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  #21  
Old 05-24-2012, 11:10 PM
maleshub maleshub is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimon View Post
Rand is the key to victory, but that does not mean that everyone else can just sit back and enjoy the show - especially the Borderlanders. Most of the military strength of the Borderlands is away in the south, which left Saldaea noticeably vulnerable. Of course, considering what was sent against them, anything short of Rand might have been incapable of halting the tide .....
The situation is Saldea and Maradon was very dramatic; but the reason why the defense of Saldea was nearly overcome is not because of the size of the Shadowspawn army.

My opinion is that there were enough troops in that place to defend it against the initial army that attacked it. The reason why Saldea nearly fell is: Betrayal.

Ituralde held with only 50K troops and 100 Ashaman for weeks. A darkfriend prevented Maradon from reinforcing Ituralde during those weeks. If he had overall command of his forces and the Saldeans in Maradon, he could have held longer.

Also, a darkfriend (presumably) or a grave error by one of Ituralde's officers resulted in sounding the retreat from the lower hills encampment prematurely. That turned Ituralde's retreat into a route; inflicting additional losses to his troops.

I think that between the Saldeans in Maradon and Ituralde's forces with their 100 Ashaman, there were enough forces to defend Maradon had they been under Ituralde from the start.

Last edited by maleshub; 05-24-2012 at 11:13 PM.
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  #22  
Old 05-25-2012, 07:54 AM
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I suppose there is no way to be certain but the impression I had was that Ituralde could have fended off the initial attack with no real problem if he had the Saladeans with him. They had a hard time because they could not retreat into the city nor call upon the city garrison to bolster their numbers.

The second wave on the other hand, the one that Rand destroyed was a different thing entirely. It was so big that even if it suffered terrible casualties it was big enought to overcome any fixed defences. Even if the Asha'man were 100% fresh with unbreached walls and soldiers backing them up there were simply too many.

Even Bashere who is not given to panic was all "we have to leave, now!" when he saw the second wave and that was why super Rand had to step in and even then some shadowspawn got close. As Rand said he can't be everywhere and these are the sorts of numbers that the forces of the light will be facing.
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  #23  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:20 AM
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The situation is Saldea and Maradon was very dramatic; but the reason why the defense of Saldea was nearly overcome is not because of the size of the Shadowspawn army.

My opinion is that there were enough troops in that place to defend it against the initial army that attacked it. The reason why Saldea nearly fell is: Betrayal.

Ituralde held with only 50K troops and 100 Ashaman for weeks. A darkfriend prevented Maradon from reinforcing Ituralde during those weeks. If he had overall command of his forces and the Saldeans in Maradon, he could have held longer.

Also, a darkfriend (presumably) or a grave error by one of Ituralde's officers resulted in sounding the retreat from the lower hills encampment prematurely. That turned Ituralde's retreat into a route; inflicting additional losses to his troops.

I think that between the Saldeans in Maradon and Ituralde's forces with their 100 Ashaman, there were enough forces to defend Maradon had they been under Ituralde from the start.
Those hundred asha'man is what really jumps out. Lan needs channelers. Someone, either Rand or the WT, or preferably both so that they can form circles, should be sending him aes sedai and asha'man. Hopefully someone will think to mention that at Merrilor.
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  #24  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:44 AM
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Logain's glory.
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  #25  
Old 05-25-2012, 01:30 PM
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Default Lan's battle is not insignificant

Often times in our own military history, it has been necessary for a small group of soldiers to defend against impossible odds for a short time, sacrificing their lives so that a larger force may have time to prepare, or some political or military dispute can be resolved to free up reinforcements. Thermopylea, 20th Maine regiment at Getesburg, Paremenion's left flank in guagemala. Tarwin's Gap is remaniscint of a thermopylea scenereo where they can maybe inflict significant casualties and prevent this group of trollocs from pushing south and rushing the FoM before rand's army is ready.

To the people claiming this is insignificant because trollocs are already pushing through in caimlyn and tear, you're assuming that they have enough forces to win there. We know from the two rivers and the way gates that there are limited ways trollocs can get into the southlands before kandor, and saldea started breaking down. The forces that likely are that far south can likely be defeated by the band of the red hand and other forces of the light.

