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From Pearl Harbor to the Eastern Front to Korea – the lessons of history

by Speranza ( 137 Comments › )
Filed under China, France, Germany, History, Japan, Military, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, United Nations, World War II at December 23rd, 2012 - 8:00 pm

VDH analyzes three pivotal events in the 20th century. I am glad to see that he recognizes the German failure to win the war against the U.S.S.R. in 1941 was largely due to the fact that  they lacked motorized transport – something that so many people ignore or are ignorant of.  Also Hitler never factored in the notion that the RedA rmy would fight a lot harder on its own territory then it would in Finland. As for Korea he points out that we were fortunate to have had Matthew B. Ridgway replace the shell shocked Douglas MacArthur (Ridgway, not David Petraeus) was our greatest commander since World War II.

by Victor Davis Hanson

From time to time, I take a break from opinion writing here at Works and Days[1] and turn to history — on this occasion, I am prompted by the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Here are a few of the most common questions that I have encountered while teaching the wars of the 20th century over the last twenty years.

I. Pearl Harbor — December 7, 1941

Q. Why did the Japanese so foolishly attack Pearl Harbor?

A. The Japanese did not see it as foolish at all. What in retrospect seems suicidal did not necessarily seem so at the time. In hindsight, the wiser Japanese course would have been to absorb the orphaned colonial Far Eastern possessions of France, the Netherlands, and Great Britain that were largely defenseless after June 1941. By carefully avoiding the Philippines and Pearl Harbor, the Japanese might have inherited the European colonial empire in the Pacific without starting a war with the United States. And had the Japanese and Germans coordinated strategy, the two might have attacked Russia simultaneously in June 1941 without prompting a wider war with the United States, or in the case of Japan, an immediate conflict necessarily with Great Britain.

But in the Japanese view, the Soviets had proved stubborn opponents in a series of border wars, and it was felt wiser to achieve a secure rear in Manchuria to divert attention to the west (the Russians, in fact, honored their non-aggression pact with the Japanese until late 1945) — especially given the fact that the Wehrmacht in December 1941 seemed likely to knock the Soviet Union out of the war in a few weeks or by early 1942.

In the Japanese mind, the moment was everything: it was high time to get in on the easy pickings in the Pacific before Germany ended the war altogether.

While the United States had belatedly begun rearming in the late 1930s, the Japanese were still convinced that in a naval war, their ships, planes, and personnel were at least as modern and plentiful, if not more numerous and qualitatively better than what was available to the United States. [......]

Japanese intelligence about American productive potential was about as limited as German knowledge of the Soviet Union. In Tokyo’s view, if Japanese naval forces took out the American Pacific carriers at Pearl Harbor, there was simply no way for America, at least in the immediate future, to contradict any of their Pacific agendas. Nor on December 7 could the Japanese even imagine that Germany might lose the war on the eastern front; more likely, Hitler seemed about to take Moscow, ending the continental ground conflict in Eurasia, and allowing him at last to finish off Great Britain. Britain’s fall, then, would mean that everything from India to Burma would soon be orphaned in the Pacific, and Japan would only have to deal with a vastly crippled and solitary United States. In short, for the Japanese, December 1941 seemed a good time to attack the United States — a provocation that would either likely be negotiated or end in a military defeat for the U.S.

II. The Russian Front — June 22, 1941

Q. Why did the Germans attack the Soviet Union so recklessly at a time when they had all but won the war?

A. Once more, what seems foolhardy to us may not have seemed so to Nazi Germany[3]. True, the Germans each month were receiving generously priced Soviet products, many on credit; but Hitler (wrongly) felt that he could nevertheless steal food, fuel, and raw materials from the east more cheaply than buying them. And while the Germans were paranoid about opening a two-front war — like the one that had plagued them between late 1914 and 1917 — Hitler argued that the western front was all but somnolent. British strategic bombing in 1941, remember, was still mostly erratic and ineffective.

In any case, Hitler was more paranoid about a British embargo and blockade that might cut off fuel and food in the manner of 1918; with the acquisition of the great natural reserves of the Soviet Union, especially its Caucasian oil, the Nazis believed that they would become immune from the effects of a maritime blockade.

In addition, the war was never intended to be entirely rational in the purely strategic sense; instead, it was seen also as a National Socialist ideological crusade in which the complete destruction or enslavement of Europe’s supposed Untermenschen was impossible without access to the huge populations of Jews and Slavs in Russia. To Hitler, Marxism was a Jewish perversity and Operation Barbarossa meant that he could kill two birds with one stone. The perverse notion that a Germany with 30% more territory and a population of 80 million — similar to its population today — still could not live without “Lebensraum” apparently appealed to many German elites who had visions of eastern estates and baronies, worked by serfs, with vacation trips on super-autobahns to the Crimean beaches — at least if all that cost only a month of war.

[........]There was no reason to believe that the United States would enter the war; if America had not declared war to aid Britain, it most certainly would not do so to save the communist Soviet Union.

Moreover, the German army had proved almost superhuman in its invasion of Poland and Western Europe; even the messy conflicts in the Balkans, Crete, and the recent deployments to North Africa had not slowed the Wehrmacht’s progress. Hitler, just to be sure, took no chances and assembled the largest invasion force the world had yet seen, over three million Germans and 500,000 allies. Operation Barbarossa was truly a multilateral effort, with contingents from most of Eastern Europe, Spain, and Italy joining the German effort. [......]Such technological superiority blinded Hitler to the reality that there were few modern roads in Russia, and most of the invasion would still be powered by horses, with inadequate air, train, and truck transport.

Still, in contrast to Germany’s string of successes, the Soviet Union’s recent military record was dismal. Stalin had liquidated many of the officer class (although not as large a percentage as was once thought). The Red Army had not performed well in carving up Poland in September 1939 and appeared almost incompetent in the early stages of the Soviet invasion of Finland in late 1939 (Hitler foolishly did not distinguish between the Red Army when fighting on home soil and when it was deployed abroad). [......] Given poor German intelligence about the quality and production of Russian artillery, tank (cf. the new T-34[4] that was about to go into full production), and aircraft, the Germans assumed that Russia would fall rather easily — relying on a comparative World War I calculus. France had held out for four years, while Russia had fallen in about three; thus, the next time around in 1940, France’s fall in about seven weeks suggested a Russian collapse in about four.

Japan, at war in the east with Russia during 1938-1939, had felt betrayed when its Axis partner had signed without warning the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, effectively ensuring the Soviets could focus on one front against the Japanese. A defeated Japan repaid the treachery in kind, by signing a similar neutrality pact with Russia in April 1941. That bargain assured Stalin, in turn, that the Soviets would have only a one-front war should Hitler break his agreements — a fact that might have saved Moscow as reinforcements from the east poured in.

In short, had Hitler maintained his pact with Stalin and focused instead on North Africa and the Persian Gulf oil fields, perhaps in conjunction with the Japanese advancing toward India and Suez, Great Britain would have probably lost the war. But by invading Russia, and declaring war on the United States on December 11 (when Army Group Center seemed on the verge of taking Moscow, when Japan seemingly had destroyed the Pacific fleet and had ensured both Britain and America a two-front war, and when U-boat commanders assured the Nazi high command that with free rein to attack the East Coast of the United States they could destroy the shipping lanes of the convoy system between North America and Great Britain), Hitler chose about the only two courses of action that could have lost him the war.

