PDA

View Full Version : Diggers 'afraid to attack enemy'



luftluuver
12-05-2007, 02:45 PM
Aussie vets up in arms over latest book by Sir Max Hastings.

AUSTRALIA'S war veterans are furious at claims by noted English historian Sir Max Hastings that they were too scared to fight the Japanese in 1945.

Hastings accused Australian soldiers of disobeying orders to attack, saying many soldiers were "embittered" and even on the edge of open mutiny.

He said regular volunteer troops felt bitter towards those who did not volunteer to serve and scorned conscript militia sent to New Guinea and Bougainville.

"The last year of the war proved the most inglorious of Australia's history as a fighting nation," he writes in the new book Nemesis - The Battle For Japan 1944-45.

Hastings appears to think not nearly enough Australians died fighting the Japanese.

He seems to belittle the 7384 Australians killed fighting in the Pacific War, by noting that this was fewer than the number of prisoners captured in Malaya and Singapore who died, and only slightly more than the number of US Marines killed on Iwo Jima.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/12/01/1196394682257.html

luftluuver
12-05-2007, 02:45 PM
Aussie vets up in arms over latest book by Sir Max Hastings.

AUSTRALIA'S war veterans are furious at claims by noted English historian Sir Max Hastings that they were too scared to fight the Japanese in 1945.

Hastings accused Australian soldiers of disobeying orders to attack, saying many soldiers were "embittered" and even on the edge of open mutiny.

He said regular volunteer troops felt bitter towards those who did not volunteer to serve and scorned conscript militia sent to New Guinea and Bougainville.

"The last year of the war proved the most inglorious of Australia's history as a fighting nation," he writes in the new book Nemesis - The Battle For Japan 1944-45.

Hastings appears to think not nearly enough Australians died fighting the Japanese.

He seems to belittle the 7384 Australians killed fighting in the Pacific War, by noting that this was fewer than the number of prisoners captured in Malaya and Singapore who died, and only slightly more than the number of US Marines killed on Iwo Jima.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/12/01/1196394682257.html

Whirlin_merlin
12-05-2007, 02:53 PM
Does seem very off (to put it midly!) but I feel it best to reserve judgment until I see what he actually wrote and in context.

ploughman
12-05-2007, 03:16 PM
Reptiles stirring to make a headline.

dangerlaef
12-05-2007, 03:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">"Hastings appears to think not nearly enough Australians died fighting the Japanese." </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

& a high death toll is a indicator of military prowess?

That explains the British approach in WW1 then.

ploughman
12-05-2007, 03:22 PM
Guaranteed to attract the considered response. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Skoshi Tiger
12-05-2007, 03:32 PM
During WWII the AIF was an ALL volunteer organisation, with a history and reputation for NOT following mindless, needlessly wasteful orders. If an officer ordered them do do something suicidal or stupid they were regularly told to F-Off!

Also you need to put it into context with the stage of the war. In the island hopping stage of the final years The Ozzie troops and the US Fought their way up New Guinea, Indonesia, Borneo, Celebes. Then MacArthur decided (or it had been his plan all along) to take the Phillipines back with only US troops.

The Australian soldiers were extremely resentful at being left out. They were left with the task of dealing with the Japanese that had been bypassed in the wild rush to Manilla.

These attacks had no strategic purpose. The Japanese troops were dug-in in heavely fortified positions and were fighting to the last man. They were surounded, isolated and could not take any further offensive action.

Many of the Australian troops had been part of the the attacks on Buna and Gonna in New Guinea and knew how costly takeing out these positions would be. (By the end of the Battle of Gona I think my Dad's Battalion had something like 50 able bodied men left out of 700 that started down the Kokoda track.)

The April '45 the RAAF pilots had their mutiny, for exactly the same reasons. Many of the pilots in the SW Pacific tended their resignations because they were fed up with attacking statigically unimportant pockets of Japanese and they wanted to go to where the real war was.

Wing Commander Auther drew up a 'profit and loss' account and concluded that the missions that they were being asked to perform just weren't worth while.

As a personal aside, my dad was in the middle of a mission behind Japanese lines to get prisoners/information, when the bombs were dropped. They came back to find the war was over.

Anyone in the comfort of an armchair today that questions the bravery of the men (and women) of that day is a cad and a buffoon, they deserves little in the way of respect and should be ignored as they obviously do not know what they are talking about!

Ratsack
12-05-2007, 04:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
During WWII the AIF was an ALL volunteer organisation, ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it wasn't. There was conscription in Australia in WWII, but with the restriction that conscripted soldiers (i.e., the Militia) could only be used in direct defense of Australia. 'Direct defence' included New Guinea, which as an Australian possession back then (until 1973, if memory serves). During the course of the war John Curtin's government extended the zone of Australian defence to include the islands to the north of New Guinea, too.

So the Aussies in Britain and the Middle East were volunteers. The guys fighting the first rear guard actions over the Owen Stanley mountains were Militia.

cheers,
Ratsack

leitmotiv
12-05-2007, 04:23 PM
I want to see Hastings' documents. If he has some proof, then let the debate begin. Until we know what he has, there is no argument.

