This is the next What if/Could it? thread. I think is the smallest scale one I have done, as the total participants in this battle are less than 4,000.
This battle in June of 1876 was part of the Great Sioux War in the part of the United States now known as the states of Montana, Wyoming, and the two Dakotas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Sioux_War_of_1876
While the United States won this war, it's most famous (or rather infamous) moment is this US disaster.
I'm sure most everyone reading this must have at least heard of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, or perhaps by it's alternate name: Custer's Last Stand. If you do not know much about this battle, here is the wiki link if you wish to read up about it before considering my question. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Little_Bighorn
While most people think the US soldiers were totally wiped out in this battle, in actuality, it was only the 200 or so men directly under the command of George Armstrong Custer that were wiped out, with many myths of one or two survivors. Total there was around 700 US troops involved in this operation.
Against the US forces was a combined force of Lakota, Arapaho and North Cheyenne warriors from their respective Native American tribes. Estimates of their total strength range from 900 to over 2,000 , possibly more.
Since the battle, there has been a debate over Custer's decision to leave behind the Artillery attached to him, particularly the Gatling Guns, of which he had at least two.
Many have argued that had Custer brought the Gatling's with him when he was engaged by the Sioux forces, the US could have won the battle.
The question I put forth for this thread is:"If Custer had brought his Gatling Guns with him to Little Bighorn, could he have won the battle against the Sioux forces?"
I personally do not think so, the Gatling gun was prone to jamming, but even if we assume the guns worked sufficiently, there are two problems I see:
1) The crew of the Gatling Guns would have had to be standing to operate it, thus leaving them completely exposed to rifle fire.
2) The Gatling Gun, while indeed delivering a then astounding rate of fire, would not have had the required tactical flexibility to engage the type of force Custer was opposing: Tribal Warriors on horseback with bows and carbines.
The Gatling Gun is great for holding a position and firing into an attacker, for example, Pickett's charge would have been ideal situation for the Union to deploy Gatlings if they had them.
In this case, the Sioux would have, in my opinion, been smart enough to spread out and do their best to move around the Gatlings, and pick of the gunners once they were within range.
but nonetheless, at the time, the Gatling gun did project an intimidating presence on any battlefield, and the Sioux warriors would have been at least nervous about going into battle against them. So in my opinion, the Gatling guns would have not won Custer the day, but could have prevented the major disaster that did occur.
"we have officially entered into pre-whinning about our games."- CogreI will always respect differing opinions on here, so long as they are presented maturely and in a civil manner
"No Battleplan ever survives contact with the enemy"- Helmuth Von Moltke the Elder
The WWI Thread: https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/30914/why-a-world-war-i-themed-total-war/p1
I'm skipping TW: Warhammer