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paris-dakar
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:06:47 PM
Originally Posted By Shockergd:
We started off world war 2 with next to NOTHING in terms of infantry or modern warfare.

The USSR had had some practice during the Spanish civil war, in 1941 they started against the Germans.
The Germans had had practice in the Spanish civil war, then had been in a constant state of war starting in 1939
The Italians had been at war in Ethiopia since 1935.

We started off ww2 with a smaller army than Romania , a country of 13 million people.

We started off with this as our main battle tank :
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/61/M2-tank-england.gif/300px-M2-tank-england.gif

We started off the greatest war in modern history with NOTHING.

We had a EXTREMELY steep learning curve, however unlike the Italians, French and other world armies, we quickly learned and rose to end the war as a military powerhouse like the world had never seen before. Unlike the UK, Russia and other nations we were fighting a TWO FRONT WAR which split manpower. Did our infantry suck? Heck no , but there were many times they took a beating due to incompetent leaders, just like every other nation during ww2 at some point. The biggest benefit to ours was the fact we had one of the best logistical programs ever created. Germany was fighting in their back yard for a great part of the war and had major logistic problems, we were fighting on two fronts half way around the world and were able to keep things supplied and running.

I think that people like to look at the war period and use either rose colored glasses or view everything thought some sort of mystic lens. They either overestimate our abilities or underestimate them. The United States did a heck of a job and fought like champions.


The pic of the tank (Stuart variant?) is a bit misleading.

The Red Army in 1940 had mainly obsolete equipment (mainly T26s, T28s and T35s) while German Panzer strength at the beginning of the war was such that the 38ts they captured from the Czechs were some of their best tanks.
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Combat_Jack
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:12:17 PM
The Germans had less respect for American infantry than they did for some others. There are of course exceptions––some units were more respected than others.

It's not a big deal. Artillery wins wars, not infantry, and at that we excelled.
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mcgredo
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:20:19 PM
Originally Posted By Formergrunt94:
Originally Posted By mcgredo:
As a general rule of thumb, a German unit was about 1.5 times more effective than a UK or US unit. That says nothing about the bravery of the US soldiers, but simply reflects the fact that the Germans were very, very good at the tactical level while the US army was inexperienced.



Trevor Dupuy?


Martin van Crevald.

http://www.amazon.com/Fighting-Power-German-Performance-1939-1945/dp/0313233330/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1338225286&sr=8-10

He looks at losses in initial engagements but excludes losses in the pursuit phase. So, for example, he might look at comparative performance in the fighting near Caen, but exclude the losses in the Falaise Gap encirclement.
ODA_564
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:22:11 PM

Originally Posted By paris-dakar:
The pic of the tank (Stuart variant?) is a bit misleading.

The Red Army in 1940 had mainly obsolete equipment (mainly T26s, T28s and T35s) while German Panzer strength at the beginning of the war was such that the 38ts they captured from the Czechs were some of their best tanks.

That's an M2 (or M2A1) medium tank.

In October 1941 it was replaced by the M3 Grant.

The M3 Stuart had also replaced the M2 light tank as the standard light tank prior to Pearl Harbor. Chief of Staff George C. Marshall ordered that M3 Stuarts reinforce McArthur and the newly-activated 192nd (CA ANG) and 194th (OH ANG) Tank Battalions deployed to the PI with M3 Stuarts.
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PanzerOfDoom
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:23:30 PM
Originally Posted By ODA_564:

Originally Posted By badfish274:
Originally Posted By mcgredo:
As a general rule of thumb, a German unit was about 1.5 times more effective than a UK or US unit. That says nothing about the bravery of the US soldiers, but simply reflects the fact that the Germans were very, very good at the tactical level while the US army was inexperienced.


It says they were some ballsy motherfuckers.


I forgot where I got the numbers, hell I don't even remember the numbers, but the numbers from WWII infantry units who actually pulled the trigger and engaged the enemy vs. those who simply couldn't always amazed me.


Constantly repeated but false statements from S.L.A. Marshall's now-discredited 1947 booklet Men Against Fire. Wasn't true. See my post above.

These falsehoods got legs because no one challenged his false claims of "research" then.


According to S.L.A. Marshall, the battery captured at Brecourt by Dick Winter's unit on June 6, 1944, never happened.

"Distrust and caution are the parents of security" -BF
Bostonterrier97
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:26:31 PM
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
The Germans had less respect for American infantry than they did for some others. There are of course exceptions––some units were more respected than others.

