A scorched-earth policy is a military strategy that aims to destroy anything that might be useful to the enemy when retreating from a position.
Any assets that could be used by the enemy may be targeted. This usually includes obvious weapons, transport vehicles, communication sites, and industrial resources. However, anything useful to the advancing enemy can be targeted including food stores and agricultural areas, water sources, and even the local people themselves, although this has been banned under the Geneva Conventions.
The practice can be carried out by the military in enemy territory, or in its own home territory while being invaded. It may overlap with, but it is not the same as, punitive destruction of the enemy's resources, which is usually done as part of political strategy, rather than operational strategy. The concept of scorched earth is sometimes applied figuratively to the business world, where a firm facing a takeover attempt will make itself less valuable by selling off its assets.
Also notable were the Russian army's strategies during the failed Swedish invasion of Russiathe failed Napoleonic invasion of Russiaas well as the initial Soviet retreat commanded by Joseph Stalin during the German Army's invasion of the Soviet Union in the Second World War and the subsequent Nazi German retreat on the Eastern Front.
The strategy of destroying the food and water supply of the civilian population in an area of conflict has been banned under Article 54 of Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions.
The relevant passage says:. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or Rebirth - The Supermen Lovers - Fantasia Disco EP useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking Tortured Existence - Persecution - Tortured Existence installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.
The Scythians, who were nomadic herders, evaded the Persians and retreated into the depths of the Steppes, destroying food supplies and poisoning wells. Many of Darius' troops died from starvation and dehydration. The Greek general Xenophon records in his Anabasis that the Armenians burned their crops and food supplies as they withdrew before the advance of the Ten Thousand.
The Greek mercenary general Memnon suggested to the Persian Satraps the use of the scorched-earth policy against Alexander as he moved into Asia Minor. He was refused. The system of punitive destruction of property and subjugation of people when accompanying a military campaign was known as vastatio.
Two of the first uses of scorched earth recorded both happened in the Gallic Wars. The first was used when the Celtic Helvetii were forced to evacuate their homes in Southern Germany and Switzerland because of incursions of unfriendly Germanic tribes: to add incentive to the march, the Helvetii destroyed everything they could not bring. The second case shows actual military value: during the Great Gallic War the Gauls under Vercingetorix planned to lure the Roman armies into Gaul and then trap and obliterate them.
They thus ravaged the countryside of what are now the Benelux countries and France. That caused immense problems for the Romans, but the Roman military triumphs over the Gallic alliance showed that alone not to be enough to save Gaul from subjugation by Rome. The buildings were torn down, their stones scattered so not even rubble remained, and the fields were burned.
However, the story that they salted the earth is apocryphal. The extensive region that lies between the River Tigris and the mountains of Media Julian might expect, that a conqueror, who possessed the two forcible instruments of persuasion, steel and gold, would easily procure a plentiful subsistence from the fears or avarice of the natives. But, on the approach of the Romans, the rich and smiling prospect was instantly blasted.
Wherever they Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out This desperate but effectual method of defence can only be executed by the enthusiasm of a people who Now Im Here - Queen - Live At Wembley 86 their independence to their property; or by the rigor of an arbitrary government, which consults the public safety without submitting to their inclinations the liberty of choice.
According to Tabari30, civilians are estimated to have been killed during this campaign. Muawiyah also sent Sufyan ibn Awf to Iraq to burn the crops and homes of Ali's supporters. During the great Viking invasion of Sweet Georgia Brown - Jimmy Smith - Kind Of Smith opposed by Alfred the Great and various other Saxon and Welsh rulers, the Viking chieftain Hastein in late summer marched his men to Chester to occupy the ruined Roman fortress there.
The Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out fortress should have made an excellent base for Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out northern Merciabut the Mercians are recorded as Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out taken the drastic measure of destroying all crops and livestock in the surrounding countryside in order to starve the Danes out.
