War's Toll  

 

c^Pig
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26/02/2019 3:53 am  

I've never served in the military.  My only qualification are many hours of pondering, ever since my childhood, things military related to Rome and World War II.

Strangely, Germans are involved in both of my musings.  For the record, I am not of German ancestry.  This will not be a comprehensive piece due to a sudden spike in business that will be keeping me a wee bit occupied for Spring supporting my pets, myself and the various classes of parasites numerous in number.   One must always make hay when the Sun shines.

Props to all scumball spammers for helping keep my kitty Princess in litter and high quality cat food.  Now, back to our subject at hand.  /Vent

Men who have seen combat are affected in ways that only they are ever capable of knowing.  The closest I can ever get are my secondary observations of its effect on my father, who served in the US Army in WWII, versus his crazy, hard drinking Marine buddy who was one of two survivors of an entire company of US Marines who perished on the island of Iwo Jima. Each faced enemies who were warriors of the finest caliber though my Anglo brethren are highly effective in that area too.  My father said little and was visibly agitated to even barely discuss it.  The Marine buddy would tell these crazy stories of utter devastation, and men so hungry they consumed tree bark.  Both men drank heavily shortening both of their lives by a goodly number of years.

The first musing is based on my recent viewing of a video concerning The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. I focus on the first Legion to arrive on the scene after a period of six years of Roman absence led by Gemanicus.  Three Legions were massacred a brutal ten percent of Rome's entire Legionary capacity.  Gemanicus's Legion was confronted by a carpet of barren butchered bones stretching for leagues.  The legionaries properly buried the gargantuan mass of the bones of their fallen comrades and their followers surrounded by the deep primal forests of Germania chock full of viscous pagan Germanic tribal warriors.  What these men experienced had to have affected them in ways incalculable to us.  This is the result of total war.  What became of them?

The second musing is the story of another one of my Dad's drinking buddies.  He was emigrated to the US at a very young age to the States during the period while the National Socialists were rabble rousing and building enough power to seize control of the former Germania.  He fought in Europe as a member of the US Army against his own people.  Did he every participate in any battles where his cousins fought for the German side?  He was a man of solid character long since passed.  How was he affected?

I think that as the WWII generation enters its midnight.  We secondary sources must record whatever tidbits we can of this dreadful conflagration that still negatively affects many aspects of our modern World spanning our entire Globe.  This is World war.  It's the real deal.

It's a shame my elderly mighty 8th B-17 pilot neighbor is such a total ass.

 

🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy thoughts make happy slaves 🙂 🙂 🙂


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MG-ɹǝʍo┴
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26/02/2019 2:20 pm  

I remember listening to a man named Jimmy, a marine, he told of the kamikaze attacks off of Okinawa, he told of men that lost their sanity, one man was stirring the guts of another man blown to pieces, just standing there and stirring his guts with a stick oblivious to the world around him, he said it was something he'll never forget as they were evacuating the ship that was in flames. Jimmy died in 1995.   

Another man, a marine, and a good friend from the 1980's told me of a typhoon they rode out for days, men were preying and the waves kept pounding and pounding on the hull so loud they could barely hear each other, boom boom boom boom, day and night for 3 days, nobody got any rest and everything was stowed away tightly. He had a shell go off right in front of him that maimed and disfigured his face grossly, one eye was pointing nearly out of sight and sagged below the other, he insisted we called him "pop", I used to take showers and wash cloths at his house when I lived in a motor-home behind a mill that was my friend's shop. I worked for Pop in exchange by erecting all the cement blocks for his one car garage and an out building in his backyard plus I would work on his truck in my friends shop. I slept with a 12ga. pump shotgun in the motor-home in case there was any trouble or thieves attempting to break in. Pop was a damn good man and close friend! Jimmy was a prick and cold as ice. 


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The Evil Genius
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26/02/2019 3:08 pm  

Excellent observations C-Pig. The Emperor Augustus spent years wandering around the palace lamenting "VARUS VARUS give me back my legions!" And it was not until the time of Emperor Claudius that the legionary standards were recovered. The Roman historian Tacitus records that the skulls of thousands were nailed to the trees of the forest. And this did have an effect upon the Romans who came later. Germanicus fought a number of later battles along the Rhine against Arminius and lost all of them. Of course unbeknownst to the Romans the coalition of tribes led by Arminius (Herman) was dismantled when other German princes collaborated in his assassination in 21 AD.

The one part of the whole story I have often found curious is the fact that Arminius, (the mastermind of the ambush) although a prince of a German tribe was given as hostage to Rome as a boy and grew up Roman, even becoming a Roman Knight of the Equestrian class. He was uniquely positioned to cause the ambush of Varus precisely because he was sent to Germany WITH Varus as his aid for the express purpose of "Romanizing" the German tribes.  Dark treachery indeed. 


