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RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 6:10:39 AM   
Kursk1943


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From: Bavaria in Southern Germany
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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: pontiouspilot

Thanks for being right. All I said was that there were many bitter veterans over unfortunate mistakes. I’m not into debating with you whether there is any empirical basis for the feeling. There was no love here for lord Louis .....However he met his unfortunate demise.

I am not a WWII veteran but was in the Canadian Forces, but I do not subscribe to terrorism for any rationale. My impression of Mountbatten is that he was not aware of his shortcomings and got most of his positions because of his status in British society. Many officers at the time did. I don't think he was deliberately sacrificing Canadians at Dieppe but he could have ensured better intel and support for the operation.

But lots of Allied General officers made similar miscalculations that got a lot of people killed. I am not impressed by Lord Mountbatten, but I am not about to say "Serves him right" to the IRA bombing. Smoldering desires for vengeance are evil motivations that keep too much of the world's violence going.


Mountbatten did a great job as SEAC (supreme commander of East Asia Command), especially on the political level. He had to get along with all the quarrels and misgivings between the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, the US military (Stillwell...), the Chinese and not to forget PM WC.

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 31
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 1:54:06 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


Posts: 3329
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From: Lima and Toronto
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2nd tier powers/ dominions always got the worst, and WW2 was a bloody war; casualty calculation was always on the thousands. McArthur did the same with Australian troops.

(in reply to Kursk1943)
Post #: 32
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 2:00:59 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


Posts: 3329
Joined: 2/29/2012
From: Lima and Toronto
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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

Forget all of those other suggestions. Just hop the Eurostar and come to London!!

The Imperial War Museum, RAF Museum, HMS Belfast, Churchill War Rooms, and much more.


I had been to London, a few time, I had been to all these place,
That said, this was in 2011... before I got deeply involved in WW2 wargames. I mean, I was at HMS Belfast, but at that time it was just "another ship", in those days I was interested in WW2 technology but I couldn't recognize a Spitfire from a Hurricane or Bofors from Oerlikon

Same can be said for Belgium and Netherlands, I had been to most places there (Brugge, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Brussels) but I was there in 2013 and did a more traditional touristic trip

I am still undecided, but for how things look at work, I might had to do the shortest distance trips like "Atlantic wall" and "V2 site"

thanks

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 5/7/2019 2:01:52 PM >

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 33
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 4:42:25 PM   
warspite1


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From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

2nd tier powers/ dominions always got the worst, and WW2 was a bloody war; casualty calculation was always on the thousands. McArthur did the same with Australian troops.
warspite1

It's a throw away line I see repeated from time to time - but have never seen anyone seek to justify the accusation with any reasoned argument let alone any actual evidence. I'd certainly be keen to see the evidence to support the view.

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to Jorge_Stanbury)
Post #: 34
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 5:18:52 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


Posts: 3329
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From: Lima and Toronto
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It is a perception, I certainly don't have statistics. It would be interesting to compare casualties and risks taken by, for example, the Polish free forces, compared to the standard Allied soldier.

Were heavy Polish casualties in battles like Montecassino, Falaise or Arnhem above average? the perception is that it was, I don't know

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 5/7/2019 7:48:50 PM >

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 35
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 5:54:30 PM   
warspite1


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What we are talking about here is the notion that a country - and obvious examples would be the UK or France - would use their colonial (or dominion) troops (or as you say, troops subordinate to them such as the Poles) as cannon-fodder - giving them the toughest assignments and forcing them into carrying out break-through attacks, last ditch defences etc.

I don't think its something that can be measured by statistics alone - although that would be one of the variables to be looked at no doubt. Fighting capability (for want of a better term) - also has something to do with it as well as numerous other factors such as troop availability, training, experience and morale (e.g. regardless of what one thinks of Dieppe as a military operation, the Canadian troops - volunteers for overseas service - had been in the UK for almost 3-years and were 'itching' to get at the enemy. Morale was apparently becoming an issue.




_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to Jorge_Stanbury)
Post #: 36
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 7:42:03 PM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 2391
Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
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quote:

What we are talking about here is the notion that a country - and obvious examples would be the UK or France - would use their colonial (or dominion) troops (or as you say, troops subordinate to them such as the Poles) as cannon-fodder - giving them the toughest assignments and forcing them into carrying out break-through attacks, last ditch defences etc.



That absolutely was the case. For the British as the war progressed and the manpower crisis deepened, keeping casualties as low as possible was a strategic need.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 37
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 8:09:50 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 40255
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

What we are talking about here is the notion that a country - and obvious examples would be the UK or France - would use their colonial (or dominion) troops (or as you say, troops subordinate to them such as the Poles) as cannon-fodder - giving them the toughest assignments and forcing them into carrying out break-through attacks, last ditch defences etc.



That absolutely was the case. For the British as the war progressed and the manpower crisis deepened, keeping casualties as low as possible was a strategic need.

warspite1

The manpower shortage really showed itself in 1944. But what are you saying, the British Army left all the fighting to the Canadian 2nd Army post D-Day? Was there no such problem with Canadian replacements - who remember were subject to being volunteers before serving overseas?

