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HISTORY or HOLLYWOOD: They Died With Their Boots On (1941)

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  • HISTORY or HOLLYWOOD: They Died With Their Boots On (1941)



    1. Custer arrives at West Point in 1857 dressed as a European Hussar and leading a pack of dogs.
    2. He is arrogant and has a prank pulled on him by an upperclassman named Sharp. After punching Sharp at parade, he is brought before Superintendent Sheridan who recognizes something special in the plebe and becomes a guardian angel for him. Custer begins to accumulate demerits at a high rate.
    3. The Civil War breaks out and Custer graduates ahead of schedule despite poor academics.
    4. A chance meeting with Gen. Winfield Scott gets Custer appointment to a cavalry regiment in time for First Bull Run.
    5. Custer disobeys orders at the First Battle of Bull Run and leads a charge which gets him wounded and decorated.
    6. Custer is accidentally promoted from Lieutenant to Brigadier General right before Gettysburg.
    7. During the battle he saves the Union flank by leading his regiment against JEB Stuart.
    8. After the war, Custer returns home and gets married that same day with the approval of Mr. Bacon, now the father-in-law of a hero. Unfortunately, the boredom of civilian life causes Custer to become an alcoholic.
    9. Libby visits Gen. Scott and pleads with him to give her husband a western command. Scott promotes Custer over numerous senior officers because “the nation owes him.”
    10. On the trip to Fort Lincoln, Custer fights a duel with Crazy Horse (“Chief of the Sioux”) and takes him captive.
    11. The conflict over the Black Hills is fueled by discovery of gold in the Black Hills encouraged by Sharp’s railroad company. Custer meets with Crazy Horse (sporting a war bonnet that would shame a cigar store Indian).
    Crazy Horse: “We will give up everything but the Black Hills.” Custer: “If the Great White Father gives the word, Long Hair will defend the Indians’ right to the Black Hills.”
    12. Custer goes to Washington to rat out the corrupt Sharp and his cronies who are abusing Indian rights. He is being threatened with court-martial for insubordination, but barges into Pres. Grant’s office and demands reinstatement to his regiment. Of course, Grant agrees.
    13. On the march, Indian scouts spy on them.
    14. When an old coot reports that Gen. Crook’s unit has been wiped out, Custer realizes that he must sacrifice the 7th Cavalry to prevent the same thing from happening to the main force led by Gen. Terry.
    15. Approaching the Indian village, Custer is ambushed by the Indians.
    16. Some of the troopers have swords. Some of the Indians had repeating rifles.
    17. Custer is the last white standing. He is shot by Crazy Horse in a moment of poetic justice.
    18. Libby Custer visits Gen. Sheridan. She brings Custer’s last letter, which because it has his dying words is considered to be unassailable and admissible in a court of law. He indicts the corrupt railroad company and pleads for fair treatment of the Indians. Sheridan promises to carry out Custer’s dying wishes and guarantees that Crazy Horse can keep the Black Hills.


