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Reviving Napoleon’s Army
“Cry havoc, and Let Slip the Frogs of Yore”

It is curious how little military men know about war. You would think they would think about it more. Yet, oddly, they regularly misjudge practically everything concerning the dismal trade. Their errors are not the sort that inevitably must occur in a contest, as when a quarterback doesn’t pick up a blitz. They are fundamental misappreciations of war itself.

The foregoing sounds both arrogant and improbable, like saying that dentists do not understand teeth. Actually it is neither.

The reasons are several. First, the military attracts certain kinds of men—authoritarian, hierarchical, conformist—who are not imaginative and do not think independently. Second, the appeal of the military is visceral, emotional, hormonal. Neither of these things is true of dentists.

This explains why wars monotonously turn out not to resemble expectations. In WWI, the German command expected a lightning victory via the Schlieffen Plan. It failed, but the foolishness does not lie in the failure. Rather it is in the complete incapacity to foresee that the failure would result in four years of inconclusive static war. Trenches, barbed wire, and machine guns took them by surprise. Yet the existence of all of these things was well known.

This sort of blindness is common, almost normal. At First Manassas in the American Civil War, the armies had no faint idea that they might be embarking on four years of horrendous war, or of the kind of war it would be. When America invaded Vietnam, the Pentagon did not foresee ten years of a losing war. Nor did it have any notion of what would happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Militaries regularly underestimate the enemy and overestimate their own capacities. The reasons I think are several. One is that morale is important in war and a sober estimation of reality often does not conduce to high morale. For example, you do not tell your troops, “You are mediocre infantry and inferior man for man to the enemy but we have better technology and will rely on this.” Thus American troops are always the finest, best trained and best armed the world has ever seen.

Another and important reason is the Star Wars Effect. In movie theaters watch the audience, and particularly the male part, when the good space ships swoop in, dodging, maneuvering, firing, just on the edge of defeat, the music coming up, and blow the bad guy away. The watchers grip the armrests, sway with the turns of the hero’s spaceship. This visceral, adrenal response to war runs through humanity: The Ride of the Valkyries, The Sands of Iwo Jima, and the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Military training aims at the inculcation of a sense of invincibility. Years back at Parris Island a sign read, “The Most Dangerous Thing in the World: A Marine and his Rifle.” It was nonsense, the marines then being decent light infantry but no more, yet we were told endlessly that were unique in the annals of war. This sort of overconfidence has consequences. Sometimes it provides the elan needed to win. Sometimes it leads to disaster.

The unrealistic sense of power is instilled in training by, for example, running in close formation. The rhythmic thumpthumpthump of fifty pairs of boots unleashes something deep in males. It is the pack instinct, a call to savagery intensified by calling cadence, “Luke the gook comes marching by, stick your bayonet in his eye, lefryelefrylefryelef….” We are the toughest of the tough.

Often the belief in invincibility becomes almost mystical. In WWI the French believed in cran, in l’offensive a outrnce, the fighting spirit that was sure to lead to victory. More attention to heavy artillery would have been prudent. In Japan it was bushido. Yamamoto, who had been in the United States and knew what it was, suggested that starting a war with a country having ten times your industrial potential was not unduly bright. The Army ignored him.

Underestimation of the enemy is a military disease bordering at time on a death wish. Before WWII, the US military tended to regard the Japanese as funny little buck-toothed monkeys with thick glasses. The same monkeys had destroyed the Russian fleet in 1905, fought for years in China with an excellent fighter plane—the Zero—and conducted sophisticated carrier operations. None of this occurred to the Americans.

This, though not a military publication, sums up a common military attitude. At Parris Island, training for Viet Nam, we were told that the Viet Cong were dirty little men who didn’t know how to clean their rifles. Uh…yeah.  Credit: Fred on Everything.

This, though not a military publication, sums up a common military attitude. At Parris Island, training for Viet Nam, we were told that the Viet Cong were dirty little men who didn’t know how to clean their rifles. Uh…yeah. Credit: Fred on Everything.

Examples abound. In 1954 at Dien Bien Phu, the French army camped in a valley surrounded, as valleys are, by high hills. The French knew that les jaunes, the yellows, couldn’t get artillery up on those hills.

Actually, les jaunes could. They also did. There is footage of maybe twenty of them heaving on a rope attached to an artillery piece, which moved six inches upward. Another man quickly put a chock under the wheels to that it didn’t roll back. Pull, chock, pull, chock, pull, chock, boom. The French were slaughtered.

Another source of unrealism is loud noise. Modern armament is exciting, in the sense that cavalry charges once were. Tanks, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and such, aside from appealing to the male love of controllable complexity, appeal equally to the male love of the fast, powerful, noisy, and inexorable.

You have to feel it to understand it. On a flight line at night, jet engines howling, hot jet-wash smelling of burned kerosene blowing about, confident and competent men working together, fighters taking off with a thudding roar that you feel in your lungs.

It is very hard to imagine such loud, virile machines being defeated by those most dangerous weapons of our times, the AK, the RPG, and the IED, wielded by a tough little peasant pissed off because you are invading his country and have killed his mother and sister.

ORDER IT NOW

Militaries seldom learn. More correctly, they seldom learn anything that goes against their underlying view of the world. After the Viet Minh drove the French out by largely guerrilla tactics, the Americans, ignoring this, invaded Viet Nam and were defeated in the same way. The French suffered a similar defeat in Algeria. The Russians, knowing all of this, invaded Afghanistan and were driven out the same way. Whereupon the United States, aware of all of this…invaded Afghanistan. With the same results. It then invaded Iraq, with the by now predictable results.

A wise and unusual colonel (Carl Bernard for cognoscenti) once told me, “A soldier knows how to do one thing, and he does it in response to everything. If you ask a major in armor if he knows how to bake a cake, he will say, ‘Sure I do. First you adjust the track tension….’ If you ask an artillery guy, he will say, ‘Sure. First you align the battery….’”

Why does this happen? It is not actual stupidity since officers are not stupid. Part of it is the overconfidence that is the very heart of the military’s cast of mind. Did the French lose to the Viet Minh? What has that got to do with America? Those cheese-eating surrender monkeys couldn’t beat a troop of Girl Scouts. Victor Charlie? Rice-propelled paddy-maggots. Dinks, gooks, slopes, zipperheads. No problem.

A deeper reason I think is the Glorious Charge Syndrome, the clash of gorgeous cavalry and resplendent infantry of Napoleon’s days. It’s the excitement, Wellington on the reverse slope at Waterloo, la Garde advances, the Little Corporal drops back out of the pocket on fourth and one….Although wars are usually discussed as rational enterprises in pursuit of national goals, soldiers dream of glory, honor, and the overcoming of enemies in pitched combat. This has always been true. Read the Gilgamesth Epic, the Illiad, the Aeneid, El Cid, Orlando Furioso, and Beowulf. They all deal with climactic battles of heroic men. Sieges are all right, but soldiers want to get it on, steel on target, close and destroy, and they want an enemy they can get at.

A distributed war like that in Afghanistan, with nothing important to blow up and often nobody to fight because they are hiding, is not something soldiers easily get their minds around. Aerial combat, mano a mano is more to their liking, or commando teams moving silently through the night, or the Pacific fleet, alert, men at their stations, moving through enemy waters in search of trouble. Since war is no longer like that, the soldiers flail about for years, go home, forget what happened, and in the next war do it again.

(Reprinted from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: American Military 
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  1. The Gilgamesh Epic and Beowulf are not concerned with warfare or battles between men. The conflicts in them involve the struggles of humans with supernatural monsters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vendetta
    Were these struggles of man and beast long, drawn out counter-insurgency campaigns, or were they slain in head-to-head heroic showdowns?

    You're missing the point.
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  2. If warriors were less emotional and more pragmatic ,if war architects were a little more aware of the human nature and a little less enamored of the notion of what the nature should be , most of these wars could have been avoided .

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  3. Lawrence Keeley recounts in “War Before Civilization” how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by “primitive” enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don’t want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

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    • Replies: @Horzabky
    Exactly so.

    WWI wasn't won on the battlefields, it was won when the blockade implemented by Churchill starved the Germans. It worked so well that more than 400,000 Germans died of starvation, which broke the will of the German people. The blockade was lifted only eight months after actual combat had ended.

    I don't know what a war of NATO countries against an enemy with an air force worthy of the name would be like, but I know that France, for instance, has 58 nuclear power stations, each of which could become another Fukushima if it was bombed. At least one of those nuclear power stations is located upstream from Paris, with the potential to make the entire Seine valley (including Paris) uninhabitable if radioactive material fell into the river.

    Bombing half a dozen French nuclear power station would make the grid collapse, depriving most of Western Europe of electricity for months. Cities would become uninhabitable. Without electricity, there's no tap water after two days, because the pumps need electricity. Filling stations use electricity to power their pumps, too. No electricity, no gasoline. Supermarkets seldom have more than three days worth of food. Tens of millions of people would have to go without food and drinkable water after a few days.

    In the wars of the future, famine will be the great killer, because our societies have become so complex that if the electrical grid goes down for more than a day, everything collapses.

    That's why I think that NATO will never attack Russia or China. When was the last time the USA, or another NATO country, fought against an enemy with a genuine, capable air force? 1945.

    The Falklands War may have been an exception, when the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force. Another exception was the Korean war, when US pilots fought against Soviet MIGs, but the USAF dominated the sky.
    , @Randal

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation.
     
    Indeed so, but the conclusion to draw isn't the one all too many US sphere interventionists (usually from the rightwing Israeli- and US-uber-alles branch of the bipartisan interventionist consensus, rather than the leftwing "humanitarian" branch) take from that truth - that the US should fight its interventionist wars more brutally so as to win them.

    The correct conclusion is that war is far too costly a thing to use for any reason less than urgent defensive necessity.

    Not for imposing politically correct "democratic" governance on foreigners, or expanding US imperial control, or punishing uncooperative rivals.
    , @anon
    While the terror bombing of German civilians was certainly evil and horrific, it didn't "win the war" at all. The war was "won" (if you can call it a win) by the red army's destruction of about 650 Axis divisions. By the time of D-Day the USSR had already inflicted 4.5 million casualties on the German armed forces. Just a few weeks later in operation Bagration they would destroy the whole of army group center. Not an army mind you, like at Stalingrad, but an army group.
    , @Talha

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation.
     
    Perhaps that is true, but it is also true that this is how one's soul is lost. You do not execute war in the way of the Mongol Horde and walk away without spiritual damage. Either that or you turn your culture into one with values like the Horde that finds nothing wrong with raping and pillaging and burning whole cities to the ground.

    I think it is of massive significance that the same generation that rained hell upon each other's cities and incinerated millions in a brutally industrialized manner, were the ones that pledged to never fight again like that by drafting the Geneva Conventions - indeed, I believe that was the only thing that redeemed their souls and it was a gift to their progeny so that they would never have to witness such horrors as their fathers had seen, been victims of or themselves meted out.

    But I totally agree with you, because of the efficacy of modern weapons in decimating thousands of innocent human beings - it should absolutely be the very, very last resort.

    May God grant you a high station in this world and the next.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    War Before Civilization is an excellent book that completely destroys the myth of the peaceful savage living in harmony with nature.
    , @guest
    Nonsense. I'm not sure it's possible even to say WWII was shortened by the aerial bombardment of Germany. As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese were already willing to surrender on nearly the same terms beforehand.
    , @animalogic
    Wars are won by killing woman and children ?
    There's some truth in that...some.
    If killing innocents was sufficient to win wars, then the Nazi's victory in Russia would have been a foregone conclusion.
    The atomic bombs won the Pacific war ? They certainly put a full stop to conflict...but the Japanese had been putting out peace feelers for months prior.
    Killing innocents may be necessary for victory, but it's usually not sufficient....
  4. War is what happens when you lay aside civilization. That is what it is. So war is atrocity on a mass scale.

    If war is inevitable, it should be pursued like Joshua did it: Leave no living substance behind. Slay every living thing.

    If your cause isn’t worth doing that — and precious few are — then stay home.

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  5. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they’ve been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn’t fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember ‘Freedom Fries’? That was a laugh except for the fact I’ve met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that’s why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there’s an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.

    Read More
    • Replies: @mtn cur
    Post literate americans who speak of French cowardice never read about American officers discussing how to keep our "colored" soldiers from sleeping with some millions of bereft young white French women whose men were killed or mutilated in two wars on their own soil and yes, wars started by "great men."
    , @Dr. X

    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they’ve been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn’t fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember ‘Freedom Fries’? That was a laugh except for the fact I’ve met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that’s why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there’s an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.
     
    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved. They lost in Vietnam, Algeria, and World War II. World War I was basically a tactical loss -- they were bailed out by the U.S. Before that, they lost the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and before that they lost in Mexico. Napoleon did win many battles, but ultimately lost -- twice. In the 1750s they lost the French and Indian War.

    With the exception of Charles Martel, the French have been losing wars since Julius Caesar invaded Gaul. Just because they didn't invade Iraq doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

    It means that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
  6. @Flemming
    Lawrence Keeley recounts in "War Before Civilization" how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by "primitive" enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don't want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

    Exactly so.

    WWI wasn’t won on the battlefields, it was won when the blockade implemented by Churchill starved the Germans. It worked so well that more than 400,000 Germans died of starvation, which broke the will of the German people. The blockade was lifted only eight months after actual combat had ended.

    I don’t know what a war of NATO countries against an enemy with an air force worthy of the name would be like, but I know that France, for instance, has 58 nuclear power stations, each of which could become another Fukushima if it was bombed. At least one of those nuclear power stations is located upstream from Paris, with the potential to make the entire Seine valley (including Paris) uninhabitable if radioactive material fell into the river.

    Bombing half a dozen French nuclear power station would make the grid collapse, depriving most of Western Europe of electricity for months. Cities would become uninhabitable. Without electricity, there’s no tap water after two days, because the pumps need electricity. Filling stations use electricity to power their pumps, too. No electricity, no gasoline. Supermarkets seldom have more than three days worth of food. Tens of millions of people would have to go without food and drinkable water after a few days.

    In the wars of the future, famine will be the great killer, because our societies have become so complex that if the electrical grid goes down for more than a day, everything collapses.

    That’s why I think that NATO will never attack Russia or China. When was the last time the USA, or another NATO country, fought against an enemy with a genuine, capable air force? 1945.

    The Falklands War may have been an exception, when the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force. Another exception was the Korean war, when US pilots fought against Soviet MIGs, but the USAF dominated the sky.

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    • Replies: @anon
    400,000 Germans died in the hunger blockade by the British in WW1? The true total is probably closer to 1,000,000. Nor does this count losses in Austria-Hungary either.
    , @Simon in London
    I'm not sure our jump-jet Harriers actually were better air-to-air than the Argentines' French-built Mirage fighters, and the Argentine pilots were good too. Possibly they made a mistake not even trying to gain air superiority, but the biggest issue was that they were operating at extreme range from their airfields and had very little loiter time.

    I believe the Vietnam War also saw lots of air-to-air combat over North Vietnam.
    , @Sam Haysom
    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won't be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris.
    , @CanSpeccy
    A sobering commentary on the nature of a future war. But concerning:

    the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force.
     
    The Argentinian pilots were in fact well equipped, and succeeded in sinking Britain's newest Destroyer, the Sheffield, with an French-built Exocet missile.

    But then France gave Britain codes with which to disable the Exocet missiles, thereby preventing further effective attacks on British surface ships.

    According to this report:

    Margaret Thatcher forced François Mitterrand to give her the codes to disable Argentina's deadly French-made missiles during the Falklands war by threatening to launch a nuclear warhead against Buenos Aires...

    , @Philip Owen


    A Germany that controlled France, Poland and Eastern Europe with Friendly links to Spain and Italywas unable to feed itself because of a British blockade? This is fantasy. Failure of supply lines at the end of the war killed these people, not the blockade. Same in Japanese territory. Same in the Soviet Union 41-43. This is Nazi revisionism gone mad.
  7. The ruling class starts wars and profits from them. The working class does the fighting and dying. Most of the casualties are civilians too poor to get out of the way. I was once a soldier only because I was conscripted. I was surrounded by 18 and 19 year old men, to dumb to know what was happening to them. I was just another hapless dumb ass myself. There were Rambo wannabees but most of them had already joined the Marines. Most of us were Beetle Bailey. I once saw a peasant woman running as hard as she could INTO a burning village. I suppose her children were there. I wonder if she was a communist.

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  8. Natural families are big families with family ties to genuine a community. Kill one and rally every related young man to the other side. Seems like Sun Tzu and the VC texts on agitprop discuss using this as a force multiplier. Our luminaries from the ivy league schools forget how our own revolution was fueled by bitterness at being bullied by strangers with guns who represent foreign fat cats. The mythical western civilization with its’ even more mythical “nuclear family” of family values fame and legend has only a vestigial memory of loving their neighbors, let alone how it affects foreign soldiers who ever kill, maim, or torture the wrong people. The code duello was not invented in Palermo.

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  9. @anonymous
    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they've been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn't fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember 'Freedom Fries'? That was a laugh except for the fact I've met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that's why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there's an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.

    Post literate americans who speak of French cowardice never read about American officers discussing how to keep our “colored” soldiers from sleeping with some millions of bereft young white French women whose men were killed or mutilated in two wars on their own soil and yes, wars started by “great men.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Good for our soldiers. Back then, they weren't brainwashed and self-hating pussies in that regard. The African soldiers never should have been allowed to kill Europeans, -- actually, admittedly, none of the u.s. Soldiers should have been doing that in ww1 and ww2 -- and their ancestors never should have been brought into America to begin with.

    Our "men" should be keeping African savages away from our women here at home, today, as well.
  10. @Flemming
    Lawrence Keeley recounts in "War Before Civilization" how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by "primitive" enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don't want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation.

    Indeed so, but the conclusion to draw isn’t the one all too many US sphere interventionists (usually from the rightwing Israeli- and US-uber-alles branch of the bipartisan interventionist consensus, rather than the leftwing “humanitarian” branch) take from that truth – that the US should fight its interventionist wars more brutally so as to win them.

    The correct conclusion is that war is far too costly a thing to use for any reason less than urgent defensive necessity.

    Not for imposing politically correct “democratic” governance on foreigners, or expanding US imperial control, or punishing uncooperative rivals.

    Read More
  11. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Horzabky
    Exactly so.

    WWI wasn't won on the battlefields, it was won when the blockade implemented by Churchill starved the Germans. It worked so well that more than 400,000 Germans died of starvation, which broke the will of the German people. The blockade was lifted only eight months after actual combat had ended.

    I don't know what a war of NATO countries against an enemy with an air force worthy of the name would be like, but I know that France, for instance, has 58 nuclear power stations, each of which could become another Fukushima if it was bombed. At least one of those nuclear power stations is located upstream from Paris, with the potential to make the entire Seine valley (including Paris) uninhabitable if radioactive material fell into the river.

    Bombing half a dozen French nuclear power station would make the grid collapse, depriving most of Western Europe of electricity for months. Cities would become uninhabitable. Without electricity, there's no tap water after two days, because the pumps need electricity. Filling stations use electricity to power their pumps, too. No electricity, no gasoline. Supermarkets seldom have more than three days worth of food. Tens of millions of people would have to go without food and drinkable water after a few days.

    In the wars of the future, famine will be the great killer, because our societies have become so complex that if the electrical grid goes down for more than a day, everything collapses.

    That's why I think that NATO will never attack Russia or China. When was the last time the USA, or another NATO country, fought against an enemy with a genuine, capable air force? 1945.

    The Falklands War may have been an exception, when the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force. Another exception was the Korean war, when US pilots fought against Soviet MIGs, but the USAF dominated the sky.

    400,000 Germans died in the hunger blockade by the British in WW1? The true total is probably closer to 1,000,000. Nor does this count losses in Austria-Hungary either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I am of course aware of blockades and embargos from Britain's against Napoleon and his against all trade with Continental Europe by Britain through to the German U boat blockade of Britain in WW2 and sanctions against trade with Iraq etc. But can you tell me what was the key to the success of the WW1 blockade? Germany and the Hapsburg empire had immense areas of agricultural land so.... ?

    Mind you the figures aren't significant for German power when you consider that there were 2 million births in Germany in 1913. (5 million in Russia so Hitler and Stalin were both well stocked up eith cannon fodder for WW2).
  12. @Jim
    The Gilgamesh Epic and Beowulf are not concerned with warfare or battles between men. The conflicts in them involve the struggles of humans with supernatural monsters.

    Were these struggles of man and beast long, drawn out counter-insurgency campaigns, or were they slain in head-to-head heroic showdowns?

    You’re missing the point.

    Read More
  13. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Flemming
    Lawrence Keeley recounts in "War Before Civilization" how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by "primitive" enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don't want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

    While the terror bombing of German civilians was certainly evil and horrific, it didn’t “win the war” at all. The war was “won” (if you can call it a win) by the red army’s destruction of about 650 Axis divisions. By the time of D-Day the USSR had already inflicted 4.5 million casualties on the German armed forces. Just a few weeks later in operation Bagration they would destroy the whole of army group center. Not an army mind you, like at Stalingrad, but an army group.

    Read More
    • Replies: @OutWest
    War is won by cumulative pressures. By the time the Soviets attack neared Berlin the German’s were devoid of fuel and very short on munitions as the result of bombing raids. And the Soviet successes were largely fueled –figuratively and literally- by American aid.

    Much of Germany’s suffering was the result of Hitler’s unhappiness with the German effort, i.e. the Germans let him down. He wanted German destroyed as earlier he wanted Paris burned.
    The very brutal and violent rape of Berlin was a Soviet operation –the Americans stopped at the Elbe.
  14. Military planners know there is no arguing with incoming artillery but they are always surprised, if they don’t ignore it, when the targeted people aren’t there. No doubt the generations of VC were good at what they did, if not the kind of people you would call people, but I’d guess it’s a safe bet the VC were marginalized before Hanoi took over the south because even they know a guerrilla war is a threat that can’t be controlled.

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  15. @anon
    While the terror bombing of German civilians was certainly evil and horrific, it didn't "win the war" at all. The war was "won" (if you can call it a win) by the red army's destruction of about 650 Axis divisions. By the time of D-Day the USSR had already inflicted 4.5 million casualties on the German armed forces. Just a few weeks later in operation Bagration they would destroy the whole of army group center. Not an army mind you, like at Stalingrad, but an army group.

    War is won by cumulative pressures. By the time the Soviets attack neared Berlin the German’s were devoid of fuel and very short on munitions as the result of bombing raids. And the Soviet successes were largely fueled –figuratively and literally- by American aid.

    Much of Germany’s suffering was the result of Hitler’s unhappiness with the German effort, i.e. the Germans let him down. He wanted German destroyed as earlier he wanted Paris burned.
    The very brutal and violent rape of Berlin was a Soviet operation –the Americans stopped at the Elbe.

