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View Full Version : Battle at Merrilor and the Battle of Tours


Res_Ipsa
05-18-2013, 12:55 AM
For the history buffs out there. The similarities between TG and the Battle of Tours are fairly striking when you think about it.

Tours was fought on handpicked land. Land that would give Martel the advantage should the Umayyad offer battle. Martel did not meet the Umayyad advance initially, he allowed other armies to offer what resistance they could before committing to Tours.

Martel made the strategic decision to let the Umayyad ravage what they would and then appear at a time and place least expected.

Plunder played a large role at Tours.

Information was the key to Martel's victory. He knew his enemy, but his enemy did not know him.

Martel did not allow his forces to be drawn out in the open. Instead he required them to maintain discipline and formation until the right moment.

Above all, Tours is a prime example of throwing the dice. Had Martel failed there would have been no army capable of staving off the Umayyad conquest of Western Europe.

Any thoughts? Any more similarities you can think of? I have not given it a great deal of thought but the more I do, the more I think Tours was the basic building block for RJ.

GonzoTheGreat
05-18-2013, 04:55 AM
Based on what I've just read on Wiki, if the Umayyad had chosen not to engage in battle at that time, then they almost certainly would have won eventually. That is not really what was going on at Merrilor; then and there both sides had to fight.

A more important difference is that at Merrilor, the attackers did not hesitate in attacking, and they quickly gained the high ground. At the Battle of Tours, Charles Martel sat waiting (and reinforcing) for days, and then did not have to abandon his initial position at all. That makes the dynamics of the battle totally different.

Res_Ipsa
05-18-2013, 08:43 AM
Based on what I've just read on Wiki, if the Umayyad had chosen not to engage in battle at that time, then they almost certainly would have won eventually. That is not really what was going on at Merrilor; then and there both sides had to fight.

I don't think the shadow had to fight then and there. They could easily have splintered several groups off (such as the Umayyad did) in order to raid unprotected areas. I think for convenience and literary sake the shadow engaged in an all out battle.

A more important difference is that at Merrilor, the attackers did not hesitate in attacking, and they quickly gained the high ground. At the Battle of Tours, Charles Martel sat waiting (and reinforcing) for days, and then did not have to abandon his initial position at all. That makes the dynamics of the battle totally different.

Mat did not sit waiting and reinforcing for days? I would argue that Merrilor was just a reverse of logic compared to Tours whereby Mat intentionally gave up the heights as they were untenable. WoT also has mystics, no such thing existed for Martel or the Umayyed that could (at the time) circumvent the natural protections of the heights (although we were beginning to see gunpowder come into play).

balefired
05-21-2013, 09:42 PM
We tend to remember Napoleon for his failures, namely Waterloo and his disastrous campaign in Russia.

But before that, Napoleon won, he won big and a lot, and there was perhaps no bigger victory for him than at Austerlitz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_austerlitz).

Right down to tricking the enemy into leaving their position on the heights to attack a supposed weak point, and then taking the heights.

Kimon
05-21-2013, 11:56 PM
We tend to remember Napoleon for his failures, namely Waterloo and his disastrous campaign in Russia.

But before that, Napoleon won, he won big and a lot, and there was perhaps no bigger victory for him than at Austerlitz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_austerlitz).

Right down to tricking the enemy into leaving their position on the heights to attack a supposed weak point, and then taking the heights.

Likely we should be seeing elements of many of the great decisive battles in Merrilor. The only knock against Austerlitz, is that could there really be said to be an equivalent to Demandred amongst the Third Coalition? Still certain elements of this, and other famous battles could well have been drawn upon for the description of Merrilor. But there are numerous other battles that could be mentioned as well - Plataea comes to mind for me, and Mardonius fell at Plataea, which led to the complete collapse of the Persian forces and the end of their invasion of Greece.

Res_Ipsa
05-22-2013, 10:22 AM
Likely we should be seeing elements of many of the great decisive battles in Merrilor. The only knock against Austerlitz, is that could there really be said to be an equivalent to Demandred amongst the Third Coalition? Still certain elements of this, and other famous battles could well have been drawn upon for the description of Merrilor. But there are numerous other battles that could be mentioned as well - Plataea comes to mind for me, and Mardonius fell at Plataea, which led to the complete collapse of the Persian forces and the end of their invasion of Greece.

