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Old 15th December 2012, 05:37 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Exactly what do you feel that Britain, France, and the United States should have done in response to Axis aggression from 1938-1941?
I think they responded how they should have. In fact I believe America should have got in the war sooner. But America weren't really the aggressors in the first place as far as that conflict goes. That being said we became the aggressors pretty damn fast after that. I think one of the Japanese said we have "awaken a sleeping giant". That ended up being correct. And I think that it can be debated that the giant has become tyrannical. Lots of Americans think the whole world owes us something. We did what we should have done in WWII. That's it.

Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, all bull in my opinion. Did I leave any out?

Correct my numbers if I'm wrong but do we really put 40% of our budget into defense and intelligence? The same intelligence and military that failed to stop 9/11? As a country whatever the number is we have gotten nothing back. Many Americans are broke now. How many have died? Oh, and I know that America has killed many more than what it has sacrificed in all of these wars. But that just means we were good at it. But were we right? And what did everyday Americans get out of any of it?
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Old 16th December 2012, 12:18 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
Correct my numbers if I'm wrong but do we really put 40% of our budget into defense and intelligence? The same intelligence and military that failed to stop 9/11?
It is proof that just throwing money at something doesn't mean its going to work properly. There are two things I can safely say about the failure of US Intelligence prevent 911.

1. The gradual change in the methods of intelligence gathering after the Cold War; from a combination of agents in the field, direct surveillance using satellites and electronic eavesdropping, to an almost total reliance on the latter two, and the comparative phasing out of the field agent, was a huge mistake.

2. The placing of "weight" in information from the various sources with heavy reliance placed on the information from electronic and satellite surveillance, and very little weight being placed on what they were getting from the field, was also a big mistake.

There was nothing much wrong with the information being gathered from the field, except that there wasn't enough of it. The fault lay largely with those up the chain of command who ignored warning signs such as the memo from the FBI's Phoenix field office that said there was "an alarming pattern of Arab men with possible ties to terrorism taking aviation-related training".

Now as it turned out, none of the students attending Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott were among the 19 who carried out the 911 attacks, but that doesn't mean they weren't party to it in some way. Anyone involved in training personnel for a military operation will tell you that if you need 20 men for the job, you don't just train those 20 men; you train many more, at the very least a back-up crew, to allow for things going wrong in the lead up to "A" Day.

The memo from the Phoenix office was largely ignored, and of itself, this probably didn't contribute all that much to the failure to detect 911. However, they continued to ignore warning signs, until in August of 2011, Zacarias Moussaoui - a French Moroccan - was detained in Minnesota after raising suspicions among his instructors at a flight school where he said he wanted to know how to fly, but not how to land or take off. There is only one reason why a student would only want to know how to fly without wanting to know about landing and taking off. Why on earth did they not investigate this man further?

At the time, Moussaoui had emerged as the lone defendant charged in the aftermath of the attacks.
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Old 16th December 2012, 02:06 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The memo from the Phoenix office was largely ignored, and of itself, this probably didn't contribute all that much to the failure to detect 911. However, they continued to ignore warning signs, until in August of 2011, Zacarias Moussaoui - a French Moroccan - was detained in Minnesota after raising suspicions among his instructors at a flight school where he said he wanted to know how to fly, but not how to land or take off. There is only one reason why a student would only want to know how to fly without wanting to know about landing and taking off. Why on earth did they not investigate this man further?

Moussaoui didn't actually skip the landing and take-off lessons; that was an incorrect early report by the media. His instructor was suspicious because of his sporadic knowledge; such as knowing airline jargon but using it in nonsensical ways.

He was detained on an immigration violation, and although some in the FBI suspected him of being involved in something, they didn't have enough evidence to convince FBI lawyers that they had grounds to obtain search warrants for his apartment or computer.
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Old 16th December 2012, 02:13 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
In most Middle Eastern countries that support terrorism, either openly or covertly, nationalism and religion are intimately entwined. Some have Islamic Government, in which following of the Islamic faith is all but compulsory. Commit an act of terrorism for nationalistic reasons, and you are automatically doing so for religious reasons as well.

Some have Sharia Law which is known for its brutal oppression of women and which inflicts savage punishments on those who contravene it.