    1. Custer arrives at West Point in 1857 dressed as a European Hussar and leading a pack of dogs. HOLLYWOOD Custer was poor and would not have looked like a rich boy when he arrived. He did love dogs and campaigned in the West with a pack.
    2. He is arrogant and has a prank pulled on him by an upperclassman named Sharp. After punching Sharp at parade, he is brought before Superintendent Sheridan who recognizes something special in the plebe and becomes a guardian angel for him. Custer begins to accumulate demerits at a high rate. HISTYWOOD Sheridan was never Superintendent of West Point. Custer set a record for demerits. Ironically, most of the demerits were for pranks.
    3. The Civil War breaks out and Custer graduates ahead of schedule despite poor academics. HISTORY
    4. A chance meeting with Gen. Winfield Scott gets Custer appointment to a cavalry regiment in time for First Bull Run. HOLLYWOOD Custer’s assignment was normal and did not involve Scott.
    5. Custer disobeys orders at the First Battle of Bull Run and leads a charge which gets him wounded and decorated. HOLLYWOOD Custer did perform bravely, but as a messenger. He did not lead a charge. He did not get a medal and the medal shown in the movie was not created until 42 years later.
    6. Custer is accidentally promoted from Lieutenant to Brigadier General right before Gettysburg. HOLLYWOOD The promotion was for gallantry, not accidental. It was from Captain to General.
    7. During the battle he saves the Union flank by leading his regiment against JEB Stuart. HISTORY Custer was instrumental in defeating Stuart's attempt to support Pickett's Charge.
    8. After the war, Custer returns home and gets married that same day with the approval of Mr. Bacon, now the father-in-law of a hero. Unfortunately, the boredom of civilian life causes Custer to become an alcoholic. HOLLYWOOD Custer did not meet Elizabeth at West Point and she as not related to Sheridan. Custer actually did not smoke or drink. They were deeply in love although Custer did shack up with a Cheyenne woman for a while.
    9. Libby visits Gen. Scott and pleads with him to give her husband a western command. Scott promotes Custer over numerous senior officers because “the nation owes him.” HOLLYWOOD Scott was no longer in command and had nothing to do with the promotion.
    10. On the trip to Fort Lincoln, Custer fights a duel with Crazy Horse (“Chief of the Sioux”) and takes him captive. HOLLYWOOD!!! They might have seen each other in a clash near the Tongue River, but there was certainly no duel.
    11. The conflict over the Black Hills is fueled by discovery of gold in the Black Hills encouraged by Sharp’s railroad company. Custer meets with Crazy Horse. Crazy Horse: “We will give up everything but the Black Hills.” Custer: “If the Great White Father gives the word, Long Hair will defend the Indians’ right to the Black Hills.” HOLLYWOOD Custer led the expedition that discovered gold in the Black Hills and then personally exaggerated the amount of gold leading to a gold rush which precipitated the conflict. Crazy Horse opposed giving up anything. Custer did not have to be forced to enforce the ruling that the hostile Indians had to come in to the reservations. In fact, he was hoping a victory would be a springboard to the White House.
    12. Custer goes to Washington to rat out the corrupt Sharp and his cronies who are abusing Indian rights. He is being threatened with court-martial for insubordination, but barges into Pres. Grant’s office and demands reinstatement to his regiment. Of course, Grant agrees. HISTYWOOD Custer got in trouble with Grant for testifying about scandals in the Indian bureau which involved Grant’s brother. Grant reluctantly reinstated Custer at the last moment because of prodding from Sheridan and others, not because of a meeting with Custer.
    13. On the march, Indian scouts spy on them. HOLLYWOOD The Indians had no idea Custer was coming.
    14. When an old coot reports that Gen. Crook’s unit has been wiped out, Custer realizes that he must sacrifice the 7th Cavalry to prevent the same thing from happening to the main force led by Gen. Terry. HOLLYWOOD Custer did not know of Crook’s defeat, which was not a wipe-out. He did not think he would lose. He attacked, not to save Terry, but to get the glory before Terry could arrive.
    15. Approaching the Indian village, Custer is ambushed by the Indians. HOLLYWOOD Custer was attempting to ambush a sleeping village and kicked a hornet’s nest instead.
    16. Some of the troopers have swords. Some of the Indians had repeating rifles. HISTYWOOD No one, including Custer, had sabers at the battle. The Indians had a wide variety of fire-arms, including repeating rifles. You could argue they were better armed than the troopers. And by the way, Custer's flowing locks had been cut before the campaign.
    17. Custer is the last white standing. He is shot by Crazy Horse in a moment of poetic justice. HOLLYWOOD Custer most likely was killed early in the battle. He was almost positively not the last to die. The chances of Crazy Horse firing the kill shot is approximately one in however number of Indians were participating.
    18. Libby Custer visits Gen. Sheridan. She brings Custer’s last letter, which because it has his dying words is considered to be unassailable and admissible in a court of law. He indicts the corrupt railroad company and pleads for fair treatment of the Indians. Sheridan promises to carry out Custer’s dying wishes and guarantees that Crazy Horse can keep the Black Hills. HOLLYWOOD!!! This is the same Sheridan who famously said “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” As we all know, Custer’s death was the turning point in treatment of the Indians. They lived happily ever after. I think they still own the Black Hills.

