Me: "Well then."This led to “Zouave” regiments in the American Civil War being formed around Napoleonic reenactors because they were the only ones with skill at musket drills
Hopefully @Coiler can remember where he got that trivia from. I will say he sent me this article a while back so he might not.I've been looking since yesterday and I really can't find anything about it. I'm honestly not even sure if Napoleonic reenactment was a thing in the US by the 1860s.
That sounds like it. "Reenactor" seems like something of a stretch, so I'm guessing whoever first used that term kind of took "wore the uniforms and behaved similarly" into an anachronistic term.Like the 11th New York infantry does seem to have been formed around Ellsworth's Zouave Cadets who were a touring military drill team who performed in front of audiences and at ceremonies, but they weren't reenactors, just militia whose officer admired the French a lot and used that imitation of uniforms to get some attention.
The Mahdist wars are particularly stark examples of this, too. In that the British officer class were a constant in all the battles but sometimes they were giving orders to green egyptian conscripts whose reaction to having their formations broken was to panic and collapse and sometimes they were giving orders to british veterans who could reform and adapt, result being the sudanese found themselves trapped by the counter attack.One example of the effects such scratch divisions being deployed before they were ready can be seen on 1 July, 1916.
The British Generals (especially Haig) had wanted to delay use of the "Kitchener" divisions to give them chance to get more acclimatised and trained, and to build up greater stocks of shells such that a hurricane barrage was possible. Political considerations meant that they were overruled, and ordered to commit the units on that date. (In addition, Haig wanted any attack to be further north, on ground more suited to an attack by troops with such modest abilities. Again, he was overruled, because of the perceived need to support the French at Verdun).
The result was almost inevitable. The British troops simply didn't have the training to do much more than they did, which was to advance in a tactically innocent way, and take huge casualties as a consequence.
Essentially, that's what happens when you deploy troops that haven't been properly trained. The Americans learned the same lesson at Kasserine Pass in 1943.
Later still, in 1982, we see an example of trained troops coming up against inadequately trained conscripts, and the outcome there was - as far as the ground-fighting was concerned - all too predictable.
Which included planes, tanks and artillery as I recall, though tinged partly by the fact that if the French and Brits provided that, that was some space freed on the convoys through the Atlantic for stuff they badly needed that couldn't be produced in Europe. There was already the issue of shifting one to two million people from the US to France, if their kit was included, the Allies were breaking into cold sweat over what that would do to tonnage.Much of the equipment and uniforms supplied to the AEF in the early months came from the French.
It's a thing on which Bret Devereaux hammers often, and how militaries which are built in defiance of that often underperform dramatically or even collapse, like the recent Afghan example, and probably a number of Arabic countries' military where the model used just didn't fit with the society.There's an article (or several) in that; how the Saxon forces differed entirely from the Norman forces, and so on.
If I remember right, the Reichswehr of the Weimar era knew that acutely, so they trained every member to be able to operate two ranks above their nominal one, so that when the 100,000-men limitation of the Versailles treaty would be broken, the army could expand very, very fast.As the article points out, cadre is key (junior officers and senior NCOs). Senior officers are moving tokens around, and don't actually deal with soldiering; ordinary soldiers stand around looking confused until told what to do.
Right, it's why the contemporary Iraqi Army is IIRC a much more capable force than the same army during the initial fight against ISIS.It's a thing on which Bret Devereaux hammers often, and how militaries which are built in defiance of that often underperform dramatically or even collapse, like the recent Afghan example, and probably a number of Arabic countries' military where the model used just didn't fit with the society.