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Author Topic: PzLdr History Facts  (Read 33309 times)
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« Reply #300 on: October 11, 2017, 10:05:21 am »

Benedict Arnold had been a busy man by October, 1776. He had captured fort Ticonderoga from the British, along with Ethan Allen [who took all the credit], led one of two American columns that invaded Canada in the winter [traveling, on foot, through Maine], been seriously wounded in the attempt to take Quebec, and led the combined Patriot army [Gen. Montgomery had been killed in the assault] back into New York with the British hot on his heels.

And there, Arnold faced a problem as 1776 wore on. The British, under Gen. [and Canadian governor] Sir Guy Carleton began building a warship, and bringing other boats and ships down to the northern end of Lake Champlain, with the obvious intent of sweeping south, seizing control of the lake, and positioning themselves to invade northern New York.

Arnold's solution was to build or acquire a fleet of his own, but not all the same type craft as the British. Arnold built galleys that could be rowed, or sailed, and loaded the best of them with artillery. He also had three sloops and a schooner, but the British heavily outgunned him. The plan was simple. either beat the British [unlikely], or delay them until the seasonal winds and weather would make British operations to the south from Canada impracticable.

Having chosen his means, Arnold next chose the place. He chose the western passage of Valcour Island, to gather his and position his fleet. He did so fairly certain that the British would sail down the eastern side of the island, passing him before they spotted him, and  then be forced to reverse direction to engage him.

An early morning fog, and some British mistakes regarding reconnaissance, led to the British failure to sight any of Arnold's ships as they came down from the north, and they then passed east of the island. it was only when they were past Valcour that Arnold's flotilla was spotted, and the British turned to engage. By the time darkness arrived, the Americans had  caused damage to two British ships, and caused the sinking of a third. But most of the American ships were destroyed. Deploying Indians onto the New York side of Valcour, Carleton blockaded the island, determined to finish Arnold off the next day.

But Arnold and the remainder of his men and fleet escaped, in the fog that night. It wasn't until the next day that Carleton caught up with Arnold. He sank two more of Arnold's ships, but Arnold found a shallow bay, where the British couldn't follow. He beached his remaining ships, and with flags still flying, burnt them. he then led his men overland to crown Point, which he torched, and then on to Ticonderoga.
Carleton occupied Crown Point, and sent out some patrols, but the turning weather [and wind], made the possibility of re-supply and reinforcement dicey. So Carleton withdrew to Canada. The next time the British came down the Champlain route was overland [mostly, after leaving the Lake], and they were led not by Carleton, but by GEN. John "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne. And the result of that invasion was the Battle of Saratoga, an American alliance with France, and Britain's eventual defeat.

And Arnold? He would be the major reason the Amricans won at Saratoga. But by the time America won its independence, he had turned his coat, betrayed his country, and fought for the British as a brigadier general.
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« Reply #301 on: October 14, 2017, 10:34:17 am »

He was arguably, Germany's best known general of World War  II [still is]. A non- Prussian [he was a Wurtemburger], and a non-member of the German General Staff, he was, at the time of his promotion in 1942, the youngest field Marshal in the Wehrmacht. And on 14 OCT 1944, he faced a Hobson's choice of cosmic proportions: public trial and conviction for treason against his Fuehrer arising out of the 20th of July plot, or death by suicide, courtesy of the poison brought to him by two German generals.

Rommel had started the Second World War commanding Hitler' Army Security Battalion in Poland [he had also held that job during the Anschluss and Czech occupations]. But in 1940, Hitler gave Rommel [a career infantryman], command of the 7th Panzer division for the French campaign, and Rommel took to armored warfare like a duck to water [which would surprise nobody who studied his operations as a junior officer in WWI, or who had read his book, "Infanterie Greift An"-"On Infantry Attacks"]. Rommel led the way to the Channel coast, being the first across the Meuse, and the first to break through the French Army. He led the attack in the second phase of the French campaign [operation 'Red'], and capped the campaign with the capture of the 51st highlander Division, and the seizure of Cherbourg [covering over 100 miles in one morning].

Hitler then sent him to Africa, as a backup for the floundering Italians. going beyond the defensive role envisaged for him by the OKH and the OKW, Rommel turned eastern Libya and Western Egypt into a major theater of war for two years with few troops and scant resources.

