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Monday, December 10, 2012

Sickels: George McClellan, Dayton Moore, and the Kansas City Royals


Dayton Moore is trying to avoid being McClellan. He’s got the farm system built up, the army trained and organized. He’s good at that. Now he’s taking the field of battle and deploying those forces. That’s admirable.

Of course, what’s the next part of the story? Is Moore going to turn into an aggressive, brilliant field commander like Ulysses S. Grant or William Tecumseh Sherman? Will he be cautious but effective like George Gordon Meade? Mercurial and erratic like Joe Hooker? Or will he be the well-meaning but dangerously inept Ambrose Burnside? The suicidally aggressive John Bell Hood?

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: December 10, 2012 at 08:25 PM | 631 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: civil war, history, rays, royals

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   201. GregD Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4328723)
flip

and I assume all our discussion of rankings is for spot #2 behind our great Lord Petraeus?
   202. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4328727)
197, so then my idea won't fly for having Henry Louis Gates sit down with the descendents and track down whether Sherman's army destroyed the family farm or not?


If it calls for George Tsoukalos accompanying him down there I'm sure the History channel execs would be intrigued
   203. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4328730)
Just among Americans, I'd have him clearly behind Patton, and Washington. Don't know how you count Eisenhower (never actually commanded troops in battle) but he has to get some consideration. I'd also take Lee and MacArthur over Grant.


And Winfield Scott.
   204. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4329034)
That's Giorgio, Johnny S-LF.
   205. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4329065)
I have a lot of issues with Patton as a general. It wasn't just the slapping incident, though that was bad enough. I prefer Bradley over Patton. Patton was only good when he could be on the offensive, actively attacking, or planning to attack. When he couldn't, he became difficult and unpredictable.

BTW, Bradley's memoir, A Soldier's Story, is excellent. A.J. Liebling ghost wrote it and it is very well written.
   206. GregQ Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4329071)
I am kind of curious about why MacArthur would rate so highly. I do not know that much about him but have seen a piece or two over the years rating him very poorly. As to Patton, I seem to recall that Eisenhower pointed out that the general that commanded the army next to Patton's captured as much ground, took as may prisinors etc.. but without the headlines. Of course this could have been said long after Patton was dead.
   207. Publius Publicola Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4329077)
MacArthur had relatively few casualties compared to what the navy suffered in the Pacific, or what the army suffered in western Europe. And MacArthur had very good propagandists. William Manchester praises him in a couple of his books. I haven't read American Caesar but I did read Goodbye Darkness and he praises MacArthur profusely in that (curiously, since Manchester was a marine). OTOH, Nimitz got most of the difficult assignments: Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan, Pelileu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa (mostly a navy operation).
   208. VoodooR Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4329123)
Publ,

I've greatly enjoyed your commentary in this thread, but...

Are you going to respond to the apparently accurate accusation levied in #193 that you committed a serious miscarriage of justice towards Shelby Foote in #122 by attributing a quote to him that was made by an entirely different person? That's a pretty significant #### up, methinks.
   209. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4329126)
Manchester praises MacArthur highly, and he strenuously claimed that he didn't expect to when he began work on the book. (American Caesar is very very good biography, as are Manchester's first two volumes of the Churchill biography).

MacArthur's reputation is unfortunately (but in a way certainly understandably and deservedly) tarnished by his insubordination under Truman.

(Just as an aside, though: MacArthur was insubordinate all his career, beginning with West Point as a cadet when he refused to take a final and could have been expelled, then to the occupation of Vera Cruz when he engaged in some derring-do worthy of Indiana Jones involving going into enemy territory and stealing some locomotives. Then, again in WWI, when he was the most highly decorated American officer probably and the youngest general of the Allied forces, and receiving a promotion in the war’s closing days making him the youngest divisional commander. He was the youngest Army Chief of Staff at the time (having kept up with the ages of his recent successors), and committed acts of insubordination probably at least three times (the Bonus Army thing, his dressing down of a Congressional committee, and in his cursing out President Roosevelt). He was much more independent, and even high-handed, in his theater of operations than the other supreme commanders were in theirs, and he continued to act pretty independently of his military and civil superiors in his absolute brilliant overseeing of the transformation of Japan, an achievement that nowadays he doesn't get nearly the credit he should.)

He was highly praised by historians and military professionals, even by people like George Marshall who couldn't stand him (when MacArthur was chief of staff, Marshall was a colonel playing warden and Leavenworth). I am surprised, though, that however much he may have rubbed people the wrong way, so many of these same people nevertheless thought very highly of him as a soldier and commander. Their criticism is of his character, not of his military abilities. We all know about Eisenhower's criticisms (he was furious with MacArthur’s actions during the Bonus Army’s Last Stand, and having served as MacArthur's chief of staff for a long time, he did say he had studied dramatics under MacArthur), so they as a whole should weigh heavily. And Eisenhower knew how to judge horse flesh, but those negative comments rest on specific events associated with DM's arrogance and vain glory. Ike was critical of his character, but he also said that the man was brilliant, a genius.

The Philippines debacle is a real black mark against MacArthur, even looking at it in a light most favorable to him. If he gave orders that his Air Force be evacuated, he should have followed-up. His retreat to Bataan and Corregidor was in the view of almost everyone simply masterful and was, and may still be, studied at West Point. But a rep for being a great commander doesn't rest on brilliant double retrograde maneuvers. He should have been better prepared. He should have acted more decisively, and as has been noted by some, had it been any other officer, that officer would have been cashiered.

But it wasn’t any other officer. It was a man, the only military man, who was a legend before WWII. And he did go on to oversee some 80-85 operations after the Philippines defeat, every one of them successful. Even that he was highly successful is held against him. Somehow it is made to seem as if he got the softer, cushier assignment. When he got to Australia, the Aussies were in complete defense mode. Their plans contemplated even ceding territory to the “Brisbane Line” to the Japanese.

He changed that right away and instilled an invigorating attack mode spirit into operations. Because Iwo and Okinawa incurred greater casualties, they are assumed to have been harder victories to win. Few seem to consider that maybe his operations incurred fewer casualties because he was a better commander, more of a finesse commander (a la Lee), than his Navy/Marine counterparts. He had superb intelligence and made superb use of it. His field commanders, the Aussie Blamey and Eichelberger and Krueger should be better known. No one has ever addressed MacArthur’s sotto voce (for him) criticism of Okinawa: why not just take the air field, establish a perimeter, and wait the Japanese out. What's with incurring all the needless casualities. Eichelberger and Krueger were first-rate field commanders, as was his air commander Kenney, and they all thought highly of MacArthur, even if he didn’t let them have much press write-up. (Eichelberger in his wonderful letters to his wife, published as Dear Miss Em, referred to many of his cohorts in code—MacArthur was Madame Sarah, I think. I doubt that the book is still in print.)

And Inchon is a masterpiece. Few operations turn a conflict 180 degrees instantaneously, but Inchon did, and it was all his baby. No one wanted any responsibility for Inchon. No one when it was first proposed wanted to do it. Not his staff, not his military superiors, not the president and his state department. Truman and Acheson sent both chiefs of the Army and the Navy, as well as the field commanders of the Marines and Air Force part, all to personally talk MacArthur out of doing Inchon. He forcefully stood his ground, and put all his considerable influence and prestige behind doing the thing or else. He ended up talking them into backing it, not least of all because he flatly told them if they didn't, they could find themselves another commander in the Far East. MacArthur was not afraid to take chances, and he always assumed his command mandate in the broadest possible terms. But he also took responsibility. He was no frigging Mark Clark. This paid off very often, but when it backfired, like with the Philippines and with the Yalu, it was a dozy. And of course he paid the ultimate price, which he deserved, but there is no need to denigrate him in other ways. A man’s fate is his character, the Greeks said. But however much we may reprove that part of his character, we should acknowledge and commend his very real achievements. When Manuel Quezon visited Truman, Truman showed him around. There was a huge portrait of MacArthur, and Truman sarcastically said (I paraphrase), and of course this is Jesus who walked on water. Quezon didn’t play up to the attempt at humor. He replied very seriously, yes, that is how our Philippine people see him, Mr. President.



