A General’s Hara-Kiri on Okinawa (1945)

(1)  The following is a report of an interrogation of a PW captured by the 7th Division : The following story of the death of Lt Gen USHIJIMA is based on an eye witness account by his cook, TETSUO NAKAMUTA, a civilian laborer conscripted in HAKTA, FUKUOKA PREFECTURE, Japan; and sent to OKINAWA as personal cook for General USHIJIMA on January 18, 1945.  The story is corroborated in detail by HACHIRO MIZOSHIMA, a civilian movie projectionist in the headquarters.  When the movie equipment was destroyed during a shelling he was employed as an orderly.  He was present at the time…
Continue Reading »
VN

“Tactical Victory, Strategic Defeat” (Vietnam)

One of the most frustrating aspects of the Vietnam war from the Army's point of view is that as far as logistics and tactics were concerned we succeeded in everything we set out to do.  At the height of the war the Army was able to move almost a million soldiers a year in and out of Vietnam, feed them, clothe them, house them, supply them with arms and ammunition, and generally sustain them better than any Army had ever been sustained in the field.  To project an Army of that size halfway around the world was a logistics and…
Continue Reading »

How to Clear a House (Vietnam, 1968)

h.  The assault party is divided into 2 groups, the searching party and the covering party. The covering party protects and aids the advance of the searching party. The searching party provides covering fires and protection for the covering party as it displaces. The searching party enters and clears all buildings that the unit is responsible for clearing. i.  Prior to entering buildings or rooms of buildings, which are believed to contain enemy, a grenade is thrown in a window or door or some other opening in the building. j.  A searching team is normally composed of at least two…
Continue Reading »

Soviet Hearts&Minds in Afghanistan (1988)

The Soviet army’s fixation with large-scale military operations during the war proved completely unproductive and did little to further Soviet war aims. Rarely did the 40th Army or the Afghan army hold terrain after clear­ing it of anti-government forces. In 1986, the commander of the Soviet armed forces told the Politburo that, “There is no single piece of land in this country which has not been occupied by a Soviet soldier. Nevertheless, the majority of the territory remains in the hands of the rebels . . . There is no single military problem that has arisen and that has not…
Continue Reading »

Reading a Gentleman’s Mail (Philippines, 1898)

To the President of the Rev. Govt. , Malolos, from Cailles, Pineda, Sept. 15, 1898, 5 :  I inform your excellency that I have complied faithfully with your orders.  The outgoing force was grand.  I am at the head of a column of 1,800 men, almost all uniformed, three bands of music; left Singalong for Ermita, going through the San Luis paddy fields to the Puerta Real, Manila.  As we came to the Luneta from Calle Real, Ermita, Americans and natives fell in behind, yelling "Viva Filipinos, Viva Emilio Aguinaldo."  We answered "Viva America, Viva la Libertad."  The Americans presented…
Continue Reading »

Coup and Counter-Counter-Coup (1963)

Returning from the Army Command and General Staff College in the summer of 1957, I had the privilege to begin a close professional association with President Diem that lasted for nearly three saw first hand the strong talent for leadership President Diem exhibited, his great concern for the people of Vietnam, and the earnest efforts he made on behalf of security for the country. I came also to appreciate the brilliance of Mr. Nhu, the President's brother.  He was an innovative thinker - not a real leader as was Diem - but a man of ideas.  The President would sign…
Continue Reading »

The Duke Counts his Beans (1812)

Gentlemen, Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.  We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds me accountable.  I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer.  Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.…
Continue Reading »

“Attack!” (the Soviet way) (1943)

From a radio talk to Red Army men at Stalingrad by Lieutenant General V. I. Chuikov, Commander, 62nd Soviet Army: LET YOUR attack be a headlong one.  Get to the enemy in one leap.  In open spaces where the enemy is target-firing, you must make short runs singly, jump up in a trice and forward like an arrow.  It is important to give the Germans no time to take aim; run for two or three seconds and then drop like a stone to the ground.  Crawl unnoticed from the spot where you dropped, to the side, and when you get…
Continue Reading »
More war stories

