A number of issues arise. Why is Henry Stimson (“Gentlemen do not read each other's mail”) still Secretary of War? After the debacles at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines tragedy, the Kasserine Pass disaster, the unforeseen bocage in Normandy, the Falaise Gap escape, the Anzio mess, the fatal detour to Rome, the surprise at the Bulge, the bloodbath at Tarawa, and now the Iwo Jima and Okinawa nightmares, is not five years of his incompetence and arrogance enough? A number of our retired generals seems to agree, who have recently bravely come forward to remind us that Sec. Stimson long ago tried to dismantle key elements of our intelligence services, attempted to curtail the operational command of our Army Air Corps generals in conducting bombings of Europe, and has on more than one occasion intervened to remove targets from Gen. LeMay’s campaign over Japan.
As we see thousands of Americans dying and our enemies still in power after four years of war, it is also legitimate to question the stewardship of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall. The Sherman tank tragedy, the daylight bombing fiasco, the absence of even minimally suitable anti-tank weapons and torpedoes—all these lapses came on his watch, and the man at the top must take full responsibility for mistakes that have now cost thousands of American lives. Indeed, it is not just that America has worse tanks and guns than our German enemies, but they are inferior even to the rockets and armor of our Soviet allies. The recent publication of “The Sherman Tank Scandal” follows other revelations published in “Asleep at the Philippines,” “The Flight of Gen. MacArthur,” “Gen. Patton and the Atrocities on Sicily,” “Do Americans Execute POWs?” “Torture on Guadalcanal,” “Incinerating Women and Children?” and “Civilian Massacres in Germany”—publications in their totality that suggest a military out of control as often as it is incompetent.
Monday, May 22, 2006
What if FDR was a Republican? Victor Davis Hanson doesn’t say it, but he outlines it fairly well. Here is a sample. Read it all.