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    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
    What the Russians did was payback. I recently read Soldaten, (linked below) where German POWs were interviewed. They openly boasted about truckloads of soldiers grabbing random women off the streets and abusing them. They boasted about annihilating entire towns and villages just for the hell of it. The shrinks call it "autotelic" violence -- done for its own sake. By the time the Reds reached Berlin, they were all primed up for over-the-top revenge, and took it.

    Be forewarned, reading the interviews of these POWs will keep you up at night. I'm an old guy, and former military. But the cold ruthlessness of these guys bragging and joking about rape and mass murder was a shock to me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Soldiers-German-Fighting-Killing-Dying/dp/0307948331
    , @anon
    I believe the Soviets would have probably defeated the Germans all by themselves without any help from the west at all. It would have taken longer and cost them more casualties, but I see no way Germany could have prevailed. Indeed had Stalin listed to Zhukov and concentrated all of the Soviet resources just against Army Group Center when they counter-attacked in the winter of 1941-42, instead of dissipating his reserves along the entire line, AGC, would have collapsed and that might have ended the war in the summer of 42.
  16. Today’s American military fails because it is not what you think it is. It is a huge government bureaucracy (comprised of large numbers of civil servants and civilian political appointees in addition to the uniformed military) that exists for its own internal purposes and that of the contractor benefactors. Above the unit level, nobody is concerned with victory in war, only in budgets and expanding fiefdoms. This is why today’s military is squandering billions on things like the F35 that will never work and asking for new bases in Europe while having troops gender-integrate and get “training” on not raping the just-integrated females. Little involved in there for war fighting. The special ops community does some occasionally competant war fighting, but they are targeted for social engineering to get them to stop.

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  17. @OutWest
    War is won by cumulative pressures. By the time the Soviets attack neared Berlin the German’s were devoid of fuel and very short on munitions as the result of bombing raids. And the Soviet successes were largely fueled –figuratively and literally- by American aid.

    Much of Germany’s suffering was the result of Hitler’s unhappiness with the German effort, i.e. the Germans let him down. He wanted German destroyed as earlier he wanted Paris burned.
    The very brutal and violent rape of Berlin was a Soviet operation –the Americans stopped at the Elbe.

    What the Russians did was payback. I recently read Soldaten, (linked below) where German POWs were interviewed. They openly boasted about truckloads of soldiers grabbing random women off the streets and abusing them. They boasted about annihilating entire towns and villages just for the hell of it. The shrinks call it “autotelic” violence — done for its own sake. By the time the Reds reached Berlin, they were all primed up for over-the-top revenge, and took it.

    Be forewarned, reading the interviews of these POWs will keep you up at night. I’m an old guy, and former military. But the cold ruthlessness of these guys bragging and joking about rape and mass murder was a shock to me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Soldiers-German-Fighting-Killing-Dying/dp/0307948331

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    • Replies: @HdC
    Had a look at your link and read the background to that book: "Based on recordings of German prisoners of war discussing..."

    I want to hear those recordings, not what some Hof Historian wrote about them in an effort to safeguard his rice bowl.

    Are these recordings available, and where might one listen to them? HdC
  18. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @OutWest
    War is won by cumulative pressures. By the time the Soviets attack neared Berlin the German’s were devoid of fuel and very short on munitions as the result of bombing raids. And the Soviet successes were largely fueled –figuratively and literally- by American aid.

    Much of Germany’s suffering was the result of Hitler’s unhappiness with the German effort, i.e. the Germans let him down. He wanted German destroyed as earlier he wanted Paris burned.
    The very brutal and violent rape of Berlin was a Soviet operation –the Americans stopped at the Elbe.

    I believe the Soviets would have probably defeated the Germans all by themselves without any help from the west at all. It would have taken longer and cost them more casualties, but I see no way Germany could have prevailed. Indeed had Stalin listed to Zhukov and concentrated all of the Soviet resources just against Army Group Center when they counter-attacked in the winter of 1941-42, instead of dissipating his reserves along the entire line, AGC, would have collapsed and that might have ended the war in the summer of 42.

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    • Agree: Simon in London
    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    I would be interested to know the calculations justifying your belief. I suppose the hypothesis has to be that, once Hitler was attacking the really really bad guys Britain makes some accommodation with Germany whereby North Africa is effectually left to the Brits and the French, Belgians and Dutch (and maybe Scandinavians) are promised German withdrawal once they have taken lebensraum in the East. America is left to deal with Japan if occasion arises.

    Germany can get all the Middle East oil it needs. How much aid is the US presumed to ship to the Soviet Union against the entire U boat fleet once involved in trying to starve Britain?
  19. Or, some stay home and play first person shooter war video games. Some do it from air conditioned trailers in the desert, zapping fleas in a desert a world away. Mano a mano. Some even get decorated for bravery.

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  20. @Flemming
    Lawrence Keeley recounts in "War Before Civilization" how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by "primitive" enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don't want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation.

    Perhaps that is true, but it is also true that this is how one’s soul is lost. You do not execute war in the way of the Mongol Horde and walk away without spiritual damage. Either that or you turn your culture into one with values like the Horde that finds nothing wrong with raping and pillaging and burning whole cities to the ground.

    I think it is of massive significance that the same generation that rained hell upon each other’s cities and incinerated millions in a brutally industrialized manner, were the ones that pledged to never fight again like that by drafting the Geneva Conventions – indeed, I believe that was the only thing that redeemed their souls and it was a gift to their progeny so that they would never have to witness such horrors as their fathers had seen, been victims of or themselves meted out.

    But I totally agree with you, because of the efficacy of modern weapons in decimating thousands of innocent human beings – it should absolutely be the very, very last resort.

    May God grant you a high station in this world and the next.

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    My esteemed friend Talha, I totally agree with you on the matter of damage to the soul and the all too common examples of suicides, wife and children beatings and murders amongst returned service people since Afghanistan and Iraq suggest that a line of morality has been crossed that is hard to undo. Who knows what unseen traumas dwell in the minds of those who've adjusted better and what that means for the future?

    It is one thing to kill defending oneself and the nation but that is not the case at all.

    I forget who said, "It is no measure of success to be well adjusted in a profoundly sick society" but I wish I could spout profundity such this.

    Only the American people can stop this and your comment helps to raise this often forgotten element of the equation.

    My best wishes to you.

  21. The best laid plans do not survive contact with the enemy.

    Dien Bien Phu? 15,000 Poles drove 300,000 muslims away from Vienna by dragging artillery up a hill. That was what, 1592?

    “war is the application of force, and to the application of that force there is no limit” Are we forgetting that, or are we learning from that?

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    • Replies: @Alfa158
    The first siege of Vienna was 1529; in that one the Turks had been weakened by bad weather during the campaign, then ground down by the European's stubborn defense.
    The Poles saved Vienna in the second siege which climaxed on September 11, 1683. The 9/11 hijackers selected the same date as revenge for the setback to Islam on that date.
  22. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    For the US, the problem isn’t winning. It is ensuring US puppet-allies maintain the victory once US moves out.

    US beat the enemies in Vietnam and Afghanistan.

    But once it left, the allies crumbled.

    Americanism isn’t a powerful enough ideology to sustain puppet governments.

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  23. Fred Reed: …. It is very hard to imagine such loud, virile machines being defeated by those most dangerous weapons of our times, the AK, the RPG, and the IED, wielded by a tough little peasant pissed off because you are invading his country and have killed his mother and sister.

    Drones versus the AK, the RPG, and the IED, wielded by the toughest, most fanatical men: do the latter stand a chance?

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  24. Sorry for the format, but I’m pasting. Not a bad article BTW, but I’m very critical of it.
    This is a good article, though there is also a lot to object to.

    It is curious how little military men know about war.

    Very true, certainly in the US Military more than elsewhere.

    First, the military attracts certain kinds of men—authoritarian, hierarchical, conformist—who are not imaginative and do not think independently. Second, the appeal of the military is visceral, emotional, hormonal.

    [MORE]

    That’s a mischaracterization and a reductionist argument. In my intimate adventures through the historic French Army, I found the generals to be remarkably diverse in thought. Guys like Mellier were totally fluent in Arabic, rode motorcycles to the front lines, and led completely from the front. Guys like Weygand had a cavalry-oriented bias and created the nonlinear hedgehog defense to successfully fight against German panzer thrusts. Guys like Gamelin were very much married to 1918 command style and organization. Guys like Colonel (temporarily Général de Brigade) foresaw blitzkrieg better than any French general of his generation in doctrine. Général Hering agreed on mechanized warfare. Guys like Giraud fought through all the colonial campaigns of his era. Général Jean-B. Estienne were partisans of armored warfare 15 years before any tanks were developed to make armored warfare possible in the sense of an independent z-axis in combined arms (taking x for artillery, y for infantry, all prioritized by natural speed). Guys like Huntziger were lemmings…

    The German High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) had similar divisions. Guderian was mainly a signals general. Von Manstein was a classic Platonist strategist. Franz Halder was just as married to Great War bias as was Maurice Gamelin. Von Brauchitsch was far from a partisan of panzerdivisionen attacks.

    But military can’t be a smorgasbord of independent thinkers. In 1870, the lack of a French general staff, more than anything else besides a lack of centralized intelligence bureaucracy (virtually no government had that two generations removed from Napoléon), contributed to its defeat against an organized German general staff that developed in the mid-1860s. The French, after Napoléon, had routed the Austrians, Arabs, and Russians in short order through a regimental staff system where each general did its own thing with its regiment, converging together whenever necessary. Such organization proved detrimental in the age of mobile warfare, as the French found out in 1870. (It can’t be ignored as well that the German General Staff had penetrated French command completely, knowing the exact order of battle of their adversary, and thereby had set up an encirclement maneuver.)

    The main problem with militaries is that modern warfare necessitates conformity on the upper echelon, and its possibilities of employment of violence is always limited by the politics of its era ranging from conscript training time, to funding in armament, to appeasement.

    At the highest echelon of military, these pressures become so high that generals often order maneuvers in terms of political appeasement rather than strategic implication. The best example of this is Gamelin’s Breda Variant, where he sent the 1st French Army of Army Group 1 to the Netherlands to, on paper, capture 8 Dutch divisions to create a multinational front to thwart the German advance. But the math didn’t pan out then, and it doesn’t pan out now. I know of no general of that era who agreed with his maneuver, and the vast majority basically regarded it as an unnecessary military adventure. But Gamelin’s motives become clear in his memoir that he wasn’t willing to sacrifice the Netherlands after having had to sacrifice Poland.

    Had Gamelin kept the 1st French Army as reserve, there is no German victory in 1940… in fact, the Heeresgruppe B couldn’t even defeat the French at Gembloux and Hannut, in the initial tank battles in the North of Belgium, when Prioux’ Cavalry forces had half the tanks of their rival and with virtually no air force to back the ground forces. In the French center, in contrast, the Germans had a spearhead of 40 German divisions against 7 “Series B” French divisions (second-line reservists, no professional soldiers in any divisions), and it proved a disaster since it left the French spearheads and the British Expeditionary Force trapped in the North.

    In WWI, the German command expected a lightning victory via the Schlieffen Plan. It failed, but the foolishness does not lie in the failure. Rather it is in the complete incapacity to foresee that the failure would result in four years of inconclusive static war. Trenches, barbed wire, and machine guns took them by surprise. Yet the existence of all of these things was well known.

    This is an absurd statement. The Schlieffen Plan failed because the French High Command sensed a trap in the Alsace-Lorraine deception prong, withdrawing strategically to ward off the surprise prong through Belgium. (Everyone talks about the surprise prong of Belgium and never speak of the 1940 deception prong through the North of Belgium, or the French left, but surprise without deception, and vice versa, cannot be understood in its broader operational context.) In other words, by sensing the trap, it was the luck of the draw, just as it was in 1940.

    And if the Schlieffen Plan fails, then what would the Germans do? More offensives? No, it would have gone to trench warfare inevitably, just as the Crimean War did some 60 years before. It always happens that way. That was what the Schlieffen Plan tried to avert!

    And the Schlieffen Plan had to happen. That maneuver makes sense only if one understands the critical importance of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1894 and their strategic coordination to thwart Germany’s demographic advantage (France) and industrial advantage (Russia).

    It didn’t work, and that’s life.

    When America invaded Vietnam, the Pentagon did not foresee ten years of a losing war. Nor did it have any notion of what would happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But the Americans should have seen it. The U.S. invaded Vietnam only after the French had lost 90,000 men in an 8 year conflict. (And it is worth noting that the French fought the Viets closer to a draw than the Viets did, with half the men and 10x less the budget.)

    That the Pentagon approached Vietnam like a bunch of idiots does not imply that military commanders are authoritarian philistines. It just means that the US’ command was full of philistines.

    Concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, that just means in peacetime that the U.S. had paper-pushers on top of the power structure, which is typical of most militaries before a mass purging after a war’s opening maneuvers. In contrast, David Petraeus studied the French colonial campaigns of Indochina and Algeria, and thus had a better sense of the tactical and strategic implications of the campaign. In 2001 and 2003 respectively, the U.S. wished to treat these two conflicts as a conventional, technologically-driven conflict, when neither were. And it’s worth noting as well that technology in conventional war never ends up mattering too much. In 1918, the French won through the limited offensive that addressed the key conundrums of WW I (mass reserves and speed of artillery, thus giving away the element of surprise). That was done through Debeney and Pétain. Tanks, in contrast to British historiography, did not “win the war.” Indeed, tanks couldn’t even operate independently by this point and wouldn’t be able to until the mid-30s.

    Militaries regularly underestimate the enemy and overestimate their own capacities. The reasons I think are several. One is that morale is important in war and a sober estimation of reality often does not conduce to high morale. For example, you do not tell your troops, “You are mediocre infantry and inferior man for man to the enemy but we have better technology and will rely on this.” Thus American troops are always the finest, best trained and best armed the world has ever seen.

    That’s irrelevant, because rank-and-files are doing, at the very most, tactical fights on the tactical echelon of command (lower-tier officers). They do not develop strategy, and they do not make operational maneuvers.

    Units always have morale problems. What should the unit be told? That they’ll die? No. They should be told how to fight the enemy, the NCOs should be trained on an officer’s level in command and responsibility, and that they can do it only if they do their homework first in training, discipline, and maneuvers.

    Military training aims at the inculcation of a sense of invincibility. Years back at Parris Island a sign read, “The Most Dangerous Thing in the World: A Marine and his Rifle.” It was nonsense, the marines then being decent light infantry but no more, yet we were told endlessly that were unique in the annals of war. This sort of overconfidence has consequences. Sometimes it provides the elan needed to win. Sometimes it leads to disaster.

    That’s an odd thing for a marine to say, even if it’s true to some extent. The USMC is the best infantry the U.S. has to offer, is far superior to the US Army in every sense, and is called to resolve battlefield problems. The slogan is nonsense, but who cares? And he is right… sometimes it leads to victory, and sometimes it leads to disaster. But that’s the very nature of warfare! So all he’s really saying is that war sucks.

    In WWI the French believed in cran, in l’offensive a outrnce, the fighting spirit that was sure to lead to victory. More attention to heavy artillery would have been prudent. In Japan it was bushido. Yamamoto, who had been in the United States and knew what it was, suggested that starting a war with a country having ten times your industrial potential was not unduly bright. The Army ignored him.

    Wrong. And the second book translation I’ll do will address that. In short, the French anticipated close quarter combat, as seen in the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. In both cases, an economically disadvantageous combatant defeated a wealthier combat through will (or “cran” = boldness). The French disregarded heavy artillery because that is never closed in close quarter combat. Heavy artillery is a long-range weapon.

    The French, in other words, anticipated the wrong kind of war. Welcome to warfare. It’s never fought exactly as one would expect. Had the French stalled the blitzkrieg, or worse, defeated Germany, people would think blitzkrieg be worthless. Is that true? No. So causation is getting confused.

    Underestimation of the enemy is a military disease bordering at time on a death wish. Before WWII, the US military tended to regard the Japanese as funny little buck-toothed monkeys with thick glasses. The same monkeys had destroyed the Russian fleet in 1905, fought for years in China with an excellent fighter plane—the Zero—and conducted sophisticated carrier operations. None of this occurred to the Americans.

    That’s America’s problem… so what? Is it by the very nature of military that commanders don’t do their homework?

    Examples abound. In 1954 at Dien Bien Phu, the French army camped in a valley surrounded, as valleys are, by high hills. The French knew that les jaunes, the yellows, couldn’t get artillery up on those hills.

    Actually, les jaunes could. They also did. There is footage of maybe twenty of them heaving on a rope attached to an artillery piece, which moved six inches upward. Another man quickly put a chock under the wheels to that it didn’t roll back. Pull, chock, pull, chock, pull, chock, boom. The French were slaughtered.

    Why do people like Reed feel the need to simplify a campaign to the point of absurdity to make a point? Further, there wasn’t a “French Army” there. It wasn’t even a corps in numbers at Dien Bien Phu, whereas the Viet-Minh had somewhere around 5 divisions in total

    The failure of Dien Bien Phu came down to four factors. 1.) The French couldn’t just leave the valley by December, even if the siege begins in March. There was no way to retreat once the decision had been made that the battle there would happen. 2.) It was a failure in combat engineering, and there was no way for the French to remedy that without sacrificing its essential strategic alliance with the Muong tribesmen, who had sufficient trees to make a better fortress near Laos. 3.) On Laos, Général Salan hedged his bets on preserving its independence, even though Laos wasn’t strategically vital to the front. 4.) Intelligence, though indicating 30,000 men, was off by another 15,000 combatants. (In other words, around 2 divisions.)

    The French had no way in knowing that the Viet-Minh could carry that much artillery with such primitive logistics. The Chinese had trained the Viet-Minh in artillery following Red China’s rise in 1949. Second, artillery was never employed on a divisional level hitherto Dien Bien Phu. Three, French aerial reconnaissance, through both military and civilian aircraft, never came close to detecting artillery presence, despite hundreds of sorties. (One advantage the US Military had, that the French didn’t have, was technology to detect such mass employment.)

    Dien Bien Phu was winnable by the information French commanders had at the time, as well as the capabilities of the enemy.

    Judging by Reed’s condescension, I’d wager that, as a military commander on the strategic echelon, he would be concerned with so many variables that it would stunt his decision making. The point of holding command, as well as intelligence, is to use an intuitive probability to restrict the “bare possible” outcomes and to go with what is most likely, and then make a troop and armament order which can address those likely possibilities.

    After the Viet Minh drove the French out by largely guerrilla tactics, the Americans, ignoring this, invaded Viet Nam and were defeated in the same way. [B]The French suffered a similar defeat in Algeria.[/B] The Russians, knowing all of this, invaded Afghanistan and were driven out the same way. Whereupon the United States, aware of all of this…invaded Afghanistan. With the same results. It then invaded Iraq, with the by now predictable results

    Statements like these make me wonder if he has ever cared to study the Algerian War. The Algerian War’s failure was due to diplomacy and a propaganda battle at home, not military. The FLN had been driven out of Algeria and into the hills of Morocco and Tunisia by 1959 following Opération Jumelles. That’s not a controversial point. Following that, President de Gaulle humiliated the only Algerian moderate who could have negotiated a peace, French military was behind competing powers in the US, USSR, and Britain; the U.S., due to the Cold War, opposed the Algerian War and likely would have armed insurgents following a French victory anyway; and the public was greatly demoralized, due to Nazi sadists like Klaus Barbie, who had tortured French resistance fighters, while the French Army is now torturing FLN combatants, as well as, more critically, French communist journalists, where one female’s life was saved by Jacques Massu’s wife, and Massu commanded the whole French Army. That’s not to mention the pieds-noirs problem in general.

    It was a war where different political circumstances would have led to French victory on all levels. But that wasn’t the case. Regardless, the French did not suffer defeat at the hands of “guerrilla tactics.”

    It’s also worth noting that the Viet-Minh didn’t defeat the French through “guerrilla tactics” either. The Viet-Minh defeated the French in open battle, where the French had put itself in a geographically disadvantageous advantage to bait the Viet-Minh to fight in the open. Giap took the gamble, almost lost, and didn’t repeat his order of battle from Na San, unlike the French, who did. (It’s interesting noting that for two reasons. Napoléon I never repeated the same order of battle, and Saddam Hussein fought the U.S. Military during Persian Gulf with the exact same order of battle that most favors the U.S. Military’s doctrine.)

    A deeper reason I think is the Glorious Charge Syndrome, the clash of gorgeous cavalry and resplendent infantry of Napoleon’s days. It’s the excitement, Wellington on the reverse slope at Waterloo, la Garde advances, the Little Corporal drops back out of the pocket on fourth and one….Although wars are usually discussed as rational enterprises in pursuit of national goals, soldiers dream of glory, honor, and the overcoming of enemies in pitched combat. This has always been true. Read the Gilgamesth Epic, the Illiad, the Aeneid, El Cid, Orlando Furioso, and Beowulf. They all deal with climactic battles of heroic men. Sieges are all right, but soldiers want to get it on, steel on target, close and destroy, and they want an enemy they can get at.

    A distributed war like that in Afghanistan, with nothing important to blow up and often nobody to fight because they are hiding, is not something soldiers easily get their minds around. Aerial combat, mano a mano is more to their liking, or commando teams moving silently through the night, or the Pacific fleet, alert, men at their stations, moving through enemy waters in search of trouble. Since war is no longer like that, the soldiers flail about for years, go home, forget what happened, and in the next war do it again.

    No. That’s a very poor argument. He’s confusing rank-and-file (and practically blaming them) for the failings of the High Command, which is strategic by nature, not tactical. »

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Thanks for this well-thought response to some of Mr. Reed's conclusions. It certainly gave me somethings to think about. I do believe Mr. Reed's specifics may be refuted, but the general import at the insanity of the way the current military industrial complex works (and a fawning, adulating public that falls behind it - especially as pertains to the US) - or should I say, 'does not work' - is true.
  25. @The Grate Deign
    What the Russians did was payback. I recently read Soldaten, (linked below) where German POWs were interviewed. They openly boasted about truckloads of soldiers grabbing random women off the streets and abusing them. They boasted about annihilating entire towns and villages just for the hell of it. The shrinks call it "autotelic" violence -- done for its own sake. By the time the Reds reached Berlin, they were all primed up for over-the-top revenge, and took it.

    Be forewarned, reading the interviews of these POWs will keep you up at night. I'm an old guy, and former military. But the cold ruthlessness of these guys bragging and joking about rape and mass murder was a shock to me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Soldiers-German-Fighting-Killing-Dying/dp/0307948331

    Had a look at your link and read the background to that book: “Based on recordings of German prisoners of war discussing…”

    I want to hear those recordings, not what some Hof Historian wrote about them in an effort to safeguard his rice bowl.

    Are these recordings available, and where might one listen to them? HdC

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    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
    I would not know how to get to the original recordings. The book presented transcripts, some short, some lengthy.
  26. Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones

    Unfortunately, in the real world there are alway too many unquantifiable factors for complete calculation. It is risky to start something , but sometimes being passive as as your wherewithal declines is riskier.

