[geeks] Special skills draft?
alaric at caerllewys.net
Fri Sep 24 12:58:29 CDT 2004
On Fri, Sep 24, 2004 at 07:46:25AM +0100, Mike Meredith wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 13:02:37 -0700, Francisco Javier Mesa-Martinez
> > Well, there is always the counter example of WWII. Where
> > conscript US forces handled the battle seasoned nazi army
> > their own ass on a platter with potatoes and gravvy.
> 1 .. You're forgetting the British, Canadians, Russians, French, Polish,
> Basque, ... troops. Some of which were drafted; some of which were
You're right, of course. Britain instituted a draft, for one. Sorry,
for some reason I was thinking only in terms of the US when I answered.
> 2 .. It was a lot tougher to beat the Nazi's than you imply which makes
> the achievement of conscript troops more impressive. Lookup the
> 2nd half of the Italian campaign, or Arnem (as the 60th anniversery
> has just passed, the BBC news site will have some pointers).
Gods, yes, Operation Market Garden was hell. As was the Battle of the
Bulge, in the Ardennes forest, and many other campaigns.
I didn't intend to make light of the abilities of conscript troops
everywhere. I really intended just to point up the poor performance of
US Army conscript troops in Vietnam compared to the USMC, and how badly
Congress screwed the pooch by deciding that they, a bunch of politicians
mostly in it for the power and money, knew how to conduct a war in a
foreign tropical jungle better than did career generals with thirty
years of military service and who probably fought in Europe, the
Pacific, and/or Korea.
It can't be denied that conscript troops have at times done very well.
Nevertheless, it also can't be denied that the elite troops, the crime
de la crime, the guys you send in when you can't crack it any other
way, are almost invariably all-volunteer professional forces. The USMC,
the Army Special Forces, the Royal Marine Commandos, the SAS ....
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