Talk:Human wave attack

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This article is terrible[edit]

The lack of citations makes it hard to be sure, but I've never heard the term "human wave" used otherwise than in connection with Chinese attacks in Korea, even then probably erroneously. If taken to mean an attack by unsupported infantry aiming to overwhelm technologically superior defenders by sheer weight of numbers, I would strongly dispute that the Somme was an example. The Somme was a battle fought over many months with massive artillery support using a variety of tactical deployments, but none of them a "human wave". I question the premise of the entire article. Cyclopaedic (talk) 00:27, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

This article really is preposterous. Now we have supposed "human wave" tactics (used, per the article, largely by untrained armies with no artillery support) being used in Normandy beach landings (probably the best planned and supported operation in history) and by tanks in the Western Desert. There seems to be no coherent understanding of what is meant by "human wave tactics" or how and when they were used. The whole article adds nothing and should be deleted. Cyclopaedic (talk) 09:51, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
No responses. OK, let me suggest what I think a human wave attack is, in the form of a new lead or stub article, and see if anyone disagrees:
A human wave attack is a pejorative term for an attack by massed infantry on a defended enemy position, intended to overwhelm the defenders by sheer weight of numbers and regardless of inevitable high casualties. The term implies both a lack of tactical subtlety by the attacker, and the defender's ability to inflict horrific casualties on the defender, usually through superior firepower, training or technology. It also suggests a callousness of the attacker towards its own troops, and therefore the term is likely to be used only by the defender or a later commentator; it is doubtful whether any attacker has ever used the term, or whether it has ever appeared in a tactical manual. Human wave tactics would normally only be used by an attacker who lacks firepower and the ability to manoeuvre, but whose main advantage is in numbers of men. His men may be poorly trained, though highly motivated: great physical courage and esprit de corps is required to advance unflinchingly into superior enemy fire.
The term is most often used to describe the mass tactics of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the Korean War. Although abandoned by the PLA by 1953, similar tactics were used by the Viet Minh in the early stages of the siege of Dien Bien Phu, and were re-adopted by the PLA in the Third Indochina War against Vietnam. The use of human wave tactics by the PLA is attributed to political teaching that will and enthusiasm were more important than firepower and military training. The PLA's political motivation of its troops emphasised the need to advance straight at the enemy. Human wave tactics were costly in lives and often failed to achieve their military objectives. Their use in the Third Indo-China War is a rare example of an army with superior firepower (the PLA) throwing away its advantage by the use of human wave tactics.[1]
Although most massed attacks by infantry before the age of modern firepower could be (and sometimes are) described as human waves, the criticism implied by the term and the implied acceptance of high casualties from the defenders' superior firepower mean the term is unhelpful to describe earlier conflicts. Early examples of mass infantry charges against superior defensive firepower include Pickett's charge at the battle of Gettysburg and the Zulu attacks on British troops in the Zulu War.
Comments please. It follows that I still think the bulk of the existing article should be deleted. Cyclopaedic (talk) 14:07, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Agree with the bulk of the article being deleted, probably need a source to call it a pejorative term. Geoff B (talk) 14:42, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't go so far as to call the article "terrible"; clearly a lot of people have put in a fair bit of work here ;) However, there is a very strong argument for stub-ifying the article and starting again without the rampant OR and with appropriate sources. My feeling is that this may never be more than an extended dicdef unless reliable secondary sources can be found that actually