The Instigator
karththegeld
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Bricheze
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

"Die, but do not retreat." - Joseph Stalin

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
karththegeld
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,872 times Debate No: 6315
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)

 

karththegeld

Con

If this was not clear, the debate is about whether or not those words of Stalin should be followed or not. I argue it should not be followed. My opponent must argue that it should be followed.

I will let my opponent start.

I eagerly await to hear my opponent's thoughts.
Bricheze

Pro

"Die, but do not retreat."

I agree with this quote. Whether or not you have no chance of survival, and the only possibility to survive is to retreat, you should not retreat. Because of the common good. If you give-up and allow you enemies to win a battle and retreat, they grow stronger, the more you damage them, the better. You should keep on fighting no matter what. And because it shows your enemy weakness and raises their moral.

If you scare off an enemy before they realize they could win the battle, it keeps you from receving more damage--and possibly losing. So the bigger and scarier you look, the less chance you will have even be attacked in the first place, or that you will have to ever die because you can not retreat. So if everyone dies in one battle-proving your toughness, the group of people you are battling are going to be more hesitant to continue the fighting, realizing that:

A) You will not back down, and they will either have to destroy you or leave you alone
B) You will do a lot of damage to their troops--raising the question: Is it worth it?
C) You are strong and will continue to fight until we are demolished or you die, next time they could come in larger numbers and be even more powerful, could we lose the next battle? Should we continue?

Obviously, this tactic can be very worthwhile.

Lastly, you are more memorable in history if you are willing to die for everything you care for, if you are willing to die for the common good, in your time and even hundreds of years later people will look up at you. Take for example, The Spartans. Only a few men stayed behind to die. But those few did so much-- created such a large amount of damage on Persia, their small city-state actually stood a chance. Not only that, but we remember them better then almost any other group of warriors in the history of the world.
Debate Round No. 1
karththegeld

Con

Thank you, Bricheze, for accepting this debate.

As my opponent is debating the pro/aff, she must be able to prove that retreating is not the better option in any scenario but one.

I will first state my case, then move onto my opponent's

I do not agree with the following statement of Stalin: "Die, but do not retreat."

Retreat is defined as "the forced or strategic withdrawal of an army or an armed force before an enemy" - dictionary.com

Arthur Wellesley, during Bonaparte's 100 day campaign, retreated from Quatre Bras to Waterloo in order for an easier win. If Wellesley had not retreated, Bonaparte would have most likely won. From a military standpoint, it was a better decision to retreat to Waterloo. This is a situation where it is better to retreat than to die.

Another example from the Napoleonic Era involves the Russians. When Bonaparte marched into Russia with 500-600,000 men, the Russians retreated and applied a scorched earth policy. Bonaparte and his men went all the way to Moscow and got nothing as the city had been burnt down. Napoleon turned around at Moscow. The Russians suffered few casualties and the French army had been decimated to a mere 10,000. This is another situation where it is better to retreat than to die.

The definition of retreat says that it can be for a strategic withdrawal. And as my two examples above show, it is better to retreat now and then for the purpose of strategy.

From a less literal view, the statement "die, but do not retreat" is not always the wisest choice. For instance, when arguing with someone, and the facts say you are wrong, the wisest course of action is to concede defeat. If you know you are blatantly wrong, to continue arguing would be futile. It is not always about supporting your views. If you think it is right go ahead and believe it all you want, even if you cannot explain why you believe it, but in an argument give up and leave once you are proven wrong.

----------------------------------------------------My opponent's case--------------------------------------------------------------

My opponent agrees with the quote for the following reasons:

1) Retreating weakens you and strengthens the opposition
2) By being persistent you may outlast the opposition
3) The damage done to you as a result of persisting may cause the opposition to stop fighting
4) By persisting you become more memorable in history

For the first reason my opponent claims that retreating is giving up and thus you lose a battle and your opponent has the better hand in the following battle. This is does not work because retreating can be used as a strategy. As I showed in my examples, retreating can be used to strengthen yourself rather than your opponent. And again, my opponent must prove the statement true in all situations.

My opponent's second reason is something that has little opportunity of working. An army will most likely not run away because the other is "scarier." Rather, they would surrender or retreat to safety to decide on a better course of action.

Proving your worth by fighting until the end is not a good incentive for the soldiers. If you go and tell your soldiers, to be remembered you must die, do you really think they would care to be remembered? I would think the answer would be "no." The soldiers will not do their best if this is their motivation.
Now the three things my opponent says the opposition may realize:

A) You will not back down, and they will either have to destroy you or leave you alone.

If they went through the trouble of trying to kill you, then they will continue to try to kill you. And if they would attempt to destroy you, would that not be worse for you? By retreating you can regroup into a more effective attack. Which makes it harder for the opposition.

B) You will do a lot of damage to their troops--raising the question: Is it worth it?

But you are fighting to the death, in such a case the casualties lay more heavily on your side, meaning less damage to the opposition in the following attack. Worsening the situation does not benefit you.

C) You are strong and will continue to fight until we are demolished or you die. Next time, they could come in larger numbers and be even more powerful, could we lose the next battle? Should we continue?

This is basically B in other words. So the previous argument applies here as well. With larger numbers, it would be easier for you, but why would the opposition not have a larger army? You do not send out the whole army to one battle. The numbers will not matter too much.

My opponent moves on to saying this is a useful tactic. But when it hurts you rather than help you, it cannot be useful unless you are trying to lose.

For my opponent's last argument of proving yourself, becoming more memorable in history, I would like to bring back the incentive that this is supplying: "to be remembered, you must die." If this was true, I would not want to be remembered. I think that many people would agree with me on this as well.

I await my opponent's response.
Bricheze

Pro

I feel awful, but I simply don't want to respond. I don't know why, but the insignificance of this debate is just not driving me to make a response. My apologies ten fold, and please anyone who reads this debate immediately vote for my opponent. Please take up this debate with someone else.
Debate Round No. 2
karththegeld

Con

karththegeld forfeited this round.
Bricheze

Pro

Bricheze forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
karththegeld

Con

karththegeld forfeited this round.
Bricheze

Pro

Bricheze forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jamesothy 8 years ago
Jamesothy
karththegeldBrichezeTied
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Total points awarded:70