200 U. S. trained divisions?

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Richard Anderson
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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Apr 2021 16:38

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 07:04
Comparing Flynn to DePuy is a pretty loaded comment.
My comparison was the experience I had with the man before his controversial national exposure, before he was fired by Obama. It was WRT my personal experience of hearing how Flynn operated second-hand contrasted with actually working in an organization he helmed.

I was not trying to make a loaded comment, but simply observing from personal experience that there are different versions of the same story...same with Rehlingen.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Apr 2021 16:44

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 07:05
One can always volunteer. There are those of us who did.
Sure, which leads to the ups and downs of recruiting, changing recruiting standards, and so on. The ideal for national service would be a limited draft to even out the peaks and valleys of requirements...of course that ideal could lead to other problems as well. There may not be an ideal solution, but after 48 years I'm not sure the All-Volunteer Force is ideal either.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Apr 2021 19:27

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Apr 2021 16:30
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 06:58
You know, there's an obvious counterpoint to your idea as to who may have been telling a tale, right?
Well sure, did you think that didn't cross my mind?

1. The first time I heard there was a discrepancy was c. 1976, when I borrowed Lorraine Campaign from the library and my Dad read through it and first remarked what his version was, pointing out where Doc Cole varied from his recollection.
2. DePuy's version of events is yet a third version, first apparently enunciated by the general in 1979.
3. Elements of DePuy's version also differs from the historical record, it does not match Cole's version or what details may be gleaned from the unit records.
3. My Dad's version was personal, spoken only to my Mom and myself. It was not intended for publication or to teach.
4. It is not the only part of DePuy's recollection that doesn't match the actual record.
Thank you for the background. COI and oral history are always challenges.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Apr 2021 19:28

McDonald wrote:
01 Apr 2021 15:22
Mr Shoup:

I agree on both counts.

Comparing Michael Flynn to General DePuy does a disservice to General DePuy, regardless of his faults.

The Spirit of the Cincinnati can exist without conscription.
Concur.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Apr 2021 19:30

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Apr 2021 16:38
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 07:04
Comparing Flynn to DePuy is a pretty loaded comment.
My comparison was the experience I had with the man before his controversial national exposure, before he was fired by Obama. It was WRT my personal experience of hearing how Flynn operated second-hand contrasted with actually working in an organization he helmed.

I was not trying to make a loaded comment, but simply observing from personal experience that there are different versions of the same story...same with Rehlingen.
Thank you for the response.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Apr 2021 19:35

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Apr 2021 16:44
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 07:05
One can always volunteer. There are those of us who did.
Sure, which leads to the ups and downs of recruiting, changing recruiting standards, and so on. The ideal for national service would be a limited draft to even out the peaks and valleys of requirements...of course that ideal could lead to other problems as well. There may not be an ideal solution, but after 48 years I'm not sure the All-Volunteer Force is ideal either.
The draft, as it was executed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was a failure as public policy, on multiple counts. The AVF, despite its challenges, has been astronomically successful in comparison. Perhaps one needed to have been there...

The larger issue of US foreign and defense policy in the period of the AVF drives the recruiting question, as it did in the 1940s-70s.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 01 Apr 2021 20:05

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 19:35
... The draft, as it was executed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was a failure as public policy, on multiple counts. The AVF, despite its challenges, has been astronomically successful in comparison. Perhaps one needed to have been there...

The larger issue of US foreign and defense policy in the period of the AVF drives the recruiting question, as it did in the 1940s-70s.
I was there & it sucked. The Marines suffered at one step remove from the draft & the effects still reverberated into the mid or late 1970s. I'm imagining how much worse it was in the Army.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Apr 2021 23:16

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 19:27
Thank you for the background. COI and oral history are always challenges.
Yep. That's why whenever we did interviews we tried to do it as a group, because the group was generally comfortable calling out one of their members if they started telling war stories.

Of course, my Dad could have been telling war stories, except that he never did, he barely talked about the war at all. That instance in 1976 when he talked about Rehlingen, was the second time he talked about it. The first was in early spring 1969, when we went to Rehlingen and he talked about the annoying German pillbox they couldn't silence even though they indulged in a couple of "mad minutes" on it when they fired all sixteen .50 calibers at where they thought it was. We found the pillbox when we crossed the rebuilt Saar bridge, nestled in a stand of undergrowth and trees. The entire face was pock-marked with little craters. My Dad's sole remark was, "well, I guess we were hitting it, but it didn't do any good." The main issue with the German pillbox was it was the one that had viability on the Battery A "bath house" and the Germans would fire on any movement they saw, interupting the GI's ablutions.