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  27. @HdC
    Had a look at your link and read the background to that book: "Based on recordings of German prisoners of war discussing..."

    I want to hear those recordings, not what some Hof Historian wrote about them in an effort to safeguard his rice bowl.

    Are these recordings available, and where might one listen to them? HdC

    I would not know how to get to the original recordings. The book presented transcripts, some short, some lengthy.

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    • Replies: @5371
    Even Russians who have bitter memories of German occupation will tell you that they didn't rape women. So I have to call bullshit on that.
  28. Well said! A couple of minor points though.

    1. The Japanese did not start WWII because they were stupid. They were desperate. Because of previous government policies aimed at maximizing population growth, Japan was on the brink of societal collapse. Japan HAD to invade and colonize other lands…

    2. Agree about so much, yes the military mindset of necessity encourages overconfidence and a narrow reliance on the specific skill set that each soldier possesses. However, never forget that so many of these debacles were not started by military people… they were started by civilians. Often (not always) when military people are really in charge, they don’t start wars. Think of president Eisenhower, or the relative pacifism of all those ex-union generals turned presidents in the post-civil war United States…

    I propose that even more dangerous than a general who feels that his army is invincible, is a civilian leader who feels that he/she must attack to prove how tough/macho they are. LBJ, Dubya, Hillary Clinton… Surely this is a great part of our recent record if fighting and losing stupid pointless wars?

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen


    Colin Powell was famously against Iraq 2 and boy did it show at the UN.
  29. @Flemming
    Lawrence Keeley recounts in "War Before Civilization" how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by "primitive" enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don't want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

    War Before Civilization is an excellent book that completely destroys the myth of the peaceful savage living in harmony with nature.

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  30. A quibble: the Vietnam war was not won by the Viet Cong but by the conventionally equipped NVA after the US Congress cut off aid to the ARVN and the US reneged on its promise to use B-52s against the NVA (a dividend of the Watergate scandal).

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    • Replies: @Ace
    Thank you. This was brilliantly laid out by Frank Snepp. As he noted, the ARVN had quite a lot of beans and bullets on hand but knew at some point there would not be more forthcoming. Our military victory was squandered by Dems in Congress as the Watergate morality play played out. The war wasn't important to them; nailing Nixon was.
  31. @NS
    Sorry for the format, but I'm pasting. Not a bad article BTW, but I'm very critical of it.
    This is a good article, though there is also a lot to object to.

    It is curious how little military men know about war.

    Very true, certainly in the US Military more than elsewhere.

    First, the military attracts certain kinds of men—authoritarian, hierarchical, conformist—who are not imaginative and do not think independently. Second, the appeal of the military is visceral, emotional, hormonal.

    That's a mischaracterization and a reductionist argument. In my intimate adventures through the historic French Army, I found the generals to be remarkably diverse in thought. Guys like Mellier were totally fluent in Arabic, rode motorcycles to the front lines, and led completely from the front. Guys like Weygand had a cavalry-oriented bias and created the nonlinear hedgehog defense to successfully fight against German panzer thrusts. Guys like Gamelin were very much married to 1918 command style and organization. Guys like Colonel (temporarily Général de Brigade) foresaw blitzkrieg better than any French general of his generation in doctrine. Général Hering agreed on mechanized warfare. Guys like Giraud fought through all the colonial campaigns of his era. Général Jean-B. Estienne were partisans of armored warfare 15 years before any tanks were developed to make armored warfare possible in the sense of an independent z-axis in combined arms (taking x for artillery, y for infantry, all prioritized by natural speed). Guys like Huntziger were lemmings...

    The German High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) had similar divisions. Guderian was mainly a signals general. Von Manstein was a classic Platonist strategist. Franz Halder was just as married to Great War bias as was Maurice Gamelin. Von Brauchitsch was far from a partisan of panzerdivisionen attacks.

    But military can't be a smorgasbord of independent thinkers. In 1870, the lack of a French general staff, more than anything else besides a lack of centralized intelligence bureaucracy (virtually no government had that two generations removed from Napoléon), contributed to its defeat against an organized German general staff that developed in the mid-1860s. The French, after Napoléon, had routed the Austrians, Arabs, and Russians in short order through a regimental staff system where each general did its own thing with its regiment, converging together whenever necessary. Such organization proved detrimental in the age of mobile warfare, as the French found out in 1870. (It can't be ignored as well that the German General Staff had penetrated French command completely, knowing the exact order of battle of their adversary, and thereby had set up an encirclement maneuver.)

    The main problem with militaries is that modern warfare necessitates conformity on the upper echelon, and its possibilities of employment of violence is always limited by the politics of its era ranging from conscript training time, to funding in armament, to appeasement.

    At the highest echelon of military, these pressures become so high that generals often order maneuvers in terms of political appeasement rather than strategic implication. The best example of this is Gamelin's Breda Variant, where he sent the 1st French Army of Army Group 1 to the Netherlands to, on paper, capture 8 Dutch divisions to create a multinational front to thwart the German advance. But the math didn't pan out then, and it doesn't pan out now. I know of no general of that era who agreed with his maneuver, and the vast majority basically regarded it as an unnecessary military adventure. But Gamelin's motives become clear in his memoir that he wasn't willing to sacrifice the Netherlands after having had to sacrifice Poland.

    Had Gamelin kept the 1st French Army as reserve, there is no German victory in 1940... in fact, the Heeresgruppe B couldn't even defeat the French at Gembloux and Hannut, in the initial tank battles in the North of Belgium, when Prioux' Cavalry forces had half the tanks of their rival and with virtually no air force to back the ground forces. In the French center, in contrast, the Germans had a spearhead of 40 German divisions against 7 "Series B" French divisions (second-line reservists, no professional soldiers in any divisions), and it proved a disaster since it left the French spearheads and the British Expeditionary Force trapped in the North.

    In WWI, the German command expected a lightning victory via the Schlieffen Plan. It failed, but the foolishness does not lie in the failure. Rather it is in the complete incapacity to foresee that the failure would result in four years of inconclusive static war. Trenches, barbed wire, and machine guns took them by surprise. Yet the existence of all of these things was well known.

    This is an absurd statement. The Schlieffen Plan failed because the French High Command sensed a trap in the Alsace-Lorraine deception prong, withdrawing strategically to ward off the surprise prong through Belgium. (Everyone talks about the surprise prong of Belgium and never speak of the 1940 deception prong through the North of Belgium, or the French left, but surprise without deception, and vice versa, cannot be understood in its broader operational context.) In other words, by sensing the trap, it was the luck of the draw, just as it was in 1940.

    And if the Schlieffen Plan fails, then what would the Germans do? More offensives? No, it would have gone to trench warfare inevitably, just as the Crimean War did some 60 years before. It always happens that way. That was what the Schlieffen Plan tried to avert!

    And the Schlieffen Plan had to happen. That maneuver makes sense only if one understands the critical importance of the Franco-Russian alliance of 1894 and their strategic coordination to thwart Germany's demographic advantage (France) and industrial advantage (Russia).

    It didn't work, and that's life.

    When America invaded Vietnam, the Pentagon did not foresee ten years of a losing war. Nor did it have any notion of what would happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But the Americans should have seen it. The U.S. invaded Vietnam only after the French had lost 90,000 men in an 8 year conflict. (And it is worth noting that the French fought the Viets closer to a draw than the Viets did, with half the men and 10x less the budget.)

    That the Pentagon approached Vietnam like a bunch of idiots does not imply that military commanders are authoritarian philistines. It just means that the US' command was full of philistines.

    Concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, that just means in peacetime that the U.S. had paper-pushers on top of the power structure, which is typical of most militaries before a mass purging after a war's opening maneuvers. In contrast, David Petraeus studied the French colonial campaigns of Indochina and Algeria, and thus had a better sense of the tactical and strategic implications of the campaign. In 2001 and 2003 respectively, the U.S. wished to treat these two conflicts as a conventional, technologically-driven conflict, when neither were. And it's worth noting as well that technology in conventional war never ends up mattering too much. In 1918, the French won through the limited offensive that addressed the key conundrums of WW I (mass reserves and speed of artillery, thus giving away the element of surprise). That was done through Debeney and Pétain. Tanks, in contrast to British historiography, did not "win the war." Indeed, tanks couldn't even operate independently by this point and wouldn't be able to until the mid-30s.

    Militaries regularly underestimate the enemy and overestimate their own capacities. The reasons I think are several. One is that morale is important in war and a sober estimation of reality often does not conduce to high morale. For example, you do not tell your troops, “You are mediocre infantry and inferior man for man to the enemy but we have better technology and will rely on this.” Thus American troops are always the finest, best trained and best armed the world has ever seen.

    That's irrelevant, because rank-and-files are doing, at the very most, tactical fights on the tactical echelon of command (lower-tier officers). They do not develop strategy, and they do not make operational maneuvers.

    Units always have morale problems. What should the unit be told? That they'll die? No. They should be told how to fight the enemy, the NCOs should be trained on an officer's level in command and responsibility, and that they can do it only if they do their homework first in training, discipline, and maneuvers.

    Military training aims at the inculcation of a sense of invincibility. Years back at Parris Island a sign read, “The Most Dangerous Thing in the World: A Marine and his Rifle.” It was nonsense, the marines then being decent light infantry but no more, yet we were told endlessly that were unique in the annals of war. This sort of overconfidence has consequences. Sometimes it provides the elan needed to win. Sometimes it leads to disaster.

    That's an odd thing for a marine to say, even if it's true to some extent. The USMC is the best infantry the U.S. has to offer, is far superior to the US Army in every sense, and is called to resolve battlefield problems. The slogan is nonsense, but who cares? And he is right... sometimes it leads to victory, and sometimes it leads to disaster. But that's the very nature of warfare! So all he's really saying is that war sucks.

    In WWI the French believed in cran, in l’offensive a outrnce, the fighting spirit that was sure to lead to victory. More attention to heavy artillery would have been prudent. In Japan it was bushido. Yamamoto, who had been in the United States and knew what it was, suggested that starting a war with a country having ten times your industrial potential was not unduly bright. The Army ignored him.

    Wrong. And the second book translation I'll do will address that. In short, the French anticipated close quarter combat, as seen in the Boer Wars and the Russo-Japanese War. In both cases, an economically disadvantageous combatant defeated a wealthier combat through will (or "cran" = boldness). The French disregarded heavy artillery because that is never closed in close quarter combat. Heavy artillery is a long-range weapon.

    The French, in other words, anticipated the wrong kind of war. Welcome to warfare. It's never fought exactly as one would expect. Had the French stalled the blitzkrieg, or worse, defeated Germany, people would think blitzkrieg be worthless. Is that true? No. So causation is getting confused.

    Underestimation of the enemy is a military disease bordering at time on a death wish. Before WWII, the US military tended to regard the Japanese as funny little buck-toothed monkeys with thick glasses. The same monkeys had destroyed the Russian fleet in 1905, fought for years in China with an excellent fighter plane—the Zero—and conducted sophisticated carrier operations. None of this occurred to the Americans.

    That's America's problem... so what? Is it by the very nature of military that commanders don't do their homework?

    Examples abound. In 1954 at Dien Bien Phu, the French army camped in a valley surrounded, as valleys are, by high hills. The French knew that les jaunes, the yellows, couldn’t get artillery up on those hills.

    Actually, les jaunes could. They also did. There is footage of maybe twenty of them heaving on a rope attached to an artillery piece, which moved six inches upward. Another man quickly put a chock under the wheels to that it didn’t roll back. Pull, chock, pull, chock, pull, chock, boom. The French were slaughtered.


    Why do people like Reed feel the need to simplify a campaign to the point of absurdity to make a point? Further, there wasn't a "French Army" there. It wasn't even a corps in numbers at Dien Bien Phu, whereas the Viet-Minh had somewhere around 5 divisions in total

    The failure of Dien Bien Phu came down to four factors. 1.) The French couldn't just leave the valley by December, even if the siege begins in March. There was no way to retreat once the decision had been made that the battle there would happen. 2.) It was a failure in combat engineering, and there was no way for the French to remedy that without sacrificing its essential strategic alliance with the Muong tribesmen, who had sufficient trees to make a better fortress near Laos. 3.) On Laos, Général Salan hedged his bets on preserving its independence, even though Laos wasn't strategically vital to the front. 4.) Intelligence, though indicating 30,000 men, was off by another 15,000 combatants. (In other words, around 2 divisions.)

    The French had no way in knowing that the Viet-Minh could carry that much artillery with such primitive logistics. The Chinese had trained the Viet-Minh in artillery following Red China's rise in 1949. Second, artillery was never employed on a divisional level hitherto Dien Bien Phu. Three, French aerial reconnaissance, through both military and civilian aircraft, never came close to detecting artillery presence, despite hundreds of sorties. (One advantage the US Military had, that the French didn't have, was technology to detect such mass employment.)

    Dien Bien Phu was winnable by the information French commanders had at the time, as well as the capabilities of the enemy.

    Judging by Reed's condescension, I'd wager that, as a military commander on the strategic echelon, he would be concerned with so many variables that it would stunt his decision making. The point of holding command, as well as intelligence, is to use an intuitive probability to restrict the "bare possible" outcomes and to go with what is most likely, and then make a troop and armament order which can address those likely possibilities.

    After the Viet Minh drove the French out by largely guerrilla tactics, the Americans, ignoring this, invaded Viet Nam and were defeated in the same way. [B]The French suffered a similar defeat in Algeria.[/B] The Russians, knowing all of this, invaded Afghanistan and were driven out the same way. Whereupon the United States, aware of all of this…invaded Afghanistan. With the same results. It then invaded Iraq, with the by now predictable results

    Statements like these make me wonder if he has ever cared to study the Algerian War. The Algerian War's failure was due to diplomacy and a propaganda battle at home, not military. The FLN had been driven out of Algeria and into the hills of Morocco and Tunisia by 1959 following Opération Jumelles. That's not a controversial point. Following that, President de Gaulle humiliated the only Algerian moderate who could have negotiated a peace, French military was behind competing powers in the US, USSR, and Britain; the U.S., due to the Cold War, opposed the Algerian War and likely would have armed insurgents following a French victory anyway; and the public was greatly demoralized, due to Nazi sadists like Klaus Barbie, who had tortured French resistance fighters, while the French Army is now torturing FLN combatants, as well as, more critically, French communist journalists, where one female's life was saved by Jacques Massu's wife, and Massu commanded the whole French Army. That's not to mention the pieds-noirs problem in general.

    It was a war where different political circumstances would have led to French victory on all levels. But that wasn't the case. Regardless, the French did not suffer defeat at the hands of "guerrilla tactics."

    It's also worth noting that the Viet-Minh didn't defeat the French through "guerrilla tactics" either. The Viet-Minh defeated the French in open battle, where the French had put itself in a geographically disadvantageous advantage to bait the Viet-Minh to fight in the open. Giap took the gamble, almost lost, and didn't repeat his order of battle from Na San, unlike the French, who did. (It's interesting noting that for two reasons. Napoléon I never repeated the same order of battle, and Saddam Hussein fought the U.S. Military during Persian Gulf with the exact same order of battle that most favors the U.S. Military's doctrine.)

    A deeper reason I think is the Glorious Charge Syndrome, the clash of gorgeous cavalry and resplendent infantry of Napoleon’s days. It’s the excitement, Wellington on the reverse slope at Waterloo, la Garde advances, the Little Corporal drops back out of the pocket on fourth and one….Although wars are usually discussed as rational enterprises in pursuit of national goals, soldiers dream of glory, honor, and the overcoming of enemies in pitched combat. This has always been true. Read the Gilgamesth Epic, the Illiad, the Aeneid, El Cid, Orlando Furioso, and Beowulf. They all deal with climactic battles of heroic men. Sieges are all right, but soldiers want to get it on, steel on target, close and destroy, and they want an enemy they can get at.

    A distributed war like that in Afghanistan, with nothing important to blow up and often nobody to fight because they are hiding, is not something soldiers easily get their minds around. Aerial combat, mano a mano is more to their liking, or commando teams moving silently through the night, or the Pacific fleet, alert, men at their stations, moving through enemy waters in search of trouble. Since war is no longer like that, the soldiers flail about for years, go home, forget what happened, and in the next war do it again.


    No. That's a very poor argument. He's confusing rank-and-file (and practically blaming them) for the failings of the High Command, which is strategic by nature, not tactical. »

    Thanks for this well-thought response to some of Mr. Reed’s conclusions. It certainly gave me somethings to think about. I do believe Mr. Reed’s specifics may be refuted, but the general import at the insanity of the way the current military industrial complex works (and a fawning, adulating public that falls behind it – especially as pertains to the US) – or should I say, ‘does not work’ – is true.

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  32. You lead with your strength, the US is militarily dominant so it would be foolish to abjure the use of force.

    Germany did not attack in 1905 when it would have had an excellent chance of winning. That was a mistake, one it paid dearly for.

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  33. This article is much to do about nothing, as is most of the twaddle that Mr. Reed jots down in a drunken stupor.

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    "Much ado about nothing"? "Twaddle"?

    After reading what an obviously well informed person like NS found to say in response to Fred's article your words become a commentary on yourself rather than Fred. So far the obvious possibilities include laziness, ignorance, or both - with a strong flavouring of malice (something personal? You and Fred? Or you and the anguishing struggle with the bottle?).

    So why not saddle up and earn a bit of respect by spelling out a reasoned and well-informed case. Having chosen your pseudonym surely the honour of Dixie deserves it.

    , @Fred Reed
    I am pleased to receive so much intelligent and well-informed comment, which I read with pleasure and for ideas worth thinking about. If these commenters were here, I would suggest a beer and much conversation. I weary of such as Son of Dixie who invariably has nothing to say and, I suspect, couldn't say anything o note if the tried. Anyway, my appreciation to all others.
  34. War is more about logistics and matériel, and less about the valour of the fighting man, than many people, including soldiers and politicians, would like to believe.

    The British lost the American Revolution, despite having professional officers and well-trained soldiers, because of the difficulty of supplying men and matériel halfway around the world via sailing ships. The Confederacy lost the War Between the States despite having the cream of the antebellum officer corps, and common soldiers of uncommon resourcefulness and grit, because the South lacked the industry to provide them with sufficient weapons and munitions. Germany lost two world wars because its industry, mighty as it was, could not support its military demands. It has been argued persuasively that the victor of every major war for the past 200 years has been the belligerent that had the better capacity to produce steel.

    Considering the current dilapidated condition of America’s strategic industries, we must hope we do not have to fight a serious war in the foreseeable future.

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    • Replies: @Faust
    While I cannot disagree with your basic thesis that industrial production is crucial, I wonder.

    Will we be fighting wars that provide time to replace destroyed equipment? Certainly we will not be fighting wars with massed armies like the ones you reference. Such armies only provide better targets. Look what we did to large Iranian forces in just a few days. Granted, we were provided the time to prepare our initiative.
    , @Philip Owen


    So China has the rest of the world beaten three times over. Or is it composites now?
  35. @Faust
    The best laid plans do not survive contact with the enemy.

    Dien Bien Phu? 15,000 Poles drove 300,000 muslims away from Vienna by dragging artillery up a hill. That was what, 1592?

    "war is the application of force, and to the application of that force there is no limit" Are we forgetting that, or are we learning from that?

    The first siege of Vienna was 1529; in that one the Turks had been weakened by bad weather during the campaign, then ground down by the European’s stubborn defense.
    The Poles saved Vienna in the second siege which climaxed on September 11, 1683. The 9/11 hijackers selected the same date as revenge for the setback to Islam on that date.

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  36. @anon
    400,000 Germans died in the hunger blockade by the British in WW1? The true total is probably closer to 1,000,000. Nor does this count losses in Austria-Hungary either.

    I am of course aware of blockades and embargos from Britain’s against Napoleon and his against all trade with Continental Europe by Britain through to the German U boat blockade of Britain in WW2 and sanctions against trade with Iraq etc. But can you tell me what was the key to the success of the WW1 blockade? Germany and the Hapsburg empire had immense areas of agricultural land so…. ?

    Mind you the figures aren’t significant for German power when you consider that there were 2 million births in Germany in 1913. (5 million in Russia so Hitler and Stalin were both well stocked up eith cannon fodder for WW2).

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    • Replies: @anon
    It is true that they had agricultural land and both countries were not dependent on food imports before the war, but vast numbers of men were removed from agricultural production for military service. Also the general chaos of war caused much breakdown on the 'food front'. The Hungarian part of the Habsburg domains started hoarding their agricultural production and wouldn't give any to the Austrians for instance. Millions of horses were removed from agriculture to be used by the armies. The German army lost about a thousand horses a day during the war. Just feeding the horses was a huge logistical and agricultural burden for everybody. The Tsarist army had millions of horses and providing fodder for them virtually crippled the already inadequate Russian rail system. The "communist" revolution in St. Petersburg began as just an outbreak of food riots. There should have been plenty of food, but the demand and chaos of the war, and the opportunities for war profiteers to exploit it, caused great privation everywhere.
    , @Philip Owen


    It's not food. The real strategic shortage was rubber. Try to make a 1940's plane or automobile without it. The Soviets supplied rubber to Germany until 1941 so the Germans built up a small stockpile. It takes a hell of a lot of potatoes to extract rubber.
  37. @anon
    I believe the Soviets would have probably defeated the Germans all by themselves without any help from the west at all. It would have taken longer and cost them more casualties, but I see no way Germany could have prevailed. Indeed had Stalin listed to Zhukov and concentrated all of the Soviet resources just against Army Group Center when they counter-attacked in the winter of 1941-42, instead of dissipating his reserves along the entire line, AGC, would have collapsed and that might have ended the war in the summer of 42.

    I would be interested to know the calculations justifying your belief. I suppose the hypothesis has to be that, once Hitler was attacking the really really bad guys Britain makes some accommodation with Germany whereby North Africa is effectually left to the Brits and the French, Belgians and Dutch (and maybe Scandinavians) are promised German withdrawal once they have taken lebensraum in the East. America is left to deal with Japan if occasion arises.

    Germany can get all the Middle East oil it needs. How much aid is the US presumed to ship to the Soviet Union against the entire U boat fleet once involved in trying to starve Britain?

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    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    An additional element of the hypothesis would have to be that Japan decided not to take advantage of the Soviet Union's weakness and still preferred to attack Pearl Harbour.
    , @anon
    "I would be interested to know the calculations justifying your belief.'

    Well how about the simplest and crudest figure of all.

    German casualties in the Second World War;

    Period, June 1941- March 1945; Killed or wounded:

    Northwest Europe, Sicily, Italy and Africa------------ 580,000.

    Eastern front -------------------------------------------- 4,900,000.


    Without Soviet involvement, Great Britain and the USA would have had to have killed or wounded about five million more German troops. The Soviets fewer then 600,000.

