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Biggest mistakes in military history

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Poll Question: What is the biggest make in military history?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2012 at 10:59
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

We are on shakey ground indeed when the term "in the service of his country" is issued with unquestioning reverence. Many in history have done horrible things that were described as service to their country. It is a term that has cache in Hollywood, but little real value otherwise without an honest analysis of the actual events.
 
The service in this case was the pushing of aboriginals ever westward, away from advancing civilization, herding them onto reservations, or killing them in a wholesale fashion. These were not admirable pages in the history of North America. By Custer's time the cycle of violence had been going on for so long that savage attitudes prevailed, and were acted upon. The policy of the US was to take what natives had, and get them out of the way, one way or another. If massive bloodletting could be avoided, fine, but if not, well, then there was General Custer, or others of a similar mind.

I have to disagree with the above, particularly the second paragraph. The government policy was to move them on to reservations, yes. As for taking "what they had", the government had done that on occasion, particularly with the Indian Removal Act of 1832. But in Custer's time the idea of moving them westward had long been eclipsed by white settlement of the West Coast. Thus the idea of moving them on to reservations on or somewhere near their traditional lands, but with the intent of turning them into farmers or ranchers. In the case of the Black Hills, yes, land that had been promised to the Lakota happened to be the site of a gold strike that brought in many miners Political pressure was brought on government, which turned to the army. So it was the Army's job to insure that the Lakota moved to their new grounds, peaceably or by force. The Lakota disagreed, ergo a military campaign. Given the level of cultural development among the tribes, it wasn't a matter of taking what they had. They had very little that we wanted.  It was a matter of opening the land to European American exploitation, i.e., mining, ranching, farming.

In hindsight, the war may have been inevitable. But at the time, the campaign seemed like a prudent extension of public policy. It was not meant to annihilate anyone, and it did not. But it did end the age of the plains tribes as a nomadic horse warrior and raiding culture. Lao Tsu's vision of genocide, and his references as to why the Lakota would have attacked Custer show, frankly speaking, an ignorance of how the campaign was waged. 

I would not have included the "Little Big Horn" (not Long Horn), or as the Lakota reportedly called it: The Greasy Grass, among the biggest mistakes of military history. As fights go, it was a mere blip on a very long and rocky road. As Sixth Army points out, Custer did have some talents of note. His reduction after the Civil War was the same as that for all the breveted generals and senior officers who had fought the Civil War. With the exception of the very top ranks, they retained  their titles, and the right to wear their former insignia of rank on certain occasions, but they reverted to the regular army ranks they would have held based upon their years of service. Arthur MacArthur and many other breveted officers did the same. The fact that Custer was advanced from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel by 1976 demonstrates a more rapid rise in post-war rank than was the case of many peers. If I recall correctly, he ranked at the very bottom of his West Point class, which was not unlike being at the bottom of one's Harvard class. West Point was the nation's first, and for many years the only, Engineering school.  


Edited by lirelou - 10 Dec 2012 at 11:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Henry Fleischmann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2012 at 17:54
The South's decision fire on Ft Sumter gets my vote. Until then the Norths's decision was "Wayward Sistes Go in Peace" though both the abolitionists and the anti States Rights faction were attacking more and more strenuosly the only legal beef they had was what to do with Federal facilities in Southern States, like Sumter. The concensus was that some sort of agreement could be reached until the South fired on Sumter when the North was only landing necessary supplies,which gave the abolitionist and States rights opponents all the cause they need for war. The South had no hope of winning and pinned all their hopes on aid from England and France, neither of whose goverments had supported slavery for years and where the only real support came from the Great Capitalists, who saw a kinship with the Southron Plantation Owners.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2012 at 19:08
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

We are on shakey ground indeed when the term "in the service of his country" is issued with unquestioning reverence. Many in history have done horrible things that were described as service to their country. It is a term that has cache in Hollywood, but little real value otherwise without an honest analysis of the actual events.
 
