Worst Moment in Your Country's Millitary History - Page 9




 
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June 6th, 2005  
Mohmar Deathstrike
 
 
It's the schoolyard principle. First, the kids from the grade above you give you shit. The next year it's payback time! Thich means, you get to bully the year BELOW you.

It's a fair bet that this problem would be minimized, if the German army became fully professional.
June 6th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
I think it's been a problem in the American military in the past.

They've made moves to eliminate certain traditions associated the hazing of new recruits.
June 6th, 2005  
Chocobo_Blitzer
 
I thought Germany ended conscription this year?
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June 7th, 2005  
Farseer
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vargsriket
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohmar 'Deathstrike'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farseer
I think that the worst moment of Finland military history was civil war in 1918. Even with communists and worker-class defeated it made terrible rift between workers (red side of war) and nationalists-capitalists (white side of war). That rift however healed in time and when second very dark moment came our nation stood united against Soviet Unions numerous forces. Maybe many old people thinks that worst day of their life was either March 13 in year 1940 when Finland had to sign shaming treaty with Stalin, even we remained independence and non-aligned. Old people also sometimes how desperate they felt when another treaty were signed in September 4 1944 (confirmed in Paris 1947) when very harsh terms had to be signed. Still, after all everyone in here is happy that we survived without annexation by Soviets.
Think about it this way: Stalin probably wanted ALL of Finland, yet succeeded in conquering only Karelia even though Finnish forces were VASTLY outnumbered (but they had better taining and equipment, didn't they?).
Actually my friend, that's not the case. The war was started to gain land north and west of the city of St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in order to have a buffer between western countries and the city, because it was the biggest port in the Baltic sea. So USSR succeeded at exactly what it planned to do, of course with extreme casualties in the process, something around 400,000 I believe? But wasn't that always the case with all the USSR wars, to throw as much meat as possible at the enemy. Quite a strategy.

Manpower was always something of a never ending supply in Russia, it has always used it unwisely. I guess with such a big army it was always easier and more importantnly, cheaper; to throw untrained conscripts into the carnage with no regard for their lives, since there was never a shortage of men. There really are some things that the Russian army should adopt from the west, such as the excellent individual training EVERYONE recieves. It's not a past occurance either, it happened and continues to happen today in Chechnya, conscripts with bare minimum training comprise for most of the fighting force. Not talking about "VDV" or Spetsnatz batallions, those guys get top notch training, but the regular grunts get the shaft, in the barracks and in combat. Not to mention the serious problem of "dedovshina", or, roughly translated to English, "seniority"? This is a serious problem that's more than common, everyone experienced it; it's basically the soldiers that's been in the army for a while beat and basically enslave the new arrivals, to the point where there have been suicides, crazed rampages with AK-47s, and of course the constant desertion to escape the abuse. Problems are abundant, and I dont think there's an effort underway to correct it.
Well, most historicians think that Stalin would've wanted Finland to be forced to join into "the Great family of Soviet Republics". There are some points that support this: 1) There were pact between Soviets and Germany which one gave Stalin open hands to deal with Finland, Baltic States and eastern part of Rumania. There is no reason to believe that Stalin would have done anything else but annexed Finland also if that would've been possible. 2) At the beginning of Winter War in November/December '39, Stalin formed his own puppet goverment (Otto Wille Kuusinen as Prime Minister) which one would become "the only legal People's Republic of Finland as soon as legal goverment would be disbanded and Helsinki taken. 3) At 1944, when the Allies landed in France, Stalin started his own main attack to disrupt Germany not attacking against the shortest line to Berlin, but by attacking toward Viipuri in Northern flank, trying once again to make Finland puppet country and after the war one more Soviet Republic would be formed.