III. A Divided Korea?

Q. Why did the United States stop after spring 1951 at the 38th Parallel, thereby ensuring a subsequent sixty-year Cold War and resulting in chronic worries about a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons and poised to invade its neighbor to the south?

A. Americans were haunted by the nightmare of November 1950 to February 1951. After the brilliant Inchon invasion, and MacArthur’s inspired rapid advance to the Yalu River and the Chinese border, the sudden entrance of an initial quarter-million Chinese Red Army troops, with hundreds of thousands to follow, had sent the Americans reeling hundreds of miles to the south (in the longest retreat in American military history), back across the 38th Parallel, with Seoul soon being lost to the communists yet again. Matthew Ridgway had arrived in December 1950 to try to save the war, and had done just that by April 1951, when he was replaced as senior ground commander by Gen. Van Fleet and in turn took over the theater command from the relieved MacArthur. But the Americans had been permanently traumatized by the Chinese entry and the North Korean recovery after the all-but-declared American victory of October 1950.

Ridgway, after the UN forces’ amazing recovery in early 1951, was in no mood to go much farther across the 38th Parallel. From his study of MacArthur’s debacle in Fall 1950, he knew well that the peninsula in the north became more rugged and expansive and would swallow thousands of troops as they neared the Chinese and Russian borders, and had to be supplied from hundreds of miles to the rear. [.......]

Moreover, the UN coalition had been created under quasi-coercive premises in Fall 1950. The war was seen as about over, and allied deployment might well amount to only garrison duty. European participation in Korea was also predicated on ensuring an American commitment to keeping the Soviets out of Western Europe. But by the time UN troops arrived in Korea, the Chinese were invading and slaughtering the coalition in the retreat to the south. Most European participants simply wanted a truce at any cost and an end to the war.

Further, the U.S. had been drawn into a depressing propaganda war. We were responsible for rebirthing Japan, Italy, and Germany as pro-Western democracies, while Russian and Chinese communists posed as the true allies of the war’s victims that were continuing their war against fascism, against a capitalist American Empire that had joined the old Axis. In the case of Korea, Americans took over constabulary duties from Japanese militarists and supported South Korean authoritarians, while Soviet and Chinese-backed hardened communists in the North posed as agrarian reformers — or so the global leftist narrative went. [.......]

Was that stalemate wise, given the later trajectory of North Korea to the present insanity? Perhaps not — but the American effort nonetheless jumpstarted the South, which eventually evolved into a nation with consensual government and the world free-market powerhouse of today.

Lessons?

As historians we must remember not to evaluate what happened solely on the basis of what we now know in hindsight, but rather weigh the information available to the warring parties of the time — albeit with ample attention paid to their own shortcomings and prejudices.

Moreover, most blunders in war follow from the fruits of perceived success (e.g., Germany after victories in the West, Japan after sensing the colonial powers were all through in the Pacific, MacArthur after Inchon, the Chinese after successfully crossing into Korea, and perhaps even the United States in Iraq after the quick victory over the Taliban and the three-week disposal of Saddam Hussein’s regime), when the winning side rarely evaluates its ongoing success in terms of tactical means and strategic ends, the changing tides of war, and the advantages that will soon begin to accrue to the defenders. Few dared challenge the purported genius Hitler in 1941, or the supposedly all-knowing Isoroku Yamamoto in late 1941, or the brilliant MacArthur after Inchon.

Finally, no one can quite predict what will happen when the shooting starts, as even the past can be a deceptive guide. Hitler believed that the Czar’s Russians, who did not fight as stubbornly as the French in World War I, would collapse like the French did in June 1940. When the Chinese crossed the 38th Parallel, they did not anticipate that their communist supermen were subject to the same facts — long, vulnerable supply lines, bad weather, and an enemy with easier logistics — that had plagued the Americans on the way to the Yalu. And while Hitler may have had grounds to doubt the initial effectiveness of the U.S. Army, its sudden mobilization, and its inadequate equipment, he had no appreciation of lethal American fighter-bombers or a growing strategic bombing arm, no appreciation of the brilliance of American generals at the corps and division level, and no appreciation of what Henry Kaiser and Charles Sorensen were up to back in the United States.

Read the rest – War’s Paradoxes: From Pearl Harbor to the Russian Front to the 38th Parallel

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137 Responses to “From Pearl Harbor to the Eastern Front to Korea – the lessons of history”
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  1. Speranza
    1 | December 21, 2012 9:20 pm

    Geez an hour and a half before the first comment?


  2. Speranza
    2 | December 21, 2012 9:22 pm

    The only way the USSR could have been defeated in WWII was if it had imploded just as Imperial Russia did in 1917.


  3. Speranza
    3 | December 21, 2012 9:22 pm

    The only way the USSR could have imploded would have been had someone put a bullet in Stalin’s head.


  4. brookly red
    4 | December 21, 2012 9:25 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    The only way the USSR could have been defeated in WWII was if it had imploded just as Imperial Russia did in 1917.

    or if the Germans got the bomb. Game changer.


  5. coldwarrior
    5 | December 21, 2012 9:25 pm

    “Ridgway, not David Petraeus) was our greatest commander since World War II”

    as a graduate of this place, I must agree!

    (second discipline in my MS econ is international security)

    :)


  6. coldwarrior
    6 | December 21, 2012 9:26 pm

    Following his predecessor’s death in a road accident in 1950, General Ridgway assumed command of the beleaguered 8th Army, which was then in a weeks’ long retreat from a Chinese onslaught. Within a year, General Ridgway succeeded in a counter-offensive that regained a great deal of lost territory. By April of 1951, this record of success earned Ridgway both a promotion to full general and the command of all United Nations’ forces in Korea, following President Truman’s dismissal of General MacArthur.

    Ridgway’s leadership throughout the rest of the war was exemplary. Military historians credit him not only with boosting the broken morale of 8th Army, but also with transforming the entire United Nations war effort. Ultimately, General Ridgway’s troops fought Chinese and North Korean forces to a standstill at the 38th parallel, which still marks the present day border between North and South Korea.

    Following the Korean War, Ridgway’s exemplary performance earned him the rank of Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (SACEUR). On his return to the U.S., Ridgway assumed the role of Chief of Staff of the Army. He held this position until 1955.

    Following his military service, General Ridgway retired to suburban Pittsburgh, where he lived until he died of heart failure in 1993 at the age of 98. General Ridgway is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


  7. Speranza
    7 | December 21, 2012 9:28 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    “Ridgway, not David Petraeus) was our greatest commander since World War II”
    as a graduate of this place, I must agree!
    (second discipline in my MS econ is international security)

    Matthew B. Ridgway is the greatest American general, right behind George Henry Thomas that few (outside of military history buffs) have ever heard of.


  8. Speranza
    8 | December 21, 2012 9:30 pm

    @ coldwarrior:
    Wow he almost made it to 100.


