My point was that European technology was not the advantage it has always been cracked up to be, and especially i was referring to Diamond's book. Those who have read it will know that he was replying to a query by a native of Papua-New Guinea as to how the Europeans had prevailed. Diamond then came up with this "guns, germs and steel" BS. Natives were not always cowed by European technology, and wise leaders did not rely upon it. Cortés used thousands and thousands of Indian allies. Pizarro seized Atahualpa and effectively decapitated his enemies command structure. The Spanish chose Manco as a puppet ruler in place of Atahualpa, but Manco soon grew discontented, and four years later, escaped and lead an insurrection which lasted a decade. By then, of course, Spaniards were flooding into Peru, and that is the advantage the Europeans always enjoyed--social organization which meant that there were always more soldiers and settlers coming in after the initial invasion.
But even in the days of later, vastly superior technology, it was not a sure thing that European armies would win. Most of us are probably familiar with the battle of Rorke's Drift, the subject of the motion picture Zulu
. Indeed, a large fistful of Victoria Crosses were handed out to the survivors of that battle. But that was largely public relations, to attempt to bury the shame of the battle of Isadlwana
. More than 1300 British, other European and native troops were slaughtered by Zulus carrying iron assegais (short handled, long-bladed spears). The British had breech-loading Martini-Henry rifles, two three inch artillery pieces and a rocket battery. Although about a thousand Zulus were shot down, they overwhelmed the British. They had kept their forces concentrated while the British were spread out in several columns. They had, as much as possible, kept the main body of their army hidden, and rushed to the attack as soon as they were detected, achieving tactical surprise. It was over so quickly that the technological advantages possessed by the British were of no avail. After all, what the Zulu accomplished is what any competent European commander would hope to accomplish.
At the battle of Adwa in Abyssinia
in 1896, an army of people whom we would call Ethiopians overwhelmed a poorly handled Italian army, evne though they were not as well-equipped, many of their firearms and artillery being outmoded. They were, however, willing to take the casualties, and although they had fewer killed, they had far, far more wounded. Many of the Italians who were killed might have survived in a battle in which their army had not been driven off.
There's the example of Elphinstone's retreat from Kabul in 1842, and more recently, the example of the Tiger tanks used by the Nazis. The Germans built a superior tank--and built fewer than 2000 of them. The Sherman tank, although not as good, overwhelmed them--the Americans built almost 50,000 of them. Technological superiority doesn't mean much is you can't exploit it, or if your enemy is competent and unafraid.