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1st Reply From: Sidney Allinson <email@example.com> Subject: Re: REPLY: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" (2) Date: March 5, 2010 11:31:10 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> One German who evidently never heard of the concept of limited war was Adolf Hitler. Best demonstrated in the famous WWII newsreel of Hitler addressing a mass rally of Nazi sycophants. Repeatedly, he asks them, , "Do you want total war?" Repeatedly, his audience screams back enthusiastically -- "Ja!" -- Sidney Allinson. From: Mac McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" Date: March 5, 2010 4:04:51 PM EST To: email@example.com, H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> >> A book that I would recommend on this subject is Caleb Carr's : >> The Lessons of Terror. We all have the image of Germany's military >> machine as one of ruthless warriors but Mr. Carr asserts that it was >> German rulers and military thinkers that basically founded the very >> concept of limited war. 2nd Reply From: John Paul Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: REPLY: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" (2) Date: March 6, 2010 8:15:34 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> I find this justification based on treatment of anglo-american forces and not their other opponents disturbing to say the least. Most German units fought on both the Eastern and Western fronts (at least those that survived long enough), and rules which were learned on one front are often hard to unlearn on another. A leading cause to Malmedy and other massacres in the Ardennes. As for gas; the Luftwaffe had several different types of aircraft fitted for gas dispersal and there are photos of these planes in the field on the Eastern front, always with the caption that they were for spreading smoke, or to kill mosquitos..but one wonders, there was definitely gas stock-piled, but ift was never used on the Western front for fear of retaliation, did that same fear exist on the Eastern front? John Paul Jones M.S. H.S. Teacher 3rd Reply From: HawkinsUSA@aol.com Subject: Re: REPLY: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" (2) Date: March 7, 2010 8:27:03 AM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> From: William Hawkins, HawkinsUSA@aol.com Subject: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" Date: March 7, 2010 Walter James McIntosh got my attention. The question of limited versus total war is not just about the scale of the objective, but the scale of the resistance that must be overcome. Frederick the Great had limited objectives, the conquest of an Austrian province. General Sherman and his Union colleagues had a much more open-ended objective, to crush a large-scale rebellion. But Sherman could also expect far more popular resistance than Frederick would encounter. Everything was on a grander scale in the Civil War, so the comparison with Frederick is inherently flawed. The strategic bombing campaigns have been discussed time and again, but they were part of a larger total war effort that saw entire populations mobilized. Factory workers and administrators were as much a part of the war effort as soldiers. Was Eastern Front combat between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union any less “savage” because it did not feature strategic bombing? Were civilians spared when armies fought through urban areas, fighting house-to-house backed by artillery bombardment? Indeed, history records sieges and massacres back to ancient times, long before bombers or even gunpowder. Then there is Hiroshima. It was one of four industrial cities that had not yet been attacked as part of the conventional strategic bombing campaign. The other three were Kyoto, Yokohama and Kokura. Kyoto was taken from the list because it was a cultural center (a limit on total war). Kokura, often described as an “arsenal” city, was the secondary target if Hiroshima was not open. For the second bomb, Kokura was the target, but the attack was diverted to Nagasaki because of bad weather over Kokura. According to The Army Air Forces in World War II, Vol. V, The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945, p. 715, “Hiroshima was the headquarters of the Second Army and of the Chucogu regional army with their numerous installations. The city’s industries, greatly developed during the war, but still of less importance than those of the great metropolitan centers, were for the most part geared directly to the war effort. …Hiroshima would have been hit long before, now as the most important of the proscribed cities was a natural choice for the first atomic attack. An added incentive was the fact that Hiroshima alone of the four target cities had no POW camp nearby.” The A-bomb was an area weapon, not a precision strike weapon, so a large, urban target area was needed to give it full effect----and to impress upon the Japanese leadership the futility of continuing the war. The focus of attention