discuss "human wave attacks" in those terms and in detail. EyeSerenetalk 17:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Notice the Chinese term 人海戰術 have no constraint on attack or defense, it merely means the general tactics used in a war with more soldiers than the opponent. Defending with sheer size without any assault still suffice as this tactics as long as the men are not separated to multiple strategic grounds making the enemy able to get them one by one with less number. MythSearchertalk 03:12, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Following above discussion, I have replaced the article text. Cyclopaedic (talk) 10:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The Chinese tactics in Korea was definitely NOT to attack straight at the enemy, the Chinese were very good at infantry manoeuvres. One of their specialties were infantry infiltration, followed by coordinated attacks from several directions, creating the impression that they were far superior in numbers, even on the occasions when they weren't. (talk) 17:27, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the article makes pretty clear that the term "human wave attack" has its problems; it isn't really a useful term, and it's certainly a defender's POV term, but it is established enough by usage to merit an article. The source I used attributed human wave attacks to the early part of the Chinese intervention in Korea, after which more sophisticated and successful tactics were used. Any change would need to be suitably referenced. Cyclopaedic (talk) 10:22, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply, but I would oppose the entire replacement. My comment up there was pretty much not replied and there was no discussion on whether the article or only the lead should be replaced. There were 20 sources in the original version, and only 1 in this version. I find it unbelievable to be entirely removed especially at least 2 people up there got comments that were not answered before the replacement. I would suggest keeping the lead as the new version but also edit back the sections with sources. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 07:57, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
There were two other supporting responses before the replacement was made, and none in opposition; I don't know which two people's comments you are referring to. The only comment above from you that I can see is a point about the meaning of a particular Chinese term, which I do not understand, but it certainly does not deal with the article as a whole. There were references in the deleted material, certainly, but the issue is relevance, not accuracy. None of those sources was devoted to Human Wave Tactics, and although I have not checked them individually, I very much doubt if they analysed the example in terms of Human Wave Tactics. To reinstate the examples, there would need to be citations supporting the view that the example is one of human wave tactics as discussed in the article. Cyclopaedic (talk) 09:23, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry that my browser seems to have some problem and saved an old edition of my text. I should have removed that sentence before I save the page after I preview it. hmm... The Chinese term was mentioned as literally it is the same as human wave attack(and is often used in context refering to the PLA's preferred tactics. A few sources are very obvious to be relevant, like the Art of War source did not specifically used the term human wave attack but it is stating the use of soldiers in swarms without formation. Other sources should also have a certain degree of relevance, which I will see if I can address them later. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 09:31, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm afraid I still don't understand what point you are making, nor what sentence you are now referring to. As discussed above, I don't think "human wave attack" is a particularly useful term, but the article exists to examine the concept as understood in English; to my mind it is a very limited one, derived largely from the UN defenders' perception of the PLA's tactics early in its intervention in Korea, and probably having very little to do with the actual PLA tactical doctrine. It doesn't help anyone's understanding to speculate about whether other historical tactics could be considered to be human wave tactics. Cyclopaedic (talk) 13:40, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

