Western Ohio, 1791

About 900 US soldiers were killed in a single day. That’s three times the number killed at Little Bighorn in 1876. At the time it represented half of the standing US Army (the whole army).

The Shawnee and Miami warriors, led by Little Turtle, Tecumseh, and others, retreated northward, drawing St Clair’s American army farther and farther from its Ohio river base of supply and communications, deeper into the forest.

When they finally sprang their ambush, they fought with the same quality of rifles the American Army had and employed better battlefield tactics and discipline.

At  Gettysburg or Antietam the number of killed and wounded were staggering. At the same time, when those battles ended, the great majority of soldiers were unscathed. At the end of this day, St. Clair was fleeing with a few dozen fugitives while almost his whole army lay dead in the snow.

It was the greatest defeat in numerical terms by any Indian force, and in proportional terms the greatest blow dealt to US arms ever, by any enemy.

That same confederation was defeated decisively in turn at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

 

Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund (a little more history)

In 1803, some London merchants and secretaries of Lloyds founded Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund, which incidentally still exists today. It was to be capitalized by a public subscription which raised £100,000 (about £5 million today) in one month. A committee oversaw the fund, which was completely autonomous and independent of Lloyds. It was to give grants to wounded Naval members and to the dependents of those killed at sea. But also to give a prize to those who went far beyond the call of duty and distinguished themselves with great courage and deeds at sea. This award was given in the form of swords, vases, and silver plates together with a certificate.

These were issued according to rank, and not only Navy officers could receive this award, but also Royal Marines and Merchant officers, as well as Privateers.

This £30 sword was presented to ( Senior Midshipman) Barry Sarsfield, Master’s Mate of H.M.S.Galatea, 1809 

Midshipmen and Royal Marine Lieutenants received a sword worth £30 (about £1,500 today).

Money was also given for the education of children (a kind of scholarship) who, because of their status, would not have been able to attend a school or a naval academy. The Fund also supported the Royal Naval Asylum and the Greenwich Hospital near 1805. Between 1805-1812, money was also given to French prisoners of war to improve their conditions. Till today, some tasks have changed and been added, and to this day, the Fund supports armed forces charities in Britain.

 

WHAT IF?

This sort of speculation can lead to endless discussion by armchair field marshals. Which is why I bring it up here.

We know that if Overlord failed, then Operation Dragoon – the amphibious landing in Southern France would have been canceled.

Stalin’s personal archives reveal that if the landings failed, the Soviet Army would have halted on the Vistula River and would have taken up defensive positions. They knew that they didn’t have the capacity to defeat Germany on their own.

By halting at the Vistula and taking the Balkans, Germany would have been cut off from her major natural resources and German war production would grind to a halt. That being the case, Stalain would have made a separate peace with Germany since their capacity to inflict harm on the Soviet Union would have ended.

The Western Allies planned to use their nuclear stockpile against Germany (likely using B-29’s to deliver them) since that had been the plan since September 1942. Sixty German cities were earmarked for 200 nuclear warheads.

Whether or not this would have happened would most likely have depended on public opinion. By 1944, the Western Allies were becoming war-weary. With the Soviet Union dropping out of the war, would the British and Americans have sued for peace with Germany, leaving Hitler in place?

 

Oooops – China got Caught Again

(h/t Claudio) ROME — An Italy-based defense firm that has supplied small drones to the country’s special forces was quietly and illegally purchased by Chinese state companies, Italian investigators have alleged.

On Thursday, Italian financial crimes police raided the company, which one official named Alpi Aviation.

Alpi Aviation produces the Strix UAV at its facility in Pordenone, northern Italy. The Italian Air Force has used the UAV in Afghanistan. It weighs 10 kilograms, has a 3-meter wingspan, and can relay video and infrared imagery in real-time. It takes 8 minutes to set up, and then it can be launched by catapult. It’s equipped with a parachute for landing.

Investigators said a Hong Kong-based company in 2018 purchased a 75 percent share in the firm at an inflated price. They also allege the Hong Kong-based company was controlled by a series of corporate holdings.

Working their way through the tiers of ownership, police said they discovered the real owners of Alpi Aviation were “two important government-owned companies in the People’s Republic of China.”

The statement said the sale violated Italy’s so-called Golden Power law, under which defense firms, as well as strategic companies in critical sectors like energy and telecommunications, can only be sold outside Italy with specific permission from the government.

Alpi Aviation was listed by Italy’s Defence Ministry as one of its suppliers, and thus it was covered by the law, said Col. Stefano Commentucci of Italy’s tax police.

A police statement said the firm failed to notify the Italian government of the 2018 change in ownership, a transaction it described as “opaque” and designed to conceal the new non-Italian ownership.

The takeover was only communicated to the Defence Ministry two years later after inquiries were made by ministry officials, the statement added.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Normandy. That succeeded, IMO, because individual commanders took independent actions in a timely fashion. Just one example. The commander of the USS Texas taking his ship to within 3,000 yards of the shoreline to provide better fire support. I’m sure there are hundreds more examples.

    I’ve never understood the military necessity of invading Italy, particularly the northern end of the peninsula. Mountainous terrain favorable to the defenders and a logistic problem for the attackers.

