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(YouTube)   Richard Winters, Commander of Easy Company during World War II, turns 92 today. Here's a clip from "Band of Brothers"   (youtube.com) divider line 249
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7008 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Jan 2010 at 2:14 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-01-21 01:11:50 PM  
Happy Birthday Sir.
 
2010-01-21 01:14:25 PM  
BesiktasBoy83: Ok so my opinion of the best armies in ww2:
1. German
2. England
3. Russia
4. America
5. Australia/Poland
6. Finland
7. Japan
109. Italia ;)


You forgot the only country that had units that made their Day 1 D-Day objective: Canada.
 
2010-01-21 01:21:35 PM  
Jamieboy: Never saw, nor have I ever heard of "Band of Brothers". I have no idea why something like that could have escaped my notice. Just spent a good 3/4 of an hour reading up on Richard Winters and company. Going to get the DVDs of the series by hook or by crook today, along with the book.

I really am shocked that I never heard of this before. I'm sure my Dad (a WWII vet and historian of that era) must have had discussed 'easy company' at one time or another - I just don' remember. God knows he lectured us on everything else having to due with the war, its heroes and criminals.


I'm envious of you.. .you get to watch it for the first time. I've seen the series ~5 times over. Prepare to have your mind blown.
 
2010-01-21 01:23:23 PM  
clusterfrak: In the market garden episode when the Netherlands was liberated, the towns people stripped and shaved the heads of women whom they suspected of collaboration. Whatever happened to these women were they kicked out of their towns, how did they rebuild their lives? This is one of those questions I have always wondered about. It's not like they didn't stick out and I imaganine their community wanted nothing to do with them.

How'd they get by?
1. Buy a wig or wear a head scarf.
2. Peddle your ass to foreign troops who don't know you and as long as you have three holes, could care less about your hair.
3. Once your hair grows out and you have enough cash, go somewhere else and change your name.

It's not like a lot of the women involved didn't have enough practice in carrying out step 2 over the years.
 
2010-01-21 01:35:24 PM  
cynicalbastard: clusterfrak: In the market garden episode when the Netherlands was liberated, the towns people stripped and shaved the heads of women whom they suspected of collaboration. Whatever happened to these women were they kicked out of their towns, how did they rebuild their lives? This is one of those questions I have always wondered about. It's not like they didn't stick out and I imaganine their community wanted nothing to do with them.

How'd they get by?
1. Buy a wig or wear a head scarf.
2. Peddle your ass to foreign troops who don't know you and as long as you have three holes, could care less about your hair.
3. Once your hair grows out and you have enough cash, go somewhere else and change your name.

It's not like a lot of the women involved didn't have enough practice in carrying out step 2 over the years.


I'm sure that their situations were generally more complicated than that.
 
2010-01-21 01:44:57 PM  
Lagaidh: crab66: BesiktasBoy83: Ok so my opinion of the best armies in ww2:
1. German
2. England
3. Russia
4. America
5. Australia/Poland
6. Finland
7. Japan
109. Italia ;)

#1 goes to the guys who lost.


Nice list.

In war the best army (or military) is not guaranteed a victory, re: Vietnam.

I think the list goes
1. Germany
2. Russia
3. England combined with Indian units
4. Japan
5. North America (Canada & U.S.)

Both Germany and Japan's militaries astound me. It always messes with my mind how quickly Japan went from a medieval, feudal nation to a modernly industrialized nation over the 19th and 20th centuries.


Japan shouldn't get such high marks. Their signals intelligence was worse than any of the major combatants. They were fighting a modern war with modern equipment, but a feudal mindset. SIGINT appeared to be an afterthought, something they did because everyone else did it, but they didn't put any real resources into it, which is the *REAL* reason that the Navajo codetalkers were so successful.

Had Japan really tried, they could have broken it relatively easily. They had a native speaker who was captured, Joe Kieyoomia, from whom they could have built up a dictionary, and once you have that the actual code used would have fallen pretty quickly ("Tortoise" for tank? "Iron fish" for submarine? Puhleeze).

On top of that, they didn't even know how to break the low-level strip ciphers in use by the US Navy, even though they captured examples and the general method for solving them (along with the cryptographically identical wheel ciphers) had been first published in 1893.
 
