History Forum

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Feb 23, 2003.

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    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 57
    (3/29/01 10:35:55 am)
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    Let me give you little "history."

    I have been reading Mil. History since I graduated from Dr. Seuss. My favorite shows as a kid in the 60s were the "Rat Patrol" and "Combat." Probably would have been expelled from school today if we were to run around the playground in our "jeeps" blasting "Tigers" and "Krauts" with our Ma Deuces like we did back then.

    This led to my never fulfilled 1970s "ROTC" commitment. (No not a "Bill Clinton", a back injury!) (My only real regret in my life.) But it also meant a BA in History, with a Mil. History specialty, and some graduate work in WWII and US Mil. Policy, and my best "papers" on WWII and the Civil War.

    I've shot IPSC with a 1911 I built, DCM with a Garand, hunt deer with a Winchester riot gun, and hold a CRFFL. I "shoot history" as much as read it...I figure after your specific questions, for example, are answered by the experts in the C&R forum, come here and we'll talk about your new gun's use...

    The purpose of this forum is to argue passionately about what we THINK we know about history, and learn in the process.

    All I ask is to show respect to each other. First, no matter WHAT you think you know, there IS someone out there who knows more than you. I learned this the hard way. I hope to get a good cross section of "Buffs," Historians, veterans, collectors, reenactors,and people merely mildly interested. AND promote the study of History! All you have to do is read...and think. There is no question too dumb, no knowledge too extensive, no opinion unassailable with reason and research...

    Second, History is NOT static! For example, much of what we learned about WWII and later is changing as more "Ultra Secret" stuff is declassified, and the "real" stuff from the old Soviet Union comes to light since the end of the Cold War.

    My rules are simple:

    "The MORE you know, the LESS you know."

    "If you don't learn at least one new thing every day, you just ain't trying."

    "When you try to see how high you can make the wall wet, it WILL splash back down on you!"

    AND, be nice to the Veterans. No matter WHAT we read, we can NEVER have enough first hand knowlege. They've "seen the elephant..." I haven't.


    And here's some fodder for us to jump in right off the bat.

    (1) The Sherman (and variants) was the best Tank of WWII.

    (2) R.E.Lee was overrated as a General.

    (3.)German Generals in WWII were overrated too, and "got away" with blaming Hitler for their own incompetence.

    (4))Say what you will, the M16 is now the longest lived service weapon in the US Army's history so it must be good.

    (5.)There were more Battleship v. Battleship battles in WWII than Carrier v. Carrier so they must have been pretty important...

    (6.)The 7.62X54R cartridge is the most successful centerfire battle cartridge of all time.

    (7.)The Spanish should have cleaned our clocks in Cuba, and almost did!

    (8.)We actually did "win" the Vietnam War...

    (9.)McArthur should have been shot for treason in '41.

    (10.)The "Chosin Few" should have their OWN monument in DC...


    OK, my opinions, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley..."


    Edited by: polishshooter at: 3/29/01 10:39:47 am

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 82
    (3/29/01 5:14:03 pm)
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    Hey Polish......I think they made this forum just for us.

    I grew up during WWII, so I know how things were on the "Home Front" during the war.

    We lived on top of the highest hill in East Hartford, CT.....right in the landing pattern for Renschler Field, the airport for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Hamilton Standard Propeller, and Norden Bombsight, so just about everything (Allied) that flew during WWII came right over my house.....and as an airplane-crazy kid, I knew 'em all!

    I come by my love of guns honestly.....my dad was a draftsman at the Springfield Armory working for John Garand on the design of the M1 in the mid-30's, moved to Colt where he became a Jr. Tool Designer on the 40mm Bofors (later manufactured elsewhere) and other projects, went over to P&W as a Tool Designer, was asked (ordered) by the War Production Board to go over to Underwood to be the Senior Tool Designer for the manufacture of the M1 Carbine there.....

    And I LOVE military history!

    Indybear57
    Registered User
    Posts: 1
    (3/29/01 9:20:29 pm)
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    Polish-followed Tac's post on the VN board over here. I've got a Civil War bug that I caught from my Dad. Been to bunches of battlefields since I was a kid. Dad lived in Virginia for a few years and we were just like kids in candy store! Pretty beat tonight, but I'll try to make it back and we'll hash over R.E. Lee and the rest.

    Mike L.

    Remember-if Lee had listened to Longstreet at Gettysburg we'd all be sending our tax returns to Richmond!