   210. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4329136)
Ignore the last few sentences. It couldn't have been Quezon, although Manchester does recount such a story. Too late for me to correct.
   211. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4329169)
Sherman ..... was a very moral man.


Sherman to his wife: "There is a class of people, men women, and children, who must be killed..."

Sherman to General Grant: We are not fighting against enemy armies but against an enemy people; both young and old, rich and poor must feel the iron hand of war..."

Sherman possessed by the same pah-wraith that later inhabited Joseph Goebbels: "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to the extermination, men, women and children..."

Let's say you're right that Sherman didn't directly mass murder civilians in the South, an assertion I take leave to doubt. WTF makes you think a policy of destroying all food and means of basic production doesn't reflect an intention of mass murder? By this logic, Stalin was completely blameless for the Holodomor.

What is wrong with you? Just because the aggregate enemy was wrong or even evil doesn't mean you have to canonize individual monsters on the "good" team.

   212. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4329241)
That's a pretty significant #### up, methinks.


It was. I lifted the quote from a blog, not using the original source because it was from the WJS, a subscriber site. I should have found some way of double-checking the source, rather than just assuming the blogger lifted the material correctly. My bad. Nevertheless, the other stuff was true, drawn from the original sources, so my point stands.
   213. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4329244)
What about Pershing?

I don'y see anything special about him. He was a competent WWI geberal, but that war didn't exactly provide much room for great generalship, especially on the Western front.

The best generals of WWI tend to come from either the Eastern front (Hindenburg/Ludendorf), or secondary theatres (von Lettow Vorbeck, Allenby).
   214. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4329251)
I have a lot of issues with Patton as a general. It wasn't just the slapping incident, though that was bad enough. I prefer Bradley over Patton. Patton was only good when he could be on the offensive, actively attacking, or planning to attack. When he couldn't, he became difficult and unpredictable.

BTW, Bradley's memoir, A Soldier's Story, is excellent. A.J. Liebling ghost wrote it and it is very well written.


Disgree. Patton was the only Allied general in Europe that had any flair for the attack, or daring approaches, and an actual sense of urgency (Slim and MacArthur had it in Asia). From his end run at Sicily, to the breakout at Normandy, to the offensive that relieved Bastogne, he showed he could get an army moving and take ground quickly. All the other Allied generals in Europe were basically plodders. If Montgomery had been tasked with the relief of Bastogne, he would have arrived in March of '45 with 400,000 men 2500 tanks, and 5000 guns.

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?

Even though he acted out of anger, subsequent medical experience has shown that Patton's approach to combat fatigue was closer to being effective than the hospitlization apporach. Combat fatigue cases who are treated like they are wounded basically never recover. The military has found that the best approach is to keep the soldiers who are suffering close to the front (but not in combat) doing military activities for a few days, while they recover. If they feel like they're just getting a rest, and haven't let their comrades down (they know they're not wounded), they are much more likely to recover.
   215. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4329252)
#206 Inchon is a masterpiece -- and the landing was conducted in spite of basically unanimous disapproval. MacArthur basically said fire me or the landings go forward. Similarly, the New Guinea campaign. Far more rapid and at lower cost than anybody else was likely to have achieved.

The one sour note was Biak. That was a failure of intelligence -- there were far more Japanese there than he'd been led to believe -- and a failure of command. Fuller wasn't up to the job. McA remedied both failures quickly. On Eichelberger's advice Fuller was replaced, and adequate number of troops were assigned to the job.

The Phillipines (outside of the air force disaster at Clark Field which simply can't be explained away) had everything to do with McA's belief in the pre-war plans that called for a rapid relief of the Phillipines. I wouldn't hold it against him. The pre-war plans weren't grounded in the reality of total Japanese air superiority (as well as almost toal command of the sea)
   216. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4329256)
MacArthur had relatively few casualties compared to what the navy suffered in the Pacific, or what the army suffered in western Europe. And MacArthur had very good propagandists. William Manchester praises him in a couple of his books. I haven't read American Caesar but I did read Goodbye Darkness and he praises MacArthur profusely in that (curiously, since Manchester was a marine). OTOH, Nimitz got most of the difficult assignments: Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan, Pelileu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa (mostly a navy operation).

You omit the fact that Nimitz's assignments were completely unecessary, and driven only by the desire of the USN to have a theater that was not subordinate to the Army. MacArthur was too smart to directly assault a small heavily fortified island when he could just cut it off.

MacArthur's approach through the Philippine and then Formosa would have defeated Japan without any of Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Pelileu, Iwo Jima or Okinawa being captured.

Edit: Concur with pretty much everything Morty says.
   217. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4329260)
#211 Catton draws the distinction between Sherman -- who waged a tough campaign which resulted in civilian suffering -- and Sheridan in the valley. Sheridan burned pretty much everything as a matter of spite. He behaved basically the way people accused Sherman of behaving. Sherman on the other hand went precisely as far as he deemed necessary to deny resources to the rebels.

It's a fine line. I guess you could say that Sherman accepted that civilians would suffer and Sheridan intended it. One of the things worth understanding is that the worst incidents under Sheridan happened either with his orders or his acceptance, while the worst incidents in Sherman's march to the sea were by the "bummers" (the deserters and other hangers on operating in the general vicinity of the army)
   218. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4329263)
#205 Bradley was a better administrator. He'd never have been able to manage the rapid relief of Bastonge etc. that Patton pulled off in the Bulge. And I'm not sure he'd have been able to exploit the breakout from Normandy as well as Patton did.
   219. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4329267)
#216 Formosa would have been at least as bad as Okinawa -- probably worse. Very heavily garrisoned.

But then Formosa wouldn't be necessary to cut Japan off from Borneo (etc.)

The problem though is that while Japan was objectively defeated the moment that the landings on Luzon succeeded, they showed no interest in surrender.

Stipulating for the moment that Formosa is captured at an acceptable price, now what?

You're still looking at either an invasion of Japan or an A-bomb. (and yeah, you could base the B-29s in the Phillipines)

   220. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4329288)
#206:

Some recent historians/biographers have stated that Eisenhower rather pushed in the late '40s for Patton to get the five-star rank, rather than Bradley (who seems to have gotten it because we were at war and the commander of the allied forces in Korea, MacArthur, was a five-star general of the army and it didn't look good that combined chief of staff, Bradley, was outranked by a field commander). And of course there is that deal where Eisenhower placed Bradley's command under Montgomery, something that Bradley took as an insult(perhaps rightly so). This, however, didn't budge Eisenhower. "Those are my orders." When Bradley said he wouldn't answer to the American people, Eisenhower coldly told him, a la MacArthur, you don't answer to the American people; I answer to the American people; you answer to me.
   221. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4329295)
Japan still quibbled over surrender terms even after Hiroshima. It took a second bomb for them to capitulate. And then there was an element was vociferously, violently against that. Those who claim Japan was desperately trying to surrender are talking through their collective hats. Even after Nagaska, there was unrest, even riots against surrender. MacArthur, preparatory to going on the mainland for the first time walks in on his entourage and their strapping on 45s, even the generals. Got to say MacArthur handled it masterfully.

   222. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4329301)
The one sour note was Biak. That was a failure of intelligence -- there were far more Japanese there than he'd been led to believe -- and a failure of command.


You can also lay much of the blame for the Yalu debacle to the failure of intelligence--and you can't lay it entirely at MacArthur's feet. He even personally (a five-star seventy-year old general) conducted a reconnaisance flight (eschewing the offer of a parachute). Unfortunately, there had been a blizzard and all traces of troop movement had been obliterated. Contrary to the anti-MacArtur mindset, howver, Truman and the State Department were kept apprised of MacArthur's intentions and said nothing. Moreover, the Chinese had been urgently telling Nehru to tell the State Department that the Yalu better not be crossed, something MacArthur knew nothing of, but the State Department wasn't talking to Nehru at the time. MacArthur had been so successful that it was scary. Within two weeks of Inchon, he had recaptured Seoul, and then here it was, he was chasing the North Koreans entirely out of Korea. His claim that the war would be over by Xmas is made fun of, but if not for the Chinese entry, it would have. It was all over but the crying. Then they took it one step too far.
   223. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4329302)

Sherman to his wife: "There is a class of people, men women, and children, who must be killed..."