It's not a big deal. Artillery wins wars, not infantry, and at that we excelled.


We had good Artillery, shitty Tanks. Machine Guns: The Germans had a better Machine Gun: MG42.
We had better infantry rifles than anybody. The Germans came out with the MP44 which was primarily used on the Eastern Front.
Planes and Missiles: (ME262, ME163, V2, etc.) The Germans were tecnhologically ahead of us, but suffered numerically.
Subs: Again the Germans were technologically ahead of us with their Type XXI Uboats, but they weren't fielded until the very
end of the war, even though the technology existed during the 30's.
Oil: We had it all over the Germans
Manufacturing Output and Resources: again we completely dwarfed the Germans.

Basically we overwhelmed both the Germans and the Japanese with Firepower and Numbers.
This also compensated for our mediocre generals.

I would say that our most effective fighting forces on the ground were the US Marines (backed up by Naval Gunnery and Aerial support).

This is not to say that there weren't some good examples of competent Generalship
An example of exemplary use of Infantry and Tank Battalions
During the invasion of Sicily Patton was ordered by Montgomery to hold the beach head while Montgomery's forces blasted their way over the mountains towards
Palermo. Patton asked for permission to "reconitor". Permission was given.
After Montgomery's forces got off on a head start. Patton ordered his Battalions to proceed up the West coast of Sicily. Anytime the Battalions
came across Germans blocking their way. Patton would whistle up Naval Gun Fire to blast the Germans out.

When Montgomery's forces reached Palermo. Patton was waiting for him, having "reconitored" the entire coastline.

Thuban
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:28:08 PM
I’ve read news articles and opinion pieces from the late 1930s and one thing is clear. Most Americans wanted nothing to do with the war everyone knew was coming. We were not a nation that wanted to fight and we just didn’t put our social and creative resources into warfare.

In today’s America we do. We play games of war from computer games to paintball. Many of us spend a lot of money on military quality rifles, just because we want them. We have to invent enemies (space aliens) to fight in the movies. This doesn’t mean that American is a warlike nation. But it does mean that our mindset war oriented. My sense is that the Americans of the 30s were not like this at all.

So we end up in a war and have to build a military up overnight. Fortunately, Roosevelt had been trying to build us up for a couple of years before the war started. But we were still completely unprepared, psychologically as well as militarily.

So now we are trying to recruit officers who didn’t know grazing fire from a grazing cow. The only flank they knew about was the steak variety. We gave these people something like three months of training and expected them to lead men into combat. Well, most people would make horrible combat leaders. And the only way to tell who is good and who isn’t is to put them under fire… Actually that’s wrong. You can train them hard enough and long enough and get a real good idea about who will make a good officer and who won’t. But you can’t do it in 90 days and you can’t do it when the trainers don’t know much more than the trainees.

So, you throw these officers into combat. If they were in charge of experienced men with experienced NCOs then you might be ok. Especially if the senior officers knew what they were doing. But our senior officers didn’t have much experience either, the men were green, and so were the NCOs. Sometimes things didn’t work out so well when the shooting started.

This isn’t a criticism. Our men fought well and learned. The Army appears to have generally weeded out the officers that couldn’t handle combat command. We got better and we won.

I also saw a claim by someone that the Germans hated fighting American troops for this reason. Other nations would generally follow their doctrine so you knew what they were going to do. Americans were unpredictable.
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Lumpy196
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:35:07 PM
Originally Posted By RustedAce:

Sometimes you just have to be a dick. Justice demands it.
cobra-ak
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:37:15 PM
Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
I keep reading this, in book after book. Other than Rangers, Airborne Troops, and some "elite" infantry divisions, like the 1st, US Infantry was simply not very good.

The Air Corps, Armor, Artillery and Technical Services got the good men. The Infantry got the duds.

Is this close to reality? In anything close to an even match, the Germans simply trounced US Infantry?



The modern US Army was born in North Africa right after TORCH, my opinion
The Eastern diamond rattlesnake was the symbol of the American Revolution. The Gadsden flag is a historic American flag with it's yellow field depicting a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike and with the words underneath "DON'T TREAD ON ME".
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Posted: 5/28/2012 1:55:46 PM
Originally Posted By BBoyd:
Originally Posted By CROWDLG:
They were a bunch of 18yo with not much training.
How much time did they give them in boot before shipping to the front?

I think we did pretty well, We did win after all.
They are still the best Generation.
You better remember them tomorrow.



Bingo.



