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Old 10-20-2017, 06:12 PM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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General Guderian influenced by stydy of operations of Stonewall Jackson?

I am just now reading a book titled ALONE by Michael Korda published by Liveright Publishing, a division of W. W. Norton Copyright 2017 by Success Research Corp.

This book is about the period between the Munich agreement and the beginning of Winston Churchill becoming PM. It is also comparing and contrasting the evolution in thought, and how the use of armored fighting vehicles was being envisioned.

Now here's quote I am interested in, I am curious to read what folks on the Dope have to say about

Quoted under the fair use doctrine: "His (Gurderian's) model was the great Thomas J "Stonewall" Jackson, whose Shenandoah Valley Campaign (US Civil War)
in 1862 provided the inspiration for German armored warfare tactictians."

Korda doen'the provide a cite for that statement. A brief search of the internet doesn't find anything to substantiate this statement.

I am interested in the factuality of the statement. I believe I know the history of the invasion of France and the tactis and operational aspects of the three oponents aout as well as any non-specialist.

Please don't bring other personalities, battle maneuvers, war plans, disposition of forces, relative logistic capacities, state of readiness and training, morale and equipment; armored vechicials, non-armored, airborne, artillery mobility etc. In to the discussion. None of those things bear on the the question raised by the
quotation.

Thanks to all who choose to reply.

Zuer-coli

Last edited by zuer-coli; 10-20-2017 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Corrected typos, couldn't correct the misspelling in the title
  #2  
Old 10-20-2017, 06:59 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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It figures Nazis would find Rebs a kindred spirit.

Also, they both lost like fuck! Just goes to show.
  #3  
Old 10-20-2017, 07:12 PM
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Now now, Johanna, many of the Nazis and Confederates were wonderful people.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:34 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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I don't see a lot of connections between the two campaigns.

Jackson's forces were mainly infantry, which meant they theoretically were slower than cavalry. Jackson maintained initiative by maneuvering his forces in surprising directions and attacking in unexpected locations. Guderian's forces were based around tanks. His forces could travel faster than infantry. So he didn't have to rely on the kind of surprise maneuvers Jackson did.

There were also substantial strategic differences between their campaigns. Jackson's campaign was basically a raid. He was supposed to head up into the valley and scare the American forces so they would divert troops away from Lee's main army. There was no follow-up planned for Jackson's campaign. Guderian's campaign was designed to be the central part of a war-winning strategy. His forces were supposed to get behind the French and Allied forces and cut them off from their supply lines. By separating the military units from their support, both would be left vulnerable. Both campaigns succeeded in their goals.

One major factor that did link the two campaigns was they both relied on superior geographic knowledge. Jackson was able to outmaneuver the American forces because he knew the local territory better; he was able to travel by roads and paths that the Americans didn't know existed. And a key part of Guderian's campaign was the knowledge that he could launch his attack through the Ardennes forest, which the French mistakenly believed was uncrossable by armored units.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:31 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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I know that the US Civil War was studied intently by the German General Staff when preparing for World War I, and that Guderian would almost certainly have studied Jackson's campaign as part of his education. I don't know of anything supporting the idea that it was the inspiration for German armored warfare operations in WW2, they really seem to draw on Prussian tradition than anything else. I would suspect that if want to track down a source, look in Liddel Hart's work, especially "Stratgey: The indirect approach" and "The German Generals Speak". I wouldn't rely on Hart, he seemed to mythologize the German Generals and "The German Generals Speak" has a lot of material from Wermacht generals presented uncritically that completely contradicts their own paper records. But he seems like the kind of writer that would have made a statement like that if anyone did, and might either be the source or have a better lead on the source.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:53 PM
Andy L Andy L is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuer-coli View Post
I am just now reading a book titled ALONE by Michael Korda published by Liveright Publishing, a division of W. W. Norton Copyright 2017 by Success Research Corp.

This book is about the period between the Munich agreement and the beginning of Winston Churchill becoming PM. It is also comparing and contrasting the evolution in thought, and how the use of armored fighting vehicles was being envisioned.