Like many German officers, Rommel had been quite impressed with Hitler [and vice versa]early on. But that admiration had taken a severe hit at El Alamein, when Hitler ordered Rommel and his men to stand fast and fight to the last bullet in a hopeless situation. It got worse during the Normandy operations post D-Day. Rommel had correctly surmised that the standard German battle drill of holding armor in reserve and counterattacking would work in Normandy, since he, alone among the senior German Generals in France had faced the overwhelming might of Allied air power. but he was at odds with his commander, Field Marshal von Rundstedt [who had last commanded troops in the field in Russia in 1941, when the Germans had absolute air supremacy]. So Htler made a compromise decision that backed neither general fully, and wound up leaving the bulk of the Panzers behind the beachhead area except 21st Pz., near Caen]. It was a recipe for failure, and fail it did.

Historians can't be sure of when Rommel decisively turned against Hitler, but they are sure of several things. First Rommel [along with both Rundstedt and the latter's successor, von Kluge], surmised early on that the battle for Normandy was over in all but name, and that Germany could no longer win the war. Second, Rommel began to press Hitler to seek and end to the war, and confronted him in writing, and in person on that matter several times, pointedly telling Hitler that the war in the West was reaching a critical point, and to draw his own conclusions. Third, Rommel was in contact with elements of the resistance.

What is unknown is how involved with the plot Rommel was. It appears he was not told Hitler was to be assassinated [he wanted Hitler arrested and tried, although a British captive, Gen Eberbach said Rommel told him Hitler had to be killed]. On 17 JUL 1944, the day he was seriously wounded by a British airplane, Rommel had been visiting his Waffen SS commanders, including Sepp Dietrich, commander of 1st SS Panzer Corps, and Willi Bittrich, commander of the 2d SS Panzer Corps, as well as some of their subordinates. and it appears thathe put the same question to them all. If contraryorders came from him and from Hitler, who would they obey. Dietrich led the rest in affirming that they would obey Rommel. At the very least, it appears Rommel was toying with opening the Western Front to the Allies and surrendering OB West to them.

But the air attack changed all that. Rommel was unconscious in a military hospital when Stauffenburg set off the bomb. He was convalescing when many of the conspirators were arrested, tortured, tried and killed. But at least two mentioned his name. And enemies he had made in the German Army cast him out of the officer corps, so he could be tried by Freisler's People's Court. But that created a problem. What effect on the German people would result when Germany's most famous and popular general was seen to have conspired against Hitler?

So on 14 October, 1944, a limousine driven by an SS NCO, and carrying two army Generals, Burgdorf and Maisel, drove up to Rommel's home at Herrlingen, through a cordon of SS troops surrounding the place, ostensibly to offer Rommel a new command, but in reality to offer him an illusory choice. He could accept a public trial [and guilty verdict and death sentence, assuming he wasn't killed on the way to Berlin], or he could commit suicide. If he chose the former, Rommel's wife, Lucie, and his son, Manfred, would be sent to a camp under the doctrine of Sippinhaft [punishing the family of a traitor]. If he chose suicide, his family would be spared, no action would be taken against them, they would be provided for, and Rommel would receive a state funeral, with his death attributed to the wounds he had received in the air attack.

Rommel chose door number two, suicide. After informing his family and aide what was happening, Rommel climbed into the car with Burgdorf and Maisel. The car halted a short distance from the house, Burgdorf gave Rommel a cyanide capsule, and he, Maisel and the driver exited the car, the two generals walking a short distance away. Within twenty minutes after leaving his house, Erwin Rommel, Generallfeldmarschall, holder of the Knight's Cross with Swords and Oak Leaves, holder of the Pour le Merite, holder of the Panzer Assault Badge and Wounds Badge was dead. A sad end to a magnificent life.
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« Reply #302 on: October 14, 2017, 03:04:15 pm »

Fifty years ago, give or take, the world became a better place when the Bolivian Army whacked one Ernesto "Che" Guevera, doctor, Marxist, revolutionary, guerilla, and t-shirt icon.

Guevera, screen icon from "The Motorcycle Diaries, and other celluloid trash, rose toi fame as one of Fidel Castro's loyal lieutenants in the campaign that toppled the Batista regime in Cuba. A 'commandante', who led one of the columns, that marched on Havana from the Sierra Maestra, Che was proclaimed as military genius, a paragon of revolutionary virtue [he and the Castros were keeping their Marxism a secret at the time], and a capable administrator. He was none of those.

Che first showed his true nature to the world [he had already shown it to his fellow guerillas and the Cuban populace in the mountains] as the Commandant of La Cabana prison. It was there that Che had a hole knocked in the outer wall of his office so he could watch the dozens of executions conducted in the name of the revolution in the courtyard below. Abnd there were hundreds of them [In the mountains, Che not only supervised executions, he handled them himself, usually old men and teenagers, all unarmed].