  9. Speranza
    9 | December 21, 2012 9:32 pm

    I’m convinced that MacArthur had a breakdown after the Yalu rout.


  10. coldwarrior
    10 | December 21, 2012 9:34 pm

    @ Speranza:

    i have to re-aquatint myself with slow trot thomas


  11. CynicalConservative
    11 | December 21, 2012 9:34 pm

    @ Speranza:
    Odd traffic patterns lately. I hope this one runs for a long time or is re-posted later. Always read your work.

    /galt


  12. coldwarrior
    12 | December 21, 2012 9:36 pm

    @ CynicalConservative:

    i’m wrapping the mountain of presents for the kids, so i will be in and out until finished…now where is that tape?


  13. Speranza
    13 | December 21, 2012 9:58 pm

    CynicalConservative wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    Odd traffic patterns lately. I hope this one runs for a long time or is re-posted later. Always read your work.
    /galt

    Hey thanks. I appreciate that.


  14. Speranza
    14 | December 21, 2012 9:59 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    i have to re-aquatint myself with slow trot thomas

    What the North lost in Robert E. Lee,they gained by having George H. Thomas of Virginia stay with the Union.


  15. darkwords
    15 | December 21, 2012 10:47 pm

    Alyssa Milano ‏@Alyssa_Milano
    NY mayor @MikeBloomberg stands with celebrities from entertainment & sports industries to #DemandAPlan http://bit.ly/R98na8 /via @heykim
    View summary Reply Retweet Favorite More
    6h Kristen Bell ‏@IMKristenBell
    the ONLY thing we should all have on our to-do lists before the holidays is this: http://www.DemandAPlan.org . @DemandAPlan


  16. darkwords
    16 | December 21, 2012 10:53 pm

    Dalton Ross ‏@DaltonRoss
    It’s nice to know that by forcing my kids to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation that I am ensuring the next generation of nerds.


  17. darkwords
    17 | December 21, 2012 10:55 pm

    Saw the Hobbit today. Enjoyed it a lot. They did a pretty good job with the story. Lack of x rated elves , other than that A+


  18. darkwords
    18 | December 21, 2012 10:56 pm

    NRA Backlash? Or overhyped media trying to drive a new opinion. I agree with him. An armed person in every school. People will shoot up malls instead then.


  19. Da_Beerfreak
    19 | December 21, 2012 11:02 pm

    darkwords wrote:

    NRA Backlash? Or overhyped media trying to drive a new opinion. I agree with him. An armed person in every school. People will shoot up malls instead then.

    Liberals really are clueless idiots.


  20. Speranza
    20 | December 21, 2012 11:05 pm

    darkwords wrote:

    Saw the Hobbit today. Enjoyed it a lot. They did a pretty good job with the story. Lack of x rated elves , other than that A+

    X-rated elves?


  21. lobo91
    21 | December 21, 2012 11:15 pm

    @ darkwords:

    Alyssa Milano is still around?


  22. Speranza
    22 | December 23, 2012 8:08 pm

    @ darkwords:
    Good grief when you lose Alyssa Milano you’ve lost the country. /


  23. Speranza
    23 | December 23, 2012 8:09 pm

    The only reason we were able to get a UN force for Korea was because the Soviets boycotted the session.


  24. Speranza
    24 | December 23, 2012 8:24 pm

    Moreover, most blunders in war follow from the fruits of perceived success

    Hubris meets nemesis.


  25. Speranza
    25 | December 23, 2012 8:30 pm

    This thread has been a real killer.


  26. eaglesoars
    26 | December 23, 2012 8:33 pm

    Japanese intelligence about American productive potential was about as limited as German knowledge of the Soviet Union. In Tokyo’s view, if Japanese naval forces took out the American Pacific carriers at Pearl Harbor, there was simply no way for America

    Um, wasn’t it Yamamoto that said “We have awakened a sleeping giant”? He, at least, seems to have had a clue. Also, way back when, when I was first learning, I was stunned to find out the Japanese had no radar. !!!!!


  27. heysoos
    27 | December 23, 2012 8:35 pm

    @ eaglesoars:
    Yamamoto also said…
    “relax, nobody can find us out here”


  28. Speranza
    28 | December 23, 2012 8:40 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    @ eaglesoars:
    Yamamoto also said…
    “relax, nobody can find us out here”

    I thought we do not approve of “targeted assassinations”, or do they have to be “proportional”? /


  29. Speranza
    29 | December 23, 2012 8:41 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Um, wasn’t it Yamamoto that said “We have awakened a sleeping giant”? He, at least, seems to have had a clue. Also, way back when, when I was first learning, I was stunned to find out the Japanese had no radar. !!!!!

    The rest of the militaristic clique in Tokyo did not believe him.


  30. eaglesoars
    30 | December 23, 2012 8:42 pm

    Although VDH doesn’t emphasize it, it’s interesting to note that in the annals of warfare, starvation has been used as THE most devastating weapon. A WEAPON, not a consequence of military action. Hitler’s attempt to repopulate the east with German farmers failed for many reasons -- not least because many of them didn’t know how to farm in that region. Fertilizers production went to explosives, not agriculture, farm machinery production was replaced by armaments production, etc. Competing interests.

    In the case of Japan, their ideology was such that their ‘will’ was all that was necessary. They never had they ability to feed far flung troops (feeding their population was why they invaded China in the first place. I’ve seen one figure that stated 60% of Japanese military loses were due to starvation.


  31. Speranza
    31 | December 23, 2012 8:42 pm

    I recall Mark Shields complaining that Hamas casualties were far more then Israeli casualties, I guess on Okinawa he would have preferred American casualties to be around 100,000 to match Japanese losses,


  32. Speranza
    32 | December 23, 2012 8:45 pm

    @ eaglesoars:
    Hitler had this crazy idea of German farmers colonizing the Crimea (whether they wanted to relocate there or not) and having these massive autobahns link them to Germany. He persisted in this fantasy even in 1942 long after their failure in front of Moscow and the obvious conclusion that Germany would never be able to impose its will upon the U.S.S.R.


  33. Speranza
    33 | December 23, 2012 8:46 pm

    @ eaglesoars:
    Starvation via sea blockade helped bring down the Germany of World War I.


  34. Speranza
    34 | December 23, 2012 8:46 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    I’ve seen one figure that stated 60% of Japanese military loses were due to starvation.

    I think that is way, way too high a figure.


  35. heysoos
    35 | December 23, 2012 8:49 pm

    not to dispute any previous points, and I don’t know much about Japan in China, but up the gut from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, Japanese troops were not starving


  36. Speranza
    36 | December 23, 2012 8:50 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    not to dispute any previous points, and I don’t know much about Japan in China, but up the gut from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, Japanese troops were not starving

    They sure weren’t.


  37. Speranza
    37 | December 23, 2012 8:53 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    not to dispute any previous points, and I don’t know much about Japan in China, but up the gut from Guadalcanal to Okinawa, Japanese troops were not starving

    Also they (The Imperial Japanese Army) were not starving in China or Burma either.


  38. eaglesoars
    38 | December 23, 2012 8:53 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    I think that is way, way too high a figure.

