GDG- Custer

Tom Barrett tbarrett21 at
Thu Jan 19 08:59:26 CST 2012

Arrogance on the part of "civilized" armies equipped with "modern" weapons
when facing "primitive natives" was pretty much an earned and deserved
attitude.  Not unlike the fighting power of local militias in the CW when
faced with regular troops, the "primitive natives", be they Africans, or
either Gandhi or Tonto Indians, were not usually formally organized military
forces, and crumbled when attacked.  They were simply primitive people,
trying to save what they had from encroaching colonial powers.

Mostly, for the British and the Americans, and other colonial powers or
wanabees, it worked.  What military opposition there was, was simply brushed
aside.  On occasion (Isandlwana,1879; LBH,1876) the arrogant colonialists
were mistaken in the assumption that the primitives they faced weren't
capable of standing and fighting.  

Remember, in both cases in the long term, the colonialists did win.  But in
the short term, the arrogant assumption of not much resistance cost them

(Wow, this is veering off topic) 

The biggest difference in the two was that, the British, had they followed
their own policies and regulations, could have been OK.  I don't think
Custer had a ghost of a chance.  In most cases, his assumptions would have
been correct, so I don't think he could be called incompetent.  But he sure
could be called a loser!



-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Batrinque at
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:22 AM
To: gettysburg at
Subject: Re: GDG- Custer

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

In a message dated 1/19/2012 9:19:22 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
CWMHTours at writes:

Can you  think of a good example of when it did not  work? 
As has been recently mentioned, Isandlwana is the classic case.  The  enemy 
was wholly misread.  

Bruce  Trinque
Amston, CT
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