Skoshi Tiger
12-05-2007, 04:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
During WWII the AIF was an ALL volunteer organisation, ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it wasn't. There was conscription in Australia in WWII, but with the restriction that conscripted soldiers (i.e., the Militia) could only be used in direct defense of Australia. 'Direct defence' included New Guinea, which as an Australian possession back then (until 1973, if memory serves). During the course of the war John Curtin's government extended the zone of Australian defence to include the islands to the north of New Guinea, too.

So the Aussies in Britain and the Middle East were volunteers. The guys fighting the first rear guard actions over the Owen Stanley mountains were Militia.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, your wrong! But it's understandable.

The 'AIF' - Australian Imperial Force was a seperate and distinct force from the militia.

Together the AIF and Militia forces combined to make the Australian Military Forces (AMF) But the term 'AIF' can only be used by the volunteer orginisation. The only exception would be the militia forces that later 'Volunteered' and therefore became part of the AIF.

Cheers!

Korolov1986
12-05-2007, 04:46 PM
Of course they were afraid!

Who wasn't? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Skoshi Tiger
12-05-2007, 04:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Korolov1986:
Of course they were afraid!

Who wasn't? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Theres a difference between being afraid and

"too scared to fight"

That's what makes them 'brave'.

Dagnabit
12-05-2007, 06:10 PM
This man Sir Nincompoop Hastings, is way off the mark so far as I see it. I know alot of Aussies, some being very close friends, and I would never consider fear to be something attributed to them, or the Australian people in general. I would bet every cent I can lay my hands on, that he didnt get the opinion of any of the Japanese troops that had to fight against the Aussies, either.
This guy just wants to stir up some controversy to sell his book, but he sure as hell shouldnt be doing it in such a way as to defame the veterans of Australia.
My father in law, was Red Arrow Division, and was in Oz, and New Guinea, and he says there were no better men to fight with than the Aussies.

Dag

Ratsack
12-05-2007, 06:29 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
During WWII the AIF was an ALL volunteer organisation, ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, it wasn't. There was conscription in Australia in WWII, but with the restriction that conscripted soldiers (i.e., the Militia) could only be used in direct defense of Australia. 'Direct defence' included New Guinea, which as an Australian possession back then (until 1973, if memory serves). During the course of the war John Curtin's government extended the zone of Australian defence to include the islands to the north of New Guinea, too.

So the Aussies in Britain and the Middle East were volunteers. The guys fighting the first rear guard actions over the Owen Stanley mountains were Militia.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


The 'AIF' - Australian Imperial Force was a seperate and distinct force from the militia. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sort of.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Together the AIF and Militia forces combined to make the Australian Military Forces (AMF) But the term 'AIF' can only be used by the volunteer orginisation. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have seen the term used to describe the Militia, too. That may be right or wrong, but in the context of this discussion it is important to note that the troops fighting in New Guinea were initially not from the volunteer forces.

cheers,
Ratsack

Ratsack
12-05-2007, 06:31 PM
On the original matter, it's very hard to discuss the issue without knowing what Hastings actually said, and the context.

At the time of the Kokoda campaign, there was bad blood in Australia about accusations of cowardice. These accusations were initially levelled by McArthur, and fuelled by Blamey. Many regard this as Blamey's greatest disgrace.

Regarding casualties, yes, in WWII Australian casualties were a fraction of those suffered by Australian forces in WWI. But the situation was not comparable. In WWI, the AIF in France was engaging the main strength of the main enemy, on the main front. For a period in 1918, the ANZAC Corps was the largest formation in the Allied line. It is no surprise that under these circumstances they lost tens of thousands dead.

The Australian forces in WWII were not used as the spearhead of the Allied formations engaging the main force of the main enemy. Their casualties reflect that.

cheers,
Ratsack

Skoshi Tiger
12-05-2007, 08:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
At the time of the Kokoda campaign, there was bad blood in Australia about accusations of cowardice. These accusations were initially levelled by McArthur, and fuelled by Blamey. Many regard this as Blamey's greatest disgrace.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

MacArthur and Blamey sent a force of around 1000 Australian soldier to hold the Japanese at the 'Kokoda Gap' with orders to fight to the last man.

The Kokoda Gap was 10 miles wide and the Japanese were conservatively estimated to number 6000 soldiers (some estimates up to 10000!). The Japanese had mountain guns.

Australians were only armed with light arms and did not relyable suply lines (Several mortar crews were killed by using airdroped rounds so an order was issued to only use rounds that were carried in by hand)

Brigader Potts (the CO in the field) refused to follow orders and fought a fighting withdrawl along the track. By the time that they had reached Imita ridge (where the Australians were eventually reinforced) the Japanese was a spent force and incapable of pressing on their attack.

For this Blamey and MacArtur made the alligations of cowardice!

Check out wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokoda_Track_campaign </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gumtree
12-05-2007, 08:31 PM
The point made earlier concerning the Volunteer nature of the AIF is correct. All AIF personnel in both wars were volunteers.

AMF or the Australian Militia Force as it was then was comprised of volunteers and draftees that could only or would only serve defending the homeland from direct attack, the fact that a law was passed so that these men could be later sent to New Guinea as part of the defence of the Australian homeland was a stroke of genius as nothing else was left at the time of the Jap attack to defend the overland route to Port Moresby. For the best account bar none IMHO read Peter Brune's "Ragged bloody heroes or A ******* of a place', these 2 books or any of the biographies on the battlefield commanders (Pott's & Porter) are the best sources of information on this sector of the second world war.