Sherman to General Grant: We are not fighting against enemy armies but against an enemy people; both young and old, rich and poor must feel the iron hand of war..."

Sherman possessed by the same pah-wraith that later inhabited Joseph Goebbels: "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to the extermination, men, women and children..."

Let's say you're right that Sherman didn't directly mass murder civilians in the South, an assertion I take leave to doubt. WTF makes you think a policy of destroying all food and means of basic production doesn't reflect an intention of mass murder? By this logic, Stalin was completely blameless for the Holodomor.

What is wrong with you? Just because the aggregate enemy was wrong or even evil doesn't mean you have to canonize individual monsters on the "good" team.


He talked tough, but didn't commit any war crimes. Stripping the land of food and resources was SOP for armies from time immemorial.

I also think you grossly overstate the devastation he caused. He tended not to destroy private property. There is no evidence of starvation deaths in Georgia following his march.

Sherman's march was a hell of a lot more humane, and caused a tiny fraction of the deaths of the slaughter in northern VA.
   224. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4329307)
#205 Bradley was a better administrator. He'd never have been able to manage the rapid relief of Bastonge etc. that Patton pulled off in the Bulge. And I'm not sure he'd have been able to exploit the breakout from Normandy as well as Patton did.

The Bastogne relief was a pretty nifty piece of administration. Patton's staff was planning a response to a German breakthrough before it even happened.
   225. Esoteric Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4329327)
I also think you grossly overstate the devastation he caused. He tended not to destroy private property. There is no evidence of starvation deaths in Georgia following his march.
I think Sherman's March is more or less one of the truly great military acts of American history (in that it truly broke the back of Southern popular resistance and will to fight, which was crucial), but let's not forget that while the Georgia leg of the March was, as you said, rather humane given its stated objectives (and I include Atlanta in this), the swing up through South Carolina was a good deal more brutal. Not necessarily as a matter of explicit policy, but definitely in terms of damage to private property and incidental casualties. The burning of Columbia is still a matter of controversy, though it's not like I'm shedding any tears personally.

It's also fascinating to note that, as much as Sherman's army ravaged South Carolina, they then dialed back down significantly upon crossing into North Carolina due to its popular perception as a "reluctant" Confederate state (last to secede, measurable pre-war pro-Union sentiment in the mountain west of the state).
   226. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4329329)
The burning of Columbia


How could they tell?
   227. GregQ Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4329336)
Thanks for the responses on MacArthur.
   228. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4329356)
#222 Everything I've read tells me that McA was adequately warned about crossing the Yalu. He and his staff simply discounted the threat -- and vastly underestimated the capacity of the Red Chinese.

I know the warnings he got from the troops in the line who were encountering more and more Chinese were simply discounted.

I don't doubt that there was plenty of contradictory and/or incomplete information. It's the nature of warfare. He is the guy who authorized the step too far and the consequences have to be on him.
   229. GregD Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4329362)
Sherman was pretty clear that he unleashed the men on South Carolina on purpose since he blamed the coastal planters for the war. He denied the blame for Columbia, though.

The comparison of Sherman to Stalin or Goebbels falls apart pretty quickly, no? First you have to ask whether you're interested in actions or words. Sherman liked flat statements which were generally the accepted viewpoint of both sides (looks what the Confederates did when they reached Pennsylvania) but weren't supposed to be said aloud. He thought stating flatly that war is cruelty would help white Southerners think through its continuance. But his actions were pretty much banal. Taking food for armies could not be more standard. Additionally I think there's good reason that people put the rulers who deliberately kill their own defenseless citizens on a different level than people whose prosecution of a war puts hardship on the enemy's civilians.

In the West, Sherman liked wild statements but of course presided over the West in the period of a long liberal (and eventually doomed) reform effort to soften the federal government's treatment of Indians. He didn't lead or support that reform, but he didn't undermine it either. We can dislike the paternalism of that reform, but also recognize that the era was one where massacres of Indians got increased press exactly because they became more rare.

Unless you put your entire moral weight on words over acts or have a slippery slope so slipper that everything but a joust leads inevitably to total war, then there's really no way that Sherman even registers on the list of moral monsters.

The demonization of Sherman by the South is one of the great propaganda campaigns of all time, and a very peculiar one since Sherman--as he had promised at Atlanta--lobbied hard for soft treatment of the South from the moment Johnston offered to surrender through the end of Reconstruction.

I can understand why Confederates hated Sheridan or Sickles--though I personally think that once you add freedpeople's treatment to the account, they look far better than most--but the vilification of Sherman is just absurd even on Lost Cause terms.
   230. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4329363)
#222 Everything I've read tells me that McA was adequately warned about crossing the Yalu. He and his staff simply discounted the threat -- and vastly underestimated the capacity of the Red Chinese.

I know the warnings he got from the troops in the line who were encountering more and more Chinese were simply discounted.

I don't doubt that there was plenty of contradictory and/or incomplete information. It's the nature of warfare. He is the guy who authorized the step too far and the consequences have to be on him.


And if they would have bombed the Yalu bridges like he wanted to, the Chinese capabilities would have been greatly reduced,
   231. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4329373)
My history book reading is pretty limited, but in the The Coldest Winter, Halberstam does not have a favorable view of McArthur.
   232. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4329381)
#231 Started reading that one. It's not surprising that Halberstam (and his sources) would not think kindly of McA since you're talking about events shaped by the decision to cross the Yulu (which basically threw away everything gained by Inchon)
   233. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4329393)
I think it's worth considering how the various Generals might have done in other command roles.

Could MacA have succeeded in Eisenhower's job? Color me skeptical. So much of Ike's job was political. I don't see how Montgomery and MacA could have functioned together.

How about Eisenhower in the Pacific? As noted above, MacA had some pretty capable guys working for him. Eichelberger was first rate. Kruger not quite at that level in my opinion but still quite competent (Not one of MacA's favorites. Considered him slow). Barbey probably wasn't as good as Turner but still was very good. Carpender followed by Kincaid did a good job with the 7th fleet.

All that to say that I think Eisenhower could have got the job done. Maybe not as fast (since he'd have probably deferred to Krueger and Krueger was more cautious than MacA)

There is absolutely no chance that Eisenhower would have chanced Inchon. SUue he signed off on Market Garden but that more than likely made him very wary of high risk/high reward strategies. Paradoxically perhaps this might have worked out for the better. A long slog north rather than a furious pursuit makes it less likely that they'd have pushed all the way across the Yalu.
   234. zenbitz Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4329412)
If Montgomery had been tasked with the relief of Bastogne, he would have arrived in March of '45 with 400,000 men 2500 tanks, and 5000 guns.


This reminds me of my last visit to the Imperial War Museum in London (which is... awesome). They had a special exhibit dedicated to the Paragon of Martial Virtue that was Bernard Montgomery. I found it quite hilarious.

Inchon was surely brilliant, but SOMEONE didn't believe the ground reports that there were Chinese divisions in the area (or didn't think boots on the ground could tell the difference between NKA and ChiComs)... and in the end that failure rests with high command.

   235. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4329422)
MacArthur was at his best when his authority wasn't immediately and specificallyin question and his pride wasn't at stake. Keep on a lease, but a long lease--FDR understood this. Who would have thought he could have played puppeteer with such discreetness and finesse during the Japanese occupation? Yet, he most certainly did, often being content to pull the strings behind the scenes without public fanfare whatsoever.

I admit that, confronted by equals, this wouldn't have been possible in the European theater. I agree that Eisenhower was much more adaptable, personality-wise, generally. Still, things like the recessive role he played wrt Japan. He provided the scaffolding that made the new Japanese political structure possible. Once the scaffolding is gone, we are left only to wonder in awe at the structure, but it needs to be remembered that that skyscraper just didn't happen on its own.

