"The Storm of War"

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by renrich, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Reading a new book by Andrew Roberts entitled "The Storm of War." A chronical of WW2. It is is pretty well done and the author allegedly is a first rate historian. The book is very eurocentric and I am not sure I agree with how professional the author is. However it is an easy read and one item of interest intrigued me. He states that one reason the French Army put up such a poor fight is that the WW1 casualties in the French Army were so enormous that the French morale was shattered from the blood letting of WW1.

    The French mobilised 8.41M men in WW1 and 1.36M died. In other words, 16% of the men mobilised died. Sounds pretty horrific but consider this. During the War of Northern Aggression, the South had around 1M men in service and 25% died, around 250000. The North had around 4M in service and 350000 died which is about 9%. The number of men who died for the Confederacy is staggering and puts the French casualties in the shade.
     
  2. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #2 oldcrowcv63, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    (I removed my original tongue-in-cheek post about the american civil war, concerned that someone might think I was serious.. and the statistics you quote from that first 'modern' war are nothing to joke about. )

    Seriously I don't think I understand the French at the start of WW2, especially in light of the statistics you post. I have to wonder if they just hadn't lost faith in their leadership having become too cynical about the decision making quality of their leaders to resist an invasion.
     
  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #3 oldcrowcv63, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    Upon further reflecrting on the course of my own family's history under the influence of after-effects of war (War of 1812 and Civil War), which apparently persisted long after the event, I wonder if the people of France had not quite recovered from the Napoleonic experience or perhaps the Franco-Prussian war?. Modern folk often view such bygone events to be so far in the past they couldn't possibly influence the course of more modern history yet, we have them all around us. Just a thought.

    Of course there appeared to be no hesitation on the part of souherners to volunteer for duty in WWII so perhaps that suggests a counter argument that the WW2 collapse of france had little or nothing to do with Napoleon or F-P war... I also wonder about the per centage of the population commited in each case and a comparison of the number of casualties of all sorts. :confused: (that face doesn't look as puzzled by the points you've raised as I feel)

    Found a recent thread by Gekho that provides some insight into the Franch military mind wrt aviation techology, organization and doctrine develpment: It seems as though after a stellar performance in WWI, the French military thought and preparations suffered from some kind of mental arteriosclerosis. I sometimes think winning isn't necessarily the best thing that can happen to a country. There is usually a price paid for victory that isn't as apparent as the penalty for defeat, yet as real.

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aircraft-pictures/armee-de-l-air-s-pre-war-aircrafts-31527.html
     
  4. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Since the War of Northern Aggression, Southerners have always been over represented as volunteers in the US Military and still are today. Many people in the South were loyalists during the Revolution but that tendency has gone away. Part of the South's tendency to be warlike is probably because of their Anlo-Celt hearitage. They are just plain warlike. To me the excuse for France's poor showing in WW2 was because of the high casualty rates in WW1 is a pretty weak one. The fact is that people with differnent racial backgrounds are exactly that-different.
     
  5. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    When my son was in the Marines he made a somewhat related observation... Interesting. He said, the only kids who could compete with the New Englander's marksmanship were the Southern recruits... (he grew up in New England and is genetically Anglo-Celt from me and Prussian from his mother) Sounds like the revolution all over again! The preponderance of Anglo-Celt populations in both regions may be disproportionate. I think the only thing I'd change in your above is perhaps to replace the word 'race' with 'ethnicity' and/or 'culture'. With respect to the french, I just don't know. Your post has prompted me to explore the decisions made prior to the war that resulted in the "Let's hide behind our fortress" mindset. I don't know much about French aviation development except that it appears to have stagnated after the First WW. That bespeaks a more generally disfunctional view of the world and what was going on around them. I recall reading a book long ago by Jean Lartuguy: "The Centurians", that I think would argue the human-spiritual timber existed to resist the germans more effectively, but was terribly betrayed. But of course, one book does not constitute a culture.
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Recently read a book about the origin of dogs. Most experts today agree that the Gray Wolf and the Dog are genetically the same species or at the very least sub species of one another. The author made the point that Dogs and Gray Wolves or actually more similar genetically than are some of the human races. I would not like to argue the point because I am no expert by any means. If the author is correct though it could help explain why some of the human races are better at some tasks than others. Not a PC subject but there are undeniable differences in the capabilities of the different races of humans that at least to me cannot be explained away by environmental factors.

    Another book by Fischer, a professor at Brandeis U entitled "Albion's Seed" traces the four different English speaking groups who migrated to America and had the most influence on the America we know today or up until recently anyway.
    The last group to come, he calls them the Borderers and they arrived from 1700 to 1775 were the most numerous. They were the Anglo Celt, bore much animosity toward the English, were quarrelsome and warlike and very hardy. Many historians claim the the Revolution may not have taken place without the influence of the Borderers.
     
  7. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #7 oldcrowcv63, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    I heard a few years back that 'race' as a biological concept had no legitimacy. Now, resorting to wikipedia, my ultimate authoritative source on every subject :shock:, I discover that, for a subject without any reality it is the topic of a hell of a lot of research that has even resulted in identifying some of the very processes responsible for giving rise to genetically differentiated populations! Just how the hell am I supposed to keep up? I think this all happened when I was asleep. I wake up and one day discover the world changed and no one gave me so much as a 'heads up.' This keeps happening. I went to bed one evening believing what I had been told about the Spirfire winning the Battle of Britain, the next morning I find out it was the Hurricane! Why bother I ask you?

