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Old 06-23-2019, 10:21 PM
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Band of Brothers--Airborne in WWII purpose


Watching Band of Brothers--I know it is old. But I am trying to understand the reason for sending these small groups of paratroopers into fighting land battles.

I get the D-Day invasion. We dropped these guys behind the lines to destroy bridges and other infrastructure to make it harder for the Germans to resupply and reinforce the troops defending the beaches to give us a better chance of getting a foothold there. Got it.

But the stuff after that confuses me. Like at Bastogne. First, the Army is wasting their skill at parachuting. Second, why have these 100 plus guys go into town to raid it in order to accomplish a seemingly minor objective. Why not shell the hell out of it and then send in infantry and armor?

What was the purpose of these little raids and thereby endangering specialty troops that trained to parachute?

Last edited by UltraVires; 06-23-2019 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:06 PM
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While airborne troops might travel by plane and parachute, they would fight as light infantry once they arrived. So it wasn't too strange to deploy them as light infantry without dropping them out of planes first. They fought just as well when they were truckborne as they did when airborne.

That said, they weren't sent into just any battle because it was recognized they had a special role and nobody wanted to use them up on regular battles and not have them available when their special uses were needed. But sometimes they were sent into combat because an unexpected battle had begun and paratroopers were the best reserves who were readily available.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:15 PM
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It wasn't "100 plus" guys, it was thousands. It was an airborne division. Bastogne was important because all of the major avenues crossed through that town.
In addition to that division of infantry, the Army sent a division of tanks which arrived later. So to answer to "why not send infantry and armor" is, "they did".
As for the little groups of paratriopers (LGOPs), they were not really supposed to fight like that, and they were not specially trained to fight in that manner. They trained to fight as regular infantry. The problem was that, for various reasons, they were airdropped all over the place and scattered everywhere. It wasn't intended. They were supposed to assemble as full companies on the ground. Once they realized it was going to be impossible, the scrounged up whatever LGOP they could, and carried out the mission to the best of their ability.

Last edited by Bear_Nenno; 06-23-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:33 PM
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The thing about Airborne, or one thing, is this. When an infantry unit loses 10% of its personnel in an operation it's usually withdrawn for replacements and rehab. When an Airborne unit leaves on an operation what with troopers injured in the landing, dropped in the wrong place, aircraft colliding with each other, enemy AA gunfire, etc, the planners would generally count on 25% losses by the time the troopers have taken off their chutes and gathered in their platoons.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:28 AM
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Remember that the battle of Bastogne was part of the German Ardennes offensive, and early on the Germans looked likely to be able to break through and splut the Allied forces. Therefore, the 101st Airborne, as one of the few "reserve" units available relatively nearby, were sent in as a stop-gap measure to hold the line until more substansial (armoured and infantry) reserves could be brought in. Also, after the failure of Market-Garden in September 1944, Allied planners did not foresee any more large scale airborne operations, and as such, the paratroopers were more likely to be deplyed as regular light infantry.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:36 AM
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From Wikipedia:

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General Eisenhower ordered forward the SHAEF reserve, composed of the 82nd Airborne Division, commanded by Major General James Gavin, and the 101st Airborne Division, temporarily under command of Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, at Reims. These were veteran troops that had served with distinction since the parachute drops in Normandy and were resting and re-equipping after two months of combat in the Netherlands after Operation Market Garden.

Both divisions were alerted on the evening of 17 December, and not having transport automatically assigned for their use, began arranging trucks for movement forward. The 82nd—longer in reserve and thus better re-equipped—moved out first. The 101st left Camp Mourmelon on the afternoon of 18 December, with the order of march of the division artillery, division trains, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 506th PIR, 502nd PIR, and 327th Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR). Much of the convoy was conducted at night in drizzle and sleet, using headlights despite threat of air attack to speed the movement, and at one point the combined column stretched from Bouillon, Belgium, back to Reims, a distance of 120 kilometres (75 mi).
A 75 mile column is a hell of a lot of troops.

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Old 06-24-2019, 04:44 AM
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Remember that the battle of Bastogne was part of the German Ardennes offensive, and early on the Germans looked likely to be able to break through and splut the Allied forces. Therefore, the 101st Airborne, as one of the few "reserve" units available relatively nearby, were sent in as a stop-gap measure to hold the line until more substansial (armoured and infantry) reserves could be brought in.