As I said, it would be nice to have some properly reasoned argument - or better still evidence - to show that the British (even if they could - which was increasingly not possible) used their dominion (or colonial) or Polish troops as cannon-fodder.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 38
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 8:23:55 PM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 2391
Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

What we are talking about here is the notion that a country - and obvious examples would be the UK or France - would use their colonial (or dominion) troops (or as you say, troops subordinate to them such as the Poles) as cannon-fodder - giving them the toughest assignments and forcing them into carrying out break-through attacks, last ditch defences etc.



That absolutely was the case. For the British as the war progressed and the manpower crisis deepened, keeping casualties as low as possible was a strategic need.

warspite1

The manpower shortage really showed itself in 1944. But what are you saying, the British Army left all the fighting to the Canadian 2nd Army post D-Day? Was there no such problem with Canadian replacements - who remember were subject to being volunteers before serving overseas?

As I said, it would be nice to have some properly reasoned argument - or better still evidence - to show that the British (even if they could - which was increasingly not possible) used their dominion (or colonial) or Polish troops as cannon-fodder.



There's definitely an argument to be made to at least the insensitivity of British command to heavy losses from other nationalities. Monte Cassino springs to mind, Dieppe has already ben discussed, and the Polish contingent involved in Market Garden. The shameful treatment of Sosabowski, his Polish paratroopers and the Polish government in exile following Market Garden doesn't exactly paint British commanders as being concerned for their wartime Allies.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 39
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 8:28:50 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 40255
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

What we are talking about here is the notion that a country - and obvious examples would be the UK or France - would use their colonial (or dominion) troops (or as you say, troops subordinate to them such as the Poles) as cannon-fodder - giving them the toughest assignments and forcing them into carrying out break-through attacks, last ditch defences etc.



That absolutely was the case. For the British as the war progressed and the manpower crisis deepened, keeping casualties as low as possible was a strategic need.

warspite1

The manpower shortage really showed itself in 1944. But what are you saying, the British Army left all the fighting to the Canadian 2nd Army post D-Day? Was there no such problem with Canadian replacements - who remember were subject to being volunteers before serving overseas?

As I said, it would be nice to have some properly reasoned argument - or better still evidence - to show that the British (even if they could - which was increasingly not possible) used their dominion (or colonial) or Polish troops as cannon-fodder.



There's definitely an argument to be made to at least the insensitivity of British command to heavy losses from other nationalities. Monte Cassino springs to mind, Dieppe has already ben discussed, and the Polish contingent involved in Market Garden. The shameful treatment of Sosabowski, his Polish paratroopers and the Polish government in exile following Market Garden doesn't exactly paint British commanders as being concerned for their wartime Allies.
warspite1

Simply throwing names out there - and please feel free to add Gallipoli and Dieppe to the list - is, of itself a pointless exercise in terms of supporting the argument. But I wasn't expecting anything different to be honest.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 40
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 9:45:54 PM   
BBfanboy


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Cannon-fodder is perhaps too loaded a word. The issue with the Commonwealth troops was that their armies tended not to have the supporting elements needed to keep the enemy's heads down - close air support, massed artillery and naval bombardment from something bigger than a DD or two.

For Dieppe the Canadians were promised bomber support which was cancelled at the last minute as they were boarding their landing craft. And when surprise was lost because they bumped into a German convoy in the Channel, the operation was not postponed or canceled as it should have been. The plan to seize Enigma and other code equipment was not known until recently so at the time it certainly looked like careless risk of the troops for a mere raid. The canard that the raid was to learn lessons in preparation for D-day seems to have been invented later to justify the losses.

That said, not many on the Commonwealth side think about the British who lost a lot of men in WWI, then a bunch in the battle of France in 1940, then more at Crete and in North Africa and a heavy toll on the navy in the Med. The logic of using the Commonwealth troops was there, it is the support that was questionable in my understanding of the situation.

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 41
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 10:13:46 PM   
warspite1


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The use of 'Cannon-Fodder' was intentional. The accusation - as said oft made, but never supported - is that the British purposely threw colonial and Dominion troops into the worst fighting.

I have no wish to defend the indefensible, and if someone can actually support their accusation with evidence then I would have no problem with that. But as said, evidence, context, detail are all in short supply when this subject comes up. The usual MO is to state the British employed Dominion troops in such fashion and then throw in what they believe to be the hand grenade of 'Gallipoli' as though by doing so, that lazy comment settles all argument.

That the British and French losses at Gallipoli far outweigh the ANZACS is of course not mentioned. But then they don't need to, after all, they've seen Rupert Murdoch's Gallipoli and all the British were on the beach drinking tea cos Rupert said so.

The trouble with trying to defend against these sorts of comments is that it can sound as though I seek to diminish the role of Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks, Saffers et al - however I do no such thing - the very opposite is true. But quite simply, I've never seen one logical, well reasoned argument to support the assertion that British generals were happy to throw Dominion/Colonial lives away while keeping UK troops out of harm's way.



_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 42
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 10:31:03 PM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 2391
Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

What we are talking about here is the notion that a country - and obvious examples would be the UK or France - would use their colonial (or dominion) troops (or as you say, troops subordinate to them such as the Poles) as cannon-fodder - giving them the toughest assignments and forcing them into carrying out break-through attacks, last ditch defences etc.