on the A-bomb is emotional, not logical. The incendiary bombings, which hit medium sized cities as well as major cities in order to spread the pain of the war throughout Japanese society and break morale, killed more people. And its systematic application, day in and day out, is the real example of total war. The A-bomb just made this kind of campaign easier; it did not mark a new, more “savage” outlook. But the objective of the war was total, not limited. It was meant to change the very nature of Japan. And Japanese resistance, as shown during the island battles and the kamikaze attacks, was also total. The Japanese had waged war on a similar scale, as far as their means were able, esp. in China where it is not unfair to speak in terms of genocide. There is no question that if the Japanese militarists had been successful it developing the A-bomb or practical biological weapons, they would have used them. We beat them to it, which was a good thing. A friend of mine was touring China a few years ago and met an elderly Dutch couple who had been held as children by the Japanese in Indonesia during WW II. They were glad the A-bomb was used to end the war because they feared execution by their captors had the war dragged on and conditions in the Dutch East Indies deteriorated further. I’m rather glad myself, since my father was due to be transferred from Europe to the Pacific had the war required an invasion of Japan. As to the alleged “savagery” of the 2003 “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad, it was quite the opposite of the Japanese bombing campaign. It looked spectacular on TV, but it was aimed with precision at government installations. It was not an area attack. One objective was to decapitate the regime by hitting Saddam Hussein himself. It didn’t work, but that was the objective, not mass casualties. Differentiating between the Ba’athist regime and the people of Iraq was a concept that had not been considered between the imperial regime and the people of Japan. And in Iraq there was no popular resistance supporting Saddam as Hitler and the Emperor had been supported in WW II, so taking a “limited” military approach was validated even though the political objective of regime change was unlimited. William R. Hawkins Burke, Virginia Contributing Editor, FamilySecurityMatters.org 4th Reply From: Kuehn, John T Dr CIV USA TRADOC <email@example.com> Subject: Re: REPLY: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" (2) Date: March 9, 2010 9:17:22 AM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Excuse me someone already responded on this, but General Doolittle was in Europe by the point that Tokyo was firebombed. Lemay was the commander of 21st Bomber Command and later the numbered airforce (was it 7th, 11th or 5th?) that firebombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities. r, John T. Kuehn CDR USN (ret) Associate Professor of Military History CGSC Ft Leavenworth 913-684-3972 -----Original Message----- From: H-NET Military History Discussion List [mailto:H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Scott Hendrix Sent: Friday, March 05, 2010 3:56 PM To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU Subject: REPLY: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" (2) 1st Reply From: Mac McIntosh <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" Date: March 5, 2010 4:04:51 PM EST To: email@example.com, H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> A book that I would recommend on this subject is Caleb Carr's : The Lessons of Terror. We all have the image of Germany's military machine as one of ruthless warriors but Mr. Carr asserts that it was German rulers and military thinkers that basically founded the very concept of limited war. He specifically speaks of Frederick the Great and his ideas about war being limiteed in scope to very specific political goals and attempting to spare civilian lives. He was able to use these principles in expanding the borders of his kingdom and won nearly every one of the battles he engaged in . But Carr's narrative certainly puts the U.S. Military machine at the top of the list of those that engage in total war and generally has the aim of the enemy's total attrition and has a policy of killing civilians to forcibly end their support of the enemy government. He cites the savagery of the attacks on civilians who held opposing views in the revolutionary war as conducted both by regular troops but also by bands of irregular fighters. Sherman is quoted : " You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you can not refine it, and those who brought war into our country deserve all the cruelty and malediction a people can pour out. -- (and in the end--Sherman said : ) " I shall make little effort to restrain my army. " Think of James Doolittle's fire bombing of Tokyo. Or the choice of Hiroshima as a target, a city with several hundred thousand civilian inhabitants but with as few as 10,000 soldiers in residence . The "shock and awe" bombing of Bagdad is an even