Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hood & Gonen.

This is coolbert:

That Confederate General in command of the secessionist forces at the Battle of Franklin John Bell Hood:

"John Bell Hood . . . was a Confederate general during the American Civil War. Hood had a reputation for bravery and aggressiveness that sometimes bordered on recklessness. Arguably one of the best brigade and division commanders in the Confederate States Army, Hood became increasingly ineffective as he was promoted to lead larger, independent commands late in the war, and his career was marred by his decisive defeats leading an army in the Atlanta Campaign and the Franklin-Nashville Campaign."

Hood a Texan and undoubtedly a man of the highest degree of physical courage imaginable. During the American Civil War the man lost both an arm and a leg but continued to serve directing his troops with continued and remarkable valor.

Hood too successful in commanding lower echelons of command but not so successful when in charge of units at higher echelons. Good as a brigade or divisional commander but not well as an army commander.

And his entire career marred and most significantly so by the debacle at Franklin.

Again, only at Franklin did a Confederate army during the entire episode of the American Civil War leave the battlefield in a state of rout and disarray.

There is a modern counter-part to John Bell Hood? The Israeli general officer Shmuel Gonen. GORODISH in the familiar form to his Israeli officer colleagues. Gonen also a man of undisputed bravery, wounded five times no less in the Israeli War of Independence.

The hard luck general officer also successful when in command of lesser formations but not doing so well when in command of major formations. Excessive Israeli casualties in the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War of 1973 and lackluster performance of the IDF attributed to Gonen.

In memoriam to John Bell Hood much verse and lyrics devoted to the man:

Stephen Vincent Benét's

    "Yellow-haired Hood with his wounds and his empty sleeve,
    Leading his Texans, a Viking shape of a man,
    With the thrust and lack of craft of a berserk sword,
    All lion, none of the fox.
                 When he supersedes
    Joe Johnston, he is lost, and his army with him,
    But he could lead forlorn hopes with the ghost of Ney.
    His bigboned Texans follow him into the mist.
    Who follows them?"

Private Sam Watkins

    "But the half of brave Hood's body molders here.
    The rest was lost in honor's bold career.
    Though fame and limbs he scattered all around;
    Yet still though mangled was with glory crowned.
    For ever ready with his blood to part,
    War left him nothing whole, except his heart."

Bell I. Wiley

    "My feet are torn and bloody,
    My heart is full of woe,
    I'm going back to Georgia
    To find my uncle Joe [Johnston].
    You may talk about your Beauregard,
    You may sing of Bobby Lee,
    But the gallant Hood of Texas
    He played hell in Tennessee."

Gonen also the subject of dramatic presentation subsequent to the 1973 war, the man and his behavior during the war continuing to be a subject of intense discussion.

Both men living the remainder of their lives in the aftermath of their military careers having the proverbial "cloud" hanging over their heads. And both never redeemed. Both also dying premature deaths unable to recover from what was perceived as battlefield failure.


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