An Odd Thought on the American Military
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04-07-2013, 01:02 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013 01:06 PM by JAH.)
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
Carlo, I think you fall into the trap of conventional thinking which I would argue is the flaw of both the US government and its military. Some 13,000 paratroops were flow in on D-Day, what if instead they were landed in a less defended local and secured it for the landing later of the allied armies.

I do not pretend that I know all of the possibilities but I will contend that the Normandy invasion was an exercise in power not one of subtilty and cunning. That will remain my point.

As an odd historical fact the only general who landed with the troops on D-Day was Theodore Roosevelt Jr. The only time I know of that a person of the ruling class put themselves in harms way during that war.
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04-07-2013, 01:15 PM
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(04-07-2013 01:02 PM)JAH Wrote:  Carlo, I think you fall into the trap of conventional thinking which I would argue is the flaw of both the US government and its military.

Do you really think Supreme Allied Command didn't investigate every option available to them?

(04-07-2013 01:02 PM)JAH Wrote:  Some 13,000 paratroops were flow in on D-Day, what if instead they were landed in a less defended local and secured it for the landing later of the allied armies.

That's exactly what they did. This strategy is limited by the end of the sentence - "secure it for the later landing". Therefore it must be deployed in a location where that follow-up is fast enough and powerful enough to accomplish something. If the supply lines were any farther than the north of France this would have been impossible (witness Market Garden).

(04-07-2013 01:02 PM)JAH Wrote:  I do not pretend that I know all of the possibilities but I will contend that the Normandy invasion was an exercise in power not one of subtlety and cunning. That will remain my point.

Landing in Normandy instead of Calais was a stroke of subtlety and cunning. Likewise the incredible lengths of deception and misinformation the Allies engaged in...

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04-07-2013, 01:22 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2013 01:26 PM by Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver.)
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(04-07-2013 01:02 PM)JAH Wrote:  Carlo, I think you fall into the trap of conventional thinking which I would argue is the flaw of both the US government and its military. Some 13,000 paratroops were flow in on D-Day, what if instead they were landed in a less defended local and secured it for the landing later of the allied armies.

I do not pretend that I know all of the possibilities but I will contend that the Normandy invasion was an exercise in power not one of subtilty and cunning. That will remain my point.

As an odd historical fact the only general who landed with the troops on D-Day was Theodore Roosevelt Jr. The only time I know of that a person of the ruling class put themselves in harms way during that war.

Well, 1) You're going to have to point out a less defended area for the Allied forces to land based on available intelligence about Nazi Atlantic Wall defenses. Also, 2) it has to be a location where it's easy to land Tanks, IFVs, heavy earth moving equipment and all the logistic gear required to secure a beach head and use for a base of operations to conduct a long term land war campaign against an enemy equipped with large amounts of infantry and armor quickly available to it.

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04-07-2013, 03:53 PM
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(04-07-2013 11:09 AM)JAH Wrote:  Vietnam was the time when I began to understand our military was flawed. They tried to fight a guerrilla war with conventional tactics and lost. They did not know their own history.

I have often wondered at the reasoning for the frontal assault on the beaches at Normandy. There were other softer targets to invade. The US and British military made a point of not understanding proper tactics but chose to offer up soldiers for death to prove a point.

I raise this not because I agree with what we our using our military around the world for and might suggest that they improve their tactics. I do so because the US and its military forget their own history.

When you wage war against a united community (no matter how venal that unity is forged) one must use subtilty and stealth. The US in its foreign intrusions and with its military ignores its own history.
I cut out the part referring to the American revolutionary war as I am admittedly ignorant there and such have little to say.

Vietnam is an interesting case. The main reason for loss there, so far as I have found, was not the Vietcong themselves, so much as the fact that villages kept them fed and secure and villagers swelled their ranks constantly, their losses were easily sustainable. The American forces likely could have been easily maintained for a number of years more. However, the government had been promising that it was winning; with the Tet offensive that was shown to be false and the American public wasn't putting up with that kinda of bullshit. The conventional mass force of the US military might well have succeeded had popular support not dropped to near 0.
Interestingly enough, Australian forces were more successful than the Americans in Vietnam, generally citing the Australian military having a decent history of dealing with jungle and guerrilla warfare, which the US seemed to lack, or at least, they didn't learn.