Wrong .
Average age was 26 in WWII .
My grandfather was 32 when they drafted him in Jan. '42. He was 34 when he landed at Anzio. He said they were rushed through basic at Fort Dix. He said that a lot of guysin his units were in there late twenty's and early 30's .
He was infantry (45th Infantry)he landed in Sicily, Italy(Anzio) ,Southern France and he fought in the Ardennes got hit and got frostbite in Jan '45.He did all that in his mid thirties.
I know guys in there mid thirties who cannot walk around the block.

They were the greatest generation.
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Andrewsky
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Posted: 5/28/2012 2:07:09 PM
I would hardly call our Browning machine guns "shitty." The Germans had the best firearms of the war, but we were not far behind thanks to Browning, Thompson, and Garand.
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Posted: 5/28/2012 2:22:01 PM
You should go choke yourself OP. WTF!
Cpt_Kirks
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Posted: 5/28/2012 2:34:31 PM
Originally Posted By Christhelaborer:
You should go choke yourself OP. WTF!


Sorry if I upset your fragile sense of self worth.

No, actually I'm not.

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VA-gunnut
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Posted: 5/28/2012 8:49:13 PM
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happycynic
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Posted: 5/28/2012 9:00:31 PM

Originally Posted By Thuban:
I’ve read news articles and opinion pieces from the late 1930s and one thing is clear. Most Americans wanted nothing to do with the war everyone knew was coming. We were not a nation that wanted to fight and we just didn’t put our social and creative resources into warfare.

I'd disagree a bit with that. After WWI the popular belief was that we were duped into that war by British propaganda. In hindsight, the Germans didn't appear to be any worse that British or French. WWI was a European balance of power arrangement that spiraled out of control. American sentiment was that we should never do that again. But I don't think we were any less militaristic then as opposed to now. Our army was neglected, but it was not seen as needed. Our Air Force and Navy were first class and our plan was to sink anyone stupid enough to try and cross the ocean to get to us.
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Posted: 5/28/2012 9:24:29 PM
While I'll not agree or disagree; logic dictates that the US should/could have been inferior militarily at that time.
Germany was ramping up a war machine, while we were in a peace time depression and practicing isolationism.

When we entered the war, our soldiers were draftees (not usually the cream of the crop or well motivated to fight, until the attack on Pearl Harbor of course) and the nation was far behind Germany technologically speaking as far as aircraft and weapons.

I could see how some historians would think that the US was ill-prepared, but mistakes were made and Germany lost.
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ThePatriot556
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Posted: 5/28/2012 9:38:33 PM
Originally Posted By VA-gunnut:


Thanks for the link.



Bolger's "Death Ground" had a bit of insight on U.S. Infantry performance if I recall.
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Posted: 5/28/2012 9:43:12 PM
Originally Posted By Clarinath:
What books are you reading? Are they books written by Airborne, Armor or Artillery writers?


Maybe.
Bigger_Hammer
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Posted: 5/28/2012 10:14:45 PM
[Last Edit: 5/28/2012 10:24:39 PM by Bigger_Hammer]
Originally Posted By 03fxsti:
Other than at Kasserine, and I think it was the 36th infantry(not positive) who surrendered pretty much en masse at the beginning of the Ardennes campaign, they gave as good as they got. There were obviously some exceptions, for instance when US infantry units first tried on Fallschirmjager troops. But even then they usually regrouped and thumped them.


The 36th fought very bravely through the war up the grinder of Italy and later in the "Dragoon" (invasion of Southern France).

You are thinking of the 106th which was a rookie division that was mauled by the SS & Panzers in the German assault at the Bulge.

A very tough baptism of fire.

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Posted: 5/28/2012 10:29:21 PM
The Germans (& Japanese) though the American Infantry were "Not as Tough" because they would resort to Fire Power instead of Close Assault.

The Germans & Japanese HATED that if an airplane was overhead they could be 99% sure it was the enemy straffing, rocketing , bombing, napalming them.

If not, American 75s, 105s & 155s would lay down "steel rain"...

We didn't have to play their game due to our fire superiority and air superiority, so they though U.S. troops "softer", (As would the Communists in Korea & Vietnam).

Not "softer", just smarter to use bombardment rather than blood.
LIFE'S JOURNEY IS NOT TO ARRIVE AT THE GRAVE SAFELY IN A WELL PRESERVED BODY,
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74novaman
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Posted: 5/28/2012 10:41:47 PM
Originally Posted By Christhelaborer:
You should go choke yourself OP. WTF!


