Pershing

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

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    TallTLynn
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (6/30/01 6:31:39 pm)
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    So what do we know about this Commander in Chief of the forces in France during WWI?

    This is all I have - and it's the end of the war.



    LIKTOSHOOT
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (6/30/01 10:42:55 pm)
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    Kain`t pass the reading test, guess I`ll be held back again, over 40 and still in grade school......GEEEEEEESSSHHH I ain`t never gonna gadjuate..............

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (7/1/01 6:42:42 am)
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    T, THANKS...that's cool.

    If you have a copy T, I'd aprreciate it if you could FAX me one.

    "Black Jack" got his nickname because of his service with the 9th and 10th (colored) Regiments in the West and in Cuba.

    He was one of the few white officers that didn't think commanding black soldiers was a punishment.

    But that's the enigma, such glowing reports of how good they were, then he refuses to use those regiments for combat in the AEF, instead uses them as stevedores and quartermaster troops...

    His main claim to fame was to stand up to the French and British and keep our force intact, and committed as AMERICANS.

    They wanted to bust us up and feed us in as replacements to Brit and French forces piecemeal, and we WERE the "New Kid on the Block." There was LOTS of pressure on him to do this, even from politicians in the US.

    While at first it may have led to heavy US casualties as EVERY US officer and man was green to fighting in the Trenches, with inadequate equipment, the result was a trained, battle-hardened, internationally acclaimed Army and Marine Corps, with a fresh perspective on tactics.

    There is no reason to believe the French or British would have or could have done as good at Belleau Wood or the Argonne.

    This way, we actually DID pull their chestnuts from the fire and end the war.

    the real fredneck
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    (7/1/01 7:55:07 am)
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    polishshooter
    was it the tactics or the fact that the AEF had better rifles that allowed them to distinguish themselves? after all the Springfield 03 and 30/06 would outdistance the Brits smelly old Enfields and whatever queerass thing the French used, wasn't it a Belleau Wood that the Marines engaged the enemy at over 1000 yds with great success?

    polishshooter
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    (7/1/01 10:29:09 am)
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    Actually, those Smellys were pretty damn good, and at the time the British Army taught 1000yd shooting to every recruit, and there are several reports whole German OFFENSIVES being stopped in '14 and again in '17-18 where the leading elements stopped because of the "massed accrurate heavy Machine Gun fire," (from actual German reports) when the Brits/ANZACs plugging the holes had nothing but SMLE Mk IIIs...they were put in quickly, and had no Vickers or Lewis guns with them at either time.

    They were PLENTY accurate, and had 10 round mags and pretty slick/quick bolts to boot.

    The main reason we were so successful was the very fact we were green, experienced troops may have stopped and dug in in the face of those machine guns and massed arty.

    Kinda like the reasoning of using green troops at Normandy in War II, green troops couldn't compare it with anything and MIGHT keep moving, and did...

    Besides, the only ones who had the '03 was the Marines, most of the Doughboys in the AEF had the '17 Enfield. SO the argument can be made that the best rifle "over there" was an ENFIELD, of any style. Sgt. York won his medal with the '17, not the '03.

    Personally, I think it's because we had the '97 in the trenches, and no one else had anything like it, but that's my prejudice showing through... (I wonder what THEIR patina looked like after a few weeks in the mud? )

    THe Germans DID officially complain to the world that the shotguns were "inhumane" and threatened to shoot anyone caught with one. This from the country who first used poison gas and flamethrowers...

    Yeah, I love the '03 as much as anybody, but in the trenches, the SMLE was king, even over the Mauser.

    Xracer
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    (7/1/01 10:48:37 am)
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    You're absolutely right Polish..... if Pershing had allowed our troops to be fed into battle as piecemeal replacements to British and French forces, we would not have gained recognition as a major military power.....and the consequent political muscle that goes with it.

    In addition, by keeping control of the AEF, he set a precedent that U.S. forces fight only under U.S. Command.....a precedent that holds true still today.

    polishshooter
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    (7/1/01 4:09:26 pm)
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    Yeah, X, I read an account where Pe3rshing first met with Petain and Clemenceau, and I forget who from the Brits, Lord Somebody(???) and they all were waiting to chew him up and spit him out, treated him like a Rube, they already had the deployment schedule they were going to dictate to him, how the doughboys were going to be fed in the line.

    Persing listened attentively, then when they were done, he calmly told them just that, they would fight as AMERICANS under AMERICAN Command, and then he produced HIS staff plans he had already drawn up, for taking over a section of the line. The frogs and brits of course started sputtering and protesting, but he stuck to his guns.

    Actually, we got along with the French better than the Brits, because of the language! We needed translators, so there wasn't much confusion. With the Brits, everybody thought since everybody spoke English, there wouldn't be any problems.

    One of the best stories I heard was the confusion when a US staff officer ordered 100 trucks from the Brits to unload 20 rail cars. To the Brits, "trucks" WERE rail cars.

    Xracer
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    Posts: 508
    (7/2/01 8:03:43 am)
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    Pe3rshing, Polish?

    Reminds me of the story of the guy that was such an individualist that he spelled his name "Hen4ry". The "4" was silent.


    OK OK, I screwed up! Happy Fingers!

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 7/2/01 11:52:14 pm

    tuckerd1
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    (7/2/01 9:27:20 am)
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    Xracer,

    Is this a true statement you made:

    "In addition, by keeping control of the AEF, he set a precedent that U.S. forces fight only under U.S. Command.....a precedent that holds true still today. "

    What about the US troops wearing the blue hat of the UN in Bosnia/Kosovo? Which I thinks sucks! Are they under US command?

    17th FA Bn
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    (7/2/01 12:25:05 pm)
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    I keep hearing U.S. troops never served under foreign commanders. Many times in World War II U.S. troops were under British Command. A whole U.S. army (9th?) was under Montgomery at one time or another. U.S. troops in Italy would have reported to Field Marshal Alexander.

    In World War I the supreme commander was French.

    17th FA Bn
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    (7/2/01 12:29:11 pm)
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    I saw a PBS special where Black US troops served in French units in World War I. The US Army didn't want to use them, but the French were happy to have them.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (7/2/01 10:49:23 pm)
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    Don't forget, while the British complained our soldiers were "Oversexed, Over paid, and Over here!", we had to remind them they were "Undersexed, Under paid, and under Eisenhower!"

    So at least, when Bradley was under Montgomery, Monty was still under Ike.

    But good observation about Petain. The Brits had problems with the alliance too, Petain was appointed as much to keep them in line as us, because he was acceptable at the time to everyone.

    But then again, the French didn't REALLY order anyone around, the AEF had quite a bit of autonomy, more of a "Cooperative Effort," than actual orders given...


    Edited by: polishshooter at: 7/2/01 11:55:41 pm

    obelix2
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    (7/7/01 9:09:23 am)
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    Yes, Alvin York carried a Model 1917, but Gary Cooper used an '03, so it's sort of a toss-up. BTW, do you mean Petain or Foch? I think Petain had overall command only of the French forces.

    polishshooter
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    (7/7/01 9:45:16 am)
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    Ob, ever the gentleman.

    My fingers overran the brain again and gave no quarter...

    Foch it is...Petain actually commanded the French corps that was linked up with the AEF to the south of the Meuse-Argonne, I THINK...could be wrong.
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