Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Task Force Smith

I remembered reading about Task Force Smith and how a bunch of "occupation" soldiers with poor equipment got rolled up by the North Koreans.  Since the Korean War it has been canon that there will be "No More Task Force Smith".   I remember us in Europe training hard even though we were in "Peacetime", there always the possibility of going to war and the training came in handy when we got sent to the middle East on a reverse REFORGER.


Task Force Smith was composed mostly of men under 21 years of age, and before war broke out in Korea on June 25, 1950, its experience involved little more than garrison duty in Japan. Few of its members had been in combat.
The troops of Task Force Smith weren’t unlike most other G.I.s of their day — laid-back, under-trained and perhaps too accustomed to peacetime. Author T.R. Fehrenbach described them as “probably as contented a group of American soldiery as had ever existed.”
“It was not their fault that no one had told them that the real function of an army is to fight, and that a soldier’s destiny — which few escape — is to suffer, and if need be, to die,” wrote Fehrenbach, who was a combat officer in Korea.
Task Force Smith of the 24th Infantry Division arriving at the railway station in Taejon, Korea.
What America needed Task Force Smith to do in the summer of 1950 was blunt North Korea’s rapid southward advance as long as possible. It became the first American unit to meet the North Koreans in ground combat.
“In all American history, no group of soldiers has displayed greater bravery and dedication than the mostly untried members of Task Force Smith,” author Bevin Alexander wrote.
The Formation of Task Force Smith
Task Force Smith consisted of 406 men from the 1st Battalion, 21st Regiment, 24th Infantry Division, and 134 men from Battery A of the 52nd Artillery Battalion.
Map of the Battle of Osan
When the North Korean onslaught began with smashing success, the 24th was the first U.S. division sent to Korea, and Lt. Col. Charles B. Smith’s battalion was in the vanguard. Smith headed to Korea with just two rifle companies, which were under-strength, and some headquarters, communications, and heavy weapons troops.
After a long journey that included travel by plane, truck, and train, Smith’s troops were joined on July 4 in Pyongtaek by the artillerymen of Lt. Col. Miller O. Perry, who brought six 105-millimeter pieces, with 1,200 rounds of ammunition.
The combined infantry/artillery unit was dubbed Task Force Smith. Its men were optimistic heading into battle. They had no idea of the long odds they faced.
Task Force Smith arrives in South Korea.
Task Force Smith Fails to Stop North Korean Tanks
Task Force Smith was trucked 12 miles north from Pyongtaek, moving to a position three miles beyond the village of Osan on July 4. The group dug in on high ground that overlooked the highway and a railroad to the east.
At 7:30 a.m. on July 5, a line of North Korean tanks churned into view, and the Americans let loose with all of the heavy weapons they had, which in the grand scheme of things weren’t much.
A team mans a Bazooka at the Battle of Osan. Members of the 24th Infantry Division, first United States ground units to reach the front, go into action against North Korean forces at the village of Sojong-Ni, near Osan. At right is Private First Class Kenneth Shadrick, who was killed by enemy fire a few moments after this photo was made, thus becoming the first United States soldier to die in the Korean campaign.
While Perry’s artillerymen had a decent supply of high-explosive shells, they possessed only six rounds of armor-piercing ammunition. Smith’s “battalion” could add just two 75-millimeter recoilless rifles and six bazookas. That was not nearly enough firepower to stop the North Korean force of Russian-made T34 tanks, which smashed through Task Force Smith’s position.
Most of the hits scored by the Americans bounced off the T34 armor, and the North Koreans continued south after inflicting 23 casualties, destroying a handful of U.S. vehicles, and knocking out a forward 105 howitzer position. There was a temporary panic among the artillery crews, but it was brought under control well before any enemy infantry arrived.
The T-34 tank was standard armor used by the North Korean Army in 1950 and was also present at Osan.
Task Force Smith Battles North Korean Infantry
An hour after the tanks passed through, the Americans spotted a six-mile column of North Koreans with three more T34 tanks leading the way. Behind them were some 5,000 infantry — two regiments. The North Koreans were unaware of the American positions and were predictably surprised when Smith’s troops opened fire at 11:45 a.m. Trucks exploded, some men fell, and the rest scattered in different directions.
But unlike the tank column that broke through hours earlier, this North Korean force directly engaged the Americans. The Communists began spreading around the flanks. And with their huge numerical superiority — and ample mortar and artillery support — they proved to be an insurmountable force.
Smith ordered his force to withdraw before it was surrounded, and the task was accomplished with great difficulty. The Americans suffered most of their 150 casualties during the retreat. Task Force Smith had delayed the North Koreans for a total of seven hours — at the cost of 20 killed, and 130 wounded or missing.
South Korean sailors in formation in front of the Task Force Smith memorial at Osan
The Legacy of Task Force Smith
Task Force Smith is not a name that is synonymous with triumph in U.S. military annals. To some, it is a symbol of failure and unpreparedness — a model for future generations not to emulate. Task Force Smith did not have enough men, training, supplies, or ammunition when it entered combat, yet somehow it was called upon to perform a monumental task.
Yet it’s difficult to fault the men of the task force, who, under the circumstances, performed better than perhaps anybody had a right to expect. Their fight lasted only hours, but as the U.S. struggled to assemble additional troops in Korea and every hour was critical.
In 2005, a monument to Task Force Smith was erected near the battle site, almost exactly 55 years after the engagement.

