Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lee vs. Meade.

This is coolbert:

Here quoting from the Dupuy book "The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863, Lee versus Meade". The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia versus the Union Army of the Potomac. One of the most significant combat actions in history? A "near-thing" for the Union side, Gettysburg also generally considered to be the "high-water" mark of the Confederacy. Thus and no further!

According to Dupuy, and contrary to generally agreed upon history, Lee DID NOT even stand close to having a chance of victory. THE ODDS WERE JUST TOO LONG!!

"So long as Meade did not make a serious blunder in fighting his purely
defensive battle, Lee did not have a chance of success at Gettysburg.
In order to overwhelm the 93,000 men of the Army of the Potomac
deployed defensively on the heights south of Gettysburg . . .
the Confederate general would have needed at least 150,000 men.
He had only 79,000. That is the essential reason for his defeat."

Dupuy basing his assertion on the quick and dirty QJM calculations as outline in chapter nine of his book "Understanding War".

 * "a force in a hasty defensive situation has its force strength multiplied by a factor of 1.3."

* "The multiplying factor in favor of the defender of the flat terrain of the Low Countries [Gettysburg] area is about 1.1."

Fighting strictly defensively, it was as if Meade possessed on the battlefield 93,000 X 1.3 X 1.1 = 133,000 troops.

Assumptions made here are:

* Meade fights strictly defensively - - and makes no serious mistakes [he did not]!

* One Confederate soldier has roughly the same value on the battlefield as one Yankee soldier!

* The combat value of the Confederate artillery and cavalry is roughly the same as the Yankee artillery and cavalry.

Meade is NOT generally thought to be an outstanding combat commander. An "average" general officer and had only been in command of the Army of the Potomac for a mere three days [?] prior to Gettysburg. And his assumption of command only as a result that no other senior officer was willing to take command.

That command performance of Meade was adequate but that is all it needed to be.

Credit also Johnny Buford for his correct observation that the Union forces on the first day at Gettysburg needed to assume the defensive and occupy that terrain most suitable for same. Which is what it did.


1 comment:

Steiner said...

Same outcome at Antietam, with the Union commander (the despised McClellan) in possession of the field and the Confederacy in retreat with irreplaceable losses to its strongest combat formations. Yet the cult of U.S. Grant rolls on, one hundred and fifty years and generations of historians later.