    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 124
    (3/29/01 9:31:25 pm)
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    So, you think the 7.62x54R is the best cartridge, but yet think the ol' British Smelly is the best rifle? Come on, you are a closet RuskoPhile! Pass the Vodka Comrad!
    Support the Dead Party, vote Harry S. Truman for Missouri Senate in 2002!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 77
    (3/29/01 9:59:15 pm)
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    IF old Col. Mosin designed a @#!$!^ safety that could be worked easily (My son's Arisaka actually works easier!) AND had a 10 round mag, or at least a stripper clip that didn't take three hands to use....

    And I cheated on the X54R. Did you see this issue of SGN? The only 1890s cartridge still issued. (For MGs and snipers, sure, but STILL issued...)

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 452
    (3/29/01 11:01:31 pm)
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    ezSupporter
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    Welcome Indybear!

    Pull up a log to the fire and stay a while when you return!

    I'm sure you and Polish will have an interesting discussion.

    Tac
    The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 85
    (3/29/01 11:33:25 pm)
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    I like the name IndyBear! I'm from Indiana if that's what the Indy means...

    Ol Marse Robert was probably the best battlefield tactitian of the war, BUT he was not a strategist...and really, WAS he a Confederate, or a VIRGINIAN?

    And by insisting the capital move from Mobile to Richmond or else he wouldn't fight for the CSA, just Virginia, was the WORST deal the Confederacy ever made, in a lot of people's opinion.

    And the war was lost in the West anyway, when Chattanooga fell...the east was just a sideshow to the real war. A bloodbath, but a sideshow. Even if Lee took Washington, the Union would not have fell, and Lee squandered the best of his troops, defending a "Capital" that meant nothing to the confederacy even if it was abandoned, which it should have been early in '61.

    By forcing the Yankees to cross miles of enemy territory to fight major battles in the DEEP south, while being harrassed by TONS of guerrillas like Morgan along their supply lines, the CSA could have held on indefinitely, and maybe got the English to come in.

    Instead they tried to hold everything, and kept nothing.

    He was a Napoleonic general seeking the great climactic battle to end the war, when he was actually fighting the first "modern" war where there was no such animal any more...his men were already getting demoralized BEFORE Gettysburg, they were already grumbling, no matter how many "bluebellies" they killed or "drove," there were always more to face. That was GRANT'S secret! Besides the cases of booze!

    This will be a GREAT argument!!!!

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 89
    (3/30/01 9:48:59 am)
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    Much of Lee's "Military Genius" was actually the total ineptitude of the Union generals opposing him. McClellan, Hooker and Burnside wasted numerous opportunities to pin down Lee and destroy him.

    It took a while for the cream to rise to the top, but when it did, it took a relatively short period of time for Grant and Sherman to get the job done.

    Kdubya
    Moderator
    Posts: 56
    (3/30/01 3:12:24 pm)
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    Without the industrial base of the North, the South was doomed from the start. It is amazing the war lasted as long as it did - a true indication of the stamina of the South and the blundering of the North.
    The whole war was fought for the wrong issue. Slavery wasn't what it was fought over, it was the North's desire to dominate the Southern cotton raiser and prevent the crops from being exported to Europe. Slavery was a side issue that had public appeal. The money purses of the Northern textile mill owner was what held sway with the politicans to assure goading the South into extreme actions.
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 6
    (3/31/01 8:35:06 am)
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    For Polish: You know I agree with you about the importance of the West to the outcome. But I take issue with you on the fall of Washington, which, unlike Richmond, was not a new-crowned provisional capital. Its fall (even to Early, as late as 1864) would have been a disaster to the Union. Everything -- military and political -- centered there. After all, the Confederacy didn't have to WIN the war; they just had to NOT LOSE it.

    For XRacer: I may be the only person in the world willing to defend McClellan, Burnside and/or Hooker; but the world can stand one of them.

    Start on McClellan: He saved the Union twice -- first by making the Manassas ragtag into an army; second, by taking ONE WEEK to turn three separate, badly beaten armies into a force capable of taking on Lee at South Mountain and Sharpsburg. Note that in virtually every action between Lee and McClellan Confederate casualties were higher than Federal. No other Union general can make that claim -- certainly not Grant, who wasted 50,000 men in the summer of 64 to get to the same place McClellan would have gone for free in the summer of 62 if Halleck, Stanton and, yes, Lincoln had let him.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 92
    (3/31/01 8:43:43 am)
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    Wow. An "economic cause of war" proponent. Be careful, at the end of that road lies Old Karl!!!!