    CONCLUSION:"They Died With Their Boots On" is to Old School war movies what "Braveheart" is to modern war movies. In other words, a crock of crap masquerading as entertainment. Your ability to be entertained by it is inversely proportional to your belief in the sanctity of historical fact. Unfortunately, an entire generation of movie-goers had their images of the Battle of Little Big Horn sculpted by this film.

  • #2
    Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post


    1. Custer arrives at West Point in 1857 dressed as a European Hussar and leading a pack of dogs.
    2. He is arrogant and has a prank pulled on him by an upperclassman named Sharp. After punching Sharp at parade, he is brought before Superintendent Sheridan who recognizes something special in the plebe and becomes a guardian angel for him. Custer begins to accumulate demerits at a high rate.
    3. The Civil War breaks out and Custer graduates ahead of schedule despite poor academics.
    4. A chance meeting with Gen. Winfield Scott gets Custer appointment to a cavalry regiment in time for First Bull Run.
    5. Custer disobeys orders at the First Battle of Bull Run and leads a charge which gets him wounded and decorated.
    6. Custer is accidentally promoted from Lieutenant to Brigadier General right before Gettysburg.
    7. During the battle he saves the Union flank by leading his regiment against JEB Stuart.
    8. After the war, Custer returns home and gets married that same day with the approval of Mr. Bacon, now the father-in-law of a hero. Unfortunately, the boredom of civilian life causes Custer to become an alcoholic.
    9. Libby visits Gen. Scott and pleads with him to give her husband a western command. Scott promotes Custer over numerous senior officers because “the nation owes him.”
    10. On the trip to Fort Lincoln, Custer fights a duel with Crazy Horse (“Chief of the Sioux”) and takes him captive.
    11. The conflict over the Black Hills is fueled by discovery of gold in the Black Hills encouraged by Sharp’s railroad company. Custer meets with Crazy Horse (sporting a war bonnet that would shame a cigar store Indian).
    Crazy Horse: “We will give up everything but the Black Hills.” Custer: “If the Great White Father gives the word, Long Hair will defend the Indians’ right to the Black Hills.”
    12. Custer goes to Washington to rat out the corrupt Sharp and his cronies who are abusing Indian rights. He is being threatened with court-martial for insubordination, but barges into Pres. Grant’s office and demands reinstatement to his regiment. Of course, Grant agrees.
    13. On the march, Indian scouts spy on them.
    14. When an old coot reports that Gen. Crook’s unit has been wiped out, Custer realizes that he must sacrifice the 7th Cavalry to prevent the same thing from happening to the main force led by Gen. Terry.
    15. Approaching the Indian village, Custer is ambushed by the Indians.
    16. Some of the troopers have swords. Some of the Indians had repeating rifles.
    17. Custer is the last white standing. He is shot by Crazy Horse in a moment of poetic justice.
    18. Libby Custer visits Gen. Sheridan. She brings Custer’s last letter, which because it has his dying words is considered to be unassailable and admissible in a court of law. He indicts the corrupt railroad company and pleads for fair treatment of the Indians. Sheridan promises to carry out Custer’s dying wishes and guarantees that Crazy Horse can keep the Black Hills.


