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View Poll Results: What is your level of military service?
Currently in the military (active or reserve) 28 13.73%
No longer in the military 91 44.61%
Never served in the military 85 41.67%
Voters: 204. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2008, 08:52 AM
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Default Poll: Military Service

We had this poll a year or two back in the old forum, but with that gone and some new faces here I thought I'd repeat it. It helps to understand the perspectives we have, given that this is a military RPG.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chico20854
We had this poll a year or two back in the old forum, but with that gone and some new faces here I thought I'd repeat it. It helps to understand the perspectives we have, given that this is a military RPG.
Yeah, I did that poll

IIRC, the results (with 30-35 people voting) was pretty evenly split betwenn current/ex and never served.
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:49 PM
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Ok nice question . However, depending on countries the answer might well mean very different things . I took the second choice but my experience will be very limited in regard to others: a few long walk and I became quite good with a MAT-49 (FAMAS had not been delivered to all air force units at the time).

For my part, I did 10 month in the regular french military service (air force; as liaison between the "direction general" of the national weather cast agency and the GHQ of the french air force). Lets put it clear (may be), I spent 9 month hopping for some 20 miles walk that never came just to get rid of the director's secretary preparing her continuous walking weekends . I did that two years before France chose to rely on a professional army. Ok, I could have volunteer for a longer time or for the officer corps but I had a sexy girl waiting at home and I rather make love (take it as it should) than war .

On the other hand, I liked the month field training that I did before that, especially as we had a squadron of F-15 on our base (nice birds) and as I could get close to Mirage F-1C and Mirage 2000C.

Nevertheless, that experience was enough to fully understand what my grandfather was saying about armies in general: "Armies are great when you have a war to fight but, otherwise, it is useless, meaningless and expensive. Armies are great for destruction and war is only about that, people saying otherwise are jerks". I fully buy what he was saying (he had a five year long world war to make his point) and as I already said to some, I have great respect for soldiers but hate wars, all wars.

In the meantime I did all my history studies on the military (especially cavalry and cossak under the soviets) but that's another story .
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:17 PM
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Default Just a wannabee

I very much wanted to serve, away back in the 1980's, when I was a teenager. I read everything I could on military history, played lots of board wargames, and even picked up the Twilight thing. At the end of high school I applied for the US Military Academy-- rejected.
I went to college and tried to get an ROTC scholarship-- rejected.
I stayed in college, and took the first two (no-committal) years of ROTC, and then applied for the 3rd year-- rejected.
US Army Reserve? Rejected.
Ohio National Guard? Rejected.
I transferred to a less expensive school closer to home, took a major in military history with a minor in national security policy studies and Russian. I applied for work with the CIA and DoD-- rejected.


Why the rejections? The first five were because of childhood asthma, which had persisted after my 12th birthday (or was it 14th? I've blotted it out). A professor later told me it was because the tear gas in Basic might well have killed me. The last one was because it was 1990, and there was a big ol' hiring freeze on for those departments, since the Cold War was shutting down.
I gave up on the gummint, and now I raise children.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2008, 07:40 PM
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Sheesh Lee,

I Had the same history of asthama when I was a kit and made it into the MC. And served with a ocuple folks who had similiar. What's funny, is the Marines LEGEND Chesty Puller had childhood asthama and look what he became. Isn't it ironic, by todays standards he would have been rejected on the spot!

We all wonder what "would have been" or one of my favorite words "IF" so many possibilities to wonder about. But then we just have to play the cards we are dealt and move on.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:19 PM
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I very much wanted to be in the service, tried the AF right after grad school (trying the OCS route), but was turned down. Tried the Navy later on, passed the written exam, but didn't pass the review board for OCS. No reason given either way. The recruiter in the Navy's case said it may have been any number of things, from an "average" test score to the review board judging me by where I went to school, to simply too many candidates and too few slots, or that I was trying to get into the hardest non-aviation job in the Navy (other than SEALs or Nuclear Power): Naval Intelligence. He didn't tell me until after getting the letter that on average, 10,000 people a year try for Navy OCS and there's only about a thousand slots in an average year. The AF never did tell me why they said no, other than "all aspects of your application were reviewed against the current needs of the service."
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:02 AM
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I tried and was rejected also. Back in 1980 after Reagan was elected, I went down to volunteer my services. I couldn't pass the hearing tests. Tried again some years later when the Marine Corps contacted me. Same thing again only this time worse. The doctors couldn't believe that I communicate with people as well as I do. Tried again in the mid-90s when the push for qualified civi's happened. Everything was a go, even a posting to E-5 right off, but again I failed the hearing so bad they wondered why I tried.

