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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jon M Brown

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Everything posted by Jon M Brown

  1. I think the best advice anyone could give is that there are no shortcuts. Reading is by far the best way to learn about history. Good documentaries are a nice supplement but these days you have to be very careful about knowing where the documentary came from. There are many online which are nothing more than propaganda.
  2. Like most of you I'm sure, I watch just about every history documentary I come across. And often times, in the midst of watching a question will pop into my head. I usually pull out my phone and do a quick google search and that satisfies my curiosity...most of the time. One question that I have asked a few times but never found a definitive answer is this; Exactly how many troops, reserves or trainees were in the United States toward the end of WWII? I ask this because I have read a number of accounts of Eisenhower requesting and being denied reinforcements for the push into Germany, not long before the Ardennes offensive. I don't recall exactly how many divisions he asked for but it was substantial. So that made me wonder why he was refused and were the troops even available in the first place?
  3. Hey guys...I'm not sure whether I am familiar with the film you are discussing but it sounds a lot like the little "dance" he did in one of Eva Braun's home movies. That has been shown millions of times and has been edited (forward & reversed to lengthen) quite often. But that was taken at the Berchtesgaden residence and I am absolutely certain that it is legitimate.
  4. I've been doing some reading lately on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and something keeps coming up in my mind. Didn't ANYONE in the U.S. government or military at some point say "Hey, these guys (Afghan insurgents/Mujahadeen or whatever) are NOT our friends!"? I would think that someone with a little common sense and a little forethought would probably come up with some pretty serious reservations. But does anyone know of anything specific?
  5. In the interest of being honest, I have to say up front that I have been critical of some of the "what if" posts that I've read on this forum. My main complaint with respect to such posts is the usually involve making assumptions that are in no way reasonable. So now that I have that out of the way.... What if George S. Patton had not been killed in a car accident in Europe? Would he have gone to Korea at some point? And if he had, could he have secured a victory for the U.N. forces? It's a fascinating hypothetical for a number of reasons. As good a commander as he was, one knock on him was that he didn't have an appreciation for logistics. And in Korea, he likely would have faced issues with logistics that he did not during WWII. Also, he was a hard driving commander, always aggressive and always on the attack. How would that kind of thinking worked in Korea? Especially at times when the U.N. was vulnerable? Anyway, just something to think about, especially for all you "what if" fans out there
  6. Definitely a piece of military history that tends to be forgotten because of the end result of the war. Had the U.N. gone on to push the communists out of Korea entirely, I imagine MacArthur's maneuver at Inchon would be listed among the most significant military operations of all time.
  7. Ed, I'm a little confused about the wording of you question. Are you trying to say that the Chinese worked toward a stalemate, rather than helping the communist North win??? If that's the case, I have no idea where that information would have come from because under any circumstance I could imagine, there would be nothing for the Chinese to gain. If you are asking about involvement in the war period, there is ample evidence that both the Chinese and Russians were involved in the war. If you are talking about PRIOR to the Chinese crossing the Yalu river, that's a little trickier but there is still no doubt that they assisted the North Koreans. As far as the Russians are concerned, if I'm correct I think they gave them equipment, trained their pilots and then a little later, their pilots actually flew combat missions against the U.N. But I don't think they had any troops on the ground like the Chinese did. If you clarify what it is you want to know, I might be able to either help or point you to where you can find more detailed information.
  8. Interesting points... Lately I've found myself a little frustrated at the Russian's portrayal historically too. I mean how in the world can people accuse the American's of being "evil" and "totally self serving" when taking into consideration Isreal??? If the American's really were totally self serving and did not at all care about right and wrong, surely it would make more sense to side with the Arabs and thereby possibly helping secure better access to oil reserves etc. The damn Russian's are the ones who should be ashamed of themselves for their siding and arming the Arabs in wars they KNEW could result in the extermination of the Jews and the Jewish state! How could they have done that after what they saw during the war? And then they gave tanks to Egypt and Syria because they were dying to see how they would preform against the NATO tanks? Talk about selfish and heartless....