This. They might not have been the best unit for the task, but they happened to be on hand.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:59 AM
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Airborne troops tended to be a lot better quality than regular infantry. Better soldiers are initially selected, harder training, etc.

So sending in such a group into a desperate battle makes a lot of sense. Even if they are relatively lightly armed.

Note that on D-Day blowing up bridges was often not the priority paratroopers and glider forces. Many bridges were targeted to be captured and held. Another common objective were crossroads.

And, as mentioned, the 82nd weren't dropped into Bastogne to raid it. It had been in US hands for a while and they were driven there to reinforce it. And it was far from a minor objective. It turned out to be the key crossroad in the Battle of the Bulge.

Why not shell Bastogne? Because you'd be shelling your own troops!!!!!
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:15 AM
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The Krauts also had paratroopers, Fallschirmjägers

The Fallschirmjägers fought all over Europe and beyond, right through WW2, but they only got used as actual paratroopers a few times.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:20 AM
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Second, why have these 100 plus guys go into town to raid it in order to accomplish a seemingly minor objective. Why not shell the hell out of it and then send in infantry and armor?
You do understand that the Belgians were on our side, right? The objective was to free the country, not wage war against it. "Shell the hell out of it" is a tactic used against enemy cities.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:33 AM
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You do understand that the Belgians were on our side, right? The objective was to free the country, not wage war against it. "Shell the hell out of it" is a tactic used against enemy cities.
The Allies bombed occupied France, did they not?
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:20 PM
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The Allies bombed occupied France, did they not?

But they mostly tried to avoid doing so in the parts being held by friendly troops at the time - the US troops were the ones besieged at Bastogne, so shelling Bastogne would have been a little counterproductive.

Last edited by wevets; 06-24-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:15 PM
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I am very glad they succeeded. It would have been horrible if the Germans had been able to splut the Allied troops.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:30 PM
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It wasn't "100 plus" guys, it was thousands. It was an airborne division. Bastogne was important because all of the major avenues crossed through that town.
In addition to that division of infantry, the Army sent a division of tanks which arrived later. So to answer to "why not send infantry and armor" is, "they did".
As for the little groups of paratriopers (LGOPs), they were not really supposed to fight like that, and they were not specially trained to fight in that manner. They trained to fight as regular infantry. The problem was that, for various reasons, they were airdropped all over the place and scattered everywhere. It wasn't intended. They were supposed to assemble as full companies on the ground. Once they realized it was going to be impossible, the scrounged up whatever LGOP they could, and carried out the mission to the best of their ability.
Please tell me that LGOP is an official army acronym. Lie if you have to.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:14 PM
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You do understand that the Belgians were on our side, right? The objective was to free the country, not wage war against it. "Shell the hell out of it" is a tactic used against enemy cities.
With regards to Band of Brothers I think he is actually talking about Foy. That was just after Bastogne and when they started back on the offensive.

As for “shell the hell out of it,” that was a tactic that was used many times. It was never as effective as they hoped. It always took actual troops on the ground to take the real estate.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:48 PM
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The objective was to free the country, not wage war against it.
The actual objective of that particular mission was relief of the Allied forces in Bastogne, which was at major risk of being enveloped and overwhelmed by the German army.

The Allies had few scruples about shelling or carpet bombing cities, even ones they wanted to liberate. They stopped largely because it didn't work very well, not because they were worried about preserving either lives or infrastructure.

Shelling the city, as mentioned a few times above, would be counterproductive to the mission at hand.

Though I admit, the Germans would probably never have seen it coming

ETA: Ah, not Bastogne, then. But still, shelling cities from a distance never worked as well as war planners hoped.

Last edited by Great Antibob; 06-24-2019 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:28 PM
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It would have been horrible if the Germans had been able to splut the Allied troops.
I don't know what being splut involves but it sounds bad.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:01 PM
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"SPLUT!" is the sound of a German 105mm round landing on a lightly-armed and totally unarmored paratrooper. Followed by an earth-shattering "KABOOM!"
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:02 PM
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I don't know what being splut involves but it sounds bad.
It's German past tense for split.