The service in this case was the pushing of aboriginals ever westward, away from advancing civilization, herding them onto reservations, or killing them in a wholesale fashion. These were not admirable pages in the history of North America. By Custer's time the cycle of violence had been going on for so long that savage attitudes prevailed, and were acted upon. The policy of the US was to take what natives had, and get them out of the way, one way or another. If massive bloodletting could be avoided, fine, but if not, well, then there was General Custer, or others of a similar mind.

I have to disagree with the above, particularly the second paragraph. The government policy was to move them on to reservations, yes. As for taking "what they had", the government had done that on occasion, particularly with the Indian Removal Act of 1832. But in Custer's time the idea of moving them westward had long been eclipsed by white settlement of the West Coast. Thus the idea of moving them on to reservations on or somewhere near their traditional lands, but with the intent of turning them into farmers or ranchers. In the case of the Black Hills, yes, land that had been promised to the Lakota happened to be the site of a gold strike that brought in many miners Political pressure was brought on government, which turned to the army. So it was the Army's job to insure that the Lakota moved to their new grounds, peaceably or by force. The Lakota disagreed, ergo a military campaign. Given the level of cultural development among the tribes, it wasn't a matter of taking what they had. They had very little that we wanted.  It was a matter of opening the land to European American exploitation, i.e., mining, ranching, farming.

Yes, "westward" I meant in general terms. What Indians had was land, and the resources thereon. That was what was wanted, and what was taken, especially productive or strategic pieces of land. The Little Big Horn was merely the last gasp of a whole lot of taking, and by that point was pretty much irrelevant in terms of getting any more. The intent of US governments, from the revolution onward's, was the seizure and utilization of the great wilderness areas of the continent for the benefit of US citizens. Aboriginals were seen as an impediment, an annoying and anachronistic obstacle in the way of progress and profit. At first, the continent seemed vast enough that they could simply be pushed onwards, to a place out of sight and out of mind. When large scale settlement made clear that space was in fact going to be much more limited, then the reservation came about.

Ideas about Indians probably evolved somewhat over time, and the idea of turning them into farmers and ranchers likely came from a confluence of sentiments. The rapid changes of the industrial revolution, and the European colonization of the world made the gap in the two societies seem ever more stark, and racist theories ever more plausible. Science would prevail, and the hunter/gatherer/savage would die out, so the sentiment was often expressed. Indeed many were at the time. To be fair, this was a reasonable assumption, given the knowledge of the time. So for the more progressive, lifting the survivors of an inferior race up into a realistic existence made sense. For the less progressive, they had to do something with them, and this would at least seem to be politically saleable, more so than killing them all.
.
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

In hindsight, the war may have been inevitable. But at the time, the campaign seemed like a prudent extension of public policy. It was not meant to annihilate anyone, and it did not. But it did end the age of the plains tribes as a nomadic horse warrior and raiding culture. Lao Tsu's vision of genocide, and his references as to why the Lakota would have attacked Custer show, frankly speaking, an ignorance of how the campaign was waged. 

I would not have included the "Little Big Horn" (not Long Horn), or as the Lakota reportedly called it: The Greasy Grass, among the biggest mistakes of military history. As fights go, it was a mere blip on a very long and rocky road. As Sixth Army points out, Custer did have some talents of note. His reduction after the Civil War was the same as that for all the breveted generals and senior officers who had fought the Civil War. With the exception of the very top ranks, they retained  their titles, and the right to wear their former insignia of rank on certain occasions, but they reverted to the regular army ranks they would have held based upon their years of service. Arthur MacArthur and many other breveted officers did the same. The fact that Custer was advanced from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel by 1976 demonstrates a more rapid rise in post-war rank than was the case of many peers. If I recall correctly, he ranked at the very bottom of his West Point class, which was not unlike being at the bottom of one's Harvard class. West Point was the nation's first, and for many years the only, Engineering school.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SixthArmy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2012 at 14:16
Quote What Indians had was land, and the resources thereon. That was what was wanted, and what was taken,
 
I think the entire US should still be occupied by stone age tribes sitting atop elements they didn't even know existed let alone how to refine and use.  Also the entire north continent would be better w/ witch doctors rather than modern medicine.
 