Well that would be the Christian thing to do, right?
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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:13:28 AM
Originally Posted By CWatson:
I wish I could remember the exact quote. A German squad would dig a perfect two meter trench with squared corners and the exact depth as ordered, so would the American soldier but after asking why?

I took that to mean that though both were well trained the American soldier could and would improvise more when need be.


CW


I believe Baron Von Steuben made the remark at Valley Forge. " In europe, I tell a soldier to do this and he does it. With an american soldier, I have to say, this is why you do it, and then he does it."
spartacus2002
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Posted: 5/29/2012 11:47:27 AM
Originally Posted By arbob:
Originally Posted By CWatson:
I wish I could remember the exact quote. A German squad would dig a perfect two meter trench with squared corners and the exact depth as ordered, so would the American soldier but after asking why?

I took that to mean that though both were well trained the American soldier could and would improvise more when need be.


CW


I believe Baron Von Steuben made the remark at Valley Forge. " In europe, I tell a soldier to do this and he does it. With an american soldier, I have to say, this is why you do it, and then he does it."


He did. American Soldiers perform best when they understand the commander's intent. If they cannot accomplish the task in the way they are told to, they can improvise and adapt to come up with another way to accomplish the commander's intent. Ends, not means, make the battle won.
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SS109
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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:00:35 PM
[Last Edit: 5/29/2012 12:07:18 PM by SS109]
IMO, what the American infanty lacked in training and courage they made up for in equipment.

Ever read "Citizen Soldiers" by Ambrose about US WWII infantry? We tended to not fight to the death like the crazy Russians, Japanese and Germans and were more likely to break in combat. (Also comes from playing the old game Squad Leader.)

But on our side, so many of our troops unlike the Russians, Germans, and Japanese, could keep our equipment going and put it back into action. Plus the US factory worker was producing so many more planes and armor than our foes, we tended to overwhelm them with material.

One interesting thing to note about elite troops. In WWII, Canada had a draft, but only the volunteers actually went into combat. The draftees stayed behind to guard the homeland. (In WWI, Canadians were pissed to see their young men used by Brit generals in costly human waves.) If America had done something similar, I think the quality of our troops would have been higher.
The current all volunteer US military has to be better than those who don't want to be there like Vietnam draftees.

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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:03:10 PM
The view of American infantry as weak, incompetent etc. was fairly common in WW2, or even Korea and Vietnam. For example, the CCF pamphlet "Primary Conclusions

of Battle Experience in Unsan" had this estimation of the American fighting man- "Cut off from the rear, they abandon all their heavy weapons...Their infantrymen are weak,

afraid to die, and have no courage to attack or defend. They depend always on their planes,tanks, artillery....They specialize in day fighting. They are not familiar with night

fighting, or hand-to-hand combat. If defeated, they have no orderly formation. Without the use of their mortars, they become completely demoralized. They are afraid when

the rear is cut off. When transportation comes to a standstill the infantry loses the will to fight." -Excerpted from A Historical Perspective on Light Infantry. Not a very

flattering picture huh? Well, when Col. Lewis Lee Millet found out about this.......you can read his response in His Medal of Honor citation for a bayonet charge he led.

Young American men are as fine a raw material for producing lethal infantry as any on the planet. Different? Yes. But just as good. The problem is training and leadership.

I believe there was a thread on here about a captured Taliban diary that revealed their dismay in fighting "weak, incompetent" American G.I.s who had lost their leaders in

combat. The taliban were shocked to learn that those men instantly adapted, and continued the mission on their own. I think we have overcome whatever limits we may

have had.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:15:45 PM
The germans were continually amazed at our "superb" artillery.

The germans thought the brits had better infantry but nobody could hold a candle to our artillery in either quantity or accuracy.

At Anzio, the beachhead was saved from complete disaster by the fact that a shitpile of arty bases were set up and poured out a world record type niagra falls of shells on the germans.

Artillery counted for 55% of all the german casualties in the war in battles with the USA.

Actually, Rommel had this to say about american troops: "The americans fight well because war is chaos and the american army practicies chaos on a daily basis."

it's a backhanded compliment but it's not like he was saying they couldn't fight.

Also, if you look at the casualty figures, the germans killed the russian troops up like sheep to the slaughter but the americans were about on par with the germans.