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Matcha Savage
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26/02/2019 3:35 pm  

Stories fascinating me are for example from several men, who went into soviet prison camps in Siberia between 1941 and 45, fled out of imprisonment and walked home.

If you know, where Siberia is in relation to Germany on the map/globe and especially if you even can consider/imagine the hardships of going for thousands of miles through all of Soviet Russia as a German soldier on the run, with no money or food, without a map or compass, with only half a dozen Russian words in your vocabulary and the populace not being very welcoming of blonde haired and blue eyed Germans wandering the landscape... if you can really imagine all of that, then cudos to you, you have an astonishing imagination and I mean it.

 

The Granddad of a friend of mine did that. He did not talk about it to us, though. He did not want to be asked about it. Which was sad, because his (horrible) experiences along the way were priceless.

 

 

My own Granddad would tell me stories about the old cities he had visited as a Wehrmacht soldier only to illustrate to me the historical characteristics of these cities as he had seen them, himself.

Some of his best paintings he created while being stationed in Italy for a while.

Considering WW2, he would not talk about anything other than that.

Close relatives told me a few stories about what went down, when he did not have the calm for painting.

 

For a while he was stationed on a torpedo boat in the Northern Sea.

One day - shortly before the torpedo boat would leave the harbor, again -he had caught a fever and could not stand up and go with his comrades.

The military doc diagnosed him as being unable to serve and ordered him to remain in the barracks, instead.

The torpedo boat on that journey got hit by comparatively heavy, British cruiser artillery. The bridge was devastated, 17 men down, but the hull was not critically damaged, so the ship did not sink, immediately, even though it wasn’t maneuverable anymore.

So, while being under incoming cruiser fire, the sister boats managed to get the devastated ship hooked on to them and - with significantly reduced speed and staying pretty darn close to each other - pulled it all the way out of the dangerous waters and back into the harbor.

My Granddad normally would have been operating the boat’s radio - on the bridge.


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GregBO
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26/02/2019 4:31 pm  
Posted by: c^Pig

I've never served in the military.  My only qualification are many hours of pondering, ever since my childhood, things military related to Rome and World War II.

I think that as the WWII generation enters its midnight.  We secondary sources must record whatever tidbits we can of this dreadful conflagration that still negatively affects many aspects of our modern World spanning our entire Globe.  This is World war.  It's the real deal.

It's a shame my elderly mighty 8th B-17 pilot neighbor is such a total ass.

 

Active support for those deployed service members is vitally important C-Pig, I still remember receiving my first care package from a group of 1st graders from Michigan. 

Check CPig.  Anyone drafted has a much different story to tell than those who volunteered (enlisted or commissioned officer appointment).  Using the same tactics with ever increasing technical lethality and brutality caused significant, permanent damage to those who served.  A key to remember is that military service is not for everyone and folks quickly learn how to play the game.  The stress of being in the military is more than enough for most members, let alone the added stress of being in combat.

Dad served in the Army Security Agency and did multiple tours in Korea and Vietnam.  He became a heavy drinker as well, but was never prone to violence towards those he knew and or respected.  Like the others described, he very rarely talked about the operational aspects of his service, much the same of those Vietnam veterans I served with after my 1983 Army enlistment.

You are 100% correct that we have an ever declining window to speak with service members who have seen up close the horrors and brutality of war.  There is no way to actually pass along the first person details, however it is something that needs to be done.  Both for those who served, as well as those who did not.  That much is owed those who served.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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GregBO
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26/02/2019 5:33 pm  
Posted by: c^Pig

 

 

The first musing is based on my recent viewing of a video concerning The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. I focus on the first Legion to arrive on the scene after a period of six years of Roman absence led by Gemanicus.  Three Legions were massacred a brutal ten percent of Rome's entire Legionary capacity.  Gemanicus's Legion was confronted by a carpet of barren butchered bones stretching for leagues.  The legionaries properly buried the gargantuan mass of the bones of their fallen comrades and their followers surrounded by the deep primal forests of Germania chock full of viscous pagan Germanic tribal warriors.  What these men experienced had to have affected them in ways incalculable to us.  This is the result of total war.  What became of them?

 

 

As discussed by T.E.G., the battle was the long term plan of Arminius that included many acts of treachery and betrayal. The destruction of the legions only delayed the eventual devastation of the tribes between the Rhine and the Elbe, and Roman attempts to restructure the political landscape.  This expansion of territory served as a buffer for the highly productive Rhine area and greatly reduced the abilities of Germanic tribes to attack developed Rhineland resources.  Taxable land & resources vs non-taxable land & resources.