At the start of the campaign, all Australia had defending the Kokoda front was the untried militia battalion from Victoria (39th), the under trained 53rd from NSW, who were basically press-ganged on to the transport ships from the Sydney clerical troops and off suburban streets,

These Conscript battalions held off the might of the Japanese south seas force of veteran well equip troops until the regular veteran volunteer 7th division troops of the 2/14th and 2/16th battalions could step into the breach. The 39th did the lion's share of the defending with the ill disciplined 53rd being used as labourers.

I believe that Hastings is speaking about the later period around the North coast,that was lead by the Volunteer troops and the Militia.

I have always found Hastings books to be very good and well researched and I consider myself a rather well versed on Australian military history and fail to see how he came to this conclusion. I will have to read before I disregard this book as tripe, but as has been mentioned the Australian troops by the later stages of the war where well and truly fed up with the McArthur doctrine of command, which basically went along the lines of any Australian victory being out down to his own brilliance and any set back being the fault of the Australians.

jeffmillar
12-05-2007, 09:27 PM
My grandfather was Red Arrow(32nd ID), too. He had an undying respect for the Australians he served with for the rest of his life.

Dagnabit
12-05-2007, 09:58 PM
I think Hastings should do a promotional "Pub Tour" in Oz, for his book. You know give the blokes a fair dinkum chance, to voice their approval........or not. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Dag

jasonbirder
12-06-2007, 02:04 AM
People seem to be commenting on the Article about Max Hastings's book without having read the book itself (Which is excellent by the way)
Bear in mind Nemesis is written about the period mid 1944 to the end of the war and he does not comment on the Australian performance in New Guinea earlier in the war.
In fact he contrasts the bravery and excellent combat records of Australian troops in New Guinea and the Western Desert, with their later contribution during the Philippines campaign.
Whether their performance was caused by war weariness, disillusionment with contributing to the "Mother Nation", a feeling they were marginalised during MacArthur's campaign or other reasons, I don' think anyone would argue that their combat record in the Philippines compares favourably with their contribution earlier in the war.
He also refers to labour problems/Industrial unrest in Australia particularly at ports and harbours which affected the use of Australia as a logistics base.

skarden
12-06-2007, 02:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
I want to see Hastings' documents. If he has some proof, then let the debate begin. Until we know what he has, there is no argument. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Soz leit but putting anything like this out there where aussies can read this will most definatly cause an argument anywhere it's brought up around australians(or even as we've seen those who know some aussies soldiers).it won't to be an informed argument but it'll be argued all the same(as i expect it would be in the US if anyone leveled this at any US troops of any era)

that said your right and we need to see the full quote.......................................before we start ripping it apart http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Feathered_IV
12-06-2007, 06:03 AM
I would be interested to know how many things Max Hastings has died fighting for. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Does he mention the percentage that the 7384 represent, out of the number of Australian troops who served there?

blakduk
12-06-2007, 04:04 PM
I'll wait until i've read the original text before i pass judgement. The articles i've read about 'outraged veterans' have all the hallmarks of a media beatup.
Many Aussie veterans from the pacific war i've known were bitter about their being sidelined by the USA forces- they felt they were being ordered to engage in strategically useless sideshows. Most were quite prepared to risk their lives for ultimate victory, they were far more reluctant to endure those same risks when the ultimate outcome wouldnt be effected. Far from cowardice it seems more like common sense.
Most of these troops had vivid recollections of the storied they had been told of the Dardenelles campaign of 1916- the heroic but ultimately futile sacrifice by Anzac forces at Gallipoli had left many questioning why they should sacifice themselves.
I can understand the US forces reluctance to fully integrate the Australian ones- they trained independantly, were equipped differently, and were far more 'British' than they are today. Three years was not enough time to incorporate these troops seamlessly into the US forces- it was far more efficient to concentrate on their own personnel. If the need had been there they would undoubtedly have made the effort.
Post-war Australia realised this and reexamined their strategic needs and alliances. This has lead to a far greater effort being made for Australian forces to be able to cooperate more closely with American forces.
WW2 truly was the end of the British Empire, and Australia was forced to recognise that.

Buk_Nekkid
12-06-2007, 06:14 PM
Max Hastings is a Fu#kwit.... Pure and simple.



Cheers, Neil http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Skoshi Tiger
12-06-2007, 06:50 PM
When it all comes down to it, Australian Sevice men and women did their part. They served their country bravely, sometimes against incredible odds.

Their performance and the way that they conducted themselves (even in defeat and captivity) is something that all Austalians can be justifiably proud of.

For a reasonable summation of Australias' contribution to WWII visit the Australian War Memorial site.

http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/ww2.htm

smokincrater
12-06-2007, 10:47 PM
Max Hastings is entitled to his view. Though I do agree that most Australian Soldiers did not want to fight. Not because they were scared. But beacuse of the useless targets they were attacking. The phillpines was the main show and everyone who wasn`t American did not get an invite. Except of coruse if you were Australian mine sweepers tasked with clearing mines from the invasion beaches, in full veiw of the emenys artillery.

jasonbirder
12-07-2007, 01:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Max Hastings is a Fu#kwit.... Pure and simple </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sensible considered response...I assume based on reading a number of his books...and analysing what he says in Nemesis as compared to the historic record of the Australian Army...