Where do you live?  Owned since the beginning of time is it?  heh. 
 
There were never any natives in Canada, it was just :+:poof:+: and Canadians appeared. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2012 at 14:55
Originally posted by SixthArmy SixthArmy wrote:

Quote What Indians had was land, and the resources thereon. That was what was wanted, and what was taken,
 
I think the entire US should still be occupied by stone age tribes sitting atop elements they didn't even know existed let alone how to refine and use.  Also the entire north continent would be better w/ witch doctors rather than modern medicine.
 
Where do you live?  Owned since the beginning of time is it?  heh. 
 
There were never any natives in Canada, it was just :+:poof:+: and Canadians appeared. 
 
Ehh, modern medicine is quite... interesting, but from expirience, surgeries don't fix everything. When I had a heart attack, I had to have 5 by-passes, and it STILL hurts to mve on most days, and since that surgery, my shoulders haven't exactly been feeling the way they used to. I really think m mother's old remedies are better and cheaper than a lot of solutions, with the exception of major surgical events (no anasthetic). I really wouldn't mind if the Native Americans still occupied the Americas, they are very peaeful (most of the time), but then again, I'm not from America. Where my family's from, half the country doesn't have electricity, and that half has been nomadic since the dawn of time, so my views may be swayed, but every now and then I get atleast ONE point right.


Edited by Lao Tse - 15 Dec 2012 at 14:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2012 at 03:21
Originally posted by SixthArmy SixthArmy wrote:

Quote What Indians had was land, and the resources thereon. That was what was wanted, and what was taken,
 
I think the entire US should still be occupied by stone age tribes sitting atop elements they didn't even know existed let alone how to refine and use.  Also the entire north continent would be better w/ witch doctors rather than modern medicine.
 
Where do you live?  Owned since the beginning of time is it?  heh. 
 
There were never any natives in Canada, it was just :+:poof:+: and Canadians appeared. 
I am not in complete disagreement with you in that I don't think the end result of European/aboriginal interaction would have come out much differently in the end- the disparity between the two cultures was simply too much.
 
However, we can see a distinct difference in the treatment of natives through time by various groups. The Spanish, for the most part, made no bones about the fact they were out for conquest. There was more debate within the US, but in fact it fell into a cycle of violence that came close to genocide. The French were a little more layed back about things, and, despite getting involved in some intertribal wars, never engaged in the massive seizures of land and resources others did.
 
The British in the remaining parts of North America had a mixed record. There were long periods of good relations with aboriginals, and they were equal partners in the fur trade for quite some time. Later, after the creation of Canada and the settling of the west, tensions increased, but the type of violence seen south of the border was  rare. For the most part, land was ceded by treaty negociation, although many of these were unequal in nature, at least it wasn't a fight to the death.
 
The Little Big Horn was one of the last events in a long cycle of war that went from Jamestown settlers to the machine gunning of aboriginals in Wounded Knee in 1890. It's a sorry tale of greed, racism, misunderstandings, fear, and arrogance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rugila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2012 at 04:35
Originally posted by Lao Tse Lao Tse wrote:

Just curious on everyone's opinions, and post the battle you think if you choose others. ThanxThumbs Up


 

I guess the biggest mistake in military history was wrong strategy of Hwarezmshah against Jengiz-Han. According to royal nomadic tradition of inheritance, the ruler would be eldest son, and eldest son of sultan Hwarezmshah was Jelaleddin, who insisted to drive all turko-iranian army about 600.000 soldiers to clash at one place against mongols. But Alaeddin Mohammad scattered all of 600.000 army allocating  50.000 soldiers at each city, thus all of cities were annihilated by mongols due to his stupid strategy.In fact central asian people and iranians were more skillful in warfare, their horses quick as lightning, best weapon, and even their women had special female iron-coat comparing to weak mongols whose women never fight, such warlike people would win mongols very easily. This was the biggest mistake and biggest tragedy in central asian and iranian military history. Very sad. The region fell all at once two centuries backwards, see nowdays afganistan, iran and central asia, the horrible results of moslem stupidity and mongolian barbarism. When turks become moslem and leave their ancestral nomadic traditions they turn to be very slow and awkward and rule of Horezmshah proved this. Only Europe benefitted from Mongolian invasion this stimulated them to open American continents and new colonies.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2012 at 05:27
Originally posted by Henry Fleischmann Henry Fleischmann wrote:

