Sunday, October 26, 2014

" There can be no reconciliation where there is no open warfare. There must be a battle, a brave boisterous battle, with pennants waving and cannon roaring, before there can be peaceful treaties and enthusiastic shaking of hands." Mary Elizabeth Braddon

I think he knew your grandma

  • .
  • Guess who saw Fury yesterday (10/25/2014)?
  • Best war movie I have seen in years and it is one of the best ever. 
  • The story line was plausible. The weapons and uniforms were great. There was nothing I could fault with the production values in general. Oddly, I just realized- nothing stuck with me about the music- maybe that is the way it was supposed to be.
  • It reminded me: conventional wisdom has it even before they started dying of old age by the hundreds every day; you just didn't meet that many old timer M4 Sherman tank crewmen among World War II vets- too many died during the war.
    A Sherm with one of my old unit's crest on it's side.
  • M4s at Kasserine edit: My guess is the tanks were at the Desert Training Center in Cali- not the Faid Pass in Tunisia. (thanks Captain S.)
  • Like a lot of other weird things we believe, the M4 wasn't that terrible of a tank- especially earlier in the war.  The use of  it was not due to a lack of care and concern for our troops and a case of war planners and politicians looking at our troops as fodder to feed the War Beast. There were some mathematics involved though. The Germans weren't making enough of the really big bad tanks that outclassed the M4 to turn the tide and if we had switched to a heavier tank, production of the already good and proven Sherman would have had to suffer.  Also and again, I guess this is mathematical and in war to come out on the losing ending of an algebraic equation is to die but look at the literally legendary Tiger tank. It came out early in the war and was was feared like few other vehicles by the allies. It was it's gun that made it fearsome- the 88mm. The tank itself was generally reliable but it's problems were kinda biggies. I don't want to belabor the point (or argue) but something like 1000 Tiger 1s were made and more like 40,000 Shermans were produced. More vehicles does mean more you can lose but it also means more you have to use for point on assaults and providing infantry units with support etc. 
  • We could have hung a better gun and installed better optics on the M4 and no one today would really be arguing which was better between the Axis and Allies tanks. 
  • Yep, I guess also it could have been diesl powered and possessed of 200 more horsepower and had thicker armor... but then if we knew everything then we know now and we had a time machine I would go back and strangled life out of little Adolf in his crib while Alois and Klara slept.
  • I am not being rude or disrespectful since we're discussing a US tank crew in WWII but I'm also not incorrect when I tell you this man is the idol of every studious US armor crewman.
    Die before I kill you.
  • I had always wanted a realistic movie to be made about US armored crewmen but especially once I saw The Beast about a Russian crew in Afghanistan. The concept is the same though- is The Beast (or Fury in this case) the tank as we suppose or is it the tank commander or something living within the individual crewmen's hearts or mankind itself...?
  • Anyway, the tone was set in the movie within the first few seconds and didn't require any stupid back stories or flashbacks to the sweeties the guys left behind or whatever.
  • A great pic of a Sherman and Tiger locked in a death embrace

  • The humor was great- dark and absolutely genuine to a group of soldiers
  • There isnothing like being in a column of vehicles heading out for a combat patrol. You know this may be your last day on earth- you may be entering your last moment. You get a knot in your stomach and your mouth goes dry. You throw a splash of water in your mouth turning your Copenhagen snuff to mud and pull your fireproof gloves on your hands. You look back at your best friend to make sure you see him for last time in case one of you dies today. He gives you a stupid grin and flips you off. OK. All Cobra elements this is Cobra 32 lock and load your weapons and tell me when you're up. and then about 60 seconds later, All Cobra elements roll- time now the patrol leaders voice says over the radio. Amid the smell of dirt, snuff, sweat and diesel fuel exhaust we roll into the unknown.
  • Why do we still make war, we should be much too evolved for it- right? It makes literally no sense. Why do we do it? That is probably why we still do it- it makes no sense and it is exciting.
    Dead Germans being dead in the mud in front of a Sherman not wondering about which tank was better in WWII.


Capt. Schmoe said...

* Had you not told us, I would have thought that picture of M4s at the Kasserine was taken at the Desert Training Center / Calif. Ariz. Maneuver Area.

* I sort of agree with you on this and sort of disagree. We should have evolved past the need for warfare. Many of us have. That it is unnecessary and exiting isn't the issue. Those who decide whether we wage war usually have never experienced anything close to the excitement that risk, vanquishment and victory can bring. Nor have they experienced the shock, horror and devastation that comes with warfare.

That there are large groups of powerful humans that haven't evolved past warfare is the real reason it is still waged. Evolution has not gotten past greed, power and bloodlust. BTW I am not a pacifist. Sometimes ass still needs to be kicked.

el chupacabra said...

Hey Captain. I really think you're right on the location of those tanks and I thought the same thing but the description said Kasserine so I went with that.

Nah- didn'nt think of you as a pacifist at all.

You well stated an irony- not a contradiction.