From the War is Boring Internet web site a discussion of the Dominican Crisis of 1965 and the use of armor as available to the various adversaries. Also those ancient and venerable tank designs subject to retrofit, upgrade, improvement.
I strongly suggest that devoted readers to the blog consider this War is Boring article in two parts. Part I that background to the crisis, everything you wanted to know about the Dominican Civil War and the American intervention but were afraid to ask! Part II that presence of armor on both sides of the conflict and duels between same.
Yanqui American big-brother Banana Republic foreign interventionism seen with hindsight as misguided and counter-productive?
"The Dominican Civil War . . . took place between April 24, 1965, and September 3, 1965, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It started when civilian and military supporters of constitutionally elected former President Juan Bosch overthrew acting President Donald Reid Cabral. The coup prompted General Elías Wessin y Wessin to organise elements of the military loyal to President Reid, known as loyalists, initiating an armed campaign against the so-called constitutionalist rebels. Allegations of foreign support for the rebels led to an American intervention in the conflict"
Allegations that among the warring elements were pro-communist inspired factions as seen from the perspective of Washington D.C. mandating intervention. To my recollection that "frame of reference" never confirmed or denied!!
Fifty years after the fact "Yanqui American big-brother Banana Republic foreign interventionism" properly understood as an error. I cannot say?
• "Franz Sigel, '. . . in point of theoretical education, is far above the average of commanders in this country. He has studied with great care the science of strategy, and seems thoroughly conversant with the campaigns of all the great captains, so far as covers their main strategic features, and also seems familiar with the duties of the staff, but in tactics, great and small logistics, and discipline he is greatly deficient. These defects are so apparent as to make it absolutely impossible for him to gain the confidence of American officers and men, and entirely unfit him for a high command in our Army.'" -- Brig. Gen. John M. Schofield, Feb. 12, 1862.
See previous blog entries regarding the "Forty-Eighters" and the contribution of distinct German-speaking units to the Federal cause during the American Civil War:
My thought has always been that those distinct German-speaking units of the Union army as commanded by officers also native German speakers, commanders and enlisted both having trained in the German tradition would have shown some marked fighting capacity on the battlefields of the American Civil War better than average. THIS HOWEVER DOES NOT SEEM TO BE THE CASE! Good yes, but nothing more than that.
"Brig. Gen. (ret.) Joshua Shani, the lead pilot in Operation Entebbe, insists the Israeli Air Force was key to the success of the 1976 hostage rescue mission in Uganda • In a special interview, he reveals little known facts about the iconic operation."
"A defendant in a military trial in Lebanon, accused of spying for Israel, testifies that he met Arad days before his death, but did not realize his identity until 10 years later • Israelis involved in hunt for information on Arad not too impressed"
From the article by Daniel Siryoti and Gideon Allon
My personal comments:
* With regard to Entebbe the raiders used measure audacity to achieve their goal. BECAUSE EVERYONE THOUGHT THE MISSION WAS IMPOSSIBLE IT BECAME POSSIBLE!!
* With regard to Ron Arad keep in mind that these notorious cases with the publicity as generated result in all sorts of gadfly people coming out of the woodwork much to the detriment of everyone. Many desire money in return for information and many others are persons with deep and dangerous mental issues!!
Devoted readers to the blog will want to read both items in entirety!
"General George S. Patton from the era of the Second World War [WW2] as perceived by the German senior military commander as an able, competent and good commander of armor but nothing more than that. NO better than dozens of German Wehrmacht tank commanders of similar rank and responsibility."
Here they are. Those German officers of flag rank whose command performance during WW2 either equaled or exceeded that of George Patton. The proverbial "bushel" of then some to be more accurate.
Particular emphasis in this case to those general officers who commanded armored formations [panzer] and exemplars of "mechanized maneuver". Practitioners of tank warfare!
* Von Manstein. "Manstein was the German strategist extraordinaire, who brilliantly tweaked the old Schlieffen Plan for a German attack on France by funneling Germany’s panzer arm through the Ardennes Forest and then racing them onward to the English Channel. The complete destruction of the French Army in less than six weeks of battle confirmed Manstein’s standing as one of the premier, operational strategists in the infant field of mechanized maneuver warfare"
* Guderian. "He was one of the great innovators in mechanized maneuver warfare who pioneered the breakthroughs in multiple-arms operations by integrating the stunning new developments in modern tank warfare with the enhancements of attack aircraft in the tactical role."
