Main Senseless Sacrifice Discussion

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07:21:56 AM May 25th 2014
Does anyone else feel ambivalent about having a Real Life section here? At first glance, giving this trope a Real Life section seemed less controversial than one for Stupid Sacrifice. Looking at the results, though...first an argument about 'human wave' tactics that was rightfully cut and then a bunch of natter about the rights and wrongs of the 1944 Warsaw uprising and the lack of Soviet support for it...I'm considerably less certain.
08:03:52 AM Mar 15th 2016
edited by MAI742
I dunno. My first inclination is to never delete anything. However, this trope is one which frustrates and saddens many people - and while that does not make it bad, it means that people are inclined to comment upon Real Life matters even if they are not well-informed about them.

For instance, I wrote the Warsaw natter (which I have corrected and un-nattered, or so I think) despite barely knowing what I was talking about because I was quite upset by what I considered to be a pointless waste of human life. Similar story with Agprov and the Human Wave Tactics paragraph, it seems.
08:57:14 AM Mar 15th 2016
This page has got a moral judgment vibe about it, so it's probably better to leave Real Life out.
08:58:49 AM Mar 15th 2016
I am for keeping the real-life reasons.

I don't think it has any moral judgment. Because it's about unintended consequences.
09:20:15 AM Mar 23rd 2016
Re: Nubian Satyress how does it involve moral judgement? Surely the trope is about whether a sacrifice was meaningful/advanced certain goals or not....?
12:34:50 PM Apr 17th 2014
I removed the following, if I've got the gist of it right then it doesn't belong on this page:

  • The "human wave" tactic used by the Red Army with the intention of overwhelming German defences by sheer weight of numbers qualifies here. Survivors of human wave attacks spoke of the vodka distributed beforehand as being less of a factor than the dead weight of resigned fatalism that swept over the men - they knew one way or another they were going to die and were resigned to it. Stalin's "not one step backwards!" order of 1942 condemned possibly millions of men to death this way. If they refused to go forwards, "blocking detachments" of political troopers were standing behind them with machine guns. By mid-1944, Russian generals had learnt more subtle ways of using their manpower intelligently and the "human wave" was barely seen: possibly because the Russians had belatedly realised that even a country as large as theirs could run out of manpower. Using more conventional military tactics and at bottom out-generalling the Germans achieved more than the human wave assault ever did. It is estimated that between 1941-45, 40% of the Soviet Union's male population of military age (18 - 45) had been killed.
    • The above entry and its apalling inaccuracy can be attributed to the way The Allies captured an awful lot of senior German commanders who'd foght Soviet forces in the period 1942-43. Most German Commanders who'd served against them in 1943-45 had either been killed or captured by the Soviets, but German Commanders in general arguably never accepted that their opponents were just as if not more intelligent than themselvesnote . The USA's post-war dissection of the Soviet-German war relied heavily - if not exclusively - upon the unsubstantiated memoirs of these captured German commanders, and this bias shows - not once are the Soviets given any credit whatsoever for the way they managed to deceive and outsmart the Germans at every turn and win every single campaign between 1942 and 1945 (with the notable exception of the Kharkov counter-offensive of early 1943). Indeed, one gets the distinct impression that the Germans actually believed the Soviets' deceptions that they were outnumbered and overwhelmed purely by sheer numbers (despite having only a very slight numerical advantage, especially in the early stages of the war, the Soviets always strived to make engagements as unequal as possible at the 'point of contact', i.e. wherever the armies actually fought each other) and that the Soviets had almost bottomless manpower reserves. In reality, by 1943 at any one time thousand-mile sections of the Soviet front lines were manned by nothing but machine-gunners and snipers to create the illusion of vast hordes of enemies. Combined with incredibly cunning and detailed deception operations whenever The Soviets launched an offensive operation/campaign, this consistently convinced the Germans that the Soviets were at least twice as numerous/strong as they really were!
      • Just to be clear: 'Human Wave' tactics have never actually been used by anyone. The term was first used by reporters describing PLA tactics in Korea, which involved 50-100 man Chinese units engaging individual U.N. squads of 10 or so men under the cover of night to negate the U.N. forces' massive advantages in airpower and artillery. Even then it in no way actually described the tactics used and was basically a way of heaping scorn upon the enemy forces and explaining the U.N.'s inability to achieve victory despite its huge advantage in fire-support.
01:09:34 PM Apr 17th 2014
So first off, the first bullet describes We Have Reserves, not Senseless Sacrifice.

Everything else are just justifying edits, natter, and completely pointless. Yeah, pulling the whole thing is worthwhile.

Interesting, though. Just irrelevant.
12:34:49 PM Apr 17th 2014
edited by
Oops, looks like I double-posted. Apologies.
03:28:29 AM Nov 9th 2012
06:11:54 PM Dec 23rd 2010
edited by TigerHunter
I added a bolded disclaimer about the difference between this and Stupid Sacrifice and deleted a few examples that belonged on that page instead, but I doubt I got all of them. We should probably change to a more distinctive, descriptive title. Something like "Died in Vain" or "Sacrificed in Vain", since the former is a common phrase describing this trope and the latter is slightly more descriptive but similar enough to invoke the former.
09:44:38 PM Feb 17th 2011
That's pretty much exactly how I feel. I feel like the new title should be "Downer Sacrifice" or something, because I honestly wouldn't know the difference between this and Stupid Sacrifice if I hadn't carefully studied both trope pages.
01:22:12 PM May 16th 2012
Yes, a new name like Downer Sacrifice, Vain Sacrifice, something else would work much better... Senseless Sacrifice really makes little sense, and does NOTHING to differentiate it from Stupid Sacrifice.
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