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Old 06-24-2019, 06:05 PM
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The Allies had few scruples about shelling or carpet bombing cities, even ones they wanted to liberate . . .
You could be talking about Caen, only weeks after D-Day.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:54 PM
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US (and our allies) all suffered from issues replacing their infantry casualties in 1944. A good look from reddit /askhistorians (the author even provides cites.)

Casualties breaking out from Normandy in the weeks that followed were very high. ~90% of all those casualties were in the infantry. The terrain in much of the area was well suited for a short range infantry defense. The Allies struggled with replacements The Germans mostly just bled out until their unit remnants were to weak to stop the eventual breakout. ISTR a number of units suffering over 100% casualties from D-Day until the end of August. That's based on unit slots against total casualties (in Army terms where wounded counts.) Units would get topped up with replacements and troops who were able to return to duty after treatment for minor wounds. It's likely that some troops counted more than once; they returned to duty after their first wound and then got hit again.

The airborne divisions were trained light infantry that added a special skill. If there was plenty of infantry available to take over the more routine fights it might have made sense to try and conserve them. There wasn't.

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Old 06-24-2019, 10:37 PM
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You can see in this link battle casualties per US Army division in WWII. Pg 84 has it for European Theater which may be more comparable than mixing in the more episodic combat in the Pacific. The three Airborne Divisions had a middling number of casualties, 7-9k, not comparable to the longest serving Infantry Divisions with over 20k, but generally more than the Armored Divisions and more than many high numbered infantry divisions. But some of that was because the high numbered divisions entered combat as late as late 1944. Anyway gives an idea that the Airborne Divisions were not carefully conserved for true airborne operations, and/or suffered heavily in those operations. Even the relatively little known 17th Airborne Division didn't get off all that lightly among all divisions in Europe (first pressed into service in the Ardennes fighting then later Rhine crossing airborne operation).

Especially considering that the TO&E strength of Airborne Divisions was significantly smaller, 8,596 in June 1944 v 14,253 for Infantry Divisions.

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA...ualties-1.html
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:46 PM
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my recollection is that the casualty count in the Normandy campaign began to approach the "meat grinder" numbers of WWI, which is exactly what the Allied planners had feared would happen.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:03 AM
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I am very glad they succeeded. It would have been horrible if the Germans had been able to splut the Allied troops.
I even saw that little gaffe in time for a edit, but I figured it was funnier to keep it intact
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:19 AM
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Please tell me that LGOP is an official army acronym. Lie if you have to.
It is. Brief explanation starts at 50sec mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeDT9UcwqZE

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Old 06-25-2019, 09:10 AM
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I've read a post-war monograph about how the army rangers were also misused. Instead of being saved for important missions or objectives, they were used as light infantry on the line. A waste of superior quality troops. Especially since they were generally lightly equipped, just like paratroops.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:26 PM
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It is. Brief explanation starts at 50sec mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeDT9UcwqZE

On the one hand, my mind is blown. On the other hand, I really shouldn't be surprised to learn that the Army's love affair with ETLAs* goes back that far.


*Extended Three Letter Acronym
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:29 PM
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Can't find the direct quote today, but John Keegan wrote about the difficulty the Allies had with the "bocage country" in France. The thousand-year-old hedgerows were thick and closely spaced and made for ideal defensive terrain -- which the Germans expertly used to exact agonizing casualties from the Allied armies. Keegan said that the "green American infantry" was so demoralized by the deadly hedgerows that the US Army called on the paratroopers (including the 101st Airborne) again and again to lead the attack. This was a waste of their talents and caused heavy casualties, but the situation was dire.

Eventually an enterprising noncom experimented with welding parts of captured German beach obstacles to the fronts of Sherman tanks to make cutting blades. These "Rhino" Shermans bulldozed a way through the hedgerows and the Americans were able to break out into open ground.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:30 PM
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I've read a post-war monograph about how the army rangers were also misused. Instead of being saved for important missions or objectives, they were used as light infantry on the line. A waste of superior quality troops. Especially since they were generally lightly equipped, just like paratroops.