But Che was ready for bigger things. So he was made economics minister and head of the bank. And like any good Marxist, he then set about killing the economy, like he did prisoners, with even greater success and excess.

And so it proceeded apace. A visit to the U.N. and New York. The public embrace of both his Marxism [real], and admiration and love for the Soviet Union [feigned]. And then there was the Cuban Missile Crisis. It appeared that both Castro and Che were in a competition to see who could be more radical. Both declaimed that they wanted the missiles in Cuba fired at the United States. Both seemed to welcome nuclear war between  the Soviets and Americans. Problem was the Soviets didn't. Both complained when the soviets pulled their missiles out of Cuba. But Castro knew from whence his bread came buttered, and buckled under. Guevera didn't. His bitterness was loud and clear to all. And his warm words about the Chinese didn't help.

and then there was the perception problem. The Cuban Revolution could have only one hero. and that hero, according to Fidel, was Fidel. So, with a little urging from the soviets, and an economy in ruins, Castro needed little pressure to send the quixotic Guevera on his way to foster 'World Revolution, because Che saw, from his clippings that he was a genius of guerilla warfare.

So che took his genius, his theories and a bunch of Cubans to Africa, to participate in the war ranging in the Congo. What could be easier? Answer, almost anything.

Guevera despaired of the 'Simbas' he'd partnered with [showing a good deal of racism in the process]. Apparently they hadn't read his tomes. Apparently they weren't in sufficient awe. Obviously, they didn't follow his orders or suggestions. and the European mercs he was pitted against didn't listen, or read either. Because they commenced to whip the simbas on the battlefield. So Che left, accomplishing only one thing of note. He had put the CIA on his trail.

And that trail led to Cuba [briefly], and then on to Bolivia.

Che still believed in world revolution. An the mountainous areas of  Bolivia offered an area like the Four Corners in the U.S. southwest. It provided a common border with two other countries to which Guevera could spread his revolution.

So with a pack of Cubans, Guevera slipped into Bolivia, made contact with the Bolivian communist Party [ mostly for re-supply and re-inforcement], and acclimatized himself to the mountains [Che had asthma]. He also brought a woman, one Tamara Buncke, ostensibly from East Germany as a liaison  [but possibly as a minder]. And then the wheels started to fall off. First, Guevera refused to cooperate with the Bolivian communists. He merely tried ordering them around. Result? Recruits and supplies dried up. then the U.S notified the Bolvian government that they suspected Guevera was in-country. Then the two countries agreed to have a Green Beret team train a battalion of Bolivian Rangers to track the guerillas and destroy them

Against this background, Che found that the Bolivian peasants weren't receptive to his message. The government had already undertaken land, and other reforms. So while it wasn't paradise, their wasn't much enthusiasm for Bolivian, let alone world, revolution in them their hills. And when persuasion failed, coercion followed, with food seizures, and impressment of 'volunteers' for the 'struggle'. One result was that the peasants began flipping the guerillas in, with the result that the Bolivian Rangers got on their trail and hounded them relentlessly.

And the Guerilla 'genius'? He split his force into two columns, and they promptly lost sight of each other. And despite wandering around within a mile of each other, they never made contact again.  And then the Bolivians captured Regis Dubrais, a Che wannabe, and another Marxist. Their debrief led to an ambush near a river. and when the smoke cleared, Tamara Bunke was dead, and Guevera was down to one column.

He headed up into the mountains, but now, the peasants' hands [and mouths] were turned against him. The intel they furnished was solid and timely. Guevera, the high priest of world revolution, the leading intellectual of guerilla warfare, walked into an ambush.

The Bolivian Rangers smashed up Guevera's column. and after they wounded the great man himself, Guevera put up his hands, yelling, "Don't shoot. I'm Che. I'm worth more to you alive". As with so many other things, he was wrong.  the next day, despite protests from CIA and Green Beret personnel on the scene, and in La Paz, Guevera was executed by a Bolivian solider. Karma's a bitch. Ten with his hands cut off for ID, he was buried in a secret grave [he was turned over to the Cubans later]

Safely dead, Castro could celebrate Guevera as a martyr of the Revolution, and bury him in Cuba. Guevera then went on to his second life as a t-shirt for semi-literate Americans, and an inspiration to insipid coffee houseRevolutionaries.

But what he, really. He was a brutal psychopath even his friends and allies came to fear. He was a failed guerilla chief. Cpt. Kangaroo could have beaten Batista. Che failed in the congo. He failed spectacularly in Bolivia.