This is fascinating, but has absolutely zero bearing on the matter of the perpetrators of the "terrorist attacks" you listed. Are you even aware that the PFLP was started by a Christian?

What part of "not carried out by a Muslim Arab terrorist organisation" are you still struggling with?

Here's a few basic tips for you to follow when looking at violence in the middle east from now on:

1. Not all violence is terrorism.
2. Not all middle-eastern people are Arabs.
3. Not all middle-eastern people are Muslim.
4. Not all middle-eastern people are motivated by religion.
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Old 16th December 2012, 02:24 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
I think they responded how they should have. In fact I believe America should have got in the war sooner. But America weren't really the aggressors in the first place as far as that conflict goes. That being said we became the aggressors pretty damn fast after that. I think one of the Japanese said we have "awaken a sleeping giant". That ended up being correct. And I think that it can be debated that the giant has become tyrannical. Lots of Americans think the whole world owes us something. We did what we should have done in WWII. That's it.

Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, all bull in my opinion. Did I leave any out?

Correct my numbers if I'm wrong but do we really put 40% of our budget into defense and intelligence? The same intelligence and military that failed to stop 9/11? As a country whatever the number is we have gotten nothing back. Many Americans are broke now. How many have died? Oh, and I know that America has killed many more than what it has sacrificed in all of these wars. But that just means we were good at it. But were we right? And what did everyday Americans get out of any of it?

So you feel that Britain and France were justified in going to war with Germany to aid Poland, but the US and its allies were not justified in going to war with North Korea to aid South Korea? What's the difference?
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Old 16th December 2012, 02:29 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
So you feel that Britain and France were justified in going to war with Germany to aid Poland, but the US and its allies were not justified in going to war with North Korea to aid South Korea? What's the difference?
America got in WWII after it was attacked. WWI was a big mess. I think the aggressors are at fault.
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Old 16th December 2012, 02:32 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
America got in WWII after it was attacked. WWI was a big mess. I think the aggressors are at fault.
So, the central powers (Austria/Germany) were at fault then?
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Old 17th December 2012, 02:43 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
In the 18th Century the British Empire was the smallest of a number of very large European Empires squabbling for world domination. By the mid 19th Century the British had firmly overwhelmed all of the other European powers and was irrefutably the world power.




By 1860 France and Britain were cozy allies, and France unquestionably the inferior junior member of the partnership. France would have fought on the side of the North, if at all. You've got to remember that with the end of the Napoleonic Wars the British Empire was undisputed top dog of the world. In particular, they had total freedom of the seas; it would be the early 20th Century before any country in the world could even hope to compete with the Royal Navy.





If you re-read my post you'll see that I was referring to the number of trained professional soldiers. If you think press-ganged militia are comparable to career soldiers you are... mistaken. Further, my point is that they could have doubled the size of the North's pre-existing army in the first months of the war. In all likelihood they would have had a rather large land force already in North America (those Spanish-American wars in the first half of the 19th Century would have been Spanish-British Wars). If the south had been stupid enough to rebel in such a scenario, the initial efforts by the North would have been that much more effective at quickly stamping out the war before it grew big enough to drag a million conscripts into it.




I think the South would have been destroyed long before that had time to whip up all their conscripts, but in any event I don't think so, British patriotism was at its zenith in the 19th Century. The Americans fought the British in their early days, when they weren't much of a world power. By the mid 20th Century they were growing into the largest Empire in human history, and the wee British Isles were fairly bubbling with patriotism. You want to see what the effect of that is? In WWI the British Army were using a million troops in a single battle, and that was just to help out a friend. Imagine what they'd have done to protect their own territory. Remember, they sent a quarter of the Imperial Army to the middle of the North Island of New Zealand (some of the most unbelievably inhospitable terrain on the planet) just to smack a Maori chief around for calling himself a King.





Like I said, France and Britain were close as cousins by the mid 19th Century. If anything, the Brits might have helped France in Mexico too.
Sorry, I missed this and would like to reply so sorry if I distract everyone from once again arguing the Islamist/Terrorist link in a thread that should have nothing to do with same.