2010-01-21 01:52:23 PM  
Lagaidh: In war the best army (or military) is not guaranteed a victory

Don't forget that manufacturing and logistical capability are huge parts of this algorithm as well. The Sherman was an inferior tank to all the German models, but we overwhelmed them with numbers. The Russians did this to them as well. And the Germans severely overstretched their supply lines (especially on the Eastern front).

This same principle is alive and well today. The US is able to project power exponentially better than any other country, thus we are the global power.

Remember the old quote: amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics.
 
2010-01-21 02:18:43 PM  
Best Dick Winters line:[Going into Battle of the Bulge]

Soldier: You are going to be surrounded.

Winters: We are Airborne. We are suposed to be surrounded.
 
2010-01-21 02:19:19 PM  
dirtybopper

I'm going to call that a factalanche and stand corrected.

Tartan69

Oh I agree completely. I've always felt that is why America had its level of success in WWII. It was sheer production.

I was watching one special on the WWII channel (History/History Intl) and I can't remember which high ranking Nazi commented at the US's ability to produce regarding the Sherman tank; he lamented that the war was lost (years before it did for Germany).

Maybe it was Hess. I can't recall.
 
2010-01-21 02:27:03 PM  
PacManDreaming: Staffist: Is this on cable? Because I don't get it and I don't speak european.

And I've never seen 'The Wire' either.

Seriously.

Sincerely,

Demi-Troll

You've never seen Band of Brothers before? You don't know what you're missing.

Here's a clip of when Major Winters led the attack on Brecourt Manor to take out the German artillery that was firing down on Utah Beach. (^)(NSFW language)

And here's a Wiki of the details of the "Brecourt Manor Assault". (^)


That's really what should have been linked. Not this part that I can't remember that doesn't seem to have much to with Dick.
 
2010-01-21 02:34:33 PM  
shinji3i: bulldg4life: Why he doesn't have a medal of honor is beyond me

He was reccomended for it for the capturing of the guns outside of Carentan but it was downgraded to a distinguished service cross. There was rule in effect that during Overlord only two MOH were allowed to be handed out per division. One of them went to a private the other went to a colonel that led a bayonet charge. But for a guy like him, $20 says he wouldve preferred to get nothing and give the cross to anybody else that was with him on the assault. And thats why he is a classy dude.


If I recall correctly from Ambrose's book, part of the reason he didn't get it was that he downplayed his awesomeness when recounting the assault on the guns for the army historian. He basically stuck to "first we went here, then we shot those guys, then we went there and shot those guys, then over there, more of the same, and then we left." As a result, the report really didn't convey what he and his men had really done, and thus the medal went elsewhere.

/this guy is a total badass
 
2010-01-21 02:41:06 PM  
Skip Muck on the right, Winters in back facing camera.

www.heroesforever.nl
 
2010-01-21 02:51:02 PM  
Come on, Congress. Do the right thing before it's too late.

www.rtcol.com

Happy Birthday, Sir!

CURRAHEE!
 
2010-01-21 02:55:02 PM  
tulax: shinji3i: bulldg4life: Why he doesn't have a medal of honor is beyond me

He was reccomended for it for the capturing of the guns outside of Carentan but it was downgraded to a distinguished service cross. There was rule in effect that during Overlord only two MOH were allowed to be handed out per division. One of them went to a private the other went to a colonel that led a bayonet charge. But for a guy like him, $20 says he wouldve preferred to get nothing and give the cross to anybody else that was with him on the assault. And thats why he is a classy dude.

If I recall correctly from Ambrose's book, part of the reason he didn't get it was that he downplayed his awesomeness when recounting the assault on the guns for the army historian. He basically stuck to "first we went here, then we shot those guys, then we went there and shot those guys, then over there, more of the same, and then we left." As a result, the report really didn't convey what he and his men had really done, and thus the medal went elsewhere.