The next time he talked about the war was when he took my two older boys and me to Normandy. We followed as closely as possible the route of his Battery, including as part of TF Weaver. The things he recalled were:

1. The stench that hit them while anchored off UTAH. A combination of rotting meat, human feces, and burnt cotton candy, the last caused by the extensive use by Engineers of COMP-C, which was a nitro-starch. It also explained why he never wanted us to get cotton candy at the fair.
2. The fields looked very similar to his recollection, except they were larger (many of the hedgerows in Normandy are being consolidated into larger fields) and there were no dead cows in them.
3. The telephone poles hadn't changed.
4. The incident of their first night ashore, when everyone was exhausted, so didn't bother to dig in, only to have a 90mm battery in the next field open up on a German raider in the middle of the night...that was the last night that they didn't dig in.
5. Watching Graves Registration loading German corpses into the back of a 2 1/2 ton truck by placing them on a shelter half with a guy at each corner and then, heave-ho, toss it in. One of the corpses broke into two while they were doing this, raining bits everywhere.
6. Driving down into a valley east of Ducey on the way to Mayenne he suddenly remembered the place...they were buzzed by a formation of FW 190 flying at extremely low level that went by so fast they never had a chance to engage.
7. On the road north from Le Mans on 17 August they were also buzzed, this time by a P-38, which ignored their recognition panels and strafed the column of the 343d FA they were attached to. When it came in for a second pass they opened fire on it and shot it down, recovering the dog tags of the pilot, who was killed. Four men were killed and two injured in the 343d from the strafing. Most accounts say the pilot "crashed" on his second pass and do not mention the cause of the crash.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Apr 2021 23:30

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 19:35
The draft, as it was executed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was a failure as public policy, on multiple counts. The AVF, despite its challenges, has been astronomically successful in comparison. Perhaps one needed to have been there...
Oh, I agree 100 percent. It wasn't much better in the 1940s and 1950s either, but at least it did have some effect sharing out the risk and responsibilities. What is disturbing is the lack of truly multi-regional and varied socioeconomic representation in the AVF. Yes, if they wanted the rich got deferments easily, especially in the latter years of Vietnam, but at least in theory it was egalitarian.

BTW, I'm talking when we were looking at representation in the military as part of our VRAC-related contract with Pennsylvania, way back in 2002. I haven't looked at the service demographics since, but I doubt they have changed that much.
The larger issue of US foreign and defense policy in the period of the AVF drives the recruiting question, as it did in the 1940s-70s.
Yep, which goes back to the abdication of responsibility by its leadership for giving strategic and operational advice to the political side.

Again, I'm talking my impressions of the way things have gone since Johnson's famous encounter with the JCS that McMaster highlighted...certainly I didn't see much of a change working on the fringes of events 2008-2015, but I suppose things could have gotten better under Trump...
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Richard Anderson » 01 Apr 2021 23:32

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
01 Apr 2021 20:05
I was there & it sucked.
Indeed it did. The history of the draft from 1940 to 1971 is a tale of egalitarian good intentions that steadily changed in the winds of political expediency.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Apr 2021 00:22

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Apr 2021 23:16

4. The incident of their first night ashore, when everyone was exhausted, so didn't bother to dig in, only to have a 90mm battery in the next field open up on a German raider in the middle of the night...that was the last night that they didn't dig in.
My father had the same experience a year earlier when his bomber group occupied a airfield in England. For a few days digging slit trenches along the rows of Quonset huts had a low priority. Then the German night raiders attacked. The next day "The dirt flew".

He also remarked on how peculiar the engines on the night raiders were. Ragged & unsynched. A intel brief on German aircraft had a engine displayed. They were told this was a typical worn out high hour motor. Far exceeding wear & hour standards the AAF was subject to. This was clearly visible in the partially disassembled motor.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 02 Apr 2021 03:09

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
01 Apr 2021 20:05
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 19:35
... The draft, as it was executed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was a failure as public policy, on multiple counts. The AVF, despite its challenges, has been astronomically successful in comparison. Perhaps one needed to have been there...

The larger issue of US foreign and defense policy in the period of the AVF drives the recruiting question, as it did in the 1940s-70s.
I was there & it sucked. The Marines suffered at one step remove from the draft & the effects still reverberated into the mid or late 1970s. I'm imagining how much worse it was in the Army.
Yep. Interesting contrast with 1940-45, of course, which gets back to the question of how many ground force combat divisions the US could have raised and sustained during the Second World War ... which leads to the question of how many the US should have raised and sustained.