Same thing happened on a lesser scale at other times when he acted with (perhaps) surprising finesse. The Philippines, the delivering of the city of Seoul to Rhee, the reformation and revitalizing of West Point after WWI. The Aussies in his theater had nothing like the pop the British had in the European theater, but still he had to display negotiating and diplomatic skills. He also knew how to appeal to third-world peoples, I guess one could call them. He wasn't as one-dimensional as his most partisan critics would have it. Study how FDR, Nimitz, Kenney, and Krueger (he was a much better than mediocre--and stayed in touch with MacArthur, attending his birthday every year, for instance) handled a relationship him, compared say to Truman, who was either at his feet or at his throat. He got along surprisingly well with the admirals of "his navy", especially Kinkaid and Halsey--whose fighting spirit he relished. When some were pushing for him to reprimand, even court-marshal, Halsey after Leyte Gulf, MacArhthur lased out: leave Bull along; he likes to fight and I like that.
   236. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 20, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4329423)
MacArthur's approach through the Philippine and then Formosa would have defeated Japan without any of Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Pelileu, Iwo Jima or Okinawa being captured.


I don't think so. A good part of the reason that MacArthur was able to succeed was that the Japanese air arm had been more or less decimated by the Navy's push through the Central Pacific, especially in the Marianas. I think *both* paths to the home islands were needed to keep Japan off-balance.

To a similar extent, this was the Confederacy's problem in the Civil War, also - they simply had too large a defensive perimeter and not enough available manpower to guard all of the flanks, and while it took a while the Union was eventually able to take advantage of the multiple attack routes open to it.

-- MWE
   237. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4329431)
This reminds me of my last visit to the Imperial War Museum in London (which is... awesome). They had a special exhibit dedicated to the Paragon of Martial Virtue that was Bernard Montgomery. I found it quite hilarious.


I was at the Household Cavalry Museum awhile back, one of the items displayed was a model of the building, with a clock permanently stuck at 4pm. It seems that back in the 19th century the Queen paid an impromptu visit to the Household Cavalry (In theory to get to Buckingham Palace you are supposed to pass through there- the Household Cavalry was essentially the UK's imperial guard)- and was SHOCKED that the fine young gentlemen were lounging around, drinking and playing cards- she decreed that henceforth they would all have to dress up in parade formation for inspection at 4pm every day for... 100 years

I'm sure that did wonders for esprit de corps...

Among other items was an armored breastplate from the 17th/18th century- with a divot right over the heart- before being issued they'd test the armor by shooting it with a musket- yep it was bullet proof... of course it weighed a ton and was wholly impracticable to maneuver in, but if your job entailed sitting on horse while on guard duty- not moving- while wearing a bright red uniform... it's a hell of a lot better than not having body armor if someone decides to use you for target practice.

I once saw one of Monty's biographers get exasperated when continually questioned about some of Monty's boasts and misstatements- no he claimed Monty did not really claim that he could take town X in Y days, well he did claim it - but he never actually planned to take town X in Y days, he merely told his superiors that in order to obtain the necessary men, supplies and material for the actual operation intended by Monty...

   238. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4329435)
The Bastogne relief was a pretty nifty piece of administration. Patton's staff was planning a response to a German breakthrough before it even happened.


Let us not forget though that Bradley was the architect of the American airborne infantry capability and it was the airborne infantry who were the real heroes of Bastogne.

Interestingly, Richard Winters of Band of Brothers fame is highly critical of Maxwell Taylor, and was glad that he wasn't in command when they were ordered to occupy Bastogne. He felt that Taylor was too political and not enough of a soldier, not enough of a fighter. Taylor could have parachuted in after he returned but didn't do so. Post-war, Taylor was instrumental in reorganizing the army and David Hackworth was equally critical, opining that he was trying to transform soldiers from killers to social workers.
   239. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4329438)
My history book reading is pretty limited, but in the The Coldest Winter, Halberstam does not have a favorable view of McArthur.


Yes. That is my reading as well. I started but never finished it though I do remember he is critical of MacArthur and highly praiseworthy of Mathew Ridgeway.

I have a tough time finishing books on the Korean War. I just don't find it that interesting. WWII and Vietnam, yes. But not Korea for some reason.
   240. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4329441)
The demonization of Sherman by the South is one of the great propaganda campaigns of all time, and a very peculiar one since Sherman--as he had promised at Atlanta--lobbied hard for soft treatment of the South from the moment Johnston offered to surrender through the end of Reconstruction.


Peculiar yet often repeated. The South has been weird about their civil war history, like the tearing down of Grant. It was Grant who won the thing so why would they be more content to lose to a lousy general than a good one?

Additionally, Sherman was nearly relieved because his terms of surrender at Durham Station were so generous to Johnston. Grant was ordered there with the intent of replacing him but rescued his friend at the last minute when The terms of surrender were changed to reflect the same terms Grant gave Lee in Virginia. Stanton was furious with Sherman, and Sherman equally furious with Stanton, and it is one of the reasons why Sherman disliked politicians so much, and why he stayed a soldier, refusing to run for any political office after the war despite his huge popularity in his native state.
   241. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4329442)
When some were pushing for him to reprimand, even court-marshal, Halsey after Leyte Gulf, MacArhthur lased out: leave Bull alone; he likes to fight and I like that.


If Kurita hadn't inexplicably abandoned the plan that was actually working* (because Halsey had taken the bait) and shelled McCarthur's beachead with his Battle Group, I really kind of doubt McA would have been so forgiving- Halsey screwed up massively at Leyte- he only got bailed out - because Kurita fumbled the ball right back (to use a football analogy)


*I think the likeliest scenario for why Kurita broke off was two fold- he never actually believed in the plan in the first place- he just never believed that the decoy fleet would succeed in drawing off Halsey's battle line- and he was one of the few experienced men still drinking the pre-war koolaid regarding US fighting spirit- in his mind there was no way in hell that a bunch of USN destroyers were going to throw themselves at a line of capital ships unless they had serious back-up... So when he was charged by destroyers- he assumed they were to drop torpedoes and break up his battle line in preparation for an attack by the US battle line and/or give the US Fleet Carriers time to launch an attack wave - in fact the USN destroyer attack was pure desperation- a frantic effort to keep Kurita out of range of the beachead while they were frantically trying to get Halsey to steam back- to Kurita- a desperate non-Japanese foe doesn't attack, they run away- so while the Destroyers attacked a much larger force out of desperation- Kurita interpreted it as a sign that the decoy had failed and Halsey was right behind the destroyer screen-

In either event- whether the decoy failed or not- Kurita's JOB was to plow ahead towards McA's beach head- and he didn't he disengaged and eventually retreated- a stunning blunder
   242. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4329445)
If Kurita hadn't inexplicably abandoned the plan that was actually working* (because Halsey had taken the bait) and shelled McCarthur's beachead with his Battle Group, I really kind of doubt McA would have been so forgiving- Halsey screwed up massively at Leyte- he only got bailed out - because Kurita fumbled the ball right back (to use a football analogy)


Let's not be too harsh of Kurita though. He was operating with a massive intelligence and material deficit. The Japanese navy was so low on fuel by that stage of the war that their ability to maneuver was extremely limited, they couldn't send out scout planes like the US could, and their intelligence network was weak because the local population was so hostile to them.

With that, your point is acknowledged.

Another highly recommended history of that part of WWII is Pacific War 1931-1945 by Saburo Ienaga. He's a Japanese liberal and pacifist academic who was in his twenties and thirties for the duration of hostilities and he gives his own account from that perspective. He talks about the Japanese homefront extensively, which I found very interesting.
   243. Morty Causa Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4329447)
MacArthur needed to be shown where the line was drawn. The Truman administration, including the military higher-ups, didn't do this. That was a mistake. They chose to ride the tiger of MacArthur's popularity and prestige, buying into the myth of his invulnerability, and they paid the price.