Why would it be a waste ? There's a job needs doing and they're there to do it. It's not like every week there's going to be a Pointe du Hoc to climb. Really once you've scaled that one cliff, Normandie's pretty flat. As for Belgium, they don't call it the Plat Pays (Flat Country) for nothing

The only way their skills were being wasted/the generals fucked up was if the Rangers were tasked with holding the line while the 132nd Freshly Conscripted Greenhorn Division stationed in the same camp got told to assault a bridge or something.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:46 PM
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Eventually an enterprising noncom experimented with welding parts of captured German beach obstacles to the fronts of Sherman tanks to make cutting blades.
I wonder if this guy got a promotion or a medal or a pat on the back.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:59 PM
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I wonder if this guy got a promotion or a medal or a pat on the back.

Why ? You think he get a percentage ? Nigga, please. The man who invented these, just some sad ass down at the basement of US Army. Thinking of some shit to make more tactical aids for the real players.

Fuck right. It ain't about right, it's about killing Jerry. Now, you think Uncle Sam is going to go down in that basement and say "hey mister tank trap, you the bomb. We killing Jerries faster than you can rip them beach obstacles out. So I'm gonna write my uncly-ass name on this fat-ass commendation for you !"
Shit. Man, the nigger who invented them things still working in the basement for some regular wages, thinking of some shit to counter panzershreck with, some shit like that. Believe.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:26 PM
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I wonder if this guy got a promotion or a medal or a pat on the back.
The invention of a hedge-breaching device is generally credited to Curtis G. Culin, a sergeant in the 2nd Armored Division's 102nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. However, military historian Max Hastings notes that Culin was inspired by "a Tennessee hillbilly named Roberts",[6] who during a discussion about how to overcome the bocage, said "Why don't we get some saw teeth and put them on the front of the tank and cut through these hedges?" Rather than joining in the laughter that greeted this remark, Culin recognized the idea's potential.[6] A prototype tusk-like assembly was created by welding steel scrap (from destroyed "Czech hedgehogs") to the front of a tank to create a hedge cutter. The teeth helped prevent the vulnerable underside of the tank from being exposed while it knocked a hole in the hedgerow wall.[11][6] On 14 July, Lieutenant General Omar Bradley inspected the tank[11] and "watched in awe as a hedgerow exploded ... to make way for the Sherman bursting through".[6] According to Hastings, Culin, "an honest man", attempted to give credit to Roberts, but this was forgotten in the publicity surrounding the invention. Hastings concludes: "[Culin] became a very American kind of national hero".[6]
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:32 PM
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Why ? You think he get a percentage ? Nigga, please. The man who invented these, just some sad ass down at the basement of US Army. Thinking of some shit to make more tactical aids for the real players.

Fuck right. It ain't about right, it's about killing Jerry. Now, you think Uncle Sam is going to go down in that basement and say "hey mister tank trap, you the bomb. We killing Jerries faster than you can rip them beach obstacles out. So I'm gonna write my uncly-ass name on this fat-ass commendation for you !"
Shit. Man, the nigger who invented them things still working in the basement for some regular wages, thinking of some shit to counter panzershreck with, some shit like that. Believe.
Really?
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:40 PM
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I don't know what being splut involves but it sounds bad.
If a field commander sets a deliberate policy of splutting the enemy, he's committed a war crome.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:16 PM
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Really?
I have no idea.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:23 PM
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You would think that guy would be at least a home town hero.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:30 PM
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You would think that guy would be at least a home town hero.
If not, at least a poster here in 2019 called him a "nigger", so I'm sure that's just as good.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:41 PM
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Why ? You think he get a percentage ? Nigga, please. The man who invented these, just some sad ass down at the basement of US Army. Thinking of some shit to make more tactical aids for the real players.

Fuck right. It ain't about right, it's about killing Jerry. Now, you think Uncle Sam is going to go down in that basement and say "hey mister tank trap, you the bomb. We killing Jerries faster than you can rip them beach obstacles out. So I'm gonna write my uncly-ass name on this fat-ass commendation for you !"
Shit. Man, the nigger who invented them things still working in the basement for some regular wages, thinking of some shit to counter panzershreck with, some shit like that. Believe.
Kobal2, what the Hell is this? That post is in no way appropriate for General Questions. This is an official Warning for, let's call it inappropriate language, because I'm not even sure how to describe whatever that is.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:05 PM
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Why would it be a waste ? There's a job needs doing and they're there to do it. It's not like every week there's going to be a Pointe du Hoc to climb. Really once you've scaled that one cliff, Normandie's pretty flat. As for Belgium, they don't call it the Plat Pays (Flat Country) for nothing