  9. Has anyone see this? I've watched the 4 episodes over the past couple of days, found it somewhat enjoyable but not without major flaws. My main gripe is with the narration. It happened to be a female but that's not the problem, she was droning, boring and was obviously reading a script. As a person who has done voice-over work and commentating, I feel like I can say that. It bothers me to think that she may have been given the position because she is a female and NOT because she was the best person available. I've heard plenty of excellent female narrators by the way but this person made watching the series more difficult and far less enjoyable. As for the content itself, it wasn't bad but they spent more time talking about politics and events in history without making a strong connection to tanks and tank history and not enough time talking about the tanks themselves. I also noted a couple of rather dubious statements, not the least of which was "the mightiest of the allied armies at the end of WWII was the Soviets". Largest? Perhaps...but in no way shape or form were they the "mightiest". Anyway, I'm interested to know if anyone else has seen it and what thoughts do you have?
  10. I just watched a cool documentary on the Smithsonian channel about the f-22 Raptor. At one point, they state that the plane has about the same radar return as a bumblebee. As impressive as that is, surely no bumblebee flies at the altitudes and at the speed of this plane. So my question is, why is Stealth so effective? Why can't radar's be modified to focus on smaller objects that could not be birds or insects, due to their altitude, heading and speed???
  11. I'm not sure if it boils down to that but it might very well. At the start of the war, France did indeed have a larger army and more equipment (tanks, artillery) but no one was prepared for the new tactics and the speed of the German movements. As to your question specifically, hopefully one of our better informed members can help.
  12. From everything I've ever seen or read, I have to say this and it has to be the greatest compliment a plane can get. If I were any soldier on the ground, be it infantry or special ops that plane would be my absolute favourite.
  13. As a writer, I think it's a very valid point. However, I'm not sure how I feel about the term "awarded". If we take into consideration the modern use of the word and it's actual definition, it can easily be taken to mean the actual process of presenting something that is due. In that respect, I don't think it has the quite the same connotation as "win". Having said that, it can be understood to mean the presentation of a "prize" which the original poster is objecting to. I definitely understand and agree with ceasing to use the term "win" when speaking of the Medal of Honor but I think "awarded" might be debatable. Anyone else have any thoughts?
  14. I know I've read about him before but somehow something odd missed my attention. He was sent back (to Germany) after having been relieved and according to the Wikipedia page, he bought a house in Northwest Poland in October of 44. What the hell was he thinking??? Surely by then he knew the war was lost didn't he? I often wonder when certain high ranking officers first realized the war was hopelessly lost and over my years of reading, I've been fascinated to learn that those dates are pretty wide ranging. Some say the day the war began, they knew they were doomed. Others say after the invasion of Russia, some say after the Invasion of France etc. But how could a highly intelligent man such as Von Manstein not know by October'44 that the land his new estate was on would be overrun by Russians soon? I'm wondering if anyone on here has read his memoirs and has any insights.
  15. George, I appreciate the reply but to be honest, I'm not sure I follow. Insofar as my hypothetical, you're saying that if Germany was knocked out early and the Western allies did then move to drive the Soviets out of Poland, then things would have not gone to plan from Stalin's point of view? Apologies if I've misunderstood.
  16. I'm not at all a fan of "what ifs" normally but I did happen to wonder something recently that I thought might make an interesting topic. A lesser known aspect about the war was that the French (and British) had a plan for a large scale attack on Germany once hostilities began. And in fact they did move large numbers to the border and in some cases across the border in what is known as "The Saar Offensive". Now obviously it was not carried out in such a way to make a difference. But some top German officers said after the war that had they indeed acted as they planned, the German army could have collapsed within just a couple of weeks! So that brings me to the what if... Germany invades Poland but so do the Soviets don't forget. But this time the French and British do carry out their plans and come across the border in force (40 divisions) and Germany does collapse. But now what? Are the western allies now content to restore half of Poland to their democratic government? Could Germany (without Hitler) now be a part of a coalition to force the Russians out of Poland? Would there have been a large scale second world war in Europe at all? Or would it have taken on a much different look with the main goal being the restoration of Poland? Again, I'm not normally a fan of this sort of thing. But this is something that I can at least see happening (unlike "what if the USA had been an axis nation-for example). And I thought it might make for some interesting discussion.