That absolutely was the case. For the British as the war progressed and the manpower crisis deepened, keeping casualties as low as possible was a strategic need.

warspite1

The manpower shortage really showed itself in 1944. But what are you saying, the British Army left all the fighting to the Canadian 2nd Army post D-Day? Was there no such problem with Canadian replacements - who remember were subject to being volunteers before serving overseas?

As I said, it would be nice to have some properly reasoned argument - or better still evidence - to show that the British (even if they could - which was increasingly not possible) used their dominion (or colonial) or Polish troops as cannon-fodder.



There's definitely an argument to be made to at least the insensitivity of British command to heavy losses from other nationalities. Monte Cassino springs to mind, Dieppe has already ben discussed, and the Polish contingent involved in Market Garden. The shameful treatment of Sosabowski , his Polish paratroopers and the Polish government in exile following Market Garden doesn't exactly paint British commanders as being concerned for their wartime Allies.
warspite1

Simply throwing names out there - and please feel free to add Gallipoli and Dieppe to the list - is, of itself a pointless exercise in terms of supporting the argument. But I wasn't expecting anything different to be honest.



No, I think you're being obtuse. There's an abundance of evidence that British commanders were insensitive to the concerns of national comamnders and quite willing to be "fast and loose" with how they deployed them.

What's worse, in my view, is that there were never any real ramifications for those involved, which in my view has a significant role to play in making these battles contentious points of debate.

Churchill planned and co-ordinated Gallipoli, was forced out of the Admiralty but managed to make a come-back before the war was done.

Dieppe was Mountbatten's brainchild. Instead of censure, he got a promotion and sent to SEAC.

Market Garden was Monty's operation, and when it faltered they tried to pin it on Sosabowski and his Polish paratroopers.

quote:

That said, not many on the Commonwealth side think about the British who lost a lot of men in WWI, then a bunch in the battle of France in 1940, then more at Crete and in North Africa and a heavy toll on the navy in the Med. The logic of using the Commonwealth troops was there, it is the support that was questionable in my understanding of the situation.


The lack of insight of Commonwealth nations into the British position is understandable in the international context.

Would the average Australian/Canadaian/New Zealander be enthusastic about fighting and dying to preserve Britain's position as a world power?

There's no denying that a significant element of the population felt that way (and volunteered to fight as a result), but it's worthwhile to note the severe opposition to draft laws in all the Commonwealth nations. It wasn't "their war", as evidenced with the pushback when Japanese involvement caused concerns over the defence of Australia.




(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 43
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/7/2019 10:34:05 PM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 2391
Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

The use of 'Cannon-Fodder' was intentional. The accusation - as said oft made, but never supported - is that the British purposely threw colonial and Dominion troops into the worst fighting.

I have no wish to defend the indefensible, and if someone can actually support their accusation with evidence then I would have no problem with that. But as said, evidence, context, detail are all in short supply when this subject comes up. The usual MO is to state the British employed Dominion troops in such fashion and then throw in what they believe to be the hand grenade of 'Gallipoli' as though by doing so, that lazy comment settles all argument.

That the British and French losses at Gallipoli far outweigh the ANZACS is of course not mentioned. But then they don't need to, after all, they've seen Rupert Murdoch's Gallipoli and all the British were on the beach drinking tea cos Rupert said so.

The trouble with trying to defend against these sorts of comments is that it can sound as though I seek to diminish the role of Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks, Saffers et al - however I do no such thing - the very opposite is true. But quite simply, I've never seen one logical, well reasoned argument to support the assertion that British generals were happy to throw Dominion/Colonial lives away while keeping UK troops out of harm's way.




Wrong war, but makes the point: https://web.viu.ca/davies/H482.WWI/ColonialTroopsWWl.pdf

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 44
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:13:28 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 40255
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

The use of 'Cannon-Fodder' was intentional. The accusation - as said oft made, but never supported - is that the British purposely threw colonial and Dominion troops into the worst fighting.

I have no wish to defend the indefensible, and if someone can actually support their accusation with evidence then I would have no problem with that. But as said, evidence, context, detail are all in short supply when this subject comes up. The usual MO is to state the British employed Dominion troops in such fashion and then throw in what they believe to be the hand grenade of 'Gallipoli' as though by doing so, that lazy comment settles all argument.

That the British and French losses at Gallipoli far outweigh the ANZACS is of course not mentioned. But then they don't need to, after all, they've seen Rupert Murdoch's Gallipoli and all the British were on the beach drinking tea cos Rupert said so.

The trouble with trying to defend against these sorts of comments is that it can sound as though I seek to diminish the role of Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks, Saffers et al - however I do no such thing - the very opposite is true. But quite simply, I've never seen one logical, well reasoned argument to support the assertion that British generals were happy to throw Dominion/Colonial lives away while keeping UK troops out of harm's way.




Wrong war, but makes the point: https://web.viu.ca/davies/H482.WWI/ColonialTroopsWWl.pdf

warspite1

Makes what point? Can you confirm where this article concludes that the British (and French) military used colonial troops as cannon-fodder?