Gumboot,
Since we're speculating, you can propose all sorts of hypotheticals. History, though, should be taken into consideration somewhat. Mighty England spent most of the post Napoleonic Wars 19th century whupping up on woefully equipped local populations. And frankly, was fought to a standstill too many times for anyone to consider them Genghis Khan redux. The only global power they entered the field against, arguably, was during the Crimean War and that didn't turn out so food. Other than that, as we say in the football pools, "Who'd they beat?" I'm less impressed by the fact that they'd send half their forces to fight the Maori than I am impressed negatively that they needed to do so.

Again, it's speculation... so maybe there would've been trained and garrisoned forces in the Union, but I think that just like the US forts and facilities prior to the Civil War, a lot of those trained and garrisoned forces would've been in the South.

England and France both hoped for, for economic reasons, a Confederate victory. This was with an independent USA, and I believe it would've been more so if it was still a colony. The South supplied cotton to the mills in both England and France.

But, like I said, ... it's speculation. Would England with the wealth of the non-Canadian North American colonies have been even more dominant? Quite probably so. Equally, might England's financial interests in cotton have created a more problematic situation at home, viz their objection to slavery? Can't say.

Oh, and I totally doubt that England would've helped "this week's buddy" in establishing a foothold in Central America. It took England a couple of centuries to rid itself of the Spanish pests, whose wealth was largely based on their Central and South American holdings. I can't see Gladstone or anyone else thinking "Oh, what's the harm? They're our friends, now. Let's let them set up shop on the doorstep to one of our most important colonies/dominions.
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Old 17th December 2012, 10:35 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by Profanz View Post
America got in WWII after it was attacked. WWI was a big mess. I think the aggressors are at fault.

I didn't ask about World War I; I asked about Korea. Kindly answer my original question.

Further, it was only "official" US participation that began when Japan attacked and Germany and Italy declared war. Unofficial US participation had been ongoing (and escalating) for many months prior to that.
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:22 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
<snip>
Mighty England spent most of the post Napoleonic Wars 19th century whupping up on woefully equipped local populations. And frankly, was fought to a standstill too many times for anyone to consider them Genghis Khan redux. The only global power they entered the field against, arguably, was during the Crimean War and that didn't turn out so food.
<snip>

Thats a somewhat cliched interpretation of history.

First of all, it was at the time Britain. Not England.

"whupping up on woefully equipped local populations" Yes, most enemies were less well equipped, yet invariably the British would be massively outnumbered. In the case of the Anglo-Zulu war, typically by about 20 to 1 and equally invariably had the home-ground advantage. Then you have the Sikh wars in which the British were not only outnumbered but thoroughly out-gunned too. Then you have the Mutiny in which, again the British were outnumbered and the equipment deficit was tiny.

And checking up on the Crimean War, its does seem the Russians kind of, well, lost, while the British did the lions share of winning

Alma - Storming uphill a supposedly impregnable position
Balaklava - Defending a supposedly indefensible position
Inkerman - Decisively defeating the Russians in a set-piece so heavily they never ventured out again

and then there's

Sevastopol - Also eventually stormed, though it could have been stormed almost directly after Alma if Raglan had disregarded the whinging French.

All that with a high command of the very most concentrated distillate of everything that was wrong with the purchase system. If "Indian" Officers had not been actively discouraged from joining, I do wonder what might then have happened.
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Old 19th December 2012, 01:17 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Thats a somewhat cliched interpretation of history.

First of all, it was at the time Britain. Not England.

"whupping up on woefully equipped local populations" Yes, most enemies were less well equipped, yet invariably the British would be massively outnumbered. In the case of the Anglo-Zulu war, typically by about 20 to 1 and equally invariably had the home-ground advantage. Then you have the Sikh wars in which the British were not only outnumbered but thoroughly out-gunned too. Then you have the Mutiny in which, again the British were outnumbered and the equipment deficit was tiny.

And checking up on the Crimean War, its does seem the Russians kind of, well, lost, while the British did the lions share of winning

Alma - Storming uphill a supposedly impregnable position
Balaklava - Defending a supposedly indefensible position
Inkerman - Decisively defeating the Russians in a set-piece so heavily they never ventured out again

and then there's

Sevastopol - Also eventually stormed, though it could have been stormed almost directly after Alma if Raglan had disregarded the whinging French.