As old and tired and ornery as I am now, I'd still go if they wanted me. Yea, I always wanted to do my part I guess you could say.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2008, 01:01 AM
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Its cool people! I was bounced out for being "broken" a compound fracture that I ended up having to swim about 100m with. Ruined a brand new pair of boots too. The 1st Sgt interviewed me right after the Docs told me "We don't think we'll be able to save your leg." Then the first shirt comes in trying to gather evidence to courtsmartial me for becoming hurt and abaonding my gear.

And here we are after a dozen or so surgeries, bone grafts and the removal of the metal holding my leg together, I feel better than I have in over a dozen years....at least pain free! And I am dealing with reserve recruiters from the Navy and Marines to get me home
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2008, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee
I very much wanted to serve, away back in the 1980's, when I was a teenager. I read everything I could on military history, played lots of board wargames, and even picked up the Twilight thing. At the end of high school I applied for the US Military Academy-- rejected.
I went to college and tried to get an ROTC scholarship-- rejected.
I stayed in college, and took the first two (no-committal) years of ROTC, and then applied for the 3rd year-- rejected.
US Army Reserve? Rejected.
Ohio National Guard? Rejected.
I transferred to a less expensive school closer to home, took a major in military history with a minor in national security policy studies and Russian. I applied for work with the CIA and DoD-- rejected.


Why the rejections? The first five were because of childhood asthma, which had persisted after my 12th birthday (or was it 14th? I've blotted it out). A professor later told me it was because the tear gas in Basic might well have killed me. The last one was because it was 1990, and there was a big ol' hiring freeze on for those departments, since the Cold War was shutting down.
I gave up on the gummint, and now I raise children.
I remember the year classes that I processed through - and how we had to sent some guys home that really wanted to serve ,and keep some on that you see a mile off were going to be bothersome,negative louts.

I remember a friend of me telling me about this one guy they managed to keep although he should have been rejected .He really wanted to serve despite a former head injury .Makes me smile to think that regulations were broken

Lots of the legends and heroes of various military organizations have been people that would be rejected today as too old,not meeting health requirements,to near sighted or whatever.

I raise children myself these days -let me tell you -teenage girls are like a protracted stint under fire .The strain on your temper and nerves ...
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2008, 02:09 AM
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So true that the British had two fighter pilots flying with no legs during WWII. One of them was taken down by Adolf Galand squadron over France. As I recall, the German offered him champaign, and sent him back home. He got right back in a plane and continued the fight.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2008, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
So true that the British had two fighter pilots flying with no legs during WWII. One of them was taken down by Adolf Galand squadron over France. As I recall, the German offered him champaign, and sent him back home. He got right back in a plane and continued the fight.
No you have it wrong. They did give him champagne, but after some heroes treatment since he was a founder of modern aviation, they sent him to a POW camp, and then after several semi successuful escape attempts they took his legs away,

Just imagine that, you have no legs and you have still managed to get out of your POW camp several times.

And that makes me wonder about real life.

Today they have a Marine sniper with one eye, a kid in the 25th Division with one leg, an armor captain with one leg, and several others who are on active duty who have injuries who would precluide them from initial entry, however, they do have exemptions that so allow folks who have serious injuries to continue to serve and they have relaxed them more so these days which is a good thing, I just hope it continues rather than it being used as a political tool.

Thanks for listening to my rant,

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  #12  
Old 10-08-2008, 09:37 AM
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I was in the U.S. Air Force form 1974-1978, A90250 Aeromedical Evacuation Technician when I got out. Last station was Clark AFB, Phillipines. Before this I was stationed at various hospitals in texas. Also did my survival training in Texas as well as Basic and Advanced.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
So true that the British had two fighter pilots flying with no legs during WWII. One of them was taken down by Adolf Galand squadron over France. As I recall, the German offered him champaign, and sent him back home. He got right back in a plane and continued the fight.
the formal requirements are toned down a bit I guess .See the list of amputees,wounded,one eye shot out and otherwise maimed people that served actively in the Japanese and German forces during WWII.

I wonder how hard the health requirements are to get into a contractor job or even som eparts of the national guard or regular army they send to Iraq-I know some instances that the requiremenst are stiff-but then again other seem less hard..
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
the formal requirements are toned down a bit I guess .See the list of amputees,wounded,one eye shot out and otherwise maimed people that served actively in the Japanese and German forces during WWII.