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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:23:17 PM
Originally Posted By Formergrunt94:
The view of American infantry as weak, incompetent etc. was fairly common in WW2, or even Korea and Vietnam. For example, the CCF pamphlet "Primary Conclusions

of Battle Experience in Unsan" had this estimation of the American fighting man- "Cut off from the rear, they abandon all their heavy weapons...Their infantrymen are weak,

afraid to die, and have no courage to attack or defend. They depend always on their planes,tanks, artillery....They specialize in day fighting. They are not familiar with night

fighting, or hand-to-hand combat. If defeated, they have no orderly formation. Without the use of their mortars, they become completely demoralized. They are afraid when

the rear is cut off. When transportation comes to a standstill the infantry loses the will to fight." -Excerpted from A Historical Perspective on Light Infantry. Not a very

flattering picture huh? Well, when Col. Lewis Lee Millet found out about this.......you can read his response in His Medal of Honor citation for a bayonet charge he led.

Young American men are as fine a raw material for producing lethal infantry as any on the planet. Different? Yes. But just as good. The problem is training and leadership.

I believe there was a thread on here about a captured Taliban diary that revealed their dismay in fighting "weak, incompetent" American G.I.s who had lost their leaders in

combat. The taliban were shocked to learn that those men instantly adapted, and continued the mission on their own. I think we have overcome whatever limits we may

have had.



Pamphlets and propaganda have nothing to do with reality. Imagine if you were in the japanese army and you wrote a booklet describing the americans as tough and resourceful.

think that would go over well?

The entire japanese strategic doctrine was based on the comical notion that americans were weaklings.

You'll notice that the japanese troops called Guadalcanal "death island". you think the jap high command called Guad. "death island"?

The japanese people did not know they were losing the war right up until the end. And we were killing 100,000 civillians at a time with firebombing.


Rommel said this: "The Sherman tank is the most amazing weapon in history - you blow up one, four more spring up in its place."

If you want to know what's what, you need to go right to the people doing the fighting, not the newspapers and propaganda.

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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:32:56 PM
I like seeing the comments from our foes whining about Americans letting their equipment doing the fighting for them. Sure, Americans might bave not been as courageous, or as well trained and fanatical, but they were probably smarter.

And there are also some great books I have read about US troops in Vietnam, sure some were heroes, but so many of the draftees just wanted to keep their head down and survive until the end of their tour.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:38:37 PM
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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:43:50 PM
[Last Edit: 5/29/2012 12:47:16 PM by Brownie63]
My impression was: like every other military, inexperienced at first, but matured into one hell of a fighting force.

Sounds like either you're reading some bullshit or are trolling. Judging by the thread title, I would guess the latter.
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GI-45
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Posted: 5/29/2012 12:48:40 PM

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.


Yes they did. Read up on the Buna-Gona campaign in New Guinea. The green, ill-equipped and poorly trained 32nd Division was basically bled white by battle-hardened Japanese troops and tropical diseases.

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Posted: 5/29/2012 1:10:57 PM

Originally Posted By skankwhisperer:
I know the 32nd NG Div had a hard time at Buna-Gona. But you cant judge troops only after one barney. They were rushed to the Pacific very unprepared. Their story is a sad frustrating one, and when one considers all the adversity piled against them..well they did pretty well in the end. I recommend reading up on the poor bloody 32nd. The wiki is a good start. The Kapa Kapa Trail - wow. To go through that, then have to fight 6 thousand entrenched Japs, with only 1 artillery piece in support. Amazing really.

Most people think of the bigger, later battles when thinking ww2. Not many think of the troops thrown into the fray at the start, unprepared, with no intel, and megalomaniacs like MacArthur throwing them into battle with little regard for casualties.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Buna1942-wounded.jpg

But we Aussies sure appreciate the efforts of the 32nd.

Glad to hear it. At the time, the Australian brass was so unimpressed with the performance of US Army troops in New Guinea (which were mainly composed of National Guard units like the 32nd), that when additional American reinforcements were needed in Austraila, they requested the exhausted 1st Marine Division back from Guadalcanal, instead of the well-trained, well-equipped US Army 25th Infantry Division (which was a "regular Army" unit, not National Guard).

National Guard units like the 32nd and 43rd went through some severe growing pains during 1942-43 before really coming into their own in 1944-45.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:03:00 PM
Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Originally Posted By Formergrunt94:
The view of American infantry as weak, incompetent etc. was fairly common in WW2, or even Korea and Vietnam. For example, the CCF pamphlet "Primary Conclusions

of Battle Experience in Unsan" had this estimation of the American fighting man- "Cut off from the rear, they abandon all their heavy weapons...Their infantrymen are weak,

afraid to die, and have no courage to attack or defend. They depend always on their planes,tanks, artillery....They specialize in day fighting. They are not familiar with night

fighting, or hand-to-hand combat. If defeated, they have no orderly formation. Without the use of their mortars, they become completely demoralized. They are afraid when

the rear is cut off. When transportation comes to a standstill the infantry loses the will to fight." -Excerpted from A Historical Perspective on Light Infantry. Not a very

flattering picture huh? Well, when Col. Lewis Lee Millet found out about this.......you can read his response in His Medal of Honor citation for a bayonet charge he led.