Now here's quote I am interested in, I am curious to read what folks on the Dope have to say about

Quoted under the fair use doctrine: "His (Gurderian's) model was the great Thomas J "Stonewall" Jackson, whose Shenandoah Valley Campaign (US Civil War)
in 1862 provided the inspiration for German armored warfare tactictians."

Korda doen'the provide a cite for that statement. A brief search of the internet doesn't find anything to substantiate this statement.

I am interested in the factuality of the statement. I believe I know the history of the invasion of France and the tactis and operational aspects of the three oponents aout as well as any non-specialist.

Please don't bring other personalities, battle maneuvers, war plans, disposition of forces, relative logistic capacities, state of readiness and training, morale and equipment; armored vechicials, non-armored, airborne, artillery mobility etc. In to the discussion. None of those things bear on the the question raised by the
quotation.

Thanks to all who choose to reply.

Zuer-coli
I have seen a related claim in fiction; in Turtledove's "How Few Remain" (an alternate history in which the South has won the Civil War), von Schlieffen is studying in 1890, Lee's successful assault on DC; Turtledove might be twisting a real relationship between Jackson and Guderian into his fictional one between von Schlieffen and Lee.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:52 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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The one Civil War General(besides obviously Grant) that the German’s studied was Nathan Bedford Forrest. Otherwise, Moltke the Elder was famously dismissive of it.
  #8  
Old 10-21-2017, 10:46 AM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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Pantastic,

Please provide a site for statement re: Germans studied U.S. Civil War intensively.

AK84,

Please provide a site for your making an exception for Grant. Your statement about Von Moltke the elder is true, as far as I am aware it holds true for the entire Civil War.

Note to all: I don't read German, all my information about German (and Nazi) activities is filtered through secondary sources, all written in English.

Zuer-coli
  #9  
Old 10-21-2017, 10:57 AM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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I regret, I neglected to provide a link to Gen. Guderian's Wikipedia entry: en.m.Wikipedia.org/Heinz_Guderian. Apparently hand copying a link does not create one,

Zuer-coli
  #10  
Old 10-21-2017, 11:20 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuer-coli View Post
I don't read German, all my information about German (and Nazi) activities is filtered through secondary sources, all written in English.
I checked yesterday to see if Guderian's book, Achtung Panzer, contained references to Jackson. I'm surprised to find the book is apparently not in the public domain. At least, nobody has posted it online.

Maybe it's the English translations. I did find one site that had the original German text online. But I don't read German.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuer-coli View Post
I regret, I neglected to provide a link to Gen. Guderian's Wikipedia entry: en.m.Wikipedia.org/Heinz_Guderian. Apparently hand copying a link does not create one
It's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinz_Guderian
  #11  
Old 10-22-2017, 11:22 AM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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Little Nemo,

Thank you for providing that link.

I think there must be a way to create links on an Android device like this Samsung Galaxy Surface Pro, but I has never figured out how to do that. I reckon I should be using my PC to browse the Dope, currently it is the only site I post to.

Zuer-coli
  #12  
Old 10-22-2017, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by zuer-coli View Post
Please provide a site for statement re: Germans studied U.S. Civil War intensively.
I didn't get it from a web site in the first place, I'm not going to create a site or try to find whether it's on one. If you want a cite for an offhand comment that is just background for my main statement, no thanks. I'm writing a quick message board post not an academic paper, and finding cites for minor comments is massively more work than I want to dedicate to it. If you don't think that the German General staff studied the US civil war then you're welcome to continue your search using that belief, I doubt any cite that I could find would shake it.
  #13  
Old 10-22-2017, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I checked yesterday to see if Guderian's book, Achtung Panzer, contained references to Jackson.
I have the book and Jackson is not mentioned in the index or the bibliography.
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2017, 02:32 PM
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The one Civil War General(besides obviously Grant) that the Germanís studied was Nathan Bedford Forrest. Otherwise, Moltke the Elder was famously dismissive of it.
Sheridan was sent to observe the Franco-Prussian war and he was received as a distinguished guess by the King and heads of the army. They were very familiar with the Civil War and were rightly appreciative of Sheridan.
  #15  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:30 PM
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Sheridan was sent to observe the Franco-Prussian war and he was received as a distinguished guess by the King and heads of the army.
Sheridan isn't noted either. There are no American works referenced in the bibliography and neither Americans nor American battles appear to be in the index. Indeed, going by those, he seems to ignore America completely.
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  #16  
Old 10-24-2017, 12:27 PM
puddleglum puddleglum is offline
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Sheridan isn't noted either. There are no American works referenced in the bibliography and neither Americans nor American battles appear to be in the index. Indeed, going by those, he seems to ignore America completely.
Guderian's ideas were a combination of Moltke and Fuller. Moltke was mostly influenced by Frederick the Great, but he also paid attention to the Civil War which was one of the reasons the Franco-Prussian war was so lopsided. Guderian would have been influenced by civil war generals second hand through Moltke.
  #17  
Old 10-24-2017, 02:12 PM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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Pamtastic,