    This is the curmudgeon's lament....

    This whole topic has caused me to change my avatar, as you see.
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    #8 pbfoot, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    Being of Scots lineage and UEL (new acronym for you) most of the UEL were made up of Scots
    Still waiting for reparations for the land that was taken by terrorists in 1777 although some repayment was taken back by Butlers Rangers and some was gained through the failed Invasion of Canada
     
  9. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Reading about Albion's seed... Fascinating! My own family is second migration from wessex to Chesapeake Bay. Wife's german family were recent (early 20th century) emigre's to South eastern Pennsylvania.
     
  10. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #10 oldcrowcv63, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    Ahhh! UEL = Universty of East London. :D

    United Empire Loyalists... sounds like a soccer team. :confused:

    reading about UEL now...I had NO idea!

    Yes, the failed invasion, led by our national hero and most capable revolutionary war general, Benedict Arnold.
     
  11. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Of Course! They gave them a gun, didn't they!


    Twenty years is not a long time to forget, especially if you are trying to suppress the horrors of something like WWI. I think the tendencies would be to pray and hope things will work out.
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    OC, if you have not read Fischer's book, I heartily recommend it to you. With your interests it will be right down you alley. I am proud of my mostly Scots Irish ancestry with a little German mixed. My ancestors served in the Revolution and obviously in The War of Northern Aggression as well as WW1 and WW2 and my Grandfather was in the Frontier Battallion of the Texas Rangers in 1882. I do believe there is a lot more about Homo Sapiens and his genetics than is generally known or discussed.
     
  13. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #13 oldcrowcv63, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    Not only has it got my attention, I'm gonna share this thread with my son who is a history buff and it will certainly light his fire.

    My dad always claimed we had Scots ancestry going back to Rob Roy MacGregor. Don't know how he knew that unless it was through my great grandmother. I always thought our Huguenot ancestry family fought for Cromwell and got grants on Maryland's eastern shore but the dates (circa 1650) are uncertain We apparently came in with the second wave wessex Cavelier crowd but that's about all I know of the original immigrants. G-G Granddad was a sergeant in the 10th Maryland Cavalry during the War of 1812. His son was a blockade runner, captured by the union navy on the James River. That's the family story of how he lost his small steamboat anyway. He married his local sweetheart the day after the civil war ended so I assume he was in prison some where nearby (Fort Delaware?) and was immediately repatriated. His children moved north to NYC at the turn of the century for work around the harbor and on the river. I was born in NJ but spent my early years in Southwestern VA.

    I spent 7 years in Boulder, CO, in graduate school (1977- 1984) and almost got out to Montrose last year on a dig in Southern Utah. Still hope to get out there if I can swing it. Love the terrain.
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Have gotten back to reading "Storm of War" and am thankful it is library book and I did not buy it. A British author and supposedly highly thought of as a historian. Interesting how his bias shows through. He devotes four pages to the entire Guadalcanal Campaign and eight pages to Wingate's Chindits. Many historians doubt that Wingate's antics had much if any overall impact on the war whereas the Guadacanal Campaign was decisive. Earlier in the book the author said that the Me109 in the BOB was armed with 3- cannon and 2-MGs. I kind of ignored that gaffe but no more. This guy would not make a pimple on the A*** of John Keegan, my favorite historian from Britain or otherwise.
     
  15. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #15 oldcrowcv63, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
    One of the reasons I enjoyed Lundstrom's book on Fletcher is that it makes much clearer the part played by Guadacanal in the whole Pacific Offensive. So many accounts seem to present the US as being mainly reactive to the Japanese develping presence there, but then how could the Watchtower invasion have occured so suddenly? In Lundstom's account it becomes evident that it is part of a general South Pacific advance strategy that had received much prior thought and the Lunga airfield mainly accelerated the urgency of hurrying along a path already decided upon. That an author would demote it relative to the importance of the Chindits shows some considerable shortsightedness if not outright bias.
     
  16. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Books are usually written with a nationalistic bent tending to put other contributors to campaigns is a lesser light or for better words aimed at a particular audience .
     
  17. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    PB, you are right but it does not have to be that way. Keegan is a good example. Never seen any bias in any of his books.
     
  18. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    #18 pbfoot, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
    its almost always that way , everygody world wide is aware of Guadalcanal , or Dunqurque but I'll wager few know how the Poles got screwed at Falaise by Patton or the French when forces were diverted away from closing the gap to liberate Paris .
     
  19. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Just reread the portion of Keegan's "Six Armies in Normandy" re the Pole's Battle at the Falaise Gap and Second French Armored's entry into Paris. Can't seem to find where the Poles got screwed by Patton or the French had forces diverted away from Paris. To begin with SHAEF did not want to liberate Paris prematurely or even to have a battle to liberate it. Eisenhower, however was an admirer of DeGaulle and had promised him that the Free French would be allowed to enter Paris first.
     
  20. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Its a relativly new discovery as the Ultra transcripts for this particular ordeal have just been released. Certain ultra transcripts never got to the units that needed them on the deployment of 22nd Panzer (it wasn't where they thought it was) and at the same time the french pulled out of the pincer to liberate Paris
     
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