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the greatest soldiers and generals/admirals....by nation


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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 9:51:00 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
Igs:'I think that what many people don't realize is how good the Regia Marina was. It fought well and bravely if not up to British standards, at least it was in the game.'

Well, more or less. At Calabria, the Italian force broke off after one hit from Warspite (My fav ever battleship). The crews did well enough, though Italian Navy leadership was... somewhat lacking.

There's a new question, was there a sucky navy of WW2 ? <g> Even the ones that achieved little, still showed that their crews could fight when called to.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:06:57 AM PDT
R. Largess says:
Igs - I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if a carrier battle occurred in the future. The Chinese Shih Lang was at sea again just recently, this time carrying, but still not operating aircraft. (She's the Adm. Kuznetsov class CTOL carrier they acquired.) And the Indians are still pouring money into having the Adm.Gorshkov (Minsk class VTOL carrier) refurbished. Both really want carriers and are nervous about each other. Give them 20 years and it might happen for real.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 7:28:15 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
RL: If there's one lesson from the Falklands War, it's that nations that possess but one carrier are very leery about risking it. Heck, this applies to the Tirpitz of WW2, outside of just carriers, but including all capital ships. And, if India and China do go it in seriousness, remember that both have nukes.

Just as the USSR and US were 'nervous' about each other, and, notwithstanding many literary potboilers of the period, no naval battles ensued, it is more likely that the same pattern will follow with India and China; Both nations have far too much to lose were things to go that sideways.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 7:52:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 9:09:48 AM PDT
IGS says:
Largess

"I wouldn't necessarily be surprised if a carrier battle occurred in the future. The Chinese Shih Lang was at sea again just recently, this time carrying, but still not operating aircraft. (She's the Adm. Kuznetsov class CTOL carrier they acquired.) And the Indians are still pouring money into having the Adm.Gorshkov (Minsk class VTOL carrier) refurbished. Both really want carriers and are nervous about each other. Give them 20 years and it might happen for real."

I would be surprised and so would the Chinese and Russians. The US is the only one with experience in managing carrier operations in war, it will be decades before either of these countries is even remotely capable of managing such an operation and decades further before they are insane enough to try it. They are for show and regional power projection, nothing more. By the time any such conflict arises, far newer and less expensive technologies will have arisen and superseded these warships.

If you were Russia or China, would you try it?

Not in 20 years, not in 40.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 8:14:55 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
The issue with carrier operations among such new to the field powers is that the modern CTOL carrier is a far more complex item than it was in WW2, to say the least. While western powers who operated single light fleet carriers in the 40s-70s managed them fairly well, those ships and aircraft were not at the cutting edge of carrier ops. Six Skyhawks, eight S-2s, and a few helos is not the same as supersonic jet fighters. And, the powers that did it in the 40s-70s, did it from the easier start of WW2 type plane ops.

The new guys have to get all the way to the top, from a completely standing start. India is kind of in the middle, but even their last experience with CTOL carrier ops involved Sea Hawks and Alize aircraft, again, a far cry from SUs.

-Relax: China's First Aircraft Carrier is a Piece of Junk- http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/06/relax-chinas-first-aircraft-carrier-is-a-piece-of-junk/all/

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 9:12:58 AM PDT
R. Largess says:
China has three more carriers besides the Shih Lang - two ex-Russian Minsks and the ex-Australian Melbourne, all acquired by shady means. And all junk, but - these guys are serious. They've spent a long time working on this.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 9:34:31 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
RL:'two ex-Russian Minsks and the ex-Australian Melbourne, all acquired by shady means.'

This is why posting without doing basic research is always a Bad Thing. The Two Kievs are museum ships, and even if they were restorable to sail again, there are NO VSTOL aircraft for them to operate. As for the Melbourne, she was scrapped:

-The ship was not scrapped immediately; instead she was studied by Chinese naval architects and engineers as part of the nation's top-secret carrier development program.[6] Reports circulated that Melbourne's flight deck was either removed from the carrier or reproduced, and used for the equally secret training of People's Liberation Army Navy pilots in carrier flight operations.[6] The carrier was not dismantled for many years; according to some rumours she was not completely broken up until 2002.[144]- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Melbourne_(R21)

Even if she hadn't been, she'd be 57 years old, going by commissioning date, or 67 years old, going by launching date.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 11:40:05 AM PDT
briefcandle says:
Those 'junk' carriers have another function in modern war. They are sea mobile projections of sovereignty. Look how much trouble syria gets itself into by downing one old phantom.The ability of a carrier to test a peacetime 'enemy' by testing sovereign waters and airspace is unique and let no-one doubt that striking a carrier let alone sinking one is a casus belli.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 11:43:46 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
b:'Those 'junk' carriers have another function in modern war.'

If they cannot move (Minsk. Kiev) or no longer exist (Melbourne), all what follows is 100% moot.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 12:01:38 PM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
"the greatest soldiers and generals/admirals....by nation"

I say:

I like Dwight Eisenhower, because even though he led Allied forces in World War II and master-minded D-Day, as a president he took steps to take America out of the Korean war, keep America out of other wars, limit and reduce military spending, and he warned about the military-industrial complex. It's one of history's great ironies that the the only five-star general to be elected president was probably the one who was the most cautious about using war as a way to solve problems among nations. Eisenhower seemed to believe that war should only be used as a LAST, LAST, LAST resort.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 12:05:04 PM PDT
Andre,
China also doesn't have a VTOL aircraft to operate off them, and their decks are too short for conventional Mig29s and ski ramps. The US certainly isn't going to sell them Harrier IIs or F35s.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 12:07:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 12:07:25 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
RMS: Yeah, that's why I mentioned that in my 9:31:34 PDT post. The Gorshkov needed a half decade of rebuilding to become a marginal MiG-29 ship.

And, given some of the history of the F-35B program, selling some to China might be sweet revenge... :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 3:16:49 PM PDT
IGS says:
Andre

"And, given some of the history of the F-35B program, selling some to China might be sweet revenge... :-) "

LOL. But they don't really have to, they have already stolen the necessary information.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 3:19:23 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
Igs:'But they don't really have to, they have already stolen the necessary information.'

That's not what gets their lead paint factories humming, and money being spent/wasted...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 4:40:02 PM PDT
IGS says:
Andre

LOL:-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 1:42:06 PM PDT
R. Largess says:
I am very sorry, Andre, for making an error. The Chinese obviously squeezed what they could out of the Minsks and Melbourne some years ago - before the restoration of the "Shih Lang" seriously got under way. And she will obviously be used only for training, or more properly, learning; she'll be their Langley, in other words. The Chinese are talking about possibly four follow-on operational carriers. There's a good analysis of their statements regarding their plans in the Winter 2010 issue of the Naval War College Review - "China's Aircraft Carrier Ambitions; an Update", by Li and Weuve.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 1:52:28 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
RL:'The Chinese obviously squeezed what they could out of the Minsks and Melbourne some years ago - before the restoration of the "Shih Lang" seriously got under way.'

Indeed. Given that China does show a slow but incremental process to their acquisition and deployment of high tech, it is not surprising that their efforts re carriers is also becoming a multi decade affair. Their fourth ever manned space flight just ended, and their first was nine years ago. So, the view for some time has been that a Varyag (Now Shi Lang) made able to sail would be the learning platform, with some operational utility.

The real trick is going to be, how successful will their first indigenously built carrier be ? Building such a ship is a far cry from building supertankers and freighters. There's a learning curve ahead of them on that front, as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 6:12:55 PM PDT
patrick says:
Melbourne...what, HMAS Melbourne ex- HMS Majestic ?
I thought it ended up as razor-blades in Korea in 70s or 80s.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 6:18:31 PM PDT
patrick says:
the various Israelis Dayan and co, have probably been overlooked in this discussion...
certainly in terms of rapid victories in symetrical warfare...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 7:50:18 PM PDT
IGS says:
Patrick

I remember and interview that Sharon and Tal gave many years ago, I think it was taped in the early 70's, perhaps even before the Yom Kippur war. They had a question posed to them, "how do you explain your brilliant and rapid victories over your enemies?" Before Tal could answer Sharon had a slight smile on his face and the first thing he said was "It helps if you are fighting Arabs". The bottom line is this. I learned it in the military, I learned it in martial arts, it probably works in everything. You want to have your best shot at winning a fight ... hit first.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 8:50:48 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
p:'Melbourne...what, HMAS Melbourne ex- HMS Majestic ?'