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 5/8/2019 6:33:06 AM >


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 45
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:37:50 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 40255
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing

quote:

What we are talking about here is the notion that a country - and obvious examples would be the UK or France - would use their colonial (or dominion) troops (or as you say, troops subordinate to them such as the Poles) as cannon-fodder - giving them the toughest assignments and forcing them into carrying out break-through attacks, last ditch defences etc.



That absolutely was the case. For the British as the war progressed and the manpower crisis deepened, keeping casualties as low as possible was a strategic need.

warspite1

The manpower shortage really showed itself in 1944. But what are you saying, the British Army left all the fighting to the Canadian 2nd Army post D-Day? Was there no such problem with Canadian replacements - who remember were subject to being volunteers before serving overseas?

As I said, it would be nice to have some properly reasoned argument - or better still evidence - to show that the British (even if they could - which was increasingly not possible) used their dominion (or colonial) or Polish troops as cannon-fodder.



There's definitely an argument to be made to at least the insensitivity of British command to heavy losses from other nationalities. Monte Cassino springs to mind, Dieppe has already ben discussed, and the Polish contingent involved in Market Garden. The shameful treatment of Sosabowski , his Polish paratroopers and the Polish government in exile following Market Garden doesn't exactly paint British commanders as being concerned for their wartime Allies.
warspite1

Simply throwing names out there - and please feel free to add Gallipoli and Dieppe to the list - is, of itself a pointless exercise in terms of supporting the argument. But I wasn't expecting anything different to be honest.



No, I think you're being obtuse. There's an abundance of evidence that British commanders were insensitive to the concerns of national comamnders and quite willing to be "fast and loose" with how they deployed them.

What's worse, in my view, is that there were never any real ramifications for those involved, which in my view has a significant role to play in making these battles contentious points of debate.

Churchill planned and co-ordinated Gallipoli, was forced out of the Admiralty but managed to make a come-back before the war was done.

Dieppe was Mountbatten's brainchild. Instead of censure, he got a promotion and sent to SEAC.

Market Garden was Monty's operation, and when it faltered they tried to pin it on Sosabowski and his Polish paratroopers.

quote:

That said, not many on the Commonwealth side think about the British who lost a lot of men in WWI, then a bunch in the battle of France in 1940, then more at Crete and in North Africa and a heavy toll on the navy in the Med. The logic of using the Commonwealth troops was there, it is the support that was questionable in my understanding of the situation.


The lack of insight of Commonwealth nations into the British position is understandable in the international context.

Would the average Australian/Canadaian/New Zealander be enthusastic about fighting and dying to preserve Britain's position as a world power?

There's no denying that a significant element of the population felt that way (and volunteered to fight as a result), but it's worthwhile to note the severe opposition to draft laws in all the Commonwealth nations. It wasn't "their war", as evidenced with the pushback when Japanese involvement caused concerns over the defence of Australia.

warspite1

Not really sure why you believe I was being 'obtuse'. I was being dismissive. I was responding in kind to the way you've opened debates with me previously. It was a cheap shot, and not one I should have allowed myself to take. My sincere apologies for the tone.

But your making vague, general comments about an 'abundance of evidence' actually adds nothing to the debate.

No ramifications? Ah.... Churchill and Gallipoli. Well, there are a couple of things to point out. One was that the campaign was one of few enlightened strategic ideas to help end the mass slaughter on the Western Front. It was not the idea that was wrong - it was the woeful execution - and that was not Churchill's fault. Secondly what, in terms of the subject of the debate, has the merits of the Gallipoli campaign got to do with using ANZAC's as cannon-fodder? You think I'm being obtuse, well you have totally and utterly missed the point. Right or wrong, good or bad, Gallipoli happened. The 'charge' is that the British purposely threw ANZAC lives away at Gallipoli - not that Gallipoli happened. British deaths were higher, French deaths were higher. Please show the evidence to support your belief that the British commanders decided to use ANZAC troops in the worst fighting (how would they know in advance?), in the toughest operations. Perhaps you are suggesting the British that died at Gallipoli died of tea poisoning or from sun stroke while taking in the rays while only the ANZACs (and the French) fought? But of course you are not, you know the number killed - so on what do you base your accusation? Where, I ask again, is the evidence?

Dieppe, again you are just not getting it. Mountbatten proved very well suited to his role in the Far East. So the move could be considered a good one. But what are you saying? He got rewarded for purposely using the Canadians as cannon-fodder? Commanders fail. Some are sacked and never recover - yes, even British ones if you care to read military history - while others survive. That is not peculiar to the British, that is all part of life's unfairness. But you are simply throwing mud without actually understanding where the target is. Did Mountbatten choose to employ Canadians? Did he amend the plan because Canadians were involved? Did he not bother to come up with a sounder plan because, well it was only Canadians? What are you saying?

