Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


This is coolbert:

Here is another amateur at war who was able to exceed and defeat the professionals? And do so with panache'?

Oliver Cromwell.

Most important personage of the English Civil War? Again, a man with little military experience or training for command at higher echelons:

"Before joining Parliament's forces, Cromwell's only military experience was in the trained bands, the local county militia."

A cavalry commander of the parliamentary forces.

"Cromwell had no formal training in military tactics . . . His strengths were in an instinctive ability to lead and train his men, and in his moral authority. In a war fought mostly by amateurs, these strengths were significant"

"the moral is as the physical as three is to one" - - Napoleon.

As a commander of cavalry, Cromwell had an instinctive sense of the advantage to be gained by PURSUING AN ENEMY DEFEATED ON THE BATTLEFIELD. Pursue that enemy, NOT allowing the foe to regroup and re-constitute his forces.

[even a professional such as Meade at Gettysburg dithered when he COULD HAVE pursued the Army of Northern Virginia and destroyed it!!]

A war fought primarily by amateurs? But presumably NOT entirely so. Soldiers-of-fortune were the vogue at the time? Persons such as the Englishman Captain John Smith:

"He served as a mercenary in the army of King Henry IV of France against the Spaniards and later fought against the Ottoman Empire. Smith was promoted to captain while fighting for the Habsburgs in Hungary, in the campaign of Mihai Viteazul in 1600-1601. After the death of Mihai Viteazul, he fought for Radu Şerban in Wallachia against Ieremia Movilă"

An Englishman so far from home, fighting in Wallachia as a soldier-of-fortune. John Smith passed away prior to the English Civil War. But again, perhaps there WERE persons of his type fighting on the side of the Royalists? Persons bested by Oliver Cromwell!?



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