Che was not the best of Castro's field commanders. But he was one of, if not the most, murderous of the lot, and the most fanatical. He deserves neither the mythology, the worship, nor the accolades. He was a thug who got what he deserved. death in the mountains.
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« Reply #303 on: October 14, 2017, 04:43:18 pm »

Fresh over his triumph at Stamford Bridge against his brother Tostig and Harold Haadrada, Harold Godwinson, Anglo-Saxon king of England hurried his army south to meet an invasion of England from another direction, the south. To be more precise the Dukedom of Normandy, on the northern coast of France.

It was in Normandy, that in earlier times, Edward the Confessor, childless, and Harold's predecessor, supposedly promised William, duke of Normandy, that he would be Edward's successor to the English throne upon Edward's death. But the Witenagamot, the advisory council to the English throne, chose Harold Godwinson, instead. William prepared to enforce his claim to the throne militarily, and gathered an army of some 7,000 men and the ships to carry them to England.

His progress was then delayed by adverse winds form the north. but the delay worked to his advantage. Harold, who was waiting for him, was forced to disengage and march northeast when he learned of the landing of Haadrada and Tostig. and while he was so embroiled, the winds changed, and William landed at Pevsney. By the time Godwinson marched south, William was moving north. They met near Hastings, at Senlac Hill.

In a sense the two military organizations were an antithesis. the Saxons relied on a largely infantry levy, and fought in a shieldwall of heavy infasntry, a formation adopted against the Vikings, and a formation the abncient Greeks and romans would have recognized. On the other hand, William, a third generation Viking, had an army that relied on heavy cavalry [although it also comprised infantry and missile [crossbow and bow] troops.

The position favored Harold. He, and his shield wall were on top of a ridge, William below. so William's troops had to charge up the hill, while Harold's only had to hold formation [horses would not attack a massed infantry formation]. But on one of the charges, the cavalry either feigned a retreat, or demonstrated some panic in a real retreat, because Harold's infantry broke formation, and charged after them down the hill.

At that point, the cavalry turned, slaughtered their pursuers, and began to break the remainder of the shield wall. William's other troops advanced and joined the melee. And it was at that point that Harold, fighting among his men was killed, reportedly by an arrow through the eye. The Norman horse then pursued the fleeing Saxons as they fled the battlefield.

On Christmas Eve, 1066, William of Normandy was crowned King of England. Anglo-Saxon rule was over.
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« Reply #304 on: October 15, 2017, 09:45:25 am »

He is probably the least know, but ablest of the major Apache war chiefs. And while his skill at warfare [and cruelty] was legendary, he initially, at least tried to avoid war with the United States. He has been a major figure in books, movies and TV shows [ e.g. "Hondo" and has been portrayed by one actor, Michael Pate at least four or more times. The name he is known to us by is Victorio.

Victorio was a Chiricahua Apache, from the Warm Springs, or Ojo Caliente band. And the Warm Springs Apache were famed for their attachment to the valley [and the Springs] that gave them their name. It met all their needs, and they seldom wandered far from it.

Victorio came to manhood in the 1840s and 1850s. Like most apache, he hated Mexicans, and learned his Warcraft fighting them, and to a lesser degree, the Americans who showed up in New Mexico during and after the Mexican War. And as a sub-chief of Mangas Coloradus, Victorio fought in Cochise' war against the United states until Cochise made peace in 1872.

It appears that Victorio was more than ready for peace with the Americans. His people were, once again, contentedly ensconced in their homeland, and Victorio, who had received the mantle of leadership of the Chihenne Chiricahua after the murder of Mangas Coloradus, was more than willing to settle into reservation life at Ojo Caliente. But there was a fly in the ointment. and his name was John Clum.

John Clum was an Indian agent [and later publisher of the TOMBSTONE EPITAPH]. And as an Indian agent, Clum's success was measured in large part on how many Indian drew rations at the reservation at San Carlos.

San Carlos was already home to bands of Western Apache, such as White mountain, and Tonto Apaches. And despite being the same linguistic stock as the Chiricahua, the Western Apache were their enemies. But since the Chohoken [Cochise's Chiricahua were on a separate reservation, there was little to no conflict. and then Clum ordered the Chihenne to San Carlos.
Victorio didn't want to go. Neither did his people. But they went. And the western apache made sure that the land allotment for Victorio's people was an arid scrap of pestilence. Victorio led his people back to Ojo Caliente, asking for a reservation there. He was ordered back to, and returned to san Carlos. He left again, and went back to the Warm Springs. The third order to move was the charm. Victorio and over 100 of his men opted for war.

They set the frontier ablaze, from New Mexico and Arizona to western Texas [where Victorio added a sizable number of Mescalero apaches to his war band], and old Mexico.They raided ranches and farms, ambushed stage coaches. killed single individuals they came across [such as sheep herders and cowboys], and most importantly, fought the armies of the United States and Mexico to a standstill.