Ridgway, before going to Korea to take over 8th Army (and ultimately relieving MacArthur), recounts in his memoirs how when he was on the staff of combined Chiefs he plaintively asked them at a meeting why "we just don't tell The General to shut up and toe the line. W are his superiors, aren’t we?" He records, "A frightened silence followed my words." MacArthur most certainly would not have liked being told off in no uncertain terms where he got off, but it should have been seen as necessary, and he would have toed the line (or possibly resigned), I think. It was an obvious problem that could have been headed off at the beginning with the assertion of authority. Those who didn't assert that authority until things got out of hand cannot be given a free pass. They were all too willing to lick MacArthur’s ass as long as he was winning. When he finally got his comeuppance, suddenly everyone was claiming ain't nobody here but us chickens. Or, if you prefer, pretend self-righteously that they never supported MacArthur ever anyway.
   244. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4329448)
The War Museum in London is awesome. The French War Museum is also pretty cool (attached to Napoleon's tomb). I love the explanation of French involvement in WWII.
   245. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4329450)
I love the explanation of French involvement in WWII.


Can you elaborate?
   246. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4329453)
In either event- whether the decoy failed or not- Kurita's JOB was to plow ahead towards McA's beach head- and he didn't he disengaged and eventually retreated- a stunning blunder


One of the most inexplicable battlefield decisions in the history of warfare. Makes Pickett's charge look like pure genius by comparison. Kurita was like a guy folding on the river to save his last chip because he thinks his 2 pair isn't good enough. Yeah, maybe it isn't good enough, and even if you do win the pot you've got a long way to go, but what the hell good is that last chip if you fold? His comrades sacrificed everything to get him precisely where he was. Yes he also took big losses, but what the hell was he saving the remainder of the fleet for? To fight another day? That day was never going to come.
   247. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 20, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4329454)
I love the explanation of French involvement in WWII.



Can you elaborate?


Their strategic surrender made Hitler overconfident and paved the way for later Allied victories.
   248. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4329457)
MacArthur most certainly would not have liked being told off in no uncertain terms where he got off


The funny part was that McA had approximately zero respect for Truman- until Truman fired him...

McA tolerated people standing up to him a lot better than the toadies ever seemed to realize

My favorite McA anecdote- during the occupation, a female member of his staff slips a gender equality passage int the draft Japanese Constitution- a delegation of Japanese officials later comes to McA- specifically to complain about that passage... McA reads it, shrugs, it stays in.
   249. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4329459)
Their strategic surrender made Hitler overconfident and paved the way for later Allied victories.


There's a slight kernel of truth to this- the part about their surrender making Hitler overconfident- as far as that surrender being "strategic" or part of some long con... what's the French word for delusional?
   250. Esoteric Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4329465)
I resent this "World War II generals" hijacking of my original "Civil War generals" hijacking of a thread about the Royals' GM decisionmaking style.

[j/k]
   251. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4329467)
Sorry I took a picture of it and had trouble locating it.

"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.


Wow I figured the translation would be a little better.
   252. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4329490)

I don't think so. A good part of the reason that MacArthur was able to succeed was that the Japanese air arm had been more or less decimated by the Navy's push through the Central Pacific, especially in the Marianas. I think *both* paths to the home islands were needed to keep Japan off-balance.


Completely disagree.

By mid-1943, the US superiority in naval forces was so great, they could go anywhere they wanted to.

Give MacArthur Nimitz's carriers, and he destroys the Japanese navy in the SW Pacific. US material superiority was so great, that landing on defended islands just gave the Japanes the chance to inflict casualties they couldn't otherwise inflict.

   253. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4329495)
Let us not forget though that Bradley was the architect of the American airborne infantry capability and it was the airborne infantry who were the real heroes of Bastogne.

Except that airborne infantry basically proved to be an expensive failure throughout the war. Throwing away elite infantrymen by putting them behind enemy lines, lightly equipped, makes no sense.

The U.S. Army would have been far stronger if those 20,000 elite infantrymen were dispersed as platoon and squad leaders among the leg infantry divisions.
   254. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4329538)
#253 On the other hand they were the right guys for the job in the Bulge. I don't think it's precisely an accident that their finest hour came in a battle that they walked in to.

The did perform a very important role in the D-Day landings. And it would have been a vital role if the Germans had attempted an immediate serious counterattack. Tedder predicted 70+% casualties and one of the few times he ever admitted he was wrong was in this case. (He was overjoyed to have been wrong)

   255. bachslunch Posted: December 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4329546)
The demonization of Sherman by the South is one of the great propaganda campaigns of all time

And he's not the only one so targeted. A visit to the Confederate Memorial Hall Museum in New Orleans reveals a surprising amount of over-the-top misinformation utterly demonizing Benjamin Butler. There were good reasons why he had to initiate drastic measures against NOLA residents while serving as military governor. When your soldiers are being shot at and having toilet waste dumped on them, the local newspapers are attempting to stir up trouble, and locals are trying to tear down the flag of their occupiers, it's not surprising he cracked down hard.
   256. GregD Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4329579)
Not to mention that Butler was the first person to deal with public health successfully in New Orleans in its history and undoubtedly kept hundreds, maybe thousands, of additional New Orleansians alive by it.
   257. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4329581)
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"


Some things were odd about the Civil War- women were literally off limits as far as both sides were concerned - in a way that had never really been observed before and certainly not since- hell even Quantrill's raiders (more terrorists than soldiers) left the women folk alone while they slaughtered 150 or so men and boys in Lawrence

In New Orleans the "upper class" women (who were really really off limits) had basically begun a campaign of harassment against the Union Army, slapping, spitting, dumping buckets of urine out of windows (now is that any way for a lady to act?) - and it may seem incredible to us today- but the soldiers subjected to that were doing NOTHING in retaliation.

Declaring that women engaging in such conduct were officially "not ladies," was a way of telling solders that if someone did something to you- you CAN do something yourself - and instantly much of the behavior vanished.
   258. Davo Dozier Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4329582)
I saw the post count, and got all excited, but then the Cynical Me realized there was almost no chance this discussion was still about the Royals.
   259. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4329584)
Anybody else read "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War"? Collection of articles mostly written by the main participants.

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.
   260. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4329586)
#253 On the other hand they were the right guys for the job in the Bulge. I don't think it's precisely an accident that their finest hour came in a battle that they walked in to.

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).
   261. Ron J2 Posted: December 20, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4329590)
or didn't think boots on the ground could tell the difference between NKA and ChiComs


According to Alexander Haig (who personally saw some of those Chinese) they were dismissed as ill equipped volunteers of no military consequence.
   262. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4329647)
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.


Basically if the battles were fought the way the Southern revisionists said they were, if the Southern Generals were as good and Northern Generals as bad, if Southern esprit de corp/patriotism as high, Northern as low, if blacks really didn't mind being slaves and did not begin abandoning their masters en masse as soon as physically able to do so...

If things were the way these scholars and writers insisted, the South would have won the war.

But, the South didn't win, they lost, and it may have taken 4 years, but they were crushed pretty badly by the end.

I once saw a talk given by Kenneth Pollack, he mentioned how at one lecture he gave a "Middle Eastern gentleman" disputed literally every single point Pollack had to say, finally he said at the end, he asked the man if he disputed the fact that Israel had won in 1948 and 1967 and 1973, the man said no, so he asked him how did he explain such losses, the man was silent, he had no answers.

For much of the South, pre-ACW, losing to the North was literally inconceivable, there world view simply could not grasp such outcome as possible- let alone likely-
then they lost, and in trying to analyse, come to grips with such fact, you still see that world view leaking out, they were better, braver more "nobler" they should have won- just about the only "pro-north" factors they are/were willing to concede was that the North had more men and factories
   263. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4329703)
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).


It's easier to move a light infantry division quickly than it is to move a mechanized one.

As an aside, I was in the 101st during Desert Storm and one of our FOBs was named Bastogne. We had our
   264. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4329704)
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).


It's easier to move a light infantry division quickly than it is to move a mechanized one.

As an aside, I was in the 101st during Desert Storm and one of our FOBs was named Bastogne.
   265. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4329707)
(263) Strategically, not tactically. I just object to sending fine infantry into battle without armor and sufficient artillery.
   266. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4329708)
(263) Strategically, not tactically. I just object to sending fine infantry into battle without armor and sufficient artillery.