The South's decision fire on Ft Sumter gets my vote. Until then the Norths's decision was "Wayward Sistes Go in Peace" though both the abolitionists and the anti States Rights faction were attacking more and more strenuosly the only legal beef they had was what to do with Federal facilities in Southern States, like Sumter. The concensus was that some sort of agreement could be reached until the South fired on Sumter when the North was only landing necessary supplies,which gave the abolitionist and States rights opponents all the cause they need for war. The South had no hope of winning and pinned all their hopes on aid from England and France, neither of whose goverments had supported slavery for years and where the only real support came from the Great Capitalists, who saw a kinship with the Southron Plantation Owners.
 
The war would have happened either way. Ft Sumter just made it quicker. Nor were "state rights" or lack there of a cause. The South wanted to extend slavery by force to the new states in the west and the settlers, the majority of whom were abolitionists, did not like the idea (remember the Missouri compromise, 1 free state for every one slave state and Justice Taney threw this as unconstitutional making virtually all new states slave states).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2012 at 10:04
Just two minor points regarding North American and its native inhabitants.
 
First for Lao Tse: They were 'peaceful'?  They were no such thing, sir. War was a sport with the natives, and the measure of a man was his ability to inflict and take torture. That, in fact, gave them a disadvantage with the Europeans. Though some tribes could be hunted to extinction by their neighbors (i.e., the Delaware), the generally lacked the social will to carry a war to the enemy in the manner that Europeans did. They raided each other for horses, women, slaves, furs, and other sundreys, but once those requirements were met they ambled off back to their own grounds until the raiding season returned again. They were NOT peaceable, except when facing clearly stronger enemies.
 
For my esteemed Captain V, Consider this: The horse arrived rather late on the Canadian plains. And it moved from South (in Mexico) north. The fact that the Americans bit off the largest part of the inhabited prairies, whose tribes had transitioned to horse mobility in war and as the measure of warrior, earlier than their Canadian counterparts, guaranteed that the Americans would face a larger population of hostile tribes. Tie that in with the decades of European immigration in which the lower 48 received far more immigrants than did their northern nieghbors, and you had a recipe for conflict.
 
And yes, I am aware that Northern Plains tribes crossed both borders, but I would submit that their increasing numbers on the Canadian side was in some way the result of pressure on the central and southern plains.
 
With due apologies to Louis Riel and Alexandre Mackenzie.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Dec 2012 at 13:09
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Just two minor points regarding North American and its native inhabitants.
 
First for Lao Tse: They were 'peaceful'?  They were no such thing, sir. War was a sport with the natives, and the measure of a man was his ability to inflict and take torture. That, in fact, gave them a disadvantage with the Europeans. Though some tribes could be hunted to extinction by their neighbors (i.e., the Delaware), the generally lacked the social will to carry a war to the enemy in the manner that Europeans did. They raided each other for horses, women, slaves, furs, and other sundreys, but once those requirements were met they ambled off back to their own grounds until the raiding season returned again. They were NOT peaceable, except when facing clearly stronger enemies.
 
No disagreement here. Personally, I don't feel that I'm and apologist for the savagries of hunter/gatherer societies. It was bad- even by the minimal standards of European civilization in pre-industrial times.
 
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

For my esteemed Captain V, Consider this: The horse arrived rather late on the Canadian plains. And it moved from South (in Mexico) north. The fact that the Americans bit off the largest part of the inhabited prairies, whose tribes had transitioned to horse mobility in war and as the measure of warrior, earlier than their Canadian counterparts, guaranteed that the Americans would face a larger population of hostile tribes. Tie that in with the decades of European immigration in which the lower 48 received far more immigrants than did their northern nieghbors, and you had a recipe for conflict.
 
