16. Genghis Khan Was the First to Come Up With the Corps Concept
Another of Genghis Khan’s military innovations was the creation of the equivalent of modern army corps operations. His Tumans of 10,000 warriors, which were powerful enough to take on significantly larger enemy formations, usually operated independently, and marched separately to sweep across and devastate wide swathes of enemy territory. They were kept in contact with each other and with army commanders in charge of two or more Tumans by a steady stream of couriers who carried messages back and forth. If a Tuman made contact with an enemy force too big to handle on its own, the other Tumans could quickly be called in and concentrated into an army.
About six hundred years later, Napoleon Bonaparte adopted a similar methodology, that relied on the use of separate army corps to advance on a broad front. Each corps was strong enough to operate independently and handle any opposition short of a sizable army. As each of them made its own way, Napoleon’s corps advanced like the outstretched fingers of a hand. If and when one of them made contact with the main enemy force, it would engage in order to fix it in place, or otherwise maintain contact. In the meanwhile, the remaining corps would rush in and concentrate upon their sister corps in contact with the enemy, and what had been a widespread advance resembling outstretched fingers would transform into a clenched fist.