    Source, John Ellis, Brute Force.
  38. @Son of Dixie
    This article is much to do about nothing, as is most of the twaddle that Mr. Reed jots down in a drunken stupor.

    “Much ado about nothing”? “Twaddle”?

    After reading what an obviously well informed person like NS found to say in response to Fred’s article your words become a commentary on yourself rather than Fred. So far the obvious possibilities include laziness, ignorance, or both – with a strong flavouring of malice (something personal? You and Fred? Or you and the anguishing struggle with the bottle?).

    So why not saddle up and earn a bit of respect by spelling out a reasoned and well-informed case. Having chosen your pseudonym surely the honour of Dixie deserves it.

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  39. @Talha

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation.
     
    Perhaps that is true, but it is also true that this is how one's soul is lost. You do not execute war in the way of the Mongol Horde and walk away without spiritual damage. Either that or you turn your culture into one with values like the Horde that finds nothing wrong with raping and pillaging and burning whole cities to the ground.

    I think it is of massive significance that the same generation that rained hell upon each other's cities and incinerated millions in a brutally industrialized manner, were the ones that pledged to never fight again like that by drafting the Geneva Conventions - indeed, I believe that was the only thing that redeemed their souls and it was a gift to their progeny so that they would never have to witness such horrors as their fathers had seen, been victims of or themselves meted out.

    But I totally agree with you, because of the efficacy of modern weapons in decimating thousands of innocent human beings - it should absolutely be the very, very last resort.

    May God grant you a high station in this world and the next.

    My esteemed friend Talha, I totally agree with you on the matter of damage to the soul and the all too common examples of suicides, wife and children beatings and murders amongst returned service people since Afghanistan and Iraq suggest that a line of morality has been crossed that is hard to undo. Who knows what unseen traumas dwell in the minds of those who’ve adjusted better and what that means for the future?

    It is one thing to kill defending oneself and the nation but that is not the case at all.

    I forget who said, “It is no measure of success to be well adjusted in a profoundly sick society” but I wish I could spout profundity such this.

    Only the American people can stop this and your comment helps to raise this often forgotten element of the equation.

    My best wishes to you.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Dear NtD,

    Best to you and yours as well.

    Who knows what unseen traumas dwell in the minds of those who’ve adjusted better and what that means for the future?
     
    You hit on something most people aren't keeping an eye on. I visited Kosova with my wife in 2004; she was assessing an NGO that was working with traumatized war widows and orphans. The man in charge of the effort was a psychologist who specialized in counseling people whose lives had been shattered by war. Kosova was not his first rodeo. If I recall, he had done the same work in Azerbijan/Armenia and another conflict I forget. I specifically remember his words that many people who witness disturbing events (or themselves commit atrocities) in conflict will not exhibit the damage to mind and soul for decades. Something may trigger a crisis 20 or more years after the fact. Many of these Iraq/Afghanistan veterans are still quite young, who knows what their memories will do to them as they experience things like mid-life crisis or other life-altering events. We may have seen just the tip of the iceberg thus far - and, as I'm typing this, I pray I am wrong and that advances in therapy will avert further damage to these soldiers and the societies they return to.

    Please pray we are able to stop this war machine from grinding any more lives - soldiers, women, children - between its gears.

    May God preserve you and your progeny.
  40. “For example, you do not tell your troops, “You are mediocre infantry and inferior man for man to the enemy but we have better technology and will rely on this.” ”

    Back in WW2 I thought the message to the US combat troops (eg in instructional movies) was pretty realistic. It went something like:

    “Don’t be scared of the Germans. They are not supermen. They can bleed and die like any men. Our technology may seem inferior, but it does the job… (insert slightly puffed up description of the merits of US LMG/rifle/tank vs superior German counterpart)… And remember, behind you stand millions of men and women producing quantities of materiel that the Germans just can’t match. Do your bit and we’ll win this thing.”

    The complete divorce from reality in modern descriptions of “history’s finest warriors” seems a modern thing, definitely post-1991, post-2003 even.

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  41. Reed could have said what he said in one paragraph. A real yawner.

    Tell us something we don’t know, Fred.

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  42. @Horzabky
    Exactly so.

    WWI wasn't won on the battlefields, it was won when the blockade implemented by Churchill starved the Germans. It worked so well that more than 400,000 Germans died of starvation, which broke the will of the German people. The blockade was lifted only eight months after actual combat had ended.

    I don't know what a war of NATO countries against an enemy with an air force worthy of the name would be like, but I know that France, for instance, has 58 nuclear power stations, each of which could become another Fukushima if it was bombed. At least one of those nuclear power stations is located upstream from Paris, with the potential to make the entire Seine valley (including Paris) uninhabitable if radioactive material fell into the river.

    Bombing half a dozen French nuclear power station would make the grid collapse, depriving most of Western Europe of electricity for months. Cities would become uninhabitable. Without electricity, there's no tap water after two days, because the pumps need electricity. Filling stations use electricity to power their pumps, too. No electricity, no gasoline. Supermarkets seldom have more than three days worth of food. Tens of millions of people would have to go without food and drinkable water after a few days.

    In the wars of the future, famine will be the great killer, because our societies have become so complex that if the electrical grid goes down for more than a day, everything collapses.

    That's why I think that NATO will never attack Russia or China. When was the last time the USA, or another NATO country, fought against an enemy with a genuine, capable air force? 1945.

    The Falklands War may have been an exception, when the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force. Another exception was the Korean war, when US pilots fought against Soviet MIGs, but the USAF dominated the sky.

    I’m not sure our jump-jet Harriers actually were better air-to-air than the Argentines’ French-built Mirage fighters, and the Argentine pilots were good too. Possibly they made a mistake not even trying to gain air superiority, but the biggest issue was that they were operating at extreme range from their airfields and had very little loiter time.

    I believe the Vietnam War also saw lots of air-to-air combat over North Vietnam.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    It's been a while since I considered the Falklands War, but your recollection is consistent with mine. The Argentines and their mostly French-supplied Air Force and Naval Air Service were both good, but they operated at the edge of their range and had no air-to-air refueling capability. I also think British pilots developed some unorthodox air combat techniques, using the thrust vectors of the Harrier, that surprised Argentine pilots. The Argentine carrier was equipped with American A-4 Skyhawks, but after the sinkng of the Belgrano, it went into port and never played a role. For all that, the sinking of the Sheffield and the Atlantic Conveyor by Naval Air Service Super Etendards with Exocet missiles nearly wrecked the entire operation.

    I admit to a sort of sadness looking back at wars like this: why do white people have to fight and kill each other so competently and enthusiastically?
  43. Mr. Reed in this lengthy explanation of failure of the recent western wars, you missed the basic reason – the morally corrupt military elites and ordinary soldiers. Since WWI, all American wars were fought not to defend United States but to please the countries “voting banks”.

    Both WWI and WWII were used to kill over 100 million innocent people in order to divide the western colonial world – not to defend their countrymen from foreign invasions. Napoleon’s imperial wars were no different to that rule. His early victories against weak opponents boosted his ego to become the ruler of the world.

    Muslim army occupied some parts of France between 716 and 731. Before the rise of Jewish power in France in late 1900s, Turban and hijab were common headdresses in Paris streets and Muslims were not called “terrorists”. Some historians claim that French emperor Napoleon Bonaporte studied life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Holy Qur’an and converted to Islam – and took the name of Ali Bonaparte.

    Since WW II, France has lost its Muslim colonies with the exception of Mayotte – a 144 sq. mile island in Camoros (Africa) with 100% Muslim population of 131,000.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/06/07/survey-french-like-muslims-more-since-charlie-hebdo/

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    • Replies: @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    I'm sure the average white French citizen is deliriously happy with the turbans and hijabs and burqas worn by Muslims in Parisian slums these days.

    Sherm
  44. @Flemming
    Lawrence Keeley recounts in "War Before Civilization" how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by "primitive" enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don't want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

    Nonsense. I’m not sure it’s possible even to say WWII was shortened by the aerial bombardment of Germany. As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese were already willing to surrender on nearly the same terms beforehand.

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  45. The Fighting Yank

    If only contemporary Americans knew the origins of the term ‘yank’

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/05/17/bozos-handcock-u-speech/

    ^ Perhaps THE most informative (to Americans) satire, ever.

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  46. This article is one true premise–military men largely don’t know what they’re doing (duh)–backed up by a battalion of specious and false arguments. For instance, the French were most certainly not defeated by guerrilla tactics in Vietnam. Dien Bien Phu was a conventional battle. There’s nothing guerrilla about your description of the Viet Minh lugging artillery up a hill. What’s more, it’s highly probable the commies spent themselves in the effort and could have been finished off had the French not washed their hands of the business or the U.S. intervened then. Guerrilla tactics against the South were subsequently turned to because the conventional strength of the communists had been sapped.

    What’s more, one of the U.S.’s major blunders was refusing to assert its conventional superiority, by for instance invading the North, Cambodia, and Laos. We declined to do this for reasons completely separate from our direct enemies, guerrilla and otherwise.

    Also, where do you get the idea that AK47s, RPGs, and IEDs are particularly dangerous? They’re not. What they are is cost effective.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral
    The USA would have had to invade China to stop Vietnam. Here is a good article explaining just how much China supported Vietnam in defending itself.
    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/20thcentury/articles/chinesesupport.aspx

    In a nutshell it provided entire divisions that rebuilt bombed infrastructure, anti aircraft units and military supplies. Obviously an invasion of China was not possible, so the Vietnam war was not winnable, the myth of winning the Tet offensive was just a way for the military men to blame the politicians, when the ultimate truth was that the US military could not achieve a victory.

    , @rod1963
    Those weapons you mentioned will kill even the toughest jarhead or SEAL Team commando and have. They just lack the glossy slickness of a M-4 with all the tacti-fool additions that costs as much as a car.

    The latest RPG's will cut through all our vehicles save the Abram's. The Israelis learned the lethality of Soviet ATM's in 73 but promptly forgot about them and had to relearn that lesson when they rolled into Lebanon with their Merkava's and then watched them turned into scrap by Hezbollah fighters.

    IED's not lethal? They are very lethal and have cause 70% of our casualties in Iraq and deny our ability to maneuver. The worst of them are the self-forging projectiles that chew up MRAP's and the like.
  47. @Simon in London
    I'm not sure our jump-jet Harriers actually were better air-to-air than the Argentines' French-built Mirage fighters, and the Argentine pilots were good too. Possibly they made a mistake not even trying to gain air superiority, but the biggest issue was that they were operating at extreme range from their airfields and had very little loiter time.

    I believe the Vietnam War also saw lots of air-to-air combat over North Vietnam.

    It’s been a while since I considered the Falklands War, but your recollection is consistent with mine. The Argentines and their mostly French-supplied Air Force and Naval Air Service were both good, but they operated at the edge of their range and had no air-to-air refueling capability. I also think British pilots developed some unorthodox air combat techniques, using the thrust vectors of the Harrier, that surprised Argentine pilots. The Argentine carrier was equipped with American A-4 Skyhawks, but after the sinkng of the Belgrano, it went into port and never played a role. For all that, the sinking of the Sheffield and the Atlantic Conveyor by Naval Air Service Super Etendards with Exocet missiles nearly wrecked the entire operation.

    I admit to a sort of sadness looking back at wars like this: why do white people have to fight and kill each other so competently and enthusiastically?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Simon in London
    I agree - I'm just glad their Mestizo conscript forces were not nearly so competent or enthusiastic!
  48. @Wizard of Oz
    I would be interested to know the calculations justifying your belief. I suppose the hypothesis has to be that, once Hitler was attacking the really really bad guys Britain makes some accommodation with Germany whereby North Africa is effectually left to the Brits and the French, Belgians and Dutch (and maybe Scandinavians) are promised German withdrawal once they have taken lebensraum in the East. America is left to deal with Japan if occasion arises.

    Germany can get all the Middle East oil it needs. How much aid is the US presumed to ship to the Soviet Union against the entire U boat fleet once involved in trying to starve Britain?

    An additional element of the hypothesis would have to be that Japan decided not to take advantage of the Soviet Union’s weakness and still preferred to attack Pearl Harbour.

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  49. @Rehmat
    Mr. Reed in this lengthy explanation of failure of the recent western wars, you missed the basic reason - the morally corrupt military elites and ordinary soldiers. Since WWI, all American wars were fought not to defend United States but to please the countries "voting banks".

    Both WWI and WWII were used to kill over 100 million innocent people in order to divide the western colonial world - not to defend their countrymen from foreign invasions. Napoleon's imperial wars were no different to that rule. His early victories against weak opponents boosted his ego to become the ruler of the world.

    Muslim army occupied some parts of France between 716 and 731. Before the rise of Jewish power in France in late 1900s, Turban and hijab were common headdresses in Paris streets and Muslims were not called “terrorists”. Some historians claim that French emperor Napoleon Bonaporte studied life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Holy Qur’an and converted to Islam – and took the name of Ali Bonaparte.

    Since WW II, France has lost its Muslim colonies with the exception of Mayotte – a 144 sq. mile island in Camoros (Africa) with 100% Muslim population of 131,000.

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/06/07/survey-french-like-muslims-more-since-charlie-hebdo/

    Hey Homer

    I’m sure the average white French citizen is deliriously happy with the turbans and hijabs and burqas worn by Muslims in Parisian slums these days.

    Sherm

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral
    The same applies to the average French being happy with the jews owning French politicians and the media. In terms of damage the jews have caused much more damage to the French than the muslims have, their damage is orders of magnitude more destructive than bombing some nightclubs or anything else the muslims can achieve.
    , @Rehmat
    Hi Sharon - talking about slums - how come after sucking $1 trillion from US taxpayers and $93 billion from German taxpayers - one out of every three Jewish children in Israel live in poverty (Ha'aretz, 2006)?

    In January 2010, a report presented by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) secretary-general to Israel’s socio-economic cabinet said that the Zionist entity is poor with great economic gap between the Jew settlers majority and the 20% of its Native Arab population.

    The report calculated that if the Zionist entity is admitted in the OECD, it would be the most poor country among the members – a sort of parasite even after receiving over US$3000 billion in aid from Washington since 1970s.

    https://rehmat1.com/2010/08/28/oecd-report-israel-a-poor-divided-country/
  50. @Crawfurdmuir
    War is more about logistics and matériel, and less about the valour of the fighting man, than many people, including soldiers and politicians, would like to believe.

    The British lost the American Revolution, despite having professional officers and well-trained soldiers, because of the difficulty of supplying men and matériel halfway around the world via sailing ships. The Confederacy lost the War Between the States despite having the cream of the antebellum officer corps, and common soldiers of uncommon resourcefulness and grit, because the South lacked the industry to provide them with sufficient weapons and munitions. Germany lost two world wars because its industry, mighty as it was, could not support its military demands. It has been argued persuasively that the victor of every major war for the past 200 years has been the belligerent that had the better capacity to produce steel.

    Considering the current dilapidated condition of America's strategic industries, we must hope we do not have to fight a serious war in the foreseeable future.

    While I cannot disagree with your basic thesis that industrial production is crucial, I wonder.

    Will we be fighting wars that provide time to replace destroyed equipment? Certainly we will not be fighting wars with massed armies like the ones you reference. Such armies only provide better targets. Look what we did to large Iranian forces in just a few days. Granted, we were provided the time to prepare our initiative.

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  51. @mtn cur
    Post literate americans who speak of French cowardice never read about American officers discussing how to keep our "colored" soldiers from sleeping with some millions of bereft young white French women whose men were killed or mutilated in two wars on their own soil and yes, wars started by "great men."

    Good for our soldiers. Back then, they weren’t brainwashed and self-hating pussies in that regard. The African soldiers never should have been allowed to kill Europeans, — actually, admittedly, none of the u.s. Soldiers should have been doing that in ww1 and ww2 — and their ancestors never should have been brought into America to begin with.

    Our “men” should be keeping African savages away from our women here at home, today, as well.

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  52. @guest
    This article is one true premise--military men largely don't know what they're doing (duh)--backed up by a battalion of specious and false arguments. For instance, the French were most certainly not defeated by guerrilla tactics in Vietnam. Dien Bien Phu was a conventional battle. There's nothing guerrilla about your description of the Viet Minh lugging artillery up a hill. What's more, it's highly probable the commies spent themselves in the effort and could have been finished off had the French not washed their hands of the business or the U.S. intervened then. Guerrilla tactics against the South were subsequently turned to because the conventional strength of the communists had been sapped.

    What's more, one of the U.S.'s major blunders was refusing to assert its conventional superiority, by for instance invading the North, Cambodia, and Laos. We declined to do this for reasons completely separate from our direct enemies, guerrilla and otherwise.

    Also, where do you get the idea that AK47s, RPGs, and IEDs are particularly dangerous? They're not. What they are is cost effective.

    The USA would have had to invade China to stop Vietnam. Here is a good article explaining just how much China supported Vietnam in defending itself.

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/20thcentury/articles/chinesesupport.aspx

    In a nutshell it provided entire divisions that rebuilt bombed infrastructure, anti aircraft units and military supplies. Obviously an invasion of China was not possible, so the Vietnam war was not winnable, the myth of winning the Tet offensive was just a way for the military men to blame the politicians, when the ultimate truth was that the US military could not achieve a victory.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    China had no interest in going to war with the U.S. again, ten years after not gaining much for plenty of sacrifice in Korea. Certainly not over Vietnam, of all stakes.
    , @guest
    I don't see how winning Tet can be a myth. Did they take the cities or inflict more damage on us than we did them? There's was a PR victory, granted, but the brass' argument was that it was a tactical victory, anyway.
  53. Fred you are having a renaissance – a very clever piece and an armful of original, witty and memorable quotations with, just possibly, a slightly underweight finish.

    You can judge your success by the number of responses: well done, lad!

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  54. From my book: http://www.g2mil.com/war.htm

    World War II combat infantryman Paul Fussell’s book “Doing Battle” didn’t sell nearly as well as books by Stephen Ambrose, who somehow missed military service but became wealthy writing about brave and brilliant American troops in World War II. Perhaps Fussell’s work wasn’t popular because he insisted on writing:

    “In the opinion of British military historian Max Hastings, the American forces were so bad (and actually so were most of the British) ‘that when Allied troops met Germans on anything like equal terms, the Germans almost always prevailed.’ Thank God the troops, most of them, didn’t know how bad we were. It’s hard enough to be asked to die in the midst of heroes, but to die in the midst of stumblebums led by fools — intolerable. And I include myself in this indictment.”

    Fussell wrote that of the 12 million Americans who served during World War II, only one million volunteered. The rest entered “kicking and screaming” with the threat of imprisonment and spent the war scheming to avoid combat. His short book “The Boys’ Crusade”, is about infantrymen fighting in Europe during World War II where he served as a lieutenant. He noted many great books on the war, but wrote that all missed key elements, such as:

    - Most fighting was done by American infantrymen, who were just out of high school. They were drafted and didn’t want to be in the war or the Army. The Army’s official tally was 19,000 deserters in Europe.

    - Self-inflicted wounds (a downward bullet wound to a leg or arm) were so common that the Army kept a tally and used it to measure unit morale.

    - When the U.S. Army’s new 106th Infantry Division was attacked at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, it didn’t put up a fight. Its boys were so startled by the unexpected appearance of large numbers of German panzers that officers jumped into jeeps and fled while 8000 GIs threw up their hands and surrendered.

    - The “platoon guide” was a junior sergeant added to each infantry platoon whose duty was the trail the platoon and confront anyone who attempted to desert.

    - During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans sent 150 English speaking commandos dressed in US Army uniforms to infiltrate American frontlines and cause chaos. They were quickly captured because American MPs guarded all roadways. Any healthy soldier heading toward the rear was presumed a deserter and arrested and interrogated.

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    • Replies: @guest
    I loved Fussell's books The Great War and Modern Memory and Wartime. Simple things, like the fact that even photographs of purported carnage tend to show bodies intact with no blood to be seen, he brings up make you realize the great majority of war books are nonsense. I never much thought before of the utter lack of war aims, on the American side at least, in WWII. Aside from revenge for Pearl Harbor, what was there? As communicated to the public, I mean. The muckety-mucks wanted to remake the world in their image and protect their stuff, but what did the average fighting man think he was fighting for, if he had common sense and didn't care about the Atlantic Charter? To get back home, basically. And to protect other fighting men. That comes across in a lot of the Spielbergian war movies they're still churning out 70 years after the fact. "Your fighting for the guy next to you." You know the best way to get home and protect fellow soldiers? Not to bother with war in the first place.

    I didn't care for Thank God for the Atomic Bomb, however. As if one Fussell is worth a couple hundred thousand souls.

    , @Tex
    Audie Murphy's TO HELL AND BACK (much of it ghost-written, but by a combat veteran ghost writer) is overlooked as an account of the infantryman's war, largely because of the sentimentalized movie in which Murphy played himself (Murphy seemed better at playing a gentle soul, a happy cowboy type, and not a man worn-down and prematurely aged by what he'd lived through). Murphy's book pays a lot of tribute to the front line GIs, without making them into clay heroes. He talks about tough guys who run out on their pals, guys who crack up, and guys who just decide not to go on. There is an underlying bitterness that Hollywood would never dream of depicting. Yet they got the job done against a very skillful foe.

    Greg Boyington's BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP does something similar for the airmen's war. In addition to being a "celebrity" pilot (which Boyington admits was not beneficial), Boyington had the experience of being a POW. Like Murphy, he had serious problems with the bottle, and a tremendous, not at all concealed amount of bitterness. And yet, like Murphy and the GIs, Boyington and his airmen got the job done.

    I can't help but feel and emotional attachment to that era, it was the era that defined my parents' lives. But if you are willing to look, you can find the ones that told an honest account, the people who don't pretend to be plaster saints, and still cherish the affection for those who served, if only as well as they could.

    I guess it's not exactly a novel idea that the people closest to the events, had a clearer view.
    , @anonymous
    Thanks for giving us the facts instead of the pleasing fantasies we've all been fed through movies and other media. A certain percent are gung-ho about any conflict because they like the action regardless of the cause, or lack thereof, but the majority get dragged into these things by those who are their owners and have the power to force them into uniform and do what they're told. American soldiers are competent but their leaders are generally just so-so while the political types who get them into these conflicts are incompetent leading to Afghanistan-type fiascos. Americans lack the motivation of having a real 'cause' so phony ones are concocted for them such as 'building democracy' somewhere. These are all wars of choice and most people start to realize this.
    , @Philip Owen


    My father in law endorsed the 1-to-1 German superiority and he "fought" at Dunkirk and after D-Day. "Fought" because he was sent (as a Captain of infantry) to a map location in Belgium without orders or ammunition for his men's rifles. His pistol was the only operational weapon. The Germans just waved at them as they drove by.
  55. The current military hierarchy of the United States has been carefully placed, by that troupe of Neocons we all love, to ensure compliance and adherence to The Agenda. Dissenters have been purged and Commander-in-Chief Clinton (or possibly Rubio) will find everything in readiness for the campaign rhetoric to become actionable. Once again the United States will be able to boast the boldest, bravest C in C in the entire wide world: right worthy of those fighting men, women and transgenders.

