What actions etc., actually DID change history?

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Lucky13, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    #1 Lucky13, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
    Again, blaming the Discovery, History, Military and National Geographic for this. They way they nowadays show programs, narrated (orwhatyacallit) or the presenter, everything they show, seemed to have changed history, the duck family crossing the road at this actual spot, the black bear taking a cr*p at this very spot, the wee scirmish behind this very outhose, when uncle Theodor was handed the wrong and too rough bogroll and so on, you name it...same goes for any weapon, that they have on their weapon shows....'or really, is that so??

    So, if you ever find yourself watching them non-reality shows, that's actually left on these channels, thinking...riiiight, what weapons, tactics, battles etc., do you think change history, never mind the above channels which are probably more for appreciation of each other, mutual ballrubbing and back scratching etc., anyway, plus, they're always wrong anyway!

    Ideas, suggestions?

    Here's one of mine....

    Legacy as a general
    The Lion of the North: Gustavus Adolphus depicted at the turning point of the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) against the forces of Count Tilly.Gustavus Adolphus was an extremely able military commander. His innovative tactical integration of infantry, cavalry, logistics and particularly his use of artillery, earned him the title of the "Father of Modern Warfare". Future commanders who studied and admired Gustav II Adolf include Napoleon I of France and Carl von Clausewitz. His advancements in military science made Sweden the dominant Baltic power for the next one hundred years (see Swedish Empire). He is also the only Swedish monarch to be styled "the Great". This decision was made by the Swedish Estates of the Realm, when they convened in 1633. Thus, by their decision he is officially, to this day, to be called Gustaf Adolf the Great (Gustavus Adolphus Magnus).

    Gustavus Adolphus was the main figure responsible for the success of Swedish arms during the Thirty Years' War and led his nation to great prestige. As a general, Gustavus Adolphus is famous for employing mobile artillery on the battlefield, as well as very aggressive tactics, where attack was stressed over defense, and mobility and cavalry initiative were emphasized.

    Among other innovations, he installed an early form of combined arms in his formations, where the cavalry could attack from the safety of an infantry line reinforced by cannon, and retire again within to regroup after their foray. He adopted much shallower infantry formations than were common in the pike and shot armies of the era, with formations typically fighting in 5 or 6 ranks, occasionally supported at some distance by another such formation—the gaps being the provinces of the artillery and cavalry as noted above. His artillery were themselves different—he would not let himself be hindered by cumbersome heavy cannon, but instead over a course of experimentation settled on smaller, more maneuverable weapons, in effect fielding the first light field artillery in history in significant numbers.

    These were grouped in batteries supporting his more linearly deployed formations, replacing the cumbersome and unmaneuverable traditional deep squares (such as the Spanish Tercios that were up to 50 ranks deep) used in other pike and shot armies of the day. In consequence, his forces could redeploy and reconfigure very rapidly, confounding his enemies.

    His armies were very well trained for the day, so that his musketeers were widely known for their firing accuracy and reload speed: three times faster than any contemporary rivals. Carl von Clausewitz and Napoleon Bonaparte considered him one of the greatest generals of all time; a sentiment agreed with by George S. Patton and others. He was also renowned for the consistency of purpose and the amity of his troops—no one part of his armies was considered better or received preferred treatment, as was common in other armies where the cavalry were the elite, followed by the artillery, and both disdained the lowly infantry. In Gustavus' army the units were extensively cross trained. Both cavalry and infantry could service the artillery, as his heavy cavalry did when turning captured artillery on the opposing Catholic Tercios at First Breitenfeld. Pikemen could shoot—if not as accurately as those designated musketeers—so a valuable firearm could be kept in the firing line. His infantrymen and gunners were taught to ride, if needed. Napoleon thought highly of the achievement, and copied the tactics.

    Reengineering
    Gustavus Adolphus was a very forward thinking military engineer. He reengineered the way in which his army worked, with simple innovations that proved devastating to his adversaries.

    One example of this was the Swedish cavalry system. Cavalry had been pushed to the fringes of military worth and had been largely neutralized by the Spanish tercios. They were being ineffectively used to charge the enemy front or flank, fire broadsides with pistols and muskets and then retreat to reload and reform. However, Gustavus Adolphus used light cannons (reengineered to have 3 standard calibers, one of which was eventually called "The Regimental Cannon,") along with muskets to eliminate enemy pikemen, then the cavalry would swoop in and cut through enemy lines with sabers.
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Events that changed History.......gosh, thats harder than it looks. I guess it will be dictated by the juxtaposition that the person is coming from. Being a western European, I am obviously going to take either a euro centric and /or an American centric view of the world. For me, events in China, or Japan or the red Indian nations are not as important except when they interact with the west. But here are a few suggestions

    1) The Greek wars against the Persians allowed the seeds of our western civilization and values to survive.

    2) The rise of the Roman Empire, disseminated those ideas throughout Europe, and from there eventually the world

    3) The signing of Magna Carta, the first steps toward constitutional monarchy and the denial of the divine rights of kings

    4) The victory of the Parliamentary forces in the English Civil War, cemented the primacy of parliament over the monarchy.

    5) The American declaration of independance and the victory over the British. The first step itowards the ending of colonialism and the codification of Civil rights in western society. Formed the basis of civil rights and the rule of law for most advanaced western socieities ever since

    6) The Industrial Revolution - transformed societies from an agrarian based economy to an urban based economy and from that all manner of of explosions in technology and learning food production, medicine etc.

    7) The wars of Napoleon Introduced a reality check for the world. Drove home to the modern world that wars were total, and brutal, and not the plaything of Kings and nobles

    8) The victory of the Union Forces over the Confederacy. Confirmed and saved the Union and destryed the last bastions of slavery in the most advanaced copuntries of the west. Slavery lives toi this day, but it is no longer accepted as a legitiimate institution in the progressive western nations that lead the world

    9) WWI Exposed and affirmed to the world the hoorors and basic pointlessness of modern warfare. It also shaped Europe to more or less what is today, with the exception of the Soviet Union.

    10) WWII. Many things. The first true global conflict. Established American primacy in the world....the Pax Americana. Massive changes in society (women in the workforce, worldwide industry, the breaking out of control away from just Europe). Exposed some very deep and very nasty prejudices within European society and particualalry Central and Eastern Europe. Massive changes in technology, including nuclear weapons (which have prevented a general descent into chaos and made total war a virtually obsolete concept), brought many colonial nations into maturity as they realized that not all things good had to be European or western. Saw the world for once (and never since sadly) unite to defeat a common enemy and a common evil, and saw the first unsuccessful attempts at a world governing body, and introduced the first wobbly steps towards international law, which has in turn led to all sorts of cross border arrangements like the EU, womens rights, human rights and multi national treaties that are stable and consensus based (to a degree)
     
  3. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I would add the voyages of Columbus, Magellen and Vasco de Gama.
     
  5. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    French revolution too.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    At the risk of sounding trite or stating the obvious.........all of them.
    Steve
     
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