/this guy is a total badass


I think the truth is in both of these posts. There was a limit to one MoH per Division for the Normady campaign. (stupid from my view as some divisions might have had multiple nominations worthy, while other divisions might have had none) Winters also had a habit of writing after action reports in a manner that detailed everyone's contributions. (this is brought up in the series when nixon tells Witers to be general and use 'we' a lot as he is typing is report for the fight along the dike in the episode Crossroads) Once LTC Cole (new window)won his MoH for his bayonet charge through the hedgerow, there wasn't one availible for the Brecourt assault so it was downgraded to a DSC. At least that's the way I've read and understood it over the years.

Winters' reports did get everyone involved in the initial assault at Brecourt decorated, though:

Distinguished Service Cross:
Richard Winters

Silver Star:
Lynn Compton, William Guarnere, Gerald Lorraine

Bronze Star:
Carwood Lipton, Robert Wynn, Cleveland Petty, Walter Hendrix, Donald Malarkey, Myron Ranney, Joseph Liebgott, John Plesha, Joe Toye
 
2010-01-21 02:59:12 PM  
*chest bump*
 
2010-01-21 03:02:03 PM  
Don't miss The Pacific, when it premieres in March!
 
2010-01-21 03:11:58 PM  
ProdigalSigh: Oakenhelm: Don't fark with Finland

I was going to point this out too, a lot of troops from a given country were brave and did heroic things, while the Fins, as a race, were/are basically killer robots from the frozen wastes.


You don't fark with Norsemen.
 
2010-01-21 03:14:45 PM  
Occam's Chainsaw: bulldg4life: Why he doesn't have a medal of honor is beyond me

Because quite frankly, you'd have to issue a Medal to just about every man in the 82nd and 101st Airborne. The sh*t they did over the course of WW2... f*cking unreal.

/Still can't re-watch "Why We Fight".
//Wept like a baby the first time around.


My deepest best wishes to Major Winters. I had relatives liberated by Easy Company at Kaufering. As a result most of the men in my family have gone on to serve in the military. My dad and some of my uncles have left prayers for the men of Easy at the Western Wall (Wailing Wall).
 
2010-01-21 03:26:26 PM  
SpeckledJim: Shifty

Shifty was my favorite.

Curse of the Goth Kids: Finns

Especially not the White Death. Using a standard iron-sighted, bolt action rifle in the Winter War, he has the highest recorded number of confirmed kills in any major war.
 
2010-01-21 03:45:27 PM  
Strange, I am re-reading Biggest Brother for the third time, and I see this link. If you haven't read that book yet, I would highly recommend it to you all. Winters is the true embodiment of what makes a great leader. And about the medal of honor.... Sink actually recommended Winters to receive it, for his actions on taking out the AA guns on their first day there; however, Winters was rejected because they were only allowed to give out one medal of honor for the 101st. It was given to Cole, and Winters was downgraded to the distinguished service cross.
 
2010-01-21 03:50:39 PM  
Lagaidh: dirtybopper

I'm going to call that a factalanche and stand corrected.


Don't feel bad: Most people don't have a clue when it comes to SIGINT. I used to be in that business, and the history of it is interesting to me, so I have this swirling mass of knowledge in my brain. It's like the movie Videodrome, only with Morse code instead of snuff tv.
 
2010-01-21 03:58:53 PM  
God bless Dick Winters, and all the men of Easy Co. And..all others who served then, and now, and anytime else. This was a great and terrible time in history, and everyone, including children, should watch "Band of Brothers" and other movies based on Historical events. In a small way, for perhaps just a moment, by watching a movie such as this, you give a small tribute to the men and women who paid such a high cost to see that you live as you do today. Is it too much to ask?
 
2010-01-21 04:07:51 PM  
Dick Winters and Lewis Nixon
flightlinefabrications.com
 
2010-01-21 04:18:10 PM  
Kygz: SpeckledJim: Shifty

Shifty was my favorite.


From what I understand, he was the only one in the company to make it through the whole thing with no combat injuries - kind of incredible in a company with 150% casualties. He actually felt guilty about it.
 
2010-01-21 04:35:02 PM  
SpeckledJim: Kygz: SpeckledJim: Shifty

Shifty was my favorite.

From what I understand, he was the only one in the company to make it through the whole thing with no combat injuries - kind of incredible in a company with 150% casualties. He actually felt guilty about it.


Yeah, spend 10 months fighting his way across europe with hardly a scratch then gets into a truck accident and spends months in the hospital before he gets to return home.