I wonder how hard the health requirements are to get into a contractor job or even som eparts of the national guard or regular army they send to Iraq-I know some instances that the requiremenst are stiff-but then again other seem less hard..

There are two things I have run into.

1.) If you are prior service then they apply a different set of rules as far as joining. IF you are a first time enlistee then the rules in some ways are more stringent. An example, for prior service you can be up to 30% disabled per the Military or Department of Veterans Affairs and still get into the National Guard or Reserves. <This is my experience> However, if you have never been in before, the same conditions will disqualify you right off the bat.

And then there are waivers. Waviers are required for damn near everything. And it is up to the aproving authority to pass or fail the waiver request.

Also, the unit and recruiter. Do they want you? Do they have the numbers or do they need them? How dilligent is the recruiter? I have had several say to my face, "eh you aren't worth it, you take to many waivers, it'd take to long." In my day that would border on deriliction of duty. They don't want to do their job because it takes to much work! LOL I would loved to have seen that tried in my old unit. "Sorry gunny, that is just to much work, I don't think I'll do it." Ridiculous.

As for contractor, you had better have some talent and have all your ducks in a row, with a little luck to go with it. And I am not just talking the companies who employ trigger pullers either.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
There are two things I have run into.

1.) If you are prior service then they apply a different set of rules as far as joining. IF you are a first time enlistee then the rules in some ways are more stringent. An example, for prior service you can be up to 30% disabled per the Military or Department of Veterans Affairs and still get into the National Guard or Reserves. <This is my experience> However, if you have never been in before, the same conditions will disqualify you right off the bat.

And then there are waivers. Waviers are required for damn near everything. And it is up to the aproving authority to pass or fail the waiver request.

Also, the unit and recruiter. Do they want you? Do they have the numbers or do they need them? How dilligent is the recruiter? I have had several say to my face, "eh you aren't worth it, you take to many waivers, it'd take to long." In my day that would border on deriliction of duty. They don't want to do their job because it takes to much work! LOL I would loved to have seen that tried in my old unit. "Sorry gunny, that is just to much work, I don't think I'll do it." Ridiculous.

As for contractor, you had better have some talent and have all your ducks in a row, with a little luck to go with it. And I am not just talking the companies who employ trigger pullers either.
all academic for me of course .

I was under the impression that the contractors were a mixed bag of nuts so to say .
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  #16  
Old 10-08-2008, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headquarters
all academic for me of course .

I was under the impression that the contractors were a mixed bag of nuts so to say .
Actualy alot of contractors I know are top notch. Some have retired of military service and this is the only way they can join the fight. Others got out or were forced out durring the draw down. And they are returning in the only capacity they can. Most of the knows I know have a tour or two or more of honorable service. That is the hired gun types everyone thinks about.

I know a few others who work for other companies as medical personel, administrators and similiar.

Pretty much if you have anything on your criminal record even a parking ticket that went unpaid, or poor credit or job history forget it.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:21 PM
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I'm a civilian. I thought about trying for the regs but as I am still asthmatic they would have turned me down. My asthma is controlled, but only if I keep taking the inhalers. I tried out for the TA as well, but was told they would only consider me if I had gone a year without using an inhaler. I did manage to serve with the 1st Ulster Marine Cadets for seven years as a cadet, a further two as an instructor and then spent two years as an instructor with the Army Cadet Force (ACF) - first year attached to 3 Company Para cadets (interesting for an ex baby bootie), the second attached to 7 (City of Belfast) Royal Irish. Sadly due to the nature of my work (shifts running a bar) I had to give up on it due to being unable to guarantee a time commitment.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:53 AM
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Served as an wheaterforecaster in the Swedish Airforce, got some on the side training that I still wonder why the hell I am in a battlezone now and then. It seems I got some weird training couse i seem to get out on recon missions now and then just for fun. =)

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Old 10-09-2008, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antenna
Served as an wheaterforecaster in the Swedish Airforce, got some on the side training that I still wonder why the hell I am in a battlezone now and then. It seems I got some weird training couse i seem to get out on recon missions now and then just for fun. =)

Antenna
That doesn't strike me as unusual at all -- in the Army (especially at G-3 in Korea and when I was at the 82nd Airborne), we often worked with your counterparts in the USAF -- the Weather Recon guys. When you're planning an attack, a good weather forecast is as vital as any other piece of intelligence. And of course, when you're a paratrooper, you really want to know the weather, particularly what the wind will be like at the DZ. CCTs (Combat Control Teams) and TACPs (Tactical Air Control Parties) almost always have at least one weather recon guy.