RJ was a student of history and many different battles probably went into Merrilor's making. Still, I think Tours serves as the baseplate.

GonzoTheGreat
05-23-2013, 04:45 AM
RJ was a student of history and many different battles probably went into Merrilor's making. Still, I think Tours serves as the baseplate.
Alternatively, it could also be Napoleon's Russian campaign. There the Russians rapidly abandoned Moscow, which all experts had expected would be held as long as possible, and then fought in ways and places of their choosing, rather than letting the invaders use their superior numbers. All the while, Napoleon was screaming from the walls "Alexander, I know you are out there, come and face me".

mogi67
05-23-2013, 02:42 PM
Alternatively, it could also be Napoleon's Russian campaign. There the Russians rapidly abandoned Moscow, which all experts had expected would be held as long as possible, and then fought in ways and places of their choosing, rather than letting the invaders use their superior numbers. All the while, Napoleon was screaming from the walls "Alexander, I know you are out there, come and face me".

Ha, yes, he may have been shouting that. Right before he ordered the retreat!

Res_Ipsa
05-24-2013, 01:07 PM
Yeah as I remember it Napoleon marched to Moscow and knocked down the Kremlin walls with a volley of cannon fire and then promptly retreated.

Zombie Sammael
05-24-2013, 08:25 PM
Yeah as I remember it Napoleon marched to Moscow and knocked down the Kremlin walls with a volley of cannon fire and then promptly retreated.

As you remember it? You were there?

Res_Ipsa
05-25-2013, 02:26 AM
As you remember it? You were there?

Yes, I was. Wishbone the PBS dog took me on an adventure as Napoleon Bone-apart. Do you UKers know about Wishbone?

Zombie Sammael
05-25-2013, 11:08 AM
Yes, I was. Wishbone the PBS dog took me on an adventure as Napoleon Bone-apart. Do you UKers know about Wishbone?

Wouldn't know, I'm in Australia these days.

Res_Ipsa
05-25-2013, 12:41 PM
Wouldn't know, I'm in Australia these days.

There are two reasons why a dude moves very far away: (a) work or (b) girl. Which are you?

GonzoTheGreat
05-25-2013, 01:04 PM
There are two reasons why a dude moves very far away: (a) work or (b) girl. Which are you?
He is not a girl.

Res_Ipsa
05-25-2013, 06:48 PM
He is not a girl.

Haha, that was actually a fair point. Which is the reason that you moved Zombie?

Zombie Sammael
05-25-2013, 10:15 PM
Haha, that was actually a fair point. Which is the reason that you moved Zombie?

Lupus Deus Est. I thought everyone knew. ;)

GonzoTheGreat
05-26-2013, 05:46 AM
Lupus Deus Est. I thought everyone knew. ;)
Everyone knew, but some knew more than others.

Master Ablar
05-26-2013, 07:16 PM
Alternatively, it could also be Napoleon's Russian campaign. There the Russians rapidly abandoned Moscow, which all experts had expected would be held as long as possible, and then fought in ways and places of their choosing, rather than letting the invaders use their superior numbers. All the while, Napoleon was screaming from the walls "Alexander, I know you are out there, come and face me".

There are a ton of reasons why that comparison doesn't work, amongst them the fact that Napoleon and Kutuzov did face each other in battle, at Borodino, the fact that inspite of Napoleon's large army, the Russian army eventually grew to be about just as large, not to mention the fact that Napoleon could never have brought 400 000 men to a single battle anyway seeing as his army was very spread out(this is Russia afterall), so the Russians were really trying to avoid a direct confrontation with Napoleon himself more than anything no matter the numbers, and the fact that the majority of Napoleon's army was lost marching towards Moscow not away from it, mostly to starvation, disease, and desertion.

But most importantly you can hardly compare a half a year long campaign to a one day battle. They're completely different animals.

Austerlitz works, and Leipzig might, especially symbolicaly, exept that Napoleon was at disadvantage there, but still manage deal more losses than he suffered, not that he could afford those losses, which differs on both counts from Merrilor, not that he could afford those losses.