    Here is a REPORT that the U.S. Army institute for advanced studies and lessons learned

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Why the Immigration debate flared up...

I was real surprised how fast this immigration crap flared up....Remember Last week...?

The democrats desperately needed something to get the positive news off President Trump so they trotted out this immigration fiasco to flog the administration and score points before the midterm elections...To the Democrats it is about power and winning the election.  They are hoping this big blue wave will show up and they get congress so they can try to impeach Trump.
It is an older cartoon but the message is still the same.  The Democrats seem to care more about the illegals than American citizens.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Alaxanders Legacy "The battle of Gaugamela"


This is another one of my ancient history post that I like to do well...because I like History., I honestly believe that once a people forget their history, they are doomed to repeat it.

In the countless theoretical lists of best generals of all time, Alexander the Great is often at or very near the top, in fact, such lists often spark great amounts of arguments and controversy, but over the other generals, not Alexander.
In his string of victories across his thousands of miles of campaigning, Alexander had one masterpiece that won him an empire and securely ensured the protrusion of Greek culture in the eastern world. That battle was fought near the small village of Gaugamela.
To better understand Alexander’s success, especially at such a young age, one must understand all of the advantages he had in addition to his own inherent talent. Alexander was lucky enough to have excellent mentors in his early life; his personal teacher was none other than Aristotle, a philosopher who learned from Plato, who learned from Socrates. While not directly correlating to warfare, lessons learned from one of the most enlightened thinkers of the ancient world would have had near universal applications.

Alexander also learned valuable lessons from his father. Before Philip, Macedon was an afterthought on the world stage. With Philip’s reorganization of the army into a professional mixed army, Macedon became an organized military power. The core of the army was the sarissa wielding phalanx able to stoutly hold their ground or methodically churn their collective spearheads forward through any foe.
The army had other important elements as well, skilled skirmishers including Cretan archers, a mix of light and heavy cavalry and elite Hypaspists capable of multiple battlefield roles. This mixed army was intended to be used in multiple ways and relied on skilled generals to adapt to conditions of a battle and use the different troops in the best way possible, Philip was quite good at this and taught Alexander the basics of utilizing such an army.
Map of Macedon showing the strides taken by Philip in preparation for a Persian invasion. Persia looms large just across the Aegean
Map of Macedon showing the strides taken by Philip in preparation for a Persian invasion. Persia looms large just across the Aegean. By Marsyas – CC BY-SA 3.0
Philip passed this army down to Alexander in excellent condition. Philip also was the original planner for a Persian invasion and likely passed along a wealth of information and ideas for an invasion, perhaps thoughts on fighting the Persian armies, what they would consist of, how they were led into battle and so on. Ultimately Alexander was given the absolute best tools for his invasion, a professional army meant to be utilized by creative commanders, and outstanding practical and military education for him and many of his leading commanders.
As Alexander invaded Persia, he had immediate success, first winning the battle of the Granicus River that proved the ability of the phalanx to cross a river and still fight effectively. At Granicus, Alexander defeated a Persian satrap, at Issus Alexander faced an army assembled by the Persian King Darius himself. Issus was another victory for Alexander, and he used the victory to march along the coast to Egypt and capture Persian naval bases such as Tyre.
With the coast secure and supply lines in place, Alexander sought to take the fight to Darius again. This time, Darius had as large of a force as he could muster and the stakes were fairly clear, whoever won this battle would have control over Persia.

