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Thread: Custer's Last Stand

  1. #1
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Smile Custer's Last Stand

    Let us retain a moment of silence about what happened on the 25th of June 1876.

    "The battle of Little Big Horn, known to many as 'Custer's Last Stand', was in the words of General Terry, 'a sad and terrible blunder.' The operation's aim was to force the Indians back to the reservations and back under Federal control. The Americans planned to do this by encircling the Indians with three columns of troops, led by Generals Crook and Terry, and Colonel Gibbon. The campaign of Little Big Horn, however, was doomed to fail from the beginning. The column led by General Crook was stopped almost immediately, and after a severe mauling fell back to its supply base. Custer, commanding the 7th US Cavalry Regiment under the leadership of Terry, disobeyed his orders and followed a trail left by a large number of ponies towards the Little Big Horn. On the morning of 25 June he encountered a large camp of Indians. Splitting his command into three groups and failing to assess the strength of the Indian force, Custer attacked, with disastrous consequences. By 6pm 210 troopers of the US 7th Cavalry regiments and Custer were dead. On 26 June the Sioux and their allies followed up their success by travelling upstream and attacking Reno, Custer's second-in-command. Reno's command, the remainder of the regiment, suffered a further 47 casualties. General Terry and Colonel Gibbon reached the remains of the camp the following day."

    In my opinion, he's a complete idiot....
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  2. #2
    Crusading historian Member cegorach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    I certainly agree

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    Bringing down the vulgaroisie Member King Henry V's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    A vain and self-centered idiot, only after personal glory...........
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    Master of useless knowledge Senior Member Kitten Shooting Champion, Eskiv Champion Ironside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    He proved quite well that fame has nothing to do with competance.
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    Ditto.

  6. #6
    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    Custer was an idiot. Good for the tribes that killed him, I say.

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    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    Custer hmmm..Id say he had many talents to be a wery bad Cavalry Commander and he succeeded in that.But what about The Grazy Horse and Sitting Bull it seems to me that they really knew what they were doing ambushing 7th Cavalry.
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  8. #8
    Aristotle, Chadalac Muskalaid Member Muska Burnt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    i think custer deserved it he wasn't a here he was at that tribe to do what he always did go to some indians and kill and rape them but this time he was met by a couple thousand indians and got his butt kicked so sorry but i wont take part in the moment of silence

  9. #9
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    I will take a moment in silence for the Indians.

    Darwin award goes to Custer.
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    Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder Member Steppe Merc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    I saw a TV special about Custer, and boy was he stupid. He decided to split his troops, he didn't put reinforcments were it was needed, and he ignored his Native guides and translators.
    It also looks like the Natives outgunned him. They had the newest repeater rifles from traders and the like while the army was stuck with the standard issue stuff that only fired one bullet at a time. And of course they couldn't ride nearly as well.

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  11. #11
    Shadow Senior Member Kagemusha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    Maybe this is off topic but i think that it wasnt only Custers Last Stand at Little BigHorn but in my mind it was also glorious last stand of the Natives of the Great Plains of America.
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  12. #12
    Member Member Auctoritas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    One exceedingly minor point: It wasn't splitting his troops that was the cataclysmic error for General Custer. After all, Robert E. Lee did that particular maneuver to great effect in a couple of instances during the American Civil War.
    It was splitting his troops without having the opposition's location fixed that got him his his a** handed to him.




    Just a minor point of order from a very, very minor amateur historian...
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    Alienated Senior Member Member Red Harvest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    I don't think the battle description is accurate. Custer had Reno's smaller force attack first to create panic and drive the Indians (that was the plan.) Custer was to come charging in from the flank/rear to seal the victory. Of course Reno was so vastly outnumbered that his attack bogged down immediately and he dismounted his men. Custer *might* have had a chance to do something had he attacked as Reno bogged down, but he didn't. Instead, according to various Indians who were there, he left Reno to his own fate rather than engaging. As it was, Reno retreated and was able to survive and link up with Benteen's detachment and the pack train. Custer, now separated on a hill to the rear of the camp was the one who ended up being overwhelmed. After finishing off Custer the Indians harried Benteen/Reno for some time.