All that with a high command of the very most concentrated distillate of everything that was wrong with the purchase system. If "Indian" Officers had not been actively discouraged from joining, I do wonder what might then have happened.
In the spirit of speculative history, I was taking the ****, so to speak. But with a grain of truth. The majority of Britain's (I am very guilty of that transgression, sorry) wars were determined by out-gunning the enemy. The supply chain invariably took some time to catch up, but in the end the superiority in well-trained disciplined troops, a professional officer corps and vastly superior arms did win the day*. But there was kinda no one to fight on the Continent so that's not necessarily the fault of the British.

And the outcome of the Crimean was a marginal win for the British, a marginal loss for the Russians, a major setback for Austria and a pretty good leg up for the Ottomans. Not that any of that necessarily lasted all that long - the whole thing, like many/most wars, was a pretty pointless affair.

*When that support was forthcoming, witness Lucknow in '57, the British prevailed. When that support didn't get there, witness Khartoum at the end of the century, the sheer numbers of the opposition eventually undid the British. (In all fairness, Khartoum was not a failure of British Military Logistics. It was a foreign policy failure - they were essentially abandoned.)
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Old 19th December 2012, 01:52 AM   #212
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The most successful war one that has never needed to be fought.
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Old 19th December 2012, 02:49 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Dcdrac View Post
The most successful war one that has never needed to be fought.
...otherwise termed "diplomacy"
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Old 19th December 2012, 12:06 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
In the spirit of speculative history, I was taking the ****, so to speak. But with a grain of truth. The majority of Britain's (I am very guilty of that transgression, sorry) wars were determined by out-gunning the enemy. The supply chain invariably took some time to catch up, but in the end the superiority in well-trained disciplined troops, a professional officer corps and vastly superior arms did win the day*. But there was kinda no one to fight on the Continent so that's not necessarily the fault of the British.

And the outcome of the Crimean was a marginal win for the British, a marginal loss for the Russians, a major setback for Austria and a pretty good leg up for the Ottomans. Not that any of that necessarily lasted all that long - the whole thing, like many/most wars, was a pretty pointless affair.

*When that support was forthcoming, witness Lucknow in '57, the British prevailed. When that support didn't get there, witness Khartoum at the end of the century, the sheer numbers of the opposition eventually undid the British. (In all fairness, Khartoum was not a failure of British Military Logistics. It was a foreign policy failure - they were essentially abandoned.)
I'll grant you that by the time of Ulundi, "vastly superior arms did win the day", but up to the Crimean war, the British were still armed with bog-standard muskets and cannons, neither of which were a rarity in the Indian subcontinent where most of the actions of significance took place. If there was a qualitative advantage with regards to equipment, it was far smaller than the commonly accepted idea of hordes-of-noble-spear-chucking-savages-being-mown-down-by-gatling-guns would have us believe.

Indeed the Sikh's not only outgunned and outnumbered the British, but they were disciplined and drilled to western standards. The were probably the equal of most western armies of the time

And again to the Crimean war. There can only be one explanation to the success at Alma and the charge of the heavies. In both cases, the British had no right to win and every right to be annihilated. Yet win they did and you cant pin that on any technological superiority of firepower.

To paraphrase George McDonald Fraser - It would simply not be true to say that British soldiers were braver than soldiers of any other nation. It is almost undoubtably true though, that British soldiers had more faith in the bravery of the man standing next to him than any other. Its what enabled the thin red line to hold steady in the face of almost certain death and its what allowed the British to use a two-rank firing line when other armies dismissed the tactic as an impossibility. To quote a Russian officer at Alma "...we had never before seen troops fight in lines of two deep, nor did we think it possible for men to be found with sufficient morale to be able to attack, in this flimsy formation, our massive columns". Its also what convinced the Russian cavalry to retreat before the heavies, though they outnumbered them ten to one and had virtually swallowed the brigade whole....

The success of the British redcoat, as attested by how much of the globe he coloured pink, was far more to do with steadiness and discipline in the face of almost certain death, than it was to do with technology.

Of course this all came unstuck in the Boer war when steadiness and disciplined volleys were made obsolete by high-velocity magazine rifles.....
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Old 19th December 2012, 12:38 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Of course this all came unstuck in the Boer war when steadiness and disciplined volleys were made obsolete by high-velocity magazine rifles.....
Even Rudyard Kipling betrays a sense of shock at the character of this conflict.
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Old 19th December 2012, 05:42 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Even Rudyard Kipling betrays a sense of shock at the character of this conflict. But the lesson had not been fully absorbed even a decade and a half later.
Oh god, not more inaccurate "folk memories" of WW1.