Oh, and the fact that they rigged the lottery for him to be the one sent back home without enough points speaks volumes for the type of guy Shifty must have been...
 
2010-01-21 04:48:21 PM  
dittybopper:

Japan shouldn't get such high marks. Their signals intelligence was worse than any of the major combatants. They were fighting a modern war with modern equipment, but a feudal mindset.


Japan BEGAN the war with modern weapons but the weapons they were using to defend Okinowa in '44 were the same designs that they invaded Manchuria with in '33. Noone else had that kind of tech stagnation
 
2010-01-21 04:54:56 PM  
Today is also my mom's birthday. She is a badass as well. Bless 'em both.
 
2010-01-21 05:00:06 PM  
I love my country. I love the men and women who fight. I had a brief chance to serve with them and it's a feeling you will never forget. Thank you for your service Major Winters, you and your fellow troopers will NEVER be forgotten by the patriots who follow in your powerful wake.

/U.S.A.!!!!!
 
2010-01-21 05:10:30 PM  
dittybopper: Japan shouldn't get such high marks. Their signals intelligence was worse than any of the major combatants.

Well, that's also due to the genius of Lawrence P. Waterhouse. Oh, and Bobby Shaftoe helped too.

(Yes. I'm kidding. Have I told you about the giant lizard?)

Count me as geeked for The Pacific as well. I think I read that Chesty Puller is going to be a character? Hella cool.
 
2010-01-21 05:35:59 PM  
dudemanbro: Demon of the Fall: That's awesome.

The funny part is that the old fart is still alive. If anyone should be dead it's him but he just keeps on...
/hanging out at the Eagles lodge, mostly


That's because Death is too much of a pussy to fark with him.
 
2010-01-21 06:33:43 PM  
While this guy inspires me to no end and is a true American hero, I don't think he deserves a medal of honor. He's received (and deserves) tons of decorations for what he's done. I'm sure given the opportunity and right circumstances he would have definitely earned one, but according to everything I've heard about him he hasn't yet.
 
2010-01-21 06:42:01 PM  
/Salute
 
2010-01-21 07:00:53 PM  
One Bad Apple: dittybopper:

Japan shouldn't get such high marks. Their signals intelligence was worse than any of the major combatants. They were fighting a modern war with modern equipment, but a feudal mindset.

Japan BEGAN the war with modern weapons but the weapons they were using to defend Okinowa in '44 were the same designs that they invaded Manchuria with in '33. Noone else had that kind of tech stagnation


Not quite true. At the start of the Pacific War in 1941, they had arguably the best carrier fleet, best surface ships and carrier aircraft in existence, coupled with some pretty awesome weapons- the Long Lance torpedo comes to mind here. They continued to upgrade their aircraft, some models being equal to just about any Allied aircraft right till the end of the war.
But with their supply lines vulnerable and overextended, coupled with a masterstroke of strategy by the American submarine fleet, their ability to produce new equipment or even service the equipment they had was severely compromised. And once heavy bombing of the Japanese mainland started, the situation went from bad to worse.
This, coupled with the lowered training standards for soldiers, sailors and airmen due to losses basically ensured Japanese defeat in the long run. Kamikaze tactics were not developed because they had no more bomber aircraft- it was simply easier for a semi-trained pilot to aim his whole aircraft at a target than try to bomb it. And because of losses of Japanese airmen and shortages of fuel, that was pretty much all they could turn out- half-trained pilots. You had a few very good pilots left, and many very bad ones.
 
2010-01-21 07:08:46 PM  
rico567: Occam's Chainsaw: Airbus-Driver: Everyone who makes a statement like "Soandso is Hitler!" or "Soandso is a nazi!" should be required to watch "Why We Fight". Not because Soandso is not a deplorable example of a human being or a facist, but because it makes people forget what Hitler and the Nazis really did. When "Nazi" means someone who commits some relatively minor offense against personal freedom, what becomes of the real Nazis?

The inverse of that sentiment: when someone is behaving in a manner reminiscent of (or identical to) the Nazis, calling them out on it is not a Godwin. The demonization of the Nazis as the ultimate bad guys of all time ever is almost as bad as apologism. The lesson that we should take away from that time period is that perfectly normal people can be lead into horrific things under the right circumstances.