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  56. @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    I'm sure the average white French citizen is deliriously happy with the turbans and hijabs and burqas worn by Muslims in Parisian slums these days.

    Sherm

    The same applies to the average French being happy with the jews owning French politicians and the media. In terms of damage the jews have caused much more damage to the French than the muslims have, their damage is orders of magnitude more destructive than bombing some nightclubs or anything else the muslims can achieve.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sherman
    You got I'd dude. The French Jews control France 100%.

    It's all part of the global Zionist conspiracy.

    Thanks for pointing this out to me.
    , @Rehmat
    French Jewish Lobby works similar to their sister groups in the US and Britain - hire Mossad and local hooligans to terrorize the public.

    On December 24, 2013, the Jewish media outlet, JTA, reported the arrest of six members of the terrorist group, Ligue de Defense Juive (LDJ), the French version of the notorious Jewish Defense League (JDL), founded by the racist US-Israeli Rabbi Martin David (Meir) Kahane in 1968. Kahane was murdered on November 5, 1990 by one of his Palestinian victims of JDL thugs. The JDL is listed as a “domestic terrorist organization” by the FBI.

    The six Jews are accused of attacking non-Jews in Lyon on December 21 and in nearby Villeurbanne on December 22, 2013. The victims were targeted on social networks and tracked down for performing the “quenelle,” a gesture conceived by famous French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala.

    Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala has long been hunted by the powerful pro-Israel Jewish Lobby, CRIF (“Representative Committee of Jewish organization in France” – the French version of AIPAC). Dieudonne, who has French-African family roots – uses comedy skits to expose the Zionist-Israeli propaganda lies about Arabs, Muslims and Blacks. He claims that the Left-Right chasm is an artificial and meaningless chasm in French politics and that the real issue which separates the parties in France is their attitude towards the Zionist ideology, the state of Israel, and the role of the Israel Lobby in France.

    Last year, Montreal’s Evenko and Corona Theatre canceled Dieudonné’s show ‘Rendez-nous Jésus (Give us back Jesus)‘ under pressure from Jewish groups lead by pro-Israel Jewish B’nai Brith.

    Blogger Saker posted a lengthy article, titled, ‘Is a new revolution quietly brewing in France?‘, in which he discussed the recent alliance between Dieudonné and French philosopher Alain Soral, who like late French philosopher Roger Garaudy is member of French Communist Party. Both Dieudonné and Soral are hated by the French Jewish Lobby for their criticism of the Zionist regime – and support for Palestine, Syria and Iran.

    https://rehmat1.com/2013/12/25/six-jew-terrorists-arrested-in-france/
  57. @Diversity Heretic
    It's been a while since I considered the Falklands War, but your recollection is consistent with mine. The Argentines and their mostly French-supplied Air Force and Naval Air Service were both good, but they operated at the edge of their range and had no air-to-air refueling capability. I also think British pilots developed some unorthodox air combat techniques, using the thrust vectors of the Harrier, that surprised Argentine pilots. The Argentine carrier was equipped with American A-4 Skyhawks, but after the sinkng of the Belgrano, it went into port and never played a role. For all that, the sinking of the Sheffield and the Atlantic Conveyor by Naval Air Service Super Etendards with Exocet missiles nearly wrecked the entire operation.

    I admit to a sort of sadness looking back at wars like this: why do white people have to fight and kill each other so competently and enthusiastically?

    I agree – I’m just glad their Mestizo conscript forces were not nearly so competent or enthusiastic!

    Read More
  58. @neutral
    The USA would have had to invade China to stop Vietnam. Here is a good article explaining just how much China supported Vietnam in defending itself.
    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/20thcentury/articles/chinesesupport.aspx

    In a nutshell it provided entire divisions that rebuilt bombed infrastructure, anti aircraft units and military supplies. Obviously an invasion of China was not possible, so the Vietnam war was not winnable, the myth of winning the Tet offensive was just a way for the military men to blame the politicians, when the ultimate truth was that the US military could not achieve a victory.

    China had no interest in going to war with the U.S. again, ten years after not gaining much for plenty of sacrifice in Korea. Certainly not over Vietnam, of all stakes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral
    You have it the wrong way round, the US did not want to fight China, that is why it could never defeat Vietnam.
  59. @Carlton Meyer
    From my book: http://www.g2mil.com/war.htm

    World War II combat infantryman Paul Fussell's book "Doing Battle" didn't sell nearly as well as books by Stephen Ambrose, who somehow missed military service but became wealthy writing about brave and brilliant American troops in World War II. Perhaps Fussell's work wasn't popular because he insisted on writing:

    "In the opinion of British military historian Max Hastings, the American forces were so bad (and actually so were most of the British) 'that when Allied troops met Germans on anything like equal terms, the Germans almost always prevailed.' Thank God the troops, most of them, didn't know how bad we were. It's hard enough to be asked to die in the midst of heroes, but to die in the midst of stumblebums led by fools -- intolerable. And I include myself in this indictment."

    Fussell wrote that of the 12 million Americans who served during World War II, only one million volunteered. The rest entered "kicking and screaming" with the threat of imprisonment and spent the war scheming to avoid combat. His short book "The Boys' Crusade", is about infantrymen fighting in Europe during World War II where he served as a lieutenant. He noted many great books on the war, but wrote that all missed key elements, such as:

    - Most fighting was done by American infantrymen, who were just out of high school. They were drafted and didn't want to be in the war or the Army. The Army's official tally was 19,000 deserters in Europe.

    - Self-inflicted wounds (a downward bullet wound to a leg or arm) were so common that the Army kept a tally and used it to measure unit morale.

    - When the U.S. Army's new 106th Infantry Division was attacked at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, it didn't put up a fight. Its boys were so startled by the unexpected appearance of large numbers of German panzers that officers jumped into jeeps and fled while 8000 GIs threw up their hands and surrendered.

    - The "platoon guide" was a junior sergeant added to each infantry platoon whose duty was the trail the platoon and confront anyone who attempted to desert.

    - During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans sent 150 English speaking commandos dressed in US Army uniforms to infiltrate American frontlines and cause chaos. They were quickly captured because American MPs guarded all roadways. Any healthy soldier heading toward the rear was presumed a deserter and arrested and interrogated.

    I loved Fussell’s books The Great War and Modern Memory and Wartime. Simple things, like the fact that even photographs of purported carnage tend to show bodies intact with no blood to be seen, he brings up make you realize the great majority of war books are nonsense. I never much thought before of the utter lack of war aims, on the American side at least, in WWII. Aside from revenge for Pearl Harbor, what was there? As communicated to the public, I mean. The muckety-mucks wanted to remake the world in their image and protect their stuff, but what did the average fighting man think he was fighting for, if he had common sense and didn’t care about the Atlantic Charter? To get back home, basically. And to protect other fighting men. That comes across in a lot of the Spielbergian war movies they’re still churning out 70 years after the fact. “Your fighting for the guy next to you.” You know the best way to get home and protect fellow soldiers? Not to bother with war in the first place.

    I didn’t care for Thank God for the Atomic Bomb, however. As if one Fussell is worth a couple hundred thousand souls.

    Read More
  60. @neutral
    The same applies to the average French being happy with the jews owning French politicians and the media. In terms of damage the jews have caused much more damage to the French than the muslims have, their damage is orders of magnitude more destructive than bombing some nightclubs or anything else the muslims can achieve.

    You got I’d dude. The French Jews control France 100%.

    It’s all part of the global Zionist conspiracy.

    Thanks for pointing this out to me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neutral
    Its not a conspiracy, its a well known fact that France has laws that explicitly charge those that speak out against jews. Nor is it a conspiracy that they recently passed a law that made it illegal to boycott Israel. Nor is it a conspiracy that jews like Bernard Levy were instrumental in pushing the cucks to attack Libya. And I can go on, your stupid conspiracy snarks are just another jewish tactic, when its clear as daylight that jews really do dominate France. What is not clear is what the French gain by being so dominated by jews ?
  61. @neutral
    The USA would have had to invade China to stop Vietnam. Here is a good article explaining just how much China supported Vietnam in defending itself.
    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/20thcentury/articles/chinesesupport.aspx

    In a nutshell it provided entire divisions that rebuilt bombed infrastructure, anti aircraft units and military supplies. Obviously an invasion of China was not possible, so the Vietnam war was not winnable, the myth of winning the Tet offensive was just a way for the military men to blame the politicians, when the ultimate truth was that the US military could not achieve a victory.

    I don’t see how winning Tet can be a myth. Did they take the cities or inflict more damage on us than we did them? There’s was a PR victory, granted, but the brass’ argument was that it was a tactical victory, anyway.

    Read More
  62. @Sherman
    You got I'd dude. The French Jews control France 100%.

    It's all part of the global Zionist conspiracy.

    Thanks for pointing this out to me.

    Its not a conspiracy, its a well known fact that France has laws that explicitly charge those that speak out against jews. Nor is it a conspiracy that they recently passed a law that made it illegal to boycott Israel. Nor is it a conspiracy that jews like Bernard Levy were instrumental in pushing the cucks to attack Libya. And I can go on, your stupid conspiracy snarks are just another jewish tactic, when its clear as daylight that jews really do dominate France. What is not clear is what the French gain by being so dominated by jews ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sherman
    It was the UK, not France, that recently passed an anti-boycott law you idiot.
    , @Sherman
    You're 100% correct. Jews control France.

    In fact, French people are terrified to walk around the Jewish slums of Paris and French people are terrified that crazy Zionists will start shooting up theaters and newspaper offices.

    French are also sick and tired of all those Jewish doctors and engineers and scientists who do nothing all day but go on welfare and have kids and do drugs and commit crime.
  63. @guest
    China had no interest in going to war with the U.S. again, ten years after not gaining much for plenty of sacrifice in Korea. Certainly not over Vietnam, of all stakes.

    You have it the wrong way round, the US did not want to fight China, that is why it could never defeat Vietnam.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    We didn't want to fight China, yes, and that's partly why we lost. But we were stupid to be afraid of China intervening, is the point. We should have invaded North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, or perhaps bolstered France way back when, or not bothered with any of it.
  64. @Horzabky
    Exactly so.

    WWI wasn't won on the battlefields, it was won when the blockade implemented by Churchill starved the Germans. It worked so well that more than 400,000 Germans died of starvation, which broke the will of the German people. The blockade was lifted only eight months after actual combat had ended.

    I don't know what a war of NATO countries against an enemy with an air force worthy of the name would be like, but I know that France, for instance, has 58 nuclear power stations, each of which could become another Fukushima if it was bombed. At least one of those nuclear power stations is located upstream from Paris, with the potential to make the entire Seine valley (including Paris) uninhabitable if radioactive material fell into the river.

    Bombing half a dozen French nuclear power station would make the grid collapse, depriving most of Western Europe of electricity for months. Cities would become uninhabitable. Without electricity, there's no tap water after two days, because the pumps need electricity. Filling stations use electricity to power their pumps, too. No electricity, no gasoline. Supermarkets seldom have more than three days worth of food. Tens of millions of people would have to go without food and drinkable water after a few days.

    In the wars of the future, famine will be the great killer, because our societies have become so complex that if the electrical grid goes down for more than a day, everything collapses.

    That's why I think that NATO will never attack Russia or China. When was the last time the USA, or another NATO country, fought against an enemy with a genuine, capable air force? 1945.

    The Falklands War may have been an exception, when the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force. Another exception was the Korean war, when US pilots fought against Soviet MIGs, but the USAF dominated the sky.

    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won’t be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris.

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    • Replies: @anonymous

    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won’t be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris.
     
    You know this how? Could you give us your military credentials and explain why? The internet is full of armchair generals who like to play with toy soldiers and make these types of pronouncements. Please clue us all in by providing more detail.
    , @George Taylor

    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won’t be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris
     
    True, it is laughable but why would they attempt too? Russian bombers could launch 100's if not 1000's of cruise missiles at targets in France and Western Europe without their planes ever crossing a NATO border. The recent launch of Russian cruise missiles from patrol boats in the Caspian Sea into Syria was a demonstration of this reality.
    , @rod1963
    Sam

    The Ruskies don't need to go kinetic to wrap up Europe. They just need to stop supplying those sclerotic Euros with oil and NG.

    The EU and entire collection of socialist states end up prostrate in a week.

    Also Europe has no military to speak of. The attack on Libya show cased how weak they are, they ended up having the U.S. provide a carrier to help attack the Libyans because of their lack of assets that were combat worthy.

    But I wouldn't worry about Ivan doing something stupid, that tends to be our bailiwick
  65. “Americans, ignoring this, invaded Viet Nam and were defeated in the same way. ”

    The last battles of the war had the NVA switching to conventional warfare and basically winning. I think a certain type of person likes the idea that the US lost a guerrilla war, but the reality is the last battles during the Paris peace talks were conventional and the US/Republic of Vietnam lost.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Offensive

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Linebacker_II

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    The last battles of the war didn't involve American forces. The last major offensive to involve American forces (air power only no ground troops) was the Easter Offensive when AVRN troops shockingly repelled North Vietnamese armor. It was such a surprising victory that China and Russia told Vietnam they only had more chance to conquer the South. The final, successful NV offensive was conducted against South Vietnamese forces completely without American support.

    I think a certain type person takes their resentment of neocons to excessive extremes and openly proffers false narratives with which the hope to undermine the reputation of the American military that they see as a "pawn of Jewish power." It's a mistake for lots of reasons.
  66. @neutral
    Its not a conspiracy, its a well known fact that France has laws that explicitly charge those that speak out against jews. Nor is it a conspiracy that they recently passed a law that made it illegal to boycott Israel. Nor is it a conspiracy that jews like Bernard Levy were instrumental in pushing the cucks to attack Libya. And I can go on, your stupid conspiracy snarks are just another jewish tactic, when its clear as daylight that jews really do dominate France. What is not clear is what the French gain by being so dominated by jews ?

    It was the UK, not France, that recently passed an anti-boycott law you idiot.

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    • Replies: @neutral
    Have a look at this moron
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/french-high-court-bds-activists-guilty-of-discrimination/

    And that comes straight from the chosen.

  67. @Horzabky
    Exactly so.

    WWI wasn't won on the battlefields, it was won when the blockade implemented by Churchill starved the Germans. It worked so well that more than 400,000 Germans died of starvation, which broke the will of the German people. The blockade was lifted only eight months after actual combat had ended.

    I don't know what a war of NATO countries against an enemy with an air force worthy of the name would be like, but I know that France, for instance, has 58 nuclear power stations, each of which could become another Fukushima if it was bombed. At least one of those nuclear power stations is located upstream from Paris, with the potential to make the entire Seine valley (including Paris) uninhabitable if radioactive material fell into the river.

    Bombing half a dozen French nuclear power station would make the grid collapse, depriving most of Western Europe of electricity for months. Cities would become uninhabitable. Without electricity, there's no tap water after two days, because the pumps need electricity. Filling stations use electricity to power their pumps, too. No electricity, no gasoline. Supermarkets seldom have more than three days worth of food. Tens of millions of people would have to go without food and drinkable water after a few days.

    In the wars of the future, famine will be the great killer, because our societies have become so complex that if the electrical grid goes down for more than a day, everything collapses.

    That's why I think that NATO will never attack Russia or China. When was the last time the USA, or another NATO country, fought against an enemy with a genuine, capable air force? 1945.

    The Falklands War may have been an exception, when the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force. Another exception was the Korean war, when US pilots fought against Soviet MIGs, but the USAF dominated the sky.

    A sobering commentary on the nature of a future war. But concerning:

    the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force.

    The Argentinian pilots were in fact well equipped, and succeeded in sinking Britain’s newest Destroyer, the Sheffield, with an French-built Exocet missile.

    But then France gave Britain codes with which to disable the Exocet missiles, thereby preventing further effective attacks on British surface ships.

    According to this report:

    Margaret Thatcher forced François Mitterrand to give her the codes to disable Argentina’s deadly French-made missiles during the Falklands war by threatening to launch a nuclear warhead against Buenos Aires…

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen


    If you read Russian statements the about the USS Cook, they do not claim that they have a device that can black out all the radars. They had access to codes.
  68. @neutral
    Its not a conspiracy, its a well known fact that France has laws that explicitly charge those that speak out against jews. Nor is it a conspiracy that they recently passed a law that made it illegal to boycott Israel. Nor is it a conspiracy that jews like Bernard Levy were instrumental in pushing the cucks to attack Libya. And I can go on, your stupid conspiracy snarks are just another jewish tactic, when its clear as daylight that jews really do dominate France. What is not clear is what the French gain by being so dominated by jews ?

    You’re 100% correct. Jews control France.

    In fact, French people are terrified to walk around the Jewish slums of Paris and French people are terrified that crazy Zionists will start shooting up theaters and newspaper offices.

    French are also sick and tired of all those Jewish doctors and engineers and scientists who do nothing all day but go on welfare and have kids and do drugs and commit crime.

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  69. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) fought division and regimental size battles with US units using conventional forces every month! There was nothing “guerrilla” about it, except the practical tactic of withdrawing and dispersing before US forces could mount a major counterattack. At LZ Albany in ’65 the NVA nearly overran an American battalion, killing 155 in one day. Operation Utah in ’66 saw US Marines retreat after suffering almost 100 killed, and the same at Vihn Huy in ’67. There are dozens of cases where American forces pulled back (retreated) in the face of conventional attack, with some camps overrun. There are dozens more examples here:

    http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    The war along the DMZ was nearly all conventional to include NVA heavy artillery. The US military didn’t withdraw because it won, but because it couldn’t win. The NVA won a few years later because the well-equipped ARVN was corrupt and demoralized by endless war, filled with draftees who liked Ho Chi Mihn more than their own American puppet government. No amount of American military aid or bombing would encourage them to fight to the death, although the Pentagon promotes that myth to hide its failure. Its the same issue in Afghanistan and Iraq today. Generals demand “Mo”: mo money, mo manpower, mo time. When they fail, its because they didn’t get enough Mo, and want Mo and Mo.

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    • Replies: @Sam J.
    Carlton Meyer said,"...The NVA won a few years later because the well-equipped ARVN was corrupt and demoralized by endless war, filled with draftees who liked Ho Chi Mihn more than their own American puppet government...."

    I disagree that the NVA could have defeated the South "if" we had bombed them when they invaded and the South fell. It was to my understanding the largest tank attack since WWII. They were strung out all along the highway and a complete turkey shoot. If we had bombed them they would have been decimated.

    Carlton Meyer's own words bring testimony to my view,"...There was nothing “guerrilla” about it, except the practical tactic of withdrawing and dispersing before US forces could mount a major counterattack..."

    I believe that with proper support including air power the South could have held on just like the they did in Korea. South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and other tyrannies. All of these were hardly Democratic places of love and harmony but they held on with US support and became better.

    I know I wasn't there like Fred and Carlton but by not being so maybe it gives me a little distance to be more objective. If the Soviets had won handily in Vietnam they would have used the port there to spread Communism. The US troops held them back from doing so and gave other countries in the region time to fight back their own Communist insurgencies. The US troops in Vietnam did exactly what they said they were going to do and stopped the spread of Communism. They didn't win the engagement in Vietnam but they did win the war in the long run as the Soviet Union is no more.

    Thhat being said I like Fred's writings and Carlton's stuff on

    http://www.g2mil.com/

    is absolutely great and I enjoy reading both.
  70. @The Grate Deign
    I would not know how to get to the original recordings. The book presented transcripts, some short, some lengthy.

    Even Russians who have bitter memories of German occupation will tell you that they didn’t rape women. So I have to call bullshit on that.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    The German occupation of Russia was brutal, no doubt, but like you, I don't think the German forces used rape systematically or as an instrument of policy. In fact, I think Nazi ideology would have been critical of raping Slavic women, whom it regarded as Untermensch. Obviously it happened, but there were a fair number of Allied rapes in countries in which those troops were stationed, including one famous incident involving French Moroccan soldiers in Italy.

    There is one scene in the novel Das Geduldige Fleisch (released in the United States as The Cross of Iron) involving German troops and Russian women. One German soldier rapes a Russian woman and the NCO in command leaves him behind to be killed by the women 'the German squad had temporarily captured a small detachment of women). It's fiction, to be sure, but it was written by a German infantry officer Russian front veteran in 1955, so it may have reflected a general attitude.
  71. @Son of Dixie
    This article is much to do about nothing, as is most of the twaddle that Mr. Reed jots down in a drunken stupor.

    I am pleased to receive so much intelligent and well-informed comment, which I read with pleasure and for ideas worth thinking about. If these commenters were here, I would suggest a beer and much conversation. I weary of such as Son of Dixie who invariably has nothing to say and, I suspect, couldn’t say anything o note if the tried. Anyway, my appreciation to all others.

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  72. @anonymous
    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they've been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn't fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember 'Freedom Fries'? That was a laugh except for the fact I've met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that's why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there's an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.

    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they’ve been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn’t fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember ‘Freedom Fries’? That was a laugh except for the fact I’ve met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that’s why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there’s an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.

    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved. They lost in Vietnam, Algeria, and World War II. World War I was basically a tactical loss — they were bailed out by the U.S. Before that, they lost the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and before that they lost in Mexico. Napoleon did win many battles, but ultimately lost — twice. In the 1750s they lost the French and Indian War.

    With the exception of Charles Martel, the French have been losing wars since Julius Caesar invaded Gaul. Just because they didn’t invade Iraq doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing.

    It means that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

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    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I agree that the French have had a reputation for military incompetence since long before the present day. I recalled this passage from The Red Badge of Courage, first published in 1895.

    The colonel was seen to straighten his form and put one
    hand forth in oratorical fashion. He wore an injured air; it
    was as if a deacon8 had been accused of stealing. The men
    were wiggling in an ecstasy of excitement.
    But of a sudden the colonel’s manner changed from that
    of a deacon to that of a Frenchman. He shrugged his shoulders.
    “Oh, well, general, we went as far as we could,” he said
    calmly.
    “‘As far as you could? Did you, b’Gawd?” snorted the
    other. “Well, that wasn’t very far, was it?” he added, with a
    glance of cold contempt into the other’s eyes. “Not very far,
    I think. You were intended to make a diversion in favor of
    Whiterside. How well you succeeded your own ears can now
    tell you.” He wheeled his horse and rode stiffly away.
     
    So it seems that more than a century ago Steven Crane regarded French soldiers as typically aloof and uninspired, and that his readers were familiar enough with this trope to understand the reference.
    , @Diversity Heretic
    France won the Hundred Years War, despite famous defeats at Crécy and Agincourt. And a French naval victory in 1781 made it possible for American and French forces to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown. A review of French military history since the time of Charlemagne shows that they've won their share of victories, although the 20th Century wasn't their best showing. The rapid French defeat in 1940 will probably haunt France well into the 21st Century.
    , @anoymous

    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved.
     