more recent example of American savagery. Any who read Carr's book , I am sure will find his narrative disturbing and hopefully will take Ike's final speech and warning to Americans to heart about the dangers of the military being a threat to America. Walter James McIntosh Bluff, New Zealand 2nd Reply Brian Ross had a few comments to my list. First, chemical weapons was not outlawed by the time of WWI, hench Imperial Germany on top of the list. Second, while the Germans and Italians certainly mistreated other nationalities, their records towards the anglo-american forces were far better. The masacre during the Ardenne offensive was an anomality, but similar treatment would be normal towards russian prisoners. Otherwise, their use of weapons or treatment of POWs were not much worse than what they them selves might expect from the allies. Chinese/North Korea vs Taliban/Iraqi insurgents: I do not have statistics to support this, but it is my impression that the communists of the Korean War frequently masacred their prisoners, while for mondern insurgents, a western soldier are far more valuable as a hostage - but perhaps the number of US soldiers falling into their hands are too small to make up an opinion. The absence of the Japanese were simply a laps of mind, perhaps they belong some where around 6 or 7. It's depends on whether you prefere forced labour and common mistreatment to beheading. My main point is that the regime that we most assosiate with terror and torture (Nazi Germany) actually treated western soldiers much better that other foes that they have faced over the last century. That is, that they had a reasonable chance of surviving captivity. This is also, in my mind, a wake up call with regards to what forces we are up against these days. Frode Lindgjerdet, Archivist, Norwegian Home Guard, Freelance Historian Original Message: > From: Scott Hendrix [firstname.lastname@example.org] > Sent: 2010-03-04 21:04:59 CET > To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU > Subject: REPLY: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" > > From: email@example.com > Subject: REPLY: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" > Date: March 3, 2010 7:39:17 PM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org > > > All "adversaries" in the list have tended at various times act > outside what many would considered "civilised behavior" and/or "the > laws of war". Imperial Germany introduced chemical warfare and for > America, its entry into WWI was prompted by the sinking of the > Lusitania with the loss of a large number of civilian lives. The > Italians, usually considered ineffectual by many after the war for > some reason, didn't hesitate before it to utilise chemical warfare in > Ethopia. The Nazis massacred American soldiers during the Ardennes > offensive. Individuals and groups (units) act abominably in all > conflicts while at the same time other individuals and groups (units) > act honourably. I suspect determining who was the "most honourable" is > very much a subjective thing. > > Of the order of the list though, I am somewhat surprised to see the > Chinese or Koreans listed below the Iraqi insurgents and Taliban. As > far as I am aware, the Communist Chinese and/or Koreans did not > routinely cut their prisoners' heads off. I'm also surprised not to > see the Japanese listed, even at the lower end of the scale. Does this > mean that the Pacific war didn't happen and the mistreatment of all > Allied forces at the hands of the Imperial forces didn't occur? > > cheers > > Brian Ross > Independent Scholar of Life. > > ________________________________________ > > Original Message: > > From: Frode Lindgjerdet > Date: March 1, 2010 6:45:29 PM EST > To: > Subject: Most "Law Abiding Adversary" > > Dear Collegues: > The Weapons--Napalm/Flamethrowers reminded me of a question that has > puzzled me for some time. In recent conflicts, it has struck me that > Western forces face adversaries that systematically breech every > written and unwritten code of war. At the same time the media and > international opinion demand an almost devine ability on behalf of the > individual Western soldier to heed every convention to the letter, to > hit every target without any collateral damage - with no room for > error. And any testemony from the most ruthless dictatorship, > insurgent or terrorist are taken at face value without any critical > appraisal of their credibility from journalists. From the horror > stories of Gitmo to the infamous babymilk factory of Bagdad. > > Then I must ask my self, what adversary of the United States in a > major war over the last century have been the most law abiding > adversary? That is, towards towards US forces. > > I would guess the following : > > 1. Imperial Germany 1917-1918 > 2. Italy 1941-1943 > 3. Nazi Germany 1941-1945 > 4. North Vietnam 1964-1973 > 5. Iraq 1991; 2003 > 6. Iraqi Insurgents/Taliban 2001- > 7. North Korea/Communist China 1950-1953 > > Frode Lin ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----