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"Stonewall Jackson & "our blood, his guts" Patton" Topic

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Korvessa Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 1:50 p.m. PST

I just came across this quote today on old TJ –
thought occurred it could just as easily be about Patton – and who knows how many other generals.

"I must admit that it is much pleasanter to read about Stonewall & his exploits than to serve under him & perform those exploits." Andrew Wardlaw of the 14th South Carolina in a letter to his wife; October 5, 1862

Stryderg31 Jul 2021 2:08 p.m. PST

That is the nature of military/adventurous exploits: long stretches of boredom with sudden spurts of "Oh no, we're all gonna die!"

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 2:28 p.m. PST

Certainly true. Also true that successful commanders frequently demand more of their men. You won't find Joe Johnson or George McClellan ordering long forced marches or making "put in all the reserves" assaults. I read recently that Patton went to France with an extra colonel for each division, on the assumption that a certain percentage of his regimental commanders weren't going to measure up and they should be replaced immediately. That's not pleasant--but it wins wars.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 3:21 p.m. PST

I don't know because have not analyzed casualty
figures but it is logical to suppose that the
rapid advance style of such as Patton might produce
fewer casualties than the more stolid pace of other
types of commanders.

It just seems to me that the less time spent in
contact/combat the fewer casualties.

Could be exceptions of course.

Of course 'timid' commanders miss opportunities,
Anzio for example.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 3:49 p.m. PST

By October of '62 Jackson's command did a lot of marching and a LOT of combat. So I understand the sentiment. He demanded a lot of his men, and more from their officers. He once berated an officer who marched his command too long. His policy was 50 minutes marching and then 10 minutes rest. when the officer kept going through the rest period he publicly chewed him out. Very smart move as the men knew he was looking out for them and they knew that no matter how hard they were marching they would get a break soon.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 6:18 p.m. PST

It just seems to me that the less time spent in
contact/combat the fewer casualties.

One could make the argument that until relatively recently, less time in contact meant more time in camp, which meant more time to succumb to disease. Being cautious with the lives of one's troops is commendable until it interferes with a willingness to prosecute the war and bring it to a swifter end.

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 7:59 p.m. PST

Also, by constantly pushing and fighting the enemy, it gives them less time to dig in and fortify a position.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2021 8:59 p.m. PST

"less time spent in contact/combat" meant you are
pushing the enemy and using constant movement to
prevent him preparing fortified positions.

Compare casualty rates in Normandy from D-Day to
the Cobra breakout with the rate from Cobra to
the Westwall.

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