Feathered_IV
12-07-2007, 03:26 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

ploughman
12-07-2007, 04:27 AM
There's a story about Max from the Falklands War, when he was correspondent for some rag or other. At the end of the day one of the correspondents from the pool would be tasked with returning by chopper to the command ship to transmitt all their reports back to Blighty for filing.

When it was Max's turn...his was the only story to get filed, thus scooping all the other journos. He claimed it wasn't his fault but...much rancour.

On the plus side he was the first into Port Stanley, as the Army'd been told to hang back to avoid any unpleasantries after the surrender, and scooped an interview with the Argentine General formerly commanding.

Skoshi Tiger
12-07-2007, 06:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jasonbirder:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Max Hastings is a Fu#kwit.... Pure and simple </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sensible considered response </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Wepps
12-07-2007, 07:46 AM
Ah, the world according to Politically Correct history.

I don't know about the rest of you but I want to hear the facts, no matter how ugly they may be.

That isn't to say the author is correct on those facts, but if they turn out to be the truth of the matter then let's hear it.

Nick_Toznost
12-07-2007, 12:02 PM
Max Hastings is regarded as a complete twit in the UK. He may be a historian but he's clearly been losing his marbles over the past decade. He writes nonsensical columns in the Daily Mail (UKs most right wing daily paper)I wouldn't take much he says seriously. He campaigns tirelessly that the Dresden raids were perfectly justified for example, just part of the British old guard. A toff, a bigot. This is my opinion anyway. I should really read the original, but the man can be tactless.

I really hope the Aussies aren't too offended about this.

Skoshi Tiger
12-07-2007, 03:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wepps:
Ah, the world according to Politically Correct history.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Isn't that the truth. It's a pity that today it is politically correct to belittle the efforts and achievement of the past. Can you remember the thread about the RAF being irrelivant in the Battle of Britain?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
I don't know about the rest of you but I want to hear the facts, no matter how ugly they may be.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

But how is this man going top show the 'facts'. What he's done is read previous works and documents and interpreted them to suit his own opinion. Surely the original documents would be a better place to start?

Now as most of us won't have access to those original works, how can we verify those statements? Fact is we can't.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
That isn't to say the author is correct on those facts, but if they turn out to be the truth of the matter then let's hear it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Once again were no closer to the 'Truth' than before!

cheers!

ploughman
12-07-2007, 03:35 PM
Sydney Morning Herald FTW!!!!!!

Skoshi Tiger
12-07-2007, 03:43 PM
In the article heas is attributed with saying

"It seemed perverse that, having won so much honour far away in the Mediterranean, Australia's share of the Pacific War ended in rancour and anticlimax."

What hastings doesn't do is credit them with having "won so much honour is the south Pacific theatre"

ploughman
12-07-2007, 03:46 PM
So, having read the book, what's your conclusion?

Toasted_Toad
12-07-2007, 03:52 PM
As a proud Aussie I'm not that fussed about what 1 british twonk has to say!!

History stands for itself, I'll add him to the list with guys that say the gas chambers didn't exist.

Cheers,
TT

PS. I like Brits, me dad was one before his parents emigrated. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ploughman
12-07-2007, 03:55 PM
Outstanding. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

avimimus
12-07-2007, 03:56 PM
I always assumed that Australian troops would placably accept it as their lot to die for a foreign power (the Commonwealth). Of course, you guys may have had your own reasons to fight Japan (as opposed to it being viewed as a war "on the far side of the world") and that may have dampened spirits. Anyway, so far as I'vs seen, ANZAC's generally have very good reputations in Canada.

Does anyone have sources for the stories that came back in Korea (that the American's were fighting their own war, looting supplies, sacrificing allied units or prematurely retreating etc.)?

Skoshi Tiger
12-07-2007, 04:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
So, having read the book, what's your conclusion? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I haven't, and probably won't in the near future. I've got quite a bit on "my books to read" list. I'ld forgotten about the "Ragged bloody heros" and "A@&Ehole of a place" and they would definately come first after the Galipolli book.

I recently finish 'Kokoda', the 'Kokoda walking guide'(very interesting read on the track) and 'Tobruk', also an old one by some German Dude who hung out with Rommel ('In the desert with Rommel' I think?)

My conclusion is I'll probably get very angry everytime I read someone belittling the efforts and achievements of the past. Especially when the people who made the sacrifices are not in a position to defend themselves.

ploughman
12-07-2007, 04:15 PM
"Especially when the people who made the sacrifices are not in a position to defend themselves."

Well that's the dead for you. Not a lot a military historian can do about that is there?

I've read alot of Hastings. He's middling good and I reckon he's a capable historian who writes well and is considerate of the soldiers who fought, and is the sort of person some literate Joe could read and get more involved in history through.