At the Granicus, Alexander led from the front but also depended on his companions to come to his aid when needed. in this battle as well as many others Alexander risked death but also inspired others.
At the Granicus, Alexander led from the front but also depended on his companions to come to his aid when needed. In this battle as well as many others Alexander risked death but also inspired others.
Darius knew that Alexander needed to come to him, so he picked a flat, featureless battlefield that would favor his larger army and allow his secret weapons to run wild. These secret weapons were as many as 200 chariots covered in spikes and scythed wheels that would attack along with some elephants to break up the tight phalanx formations for the cavalry and infantry to exploit.
The overall numbers of the Persians are widely discussed and disputed. Ancient sources are never lower than about 200,000 and often approach a million while modern sources go as low as about 55,000 and as high as 200,000. Alexander’s numbers are more fixed with about 40-50,000. A number around 70-100,000 seems the most likely for the Persians as evidence does point to a clearly larger army.
Prior to the battle, Alexander’s generals sought to attack at night to make up for their smaller numbers, some thought that a night attack was their only hope against such a numerically superior force. Also, Darius picked the field, not just for his chariots, but also so he could freely send troops around to envelop Alexander’s forces. Alexander’s deployment on the day of battle was also geared specifically towards preventing flanking and total encirclement.
With larger numbers, Darius’ tactics were simple, break formations with chariots and fully attack with extra pressure to extend around the flanks. Alexander’s strategy was a bit more complicated; he needed to account for and defend against the larger forces while also finding a way to secure a victory.
To hold off flanking attempts Alexander swept back his flanks so that flanking troops would need to travel farther and rather than hitting the sides of the formation, they would hit the swept back flanks head on. Various mercenaries formed a small second line to respond to flanks or breaks in a line. At the onset of the battle, Alexander would take his elite companion cavalry and march far to the right of the battle to force Darius’ hand.
Battle_of_Gaugamela,_331_BC_-_Opening_movements
Initial dispositions and opening movements.
When Alexander marched off to the right Darius was forced to match his movements and stretched his left flank out as a fierce cavalry battle ensued on the Macedonian right. On the Macedonian left and center things were tight. The scythed chariots were handled with relative ease; most were let through the ranks and captured as they slowed greatly to turn around. After the chariot charge, however, the large numbers of Persians combined with elite immortals and Persian heavy cavalry put a heavy strain on the phalanx.
Eventually, a gap opened in the center and Persian cavalry poured through. Rather than wheeling and flanking the phalanx, the undisciplined cavalry went straight for the Macedonian baggage train and loot. While the Macedonian infantry were fractured, they still held, and Alexander was able to execute his most key maneuver.
Having marched to the right and stretching out the Persian left, Alexander cut hard to the left in what can only be described as a battlefield scale “juke” move that left much of the Persian left in the companions’ dust as they formed a wedge formation and charged directly at Darius’ position. The wedge cut deep into Darius’ guarding troops, and while it did not reach the king, Darius could clearly see the carnage in front of him and decided to flee the field. Alexander had achieved his goal but still had to finish his battle.
Battle_gaugamela_decisive
Alexander’s decisive attack. By Frank Martini 
Darius was gone but the Persian right was still overloading the Macedonian center and left, and several holes were forming. Desperate messages were sent to Alexander to send help, and Alexander wheeled around his wedge formation and charged towards the rear of the attacking Persians. On the way Alexander and his elite cavalry ran into the most elite of the Persian cavalry and the resulting battle caused a fair share of the casualties for the whole battle.
Eventually, Alexander forced his way through and released the overwhelming pressure of the Persians. After reforming the lines, the Macedonians were able to turn to the offensive and push the rest of the Persians off of the field.
With this great battle, Alexander essentially won Persia. Babylon and most of western Persia readily submitted to Alexander and Darius fled to the east hoping to raise another army only to be later killed by his own men. The battle itself was hard fought, and victory was only assured after Alexander returned from putting Darius to flight and early defeat was spared by the lack of discipline by the victorious Persian cavalry.
Alexander both organized a daring battle plan and also executed it himself, leading from the front and being heavily involved in the most decisive fighting. His genius and his leading by example allowed him to be one of the greatest individual factors for the Macedonian victory, cementing him as the greatest general of all time.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Music "The Dance" by Garth Brooks

This song hit in 1990, but I didn't hear the song until I was in the Gulf and Armed Forces Desert Network would play the song.  It was haunting and sad all in the same vein, we were a bit bummed out being deployed and it kinda fit our mood during the buildup from shield to storm.  We didn't know what to expect and the song talked about loss of relationships, loss of opportunity and redemption.  Even now 28 years later it still is contemporary. 


