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Old 07-11-2013, 07:53 AM
 
Location: NY, NY
1,219 posts, read 1,549,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolefan34 View Post
The only thing I agree about is that the wars were a waste. But from a military standpoint, the initial victory of Iraq's forces in 2003 was a spectacular success. Iraq had the world's 4th largest army and we completely defeated them in a matter of 2-3 weeks with virtually almost no troop deaths. I'm not sure a more effective invasion has ever been launched in world history. It was the subsequent occupation (going on 10 years) and the reasons behind going to war that was pathetic. I'm still not sure why we went to war with Iraq in the first place.

Vietnam was similar. It is generally seen as a lost war for the U.S. But the U.S. military inflicted far more deaths on the North Vietnamese than we endured. I believe we inflicted 2 million kills on North Vietnam while enduring only around 500,000 U.S. troop deaths. Whenever a substantial U.S. force battled a substantial Vietnamese force, the U.S. won easily. We just couldn't break the back of the Ho Chi Min Trail. They were like cockroaches that just kept coming out of the woodwork. The U.S. strategy was severely hampered by us not being able to invade/occupy Cambodia, Laos, and other surrounding countries with a larger force. We were confined to Vietnam which allowed the Vietcong to launch quick attacks and then retreat out of bounds to surrounding countries. Our "allies", the South Vietnamese, did not have the will to fight for their freedom.

The third significant war was Korea. One could argue we "won" because a relatively small U.S. force was able to hold off a billion Chinese troops and another 500,000 North Korean R.O.K. troops. In the end, it was a win for the U.S. since South Korea has become a stable, successful country to this day.
I would not call any of those three wars a "victory" for the US. And definately not Vietnam, no matter how many casualties we inflicted. The closest to a victory, to me at least, would be Korea.

Our goal in the second Iraq war was to set up a stable, prosperous, sectarian democracy in a Muslim, Arab nation the Middle East. Iraq isnt doing too bad but I think more time will be needed to see if our goal was actually met and the country becomes a stable, democratic presence in the Middle East.

Vietnam was an outright failure. Our goal was to prevent the spread of communism into SE Asia and we could not stop this. That, to me at least, was a clear defeat.

In Korea, our goal was to prevent a communist takeover of S. Korea, which we was acheived. However, the casualties in the 3 year war were pretty horrific. However, 60 years on, South Korea is a prosperous and free country and North Korea appears stuck in the 18th Century.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:39 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
17,672 posts, read 10,422,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
Seriously? You figure there ought to be rules whereby the stronger opponent ties one arm behind their back to make it a "fair" fight? The main failure of the allies was not being able to utterly eradicate the Republican Guard because Bush I called a halt to things. The only thing accomplished was to prop up a Kuwait that practically enslaves people who come there to work and one with one of the top 4 or 5 per capita incomes in the world for its citizens.

The whole idea of military operations is to overwhelm the enemy and force him to capitulate under your terms, not to play a game with referees or a sport where every kid gets a trophy.

The Iraqis did fight back but due to our tanks having a huge advantage of main tank gun range over the Russian tank, they stood little chance not to mention our tank sights could see through the dust, the haze, the darkness.

No one who has ever been in a fight desires a fair one; just a win.
^

Yup!
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,775 posts, read 12,075,743 times
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How about when Reagan invaded Grenada to rescue the students at Club Med School?
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:55 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 37,933,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
I was thinking along the lines of a Pyrrhic Victory.
The way the title was worded is misleading. "Least impressive" implies a victory that was such a foregone conclusion that it was never in doubt. However, Pyrrhic victories are a whole other and far more interesting topic.

We'd be remiss to not mention the battles of Herclea an Asculum as they are where the term Pyrrhic victory comes from. Great King Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated the armies of Rome twice during the Pyrrhic War and even inflicted more casualties upon the Romans than he himself took. However, his casualties were irreplacable and consituted many of his best men and most trusted commanders. While King Pryrrhus won the battles, the losses he sustained ensured he would eventually lose the war.

Another good example is the Battle of Malplaquet in 1709 during the War of the Spanish Succession. The Allied (British, Prussia, Austrian and United Provinces) army under Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy faced off against Villars French army attempting to prevent the fall of Mons. The Allied army outnumbered the French 86,000 to 75,000 and had 100 guns to the French 80. The Allies won the field by forcing the French to retreat, but they suffered 21,000 causalties to the French 11,000. The French withdrew in good order and Villars even made a spin on Pyrrhus when he said, "a few more such French defeats will destroy the allied armies". The "victory" sullied the reputation of the Duke of Marlborough and was a major factor in the collapse of the Whig government in favor of the Tories who sought peace with France and captured it from the jaws of total victory.