And about manpower of Russia, they are eventually huge. I just read much about losses of Battle of Kursk, which one showed that even with superior forces Soviet troops took heavy casualties, and they would never had a chance with same number of troops with Germany. Well, probably people like Zhukov would never become familiar without millions of death Soviet soldiers. One life hasn't ever had a great value in Russian army.
June 8th, 2005  
vargsriket
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farseer
Well, most historicians think that Stalin would've wanted Finland to be forced to join into "the Great family of Soviet Republics". There are some points that support this: 1) There were pact between Soviets and Germany which one gave Stalin open hands to deal with Finland, Baltic States and eastern part of Rumania. There is no reason to believe that Stalin would have done anything else but annexed Finland also if that would've been possible. 2) At the beginning of Winter War in November/December '39, Stalin formed his own puppet goverment (Otto Wille Kuusinen as Prime Minister) which one would become "the only legal People's Republic of Finland as soon as legal goverment would be disbanded and Helsinki taken. 3) At 1944, when the Allies landed in France, Stalin started his own main attack to disrupt Germany not attacking against the shortest line to Berlin, but by attacking toward Viipuri in Northern flank, trying once again to make Finland puppet country and after the war one more Soviet Republic would be formed.

And about manpower of Russia, they are eventually huge. I just read much about losses of Battle of Kursk, which one showed that even with superior forces Soviet troops took heavy casualties, and they would never had a chance with same number of troops with Germany. Well, probably people like Zhukov would never become familiar without millions of death Soviet soldiers. One life hasn't ever had a great value in Russian army.
There's no doubt that Stalin would eventually want to annex Finland and most of the Eastern European countries. I'm talking about that particular war. With time, they'd more likely than not succeed, given the immense manpower and technology that was far superior to that of Finland's. But the spirit of the defenders of their own land is much greater than that of the attacker; it has always been a huge factor in all the wars fought. Fighting for your land, culture and freedom is a much more noble cause, the defenders go to greater lengths to secure victory, that is why patriotism always blossoms during such events. That is mainly why the Finns were able to cause such casualties among the Russian troops. And of course the typical Russian strategy of throwing untrained cannon fodder into the carnage. It's been a practice for centuries. For me, that is the most embarassing fact of my country's military history.
There is no question Stalin was a monster and killed entire generations of the intelligensia in USSR, not to mention the brutal foreign policy. No one in their right mind would defend this man, unless they've been brainwashed by communism since birth. We'll never know what would be the outcome of WW2 had Hitler not attacked USSR. More than likely Stalin would join forces eventually, as most of you probably know, as it happened in Poland in '39. The Poles were between the anvil and the hammer, caught between two military warmachines. Hitler doomed his campaign by breaching the non agression pact. I'm fairly sure that the geopolitical structure of Europe, perhaps Asia and Africa too, would look a lot different today.
I don't think it's fair to say Zhukov wouldn't become a familiar name if it wasn't for the deaths of millions of soldiers. He was in fact a brilliant strategist, along with Koniev, Chuikov, etc. The strategy was sound, mistakes were made tactically, on the battlefield. When the fate of motherland and, perhaps, the world, is at stake, one can't allow himself to think about the individual. The war was to be won at ANY cost, ANY COST. I tend to give a lot of credit to Zhukov, in fact, I think he, more than any other general of WW2, is responsible for the victory over Nazi Germany. Battle of the Kursk was a backbreaker for Hitler, and the forces that clashed were about equal also, Russians with a small advantage.

Quote:
Armour and troop concentrations were also built up by both sides with the Russians amassing 1,300,000 men, 3,600 tanks, 20,000 artillery pieces and 2,400 aircraft. The Germans also assembled a formidable fighting force which was slightly smaller with 900,000 men 2,700 tanks 2,000 aircraft. As well as the three premier Waffen SS divisions taking part.
- taken from http://zhukov.mitsi.com/Kursk.htm

Casualties were heavy on both sides, Russians more because, again, of the cannon fodder strategy. If manpower was not virtually unlimited, they'd be much more careful about it, and perhaps training better. The idea was that there was a lot of people, one million less or more would not make a big difference. It's a sad mentality, one that still persists today.
June 8th, 2005  
TomSmithUK
 
For the UK it has to be Dresden. It was shamefully neccessary. With the germans using the V1 Missiles their pilots were in no danger. The Soviets asked us to clear their path, so we did. I would say we shouldn't have done it, but causing a Firestorm was a bit over the top.
June 23rd, 2005  
The Other Guy
 
 
going to vietnam, and the whole "communists are united" thing.
July 26th, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Liberty.........Are you saying that the American Forces were beaten by North Vietnam. In my opinion the American Forces did not take one step back, there was no massive surrender of troops like the French. The war was lost by a large Group of the American Public who thought bashing the Army was the cute thing to do, and some of the same people are at again over the war in Iraq.
July 28th, 2005  
tomtom22
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIBERTY
The Vietnam conflict hands down.......the only war we ever lost.
The United States did not lose the VietNam War. The Vietnamese lost the war. The last U.S. combat troops left Viet Nam in March of 1973 after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. The South Vietnamese lost the war in April of 1975.