Victorio was a brilliant tactician. He invariably chose a fighting position that was exceptionally difficult for an opponent to flank, and which always had a back way out. He used wide ranging scouts and flank guards to avoid surprise, and could be exceptionally devious. He once lured a pursuing party of civilians into a canyon, and opened fire on them from the other side of the canyon floor, pinning the pursuers behind boulders on the canyon floor from which they returned fire. Unfortunately for them, Victorio had other warriors positioned on the ridge above and behind them, who killed them all while they were trapped. Several days later a relief party found, and buried the bodies, when they were taken under fire and killed, the Apaches having remained on the rim awaiting them.

By 1880, Victorio was feeling the pressure. Fully 1/4 of the Unites States Army was pursuing him. And so were the Mexicans. But Victorio's attempts to re-cross the border into Texas were thwarted by the 10th U.S. cavalry [Buffalo soldiers], under the command of Col. Benjamin Grierson, who defnded the few available waterholes, and drove Victorio away at Rattlesnake Springs.

Unable to find water, and with the U.S. Army closing in, Victorio fled back to Mexico with the U.S. Calvary in close pursuit. In accordance with treaty, the U.S. troopers crossed into Mexico, driving Victorio toward Mexican and Tarahumari Indians working for the Mexicans.

Victorio holed up at Tres Casillos, a series of there hills. But Tres Castillos had no back way out. While raiding parties under Nana [with Victorio's sister, Lozen], and Chiuahua  were out raiding, the Mexicans, having found Victorio, ordered the American troops back across the border [being unwilling to share the glory], and attacked.

The Mexicans claimed an Indian named Mauricio killed Victorio in the ensuing battle. Apache tradition had Victorio committing suicide with a knife when he, and the last 11 of his men, ran out of ammunition. However he died, Victorio, the reluctant scourge of three states and two countries was dead.
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« Reply #305 on: October 15, 2017, 05:30:50 pm »

He was arguably, Germany's best known general of World War  II [still is]. A non- Prussian [he was a Wurtemburger], and a non-member of the German General Staff, he was, at the time of his promotion in 1942, the youngest field Marshal in the Wehrmacht. And on 14 OCT 1944, he faced a Hobson's choice of cosmic proportions: public trial and conviction for treason against his Fuehrer arising out of the 20th of July plot, or death by suicide, courtesy of the poison brought to him by two German generals.

Rommel had started the Second World War commanding Hitler' Army Security Battalion in Poland [he had also held that job during the Anschluss and Czech occupations]. But in 1940, Hitler gave Rommel [a career infantryman], command of the 7th Panzer division for the French campaign, and Rommel took to armored warfare like a duck to water [which would surprise nobody who studied his operations as a junior officer in WWI, or who had read his book, "Infanterie Greift An"-"On Infantry Attacks"]. Rommel led the way to the Channel coast, being the first across the Meuse, and the first to break through the French Army. He led the attack in the second phase of the French campaign [operation 'Red'], and capped the campaign with the capture of the 51st highlander Division, and the seizure of Cherbourg [covering over 100 miles in one morning].

Hitler then sent him to Africa, as a backup for the floundering Italians. going beyond the defensive role envisaged for him by the OKH and the OKW, Rommel turned eastern Libya and Western Egypt into a major theater of war for two years with few troops and scant resources.

Like many German officers, Rommel had been quite impressed with Hitler [and vice versa]early on. But that admiration had taken a severe hit at El Alamein, when Hitler ordered Rommel and his men to stand fast and fight to the last bullet in a hopeless situation. It got worse during the Normandy operations post D-Day. Rommel had correctly surmised that the standard German battle drill of holding armor in reserve and counterattacking would work in Normandy, since he, alone among the senior German Generals in France had faced the overwhelming might of Allied air power. but he was at odds with his commander, Field Marshal von Rundstedt [who had last commanded troops in the field in Russia in 1941, when the Germans had absolute air supremacy]. So Htler made a compromise decision that backed neither general fully, and wound up leaving the bulk of the Panzers behind the beachhead area except 21st Pz., near Caen]. It was a recipe for failure, and fail it did.

Historians can't be sure of when Rommel decisively turned against Hitler, but they are sure of several things. First Rommel [along with both Rundstedt and the latter's successor, von Kluge], surmised early on that the battle for Normandy was over in all but name, and that Germany could no longer win the war. Second, Rommel began to press Hitler to seek and end to the war, and confronted him in writing, and in person on that matter several times, pointedly telling Hitler that the war in the West was reaching a critical point, and to draw his own conclusions. Third, Rommel was in contact with elements of the resistance.

