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Old 07-11-2013, 08:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatDJohns View Post
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.
I never called Vietnam a victory, just pointed out from a pure military standpoint (ours versus their's), we were vastly superior. Its just that we were in an un-winnable situation due to a variety of other factors. Korea was ultimately a tie, but we achieved the objective of preventing the Korean Peninsula from being overrun by communists. We also achieved this with a far smaller army than our opponents. I think given the situation, that we were launching an overseas operation across the globe with a smaller force than our opponents, is impressive. The only reason South Korea exists today is because of the U.S. in the Korean War.

Regarding Iraq, are you sure about that? I thought our goal was to stop terrorism. Or was it to eliminate Sadam Hussein and to stop him from building nukes? Or was it to find Bin Laden who was hiding in Iraq? The whole nation building thing didn't come about until after we defeated Sadam's regime. Its funny how the reasons/justifications keep changing over time. We've been there 10 years and nobody can figure out why the hell we went in there in the first place. I can understand why we're still there because we created such a mess that we now have to stay 10-15 years to clean it up or else the Iranians will take over. Had we never invaded Iraq in the first place, the Iranians wouldn't be a problem because Sadam held them in check.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:32 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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The Battle for Iwo Jima was heavily criticised by the Press at the time as a senseless and costly victory, because the mission that Iwo Jima's airfields were to play as support bases for short-range fighters to give cover for the B-29s heading from Guam to Japan was not appreciated. (At least that has been the argument to counter the Press's claim). What I am not sure of is just how effective this coverage was, or if it was even needed, given the fact that, by then, the Japanese air force basically had ceased to exist, except for Kamikaze squads that mostly opposed amphibious forces. Japan was building planes at an alarming rate, but there were very few trained pilots who had the skill to engage in close-air combat.

Maybe someone can enlighten me. Did the bombers flying over Japan in the last months of the war face serious opposition from enemy aircraft? If so, the Iwo Jima landings and subsequent bloody operations to defeat the well-planned defenses of Iowa Jima was indeed worth it.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
The Battle for Iwo Jima was heavily criticised by the Press at the time as a senseless and costly victory, because the mission that Iwo Jima's airfields were to play as support bases for short-range fighters to give cover for the B-29s heading from Guam to Japan was not appreciated. (At least that has been the argument to counter the Press's claim). What I am not sure of is just how effective this coverage was, or if it was even needed, given the fact that, by then, the Japanese air force basically had ceased to exist, except for Kamikaze squads that mostly opposed amphibious forces. Japan was building planes at an alarming rate, but there were very few trained pilots who had the skill to engage in close-air combat.

Maybe someone can enlighten me. Did the bombers flying over Japan in the last months of the war face serious opposition from enemy aircraft? If so, the Iwo Jima landings and subsequent bloody operations to defeat the well-planned defenses of Iowa Jima was indeed worth it.
Up through around April/May 1945 the answer would be yes. The B-29's had been taking heavy losses on the "Empire" raids. The Japanese may have only put up a few planes at a time (100-200) to try and stop the formations, but these were enough to do major damage even if their tactics were poor. Beginning in April 1945 the VII Fighter Command started operating out of Iwo Jima with P51's on "VLR" (Very Long Range) missions. They had a field day and on their first mission destroyed 73 of the 100 Japanese fighters sent against the bombers. From then on the US enjoyed virtually unconstested control of the skies.

Iwo Jima was also the emergency landing strip for B-29's. Almost as soon as the air field was completed, B-29's damaged or low on fuel started landing there. Without Iwo Jima these planes would have had a real hard time making it back to Tinian or Guam. By the time the war ended over 2,400 bombers had made emergency landings on Iwo Jima.

The other side of it that is rarely ever talked about is that Iwo Jima was sort of like an island aircraft carrier for Japan. Interceptors routinely flew from Iwo Jima to attack the B-29's enroute to Japan. Iwo Jima also had radar installations that picked up the incoming B-29's and gave Japan hours to prepare for the arrival of the bombers. The interceptors forced the bomber crews to fly in a "dogleg" pattern to avoid those fighters. That meant longer flight times which meant more fuel which meant less bombs.

On top of all of that Iwo Jima was used as a forward base for staging attacks on the B-29 bases by Japanese bombers and fighter bombers. While the raids were small and the Japanese routinely lost half of their aircraft that were sent, they managed to outright destroy 11 B-29's and severely damage another 47 in the span of 2 months between November 2, 1944 and January 2, 1945.

