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Thread: TE Lawrence: a merged thread

  1. #41
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    So...do you think a movement should be to name Patreaus the next Allenby?
    The COIN club are trying to do that!
    I don't know Patreaus at all, or much of him. By all accounts a good commander, but based on purely on historical achievement, or even successful operations, I cannot see how he makes a list with Sherman, Jackson, Abrams, Patton and Puller on it.

    Culturally biased, I'll admit, with the exception of Sherman, I'm more drawn to Monash, Slim and Allenby as teachers, with a very grudging respect for Montgomery.

    "for every Napoleon. Alexander, and Jesus Christ that made roles of [sic] history, there were several born. Only the lucky ones made it to the summit."
    speaks to Allenby's very self-effacing manner. He really is worthy of study by the modern US and UK Army's. He just knew how to fight. It didn't matter if it was regulars or irregulars - they all fall the same way!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  2. #42
    Council Member Hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default In Re: Wilf

    I did serve with Gen Petraeus on two different occassions... The first during OIF I... the second while as CAC Cdr...

    I don't know whether he belongs with Sherman, Abrahms... etc... then again in the midst of their heyday, I'd hazard a guess they had as many detractors... far easier to see a great commander in hindsite than it is in plain view...

    This is what I can state authoritatively about Petraeus as a wartime commander...
    Lazer-like focus on mission command and communicating intent...
    Power down authority...
    both physical and moral courage in abundance...
    Absolute comfort with decision making...
    Rightfully tough on staff to get it right (sometimes leading to the reality or perception of mistrust)...
    radiates confidence
    Green Tab, Green Tab, Green Tab...

    As Commander of CAC...
    Intellectually rigorous...
    tireless....
    flat organization (probably too flat for even himself)...
    radiates confidence...

    All of which I think bodes well for how HISTORY will regard him... as is predictable, one of his greatest strengths is perhaps his blind spot - radiates confidence would probably also be fairly applied to your entire list...

    We shall see, as a disclaimer, my service with the man was from a staff perspective (with lots of access)... I can't say I always liked the man, but that has no bearing... always respected though...

    My two cents

    Live well and row
    Hacksaw
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  3. #43
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Allenby's successful operations in Palestine during the Great War are said to have delayed the demise of the horse cavalry for about 20 years after that war.

  4. #44
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post
    ...

    All of which I think bodes well for how HISTORY will regard him... as is predictable, one of his greatest strengths is perhaps his blind spot - radiates confidence would probably also be fairly applied to your entire list...
    Hack, all sounds good. What I think is utterly irrelevant, compared to opinions within the US Army - my real point is that the nature of operations in Iraq is not going to show up great general ship. It will however do the opposite!

    As Lewis Sorely said of Abrams, "He deserved a better war."

    I think Wavell was a great general, but extremely unlucky to bump up against the Africa Korps and the greatly over-rated Rommel!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  5. #45
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Allenby's successful operations in Palestine during the Great War are said to have delayed the demise of the horse cavalry for about 20 years after that war.
    Who ever said that would be wrong. There was very good reason to retain Horse Cavalry/Mounted Infantry, well into the 1920's - certainly till 1932. The reason the British "Cavalry" were slow to change was mostly lack of money.

    The real idiocy to come out of mounted operations in Palestine was the Australians, who tried to change mounted infantry into cavalry - buy giving them swords and cavalry training.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  6. #46
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    An e-mail from another Lawrence sceptic reminded me of Lt Col Leachman
    who sadly died before he could be compared to Lawrence or others could point out that men of this calibre, were comparatively common in the British Army of the day.

    .... and amongst the regular army, "getting your name in the papers" was considered "bad form." Sadly, not so today.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  7. #47
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Default Mounted Combat at Beersheba

    Wait a minute Wilf, the Aussies remember the charge at Beersheba in October 1917 the way Americans remember the 101st Airborne at Bastogne.

    The 4th and 12th Australian Light Horse Regiments drew up behind a ridge. From the crest, Beersheba was in full view. The course lay down a long, slight slope which was bare of cover. Between them and the town lay the enemy defences. The 4th was on the right; the 12th was on the left. They rode with bayonets in hand. Each drew up on a squadron frontage. Every man knew that only a wild, desperate charge could seize Beerhseba before dark. They moved off at the trot, deploying at once into artillery formation, with 5 metres between horsemen. Almost at once the pace quickened to a gallop. Once direction was given, the lead squadrons pressed forward. The 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment and the Yeomanry followed at the trot in reserve. The Turks opened fire with shrapnel. Machine guns fired against the lead squadrons. The Royal Horse Artillery got their range and soon had them out of action. The Turkish riflemen fired, horses were hit, but the charge was not checked.
    For the entire story:

    http://www.lighthorse.org.au/histbatt/beersheba.htm

  8. #48
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Yet another example of myths displacing reality...

    This LINK sort of sums up that charge as well as the one to which it originally referred...

    Most such myths merely excuse doing stupid things instead of fighting smart. Repeat them too often and they become 'the way' to fight.

  9. #49
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default Perhaps a little perspective is required...

    I suspect that General Allenby would be far less dismissive of the value provided to him by the service of LTC Lawrence than WILF is.