I have to say though that some of the most horrible moments or days of infamy come out of this war: Hamburger Hill, MyLai, the siege of Khe Sanh, Tet 68. Mainly for the waste of them, the lives lost taking real estate then defending only to later abandon it. I was there in 68 and 69 and I am proud of my service there but I still feel an enormous sense of sadness for those who were lost there.

UPDATE - 28 JUL 05

One reason America's agonizing perception of “Vietnam” will not go away, is because that perception is wrong. It's out of place in the American psyche, and it continues to fester in much the same way battle wounds fester when shrapnel or other foreign matter is left in the body. It is not normal behavior for Americans to idolize mass murdering despots, to champion the cause of slavery, to abandon friends and allies, or to cut and run in the face of adversity. Why then did so many Americans engage in these types of activities during its “Vietnam” experience? That the American experience in Vietnam was painful and ended in long lasting (albeit self-inflicted) grief and misery cannot be disputed. However, either the American people or their government does not even remotely understand the reasons behind that grief and misery -. Contradictory to popular belief, and a whole lot of wishful thinking by a solid corps of some 16,000,000+ American draft dodgers and their families / supporters, it was not a military defeat that brought misfortune to the American effort in Vietnam.
The United Sates military in Vietnam was the best-educated, best-trained, best disciplined and most successful force ever fielded in the history of American arms.
Why then, did it get such bad press, and, why is the public's opinion of them so twisted? The answer is simple. But first, a few relevant comparisons. During the Civil War, at the Battle of Bull Run, the entire Union Army panicked and fled the battlefield. Nothing even remotely resembling that debacle ever occurred in Vietnam. In WWII at the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, the Germans overran elements of the US Army. In the course of that battle, Hitler's General Rommel (The Desert Fox) inflicted 3,100 US casualties, took 3,700 US prisoners and captured or destroyed 198 American tanks. In Vietnam no US Military units were overrun and no US Military infantry units or tank outfits were captured. WW II again. In the Philippines, Army Generals Jonathan Wainwright and Edward King surrendered themselves and their troops to the Japanese. In Vietnam no US generals, or US military units ever surrendered. Before the Normandy invasion (“D” Day, 1944) the US Army (In WW II the US Army included the Army Air Corps which today has become the US Airforce) in England filled its own jails with American soldiers who refused to fight and then had to rent jail space from the British to handle the overflow. The US Army in Vietnam never had to rent jail space from the Vietnamese to incarcerate American soldiers who refused to fight.