He's got some good and bad things to say about what my grandads did, one was in the 8th Army, another was on the Atlantic Convoys, and a third (thanks to divorce) was a squadron leader on heavy bombers, as much as I respect their memory I don't have a complete **** everytime I read something that isn't quite what I'd like to hear about them.

tagTaken2
12-07-2007, 04:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Wepps:
Ah, the world according to Politically Correct history.

I don't know about the rest of you but I want to hear the facts, no matter how ugly they may be.

That isn't to say the author is correct on those facts, but if they turn out to be the truth of the matter then let's hear it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hear, hear. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

Ratsack
12-07-2007, 04:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
...

He's got some good and bad things to say about what my grandads did, one was in the 8th Army, another was on the Atlantic Convoys, and a third (thanks to divorce) was a squadron leader on heavy bombers, as much as I respect their memory I don't have a complete **** everytime I read something that isn't quite what I'd like to hear about them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly.

In Armageddon he says some very un sympathetic things about Allied soldiers in general when compared to their Soviet and German counterparts. He goes on to say that the things that made German and Soviet soldiers so 'good' were aspects of Soviet and Nazi society we should all be proud not to have in Western democracies.

It's not pleasant reading, but it's not an unreasonable position. I've seen a fair bit of hysteria in rags like The West Australian, but I don't know of any correspondent - public or private - who's actually read the thing.

Bit like Darwin's Origin of Species in this respect. Lots of people with opinions, but very few have read it.

cheers,
Ratsack

Skoshi Tiger
12-07-2007, 07:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

In Armageddon he says some very un sympathetic things about Allied soldiers in general when compared to their Soviet and German counterparts. He goes on to say that the things that made German and Soviet soldiers so 'good' were aspects of Soviet and Nazi society we should all be proud not to have in Western democracies.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What were these 'things' and 'aspects'? I'm just emerging from a year and a half running battle with my step daughters 'Skin Head' boy friend.

I think we may be winning the war, he's stopped shaving his head and we've haven't had a political discussion for a few months now. I guess hes growing out of it and we've turned him into some sort of Freeking Tree Hugging Hippy (FTHH)!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

It's not pleasant reading, but it's not an unreasonable position. I've seen a fair bit of hysteria in rags like The West Australian, but I don't know of any correspondent - public or private - who's actually read the thing.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The West Australian is definately a rag in the worst possible sense of the word! Did they have an article about the book? I must have missed it! If So when did they talk about the book?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Bit like Darwin's Origin of Species in this respect. Lots of people with opinions, but very few have read it.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ratsack
12-07-2007, 10:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

In Armageddon he says some very un sympathetic things about Allied soldiers in general when compared to their Soviet and German counterparts. He goes on to say that the things that made German and Soviet soldiers so 'good' were aspects of Soviet and Nazi society we should all be proud not to have in Western democracies.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What were these 'things' and 'aspects'? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Having a quick squizz, he has quoted some intelligence officers to talk about morale, and how the Germans had psychological dominance of the battlefield against American and British troops, even when they were very clear in their own minds that they couldn't win. He also quotes Sir Michael Howard:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">...who possesses the unusual distinction of being not only a military historian, but also a veteran of combat against the Wehrmacht, [and he] wrote frankly:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Until a very late stage of the war the commanders of British and American ground forces knew that, in confrontation with German troops on anything approaching equal terms, their own men were likely to be soundly defeated. They were better than we were: that cannot be stressed too often. Every Allied soldier involved in fighting the Germans knew that this was so, and did not regard it as in any way humiliating. We were amateurs...drawn from peaceful industrial societies with a deep cultural bias against all things military...fighting the best professionals in the business...We blasted our way into Europe with a minimum of finesse and a maximum of high explosive. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There's more in similar vein about the brutalization of German and Soviet troops, and the fact that German troops rotated to fight the British and Americans regarded it as a holiday, in spite of overwhelming Allied superiority in air and artillery. The guts of his argument, shorn of pretty verbiage, is that the German and Soviet soldiers were so inured to brutality by the regimes under which they served, that they were far more steady under the strains and stresses of the frontline than their British or American counterparts.

On the one hand it's not very flattering of Allied soldiery, but on the other we'd be mad to be envious of people living under Hitler or Stalin, no matter how fine they were as soldiers.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
I'm just emerging from a year and a half running battle with my step daughters 'Skin Head' boy friend.

I think we may be winning the war, he's stopped shaving his head and we've haven't had a political discussion for a few months now. I guess hes growing out of it and we've turned him into some sort of Freeking Tree Hugging Hippy (FTHH)! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good luck with the little ********.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
The West Australian is definately a rag in the worst possible sense of the word! Did they have an article about the book? I must have missed it! If So when did they talk about the book? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What I saw was a page full of outraged letters to the editor. Not unlike some of the responses in this thread, actually. It indicated to me that there'd been an 'opinion' piece on Hasting's new book, and that this was the response.

cheers,
Ratsack

Feathered_IV
12-08-2007, 12:35 AM
Hastings reminds me a little of the nineteenth century art critic, John Ruskin. Published some important and worthwhile documents in his day, but became an out of touch nutbag in his later years. I suspect that Hastings shelf life as an effective historian has since past.