    Instead of Anzio landings around Adge would have made sense, IMO.

    Oh well, 20-20 hindsight.

    • Anzio would have worked if they’d have moved off the beach instead of squatting there and waiting for the Germans to respond.

      • Landings anywhere in Italy were rather pointless, even if the whole campaign hadn’t been run in almost the worst way possible. Anzio should’ve succeeded, and Lucas arguably deserved to be shot for his performance. Clark ought to have been fired. But all Italy could possibly gain the Allies is to reach the Alps and some of the best defensive terrain in Europe.

    • Experience from Operation Flintlock, the capture of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, specifically after the Navy changed their fire-support rules after Tarawa Bloody Tarawa, was to get the big guns in as close as possible, firing basically point-blank.

      That experience was woefully ignored by the Navy at Normandy, except for actions by some destroyer captains and the Texas.

      Dumbasses. The reason that the Marshalls were so ‘easy’ in comparison to the Gilberts was that the brief break between them allowed the new rule of ‘overwhelming fire support’ to be implemented in the Marshalls, basically firing until you start overshooting the island and threatening the ships on the other side.

      The use of LVTs was also poo-pooed at Normandy. Though, again, studies from Tarawa, Bloody Tarawa was that the amtracks needed to be in the first wave on any beach assault, and should be used with palletized cargo of ammo, guns, ammo, med supplies, ammo, guns and food starting in the second wave.

      Push hard, push fast, overwhelm defenses after plastering them, and keep the fire support going, keeping it rolling in front of the front line.

      So many mistakes, but we won.

  2. We have to wonder how many other traitor drones there are out there.

    Good thing D Day worked, eh? Imagine living in some weird corporate backed dictatorship, complete with secret police, “show me your papers” and a relentless barrage of propaganda. Awful.

  3. Tippecanoe and Tyler, too! The US’s response to the failure was what should have been used in any military action since. Overwhelming force, Overwhelming firepower, Overwhelming leadership.

    Something that every following generation of leaders tended to forget, every generation.

    As to Germany, what would have happened to Germany would have been the same thing that would have happened to Japan if we didn’t drop the bombs. Blockading, constant bombardment of every hamlet, city, village, whatever. Destruction of the habitat, by fire bombing, carpet bombing and herbicides.

    Now, the real question is, what would have happened if the US and England hadn’t provided lend-lease and other material support directly to the Soviets? What if we ignored the Eastern Front, and let National Socialists fight International Socialists, and used all the materials and money to either fund and provide our own forces or those of the Free Poles, Great Britain, and what French troops would fight on our side, AND much more support for the Pacific Theater?

    That’s the question, and one I wish we had done. Let the internationalists and nationalists kill each other.

    The enemy of my enemy is just the enemy of my enemy. The enemy of my enemy may be my enemy.

    Considering the low-level insurgency, spying and almost complete takeover of the US State Department by the Soviets, their takeover of journalism schools and education schools even before the war, it’s all proof that the Soviets were our enemy before the war.

    What would the world be like if, after the war was over, both Germany and Russia were spent, demolished?

    Could we, while Germany and the Soviets going after each other, taken France and then defeated Germany enough that they either quit fighting to the west or fell to us?

    What would the countries between Germany and Russia been like if that happened?

  4. I don’t think that releasing the armor earlier would have made any material difference. I expect it just would have gotten the armor destroyed earlier, and more altered the time of death of lots of allied troops than the total numbers of deaths.

    As for the Luftwaffe… It no longer really existed, so it couldn’t have shown up. Sure, there were planes and pilots and such, but no nearly in the kind of numbers to overcome or even seriously impede Allied airpower at Normandy. They would’ve needed thousands more planes and pilots operational in theatre, with the log train to keep them going. Even if they’d had them, I expect we’d just have put off D-Day until we estimated that they didn’t, any more.

    -Kle.

    • I agree. Releasing the panzer reserves sooner wouldn’t have made that much of a difference. Allied airpower was just too overwhelming to allow daytime movement. Nighttime hours during summer were limited, plus rails and bridges knocked out made movement slower. Long road marches with tanks without tank transporters translates into many breakdowns. The only real German hope was if they were able to make the Omaha Beach landings untenable. For a while, it looked like they were, enough so that at least one unit moving forward to Omaha was redirected to the east towards Gold Beach. Had the panzer and panzergrenadier divisions been deployed as Rommel wanted, including a panzer division within 10 miles of Omaha Beach, I’m not sure we’d have taken Omaha, or at least held it through the night. There was also a large, old-style 4-regiment infantry division on the (British) Channel Islands that would’ve gone a long ways towards bolstering the beach defenses. In the event that Omaha failed, then they’d start squeezing the Utah beachhead, which wasn’t able to land as much supplies on its smaller frontage as Omaha unless it was possible to redirect Omaha’s Mulberry A to Utah. I don’t know if the underwater topology would’ve allowed that, though. If Utah became untenable, then I don’t know if the British and Canadian beaches allowed enough supplies to be brought in to redeploy American units into their beachhead or not. Had Rommel prevailed rather than Rundstedt, the Germans had a chance in Normandy.

  5. Figuring that the ChiComs got the company back in 2018, all the tech and working drones had long ago been sent back to China.

    Too late now.

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