Worst Moment in Your Country's Millitary History - Page 15




 
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June 15th, 2011  
Prapor
 
 
Probably when Moscow was burned down during the war with Napoleon.
June 15th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
Yes, but what exactly makes it a candidate for worst moment in your history? I never considered it as holding any disgrace but as a very fierce proposition- have I missed something?
Non-confrontational question from someone with close relatives on both sides, with one survivor (senior and British).
The question is "Worst Moment in Your Country's Millitary History"

We really only have 3 "worst" moments to choose from:
Gallipoli which was a horribly mismanaged mess dreamed up by a megalomaniac and managed by incompetent leaders but for all of our losses it did give us a heritage and a sense of nationhood.
There was nothing about Gallipoli that can be interpreted as a failure of the soldiers therefore it is not a "worst" moment.

Crete: That was a bad moment in our history as it was the failure of New Zealand forces that allowed the island to be captured but the whole battle of Crete was a **** up of the highest order and probably should never have been fought and is a close choice for the worst moment but given the state of the allied armies at the time I am not sure they could have done any better.

Monte Cassino: Freybergs backward WW1 thinking turns an undefended monastery into an impenetrable strong point and then he throws the New Zealand division against it, if Freybergs incompetence wasn't shown up in the battle of Crete it had to be highlighted at Cassino.
Certainly the soldiers performed well but given the relative states of both armies at the time Monte Cassino was a battle that never had to be fought.

Hence Monte Cassino gets my vote.
June 15th, 2011  
Del Boy
 
Thank you. I was unaware to the New Zealand specific reflection on Monte Cassino, even though I have been very close to those who fought there. Opinion only from the front. For Gallipoli cannon-fodder opinion. For Monte Cassino W011 attack opinion , personal involvement. One on one, word of mouth to me. My understanding of Kiwi presence was, as always, an impression of highest admiration.
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June 15th, 2011  
Zipperhead
 
 
I would say the Battle of Verrières Ridge was one of the worst moments in Canadian Military History. Not only were 315 out of 325 men killed or wounded due to the incompetance of higher command on that day, but the brave deeds of the dead were ignored by higher command in an attempt to hide their incompetance. The loss of the Black Watch Regiment of Canada was blamed on the men of the Black Watch. The repeated warnings sent to higher command from the Regiment were covered up in order to save face. The failure of higher command to ensure lines of communication remained open was ignored in the investigations. The lack of support given to the Regiment during the attack was blamed on the Regiment for not "Insisting" that the support be provided, dispite an acknowledgement that it had been requested. It wasn't until 30 years after the war that the true reasons for the failure was revealed, and even now the men who died on that day have yet to be honoured properly. General Simonds was never formally repremanded for his incompetance and the blame still left hanging over a Proud Regiment.
June 15th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
Thank you. I was unaware to the New Zealand specific reflection on Monte Cassino, even though I have been very close to those who fought there. Opinion only from the front. For Gallipoli cannon-fodder opinion. For Monte Cassino W011 attack opinion , personal involvement. One on one, word of mouth to me. My understanding of Kiwi presence was, as always, an impression of highest admiration.
Hehe My father and 2 uncles fought there with 2nd Division, the wifes grandfather fought there on the German side with 1/FJR3 and the other was there as part of the US 5th Army it is somewhat interesting to think that there was a point in 1944 where all 3 of them were shooting at each other.

I am not criticising the New Zealand troops actions or performance but their senior leadership left a lot to be desired.
June 16th, 2011  
Del Boy
 
Rather like our situation - to our firm knowledge, we had 2 uncles there, one a German in law, the other, Reg, a great professional 30 year man (eventually) took part in many of the great campaigns.

Now our German relative was lost there, and it so happens that Reg was a sniper; the following generation, us, have always skipped lightly over that one- albeit in jest.

But no doubt about it, Monte Cassino and Gallipoli were devastating for those involved, cannon fodder as some described themselves.
June 16th, 2011  
GHR
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84RFK
I'd say the Danish ground troops did put up a rather decent oposition against the invaders, at least when you consider the lack of will to fight on the political level, and that Denmark is a nightmare for a defender.
The greatest betrayal of the soldiers is that they never received the medal which was struck after the war. Today there are approx. 300 veterans alive who has not received the recognition they deserve.
June 16th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
Rather like our situation - to our firm knowledge, we had 2 uncles there, one a German in law, the other, Reg, a great professional 30 year man (eventually) took part in many of the great campaigns.

Now our German relative was lost there, and it so happens that Reg was a sniper; the following generation, us, have always skipped lightly over that one- albeit in jest.

But no doubt about it, Monte Cassino and Gallipoli were devastating for those involved, cannon fodder as some described themselves.
It is rather funny but but I have two reciprocal pictures one taken from the town below Monte Cassino looking up to the monastery and one taken from the monastery of the town, so there was a point where at least two of them were more or less staring at each other.

History can be strange sometimes.
September 26th, 2011  
VDKMS
 
The loss in 1940 of the impregnable Fort Eben Emael by a handfull of German paratroopers.
A lot of Belgian soldiers were sick of the many excercises and when the Germans attacked they stayed where they were, thinking it was yet another exercise.
September 27th, 2011  
vivid2012
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VDKMS
The loss in 1940 of the impregnable Fort Eben Emael by a handfull of German paratroopers.
A lot of Belgian soldiers were sick of the many excercises and when the Germans attacked they stayed where they were, thinking it was yet another exercise.
not that nice exercise.