And yes, I am aware that Northern Plains tribes crossed both borders, but I would submit that their increasing numbers on the Canadian side was in some way the result of pressure on the central and southern plains.
 
Thanks for considering me esteemed- an honour I'm sure for a blue collar boy from the northern rainforest.
 
As for horses on the plains, I fear that your analysis may relate more to the horses deposits on the plains, than to said animals. Americans were guaranteed conflict due to the long, long cycle of violence that unfortunately occured from the first bruised egos at Jamestown, to the machine-gunned victims at Wounded Knee. When your brother/ wife/ cousin/best friend has been killed in a gruesome manner, and with (in your opinion) no justification, then the first spin of the cycle has occured, and further inputs of energy actually take less and less, as, over time, more and more animosity builds up. It was already raging at the time of the American Revolution, and certainly didn't improve during the 19th century. This is nothing new; we can still see the effects in the Middle East today, for example. Incremental improvements in weaponery ( the horse, better guns, etc) were very much secondary to this long running process.
 
If the horse arrived later on the Canadian plains, so did colonists. Either way, the equation was similar, and proportionately the same. There was an old paradigm, and it was about to be radically changed. Emotions ran high. Guns were loaded. How would it turn out? In the US, it turned to murder, mayhem, and General Custer. In Canada, by the time of the transcontinental railway, and associated settlement, aboriginals had a long history of more or less peaceful co-existence. Natives had been active partners in the fur trade with the Hudson's Bay Company. The French had been a bit presumptuous perhaps, but had not pushed themselves wholesale onto aboriginal societies. For the most part, differences were settled by treaty. Yes, cheating was common here- but gunfire was not.
 
In short, the American conflict in the west had little to do with horses, or the timing of settlement, but everything to do with ingrained fears, greed, racial attitudes, economic need, the inherited animosity of generations of conflict, (limited) scientific knowledge to date, and plan, simple, opportunity.
 
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

 
With due apologies to Louis Riel and Alexandre Mackenzie.
 
Riel would likely accept your apologies, although to be fair, his conflict was as much about French/English conflict as the aboriginal situation.
 
Alexander Mackenzie?? My guess is that, as a Scotsman, he would likely insist you bought him a drink before you explained yourself.
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Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Just two minor points regarding North American and its native inhabitants.
 
First for Lao Tse: They were 'peaceful'?  They were no such thing, sir. War was a sport with the natives, and the measure of a man was his ability to inflict and take torture. That, in fact, gave them a disadvantage with the Europeans. Though some tribes could be hunted to extinction by their neighbors (i.e., the Delaware), the generally lacked the social will to carry a war to the enemy in the manner that Europeans did. They raided each other for horses, women, slaves, furs, and other sundreys, but once those requirements were met they ambled off back to their own grounds until the raiding season returned again. They were NOT peaceable, except when facing clearly stronger enemies.
 
 
 
I have to disagree a little. In many of the tribes ( aka, Cherokee, and a few of the very small eastern tribes), the war decissions were taken to the responsibility to the women, so they rarely went to war, and not ALL tribes raided each other. Now, when it comes to the Sioux, Apache, Comanche, and Comanchero, and Hopi tribes, I have to agree in the sense that they DID enjoy fighting eachother, and the settlers of the midwest even more than the Khans of Mongolia enjoyed attacking the Midlands. The Iroquois League.... they were fairly warlike, especially in the viewpoint that you are in fact conveying. All I am saying that not every tribe was warlike, some weren't warlike until the Settlers arrived. But there are many who do give proof of war to the extinction of their enemies. Even the Anasazi highly likely was destroyed by the Hopi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2012 at 02:37
Captain V, from another blue collar (actually red/black checkered) boy with a couple of years in the Eastern forests, the Plains tribes would not have numbered what they did, nor posed a military threat, had they not had the horse. 

