ORIGINAL: Cap Mandrake
Daughter got me "The Generals" (Thomas Ricks) to listen to in the car on the way to work. His basic thesis is the US Army moved away from battlefield relief of generals and everything went to **** for a while.
According to him...the good guys:
Marshall (There is even a adjective "marshallian" which, as far as I can tell means "yo' **** don't stink")
Patton (with flaws)
O P Smith (Marine commander at Chosin)
The bad guys:
Taylor (in later years)
MacArthur (the whole time)...and his wife, somewhat effeminate son, family dog, the Fillipino maid.......
Pretty much everyone associated with 90th ID at the start of Normandy campaign
I'm not done yet. Haven't got to GWI, Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama or Grenada. Poor Sanchez got mentioned alreay and the Vietnam War just ended.
From my limited experince in the military ... it is a politcal machine and thus I propose that politically incorrect "bahhhstards" like Patton would be drummed out of the service in a heartbeat. Now recruits have a "stress card" if the Drill sergent is "too abusive"
I might propose that the mindset of Westmorland still exists today and why we spend blood and billions of dollars of treasure in long MIC's thinking that the enemy will see that we our superior and give up .. so far since Korea/Vietnam this has not worked. One might say Schwarzkopf's blitzkreig broke that mold, but in the end we got into an economic war of attrition/LIC with Iraq that ended up with a second MIC, and still we are in a war of attrition with these folks supported by Iran.
Generals will always fight the last war supported by a cast of charecters who agree with them and confirm their appointments. Then the *(^(*%^ hits the fan and greatness arises. Although I would contend that WWII was the last time this paradigm has shaped our military.
Great subject and read .. The good news is that my military days are long behind me ...
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. - Kurt Vonnegut