    It may be. There are 2 sources -- the World War II Databook and something in Japanese by someone named Fujiwara.

    HOWEVER. If you think about how civilians were starving in Japan at the end of the war, I find it plausible that this percentage could be attained toward the end of the war


  39. Speranza
    39 | December 23, 2012 8:55 pm

    @ eaglesoars:
    Most of the Japanese Army was not in Japan and they certainly were not starving. The Japanese Army in the homeland probably were hungry as was the rest of the civilian population after the American leap frog across the Pacific. Yet they were still full of fight.


  40. heysoos
    40 | December 23, 2012 8:56 pm

    the JA was starving for decent small arms tho, and their hokey pokey Shinto shit did not last long against the Marines and the M1…every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…in the end the Japanese grunt was pretty good but not as good as us…they died from excessive bravado, not hunger


  41. Speranza
    41 | December 23, 2012 8:57 pm

    The largest Japanese Army was the Kwantung Army in Manchuria (the same Army that the Soviets beat the piss out of in August 1945) followed by the Japanese Army in the Phillipines.


  42. heysoos
    42 | December 23, 2012 8:58 pm

    man, you guys whip out the acts fast


  43. Speranza
    43 | December 23, 2012 8:59 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    the JA was starving for decent small arms tho, and their hokey pokey Shinto shit did not last long against the Marines and the M1…every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…in the end the Japanese grunt was pretty good but not as good as us…they died from excessive bravado, not hunger

    The Japanese Army basically was an infantry army that was built to fight in the jungle. Their tanks were a joke and they did not have much heavy artillery. In 1939 Georgi Zhukov beat the hell out of them on the Manchurian border at Khalkin Gol. Such a thorough defeat that Japan was wary of taking on the USSR in 1941 despite the German attack.


  44. eaglesoars
    44 | December 23, 2012 8:59 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Most of the Japanese Army was not in Japan and they certainly were not starving.

    I did not say they were in Japan- but toward the end of the war they were going hungry.


  45. Speranza
    45 | December 23, 2012 9:00 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    man, you guys whip out the acts fast

    “Fact check your ass” as we used to say on LGF.


  46. Speranza
    46 | December 23, 2012 9:00 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    Most of the Japanese Army was not in Japan and they certainly were not starving.
    I did not say they were in Japan- but toward the end of the war they were going hungry.

    They were a resilient army that still wanted to go on fighting even after Hiroshima/Nagasaki.


  47. eaglesoars
    47 | December 23, 2012 9:01 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    man, you guys whip out the acts fast

    Speranza and I LOVE this stuff. I’m doing research for someone who is preparing to write a book on food and global security. So I have some recent background.


  48. Speranza
    48 | December 23, 2012 9:02 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    heysoos wrote:

    man, you guys whip out the acts fast

    Speranza and I LOVE this stuff. I’m doing research for someone who is preparing to write a book on food and global security. So I have some recent background.

    An army that almost starved to death was the Army of Northern Virginia.


  49. eaglesoars
    49 | December 23, 2012 9:03 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    They were a resilient army that still wanted to go on fighting even after Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

    Correct me if my memory is faulty -- but wasn’t there basically a palace coup in Japan between the hardliners who didn’t want to surrender and those who realized it was over?


  50. heysoos
    50 | December 23, 2012 9:04 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    heysoos wrote:
    the JA was starving for decent small arms tho, and their hokey pokey Shinto shit did not last long against the Marines and the M1…every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…in the end the Japanese grunt was pretty good but not as good as us…they died from excessive bravado, not hunger

    The Japanese Army basically was an infantry army that was built to fight in the jungle. Their tanks were a joke and they did not have much heavy artillery. In 1939 Georgi Zhukov beat the hell out of them on the Manchurian border at Khalkin Gol. Such a thorough defeat that Japan was wary of taking on the USSR in 1941 despite the German attack.

    the worst sort of enemy…no possibility of winning yet reluctant to give up…in fact some claim the worse it got for Japan the harder they fought…the steady grind up the central Pacific doomed them…their resilience reminds me of the Taliban…with obvious differences of course


  51. Buckeye Abroad
    51 | December 23, 2012 9:04 pm

    @ heysoos:

    every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…

    Fuck you. My grandfather was at Saipan… Army.. attached to the marines. USMC sucks up the credit, the Army pays the debt.


  52. Speranza
    52 | December 23, 2012 9:05 pm

    Battles of Khalkin Gol
    Zhukov was soon after called to Moscow and he actually thought that he was going to be purged as were so many other Soviet officers. He had a suit case packed for such an occasion and told his wife that she should be prepared for such an eventuality. However Stalin was impressed by his beating the crap out of the Kwantung Army and shortly thereafter made him Soviet Chief of Staff.


  53. eaglesoars
    53 | December 23, 2012 9:06 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    An army that almost starved to death was the Army of Northern Virginia.

    Oh, lord, you should read Mary Chestnut’s diary. The entire South was going hungry.


  54. Speranza
    54 | December 23, 2012 9:07 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    the worst sort of enemy…no possibility of winning yet reluctant to give up…in fact some claim the worse it got for Japan the harder they fought…the steady grind up the central Pacific doomed them…their resilience reminds me of the Taliban…with obvious differences of course

    Their stubborn tenacity guaranteed that the Atomic bomb would be used.


  55. eaglesoars
    55 | December 23, 2012 9:08 pm

    Buckeye Abroad wrote:

    @ heysoos:

    every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…

    Fuck you. My grandfather was at Saipan… Army.. attached to the marines. USMC sucks up the credit, the Army pays the debt.

    I don’t know enough to take sides here, but wasn’t it Saipan where the women and children killed themselves jumping off cliffs into the sea?


  56. heysoos
    56 | December 23, 2012 9:08 pm

    Buckeye Abroad wrote:

    @ heysoos:
    every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…
    Fuck you. My grandfather was at Saipan… Army.. attached to the marines. USMC sucks up the credit, the Army pays the debt.

    just passing along the lore…I’m not judging anybody


  57. Speranza
    57 | December 23, 2012 9:09 pm

    Via wikipedia

    By 7 July, the Japanese had nowhere to retreat. Saito made plans for a final suicidal banzai charge. On the fate of the remaining civilians on the island, Saito said, “There is no longer any distinction between civilians and troops. It would be better for them to join in the attack with bamboo spears than be captured.” At dawn, with a group of 12 men carrying a great red flag in the lead, the remaining able-bodied troops—about 3,000 men—charged forward in the final attack. Amazingly, behind them came the wounded, with bandaged heads, crutches, and barely armed. The Japanese surged over the American front lines, engaging both Army and Marine units. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 105th U.S. Infantry were almost destroyed, losing 650 killed and wounded. However, the fierce resistance of these two battalions, as well as that of Headquarters Company, 105th Infantry, and elements (Supply) of 3rd Battalion, 10th Marines (an artillery unit) resulted in over 4,300 Japanese killed. For their actions during the 15-hour Japanese attack, three men of the 105th Infantry were awarded the Medal of Honor—all posthumously. Numerous others fought the Japanese until they were overwhelmed by the largest Japanese Banzai attack in the Pacific War.[7]


  58. lobo91
    58 | December 23, 2012 9:09 pm

    @ Speranza:

    They were a resilient army that still wanted to go on fighting even after Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

    Some of that is probably attributable to the Asian mindset. Look at what the North Vietnamese did to supply their troops in the South, who mainly lived off of cold rice. At the same time, we were flying planeloads of steaks and beer to our troops.


