History Main / WeHAveReserves

12th Sep '17 2:01:17 PM Frankencastle
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* In the US Civil War, Union General Grant was accused of this, being given the appellation "Butcher" Grant by some on the Union side after his high-casualty battles in Virginia. But he didn't spend his men needlessly (and deeply mourned the battle of Cold Harbour, the one high-casualty battle that was genuinely pointless), and was distinguished from previous Union generals by ''advancing'' after high-casualty battles rather than retreating, something which made the men happy because they could see they were actually making progress.

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* In the US Civil War, Union General Grant was accused of this, being given the appellation "Butcher" Grant by some on the Union side after his high-casualty battles in Virginia. But he didn't spend his men needlessly (and deeply mourned the battle of Cold Harbour, Harbor, the one high-casualty battle that was genuinely pointless), and was distinguished from previous Union generals by ''advancing'' after high-casualty battles rather than retreating, something which made the men happy because they could see they were actually making progress.



* Some WWI commanders would shoot those attempting to retreat without orders, or who refused to go over the trenches. It was a sort of preemptive punishment for treason. Although the number of men so shot is grossly overexaggerated, there were men who were under ''two'' suspended sentences of death for desertion or sleeping at their posts.

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* Some WWI commanders would shoot those attempting to retreat without orders, or who refused to go over the trenches. It was a sort of preemptive punishment for treason. Although the number of men so shot is grossly overexaggerated, over-exaggerated, there were men who were under ''two'' suspended sentences of death for desertion or sleeping at their posts.



* The US did a kind of this in WWII where they sent out stupid amounts of ''ships'', as quoted "the US built more ships than Japan could sink" which was meant [[NotHyperbole literally]]. The sailors would be pulled out of the water and sent to crew new ships. This variant of the trope was less reprehensible than others, though many sailors of course did die. Of course, the the US and its allies certainly did not neglect defending those ships as best as they could from enemy attack while they were at this, which included also building fighting ships as fast as they could to do so.

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* The US did a kind of this in WWII where they sent out stupid amounts of ''ships'', as quoted "the US built more ships than Japan could sink" which was meant [[NotHyperbole literally]]. The sailors would be pulled out of the water and sent to crew new ships. This variant of the trope was less reprehensible than others, though many sailors of course did die. Of course, the the US and its allies certainly did not neglect defending those ships as best as they could from enemy attack while they were at this, which included also building fighting ships as fast as they could to do so.



* There was a similar example with the M4 Sherman. While by 1944 it was destroyed relatively easy by German anti-tank guns, it had much better crew surviveability than comparable German or Soviet tanks, so the crew would typically escape and then be issued a new tank. Things got even better once the more durable Easy Eight and Jumbo variants were deployed.
* The cargo carrying Liberty ships were the best example of this. Designed to be built fast and in huge numbers, it was said if one carried a single load of war material across the Atlantic it had paid for itself. So much emphasis was put on building them ''quickly'', that it wasn't unheard of for welds in the hulls (welding was used in place of riveting because it was faster) to split open in bad weather even without the aid of the enemy. It was calculated the lifespan of a Liberty ship would be 20 Atlantic crossings, so once having made one she had paid herself and the rest 19 would be net profits. Amazingly, many Liberty ships still served in revenue transportation in the 1970s. Two of them are still functional as museum/training ships.

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* There was a similar example with the M4 Sherman. While by 1944 it was destroyed relatively easy by German anti-tank guns, it had much better crew surviveability survivability than comparable German or Soviet tanks, so the crew would typically escape and then be issued a new tank. Things got even better once the more durable Easy Eight and Jumbo variants were deployed.
* The cargo carrying Liberty ships were the best example of this. Designed to be built fast and in huge numbers, it was said if one carried a single load of war material across the Atlantic it had paid for itself. So much emphasis was put on building them ''quickly'', that it wasn't unheard of for welds in the hulls (welding was used in place of riveting because it was faster) to split open in bad weather even without the aid of the enemy. It was calculated the lifespan of a Liberty ship would be 20 Atlantic crossings, so once having made one she had paid herself and the rest 19 would be net profits. Amazingly, many Liberty ships still served in revenue transportation in the 1970s.1970's. Two of them are still functional as museum/training ships.