    1. Custer arrives at West Point in 1857 dressed as a European Hussar and leading a pack of dogs. HOLLYWOOD Custer was poor and would not have looked like a rich boy when he arrived. He did love dogs and campaigned in the West with a pack.
    2. He is arrogant and has a prank pulled on him by an upperclassman named Sharp. After punching Sharp at parade, he is brought before Superintendent Sheridan who recognizes something special in the plebe and becomes a guardian angel for him. Custer begins to accumulate demerits at a high rate. HISTYWOOD Sheridan was never Superintendent of West Point. Custer set a record for demerits. Ironically, most of the demerits were for pranks.
    3. The Civil War breaks out and Custer graduates ahead of schedule despite poor academics. HISTORY
    4. A chance meeting with Gen. Winfield Scott gets Custer appointment to a cavalry regiment in time for First Bull Run. HOLLYWOOD Custer’s assignment was normal and did not involve Scott.
    5. Custer disobeys orders at the First Battle of Bull Run and leads a charge which gets him wounded and decorated. HOLLYWOOD Custer did perform bravely, but as a messenger. He did not lead a charge. He did not get a medal and the medal shown in the movie was not created until 42 years later.
    6. Custer is accidentally promoted from Lieutenant to Brigadier General right before Gettysburg. HOLLYWOOD The promotion was for gallantry, not accidental. It was from Captain to General.
    7. During the battle he saves the Union flank by leading his regiment against JEB Stuart. HISTORY Custer was instrumental in defeating Stuart's attempt to support Pickett's Charge.
    8. After the war, Custer returns home and gets married that same day with the approval of Mr. Bacon, now the father-in-law of a hero. Unfortunately, the boredom of civilian life causes Custer to become an alcoholic. HOLLYWOOD Custer did not meet Elizabeth at West Point and she as not related to Sheridan. Custer actually did not smoke or drink. They were deeply in love although Custer did shack up with a Cheyenne woman for a while.
    9. Libby visits Gen. Scott and pleads with him to give her husband a western command. Scott promotes Custer over numerous senior officers because “the nation owes him.” HOLLYWOOD Scott was no longer in command and had nothing to do with the promotion.
    10. On the trip to Fort Lincoln, Custer fights a duel with Crazy Horse (“Chief of the Sioux”) and takes him captive. HOLLYWOOD!!! They might have seen each other in a clash near the Tongue River, but there was certainly no duel.
    11. The conflict over the Black Hills is fueled by discovery of gold in the Black Hills encouraged by Sharp’s railroad company. Custer meets with Crazy Horse. Crazy Horse: “We will give up everything but the Black Hills.” Custer: “If the Great White Father gives the word, Long Hair will defend the Indians’ right to the Black Hills.” HOLLYWOOD Custer led the expedition that discovered gold in the Black Hills and then personally exaggerated the amount of gold leading to a gold rush which precipitated the conflict. Crazy Horse opposed giving up anything. Custer did not have to be forced to enforce the ruling that the hostile Indians had to come in to the reservations. In fact, he was hoping a victory would be a springboard to the White House.
    12. Custer goes to Washington to rat out the corrupt Sharp and his cronies who are abusing Indian rights. He is being threatened with court-martial for insubordination, but barges into Pres. Grant’s office and demands reinstatement to his regiment. Of course, Grant agrees. HISTYWOOD Custer got in trouble with Grant for testifying about scandals in the Indian bureau which involved Grant’s brother. Grant reluctantly reinstated Custer at the last moment because of prodding from Sheridan and others, not because of a meeting with Custer.
    13. On the march, Indian scouts spy on them. HOLLYWOOD The Indians had no idea Custer was coming.
    14. When an old coot reports that Gen. Crook’s unit has been wiped out, Custer realizes that he must sacrifice the 7th Cavalry to prevent the same thing from happening to the main force led by Gen. Terry. HOLLYWOOD Custer did not know of Crook’s defeat, which was not a wipe-out. He did not think he would lose. He attacked, not to save Terry, but to get the glory before Terry could arrive.
    15. Approaching the Indian village, Custer is ambushed by the Indians. HOLLYWOOD Custer was attempting to ambush a sleeping village and kicked a hornet’s nest instead.
    16. Some of the troopers have swords. Some of the Indians had repeating rifles. HISTYWOOD No one, including Custer, had sabers at the battle. The Indians had a wide variety of fire-arms, including repeating rifles. You could argue they were better armed than the troopers. And by the way, Custer's flowing locks had been cut before the campaign.
    17. Custer is the last white standing. He is shot by Crazy Horse in a moment of poetic justice. HOLLYWOOD Custer most likely was killed early in the battle. He was almost positively not the last to die. The chances of Crazy Horse firing the kill shot is approximately one in however number of Indians were participating.
    18. Libby Custer visits Gen. Sheridan. She brings Custer’s last letter, which because it has his dying words is considered to be unassailable and admissible in a court of law. He indicts the corrupt railroad company and pleads for fair treatment of the Indians. Sheridan promises to carry out Custer’s dying wishes and guarantees that Crazy Horse can keep the Black Hills. HOLLYWOOD!!! This is the same Sheridan who famously said “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” As we all know, Custer’s death was the turning point in treatment of the Indians. They lived happily ever after. I think they still own the Black Hills.