Machineguns at Wounded Knee? I believe you err. The four Hotchkiss guns were light artillery, not machineguns. The United States Army of 1890 was still armed with the Springfield "Trap Door" .45-70 caliber single shot rifle, which shows up in the photos of Wounded Knee. The Indians, on the other hand, had more modern Winchester rifles, which is perhaps one reason the Cavalry dragged along its Hotchkiss guns.

It was not a great day in the Army's history, but then neither was the Pullman strike or the clearing of the Bonus Army marchers. It should be noted that Army leaders and Indian Agents on the scene had argued in favor of non-intervention, citing reasons on the Lakota side and the fact that peaceable armed Indians were not the problem. 

Lao Tse: The 'comancheros' were not a tribe, and Indians who eschewed war did not survive on the Plains. The Eastern Indians had been no less warlike, but they learned to avoid their White neighbors. Most of those were simply outnumbered by Whites until they dwindled into the small tribes that presently inhabit the Eastern states. The only Eastern tribes who really got a raw deal were the five civilized tribes, of whom you mentioned only the Cherokee. You'd get no argument from anyone that they were unjustly cheated by the government. Railing against the Indian Removal Act is what cost Davy Crockett his seat in Congress. The only non-reservationed Indian band that survives today are the Eastern band of the Cherokee, whose home is centered around the town of Cherokee, North Carolina. (Who provided all those extras in the film: Last of the Mohicans) 


Edited by lirelou - 17 Dec 2012 at 02:47
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On a different note, I believe that Market Garden, the airborne thrust into the Netherlands in Autumn 1944, rates a place on the list of great military mistakes. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Dec 2012 at 04:11
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Captain V, from another blue collar (actually red/black checkered) boy with a couple of years in the Eastern forests, the Plains tribes would not have numbered what they did, nor posed a military threat, had they not had the horse.
 
The Great Plains was simply one of the last arenas of conflict, one that had already gone on for a long time, and was near climax. Horses or not, the plains tribes would have still fought it out, if history is any guide, even at a severe disadvantage. American society did not come into conflict with the plains tribes because they felt uppity now that they had horses, and hence better military prospects. They came into conflict because of settlers desires for land, and the resources attached to it- a process that had already been going on for more than two centuries. Horses or no horses, by the late 19th century the plains tribes were not much of a military threat anyway, not in the larger scheme of things. It was hunter/gatherer against the climax of the industrial revolution- the outcome was clear. The only thing remaining was the final disposition of remaining peoples. At Wounded Knee, this process was a tawdry event.
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


Machineguns at Wounded Knee? I believe you err. The four Hotchkiss guns were light artillery, not machineguns. The United States Army of 1890 was still armed with the Springfield "Trap Door" .45-70 caliber single shot rifle, which shows up in the photos of Wounded Knee. The Indians, on the other hand, had more modern Winchester rifles, which is perhaps one reason the Cavalry dragged along its Hotchkiss guns.
 
Again, you have been keen on identifying the tree, but perhaps have lost sight of the forest. This event was about industrial civilization dealing with the scattered remnants of pre-science, pre-industrial tribes. Unfortunately, even this last event went the way of frenzy and slaughter, rather than a more reasoned settlement.
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


It was not a great day in the Army's history, but then neither was the Pullman strike or the clearing of the Bonus Army marchers. It should be noted that Army leaders and Indian Agents on the scene had argued in favor of non-intervention, citing reasons on the Lakota side and the fact that peaceable armed Indians were not the problem.
 
No doubt, there were good men along the way who tried to make things better. They weren't very successful. 
 
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:


Lao Tse: The 'comancheros' were not a tribe, and Indians who eschewed war did not survive on the Plains. The Eastern Indians had been no less warlike, but they learned to avoid their White neighbors. Most of those were simply outnumbered by Whites until they dwindled into the small tribes that presently inhabit the Eastern states. The only Eastern tribes who really got a raw deal were the five civilized tribes, of whom you mentioned only the Cherokee. You'd get no argument from anyone that they were unjustly cheated by the government. Railing against the Indian Removal Act is what cost Davy Crockett his seat in Congress. The only non-reservationed Indian band that survives today are the Eastern band of the Cherokee, whose home is centered around the town of Cherokee, North Carolina. (Who provided all those extras in the film: Last of the Mohicans) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Henry Fleischmann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2012 at 02:53
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

If the US had stayed out of the war it probably wouldn't have been a nuclear power: it would have had no reason to develop atomic weapons. The British and Canadians and the anti-German scientists who would have then worked with them would have got there first. Even as it was, it was not a solely American effort. (Worth noting technologically that even with the US fighting, only the British and Germans developed jet planes in time for them to take part in the war.)
 
