?

    A really interesting history of Custer and the battle is by Nathaniel Philbrick - "The Last Stand: Custer Sitting Bull and the Battle of the Little Big Horn" http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-stand-nathaniel-philbrick/1100156595?ean=9780670021727

    http://www.commandposts.com/2011/06/first-report-of-the-battle-of-the-little-bighorn/
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    Hi Bruno, it is not great terrain to fight on (for either side). Tall grass and rolling hills make for poor sight lines. It is an area with some water obstacles as well, where the river cut steep banks which impede movement. It is ideal terrain for a meeting engagement, where an inferior force could get overwhelmed (i.e. I imagine that for a unit moving through the area that you might see a group of 50 or so coming at you, and not see the 20 other groups of 50 that might be just over the hill or in a gully). The park is a fascinating place to visit because of the well known history, the Park Service guides are excellent as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  3. thepalmers4

    thepalmers4 Member

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    Hi Bruno, We visited Custer Barttlefield on a family road trip last summer. Our destination was Fairchild AFB where our DS had summer ops. We detoured through Yellowstone NP and took three days to drive east through Cody (Buffalo Bill Musuem/dam/rodeo) to the Little Bighorn Battlefield NM, then returned to Yellowstone through Red Lodge on the Beartooth Highway.

    I was truly moved by being able to stand where this battle was fought, a battle that I had known since my 1950s Davy Crockett cowboys and Indian days. There is no cover, a little concealment from tall grass, and not much high ground. It is easy to see how a small force retreated to higher ground and was overwhelmed. The first burials were in shallow graves where the troopers fell. A mass grave was later prepared, but the original burials are still marked with small tombstones naming the trooper who fell there.

    I enjoyed Stepen Ambrose’s book, Crazy Horse and Custer. It a parallel history of the two lives, one chapter on Custer followed by one on Crazy Horse. It includes an engaging, even-handed discussion of the plains Indian and Army cultures of that period.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Thanks for the reminder Bruno. When I was 7 my interest in military history was first piqued by a biography of Custer. I recall using a broomstick as my sabre in the kitchen. I now have a destination when I make my tour through the big northern square states in the next few years to cross hitting all 50 states off of my bucket list.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Walked it on the way to my first assignment in Oregon. Did a detour to the Battlefield as I have also been a long time reader of the battle history. "Son of the Morning Star" Is a little know book that chronicles Custer's life. Triumphs and defeats. A good read. Then again his 5Th Michigan killed JEB Stuart at Yellow Tavern after Gettysburg and may have also been a turning point?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  6. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad Member

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    At 8PM tonite

    ON Turner Classic Movies - "They died with their boots on"
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    "To the Devil with the orders. We'll ride to the sounds of the guns!"
     

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