Many of the greatest strategy minds in history have used this tactic. Robert E. Lee's real intentions with Pickett's charge was to take and hold a single portion of the union line while stuart's cavalry were to come and reinforce the territory taken. The paratroopers in the Normandy invasion were meant to take key bridges and towns and only hold them until reinforcements from the main beach invasion arrived. Duke of Wellington at waterloo managed to take and hold hougemont and la haye sainte(almost) until his prussian reinforcements came to hit napoleon's flank. In many cases the advance forces are sent to take key military real estate until a larger force can relieve them. This was almost the entire premise behind WWI tactics. My point in all this is that the battle at caimlyn will likely be won by the light unless reinforced by trollocs from the blight, just as pickett's charge failed when stuart's cavalry were succesfully blocked.

Robert Jordan, being a military historian would have designed battles that were well thought out on both sides. We must remember that Rand might be using Lan in this way(as much as he regrets having to use friends). He is ta'verin and I believe it no coincidence that Lan decided the time to fulfill his oath was now.
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  #26  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:22 PM
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Often times in our own military history, it has been necessary for a small group of soldiers to defend against impossible odds for a short time, sacrificing their lives so that a larger force may have time to prepare, or some political or military dispute can be resolved to free up reinforcements. Thermopylea, 20th Maine regiment at Getesburg, Paremenion's left flank in guagemala. Tarwin's Gap is remaniscint of a thermopylea scenereo where they can maybe inflict significant casualties and prevent this group of trollocs from pushing south and rushing the FoM before rand's army is ready.
Hopefully for Lan's sake Tarwin's Gap doesn't end up like Thermopylae...
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  #27  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:25 PM
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Kimon, I've been meaning to ask you (and anyone else who might know), does this ring any bells for historical battles?

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Hawkwing came out of the Marasides by the Jolvaine Pass, not far from the small town of Endersole, to find his forward scouts making contact with Amalasan’s, approaching the pass from the south. Whether as the Battle of Endersole or the Battle of Jolvaine Pass, the next two days would be studied avidly by military men over the following thousand years.

The region was, then as now, heavily forested, hilly and rugged, severely limiting the usefulness of cavalry, and Amalasan dismounted a great portion of his, using them as foot. The day went very much Amalasan’s way. Both armies suffered heavy casualties, but Amalasan could better afford them. Twice only the quick deployment of Hawkwing’s forces kept them from being outflanked. The Aes Sedai, whatever their number, were barely able to match Amalasan’s use of the One Power in battle, and by nightfall it was a miracle that Hawkwing still held his army together. (Wrote an anonymous contemporary: “It was only by the Grace of the Light - or else by that Shadow-given gift of making men follow him even to sure and certain death.”)

For any other general, the course to follow would have been obvious - retreat through the pass in the darkness with the remnants of his army. Hawkwing, though was not any other general. He began a retreat north toward the pass; as soon as he was certain that Amalasan’s scouts had seen this, Hawkwing’s rear guard began fierce skirmishing as if to protect the fleeing army, thus screening the forces from Amalasan’s scouts. Hawkwing divided his troops, in contravention of established military thought, and sent them east and west.

Amalasan no doubt believed the reports of his scouts implicitly, and only the most rabidly unfriendly contemporary commentators count it against him as a military leader. Quick retreat through the pass was the best move for an outnumbered and defeated army, and only a madman would contemplate a flanking attack over that terrible terrain at night. A madman, or a general whose troops who would follow him even into the Pit of Doom.

When the first gray light of dawn broke, Amalasan’s army was preparing to move on the pass, all attention directed north. It was then that Hawkwing struck. His divided infantry fell on Amalasan’s encampment from the east and the west, while his cavalry, having completed a night ride of some fifty miles, struck from the south.

Caught by surprise, Amalasan’s forces came very near collapse in the first half-hour. Amalasan could have rallied them and turned the battle his way - he had done as much before - but Hawkwing and his horsemen drove straight for Amalasan’s banner, with them the Aes Sedai, and Amalasan was taken.
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  #28  
Old 05-25-2012, 05:30 PM
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That splitting ones army does sound like something I heard on the History channel but I can't say for certain what it was. It might have been something either Alexander the Great or Hannibal would have done. Sorry I can't be of more help.
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  #29  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:48 PM
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That splitting ones army does sound like something I heard on the History channel but I can't say for certain what it was. It might have been something either Alexander the Great or Hannibal would have done. Sorry I can't be of more help.
It might be a reference to Hannibal's victory at Lake Trasimene, except that didn't involve a feint at retreat. I can't think of many night flanking maneuvers though from antiquity. Pyrrhus tried one at Beneventum, but misjudged the distance, and his flanking force arrived too late. This may well be a reference then to something much later in European history.