To make it clearer, I will show you the sources you have deleted that contains the exact term Human Wave Attack. this source (I do not know why did the original link was to the top page, so the link may not work on its own, but it is the 6th source and you can click on the link saying The War of Attrition) The 8th, 11th, 14th sources are also specific on the term. Other similar sources were used to explain why these sources used that term, and other sources, while some where not verified, is highly likely to have the term in it as well. Also, when the term is being explained, The Art of War is also an important source, for example, this source referred to it as well. The term is not only used by the UN defenders like you said, and it is very improbable to assume the sources are not related without actually checking them. Therefore I am against removing them like you did. Also, more sources could be given to cover my point in the terms 人海戰術 is indeed equivalent to Human Wave attack/tactics. You can check here and see that the terms are being used in translations. (search for human-wave and 人海战术, which is in simplified Chinese characters.) A Chinese dictionary from Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Korean dictionary also confirms this. It is not speculated, but well sourced that the original term used by the UN is actually a valid term and used in sources you have removed. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 15:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
The problem with the article as it was was that it had become a huge POV list of situations that editors thought might be described as human waves, including tank battles, seaborne invasions and the entire Franco-Prussian War. I have no problem with properly-referenced material relating to the Iran-Iraq war being added to the article - the references you quote are all effectively the same source (Library of Congress studies) and i could not follow them through because there was no reference to the particular page or paragraph, except the one you detailed - I agree that is a source for saying there were human wave tactics used by the Iranians, although without more detail I'm not sure how much it adds to the article and I leave to you or others the question of whether a US military commentary on Iran from 1987 should be regarded as authoritative. I also don't mind the Sun Tsu quote being reinstated, by way of colourful background. I still don't understand what you are saying about Chinese or Korean terms, but articles should describe topics, not define words, and the fact that similar terms may exist in other languages doesn't really take us anywhere. Cyclopaedic (talk) 17:03, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I am talking about the Chinese term as the basis of the term Human Wave attack used to discribe the PLA tactics. Also, since the term Human Wave attack means attacking with swarms of soldiers, sourced sections that describe the use of swarms of soldiers should be kept, at least to a certain extend. It is not speculation but a direct relation between examples of swarms of soldiers being used. Can the term be used on tanks or other stuff, that is not my concern. I have no opbjection in removing the unsourced sections, but if the sections are sourced, we cannot make the assumption that they are not related. Actually, the source I have quoted up there are all linked to two pages, but they contain links that are the same with the name of the quote and that is how I verify if they contain this term.(using the find function.) I must admit that I have no knowledge in the Iran-Iraq war before hand. That is why I cannot really support the assumption of sources that were not read or at least looked at being unrelated. It is kinda assuming bad faith. Not that I think you are editing in bad faith, I believe your edits are of good faith and is really contributng to the article, but the action of not checking the sources before removing them seems to be assuming other editors are using sources that are false. You might not have that intention, but it is better to avoid that type of action. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 01:06, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Would you like to propose some edits? The crux of the issue may be that a human wave attack in English does not mean just "attacking with swarms of soldiers". It is pretty well defined in the lead of the article. It's a pejorative term for throwing men unsupported against defenders with superior firepower to overwhelm them with sheer numbers, regardless of casualties. As to sources, the fact that a statement may be sourced does not of itself make it relevant, or a good contribution to the article. What we really need here is sources about human wave attacks in general, not about specific examples. I'm certainly not assuming bad faith by anyone. I'm just trying to create a better article that treats the topic in an encyclopaedic fashion and does not go off at tangents or become just a list of examples. Cyclopaedic (talk) 08:05, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I think Cyclopaedic has nailed it by saying "the fact that a statement may be sourced does not of itself make it relevant". Particularly for these types of article, we need to be very careful to avoid coming to our own conclusions as editors about what the source is depicting. For example, a source might describe an action that to us is indeed a human-wave attack, but if the source doesn't explicitly characterise it that way, we shouldn't either. We couldn't even weasel-word it and say "X can be regarded as an example of a human-wave attack" unless we can show a source that does indeed regard it as such. The sources you mention are undoubtedly fine in themselves, but they need to support the edit in the context its being used. It doesn't take much knowledge of military history to come up with possible examples - both World Wars, Vientam, Korea, maybe even Agincourt - but (disregarding WP:OR and WP:SYNTH), this is really just stuffing the article in one area to make up for its deficiencies in others. As has been mentioned, what's ideally needed is a scholarly source that actually discusses the concept. EyeSerenetalk 12:19, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Still, the main point I am stating here is about the sources were assumed to be irrelevant, without checking. I am sure Cyclopaedic is trying to create a better article, but the assumption made on the sources that they are not related is to a certain extent assuming bad faith that they are not related. If they are verified to be not relevant, fine, remove them, but if they have never been verified, they should not be removed. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 16:52, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
It is not the sources I am saying were irrelevant, but the vast bulk of the content of the former article. There may well have been some useful stuff in there, but it was buried in a mass of junk, whether referenced or not. As I said, if you think there is material that needs to be added, go ahead, either in the article or in draft here, and we can take a look at it.Cyclopaedic (talk) 20:47, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