The Joys of Camp Life in ’62

One day a man with very strong anti-Union sentiments was caught putting a villainous compound into the spring from whence the regiment obtained drinking-water.  On being remonstrated with, he said he meant to poison the – Yankees! After shaving his head and applying molasses and flour, the men amused themselves by chasing the poor wretch back across the bridge into Washington. “A stalwart female," says Lieutenant Bemis, "…dressed in gaudy attire, with rounded skirts, made frequent trips from Georgetown to our camp across the Aqueduct bridge.  She was allowed to pass several times unmolested, when a suspicion arose that there…
Continue Reading »
WW1

That’s Why He’s Called a “Foot” Soldier (1914)

In the early morning of September 7, we had a very short march into a wood near Artonges.  Here we saw something which was not agreeable to see; many supply wagons returning hastily and in bad condition.  The drivers told us about a retreat of our troops, about heavy casualties, about a defeat, etc.  We were anxious about the battle, which we could only hear, but not see. About 8 o'clock AM, we marched to Villemoyenne and began digging in there, our front to the west.  We could not understand this situation because to date we had been driving the…
Continue Reading »

“If Japan and America Fight” (1921)

By looking at the American army, one will come to the  conclusion that, in point of discipline and skill in the art of war, the Americans are the worst of all nationalities.  Referring to the American forces who participated in the recent war , the eye-witnesses tell us that the Americans have not made much progress for improvement .  Moreover, the method of command adopted by the American officers is infantile compared with that of the Japanese army.  I have no hesitation in saying that even if the American army were superior in number to our army, we need not…
Continue Reading »

Kamikaze Special Attack Force (1944)

The KAMIKAZE Special Attack Force Makes a Sortie Imperial Headquarters Naval Information Deparment ...And so, you who strive day and night on the ramparts of production behind the guns must remember that even one plane more is a sacred plane which rushes to destroy the enemy, when that one plane has aboard the sacred spirit of a member of the KAMIKAZE Force.  The young eagles of the KAMIKAZE Special Attack force who dare to dash headlong and happily to the destruction of the enemy are waiting anxiously for that plane to fly to the front lines, saying to  themselves, I…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

Veterans Day for Just One American Hero

I love marching bands and parades but I don’t go all soppy on Veterans Day remembering our fallen heroes.  That is because Veterans Day is the one day I don’t  think about them.  Sounds odd, doesn’t it?  Instead, it is the day I reserve for a private thanksgiving for what those men and women have given us – our country, safe and whole.  That makes it a second Fourth of July for me, one more day each year on which I feel especially good and very proud.  It’s also the one day of the year I don’t think about one…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

World War II Ended Again Today

Just had a message from Germany saying an old friend died today, aged 85. His death marks another ending to the world’s greatest and most terrible war. He used to tell a terrific story about the comic horror of his own brief wartime experience. His story says a lot about the terrifying question that war asks each of us. I want to tell it to you. Nearly at the war’s end, his entire school class of fourteen-year old boys was hauled before a visiting Wehrmacht recruiting officer to be drafted into the Hitler Youth. They were to be armed and…
Continue Reading »

Letter to a Soldier (1863)

MARSHALL, MADISON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA July 20, 1863. REVIS: DEAR HUSBAND: I seat myself to drop you a few lines to let you know that me and Sally is well as common, and I hope these few lines will come to hand and find you well and doing well. I have no news to write to you at this, only I am done laying by my corn. I worked it all four times. My wheat is good; my oats is good. I haven’t got my wheat stacked yet. My oats I have got part of them cut, and Tom Hunter…
Continue Reading »

Today is June 6 and So What?