OT: I remember one night during Team Spirit 88 -- it was horrible weather in Korea, with a driving snowstorm. Everyone was hollering for when there would be a break in the weather. After about an hour of that, the Major in charge of the DTAC's Weather Recon Team suddenly stood up and shouted: "I predict there will be a 100% chance of weather tonight!"
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:07 PM
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Paul, when isn't the weather horrible in Korea? When I ask when? I associate that place with nothing but misserable weather.

As for Weather, keep this in mind,

The Battle of the Bulge, the weather was a major factor in the operation. It was their weather stations in Spitzbergen I beleive that was the deciding factor.

Other aspects of the importance of weather,

The Battle of the North Atlantic and the Convoys.

Battle of the Bismark and Ark Royal and Repulse and of course the HOOD. Weather played an important part.

D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. Weather was critical and delayed the operation and only left a tiny window for it to go.

I would say that weather is of the most importance when dealing with anything involving the Sea and the Sky.

Ships have trouble sailing durring storms or fog. Same for Planes.

And the troops they disgourge are put through hell if they have to deploy in such conditions. Marines landing in a high surf or squal are wet, cold, miserable and sick and alot of them don't even make it to the beach. Paratroops well they delpoy in a fog or a storm, they get scattered and alot of them don't make it as well. So, yeah weather is of critical importance to those types of troops.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b
And of course, when you're a paratrooper, you really want to know the weather, particularly what the wind will be like at the DZ."
I served as professional paratrooper in the BRIPAC ("Brigada Paracaista", the Spanish airborne brigade). And one of the most enervating things about one particular officer was the typical " Wind zero knots over the drop zone" prior to go on board the plane. More often It was not true. Probably he had a problem with the "knot" concept. These barbaric and non-metric measure units!!!
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:04 PM
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I agree about weather but it does play an important role in any kind of combat including land combat.

Napoleon I experienced it during the Berezina. When the retreat started out of Russia he had about 400.000 soldiers, at the end they were only about 10.000 survivors. Most of them lost to weather conditions. By the way do you know why Trees had been planted on the side of roads in France? That was done by that same Napoleon to provide shades to his marching troops. Then, the french army would not be as exhausted as the ennemy. Next war we might not have them anymore, the government is taking them out because of cars. Trees are crossing the roads too often and people die crashing their cars in these wild trees . A small piece of advice then, if you visit France in a hot summer, get out of the Highway, driving under these trees is very nice and, when you have them, you can take of your air condition.

That was a major point during the Finnish winter war. Russians were ill prepared for that winter and soldiers were freezing to death.

When hitler invaded Russia, he could have won if not for the harsh winter of 1941. Again, you can find pictures of german soldiers frozen and still holding their weapons in firing position. After 1942, Germany built cavalry units again as Russian cavalry was able to defeat panzer units (Soviet cavalry was able to go through the German panzer line and they put a mess on the rear areas). Not that strange, a horse can charge in a harsh cold while the panzers were stuck in ice, the turrets often unable to move. Later, they were stuck in mud for months (again the soviet cavalry did fine). After the Kursk battle, Von Manstein was in turn able to put up a good defense using that same winter against Russians.

Your boys had a hell of time at Bastogne (Belgium) when Germany launched its last offensive in winter 1944. That failed but it come close to disater if that hadn't been for the Big Red One (I think it's them, correct me if I'm wrong).

Vietnam is another exemple and I believe that summer heat had been an issue during the first gulf war.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc
I served as professional paratrooper in the BRIPAC ("Brigada Paracaista", the Spanish airborne brigade). And one of the most enervating things about one particular officer was the typical " Wind zero knots over the drop zone" prior to go on board the plane. More often It was not true. Probably he had a problem with the "knot" concept. These barbaric and non-metric measure units!!!
I don't think I've ever jumped with zero wind!
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
I agree about weather but it does play an important role in any kind of combat including land combat.


Your boys had a hell of time at Bastogne (Belgium) when Germany launched its last offensive in winter 1944. That failed but it come close to disater if that hadn't been for the Big Red One (I think it's them, correct me if I'm wrong).

Vietnam is another exemple and I believe that summer heat had been an issue during the first gulf war.

Bastogne was the American 106th Infantry Division who were fresh off the boat and slaughtered. I read a book in the Corps based on what happened called "Death of a Division." If I recall correctly they were the ones that suffered the Malmady Massacre, had a great uncle who was part of it. He was a lucky one and was one of the few who made it out without being killed or captuered or captured and then killed.

