Sauron's military blunder

glorfindel
Posts: 285

Sauron's military blunder

Post#1 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:28 pm


Ok folks time for some evil doings. We all know that Sauron failed in the War of the Ring but what would you have done in his place? Your mission if you choose to accept. Come up with a military strategy that will win you the War of the Ring and dominate all of Middle Earth. You are bound to the time of the war. Meaning, you are Sauron and don't know where the One Ring is. You only have what he has during the war; army, land, minions of Sauron. And last, you are bound to realism. No marching an army of 100,000 orcs from Mordor to Rohan in 3 days, (there is resources to be accounted for)although you can move your army whenever.



 



Here is a start. I would use the army in Dol Guldur to attack Rohan and not Loreien at all. Rohan will be attack from the west by Isengard, and the east by Dol Guldur.



billin
Posts: 23

Sauron's military blunder

Post#2 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:11 pm


I would put my forces at cirith ungle, and my nazgul at the black gates, then have saramon attack minas tirith and i send 10,000 cave trolls to rohan.



Pleas forgive misspellings and capitalization



billin
Posts: 23

Sauron's military blunder

Post#3 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:15 pm


Oh, I forgot, put bring in the forces of minas morgal and pertect mt. doom



User avatar
l
Posts: 18

Sauron's military blunder

Post#4 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:19 pm


i'm probably not the right person to ask, being a hobbit and all, hehehe. But if i would be Sauron, trapped in Mordor and depending on others to a) find my ring and b) fight a war for me, i would not have sent the Nazgûl for the ring but sent them to war because as i see it they were really a force to be reckoned with in battle and thus i would probably make more use of their power.



 



And i might have ordered Saruman to not go West and concentrate on the Shire but to come and help me in Gondor.



 



Other than that i really have no idea what i would have done differently. Actually - omg, am i saying this ?!? - Sauron did a marvelous job there. He basically kept everyone in Arda on their toes til the end.



Balrogs R Us
Posts: 539

Sauron's military blunder

Post#5 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:02 pm


Ah interesting question. But where to start...



Well one of a few things I'd do is coordinate my attack with Saruman more. They needed to strike at the exact same time, roughly the time Saruman DID attack, and occupy both the Rohirrim and the forces of Gondor in different parts of the world all at once. This would have kept Aragorn busy at Helms Deep, preventing him from seeking the men of Dunharrow (and even if he did, he could only help one city). This would also have kept Gandalf busy, and Helms Deep might not have gone the way it did if Gondor was under attack at the same time. Maybe even have the men of Umbar help Saruman instead, Sauron having the Haradrim and nazgul.



I also would have never left the gate to Mount Doom unguarded. I'd probably even have it guarded by one of the nazgul, even if that means having him sit on a wooden stool outside the door, but in any case always have someone watching over it. Another thing is I'd be less conspicuous looking for the ring. I wouldn't have sent my scariest most intimidating black riders to the Shire, a land of little people. I'd have found some charming, deceitful character that nobody would expect, perhaps a clever man of Umbar.



But ultimately more teamwork with Saruman would've made the difference. They had the perfect strategy but a completely misplaced execution. Also maybe even build up my forces even more. Look at Gondolin. A near unassailable fortress......unless you simply have uncountable numbers to storm it. Saruman should've had more when attacking Helms Deep. Sauron has pretty good numbers at Pelennor, so the key would be to keep Aragorn out of the picture.



User avatar
brego
Posts: 1275

Sauron's military blunder

Post#6 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:28 pm

I would destroy Mt Doom as its the only place the ring could be destroyed.

User avatar
Fornad
Posts: 844
Contact:

Sauron's military blunder

Post#7 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:48 am


Two things to remember here - Sauron didn't know about the Fellowship, and furthermore could never have imagined that the Ring would be destroyed rather than used against him by the Free Peoples.



If Sauron took the Ring, the war would be over fairly soon afterward - that much is clear. So, instead of sending nine riders north who would be of far greater value leading his armies, I would have instead told Saruman to march his armies north, to ravage the Shire and find the Ring. No army in Eriador could counter ten thousand Uruk-hai and wildmen (though Rivendell could probably hold out against them). The Ring would then have most likely been found.