90 Army, six USMC, certainly; then it's a matter for discussion. Gets a little hazy around the US Army's Philippine Division/12th, in both the 1940-1942 incarnation and the 1945-46 incarnation, the various division- and square-brigade-sized task forces, the regimental and group combat arms units/formations in terms of divisional equivalents, etc.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 02 Apr 2021 03:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Apr 2021 23:16
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 19:27
Thank you for the background. COI and oral history are always challenges.
Yep. That's why whenever we did interviews we tried to do it as a group, because the group was generally comfortable calling out one of their members if they started telling war stories.

Of course, my Dad could have been telling war stories, except that he never did, he barely talked about the war at all. That instance in 1976 when he talked about Rehlingen, was the second time he talked about it. The first was in early spring 1969, when we went to Rehlingen and he talked about the annoying German pillbox they couldn't silence even though they indulged in a couple of "mad minutes" on it when they fired all sixteen .50 calibers at where they thought it was. We found the pillbox when we crossed the rebuilt Saar bridge, nestled in a stand of undergrowth and trees. The entire face was pock-marked with little craters. My Dad's sole remark was, "well, I guess we were hitting it, but it didn't do any good." The main issue with the German pillbox was it was the one that had viability on the Battery A "bath house" and the Germans would fire on any movement they saw, interupting the GI's ablutions.

The next time he talked about the war was when he took my two older boys and me to Normandy. We followed as closely as possible the route of his Battery, including as part of TF Weaver. The things he recalled were:

1. The stench that hit them while anchored off UTAH. A combination of rotting meat, human feces, and burnt cotton candy, the last caused by the extensive use by Engineers of COMP-C, which was a nitro-starch. It also explained why he never wanted us to get cotton candy at the fair.
2. The fields looked very similar to his recollection, except they were larger (many of the hedgerows in Normandy are being consolidated into larger fields) and there were no dead cows in them.
3. The telephone poles hadn't changed.
4. The incident of their first night ashore, when everyone was exhausted, so didn't bother to dig in, only to have a 90mm battery in the next field open up on a German raider in the middle of the night...that was the last night that they didn't dig in.
5. Watching Graves Registration loading German corpses into the back of a 2 1/2 ton truck by placing them on a shelter half with a guy at each corner and then, heave-ho, toss it in. One of the corpses broke into two while they were doing this, raining bits everywhere.
6. Driving down into a valley east of Ducey on the way to Mayenne he suddenly remembered the place...they were buzzed by a formation of FW 190 flying at extremely low level that went by so fast they never had a chance to engage.
7. On the road north from Le Mans on 17 August they were also buzzed, this time by a P-38, which ignored their recognition panels and strafed the column of the 343d FA they were attached to. When it came in for a second pass they opened fire on it and shot it down, recovering the dog tags of the pilot, who was killed. Four men were killed and two injured in the 343d from the strafing. Most accounts say the pilot "crashed" on his second pass and do not mention the cause of the crash.
Interesting.

daveshoup2MD
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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 02 Apr 2021 03:20

Richard Anderson wrote:
01 Apr 2021 23:30
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Apr 2021 19:35
The draft, as it was executed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was a failure as public policy, on multiple counts. The AVF, despite its challenges, has been astronomically successful in comparison. Perhaps one needed to have been there...
Oh, I agree 100 percent. It wasn't much better in the 1940s and 1950s either, but at least it did have some effect sharing out the risk and responsibilities. What is disturbing is the lack of truly multi-regional and varied socioeconomic representation in the AVF. Yes, if they wanted the rich got deferments easily, especially in the latter years of Vietnam, but at least in theory it was egalitarian.

BTW, I'm talking when we were looking at representation in the military as part of our VRAC-related contract with Pennsylvania, way back in 2002. I haven't looked at the service demographics since, but I doubt they have changed that much.
The larger issue of US foreign and defense policy in the period of the AVF drives the recruiting question, as it did in the 1940s-70s.
Yep, which goes back to the abdication of responsibility by its leadership for giving strategic and operational advice to the political side.

Again, I'm talking my impressions of the way things have gone since Johnson's famous encounter with the JCS that McMaster highlighted...certainly I didn't see much of a change working on the fringes of events 2008-2015, but I suppose things could have gotten better under Trump...
Wasn't much better in 1863-65 or 1917-18, but c'est la guerre. It was the worst option except for all the others, or something like that.

The reality of the AVF is it makes the sunshine patriots and fortunate sons (and daughters, these days) undeniable. I find that useful.

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Re: 200 U. S. trained divisions?

Post by MichaelTMS » 03 Apr 2021 17:57

Recruiting was so poor for the military in the 1970’s that I had to take ASVAB tests as a 7th and 8th grader so my dad could use them to sneak recruits in to meet his quotas.

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