* Rommel. "He was one of the great innovators in mechanized maneuver warfare who pioneered the breakthroughs in multiple-arms operations by integrating the stunning new developments in modern tank warfare with the enhancements of attack aircraft in the tactical role."
* Model. "excelled at both offensive and defensive warfare and he was a master of improvisation; often overcoming enormous operational adversities to persevere through the most intolerable challenges. In the beginning of the war it was on the offensive where his youthful talents were first recognized, in leading the 3rd Panzer Division as part of Gen. Heinz Guderian’s illustrious panzer advance through Byelorussia and the Ukraine."
* Von Kleist. "He was the senior general in charge of Germany’s panzer arm during their audacious attack across Western Europe in 1940. Because of that success he was assigned to lead one of the four panzer armies designated for Operation Barbarossa."
* Von Manteuffel. "He was one of the most outstanding panzer commanders in the Second World War and inherited a dazzling array of debilitating wounds and permanent scars to show for his courageous skills in leading tank forces during the heat of battle."
* Von Strachwitz. "Out of all Germany’s ace panzer commanders in the Second World War none could match the exemplary record of Graf von Strachwitz. The 'Armored Count;”
* Hube "oversaw the formation of the 16th Panzer Division from scratch, during the run-up to Operation Barbarossa and then gallantly led it through one of the most harrowing but distinguished advances of all the tank formations in Germany’s Army Group South."
* Hoth. one of the German Army’s most acclaimed panzer commanders. He led the XV Motorized Corps during the German invasions of Poland and France, supervising the celebrated exploits of Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division and administering the decisive blow which destroyed the Polish Army. During Operation Barbarossa Hoth led the 3rd Panzer Group in one of the most renowned armored advances of the Second World War. His group assisted in orchestrating three of the most legendary enemy encirclements in military history"
* Von Balck. "In the case of German panzer general Hermann Balck that distinguished performance came at the height of one of the German Army’s most desperate moments on the Eastern Front."
* Von Saucken. "His cavalry beginnings made him a natural candidate for transition to the panzer arm, which he eagerly upheld in commanding the 4th Motorized Infantry Brigade during the invasions of France and Greece."
* Harpe. "became one of the foremost advocates of mechanized maneuver warfare. Along with Gen. Heinz Guderian, Harpe was one of the army’s expert, conceptual strategists in blitzkrieg operations."
* Neuring. "Was another great tactician in the field of mechanized maneuver warfare who was compelled to utilize his inherent, offensive skills more in a defensive role to delay the inevitable collapse of German resistance on the Eastern Front. But he did this with unceasing regularity in the tumultuous final year of the war and forced the Red Army to pay a heavy price for their numerous battlefield victories."
* Von Mackensen. "the younger [Mackensen the Younger as not be confused with his father from WW1 fame Mackensen the Elder] more than held his own by managing to carve out a rather successful track record in Germany’s panzer arm,"
* Von Vietinghof. "He was also a quite able panzer leader; serving as a corps commander in Gen. Heinz Guderian’s dynamic romp across Byelorussia during Operation Barbarossa"
* Lemelsen. "Another distinguished panzer commander who fought with Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Group during Operation Barbarossa."
* Hans Reinhardt. "Was another steady German general whose service was considered too invaluable to do without. Reinhardt led the 3rd Panzer Army for much of the war on the Eastern Front"
German commanders their performance superior both on the offensive [early stages of the war] and also on the defensive [latter stages of the war]. Patton never on the defensive or having to conduct a retrograde operation it should be noted.
That Lorraine Campaign as was fought during the Second World War [WW2] much to the discredit of Patton. Repeated and foolish and ill-conceived American frontal assaults against fortifications manned by second-rate German troops armed in a second-hand manner very counter-productive.
Patton the commander a staunch advocate of fast-moving maneuver armor warfare and constantly seeking "the flanks" of the enemy stymied in a big time manner by fortifications as constructed in the period immediately in the after of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870!!
Read the whole article by Eric.
"In Lorraine, Patton’s bloodiest campaign, he was up against some of Germany’s toughest officers. Of these . . .General Hermann von Balck, who performed the kind of flexible defense he had practiced in Russia on the Chir river. Thus on the Moselle and in the siege of Metz, the Germans forced Patton, short on gas and ammunition, into practicing the type of piecemeal attack that he deplored in others, and leading von Balck to speak of 'the poor and timid leadership of the Americans'”
In all instances the use of the word "timid" as applicable within the military dimension pejorative!!