Part of the reason I suppose I've always been fascinated by WWII is the speculation about "-how in the world could a miserable little paperhanger do that?" (although I suppose being born in '44 and growing up in the aftermath of the war and the long shadow of my father the Marine helped). Your theory is a popular one. Unfortunately, it boils down to either proposing some sort of Hitlerian hypnotism or a lack of free will, and I can's subscribe to either.

/Evil exists.


I recommend you watch Downfall.
Hitler may have been a monster, but he was far from being either a fool or a coward. He was incredibly could at assessing just how to appeal to people, and one German officer said "He had the ability, while talking to you, of making you feel as though you were the most important person in the world- after him, of course."
 
2010-01-21 07:48:56 PM  
I can't possibly add to much to this thread that's not already been said, but I'll just add my two cents and wish Major Winters a Happy Birthday and thank him for his bravery and service to his country.

I'm a big fan of BoB, and too am waiting the series on the Pacific. My father was a WWII vet (died in 1977) and he didn't talk too much about his experiences fighting the Japs.

But once I asked him while we were studying WWII I asked him about D-Day in Europe and he said he was part of the island hopping invasions in the Pacific and they did MANY D-day type invasions storming beaches and stuff and he luckily came out of it unscathed.

His closest call he said was one night he spent in a fox hole and when when he awoke the guy next to him was shot dead, a sniper had gotten him during the night.

I also had an uncle serve under Patton and took part in the Bulge. He said it was the most miserable time of his life and he never thought he'd make it out alive.
 
2010-01-21 08:52:44 PM  
Some Phule: : Comparing Band of Brothers with actual history is kinda dumb, look at it as fiction.

Hmm, so the personal accounts of soldiers who witnessed these historical events as they unfolded are not history?
 
2010-01-21 09:05:22 PM  
Oakenhelm: BesiktasBoy83: Ok so my opinion of the best armies in ww2:
1. German
2. England
3. Russia
4. America
5. Australia/Poland
6. Finland
7. Japan
109. Italia ;)

Finland should be way higher on that list. Stats for the Winter War between Finland and the USSR

Finnish dead and wounded: ~70,000
Soviet dead and wounded: ~ 400,000


Dang, yo

Source: Link


But Finland ultimately lost to the Soviets.
 
2010-01-21 09:23:27 PM  
Shrinkwrap: Looks awesome out there.

I'm in IT.

And yes, it's awesome out here.
 
2010-01-21 10:22:45 PM  
from one (very humble) Major to another (very badass) Major: Happy Birthday, Sir!
 
2010-01-22 12:19:22 AM  
Happy Birthday, Maj. Winters. You are an amazing human being. Your contributions during and after WWII are immeasurable. Thank you is not enough.

Not only do I love BoB...but I have often thought to myself....I'd happily marry any one of the men in Easy. (But I sure as hell favored Maj.Winters ;)) They were MEN...good, honorable, humble, hard-working men. They weren't without flaws (which BoB did show, somewhat)...but still...they don't seem to make them like that anymore.
 
2010-01-22 01:11:40 AM  
On the other hand, all the vets weren't such admirable characters in person. I can recall as a young pup down at the Reading Airshow listening to a decorated vet of both the North African campaign and Normandy, who'd had a couple belts too many at the local VFW tell me straight out "The reason we kicked ass is we didn't get stuck in the same units as a bunch of coloreds, that's why they kept us runnin' around in circles in Vietnam," and bear in mind the guy was talking to a teenaged kid who thought WW2 vets could do no wrong, both parents falling into that category.
 
2010-01-22 05:13:31 AM  
Mock26: Oakenhelm: BesiktasBoy83: Ok so my opinion of the best armies in ww2:
1. German
2. England
3. Russia
4. America
5. Australia/Poland
6. Finland
7. Japan
109. Italia ;)

Finland should be way higher on that list. Stats for the Winter War between Finland and the USSR

Finnish dead and wounded: ~70,000
Soviet dead and wounded: ~ 400,000


Dang, yo

Source: Link

But Finland ultimately lost to the Soviets.