It’s June 6 and no one’s noticed. I see nothing about the date in newspapers or on TV or the net. Seventy-one years ago this day marked the beginning of the end of the colossal world war against fascism and imperialism, the Second World War. We Americans fought in that war beside Allies who, like us, knew that to lose the war was to lose everything we had and maybe everything we hoped for ourselves. We fought for our lives against two gigantic evils, fascism in Europe and imperialism in the Pacific. Against enemies who were better prepared for war,…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

The Vanishing War

I've heard it said that every war fades from memory until a soldier is left with just a few highlights to recall, and those strangely happy.  I think, instead, it's the souvenirs we lose that make a war vanish.  Until the only remaining physical marker of a war is you and me.  Then we die and take war's memory with us, and what ought to be remembered and told to others vanishes with us. We, you and I, ought to do better than that. The first souvenir I lost after coming home from Vietnam was a 20 piastre piece.  You…
Continue Reading »

The Soldier as Pack Animal (1907)

Excepting the knapsack, which is too rigid, the equipments are generally good, but the necessity for adding a heavy pair of shoes to the already weighty load carried by the infantryman is not seen.  The inconveniences caused by an occasaional broken shoe are of infinitely less importance than those resulting frm loading hundreds of men with unnecessary weight.  It should be the duty of the supply and transport departments, or, in our service, of the Quartermaster Department, to provide the shoes when needed.  The weight to be placed on our men deserves the most careful consideration, espeically as modern battle…
Continue Reading »
WW1

Assigning the American Combat Zone (1917)

The eventual place the American Army should take on the western front was to a large extent influenced by the vital questions of communications and supplies.  The northern ports of France were crowded by the British Army's shipping and supplies, while the southern ports, though otherwise at our service, had not adequate port facilities for our purposes, and these we should have to build.   The already overtaxed railway system behind the active front in northern France would not be available for us as lines of supply, and those leading from the southern ports to northeastern France would be unequal to…
Continue Reading »
WW2

POW Postscripts (1944)

Dorothy Parker, Portland, Oregon (General George )  We quote:  "Again, I want to do some reporting for your splendid little paper which is bringing so much information and cheer to all of us.  I have received two broadcasts from the Tokyo radio comforting part of these two broadcasts is that George has received four letters from me and my cable of February 1943.  These messages were read by a Japanese woman announcer and gave George's serial number, which is the first time that has ever been done.  It all sounded authentic but of course one never really use messages as…
Continue Reading »
WW2

The Well-Dressed Airman (1945)

Pacific Ocean Area CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT   ...It will be found that "travel light" is a good rule for AAF personnel.  (Such items as steel helmets, weapons and gas masks will not, of course, be discarded to apply this rule.)  Climatic dampness causes clothing to mould rapidly and extra items should be aired frequently.  A few coat hangers are useful for this purpose. 3.  DESIRABLE ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT: a.  All Personnel: Raincoat, House slippers, Cigarette lighter, Swimming trunks, Bath clogs (a must), Talcum powder, Mirror, Nail clippers or file, Fountain pen and pencil, Sewing kit, Short wave radio, Extra insignia,…
Continue Reading »
WW2

Getting Artillery Right (1944)

It is unnecessary to tell an experienced foot-slogging dog-face how important artillery support is to him when he needs it.  When he runs up against a Jerry strongpoint that is too tough to crack with infantry weapons the proper thing to do is yell for artillery.  He's got to be sure, however, that the target he sees is worth tossing a lot of cannonballs at because cannonballs are the only reserve the artillery has and they cost sweat and blood.  A single Heinie sunning himself on an Eyetie mule and cart is not worth an artillery concentration.  There will most…
Continue Reading »
VN

Moving Out!

Here’s one of those great photos some of us were too chicken to snap when the RPGs came whizzing over the foxhole, and forget about being up there running around with cans of ammo: "MOVING OUT—Lance Cpl T. J. Gledhill dashes from position to position, passing out ammunition to his men during an enemy attack at Fire Support Base Russell. Gledhill is a squad leader in the 1st Bn., Fourth Marines. (Official USMC Photo by Cpl. J. G. McCullough)." Source:  Force Information Office, III Marine Amphibious Force, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (undated, probably 1968).
Continue Reading »
WW1

De-gassing the Trenches (1918)

METHOD OF USING CANVAS TRENCH FANS 86. (a) CLEARING fan blade is placed on the ground with the brace side downwards, the man using it being in a slightly crouching position with the left foot advanced, the right hand grasping the handle at the neck and the left hand near the butt end.  The fan is brought up quickly over the right shoulder, and then smartly flicked to the ground.  This drives a current of air along the earth and, on the top strokes, throws the gas out of the trench.  The part of the fan blade nearest the handle…
Continue Reading »
More war stories