While the battle was certainly costly, IMO, it was a necessary effort strategically and its capture certainly resulted in achieving all of the objectives that justified the operation.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:02 AM
 
1,037 posts, read 967,637 times
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Romanian "capture" of the Odessa in October 1941. When Romanian troops without a fight entered to the Odessa, the city had abandoned. Russian troops (about 100 thousand militaries and civilians) with the tanks, artillery guns and other valuable equipment were evacuated while Romanian intelligence service overslept this maneuver. Total casualties of the Romanian army during the siege (5 August - 16 October) were 92 545. Soviet casualties were 41 268 (or 60 000).
Siege of Odessa (1941) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: NY, NY
1,219 posts, read 1,551,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolefan34 View Post
I never called Vietnam a victory, just pointed out from a pure military standpoint (ours versus their's), we were vastly superior. Its just that we were in an un-winnable situation due to a variety of other factors. Korea was ultimately a tie, but we achieved the objective of preventing the Korean Peninsula from being overrun by communists. We also achieved this with a far smaller army than our opponents. I think given the situation, that we were launching an overseas operation across the globe with a smaller force than our opponents, is impressive. The only reason South Korea exists today is because of the U.S. in the Korean War.

Regarding Iraq, are you sure about that? I thought our goal was to stop terrorism. Or was it to eliminate Sadam Hussein and to stop him from building nukes? Or was it to find Bin Laden who was hiding in Iraq? The whole nation building thing didn't come about until after we defeated Sadam's regime. Its funny how the reasons/justifications keep changing over time. We've been there 10 years and nobody can figure out why the hell we went in there in the first place. I can understand why we're still there because we created such a mess that we now have to stay 10-15 years to clean it up or else the Iranians will take over. Had we never invaded Iraq in the first place, the Iranians wouldn't be a problem because Sadam held them in check.
Sorry man, I must have misunderstood the context of your Vietnam post.

Completely agree about Iraq, Im very surprised at the short-sighted reasoning for invading the country and the subsequent problems there. I would be very surprised if the country is stable in 25 years.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,017 posts, read 18,725,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Up through around April/May 1945 the answer would be yes. The B-29's had been taking heavy losses on the "Empire" raids. The Japanese may have only put up a few planes at a time (100-200) to try and stop the formations, but these were enough to do major damage even if their tactics were poor. Beginning in April 1945 the VII Fighter Command started operating out of Iwo Jima with P51's on "VLR" (Very Long Range) missions. They had a field day and on their first mission destroyed 73 of the 100 Japanese fighters sent against the bombers. From then on the US enjoyed virtually unconstested control of the skies.

Iwo Jima was also the emergency landing strip for B-29's. Almost as soon as the air field was completed, B-29's damaged or low on fuel started landing there. Without Iwo Jima these planes would have had a real hard time making it back to Tinian or Guam. By the time the war ended over 2,400 bombers had made emergency landings on Iwo Jima.

The other side of it that is rarely ever talked about is that Iwo Jima was sort of like an island aircraft carrier for Japan. Interceptors routinely flew from Iwo Jima to attack the B-29's enroute to Japan. Iwo Jima also had radar installations that picked up the incoming B-29's and gave Japan hours to prepare for the arrival of the bombers. The interceptors forced the bomber crews to fly in a "dogleg" pattern to avoid those fighters. That meant longer flight times which meant more fuel which meant less bombs.

On top of all of that Iwo Jima was used as a forward base for staging attacks on the B-29 bases by Japanese bombers and fighter bombers. While the raids were small and the Japanese routinely lost half of their aircraft that were sent, they managed to outright destroy 11 B-29's and severely damage another 47 in the span of 2 months between November 2, 1944 and January 2, 1945.