If the Company of the Ring had been formed and they had gotten out of Eriador (and therefore Saruman's armies were in Eriador and none able to ambush them) they wouldn't have been broken at Amon Hen. This is pure speculation, but I imagine that Aragorn would have pressed them on to the Morgul Vale, rather than listening to Boromir's insistence that they go to Minas Tirith. By this point, Sauron's armies would be besieging the city, so it probably wouldn't be the best idea anyway.



This is where it gets interesting.



Gandalf would have returned, yes, but where? My guess is that he would have returned to the Company in Ithilien (as they were the only real hope of defeating Sauron), and they then with him would have gone through Shelob's lair (Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir probably making short work of the beast if they encountered her).



However, they would have great difficulty in getting across Gorgoroth to Mount Doom, as Sauron did not put forth all his forces to attack Minas Tirith (which probably would have fallen by this point without Gandalf rallying the defences, and indeed without Merry to provide the crucial blow to the Witch-king). The Fellowship would have had little choice however, so they would have pressed on.



I find it fairly unlikely that they could have got to Mount Doom from Cirith Ungol without being spotted, and probably would have been overwhelmed by orcs. However, beyond that point, there is nothing more Sauron could have done. Again, it never entered Sauron's wildest dreams that the Ring wouldn't be used against him in some way, and so guards placed on a place none of his enemies would ever have any want or need to go would have seemed foolish to him.



Balrogs R Us
Posts: 539

Sauron's military blunder

Post#8 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:14 pm


Eh I'd have to disagree. If I were Sauron. I know, for a fact, that if I created the most powerful artifact the world has known, one that could only be destroyed where it was created, which also happened to be the heart of my kingdom, and then that artifact went missing....I wouldn't even consider it before doing. Maybe in times of need I'd send the nazgul into battle, but I would undoubtedly have some sort of guard post outside. Like the DMZ in Korea. Even though there's almost no chance of an actual fight breaking out there, they still have extremely strict guard protocols and "just in case" plans. Sure if I HAD the ring it'd be different. But I don't think Sauron needed to be aware of the Fellowship to be aware there's a chance his ring could be destroyed. Regardless, even though he may not have known of the fellowship specifically, not long after the journey began he knew a hobbit had the ring, he knew he couldn't find said hobbit, and then on top of that he discovered the ring was on the move away from The Shire (incident in Bree for one). And I promise this isn't a "hindsight/well because I know" scenario. I would have set up AT LEAST one door guard. IF ANYTHING, put some insanely thick/heavy/spiked door that can only be opened by 10 cave trolls. What's the saying? It only takes a grain of sand to shatter cracked glass? Something like that.



One of the greatest pieces of advice Sun Tzu gives us is to not underestimate but overestimate your enemy. So considering I might not have considered hobbits, I undoubtedly would have considered dwarves, and I definitely would have considered elves, thus I don't think there's any doubt in my mind I'd have set up a guard of some sort. If you have innumerable amounts of orcs, I think setting one or two aside on guard duty for arguably the most important place in ME at the time just seems...obvious.



But again I do agree that better use of Saruman would've been the key to Sauron's victory. However I think sending Saruman to ravage The Shire off the bat would be another mistake. Suddenly Saruman's forces are occupied on the opposite side of the world in unfamiliar territory not really suited for foot soldiers. Thus, THERE IS A CHANCE, that a powerful enough militia, consisting of hobbits, dwarves, elves, and men, could fight back with guerilla tactics, also using geography such as the Old Forest to their advantage. Scouts would see the army on the move, the dust cloud alone  could be seen for miles, and perhaps the Rohirrim could be called upon and they'd arrive at the last second to save the day. There are so many other places he could've gone with Saruman, but instead Saruman got arrogant and risked the pre-emptive attack on a legendary citadel. Classic military blunder.



I think my main advantage over Sauron is I've read both Machiavelli's and Sun Tzu's Art of War. So admittedly Sauron was a military genius because he came up with all these formations on his own, BUT, technically the thread asks what if we were Sauron, not retell Sauron's story, so..... sad



User avatar
Fornad
Posts: 844
Contact:

Sauron's military blunder

Post#9 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:22 pm


I think to understand Sauron's failure to comprehend what was going on you have to look at everything that was going on in context. First, I think Tolkien makes it clear in a number of places that it would never occur to Sauron that the West might try to destroy the Ring (can't find any exact quotes, but the general idea is that a being like Sauron could not have imagined that such a powerful weapon would not be used).