For starters, should we restore the parts that have sources and only remove the one with no sources? We can discuss if those are related or not after that. —Preceding signed comment added by MythSearchertalk 13:57, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

As i said, you are most welcome to propose additions if you think they contribute to the article, but I would oppose wholesale reinstatement of the old text, whether sourced or not. As I said above, the fact that something may be true, or sourced, does not make it relevant. To be included it has to tell the reader something useful about human wave attacks. Cyclopaedic (talk) 06:22, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

I rewrote the entire damn thing about Chinese "human wave" crap...did anyone bother to pick up a book before writing this article? Jim101 (talk) 02:27, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Soviet union and iran-iraq war[edit]

Soviet union also used human wave tactics in the war. Here is an interesting text from one of the forums on internet

As far as the Soviets, they can be divided into two parts. Before Stalingrad there were wave attacks becuase orders were to be followed and no flexibility was allowed. After Stalingrad attacks could either be because of the no tactics worked or because it was a part of the strategy of using penal units to keep one part of the line busy while the real attack was elsewhere.

There is little to no evidence that the Soviets used human wave attacks in WW2. Random internet forums are no evidence. The Germans did accuse the Soviets of this, but then again, the Germans tended to be self-serving in their explanations of their own defeat The andf (talk) 23:43, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Human wave attacks were also used in iran-iraq war.

an overly simplistic view, stalingrad has been quoted too many times as the dividing point of war. too often people looking back in history like to divide things into neat periods whereas history is for the most part continuous. so really it doesn't mean that the soviets did nothing right before stalingrad nor did they do everything right after it. additionally online history forums are generally filled with poor content. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Changed section[edit]

I removed the section on the Korean War and DBP since neither involved human wave tactics. Would like more discussion on the Sino-Vietnamese War since that the section on the Korean War was wildly incorrect, then the SV War is likely also very incorrect.

If anyone has a cite on the official US Army history of the Korean War, there is a large section there about how the PLA did *not* use human wave assaults.

Roadrunner (talk) 21:11, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm close to agreeing with you, but in the end I reverted your change. The material you removed is all sourced, wheras you have given no source. More importantly, the scepticism you express is already there in the article. It is doubtful whether there is such a thing as a human wave attack as a military tactic. But it is a well-known term, and it is most often applied to the Chinese in Korea. We can't say that is "incorrect", because that depends on what your definition of the term is. I would like to see some sourced material on what Chinese tactics early in the Korean War actually were, but given the common use of the term to descrivbe those tactics we can't just deny that they used a human wave. Cyclopaedic (talk) 21:28, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

The Chinese really didn't even use "Human Wave Armies" in the Korean War. Check out this exerpt from Bevin Alexander's book: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:31, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

O'Dowd's book in the reference[edit]

Just a heads up so that there is no misunderstandings. O'Dowd's book is a good resource on explaining on what role does the Chinese military political systems plays in the Chinese "human wave attack", but he did not spent time on explaining how does a human wave attack actually carried out as an infantry tactic. Thus this book had made errors which contradicts reports from numerous historians and veterans of the Korean War.

To list one example, O'Dowd describes the Chinese "human wave attack" as bugle blowing hordes that come as a mass of disorganized mobs, but Roy Edger Appleman, a combat historian that prepared the official US Army's history of the Korean War, stated that this is just a "myth". Patrick Roe, one the the Marines at Chosin and the official historian of the Chosin Few, further elaborated that while the apperence of the Chinese "human wave attack" may be chaotic, it is not a disorganized rush by green recruits. Finally, most of the studies of PLA during the Korean war have stated that besides the political indoctrinations, the fact that Chinese army has no reliable communications links between HQ and field units, which prevented field units from receiving any orders once a battle has begun, also played an important role on why Chinese keeps on rushing fortified enemy positions in "human waves". In short, O'Dowd's work's scope is too narrow to accurately describe what is a "human wave attack". Jim101 (talk) 01:58, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Can someone mention the JAPANESE BANZAI ATTACKS. I mean that is like the greatest example of human wave attack and not even mentioned here! Connect it to Banzai attack.

WWI (the Great War) Human Wave Attacks[edit]

Regarding "Banzai attacks" above; not quite...the Great War had the most & largest massed human wave attacks in human history. The Somme, Verdun, Belleau Wood, to name a few. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:17, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Then find a military history book that explicitly say "Somme, Verdun, Belleau Wood are human wave attacks." Jim101 (talk) 05:56, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
The addition by that IP is, er, unique. Bayoneted rifles, eh. Gosh. Geoff B (talk) 01:30, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
According to O'Dowd's book, which is the only military book I can find that tries to define the concept of human wave attack, mass infantry charge made during WWI resembles human wave attack...but I found no specific examples from WWI that were labeled as human wave attack. Jim101 (talk) 04:09, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Korean War[edit]

