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More Strategy... and the World would have fallen.


Jun 5 2014, 11:22am

Post #1 of 7 (279 views)
More Strategy... and the World would have fallen. Can't Post

The thread about the strategic importance of Erebor to Sauron in the Hobbit forum led me to the following thoughts:

With more strategic planning Sauron would have had a much better chance of dominating Middle-earth, similar to Hitler in WWII.

Though I know that in the books Sauron is not as directly invovled in the Orcs attacking the Free Peoples in the North, it still seems like a mistake that he did not try to take the North before the War of the Ring started all over Middle-earth. Since both Rohan and Gondor's forces were already bound in the South, he could have started a campaign against the North without having to fear the Realms of Men. The risk and danger would have been to keep Galadriel and Lothlorien at bay and send enough forces to take Erebor before the Woodland Realm could intervene... or to face them at the same time. In either situation though Sauron would have had a high possibility of sacking the North before the War in the South escalated.

With the North being free by the Spring of 3019, Sauron had to start a multi-front war, similar to Hitler who (thankfully) failed to win the Battle of Britain and invade Great Britain before he started his campaign against the Soviet Union. In both cases this diminished the early advantage of the superior military power both Nazi-Germany and Mordor had at the beginning of the wars.

While Germany basically lost the war by the opening of a second front, Mordor, of course, still had a shot of winning the war. Not just by gaining the Ring but by making better strategic decisions once the war was under way. For example, I believe Sauron seems to have held back too big a part of his troops in Mordor (which he later used at the Morannon). The force against Minas Tirith should have been bigger, the troops sent to the North only strong enough to stop the Free People's troops there from joining the South. If he had sent more troops to Minas Tirith, the Pelennor should have fallen quicker than it did and the city would have fallen before Aragorn and/or the Rohirrim arrived (again similarities are there to Hitler who was not able to reach and conquer Moscow swiftly enough... a mistake that Napoleon had already made as well).

Sauron neither followed the strategy of divide and conquer to full extent, nor the strategy of sheer dominance and mass. He chose a mixture, probably due to his fear of what would happen if the Free People used the Ring against him, and this mixture was neither fish nor flesh in the end - and made the whole war plans of Mordor vulnerable to Gandalf's tactic and strategic genius.

"I am afraid it is only too likely to be true what you say about the critics and the public. I am dreading the publication for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at." J.R.R. Tolkien

We all have our hearts and minds one way or another invested in these books and movies. So we all mind and should show the necessary respect.


Jun 5 2014, 3:54pm

Post #2 of 7 (158 views)
What Sauron Should Have Done. [In reply to] Can't Post

Sauron's biggest mistake was withdrawing to Mordor in TA 2941. When the Dark Lord received the first intelligence that the White Council was preparing to act against him what he should have done is to have struck first--launching an immediate attack against Lothlorien. He could have probably recruited Smaug easily through deception by insisting that the Free Peoples of the North desired his treasure so that they could hire armies in their own defense.

Once Lothlorien was attacked, the chances are that King Thranduil would withdraw his folk into his Halls rather than rise to Lorien's defense. Lake-town could have been swiftly overcome and occupied to become a supply depot for Sauron's armies. After securing Wilderland east of the Misty Mountains, the Enemy could recruit the Orcs from the mountains, including Moria, to attack and destroy Rivendell. Any surviving Dunedain might retreat to the Grey Havens; the rest of Eriador would lay helpless before him.

With Eriador to provide further food and supplies for his armies; Sauron could launch his Southern Campaign against Gondor and Rohan. His Easterlings could assault Rohan on an eastern front with the Dunlendings attacking from the west. Orcs could surge into Southern Gondor from Eriador, while Corsairs, Harardrim and other Southron troops make their way North from the Bay of Belfalas.

It might have been a slaughter.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 5 2014, 3:54pm)


Jun 5 2014, 5:57pm

Post #3 of 7 (149 views)
The many mistakes of Sauron. [In reply to] Can't Post

Sauron always did overlook some of the finer details, details that may have made him more successful in regaining the One Ring. However strong and omnipotent he thought he was, his fatal character flaw was presuming that some minor details didn't matter. Thinking that nobody would try and destroy the Ring, not taking Thrain's key, ignoring Sam and Frodo at Cirith Ungol, not having guards at Mount Doom, underestimating the intervention of the Valar (etc ...) were big mistakes.

Sorry to drag up previous threads, but thoughts reminded me of these two threads which you might also like: The Nine Mistakes of Sauron and Was Sauron's downfall Thrain's key?


Jun 5 2014, 6:10pm

Post #4 of 7 (143 views)
Well.. [In reply to] Can't Post

..in the Second Age Sauron found Rivendell a tough nut to crack, and his seige of it probably cost him his chance at the Elven rings, not to mention victory in the war.

So I can see him wanting to avoid making the same mistake again and choosing to go south instead of north.

Just like Hitler.

The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.


Jun 5 2014, 7:21pm

Post #5 of 7 (137 views)
Sauron ignored his defense, not his offense [In reply to] Can't Post

Not only could Sauron have recruited Smaug, but also the Balrog in Moria. With Smaug and the Balrog on his side, it would have likely been impossible for the ring to reach Mordor for its eventual destruction. Smaug would have prevented the ring from going back to the Shire and if it did get back there, the Fellowship could have been prevented from taking it South if the Balrog could have made plans ahead of time.

Remember, Sauron did not need the ring to take over Middle Earth. He would have been unstoppable with it (unless there was direct intervention from the Valar), but it was clear he could win the war without the ring. He just needed to prevent it from being used by another powerful person or being destroyed. He worried about the former but didn't even conceive of the latter, to his own demise. If he had thought about the latter, he could have done a better job defending Mordor and making allies who could prevent the movement of the ring.

In the end, he didn't even need Smaug or the Balrog. All he needed was to defend Mordor from entry and he would have succeeded and been the ruler of all Middle Earth, until the Valar got off their lazy asses and bailed out the Children of Iluvatar once again.


Jun 5 2014, 8:17pm

Post #6 of 7 (132 views)
It's not entirely clear that Sauron was aware of the Balrog of Moria. [In reply to] Can't Post

The chances seem good that Sauron knew of the Balrog; however, since he wasn't in direct control of the Moria-goblins, it's possible that he did did not know the identity of Durin's Bane. In any event, Sauron's defense was only weak at the time of the War of the Ring. At the time of the Quest of Erebor, it was his offense that he ignored.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

Hamfast Gamgee

Jun 6 2014, 9:54am

Post #7 of 7 (162 views)
I am never totally sure [In reply to] Can't Post

Of Sauron's wisdom in setting up in Dol Guldor rather than in Mordor. If instead of spending hundreds indeed thousands of years in Dol Guldor, couldn't he have moved to Mordor earlier and used those years to really make it impenetrable to assault?


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