As for Normandy, it was the best target of opportunity available to the allies at the time. It was close to England; quick for the navy forces and well within range of aerial combat groups stationed with the RAF (without air cover, the landings would most certainly have been a failure, or a Pyrrhic victory at the very best), also it had to be close for efficient supply-lines and quick reinforcements. It was also relatively devoid of German units, many of which had, due to Allied fake messages, been sent to the northern countries or further south where Hitler had been given the impression that assaults might appear. Also, at the time of the Landings on the several beaches, Paratroopers were deployed in German territory to secure French towns, bridges, deal with local artillery emplacements and so on. It was a target ripe for the picking for all military groups in a combines effort.

As far as I am aware, the United States has always implemented mass military tactics; if it involves a lot of bodies and guns, fairly sure the US will have done it at one point or another. You have to give the US military credit here, when it comes to conventional warfare with a massed, combined military, they have it down pat. Anti-insurgency tactics needs work, most certainly.

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04-07-2013, 04:34 PM
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
OK I give on Normandy, although I reserve the right to respectively disagree.

I also acknowledge that the majority of responders seem to agree that the US uses military power in ways that are self defeating and without knowledge of their own history both political and militarily. Is that an inappropriate conclusion.

Oh and by the way "don't panic".
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05-07-2013, 08:08 AM
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(04-07-2013 04:34 PM)JAH Wrote:  OK I give on Normandy, although I reserve the right to respectively disagree.

You can disagree, but the Normandy landings took place in the only possible location. It was the least heavily defended location that was still within their logistical range - meaning air cover from English airbases (carrier-based aviation being woefully inadequate, even if they had pulled every carrier from the pacific), and a short enough turnaround on naval supply delivery (a couple days, to load, cross, unload, and recross the English channel).

The "fuck it, do it live" plan was Sledgehammer. Once the British recovered their composure they quickly pointed out the many, many ways it would have failed.

(04-07-2013 04:34 PM)JAH Wrote:  I also acknowledge that the majority of responders seem to agree that the US uses military power in ways that are self defeating and without knowledge of their own history both political and militarily. Is that an inappropriate conclusion.

Oh and by the way "don't panic".

Well, sure. They're only human. And there's not much cause for introspection and re-examination when you're winning.

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08-07-2013, 04:01 AM
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(04-07-2013 12:18 PM)Julius Wrote:  
(04-07-2013 11:48 AM)Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver Wrote:  What we need to do is adopt a more libertarian view on foreign policy. Worry about out own business. Try and conduct economic trade with other countries and stop trying to play globocop. And if you do go to war, do it because it is absolutely necessary and do it to kill and end the conflict as quickly as possible.

I agree 100%, but I doubt it's going to happen anytime soon. I think the United States has been infected with some kind of "Glory of War" disease.
I think "glory of war" should be renamed with "business of war".

However business itself is kind of glorified in the U.S.
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08-07-2013, 04:22 AM
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(08-07-2013 04:01 AM)Juv Wrote:  
(04-07-2013 12:18 PM)Julius Wrote:  I agree 100%, but I doubt it's going to happen anytime soon. I think the United States has been infected with some kind of "Glory of War" disease.
I think "glory of war" should be renamed with "business of war".

However business itself is kind of glorified in the U.S.

I agree...in this country war is seen as Business and Glory.

I'd like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from America's most ruthless Army General (William Tecumseh Sherman):

"I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine.
It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard
the shrieks and groans of the wounded
who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.
War is hell."
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09-07-2013, 01:49 PM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2013 01:53 PM by OneBlueSky.)
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(08-07-2013 04:22 AM)Julius Wrote:  I agree...in this country war is seen as Business and Glory.

I'd like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from America's most ruthless Army General (William Tecumseh Sherman):

"I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine.
It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard
the shrieks and groans of the wounded
who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.
War is hell."

It's terrible. War has gone from being viewed as a "necessary evil" and only a last resort when all other means fail, to something that is a HUGE business and makes "heroes"... furthering the nasty business of making it seem okay. It's even "entertainment" in the news now. All the flashy graphics and documentation of war machines and what type of multi-million dollar go-fast toy is dropping bombs on goodness knows who for quite often no real, good reason... It seems like it's just sort of a knee jerk reaction now. Anything that isn't liked or if anything is desired, war/violence/drones are the immediate answer. If you go against it or even want some sort of valid reasoning, you're somehow a sort of anti-American evil terrorist piece of trash. If you are all about it and are all about the kill count, you're a patriot.

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09-07-2013, 02:40 PM
RE: An Odd Thought on the American Military
(04-07-2013 11:09 AM)JAH Wrote:  Vietnam was the time when I began to understand our military was flawed. They tried to fight a guerrilla war with conventional tactics and lost. They did not know their own history.

We lost 58,193 combatants. The North Vietnamese lost over 1,100,000 combatants. It was hardly a militaristic victory for the Vietnamese.

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