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 Posted: Wed Aug 15th, 2007 12:57 am
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Texas Defender
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Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
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Javal-

   I see that I neglected to address one of your questions.

   A battle is a conflict between two forces (presumably of forces large enough so that it isn't referred to as a skirmish). That definition is so broad that it would cover just about any hostile encounter. But the term " battle" to me implies a large scale action. A raid is a specific kind of offensive operation that more often than not involves relatively small forces.

   I do not see how any single event can be thought of as being both a raid and a battle, unless you include raids under the broad definition of any hostile encounter. (Now you have me scratching my head here). Clearly, its possible that a battle can break out during a raid, either at the objective (if there is a specific one), or at some other place. It is also possible that a raid could lead to a battle between larger forces.

   Lets say for example that the raiding force has hit its objective and is now trying to withdraw to friendly territory. (The withdrawal is often the most difficult phase of the raid). In this scenario, the enemy hornets' nest has been stirred up, and a large enemy force is pursuing the raiding party as it tries to withdraw.

   The commander of the friendly forces decides to send additional units forward to cover the raiding force as it attempts to regain friendly lines. This could result in a battle being fought, usually beginning in a meeting engagement between the pursuing enemy units and the friendly units advancing in the opposite direction.

   Then you have a whole new ballgame.

PS- Going back to Antietam and Gettysburg, I would call them battles in the Maryland and Pennsylvania Campaigns, respectively. In each case, the main event of the campaign turned Bobby Lee homeward again.

Last edited on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 09:27 am by Texas Defender

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