Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

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rcocean
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by rcocean » 19 Nov 2021 22:21

As we've seen, the anecdote was not from the 6th RSF but from an officer of the reverse battalion that day, the 6th KOSB.
Max Hastings specializes in these little two or three sentence quotes and "stories" which are then the basis for some "beer and Skittles" over the top opinion or generalization. Usually, when you try to track down the precise source you'll get some obscure unpunishled manuscript or a vague reference to a published book. I've tried to track down many of his sources in his Pacific Book and found that he either wretched the quote out of context, or its impossible to find, or the author meant the exact opposite.

Max hastings is an entertainer, not a historian. I guess his anti-americanism and constant bashing of both the Uk and USA military is popular. For some reason.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 20 Nov 2021 00:36

rcocean wrote:
19 Nov 2021 22:21


Max Hastings specializes in these little two or three sentence quotes and "stories" which are then the basis for some "beer and Skittles" over the top opinion or generalization. ............Max hastings is an entertainer, not a historian.
Hasting's is a pioneer. He realised decades ago that the way to fame and fortune lay in 'spinning' and getting people 'engaged' in a heated argument over the issues. Not matter how outrageous a claim you make there is always a sizeable number of the public who agree with it and they will 'engage' defend it against those who know it to be factually incorrect. This feeding frenzy gains publicity and that translates into sales and money. It would not surprise me to learn Zuckerberg was an early Hastings admirer and picked up a few tips from the way Max operates. We now live in a world where this business practice is the norm and all those reading this who engage elsewhere in pointless online stupid heated arguments with opponents of any kind(it isn't just politics) are just as much part of the problem as a 'Hastings'.

rcocean
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by rcocean » 20 Nov 2021 18:10

Hasting's is a pioneer. He realised decades ago that the way to fame and fortune lay in 'spinning' and getting people 'engaged' in a heated argument over the issues. Not matter how outrageous a claim you make there is always a sizeable number of the public who agree with it and they will 'engage' defend it against those who know it to be factually incorrect.
That not true in the USA. Here he's treated as some sort of History writer Oracle who is giving people entertaining history that is historically accurate. Unless he treads on some left-wing toes (like supporting the A-Bombing of Hiroshima) he's given almost no pushback.

He's books are worthless to anyone who knows and respects the truth. Slabs of goofball opinions, unsourced or badly sourced stories, combined with a weird contempt for the USA and UK military. You could spend your entire life going through his books and correcting all the historical errors.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 20 Nov 2021 18:25

Hastings is far from being a 'lefty'. He is from the 'right'. He (like Beevor) is the 'go-to' source for historical illiterates who believe reading him will them as big an 'expert' as him. He is one of the gang of post-war British popular historians who fell in love with the German military and never get tired of telling their own side how (badly) they fared when they foolishly took on this perfectly wonderful military machine.
His method is to write a book and insert an 'explosive' revelation that will guarantee controversy. I remember a big fuss when he was less than complimentary about Australian soldiers in Singapore. He then gets the book sampled by one of the right-wing tabloids (he is very well connected in that area) and the the book sales increase-its his marketing strategy.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 20 Nov 2021 20:34

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
13 Mar 2020 18:58
Hi,

Max Hastings (Overlord, pp.169-170) quotes excerpts from an interview (conducted in July '83) with 'Major Charles Richardson of 6th KSOB [who] came out of EPSOM , his first battle, overcome with horror and disgust' about the Bn's experience during Op EPSOM and which includes (on p.170) the remark that:
After the battle [Richardson recalled that the KOSBs] talked about 'the spectacle of the Royal Scots Fusiliers cresting a hill to find the Germans dug in on the reverse slope, "something we had never envisaged".'
'.......................................................

However, there is nothing in either the KOSB war diary/regimental history that reports on this "event" and although the war diary of 6 RSF describes their difficult fight for ST MAUVIEU on 26 Jun 44, it doesn't match up at all with the "reverse-slope" reference.

....................................................


Regards

Tom

6th RSF casualties till evening when relieved by 6 KSOB -21 killed (including CO?), 113 wounded and 9 missing
Infantry_of_6th_Royal_Scots_Fusiliers,_15th_(Scottish)_Division_in_the_village_of_St_Mauvieu-Norrey_in_Normandy,_during_Operation_'Epsom',_26_June_1944._B5968.jpg
Cheers
Sandeep
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rcocean
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by rcocean » 21 Nov 2021 02:23

Michael Kenny wrote:
20 Nov 2021 18:25
Hastings is far from being a 'lefty'.
Do you want quotes from Hastings saying he is NOT a right-winger or that he voted for Labour? In any case, he may be a slightly left of Center Englishman, but in American terms he is far left. He hated Palin, Trump and loved Obama and Hillary. In any case, I'm tired of constantly argueing over what a label means. He's anti-American as shown by his books and anti-UK miliatary. His comments on the Australians in his pacific book weren't complimentary. His comments on Mao and PLA were more favorable.