I'd refer you to the Haldane reforms, or the performance of the Expeditionary Force it created... but I doubt it would do any good. (Brief synopsis - a lot of criticism of the British Army in WW1 is overblown).
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Old 19th December 2012, 08:47 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Oh god, not more inaccurate "folk memories" of WW1.

I'd refer you to the Haldane reforms, or the performance of the Expeditionary Force it created... but I doubt it would do any good. (Brief synopsis - a lot of criticism of the British Army in WW1 is overblown).
And a lot of it is very fair. The attack on Gallipoli, for example, could not have succeeded even if everything had gone right. it was just a stupid place to invade.
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Old 19th December 2012, 09:07 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
And a lot of it is very fair. The attack on Gallipoli, for example, could not have succeeded even if everything had gone right. it was just a stupid place to invade.
Well, Gallipoli (the choice to invade and the leadership during the battle) is the one campaign that not even the proponents of the "Britain actually had reasonable leadership" school try to defend.

If you ask me, virtually all of the fighting against the Turks was a massive misallocation of resources that could have been better spent on the Western Front.
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Old 19th December 2012, 09:46 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Well, Gallipoli (the choice to invade and the leadership during the battle) is the one campaign that not even the proponents of the "Britain actually had reasonable leadership" school try to defend.

If you ask me, virtually all of the fighting against the Turks was a massive misallocation of resources that could have been better spent on the Western Front.
That's more the War Cabinets fault than the generals though. Lloyd George was always looking for an alternative to the western front. The middle east campaign was a result of this.

Whatever your position on the overall leadership, surely everyone can agree that Hubert Gough was at best promoted beyond his ability, and at worst spectacularly incompetent. Ironically at the time the one thing he had little part in stuffing up, the 5th Army's defense during Operation Michel was one thing he was heavily criticised for. Even if Plumer, Currie or Monash (in my mind the three best Empire generals during the war) had been in charge then they couldn't have done a lot better in my view.
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Old 19th December 2012, 10:27 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
That's more the War Cabinets fault than the generals though. Lloyd George was always looking for an alternative to the western front. The middle east campaign was a result of this.
Yes. Amazing the hoops Lloyd George would jump through to try and take the focus away from the Western Front (if only the Germans had obliged!)


Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post

Whatever your position on the overall leadership, surely everyone can agree that Hubert Gough was at best promoted beyond his ability, and at worst spectacularly incompetent. Ironically at the time the one thing he had little part in stuffing up, the 5th Army's defense during Operation Michel was one thing he was heavily criticised for. Even if Plumer, Currie or Monash (in my mind the three best Empire generals during the war) had been in charge then they couldn't have done a lot better in my view.
Gough should have been sacked after (during?) 3rd Ypres. Ironically, the battle where he didn't do too badly (considering the circumstances) was the "straw that broke the camel's back" and finally got him canned.
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Old 20th December 2012, 04:45 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Gumboot,
Since we're speculating, you can propose all sorts of hypotheticals. History, though, should be taken into consideration somewhat. Mighty England spent most of the post Napoleonic Wars 19th century whupping up on woefully equipped local populations. And frankly, was fought to a standstill too many times for anyone to consider them Genghis Khan redux. The only global power they entered the field against, arguably, was during the Crimean War and that didn't turn out so food. Other than that, as we say in the football pools, "Who'd they beat?" I'm less impressed by the fact that they'd send half their forces to fight the Maori than I am impressed negatively that they needed to do so.
I think you missed my point. They didn't need to. The fact they did reflects how little their armies had to do. The very reason the United Kingdom idn't do much whopping of global powers in the second half of the 19th Century is because they'd done so much whopping in the Napoleonic Wars and earlier that they didn't need to do any more. There were no other global powers.

And this is reflected in the military actions the UK did involve itself in over that time. The sheer audacity of their behaviour is a reflection of their utter supremacy. Hell, in China they went to war and won to protect illegal drug smugglers.

Had the South tried to secede from a British Americas here's what would have happened; the British Navy would have blockaded the South, and they would have starved to death. The end.



Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Again, it's speculation... so maybe there would've been trained and garrisoned forces in the Union, but I think that just like the US forts and facilities prior to the Civil War, a lot of those trained and garrisoned forces would've been in the South.
Which would have only reduced any odds of rebellion.


Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
England and France both hoped for, for economic reasons, a Confederate victory. This was with an independent USA, and I believe it would've been more so if it was still a colony. The South supplied cotton to the mills in both England and France.
Well, this is the interesting point; what would have happened if the USA had stayed a British colony re: slavery? One possibility is the British wouldn't have been so keen to abolish slavery, but that seems unlikely to me given the drive to abolish slavery was done on moralistic and humanitarian grounds, not economic grounds.

Another possibility is that the South never would have grown into such a significant slave industry in the first place. Bear in mind the cotton industry only really became big in the 1800s, by which time the UK was aggressively attacking the slave trade.


Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
But, like I said, ... it's speculation. Would England with the wealth of the non-Canadian North American colonies have been even more dominant? Quite probably so. Equally, might England's financial interests in cotton have created a more problematic situation at home, viz their objection to slavery? Can't say.
Unlikely, as the slave trade was abolished before the cotton trade really grew significant.


Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Oh, and I totally doubt that England would've helped "this week's buddy" in establishing a foothold in Central America.
Why not? The British had already jumped aboard several other French ventures.


Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
It took England a couple of centuries to rid itself of the Spanish pests, whose wealth was largely based on their Central and South American holdings. I can't see Gladstone or anyone else thinking "Oh, what's the harm? They're our friends, now. Let's let them set up shop on the doorstep to one of our most important colonies/dominions.
Why not? They were friends, and France didn't have a hope in hell of taking on the UK. I think you underestimate how strong the British-French friendship was by this time.
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Old 20th December 2012, 04:57 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
And a lot of it is very fair. The attack on Gallipoli, for example, could not have succeeded even if everything had gone right. it was just a stupid place to invade.
Had the allies not loudly declared their intention to take the penninsula six entire weeks before they invaded, and even then, had they bothered to actually establish proper beach-heads after the initial landings, the operation had every chance of success.
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Old 20th December 2012, 05:01 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Oh god, not more inaccurate "folk memories" of WW1.

I'd refer you to the Haldane reforms, or the performance of the Expeditionary Force it created... but I doubt it would do any good. (Brief synopsis - a lot of criticism of the British Army in WW1 is overblown).

Most peoples' grasp of WWI trench warfare is infantile at best. Just poining out the evolution of the barrage is, alone, enough to counter the vast majority of ignorant and baseless criticisms.
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Old 21st December 2012, 03:51 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Had the allies not loudly declared their intention to take the penninsula six entire weeks before they invaded, and even then, had they bothered to actually establish proper beach-heads after the initial landings, the operation had every chance of success.
Rubbish. How are you supposed to establish a proper beach-head here?



The sheer cliffs and crazy landscape once you do get inland of the first cliff are a rather enormous obstacle as well.
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Old 21st December 2012, 04:56 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
Rubbish. How are you supposed to establish a proper beach-head here?

http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/Images/AnzacCove.jpg

The sheer cliffs and crazy landscape once you do get inland of the first cliff are a rather enormous obstacle as well.

I wasn't thinking of ANZAC Cove (although the bizarre decision to reembark the Australian artillery probably had disasterous consequences and prevented the Australians from holding Baby 700), but rather Y Beach. It was totally undefended, and British troops advanced to within 500yds of Krithia Village (which was totally undefended). However the two commanders in the landing argued all day about who was in command while their troops wandered around on the beach, with no orders, and did nothing. They didn't even bother to start entrenching themselves until 3pm, let alone advance and capture the undefended objectives.

When the Ottomans finally counter-attacked the British defenses were half complete and fierce fighting developed. The following morning boats arrived to collect the wounded, and mass confusion led to an unauthorised withdrawal. Later on the afternoon of the 26th a Naval Officer returned to Y Beach to search for wounded who might have been left alone and was able to freely wander the beach in broad daylight for two hours, without seeing a single Ottoman.