Phil_K
12-08-2007, 03:35 AM
Well, the simple fact of the matter is that the performance of both Australian and US infantry units in the South-West Pacific Area was frequently considered to be unsatisfactory by their superiors, and there are plenty of filed action reports to confirm this. I haven't read Hasting's book (seems to be a theme round here) but I do know that if this is what he is suggesting then he is right.

It's quite easy to find material to back up his point of view. For example you can find "General Kenney Reports" here (http://books.google.com/books?id=tWdbngbCc84C&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq=30+squadron+raaf&source=web&ots=RJG8nS5KxL&sig=0P5u8ATTvqQuR_rUkwEoutB90Mc#PPA174,M1). Now Kenney was a MacArthur acolyte and something of an American chauvinist, but even he has to be frank about the lamentable performance of 32nd Division at Buna.

Unfortunately the performance of Western troops, whether British, American, Australian or others frequently fell below the heroic ideal we'd like to imagine. It's usually understandable and frequently forgiveable, but it's there and we have to accept it.

jasonbirder
12-08-2007, 03:36 PM
In the article heas is attributed with saying
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
"It seemed perverse that, having won so much honour far away in the Mediterranean, Australia's share of the Pacific War ended in rancour and anticlimax."

What hastings doesn't do is credit them with having "won so much honour is the south Pacific theatre" </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

"In 1943, many of the same soldiers fought a harsh, vital campaign in New Guinea...Australian soldiersperformed as splendidly at Milne bay and on the Kokoda Trail as they had done at Tobruk"

The power of selective quoting...that is the next paragraph in the book...hardly belittling Australian acheivements in the South Pacific!

avimimus
12-08-2007, 04:09 PM
Well, there's nothing wrong with not being heroic anyway (especially when the war is drawing to a close).

Insuber
12-08-2007, 04:40 PM
I would dare to say that it's time to stop considering war performance as a yardstick for a nation's reputation.

Civilization and human development has nothing to do with martial skills, aggressivenes, tight discipline, fanatism, military power and weapon expenses. To make an example, Prussia had all of that, it has simply been erased from the maps after three centuries of bloody wars with the rest of the world.

I like Australians, and my esteem will not be affected by their ancestor's performance in a war.

Regards,
Insuber

Skoshi Tiger
12-08-2007, 05:58 PM
As a point of interest I went for a look at the Australian War Memorial and looked up Australian VC Winners.

http://www.anzacday.org.au/education/medals/vc/austlist.html

During World War 2, 20 VC's were issued to Australians fighting in our Armed services. Here is a graph I prepared to show when they were awarded.

http://www.upnaway.com/%7Etiger/VC.JPG
As you can see 6 of the VC's were awarded in the last year of the war. At this stage the of the war they were fighting in South West Pacific / Borneo area.

This is the same amount that were awarded during '41 (6) and '42 (5) When the australians were fighting in the middle east and the initial Stages of the New Guinea campaigns.

ErrolFlying
12-10-2007, 06:15 AM
'The British Field Marshal Sir William Slim said,

Australian troops had, at Milne Bay, inflicted on the Japanese their first undoubted defeat on land. Some of us may forget that, of all the allies, it was the Australians who first broke the invincibility of the Japanese army.'

These where the same troops deemed by MacArthur and Blamey to be performing unsatisfactorily. Both these leaders were notorious for pushing their own careers and agendas at the expense of their troops welfare and morale. They are also guilty of the senseless waste of mens lives through pressuring their subordinates to make hasty ill planned attacks with no real knowledge as to the actual conditions at the front line.

Monty_Thrud
12-10-2007, 11:15 AM
This Hastings chap, reminds me of that plant pot who claimed the BoB was won by the Royal Navy...grrr http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

jasonbirder
12-10-2007, 01:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This Hastings chap, reminds me of that plant pot who claimed the BoB was won by the Royal Navy...grrr </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You mean it wasnt?

avimimus
12-10-2007, 02:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Insuber:
I would dare to say that it's time to stop considering war performance as a yardstick for a nation's reputation.

Civilization and human development has nothing to do with martial skills, aggressivenes, tight discipline, fanatism, military power and weapon expenses. To make an example, Prussia had all of that, it has simply been erased from the maps after three centuries of bloody wars with the rest of the world.

I like Australians, and my esteem will not be affected by their ancestor's performance in a war.

Regards,
Insuber </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now there's a smart man.

Blutarski2004
12-10-2007, 02:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Skoshi Tiger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ratsack:

In Armageddon he says some very un sympathetic things about Allied soldiers in general when compared to their Soviet and German counterparts. He goes on to say that the things that made German and Soviet soldiers so 'good' were aspects of Soviet and Nazi society we should all be proud not to have in Western democracies.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What were these 'things' and 'aspects'? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Having a quick squizz, he has quoted some intelligence officers to talk about morale, and how the Germans had psychological dominance of the battlefield against American and British troops, even when they were very clear in their own minds that they couldn't win. He also quotes Sir Michael Howard:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">...who possesses the unusual distinction of being not only a military historian, but also a veteran of combat against the Wehrmacht, [and he] wrote frankly:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Until a very late stage of the war the commanders of British and American ground forces knew that, in confrontation with German troops on anything approaching equal terms, their own men were likely to be soundly defeated. They were better than we were: that cannot be stressed too often. Every Allied soldier involved in fighting the Germans knew that this was so, and did not regard it as in any way humiliating. We were amateurs...drawn from peaceful industrial societies with a deep cultural bias against all things military...fighting the best professionals in the business...We blasted our way into Europe with a minimum of finesse and a maximum of high explosive. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There's more in similar vein about the brutalization of German and Soviet troops, and the fact that German troops rotated to fight the British and Americans regarded it as a holiday, in spite of overwhelming Allied superiority in air and artillery. The guts of his argument, shorn of pretty verbiage, is that the German and Soviet soldiers were so inured to brutality by the regimes under which they served, that they were far more steady under the strains and stresses of the frontline than their British or American counterparts.