What is unknown is how involved with the plot Rommel was. It appears he was not told Hitler was to be assassinated [he wanted Hitler arrested and tried, although a British captive, Gen Eberbach said Rommel told him Hitler had to be killed]. On 17 JUL 1944, the day he was seriously wounded by a British airplane, Rommel had been visiting his Waffen SS commanders, including Sepp Dietrich, commander of 1st SS Panzer Corps, and Willi Bittrich, commander of the 2d SS Panzer Corps, as well as some of their subordinates. and it appears thathe put the same question to them all. If contraryorders came from him and from Hitler, who would they obey. Dietrich led the rest in affirming that they would obey Rommel. At the very least, it appears Rommel was toying with opening the Western Front to the Allies and surrendering OB West to them.

But the air attack changed all that. Rommel was unconscious in a military hospital when Stauffenburg set off the bomb. He was convalescing when many of the conspirators were arrested, tortured, tried and killed. But at least two mentioned his name. And enemies he had made in the German Army cast him out of the officer corps, so he could be tried by Freisler's People's Court. But that created a problem. What effect on the German people would result when Germany's most famous and popular general was seen to have conspired against Hitler?

So on 14 October, 1944, a limousine driven by an SS NCO, and carrying two army Generals, Burgdorf and Maisel, drove up to Rommel's home at Herrlingen, through a cordon of SS troops surrounding the place, ostensibly to offer Rommel a new command, but in reality to offer him an illusory choice. He could accept a public trial [and guilty verdict and death sentence, assuming he wasn't killed on the way to Berlin], or he could commit suicide. If he chose the former, Rommel's wife, Lucie, and his son, Manfred, would be sent to a camp under the doctrine of Sippinhaft [punishing the family of a traitor]. If he chose suicide, his family would be spared, no action would be taken against them, they would be provided for, and Rommel would receive a state funeral, with his death attributed to the wounds he had received in the air attack.

Rommel chose door number two, suicide. After informing his family and aide what was happening, Rommel climbed into the car with Burgdorf and Maisel. The car halted a short distance from the house, Burgdorf gave Rommel a cyanide capsule, and he, Maisel and the driver exited the car, the two generals walking a short distance away. Within twenty minutes after leaving his house, Erwin Rommel, Generallfeldmarschall, holder of the Knight's Cross with Swords and Oak Leaves, holder of the Pour le Merite, holder of the Panzer Assault Badge and Wounds Badge was dead. A sad end to a magnificent life.

What happened to his family?
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« Reply #306 on: October 15, 2017, 05:35:24 pm »

Thank you....love it t-shirt icon. Is it true he came from a wealthy family? Something to do with yachts?
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« Reply #307 on: October 15, 2017, 06:53:30 pm »

What happened to his family?

His wife and son were left alone, and wound up being looked out for by the Allies. His wife Lucy [Her maiden name was Lucia Molin - Italian descent] lived to a fairly old age, and died of natural causes. Their son, Manfred went into politics and became Mayor of Stuttgart. He never married and died childless.

but as Paul Harvey might say, ..."and now the rest of the story".

Long before he met Luci, 2d Lt. Rommel had an affair with a flower girl. But in the then German Army he couldn't marry her because he had insufficient funds to support her and a family, and he required his commanding officer's permission to marry.

They had a daughter out of wedlock, and Rommel supported her [and acknowledged her] all his life. Lucy knew about her, and she spent a great deal of time with the family. It appears the scarf one sees in pictures of Rommel during the war was knitted by her for him. She went on , in adulthood to marry, and she had a son. So Rommel has a grandson [I don't know if he has any great-grandchildren].
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« Reply #308 on: October 15, 2017, 06:56:38 pm »

Thank you....love it t-shirt icon. Is it true he came from a wealthy family? Something to do with yachts?

His family was [at least] comfortably middle class. They had five or six kids [including Che], and in Argentina, that took some coin. but I don't know how they earned their living.
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« Reply #309 on: October 16, 2017, 02:31:26 pm »

His family was [at least] comfortably middle class. They had five or six kids [including Che], and in Argentina, that took some coin. but I don't know how they earned their living.

Thanks. Will see if I can find the source of where I got that info.
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« Reply #310 on: October 19, 2017, 04:14:41 pm »

He had been the field commander of parts, or all of the British Army during the Revolution. He had fought in New York, New Jersey, and throughout the South; indeed leading the southern campaign after Clinton returned to New York. But on October 19, 1781, Lord Cornwallis' area of operations was limited to the immediate vicinity of Yorktown Virginia, and Gloucester Point across the York River.