Bunker Hill is another classic case and yet another example of a commander quoting Pyrrhus when General Clinton said in his diary, "A few more such victories would have shortly put an end to British dominion in North America." It wasn't just the troop disparity in the casualties either, the British had 100 commissioned officers killed or wounded including most of General Howe's staff.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:26 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
6,440 posts, read 4,223,306 times
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The Battle of Crete mounted by the Germans in 1941. The first major airborne operation in military history. The Germans defeated the British after a ten day struggle but the Nazi's casualties were so high Hitler forbid any further large scale airborne operations.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:36 AM
 
2,349 posts, read 4,742,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie1946 View Post
Seriously? You figure there ought to be rules whereby the stronger opponent ties one arm behind their back to make it a "fair" fight? The main failure of the allies was not being able to utterly eradicate the Republican Guard because Bush I called a halt to things. The only thing accomplished was to prop up a Kuwait that practically enslaves people who come there to work and one with one of the top 4 or 5 per capita incomes in the world for its citizens.

The whole idea of military operations is to overwhelm the enemy and force him to capitulate under your terms, not to play a game with referees or a sport where every kid gets a trophy.

The Iraqis did fight back but due to our tanks having a huge advantage of main tank gun range over the Russian tank, they stood little chance not to mention our tank sights could see through the dust, the haze, the darkness.

No one who has ever been in a fight desires a fair one; just a win.
So you think the US victories were "impressive", like the title of the thread is asking?
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
3,726 posts, read 5,527,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Then I wonder if the Indians at Little big Horn would qualify. They won. Pretty clear.
But their impeccably bad timing (2 Weeks before the Centennial July 4th) paved the way for outrage, a populist uprising, and ultimate defeat. Perhaps the outrage would not have been quite so bad in any other year.
Not in line with this opinion. The date on which the 7th Cavalry Regiment met it's fate with destiny had little or nothing to do with the aftermath. Regardless of the month or year of a defeat of that magnitude, the nation would have reacted in the same way; shock, outrage, regroup, and then relentless pursuit until the defeat of the Northern Plains tribes came about, which is just the way it happened.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:36 PM
 
1,474 posts, read 3,224,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plmokn View Post
So you think the US victories were "impressive", like the title of the thread is asking?

Yes. Impressive albeit not ultimately conclusive given events a few years later with "King George II". And it was an allied victory, not a US one though the US was the heavyweight in the bunch. Come to that, I conclude that a victory is impressive if it meets the definition of victory which is not always clear cut. Any battle you walk away from is impressive. A "least impressive" victory is one discussed by historians in the comfort of their dens and classrooms. Nice to do but academic. The Marines fought a nasty battle on Pelieu but as it turned out, the victory likely did not affect the war effort much at least that is the opinion of some vets of that fight.

Vietnam comes to mind. There was no clear cut victory. We back away from the war by peace treaty and then failed to support the South effectively (read money) and their fate was sealed. However, communism did not make it into Thailand and other SE Asian countries. Even VN is not hard core communist any more than mainland China is. They are communist in name but capitalist in practice. I don't tend to think of VN as a failure as most seem to. It was another stand against communism which ultimately came to a climax in Germany when the wall came down and the Soviet Union dissolved.

With that said, if you are missing a limb, go home in a body bag or are pretty much screwed up, I'd say the whole definition of impressive doesn't mean a whole lot to you and your family.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:33 PM
 
4,454 posts, read 6,068,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atai J. View Post
Italian victory in Abyssinian war in 1935-1936.
That war was between a modern equipped army with some of the worlds advanced weapons against a nation that walked barefoot plus armed with spears and rifles. Italian Army even used chemical weapons on the Ethopians.
Abyssinia Crisis, 1935-6 - YouTube
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Ma.
136 posts, read 282,227 times
Reputation: 91
How about the Alamo? Santa Ana spent two weeks building up thousands of troops to over run 180 guys behind mostly wooden barricades while Houston got the time he needed to get the Texas Army supplied, trained, and in position to ambush the Mexican Army when it finally decided to show up. Like Little Big Horn later on, the Mexican's "victory" supplied the outrage that fueled the Texicans resolve to destroy the Mexican Army.
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