But that's just my opinion and I've gone too far from the subject.

Take care.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 21 Nov 2021 02:48

rcocean wrote:
21 Nov 2021 02:23

Do you want quotes from Hastings saying he is NOT a right-winger or that he voted for Labour?
Living in the UK and knowing the man I beg to differ. Look at his newspaper career.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 21 Nov 2021 03:17

This entire LW - RW binary is a crock.. There are just fact chasers and agenda peddlers.. Period

rcocean
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by rcocean » 24 Nov 2021 02:22

Here are the quotes. Hastings voted Labour in 1997 and 2002. He's against Brexit, and said this about Boris Johnson on 10-15-21

I Johnson is a more intelligent and cultured man than Trump, yet he displays a similar contempt for rules, precedents, decency, truth. One of Britain’s most distinguished historians emailed me during the summer to observe that he thinks our current prime minister “the most morally debased leader Britain has had since the 18th century.”

And From the Guardian in 2019: The Tory party is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people. He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification

BTW: Here's what he said about the Cossacks in Italy being forced at Gunpoint to return to USSR control in the Summer of 45.

Secondly, the Cossacks - because everybody thinks of them all dancing in fancy clothes and so on - the Cossacks weren’t like that. The Cossacks who fought in German uniforms had done terrible things on German orders in northern Italy and Yugoslavia. Their atrocities had become a by-word. I don’t mean that anyone for a moment could applaud the fact that these wretched people were returned to be cold bloodedly slaughtered by Stalin, but any idea that one was returning these poor innocent foes of Stalin, I don’t buy that at all, and I think those authors who have are just plain wrong and naïve.


I just want to get these quotes down on the record. Anyone can disagree with my opinion. One man's definition of Leftist is as good as another.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 24 Nov 2021 02:54

rcocean wrote:
24 Nov 2021 02:22
Here are the quotes. Hastings voted Labour in 1997 and 2002. He's against Brexit, and said this about Boris Johnson on 10-15-21

I Johnson is a more intelligent and cultured man than Trump, yet he displays a similar contempt for rules, precedents, decency, truth. One of Britain’s most distinguished historians emailed me during the summer to observe that he thinks our current prime minister “the most morally debased leader Britain has had since the 18th century.”

And From the Guardian in 2019: The Tory party is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people. He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification
I am a UK resident and I known of Hastings for well over half a century. He is NOT 'of the left'.
True he dislikes Boris but this is because he worked in the Newspaper Industry and thus knows (from the inside) Johnson's history of lying, inventing sources/quotes for stories, his womanising and an episode where Boris agreed to set up a friend to get beat up as a favour to another friend. His views are that Johnson is unfit for office because he has no moral compass and will say or do anything for the sake of power itself and not because he dislikes his politics.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 24 Nov 2021 03:09

rcocean wrote:
24 Nov 2021 02:22
Here are the quotes. Hastings voted Labour in 1997 and 2002. He's against Brexit, and said this about Boris Johnson on 10-15-21

I Johnson is a more intelligent and cultured man than Trump, yet he displays a similar contempt for rules, precedents, decency, truth. One of Britain’s most distinguished historians emailed me during the summer to observe that he thinks our current prime minister “the most morally debased leader Britain has had since the 18th century.”

And From the Guardian in 2019: The Tory party is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people. He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification

BTW: Here's what he said about the Cossacks in Italy being forced at Gunpoint to return to USSR control in the Summer of 45.

Secondly, the Cossacks - because everybody thinks of them all dancing in fancy clothes and so on - the Cossacks weren’t like that. The Cossacks who fought in German uniforms had done terrible things on German orders in northern Italy and Yugoslavia. Their atrocities had become a by-word. I don’t mean that anyone for a moment could applaud the fact that these wretched people were returned to be cold bloodedly slaughtered by Stalin, but any idea that one was returning these poor innocent foes of Stalin, I don’t buy that at all, and I think those authors who have are just plain wrong and naïve.


I just want to get these quotes down on the record. Anyone can disagree with my opinion. One man's definition of Leftist is as good as another.
This is what Solzhenitsyn says on this subject about the architect of the British repatriation project -
"He turned over to the Soviet command the Cossack corps of 90,000 men. Along with them, he also handed over many wagonloads of old people, women and children who did not want to return to their native Cossack rivers. This great hero, monuments to whom will in time cover all England, ordered that they, too, be surrendered to their deaths."

Now whether Churchill too was LW can, I guess, be debated today for kicks' sake! And since Cossacks were repatriated from the US too at this time, under the Truman administration, avowedly LW, the false binary between LW and RW can be debated too.