    As compared to the mighty American warriors who can't even defeat primitive tribesmen in Afghanistan who hardly have any weapons? No American should critique the French in light of their own shabby record of incapability and failure.
    , @robt
    Reading the biography of Washington by Ron Chernow, which I assume was meant to be a hagiography, instead shows him to be incompetent as a military leader and who preferred to ride in his golden coach imported from Britain, wearing his splendid uniform also imported from Britain, and were it not for the French commanders Rochambeau and DeGrasse, Yorktown might not have been won.
    There is a US postage stamp issued in 1931 that memorializes the the 150th anniversary of the Yorktown victory, with the two Frenchmen plus Washington pictured on the stamp.
  73. @Faust
    While I cannot disagree with your basic thesis that industrial production is crucial, I wonder.

    Will we be fighting wars that provide time to replace destroyed equipment? Certainly we will not be fighting wars with massed armies like the ones you reference. Such armies only provide better targets. Look what we did to large Iranian forces in just a few days. Granted, we were provided the time to prepare our initiative.

    Iraqi forces?

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  74. I believe Steven Hawking is right in the idea that if aliens were to reach this planet, they would be looking for natural resources to consume. They would be on the “take”, and this is how our universe is put together. War is just another facet of mankind on the “take”. War for oil is natural.

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    • Replies: @Talha
    Correct...war for oil is very natural, but then again, there are a lot of behaviors that occur in nature. It is also very natural to come into a hostile territory and - if the females are in heat - kill the alpha male and breed with his females (and also kill off any of his genetic progeny before they get too big to fight back). Many species behave this way - survival of the fittest. They also leave behind crippled members of the pack to starve.

    Human beings (I hope) have risen above that and implemented a system of laws that are supposed to check us when we are on top so that we may benefit from their protections when we are (on the flip-side - and trust me, everyone ends up on the flip-side eventually) at the mercy of the powerful.

    May God raise your rank in this world and the next.
  75. @Carlton Meyer
    From my book: http://www.g2mil.com/war.htm

    World War II combat infantryman Paul Fussell's book "Doing Battle" didn't sell nearly as well as books by Stephen Ambrose, who somehow missed military service but became wealthy writing about brave and brilliant American troops in World War II. Perhaps Fussell's work wasn't popular because he insisted on writing:

    "In the opinion of British military historian Max Hastings, the American forces were so bad (and actually so were most of the British) 'that when Allied troops met Germans on anything like equal terms, the Germans almost always prevailed.' Thank God the troops, most of them, didn't know how bad we were. It's hard enough to be asked to die in the midst of heroes, but to die in the midst of stumblebums led by fools -- intolerable. And I include myself in this indictment."

    Fussell wrote that of the 12 million Americans who served during World War II, only one million volunteered. The rest entered "kicking and screaming" with the threat of imprisonment and spent the war scheming to avoid combat. His short book "The Boys' Crusade", is about infantrymen fighting in Europe during World War II where he served as a lieutenant. He noted many great books on the war, but wrote that all missed key elements, such as:

    - Most fighting was done by American infantrymen, who were just out of high school. They were drafted and didn't want to be in the war or the Army. The Army's official tally was 19,000 deserters in Europe.

    - Self-inflicted wounds (a downward bullet wound to a leg or arm) were so common that the Army kept a tally and used it to measure unit morale.

    - When the U.S. Army's new 106th Infantry Division was attacked at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, it didn't put up a fight. Its boys were so startled by the unexpected appearance of large numbers of German panzers that officers jumped into jeeps and fled while 8000 GIs threw up their hands and surrendered.

    - The "platoon guide" was a junior sergeant added to each infantry platoon whose duty was the trail the platoon and confront anyone who attempted to desert.

    - During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans sent 150 English speaking commandos dressed in US Army uniforms to infiltrate American frontlines and cause chaos. They were quickly captured because American MPs guarded all roadways. Any healthy soldier heading toward the rear was presumed a deserter and arrested and interrogated.

    Audie Murphy’s TO HELL AND BACK (much of it ghost-written, but by a combat veteran ghost writer) is overlooked as an account of the infantryman’s war, largely because of the sentimentalized movie in which Murphy played himself (Murphy seemed better at playing a gentle soul, a happy cowboy type, and not a man worn-down and prematurely aged by what he’d lived through). Murphy’s book pays a lot of tribute to the front line GIs, without making them into clay heroes. He talks about tough guys who run out on their pals, guys who crack up, and guys who just decide not to go on. There is an underlying bitterness that Hollywood would never dream of depicting. Yet they got the job done against a very skillful foe.

    Greg Boyington’s BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP does something similar for the airmen’s war. In addition to being a “celebrity” pilot (which Boyington admits was not beneficial), Boyington had the experience of being a POW. Like Murphy, he had serious problems with the bottle, and a tremendous, not at all concealed amount of bitterness. And yet, like Murphy and the GIs, Boyington and his airmen got the job done.

    I can’t help but feel and emotional attachment to that era, it was the era that defined my parents’ lives. But if you are willing to look, you can find the ones that told an honest account, the people who don’t pretend to be plaster saints, and still cherish the affection for those who served, if only as well as they could.

    I guess it’s not exactly a novel idea that the people closest to the events, had a clearer view.

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  76. @Dr. X

    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they’ve been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn’t fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember ‘Freedom Fries’? That was a laugh except for the fact I’ve met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that’s why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there’s an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.
     
    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved. They lost in Vietnam, Algeria, and World War II. World War I was basically a tactical loss -- they were bailed out by the U.S. Before that, they lost the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and before that they lost in Mexico. Napoleon did win many battles, but ultimately lost -- twice. In the 1750s they lost the French and Indian War.

    With the exception of Charles Martel, the French have been losing wars since Julius Caesar invaded Gaul. Just because they didn't invade Iraq doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

    It means that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

    I agree that the French have had a reputation for military incompetence since long before the present day. I recalled this passage from The Red Badge of Courage, first published in 1895.

    The colonel was seen to straighten his form and put one
    hand forth in oratorical fashion. He wore an injured air; it
    was as if a deacon8 had been accused of stealing. The men
    were wiggling in an ecstasy of excitement.
    But of a sudden the colonel’s manner changed from that
    of a deacon to that of a Frenchman. He shrugged his shoulders.
    “Oh, well, general, we went as far as we could,” he said
    calmly.
    “‘As far as you could? Did you, b’Gawd?” snorted the
    other. “Well, that wasn’t very far, was it?” he added, with a
    glance of cold contempt into the other’s eyes. “Not very far,
    I think. You were intended to make a diversion in favor of
    Whiterside. How well you succeeded your own ears can now
    tell you.” He wheeled his horse and rode stiffly away.

    So it seems that more than a century ago Steven Crane regarded French soldiers as typically aloof and uninspired, and that his readers were familiar enough with this trope to understand the reference.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    The Franco-Prussian War was probally a more embarrassing defeat for the French than WW2 in which the evolution of military tactics and strategy simply left France completely unprepared to fight blitzkreig style warfare.

    One thing 20th century France did well was train very adapt Special Forces units and parachutist divisions that could have fought toe to toe with other force.
  77. @Sherman
    Hey Homer

    I'm sure the average white French citizen is deliriously happy with the turbans and hijabs and burqas worn by Muslims in Parisian slums these days.

    Sherm

    Hi Sharon – talking about slums – how come after sucking $1 trillion from US taxpayers and $93 billion from German taxpayers – one out of every three Jewish children in Israel live in poverty (Ha’aretz, 2006)?

    In January 2010, a report presented by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) secretary-general to Israel’s socio-economic cabinet said that the Zionist entity is poor with great economic gap between the Jew settlers majority and the 20% of its Native Arab population.

    The report calculated that if the Zionist entity is admitted in the OECD, it would be the most poor country among the members – a sort of parasite even after receiving over US$3000 billion in aid from Washington since 1970s.

    https://rehmat1.com/2010/08/28/oecd-report-israel-a-poor-divided-country/

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  78. Marse Robert’s well-known observation here obtains: “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.”

    Except that we ARE fond of it in spite of – and sometimes because of – how terrible it is! Two tours in early Iraq, and, on the one hand, I value my memories with my buddies, men I could depend on to my left, right, and rear, as some of the most precious I have. On the other, while I want my son to grow up to be the kind of man who’d put it on the line in order to defend his kith and kin (TRUE patriotism, having NOTHING to do with mindless chants of “USA! USA!”), I want him nowhere near our current military with its penchant for diversity, trans -this and that, and fighting other peoples’ hobby wars for them (i.e. the Neocons)!

    It’s a good thing that men have testosterone, tend to be focused and mission oriented, but this MUST be governed by an overarching code that channels this energy for substantial defensive ends, and not for the endless abstractions our Masters of the Universe are seeking to spread all over the globe! That just makes war that much more “terrible!”

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  79. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Wizard of Oz
    I would be interested to know the calculations justifying your belief. I suppose the hypothesis has to be that, once Hitler was attacking the really really bad guys Britain makes some accommodation with Germany whereby North Africa is effectually left to the Brits and the French, Belgians and Dutch (and maybe Scandinavians) are promised German withdrawal once they have taken lebensraum in the East. America is left to deal with Japan if occasion arises.

    Germany can get all the Middle East oil it needs. How much aid is the US presumed to ship to the Soviet Union against the entire U boat fleet once involved in trying to starve Britain?

    “I would be interested to know the calculations justifying your belief.’

    Well how about the simplest and crudest figure of all.

    German casualties in the Second World War;

    Period, June 1941- March 1945; Killed or wounded:

    Northwest Europe, Sicily, Italy and Africa———— 580,000.

    Eastern front ——————————————– 4,900,000.

    Without Soviet involvement, Great Britain and the USA would have had to have killed or wounded about five million more German troops. The Soviets fewer then 600,000.

    Source, John Ellis, Brute Force.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen


    Or dropped a few A Bombs after a phony war across the Channel.
  80. @neutral
    The same applies to the average French being happy with the jews owning French politicians and the media. In terms of damage the jews have caused much more damage to the French than the muslims have, their damage is orders of magnitude more destructive than bombing some nightclubs or anything else the muslims can achieve.

    French Jewish Lobby works similar to their sister groups in the US and Britain – hire Mossad and local hooligans to terrorize the public.

    On December 24, 2013, the Jewish media outlet, JTA, reported the arrest of six members of the terrorist group, Ligue de Defense Juive (LDJ), the French version of the notorious Jewish Defense League (JDL), founded by the racist US-Israeli Rabbi Martin David (Meir) Kahane in 1968. Kahane was murdered on November 5, 1990 by one of his Palestinian victims of JDL thugs. The JDL is listed as a “domestic terrorist organization” by the FBI.

    The six Jews are accused of attacking non-Jews in Lyon on December 21 and in nearby Villeurbanne on December 22, 2013. The victims were targeted on social networks and tracked down for performing the “quenelle,” a gesture conceived by famous French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala.

    Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala has long been hunted by the powerful pro-Israel Jewish Lobby, CRIF (“Representative Committee of Jewish organization in France” – the French version of AIPAC). Dieudonne, who has French-African family roots – uses comedy skits to expose the Zionist-Israeli propaganda lies about Arabs, Muslims and Blacks. He claims that the Left-Right chasm is an artificial and meaningless chasm in French politics and that the real issue which separates the parties in France is their attitude towards the Zionist ideology, the state of Israel, and the role of the Israel Lobby in France.

    Last year, Montreal’s Evenko and Corona Theatre canceled Dieudonné’s show ‘Rendez-nous Jésus (Give us back Jesus)‘ under pressure from Jewish groups lead by pro-Israel Jewish B’nai Brith.

    Blogger Saker posted a lengthy article, titled, ‘Is a new revolution quietly brewing in France?‘, in which he discussed the recent alliance between Dieudonné and French philosopher Alain Soral, who like late French philosopher Roger Garaudy is member of French Communist Party. Both Dieudonné and Soral are hated by the French Jewish Lobby for their criticism of the Zionist regime – and support for Palestine, Syria and Iran.

    https://rehmat1.com/2013/12/25/six-jew-terrorists-arrested-in-france/

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  81. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Wizard of Oz
    I am of course aware of blockades and embargos from Britain's against Napoleon and his against all trade with Continental Europe by Britain through to the German U boat blockade of Britain in WW2 and sanctions against trade with Iraq etc. But can you tell me what was the key to the success of the WW1 blockade? Germany and the Hapsburg empire had immense areas of agricultural land so.... ?

    Mind you the figures aren't significant for German power when you consider that there were 2 million births in Germany in 1913. (5 million in Russia so Hitler and Stalin were both well stocked up eith cannon fodder for WW2).

    It is true that they had agricultural land and both countries were not dependent on food imports before the war, but vast numbers of men were removed from agricultural production for military service. Also the general chaos of war caused much breakdown on the ‘food front’. The Hungarian part of the Habsburg domains started hoarding their agricultural production and wouldn’t give any to the Austrians for instance. Millions of horses were removed from agriculture to be used by the armies. The German army lost about a thousand horses a day during the war. Just feeding the horses was a huge logistical and agricultural burden for everybody. The Tsarist army had millions of horses and providing fodder for them virtually crippled the already inadequate Russian rail system. The “communist” revolution in St. Petersburg began as just an outbreak of food riots. There should have been plenty of food, but the demand and chaos of the war, and the opportunities for war profiteers to exploit it, caused great privation everywhere.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    I find your answer quite plausible; I've often wondered why such agriculturally-productive areas should have had food shortages. (The Nazi government took very careful steps to keep food production adequate until the end of the war, although transportation difficulties resulted in local shortages.) But then, why did the blockade even matter? Where would food have come from, if the British fleet had just let commercial shipping pass? How could Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary have paid for it?
  82. @5371
    Even Russians who have bitter memories of German occupation will tell you that they didn't rape women. So I have to call bullshit on that.

    The German occupation of Russia was brutal, no doubt, but like you, I don’t think the German forces used rape systematically or as an instrument of policy. In fact, I think Nazi ideology would have been critical of raping Slavic women, whom it regarded as Untermensch. Obviously it happened, but there were a fair number of Allied rapes in countries in which those troops were stationed, including one famous incident involving French Moroccan soldiers in Italy.

    There is one scene in the novel Das Geduldige Fleisch (released in the United States as The Cross of Iron) involving German troops and Russian women. One German soldier rapes a Russian woman and the NCO in command leaves him behind to be killed by the women ‘the German squad had temporarily captured a small detachment of women). It’s fiction, to be sure, but it was written by a German infantry officer Russian front veteran in 1955, so it may have reflected a general attitude.

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    • Replies: @Dr. X

    there were a fair number of Allied rapes in countries in which those troops were stationed
     
    Wasn't the "sainted" Emmet Till's father sentenced to death by the U.S. Army for raping an Italian woman during World War II?
    , @David In TN
    The rape scene is more powerful (and realistic) in Willi Heinrich's novel than in the Peckinpah film.
  83. @Dr. X

    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they’ve been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn’t fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember ‘Freedom Fries’? That was a laugh except for the fact I’ve met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that’s why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there’s an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.
     
    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved. They lost in Vietnam, Algeria, and World War II. World War I was basically a tactical loss -- they were bailed out by the U.S. Before that, they lost the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and before that they lost in Mexico. Napoleon did win many battles, but ultimately lost -- twice. In the 1750s they lost the French and Indian War.

    With the exception of Charles Martel, the French have been losing wars since Julius Caesar invaded Gaul. Just because they didn't invade Iraq doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

    It means that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

    France won the Hundred Years War, despite famous defeats at Crécy and Agincourt. And a French naval victory in 1781 made it possible for American and French forces to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown. A review of French military history since the time of Charlemagne shows that they’ve won their share of victories, although the 20th Century wasn’t their best showing. The rapid French defeat in 1940 will probably haunt France well into the 21st Century.

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  84. @George
    "Americans, ignoring this, invaded Viet Nam and were defeated in the same way. "

    The last battles of the war had the NVA switching to conventional warfare and basically winning. I think a certain type of person likes the idea that the US lost a guerrilla war, but the reality is the last battles during the Paris peace talks were conventional and the US/Republic of Vietnam lost.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Offensive
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Linebacker_II

    The last battles of the war didn’t involve American forces. The last major offensive to involve American forces (air power only no ground troops) was the Easter Offensive when AVRN troops shockingly repelled North Vietnamese armor. It was such a surprising victory that China and Russia told Vietnam they only had more chance to conquer the South. The final, successful NV offensive was conducted against South Vietnamese forces completely without American support.

    I think a certain type person takes their resentment of neocons to excessive extremes and openly proffers false narratives with which the hope to undermine the reputation of the American military that they see as a “pawn of Jewish power.” It’s a mistake for lots of reasons.

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  85. @Intelligent Dasein
    I agree that the French have had a reputation for military incompetence since long before the present day. I recalled this passage from The Red Badge of Courage, first published in 1895.

    The colonel was seen to straighten his form and put one
    hand forth in oratorical fashion. He wore an injured air; it
    was as if a deacon8 had been accused of stealing. The men
    were wiggling in an ecstasy of excitement.
    But of a sudden the colonel’s manner changed from that
    of a deacon to that of a Frenchman. He shrugged his shoulders.
    “Oh, well, general, we went as far as we could,” he said
    calmly.
    “‘As far as you could? Did you, b’Gawd?” snorted the
    other. “Well, that wasn’t very far, was it?” he added, with a
    glance of cold contempt into the other’s eyes. “Not very far,
    I think. You were intended to make a diversion in favor of
    Whiterside. How well you succeeded your own ears can now
    tell you.” He wheeled his horse and rode stiffly away.
     
    So it seems that more than a century ago Steven Crane regarded French soldiers as typically aloof and uninspired, and that his readers were familiar enough with this trope to understand the reference.

    The Franco-Prussian War was probally a more embarrassing defeat for the French than WW2 in which the evolution of military tactics and strategy simply left France completely unprepared to fight blitzkreig style warfare.

    One thing 20th century France did well was train very adapt Special Forces units and parachutist divisions that could have fought toe to toe with other force.

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  86. @Dr. X

    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they’ve been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn’t fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember ‘Freedom Fries’? That was a laugh except for the fact I’ve met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that’s why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there’s an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.
     
    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved. They lost in Vietnam, Algeria, and World War II. World War I was basically a tactical loss -- they were bailed out by the U.S. Before that, they lost the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and before that they lost in Mexico. Napoleon did win many battles, but ultimately lost -- twice. In the 1750s they lost the French and Indian War.

    With the exception of Charles Martel, the French have been losing wars since Julius Caesar invaded Gaul. Just because they didn't invade Iraq doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

    It means that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved.

    As compared to the mighty American warriors who can’t even defeat primitive tribesmen in Afghanistan who hardly have any weapons? No American should critique the French in light of their own shabby record of incapability and failure.

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    • Replies: @Dr. X

    As compared to the mighty American warriors who can’t even defeat primitive tribesmen in Afghanistan who hardly have any weapons? No American should critique the French in light of their own shabby record of incapability and failure.
     
    There's a difference between "can't" and "won't for reasons of political correctness." We could have turned the place into a glass parking lot and built a Disneyland there way back in 2001. But our commanders-in-chief have been too busy professing their admiration for Islam and building schools for Afghan girls...
  87. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Sam Haysom
    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won't be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris.

    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won’t be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris.

    You know this how? Could you give us your military credentials and explain why? The internet is full of armchair generals who like to play with toy soldiers and make these types of pronouncements. Please clue us all in by providing more detail.

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  88. “If war is not holy, man is nothing but antic clay”

    –Cormac McCarthy, the great American novel “Blood Meridian”.

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  89. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “First, the military attracts certain kinds of men—authoritarian, hierarchical, conformist—who are not imaginative and do not think independently.”

    This could be said of most people who seek power through institutions.

    The paradox of power is the more power you seek, the more independence you must surrender.
    You gain power by winning the approval of the powerful. So, you have to suppress your true feelings and conform to the norm of the power structure. By the time you reach the top, you’ve been remolded by those you had to serve.

    There is an advantage to this. It weeds out mavericks like Hitler, Mao, and Castro who like to play in the mode of “I did it my way.”

    In the US, the more power you have, the less options you have. You have to maneuver within the perimeters of what is permissible.

    If you have no power, you can say pretty much anything. But if you seek power, you better say the right things. Trump is violating this principle, and that is why he is being called a ‘fascist’.

    In the case of Trump, it is somewhat welcome because the ruling Power Elite institutions have grown so crazy. This seems counter-intuitive. How did American Power become so crazy and pathological if it favors stable and predictable company men than mavericks? Even though US political system doesn’t allow for individual mavericks and strongmen, it apparently does allow for maverick tribal power.
    No “I did it my way” but Yes “We did it our way”.

    Jews, by gaining power over so many institutions & industries and by working in cahoots with one another and for common goals — Israel First and Jewish Supremacism — , have become like Hitler or Mao. While they fund and hire colorless and predictable company men for top political offices, their tribal demands are pretty out-of-control, reckless, and megalomaniacal.

    They are shaking the World System to prioritize Jewish interests above all else. It’s not showy like Hitler’s or Castro’s antics, but full effect of Jewish Deep State power is truly seismic and possibly cataclysmic. It has to be stopped. I mean a ‘new cold war’ only because Jews wanna gain total control of Russia and mess up the Middle East is nuts.

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  90. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    We need a word that is the opposite of paranoia.

    A paranoia is excessively anxious, fearful, or suspicious of something or someone who may mean to harm to him.

    What Europeans and whites suffer from seem to be the opposite.

    They are so willfully naive and eager to trust and invest hope in that is obviously ruinous and dangerous: massive non-white immigration, black thuggery and sexual debauchery, homo decadence and degeneration, and globalist cunning fueled by obvious contempt for white folks.

    I thought of afelinoia. Afelis in Greek means ‘naive’.

    Or we might try gullinoia, a thought process of being gullible.

    Or suckonoia which should be obvious: sucker-noia.

    Or maybe cuckonoia will work.

    Excessively trusting is more dangerous than excessively suspicious.

    In nature, the paranoid animals have a better chance of survival than afelinoid ones. World is a dangerous place filled with competitors, predators, parasites, rivals, enemies, and etc. And even those who don’t mean to destroy you physically wanna gain control over you and exploit you. After all, whites didn’t destroy blacks physically and let them live but blacks had to be slaves.

    Globalists don’t want equality with us. They have a plantation mentality over us.

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  91. @anoymous

    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved.
     
    As compared to the mighty American warriors who can't even defeat primitive tribesmen in Afghanistan who hardly have any weapons? No American should critique the French in light of their own shabby record of incapability and failure.

    As compared to the mighty American warriors who can’t even defeat primitive tribesmen in Afghanistan who hardly have any weapons? No American should critique the French in light of their own shabby record of incapability and failure.