 


Next, Sauron and his underlings hadn't a clue what really happened in the Tower of Cirith Ungol as shown by the conversation between two orcs overheard by Frodo and Sam. Also, Shagrat does not reach Barad-dur with his report and artifacts until March 17. By this time Sauron has seen Pippin and Aragorn in the palantir, knows of the destruction of Isengard, and has seen his armies defeated in front of Minas Tirith with the loss of the Witch-king. Might he not think that all these things are evidence of someone starting to learn to wield the power of the Ring? Who else could destroy Isengard, defeat a wizard like Saruman and a being like the Witch-king? On March 18, the Host of the West marched forth from Minas Tirith towards Mordor. I think it is quite reasonable for Sauron to assume that the Ring was with either Aragorn or Gandalf at Minas Tirith and was the cause of his defeats there.


 


Also, as I think Imrahil says, they were attacking Mordor with an army that would have barely constituted the vanguard of Gondor's army in its heyday and could not possibly hope to defeat Sauron's armies - unless they were using the Ring. Whatever was going on at Cirith Ungol, in Sauron's mind, was probably merely an attempt to distract him or a feint to get him to draw his armies away from the Black Gate, where he imagined an assault would be made upon Mordor as had happened at the end of the Second Age. It was ten days from the time Frodo and Sam leave Cirith Ungol to the time they reach Orodruin. In that time, they were undetected by the forces of Mordor. Once again, I think it not unreasonable for Sauron to have thought that whatever was going on back at Cirith Ungol, the infiltrators had left Mordor. Sauron could not possibly imagine that a "great elf warrior" could sneak past the innumerable orc camps in Gorgoroth and reach the heart of his realm undetected - but this is needless speculation because he would never have even considered the possibility, and that was his downfall.


Balrogs R Us
Posts: 539

Sauron's military blunder

Post#10 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:26 pm


Fornad I agree with you completely why he failed. You're preaching to the choir here. He didn't see it coming. And yes, as we both said that was his downfall. And see now we're debating what we agree on: why Sauron fell. I don't think there's any dispute as Tolkien clarified this many times. The question is how could he have prevented it. One obvious way I think is keeping the entrance guarded. Obviously he didn't do it because he didn't think he needed to. So because of his arrogance I feel like he overlooked obvious potential missteps. For one I think he would have realized everything you say far before the fellowship even entered Moria. Simply because his riders knew the Ring was at Bree for sure, after already being pretty sure it was in the Shire with a hobbit. Besides obviously Saruman knew roughly where they were because he sent out his raid party. And if Saruman knew, I'll bet Sauron could've figured it out too, assuming Saruman didn't tell him.



So, if I were Sauron and a great military strategist, I would keep my only weakness guarded at all times. I don't really care if I thought someone could breach it or not. For instance I have a safe buried in my closet with random valuables in it....I know nobody is going to be able to dig through my boxes and find it without me knowing, but that doesn't mean I'm just going to leave it unlocked. His arrogance was his downfall, and that's like....rule # 1 in any military strategy: don't get cocky. He did, and look what happened.



And I never said a great elf warrior. It could have been a short man in leather, a dwarf rogue, a slim elf spy, and other carriers who I think could have successfully snuck through the same areas Frodo did, maybe even a bit more successfully.  My point being I wouldn't have thought "a hobbit is too insignificant to worry about" but "I don't have it so there's a chance anything could happen." If you don't like the physical guard idea, then I think it makes just as much sense without being overly paranoid to have some sort of gate. Look at the Black Gate....forget the trolls/orcs on top, nobody is getting through that gate without some serious effort amongst a large group of individuals.



And again I think he was too obvious in his search for the ring. He should have played opossum until the day his armies left, which should also have been the same day Saruman attacked. Yeah I'm sure Gandalf and Elrond and Galdriel and all of them would have known something was brewing, but they wouldn't know it was Sauron himself looking for the ring until it was too little, too late.



Return to “The Lord of the Rings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests