Kasserine Pass: A Humiliating Defeat

Operation Torch saw Americans troops land in North Africa to take on the Nazi’s best general, Rommel….the problem is that our troops were not ready to meet the likes of the Afrika Corps of the Germans…

One action was America’s worse defeat of World War Two…..Kasserine Pass in Tunisia.

Beware a Desert Fox when he’s cornered.

It was North Africa, in the winter of 1943, and American soldiers were feeling cocky as they prepared for their first ground battle against the Germans in World War II. So far, it hadn’t been a bad war for the U.S. Army. The GIs were well fed, well paid and well equipped, especially compared to their threadbare and envious British allies. Even better, their baptism by fire had been to splash ashore in Algeria and Morocco in November 1942, where the defenders had been unmotivated Vichy French soldiers who soon capitulated.

Maybe defeating Hitler wouldn’t be so hard, after all.

The GIs should have remembered what the British had learned the hard way: never underestimate the Germans. Soon Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, admiringly dubbed the “Desert Fox” by the British, would teach the rookie Americans a lesson on the art of war at a dusty defile called Kasserine Pass.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/kasserine-pass-americas-most-humiliating-defeat-world-war-ii-19574

While America and its allies were successful in beating the Nazis in World War Two….Kasserine Pass was a doubt in the minds of our generals.

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Beirut Barracks Bombing

In 1983 a bomb went off in Beirut and killed US Marines in their barracks……A suicide bomber drives a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack. The U.S. Marines were part of a multinational force sent to Lebanon in August 1982 to oversee the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon. From its inception, the mission was plagued with problems–and a mounting body count.

After the barracks bombing, many questioned whether President Ronald Reagan had a solid policy aim in Lebanon. Serious questions also arose over the quality of security in the American sector of war-torn Beirut. The U.S. peacekeeping force occupied an exposed area near the airport, but for political reasons the marine commander had not been allowed to maintain a completely secure perimeter before the attack. In a national address on October 23, President Reagan vowed to keep the marines in Lebanon, but just four months later he announced the end of the American role in the peacekeeping force. On February 26, 1984, the main force of marines left Lebanon, leaving just a small contingent to guard the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

Now for years people in the admin have been trying to blame Iran for the bombing because the bomber was allegedly a member of Hezbollah, an Iranian backed militia…..but is that the truth?

Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster recently marked the 34th anniversary of the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Their remarks may have comforted the families and honored the sacrifice of the 242 American service members—222 of whom were Marines—who were killed. But both officials presented such a distorted version of the events of that horrible day that, if not corrected, they will cause more harm than good to our national security.

According to Pence and McMaster, the attack on the Marine (and French) barracks was an early version of the attacks of 9/11. In their view, terrorist bombers, aided and abetted by Iran, committed mass murder and inspired Osama bin Laden by attacking U.S. and allied military forces that were simply in Lebanon on a peacekeeping mission. Moreover, the attack demonstrates that their boss, President Trump, was right not to certify the nuclear deal with Iran.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/setting-the-record-straight-the-beirut-barracks-bombing/

AS you can see….there is always more to the story than we get in the news or from our fearless leaders….

How Democracy Dies

There are many predictions on how democracy will die…..back in the 50’s it was creeping communism that would bring the demise…..the problem was it was not creeping at all…..more recently the predictions have been that if it dies then this society will have killed it……

Let us step into the “way back machine” and visit the days of 1830-1831 when a Frenchman was touring the US and made some marvelous insights into America and its democracy…..

If there are two things that one is likely to hear from college faculty today, they are that 1. Students are too careerist, and 2. We need a more democratic society. They worry about the growing utilitarian cast of education in general, as well as the remnants of hierarchy, authority, paternalism, and inequality in today’s society.

What they generally don’t see is the deep underlying connection between these two phenomena. A familiarity with Tocqueville’s essential Democracy in America would prove enlightening.

Tocqueville expresses wonder and awe at the activity of the Americans that he encountered during his visit to the United States in 1830-31. In contrast to the relative complacency of people in their social roles in aristocratic Europe—where no amount of work, effort or activity could move one either from the ranks of the aristocrats to the commoners, or vice-versa—Americans live daily with the awareness that their station in life is one of variability, potential, and fragility. The result was a society that was, by appearances, industrious, but more deeply riven with anxiety. Thus, Tocqueville was moved to call this condition one of “restlessness,” or “inquietude,” the inability to be “quiet” or still or in a state of quiescence.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-democracy-dies/

It is a marvelous book with many insights that de Tocqueville witnessed that are as much today as it was in his day.  I recommend that all Americans read the set for there is much to be learned within its pages.

The Worst Mistake In U.S. History

During the course of our short history we as a country have made some mistakes, especially in our foreign policy.

Most notable is our propensity to enter into wars that are ill advised.  Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, to mention only a few…..