But Cornwallis, who had moved to Yorktown to take advantage of the royal Navy's command of the seas to communicate with Clinton in New York, and to open a passage for supply and reinforcement had erred. A French naval squadron under Admiral De Grasse had wrested control of the immediate area from the British, and blockaded Cornwallis from the sea. A Patriot army under Lafayette had blockaded him in from the land. And a combined army under George Washington and the French general Rochambeau had slipped away from New York [and Clinton] and reinforced Lafayette. The British, now trapped, were put under siege, and on October 19th, the writing was on the wall. A drummer boy beat a tattoo, and a British officer , bearing a white flag appeared.

Cornwallis himself missed the surrender. The ceremony was handled by his deputy, Gen. O'Hara. The British troops marched between lines of Continentals, militia and French, throwing, with great force in some cases, their weapons onto the ground. A British band played a tune allegedly written by Gen. Burgoyne, called "The World Turned Upside Down" [the Americans purportedly played "Yankee Doodle"]. O'Hara then attempted to surrender Cornwallis' sword to Rochambeau. Rochambeau directed him to Washington. A second attempt ended when Washington, in turn, directed O'Hara to American General Benjamin Lincoln, who the British had humiliated and refused to the honors of war to at Savannah. Lincoln took the sword.

Cornwallis surrendered over 7,000 men, all their equipment, and a small naval contingent under his command. He also surrendered the British troops at Gloucester. And while the negotiations dragged on, and the fighting continued in America, for all extents and purposes, the war was over. Peace was ratified in less than two years. The world had, indeed, turned upside down.
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« Reply #311 on: October 19, 2017, 04:47:17 pm »

He had started the campaign less than six months before, with an army in excess of 500,000 men from all over Western Europe: French, Germans, Poles, Dutch, Portuguese, Italians. He had fought one major battle, marched hundreds of miles, and taken the enemy's temporary capitol, Moscow.

But while he dithered there, waiting for a peace embassy that never came, the weather began to worsen. then, mysterious fires burned large parts of Moscow down. and with winter having arrived, on October 19th, 1812, Napoleon abandoned Moscow, and began withdrawing [retreating] back to the west.

Bonaparte's original plan was to move southwest, into Ukraine, and march out that way. but the Russian army appeared to his front, and for reasons known only to himself, Napoleon declined battle, moved northwest, and began his retreat toward Smolensk, Minsk, and eventually, Poland. It was a mistake.

Napoleonic, and indeed, most armies lived off the land when they campaigned, to one degree or another. The French, however, had raised such foraging to a high art [perhaps equaled only by Sherman, on his March to the Sea]. That meant, in practical terms, that Napoleon and his Grande Armee were countermarching over ground they had already picked clean - and doing it in the winter.

Without sufficient food, fuel and warm clothing, and relentlessly harassed by Cossacks and Russsian cavalry, the Army marched on, but without their emperor [he had already lit out in a sleigh to get to Paris ahead of the news, and 'spin' the result]. Eventually, the remnants of his army reached safe haven [the last man out, literally, was Marshal Michael Ney]. But Napoleon had lost over 80% of his men, and much of his equipment. But the loss with the greatest, and most profound effect on the future, was the losses Napoleon suffered in horses.

the Russian campaign and retreat destroyed Bonaparte's cavalry, and to a degree, his horse artillery. For the campaigns of 1813, 1814, and the hundred Days, Napoleon would labor under the handicap of little or no cavalry. and it would help swing the pendulum against him - for good. 
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« Reply #312 on: October 19, 2017, 05:15:06 pm »

It was one of those days when it starts off great, then falls apart. And it fell apart big time on Confederate LTG Jubal Early in the Shenandoah Valley, at a place called Cedar Creek.

Early had been active in the Shenandoah for a good part of the Summer and Fall. He had been detached from the Army of Northern Virginia by Robert e. Lee for the purpose of putting pressure on Grant's army of the Potomac to reinforce Washington, D.C., and relieving pressure on lee.

Early has started, promisingly enough by feinting toward the capital, and then marching into the Valley. And, in a sense, Lee got what he wanted. But just not in the way he wanted. Grant sent Phil Sheridan, with an army of his own, to settle matters in the Shenandoah for good. Sheridan's orders were to raze the Valley so badly [it was Lee's chief source of provender], that 'if a crow wanted to fly over the Valley, he'd have to carry his own provisions'.

Sheridan then fought a series of battles with Early, generally winning them, and put the Valley to the torch.