    After all, what LTC under his command, Regular or otherwise, created more effects for him of a strategic nature in his prosecution of the campaign that he was responsible for?

    SOF exploits often make good media, so do indeed draw more than their fair share of the lime light at time. SOF operations are also ALWAYS supporting and enhancing to the larger campaign, and never the decisive component. This contradiction often tends to irk a certain component of the regular, conventional force. It has always been this way.

    John S. Moseby is legend, either as a criminal or a hero, depending on one's perspective; and I am sure many a "regular" in the Confederate Army was disdainful of the operations of this SOF militiaman.

    Similarly the SAS and the LRDG exploits are justifiably legendary, and they too had their fair share of opponents and naysayers in the regular conventional force.

    These examples of spectacular SOF successes contributed significantly to the campaigns they were in, far beyond the rank of their leaders or the numbers of men employed. But they were shaping, supporting efforts and not the decisive component of their respective fights.

    We will always need the General Bradley's who can push millions of men in a mighty frontal assault across Europe; men who can organize massive destructive powers and relieve commanders and read casualty reports without blinking. Duty, you know.

    We will also need men who can operate far from traditional forms of support, often alone but for a small team of brothers within a foreign people, a strange and dangerous land, with absolutely no or little link to things like logistical resupply or medical evacuation, or fire support, or any of the other wonderful tools of warfare that comfort and support those soldiers waging the conventional fight.

    A good general understands this, and orchestrates and employs all to their best effect. Allenby allowed Lawrence to do what he did in support of his larger campaign. That fact alone separates him from many of his peers as a great general.

    Most would have taken one look at a rag tag reservist dressed up in Arab garb and immediately relegated to some menial clerical job more suitable for such a misfit.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  10. #50
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Wait a minute Wilf, the Aussies remember the charge at Beersheba in October 1917 the way Americans remember the 101st Airborne at Bastogne.
    Between them and the town lay the enemy defences. The 4th was on the right; the 12th was on the left. They rode with bayonets in hand.
    ...nuff said....
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  11. #51
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    A good general understands this, and orchestrates and employs all to their best effect. Allenby allowed Lawrence to do what he did in support of his larger campaign. That fact alone separates him from many of his peers as a great general.
    I agree, so why the many biographies of Lawrence and very few of Allenby?
    Objective military history should concentrate far more on Allenby and the role of the Arab Section of the British Intelligence than Lawrence.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  12. #52
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    Default For Wilf...

    From the Mad Magazine spoof, "Flawrence Of Arabia", April 1964.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Talking Bravo

    Backwards Observer,

    Excellent catch and enjoyed by a non-Wilf audience. I think this is the first time SWC has cited such a laudable publication.
    davidbfpo

  14. #54
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Question

    As I did not study the campaigns of both men in detail I have to ask others. How and how much did the activities of them influence the outcome in this theater of war?

    Firn

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    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Allenby commanded the operation that forced the Turkish army out of Palestine and captured Jerusalem in 1917. Lawrence helped to organize and lead irregular Arab forces in support of Allenby's campaign. Today there is an Allenby Bridge in Jerusalem. The image from circa 1918 in the link below shows that how one sees Allenby depends on one's point of view.

    http://szyk.com/pics/iLrg-hs-print-c...ee-allenby.jpg

  16. #56
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    As I did not study the campaigns of both men in detail I have to ask others. How and how much did the activities of them influence the outcome in this theater of war?
    Depends who you want to believe. My lack of adoration of Lawrence is based purely on the fact that I do not seem him as instrumental to Allenby's success, but rather Allenby instrumental to Lawrence.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  17. #57
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default Supported, Supporting?

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Depends who you want to believe. My lack of adoration of Lawrence is based purely on the fact that I do not seem him as instrumental to Allenby's success, but rather Allenby instrumental to Lawrence.
    So, Lawrence was the supported commander??
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  18. #58
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    ..

    Weapons cache halts building

    Daily Dispatch
    East London, South Africa
    2010/01/26

    WORK on a multi-million rand construction project at Lovedale Further Education and Training College in King William’s Town has not progressed since an arms cache was found at the site last year.

    The R1.2 million three-phased classroom development was stopped in November after workers digging foundations came across a massive cache of Anglo-Boer War weapons.

    Experts believed the find, which consisted of rifle barrels, bayonets, swords and burnt wooden rifle butts, was buried on the site by the British army after the war ended in 1902.

    They said the college is situated on the site of the old Military Reserve, which traces its origins to 1847 when Sir Harry Smith, Governor of the Cape Colony, established King William’s Town as the administrative and military capital of British Kaffraria.

    They said the weapons were buried by a British regiment after they abandoned the Military Reserve in 1913.
    Last edited by Ken White; 02-01-2010 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Remove unnecessary comment

  19. #59
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Yep, we all leave messes behind

    The thread pertains to Lawrence, good topic.

    Moving right along...

  20. #60
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Of note on Lawrence.

    Sadly, IMO, this is more intellectual posing yearning after a romantic and arcane figure. Same as the Galula stuff. Perceived exoticness, rather than actual content. The deifying T.E. succinctly encapsulates all that is wrong with "new-COIN."

    Lawrence is a pop-romance figure. Nothing more. Get over it!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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