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Page 3 of 7 pages
"A French Army Which Fought With Honour"
In spite of the extent of the French defeat, it was not so easy for the German army to face with the campaign in France. From May 10, to June 25, 1940, the German army lost 160,000 men (40,000 dead and 120,000 wounded). Half of their tanks was made out of action and about a thousand of aircrafts was shot down.
Moreover, thanks to the French resistance located in Lille and around Dunkirk, the British succeeded in re-embarking almost their total strength that the German army would confront another time in Africa, Italy, and in Normandy in June 1944.
Yet off guard, however the French army managed to oppose a strong resistance to the invaders during the first part of the fights. The French army stood up to the German army in Belgium, in Hannut (May 12 and 14), and in Gernboux (May 14, and 16), in the Ardennes, in Stonne (May 16, and 18), and inflicted them each time high losses. On May 17th, at Montcornet, as Colonel de Gaulle was setting up the 4th Reserve Armoured Division, he decided with audacity to engage it in order to counter Panzers who were advancing to the Somme.
Because of the breakthrough of the "ligne Weygand", and of the will of passing through the MAginot Line - a real German failure in Sarrable on June 10, and 11 - the second part of the fights was characterised by the daily losses rates which doubled on the German side. For the French army, some dates are distinguishable from others, like on May 19, in Rethel (14th Infantry Divisionof General de Lattre de Tassigny), and like the dates from May 19, to 21, in Saumur. It represents a glorious feat of arms of the cadets from the Cavalry School, the "Train des Equipages" (Logistics Train), the Infantry School of Saint-Maixent, and also from the "Tirailleurs algeriens" (North Africa Infantry), who held back almost 40,0000 German Troops in the Loire.
The Maginot Line, even encircled, resisted at every attack and did not capitulate. After all, from June 21st to 24th, the Alps army conducted by General Orly, in face of the Italian army, let them only Menton and some lands on the ridge of the Alps. Even if its rearguards were threatened by a German Armoured Corps, the Alps army succeeded in blocking its progress at Voreppe in front of Chambrey and Grenoble.
Most notorious was Butler's General Order No. 28 of May 15, 1862, that if any woman should insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States, she shall be regarded and shall be held liable to be treated as a "woman of the town plying her avocation"
or didn't think boots on the ground could tell the difference between NKA and ChiComs
Basically it's the start of the South's attempts to systematically re-write history but they haven't settled on a final version yet.
No doubt they were excellent light infantry. The issue is that light infantry isn't that useful. They would have been much more useful if they were the 82nd and 101st Infantry Divisions (Motorized).
The slapping incident is absolutely ridiculous. A General can order men to charge machine gun nests in suicidal assaults, but we're going to get weepy with a little slap?
I've heard these stories first hand as my uncle served under Patton (he was also Mark Clark's driver for a while; hated Clark, loved Patton.
This is anecdotal of course and should be regarded as such. So you think it's OK for a general to abuse a soldier with malaria and dysentery then, I guess. I don't
At some point you have to take the ground the enemy is holding. That is true in all wars ever fought.
Lot's of people outside of Patton's command criticized him for all kinds of things, including his strict uniform regulations.
Nimitz was, by all accounts level-headed, smart, and a really nice person, but he let his generals throw tens of thousands of Marines and soldiers into island meat-grinders to no real purpose.
Even the mass bombings achieved very little, until the shock of the second A-bomb.
But, it should not be over-stated how much the Central Pacific campaign was a result of inter-service politics. The Navy simply would not stand for being subordinate to MacArthur in the Pacific theatre, which led to the very odd split command.
On 21 April 1914, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the occupation of Veracruz. MacArthur joined the headquarters staff that was sent to the area, arriving on 1 May 1914. He realized that the logistic support of an advance from Veracruz would require the use of the railroad. Finding plenty of railroad cars in Veracruz but no locomotives, MacArthur set out to verify a report that there were a number of locomotives in Alvarado, Veracruz. For $150 in gold, he acquired a handcar and the services of three Mexicans, whom he disarmed. MacArthur and his party located five engines in Alvarado, two of which were only switchers, but the other three locomotives were exactly what was required. On the way back to Veracruz, his party was set upon by five armed men. The party made a run for it and outdistanced all but two of the armed men, whom MacArthur shot. Soon after, they were attacked by a group of about fifteen horsemen. MacArthur took three bullet holes in his clothes but was unharmed. One of his companions was lightly wounded before the horsemen finally decided to retire after MacArthur shot four of them. Further on, the party was attacked a third time by three mounted men. MacArthur received another bullet hole in his shirt, but his men, using their handcart, managed to outrun all but one of their attackers. MacArthur shot both that man and his horse, and the party had to remove the horse's carcass from the track before proceeding.