In the end, it would be the 28th before the British attempted to take Krithia, by which time Ottoman reinforcements had fortfied the village. Had the forces at Y Beach taken the objective they could have cut off the few units directly opposing the landings further south and enabled the British to more swiftly advance
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Old 27th December 2012, 01:45 PM   #226
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US invasion of the Canadas in the War of 1812......oh.....most successful war in history. nvrmnd

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Old 27th December 2012, 04:03 PM   #227
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I would argue the Second Persian War. Greek victory in this conflict ensured Western Democracy could survive, allowing the Greeks to spread it to their Italian colonies where it would eventually result in the Roman Republic, which is the basis of Western Civilisation. Greek and Roman culture would further inspire a western cultural and social revolution in the late Renaissance, leading to the modern world.
Go on then.
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Old 27th December 2012, 08:58 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by fitzgibbon View Post
US invasion of the Canadas in the War of 1812......oh.....most successful war in history. nvrmnd

Fitz
True, but ironically the failure of the Canadian retaliation, specifically the American victory in the Battle of Plattsburgh, turned out to be even more important. In terms of casualties, vessels and other measures it's dwarfed by many others, but it kept New England from becoming part of Canada and changed the balance of the war.
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Old 27th December 2012, 09:10 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
True, but ironically the failure of the Canadian retaliation, specifically the American victory in the Battle of Plattsburgh, turned out to be even more important. In terms of casualties, vessels and other measures it's dwarfed by many others, but it kept New England from becoming part of Canada and changed the balance of the war.
Does this invasion count as a war, or was it only a campaign?
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Old 27th December 2012, 09:34 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Does this invasion count as a war, or was it only a campaign?
Campaign, really. Seems the irony of the War of 1812 on the North American continent was that the side that should have dominated militarily at any given point always seemed to bungle in some manner.


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Old 28th December 2012, 01:55 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by fitzgibbon View Post
Campaign, really. Seems the irony of the War of 1812 on the North American continent was that the side that should have dominated militarily at any given point always seemed to bungle in some manner.


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Having studied history in England I naturally know next to nothing about any wars 'we' lost, including this one.
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Old 28th December 2012, 09:34 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Having studied history in England I naturally know next to nothing about any wars 'we' lost, including this one.
It's an interesting bit here, because although the Battle of Plattsburgh was, by many naval standards, a little thing, it kept New England from becoming part of Canada, and was a factor in tipping the balance of the war of 1812 such that the Americans came out of the peace negotiations differently than they might otherwise have, henceforth recognized by the UK as sovereign rather than a rebel outpost.
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Old 28th December 2012, 09:49 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Interesting. I'd say that it's meaningless to judge the success of a war, except in terms of the aggressor's objective. Since the aggressors in WWII ultimately lost, I'd say that by my criteria it should be judged a failure, not a success. Success for the defenders would have been to not have to fight a war at all.
Disagree.

If through diplomacy and/or intimidation the defender prevents the aggressor from attacking it is certainly a success, but aggressor is still there and may yet attack in next generation or so. If aggressor does attack, and is defeated so completely it no longer exists -- or no longer exists as an aggressive entity[1], -- that's a bigger success for the defender than not fighting a war at all.

[1]What happened to Germany and Japan in 1945
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Old 28th December 2012, 03:15 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
Having studied history in England I naturally know next to nothing about any wars 'we' lost, including this one.
The only losers in the North American instalment of the War of 1812 were the First Nations.

The States came out of it with an enhanced cohesiveness as well as a realisation of the value of a standing army.

The Canadas were set on a half-century-long path to nationhood, a path that wouldn't have been trod had the States not invaded.

The First Nations who as a group were critical to keeping the States' forces at bay at the darkest moments were treated after the War and for much of the succeeding interim as a problem to be assimilated into a superior culture or at worst to be tolerated until nature ran its course and rendered them but a memory.

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Old 30th December 2012, 06:15 PM   #235
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Anyone who is interested in history and/or a great podcast should check out Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. His most recent series, which isn't done yet, but the first four episodes are available, is called Wrath of the Khans, and it's all about Genghis Khan and his conquests. I think that there's an argument to be made that these conquests were perhaps the most successful wars in history, in terms of the Mongols achieving what they wanted to achieve. Want they wanted to achieve was not really a good thing of course, particularly for their victims. But they were spectacularly successful on the battlefield. No army of the time could stand against them. The Mongol empire lasted more than a century so it wasn't just a flash in the pan.