Ah the 'They' have surfaced. Good old 'They' - the preserve of conspiracy theorists the world over. So please, provide evidence. Who exactly tried to blame the entire failure of Market-Garden on the Polish Brigade. But again (in the context of this debate) so what if they did? It wouldn't be right, but its been done a thousand times before. The balls up at Stalingrad - the Germans blamed the Romanians, the battles in North Africa - the Italians were the German scapegoat, the attack by D'Erlon Corps at Waterloo? Let's blame the Dutch-Belgian troops of Bylandt's brigade. BUT it's the wrong argument. We are not talking about official histories being used to inflate performance of some or downplay performance of others, we are talking about an accusation that Colonial/Dominion troops were used as cannon-fodder.

quote:

Would the average Australian/Canadaian/New Zealander be enthusastic about fighting and dying to preserve Britain's position as a world power?


Again why have have you gone off at a tangent? To ask this is just so poor on so many levels, not least of which is that - once again - you are not seeking to confront what this debate is about, but are simply happy to deflect. World War II was total war. Yes, World War II was their war - the same way that Roosevelt knew and understood that the USA needed to be involved. The defence of the homeland for the Dominions was their priority. Without Japan in the war, the Middle East was the gateway to the Far East - and it was the Germans that had to be stopped. Take the UK out of the equation (and remember after France we are talking about a period when the Commonwealth stood alone) and what does that mean for the Dominions? Once Japan joined, the need to defend the homeland from that immediate threat became more critical. Different Commonwealth Dominions passed different laws on conscription - look at the South African and Canadian laws.


The land campaign in Italy is not something I know that much about but this maybe a good starting point. Monte Cassino and the Poles has been mentioned as an example of the British being happy for non-British troops under its command to take heavy losses. There were iirc 4 attempts to take Cassino and, ultimately it was the Poles that succeeded. Because there were four attempts it might be useful to look at how events unfolded, which troops were used, what the casualty rates were, why were the Poles used in the fourth attempt? were they used earlier? etc. etc.

Any Italian Campaign experts here? I assume mind_messing you know something of this as I believe it was you that used Monte Cassino as an example of British profligacy with non-British troops under it's command?

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 5/8/2019 7:04:20 AM >


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 46
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 11:52:14 AM   
mind_messing

 

Posts: 2391
Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

The use of 'Cannon-Fodder' was intentional. The accusation - as said oft made, but never supported - is that the British purposely threw colonial and Dominion troops into the worst fighting.

I have no wish to defend the indefensible, and if someone can actually support their accusation with evidence then I would have no problem with that. But as said, evidence, context, detail are all in short supply when this subject comes up. The usual MO is to state the British employed Dominion troops in such fashion and then throw in what they believe to be the hand grenade of 'Gallipoli' as though by doing so, that lazy comment settles all argument.

That the British and French losses at Gallipoli far outweigh the ANZACS is of course not mentioned. But then they don't need to, after all, they've seen Rupert Murdoch's Gallipoli and all the British were on the beach drinking tea cos Rupert said so.

The trouble with trying to defend against these sorts of comments is that it can sound as though I seek to diminish the role of Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks, Saffers et al - however I do no such thing - the very opposite is true. But quite simply, I've never seen one logical, well reasoned argument to support the assertion that British generals were happy to throw Dominion/Colonial lives away while keeping UK troops out of harm's way.




Wrong war, but makes the point: https://web.viu.ca/davies/H482.WWI/ColonialTroopsWWl.pdf

warspite1

Makes what point? Can you confirm where this article concludes that the British (and French) military used colonial troops as cannon-fodder?



"Colonel Petitdemange, responsible for West Africans’ training in the camp of Fre ´jus in southern France, wrote in a letter in January 1918 to a colleague that African soldiers were ‘cannon fodder, who should, in order to save whites’ lives, be made use of much more intensively’.47 And even Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, in a speech delivered to the French Senate on 20 February 1918, stated:
We are going to offer civilisation to the Blacks. They will have to pay for that.... I would prefer that ten Blacks are killed rather than one Frenchman – although I immensely respect those brave Blacks –, for I think that enough Frenchmen are killed anyway and that we should sacrifice as few as possible!"

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Post #: 47
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 12:15:22 PM   
mind_messing

 

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quote:

No ramifications? Ah.... Churchill and Gallipoli. Well, there are a couple of things to point out. One was that the campaign was one of few enlightened strategic ideas to help end the mass slaughter on the Western Front. It was not the idea that was wrong - it was the woeful execution - and that was not Churchill's fault. Secondly what, in terms of the subject of the debate, has the merits of the Gallipoli campaign got to do with using ANZAC's as cannon-fodder? You think I'm being obtuse, well you have totally and utterly missed the point. Right or wrong, good or bad, Gallipoli happened. The 'charge' is that the British purposely threw ANZAC lives away at Gallipoli - not that Gallipoli happened. British deaths were higher, French deaths were higher. Please show the evidence to support your belief that the British commanders decided to use ANZAC troops in the worst fighting (how would they know in advance?), in the toughest operations. Perhaps you are suggesting the British that died at Gallipoli died of tea poisoning or from sun stroke while taking in the rays while only the ANZACs (and the French) fought? But of course you are not, you know the number killed - so on what do you base your accusation? Where, I ask again, is the evidence?


In principle, it was a sound idea. In practice, less so.

It was a shoddy plan, and based faulty intelligence and underpinned by the assumption that the "sick man of Europe" would be unable to mount significant resistance.