    I don't necessarily agree with your premise as a MAIN cause of the war, but there ia a grain of truth, Northern textile mills needed the Southern cotton.

    Along the same thread is the decision by the South to burn all the southern cotton in England so painstakenly stockpiled in warehouses by farsighted southerners BEFORE the war to be used to finance the upcoming inevitable war. The Southern "economists" at the start of the war thought a world-wide shortage would drive the rest of the world to support the South just for the cotton. WRONG! All it did was make cotton growing in Egypt and Australia more viable, and ultimately led to CHEAPER sources overseas, even for Northern Mills!

    "Cotton is King" proponents were not completely right...

    GREAT MOVE! I wonder how many Enfields or Whitworths that cotton would have bought early in the war when the blockade was porous?

    This is one reason I don't COMPLETELY buy your argument, but it's a good one!

    The main thing is to keep reminding people there were MANY reasons the war was fought, and SLAVERY was not the main one, in fact slavery was only indirectly a cause at all!!!

    (State's rights, anyone? )


    Xracer
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    Posts: 93
    (3/31/01 9:38:12 am)
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    Yeah obelix.....McClellan was great at forming an army and training an army....he just wasn't very good at using one.

    He built this great, huge, wonderful army......and just stood back and admired it....for month's on end!

    Little Mac was a "master of the bivouac".......and that's no way to win a war!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 96
    (3/31/01 11:52:07 am)
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    And I still chuckle just a little if it wasn't so serious when I picture Burnside marching his men up and down a river that was only knee deep trying to find a bridge when he was needed badly on the other side NOW!!! It lost one battle for the Union for sure.

    And there are lots of letters home from the 18th Indiana Battery bitching about Burnside, when after Chickamauga they were part of the "relief expedition" to "save" Burnside in Knoxville. After a forced march through very difficult terrain they found Burnside sitting down to a rather splendid little feast and his men not in half the trouble his dispatches made it sound...

    BUT as goofy as that cartridge looked, the Burnside Carbine actually worked pretty well, I think it may have been the most numerous breechloading carbine bought by the Union, but knowing how "political" Burnside was, you always suspect he "paid somebody off..."

    And that's pretty much the problem about Lee. He never really had an idea what he was going to do AFTER he fought the "Climactic Battle" he sought. Even IF he won at Gettysburg he would have had to retreat, due to losses and logistics, and he probably couldn't have dispatched regiments to Chickamauga if he tried to stay. The North was never truly threatened with the loss of Washington. His further operations in hostile territory would have been hampered in the same way the North would have been hurt in a "Deep South" campaign, with ALL confederate forces consolidated around Mobile.

    "What if." The two most important non-productive words in History. Useless, yes, but fun to argue and they definitely make you think!!!! (And nobody can PROVE you wrong...)

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 9
    (3/31/01 4:22:02 pm)
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    Not enough space to defend poor Ambrose for now. Do we need, perhaps, a War-Between-the-States forum?

    Anyhow, XRacer, I grant your (actually everyonebutme's) point: McClellan wasn't aggressive enough to be a field commander (though he was asked to do things in 62 with almost an equality in numbers that were not required of Grant against an exhausted Confederacy with almost a 3-1 margin). Sigh; I just can't help defending hopeless causes.

    Despite undoubted personal courage, tremendous organizational ability, and charisma (just go ask your favorite neighborhood CW vet who was his best commander), Mac would not take risks. It is impossible to picture him in Lee's situation at Chancellorsville.

    But how about this (yeah, an asif, Polish): What if McClellan had been removed from the command of the Army of the Potomac but left as commander-in-chief instead of the reverse?

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 95
    (3/31/01 6:42:35 pm)
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    Actually, while they were lousy generals, I've got a soft spot in my head for both Burnside and Hooker.

    First.....I went to Burnside Junior High. Burnside is a section of East Hartford, CT......obviously named in a fit of misplaced patriotism.

    Second....Hooker. Anybody that has his name used to describe ladies of the world's oldest (historically speaking) profession, is OK with me!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 117
    (3/31/01 8:11:56 pm)
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    Hey guys?

    I started a new thread on Generals...I think I'll try the same thing later on other wars too...opinions run deep.

    This was too good to bury in a long post started by a boring lecture of mine, people might get turned off before they got to this, yathink?

    PLEASE continue, this is good stuff. Thanks!!!!

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 27
    (4/1/01 3:56:00 am)
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    Mildly off subject: "Hooker" as a name for not-nice girls antedates the general. By the way, Xracer, wasn't Connecticut founded by a Hooker?
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