Yep...that's right. We retained our independance and more or less all of our territory. Sound's like a loss to me....it's not always about who "wins", it's who wins what. You could say that the USSR ultimately lost as well.
 
2010-01-22 08:52:55 AM  
They weren't without flaws (which BoB did show, somewhat)...but still...they don't seem to make them like that anymore.

Sometimes I think the way I'm raising my kids is too old fashioned and strict. But if the end result causes them to exhibit any of those qualities, then I think it's worth it.

/I taught my boys to hold a door for a lady
//which seems to confuse the hell out of the ladies
 
2010-01-22 09:40:54 AM  
cynicalbastard: One Bad Apple: dittybopper:

Japan shouldn't get such high marks. Their signals intelligence was worse than any of the major combatants. They were fighting a modern war with modern equipment, but a feudal mindset.

Japan BEGAN the war with modern weapons but the weapons they were using to defend Okinowa in '44 were the same designs that they invaded Manchuria with in '33. Noone else had that kind of tech stagnation

Not quite true. At the start of the Pacific War in 1941, they had arguably the best carrier fleet, best surface ships and carrier aircraft in existence, coupled with some pretty awesome weapons- the Long Lance torpedo comes to mind here. They continued to upgrade their aircraft, some models being equal to just about any Allied aircraft right till the end of the war.
But with their supply lines vulnerable and overextended, coupled with a masterstroke of strategy by the American submarine fleet, their ability to produce new equipment or even service the equipment they had was severely compromised. And once heavy bombing of the Japanese mainland started, the situation went from bad to worse.
This, coupled with the lowered training standards for soldiers, sailors and airmen due to losses basically ensured Japanese defeat in the long run. Kamikaze tactics were not developed because they had no more bomber aircraft- it was simply easier for a semi-trained pilot to aim his whole aircraft at a target than try to bomb it. And because of losses of Japanese airmen and shortages of fuel, that was pretty much all they could turn out- half-trained pilots. You had a few very good pilots left, and many very bad ones.


That master stroke of the US Submarine fleet was largely due to the fact that we could "read their mail", ie., we had effectively broken all of their codes and ciphers, and could place our relatively limited number of submarines where they were most effective.

Had they been able to break into our (mainly) ciphers, or if they had been able to secure their communications against us, we would have been much less effective. This happened to the Germans: Once the Allies broke the Naval Enigma, they recognized that the Germans were reading the codes used to route merchant shipping, and they then changed them (after a lag to make up a new code, of course). This caused a significant drop in the number of ships in convoy from being sunk, because the Germans didn't know where they were from reading the radio traffic, and thus had to search for them.

Admiral Doenitz didn't seem to notice this, or if he did he didn't see it as a big setback at first because Germany had just declared war on the US and his u-boats were having an easy time sinking ships off the US coast. The effect of that was that the metric he reported to his superiors, number of ships sunk, didn't decrease (at first), and in fact actually rose somewhat.

If the Japanese had been able to do the same to the Allies, shutting us out of their communications, we would have had a *MUCH* harder time in the Pacific. As it was, knowing where they were strong and where they were weak allowed us to bypass their strong garrisons and let them "wither on the vine", while advancing where they were weak. It also allowed us to know when and where their merchant shipping was routed, so we could effectively target them, hastening the downfall of both Japan itself, and it's far-flung and isolated garrisons.
 
2010-01-22 12:13:03 PM  
dittybopper:
That master stroke of the US Submarine fleet was largely due to the fact that we could "read their mail", ie., we had effectively broken all of their codes and ciphers, and could place our relatively limited number of submarines where they were most effective.

Hey, just because it seems in retrospect to have been an obvious step to take doesn't mean it wasn't, by WW2 standards, brilliant. There was one historian who said that between 1941 and 1943, WW2 appeared to be a war that both sides were doing their best to lose.
 
2010-01-22 02:36:01 PM  
cynicalbastard: dittybopper:
That master stroke of the US Submarine fleet was largely due to the fact that we could "read their mail", ie., we had effectively broken all of their codes and ciphers, and could place our relatively limited number of submarines where they were most effective.

Hey, just because it seems in retrospect to have been an obvious step to take doesn't mean it wasn't, by WW2 standards, brilliant. There was one historian who said that between 1941 and 1943, WW2 appeared to be a war that both sides were doing their best to lose.