"The Dance" is a song written and composed by Tony Arata, and recorded by American country music singer Garth Brooks as the tenth and final track from his self-titled debut album, from which it was also released as the album's fourth and final single in April 1990. It is considered by many to be Brooks' signature song. In a 2015 interview with Patrick Kielty of BBC Radio 2, Brooks credits the back to back success of both "The Dance" and its follow up "Friends in Low Places" for his
 phenomenal success.

Garth Brooks is the debut studio album of American country music artist Garth Brooks, released on April 12, 1989 through Capitol Nashville. It was both a critical and chart success, peaking at #13 on the Billboard 200 and at #2 on the Top Country Albums chart. The album has been certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments over ten million copies. This is Garth's only album to have a neotraditional country sound before developing a more crossover-friendly country-pop sound.

At the opening of the music video, Brooks explains that the song is written with a double meaning - both as a love song about the end of a passionate relationship, and a story of someone dying because of something he believes in, after a moment of glory.

It was awarded Video of the Year at the 1990 ACM Music Awards.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fathers Day quotes


Happy Fathers Day to all my fellow readers and bloggers.  I saw this last week from "Art of Manliness".  I thought the quotes were very good.   This is on my scheduler thingie

The Ultimate Collection of Quotes About Fatherhood

By Brett & Kate McKay on Jun 11, 2018 12:51 pm

Fathers tend to be taken for granted.
We invariably make more of a fuss over Mom on Mother’s Day than Dad on Father’s Day, for one.
Dads are like a steady but less sentimentalized institution — the sun in our familial sky that warms and gives life but isn’t much thought about unless he goes missing.
Yet this belies the enormous impact fathers truly have on their children; while a dad’s nurturing may often take the form of playful roughhousing and silly jokes, his influence is quite serious and significant: the presence of a loving father greatly increases a child’s chances of success, confidence and resilience, physical and mental well-being, and yes, quite naturally, their sense of humor.
One of the manifestations of the way we take fathers for granted is that there exist many more quotes about Mom than dear old Dad (and even fewer about fathers and daughters). To make more accessible those great pearls of wisdom that do exist, we searched high and low for the very best, and created this ultimate treasury of quotes about fatherhood. These short quotations provide great prompts for reflection; typically, we’re so busy plowing ahead that we don’t pause to look up and get a “birds-eye” perspective on things — taking the time to ponder what our own dads meant to us, and the way we’re shaping, and should be savoring, our kids right now. 

Quotes About Fatherhood


“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in your own eyes.” –Walter M. Schirra, Sr.
“Some dads liken the impending birth of a child to the beginning of a great journey.” –Marcus Jacob Goldman
“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” –George Herbert
“Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later . . . that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.” –Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“The best way of training the young is to train yourself at the same time; not to admonish them, but to be seen never doing that of which you would admonish them.” –Plato

“The nature of impending fatherhood is that you are doing something that you’re unqualified to do, and then you become qualified while doing it.” –John Green
“One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” –Howard W. Hunter
“To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter.” –Euripides
“If there is any immortality to be had among us human beings, it is certainly only in the love that we leave behind. Fathers like mine don’t ever die.” –Leo Buscaglia
“That is the thankless position of the father in the family—the provider for all, and the enemy of all.” –J. August Strindberg

“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.” –Charles Kettering
“Son, there are times a man has to do things he doesn’t like to, in order to protect his family.” –Ralph Moody
 “A boy needs a father to show him how to be in the world. He needs to be given swagger, taught how to read a map so that he can recognize the roads that lead to life and the paths that lead to death, how to know what love requires, and where to find steel in the heart when life makes demands on us that are greater than we think we can endure.” –Ian Morgan Cron
“Parenthood remains the single greatest preserve of the amateur.” –Alvin Toffler

“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” –Clarence Budington Kelland
“When you’re a dad, there’s no one above you. If I don’t do something that has to be done, who is going to do it?” –Jonathan Safran Foer, Here I Am
“‘Why do men like me want sons?’ he wondered. ‘It must be because they hope in their poor beaten souls that these new men, who are their blood, will do the things they were not strong enough nor wise enough nor brave enough to do. It is rather like another chance at life; like a new bag of coins at a table of luck after your fortune is gone.’” –John Steinbeck, Cup of Gold: A Life of Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer, with Occasional Reference to History
“If the past cannot teach the present, and the father cannot teach the son, then history need not have bothered to go on, and the world has wasted a great deal of time.” –Russell Hoban

