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Allied Generals in Iraq war.

 
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Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/25/2004 6:47:39 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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I am re-reading "Panzer Leader", Guderian's autobiography and it made me wonder. Does anyone know if an Allied General actually led, i.e., first one in, his unit into Iraq when the war started? I know that we have large command centers in Kuwait and Qatar, but did any of the "leaders" get sand on their boots and yell "Follow me"?
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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/25/2004 6:59:43 PM   
JallaTryne


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Poopyhead

I am re-reading "Panzer Leader", Guderian's autobiography and it made me wonder. Does anyone know if an Allied General actually led, i.e., first one in, his unit into Iraq when the war started? I know that we have large command centers in Kuwait and Qatar, but did any of the "leaders" get sand on their boots and yell "Follow me"?

Surely there must be another, more proper, wording than 'Allied' regarding those who attacked Iraq? Allied is a word I connect with the free democracies who fought evil Nazis during WW2, not this....Iraq 'incident'!


JT

(in reply to Poopyhead)
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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/25/2004 8:18:39 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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How about "Generals of the Coalition of Nations that participated in the incident in Iraq that freed twenty eight million people (not to be confused with a war)"?

Also, thanks for not answering either of my questions.

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/25/2004 8:40:56 PM   
dinsdale


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Poopyhead

How about "Generals of the Coalition of Nations that participated in the incident in Iraq that freed twenty eight million people (not to be confused with a war)"?

Also, thanks for not answering either of my questions.


The book was on Scwatzkops desk during an interview prior to GW1. Doubt it was handed around like popcorn, it's just a book. There's little operational advice in there, it's more a memoir. It's a fine book, and an interesting insight to Rommel's camaign (though I learned more new info from his anecdotes on the Russian front) but it's not a field manual.

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/25/2004 8:53:49 PM   
JallaTryne


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Poopyhead

How about "Generals of the Coalition of Nations that participated in the incident in Iraq that freed twenty eight million people (not to be confused with a war)"?

Also, thanks for not answering either of my questions.

I am terrible sorry. I did not mean to upset you. I think Coalition of forces is a good word. Why do you thank me for not answering your questions?


JT

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/25/2004 10:14:29 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Apology accepted, no harm done. I really would like input from anyone who may know if the Generals today lead from the front or just sit in front of a computer screen in the operations center writing their memoirs.

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/25/2004 10:16:36 PM   
dinsdale


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Poopyhead

Apology accepted, no harm done. I really would like input from anyone who may know if the Generals today lead from the front or just sit in front of a computer screen in the operations center writing their memoirs.

Aside from some rare examples, Generals haven't led from the front since the invention of long range communications. Other than being unlucky enough to be caught in a breakthrough, or being in the airborne, a General is in more danger of food poisoning than enemy action. Been that way for over a century.

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/26/2004 1:54:36 AM   
Tombstone

 

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Is GENERAL really what we mean here? Does anyone here think that Brigade or even Divisional commanders should lead from the front?! Rommel was a nut case for taking the DAK for a ride at the head... There's a truckload of additional work he should have been attending to. Even armored/mechanized battalions probably shouldn't be led from the front. Company's get to that level where a guy physically leading his men might make some sense... In Guderian's time it was very difficult for a commander to get a clear and accurate picture of the fast changing mobile warfare landscape. So getting your ass up in front to see what's really going on for yourself was often of value... The better the communication lines are the more important it is for the leadership to coordinate, and less important for them to actually DO anything. Also, when a large entity needs to react quickly and accurately you need accurate information from all the elements of that entity, not just one.

Tomo

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/26/2004 2:53:07 AM   
Golf33

 

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Given the lethality of modern weapons it seems pretty silly for a senior commander to lead from the front. He'll just get killed which could easily cause chaos.

Leading from the front is the job of platoon commanders and occasionally company commanders. Even battalion commanders should probably not get in front of the lead company.

Of course there's a bit of an exception, which is recon.

Regards
33

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Steve Golf33 Long

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/26/2004 4:44:08 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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A general has a staff to run the day to day stuff. The super communication makes it possible to send his decisions back to that staff from anywhere. He doesn't have to live at the front, but there are times when you have to stop administering and managing and start leading. If it is silly for a general to get shot, then it must be hilarious for my buddies in Baghdad to get shot.