Young American men are as fine a raw material for producing lethal infantry as any on the planet. Different? Yes. But just as good. The problem is training and leadership.

I believe there was a thread on here about a captured Taliban diary that revealed their dismay in fighting "weak, incompetent" American G.I.s who had lost their leaders in

combat. The taliban were shocked to learn that those men instantly adapted, and continued the mission on their own. I think we have overcome whatever limits we may

have had.



Pamphlets and propaganda have nothing to do with reality. Imagine if you were in the japanese army and you wrote a booklet describing the americans as tough and resourceful.

think that would go over well?

The entire japanese strategic doctrine was based on the comical notion that americans were weaklings.

You'll notice that the japanese troops called Guadalcanal "death island". you think the jap high command called Guad. "death island"?

The japanese people did not know they were losing the war right up until the end. And we were killing 100,000 civillians at a time with firebombing.


Rommel said this: "The Sherman tank is the most amazing weapon in history - you blow up one, four more spring up in its place."

If you want to know what's what, you need to go right to the people doing the fighting, not the newspapers and propaganda.



Didn't say it was fact. Said it was a perception. People perceived U.S. troops as weak. Then paid in blood. That was what the reference to Col. Millet was about. He

led a bayonet charge that killed IIRC 39 enemy troops to show his displeasure at the Communist Chinese opinion of his men. As for Rommels quote, the four popping

up is much a reflection of industrial capacity as it is fighting spirit or capacity. Firebombing is a reflection of the Air Force. Death Island is the most appropriate.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:11:45 PM
Originally Posted By Panta_Rei:
They may have been young and typically had little training, but our boys had the best small arms weapons and notable swagger. They were fear/respected.



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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:16:22 PM
[Last Edit: 5/29/2012 2:18:48 PM by sherrick13]

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.


Yes they did. Read up on the Buna-Gona campaign in New Guinea. The green, ill-equipped and poorly trained 32nd Division was basically bled white by battle-hardened Japanese troops and tropical diseases.



Not much does not equal none.


Elements of one division and some isolated raids is all the Army fought in late 42.

I stand by what I said. Especially in the context of this thread.


But if it makes you happy, they were green, ill equiped and poorly led, in the case of Buna, but highly motivated, equiped quite well and well led in raids like Makin. But neither really is a good example (nor near the scale) of how the Army fought before (Phillipines) and after (Guadalcanal and beyond).
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GI-45
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:17:49 PM

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.


Yes they did. Read up on the Buna-Gona campaign in New Guinea. The green, ill-equipped and poorly trained 32nd Division was basically bled white by battle-hardened Japanese troops and tropical diseases.



Not much does not equal none.


Elements of one division and some isolated raids is all the Army fought in late 42.

I stand by what I said. Especially in the context of this thread.

Guadalcanal too, now that I think of it. Army was there by the fall of '42.


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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:19:20 PM
Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.



I think your time table is a little off. If you weren't experienced by late 44 you were not going to be experienced. The invasion of Europe was June 6 1944. However, it was planned for May, but the weather would not allow for the movement of the invasion troops. So, that puts it at mid 44. By December of 1944, you have had the North Africa Campaign, The Sicily Invasion, Invasion of mainland Italy, The Normandy invasion, The Breakout and Liberation of Paris, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. Plenty of experience to go around there.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:21:46 PM

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.


Yes they did. Read up on the Buna-Gona campaign in New Guinea. The green, ill-equipped and poorly trained 32nd Division was basically bled white by battle-hardened Japanese troops and tropical diseases.



Not much does not equal none.


Elements of one division and some isolated raids is all the Army fought in late 42.

I stand by what I said. Especially in the context of this thread.

Guadalcanal too, now that I think of it. Army was there by the fall of '42.





Very late. The Army didn't take over until December. The army units that were there earlier, in many cases, were not only under Marine command, some were actually intergrated into Marine units.

We really don't see how the Army actually does until 43.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:22:36 PM
[Last Edit: 5/29/2012 2:24:34 PM by sherrick13]

Originally Posted By colesteele:
Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.