And then we had the Airborne Boys holed up in Bastogne, and then it was Patons 3rd Army was it who came to the rescue, as well as the cloud cover lifted allowing arial resupply and air support to devestate the German forces.

As for weather, yes it plays so many roles, like stock piling of supplies before winter sets in. When does winter come this year? So we can get into a position and not be exposed to the elements.

As well as wind and humidity for artillery rounds.

Aircraft, so they know how to adjust their fuel mixtures, where to go, how much fuel and all of that.

Heck, even snipers use weather as the heat and humidty affect the perfect shot placement.

And of couse weather is also an ally if you use it right.

No one in their right minds would be out in a rain or snow storm. So you can move freely with less chance of detection And your tracks will be covered. A task force of ships can hide in a squall and elude the enemy or detecion, <Master and Commander, where they entered the fog bank to elude the enemy> Scout Aircraft hidding in clouds and squals to avoid enemy anti air fire or prowling fighters.

It is an ally if used right.

And yes, temperature also affect a military, heat your people loose effectiveness, require more rest and more water. Cold they need more fuel and food. And also what needs to be done or prepared to ensure your equipment continues to work.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
Bastogne was the American 106th Infantry Division who were fresh off the boat and slaughtered. I read a book in the Corps based on what happened called "Death of a Division." If I recall correctly they were the ones that suffered the Malmady Massacre, had a great uncle who was part of it. He was a lucky one and was one of the few who made it out without being killed or captuered or captured and then killed.

And then we had the Airborne Boys holed up in Bastogne, and then it was Patons 3rd Army was it who came to the rescue, as well as the cloud cover lifted allowing arial resupply and air support to devestate the German forces.
Close. The 106th Infantry Division (green division) was surrounded, but north of the German corps that went for Bastogne. The 28th ID (veteran division, but full of replacements after the Hurtgen Forest debacle) was the next division south, and it got hammered hard trying to hold that corps back. One of the combat-commands of the 9th Armored Division was assisting there. Another of the 9th's CCs, and then one from the 10th AD, assisted the 101st Airborne Division to hold while surrounded at Bastogne.

The Malmedy Massacre was an artillery observation battery in a road convoy that blundered into the SS armor driving forward.

/nitpick
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee
Close. The 106th Infantry Division (green division) was surrounded, but north of the German corps that went for Bastogne. The 28th ID (veteran division, but full of replacements after the Hurtgen Forest debacle) was the next division south, and it got hammered hard trying to hold that corps back. One of the combat-commands of the 9th Armored Division was assisting there. Another of the 9th's CCs, and then one from the 10th AD, assisted the 101st Airborne Division to hold while surrounded at Bastogne.

The Malmedy Massacre was an artillery observation battery in a road convoy that blundered into the SS armor driving forward.

/nitpick

Well, there we have it the complete picture.
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Old 10-10-2008, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adm.Lee
Close. The 106th Infantry Division (green division) was surrounded, but north of the German corps that went for Bastogne. The 28th ID (veteran division, but full of replacements after the Hurtgen Forest debacle) was the next division south, and it got hammered hard trying to hold that corps back. One of the combat-commands of the 9th Armored Division was assisting there. Another of the 9th's CCs, and then one from the 10th AD, assisted the 101st Airborne Division to hold while surrounded at Bastogne.

The Malmedy Massacre was an artillery observation battery in a road convoy that blundered into the SS armor driving forward.

/nitpick

I recently read this book -and it is excellent .Patton ,of course is a fascinating fellow -but the incidents ,facts and anecdotes are just great .After reading how many times he got lost infront of his lines etc no wonder he wore 2 handguns at all times.

He does also mention some african -american quartermaster units that fought well in the Bastogne -not that they get any mention elsewhere.
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Old 10-10-2008, 02:48 AM
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Thanks, I never looked too closely to that battle. I knew the general figure and circumstances but I obviously didn't know about the units. I drove through Bastogne about a thousand times but never stopped to look at whom did stand there.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:08 AM
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Just a little tidbit about BG Anthony McAuliffe (Acting Commander of the 101st at Bastogne): He was Christa McAuliffe's (the teacher-astronaut killed in the Challenger explosion) grandfather-in-law.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmulcahy11b
Just a little tidbit about BG Anthony McAuliffe (Acting Commander of the 101st at Bastogne): He was Christa McAuliffe's (the teacher-astronaut killed in the Challenger explosion) grandfather-in-law.
That's NUTS

^^^Pun very intended
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