American War Time Mistakes

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Trip_Wire, Dec 18, 2007.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

  2. Isn't hindsight great. Makes every analyst appear to be an expert.
  3. Jimmy Carter makes a start at the end of the first paragraph I see. It's late here and I am going to devote some proper reading time to this tomorrow.
  4. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. A quick point about his claim that Market Garden diverted U.S. resources - not strictly true. The Brits had there own version of the red ball express and this wasn't significantly increased at the outset of that op. at the expense of the yanks.
    Go to say though that this guy has a bit of needless inferiority complex which seems unusual in an american...american gear and know how isnt as bad as he makes out.
  5. It's not that bad, just that the author's hindsight sometimes gets in the way of what actually happened - for instance, over-simplifying the MiG-15/F-86 issue.

    To begin with, the F-80 was vastly superior to the North Korean AF, which was to all intents and purposes wiped out. When MiG-15s arrived on scene, F-86s were sent out; the problem in this regard wasn't the lack of preparedness he suggests, rather Korea was given a lower priority than defence of CONUS, which left some USAF units in Korea operating F-80s (and F-84s) for longer than was desirable - the likely weaknesses of the F-80 against newer enemy jets was appreciated (albeit the qualitiative superiority of the MiG-15 was a surprise).

    Likewise, the 1942-43 bomber offensive wasn't just for dogmatic reasons - it was a demonstration to Stalin of commitment, not some token effort to win the war from the air. The B-17 was given much heavier armament once the lessons of RAF daylight raids were taken on board; but once it was clear escort fighters were required, there was little that could be done other than to continue, apart from the politically unacceptable step of ending attacks on Germany.
  6. It's an interesting article with some valid points but even more invalid points.

    I may be the only one but I look at Iraq as a huge military success. Think about it. Quarter million multinational troops invade, wipe out defenders in 21 days. Encounter an insurgency aided with training, ammo, and weapons from a hostile neighbor.

    Fight a raging house to house insurgency with an non-uniformed enemy all the while in the middle of a civil war in a sprawling urban pop center and only incur some 4000 combined losses in both combat and non-combat incidents over a 5 year period from around 300,000 to 400,000 troops. That's not exactly militarily significant losses, propaganda losses sure, political losses definitely.

    Compared to the other wars mentioned in the article, Iraq, militarily is a success so far and the losses there are a fraction of losses in the others.

    While I don't view losses as a statistic, I am fully aware that every single one of those soldiers is a real person with a real mother/wife/child that is the business we were/are in.

    I don't see that part as a military blunder as I do the abu garab photos, cia torture leaks, and rendition propaganda leaks and utter failure to communicate progression and wins as much as the enemy has. Unless I missed it, I don't think he makes any mention of those.

    It also fails to mention the innovations to combat the insurgency and notes only the progressions in tactics by the enemy. Every soldier knows if the enemy is changing his tactics, then yours are working.

    He does go on to say this, which I agree with:

    The writer also goes on to discuss the western "instant gratification" culture expecting Iraq to turn into Dubai overnight.

    Interesting article indeed.
  7. Lets not forget when the US Army gave blankets infected with Typhoid to the native americans and sat back and watched, so little has changed!

    Agent Orange in Vietnam, a great success story! NOT!

    And GW2 with three weeks of preperation! And years to count the cost!

    Or are the above the way NOT to do it? :wink:
  8. What a thoughtful contribution. Thank you for that.
  9. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP


    Some reading for you!

    Here's a quote:

    "Fact is, on at least one occasion a high-ranking European considered infecting the Indians with smallpox as a tactic of war. I'm talking about Lord Jeffrey Amherst, commander of British forces in North America during the French and Indian War (1756-'63). Amherst and a subordinate discussed, apparently seriously, sending infected blankets to hostile tribes. What's more, we've got the documents to prove it, thanks to the enterprising research of Peter d'Errico, legal studies professor at the University of Massachusetts at (fittingly) Amherst. D'Errico slogged through hundreds of reels of microfilmed correspondence looking for the smoking gun, and he found it.

    The exchange took place during Pontiac's Rebellion, which broke out after the war, in 1763. Forces led by Pontiac, a chief of the Ottawa who had been allied with the French, laid siege to the English at Fort Pitt."

    As far as I can determine it's an one of those 'Urban Legends.'
  10. I'm sure British wisdom, a couple thousand years of feudal law and religious intolerance doesn't sound like you calling the kettle black or anything.

    As far as native Americans are concerned, many now run casinos and the tribes are making millions. It may not seem like a lot, but it is at the very least an effort towards reparations. Besides, my family immigrated here well after that. What is it exactly that I owe?

    Agent orange was a defoliant and alleged that at the time the effects were not known to harm people. If it were the case, I doubt they would have had our own guys walking thru the stuff.

    I can't really debate you on your third point a whole bunch. While if I really try and stretch it I can see a strategic reason for wanting to invade Iraq (Keeping US forces in saudi arabia is worse), proximity to Iran, Russia, and other "Evil Doers" etc.

    I do however agree that there was either no plan, a very poorly thought out plan, or a bunch of monkeys throwing their own feces at a wall of ideas and they went with what stuck.
  11. How can Iraq be a 'success' in light of what we know of WMD and as it's still very much a work in progress, you t!t! :evil:
  12. Questionable whether the infected blankets episode is more or less acceptable in the light of the prevailing consensus at the time that the natives were regarded as little more than inconvenient red vermin? Are we trying to impose PC 21st century rights and liberties values? Other groups were starved, massacred or otherwise eliminated as required. If you want to apply modern terms, it was ethnic cleansing. Simply, ‘you were here, we are now here, and we want you gone or kissing our butts for next to free - as we decide’. And, if this appears abhorrent, then history clearly shows much of the distribution of the world was achieved by conquest and domination. Nowadays we have rules, media and a pretence the whole planet is up to speed according to ‘our’ engine.

    The casinos are on ‘native homelands’, aka reservations. Scrubby, poor, backwater patches which were neither prime location, prime agricultural nor mineral rich. They’re just concentration camps, in the original context, on a grand scale. I believe they still top the league for teenage suicides?

    The original article of this thread is not generally wrong, if unpopular, and perhaps another observation of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ in the American psyche. The same as with interpretations of Nietzsche and the nazis philosophy, ‘we’, the All American, are superior, and ‘you’, those who we do not consider All American, are inferior. The attitude, while probably not the healthiest and by no means unique to Americans, doesn’t innately kill people until it manifests itself in consequential aggression or ‘fine tuning’ of social composition.