The US started the Manhattan Project on December SIXTH 1941, one day BEFORE Pearl Harbor, and it did so at the urging of several scientists led by Albert Einstein acting on information that Hahn and Strassman had split the atom at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. This info had been smuggled out of Denmark by Niels Bohr. The German scientists known to have nuclear expertise were all, by this time, working with Werner Heisenberg to develop the German bomb. The Canadians, AFAIK, had no atom bomb project and certainly had nothing close to the resources America put into it, which made it, by the the end of the war, comparable in size to the Ford Motor Company
 
If America had stayed out of the war it is almost certain it would have developed it quicker, as it would have vastly more resources to put into it and certainly no motive to put in less, given the state of world affarirs.
 
It is unlikely the Germans could have developed the bomb. After the war, Niels Bohr examined an admittedly very incomplete diagram and device they were trying and concluded it would not have worked. The two known sabotage raids, the second of which was successful and very damaging, were English sponsored and Americans had little or no part in it.  Rumours persist to this day that Heisenberg secretly undermined the project and this is possible but not likely. Heisenberg was not known as a strong anti-Nazi and certainly seems unlikely to risk his life to betray his country.
 
The only wild card is the Japanese, who also had a bomb project and some of the better scientists. If the US had not bombed the Tokyo project, who knows. Stories of an explosion in remote North Korea persist but are probably just as credible as the stories of a fireball in the German wilderness
 
The fact is that the only real answer is InsAllah, Gods Will. It was God's Will that we got the bomb and they did not, and I prefer it that way 
 
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Edited by Henry Fleischmann - 20 Dec 2012 at 02:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2012 at 04:13
Originally posted by Henry Fleischmann Henry Fleischmann wrote:

 
The fact is that the only real answer is InsAllah, Gods Will. It was God's Will that we got the bomb and they did not, and I prefer it that way 
 
 
Somehow, I don't feel comforted by the concept of God keeping track of, and assigning nuclear arsenals according to His personal whim, which given the evidence of accepted scripture, can be capricious to say the least.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2012 at 04:57
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

On a different note, I believe that Market Garden, the airborne thrust into the Netherlands in Autumn 1944, rates a place on the list of great military mistakes. 
 
Market Garden was not a mistake, it was a partial success since two of three objectives were secured and the allied advanced deeper into Nazi territory in 1 week than in one month of fighting in Normandy.
 
Its biggest mistake was that it was hastely planned and executed. Arnhem could have been a success if the British just landed where they were supposed to.
 
In my opinion and I said it many times before, the Turkish screw up in the Pruth campaign of Peter the great against them. The had the guy and they let him go. 30 years later they would bitterly reap what they sowed that day. Russia would have been thrown back at least half a century and the Turkish reforms which were just beginning would have probably been mature by then instead of been smothered by the losses in 1716 war with Austria.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2012 at 05:59
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:


In my opinion and I said it many times before, the Turkish screw up in the Pruth campaign of Peter the great against them. The had the guy and they let him go. 30 years later they would bitterly reap what they sowed that day. Russia would have been thrown back at least half a century and the Turkish reforms which were just beginning would have probably been mature by then instead of been smothered by the losses in 1716 war with Austria.

It is sort of a Turkish habit. Never chasing the fleeing, never fighting the surrendered. Also it's forbidden to refuse when peace offered in Hanafi school of Islam (which most Turks belongs to), as far as I know...
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Quote
Market Garden was not a mistake, it was a partial success since two of three objectives were secured and the allied advanced deeper into Nazi territory in 1 week than in one month of fighting in Normandy.
 