Evidence: British commanders not undergoing diligent planning of operations before committing Commonwealth troops.

quote:

Dieppe, again you are just not getting it. Mountbatten proved very well suited to his role in the Far East. So the move could be considered a good one. But what are you saying? He got rewarded for purposely using the Canadians as cannon-fodder? Commanders fail. Some are sacked and never recover - yes, even British ones if you care to read military history - while others survive. That is not peculiar to the British, that is all part of life's unfairness. But you are simply throwing mud without actually understanding where the target is. Did Mountbatten choose to employ Canadians? Did he amend the plan because Canadians were involved? Did he not bother to come up with a sounder plan because, well it was only Canadians? What are you saying?


Evidence: British commanders not undergoing diligent planning of operations before committing Commonwealth troops.

quote:

Ah the 'They' have surfaced. Good old 'They' - the preserve of conspiracy theorists the world over. So please, provide evidence. Who exactly tried to blame the entire failure of Market-Garden on the Polish Brigade. But again (in the context of this debate) so what if they did? It wouldn't be right, but its been done a thousand times before. The balls up at Stalingrad - the Germans blamed the Romanians, the battles in North Africa - the Italians were the German scapegoat, the attack by D'Erlon Corps at Waterloo? Let's blame the Dutch-Belgian troops of Bylandt's brigade. BUT it's the wrong argument. We are not talking about official histories being used to inflate performance of some or downplay performance of others, we are talking about an accusation that Colonial/Dominion troops were used as cannon-fodder.


To be specific, British leadership involved in Market Garden pinned it on Sosabowski. This is after he'd had his brigade mauled carrying out a plan he was serious opposed to, but was strong-armed into supporting because the Polish GiE was dependant on Britain to actually see their homeland again.

quote:

Again why have have you gone off at a tangent? To ask this is just so poor on so many levels, not least of which is that - once again - you are not seeking to confront what this debate is about, but are simply happy to deflect. World War II was total war. Yes, World War II was their war - the same way that Roosevelt knew and understood that the USA needed to be involved. The defence of the homeland for the Dominions was their priority. Without Japan in the war, the Middle East was the gateway to the Far East - and it was the Germans that had to be stopped. Take the UK out of the equation (and remember after France we are talking about a period when the Commonwealth stood alone) and what does that mean for the Dominions? Once Japan joined, the need to defend the homeland from that immediate threat became more critical. Different Commonwealth Dominions passed different laws on conscription - look at the South African and Canadian laws.


In the context of the time, WW2 was fought over Germany pushing back against the Treaty of Versailles, which was geared to rig the balance of power in Europe towards the British and French. What benefit did the Commonwealth get from it?

My point regarding conscription was that there was significant opposition throughout all the Commonwealth dominions. After the inital influx of volunteers, there was significant difficulties in tapping in to more manpower.

quote:

The land campaign in Italy is not something I know that much about but this maybe a good starting point. Monte Cassino and the Poles has been mentioned as an example of the British being happy for non-British troops under its command to take heavy losses. There were iirc 4 attempts to take Cassino and, ultimately it was the Poles that succeeded. Because there were four attempts it might be useful to look at how events unfolded, which troops were used, what the casualty rates were, why were the Poles used in the fourth attempt? were they used earlier? etc. etc.


I had family that fought at Cassino - he was quite firm in his opinion that the Poles were sent in as it was regarded as a suicide mission, and that the Polish troops were given the job to avoid the fallout that heavy losses to the other units of the 8th Army would have. The Poles were in no position to refuse to argue.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 48
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 2:17:01 PM   
Lecivius


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I'm going to step lightly into this conversation. You need to look at the strategic positions of this time, not the political. There were a LOT more things going on than has been considered here in this thread so far.

At Dieppe, the Canadians had the forces (trained commandos) in numbers the British simply did not have, to attempt the mission. There were a veritable ton of mistakes made, to be sure. But then, there were a ton of mistakes being made all over the globe as the command staffs came to grips with a modern war. I can casually point a finger at virtually every major power involved at the time and point out gaffes that cost tremendous loss of life.

The Poles were brave, almost to the point of berserker. They got screwed every way imaginable, by most of the global powers, lost their country, their people and families literally enslaved. That would certainly motivate me! This is a people who charged tanks with cavalry! Of course they fought harder, more viciously, and took more casualties. So did the 442nd, who got their share of dirty jobs. But even the 442 was not used as shock troops. If there was any bias, they had it in spades.

The Indian people were lackluster at best, until informed they would be granted independence following the war. Who could blame them? But once they had a goal they could believe in, they too fought with singular ferocity.

The British did not have the manpower at this point to fight a global war. That made life difficult for everyone involved. And I am sure some bias was in place. Just look at today's world, a generation later, to see that has not changed. But to pontificate that they were callous is lacking in the extreme. I doubt you will find a military officer, British, American, Indian, or Pole, to agree with you. An armchair quarterback, sure. Not a professional.

As Warspite has said, find and deliver some sort of evidence to the contrary. I am always open to admitting I was wrong. I have done so, publicly, on these boards. But in the face of a lack of facts so far provided, all this is inflammatory rhetoric.