"Patton and his 3rd Army remained immobilized while the war went on elsewhere. Patton’s plan to race across the Rhine and be the first Allied general to storm Berlin was frustrated by old forts and rugged German defenders. Finally, the Americans brought in French officers who had served on the Maginot Line to advise how to attack the forts."
Once more, second-rate German troops fighting strictly defensively with second-rate equipment but occupying formidable fortifications and commanded by superior commanders who knew their battlefield savvy a tough combination to beat.
I recommend without qualification or reservation all devoted readers to the blog read these two articles the topic of which is General Patton.
General George S. Patton from the era of the Second World War [WW2] as perceived by the German senior military commander as an able, competent and good commander of armor but nothing more than that. NO better than dozens of German Wehrmacht tank commanders of similar rank and responsibility.
"One piece of the Patton story, however, is pure myth: that Patton was the subject of close scrutiny by the Germans, who anticipated his attacks in fearful admiration. General Patton was not . . . a 'hero even to professional German officers who respected him as the adversary they most feared in battle.' Nor was he . . . regarded by the Germans 'as their most dangerous adversary in the field…. For a while the Germans watched the comings and goings of Patton like rubbernecked spectators following a tennis ball at Wimbleton.' In fact, for most of the war the Germans barely took notice."
"On this background, it is only natural to ask what the Germans thought of him [Patton], and how he [Patton] measures up to the Wehrmacht’s panzergenerals . . . As Yeide emphasizes, this not a biography but a meticulous recreation of Patton’s campaigns seen from the German perspective . . ..'Having been on the receiving end, the German officers were uniquely positioned to assess Patton’s effectiveness, though there are certain caveats.'"
Indeed, the most senior German flag officers [generals] seem to have been of two minds regarding Patton. 1. That attitude and perspective of Patton as "able, competent" but nothing more than that during the war. 2. The "Great Captain" worthy of comparison with Napoleon or the very best of the German Wehrmacht commanders in the aftermath of the war.
"We regarded General Patton extremely highly as the most aggressive panzer-general of the Allies. . . His operations impressed us enormously, probably because he came closest to our own concept of the classical military commander. He even improved on Napoleon’s basic tenet — activité, vitesse — vitesse".- - General Gunther Blumentritt.
German general officers [and admirals as well] in the aftermath of WW2 almost without exception subject to arrest, incarceration and subject to detailed interrogation. It can reasonably be thought that these senior German commanders realizing their predicament sought to ingratiate themselves with their captors one means of doing so rave reviews of Patton and possibly other allied officers as well?
"There is perhaps no lost-treasure mystery more seductive than that of the priceless Amber Room of Peter the Great, which disappeared in the chaotic closing hours of World War II. Now Bartlomiej Plebanczyk, an unassuming historian and museum director in northeastern Poland, believes he has found it."
"Elderly villagers told Mr. Plebanczyk that they had seen a German convoy unloading big crates into a secret chamber in a stark, moss-covered Nazi bunker near the Russian border in early 1945. So the Mamerki Museum, which he leads, recently completed a ground-penetrating radar scan of the derelict bunker that he said confirmed the existence of a hidden chamber."
. . . .
"The Amber Room is a singular treasure. It was originally completed in the 18th century in a palace near St. Petersburg, Russia, paneled with six tons of precious amber, elaborately carved and decorated with gold. After advancing German troops captured the palace in 1941, the 600-square-foot room was dismantled and carted off to Königsberg Castle in East Prussia, where it was later exposed to British bombs and Soviet shells. Berlin sent orders in January 1945 to evacuate high-value cultural items from the castle, but what happened after has never been clear."
IF TRULY FOUND, THE ROOM IN POLISH HANDS AND NOT RETURNED TO RUSSIA WILL BECOME A HOT ITEM OF CONTENTION EXACERBATING A HOSTILITY THAT HAS EXISTED SINCE 1920 OR SO AND ONCE MORE BECOME MANIFEST!!
One aspect of the Second World War [WW2] was pillage on a massive, institutionalized and Biblical scale by many of the adversaries. German, Soviet, Japanese, the allies probably too! IT MIGHT BE SUGGESTED IN WHAT WAR EXACTLY DID NOT SUCH UNSEEMLY BEHAVIOR OCCUR!!
See previous blog entries the topic of which was looting and thievery during WW2 and "long-lost" hidden treasure from that era: