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Great generals defeat the enemy by maneuvering him into a position where he must make the costly assaults, or he is cut off from his base and must withdraw.
I also find attrition to be immoral as a theory of war.
Steve, do you think Grant's presidency was similarly unfairly tarred by revisionists like his war record was? It seems to me he had an enlightened race policy but was undone by political realities, and they used the scandals in his administration to condemn the entire presidency. Does Grant's presidency merit a reevaluation? Yes or no?
Just like at the end of WW2 the US obsession with "beating the Germans" caused us to squander much of the fruits of victory by letting the Soviets waltz into to the Balkans, Austria, Czechoslovakia and far too much of Germany, while Eisenhower insisted on the unnecessary Anvil landings, rather than movement into the Blakans, and foolishly worried about the "Alpine Redoubt", rather than taking Prague and Vienna.
This is about as wrong as it can be. Read the 3rd part of the Manchester biography of Churchill.
The agreement at Tehran and Yalta were incredibly vague, set up no set "zones", and Stalin was already violating those agreement well before Berlin fell. There was zero reason not to race to the Elbe (and to keep all of Germany west of it), Prague and Vienna, and the British were urging us to do just that.
An obsession with ending the war quickly to fight Japan was idiocy. Where was Japan going? They were starving on their island due to the sub campaign. There was no particular reason to rush an invasion of Japan.
As for manpower shortages, that was all completely of our own making, given our decision to over-expand the Navy and Air Force, and the excessively padded supply "tail" we always insist on.
The fact is the US was being led in 1945 by a dying man who was incapable of dealing with the issues at hand; thinking he could charm Stalin into playing nice.
No one was looking after Grand Strategy and shaping the post war world except Churchill; and he was rapidly losing influence.
In fact American Grand Strategy was flawed since at least 1942. The Unconditional Surrender demands (sprung on Churchill w/o consultation) was a disaster, seriously handicapping the anti-Hitler elements in Germany, and making the Japanese even more resolute. Then there was the US obsession with dismantling colonial empires. Our Gov't acted like Britain and France were a bigger post-war threat than the USSR.
I can read casualty rolls.
This is whitewashed by "diplomatic historians" b/c they cover up for the sainted FDR and Truman, who screwed the pooch repeatedly in dealing with Stalin, Mao etc.
How can you type that and defend Grant's performance in 1864?
We sold out Poland and Czechoslovakia
I'm assuming Snapper is unaware that the Soviets had 10 million armed and battle-hardened personnel at their disposal, most in eastern or central Europe, in 1945. Otherwise, this statement is completely insane.
It's insane on a number of levels, but Snapper is consistent here. He genuinely believes that taking on the Soviets would have been a good idea.
And if they had attacked us, the US and UK Armies of 1945 would have chopped them up like the Germans did in 1941.
They didn't need to fight the Soviets, just grab as much land as you can in 1945 before the Soviets got there, as Churchill and Allenby wanted to.
Go F*** yourself. Engaging in ad hominem slurs is a clear sign of a total inability to engage in real debate.
Send large forces down the Shenandoah Valley earlier.
Send more forces into the Virginia Peninsula
Land an army below Richmond.
In fact, the agreed up dividing line was the Elbe, and we gave the Soviets more than that.
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