No one really knows what the long term outcome of Varus's "occupation" of the Germanic tribes might have been. The defeat of the legions were ensured by the duplicity of Arminius each and every step of their march.  A rumor stated that 1/4 of Verus's forces were slaughtered prior to the battle while being "hosted" by Germanic Tribes for the Winter and Verus marched along a path identified by Arminius and fortified by German tribes man.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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THX 1138
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27/02/2019 2:24 am  

One of my best childhood friends went off to Desert Storm, came back brain damaged, I won't go into specifics. I nearly signed up back then, took my ASFAB, scored crazy high, nearly enlisted but the eternal rebel in me knew that I would not be able to take orders from the clowns above me. Also, even back then I wasn't convinced as to why we were over there in the first place.

As far as WWII goes one of my Grandfathers nearly died in it, saw many of his friends die, don't care to give details, he was a pretty big drinker the rest of his life. He was also a big Patton fan after the war. Knowing what I know now I wish I had asked him if he agreed with Patton when Patton after the war said that we were fighting the wrong enemy. I now know that many from all over the world went and joined the German Military in WWII, something I was never told in school, and that many of the countries that Hitler "Occupied" he was welcomed by those who were happy to see the Germans instead of the insane Bolshevik Russians. I think 30 something percent of America was German back then? Too bad Oswald Mosley's BUF party couldn't get into power as it would have avoided tens of millions of casualties, the Brits would not have joined WWII if he got his way, but guess who was crashing his speeches with violence akin to the Antifa of today? And who controlled the press...? Drunken Churchill, sellout Roosevelt and Holodomor madman Stalin got their way, or should I say those who were backing them got their way... I often wonder what the world would be like today if Nationalism had won instead of Global Banker Totalitarianism.

I am now of the opinion that the world would have been better off to let Hitler's Nazi party fight Jacob Schiff funded Stalin and his insane mass murdering of their own people Bolshevik party 1v1. France should have stayed the fuck out of it as well.

 


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c^Pig
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27/02/2019 1:10 pm  

Thanks Gentlemen and keep 'em coming. I loved reading every ones' input.

A little backstory on Varus,  he married into Augustus' family.  A sister, if my recall is proper.  He was the Roman equivalent of what we call a lawyer who was tasked with the initial stages of prepping Germania to be Romanized.  He was never a military man, but was placed in charge of three legions, the 17th, the 18th, and the 19th. Names that would be never used again. 

Though he may have been a good choice as a civil administrator, and that is my thought on Augustus' logic.  The man had no business being a commander of three legions.  The fact that Herman was able to draw him onto unfavorable terrain so easily shows he was not qualified.  Chasing a reported uprising deep in the middle of some thick forest loaded with hostiles when they are not a direct threat is simply not wise.  Even if there were an uprising, having them kill themselves off would have only strengthened Rome's position. 

Yes, losing Legionary standards was a major humiliation for the Romans.  I'm sure the Germanic tribes that possessed them were given a quite special punishment. 

The only two WWII vets that I knew who spoke openly were both a bit crazy.  I will spare the details obtained from these men out of respect.

You're right GregBo, the ever increasing lethality of weaponry will be changing strategy and tactics far, far into the future.  I'm surprised how long it took to realize that charging into the open with no cover against cannons and machine guns was simply killing too many men.  WWI was the poster child for this.  

@THX: Yes, Germans make up a large portion of America's ethnic stock and a major asset to this country too  Even in the former colony where I live, a small number of Germans settled here.  The German surnames are still carried in that area.  The Southeast was primarily settled by Anglo and Celtic peoples.  Georgia was originally established as a colony where slavery was forbidden.  General James Oglethorpe was a very wise man with vision.  He kicked some Spanish ass at the Battle of Bloody Marsh.

https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/battle-bloody-marsh

I'm a little miffed they do not mention the Scottish Highlanders Oglethorpe had brought along for military purposes.  They played a huge role in the victory.  A grandfather in my lineage was felled in that battle.  He was the leader of a clan of Highlanders.

🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy thoughts make happy slaves 🙂 🙂 🙂


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GregBO
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27/02/2019 2:55 pm  

One additional thought C-Pig from the tactical viewpoint:

"Though he may have been a good choice as a civil administrator, and that is my thought on Augustus' logic.  The man had no business being a commander of three legions.  The fact that Herman was able to draw him onto unfavorable terrain so easily shows he was not qualified.  Chasing a reported uprising deep in the middle of some thick forest loaded with hostiles when they are not a direct threat is simply not wise.  Even if there were an uprising, having them kill themselves off would have only strengthened Rome's position." 

Varus was reacting to information provided by "Germanic Tribe Allies" who were following a long term plan developed by Arminius.  Given Arminius's in depth knowledge of Roman military tactics and strategy, plus his knowledge of the local terrain, Arminius was able to prepare the ambush site to maximize the ambush from every angle.  His also being in the chain of command would have given him access to give or misinterpret orders during the actual combat to the detriment of the Roman Legions.