Go ahead. Prove me wrong

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Post #: 49
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 3:02:15 PM   
Leandros


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I mean to have read somewhere (was it Churchill?) that the Canadian politicians actually pressed the British leadership to use the Canadian forces for "something useful", and that this was one reason why they were selected for the Dieppe Raid. Correct me if I am wrong.

"Cannon-fodder" is an ugly word and I don't think any military leader would use his forces in the sense that it didn't matter what happened to them - that it wasn't for a logical purpose. Simply because when they were gone he would have so much less to work with.

Come to think of it, it is a little surprising that General MacArthur, being blamed for all sort of things, from not parking his fighter planes correctly on Clark Field to seeing to that his forward army units were given enough supplies to fight properly.

Actually, if you do not know the background, it is easy to accept the allegation that his Filipino units were used as "cannon-fodder" when trying to stop the Japanese from advancing from the invasion beaches in Lingayen Bay towards Manila. As military units they were obviously less "valuable" to him than his purely US-manned units and the Philippine Scouts. MacArthur, however, loved his Filipinos and wanted them desperately to succeed - to prove themselves. As he understood that he had miscalculated the situation he - only slightly - reinforced the failing Filipino units and ordered the withdrawal into the Bataan peninsula, which they did successfully.

The weakened Filipino units, supported by the main part of the original US-manned units were able to hold off the Japanese attack on Bataan for three months. Would they have been able to do that if it had been the other way around, if the ethnic US units had been mauled by the Japanese instead of the Filipinos? I don't think so. But, that is only my opinion.

As such, the purpose of using the Filipinos as "cannon-fodder" could be justified.

Fred


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(in reply to Lecivius)
Post #: 50
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 4:37:51 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

It is a perception, I certainly don't have statistics. It would be interesting to compare casualties and risks taken by, for example, the Polish free forces, compared to the standard Allied soldier.

Were heavy Polish casualties in battles like Montecassino, Falaise or Arnhem above average? the perception is that it was, I don't know


If you look at battles that were meat grinders that had a predominance of Dominion / Commonwealth forces then, yes, I would expect their losses to be disproportional in those instances. However, are you also suggesting that Commonwealth forces were comparatively spared during British-heavy losses at, say, Paschendaele? I doubt you'll find evidence to support a policy of Commonwealth-first casualties for similar deployment / engagement statistics.

So, yeah, the Poles took it on the chin at Monte Cassino. But weren't their casualties at Utah Beach (or Omaha or Gold/Juno/Sword) much lighter than the Americans / British / Canadians in those sectors? Is that discrimination or just the indiscriminate calculus of total war?

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Post #: 51
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:10:06 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

Evidence: British commanders not undergoing diligent planning of operations before committing Commonwealth troops.


Well what can I say – we are obviously talking past each other. You’ve made no attempt to answer the point raised and once again you’ve made a comment that beggars belief. So you believe you’ve uncovered evidence that the British were guilty of not undergoing diligent planning where Commonwealth troops were involved. Whereas I suppose the Norwegian Campaign – to name but one – was a model of military precision and tactics?? No of course not.

Do you genuinely believe that less effort was made to ensure the success of an operation if British troops were less involved? Please….. How many (non-American) operations in the World Wars can you name where there was no British involvement? Presumably you are saying the British couldn’t be arsed in Greece/Crete because the infantry divisions were ANZAC? But that would mean they couldn't be arsed with the 1st British Armoured Brigade, the air force, or the navy either? I just don’t understand where you are coming from…..

quote:

In the context of the time, WW2 was fought over Germany pushing back against the Treaty of Versailles, which was geared to rig the balance of power in Europe towards the British and French. What benefit did the Commonwealth get from it?


Benefit? None at all…. I mean there were no economic links between Britain and the Dominions was there and absolutely nothing to be derived by the Dominions from a prosperous UK….

quote:

My point regarding conscription was that there was significant opposition throughout all the Commonwealth dominions. After the inital influx of volunteers, there was significant difficulties in tapping in to more manpower.


Not sure the point you are trying to make. Volunteer recruitment drops off as a world war continues on. Why are you suggesting that would be different for the Dominions as opposed to say the UK? Also you appear to have lost sight of the Dominion status and that – as time progressed so they were becoming more stand-alone, had their own parliaments and were more responsible for themselves. I mentioned the policies of South Africa and Canada already. The point - in the context of this discussion - is?

quote:

I had family that fought at Cassino - he was quite firm in his opinion that the Poles were sent in as it was regarded as a suicide mission, and that the Polish troops were given the job to avoid the fallout that heavy losses to the other units of the 8th Army would have. The Poles were in no position to refuse to argue.


Again, this is the best you can come up with? So let’s get this right (and as said I am no expert on the Italian Campaign). There were 4 attempts to take the objective. But what? Only the fourth attempt was a suicide mission?? The first three were just a laugh and the US, French, British, Canadian and Indian forces were on a jolly? Why was the 4th attempt harder than the first three? and were only Poles committed to the 4th attempt or did others - such as the British for example - take part?

quote:

The Poles were in no position to argue?
So, for example, when the British X Corps made the first assault they were consulted as to whether they fancied it or not??