Edit: Maybe the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, or Napoleon at Austerlitz?

Last edited by Kimon; 05-25-2012 at 07:41 PM.
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  #30  
Old 05-25-2012, 07:51 PM
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If only there was negative rep
What, because I've a non-standard opinion?
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  #31  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:30 AM
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Its hard to find a single battle that this seems to mirror. But none of the tactics are unprecedented in history. Cavalry would often dismount and become skirmishers in the civil war era. See Buford's stand on day one of getesburg. Wooded terrain has often been where screening with skirmishers has the most affect. The cavalry splitting from the main army reminds me of the battle of lodi in the Napoleonic wars, but there are many instances of this in history. I think the battle in general this is most reminiscent of is Sphacteria in the peloponnesian war.

Generally the tactics described here seem to work when the army has an advantage of mobility. In fact this reminds me of how the mounted Mongolian troops would fight. They would often skirmish retreat and divide their forces to surround the enemy. This wasn't dangerous for them having inferior number because of their mobility, especially on open land.
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  #32  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:44 AM
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What, because I've a non-standard opinion?
A sub-standard and completely illogical opinion that shows a lack of understanding of the English language and disses Nynaeve

Lan is an idiot in this. He wants to throw away his life by single-handedly taking on The Blight, when there are hundreds of thousands of men who WANT to follow him and would, if only he'd stop being an idiot. Maybe you should re-read New Spring, The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn so you can make another attempt at understanding this.

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  #33  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:51 AM
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Thanks guys. I have been reading up on the battles mentioned, but I'm betting there is something more bell-ringing lurking in European history somewhere, or perhaps in American history.
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  #34  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:55 AM
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Also the American's in the American revolutionary war used skirmishers and won several victories through night movements. These tactics came from Native American influence.
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  #35  
Old 05-28-2012, 12:08 PM
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The battle will be similar to the battle of Kursk when Lan arrives.. both forces being heavy cavalry of a sort where a defence in depth and encircling will be the only way for Lan's (Nyneaves) army to hold on long enough for reinforncements.

Remember it is not up for the light to win... but for the light not to loose.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:14 PM
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Lan is an idiot in this. He wants to throw away his life by single-handedly taking on The Blight, when there are hundreds of thousands of men who WANT to follow him and would, if only he'd stop being an idiot.
In Lan's defense: if he'd stopped being an idiot any sooner, the result would have been just an idiotic and useless last stand.

Now it may be just an idiotic last stand, which is a lot better.
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  #37  
Old 05-28-2012, 01:08 PM
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I think this will be a chance for the AS to make up for their failure to lend timely aid when Malkier fell.
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  #38  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:35 PM
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I think the battle in general this is most reminiscent of is Sphacteria in the peloponnesian war.
Sphacteria was mostly a blockade and siege with limited skirmishing on an island. The Spartans had less than 500 men, and none of their great commanders were present. Demosthenes (not the more famous man of that name obviously), the Athenian strategos, had a few thousand, but almost all of those were peltasts and rowers from his fleet - he had only about 200 hoplites. How are you seeing similarities between it and this battle between Hawkwing and Amalasan? Neither force had much if any cavalry, and while Demosthenes was a reliable, if less than remarkable general, the best of the Spartan commanders of the early stages of the war, Brasidas, wasn't there.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:58 PM
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In Lan's defense: if he'd stopped being an idiot any sooner, the result would have been just an idiotic and useless last stand.

Now it may be just an idiotic last stand, which is a lot better.
Agree. The main stupid part about the OP is that these poor innocent Shienarans are dying and it's Nynaeve's fault, as if they have no choice in the matter.
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  #40  
Old 05-28-2012, 06:10 PM
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The main stupid part about the OP is that these poor innocent Shienarans are dying and it's Nynaeve's fault, as if they have no choice in the matter.
They don't! 'Death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than a mountain.' They're honour bound to follow him whether they want to or not.

As for Lan's idiocy, obviously leading thousands against the Blight always works. It's not like Lord Luc or that Malkieri friend of the king ever led an army to a futile death in the blight that achieved absolutely nothing and in fact had long term negative consequences, right?
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