    There’s a difference between “can’t” and “won’t for reasons of political correctness.” We could have turned the place into a glass parking lot and built a Disneyland there way back in 2001. But our commanders-in-chief have been too busy professing their admiration for Islam and building schools for Afghan girls…

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    You could call it The Victory Glass Parking Lot and charge tourists to visit it, or, just admit it's a silly, cruel and thoughtless notion and that the American people are better than that.

    Looking back at America's involvement in recent wars it might not be a bad idea to give things a rest. Maybe the money saved could then be squandered on schools and hospitals, things like that.
    , @Talha
    True...

    ...and the Russians could have done the 'glass parking lot' option as well in the 80's; they had the requisite firepower. That would be quite a comment on our morals if we sank to a depth that a godless communist nation would have not resorted to.

    The image that crosses my mind is that of a large adult playing chess with a ten year old and frustrated at getting bested. He flips the board over stares his diminutive opponent in the eyes and declares, "I win".

    May God preserve you and your family.
  92. @Sam Haysom
    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won't be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris.

    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won’t be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris

    True, it is laughable but why would they attempt too? Russian bombers could launch 100′s if not 1000′s of cruise missiles at targets in France and Western Europe without their planes ever crossing a NATO border. The recent launch of Russian cruise missiles from patrol boats in the Caspian Sea into Syria was a demonstration of this reality.

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  93. @Dr. X

    As compared to the mighty American warriors who can’t even defeat primitive tribesmen in Afghanistan who hardly have any weapons? No American should critique the French in light of their own shabby record of incapability and failure.
     
    There's a difference between "can't" and "won't for reasons of political correctness." We could have turned the place into a glass parking lot and built a Disneyland there way back in 2001. But our commanders-in-chief have been too busy professing their admiration for Islam and building schools for Afghan girls...

    You could call it The Victory Glass Parking Lot and charge tourists to visit it, or, just admit it’s a silly, cruel and thoughtless notion and that the American people are better than that.

    Looking back at America’s involvement in recent wars it might not be a bad idea to give things a rest. Maybe the money saved could then be squandered on schools and hospitals, things like that.

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    • Replies: @Dr. X

    You could call it The Victory Glass Parking Lot and charge tourists to visit it, or, just admit it’s a silly, cruel and thoughtless notion and that the American people are better than that.

    Looking back at America’s involvement in recent wars it might not be a bad idea to give things a rest. Maybe the money saved could then be squandered on schools and hospitals, things like that.

     

    "Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end." - Douglas MacArthur
  94. @NoseytheDuke
    My esteemed friend Talha, I totally agree with you on the matter of damage to the soul and the all too common examples of suicides, wife and children beatings and murders amongst returned service people since Afghanistan and Iraq suggest that a line of morality has been crossed that is hard to undo. Who knows what unseen traumas dwell in the minds of those who've adjusted better and what that means for the future?

    It is one thing to kill defending oneself and the nation but that is not the case at all.

    I forget who said, "It is no measure of success to be well adjusted in a profoundly sick society" but I wish I could spout profundity such this.

    Only the American people can stop this and your comment helps to raise this often forgotten element of the equation.

    My best wishes to you.

    Dear NtD,

    Best to you and yours as well.

    Who knows what unseen traumas dwell in the minds of those who’ve adjusted better and what that means for the future?

    You hit on something most people aren’t keeping an eye on. I visited Kosova with my wife in 2004; she was assessing an NGO that was working with traumatized war widows and orphans. The man in charge of the effort was a psychologist who specialized in counseling people whose lives had been shattered by war. Kosova was not his first rodeo. If I recall, he had done the same work in Azerbijan/Armenia and another conflict I forget. I specifically remember his words that many people who witness disturbing events (or themselves commit atrocities) in conflict will not exhibit the damage to mind and soul for decades. Something may trigger a crisis 20 or more years after the fact. Many of these Iraq/Afghanistan veterans are still quite young, who knows what their memories will do to them as they experience things like mid-life crisis or other life-altering events. We may have seen just the tip of the iceberg thus far – and, as I’m typing this, I pray I am wrong and that advances in therapy will avert further damage to these soldiers and the societies they return to.

    Please pray we are able to stop this war machine from grinding any more lives – soldiers, women, children – between its gears.

    May God preserve you and your progeny.

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  95. @Dr. X

    As compared to the mighty American warriors who can’t even defeat primitive tribesmen in Afghanistan who hardly have any weapons? No American should critique the French in light of their own shabby record of incapability and failure.
     
    There's a difference between "can't" and "won't for reasons of political correctness." We could have turned the place into a glass parking lot and built a Disneyland there way back in 2001. But our commanders-in-chief have been too busy professing their admiration for Islam and building schools for Afghan girls...

    True…

    …and the Russians could have done the ‘glass parking lot’ option as well in the 80′s; they had the requisite firepower. That would be quite a comment on our morals if we sank to a depth that a godless communist nation would have not resorted to.

    The image that crosses my mind is that of a large adult playing chess with a ten year old and frustrated at getting bested. He flips the board over stares his diminutive opponent in the eyes and declares, “I win”.

    May God preserve you and your family.

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  96. @NoseytheDuke
    You could call it The Victory Glass Parking Lot and charge tourists to visit it, or, just admit it's a silly, cruel and thoughtless notion and that the American people are better than that.

    Looking back at America's involvement in recent wars it might not be a bad idea to give things a rest. Maybe the money saved could then be squandered on schools and hospitals, things like that.

    You could call it The Victory Glass Parking Lot and charge tourists to visit it, or, just admit it’s a silly, cruel and thoughtless notion and that the American people are better than that.

    Looking back at America’s involvement in recent wars it might not be a bad idea to give things a rest. Maybe the money saved could then be squandered on schools and hospitals, things like that.

    “Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.” – Douglas MacArthur

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.” – Douglas MacArthur

    That would have applied after Pearl Harbour but hardly since then. Wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq I &II, Libya (I'm sure I've missed out some others) were hardly forced upon the US, rather they were wars of choice for profit so your quote has no bearing. 911 doesn't count either since that was an inside job that has gone unpunished.

    The glass parking lot comment is just your ego of the John Wayne type talking and is reminiscent of what Tacitus said of Pax Romanus, Solitudenum facient, pacem appellant, essentially, they destroy everything and call it peace. A bit like we had to destroy the town in order to save it, remember that little gem of wisdom?

    Rome crumbled as the US is crumbling now which saddens me but I can't deny it's happening.
  97. @Biff
    I believe Steven Hawking is right in the idea that if aliens were to reach this planet, they would be looking for natural resources to consume. They would be on the "take", and this is how our universe is put together. War is just another facet of mankind on the "take". War for oil is natural.

    Correct…war for oil is very natural, but then again, there are a lot of behaviors that occur in nature. It is also very natural to come into a hostile territory and – if the females are in heat – kill the alpha male and breed with his females (and also kill off any of his genetic progeny before they get too big to fight back). Many species behave this way – survival of the fittest. They also leave behind crippled members of the pack to starve.

    Human beings (I hope) have risen above that and implemented a system of laws that are supposed to check us when we are on top so that we may benefit from their protections when we are (on the flip-side – and trust me, everyone ends up on the flip-side eventually) at the mercy of the powerful.

    May God raise your rank in this world and the next.

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  98. @Flemming
    Lawrence Keeley recounts in "War Before Civilization" how modern armies time and time again suffer initial defeats by "primitive" enemies who run, hide and exploit soft targets like civilians, children, women, and who destroy crops and wreck infrastructure. He also recounts how these primitives are in turn defeated when the moderns go after their soft targets.

    Lesson: wars are won by slaughtering women and children and causing exposure and mass starvation. WWII was, not won by Sherman tanks, set piece encounters and plucky, little freedom fighters, it was won by incinerating two million defenceless German civilians and unleashing the fire of the gods upon the Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    If you want to win wars, be prepared to wade through the blood of millions of defenceless people. If you don't want to do this, try diplomacy, but sometimes wars have to be fought.

    Wars are won by killing woman and children ?
    There’s some truth in that…some.
    If killing innocents was sufficient to win wars, then the Nazi’s victory in Russia would have been a foregone conclusion.
    The atomic bombs won the Pacific war ? They certainly put a full stop to conflict…but the Japanese had been putting out peace feelers for months prior.
    Killing innocents may be necessary for victory, but it’s usually not sufficient….

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  99. @Diversity Heretic
    The German occupation of Russia was brutal, no doubt, but like you, I don't think the German forces used rape systematically or as an instrument of policy. In fact, I think Nazi ideology would have been critical of raping Slavic women, whom it regarded as Untermensch. Obviously it happened, but there were a fair number of Allied rapes in countries in which those troops were stationed, including one famous incident involving French Moroccan soldiers in Italy.

    There is one scene in the novel Das Geduldige Fleisch (released in the United States as The Cross of Iron) involving German troops and Russian women. One German soldier rapes a Russian woman and the NCO in command leaves him behind to be killed by the women 'the German squad had temporarily captured a small detachment of women). It's fiction, to be sure, but it was written by a German infantry officer Russian front veteran in 1955, so it may have reflected a general attitude.

    there were a fair number of Allied rapes in countries in which those troops were stationed

    Wasn’t the “sainted” Emmet Till’s father sentenced to death by the U.S. Army for raping an Italian woman during World War II?

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  100. @guest
    This article is one true premise--military men largely don't know what they're doing (duh)--backed up by a battalion of specious and false arguments. For instance, the French were most certainly not defeated by guerrilla tactics in Vietnam. Dien Bien Phu was a conventional battle. There's nothing guerrilla about your description of the Viet Minh lugging artillery up a hill. What's more, it's highly probable the commies spent themselves in the effort and could have been finished off had the French not washed their hands of the business or the U.S. intervened then. Guerrilla tactics against the South were subsequently turned to because the conventional strength of the communists had been sapped.

    What's more, one of the U.S.'s major blunders was refusing to assert its conventional superiority, by for instance invading the North, Cambodia, and Laos. We declined to do this for reasons completely separate from our direct enemies, guerrilla and otherwise.

    Also, where do you get the idea that AK47s, RPGs, and IEDs are particularly dangerous? They're not. What they are is cost effective.

    Those weapons you mentioned will kill even the toughest jarhead or SEAL Team commando and have. They just lack the glossy slickness of a M-4 with all the tacti-fool additions that costs as much as a car.

    The latest RPG’s will cut through all our vehicles save the Abram’s. The Israelis learned the lethality of Soviet ATM’s in 73 but promptly forgot about them and had to relearn that lesson when they rolled into Lebanon with their Merkava’s and then watched them turned into scrap by Hezbollah fighters.

    IED’s not lethal? They are very lethal and have cause 70% of our casualties in Iraq and deny our ability to maneuver. The worst of them are the self-forging projectiles that chew up MRAP’s and the like.

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    • Replies: @guest
    I'm not sure you're in the same conversation as me. Surely those weapons are lethal, but that's stretching the meaning of "dangerous." Leave aside for the moment our thermonuclear weapons. Have you any idea of the enormity of our artillery and their delivery systems, on land, sea, and air?

    AKs and IEDs, etc., are effective because they're cheap and our stuff, including our soldiers, is expensive. That's it. That's all you need to know about them. Blather about them being "dangerous" is beside the point.

  101. “… What the Russians did was payback. I recently read Soldaten, (linked below) where German POWs were interviewed. …”

    I read that book. It is untrustworthy and tendentiously left wing.

    Here and there in *Soldaten*, the authors acknowledge that they had no way of knowing if some of the secretly recorded German prisoners’ conversations were reality or tall tales.

    That book does not limit itself to WWII. It also makes dubious allegations about American atrocities in Iraq.

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  102. @Dr. X

    You could call it The Victory Glass Parking Lot and charge tourists to visit it, or, just admit it’s a silly, cruel and thoughtless notion and that the American people are better than that.

    Looking back at America’s involvement in recent wars it might not be a bad idea to give things a rest. Maybe the money saved could then be squandered on schools and hospitals, things like that.

     

    "Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. … But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end." - Douglas MacArthur

    But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.” – Douglas MacArthur

    That would have applied after Pearl Harbour but hardly since then. Wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq I &II, Libya (I’m sure I’ve missed out some others) were hardly forced upon the US, rather they were wars of choice for profit so your quote has no bearing. 911 doesn’t count either since that was an inside job that has gone unpunished.

    The glass parking lot comment is just your ego of the John Wayne type talking and is reminiscent of what Tacitus said of Pax Romanus, Solitudenum facient, pacem appellant, essentially, they destroy everything and call it peace. A bit like we had to destroy the town in order to save it, remember that little gem of wisdom?

    Rome crumbled as the US is crumbling now which saddens me but I can’t deny it’s happening.

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    • Replies: @anon
    World War One was also a war of choice for America. As it also was for Italy and Romania. The Spanish-American war was also another war of choice for Uncle Sam. Both interventions hurt America and the world. There are undoubtedly many other examples.
  103. Fred, it’s easy to seem so much smarter than generals and admirals and all the other professional military when one is seated at his typing desk and equipped with keen hindsight.

    But Fred, could you please tell us how you would have fought the [American] Civil War, or WWI or II, or do you believe that some of those wars weren’t worth fighting?

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    • Replies: @anon
    I am not Fred, but if I may, the Anaconda plan would have been the best possible option for the north. It was suggested at the beginning of the war but was only gradually adopted and in a piece-meal, ass-backwards way.

    WW1 was essentially a European imperialist power squabble. America should have just stayed out of it altogether.

    Had this advice been followed there would in all probability never have been a WW2, since there would have been no crushed Germany seeking vengeance to overturn the harsh and dysfunctional treaty of Versailles.
  104. @Sam Haysom
    The idea that Russian bombers could penetrate French air space is laughable. In the event of a Russian NATO conflict Russian planes won't be able to operate outside of Russian borders within 48 hours. Much less would they able to penetrate German and French air space on their way to bombing a nuclear reactor near Paris.

    Sam

    The Ruskies don’t need to go kinetic to wrap up Europe. They just need to stop supplying those sclerotic Euros with oil and NG.

    The EU and entire collection of socialist states end up prostrate in a week.

    Also Europe has no military to speak of. The attack on Libya show cased how weak they are, they ended up having the U.S. provide a carrier to help attack the Libyans because of their lack of assets that were combat worthy.

    But I wouldn’t worry about Ivan doing something stupid, that tends to be our bailiwick

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  105. @anon
    It is true that they had agricultural land and both countries were not dependent on food imports before the war, but vast numbers of men were removed from agricultural production for military service. Also the general chaos of war caused much breakdown on the 'food front'. The Hungarian part of the Habsburg domains started hoarding their agricultural production and wouldn't give any to the Austrians for instance. Millions of horses were removed from agriculture to be used by the armies. The German army lost about a thousand horses a day during the war. Just feeding the horses was a huge logistical and agricultural burden for everybody. The Tsarist army had millions of horses and providing fodder for them virtually crippled the already inadequate Russian rail system. The "communist" revolution in St. Petersburg began as just an outbreak of food riots. There should have been plenty of food, but the demand and chaos of the war, and the opportunities for war profiteers to exploit it, caused great privation everywhere.

    I find your answer quite plausible; I’ve often wondered why such agriculturally-productive areas should have had food shortages. (The Nazi government took very careful steps to keep food production adequate until the end of the war, although transportation difficulties resulted in local shortages.) But then, why did the blockade even matter? Where would food have come from, if the British fleet had just let commercial shipping pass? How could Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary have paid for it?

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    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    Is it possible that as bombing raids improved in accuracy strategic distribute points were targeted and though they didn't stop things completely they stressed it to the point that with military transports given priority what food that was available didn't get to where it was most needed?

    I think the Norden bombsight had a lot to do with it but it may have started earlier to a lesser degree.
    , @anon
    Where would the food have come from? Undoubtedly from those areas of the world where there is a food surplus available for export, not least of which would have been the USA itself. Its reasonable to assume Canada and Australia would not have supplied any. How would they have paid for it? With the trade they generated in exports. The same as they do today. What you need to understand is the DUAL nature of the blockade. Nothing came in and nothing went out. One of the reasons the British went to war in 1939 against Germany was the very fear that if Germany absorbed Poland or turned it into a protectorate, England would lose its great trump card; its ability to starve out the Germans.
    , @Philip Owen


    Food was not the issue. Rubber first, then oil from, e.g. Indonesia.
  106. In the past the outcome of a decisive battle could depend on the position of the sun ( Towton), muddy slopes (Agincourt) or the direction the wind was blowing( defeat of the Spanish Armada). Today the west has the firepower to destroy the world a dozen times over yet it is standing by doing nothing as a Dark Ages Death Cult marches inexorably towards Europe. Where there is no will there is abject surrender.

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  107. @Diversity Heretic
    I find your answer quite plausible; I've often wondered why such agriculturally-productive areas should have had food shortages. (The Nazi government took very careful steps to keep food production adequate until the end of the war, although transportation difficulties resulted in local shortages.) But then, why did the blockade even matter? Where would food have come from, if the British fleet had just let commercial shipping pass? How could Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary have paid for it?

    Is it possible that as bombing raids improved in accuracy strategic distribute points were targeted and though they didn’t stop things completely they stressed it to the point that with military transports given priority what food that was available didn’t get to where it was most needed?

    I think the Norden bombsight had a lot to do with it but it may have started earlier to a lesser degree.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    My comment was about World War I, not the Second World War. In World War II the German military suffered severe shortages of oil-based fuel, but I think that most food moved by rail. Locomotives burned coal and there wasn't a great shortage of that. Transportation was disrupted, but the Germans proved surprisingly inventive about quick railroad repairs.

    I still wonder why the World War I naval blockade was so effective. Where would the food have come from if the German Navy had won the Battle of Jutland and broken the blockade? How would the Central Powers have paid for it?
  108. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Carlton Meyer
    From my book: http://www.g2mil.com/war.htm

    World War II combat infantryman Paul Fussell's book "Doing Battle" didn't sell nearly as well as books by Stephen Ambrose, who somehow missed military service but became wealthy writing about brave and brilliant American troops in World War II. Perhaps Fussell's work wasn't popular because he insisted on writing:

    "In the opinion of British military historian Max Hastings, the American forces were so bad (and actually so were most of the British) 'that when Allied troops met Germans on anything like equal terms, the Germans almost always prevailed.' Thank God the troops, most of them, didn't know how bad we were. It's hard enough to be asked to die in the midst of heroes, but to die in the midst of stumblebums led by fools -- intolerable. And I include myself in this indictment."

    Fussell wrote that of the 12 million Americans who served during World War II, only one million volunteered. The rest entered "kicking and screaming" with the threat of imprisonment and spent the war scheming to avoid combat. His short book "The Boys' Crusade", is about infantrymen fighting in Europe during World War II where he served as a lieutenant. He noted many great books on the war, but wrote that all missed key elements, such as:

    - Most fighting was done by American infantrymen, who were just out of high school. They were drafted and didn't want to be in the war or the Army. The Army's official tally was 19,000 deserters in Europe.

    - Self-inflicted wounds (a downward bullet wound to a leg or arm) were so common that the Army kept a tally and used it to measure unit morale.

    - When the U.S. Army's new 106th Infantry Division was attacked at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, it didn't put up a fight. Its boys were so startled by the unexpected appearance of large numbers of German panzers that officers jumped into jeeps and fled while 8000 GIs threw up their hands and surrendered.

    - The "platoon guide" was a junior sergeant added to each infantry platoon whose duty was the trail the platoon and confront anyone who attempted to desert.

    - During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans sent 150 English speaking commandos dressed in US Army uniforms to infiltrate American frontlines and cause chaos. They were quickly captured because American MPs guarded all roadways. Any healthy soldier heading toward the rear was presumed a deserter and arrested and interrogated.

    Thanks for giving us the facts instead of the pleasing fantasies we’ve all been fed through movies and other media. A certain percent are gung-ho about any conflict because they like the action regardless of the cause, or lack thereof, but the majority get dragged into these things by those who are their owners and have the power to force them into uniform and do what they’re told. American soldiers are competent but their leaders are generally just so-so while the political types who get them into these conflicts are incompetent leading to Afghanistan-type fiascos. Americans lack the motivation of having a real ’cause’ so phony ones are concocted for them such as ‘building democracy’ somewhere. These are all wars of choice and most people start to realize this.

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  109. @Dr. X

    The French have quite a military history behind them. Yet because they refused to obey US orders to join in the attack upon Iraq they were the object of a wide ranging propaganda campaign disparaging them. Their WWII defeat has been brought up endlessly and they’ve been derided as effete and weak. Apparently they didn’t fight hard enough to suit the armchair warriors. Remember ‘Freedom Fries’? That was a laugh except for the fact I’ve met an amazing number of brain-dead Americans who actually believe all this. Maybe that’s why they can get away with selling us one war fiasco after another, because there’s an endless supply of stupidity out there that can be tapped into.
     
    Sorry, but the French reputation for military failure is well-deserved. They lost in Vietnam, Algeria, and World War II. World War I was basically a tactical loss -- they were bailed out by the U.S. Before that, they lost the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and before that they lost in Mexico. Napoleon did win many battles, but ultimately lost -- twice. In the 1750s they lost the French and Indian War.

    With the exception of Charles Martel, the French have been losing wars since Julius Caesar invaded Gaul. Just because they didn't invade Iraq doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

    It means that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

    Reading the biography of Washington by Ron Chernow, which I assume was meant to be a hagiography, instead shows him to be incompetent as a military leader and who preferred to ride in his golden coach imported from Britain, wearing his splendid uniform also imported from Britain, and were it not for the French commanders Rochambeau and DeGrasse, Yorktown might not have been won.
    There is a US postage stamp issued in 1931 that memorializes the the 150th anniversary of the Yorktown victory, with the two Frenchmen plus Washington pictured on the stamp.

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    • Replies: @guest
    Washington did have his horse shot out from under him like a billion times so the golden coach slur is a bit off the mark. His worth was as a political figure, not a fighting general. His greatest military accomplishment was to avoid total annihilation while losing battles.

    The single man most responsible for winning the war, if I had to choose one, was Benedict Arnold. He saved the revolution twice at least.

  110. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @NoseytheDuke
    But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.” – Douglas MacArthur

    That would have applied after Pearl Harbour but hardly since then. Wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq I &II, Libya (I'm sure I've missed out some others) were hardly forced upon the US, rather they were wars of choice for profit so your quote has no bearing. 911 doesn't count either since that was an inside job that has gone unpunished.

    The glass parking lot comment is just your ego of the John Wayne type talking and is reminiscent of what Tacitus said of Pax Romanus, Solitudenum facient, pacem appellant, essentially, they destroy everything and call it peace. A bit like we had to destroy the town in order to save it, remember that little gem of wisdom?

    Rome crumbled as the US is crumbling now which saddens me but I can't deny it's happening.

    World War One was also a war of choice for America. As it also was for Italy and Romania. The Spanish-American war was also another war of choice for Uncle Sam. Both interventions hurt America and the world. There are undoubtedly many other examples.