“Parachute Jumping” (1925)

I have been asked many times to describe the sensations one gets when jumping.  The first one was a real thrill, but the confidence aroused by the perfect functioning of the chute made any future thrill hard to raise, as one has nothing but anticipation of a pleasant glide to earth before him when he knows his chute and its safety factor.  The life of a parachute instructor, with its schedule of jumps with each class, becomes dull, and we often were forced to think up some new stunt that would drive away the ennui of the routine. We made…
Continue Reading »
WW1

Principles of Ammunition (1910)

THE SHELL. Field Artillery projectiles are either shrapnel or high-explosive shell.  Common shell and case-shot may now be considered obsolete. Shrapnel. ...The walls of the shell are made as thin as possible, in order to get in the greatest possible weight of bullets.  For this reason, the shell is made of hard and tough nickel steel, pressed hot from the ingot and afterwards drawn out hot by passing through successive discs. It will be observed that the body of the shell is contracted at the shoulder.  The object of this "choke-boring" is to get a closer pattern with the bullets,…
Continue Reading »
VN

The Tet Surprise (1968)

The year 1968 began with a stream of intelligence reports on the enemy's imminent Winter-Spring campaign which bore all the signs of a major offensive. Despite the telltale signs, both the and RVN commands were still speculating on the probability of the enemy campaign, and neither was certain when it would take place or if it would even be conducted. No evidence obtained so far had ever pointed clearly toward the inevitability. As early as 19 October 1967, the enemy had announced he would observe a 7-day truce on the Tet occasion. This was the longest truce ever proposed by…
Continue Reading »
WW2

Rescue by Periscope, How to (1945)

7.  SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: …c.  Where a submarine is unable to approach a survivor on the surface because of the proximity of enemy shore batteries or strafing by enemy planes, the submarine may attempt to pick up the survivor by approaching submerged and towing him by periscope to a position where it can surface. The submarine should perform the operation at not more than three knots. It should approach the survivor from upwind and, if possible, on such a course that the survivor will not be towed closer to the enemy shore before the retirement course is set. In the early…
Continue Reading »
WW1

Training for the Trenches (1917)

…Those who fell victim to loose women and contracted venereal diseases – and it is beyond doubt that most of the women who follow an army are diseased – had to be withdrawn from their positions and sent back to the bases to hospitals.  Every man, therefore, who violated Lord Kitchener’s advice, was playing into the hands of the enemy to this extent that he was taking the risk of contracting a disease which would rob the army of his services.  My own Colonel used not to mince words on this subject but used to say that such men might…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

Counting the Dead, Again

The Battle of the Bulge ended 69 years ago yesterday and I had a buddy in the movie made 20 years after the battle.  Great battle, great film.  True, he only had a bit part, but that included one line up there on that big Cinerama screen, just him and one of the movie’s stars.  A couple of years later, he and I were in Vietnam doing pretty much what he had playacted in the movie – trying to keep alive.  But what is keeping alive? The battle’s anniversary made me turn to some casual reading in an outdated copy…
Continue Reading »
WW2

The War Ends in a Hotel in Capri (1945)

Interview with Dr. Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, an early Nazi and German Minister of Economics and then a political prisoner of the Nazis, conducted at the Hotel Eden-Paradise, Capri, Italy: ...And then Schacht reverted to his favorite theme -- his innocence of all blame for war. "I always talked against war, and exerted all my influence in the only way I could to prevent war.  I knew what British and American industry could do.  I had seen it happen in the last war.  I knew that by blitz, we can win campaigns, but you cannot win a long war by…
Continue Reading »

Hanging Looters in Mexico (1847)

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, JALAPA, April 30, 1847 GENERAL ORDERS No. 128 (Extract) 7.  As the season is near when the army may no longer expect to derive supplies from Vera Cruz, it must begin to look, exclusively, to the resources of the country. 8.  Those resources, far from being over-abundant, near the line of operations, would soon fail to support both the army and the population, unless they be gathered in without waste and regularly issued by the quartermasters and commissaries. 9.  Hence, they must be paid for, or the people will withhold, conceal or destroy them.  The people,…
Continue Reading »
VN