  59. Speranza
    59 | December 23, 2012 9:11 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Buckeye Abroad wrote:

    @ heysoos:
    every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…
    Fuck you. My grandfather was at Saipan… Army.. attached to the marines. USMC sucks up the credit, the Army pays the debt.

    I don’t know enough to take sides here, but wasn’t it Saipan where the women and children killed themselves jumping off cliffs into the sea?

    Correct.
    again via wikipedia

    Civilian casualties
    Saipan had been seized by Japan after World War I, and thus a large number of Japanese civilians lived there—at least 25,000.[2][unreliable source?] The U.S. erected a civilian prisoner encampment on 23 June 1944 that soon had more than 1,000 inmates. Electric lights at the camp were conspicuously left on overnight to attract other civilians with the promise of three warm meals and no risk of accidentally being shot in combat.[2][unreliable source?]
    Weapons and the tactics of close quarter fighting also resulted in high civilian casualties. Civilian shelters were located virtually everywhere on the island, with very little difference noticeable to attacking Marines. The standard method of clearing suspected bunkers was with high-explosive and/or high-explosives augmented with petroleum (e.g. gelignite, napalm, diesel fuel). In such conditions, high civilian casualties were inevitable.[12]
    Emperor Hirohito personally found the threat of defection of Japanese civilians disturbing.[2][unreliable source?] Much of the community was of low caste, and there was a risk that live civilians would be surprised by generous U.S. treatment. Native Japanese sympathizers would hand the Americans a powerful propaganda weapon to subvert the “fighting spirit” of Japan in radio broadcasts. At the end of June, Hirohito sent out an imperial order encouraging the civilians of Saipan to commit suicide.[2][unreliable source?] The order authorized the commander of Saipan to promise civilians who died there an equal spiritual status in the afterlife with those of soldiers perishing in combat. General Hideki Tōjō intercepted the order on 30 June 1944 and delayed its sending, but it went out anyway the next day. By the time the Marines advanced on the north tip of the island, from 8–12 July 1944, most of the damage had been done.[2][unreliable source?] 1,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide in the last days of the battle to take the offered privileged place in the afterlife, some jumping from “Suicide Cliff” and “Banzai Cliff”.


  60. heysoos
    60 | December 23, 2012 9:11 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    heysoos wrote:
    the worst sort of enemy…no possibility of winning yet reluctant to give up…in fact some claim the worse it got for Japan the harder they fought…the steady grind up the central Pacific doomed them…their resilience reminds me of the Taliban…with obvious differences of course
    Their stubborn tenacity guaranteed that the Atomic bomb would be used.

    my dad was issued cold weather gear in preparation for the invasion…2d Marines…you know the code names for the operations eh?


  61. Speranza
    61 | December 23, 2012 9:11 pm

    lobo91 wrote:

    Some of that is probably attributable to the Asian mindset. Look at what the North Vietnamese did to supply their troops in the South, who mainly lived off of cold rice. At the same time, we were flying planeloads of steaks and beer to our troops.

    Troops coming from poorer nations (and that included the Red Army in WWII) are used to doing without.


  62. Speranza
    62 | December 23, 2012 9:12 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    my dad was issued cold weather gear in preparation for the invasion…2d Marines…you know the code names for the operations eh?

    “Operation Downfall”.


  63. Speranza
    63 | December 23, 2012 9:13 pm

    I never bought into the post WWII official story of Hirohito being uninvolved in supporting the War Party.


  64. heysoos
    64 | December 23, 2012 9:13 pm

    @ Speranza:
    yeah, bad news…units of the 6th Marines went up to help relieve those guys, but by then it was over


  65. Speranza
    65 | December 23, 2012 9:16 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    yeah, bad news…units of the 6th Marines went up to help relieve those guys, but by then it was over

    Took too many casualties but they inflicted enormous casualties on the Japanese garrison. There was no cheap victories in the Pacific. One of the most unnecessary battles was for Peleilu.


  66. eaglesoars
    66 | December 23, 2012 9:17 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    I never bought into the post WWII official story of Hirohito being uninvolved in supporting the War Party.

    That makes 2 of us. But he liked western clothes -- and mattresses!!

    meh. Bite me.


  67. Speranza
    67 | December 23, 2012 9:18 pm

    Geez Seattle is having their way with San Francisco 21-0. There is something about Pete Carroll I just do not care for.


  68. Speranza
    68 | December 23, 2012 9:19 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    That makes 2 of us. But he liked western clothes — and mattresses!!

    meh. Bite me.

    Truman and MacArthur though made the right decision. We needed Hirohito’s cooperation and prestige to help us remake Japan.


  69. heysoos
    70 | December 23, 2012 9:20 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    heysoos wrote:
    @ Speranza:
    yeah, bad news…units of the 6th Marines went up to help relieve those guys, but by then it was over

    Took too many casualties but they inflicted enormous casualties on the Japanese garrison. There was no cheap victories in the Pacific. One of the most unnecessary battles was for Peleilu.

    yup, and then there is the controversy of the Philippines…there was a lot to be said for bypassing unsustainable islands…too few people understood the horror of fighting desperate JA troops


  70. Speranza
    71 | December 23, 2012 9:21 pm

    Don’t forget there was over a million Japanese troops still scattered throughout the Pacific, Indochina, and China and they just about all obeyed Hirohito’s order to lay down their arms.


  71. Speranza
    72 | December 23, 2012 9:23 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    yup, and then there is the controversy of the Philippines…there was a lot to be said for bypassing unsustainable islands…too few people understood the horror of fighting desperate JA troops

    Quite concur. The Phillipines was purely MacArthur’s ego. It was unnecessary (at least most historians feel it was unnecessary).


  72. heysoos
    73 | December 23, 2012 9:24 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Don’t forget there was over a million Japanese troops still scattered throughout the Pacific, Indochina, and China and they just about all obeyed Hirohito’s order to lay down their arms.

    an epic moment in American history…unconditional surrender and we forced it…say goodbye to that notion


  73. Speranza
    74 | December 23, 2012 9:24 pm

    Prebanned wrote:

    Did Russia Really Go It Alone? How Lend-Lease Helped the Soviets Defeat the Germans

    Lendlease (particularly the trucks we sent), the strategic bombing of Germany, and the Mediterranean campaign -- all were major helps to the USSR. An allied invasion of France in late 1942 or early 1943 would have been disastrous.


  74. Buckeye Abroad
    75 | December 23, 2012 9:25 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    Buckeye Abroad wrote:

    @ heysoos:
    every single bonzai attack failed miserably except at Saipan where they cut up the Army pretty good…
    Fuck you. My grandfather was at Saipan… Army.. attached to the marines. USMC sucks up the credit, the Army pays the debt.

    just passing along the lore…I’m not judging anybody

    No worries. Nothing personal. He joined the Army in 40′ and spent almost 4 years with fleet Marines. Came home in 46′.