I remember reading a memoir about the Korean War where big waves of heavily drugged Koreans wandered up to the British lines. The Koreans were too drugged to be effective. (talk) 09:59, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

According to current scholar consensus, the description of "drugged soldiers" is an inaccurate, biased and somewhat racist term used by Western/South Korean popular media to describe stubbornness of the Communists fighting style. The bottom line is that there is currently no proof that anyone is drugged during the Korean War. Furthermore, memoirs are not reliable sources on military sciences. Jim101 (talk) 12:46, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
They weren't drugged, merely told that if they hesitated they would be instantly shot for cowardice by their political commissars. Combine that with a lifetime's worth of Communist indoctrination under Mao, and you've got yourself an army willing (like the Soviets of WWII) to charge into machine gun fire without hesitation. Remember the Chinese machine gunners found chained to their guns and frozen solid during the Chosin Reservoir campaign? This is all verifiable, btw. Truth is often more unsightly than even propaganda. Bravo Foxtrot (talk) 00:41, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Funny, if it is verifiable, where is the source? Even in George, Alexander L. (1967), The Chinese Communist Army in Action: The War and its Aftermath, it stated that Chinese battlefield execution is "not verifiable", despite the threat of death is used to keep man in line. Furthermore, Chinese army was suffering manpower shortage through out early 1951 that captured deserters were directly pressed back into service instead of capital punishment...did you even bothered to study the topic in detail before crying POV? Jim101 (talk) 14:32, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Human wave attack and it's relations with numbers, skills and persistence[edit]

I am assuming that the scope of this article is about the human wave attack as a real world infantry tactic, not a popular culture lexicon, I just want to point out that there are currently no direct connections between human wave attack tactic and the number, skills and persistence of an attacking force.

The only military science definition from my research on the human wave attack tactic is that it is a frontal attack where the attacker would try to dump as many infantrymen as possible and as fast as possible onto the defender's position, so that the ensuing melee battle would either destroy the defender or force them to fall back. Unless another editor can provide an alternative definition that is properly cited in established infantry tactic studies, please note that the current definition does not require a fixed relationship between the attacker and the defender's strength, nor does it requires the attackers to be at a specific skill level, nor does it require the attacker's intention to be the suicidal. The only two prerequisites for human wave attack are that the attackers must have a strong morale system to motivate/force soldiers to charge, and that the attackers must disregard all covers for a high speed charge.

This is just a reminder that it is not NPOV nor accurate to tag everything as "human wave attack" just because the attacker vastly outnumbers the defender, and/or the attacker's soldiers are poorly trained/equipped, and/or the attacker is suicidal, and/or the attacker is engaged in attrition warfare. These conditions are signs that an attacker could be using the human wave attack tactic, but they are not prerequisite for human wave attack. Furthermore, since this articles scope is about military science, not about popular culture lexicon, popular media such as magazines, newspapers and memoirs are generally not reliable sources in defining what is a human wave attack tactic (or any military science topics in general). Jim101 (talk) 04:32, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Furthermore, the attacker concentrating a larger number of troops at a single point in the enemy's defenses is a sound military tactic and shouldn't have the connotation of "poor thought out assault by vast numbers of cannon fodder" that the term "human wave" has. The andf (talk) 23:45, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Infantrymen are Humans[edit]

I was rather surprised that the greatest slaughter in the history of man; the Great War, also known as World War One was not included in this article, although it had a lead in with, "massed infantry assaults were stopped after 1917, etc." The Somme occurred before 1917 so I reverted it back, after I noticed it had been deleted some time ago by an editor. Which caused some questions:

  • Why was referenced material deleted to begin with; when NON-referenced material (Banzai charges for example) were retained?

Then I noticed that the re-mover of the WWI piece, stated that he "thought it was absurd", further stating that he saw no "Human Wave Assaults" mentioned in the referenced material, as he had looked it up.

  • The article is about INFANTRY attacks as stated twice in the introduction paragraph of the article. The reference book(s) stated infantry attacks. Most people know, whether they served in the military or not, what an infantryman is...he's a human being! Therefore, a massed infantry attack is a human wave attack if they are attacking in WAVES; which 100,000 Infantrymen did at the Somme in 1916.