On the one hand it's not very flattering of Allied soldiery, but on the other we'd be mad to be envious of people living under Hitler or Stalin, no matter how fine they were as soldiers.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
I'm just emerging from a year and a half running battle with my step daughters 'Skin Head' boy friend.

I think we may be winning the war, he's stopped shaving his head and we've haven't had a political discussion for a few months now. I guess hes growing out of it and we've turned him into some sort of Freeking Tree Hugging Hippy (FTHH)! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good luck with the little ********.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
The West Australian is definately a rag in the worst possible sense of the word! Did they have an article about the book? I must have missed it! If So when did they talk about the book? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What I saw was a page full of outraged letters to the editor. Not unlike some of the responses in this thread, actually. It indicated to me that there'd been an 'opinion' piece on Hasting's new book, and that this was the response.

cheers,
Ratsack </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Dupuy and Van Creveld came to a similar conclusion regarding the relative values of German, US, British, and Russian troops. A German soldier was statistically considered = to about 1.5 western soldiers and 1-5 to 4.0 russian soldiers, depending upon the year of the war.

In fairness, it ought to be pointed out that Germany had been at war for nearly four years before the US army had fired its first shot in anger in Tunisia. Even Normandy represented the first taste of battle for most of the US troops ultimately committed.

The Red Army labored under special burdens, having to simultaneously fight for its life while re-building an officer corps, a non-commissioned officer corps, re-equipping with new families of arms, and re-writing many of its pre-war doctrinal precepts.

If anyone is interested to understand what experience is worth, compare the performance of the SS formations in Poland and France to their accomplishments later in the war. That having been said, German superiority of this sort has been argued to exist as far back as the First World War as a function of superior training and doctrine.

As for Aussies, as someone previously mentioned, I'd like to see some additional data before accepting this news article at face value. I frankly find it difficult to believe that it had anything whatsoever to do with "courage".

Monty_Thrud
12-10-2007, 06:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jasonbirder:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This Hastings chap, reminds me of that plant pot who claimed the BoB was won by the Royal Navy...grrr </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You mean it wasnt? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Of course not, it was the Homeguard the Germans were scared of.

blakduk
01-04-2008, 12:52 AM
Further to my last post- good book, i highly recommend it.
I got it for my birthday and just finished it.
The report of Aussie soldiers being 'too afraid' was a quote from an Australian officer's dispatch!
My suspicion was correct- a media beatup.
The people who should be upset are the families of people like admiral Halsey- Hastings pulls no punches portraying the guy as a nitwit who fell too easily for Japanese tricks. By contrast, he points out that commanders like Nimitz were outstanding but were not so good at self-promotion.
A good read and i'm glad of the media attention or i might have missed it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

mortoma
01-04-2008, 11:18 AM
It seems to me the British tend to look down on the Aussies. As an American my impression of the Aussies is that they are pretty tough fellows. But of course we'd side with the Aussies because we are a former British Colony also.

barrypotter
01-04-2008, 07:09 PM
A relative of mine who was a New Zealand soldier who fought in the PAcific alongside Australian and US soldiers said the Australains were the best of the lot (not including the enemy).

-obviously just 1 old mans opinions based on his experiences in 1 small part of the war, poorly recalled by me - read into it what u will

Feathered_IV
01-05-2008, 12:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monty_Thrud:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jasonbirder:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">This Hastings chap, reminds me of that plant pot who claimed the BoB was won by the Royal Navy...grrr </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You mean it wasnt? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Of course not, it was the Homeguard the Germans were scared of. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You stupid boy...
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38938000/jpg/_38938791_dadsarmy_203.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gifhttp://media.ubi.com/us/forum_images/gf-glomp.gif

OD_
01-05-2008, 03:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mortoma:
It seems to me the British tend to look down on the Aussies. As an American my impression of the Aussies is that they are pretty tough fellows. But of course we'd side with the Aussies because we are a former British Colony also. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Is this based on anything at all? Because as a Briton I've never looked down at Australians! I don't know anyone who has, or does. For a start off they win at Cricket all the time! It's always good to beat them at Rugby though.

ploughman
01-05-2008, 06:52 AM
Finished the book.

Hastings is pretty scathing about the futility and rudderless nature of the Australian effort in the final phases of the war, as he is with most of the other non-US Allies who are deliberately marginalised by the Americans.

I didn't really get much of a sense of 'diggers affraid to attack enemy' though, more that he was saying the Australian troops couldn't be arsed to make an effort when they knew the whole thing was a waste of time, energy and lives and would add nothing to the prosecution of the war.