In the Harrying of the NorthWilliam the Conqueror 's solution to stop a rebellion in was the brutal conquest and subjugation of the North of England. William's men burnt whole villages from the Humber to Teesand slaughtered the inhabitants. Food stores and livestock were destroyed so that anyone surviving the initial massacre would soon succumb to starvation over the winter.
The destruction is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. Betweenandperished and the area took centuries to recover from the damage. Robert the Bruce counselled using these operational methods to hold off the English King Edward's forces when the English invaded Scotland, according to an anonymous 14th-century poem: . This is the counsel and intent Of gud King Robert's testiment.
The strategy was widely used in the Romanian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. A slighting is the deliberate destruction, partial or complete, of a fortification without opposition.
Sometimes, such as during the Wars of Scottish Independence and the English Civil Warthe intention was to render the structure unusable as a fortress. Further British use of scorched-earth policies in a war was seen during the Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out century in Irelandwhere it was used by English commanders such as Walter Devereux and Richard Bingham.
The Desmond Rebellions are a famous case in Ireland. Much of the province of Munster was laid waste. The poet Edmund Spenser left an account of it:.
In those late wars in Munster; for notwithstanding that the same was a most rich and plentiful country, full of corn and cattle, that you would have thought they could have been able to stand long, yet ere one year and a half they were brought to such wretchedness, as that any stony heart would have rued the same. Out of every corner of the wood and glens they came creeping forth upon their hands, for their legs could not bear them; they looked Anatomies [of] death, they spoke like ghosts, crying out of their graves; they did eat of the carrions, happy where they could find them, yea, and one another soon after, in so much as the very carcasses they spared not to scrape out of their graves; and if they found a plot of water-cresses or shamrocks, there they flocked as to a feast for the time, yet not able long to continue therewithal; that in a short space there were none almost left, and a most populous and plentiful country suddenly left void of man or beast.
Forced to retreat from the advancing Swedish army of King Gustavus AdolphusConti ordered his troops to burn houses, destroy villages and generally cause as much harm to property and people as possible. His actions were remembered thus: . To revenge himself upon the Duke of Pomerania, the imperial general permitted his troops, upon his retreat, to exercise every barbarity on the unfortunate inhabitants of Pomerania, who had already suffered but too severely from his avarice.
On pretence of cutting off the resources of the Swedes, the whole country was laid waste and plundered; and often, when the Imperialists were unable any longer to maintain a place, it was laid in ashes, in order to leave the enemy nothing but ruins.
Vlad the Impaler retreated to Transylvania. During his departure, he conducted scorched-earth tactics to ward off Sultan Mehmed II's approach. When the Ottoman forces approached Tirgovistethey encountered over 20, people impaled by the forces of Vlad the Impaler, creating a "forest" of dead or dying bodies on stakes. In earlyGrandmaster Jean Parisot de Valette ordered the harvesting of all the crops in Malta, including unripened grain, My Girl - The Moonstompers - Ska & Reggae Collection deprive the Ottomans of any local food supplies since spies had warned of an imminent Ottoman attack.
Furthermore, the Knights poisoned all wells with bitter herbs and dead animals. The Ottomans managed to capture one fort but were eventually defeated by the Knights, the Maltese militia and a Spanish relief force.
InFrance attacked the German Palatinate. The German states responded to this by forming an alliance and assembling a sizeable armed force to push the French out of Germany. The French had not prepared for such an eventuality. In all, French troops burnt over Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out substantial towns as Boys And Girls - thecocknbullkid - Querelle as numerous villages.
But they were strictly ordered not to rape or hurt the innocent civilians, and not to cause any sort of disrespect to any of the religious institutes. Shivaji's son, Sambhaji Maharajwas detested throughout the Mughal Empire for his scorched-earth tactics until he and his men were captured by Muqarrab Khan and his Mughal Army contingent of 25, Sambhaji was particularly condemned for the three days of ravaging committed after the Battle of Burhanpur.
The Maratha cavalry numbering 40, had sacked the town of Midnapore and set granaries and villages ablaze. During the third Napoleonic invasion of Portugal, the Portuguese population retreated towards Lisbon, ordered to destroy all the food supplies the French might capture, forage and shelter in a wide belt across the country.