Report on the Morale of Forces (1968)

The morale of United States forces involved in the war in Vietnam was consistently high.  This condition could be attributed to a belief in the mission of the United States in Vietnam, pride in accomplishing this mission, esprit de corps within units, the one-year tour, and the Rest and Recuperation (R&R) Program.  The one-year tour length allowed a serviceman to know from the beginning of his tour the day he would return home.  This was considered to be the single greatest morale factor for our forces.  The R&R Program allowed each man to have one respite of five or six-day…
Continue Reading »

Military Trivia and Its Hard Meaning

An email chain making the rounds of my office:  -----Original Message----- From: X Sent: Friday, February 27, 2014 To: ALL Subject: Trivia This trivia question is tailor-made for W.  Not because his gray hair says he could have been there but because he reads military history at lunch – What was the Allied military offensive in World War II whimsically codenamed “Chattanooga Choo Choo?”  I have no idea. -----Original Message----- From: W Sent: Friday, February 27, 2014 To: X Subject: RE: Trivia Never heard of it so looked it up (but no spoilers).  Being the resident stuffy BOVV (Bitter Old…
Continue Reading »

Private Holidays – V-J Day

Everyone has some private holidays - besides commemorations such as the birth of a child or the wedding day - that may mean a lot or a little to the outside world but which are very special to that one person.  V-J Day is one of my private holidays but it didn't start out that way.  Now, with its commemoration just past, I'd like to tell you how it became special to me. I'm a baby boomer and admit that V-J Day - Victory over Japan, September 2, 1945 - meant little to me growing up.  Oh, I relished the…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

The Last Vietnam Veteran Remembers…

The last uniformed veteran of World War I, a British woman, died this month. The last combat veteran, a British sailor, died last year in Australia. The last American veteran, an ambulance driver, died last year as well. All three reached age 110. She worked in a Royal Air Force canteen in England and remembered her war as a “good time,” filled with handsome pilots and excitement. The sailor, whose Royal Navy battleship fought a zeppelin, recalled his war as “tough.” What will the last Vietnam veterans remember at age 110, with great-grandchildren bouncing on their knees and asking for…
Continue Reading »

The Clowns of War

I never saw Bob Hope in the combat zone, never heard his zippy one-liners and never gawked at his starlets and beauty queens in hotpants and skimpy blouses.  He never came to my corner of the boonies.  But we had comedy enough of our own, though it may seem a little crazy to some.  But war is crazy, isn’t it? * * * The hero of my favorite comic story is Lt. Alfa Bravo – that’s what I’ll call him – who misread an azimuth by 180 degrees and fired six howitzers east, instead of west.  Blew up the basecamp…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

Too Many Heroes

I don’t understand how we could have so many heroes today. I knew a hero in the Vietnam war.  He died rescuing wounded.  I knew another in the first Gulf War.  She was killed by friendly fire.  But, today, every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine who returns from a combat zone is called a hero.  I don’t quite understand that. Audie Murphy was a hero, no question.  Ernest E. Evans of the destroyer USS Johnston attacking a Japanese battle fleet was a hero.  Chuck Yeager was a hero.  So was John Basilone on Guadalcanal.  It’s great to think but hard…
Continue Reading »
Op-Ed

The Warrior’s Task

I had a buddy in the Vietnam war who was a different kind of fighting man.  He didn’t carry a gun.  He was a civilian warrior for hearts and minds.  But he taught me the most important part of the combat soldier’s task.  I want to tell you about his one very special combat. I’m going to call him “Bob.”  His mission was the aid and humanitarian work that kept children and their families alive in the crossfire of war.  As you would expect, he was a misery to the Viet Cong.  His work threatened to blow up their lies…
Continue Reading »

Does Raquel Welch Still Love Me? *

My Vietnam war ended 44 years ago.  I have gray hair at one end and flat feet at the other, and perhaps you do, too!  But I don’t feel that old.  Still 19 inside.  Still marching off to see what battle is all about and if I’ve the courage to face it. Today’s young soldiers look at me, bemused, expecting to see the fires banked.  A war they see as way back there in the Stone Age is nothing to be upset about this century.  They don’t understand that my war can never end.  Theirs may not, either. There were…
Continue Reading »
WW1