The whole domestic Australian thing was interesting though, I wasn't aware that Australia was having such a rough time of it politically. Assuming that what Hastings is saying is true, it's hardly any wonder that the troops couldn't be bothered conducting a futile sideshow against the Japanese when the home crowd couldn't even be arsed to show up for work half the time.

foxyboy1964
01-05-2008, 07:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mortoma:
It seems to me the British tend to look down on the Aussies. As an American my impression of the Aussies is that they are pretty tough fellows. But of course we'd side with the Aussies because we are a former British Colony also. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

We don't look down on the Aussies at all, very fond of them actually. The ones I met at uni were a great bunch of guys, very down to earth, a good laugh and reliable drinking companions.

LEBillfish
01-05-2008, 10:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by mortoma:
As an American my impression of the Aussies is that they are pretty tough fellows. But of course we'd side with the Aussies because we are a former British Colony also. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Agree with that yet I think it is more due to the fact we often liken them sterotypically to our own wild west past with that spirit of independance.

I'd bet if you polled the average American (considering the common ignorance of most to other cultures/countries so not considering many)....They'd respond to "What nations people are most like Americans"......Australia.

KG66_Gog
01-05-2008, 03:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:


I didn't really get much of a sense of 'diggers affraid to attack enemy' though, more that he was saying the Australian troops couldn't be arsed to make an effort when they knew the whole thing was a waste of time, energy and lives and would add nothing to the prosecution of the war.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As an ex-soldier of the Australian Army, I can 100% guarantee that this would be accurate. The wars may have changed but the diggers are the same and if somethings a waste of time (and the average digger knows more about this than the officers), then the troops either won't want to do it or will be less than energetic in it.

If they see it as worthwhile and a good opportunity to hand the enemy his bum on a plate then they are the best troops in the world, make no mistake.

tagTaken2
01-05-2008, 10:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LEBillfish:

Agree with that yet I think it is more due to the fact we often liken them sterotypically to our own wild west past with that spirit of independance.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree about the similarity, but don't know if I'd cite the independence... Australia's a very harsh country (compared to US), and there's more of a tradition of surviving together, or dying alone.


I flipped through the book in a store the other day, and I got the impression that Hastings saw piking by Aussies as out of character... so that's not really the insult people are getting choked up over, is it?

jadger
01-06-2008, 01:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> What were these 'things' and 'aspects'? I'm just emerging from a year and a half running battle with my step daughters 'Skin Head' boy friend.

I think we may be winning the war, he's stopped shaving his head and we've haven't had a political discussion for a few months now. I guess hes growing out of it and we've turned him into some sort of Freeking Tree Hugging Hippy (FTHH)! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

so does he beat himself up now? lol, a skinhead into a hippy, that's gotta be horrid.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">There's more in similar vein about the brutalization of German and Soviet troops, and the fact that German troops rotated to fight the British and Americans regarded it as a holiday, in spite of overwhelming Allied superiority in air and artillery. The guts of his argument, shorn of pretty verbiage, is that the German and Soviet soldiers were so inured to brutality by the regimes under which they served, that they were far more steady under the strains and stresses of the frontline than their British or American counterparts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not so much that the Nazi regime taught them to be brutal fighters, but the Russians took no prisoners and often shot their own soldiers, as well Hitler gave the order for no Russian prisoners to be taken, so the Eastern front you couldn't expect any quarter. I read Guy Sajer's The Forgotten Soldier and upon transfer at the end of the war from East to West Fronts, he is surprised to see German soldiers surrender upon meeting Americans, whereas on the East Front it was unthinkable to surrender as you'd quickly find a bullet in your brain.

Not so much regime brainwashing, more like experience in warfare.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If anyone is interested to understand what experience is worth, compare the performance of the SS formations in Poland and France to their accomplishments later in the war. That having been said, German superiority of this sort has been argued to exist as far back as the First World War as a function of superior training and doctrine. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is what has always puzzled me, why did the postwar West never learn from the German system and adopt some of its principles The German military system proved to be a better and more efficient one than the bureaucratic Western and human wave Soviet systems. But after the war, the Prussian systems were dropped by occupied Germany and adapted the horribly bureaucratic America system, complete with American style uniforms.

KG66_Gog
01-06-2008, 01:08 AM
Take a look at the structure of a WW2 German Infantry squad and then look at a modern Australian Army section. A lot of what the Germans did well is still being utilised today.

Also, Kampfgruppe, the smashing together of all corps capabilities for a specific role or purpose, still in use today amongst Germany's wartime enemies.

If you look hard enough you will see that it is in use everywhere.

jadger
01-06-2008, 01:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by KG66_Gog:
Take a look at the structure of a WW2 German Infantry squad and then look at a modern Australian Army section. A lot of what the Germans did well is still being utilised today.

Also, Kampfgruppe, the smashing together of all corps capabilities for a specific role or purpose, still in use today amongst Germany's wartime enemies.

If you look hard enough you will see that it is in use everywhere. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was referring more to command level rather than infantry tactics, I do admit that some things have been adopted, but the efficient command structure of the Prussian system (invented the General Staff) has been abandoned for a horribly bureaucratic American style system.