Summary of the war
As the armies of Sherman were approaching Savannah in the tenth of December, which was a very long march as far as from Atlanta, they needed more supplies. Just near the coast there was the Admiral Johns fleet. The fleet was ready and waiting with the necessary supplies. The fleet also had letters, which were to be delivered to the troops of Sherman. There were fortifications, which surrounded the savanna, and so the two groups were barred from meeting. While Sherman was deploying his forces so that he can attack and destroy the forts of savanna, his convoy destroyed Fort McAllister, as well as other nearby fortifications. Sherman was pretty sure that the forts, which were nearby and which were not well defended, could easily be brought down. Sherman got a good idea that by destroying Fort McAllister, his army would be able to control the Ogeechee River. It would definitely pave a way into the sea. Major general Oliver was ordered by Sherman to lead the attack in order to bring down the fort. On December 1864, the army of four thousand was deployed, so that it could storm this fort. The strategy worked well and so the fort was brought down in about fifteen minutes. Sherman rejoiced. With all the needed supplies at hand, Sherman got prepared to make an ambush in savanna. He wanted to be through with the task before December of that year.
Analysis of the battle with the use of the Principles of War
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The battle of Fort McAllister is a battle that was won on the ground of the principles of war. As described in the principles of war and principles of joined operations, Shermans army used the principles of war to their advantage and thus acquiring victory over the enemy in such a short time. Although it seems like the enemy on the defense was not aware of Shermans invading, Sherman had good mastery of the principles of war (Mullen, II-7). Another thing that worked to Shermans advantage was small size of the enemys troop in comparison to his. The enemy had such a small army and it was also weak, contrary to Shermans.
Sherman followed his objective to the letter. The main reason behind attacking the fort was to get a way through to the savannah. Therefore, he could not afford to lose the battle to the enemy, which would mean forgoing his main objective of wanting the fort fallen. With the objective in mind, the army had time, by which it wanted the work done. It governed the effort and determination that the army fought with.
Sherman used offensive actions against his enemies. He did not at any moment use defensive actions. It gave him victory over the enemy in a short while. The use of offensive actions ensured that the enemy did not have time to attack but only to defend. Since he used offensive actions, he was in a raised position and had good view of the enemy. He used it to make the enemys efforts of defense futile.
The unity of command in this case is best seen in Shermans army. It is because the army had central command and all the rest took instructions from it. It made it easy for the army to work with one goal and to pursue one objective. Sherman was the senior commandant, from whom all the rest get instructions. It eliminated any chances of misunderstanding or contradictory objectives. It was the strength of this army since the troop was quite large. As to the defenders, they may have been strong in the unity in command but they had a problem with preparedness.
Security of the Fort was weak, thus giving the attacking force definite advantage. From the forts case it is clear that the fort was not protected since the protecting army did not realize the enemy, Shermans army, approaching. The forces guarding the fort failed to keep watch, therefore, they were caught by surprise. It increased the attackers chances of winning over them. It is also seen that even if the guarding forces had information on the enemys invasion, they were poorly prepared to defend.
Surprise in this case was the main strength of Shermans army. Shermans army attacked the enemy while the enemy was least expecting an attack. The army in charge of protecting the Fort did not expect any attack at that point. It made its defense quite weak since they were totally unprepared. It gave Shermans army success in 15 minutes. It was a good hit on the enemy since the enemy did not have time to either organize or defend the territory.
In this war, simplicity is seen as the main contributing factor to Shermans success. Simplicity is seen in the way the army was organized. Shermans army was organized under three colonels. It made it easy to command the army as well as to communicate effectively. This simplicity was crucial in the battle since it enabled simple command.
Restraint is a probable cause of slow reaction by the defending forces in the forts battle. It is because the attacking enemy had no restraint since they had no interests in the laws of the land or safeguarding the population. Therefore, the attacking forces had all advantages over the defending forces. Defending forces had to safeguard the interests of the public as well as adhere to the laws of the lands.
In the case of the Fort McAllisters battle, legitimacy was on the grounds of the power and command of attackers. It is because the host government was on the defense and the army did not seem aware of the attack. Legitimacy also may have contributed to the failure of the defense as they were protecting legitimacy and legality in relation to the government. As to the Shermans army, legitimacy was fully upheld and it contributed to the armys success. It is because since Sherman was on the command, whatever he authorized the troops to do was legitimate. It was legal and appropriate under those circumstances. As a result of heeding to his command, the army became victorious (Clausewitz, & Gatzke, 5).