The only way their skills were being wasted/the generals fucked up was if the Rangers were tasked with holding the line while the 132nd Freshly Conscripted Greenhorn Division stationed in the same camp got told to assault a bridge or something.
It was a waste because they were losing elite specialists on missions that could be done by regular troops. And in many ways done better by standard infantry who were more heavily equipped than the rangers who were supposed to make fast, daring raids instead of slugging it out on the line.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:03 PM
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Kobal2, what the Hell is this?

It's a reference to the best show ever.
You guys have been missing out.
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:41 PM
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It's a reference to the best show ever.
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I've seen The Wire, as have many other posters, and it's a great show, but that's still no excuse for posting a random bit of dialog from 17 years ago that's a complete non sequitur with regard to the subject of this thread. You don't really need to post whatever pops into your head, especially when it contains offensive terms (and even though the dialogue is spoken by black characters on the show, it's still offensive when taken out of context). Just because something is a quote from a movie, TV show, or book doesn't mean it's appropriate to post. Try to use better judgement in the future.

Colibri
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Last edited by Colibri; 06-25-2019 at 11:42 PM.
  #42  
Old 06-26-2019, 12:22 AM
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[Moderating]

I've seen The Wire, as have many other posters, and it's a great show, but that's still no excuse for posting a random bit of dialog from 17 years ago that's a complete non sequitur with regard to the subject of this thread. You don't really need to post whatever pops into your head, especially when it contains offensive terms (and even though the dialogue is spoken by black characters on the show, it's still offensive when taken out of context). Just because something is a quote from a movie, TV show, or book doesn't mean it's appropriate to post. Try to use better judgement in the future.

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*shrug* I thought it was a pretty amusing sequitur to someone bringing up that some NCO had a fantastic idea that probably saved a whole lot of lives (because, speaking as a veteran pixelgeneral, fuck hedgerows forever) ; and another someone expecting that NCO to have been rewarded for their ingenuity - because the Army doesn't typically work that way. Hence the bit. All the more justified considering silenus' cite of what happened - to whit, Curtis G. Culin still working in the basement at US Army, so to speak.


Maybe not in GQ, and certainly not before the question had been answered in earnest, I'll cop to that. But I'm funny and I'm topical, damn you. You won't take that from me !
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  #43  
Old 06-26-2019, 01:00 AM
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It was a waste because they were losing elite specialists on missions that could be done by regular troops. And in many ways done better by standard infantry who were more heavily equipped than the rangers who were supposed to make fast, daring raids instead of slugging it out on the line.

But again, if there's no mission requiring elite specialists, and they happen to be infantry which is what's needed ; and they're at or around the spot where you really need some infantry, it's not really a waste. It's just using what you've got on hand.

It might be a waste of potential to use a Ferrari for your daily commute because you could win street races with it or somesuch ; but if what you need to do is go from point A to point B and back again and you happen to own a Ferrari, why not use it ? Are you arguing that in that hypo, the correct and not wasteful decision would be to buy another car to commute with ?
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
*shrug* I thought it was a pretty amusing sequitur to someone bringing up that some NCO had a fantastic idea that probably saved a whole lot of lives (because, speaking as a veteran pixelgeneral, fuck hedgerows forever) ; and another someone expecting that NCO to have been rewarded for their ingenuity - because the Army doesn't typically work that way. Hence the bit. All the more justified considering silenus' cite of what happened - to whit, Curtis G. Culin still working in the basement at US Army, so to speak.