* The American daylight bombing campaign proved to be staggeringly expensive in terms of human life lost. The Eighth Air Force, which gets most of the spotlight for the air war over Europe, suffered 46,000 casualties, including more than 26,000 airmen killed in action (more lives lost than the entire [[SemperFi US Marine Corps in that war]], although in contrast to the Airmen, the Marines didn't charge en masse into enemy artillery fire as a matter of course). In addition to the 8th AF, the less-famous Fifteenth Air Force, operating out of Italy, also suffered severe casualties pressing their daylight bombing campaign in southern and eastern Europe throughout the war.

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* The American daylight bombing campaign proved to be staggeringly expensive in terms of human life lost. The Eighth Air Force, which gets most of the spotlight for the air war over Europe, suffered 46,000 casualties, including more than 26,000 airmen killed in action (more lives lost than the entire [[SemperFi US Marine Corps in that war]], although in contrast to the Airmen, the Marines didn't charge en masse mass into enemy artillery fire as a matter of course). In addition to the 8th AF, the less-famous Fifteenth Air Force, operating out of Italy, also suffered severe casualties pressing their daylight bombing campaign in southern and eastern Europe throughout the war.



* During the First Gulf War, the USA's one-time (Cold-War) Ally Generalissimo Saddam Hussein believed that a lesson from the Vietnam War was that the USA (who formed the backbone of the U.N. taskforce to force him back from The Kingdom Of Kuwait) wouldn't support a war that would cost them 10,000 casualites. He, meanwhile had hundreds of thousands to spare and none of his subjects could protest the attrition. For one thing he thought that the U.N. would obey the letter of international law and seek to only engage him in Kuwait (they attacked Iraq itself, outflanking his forces and trapping them in Kuwait). For another, he seems to have forgotten the basics of force multipliers - i.e. his troops were catastrophically outmatched, so the enemy could be expected to take minimal losses (the greater the enemy's advantage, the fewer their losses). Thus, while the U.N. killed some 30k Iraqi troops they only lost 392 people.

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* During the First Gulf War, the USA's United States one-time (Cold-War) Ally Generalissimo Saddam Hussein believed that a lesson from the Vietnam War was that the USA US (who formed the backbone of the U.N. taskforce to force him back from The Kingdom Of Kuwait) wouldn't support a war that would cost them 10,000 casualites.casualties. He, meanwhile had hundreds of thousands to spare and none of his subjects could protest the attrition. For one thing he thought that the U.N. would obey the letter of international law and seek to only engage him in Kuwait (they attacked Iraq itself, outflanking his forces and trapping them in Kuwait). For another, he seems to have forgotten the basics of force multipliers - i.e. his troops were catastrophically outmatched, so the enemy could be expected to take minimal losses (the greater the enemy's advantage, the fewer their losses). Thus, while the U.N. killed some 30k Iraqi troops they only lost 392 people.
12th Sep '17 1:54:05 PM Frankencastle
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* Played perfectly straight by the Russian military in ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX''. Where one particular arc sees Frank Castle tasked with infiltrating a nuclear missile base in Siberia and rescuing a six year old girl whose blood contains an experimental super virus. However the mission goes awry and Frank has to fight his way out of the missile base. And the Russian military's attempts at trying to prevent his escape amount to sending out as many conscripts as humanly possible in the hopes that it will work.

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* Played perfectly straight by the Russian military in ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX''. Where one particular arc sees Frank Castle tasked with infiltrating a nuclear missile base in Siberia and rescuing a six year old girl whose blood contains an experimental super virus. However the mission goes awry and Frank has to fight his way out of the missile base. And the Russian military's attempts at trying to prevent his escape amount to sending out as many conscripts as humanly possible in the hopes that it will work. ''It doesn't''.