But on October 19th, Sheridan was on his way to Grant, and unbeknownst to him, Early was in the neighborhood, planning an attack on Sheridan's army.

Early caught the Union troops unaware, and unprepared, just as they were cooking breakfast. Surprise was complete, and the Rebels carried the field, and drove deeply into the union positions. But then the attack started to break down. Many of the Confederates stopped to eat the Union breakfasts, since they were hungry, underfed and exhausted from the approach  march. Additionally, due to the complexity of Early's attack plan, not all his troops arrived on the battlefield as a cohesive force. So as the morning wore on the attack slowed, then stopped, with many of the Confederate troops looting Union positions. And despite the urging of his subordinates, particularly MG John B. Gordon, Early made no effort to renew the attack.

The Union troops took advantage of the lull to straighten their lines, and redeploy. then, in the afternoon, Sheridan, appeared. Having heard the sounds of battle that morning, he had returned, rallying fleeing troops as he did so. And then he attacked.

The Confederates were caught virtually flatfooted. And while the Union Infantry attacked them from the front, Sheridan's cavalry, led by Wesley Merritt and George Armstrong Custer, attacked them from their left front. In one of the few instances it happened in the civil War, the union cavalry charge broke the rebel infantry. Early's army fled the battlefield, routed. For all extents and purposes, after the cavalry broke off the pursuit the war in the Shenandoah was over.  And in six months, Lee's war would be over too.

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« Reply #313 on: October 21, 2017, 06:50:46 pm »

His wife and son were left alone, and wound up being looked out for by the Allies. His wife Lucy [Her maiden name was Lucia Molin - Italian descent] lived to a fairly old age, and died of natural causes. Their son, Manfred went into politics and became Mayor of Stuttgart. He never married and died childless.

but as Paul Harvey might say, ..."and now the rest of the story".

Long before he met Luci, 2d Lt. Rommel had an affair with a flower girl. But in the then German Army he couldn't marry her because he had insufficient funds to support her and a family, and he required his commanding officer's permission to marry.

They had a daughter out of wedlock, and Rommel supported her [and acknowledged her] all his life. Lucy knew about her, and she spent a great deal of time with the family. It appears the scarf one sees in pictures of Rommel during the war was knitted by her for him. She went on , in adulthood to marry, and she had a son. So Rommel has a grandson [I don't know if he has any great-grandchildren].

Thank you!  Love your history!!!!!
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« Reply #314 on: October 21, 2017, 06:53:27 pm »

Fresh over his triumph at Stamford Bridge against his brother Tostig and Harold Haadrada, Harold Godwinson, Anglo-Saxon king of England hurried his army south to meet an invasion of England from another direction, the south. To be more precise the Dukedom of Normandy, on the northern coast of France.

It was in Normandy, that in earlier times, Edward the Confessor, childless, and Harold's predecessor, supposedly promised William, duke of Normandy, that he would be Edward's successor to the English throne upon Edward's death. But the Witenagamot, the advisory council to the English throne, chose Harold Godwinson, instead. William prepared to enforce his claim to the throne militarily, and gathered an army of some 7,000 men and the ships to carry them to England.

His progress was then delayed by adverse winds form the north. but the delay worked to his advantage. Harold, who was waiting for him, was forced to disengage and march northeast when he learned of the landing of Haadrada and Tostig. and while he was so embroiled, the winds changed, and William landed at Pevsney. By the time Godwinson marched south, William was moving north. They met near Hastings, at Senlac Hill.

In a sense the two military organizations were an antithesis. the Saxons relied on a largely infantry levy, and fought in a shieldwall of heavy infasntry, a formation adopted against the Vikings, and a formation the abncient Greeks and romans would have recognized. On the other hand, William, a third generation Viking, had an army that relied on heavy cavalry [although it also comprised infantry and missile [crossbow and bow] troops.

The position favored Harold. He, and his shield wall were on top of a ridge, William below. so William's troops had to charge up the hill, while Harold's only had to hold formation [horses would not attack a massed infantry formation]. But on one of the charges, the cavalry either feigned a retreat, or demonstrated some panic in a real retreat, because Harold's infantry broke formation, and charged after them down the hill.

At that point, the cavalry turned, slaughtered their pursuers, and began to break the remainder of the shield wall. William's other troops advanced and joined the melee. And it was at that point that Harold, fighting among his men was killed, reportedly by an arrow through the eye. The Norman horse then pursued the fleeing Saxons as they fled the battlefield.

On Christmas Eve, 1066, William of Normandy was crowned King of England. Anglo-Saxon rule was over.

Thank you for another history lesson!!!
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