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/30/2004 12:20:34 AM   
mbMike

 

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As someone who has first hand knowledge of General Tommy Franks during the war and his day to day activities, I'd say you don't really understand modern warfare.

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/30/2004 2:30:47 AM   
Slick91


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These are two FANTASTIC books about the Iraqi war from the ground level. I believe there are accounts of brigadier generals on or near the front lines especially as they got close to Baghdad.

The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division (2003), by Bing West, Ray L. Smith, John Keegan (Introduction)



Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad (2004), by David Zucchino, Foreword by Mark Bowden



Both of these books rate five of five stars!

< Message edited by Slick91 -- 8/29/2004 7:53:11 PM >


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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/30/2004 2:57:02 AM   
Golf33

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mbMike

As someone who has first hand knowledge of General Tommy Franks during the war and his day to day activities, I'd say you don't really understand modern warfare.

mbMike,

this sounds interesting - could you please tell us a bit more about your experiences?

Regards
Steve

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Steve Golf33 Long

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/30/2004 10:29:38 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Thanks Slick91. I'll have to look those books up. Then I suppose it's only above the rank of Brigadier General that people really understand modern warfare.

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/31/2004 12:44:12 AM   
Belisarius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tombstone

Is GENERAL really what we mean here? Does anyone here think that Brigade or even Divisional commanders should lead from the front?! Rommel was a nut case for taking the DAK for a ride at the head... There's a truckload of additional work he should have been attending to. Even armored/mechanized battalions probably shouldn't be led from the front. Company's get to that level where a guy physically leading his men might make some sense... In Guderian's time it was very difficult for a commander to get a clear and accurate picture of the fast changing mobile warfare landscape. So getting your ass up in front to see what's really going on for yourself was often of value... The better the communication lines are the more important it is for the leadership to coordinate, and less important for them to actually DO anything. Also, when a large entity needs to react quickly and accurately you need accurate information from all the elements of that entity, not just one.

Tomo



Poopyhead already beat me to it (sorta). A General has his staff to carry out the day-to-day work for him. As for the Wehrmacht, it does indeed seem as they incouraged their commanders to be up at the front as much as possible. Why? Well, intel wasn't perfect and communications even worse, so how can you make sound decisions if you only have second hand information to rely on, and that information not being fresh?

Then again, there's the problem with the staff not really knowing where their commander is, as the DAK general staff frequently experienced with Rommel. But they trusted the staffs to be able to carry out their work even in a prolonged absence with no new orders. Reading the memoirs, there are quite many instances their berate their officers for not acting on their own as they were supposed to do rather than wait for their General to check back in.

Even with today's modern comms equipment and surveillance and "virtual battlefields", staring at a screen will not replace Being There. Personally I think the commanders should be up front. In the end, it's they who make the decisions and it's better if they can base that from seeing, hearing and smelling the situation than reading a teleprint.

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Got StuG?

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/31/2004 4:40:03 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Yes, it's unfortunate that so many people now expect a General to be at some "Little Pentagon" waging war via telecommunications. When I was at the MP School working with the people responsible for developing our slice of the Warfighter XXI model, I was shown a Borg like camera that fit to a squad leader's helmet. With this, the Colonel in his TOC could see "what was going on" on a monitor. When I posed that perhaps his staff should have cameras clipped to their soft caps so that the Colonel could receive info from the TOC while he was out at the front, well it wasn't well received. We designed the technologies that enable us to fight a war. Either generals can sit in a command center, or instead (if even only occasionally) go to the front and still be soldiers. I refuse to accept that there is a technological alternative to Leadership.

(in reply to Belisarius)
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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/31/2004 6:00:41 PM   
Golf33

 

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There's a whole world of activity between 'always in the CP and never leaves it' and 'first man across the corps line of departure'.

Regards
33

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Steve Golf33 Long

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RE: Allied Generals in Iraq war. - 8/31/2004 6:51:32 PM   
Poopyhead

 

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Granted that there should be some functional median whereby all the paperwork gets signed and you can still contribute your experience and guidance on the spot when your army/corps/division makes history. I don't want to split hairs, but let's say at times when major forces are focused on a single objective, i.e., invade Iraq, cross the Euphates, take Baghdad, then you might want to do that Leadership thing.

(in reply to Golf33)
Post #: 18
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