BTW, thank you for your service.
   267. Publius Publicola Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4329953)
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?


Snapper, I don't think the slapping incident was a joke. A commander who sends his troops into battle, risking their lives, must never appear to be insensitive or uncaring. For historical accuracy, Patton slapped not one but two soldiers (within a few days of one another), and the one in question had both dysentery and malaria. Regardless of how he felt internally, he should have controlled himself. It wasn't the first time, nor the last, that Patton displayed a lack of self-control. In one book I read of him, his annual review once said something like "This officer will prove to be a menace in peacetime and invaluable in wartime."

While we're on the subject of reviews, back when they actually meant something, when George Marshall was a young officer, one of the questions on the review form said "Would you be honored to have this officer serve under you?" and the reviewing officer wrote "It would be an honor if I could serve under him.".
   268. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4329960)
Snapper, I don't think the slapping incident was a joke. A commander who sends his troops into battle, risking their lives, must never appear to be insensitive or uncaring. For historical accuracy, Patton slapped not one but two soldiers (within a few days of one another), and the one in question had both dysentery and malaria. Regardless of how he felt internally, he should have controlled himself. It wasn't the first time, nor the last, that Patton displayed a lack of self-control. In one book I read of him, his annual review once said something like "This officer will prove to be a menace in peacetime and invaluable in wartime."

Sorry, I think it's a complete joke. It never hurt Patton's reputation with his troops; 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 was excatly the Patton touch; do you duty and he loves you and will safeguard your lives, disappoint him, and watch out.

I have never read a single account that an actual combat soldier under Patton was upset by the slapping incidents. His soldiers knew he cared about them b/c he disciplined them into elite soldiers, and fought in a way not to squander their lives.

I sure as hell rather fight under a general who'll curse me, and slap me and fight smart and get my ass home alive, than have a rah-rah session and a cup of tea with old Monty, before he sends us into another meatgrinder attack.
   269. Publius Publicola Posted: December 21, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4330003)
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.

   270. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4330012)
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.

I think it was a mistake, if he was actually really sick. But, a trivial mistake in the grand scheme of fighting a war.

Every officer who ordered a stupid attack, after failure was obvious, did something 1000X worse.
   271. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4330049)
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


That particular soldier was interviewed about it in the 60s- he mentioned that Patton actually apologized twice, once publicly and once privately- FWIW he believed that Patton's 2nd apology was sincere- the second one was prompted by Patton learning that the soldier had in fact been "physically" sick...

Patton was, among other things, someone for whom the non-physical was not real, there are still people like that- they refuse to accept any form of mental illness as a disability- To Patton a soldier who appeared uninjured, but was nonetheless at a hospital while his comrades were fighting and dying was a malingerer/coward... So he sees a soldier with no visible wounds, and asks him what he's doing there, and the guy (suffering from malaria and dysentery) says, "I don't know I can't take it any more"- Patton's mind simply shuts down and he becomes enraged. Had the soldier said, "I don't know, they say I have malaria..." Patton would likely have moved on without incident... that time.

   272. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4330058)
Sorry, I think it's a complete joke. It never hurt Patton's reputation with his troops; 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 was excatly the Patton touch; do you duty and he loves you and will safeguard your lives, disappoint him, and watch out.

I have never read a single account that an actual combat soldier under Patton was upset by the slapping incidents. His soldiers knew he cared about them b/c he disciplined them into elite soldiers, and fought in a way not to squander their lives.

I sure as hell rather fight under a general who'll curse me, and slap me and fight smart and get my ass home alive, than have a rah-rah session and a cup of tea with old Monty, before he sends us into another meatgrinder attack.


And what would have happened if Patton's impulses and behavior went unchecked? As some authors have speculated Patton was either experiencing exhaustion, battle fatigue, and or a nervous breakdown when the slapping incidents took place. Eisenhower reigned Patton in and made it clear that Patton's behavior was not tolerated. It appears, at least publicly, that Patton got the message and snapped too.
   273. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4330070)
Also the whole not finalizing orders thing on a 5 day cycle thing is just plain selfish and petty. Especially now since there are virtually no surprise moves or alliances out there. It's the end game and some player is still acting like there could be an October surprise out there. Come on.
   274. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4330071)
And what would have happened if Patton's impulses and behavior went unchecked? As some authors have speculated Patton was either experiencing exhaustion, battle fatigue, and or a nervous breakdown when the slapping incidents took place. Eisenhower reigned Patton in and made it clear that Patton's behavior was not tolerated. It appears, at least publicly, that Patton got the message and snapped too.

I don't think anything would have happened. If what you say is true (I've never seen evidence of that) he would have had plenty of time to rest between Sicily and the Normandy Landings.
   275. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4330076)
Also the whole not finalizing orders thing on a 5 day cycle thing is just plain selfish and petty. Especially now since there are virtually no surprise moves or alliances out there. It's the end game and some player is still acting like there could be an October surprise out there. Come on.

Are you talking to me? I've been finalizing well before the deadline. I finalized this turn the same day it started. Somebody else is the delay source.
   276. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4330087)
Are you talking to me?

Well, I'm talking to all but not talking about you.
   277. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4330096)
I don't think anything would have happened. If what you say is true (I've never seen evidence of that) he would have had plenty of time to rest between Sicily and the Normandy Landings.

Eisenhower and Patton's higher ups found out about it rather quickly and came down on Patton. What would have happened if instead of coming down on him they did nothing or they swept it under the rug? History is full of anecdotes of what happens when superiors do nothing. The outcome generally isn't pretty.

I can certainly understand that Patton's men looked up to him and thought the slapping incidents were trivial but they think that in part because he got caught, had to pay the price for it, and got attacked for doing so. If that doesn't happen and Patton keeps on belittling his men in that way things could have and probably would change.
   278. Morty Causa Posted: December 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4330106)
An officer slapping an enlisted man, for me, is like the no throwing games in baseball rule. That's a basic prohibition that cannot be questioned if you want to have an ordered organized endeavor. It goes to the heart of the integrity of the profession. Without the baseball rule you can’t have a game that gains respect and thus a wide interest. Without the no physical abuse...same thing. This wasn’t a new prohibition sprung on Patton after the fact; it goes back a long way, both in tradition and as expressed law. It's not only a nicety, and it isn’t about not being able to discipline soldiers or not being able to help soldiers. There are ways of doing both those things. It's about maintaining the illusion of a boundary between officers and soldiers based on mutual respect.

And I’m sure there were many soldiers who criticized, even abhorred, what Patton did. See Andy Rooney, for example. He spoke of it often. Sure, Rooney was a curmudgeon and something of a crank, but he served, received commendations, and I’m sure he represents a larger contingent than one.
   279. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4330108)
Well, I'm talking to all but not talking about you.

OK. Just wanted to be clear.
   280. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4330115)
Eisenhower and Patton's higher ups found out about it rather quickly and came down on Patton. What would have happened if instead of coming down on him they did nothing or they swept it under the rug? History is full of anecdotes of what happens when superiors do nothing. The outcome generally isn't pretty.

I can certainly understand that Patton's men looked up to him and thought the slapping incidents were trivial but they think that in part because he got caught, had to pay the price for it, and got attacked for doing so. If that doesn't happen and Patton keeps on belittling his men in that way things could have and probably would change.


They could have just reprimanded him privately, without sidelining him from command.

An officer slapping an enlisted man, for me, is like the no throwing games in baseball rule. That's a basic prohibition that cannot be questioned if you want to have an ordered organized endeavor. It goes to the heart of the integrity of the profession. Without the baseball rule you can’t have a game that gains respect and thus a wide interest. Without the no physical abuse...same thing. This wasn’t a new prohibition sprung on Patton after the fact; it goes back a long way, both in tradition and as expressed law. It's not only a nicety, and it isn’t about not being able to discipline soldiers or not being able to help soldiers. There are ways of doing both those things. It's about maintaining the illusion of a boundary between officers and soldiers based on mutual respect.