Attack by Moonlight (1918)

COMPANY “L,” SIXTEENTH INFANTRY IN THE AISNE-MARNE OFFENSIVE JULY 18-25, 1918 (Personal Experience)   MAJOR FRED M. LOGAN, INFANTRY First Division                Again the silent, determined columns moved forward—but, now, with an animated resolution of purpose which could not be denied—even by all Germanic resources which had held the upper hand against the world for four years. Down into the ravine of Coeuvres midst an intensive artillery counterpreparation methodically and instantly placed by the thorough opponent; past high-walled gardens, whose walls were crumbling under the intensity of the heavy shelling; over the little stream, so full of…
Continue Reading »
VN

Ambush on the Dak Po (1969)

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY Headquarters I Field Force Vietnam APO San Francisco 96350 19 November 1969 After Action Interview Report Ambush at the Dak Po 21-22 January 1969 Binh Dinh Province, RVN, grid coordinates BR 337461. Company A, 1st Battalion (Mech), 50th Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. 8…. a. Route 19, which runs from Pleiku City in the Central Highlands to Qui Nhon on the South China Sea, is one of the most important supply routes in II Corps Tactical Zone. Its location has seen the defeats of the French Mobile Group 100 in 1954 and the successes of the 1st…
Continue Reading »
Gulf Wars

One Great War Photo for the New Year

Children at Al Tash Refugee Camp keep busy as members of the 1st Marine Division civil affairs team deliver medical supplies and water storage units to the Kurdish refugees living here May 11 . Freedom and Peace Trust of Boston, a nongovernment organization, donated the bandages, gloves and medications to the people here. (USMC photo by Cpl. Paula M. Fitzgerald)   Originally published 1 January 2014
Continue Reading »
WW2

Christmas Gift – Photo of a Man Who Fought for Us All (1943)

  New Georgia.  Pvt. Lloyd Culuck, Co. A, 1st Bn., 172nd Inf, gets chow from a can of Ration B on New Georgia Island, SW Pacific.  He uses the can lid in lieu of fork or spoon.  On the island since the first beachhead was established, he hasn't changed clothes in 12 days.  (Jul 43)  Army Signal Corps Photo: 161-43-2537 Source:  Signal Corps Collection, Record Group #111, Still Picture Branch, National Archives at College Park MD Originally posted 23 December 2013
Continue Reading »
WW1

“When the Guns are Rolling Yonder” (1917-18)

Every soldier leaves behind Oh! a girl that’s true and kind, But you’ll never see your sweetheart anymore. To the war you’ll go away Just a little while to stay Oh! you’ll never see your sweetheart anymore.     Chorus:   When the guns are rolling yonder, When the guns are rolling yonder, When the guns are rolling y-o-n-d-e-r,     (Spoken) Fall’ In! When the guns are rolling yonder we’ll be there.   You’ll be marching up to battle Where those damned machine guns rattle But you’ll never see your sweetheart anymore. When you’re hanging on the wire Under heavy…
Continue Reading »
WW2

The Chaos of Victory

Clip:  "In the week following the Emperor's order to cease hostilities, planes on photo-reconnaissance missions over Japan were twice attacked by enemy interceptors.  On 17 August, four B-32s were attacked over Tokyo by an estimated 10 Japanese fighters, of which two were probably destroyed and a third damaged. The same day, three other photo planes over Yokosuka and Miyakonojo were met by antiaircraft fire. On the 18th, two unescorted reconnoitering B-32s over Tokyo were attacked by 14 enemy fighters. An aerial photographer in one plane was killed, two of the crew were wounded, and both planes were heavily damaged. Our…
Continue Reading »
WW1