  17. while this is an interesting topic, I have to say that in my personal opinion there are a dozen reasons why the Nazis lost the war but too many guards at POW camps is not one of them. People often like to ask "what if" but my favorite is this; What would have happened if the Allies had confronted the Germans immediately after the invasion of Poland? People often like to say that the Allies "did nothing" but that's not actually true. Although they did not do enough and they certainly did nothing decisive, In the Saar Offensive (which never actually fully took place) the French moved 30 divisions to the border and across the border in some areas, occupying 12 towns and villages to a depth of about 8km. It's a part of history that is forgotten but it interests me to wonder what might have happened had that offensive been pressed in full strength, according to the initial plan. General Alfred Jodl later said that the only reason why the German military did not collapse in 1939 was that the British and French divisions were completely inactive. Another German general Siegfried Westpahl, said that had the French attacked in force in September (of 1939) the German army could only have "held out for one or two weeks". Now THAT is an interesting possibility! And if that HAD happened and the German's were defeated, what would the Russians have done??? Imagine that! A second world war but this one with the German's knocked out early and the Allies fighting to get the Russians out of Poland!
  18. I did see that movie George but that is not where I first heard that. I've been trying to recall but it's just not coming back to me. Hopefully someone here will have some info.
  19. I can't be relied upon as a good source with this. However I did read or hear something once that when he (Churchill) initially came up with it and did so as in the picture (palm facing inward) someone suggested to him that it looked too much like the middle finger salute and so he changed it. But again, I don't know if that's true at all because I can't remember where I saw/heard that.
  20. I got 15/20 and I'm quite pleased with that! That was quite difficult and in all honesty, I must admit I guessed at 2 or 3 that I got right. One of the questions I guessed right was the one about who volunteered to be imprisoned at Auschwitch. I had a feeling it was going to be a Polish person. I had heard some amazing stories about their bravery.
  21. Wow...great topic, here are some off the top of my head... 1. Patton 2. The Great Escape 3. Band of Brothers (not a film but Joris listed it, so can I) 4. Torra Torra Torra 5. A Bridge Too Far 6. The Bridge on the River Kwai
  22. Well I guess I'm putting myself at the front of the room for the class to throw things at here lol. But I really, REALLY did not like this film at all. It's been a while since I've seen it now, as I think I went around Christmas time and it's now the end of March. But my complaints were quite numerous, not the least of which was the film seemed to want to go out of it's way to paint soldiers as dumb and pretty mean spirited. The two examples that stand out to me were the French "infiltrator" and that group taking refuge in the boat. I mean come on, these guys spend how many hours/days together and NO ONE notices that this one guy NEVER speaks one word???? And I don't know about anyone else, but those would have to have been about the worst trained soldiers ever to have gone into that boat without any way to monitor what was happening around them, or posting a look out. I didn't think the film did a very good job of building up to the big moment. I think some stirring scenes of the fleet being put together could have helped. Again, it's been too long since I've seen it but I really didn't like it at all.
  23. I too was pretty disappointed with that film and for many of the same reasons. I am certain that Churchill in the depths of his heart was deeply worried about the consequences of a failed landing, that only makes sense. But to focus on that doesn't make much sense to me.
  24. I am really torn between the Sherman and the T-34. The question is which is the most "important" meaning (imo) which most influenced the outcome of the war? And to me that has to be the T-34. Some have correctly pointed out that the Sherman was the better tank (between it and the T-34) and that is often forgotten. But Soviet Russia's ability to mass formations of T-34's was absolutely critical to their turning the tide and then swarming and pushing the German's into perpetual retreat. The German's had some excellent designs but the engineering was ahead of their ability to produce reliable machines. The Tiger is an excellent example. This tank essentially had the same engine as a Panther, despite the fact it was more than 10 tonnes heavier! Even had the Panther and Tiger (and King Tiger) preformed well, there would never have been enough of them to overcome the massive numerical deficit.
  25. Jon M Brown

    Introductions

    William, yes I have indeed thank you! My grandfather on my dad's side lost his leg but it was due to diabetes and he died when I was very young, 6 or 7 I think. But as fate would have it, I was born with a large AVM (aerterious venous malformation) all through my right leg. I have not had any amputations (yet) but I have had over 20 surgeries and had a knee replacement at the age of 42 in 2014, It's given me an appreciation for life that I don't think I'd have otherwise, and although I have not lost that leg I think I can relate somewhat to those who did suffer grave injuries. And that has done nothing but deepen my respect for them. I've even been known to get emotional watching certain shows/documentaries, especially about veterans. God bless them.
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