And I’m sure there were many soldiers who criticized, even abhorred, what Patton did. See Andy Rooney, for example. He spoke of it often. Sure, Rooney was a curmudgeon and something of a crank, but he served, received commendations, and I’m sure he represents a larger contingent than one.


Officers, and NCOs historically struck soldiers, especially if the were displaying what the officer felt was cowardice. Hell, in most European armies, an officer would shoot a soldier he thought was abandoning the front.

Rooney was a military journalist, not a combat soldier, and didn't serve under Patton. Lot's of people outside of Patton's command criticized him for all kinds of things, including his strict uniform regulations. His soldier loved him, either because or in spite of all his quirks. Mostly, other units resented Patton b/c his troops were simply better. Better led, better disciplined, and more effective.
   281. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4330125)
They could have just reprimanded him privately, without sidelining him from command.

Which command should he have been given? Between Sicily and D-Day what was he supposed to do and who was he supposed to command?
   282. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4330126)
Officers, and NCOs historically struck soldiers, especially if the were displaying what the officer felt was cowardice. Hell, in most European armies, an officer would shoot a soldier he thought was abandoning the front.

And by WWI the "European model" was shown to clearly not work.
   283. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4330132)

Which command should he have been given? Between Sicily and D-Day what was he supposed to do and who was he supposed to command?


He should have commanded the landing forces on D-Day. Troops under Patton get off those beaches and take Caen on the first day.

Montgomery was the absolute worst commander for an operation that required speed and urgency. Since Gallipoli, the British showed a horrible propensity to focus on beachhead security to the exclusion of getting off the beaches.
   284. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4330136)
And by WWI the "European model" was shown to clearly not work.

I'm not saying it's the best way, or the morally correct way, I'm just saying having officers strike troops doesn't preclude combat effectiveness. Hell, the Germans executed something like 50,000 soldiers for cowardice in WW2. Even that didn't stop their troops from being the most effective (man-for-man) of the war.

I'd rather have an abusive S.O.B., who wins battles and minimizes casualties, running my army, than a sweetheart, friend of man who's a tactical butcher.

MacArthur and Patton was S.O.B.s, and quite possibly crazy, but they won, and without a huge casualty list. 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.
   285. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4330172)
He should have commanded the landing forces on D-Day. Troops under Patton get off those beaches and take Caen on the first day.

And then run out of supplies and get entrapped.

Patton was an attacker who largely did not appreciate the realities of waging a war on limited supplies.
   286. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4330175)
MacArthur and Patton was S.O.B.s, and quite possibly crazy, but they won, and without a huge casualty list. 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.

At some point you have to take the ground the enemy is holding. That is true in all wars ever fought.
   287. Morty Causa Posted: December 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4330186)
Some soldiers loved him, some hated him. Remember the movie, how did the battle-torn infantryman put it: our blood, his glory. He was seen by many, even his own soldiers as a glory hound, and many didn't feel he had their best interests first and foremost. But, then, I'm sure the reply to that is, what good commander does? Still, this bears on how he was viewed.

I would also concede that it isn't as if Patton made a habit, before or after that incident, of doing physical abuse--although I think he did do something like that on another occasion. Anecotally, my father served with Patton during WWII and loved him, and the Scott movie was his favorite movie. As I remember, he just shrugged off that incident in question.

Both you and I and everyone knows that Patton's action was not by any interpretation universally condoned, much less admired, and it wasn't just journalists and politicians and those who disliked him in the military who condemned what he did, although, you know, journalist can ask questions and interview soldiers to find out things, and often do. I wouldn't entirely write off their opionions in favor of someone who was immediately and severely reprimanded by his superiors--and just as many of his peers thought MacArthur insubordinate in Korea (including Ike and MArshall), many thought Patton had definitely crossed the line here. It was not arguable. Andrew Jackson would probably have hung that soldier, but that is totally immaterial to what the standard was in the American military at the time and what it had been for quite a while. I could, I sure, find soldiers who went on record as not liking what he did, but I think it would be a snipe hunt, so I'm not going to waste my time.
   288. Morty Causa Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4330198)
At some point you have to take the ground the enemy is holding. That is true in all wars ever fought.


But some commanders are much better about deciding what's small stuff that will fall into place if you take care of what reallyh matters. MacArthur was particularly savvy about his. He had served in the trenches in WWI, had led from the front, as they say, and he abhored that sort of static confrontation.

Many commanders get into a mindset that battles are to proceed according to a ceremony. It takes a special officer to break that mindset, to realize he doesn't have to dance with his opposition. Patton was of the best of that first type, MacArthur of the second. Comparing it to a boxing match, Patton (and his type is much more prevalent) would have gloried in fighting according to the rules of Maquis de Queensbury and beating you fair and square. He loved that. MacArthur grew to essentially hate war. He did love winning, however. MacArthur would have said to the opposing fighter (if he could have gotten away with it), oh, look, your boots unlaced, and when the guy looks down he would have broke a beer mug over his head or shot him with a concealed derringer and walked away unscathed. He didn't see a batttle or was as this glorious ritual that was set in stone as to how you behaved. (It's just an analogy.)
   289. Publius Publicola Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4330206)
Lot's of people outside of Patton's command criticized him for all kinds of things, including his strict uniform regulations.


It would be unusual for a subordinate to openly criticize a superior officer, even after he left the unit. Especially someone famous like Patton. A few do though, usually after a particularly egregious incident. Hackworth was very critical of one of his CO's while he was in Vietnam.

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.


I don't agree with this either. The islands Nimitz was tasked with taking (and let's not forget that all of Nimitz' operational plans had to be approved from above) all had specific strategic objectives. Because of the nature of the area of operation, Nimitz had less tactical flexibility than MacArthur because the land masses that constituted his objectives were both smaller and more dispersed. When you're attacking a place like Iwo Jima, there is no place you can unload your landing force without being in range of enemy guns. They bombed the #### out of the place for weeks prior and made little impression.

Additionally, Nimitz island hopped too. He bypassed Wake, for instance, because it had little strategic value.

Finally, the islands Nimitz took all had strategic value. Iwo, for instance, had to be taken because there were too many bombers that were dropping into the ocean after runs at Japan and the distance between Japan and Saipan stretched the range of the bombers. The crews of those bombers would vigorously disagree with you that it served no strategic purpose.
   290. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4330209)
At some point you have to take the ground the enemy is holding. That is true in all wars ever fought.

Nope. Lots of times you can go around, cut them off and wait for them to surrender. MacArthur bypassed hundreds of thousands of dug-in Japanese troops.

Both you and I and everyone knows that Patton's action was not by any interpretation universally condoned, much less admired, and it wasn't just journalists and politicians and those who disliked him in the military who condemned what he did, although, you know, journalist can ask questions and interview soldiers to find out things, and often do. I wouldn't entirely write off their opionions in favor of someone who was immediately and severely reprimanded by his superiors--and just as many of his peers thought MacArthur insubordinate in Korea (including Ike and MArshall), many thought Patton had definitely crossed the line here. It was not arguable. Andrew Jackson would probably have hung that soldier, but that is totally immaterial to what the standard was in the American military at the time and what it had been for quite a while. I could, I sure, find soldiers who went on record as not liking what he did, but I think it would be a snipe hunt, so I'm not going to waste my time.

He clearly crossed the line, I'm not saying he didn't. But, in the context of fighting WW2, it was so minor, it should have been treated as irrelevent. Reprimand him privately, tell him not to do it again, and move on.
   291. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4330217)
I don't agree with this either. The islands Nimitz was tasked with taking (and let's not forget that all of Nimitz' operational plans had to be approved from above) all had specific strategic objectives. Because of the nature of the area of operation, Nimitz had less tactical flexibility than MacArthur because the lands masses that constituted his objectives were both smaller and more dispersed. When you're attacking a place like Iwo Jima, there is not place you can unload your landing force without being in range of enemy guns. They bombed the #### out of the place for weeks prior and made little impression.

Additionally, Nimitz island hopped too. He let Wake alone, for instance, because it had little strategic value.