And how did – what apparently was widely regarded as a suicide mission - turn out then?




< Message edited by warspite1 -- 5/8/2019 6:02:42 PM >


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Post #: 52
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:17:00 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Leandros

I mean to have read somewhere (was it Churchill?) that the Canadian politicians actually pressed the British leadership to use the Canadian forces for "something useful", and that this was one reason why they were selected for the Dieppe Raid. Correct me if I am wrong.

warspite1

I alluded to this earlier. Remember this was a volunteer force - Canadians called up had to volunteer to go overseas or they didn't go - and were trained and motivated. As they arrived so they had been employed in the UK, first to meet the possible Sea Lion threat, and then to train for the second front. lack of activity was creating a morale problem. But the suggestion - which makes no sense whatsoever - is that the British were more than happy to squander excellent troops on a foolhardy mission they knew would fail and achieve nothing, simply because they were Colonials and the planning for the operation was not as effective as it would have been had the British 3rd Division been employed.


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 5/8/2019 5:23:54 PM >


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(in reply to Leandros)
Post #: 53
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:30:08 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

The use of 'Cannon-Fodder' was intentional. The accusation - as said oft made, but never supported - is that the British purposely threw colonial and Dominion troops into the worst fighting.

I have no wish to defend the indefensible, and if someone can actually support their accusation with evidence then I would have no problem with that. But as said, evidence, context, detail are all in short supply when this subject comes up. The usual MO is to state the British employed Dominion troops in such fashion and then throw in what they believe to be the hand grenade of 'Gallipoli' as though by doing so, that lazy comment settles all argument.

That the British and French losses at Gallipoli far outweigh the ANZACS is of course not mentioned. But then they don't need to, after all, they've seen Rupert Murdoch's Gallipoli and all the British were on the beach drinking tea cos Rupert said so.

The trouble with trying to defend against these sorts of comments is that it can sound as though I seek to diminish the role of Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks, Saffers et al - however I do no such thing - the very opposite is true. But quite simply, I've never seen one logical, well reasoned argument to support the assertion that British generals were happy to throw Dominion/Colonial lives away while keeping UK troops out of harm's way.




Wrong war, but makes the point: https://web.viu.ca/davies/H482.WWI/ColonialTroopsWWl.pdf

warspite1

Makes what point? Can you confirm where this article concludes that the British (and French) military used colonial troops as cannon-fodder?



"Colonel Petitdemange, responsible for West Africans’ training in the camp of Fre ´jus in southern France, wrote in a letter in January 1918 to a colleague that African soldiers were ‘cannon fodder, who should, in order to save whites’ lives, be made use of much more intensively’.47 And even Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, in a speech delivered to the French Senate on 20 February 1918, stated:
We are going to offer civilisation to the Blacks. They will have to pay for that.... I would prefer that ten Blacks are killed rather than one Frenchman – although I immensely respect those brave Blacks –, for I think that enough Frenchmen are killed anyway and that we should sacrifice as few as possible!"
warspite1

And the evidence that this actually happened? The colonel in charge of training wasn't going to make that decision was he? Is there anything to suggest it was French policy to carry out what Clemenceau said?

As said in the article (and as I alluded to earlier) there are so many variables when looking at casualties. And certainly, when looking at casualty rates alone, there is no clear conclusion that can be drawn.


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Post #: 54
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:34:06 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius

.....find and deliver some sort of evidence to the contrary......but in the face of a lack of facts so far provided, all this is inflammatory rhetoric.

warspite1

Amen


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Post #: 55
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:45:26 PM   
Anachro


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As of events yesterday, I'd like to charge Liverpudlians with war crimes and atrocities committed on the people of Spain and the denizens of Barcelona in particular. And now today we hear there might be a further offensive from London against the good people of Amsterdam. I will not stand for it!

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 56
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 5:52:16 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anachro

As of events yesterday, I'd like to charge Liverpudlians with war crimes and atrocities committed on the people of Spain and the denizens of Barcelona in particular. And now today we hear there might be a further offensive from London against the good people of Amsterdam. I will not stand for it!
warspite1

Sadly the Dutch have this one covered I am hoping Spurs don't embarrass themselves and can avoid a cricket score, but I'm not hopeful . Liverpool vs Ajax in the final will be a good game - two incredibly attacking teams.


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Post #: 57
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 6:10:28 PM   
Anachro


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Wow, you sound like a Redsox fan prior to 2004, always expecting the worst outcome. It's only a 1-0 difference, mate, and you're away now!

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 58
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 6:11:13 PM   
Chickenboy


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Gentlemen, we seem to have run this thread firmly off the rails of the OP's subject. I refer, of course, to the cross-thread obtuse references to...soccer...

Please observe the General Discussion thread on this topic for future discussions.

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Post #: 59
RE: D-day (day) trip - 5/8/2019 6:21:35 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Gentlemen, we seem to have run this thread firmly off the rails of the OP's subject. I refer, of course, to the cross-thread obtuse references to...soccer...

Please observe the General Discussion thread on this topic for future discussions.

What's the penalty for taking a thread off-topic? Is it the same as for not taking a thread off-topic?

(in reply to Chickenboy)
Post #: 60
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