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  111. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @David Davenport
    Fred, it's easy to seem so much smarter than generals and admirals and all the other professional military when one is seated at his typing desk and equipped with keen hindsight.

    But Fred, could you please tell us how you would have fought the [American] Civil War, or WWI or II, or do you believe that some of those wars weren't worth fighting?

    I am not Fred, but if I may, the Anaconda plan would have been the best possible option for the north. It was suggested at the beginning of the war but was only gradually adopted and in a piece-meal, ass-backwards way.

    WW1 was essentially a European imperialist power squabble. America should have just stayed out of it altogether.

    Had this advice been followed there would in all probability never have been a WW2, since there would have been no crushed Germany seeking vengeance to overturn the harsh and dysfunctional treaty of Versailles.

    Read More
  112. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Diversity Heretic
    I find your answer quite plausible; I've often wondered why such agriculturally-productive areas should have had food shortages. (The Nazi government took very careful steps to keep food production adequate until the end of the war, although transportation difficulties resulted in local shortages.) But then, why did the blockade even matter? Where would food have come from, if the British fleet had just let commercial shipping pass? How could Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary have paid for it?

    Where would the food have come from? Undoubtedly from those areas of the world where there is a food surplus available for export, not least of which would have been the USA itself. Its reasonable to assume Canada and Australia would not have supplied any. How would they have paid for it? With the trade they generated in exports. The same as they do today. What you need to understand is the DUAL nature of the blockade. Nothing came in and nothing went out. One of the reasons the British went to war in 1939 against Germany was the very fear that if Germany absorbed Poland or turned it into a protectorate, England would lose its great trump card; its ability to starve out the Germans.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Thanks, I'm better educated. I know that early in the war there was substantial unhappiness in the U.S. about the British blockade, but the German submarine campaign eclipsed that. I suppose Argentina might have been a good source of food as well. I do wonder how much the Central Powers would have had to trade, given the demands of the war effort, but they might have been willing to cut back their war production for exports to buy food.
  113. @NoseytheDuke
    Is it possible that as bombing raids improved in accuracy strategic distribute points were targeted and though they didn't stop things completely they stressed it to the point that with military transports given priority what food that was available didn't get to where it was most needed?

    I think the Norden bombsight had a lot to do with it but it may have started earlier to a lesser degree.

    My comment was about World War I, not the Second World War. In World War II the German military suffered severe shortages of oil-based fuel, but I think that most food moved by rail. Locomotives burned coal and there wasn’t a great shortage of that. Transportation was disrupted, but the Germans proved surprisingly inventive about quick railroad repairs.

    I still wonder why the World War I naval blockade was so effective. Where would the food have come from if the German Navy had won the Battle of Jutland and broken the blockade? How would the Central Powers have paid for it?

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    • Replies: @anon
    From the same place Britain probably did. The U.K. was 50% dependent on food imports as early as 1914. As for payment the US arms manufactures accepted payments from the Entente in the form of "credits". I guess the Central Powers could have done the same. As a side note, most of the money loaned to Europe was never repaid. Serves the merchants of death right.
  114. @anon
    Where would the food have come from? Undoubtedly from those areas of the world where there is a food surplus available for export, not least of which would have been the USA itself. Its reasonable to assume Canada and Australia would not have supplied any. How would they have paid for it? With the trade they generated in exports. The same as they do today. What you need to understand is the DUAL nature of the blockade. Nothing came in and nothing went out. One of the reasons the British went to war in 1939 against Germany was the very fear that if Germany absorbed Poland or turned it into a protectorate, England would lose its great trump card; its ability to starve out the Germans.

    Thanks, I’m better educated. I know that early in the war there was substantial unhappiness in the U.S. about the British blockade, but the German submarine campaign eclipsed that. I suppose Argentina might have been a good source of food as well. I do wonder how much the Central Powers would have had to trade, given the demands of the war effort, but they might have been willing to cut back their war production for exports to buy food.

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    • Replies: @anon
    Probably more important then the submarine campaign was the Wellington House propaganda machine the British employed. Well worth Googling.
  115. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Diversity Heretic
    My comment was about World War I, not the Second World War. In World War II the German military suffered severe shortages of oil-based fuel, but I think that most food moved by rail. Locomotives burned coal and there wasn't a great shortage of that. Transportation was disrupted, but the Germans proved surprisingly inventive about quick railroad repairs.

    I still wonder why the World War I naval blockade was so effective. Where would the food have come from if the German Navy had won the Battle of Jutland and broken the blockade? How would the Central Powers have paid for it?

    From the same place Britain probably did. The U.K. was 50% dependent on food imports as early as 1914. As for payment the US arms manufactures accepted payments from the Entente in the form of “credits”. I guess the Central Powers could have done the same. As a side note, most of the money loaned to Europe was never repaid. Serves the merchants of death right.

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  116. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Diversity Heretic
    Thanks, I'm better educated. I know that early in the war there was substantial unhappiness in the U.S. about the British blockade, but the German submarine campaign eclipsed that. I suppose Argentina might have been a good source of food as well. I do wonder how much the Central Powers would have had to trade, given the demands of the war effort, but they might have been willing to cut back their war production for exports to buy food.

    Probably more important then the submarine campaign was the Wellington House propaganda machine the British employed. Well worth Googling.

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  117. “It is curious how little military men know about war. …”

    Fred, suppose America’s generals and admirals become better and better and smarter and smarter.

    Would you actually like that outcome?

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  118. @Diversity Heretic
    The German occupation of Russia was brutal, no doubt, but like you, I don't think the German forces used rape systematically or as an instrument of policy. In fact, I think Nazi ideology would have been critical of raping Slavic women, whom it regarded as Untermensch. Obviously it happened, but there were a fair number of Allied rapes in countries in which those troops were stationed, including one famous incident involving French Moroccan soldiers in Italy.

    There is one scene in the novel Das Geduldige Fleisch (released in the United States as The Cross of Iron) involving German troops and Russian women. One German soldier rapes a Russian woman and the NCO in command leaves him behind to be killed by the women 'the German squad had temporarily captured a small detachment of women). It's fiction, to be sure, but it was written by a German infantry officer Russian front veteran in 1955, so it may have reflected a general attitude.

    The rape scene is more powerful (and realistic) in Willi Heinrich’s novel than in the Peckinpah film.

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  119. @Dutch Boy
    A quibble: the Vietnam war was not won by the Viet Cong but by the conventionally equipped NVA after the US Congress cut off aid to the ARVN and the US reneged on its promise to use B-52s against the NVA (a dividend of the Watergate scandal).

    Thank you. This was brilliantly laid out by Frank Snepp. As he noted, the ARVN had quite a lot of beans and bullets on hand but knew at some point there would not be more forthcoming. Our military victory was squandered by Dems in Congress as the Watergate morality play played out. The war wasn’t important to them; nailing Nixon was.

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  120. Not so much the Dems, more the ones who funded the Dems. They’re the same ones who fund the GOP.

    The war was a nice little earner for them and it set up a nice, bloated bureaucracy to make things easier to steer towards the no-win situations the suckers actually serving in the military have to face today.

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  121. @rod1963
    Those weapons you mentioned will kill even the toughest jarhead or SEAL Team commando and have. They just lack the glossy slickness of a M-4 with all the tacti-fool additions that costs as much as a car.

    The latest RPG's will cut through all our vehicles save the Abram's. The Israelis learned the lethality of Soviet ATM's in 73 but promptly forgot about them and had to relearn that lesson when they rolled into Lebanon with their Merkava's and then watched them turned into scrap by Hezbollah fighters.

    IED's not lethal? They are very lethal and have cause 70% of our casualties in Iraq and deny our ability to maneuver. The worst of them are the self-forging projectiles that chew up MRAP's and the like.

    I’m not sure you’re in the same conversation as me. Surely those weapons are lethal, but that’s stretching the meaning of “dangerous.” Leave aside for the moment our thermonuclear weapons. Have you any idea of the enormity of our artillery and their delivery systems, on land, sea, and air?

    AKs and IEDs, etc., are effective because they’re cheap and our stuff, including our soldiers, is expensive. That’s it. That’s all you need to know about them. Blather about them being “dangerous” is beside the point.

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  122. @neutral
    You have it the wrong way round, the US did not want to fight China, that is why it could never defeat Vietnam.

    We didn’t want to fight China, yes, and that’s partly why we lost. But we were stupid to be afraid of China intervening, is the point. We should have invaded North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, or perhaps bolstered France way back when, or not bothered with any of it.

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  123. @robt
    Reading the biography of Washington by Ron Chernow, which I assume was meant to be a hagiography, instead shows him to be incompetent as a military leader and who preferred to ride in his golden coach imported from Britain, wearing his splendid uniform also imported from Britain, and were it not for the French commanders Rochambeau and DeGrasse, Yorktown might not have been won.
    There is a US postage stamp issued in 1931 that memorializes the the 150th anniversary of the Yorktown victory, with the two Frenchmen plus Washington pictured on the stamp.

    Washington did have his horse shot out from under him like a billion times so the golden coach slur is a bit off the mark. His worth was as a political figure, not a fighting general. His greatest military accomplishment was to avoid total annihilation while losing battles.

    The single man most responsible for winning the war, if I had to choose one, was Benedict Arnold. He saved the revolution twice at least.

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  124. @Carlton Meyer
    The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) fought division and regimental size battles with US units using conventional forces every month! There was nothing "guerrilla" about it, except the practical tactic of withdrawing and dispersing before US forces could mount a major counterattack. At LZ Albany in '65 the NVA nearly overran an American battalion, killing 155 in one day. Operation Utah in '66 saw US Marines retreat after suffering almost 100 killed, and the same at Vihn Huy in '67. There are dozens of cases where American forces pulled back (retreated) in the face of conventional attack, with some camps overrun. There are dozens more examples here:

    http://www.g2mil.com/lost_vietnam.htm

    The war along the DMZ was nearly all conventional to include NVA heavy artillery. The US military didn't withdraw because it won, but because it couldn't win. The NVA won a few years later because the well-equipped ARVN was corrupt and demoralized by endless war, filled with draftees who liked Ho Chi Mihn more than their own American puppet government. No amount of American military aid or bombing would encourage them to fight to the death, although the Pentagon promotes that myth to hide its failure. Its the same issue in Afghanistan and Iraq today. Generals demand "Mo": mo money, mo manpower, mo time. When they fail, its because they didn't get enough Mo, and want Mo and Mo.

    Carlton Meyer said,”…The NVA won a few years later because the well-equipped ARVN was corrupt and demoralized by endless war, filled with draftees who liked Ho Chi Mihn more than their own American puppet government….”

    I disagree that the NVA could have defeated the South “if” we had bombed them when they invaded and the South fell. It was to my understanding the largest tank attack since WWII. They were strung out all along the highway and a complete turkey shoot. If we had bombed them they would have been decimated.

    Carlton Meyer’s own words bring testimony to my view,”…There was nothing “guerrilla” about it, except the practical tactic of withdrawing and dispersing before US forces could mount a major counterattack…”

    I believe that with proper support including air power the South could have held on just like the they did in Korea. South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and other tyrannies. All of these were hardly Democratic places of love and harmony but they held on with US support and became better.

    I know I wasn’t there like Fred and Carlton but by not being so maybe it gives me a little distance to be more objective. If the Soviets had won handily in Vietnam they would have used the port there to spread Communism. The US troops held them back from doing so and gave other countries in the region time to fight back their own Communist insurgencies. The US troops in Vietnam did exactly what they said they were going to do and stopped the spread of Communism. They didn’t win the engagement in Vietnam but they did win the war in the long run as the Soviet Union is no more.

    Thhat being said I like Fred’s writings and Carlton’s stuff on

    http://www.g2mil.com/

    is absolutely great and I enjoy reading both.

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  125. […] Reed, courtesy of the unZ Review, 3 March 2016 … http://www.unz.com/freed/reviving-napoleons-army/ .. where the title is “Reviving Napoleon’s Army – “Cry havoc, and Let Slip the […]

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  126. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Horzabky
    Exactly so.

    WWI wasn't won on the battlefields, it was won when the blockade implemented by Churchill starved the Germans. It worked so well that more than 400,000 Germans died of starvation, which broke the will of the German people. The blockade was lifted only eight months after actual combat had ended.

    I don't know what a war of NATO countries against an enemy with an air force worthy of the name would be like, but I know that France, for instance, has 58 nuclear power stations, each of which could become another Fukushima if it was bombed. At least one of those nuclear power stations is located upstream from Paris, with the potential to make the entire Seine valley (including Paris) uninhabitable if radioactive material fell into the river.

    Bombing half a dozen French nuclear power station would make the grid collapse, depriving most of Western Europe of electricity for months. Cities would become uninhabitable. Without electricity, there's no tap water after two days, because the pumps need electricity. Filling stations use electricity to power their pumps, too. No electricity, no gasoline. Supermarkets seldom have more than three days worth of food. Tens of millions of people would have to go without food and drinkable water after a few days.

    In the wars of the future, famine will be the great killer, because our societies have become so complex that if the electrical grid goes down for more than a day, everything collapses.

    That's why I think that NATO will never attack Russia or China. When was the last time the USA, or another NATO country, fought against an enemy with a genuine, capable air force? 1945.

    The Falklands War may have been an exception, when the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force. Another exception was the Korean war, when US pilots fought against Soviet MIGs, but the USAF dominated the sky.

    A Germany that controlled France, Poland and Eastern Europe with Friendly links to Spain and Italywas unable to feed itself because of a British blockade? This is fantasy. Failure of supply lines at the end of the war killed these people, not the blockade. Same in Japanese territory. Same in the Soviet Union 41-43. This is Nazi revisionism gone mad.

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    • Replies: @anon
    "Nazi revisionism gone mad".

    Do you even understand the blockade being referred to was in WW1?
  127. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @TG
    Well said! A couple of minor points though.

    1. The Japanese did not start WWII because they were stupid. They were desperate. Because of previous government policies aimed at maximizing population growth, Japan was on the brink of societal collapse. Japan HAD to invade and colonize other lands…

    2. Agree about so much, yes the military mindset of necessity encourages overconfidence and a narrow reliance on the specific skill set that each soldier possesses. However, never forget that so many of these debacles were not started by military people… they were started by civilians. Often (not always) when military people are really in charge, they don't start wars. Think of president Eisenhower, or the relative pacifism of all those ex-union generals turned presidents in the post-civil war United States…

    I propose that even more dangerous than a general who feels that his army is invincible, is a civilian leader who feels that he/she must attack to prove how tough/macho they are. LBJ, Dubya, Hillary Clinton… Surely this is a great part of our recent record if fighting and losing stupid pointless wars?

    Colin Powell was famously against Iraq 2 and boy did it show at the UN.

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  128. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Crawfurdmuir
    War is more about logistics and matériel, and less about the valour of the fighting man, than many people, including soldiers and politicians, would like to believe.

    The British lost the American Revolution, despite having professional officers and well-trained soldiers, because of the difficulty of supplying men and matériel halfway around the world via sailing ships. The Confederacy lost the War Between the States despite having the cream of the antebellum officer corps, and common soldiers of uncommon resourcefulness and grit, because the South lacked the industry to provide them with sufficient weapons and munitions. Germany lost two world wars because its industry, mighty as it was, could not support its military demands. It has been argued persuasively that the victor of every major war for the past 200 years has been the belligerent that had the better capacity to produce steel.

    Considering the current dilapidated condition of America's strategic industries, we must hope we do not have to fight a serious war in the foreseeable future.

    So China has the rest of the world beaten three times over. Or is it composites now?

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  129. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Wizard of Oz
    I am of course aware of blockades and embargos from Britain's against Napoleon and his against all trade with Continental Europe by Britain through to the German U boat blockade of Britain in WW2 and sanctions against trade with Iraq etc. But can you tell me what was the key to the success of the WW1 blockade? Germany and the Hapsburg empire had immense areas of agricultural land so.... ?

    Mind you the figures aren't significant for German power when you consider that there were 2 million births in Germany in 1913. (5 million in Russia so Hitler and Stalin were both well stocked up eith cannon fodder for WW2).

    It’s not food. The real strategic shortage was rubber. Try to make a 1940′s plane or automobile without it. The Soviets supplied rubber to Germany until 1941 so the Germans built up a small stockpile. It takes a hell of a lot of potatoes to extract rubber.

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  130. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Carlton Meyer
    From my book: http://www.g2mil.com/war.htm

    World War II combat infantryman Paul Fussell's book "Doing Battle" didn't sell nearly as well as books by Stephen Ambrose, who somehow missed military service but became wealthy writing about brave and brilliant American troops in World War II. Perhaps Fussell's work wasn't popular because he insisted on writing:

    "In the opinion of British military historian Max Hastings, the American forces were so bad (and actually so were most of the British) 'that when Allied troops met Germans on anything like equal terms, the Germans almost always prevailed.' Thank God the troops, most of them, didn't know how bad we were. It's hard enough to be asked to die in the midst of heroes, but to die in the midst of stumblebums led by fools -- intolerable. And I include myself in this indictment."

    Fussell wrote that of the 12 million Americans who served during World War II, only one million volunteered. The rest entered "kicking and screaming" with the threat of imprisonment and spent the war scheming to avoid combat. His short book "The Boys' Crusade", is about infantrymen fighting in Europe during World War II where he served as a lieutenant. He noted many great books on the war, but wrote that all missed key elements, such as:

    - Most fighting was done by American infantrymen, who were just out of high school. They were drafted and didn't want to be in the war or the Army. The Army's official tally was 19,000 deserters in Europe.

    - Self-inflicted wounds (a downward bullet wound to a leg or arm) were so common that the Army kept a tally and used it to measure unit morale.

    - When the U.S. Army's new 106th Infantry Division was attacked at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, it didn't put up a fight. Its boys were so startled by the unexpected appearance of large numbers of German panzers that officers jumped into jeeps and fled while 8000 GIs threw up their hands and surrendered.

    - The "platoon guide" was a junior sergeant added to each infantry platoon whose duty was the trail the platoon and confront anyone who attempted to desert.

    - During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans sent 150 English speaking commandos dressed in US Army uniforms to infiltrate American frontlines and cause chaos. They were quickly captured because American MPs guarded all roadways. Any healthy soldier heading toward the rear was presumed a deserter and arrested and interrogated.

    My father in law endorsed the 1-to-1 German superiority and he “fought” at Dunkirk and after D-Day. “Fought” because he was sent (as a Captain of infantry) to a map location in Belgium without orders or ammunition for his men’s rifles. His pistol was the only operational weapon. The Germans just waved at them as they drove by.

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  131. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @CanSpeccy
    A sobering commentary on the nature of a future war. But concerning:

    the Argentinian Air Force had to fight the better equipped British Air Force.
     
    The Argentinian pilots were in fact well equipped, and succeeded in sinking Britain's newest Destroyer, the Sheffield, with an French-built Exocet missile.

    But then France gave Britain codes with which to disable the Exocet missiles, thereby preventing further effective attacks on British surface ships.

    According to this report:

    Margaret Thatcher forced François Mitterrand to give her the codes to disable Argentina's deadly French-made missiles during the Falklands war by threatening to launch a nuclear warhead against Buenos Aires...

    If you read Russian statements the about the USS Cook, they do not claim that they have a device that can black out all the radars. They had access to codes.

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  132. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @anon
    "I would be interested to know the calculations justifying your belief.'

    Well how about the simplest and crudest figure of all.

    German casualties in the Second World War;

    Period, June 1941- March 1945; Killed or wounded:

    Northwest Europe, Sicily, Italy and Africa------------ 580,000.

    Eastern front -------------------------------------------- 4,900,000.


    Without Soviet involvement, Great Britain and the USA would have had to have killed or wounded about five million more German troops. The Soviets fewer then 600,000.

    Source, John Ellis, Brute Force.

    Or dropped a few A Bombs after a phony war across the Channel.

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  133. Philip Owen [AKA "Soarintothesky"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Diversity Heretic
    I find your answer quite plausible; I've often wondered why such agriculturally-productive areas should have had food shortages. (The Nazi government took very careful steps to keep food production adequate until the end of the war, although transportation difficulties resulted in local shortages.) But then, why did the blockade even matter? Where would food have come from, if the British fleet had just let commercial shipping pass? How could Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary have paid for it?

    Food was not the issue. Rubber first, then oil from, e.g. Indonesia.

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  134. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Philip Owen


    A Germany that controlled France, Poland and Eastern Europe with Friendly links to Spain and Italywas unable to feed itself because of a British blockade? This is fantasy. Failure of supply lines at the end of the war killed these people, not the blockade. Same in Japanese territory. Same in the Soviet Union 41-43. This is Nazi revisionism gone mad.

    “Nazi revisionism gone mad”.

    Do you even understand the blockade being referred to was in WW1?

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  135. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    No. Between reading and replying I was interrupted.

    But similar arguments apply in WW1. Prussia was a huge agricultural base. Central Europe was largely agricultural. Turkey too. And rubber was still critical. Organization for war, as in WW2, was a bigger problem than a blockade. Properly managed they had the food resources. But why the moral outrage about the blockade? It was a war. And the Germans were doing their damnest to blockade the UK. They sank a lot more British ships than the British sank German.

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  136. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Prussia was not a huge agricultural base. Food resources declined as men, materials (especially horses) were turned over to the military. I have explained this in detail in other posts.

    Why the moral outrage about the blockade?

    1) Fifty times as many died from the British blockade as did from the German one.

    2) It was maintained for over a year AFTER the Central Powers surrendered. It was only ended after British troops stationed in Germany threatened to mutiny after seeing so many German children starving to death.

    3) It was the British who tried to play the self-righteous card about the blockade, constantly saying they were not killing anyone while making propaganda capital out of occasional sinking’s like the Lusitania.

    “800,00 non-combatants died in Germany from starvation or diseases directly attributed to under-nourishment – about fifty times more then were drowned by submarine attack on British shipping.” UNFINISHED VICTORY, Arthur Bryant.

    “during the last two years of the war, over one million non-combatants died in Germany and Austria from starvation. On 18th December 1918 when the Germans pleaded to be allowed to import wheat, fats, condensed milk, medical stores, etc., their plea was rejected. In Bohemia, in February 1919, 20 percent of the babies were born dead, and 40 per cent died within the first month of birth. Only in march 1919, when Lord Plumer G.O.C. British army on the Rhine , informed the British government that his soldiers were ‘unable to endure the spectacle of starving children’ was the blockade partially relaxed.’ Unfinished victory, Arthur Bryant.

    Also see the writings of Major-General J.F.C. Fuller.

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  137. @Ivan K.

    Fred Reed: .... It is very hard to imagine such loud, virile machines being defeated by those most dangerous weapons of our times, the AK, the RPG, and the IED, wielded by a tough little peasant pissed off because you are invading his country and have killed his mother and sister.
     
    Drones versus the AK, the RPG, and the IED, wielded by the toughest, most fanatical men: do the latter stand a chance?

    How would you judge the outcome of Afghanistan?

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