While the battle was certainly costly, IMO, it was a necessary effort strategically and its capture certainly resulted in achieving all of the objectives that justified the operation.
In addition to the excellent points you made above, there is the consideration of the eventual invasion of the Japanese home islands themselves. Since U.S. war planners didn't know the Japanese would surrender until they actually did so, they had to assume an invasion of Japan proper would be required. In the context of that thinking, the conquest of Iwo Jima was also pretty much required. Japan could not be allowed to retain a fairly major air base roughly half way between Saipan/Tinian/Guam and the Japanese mainland. Our possession of Iwo, in addition to your points, allowed us to control all the sea lanes in that vicinity without fear of, and losses due to, land-based Japanese attack planes from Iwo.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:16 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 37,981,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
In addition to the excellent points you made above, there is the consideration of the eventual invasion of the Japanese home islands themselves. Since U.S. war planners didn't know the Japanese would surrender until they actually did so, they had to assume an invasion of Japan proper would be required. In the context of that thinking, the conquest of Iwo Jima was also pretty much required. Japan could not be allowed to retain a fairly major air base roughly half way between Saipan/Tinian/Guam and the Japanese mainland. Our possession of Iwo, in addition to your points, allowed us to control all the sea lanes in that vicinity without fear of, and losses due to, land-based Japanese attack planes from Iwo.
Excellent point.
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:23 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,744 posts, read 9,658,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Up through around April/May 1945 the answer would be yes. The B-29's had been taking heavy losses on the "Empire" raids. The Japanese may have only put up a few planes at a time (100-200) to try and stop the formations, but these were enough to do major damage even if their tactics were poor. Beginning in April 1945 the VII Fighter Command started operating out of Iwo Jima with P51's on "VLR" (Very Long Range) missions. They had a field day and on their first mission destroyed 73 of the 100 Japanese fighters sent against the bombers. From then on the US enjoyed virtually unconstested control of the skies.

Iwo Jima was also the emergency landing strip for B-29's. Almost as soon as the air field was completed, B-29's damaged or low on fuel started landing there. Without Iwo Jima these planes would have had a real hard time making it back to Tinian or Guam. By the time the war ended over 2,400 bombers had made emergency landings on Iwo Jima.

The other side of it that is rarely ever talked about is that Iwo Jima was sort of like an island aircraft carrier for Japan. Interceptors routinely flew from Iwo Jima to attack the B-29's enroute to Japan. Iwo Jima also had radar installations that picked up the incoming B-29's and gave Japan hours to prepare for the arrival of the bombers. The interceptors forced the bomber crews to fly in a "dogleg" pattern to avoid those fighters. That meant longer flight times which meant more fuel which meant less bombs.

On top of all of that Iwo Jima was used as a forward base for staging attacks on the B-29 bases by Japanese bombers and fighter bombers. While the raids were small and the Japanese routinely lost half of their aircraft that were sent, they managed to outright destroy 11 B-29's and severely damage another 47 in the span of 2 months between November 2, 1944 and January 2, 1945.

While the battle was certainly costly, IMO, it was a necessary effort strategically and its capture certainly resulted in achieving all of the objectives that justified the operation.
Thanks very much. I would have to agree, then. I am not much of a WWII buff, but started reading Samuel Elliot Morrison's naval operations series from the 50's and early 60s and, while i understand it is not definitive, it certainly as attracted my interest. I just completed the last volume, #13.

So many lives lost in the last months of the war against Japan on both sides. What a colossal tragedy when, according to Morrison, the overall Japanese war strategy in the beginning was that Japan's rapid advances in the Pacific and a few crushing US defeats would destroy the will of the US people and their leaders to continue and we would "retire" and make peace with Japan.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:18 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 37,981,429 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
Thanks very much. I would have to agree, then. I am not much of a WWII buff, but started reading Samuel Elliot Morrison's naval operations series from the 50's and early 60s and, while i understand it is not definitive, it certainly as attracted my interest. I just completed the last volume, #13.

So many lives lost in the last months of the war against Japan on both sides. What a colossal tragedy when, according to Morrison, the overall Japanese war strategy in the beginning was that Japan's rapid advances in the Pacific and a few crushing US defeats would destroy the will of the US people and their leaders to continue and we would "retire" and make peace with Japan.
The strategy you are talking about was known as Kantai Kessen or Decisive Battle Doctrine. The idea was that the Japanese forces would take a series of islands to establish a defensive ring forward in the Pacific. They theorized that the US fleet would eventually sail out to engage them in battle. They would use the islands as air and sub bases to harass and wear down the approaching fleet. After the US fleet made it past the island ring the main fleet would engage them in the "decisive battle". First would be destroyers attacking at night with torpedos, followed by the heavy cruisers and battleships engaging in direct battle under the cover of the carrier air forces. The result would be the complete destruction of the US fleet in open battle and that would cause the Americans to want to negotiate terms.
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