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Memorial Day.

Watching the movie A Bridge Too Far, and wondering, do I have what these men had? The men that won WWII. Determination, dedication, and sacrifice. Could I ever replicate they did? What motivated them? What did they expect from their efforts? What do I owe them? How can I ever repay them for what they gave? These men were like mountains. Huge. I am in awe of the debt that they paid. Thomas Jefferson said that the Tree of Liberty must be watered in blood. I am completely and totally humbled. I thank them and pray for them all.

God bless them. And God bless the USA.

Out
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Like some other WW2 battles, and many, many WW1 battles, bravado took the place of meticulous consideration, preparation and planning. The movie is not historically accurate, it was British and Canadian troops who carried out the ill fated mission and the British General Montgomery and his staff who championed it and planned it.

Planners were aware of, but chose to ignore the nearby encampment of the Waffen SS including an armored Panzer division, or the fact these were lead by a German general with a lot of experience dealing with paratroopers. The paratroopers were lightly armed and did not have the weapons to deal with the heavy armor of the Panzer division. Planners also did not consider the radios they provided to the paratroopers did not have sufficient range to be functional. Finally they grossly underestimated the time it would take supporting troops to reach them by ground.

Through operational errors paratroopers were dropped all over the place. Most within 25 miles of the target but none nearby. They then had to gather up and fight their way to the target bridge. Since they could not communicate with one another due to radio issues, they could not do this in an organized way.
 

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In WWII there were times when we didn't have the best planning or weapons or intel. What we did have were Americans who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save what they valued. We weren't fighting some television war, this was the real deal and a threat to our whole way of life and our country. God bless those who sacrificed all so we can live this great life in the USA. Take a moment to respect them.
 

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In WWII there were times when we didn't have the best planning or weapons or intel. What we did have were Americans who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save what they valued. We weren't fighting some television war, this was the real deal and a threat to our whole way of life and our country. God bless those who sacrificed all so we can live this great life in the USA. Take a moment to respect them.
While the Germans had better quality tanks and infantry weapons, the allies had unlimited supplies of weapons and men. Mostly due to the manufacturing capability of the US, and to a lesser extent, Canada, which were unaffected by constant German bombing and had easy access to raw materials. In the words of Stalin, quantity has a quality all it's own.

By 1944 the British had broken the Enigma code the Germans used to communicate with and were reading German messages as fast as the Germans were. They British had over three thousand people intercepting and decoding German messages at Bletchley Park. They built the first computer for this purpose. The British also developed some very sophisticated methods of aerial reconnaissance such as stereo photography so the allies had far more intel than the Germans ever had. It was not always used to best effect however by the American and sometimes British leadership, as in this instance and also the Battle of the Bulge. In the Battle of the Bulge the American leadership including Bradly were warned of the German attack days before by the British Intelligence Service. They smugly chose to think the British Intelligence service was being duped by the Germans and ignored the info to their own peril.
 

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A worthy topic indeed. Over the weekend, with photography being my "focus" , I stumbled onto this ten minute (free, no bugs or cooties) video that is interesting. A guy ends up with 30 rolls of undeveloped camera film from WWII.... the person whom shot it is unknown. He developed the rolls in his kitchen....

No one has seen these images- not even the guy that shot it. It's kind of a brief, eerie backwards glance through some pics he could save. Priceless to say the least.

Free to see,

https://vimeo.com/116735360
 
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