Although effective food-preserving techniques had recently been invented, they were still not fit for military use because a suitably rugged container had not yet been invented. While there were instances of similar behavior by British soldiers, considering that Portugal was their ally, such crimes were generally investigated, and those found punished.
Coimbra's sack made the populace even more determined in leaving nothing and when the French armies reached the Lines of Torres Vedras on the way to LisbonFrench soldiers reported that the country "seemed to empty ahead of them". Low morale, hunger, disease, and indiscipline rendered the French Army of Portugal into a much weaker force and compelled their retreat next spring.
This method was later recommended to Russia when Napoleon made his move. In Czar Alexander I was able to render Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Russia useless by utilizing a scorched-earth retreat method, similar to that made by the Portuguese. Encountering only desolate and useless land Napoleon 's Grand Army was prevented from using its accustomed doctrine of living off the lands it conquered.
Pushing relentlessly on despite dwindling numbers, the Grand Army met with disaster as the invasion progressed. Napoleon's army arrived in a virtually abandoned Moscow, which was a tattered starving shell of its former self that was largely due to the use of scorched-earth tactics by retreating Russians. Having essentially conquered nothing, Napoleon's troops retreated, and again the scorched-earth policy came into effect because even though some large supply dumps had been established on the advance, the route between these had both been scorched and marched over once already, so the French army Cecilia - Simon And Garfunkel* - Bridge Over Troubled Water as it marched along the resource-depleted invasion route.
In AugustArgentine General Manuel Belgrano led the Jujuy Exodusa massive forced displacement of people from the present-day Jujuy and Salta provinces to the south. The Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out Exodus was conducted by the patriot forces of the Army of the North that were battling a Royalist army. Belgrano, faced with the prospect of total defeat and territorial loss, ordered all people to pack their necessities, including food and furniture, and follow him, in carriages Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out on foot, together with whatever cattle and beasts of burden could endure the journey.
The rest houses, crops, food stocks, and also any objects made of iron was to be burned, so as to deprive the loyalists of resources, following a strict scorched-earth policy. On 29 JulyBelgrano asked the people of Jujuy to "show their heroism " and join the march of the army under his command "if, as you assure, you want to be free". Stonewall - The Milt Jackson Quartet Featuring Horace Silver - Soul Pioneers punishment for ignoring the order was execution and the destruction of the defector's properties.
Belgrano labored to win the support of the populace and later reported that most of the people had willingly followed him without the need of force.
The Patriots applied a scorched-earth policy so the Spaniards advanced into a wasteland. InIbrahim Pasha led an Ottoman-Egyptian combined force in a campaign to crush Greek revolutionaries in the Peloponnese.
In response to Greek guerrilla attacks on his forces in the Peloponnese, Ibrahim launched a scorched earth campaign which threatened the population with starvation and deported many civilians into slavery in Egypt. He also allegedly planned to bring in Arab settlers, in order to replace the Greek population. The fires of burning villages and fields were clearly visible from Allied ships standing offshore. A British landing party reported that the population of Messinia was close to mass starvation.
Many of the civilian casualties resulted from disease and famine. In the hunt for the Guerrilla General Emilio Aguinaldo American troops also poisoned water wells to try to force out the Filipino rebels. Sherman's tactics were an attempt to destroy the enemy's will and logistics through burning or destroying crops or Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out resources that might be used for the Confederate force.
Later generations of American war leaders would use similar total war tactics in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, largely through the use of air power. The logic was that the big plantations would not be able to prove land ownership.
These actions are the bane of Georgia and South Carolina genealogists. It was a sort of Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Out promenade, requiring very little military skill in the Since The Accident - Scorched Earth Policy - Foaming Outand as little personal prowess, as well trained union troops were deployed against defenseless citizens.
Another event, in response to Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Kansasand the many civilian casualties including killing men, Brigadier General Thomas Ewing Jr.
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