You are the one who made the statement in your post 5: "I know that the US Civil War was studied intently by the German General Staff when preparing for World War I, and that Guderian would almost certainly have studied Jackson's campaign as part of his education." Since I am not aware of any such information, it is entirely reasonable to request the source of your information. Your post 12, where you say: "If you want a cite for an offhand comment that is just background for my main statement" Just confirms that the statement claiming knowledge of an influence that may or may not exist, is irrefutable on the basis of the information or lack thereof that you present. What it does do is add the air of the lack of credibility.

If you now provide a cite that supports you statement, I will acknowledge that I have been wrong.

Your main point that the prior experience of the German Army (Von Moltke the elder) along with the writings of Fuller and Hart is as far as I have read entirely correct.

Zuer-coli

Last edited by zuer-coli; 10-24-2017 at 02:14 PM. Reason: added user name
  #18  
Old 10-24-2017, 02:21 PM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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Pamtastic,

You are the one who made the statement in your post 5: "I know that the US Civil War was studied intently by the German General Staff when preparing for World War I, and that Guderian would almost certainly have studied Jackson's campaign as part of his education." Since I am not aware of any such information, it is entirely reasonable to request the source of your information. Your post 12, where you say: "If you want a cite for an offhand comment that is just background for my main statement" Just confirms that the statement claiming knowledge of an influence that may or may not exist, is irrefutable on the basis of the information or lack thereof that you present. What it does do is add the air of the lack of credibility.

If you now provide a cite that supports you statement, I will acknowledge that I have been wrong.

Your main point that the prior experience of the German Army (Von Moltke the elder) along with the writings of Fuller and Hart is as far as I have read entirely correct.
  #19  
Old 10-24-2017, 02:58 PM
Pantastic Pantastic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuer-coli View Post
Since I am not aware of any such information, it is entirely reasonable to request the source of your information.
And as this is a message board and not something I'm getting paid to do, it's perfectly reasonable for me not to try to track down cites of information that I gathered years and decades ago from reading multiple sources that I don't specifically remember (and likely don't have access to now) to support an offhand comment that doesn't significantly affect the main point. If operating under the assumption that Guderian would not have been exposed to the study of US Civil War actions as part of his training makes you happy, then go forth and continue your search under that assumption.

Quote:
What it does do is add the air of the lack of credibility.
And what I will do is not lose one minute of sleep over whether some random on a message board who responds to my suggestion of where to look for information by demanding that I do extensive research to support an offhand comment considers me credible or not. I offered a suggestion as a favor to you, not because I'm obliged to convince you of anything.
  #20  
Old 10-25-2017, 04:44 PM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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Pantastic,

It appears that we are at an irreconcilable impasse. It seems futile to continue in the vein we have been. Therefor I suggest we agree to disagree and walk away.

Zuer-coli
  #21  
Old 10-26-2017, 04:37 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuer-coli View Post
Pantastic,

Please provide a site for statement re: Germans studied U.S. Civil War intensively.
I doubt a cite will be found.

