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Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Getting it wrong again

Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry "Hap" Arnold,
Admiral Ernest King, and General George C. Marshall,
aboard navy vessel during visit to Normandy invasion coast.

Digby quotes Bush's vile 9/11 speech

Do we have the confidence to do in the Middle East what our fathers and grandfathers accomplished in Europe and Asia?


Across the broader Middle East, the extremists are fighting to prevent such a future. Yet America has confronted evil before, and we have defeated it; sometimes at the cost of thousands of good men in a single battle.

When Franklin Roosevelt vowed to defeat two enemies across two oceans, he could not have foreseen D-Day and Iwo Jima, but he would not have been surprised at the outcome.

Sorry, but this is bullshit.

Actually, President Roosevelt and the Joint Chiefs had planned for war in Europe and Asia long before 1941. They fully expected to invade Europe and retake the Pacific.

In June 1941, however, the storm center of the war had moved elsewhere. Only slightly delayed by the conquest of the Balkans, Hitler on June 22, 1941, hurled German might against the Soviet Union, the only remaining power on the European continent capable of challenging his dominance. By early December, when the onset of winter and stiffening Soviet resistance finally brought the advance to a halt, the German armies had driven to the suburbs of Moscow, inflicted huge losses on the Red Army, and occupied a vast expanse of European Russia embracing its most densely populated and industrialized regions. This, as it turned out, was the high tide of German success in World War II; Hitler, like Napoleon, was to meet disaster on the wind-swept plains of Russia. But in December 1941 few were willing to predict this outcome. British and United States leaders assembling in Washington at the end of that month to make plans for dealing with the crisis had to reckon with the probability that in the year to come, unless the Western Allies could somehow force Germany to divert substantial forces from the eastern front, the German steamroller would complete the destruction of the Soviet armies. Hitler would then be able, with the resources and enslaved peoples of all Europe at his feet, to throw his full power against the West.

American military leaders had already given thought to this grim prospect, and to the implications it held for America's role in the war. In the Victory Program, drawn up by the Army and Navy at the President's behest during the summer of 1941, the leaders of the two services had set forth in some detail the strategy and the means they considered necessary to win ultimate victory if, as they expected, Soviet Russia succumbed to the Axis onslaught. The strategy was the one laid down in the RAINBOW 5 war plan—wear Germany down by bombing, blockade, subversion, and limited offensives, while mobilizing the strength needed to invade the European continent and to defeat Germany on its own ground. Japan meanwhile would be contained by air and sea power, local defense forces, China's inexhaustible manpower, and the Soviet Union's Siberian divisions. With Germany out of the running, Japan's defeat or collapse would soon follow.

As for the means, the United States would have to provide them in large part, for the British were already weary and their resources limited. The United States would serve not merely, to use the President's catchy phrase, as the "arsenal of democracy," supplying weapons to arm its allies, but also as the main source of the armies without which wars, above all this war, could not be won. Army leaders envisaged the eventual mobilization of 215 divisions, 61 of them armored, and 239 combat air groups, requiring a grand total, with supporting forces, of 8.8 million men. Five million of these would be hurled against the European Axis. It was emphasized that victory over the Axis Powers would require a maximum military effort and full mobilization of America's immense industrial resources.
The American military was fully aware of the challenges which they faced well before World War II and had planned for them. The defeats of the first year came about before the US military geared up for total war. The US military sent 97 divisions overseas, 91 Army, 6 Marine, and many other smaller combat units like the 442 RCT and 761st Tank Battalion

  • There were 5 types of divisions: infantry, mountain, armored, airborne, and cavalry.
  • 91 divisions were mobilized during the war: 68 infantry divisions, 1 mountain division, 16 armored divisions, 5 airborne divisions, and 2 cavalry divisions.
  • All divisions were activated in the United States except for the following divisions: Philippine (activated in the Philippines), Hawaiian (activated in Hawaii and renamed the 24th division), 25th (activated in Hawaii from troops of the Hawaiian division), and Americal (activated in New Caledonia.)
  • There were three major theaters of operation during the war: Pacific (22 divisions were deployed to the Pacific), Mediterranean (15 divisions), and Europe (61 divisions). Seven divisions served in both the Mediterranean and European Theaters (1st, 3rd, 9th, 36th, 45th infantry divisions; 82nd airborne; and 2nd armored.)
  • So the idea that the US muddled throughWorld War II is an insult to the men who planned the war. From the time the first US troops landed in Iceland, there was a plan to land in France. In fact, there was tremendous political pressure for "The Second Front Now" from 1942 on. Roosevelt was under pressure from Stalin to invade quickly. After the disaster at Dieppe, it took two years and the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy to be ready.

    But the planning was detailed down to civil affairs officers and currency. Thousands of US troops were trained to run European towns and cities in lieu of local government. The US had a plan to win World War II and the means to carry it out.

    posted by Steve @ 12:18:00 AM

    12:18:00 AM

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