  75. eaglesoars
    76 | December 23, 2012 9:25 pm

    Prebanned wrote:

    Did Russia Really Go It Alone? How Lend-Lease Helped the Soviets Defeat the Germans

    Who ever said the soviets did it alone? But they sure did a hell of a lot. W/o them, I seriously wonder if the Allies would have won the war.


  76. Speranza
    77 | December 23, 2012 9:26 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    Don’t forget there was over a million Japanese troops still scattered throughout the Pacific, Indochina, and China and they just about all obeyed Hirohito’s order to lay down their arms.

    an epic moment in American history…unconditional surrender and we forced it…say goodbye to that notion

    Actually the Japanese surrender was less then unconditional but so what? Imperial Japan was dismembered and Hirohito became a constitutional monarch and not a “divine being”.


  77. 78 | December 23, 2012 9:26 pm

    @ darkwords:

    We went to The Hobbit last night in IMax. A bit overwhelming- some of the scenes were a little dizzying with the IMax effect. Very enjoyable.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Smaug!


  78. Speranza
    79 | December 23, 2012 9:26 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Prebanned wrote:

    Did Russia Really Go It Alone? How Lend-Lease Helped the Soviets Defeat the Germans

    Who ever said the soviets did it alone? But they sure did a hell of a lot. W/o them, I seriously wonder if the Allies would have won the war.

    And with out the allies the Eastern Front might have become a draw.


  79. eaglesoars
    80 | December 23, 2012 9:27 pm

    Buckeye Abroad wrote:

    He joined the Army in 40′ and spent almost 4 years with fleet Marines. Came home in 46′.

    That’s a helluva long service.


  80. Speranza
    81 | December 23, 2012 9:28 pm

    Regarding Peleliu

    A Japanese lieutenant with his 26 2nd Infantry soldiers and eight 45th Guard Force sailors held out in the caves in Peleliu until April 22, 1947 and surrendered after a Japanese admiral convinced them the war was over.


  81. eaglesoars
    82 | December 23, 2012 9:30 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    the strategic bombing of Germany

    AAARGH!! I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this. Why is it so many histories say the Allied bombing of Germany was ‘ineffectual’? The most recent I’ve read (still reading) is Antony Beevor’s The Second World War. To read him, you’d think it was a useless waste of lives (but Germany’s bombing of the UK is always ‘devestating’)


  82. heysoos
    83 | December 23, 2012 9:31 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Regarding Peleliu
    A Japanese lieutenant with his 26 2nd Infantry soldiers and eight 45th Guard Force sailors held out in the caves in Peleliu until April 22, 1947 and surrendered after a Japanese admiral convinced them the war was over.

    Peleliu could easily have been pinned down by the Navy…a disasterous kill ratio


  83. heysoos
    84 | December 23, 2012 9:34 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    the strategic bombing of Germany
    AAARGH!! I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this. Why is it so many histories say the Allied bombing of Germany was ‘ineffectual’? The most recent I’ve read (still reading) is Antony Beevor’s The Second World War. To read him, you’d think it was a useless waste of lives (but Germany’s bombing of the UK is always ‘devestating’)

    you have to make up your own mind…no amount of written work will ever define the success of carpet bombing…one thing for sure, it breaks alot of stuff


  84. Da_Beerfreak
    85 | December 23, 2012 9:37 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Buckeye Abroad wrote:

    He joined the Army in 40′ and spent almost 4 years with fleet Marines. Came home in 46′.

    That’s a helluva long service.

    Same with my Dad. Drafted in ’40 and didn’t get out until ’46.


  85. Speranza
    86 | December 23, 2012 9:40 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    the strategic bombing of Germany

    AAARGH!! I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this. Why is it so many histories say the Allied bombing of Germany was ‘ineffectual’? The most recent I’ve read (still reading) is Antony Beevor’s The Second World War. To read him, you’d think it was a useless waste of lives (but Germany’s bombing of the UK is always ‘devestating’)

    I am not a fan of strategic bobming becasue in my opinion it was not worth the enormous aircrew casualties. It helped the USSR because it caused a lot of German fighter squadrons being redeployed from the Eastern Front to defend the Reich. I think the British Arthur “Bomber” Harris of the RAF Bomber Command to be a bit of a psychopath.


  86. Speranza
    87 | December 23, 2012 9:41 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    eaglesoars wrote:
    Speranza wrote:

    AAARGH!! I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this. Why is it so many histories say the Allied bombing of Germany was ‘ineffectual’? The most recent I’ve read (still reading) is Antony Beevor’s The Second World War. To read him, you’d think it was a useless waste of lives (but Germany’s bombing of the UK is always ‘devastating’)

    I am not a fan of strategic bombing because in my opinion it was not worth the enormous aircrew casualties and destroyed a lot of towns killing a lot of civilians unnecessarily and did not break German morale at all. . It helped the USSR because it caused a lot of German fighter squadrons being redeployed from the Eastern Front to defend the Reich. I think the R.A.F. Chief of Bomber Command, Arthur “Bomber” Harris to be a bit of a psychopath.

    I read Beevor’s book earlier this year. I like his takes on Rommel and Montgomery.


  87. eaglesoars
    88 | December 23, 2012 9:43 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    I think the R.A.F. Chief of Bomber Command, Arthur “Bomber” Harris to be a bit of a psychopath.

    So did my dad. He thought the fire bombing of Dresden was a war crime. (Dad was a B-26 pilot stationed outside London)


  88. Speranza
    89 | December 23, 2012 9:44 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    I think the R.A.F. Chief of Bomber Command, Arthur “Bomber” Harris to be a bit of a psychopath.
    So did my dad. He thought the fire bombing of Dresden was a war crime. (Dad was a B-26 pilot stationed outside London)

    The firebombing of Dresden served no purpose whatsoever. Harris had a taste for blood and he actually despite all evidence believed that strategic bombing alone could win the war.


  89. heysoos
    90 | December 23, 2012 9:45 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    eaglesoars wrote:
    Speranza wrote:
    the strategic bombing of Germany
    AAARGH!! I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this. Why is it so many histories say the Allied bombing of Germany was ‘ineffectual’? The most recent I’ve read (still reading) is Antony Beevor’s The Second World War. To read him, you’d think it was a useless waste of lives (but Germany’s bombing of the UK is always ‘devestating’)

    I am not a fan of strategic bombing because in my opinion it was not worth the enormous aircrew casualties. It helped the USSR because it caused a lot of German fighter squadrons being redeployed from the Eastern Front to defend the Reich. I think the British Arthur “Bomber” Harris of the RAF Bomber Command to be a bit of a psychopath.

    yes, there is an element of psychology in there…as with island hopping there is maybe the other most important controversy…Bomber losses were unacceptable yet the 8th AF forged ahead in daylight til technology caught up with the P51


  90. eaglesoars
    91 | December 23, 2012 9:46 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    It helped the USSR because it caused a lot of German fighter squadrons being redeployed from the Eastern Front to defend the Reich.