A fellow officer wrote to Wood recommending that MacArthur's name be put forward for the Medal of Honor. Wood did so, and Chief of Staff Hugh L. Scott convened a board to consider the award. The board questioned "the advisability of this enterprise having been undertaken without the knowledge of the commanding general on the ground". This was Brigadier General Frederick Funston, a Medal of Honor recipient himself, who considered awarding the medal to MacArthur "entirely appropriate and justifiable." However the board feared that "to bestow the award recommended might encourage any other staff officer, under similar conditions, to ignore the local commander, possibly interfering with the latter's plans"; consequently, MacArthur received no award at all.
King hated the English. I don't think anyone really knows why.
It is very easy for us to look back in hindsight and say Nimitz or the US should have done this or that but we have to remember that as it happens there is a severe fog of war going on and that not only do we not know what the enemy is thinking or doing but we have to guess at how the enemy will react. As I mentioned in the last Patton conversation no plan survives contact with the enemy. Japan was not some nation that could not adjust nor would not adjust. If you change the American strategy in the Pacific then you can't keep the Japanese strategy as the same. It simply isn't realistic.
On the Western Front in WWI the only sane strategy was to stay on the defensive until you had tanks, or Storm Trooper tactics developed.
Why would the Japanese surrender?
This doesn't describe MacArthur's Pacific campaign at all. His whole plan was to end-run around heavly defended islands, and cut off and isolate the garrisons. He rarely launched an attack against prepared enemy positions.
As theatre commander in the SW Pacific, MacArthur frequently exposed himself to enemy fire visiting front line positions.
As theatre commander in the SW Pacific, MacArthur frequently exposed himself
the vilification of Sherman is just absurd even on Lost Cause terms.
The major development in March came on the 11th, when MacArthur, his wife, and four-year-old son, plus members of his staff, left Corregidor in four battered PT (patrol torpedo) boats led by Lieutenant John Bulkeley. His daring escape took him ultimately to Australia, where he became supreme commander of the newly formed Southwest Pacific Area. MacArthur had not wanted to abandon the Philippines, but directly ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to leave, he was stuck in the unenviable position of having either to abandon his men or to disobey his commander-in-chief. His decision to abide the order, coupled with his behavior leading up to his departure, did not help his case with his GIs. “Though the Filipino soldiers clung to their devotion to MacArthur, the Americans more and more began deriding him,” said a lieutenant from the 26th Cavalry. “As ammunition and food ran out, and as the weeks passed with none of the promised relief, they made up derisive songs and jokes about the general….” Some men sang a parody to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”:
Dugout Doug MacArthur lies a-shakin’ on the Rock
Safe from all the bombers and from any sudden shock.
Dugout Doug is eating of the best food on Bataan
And his troops go starving on
I am pretty sure that the slapping incident was initially reported to Eisenhower by a nurse and Ike tried to keep it quite.
Also note that Tinian was the lightest held of the 3 main islands. There's something to be said for just grabbing Tinian and interdicting Saipan and Guam.
You should let the lawyers at the World Court know that intent has nothing to do with genocide.
In any case as I said the Marianas weren't essential. I think there's reason to believe they simply underestimated the task.
It isn't widely known, but Eisenhower and Patton had been quite close before the war. They for a few summers at least shared a summer home even. So, it wasn't as if Eisenhower was out to get Patton. He wanted Patton to succeed. He admired his abilities.
As to the Japanese surrender. I think I read- maybe in John Toland's Rising Sun, that Japan tried to send feelers about a surrender via the Russians and that the Russians did not pass it on.
I'm fairly liberal but even I think that dropping the bomb was necessary to quickly conclude the war.
and I would say almost all of them knew that Japan had lost well before the surrender was announced.
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