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"That's the Army for you" Topic

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910 hits since 10 Nov 2021
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Korvessa10 Nov 2021 5:46 p.m. PST

In this case the British – but suspect all are the same in this respect.
Came across this tory:

About A British tank gunner. On his first day in combat he took out 3 Tigers with 5 shots from his firefly. Including the famous Wittman.
He knocked out a 4th tank later that day before his tank was knocked out.
The army being the army – in his new crew he was a radio operator and never fired his gun again.

Legion 410 Nov 2021 7:16 p.m. PST

Sounds about right …

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2021 1:08 a.m. PST

Square pegs and round holes … It is a part of British military doctrine.

Nine pound round11 Nov 2021 4:15 a.m. PST

The flip side of that scenario has a far less happy ending- and that happens, too.

Nature of the beast, I suppose.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2021 7:46 a.m. PST

There was an old "Amos 'n Andy" episode in which the laid back Andy is taking an aptitude test involving pegs and holes. The man beside him is rapidly matching peg to hole. Andy takes the square peg, tries twice to get it in the round hole--and then gets out a whittling knife. I often thought of him as I coped with Milpercen.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2021 8:49 a.m. PST

Met a fellow at work that was a USN WW2 veteran. When in gunnery school for AA gunners he was the best marksman in the class. The trainers said that he used too much ammo when shooting down all the practice models so they made him a loader instead.

When I was in the USN, the surest way to get the duty assignment that you wanted was to choose the given options in reverse order of preference.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2021 10:11 a.m. PST

There was an inter-unit competition in the British Army part of which was an ambush scenario stand. Both sides used laser target engagement systems (SAWES) so it was going to be quite realistic. Each team was ambushed and their reactions and tactics assessed by the umpires. Most lost a lot of their number with some fighting through and others just going to pieces. Then one team went through and not only 'killed' all the ambushers but also suffered no casualties. The umpires were going to mark them down as their tactics were not 'by the book'. Fortunately a saner senior officer prevailed and that team was given full marks and won that stand.

I make no comment …

Nine pound round11 Nov 2021 10:34 a.m. PST

To paraphrase Churchill, armies will generally do the right thing- after they've tried all the other alternatives.

bobspruster12 Nov 2021 1:11 a.m. PST

My favorite quote from Lloyd George:"No one thing and no one person could have prevented the collapse of the Turk in both Mesopotamia and Palestine in 1916 except our own general staff."

Nine pound round12 Nov 2021 4:21 a.m. PST

Characteristically witty, and characteristically unfair – almost as funny as what he said about Haig: "Brilliant- to the top of his boots." And almost as unfair.

Lloyd George is a fascinating character, and perhaps the most essential British leader of the war- but like Churchill, it's a struggle to unravel his essential contributions from his serious mistakes.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Nov 2021 5:30 a.m. PST

My dad was a trained pilot before the war. After Pearl Harbor he tried to enlist in the Air Corps, but because he worked as a tool-maker (a highly specialized job) at an aircraft factory, he was sent back to his job. In 1945 the government didn't need any more of the planes his factory made and he was drafted--into the infantry!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2021 9:25 a.m. PST

I sometimes look at the commissioning postings for the local ROTC detachment and the branch posting rarely has anything to do with the degree field. Needs of the service and all of that.

Legion 413 Nov 2021 6:44 a.m. PST

We learned from DAY 1 … the needs of the Army/Military comes first.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2021 8:17 a.m. PST

I remember well that standard phrase from the
enlistment 'contract': "…subject to the needs and
exigencies of the Government."

Often wondered if those who were drafted (not
voluntarily enlisted) had the same boilerplate.

Legion 413 Nov 2021 1:39 p.m. PST

I'd think so … Bottom line … when you sign the line, i.e. "You take the King's coin, you do the King's bidding … "

Nine pound round15 Nov 2021 5:46 a.m. PST

I could live with, "Mission first, people second." That's what it was, anyway. What drove me crazy was having to say, "Mission first, people ALWAYS" when I knew it wasn't true.

Legion 415 Nov 2021 9:02 a.m. PST

Yes I remember "Mission first, people Always" … But yes sometimes to get the mission, etc. done. That is always not possible.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2021 8:35 a.m. PST

To me, it's not doing the "King's" bidding that is the issue, it's the often illogical and self defeating bid and the inability to initiate any all too obvious course correction that can cause stress and confusion.

Legion 416 Nov 2021 11:12 a.m. PST

Sounds about right … E.g. Vietnam, Somali and more recently A'stan.

My experience as a Rifle Plt Ldr, Mech Co. Cdr, etc. back in '80s, old fart the POTUS, JCS, etc. didn't ask my opinion on … well … anything ! 😁
But we still got paid !!! 😎

green beanie17 Nov 2021 8:12 a.m. PST

Back in 1975 I enlisted in the US Army Special Forces. I passed all the physical testing, including Airborne, and then the written tests. I passed and was sent off for training. One of the guys I was with did not pass the Airborne physical and was told he would be going into the Infantry as a 11 Bravo (Better known back then as 11 Bullet Catcher). Now this was the first of the all volunteer Army after Vietnam, so this guy did not wish to go into the infantry and told them if it was a volunteer Army, he would pick his assignment and the Army basically told him volunteer or not he would go into the infantry and he told them, "Oh, I just remembered. I signed my enlistment papers in blue ink and not black ink as required. He was let out of his enlistment and back into the world on a blue ink signature. Makes you wonder.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2021 8:29 a.m. PST

IIRC, the Royal Tank Regiment looked up this former gunner/radioman and brought him down to Bovington for a chat. At one point they let him try out a Challenger and he became the oldest person to qualify as a gunner on said vehicle.

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