    EXACTLY. Plus, if you look at what was left of the Luftwaffe by D-Day -- they could never replace their crews -- they just kept them flying until they didn’t come home.


  91. Speranza
    92 | December 23, 2012 9:48 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    It helped the USSR because it caused a lot of German fighter squadrons being redeployed from the Eastern Front to defend the Reich.
    EXACTLY. Plus, if you look at what was left of the Luftwaffe by D-Day — they could never replace their crews — they just kept them flying until they didn’t come home.

    Only three German fighter planes appeared over Omaha Beach on June6.


  92. eaglesoars
    93 | December 23, 2012 9:48 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    Bomber losses were unacceptable yet the 8th AF forged ahead in daylight til technology caught up with the P51

    Dad said the Luftwaffe would let them in to bomb their targets -- then fight them coming out when they were low on fuel. The P51s couldn’t help with that.


  93. Speranza
    95 | December 23, 2012 9:52 pm

    Antony Beevor lists many beautiful German small cities with priceless architecture destroyed for no military reason whatsoever. Strategic bombing is never as effective on a totalitarian dictatorship as it is on a democracy because people in Nazi Germany have no chance of influencing their government. Christopher Hitchens pointed out that despite the myths about the blitz on London that Londoners looted bombed out homes,blamed Jews for jumping the food queues, and trampled each other to death running into the bomb shelters in the London Underground (i.e. at Bethnal Green Underground Station in East London).


  94. eaglesoars
    96 | December 23, 2012 9:52 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    he actually despite all evidence believed that strategic bombing alone could win the war.

    I believe Hap Arnold agreed with him. But then, there’s always been this rivalry between the Army and the Air Force……….


  95. Speranza
    97 | December 23, 2012 9:53 pm

    mfhorn wrote:

    MN Social Studies focuses on America’s raaaaacism

    Good grief!


  96. heysoos
    98 | December 23, 2012 9:53 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    heysoos wrote:
    Bomber losses were unacceptable yet the 8th AF forged ahead in daylight til technology caught up with the P51
    Dad said the Luftwaffe would let them in to bomb their targets — then fight them coming out when they were low on fuel. The P51s couldn’t help with that.

    it’s the timeline…until the Mustang could fly to Germany and back the Luftwaffe ruled…after that it was over…Mustangs were just too much, too fast, too powerful in a climb…the P51 could do it all and it saved the controversial tactic of daylight bombing


  97. Speranza
    99 | December 23, 2012 9:54 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    he actually despite all evidence believed that strategic bombing alone could win the war.

    I believe Hap Arnold agreed with him. But then, there’s always been this rivalry between the Army and the Air Force……….

    I don’t know about Arnold but if he did then they both were fools.


  98. Speranza
    100 | December 23, 2012 9:57 pm

    The Bethnal Green disaster which killed 173 people through being crushed and suffocated

    The crush at Bethnal Green is thought to have been the largest single loss of civilian life in the UK in World War II and the largest loss of life in a single incident on the London Underground network. The largest number killed by a single wartime bomb was 68 at Balham, though there were many more British civilians killed in single bombing raids.


  99. eaglesoars
    101 | December 23, 2012 9:57 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Antony Beevor lists many beautiful German small cities with priceless architecture destroyed for no military reason whatsoever.

    I’ve forgotten where I read it but it was fairly recently- and it may have been a comment on a blog. Take a guided tour of Cologne and the guide will tell you about the cathedral having been miraculously spared the bombing. Um, no. It was used as a guide/marker for allied attacks.

    Speranza wrote:

    Christopher Hitchens pointed out that despite the myths about the blitz on London that Londoners looted bombed out homes,blamed Jews for jumping the food queues, and trampled each other to death running into the bomb shelters in the London Underground (i.e. at Bethnal Green Underground Station in East London).

    Well, welcome to human nature. And if you read any of the Mass Observation Society reporting from back then you know it wasn’t all stiff upper lip and powdered eggs.


  100. Speranza
    102 | December 23, 2012 10:01 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Well, welcome to human nature. And if you read any of the Mass Observation Society reporting from back then you know it wasn’t all stiff upper lip and powdered eggs.

    It was British propaganda bullshit “London can take it!” and all that. Just like at the Imperial War Museum in Lambeth (South London) the permanent exhibit about Field Marshal Montgomery called “Master of the Battlefield” -- master of self promotion is more like it.


  101. Prebanned
    103 | December 23, 2012 10:03 pm

    No enemy being carpet bombed has ever admitted its effectiveness.


  102. Speranza
    104 | December 23, 2012 10:06 pm

    Prebanned wrote:

    No enemy being carpet bombed has ever admitted its effectiveness.

    It did not make the North Vietnamese give up did it?


  103. Prebanned
    105 | December 23, 2012 10:08 pm

    @ Speranza:
    I thought they did give up


  104. heysoos
    106 | December 23, 2012 10:08 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Prebanned wrote:
    No enemy being carpet bombed has ever admitted its effectiveness.

    It did not make the North Vietnamese give up did it?

    we never carpet bombed Hanoi…depends on the target


  105. eaglesoars
    107 | December 23, 2012 10:08 pm

    I’m going to call it a night -- been a long day.

    Thanks for the thread Speranza -- LOVED it!


  106. Prebanned
    108 | December 23, 2012 10:13 pm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/15/newsid_2530000/2530549.stm

    We withdrew and a while later the North invaded the south with a conventional army.
    they knew they could get away with it because Congress publicly stated that they refused to fund any more help for south vietnam.


  107. heysoos
    109 | December 23, 2012 10:14 pm

    Prebanned wrote:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/15/newsid_2530000/2530549.stm
    We withdrew and a while later the North invaded the south with a conventional army.
    they knew they could get away with it because Congress publicly stated that they refused to fund any more help for south vietnam.

    right, he fucking donks threw it away, just when it was over


  108. Speranza
    110 | December 23, 2012 10:15 pm

    Prebanned wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    I thought they did give up

    Really? They took over the South in 1975.


  109. Speranza
    111 | December 23, 2012 10:15 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    I’m going to call it a night — been a long day.
    Thanks for the thread Speranza — LOVED it!

    Awww that makes it worthwhile.


  110. CynicalConservative
    112 | December 23, 2012 10:16 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    CynicalConservative wrote:
    @ Speranza:
    Odd traffic patterns lately. I hope this one runs for a long time or is re-posted later. Always read your work.
    /galt

    Hey thanks. I appreciate that.

    Glad to see this thread resurrected. Great reading, more than you’ll ever see in public school.

    /galt


  111. Prebanned
    113 | December 23, 2012 10:16 pm

    http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/timeline.htm

    We left and they waited a while to make sure we wouldn’t fight anymore, they they went back to killing.


  112. lobo91
    114 | December 23, 2012 10:18 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Prebanned wrote:
    No enemy being carpet bombed has ever admitted its effectiveness.
    It did not make the North Vietnamese give up did it?

    The majority of what could be considered “carpet bombing” took place in South Vietnam.