* Like China in Korean War example above, Vietnam Wars prove to be this for North Vietnamese against US military. They want to win more (they have fewer choices; USA can get out, they can't), and, by percentage of nation's GDP, put more effort into their fight. So no matter how North lost battles and personnel, they will keep fighting until the USA just give up.
** Also by extension, most of [[OccupiersOutOfOurCountry fights against colonialist forces]] also this trope. When the rebel/local force lacks 1) [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits training]], 2) [[FiveRoundsRapid hardware]], 3) not-obsolete military understanding and organization, the number is usually on their side and they utilize that advantage.

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* Like China in Korean War example above, Vietnam Wars prove to be this for North Vietnamese against US military. They want to win more (they have fewer choices; USA can get out, they can't), and, by percentage of nation's GDP, put more effort into their fight. So no matter how North lost battles and personnel, they will keep fighting until the USA just give up.
** Also by extension, most of [[OccupiersOutOfOurCountry fights against colonialist forces]] also this trope. When the rebel/local force lacks 1) [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits training]], 2) [[FiveRoundsRapid hardware]], 3) not-obsolete military understanding and organization, the number is usually on their side and they utilize that advantage.
12th Sep '17 10:32:07 AM Jhonny
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** The Israelis tried to counter since theu [[GenreSavvy could do the math just as well]] and [[TookAThirdOption decided to bomb Cairo from the air]], directly and indirectly threatening the Nasser regime itself. However, it turned out, they could not sustain a deep penetration bombing campaign either.[[note]] The Egyptians purchases scores of batteries of the latest Soviet Surface to Air Missiles and put them on the approaches to Cairo. It turns out that equipment not troops is the limiting factor in modern war[[/note]]

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** The Israelis tried to counter since theu they [[GenreSavvy could do the math just as well]] and [[TookAThirdOption decided to bomb Cairo from the air]], directly and indirectly threatening the Nasser regime itself. However, it turned out, they could not sustain a deep penetration bombing campaign either.[[note]] The Egyptians purchases purchased scores of batteries of the latest Soviet Surface to Air Missiles and put them on the approaches to Cairo. It turns out that equipment not troops is the limiting factor in modern war[[/note]]
11th Sep '17 11:45:34 PM BattleMaster
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* There was a similar example with the M4 Sherman. While by 1944 it was destroyed relatively easy by German anti-tank guns, it had much better crew surviveability than comparable German or Soviet tanks, so the crew would typically escape and then be issued a new tank. Things got even better once the more durable Easy Eight and Jumbo variants were deployed.


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* Eusocial insects like ants, termites, and bees use this strategy to defend their nests. Dozens or even hundreds of non-breeding workers and soldiers can be sacrificed when a predator attacks. So long as the queen is protected, she can replace them with her prodigious egg-laying.
10th Sep '17 2:48:58 PM UraRenge
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* To put it bluntly, you can't lose 30 million people and then ''still'' win the war via a completely overwhelming warpath to Berlin like the USSR did unless you have an insane number of reserves at your command.
30th Aug '17 8:21:10 AM thatmadork
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* ''VideoGame/MordheimCityOfTheDamned'' basically does this to the player in the main campaign. The [=AI=] generates random warbands for each mission which often contain some very strange lacklustre troops like one-armed dagger-wielding Marksmen, no match for the optimised characters an experienced player can build. However since the [=AI=] builds new warbands each time, they don't have to be concerned about casualties and risks, so they'll do a lot of underhanded bullshit intended purely to screw you in the long run like stealing your best equipment or {{Zerg Rush}}ing your MVP HeroUnit to injure him badly.
8th Aug '17 10:22:53 AM CosmicFerret
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* In ''Film/{{Shrek}}'', Lord Farquaad views the knights as expendable, saying when he describes the assignment to SaveThePrincess, "Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make." Then whoever won the tournament would be sent to save the princess, if he died whoever was second would be sent, and so on. (Shrek, [[FantasticRacism since he's an ogre]], is even more expendable, so Farquaad doesn't end up sending any knights.)