Then I read some of the above discussions concerning this "Human Wave" topic, and it sounded to me, as a neutral party, that the conversation went roughly like this, using " laymen's language as an example: "The soldiers were killed by volleys of rifle fire" and the other person says, "no they weren't, they were killed by firearms." Or, "the person was driving a car", and the other person replies, "no he wasn't, he was driving an automobile!"

Gentlemen, sometimes people make things so complicated they've forgotten what they originally were trying to say. A car is an automobile (although it could be part of a train if used in a different context); and a rifle is a firearm (although people could get specific about what type of firearm). And a infantryman is a man, a human being, and if 100 or 500 or 100,000 infantrymen make a frontal assault into the mouths of waiting machine guns...then it "can be" or "could be" called a human wave attack. Those men are not tanks making a frontal attack by the waves, they're not warships making a frontal attack wave after wave, they're MEN (or they used to be from the Vietnam War and beyond).

If the authors of this article want to separate "INFANTRYMEN" from "HUMAN BEINGS" then it will have to become a non-military topic. The introduction paragraph clearly states INFANTRY and the article is clearly titled HUMAN WAVE ATTACKS, so they are the same. If editors of this piece do not want WWI mentioned, the greatest example of mass waves of Human Beings "going over the top" to their deaths; then the creators of this article must change the introduction to read "People mass, etc." and not mention SOLDIERS at all. Soldiers were military men (prior to political correctness after the end of the Vietnam War with the all volunteer Army). And the infantry formed the basic army; the infantry was supported by armor (tanks) and artillery, in the US Army this was called the combat arms (during the Vietnam War era, rumor control says it's changed since then). Everything else in the US Army other than those 3 branches were support branches (Military Police, Engineers, Aviation, Medical Corps, Transportation Corps, Ordnance, Administration/JAG, Food Service, EOD (Explosive Ordnance Demolition, etc.). Armor & Artillery supported the infantry; the infantry was the army; they were "American Fighting Men" (or were from Vietnam and beyond, that was drilled into the men during boot camp), they were Human Beings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

It is not a human wave attack if you do not have a source that explicatly use the term "human wave attack". By your logic then anything that include infantry charges counts as human wave attacks, which is plainly wrong. There is a reason why we have WP:OR guideline, so that we don't make military scienece connections based on plain English words. Original text you were trying to restore are made by an editor lying by using sources that doesn't even mention mass infantry charges as an infantry tactic. You are more than welcome to clear out other non-referenced sections. Jim101 (talk) 23:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree it must come down to sources, else it's SYNTH at best. But I want to note that old-style WWI attacks fit the definition of human wave attacks; the attacks were actually done in waves, soldiers keeping in straight-line formation a couple hundred yards wide, a couple yards between each soldier, advancing with bayonets and without firing, then followed by successive waves a hundred yards behind, up to 8 waves in total (as in the Brusilov Offensive). The term "human wave attack" is at least somewhat pejorative, so many sources will avoid it, but if some use it for such attacks, then they are appropriate for this article -- probably more so than some of the others already included. I'm fairly sure such sources will be found, but we'll see. --A D Monroe III(talk) 16:08, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

FAQ Box[edit]

Due to the amount of "why didn't you include this" question, I made a FAQ box in the talk page. Everybody else feel free to discuss the FAQ or modify the questions. Jim101 (talk) 01:35, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Staggering pro-Chinese POV[edit]

I've added several new quotes from the existing sources to try and buttress the section on the Korean War.

As it stood, it was carefully worded by somebody with an axe to grind in order to portray the Chinese troops as super-soldiers (who put a priority on "minimizing casualties") while the US were simply morons who fought poorly and then overinflated the numbers of enemies in order to make their losses seem justified.

