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Does battle determines the course of war?

whether it is possible to win the war without winning the battle?

  • Apr 11 2012: Hi Mateusz,

    You have to define what you mean by winning the battle. The US dominated every military engagement, but the North Vietnamese ended up winning control of all of Vietnam.

    Best wishes,
    Doug
  • Apr 11 2012: It's possible to lose some battles yet still win the war. The Allied forces at the Battle of the Bulge and the ANZAC forces at the battle of Gallipoli aretwo that come to mind. However if you are asking for winning a war without winning any battles I dont see how that could ever occur.
    • Apr 11 2012: HI Robert,

      Your point about losing battles, but winning wars is a good one. But, just for the record, the Battle of the Bulge was a major allied victory.

      Thanks,
      Doug
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    Apr 11 2012: It is possible to win a war because of losing a particular battle. One example which immediately came to mind is the Battle of the Alamo. The Texian army lost that battle having only two defenders alive. Support was rallied because of the perceived cruelty of the Mexican army and many Texian's enrolled in the Texian army to meet the Mexican Army at San Jacinto and defeat them there, ending the revolution. Had the battle at the Alamo not been so devastating with such disparities in fighting forces, the response may not have been so dramatic and the revolution may have drawn out longer, perhaps with different results.

    But as for winning a war without winning a single battle? It would depend on what constitutes a battle. Several nonviolent activists have fought by nonviolent means against violent oppression and lost 'battles' but have won the sympathies and in some cases realization of their cause.

    There have been sieges in history that have drained or disenchanted troops from a banner or cause and wars have ended without a direct confrontation, due to the heavy cost incurred by occupation.
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    Apr 10 2012: There is a saying about winning the battle but losing the war. Your question asks if the battle can be lost but the war won, right? Who can say about the future, but as for the past I don't think any war has been won by the side who lost the battle(s).