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* In ''Film/{{Shrek}}'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'', Lord Farquaad views the knights as expendable, saying when he describes the assignment to SaveThePrincess, "Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make." Then whoever won the tournament would be sent to save the princess, if he died whoever was second would be sent, and so on. (Shrek, [[FantasticRacism since he's an ogre]], is even more expendable, so Farquaad doesn't end up sending any knights.)
7th Aug '17 11:50:52 PM UMDP
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** Then there is the Skitarii Legions of the Adeptus Mechanicus. While Skitarii are cybernetically enhanced to extreme levels and have better armor than the Imperial Guard the Mechanicus doesn't care what happens to them and neither does the Skitarii themselves. They are usually cloned or artificially grown and their emotions are reduced. Death of a Skitarii is nothing more than a way of learning about the enemy. The Skitarii vanguards carry Radium weapons that poison them by just carrying them despite their radiation protected armor slowly killing them. It gets worse in Onager Dunecrawlers where the driver is connected to the machine and is placed in a electro-amniotic tank where he is slowly killed by harmful energies and is soon replaced like replacing batteries.
19th Jul '17 8:57:04 AM Necrodomo
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* The [[BodyHorror Wyrm Master]] demon from ''[[NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'' can summon wave after wave of disposable Imps, who are forced to take shots or blows aimed for their master. [[FireAndBrimstoneHell Stygia]] shows no signs of running out of Imps, and the Wyrm Master just has to ManaDrain the enemy to keep summoning them.
13th Jul '17 8:44:59 AM dlchen145
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* In general during this period, while the notion of mass producing tanks and planes of inferior quality was an effective strategy for a few years, it simply could not be sustained with manpower losses, because while producing hardware like tanks and planes is simple and quick, recruiting and training men with the sort of skill required to handle even simple equipment was a significantly more lengthy process. As was shown in the case of Germany and Japan, while they were in fact capable of continuing to put out more then enough military hardware to meet their needs, they were chronically short of the experienced crews required to man them. Germany had lost a great many of its best pilots in the Battle of Britain while Japan lost all of its finest Carrier aircraft pilots either at Midway or during the Solomon Islands campaign; while both nations were able to make good their losses of aircraft, they simply could never train pilots with the sort of skill to match their predecessors in a short time. So the lesson that could be learned from this is that while machines are expendable, the men who know how to use those machines are not. America, Russia, and Britain were quick to learn this lesson upon taking stock of their losses after WWII and realized that while quantity over quality had managed to win them the war, it had left them severely weakened with significantly lowered reserves of trained crews at the end of WWII, with countless American crewmen who had spent months in training left as charred corpses inside gutted Sherman tanks scattered across the French countryside. This may have been a key contributing factor in why the Cold War didn't kick off into full blown war after WWII, as both sides had to train an entire new generation of crews to replace those lost in the war, which took time.

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* In general during this period, while the notion of mass producing tanks and planes of inferior quality was an effective strategy for a few years, it simply could not be sustained with manpower losses, because while producing hardware like tanks and planes is simple and quick, recruiting and training men with the sort of skill required to handle even simple equipment was a significantly more lengthy process. As was shown in the case of Germany and Japan, while they were in fact capable of continuing to put out more then enough military hardware to meet their needs, they were chronically short of the experienced crews required to man them. Germany had lost a great many of its best pilots in the Battle of Britain while Japan lost all of its finest Carrier aircraft pilots either at Midway or during the Solomon Islands campaign; while both nations were able to make good their losses of aircraft, they simply could never train pilots with the sort of skill to match their predecessors in a short time. So the lesson that could be learned from this is that while machines are expendable, the men who know how to use those machines are not. America, Russia, and Britain were quick to learn this lesson upon taking stock of their losses after WWII and realized that while quantity over quality had managed to win them the war, it had left them severely weakened with significantly lowered reserves of trained crews at the end of WWII, with countless American crewmen who had spent months in training left as charred corpses inside gutted Sherman tanks scattered across the French countryside.WWII. This may have been a key contributing factor in why the Cold War didn't kick off into full blown war after WWII, as both sides had to train an entire new generation of crews to replace those lost in the war, which took time.
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