Prussians & Doughboys, 1917-1918

Are Americans Well Disciplined? Statement of Dr. Otto Schranzkmuller, A former Prussian Municipal Official. 42nd Div. Summary of Interrogation #185 Dec. 12, 1919. "The American army seems to me as fine a collection of individual physical specimens as I have ever seen," the doctor declared in his excellent unidiomatic English.  "But from the standpoint of military discipline it is a mob, pure and simple.  The men appear slouchy; the officers do not stand out from the men in appearance as they do in any European army.  All seem to allow themselves to be victimized in prices by the tradespeople of…
Continue Reading »

Tank Raid for Corned-Beef

OPERATIONS OF THE WESTERN DETACHMENT 1ST BRIGADE, TANK CORPS (US) SEPTEMBER 26 - OCTOBER 11, 1918. (PERSONAL EXPERIENCE) By Captain Thomas C. Brown ...As we left the forest and started east we seemed to be passing through all of the machine guns and anti-tank guns that had been kicked out of Montblainville.  They peppered us from all sides with their small stuff, adding a big "wham" every so often from their wicked 16mm anti-tank gun.  This gun was very effective and would penetrate tank armor very easily with a normal impact.  The fact that the gun was about as dangerous…
Continue Reading »

Medal of Honor Citation

Bertoldo, Vito R. Master Sergeant, Army, Company A, 242d Infantry Division Hatten, France, 9-10 January 1945 Citation: He fought with extreme gallantry while guarding 2 command posts against the assault of powerful infantry and armored forces which had overrun the battalion's main line of resistance. On the close approach of enemy soldiers, he left the protection of the building he defended and set up his gun in the street, there to remain for 12 hours driving back attacks while in full view of his adversaries and completely exposed to 88-mm., machinegun and small-arms fire. He moved back inside the command…
Continue Reading »

A British Assessment of US Army in Sicily, 1943

The particular features of troops, their equipment, extraordinary mobility, and general artillery methods, require special study if they are to be employed to the best advantage together with, and alongside, British troops in an Allied operation. It cannot be assumed that the armies of both Nations will fulfill similar tasks equally well: each has its peculiar characteristics suiting it, on the one hand, for wide and very speedy manoeuvre across difficult country, great elasticity and powers of improvisation, and extremely rapid concentration of fire power; and, on the other hand, for dogged fighting, resolute attack against prepared positions, stubborn defence,…
Continue Reading »
More war stories

Military Housekeeping (1866)

One snowy day in the winter of 1866-67, Alice B. Baldwin, escorted by her husband, Lieutenant Frank D. Baldwin, arrived at Fort Harker, Kansas. When the lieutenant stopped the Army ambulance in which they were traveling, Mrs. Baldwin asked, "Where is our house?" The landscape was void of buildings. All she could see was a snow-covered mound from which a stovepipe protruded. This was it, her new home in this frontier fort - a dugout. Mrs. Baldwin entered the dwelling and gazed about with mounting disappointment. "The sordid interior filled me with gloom, scarcely lessened by the four-pane glass window,…
Continue Reading »
WW1

1928

Source:  A Comparative Study of World War Casualties from Gas and Other Weapons, Col. H. L. Gilchrist, Medical Corps, Army, USGPO
Continue Reading »
WW2

Camouflaging the South Pacific (1943)

Clip:  I saw jeeps driven along the beach within plain view of the CAPE ENDAIADERE and the Japanese, and with one of our headquarters located in a native village just back from this beach. I saw men paddling collapsible Australian assault boats in the same area without any military reason, this all in broad daylight and much Japanese air activity, and with the knowledge of their officers and under their observation. USS Missouri, Korea, 1950  Image Wikimedia Commons HEADQUARTERS ARMY GROUND FORCES Army War College Washington, February 20, 1943 SUBJECT: Observer's Report. CHRISTMAS ISLAND was the best example that I…
Continue Reading »

Watching Movies with the Enemy

Bougainville had been secured, but there were still about 20,000 Japanese on the other side of the island. There had been no major engagement since the 'Battle of Hill 700,' a victory for the 37th that secured the island. The just lived on their side of the island, and we lived on ours with a well-established perimeter defense. Sometimes a couple of them would slip into our open-air theater and watch movies, or scrounge for food. They were more or less harmless. Their supply lines were hopelessly cut and pilots destroyed their gardens. They were slowly starving. Source: Lynn L.…
Continue Reading »