Oh I know.  Seemed like a good plan at the time.
 
Monty got more ppl killed sitting at home than Custer got killed fighing ear to ear w/ his command.
 
Custer was a fool, Monty was a genius - so I'm told.
 
 
Bullsh*t.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2012 at 00:09
Originally posted by SixthArmy SixthArmy wrote:

Quote
Market Garden was not a mistake, it was a partial success since two of three objectives were secured and the allied advanced deeper into Nazi territory in 1 week than in one month of fighting in Normandy.
 
Oh I know.  Seemed like a good plan at the time.
 
Monty got more ppl killed sitting at home than Custer got killed fighing ear to ear w/ his command.
 
Custer was a fool, Monty was a genius - so I'm told.
 
 
Bullsh*t.
 
Are you seriously comparing Market Garden with Little Bighorn?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2012 at 14:18
Well Custer only commanded one Regiment in his battle, so comparing the casualties of a small operation in the Wild West with a multi divisional battle in the Second World War......

Monty wasn't a genius. He was arrogant, confidant and a shameless self promoter.....but so were many generals in history, including Custer.

Market-Garden was a huge and complicated plan, and something that had never been tried before. It didn't work. But Eisenhower approved the plan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2012 at 15:36
Actually, Custer was in direct command of only a battalion equivalent (210 men) at the Little Big Horn. Benteen and Reno commanded similar sized forces at other points related to the battle, but not in Custer's fight, and over a hundred men were on detached duty and not in the field. Custer was legally the deputy commander of the 7th Cavalry in his active duty rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The Regimental commander, Colonel Sturgis, was away on detached duty. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Dec 2012 at 07:11
There's some confusion between US and GB force designations and between cavalry and infantry (and artillerymen). In the infantry, 'Regiment' is not traditionally a single deployed force but consisting of a number of individually deployed (and in training or reserve) battalions, each commanded by a lieutenant colonel, with some 800 men. The 'colonelcy' of  a regiment was and I think still is, an honorary title, since a regiment has no battle commander: a number of deployed battalions make a brigade, with a brigadier in cmmand.

In the cavalry it's different because the UK cavalry did fight in regiments and had no battalions. Regiments were subdivided into squadrons in the same way as battalions were divided into companies. Just to confuse the issue, mounted infantry ('yeomanry') in Britain divided into battalions and companies like normal infantry.

The US cavalry being in effect yeomanry, 'battalion' would be OK for the unit Custer commanded, but a Lieutenant-Colonel to would hardly be justified to command 210 men, whatever the name of the unit. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Dec 2012 at 00:28
Traditionally cavalry units were smaller than their infantry counterparts and in general, smaller than 20th century versions.
 
In the 20th century a US infantry regiment was the same size as a brigade right now, +3000 soldiers. However in the civil war era regiments seldom reached the 1500 men establishment and cavalry regiments were if I am not mistaken were about 500-600 men.
 
The reason why such a high rank for a small sized unit was simple. Cavalry was, like artillary, a specialised arm. it took longer to train and was much more expensive to equip. Not to mention the prestige that comes with it.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buerebista 12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2013 at 03:12
I think that the sending of the 6-th German Army to Stalingrad and not to the Caspian See (blocking the hole Caucasus and reaching the oil fields) was one of the bigest mistakes in the history. The succes of an offensive like that was a far cry from the offensive in France two years earlier.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2013 at 03:44
Hello and welcome to the forum.
 
On Stalingrad, the whole operation from the start was a mistake. The Germans needed 2 army groups with full complement of arms and men. Instead they split an already weakened army group South into two phoney groups and to fill the blanks brought in unreliable allied armies (except for the Hungarians) that collapsed under the first real test.
 
Sending the 6th army to the Caspian would have been just as disasterous since an offensive the size of the Stalingrad one would had the exact same result with an even larger devastation that the original battle.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SixthArmy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jan 2013 at 02:42
 
The Sixth was doomed just like all the German army.  They were badasses close up but idiots of logistics.  Amateurs really.
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