I think your time table is a little off. If you weren't experienced by late 44 you were not going to be experienced. The invasion of Europe was June 6 1944. However, it was planned for May, but the weather would not allow for the movement of the invasion troops. So, that puts it at mid 44. By December of 1944, you have had the North Africa Campaign, The Sicily Invasion, Invasion of mainland Italy, The Normandy invasion, The Breakout and Liberation of Paris, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. Plenty of experience to go around there.

There were lots of divisions that didn't see their first combat until the Fall of 44. Hell the 89th didn't until Jan 45.


Just because the Army had been fighting since 42 doesn't mean every unit had been fought.

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GI-45
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:26:36 PM

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.


Yes they did. Read up on the Buna-Gona campaign in New Guinea. The green, ill-equipped and poorly trained 32nd Division was basically bled white by battle-hardened Japanese troops and tropical diseases.



Not much does not equal none.


Elements of one division and some isolated raids is all the Army fought in late 42.

I stand by what I said. Especially in the context of this thread.

Guadalcanal too, now that I think of it. Army was there by the fall of '42.





Very late. The Army didn't take over until December. The army units that were there earlier, in many cases, were not only under Marine command, some were actually intergrated into Marine units.

We really don't see how the Army actually does until 43.

I don't disagree with that, I just think that stating the Army "didn't fight much" in late 1942 is a bit too oversimplified, that's all. Those early battles were real eye-openers for how woefully unprepared the Army was to fight a sustained jungle war.

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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:28:27 PM
Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
All infantry units suck until they have been seasoned. Fact of life, read about our troops in N. Africa. We got into the game after the Brits and Germans had blooded the majority of their troops.

Not true.

There were quite a few units that participated in the Europe campaign that did not have combat experience that did quite well during their initial entry into the war.

i.e. 29th, 4th, 36th and of course the 101st.


They had great training however.


Not entirely accurate. And this comes from someone who was a 29er for 15 years. General Gerhart, the Division commander of the 29th for the majority of WWII was called a Corpes Commander by his troops. They say it was because he had a Division in the field, a Division in the hospital and a Division in the Graveyard. But othere than that the Division achieved a lot during the European campaign. It was Gen. Cota, the Asst Div. CDR that gave the Rangers their motto.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:37:15 PM
[Last Edit: 5/29/2012 2:37:40 PM by sherrick13]

Originally Posted By colesteele:
Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By MonkTx:
All infantry units suck until they have been seasoned. Fact of life, read about our troops in N. Africa. We got into the game after the Brits and Germans had blooded the majority of their troops.

Not true.

There were quite a few units that participated in the Europe campaign that did not have combat experience that did quite well during their initial entry into the war.

i.e. 29th, 4th, 36th and of course the 101st.


They had great training however.


Not entirely accurate. And this comes from someone who was a 29er for 15 years. General Gerhart, the Division commander of the 29th for the majority of WWII was called a Corpes Commander by his troops. They say it was because he had a Division in the field, a Division in the hospital and a Division in the Graveyard. But othere than that the Division achieved a lot during the European campaign. It was Gen. Cota, the Asst Div. CDR that gave the Rangers their motto.


Compare how the troops in the 29th in the summer of 44 at the front fought vs the troops in North Africa in 42-early 43.




Are we talking about US infantry in tactical combat? Or general leadership at the operational/strategic level? I think the context of this thread is the former.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:38:45 PM


His book actually dispels the myth that US infantry was inferior to others during this period of time. Actually he makes a good argument that the reverse was true.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:40:31 PM

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By GI-45:

Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.


Yes they did. Read up on the Buna-Gona campaign in New Guinea. The green, ill-equipped and poorly trained 32nd Division was basically bled white by battle-hardened Japanese troops and tropical diseases.



Not much does not equal none.


Elements of one division and some isolated raids is all the Army fought in late 42.

I stand by what I said. Especially in the context of this thread.

Guadalcanal too, now that I think of it. Army was there by the fall of '42.





Very late. The Army didn't take over until December. The army units that were there earlier, in many cases, were not only under Marine command, some were actually intergrated into Marine units.

We really don't see how the Army actually does until 43.

I don't disagree with that, I just think that stating the Army "didn't fight much" in late 1942 is a bit too oversimplified, that's all. Those early battles were real eye-openers for how woefully unprepared the Army was to fight a sustained jungle war.



How many Army troops were engaged with the enemy in late 42?

How many in 43?