“There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railway man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.” –Theodore Roosevelt
“Father!—To God Himself we cannot give a holier name.” –William Wordsworth
“We think our Fathers Fools, so wise we grow; Our wiser Sons, no doubt, will think us so.” –Alexander Pope
“His values embraced family, reveled in the social mingling of the kitchen, and above all, welcomed the loving disorder of children.” –John Cole
“Children are a poor man’s riches.” –English proverb

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” –Frederick Douglass
“A girl’s father is the first man in her life, and probably the most influential.” –David Jeremiah
“Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development.” –David Gottesman
“Father of fathers, make me one,
A fit example for a son.”
–Douglas Malloch

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” –Umberto Eco
“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ ‘We’re not raising grass,’ Dad would reply. ‘We’re raising boys.’” –Harmon Killebrew
“Until you have a son of your own . . . you will never know the joy beyond joy, the love beyond feeling that resonates in the heart of a father as he looks upon his son. You will never know the sense of honor that makes a man want to be more than he is and to pass something good and hopeful into the hands of his son. And you will never know the heartbreak of the fathers who are haunted by the personal demons that keep them from being the men they want their sons to be.” –Kent Nerburn
“When my son looks up at me and breaks into his wonderful toothless smile, my eyes fill up and I know that having him is the best thing I will ever do.” –Dan Greenberg

“Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.” –Reed Markham
“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” –Pope John XXIII
“When I looked at you first I saw not your mother and me, but your two grandfathers . . . and, as my father, whom I loved a great deal, had died the year before, I was moved to see that here, in you, he was alive.” –Peter Carey
“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.” –Pam Brown

“‘Father’ is the noblest title a man can be given. It is more than a biological role. It signifies a patriarch, a leader, an exemplar, a confidant, a teacher, a hero, a friend.” –Robert L. Backman
“Noble fathers have noble children.” –Euripides
“The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.” –Confucius
“No man can possibly know what life means, what the world means, what anything means, until he has a child and loves it.” –Lafcadio Hearn

“I cannot think of any need in children as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” –Sigmund Freud
 “A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.” –Frank A. Clark
“His father watched him across the gulf of years and pathos which always divide a father from his son.” –John Marquand
“A family needs a father to anchor it.” –L. Tom Perry
“Words have an awesome impact. The impression made by a father’s voice can set in motion an entire trend of life.” –Gordon MacDonald

“Children need models rather than critics.” –Joseph Joubert
“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.” –Unknown
“Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.” –Joseph Addison
“Mostly you just have to keep plugging and keep loving—and hoping that your child forgives you according to how you loved him, judged him, forgave him, and stood watching over him as he slept, year after year.” –Ben Stein

“Life doesn’t come with an instruction book — that’s why we have fathers.” H. Jackson Browne
“Fathers, you are your daughter’s hero. My father was my hero. I used to wait on the steps of our home for him to arrive each night. He would pick me up and twirl me around and let me put my feet on top of his big shoes, and then he would dance me into the house. I loved the challenge of trying to follow his every footstep. I still do.” –Elaine S. Dalton
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” –Billy Graham
“When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.” –The Talmud
“My father always said there are four things a child needs: plenty of love, nourishing food, regular sleep, and lots of soap and water. After that, what he needs most is some intelligent neglect.” –Ivy Baker Priest

“Like so much between fathers and sons, playing catch was tender and tense at the same time.” –Donald Hall
“By profession I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact, but I am also prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys.” –General Douglas MacArthur
“The lone father is not a strong father. Fathering is a difficult and perilous journey and is done well with the help of other men.” –John L. Hart
“Children of the new millennium when change is likely to continue and stress will be inevitable, are going to need, more than ever, the mentoring of an available father.” –Ian Grant
“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams, and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.” –Reed Markham

“Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man.” –Frank Pittman
“Never fret for an only son. The idea of failure will never occur to him.” –George Bernard Shaw
“My son is seven years old. I am fifty-four. It has taken me a great many years to reach that age. I am more respected in the community, I am stronger, I am more intelligent and I think I am better than he is. I don’t want to be his pal, I want to be a father.” –Clifton Fadiman
“Some day you will know that a father is much happier in his children’s happiness than in his own. I cannot explain it to you: it is a feeling in your body that spreads gladness through you.” –Honore de Balzac, Pere Goriot

“A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad.” –John Andrew Holmes
“Every parent is at some point the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.” –John Ciardi
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