That said it is common practice when in military school and learning tactics and strategy to study previously fought battles (for instance I doubt you could find a general in any military anywhere who couldn't tell you about the Battle of Cannae in 286 BC). There is no reason to neglect to study US Civil War battles. There were some brilliant battles in there well worth learning for aspiring military commanders.
  #22  
Old 10-26-2017, 04:43 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
...the Battle of Cannae in 286 BC).
Bad memory...missed edit window.

216 BC is the correct date.

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-26-2017 at 04:44 PM.
  #23  
Old 10-26-2017, 05:32 PM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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Wack-a-mole,

I agree that it is common for militaries to study the action of other militaries, I don't believe that point is in dispute.

My hope was to find if the statement in Micheal Korda's book that I quoted in my OP had a basis in fact or not. Focusing narrowly on that point, the preponderance of evidence suggests that it's not factual.

It must be emphasized that new evidence comes to light very frequently and must be weighed and considered when examining any event. Historical events have frequently looked different after previously unavailable information came to light.

People are entitled to believe what they want, but a reasonable person should weigh as many data points as they can get. A data point that does not agree with the majority of data points available, is still valuable. I think most folk would recognize that there are many different interpretations or accounts of various events. These different interpretations / accounts are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

It's clear to me that the times where I can claim to be reasonable are more sparse than I care to admit.

Thanks For the reply, please understand that I am venting to a large extent.

I don't wish to reprise the discussion between Pantastic and myself, at this point as it can't lead to any fruitful result.

Zuer-coli
  #24  
Old 10-27-2017, 07:25 AM
griffin1977 griffin1977 is offline
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Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
I doubt a cite will be found.

That said it is common practice when in military school and learning tactics and strategy to study previously fought battles (for instance I doubt you could find a general in any military anywhere who couldn't tell you about the Battle of Cannae in 286 BC). There is no reason to neglect to study US Civil War battles. There were some brilliant battles in there well worth learning for aspiring military commanders.
I'd have trouble believing a cite wouldn't exist somewhere, more has been written about the WW2 generals like Guderian than any other military leaders in history (with the possible exception of some ancient generals like Caesar and Alexander). I'd have real trouble believing that if he studied Stonewall Jackson no evidence exists for it.

Also, how well studied were the US Civil War Battles in the Europe military prior to WW1? Isn't saying they must have been studied a case of 20-20 hindsight. Now we know that the US went on to be the pre-eminent military power, and that the tactics of the civil war were a foreshadowing of modern industrial warfare. But in 1907 that would they (especially to a proud Prussian officer corp) be considered anything other than an unpleasant civil war that happened decades ago on the other side of the globe?

Last edited by griffin1977; 10-27-2017 at 07:26 AM.
  #25  
Old 10-27-2017, 02:41 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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I think a lot of military people studied the American Civil War in the years before WWI because there had been a relative dearth of wars to study. After the Napoleonic wars, if you eliminate political struggles and wars against "natives", you're left with the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, the Prussian Wars, the Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the American Civil War.
  #26  
Old 10-27-2017, 04:57 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin1977 View Post
I'd have trouble believing a cite wouldn't exist somewhere, more has been written about the WW2 generals like Guderian than any other military leaders in history (with the possible exception of some ancient generals like Caesar and Alexander). I'd have real trouble believing that if he studied Stonewall Jackson no evidence exists for it.
I doubt the minutiae of what Guderian studied in school is worth recording for the future. I think it would only be mentioned that he studied Jackson if Jackson's tactic/strategies were prominent in forming how he approached battle tactics. If they are not prominent that does not mean the lessons to be learned are unimportant to him, just not of particular note.

Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 10-27-2017 at 05:00 PM.
  #27  
Old 10-27-2017, 06:03 PM
zuer-coli zuer-coli is offline
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Here is a link to what Wikipedia has to say.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussi...ican_Civil_War

It appears that I principally remembered the Von Moltke quote. The Wikipedia article strongly suggests the quote is spurious.

So. To Pantastic if you are still following this thread. I was wrong about the extent the Prussians / Imperial Germany studied the U.S. Civil War. I apologize for my intransigence in that regard.