It isn't even close. There was very little combat by the US Army in the Pacific in late 42. I would even argue that anything that was learned in New Guinea wasn't transferred to other Army units in the Pacific not in Austrialia.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:40:49 PM
Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Actually, Rommel had this to say about american troops: "The americans fight well because war is chaos and the american army practicies chaos on a daily basis."


There is a lot to be said here. For some reason Americans do well in chaotic conditions and not just in war, either.

On another not, we DO have to be told why and when you think about it, that is not a bad thing.

Back when he was a Major on the Canal, an officer was quoted as saying "I want the lowest private to know as much as I do on an operation." This man later became CMC and the theory panned out time and again as units lost leaders but did not lose leadership.

There are numerous instances of sergeants leading companies and corporals leading platoons after they lost the officers and senior NCOs.

I recently had a long chat with a guy that ran a company in the Balkans a few years back. He said the courage of the American GI is phenomonal because (unlike a lot of other countries soldiers who get kept in the dark) the American GI is given as much information as possible and STILL goes in.

IMO, the American GI is beyond all doubt the oddest contradiction in the world. He will argue with a superior officer all damned day over something stupid like a haircut, yet will lay his life down for the same officer in combat and not question it. His last dying words are likely to be "Tell Capt. So and So I STILL ain't gettin' a fuckin' haircut!"

No wonder the rest of the world can't figure us out.
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sherrick13
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Posted: 5/29/2012 2:42:38 PM

Originally Posted By JMD:


His book actually dispels the myth that US infantry was inferior to others during this period of time. Actually he makes a good argument that the reverse was true.


The German Army by that time was good and bad. It really depended on the unit you faced. By that time many of the good experienced troops were either dead or in a cage. You could end up facing an experienced, well trained German unit, or one that had been in French garrison for 3 years and pretty much wasn't fit for combat.
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colesteele
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Posted: 5/29/2012 3:00:36 PM
Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Originally Posted By colesteele:
Originally Posted By sherrick13:

Depends on the year and the theater.


Pacific
41/early 42- green and ill equiped

Late 42- army didn't fight much

43- green but well equiped

44- good

45- very good



Europe

late 42- green and well equiped but with early equipment

43- getting better, a few units quite good, but most still pretty green

44- getting even better in Italy with better equipment,

Late 44- France invasion troops were very well trained but without experience in many cases, best equipment of the war

45- arguably the best trained, equipped and led Army of the world with lots of combat experience.



I think your time table is a little off. If you weren't experienced by late 44 you were not going to be experienced. The invasion of Europe was June 6 1944. However, it was planned for May, but the weather would not allow for the movement of the invasion troops. So, that puts it at mid 44. By December of 1944, you have had the North Africa Campaign, The Sicily Invasion, Invasion of mainland Italy, The Normandy invasion, The Breakout and Liberation of Paris, Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. Plenty of experience to go around there.

There were lots of divisions that didn't see their first combat until the Fall of 44. Hell the 89th didn't until Jan 45.


Just because the Army had been fighting since 42 doesn't mean every unit had been fought.



But those units that had experience from N. Africa and Sicily had some of their NCO's and Officers transferred to train units that did not have any experience for the invasion of mainland Europe. Your assertion that many units did not have experience by late 44 is contrary. By late 44 most of the units dedicated to ETO were engaged.
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Posted: 5/29/2012 3:11:41 PM
Originally Posted By piccolo:
<snip>

No wonder the rest of the world can't figure us out.


Or beat us!
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Posted: 5/29/2012 3:13:00 PM

Originally Posted By Bigger_Hammer:
The Germans (& Japanese) though the American Infantry were "Not as Tough" because they would resort to Fire Power instead of Close Assault.

The Germans & Japanese HATED that if an airplane was overhead they could be 99% sure it was the enemy straffing, rocketing , bombing, napalming them.

If not, American 75s, 105s & 155s would lay down "steel rain"...

We didn't have to play their game due to our fire superiority and air superiority, so they though U.S. troops "softer", (As would the Communists in Korea & Vietnam).

Not "softer", just smarter to use bombardment rather than blood.

Fix and destroy every chance you get...
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Posted: 5/29/2012 3:23:20 PM
Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Originally Posted By piccolo:
<snip>

No wonder the rest of the world can't figure us out.


Or beat us!



What I said is a real case of 'No shit!'

If you read a lot of medal citations you will find the term "Disregarding orders for his own safety"

What that generally means is that some guy simply got pissed off and said, "Fuck this shit!" and just took it on his own to get the job done.

The American army is the only place that will give a medal to a man that in other armies would give a court martial to.

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