Cheers
Sandeep

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Sheldrake » 24 Nov 2021 08:40

Michael Kenny wrote:
20 Nov 2021 18:25
Hastings is far from being a 'lefty'. He is from the 'right'. He (like Beevor) is the 'go-to' source for historical illiterates who believe reading him will them as big an 'expert' as him. He is one of the gang of post-war British popular historians who fell in love with the German military and never get tired of telling their own side how (badly) they fared when they foolishly took on this perfectly wonderful military machine.
His method is to write a book and insert an 'explosive' revelation that will guarantee controversy. I remember a big fuss when he was less than complimentary about Australian soldiers in Singapore. He then gets the book sampled by one of the right-wing tabloids (he is very well connected in that area) and the the book sales increase-its his marketing strategy.
His nickname of Max "Hitler" Hastings partially reflects his political views and partially his management style as editor of the Daily Torygraph..

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 24 Nov 2021 20:49

So that's Hastings sorted, but what about Russell A. Hart and his parroting of the same myth at second-hand? Does he get away scot free! :lol:

Regards

Tom

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Sheldrake » 25 Nov 2021 00:43

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
24 Nov 2021 20:49
So that's Hastings sorted, but what about Russell A. Hart and his parroting of the same myth at second-hand? Does he get away scot free! :lol:

Regards

Tom
BIzarrely IRRC that Russell Hart is a relation (brother??) of Stephen Hart, the Sandhurst academic and author of Colossal Cracks, which is the revisionist view of the British way to win in NW Europe.

By and large there is aconsensus that the Germans were jolly good at the contact battle especially in unstructured encounter battles. But the Monty method was not to play to the same rules. Instead he fought strutured battles that made the best of the Allied forces he commanded.

It is true that the British formations engaged in Op Epsom were inexperienced. This was the baptism of fire for the 15th , 43rd or 53rd infantry divisions and the 11th and Guards Armoured Divisions. About the only eperienced formation was the 4th Armoured Brigade.

However, the overall effect of Op Esom was to engage the German armoured reserves. It may not have been the stated aim of the operation which was stated kin geographical terms. However, at an operational level, the allies were winning all the time that the Germans could not throw them into the sea. Until Epsom, the Germans had some great plans for using the three panzer Corps they had assembled in some offensive operation. Instead they were frittered away in a counter attack against the Scottish corridor. The action on 1st July at Rauray was a slaughter of German armour comparable to Snipe at El Alamein. Whatever the limitations and failings of the British infantry, Epsom was a disaster for German hopes of winning in Normandy.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Cult Icon » 25 Nov 2021 01:28

Sheldrake wrote:
25 Nov 2021 00:43

BIzarrely IRRC that Russell Hart is a relation (brother??) of Stephen Hart, the Sandhurst academic and author of Colossal Cracks, which is the revisionist view of the British way to win in NW Europe.

By and large there is aconsensus that the Germans were jolly good at the contact battle especially in unstructured encounter battles. But the Monty method was not to play to the same rules. Instead he fought strutured battles that made the best of the Allied forces he commanded.

It is true that the British formations engaged in Op Epsom were inexperienced. This was the baptism of fire for the 15th , 43rd or 53rd infantry divisions and the 11th and Guards Armoured Divisions. About the only eperienced formation was the 4th Armoured Brigade.

However, the overall effect of Op Esom was to engage the German armoured reserves. It may not have been the stated aim of the operation which was stated kin geographical terms. However, at an operational level, the allies were winning all the time that the Germans could not throw them into the sea. Until Epsom, the Germans had some great plans for using the three panzer Corps they had assembled in some offensive operation. Instead they were frittered away in a counter attack against the Scottish corridor. The action on 1st July at Rauray was a slaughter of German armour comparable to Snipe at El Alamein. Whatever the limitations and failings of the British infantry, Epsom was a disaster for German hopes of winning in Normandy.
In reading Buckley books a while back I was struck at how he seemed to pestered by some UK-centric issues and viewpoints , not shared or considered by other camps such as the claim that the German is particuarly great at "close combat".

The truth was more prosaic and simple than these clever seeming theories. It was summer. Long days, short nights. Good for flying. The LW had been removed as an important factor in the campaign. The Allied air forces controlled the roads/lines of communication by day with an incredible amount of fighter-bomber and recon/artillery sorties. They also created highly responsive artillery systems that be ordered from the ground and the air. Both areas were fed by extreme numerical superiority. This created a state of insecurity, paralysis and inefficiency among the far smaller equipped German formations as they had the threat of a high powered artillery strike or fighter attack. The Germans were also devoid of numerical superiority that they needed in the theatre to succeed offensively.

The wounds were self-inflicted to the point where the next great "show" relied on a plan that based on weather conditions to ground the Allied air forces so the ground force could operate more normally. The advance of the 5th Panzer Army in Dec 1944 presented a brief return to the classic ol' German offensive operation.

EPSOM and the subsequent operations were little different from numerous offensives in the war that only produced a shallow penetration. The high CW casualties indicate that they did fight as hard as anyone else. Operationally, they did not achieve anything that the Soviets did not.

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