Check regarding the Aquila (Eagles) - The standard of the Legion.  Continued exploratory missions into Germany continued until the third Aquila was ultimately reclaimed approx 26 years later.  Funny that there is no record of legions emblems.

Accounts list battles where 29 Aquila were lost and nine were never accounted for afterwards.  Regardless, no legionary eagles are known to have survived, though carvings are available that show what they might have looked like. 

 The South attic of the Arch of Constantine in Rome showing four panels exhibiting standards.

 

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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c^Pig
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28/02/2019 3:05 am  

Great point on the tactical side of things, GregBo, thanks.  Arminius was in a very unique position.  It was also very logical to send him there too due to his local knowledge.

Attacking the rear parts of the column first and then working up to the front was a brilliant tactic also due to the difficulties of communication across an extended line of legionaries who were not exactly in battle formations.  Three legions on the march would take many, many hours to pass especially in that thick forest.  What Arminius did was pure genius. 

Also, thanks for sharing the detailed Aquila information.  That's still a right decent rate of recovery.

A league is an archaic measurement unit based on the distance a man could walk in an hour, a bit over three miles. 

The adventures of the 14th Legion in the book "Nero's Killing Machine" is also a great read for anyone interested.

 

🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy thoughts make happy slaves 🙂 🙂 🙂


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MG-ɹǝʍo┴
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28/02/2019 3:17 am  
Posted by: c^Pig

Great point on the tactical side of things, GregBo, thanks.  Arminius was in a very unique position.  It was also very logical to send him there too due to his local knowledge.

Attacking the rear parts of the column first and then working up to the front was a brilliant tactic also due to the difficulties of communication across an extended line of legionaries who were not exactly in battle formations.  Three legions on the march would take many, many hours to pass especially in that thick forest.  What Arminius did was pure genius. 

A league is an archaic measurement unit based on the distance a man could walk in an hour, a bit over three miles. 

 

Kickem in the ass then punchem in the face, GREAT MOVE!

I once pulled a guys jacket over his head then held the jacket with one hand and beat his covered face with the other! He truly didn't see it coming! I stopped when it came to pulling his head down to knee coming up! I didn't wanna kill him!       


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GregBO
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28/02/2019 11:03 pm  
Posted by: c^Pig

Great point on the tactical side of things, GregBo, thanks.  Arminius was in a very unique position.  It was also very logical to send him there too due to his local knowledge.

Attacking the rear parts of the column first and then working up to the front was a brilliant tactic also due to the difficulties of communication across an extended line of legionaries who were not exactly in battle formations.  Three legions on the march would take many, many hours to pass especially in that thick forest.  What Arminius did was pure genius. 

Also, thanks for sharing the detailed Aquila information.  That's still a right decent rate of recovery.

A league is an archaic measurement unit based on the distance a man could walk in an hour, a bit over three miles. 

The adventures of the 14th Legion in the book "Nero's Killing Machine" is also a great read for anyone interested.

 

I never pass by a book related to Greek or Roman history without at least looking at it.  Great stories and great history.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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c^Pig
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01/03/2019 10:08 am  

@GregoBo #MeToo

I've a book of English translations of original source Roman documents.  It's fascinating reading.  One was a letter to an Emperor from an administrator explaining how close he was to eradicating Christianity for good.  I just smirked.

🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy thoughts make happy slaves 🙂 🙂 🙂


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MG-ɹǝʍo┴
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01/03/2019 12:04 pm  
Posted by: c^Pig

@GregoBo #MeToo

I've a book of English translations of original source Roman documents.  It's fascinating reading.  One was a letter to an Emperor from an administrator explaining how close he was to eradicating Christianity for good.  I just smirked.

Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape the emperor's orders to kill all the children 2 years old and under in an attempt to kill the messiah because he "feels" threatened. 

Now they're massacring Coptic Christians in Egypt and the UN along with the mass media turn a cold blind eye. "Feels" can be a deadly thing! 

Same'o same'o, just a different day!  

'Just the beginning': Mass slaughter of Coptic Christians ...

Cairo church bombing kills 43 in Palm Sunday massacre ...   


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GregBO
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01/03/2019 2:39 pm  

C-Pig, please send the title and ISBN so I can try to find a copy.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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c^Pig
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01/03/2019 6:40 pm  

Here's the Amazon link:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nero%27s+killing+machine&crid=1X860RFKN2LQK&sprefix=neros+killing+machin%2Caps%2C171&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_20

I had trouble putting it down, frankly.  I've read a lot of history books over the years.  Wait until you read of what Centurion Barrabas did in battle.

CP

🙂 🙂 🙂 Happy thoughts make happy slaves 🙂 🙂 🙂


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