Zuer-coli.
  #28  
Old 10-27-2017, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
The one Civil War General(besides obviously Grant) that the Germanís studied was Nathan Bedford Forrest. Otherwise, Moltke the Elder was famously dismissive of it.
Cite? I doubt it. Until the neo-confederates and apologists started making up crap about that 3rd rate general, due solely as a "dog whistle" for their fellow KKK sympathizers, few had heard of him.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:16 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I checked yesterday to see if Guderian's book, Achtung Panzer, contained references to Jackson. I'm surprised to find the book is apparently not in the public domain. At least, nobody has posted it online.

Maybe it's the English translations. I did find one site that had the original German text online. But I don't read German.


It's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinz_Guderian
https://www.amazon.com/Achtung-Panze...achtung+panzer
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:00 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is online now
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Cite? I doubt it. Until the neo-confederates and apologists started making up crap about that 3rd rate general, due solely as a "dog whistle" for their fellow KKK sympathizers, few had heard of him.
While there is a citation in the following I have not been able to verify the source. So, FWIW:

Quote:
In regard to Sherman's actions in Georgia, Prussian general Helmuth von Moltke said that "an armed mob" had nothing of value to be learned from. In response, Sherman compared Moltke to an "ass".[6] There is some evidence this story is somewhat apocryphal since Sherman appearing before the Mixed Commission of American and British Claims (1871) has been quoted as saying "Moltke was never fool enough to say that. I have seen Moltke in person; I did not presume to ask him the question because I did not presume he was such an ass to say that. The Prussian army learned many a lesson and profited from them by our war and their officers were prompt to acknowledge it."

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussi...ican_Civil_War
  #31  
Old 10-28-2017, 12:26 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
While there is a citation in the following I have not been able to verify the source. So, FWIW:
Well, I read the oxford History of the Civil war, so I can assume they werent Neo-Confederates. NBF was mentioned, once, in a list of three great cavalry raiders. Which, indeed he was - a damn good cavalry raider. Terrible general when in charge of a army, but very good when allowed to go off on his own and raid.
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:07 AM
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Well, I read the oxford History of the Civil war, so I can assume they werent Neo-Confederates. NBF was mentioned, once, in a list of three great cavalry raiders. Which, indeed he was - a damn good cavalry raider. Terrible general when in charge of a army, but very good when allowed to go off on his own and raid.
I'm not quite certain I understand your attitude towards Forrest.

Leaving aside social, political, or moral questions, he was an extremely good tactician. I don't think I've seen even a single reputable historian who didn't acknowledge his top-flight, and self-taught, ability in the field. Further, the man was never in charge of an army, or even a corps as far as I could find. He racked up one of the winning-est records in command, although not without controversy and scandal. Today, Forrest tends to be remembered for racism and the Fort Pillow Massacre, or failing that for his raids (which legitimately changed the course of campaigns). But even in the purely military field then he utterly demolished multiple Union commands larger and better-equipped than his own.
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Old 10-28-2017, 01:17 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
I'm not quite certain I understand your attitude towards Forrest.

Leaving aside social, political, or moral questions, he was an extremely good tactician. I don't think I've seen even a single reputable historian who didn't acknowledge his top-flight, and self-taught, ability in the field. Further, the man was never in charge of an army, or even a corps as far as I could find. He racked up one of the winning-est records in command, although not without controversy and scandal. Today, Forrest tends to be remembered for racism and the Fort Pillow Massacre, or failing that for his raids (which legitimately changed the course of campaigns). But even in the purely military field then he utterly demolished multiple Union commands larger and better-equipped than his own.
No. He was not.

When he was the commander of a mixed force, trying to do something strategic, he was, in general, a failure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tupelo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_...f_Murfreesboro

He did win:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Pillow

but that was a minor skirmish (he outnumbered the Union 2500 to 600), and a massacre, where NBF ordered him men to kill all the Black soldiers, and personally killed at least one.

But yes, when given the chance to do a cavalry raid, he did very well.

Most historians ignore NBF except as a raider.
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