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Sixty Years Ago at Dawn

 
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 11:26 am
I read somewhere the Germans ran out of fuel for their tanks, and so lost momentum and mobility. It could have been much nastier.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 11:28 am
The Germans didn't only run out of fuel but couldn't keep supplies coming at all, just after two days.
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panzade
 
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Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 11:32 am
I'll leave it to the history buffs to clarify but one thing for sure. The uncommon valor that was common in the US infantryman and kitchen personnel at the Bulge was to me, the deciding factor in stemming the tide of this last Nazi offensive.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 04:51 pm
Panzade writes
Quote:
The stark contrast between Iraq and the Ukraine shows that this administration hasn't thought things all the way through.
We're mostly all agreed that spreading democracy is a good thing. The question is, what is the best way to achieve this.


I know we disagree on the war, friend, and I respect that more than you probably believe. I am, however, almost finished with General Tommy Franks' book "An American Soldier" and, while mistakes were made in Iraq as they have been made in every armed conflict you can dig out of the history manuals, you either have to call general Franks a liar or realize they did indeed think things all the way through as best they could and they were in a no way operating in a vacuum at any time.

To compare Iraq with the Ukraine, however, is akin to comparing widgets to shopping malls. In one case you have a voluntarily adopted independence; in the other a forced one. The Ukraine would not have been possible without a multi-decade cold war and arms race of unprecedented proportions in which the richest country won. I can't imagine anybody would think that would have been a good way to address the Iraq problem.
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 05:55 pm
I did state from the 90's so you should have picked up that I was talking about the time period after the break up of the Soviet Union.

I too respect Tommy Franks but ironically it was Dick Cheney who gave ample reasons why occupying Iraq to instill democracy was foolhardy...I believe Cheney made his speech in 1992...I just don't have it handy.

I reiterate, Iraq and Ukraine are different sides of the spread democracy coin.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 06:08 pm
Yes Cheney, and to a lesser degree Powell, were the voice of opposition and was given a full hearing as to why he felt that way. He was overruled by Franks, the other generals consulted, Rumsfield, Tenet, the President et al after all the evidence was looked out. Both Cheney and Powell, then threw their support behind the effort to give it every chance to succeed. That would be a great example for every American I think whether or not they think the war should have been started in the first place.
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Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Dec, 2004 06:24 pm
The 'make or break' in WW2 was the defeat of the Nazis at Stalingrad. In real terms of troops and material committed, there was no battleground more important in human history.

Quote:
Paulus' defeat was followed by three days of solemn music on German state radio. The Soviets took more than 110,000 prisoners, few of whom survived captivity. Twenty-two German divisions had been destroyed during the Battle of Stalingrad and over 800,000 German soldiers died. These were losses from which Hitler's war machine could never hope to recover.


Not saying the Nazis were a push-over after D-Day, but the Reich's days were numbered from that moment.
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 05:01 am
I wish some of the armchair generals who were in favour of bombing and invading Iraq, would read "Stalingrad" by Anthony Beevor.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 05:08 am
Why are you so sure they haven't, McTag?
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 07:19 am
Foxfyre wrote:
Why are you so sure they haven't, McTag?


Well there's no real answer to that, I admit, but it's a fact that those who have been in a war, and that book describes a frightful time very well, are the most reluctant to get others involved in another one.

I will refrain from further comment and comparisons so as not to deflect the thread, sorry.
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 07:25 am
McTag, I object. I think you and Foxfyre are circling around the contention that the Battle Of The Bulge is relevant to the invasion of Iraq and perhaps the taking of Fallujah. And I for one would like your views on it.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 08:05 am
Well it's hard not to like Panzade and McTag even when you guys are impossible. Smile

But my only contention is that contained in the piece used to set the thesis for the thread and which Tico immediately recognized and excerpted for that purpose:

The Battle of the Bulge is not at all relevant to the invasion of Iraq, but the lessons learned retrospectively re the Battle of the Bulge are entirely relevant to what we are currently experiencing re Iraq.
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panzade
 
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Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 08:44 am
Foxfyre wrote:

The Battle of the Bulge is not at all relevant to the invasion of Iraq, but the lessons learned retrospectively re the Battle of the Bulge are entirely relevant to what we are currently experiencing re Iraq.


Possibly the silliest statement I have ever witnessed from your keyboard.
It's hard not to love such contortions. :wink:
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 08:45 am
panzade wrote:
McTag, I object. I think you and Foxfyre are circling around the contention that the Battle Of The Bulge is relevant to the invasion of Iraq and perhaps the taking of Fallujah. And I for one would like your views on it.


My views on this are not military ones, and I did not mean to give the impression that they were.
My views on the Iraq invasion are that it was unnecessary and misguided, illegal and ultimately counter-productive. Also, that and such invasion was bound to cause much damage to and injury and death innocent non-combatants, to a people which was weakened and half-starved by years of sanctions.
Also, that even though the Iraq armed forces were enfeebled and with no air support, and the outcome was never in the slightest doubt, war is hell, for both sides, and that hell is continuing today for both sides and will continue into the unspecified future.
I extended the opinion that if more decision-makers knew of Stalingrad, and similar battles and theatres (Vietnam?) then they would not be so ready to commit troops and kill civilian families; even in cases when military victory for their own side is assured.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 08:45 am
Did you even read the piece Panzade? Did you read even the exerpt? If you did, please explain your rationale for why it is silly.
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Magus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 08:52 am
Starting with its source...
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 08:54 am
I read the piece, and the excerpt seemed to be the piece....so far so good.
Greenberg hints that there is a correlation but doesn't elaborate. You hint that there's a tie but don't elaborate.
Let me ask you as I asked McTag:
How does the Battle Of The Bulge give us insight into the occupation of Iraq?
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 09:35 am
Quote:
... There's a different kind of war on now, but war itself remains the same brutal experience. And it invokes the same admixture of fear and desperation, bloody miscalculation and incredible heroism, over-confidence and unchanging defeatism.

Much was gained by that decisive victory in the Ardennes 60 years ago, but victory obscures as much as it reveals. How the Battle of the Bulge turned out may seem inevitable now that history has unfolded but, as Wellington was supposed to have said of Waterloo, "it was a damned close-run thing."

The passage of time erodes memory, and we tend to forget the pain, the sacrifices, the mercurial swings of public opinion, the alternating hopes and fears, the daily uncertainty of war . . . and the necessity of endurance.


The last paragraph is the lesson we need to remember and learn again I think.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 09:40 am
Ticomaya wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
Why was this posted in the Politics forum?


my guess ....

Quote:
... There's a different kind of war on now, but war itself remains the same brutal experience. And it invokes the same admixture of fear and desperation, bloody miscalculation and incredible heroism, over-confidence and unchanging defeatism.

Much was gained by that decisive victory in the Ardennes 60 years ago, but victory obscures as much as it reveals. How the Battle of the Bulge turned out may seem inevitable now that history has unfolded but, as Wellington was supposed to have said of Waterloo, "it was a damned close-run thing."

The passage of time erodes memory, and we tend to forget the pain, the sacrifices, the mercurial swings of public opinion, the alternating hopes and fears, the daily uncertainty of war . . . and the necessity of endurance.



The message is a reminder of lessons learned.

I think the efforts of some to appropriate certain episodes of American history for their own partisan political ends is shameful.
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Dec, 2004 09:56 am
If you're going to link WWII events with Iraq, then the Japanese would be represented by the aggressor US mounting a preemptive strike to secure it's petroleum sources...
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