Finally, the islands Nimitz took all had strategic value. Iwo, for instance, had to be taken because there were too many bombers that were dropping into the ocean after runs at Japan and the distance between Japan and Saipan stretched the range of the bombers. The crews of those bombers would vigorously disagree with you that it served no strategic purpose.


I repeat, those island were completely unecessary to the U.S. offensive. Everything they achieved could have been achieved by the SW Pacific offensive through New Guinea and the Philippines. The Japanese were beaten by cutting them off from the East Indies, and destroying their merchant marine via the sub campaign. Even the mass bombings achieved very little, until the shock of the second A-bomb.

In any case, more men died taking Iwo than total bomber crews that landed. Most of that same life saving could have been achieve with a picket line of submarines in a known location where crews could ditch.

Quite frankly, the U.S. would have been MUCH better off in both Europe and Pacific if all the strategic bombers had been used for tactical purposes under Army and Navy operational control.

Strategic bombing was a largely ineffective waste of resources and men, and perilously close to a war crime.
   292. Morty Causa Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4330226)

Nimitz of course had great input into how the navy and marines fought their part of the war, and he was the operational commander of the greatest naval war in history, but let's not forget the chief of naval operations, King. Now that was a hard ass. FDR once said that King probably shaved with a blow torch, and King's own daughter once commented that her father had a perfectly even temper--he was always in a rage. For Guadalcanal King had gone to Marshall and explained what they intended to do. Marshall started to object, saying that he didn't think it would work, and King interpreted him: I'm not asking your permission. We're doing this, you want in or don't you? When King and Marshall had gone to the British with the idea of doing D-Day at the end of 1942, the British ####. Their experience and quick thinking got it postponed, first until the end of '43, but King let them know in no uncertain terms that if they didn't want to fight, he was taking all of "his" navy to the Pacific. Churchill would never have put up with anyone in the British military talking to him the way King did (Marshall was more diplomatic), but he had to stuff it. King hated the English. I don't think anyone really knows why.
   293. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4330232)
But some commanders are much better about deciding what's small stuff that will fall into place if you take care of what reallyh matters. MacArthur was particularly savvy about his. He had served in the trenches in WWI, had led from the front, as they say, and he abhored that sort of static confrontation.

Many commanders get into a mindset that battles are to proceed according to a ceremony. It takes a special officer to break that mindset, to realize he doesn't have to dance with his opposition. Patton was of the best of that first type, MacArthur of the second. Comparing it to a boxing match, Patton (and his type is much more prevalent) would have gloried in fighting according to the rules of Maquis de Queensbury and beating you fair and square. He loved that. MacArthur grew to essentially hate war. He did love winning, however. MacArthur would have said to the opposing fighter (if he could have gotten away with it), oh, look, your boots unlaced, and when the guy looks down he would have broke a beer mug over his head or shot him with a concealed derringer and walked away unscathed. He didn't see a batttle or was as this glorious ritual that was set in stone as to how you behaved. (It's just an analogy.)


I don't see Patton as bound by any set of rules either. In Sicily he completely disregarded the plan to execute his end run.

I think it is important that both Patton and MacArthur saw heavy combat in WWI. Their methods showed a disdain for frontal attacks and slogging.

Also, both were conspiculously physically brave. Both exposed themselves to fire when vsisiting front line troops.
   294. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4330235)
Nope. Lots of times you can go around, cut them off and wait for them to surrender.

Go around to where? Again, at some point you have to take the enemy's ground. You in fact are advocating taking the enemy's ground. Why would the Japanese surrender? That wasn't something the Japanese did often. Cutting them off and simply waiting for them to do something they very rarely did has its costs and dangers. There aren't too many commanders in this world that would leave that many enemy soldiers and combat vehicles in there rear and in their supply lines. Your strategy would not only leave them there, force the US and its allies to spend resources making sure those enemies stay on the island and are neutralized, but also force the US and its allies to extend their supply lines to attack even more formidable defenses. I don't see that as viable.

Many commanders get into a mindset that battles are to proceed according to a ceremony. It takes a special officer to break that mindset, to realize he doesn't have to dance with his opposition. Patton was of the best of that first type, MacArthur of the second. Comparing it to a boxing match, Patton (and his type is much more prevalent) would have gloried in fighting according to the rules of Maquis de Queensbury and beating you fair and square. He loved that. MacArthur grew to essentially hate war. He did love winning, however. MacArthur would have said to the opposing fighter (if he could have gotten away with it), oh, look, your boots unlaced, and when the guy looks down he would have broke a beer mug over his head or shot him with a concealed derringer and walked away unscathed. He didn't see a batttle or was as this glorious ritual that was set in stone as to how you behaved. (It's just an analogy.)

MacArthur for the most part was a Napoleon/Civil War general. He liked to fight positional battles and that for the most part wouldn't really work on the Western Front. You can't outflank your enemy on the Western Front but when dealing with the Pacific Ocean and SE Asia that option was always available.
   295. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4330242)
Nimitz of course had great input into how the navy and marines fought their part of the war, and he was the operatonal commander of the greatest naval war in history, but let's not forget the chief of naval operations, King. Now that was a hard ass. FDR once said that King probably shaved with a blow torch, and King's own daughter once commented that her father had a perfectly even temper--he was always in a rage. For Guadacanal King had gone to Marshall and explained what they intended to do. Marshall started to object, saying that he didn't think it would work, and King interpreted him: I'm not asking your permission. We're doing this, you want in or don't you? When King and Marshall had gone to the British with the idea of doing D-Day at the end of 1942, the British ####. Their experience and quick thinking got it postponed, first until the end of '43, but King let them know in no uncertain terms that if they didn't want to fight, he was taking all of "his" navy to the Pacific. Churchill would never have put up with anyone in the British military talking to him the way King did (Marshall was more diplomatic), but he had to stuff it. King hated the English. I don't think anyone really knows why.

True. King and the whole navy hierarchy probably deserve more blame than Nimitz.

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.
   296. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4330243)
He clearly crossed the line, I'm not saying he didn't. But, in the context of fighting WW2, it was so minor, it should have been treated as irrelevent. Reprimand him privately, tell him not to do it again, and move on.

Which they probably would have done if Patton had the good sense not to do this in front of journalists but he did do it in front of journalists so it could not stay hushed up.
   297. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4330248)
I think it is important that both Patton and MacArthur saw heavy combat in WWI. Their methods showed a disdain for frontal attacks and slogging.

Tell that to the men who in Lorraine.
   298. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4330252)
Go around to where? Again, at some point you have to take the enemy's ground. You in fact are advocating taking the enemy's ground. Why would the Japanese surrender? That wasn't something the Japanese did often. Cutting them off and simply waiting for them to do something they very rarely did has its costs and dangers. There aren't too many commanders in this world that would leave that many enemy soldiers and combat vehicles in there rear and in their supply lines. Your strategy would not only leave them there, force the US and its allies to spend resources making sure those enemies stay on the island and are neutralized, but also force the US and its allies to extend their supply lines to attack even more formidable defenses. I don't see that as viable.

Well, in the Pacific MacArthur left hundreds of thousands of Japanese cut off on islands. He did exactly what you say he couldn't, at Rabaul, Truk, and dozens of other places. They all surrendered after the war ended, with approx. zero loss of Allied life.

MacArthur for the most part was a Napoleon/Civil War general. He liked to fight positional battles and that for the most part wouldn't really work on the Western Front. You can't outflank your enemy on the Western Front but when dealing with the Pacific Ocean and SE Asia that option was always available.

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.

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.
   299. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4330257)
Tell that to the men who in Lorraine.

He shouldn't have launched that offensive, just like Bradley should never have attacked in the Huertgen Forest.

I'm not saying he was perfect, just the best the Allies had in Europe. MacArthur and Slim were equally good in Asia.
   300. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 21, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4330259)
Which they probably would have done if Patton had the good sense not to do this in front of journalists but he did do it in front of journalists so it could not stay hushed up.

Journalists reported only what the military allowed in WW2.
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