Dissertation. Only about 5,000 men assigned to Vietnam deserted and just 249 of those deserted while in Vietnam. During WW II, in the European Theater alone, over 20,000 US Military men were convicted of dissertation and, on a comparable percentage basis, the overall WW II desertion rate was 55 percent higher than in Vietnam. During the WW II Battle of the Bulge in Europe two regiments of the US Army's 106th Division surrendered to the Germans. Again: In Vietnam no US Army unit ever surrendered. As for brutality: During WW II the US Army executed nearly 300 of its own men. In the European Theater alone, the US Army sentenced 443 American soldiers to death. Most of these sentences were for the rape and or murder of civilians.
In the Korean War, Major General F. Dean, commander of the 24th Infantry Division in Korea was taken prisoner of war (POW). In Vietnam no US generals, much less division commanders, were ever taken prisoner. During the Korean War the US Army was forced into the longest retreat in its history. a catastrophic 275 mile withdrawal from the Yalu River all the way to Pyontaek, 45 miles south of Seoul. In the process they lost the capital of Seoul. The US Military in Vietnam was never compelled into a major retreat nor did it ever abandon Saigon to the enemy. The 1st US Marine Division was driven from the Chosin Reservoir and forced into an emergency evacuation from the Korean port of Hungnam. There other US Army joined them and South Korean soldiers and the US Navy eventually evacuated 105,000 Allied troops from that port. In Vietnam there was never any mass evacuation of US Marine, South Vietnamese or Allied troops.
Other items: Only 25 percent of the US Military who served in Vietnam were draftees. During WW II, 66 percent of the troops were draftees. The Vietnam force contained three time as many college graduates as did the WW II force. The average education level of the enlisted man in Vietnam was 13 years, equivalent to one year of college. Of those who enlisted, 79 percent had high school diplomas. This at a time when only 65% of the military age males in the general American population were high school graduates. The average age of the military men who died in Vietnam was 22.8 years old. Of the one hundred and one (101) 18 year old draftees who died in Vietnam; seven of them were black. Blacks accounted for 10.5 percent the combat deaths in Vietnam. At that time black males of military age constituted 13.5 percent of the
American population. The charge that the “poor” died in disproportionate numbers is also a myth. An MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) study of Vietnam death rates, conducted by Professor Arnold Barnett, revealed that servicemen from the richest 10 percent of the nations communities had the same distribution of deaths as the rest of the nation. In fact his study showed that the death rate in the upper income communities of Beverly Hills, Belmont, Chevy Chase, and Great Neck exceeded the national average in three of the four, and, when the four were added together and averaged, that number also exceeded the national average. On the issue of psychological health: Mental problems attributed to service in Vietnam are referred to as PTSD. Civil War veterans suffered “Soldiers heart” in WW I the term was “Shell shock” during WW II and in Korea it was “Battle fatigue.” Military records indicate that Civil War psychological casualties averaged twenty six per thousand men. In WW II some units experienced over 100 psychiatric casualties per 1,000 troops; in Korea nearly one quarter of all battlefield medical evacuations were due to mental stress. That works out to about 50 per 1,000 troops. In Vietnam the comparable average was 5 per 1,000 troops.

To put Vietnam in its proper perspective it is necessary to understand that the US Military was not defeated in Vietnam and that the South Vietnamese government did not collapse due to mismanagement or corruption, nor was it overthrown by revolutionary guerrillas running around in rubber tire sandals, wearing black pajamas and carrying home made weapons. There was no “general uprising” or “revolt” by the southern population. A conventional army made up of seventeen conventional divisions, organized into four army corps, overran Saigon. This totally conventional force (armed, equipped, trained and supplied by the Soviet Union) launched a cross border, frontal attack on South Vietnam and conquered it, in the same manner as Hitler conquered most of Europe in WW II. A quick synopsis of America's “Vietnam experience” will help summarize and clarify the Vietnam scenario:

Prior to 1965; US Advisors and AID only

1965 - 1967; Buildup of US Forces and logistical supply bases, plus heavy fighting to counter Communist North Vietnamese invasion.

1968 - 1970; Communist “insurgency” destroyed to the point where over 90% of the towns and villages in South Vietnam were free from Communist domination. As an example: By 1971 throughout the entire populous Mekong Delta, the monthly rate of Communist insurgency action dropped to an average of 3 incidents per 100,000 population (Many a US city would envy a crime rate that low). In 1969 Nixon started troop withdrawals that were essentially complete by late 1971.

Dec 1972; Paris Peace Agreements negotiated and agreed by North Vietnam, South Vietnam, the Southern Vietnamese Communists (VC, NLF / PRG) and the United States.

Jan 1973; All four parties formally sign Paris Peace Agreements.

Mar 1973; Last US POW released from Hanoi Hilton, and in accordance with Paris Agreements, last American GI leaves Vietnam.

SOURCE: http://www.mrfa.org/vnstats.htm

JUST BECAUSE IT'S IN THE NEWSPAPER OR ON THE INTERNET DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE
August 13th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
I'll give 2 as im in two countries

For France

The fall of France in 1940. The French had a proud military history up to that point, but to be completely occupied in 6 weeks was a shock the French never recovered from.

The United States

The First 6 months of WWII. From Pearl Harbour to Bataan. The Japanese war machine was unstoppable.