It was brilliant, but it wasn't unprecedented: Signals Intelligence had been widely exploited in WWI, notably by the Royal Navy against the German Navy, and perhaps most dramatically by the Germans against much larger Russian forces at the Battle of Tannenberg.

It was actually the product of British signals intelligence that brought the US into WWI: Despite what you read about the Lusitania sinking and various other depredations by Germany's u-boats, the real cause of the US entering the war was the Zimmermann telegram.

By the time WWII rolled around, the US, the UK, and Germany had top-notch SIGINT organizations (though Germany's was too fractured). Italy made some notable victories in the aether also, especially by spoofing the Yugoslavs into retreating.

Japan, however, seemed to basically flounder. I don't know if it's because their experience all through the 1930's against China convinced them it wasn't necessary or important, or if their general attitude bias towards taking the offensive made them biased against SIGINT which is sometimes erroneously viewed as a largely defensive measure.

Whatever the reason, they largely lost the war in the Pacific based upon their lack of SIGINT ability compared to the US. Think of the implications for the conduct of the war had Japan invaded Port Moresby, then Midway Island. That would have largely opened up Pearl Harbor for invasion, or at least further attacks to prevent it's use. We'd have had to largely operate from the West Coast, a daunting task even if you have numerical superiority.
 
2010-01-22 07:08:32 PM  
Winters was a great leader. I didn't view Band of Brothers as a "heroes" story - I viewed it as a great example of how to lead people.

It would make a great leadership seminar to dissect his best qualities and share them. He tried doing it in his own book, to some effect. Malarkey has a leadership seminar that he runs (ran), and alot of it revolves around Easy Company.

Frankly, this man is a a natural leader, a pure visionary in human relations. His men loved being with him and were willing to put THEIR lives on the line because he put HIS life on the line.
If you want people to do something, you have to inspire and incentivize them. Winters, lacking great incentive, provided great inspiration, and his life AFTER the war was even more inspiring, in my estimation.

A GREAT AMERICAN, through and through, unlike those lousy crapmeisters down in Washington DC who tell us they are OUR leaders! FARK THEM, give me Winters!
 
2010-01-22 08:55:29 PM  
Bass O Matic: At the end of the series or one of the episodes (I can't remember which) Maj Winters is talking about his experiences and whatnot. He recalls his grandson asking him if he was a hero in the war and he responds, "No, but I served in the company of heroes."

Thank you, Sir. And yes, I wept like a child after hearing those words.

/BASEBALL
//FOOTBALL
///TRUCKS
////REAL MEN DON'T CRY
//or something like that


I did too. I can't help myself on that line.
 
2010-01-23 07:16:35 PM  
dittybopper: Japan, however, seemed to basically flounder. I don't know if it's because their experience all through the 1930's against China convinced them it wasn't necessary or important, or if their general attitude bias towards taking the offensive made them biased against SIGINT which is sometimes erroneously viewed as a largely defensive measure.

Whatever the reason, they largely lost the war in the Pacific based upon their lack of SIGINT ability compared to the US. Think of the implications for the conduct of the war had Japan invaded Port Moresby, then Midway Island. That would have largely opened up Pearl Harbor for invasion, or at least further attacks to prevent it's use. We'd have had to largely operate from the West Coast, a daunting task even if you have numerical superiority


They would have lasted longer with better codes and codebreaking, but the US fought the first 2 years of war with one hand behind it's back, as almost all resources besides the submarines and USMC were committed to Europe. Codes or no codes, Japan thought they started the war with 18 months of fuel for the Imperial Navy, and woefully underestimated the consumption rate. Bad codes made them completely defensive by late 1942, but it would have happened by the end of 1943 regardless.

Of course whole books have been written about the ways Japan made bad choices, never addressed certain vulnerabilities, etc. They had nowhere near enough shipping, it took them far too long to train replacement pilots, their army seldom adjusted tactics and stuck with plans far too long, their navy focused on defeating warships instead of shipping, and innumerable other deficiencies that made the whole war against the US a bad idea. Of course, SIGINT deficiencies make any problem worse, because the enemy knows where to hit you.
 
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