Yep.

'I thought it ended up as razor-blades in Korea in 70s or 80s.'

-Melbourne was paid off from RAN service in 1982. A proposal to convert her for use as a floating casino failed, and a 1984 sale was cancelled, before she was sold in 1985 and towed to China for breaking. The scrapping was delayed so Melbourne could be studied by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) as part of a secret project to develop a Chinese aircraft carrier and used to train PLAN aviators in carrier flight operations.[6]-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Melbourne_(R21)

-HMAS Melbourne was decommissioned on 30 June 1982, having spent 62,036 hours underway and having steamed 868,893 nautical miles.-
-Melbourne spent her last days moored at Bradley's Head dolphins in Sydney Harbour, awaiting a decision on disposal. The ship was initially sold in June 1984 to an Australian company for A$1.7 million, however the sale fell through. In February 1985 the former Flagship was sold to the China United Shipbuilding Co Ltd for A$1.4 million to be broken up for scrap metal in the port of Dalian, China.-
http://www.navy.gov.au/HMAS_Melbourne_%28II%29

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 10:48:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 8, 2012 12:20:46 PM PDT
F. Gleaves says:
The Gary Powers U-2 was shot down only two weeks before the previously scheduled 1960 Paris Four Power Summit. When President Eisenhower refused to apologize for the photo-reconnaissance overflights of the USSR as demanded by Khrushchev in his opening tirade, the Soviets delegation stormed out.

As described at https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/95unclass/Walters.html

'De Gaulle came over to Eisenhower and took him by the arm. He took me also by the elbow and, taking us a little apart, he said to Eisenhower, "I do not know what Khrushchev is going to do, nor what is going to happen, but whatever he does, I want you to know that I am with you to the end."

'I was astounded at this statement, and Eisenhower was clearly moved by his unexpected expression of unconditional support. Only the three of us heard it, but it remains vivid in my mind to this day 15 years later. Eisenhower thanked de Gaulle, who walked down the stairs with him to his car. As we entered the car, Eisenhower, still upset by the whole episode, looked at me and said of de Gaulle, "He's quite a guy."

Considering de Gaulle's opinion of the two following American administrations, I was very surprised to hear this reported two years ago in a program on the U-2 crisis. In view of de Gaulle's subsequent actions, I think it has to be taken as the highest possible endorsement of Eisenhower's principles and judgement.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 11:22:54 PM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
Andre Lieven: "...and the TF34 fiasco...,"

"TURKEY TROTS TO WATER GG FROM CINCPAC ACTION COM THIRD FLEET INFO COMINCH CTF SEVENTY-SEVEN X WHERE IS RPT WHERE IS TASK FORCE THIRTY FOUR RR THE WORLD WONDERS"

When Halsey got the mesaage, the lead "padding" (before "GG") was removed, but the end padding (after "RR") was left in the text he read. He took it as a personal affront and was furious: "I was stunned as if I had been struck in the face. The paper rattled in my hands, I snatched off my cap, threw it on the deck, and shouted something I am ashamed to remember"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2012 12:10:02 PM PDT
R. Largess says:
It takes integrity and courage to earn this kind of a response. A truly great commander has to have the trust and love of his troops, his subordinates, and his Allies. A tall order - but Ike largely had it.

Posted on Jul 14, 2012 8:57:46 PM PDT
Yog-Sothoth says:
A little OT - what was it about Douglas MacArthur that caused some to nearly idolize him, yet others thought very little of him?

Persoanlly, my fav US Generals of WWII were Ike, Bradley, Vandegrift, Roy Geiger (the only Marine to command an Army) and Mark Clark
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  166
Initial post:  Jun 23, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 1, 2012

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