    Custer's attack was a surprise, he was not ambushed. However, he was outnumbered ~10 to 1 even before he divided his force. It was typical of Custer's style in the American Civil War. His regiments suffered some of the heaviest casualty rates of the war. He got results because of his boldness in attacking (including killing J.E.B. Stuart at Yellow Tavern if memory serves), but his men paid a heavy price for it during the ACW. At the Little Big Horn, his overconfidence finally cost him his life.

    My sympathy in this is with the Indians. They were victims of racial superiority concepts and colonialism by the European settlers. Agreements with the Indians were regularly made and always broken by land hungry settlers. Eventually the native americans were systematically hunted down and "pacified." The atrocities were many.
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    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    After having just spent about 4 days traveling through Navajoland (reservation) on my Arizona holiday, learning a little about their past and culture and seeing their current living conditions, I find I have no sympathy whatsoever for Custer and I'm saddened by the things we did to these amazing people. There is much to admire in the Navajo (among others) culture, their knowledge of the land, and their arts and crafts. Theirs was a proud past that contrasts with their present. I saw far too many run-down looking mobile homes in the Navajo lands to feel good about their standard of living. Yet, despite that, I saw many post-9/11 type signs on the road sides of their villages: "Support our troops." I was a little surprised about the "our" in those signs. I wish I'd had the chance to talk to a Navajo to understand how they feel about their past, their present and their feelings about the USA - and that "our".

    Sorry for the slight diversion, but the discussion of Custer struck a chord with my recent personal experiences. It is one thing to read about these events, but seeing the places and the results really brings the point home.
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  15. #15
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    Well, let me put it this way. In 1917/-18, pretty much right off the bat after breaking off from the rapidly collapsing Russian Empire, we Finns went and fought a short but quite brutal civil war, "Whites" versus "Reds", and the death toll was pretty high relative to the national head count of the time. That much of the dying were due to the way the victorious "Whites" treated the other side right after the actual conflict didn't help any, and to this day I can virtually quarantee every Finn knows which side his or her forebears fought on (mine were Reds).

    Fast-forward some twenty years, and the (often fatherless) sons of the Reds were right in the front lines with everyone else fighting desperately to save the Fatherland from the invading Soviet juggernaut - which incidentally made much use of those Red refugees who'd fled over the border and were still alive after Stalin's little purging sprees...

    Go figure.

    That aside, Custer probably wasn't either stupid or incompetent. More like a rash glory hog, and obviously he underestimated his foes although the sheer numbers alone should've been enough to wise him up a little. I'd actually hazard a guess he'dgotten so used to the relatively routine-like way the Army demolished Indian camps (converging attack by separate colums was actually often something of a necessity, just to keep them from saddling up and going away) that he just sort of assumed this gig would go like the rest of them.

    Mind you, rash, brave and not overly clever cavalry commanders have their uses - just ask Napoleon about Murat. It's just that they probably shouldn't be promoted above their abilities and generally need a little steering so as not to do something stupid and screw things up (like Murat apparently did at Waterloo by breaking his cavalry on the British hill positions)...
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    ok ive been to the location of the battle of greasy grass(what the indians called little bighorn)you could literally hide an army in those foot hills.rifle pits dug by (cant remember his name,but he had the other command that managed to get away later).plus 600 vs. 6000.......geee wonder who will win.custer MUST have been racist as to belive that 1 of his men was worth 600 indians.and imagine he was(brevet) brigadier general in civil war(rank may be wrong).
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Custer's Last Stand

    Probably not a racist, at least meaningfully more so than his contemporaries. Let's remember that what he had were trained, disciplined regular troops against certainly fierce and brave but ultimately irregular tribal warriors.

    Want to ask the Romans how much straight military arithmetic actually matters in those equations ? 'Course it was a bit different with firearms involved, but still.

    I've gotten the impression his main bungle was not realizing in time that the other column had been thrown back and the Indians were now moving against his suddenly very lonely command en masse, and in a rather bigger mass than he'd anticipated too.

    'Course, he might also have been plain caught off guard, panicked and started making very stupid decisions. That's nothing particularly new in warfare.
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