Whether you agree or not, I still recommend Hardcore History.
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Old 1st January 2013, 04:18 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by fitzgibbon View Post
Campaign, really. Seems the irony of the War of 1812 on the North American continent was that the side that should have dominated militarily at any given point always seemed to bungle in some manner.

Fitz

I think the answer to that can be seen in troop numbers. The UK just didn't give the conflict much priority. Prior to 1814 their focus was Napoleon, and after that they clearly still weren't committed. Consider, if you will, that after Napoleon's defeat the British sent 15,000 troops to Canada, less than half of which were veterans of the Peninsula War. In 1814 the Royal Navy had 99 Ships-of-the-Line, yet at the completion of the Peninsula War they released only a single Ship-of-the-Line and sixteen other smaller vessels (the largest being three frigates) to North America.

Compare this with the Hundred Days, only a year later, when the British fielded an army of 93,000 in Europe to stop Napoleon a second time.

The issue for the UK was that America was too useful to be at war with. The UK could have easily choked the US to death through a naval blockade (and was doing so, for the duration of the war) but the problem was the blockade hurt them as well. Their armies in Europe, in particular, relied heavily on food from America.
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Old 1st January 2013, 06:19 PM   #237
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I think the answer to that can be seen in troop numbers. The UK just didn't give the conflict much priority.
But troop numbers don't really tell the tale as by numbers alone, it really should've been a mere matter of marching for the States in the first 18 months of the War. And likewise, it should've been all Britain in the last year. But bungling (and some real serendipity on the part of the British in 1813 [especially Stoney Creek]) rendered the numbers factor moot. In fact, IMHO it was all over but for the posturing as of July 1813

Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
The issue for the UK was that America was too useful to be at war with. The UK could have easily choked the US to death through a naval blockade (and was doing so, for the duration of the war) but the problem was the blockade hurt them as well. Their armies in Europe, in particular, relied heavily on food from America.
Certainly the Canadas were fed courtesy of Cousin Jonathan. It doesn't surprise me that the same applies in the Continental instalment.

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Old 2nd January 2013, 02:54 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by fitzgibbon View Post
But troop numbers don't really tell the tale as by numbers alone, it really should've been a mere matter of marching for the States in the first 18 months of the War. And likewise, it should've been all Britain in the last year. But bungling (and some real serendipity on the part of the British in 1813 [especially Stoney Creek]) rendered the numbers factor moot. In fact, IMHO it was all over but for the posturing as of July 1813

Certainly the Canadas were fed courtesy of Cousin Jonathan. It doesn't surprise me that the same applies in the Continental instalment.


I wasn't really trying to claim that the British didn't have sufficient numbers to win, or that bungling didn't play a role in their failures. My point was more that the Empire didn't really commit significant military forces to the conflict, which indicates they weren't particularly dedicated to winning - which makes sense when you consider how important American trade was. It's notable that the original intention of the 1814 campaign was merely to raid along the East Coast so that the US had to withdraw their forces from Canada to defend their own territory.

Had they really felt the USA needed bringing to heel, they would have landed the Duke of Wellington in Chesapeake Bay with 50,000 troops and a fleet of Third Rate warships.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 06:49 AM   #239
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Agreed. The British were well and truly tired of war at that point and as was evidenced by Lundy's Lane, they were quickly acquiring a knack for warfare

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Old 2nd January 2013, 10:06 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by Dcdrac View Post
If we accept Von Clauswitz's point of view war is relations by other means, but I would have hoped we have moved on from that and come to realize that war in itself is a catastrophic failure to be got over and done with as quickly as possible and only ever the absoulutly last resrot when all else has failed, and is only seen as part of that wider failure to prevent the conflict.
You have that wrong. War per Clausewitz is the extension of policy by other means, and policy is "what the king/leader of nation does to achieve his political ends."

If he can get it without war, he most likely will as war is rather expensive and risky.


I'll also agree with gumboot on two of the most successful wars.

Prussian Austrian War, and the war a few years before that with the Danes. Schleswig Holstein is still part of Germany. Also the Greek wars with the Persians, which kept the Greek world Greek and set the stage for Alexander.

But then, the argument for the Khans is pretty strong.
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