In actuality, all 5 of the sources state clearly that Chinese platoons (while not attacking in huge "waves" of the sort seen in the Russians in WWII, for example) did most definitely "disregard casualties" while conducting short attacks.0 This was part of their training and part of the control their commanders and commisars exercised over them, including the regularly-exercised right to execute those "lacking [proper] spirit". The source that claims they tried to minimize casualties is bullshit, to be kind, since none of the other sources say anything about such a claim and in fact expressly point out that if the target was important enough, the Chinese were willing to launch human wave attacks for days if need be, taking thousands of casualties in the process. This is not intended as a perjorative against the Chinese, but it is a critical and basic reality of the Chinese short attack that is confirmed by all the present sources. I should note that the People's Republic of China currently refuses to acknowledge they ever used such a tactic and refuses to use the term "human wave". Any attempt to manipulate the existing references should thus considered as propaganda from the PRC and should be reverted on site. I've now watchlisted this page and intend to do the reverting myself if need be. Bravo Foxtrot (talk) 00:11, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

First of all, where did "disregard casualties" has anything to do with this topic? Did you even tried to define the term "human wave attack" before crying propaganda? The studies of Chinese infantry tactic has two schools of thoughts, one is on the political system as indicated by George's "The Chinese Communist Army in Action: The War and its Aftermath", another school of thought is on Chinese infantry tactic in practice as indicated by sources such as Roy Appleman and US army studies. What gives you the right to disregard one school of thought over the other? Although we both agreed on the fact that Chinese launch numerous waves small fire teams until either the defense is wore down or everyone is dead, political control is only part of the equation - did you even consider the other factor such as that Chinese has no radio/communication system, as shown in numerous combat studies? And finally, you tried so hard to imply that Chinese lives are expandable, when none of the sources you said I "misquoted" came up with the same conclusion...what are you trying to pull here? Jim101 (talk) 14:08, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
* "Since it was not expected that the first wave would necessarily achieve a breakthrough on their own," which sources explicitly stated this?
* "and this made it difficult for UN defenders to target large masses of Chinese troops for artillery or close air support strikes." SLA Marshal said nothing about artillery or close air support, only that it is hard to target. Furthermore, in SLA Marshal's book The River and the Gauntlet (which I believe he got his research from), he stated that Chinese forces advance when UN forces are reloading, take cover when UN forces are firing, and each firing interval can only take down few Chinese in front of them despite the numbers, it obviously has nothing to do with artillery and close air support.
* Why did you take out reference Mahoney, Kevin (2001), Formidable Enemies: The North Korean and Chinese Soldier in the Korean War, despite the fact that it is vetted by established Korean War historian such as Allan R. Millett? And that fact that Chinese timed their advance to minimized casualty according to UN firearm reload patterns as confirmed by SLA Marshal?
* Why did you take out that fact that Chinese has no radio, despite the fact that it has been attributed by numerous historians for Chinese launching suicide attacks (a.k.a termed "tactical suicide" by Bevin R. Alexander)?
* "This form of overwhelming attack, often conducted without even the possibility of retreat," Which sources explicitly said no retreat allowed?
* "ending with the rather bitter punchline" the source you cited said the Marine derisively cried out "How many hordes are there in a Chinese platoon?" when hearing news report...that doesn't sound bitter IMO. Similarly Patrick C. Roe of the Chosin Few stated that the term "horde" has nothing to do with mass numbers Chinese (one Marine said "I shot three hordes while capturing two"), while Bevin R. Alexander interpreted the joke as mocking the term "human wave"...none of it sounded bitter.
* I have no problem with you rephrasing Appleman and SLA Marshal's take on the term human wave, although they are somewhat off topic given the content in the definition section. Jim101 (talk) 15:01, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
"while not attacking in huge "waves" of the sort seen in the Russians in WWII": where did you get the idea the Russians employed "huge waves"? Let me guess, from German accounts. It's not currently accepted that the Russians used this tactic. The andf (talk) 23:48, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

American Civil War[edit]

I'm removing this section again as original research - there are some citations for quotations and basic facts but the notion that any action in the Civil War was a human wave attack is not supported anywhere (a pretty big no-no per Q1 at the top of the page). - (talk) 18:33, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ O'Dowd, Edward C., Chinese Military Strategy in the Third Indochina War, Routledge, 2007