Native American Warfare Tactics

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Native Americans have practiced the art of combat for many centuries. It was there guerilla warfare tactics that allowed for them to prevail against invaders and the eventual occupation of European settlers in the America’s. The Europeans had what they considered to be superior technology as well weaponry, however they soon discovered that in order to survive as well as expand their settlements they would be required to adopt similar strategies of the Native American tribes. Native American Tribes as well as warriors have left an incredible mark on the concept of warfare.

Let us look at some of the Native American War Tactics

Small War Parties: Due to the interest of preservation of life, many Native American tribes focused on small war parties in order to acquire resources like horses, supplies, food, as well as replacement tribe members. Geronimo used this tactic effectively to his advantage and won many battles against greater forces. 

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Stealth Attacks: Individual as well as small group warriors would use the art of stealth to silently creep up on camps and European Military units. The stealth tactics provided a surprise attack, prevented the loss of Native warriors, and allowed for the conflict to be fought on their terms. 

Psychological Warfare: By using tactics that brought fear to enemy’s assisted with destabilizing a soldiers will to fight. Through the use of camouflage such as animal skins, masks, and face/body paint as well as scalping practices, warriors were able to create psychological wins without ever engaging in physical battle.

Ambush: By drawing an enemy into an ambush would allow for small war parties to inflict serious casualties upon their enemies. The Tlingit tribes in Alaska lured their Russian enemies with a bear skin and then killed them.

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Use of Enemy Tactics: Native American Tribes Specifically Sioux and Cheyenne often used their enemy tactics to cause confusion and disrupt communication between enemy soldiers. It was also vital for warriors to know their enemy and use that knowledge to their advantage. At the battle of Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse new that the enemy rifle would eventually jam during repetitive usage, so he rode back and forth until enemy weapons jammed, then sent his men to finish them off.  


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