Maybe not in GQ, and certainly not before the question had been answered in earnest, I'll cop to that. But I'm funny and I'm topical, damn you. You won't take that from me !
At the very least, you could keep your version short and just link to the video. I think that would have conveyed your intended comedic affect while not offending or confusing everyone. Just a thought; Im not a mod, and my opinion doesnt really mean anything.
  #45  
Old 06-26-2019, 08:02 AM
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The invention of a hedge-breaching device is generally credited to Curtis G. Culin, a sergeant in the 2nd Armored Division's 102nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. However, military historian Max Hastings notes that Culin was inspired by "a Tennessee hillbilly named Roberts",[6] who during a discussion about how to overcome the bocage, said "Why don't we get some saw teeth and put them on the front of the tank and cut through these hedges?" Rather than joining in the laughter that greeted this remark, Culin recognized the idea's potential.[6] A prototype tusk-like assembly was created by welding steel scrap (from destroyed "Czech hedgehogs") to the front of a tank to create a hedge cutter. The teeth helped prevent the vulnerable underside of the tank from being exposed while it knocked a hole in the hedgerow wall.[11][6] On 14 July, Lieutenant General Omar Bradley inspected the tank[11] and "watched in awe as a hedgerow exploded ... to make way for the Sherman bursting through".[6] According to Hastings, Culin, "an honest man", attempted to give credit to Roberts, but this was forgotten in the publicity surrounding the invention. Hastings concludes: "[Culin] became a very American kind of national hero".[6]
Thanks, silenus, I missed your post the first time around, and pulled Curtis G. Culin out of a Google search, and the name sounded familiar.
  #46  
Old 06-26-2019, 09:37 AM
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But again, if there's no mission requiring elite specialists, and they happen to be infantry which is what's needed ; and they're at or around the spot where you really need some infantry, it's not really a waste. It's just using what you've got on hand.

It might be a waste of potential to use a Ferrari for your daily commute because you could win street races with it or somesuch ; but if what you need to do is go from point A to point B and back again and you happen to own a Ferrari, why not use it ? Are you arguing that in that hypo, the correct and not wasteful decision would be to buy another car to commute with ?
It's still a waste of good material even if it's forced on you by circumstances. But in general, the high command used rangers for general line work even when it was not necessary. They often just saw the Rangers as superior infantry and used them as such when they could and should have saved them for special missions or even try to develop tactics that would play to the rangers' strengths instead of throwing them into a meat grinder for which they were not well equipped.
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  #47  
Old 06-26-2019, 04:00 PM
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Really, it was a waste to throw anyone into those meat grinders.
  #48  
Old 06-26-2019, 06:12 PM
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Well, the war had to be won.

It's easy to say "they should have held back the paratroopers/Rangers for other missions" but that's not consistent with the reality on the ground. Casualty rates in western Europe were VERY high; men were killed and wounded at quite an alarming rate. Units were becoming rapidly exhausted of fresh men. There was very little room to pick and choose the units being used to plug the lines and exploit opportunities.

I am sure many of you have heard of Eddie Slovik, the only U.S. soldier shot for desertion in WWII. One of the reasons his sentence was carried out (many other men were sentenced to death for desertion, but none carried out) is that in that time and place - November 1944 - the U.S. army was incredibly exhausted, casualties were very high, and Slovik's superiors were concerned about how other soldiers serving on the front line would take it if Slovik was spared and, in effect, was allowed to do what he'd sought to do - avoid combat.

At that stage in the war, furthermore, you wouldn't even know if the opportunity would ever exist to use rangers and paratroopers for their designed purpose.

In discussions about WWII it is so often the case that we look back and assume those people were stupid and we know so much better. In truth, 99.9% of the time, the amateur historian's wrong, and the people then and there knew what they were doing and made the right calls, at least as far as it was reasonably possible to make them under the circumstances.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:38 PM
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You can see in this link battle casualties per US Army division in WWII.
Cool. Thanks. I looked for the casualty piece, not just the struggle to replace them, but just for the Normandy campaign. The best I found was for the British who had similar experiences. The numbers for the entire European campaign give a pretty good idea ..and beats my searches that focused on the D-Day landings.

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I wonder if this guy got a promotion or a medal or a pat on the back.
He received a Legion of Merit. (Cite)

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Really, it was a waste to throw anyone into those meat grinders.
We tend to Godwinize a lot of things nowadays but this was literally about stopping Hitler. The Germans fought well and hard on terrain well suited to the defense. We potentially could have chosen an invasion sight that presented a lot more risk of failed landings in exchange for easier terrain if the landing was successful. Most of the US forces engaged had been civilians when the war started. In Normandy most of them were in combat for the first time. I'm not seeing a clearly better option.
  #50  
Old 06-27-2019, 08:33 AM
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Thanks, DinoR.

I thought Steele was 101st.
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