We have also made a few unwise decisions about the course of the country for the “future”…..The Future of Freedom Foundation, a Libertarian think tank, takes a look at one of those decisions….this occurs at the end of World War 2…..

The worst mistake in U.S. history was the conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military. A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of U.S. soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled “What We’re Fighting For” that appeared in……. Continue Reading

Source: The Worst Mistake in U.S. History – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Shaka Zulu

I was surfing through the terrible choice of TV channels looking for something anything that I could watch…..nothing jumped out to me until I came across a documentary on the South African king from the 18th century….Shaka Zulu……

I recall watching this documentary some 20-30 years ago and found it a fascinating look at the history of the British Empire and South Africa….

Shaka was a great Zulu king and conqueror. He lived in an area of south-east Africa between the Drakensberg and the Indian Ocean, a region populated by many independent Nguni chiefdoms. During his brief reign more than a hundred chiefdoms were brought together in a Zulu kingdom which survived not only the death of its founder but later military defeat and calculated attempts to break it up.

Shaka was a son of Senzangakhona, ruler of an insignificant small chiefdom, the Zulu. His mother was Nandi, the daughter of a Langeni chief. Information about Shaka’s early years is gleaned entirely from oral sources. It is claimed that Shaka was born into Senzangakhona’s household but that the couple were not yet married according to traditional custom. A more credible account is that the relationship between Nandi and Senzangakhona was illicit, and that Shaka was born in Langeni territory at the Nguga homestead of Nandi’s uncle. Shaka’s name is said to stem from Senzangakhona’s claim that Nandi was not pregnant but was suffering from an intestinal condition caused by the iShaka beetle. Despite his attempts to deny paternity, Senzangakhona eventually installed Nandi as his third wife. Shaka thus spent his earliest years at his father’s esiKlebeni homestead near present Babanango, in the hallowed locality known as the EmaKhosini or Burial-place of the Kings, where Senzangakhona’s forebears, the descendants of Zulu (Nkosinkulu), had been chiefs for generations. The relationship of Senzangakhona and Nandi seems to have been unhappy and ended in the chieftain driving Nandi from his court.

Source: Shaka Zulu | South African History Online

If one gets the chance to watch this documentary then I suggest you do so…..warning there is a lot of nudity but the historic content is just great.

Operation Torch

What is Operation Torch?

My uncle was part of this…..it was the US and allied landing in North Africa, 1942.

I apologize for I was going to post this on the day it happened, 08 November, but as usual I got sidetracked by medical stuff….

My uncle Bill was part of this landing he was assigned to Big Red One…the US Army’s First Division.

Wednesday, Nov. 8 marks the 75th anniversary of the North Africa landings by Allied forces during World War II. The 1942 landings, which constituted America’s first operation fighting Germans in the European theater, protected assets and territory around the Mediterranean and served as the launching point for the Sicilian and Italian invasions the following year.

What many do not appreciate is that U.S. military guidance at the time advocated against the landings. The joint chiefs were overruled by President Franklin D Roosevelt, who was concerned about the domestic political implications of delaying an invasion after the November congressional elections.  Archival evidence from the Roosevelt Presidential Library, Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s diaries, and oral histories given by Army Chief of Staff George Marshall reveal that domestic political priorities shaped—in fact, drove—the American president’s decision-making about military operations in 1942.

https://warontherocks.com/2017/11/16075/

My uncle fought through North Africa and on to Sicily and onto the Italian mainland…..where he was wounded at Monte Casino  while assigned to 1st Special Service Force…..

I post this in his memory……I miss you Uncle Bill.

Veterans Day 2017

Today we take some time and remember our war veterans…..their sacrifice and their bravery.

Duty–Honor–Courage

As usual I honor my comrades from Vietnam with this Vid on our unit…the 9th Division LRRPs…..50 years ago today I was on my first recon mission into Southern Laos…..LRRP legacy gets lost once they became the Rangers….It is my duty to keep their legacy alive……I never felt like a Ranger……But I will for always be a LRRP……

A bit of music from those years……enjoy…..

 

In closing this is a good article about the Wall in DC….a place we all go to help us heal…….sometimes it works and sometimes it brings back memories long suppressed…

Americans still argue, if perhaps less passionately than in past decades, about the war their country fought in Vietnam. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, though, has been safely outside that argument for many years. For the millions of people who visit it each year and for the country as a whole, the memorial is overwhelmingly accepted as a place to remember the soldiers who fought and mourn those who died — and not a place to continue debating the war.

Source: Remembering Those Who Fell in Vietnam: A Rancorous Birth of a Place of Healing – War on the Rocks

Thanx for your time and your visit…..also take a moment to remember the vets that gave their lives for their country.

Hope everyone has a good day…..I shall return tomorrow….chuq