  113. 115 | December 23, 2012 10:21 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    Japanese intelligence about American productive potential was about as limited as German knowledge of the Soviet Union. In Tokyo’s view, if Japanese naval forces took out the American Pacific carriers at Pearl Harbor, there was simply no way for America
    Um, wasn’t it Yamamoto that said “We have awakened a sleeping giant”? He, at least, seems to have had a clue. Also, way back when, when I was first learning, I was stunned to find out the Japanese had no radar. !!!!!

    AFAIK the US and the UK developed it some time after the war started. My uncle was in the Signal Corps and worked with it and of course was forbidden to reveal anything about it.


  114. heysoos
    116 | December 23, 2012 10:21 pm

    liberal democrats dragged us into VN, escalated the fight way beyond any need, got 59k American kids killed, then pulled the plug on the ARVN after Nixon got us out…despicable assholes don’t seem to care about the consequence


  115. Speranza
    117 | December 23, 2012 10:21 pm

    CynicalConservative wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    CynicalConservative wrote:
    @ Speranza:
    Odd traffic patterns lately. I hope this one runs for a long time or is re-posted later. Always read your work.
    /galt
    Hey thanks. I appreciate that.

    Glad to see this thread resurrected. Great reading, more than you’ll ever see in public school.
    /galt

    It deserved a second chance.


  116. heysoos
    118 | December 23, 2012 10:26 pm

    @ Speranza:
    threads have feelings too…


  117. Prebanned
    119 | December 23, 2012 10:27 pm

    Nixon took it to North Vietnam with a three dimensional war, He fought like He wanted to win.
    Granted, we should have carpet bombed Hanoi from one end to the other but we did finally bomb military targets in Hanoi and Haiphong and that helped North Vietnam decide to call it quits.

    After the cease fire, we left as fast as we could and then the North changed thier minds

    In March 1972, North Vietnam began a major invasion of South Vietnam. Nixon responded by renewing the bombing of North Vietnam. He also ordered the placing of explosives in the harbor of Haiphong, North Vietnam’s major port for importing military supplies. These moves helped stop the invasion, which had nearly reached Saigon by August 1972.

    The high cost paid by both sides during the 1972 fighting led to peace negotiations. The talks were conducted by Henry A. Kissinger, Nixon’s chief foreign policy adviser, and Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam. On Jan. 27, 1973, a cease-fire agreement was signed in Paris by the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Viet Cong. The pact provided for the withdrawal of all U.S. and allied forces from Vietnam and for the return of all prisoners — both within 60 days. It permitted North Vietnam to leave 150,000 of its troops in the south and called for internationally supervised elections to decide the political future of South Vietnam.

    The end of the war. On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. ground forces left Vietnam. But the peace talks soon broke down, and the war resumed. Congress opposed further U.S. involvement, and so no American troops returned to the war. In mid-1973, Congress began to sharply reduce military aid to South Vietnam. [Note 6]

    The decreasing support from the United States encouraged North Vietnam. In late 1974, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops attacked Phuoc Long, northeast of Saigon, and won an easy victory. In March 1975, they forced South Vietnamese troops to retreat from a region known as the Central Highlands. Thousands of civilians fled with the soldiers and died in the gunfire or from starvation. This retreat became known as the Convoy of Tears.

    Early in April, President Gerald R. Ford, Nixon’s successor, asked Congress for $722 million in military aid for South Vietnam. But Congress provided only $300 million in emergency aid, mainly to evacuate Americans from Saigon. The war ended when South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam in Saigon on April 30, 1975. Saigon was then renamed Ho Chi Minh City. [Note 7]


  118. heysoos
    120 | December 23, 2012 10:30 pm

    @ Prebanned:
    right, then history turns it around to say we ‘lost’ the war, with all that implicates


  119. Speranza
    121 | December 23, 2012 10:32 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    @ Speranza:
    threads have feelings too…

    Okaaay


  120. Speranza
    122 | December 23, 2012 10:33 pm

    Wow The Sound of Music is on!


  121. Speranza
    123 | December 23, 2012 10:33 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    @ Prebanned:
    right, then history turns it around to say we ‘lost’ the war, with all that implicates

    We were never militarily defeated in Vietnam.


  122. Da_Beerfreak
    124 | December 23, 2012 10:38 pm

    @ Speranza:
    Recycling is very green… :mrgreen:


  123. heysoos
    125 | December 23, 2012 10:40 pm

    I’m 61, and I will never, ever forgive democrats for what they did with Viet Nam…58k lives for political pursuits…It’s shameful how ignorant people are


  124. Speranza
    126 | December 23, 2012 10:40 pm

    Geez whenever Christopher Plummer sings “Edelweiss” I just get a lump in my throat.


  125. Speranza
    127 | December 23, 2012 10:40 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    I’m 61, and I will never, ever forgive democrats for what they did with Viet Nam…58k lives for political pursuits…It’s shameful how ignorant people are

    Hey one of them will now be our Secretary of State.


  126. Speranza
    128 | December 23, 2012 10:44 pm

    Prebanned wrote:

    http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/timeline.htm
    We left and they waited a while to make sure we wouldn’t fight anymore, they they went back to killing.

    That is the way I remembered it as.


  127. Prebanned
    129 | December 23, 2012 10:48 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    I’m 61, and I will never, ever forgive democrats for what they did with Viet Nam…58k lives for political pursuits…It’s shameful how ignorant people are

    And three million Vietnamese died after we left.


  128. huckfunn
    130 | December 23, 2012 10:49 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Geez whenever Christopher Plummer sings “Edelweiss” I just get a lump in my throat.

    Rolf the rat is about to show his true colors.


  129. Speranza
    131 | December 23, 2012 10:51 pm

    huckfunn wrote:

    Speranza wrote:
    Geez whenever Christopher Plummer sings “Edelweiss” I just get a lump in my throat.

    Rolf the rat is about to show his true colors.

    Captain von Trapp is an anti-Nazi but he ran his household like a real stormtrooper!


  130. Speranza
    132 | December 23, 2012 10:53 pm

    Too many Austrians welcomed the Anschluss with Nazi Germany in 1938.


  131. Prebanned
    133 | December 23, 2012 10:57 pm

    @ Speranza:
    Yeah, we got that problem around here!
    2012 is about over, may 2013 be our year.


  132. huckfunn
    134 | December 23, 2012 11:11 pm

    Speranza wrote:

    Too many Austrians welcomed the Anschluss with Nazi Germany in 1938.

    And very few of them were made to pay for their crimes. There was that one U.N. Secretary General who was forced out when his Nazi past came to light about 15 or 20 years ago.


  133. huckfunn
    135 | December 23, 2012 11:15 pm

    @ huckfunn:
    It was Kurt Waldheim and it was 30 years ago. Gee, time flies.


  134. Moe Katz
    136 | December 23, 2012 11:58 pm

    huckfunn wrote:

    Gee, time flies.

    Shaddup. I was already feeling old tonight.


  135. Speranza
    137 | December 24, 2012 7:13 am

    huckfunn wrote:

    @ huckfunn:
    It was Kurt Waldheim and it was 30 years ago. Gee, time flies.

    The Russians and Yugoslavs had blackmail information on him.


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