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Thread: Another new lesson in US history

  1. #1
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    Another new lesson in US history

    Last night we had History channel continue the US Story history program.

    This episode covered the civil war.

    What was news to me was how much of an effect emergence of technology had on the Norths War effort.

    Railroads being used for logistic supply and troop deployment and mobility.

    Telegraph being used for intelligence gathering and command and control.

    The minie ball and rifling playing a huge role in the numbers killed on both sides.

    Then the emergence of media and photography and their effect on the war as far as public opinion was concerned.


    What is an oddity to me is the tactics used on the battle field still followed the old convention of lining up facing each other. One would have thought that after the War of Independence when guerilla warefare played such a key role, that this would have found its way into the teachings of Westpoint but i guess not.

    One only hopes that a documentary like this which is peppered with celebrities comments ????? (why i dont know surely historians would have been more credible) is technically accurate. I dont have time to look up all the details and check on their facts.
    cheers

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    Ya but the north could not beat the Signal tree for fast communication if the field.
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    The North was far more industrialized than the South which played a big factor in the outcome. The South for the most part had to rely on imports from foreign governments for much of their supplies. Blockading Southern ports by the North had devastating results.

    Those tactics were still used in WWI. Why, I have no clue. Seems like a total disregard for human life.

    My wife is a middle school english and social studies teacher. The civil war is a big part of her curriculum. Not being a civil war buff myself, I'm more of a revolutionary war historian, I have learned some real interesting little known facts from her about both the North and South.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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    Bob have you read the books by Alan Eckart
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gibson View Post
    Not being a civil war buff myself [...] I have learned some real interesting little known facts [...] about both the North and South.
    Like, for instance, the fact that during the war the North kept certain prisoners (deserters, etc) at Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas islands (in the Gulf of Mexico, about 90 miles west of Key West)?





    I was flabbergasted when I learned that tidbit a few years ago.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    One only hopes that a documentary like this which is peppered with celebrities comments ????? (why i dont know surely historians would have been more credible) is technically accurate. I dont have time to look up all the details and check on their facts.
    Maybe it is a political thing. It attempts to give celebrities some validity and makes them look knowledgeable so when they give an opinion it seems more credible. I agree with Brad Pit after he did the movie about Tibet:
    "You shouldn't speak until you know what you're talking about. That's why I get uncomfortable with interviews. Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I'm an actor! They hand me a script. I act. I'm here for entertainment. Basically, when you whittle everything away, I'm a grown man who puts on makeup."
    Brad Pitt

    I love the movies Brad is in but I take his advice when he talks about anything else.

    They might think it makes it more appealing to the viewer to have celebrities do cameos.

    Asking an actor for information or opinions like asking an the weather man about brain surgery just because he has a degree. The actor doesn't necessarily have a degree.
    It wasn't a party unless it involved fire, an ATV, a chain saw and whiskey.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    What is an oddity to me is the tactics used on the battle field still followed the old convention of lining up facing each other. One would have thought that after the War of Independence when guerilla warefare played such a key role, that this would have found its way into the teachings of Westpoint but i guess not.
    Rob,

    It's a truism of military history that generals always fight the last war. But they weren't looking back on the revolution, they studied instead the Napoleonic wars. Line up, concentrate artillery on a specific part of the line, use infantry to rush through and divide the opponent's forces. That's exactly what they tried to do at Gettysburg, look at Pickett's charge. And it nearly worked.

    But these guys weren't dummies, they were really smart people. And when they saw that old tactics were outdated, they invented new ones. It was Grant and Jackson who showed the value of maneuverability. Lots of flanking movements, lots of repositioning. Jackson once moved his army 650 miles in a month and a half, winning six encounters along the way. Grant was even better at that.

    Eventually, to counter the success of these tactics, the two sides pretty much perfected trench warfare, which was the standard mode until the invention of the tank. The american revolution didn't add much to military history (despite what the locals say) but the civil war is still studied around the world...

    Thanks,

    Bill

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    ww1 - fought with 19th century tactics, and early 20th century weapons.

    ww2 - last example of 19th century colonial expansionist war, with mid-20th century weapons.
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  9. #9
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    The american revolution didn't add much to military history (despite what the locals say
    You calling me a "loco"?
    Rifleman's tactics changed much with regard to how wars are fought. The old ways were not deserted completely but stealth tactics played big roles. And still do.
    BTW, the unfeeling sacrifice of soldiers was a carry over of a class driven society. Common folks were considered expendable by the upper class. I'm not sure that thinking has not left us completely.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I'm not sure that thinking has not left us completely.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

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