    CONCLUSION:"They Died With Their Boots On" is to Old School war movies what "Braveheart" is to modern war movies. In other words, a crock of crap masquerading as entertainment. Your ability to be entertained by it is inversely proportional to your belief in the sanctity of historical fact. Unfortunately, an entire generation of movie-goers had their images of the Battle of Little Big Horn sculpted by this film.
    The film was certainly a vehicle for the winning combination of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland:- and why not ? It's meant to be sheer entertainment and any aspiring to historical accuracy is frankly laughable.
    To call it a "crock of crap" then, I think, entirely misses the point. It's pure melodrama and, on that basis it succeeds wonderfully, and that goes for any film featuring the Great Errol.

    None of Flynn's films meet any meaningful historical criteria- and they got worse, culminating in the notorious Objective Burma.

    If you believe They Died With Their Boots On is chiefly fantasy, You'd have a wonderful time with the earlier The Charge Of The Light Brigade.
    Last edited by BELGRAVE; 05 Dec 13, 00:01.
    "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
    Samuel Johnson.

    Comment


    • #3
      "CONCLUSION:"They Died With Their Boots On" is to Old School war movies what "Braveheart" is to modern war movies. In other words, a crock of crap masquerading as entertainment. Your ability to be entertained by it is inversely proportional to your belief in the sanctity of historical fact. Unfortunately, an entire generation of movie-goers had their images of the Battle of Little Big Horn sculpted by this film."

      Kinda like how the belief that 15th century sailors believed the earth was flat was shaped by bugs bunny.

      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

      Comment


      • #4
        Libby was the daughter of a banker in a town Custer grew up in. Custer definitely knew who she was growing up. Her Father discouraged Libby from seeing him as he knew the Custers were poor. Libby was a beauty and was still charming men into her old age.

        While Custer did not use tobacco or alcohol, he did chase the ladies. After they were married Libby ignored the habit as she knew he would be coming back to her. There is speculation that 'Autie' passed on an STD which made Libby barren. There was also a rumor that Autie sired a child on a Cheyenne maiden he brought back after the Washita. Most people now blame the child on Tom Custer.

        Custer's nickname in the 7th Cavalry was "Hardass". He was not a kindly commander trying to make his troopers life easy. He rode some horses to ruin to get back to the fort on one occasion. He had some deserting troopers shot. He also deserted his men in the field to get back to Libby in Kansas.

        I don't really like Custer.

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't either. He got all of his command killed looking for personal glory, and managed to break or ignore every single rule of warfare at the time while doing it.

          He wasn't a hero, but rather a vain, egotistical and incompetent fool.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting. I'm not a student of The Little Big Horn (besides watching "Son of the Morning Star" starring you favorite boss Lumbergh from Office Space), but from what I've heard, Custer was supposed to have been killed latter in the battle (close to but not the last), not early. Newer evidence may have proven my myth wrong.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
              The film was certainly a vehicle for the winning combination of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland:- and why not ? It's meant to be sheer entertainment and any aspiring to historical accuracy is frankly laughable.
              To call it a "crock of crap" then, I think, entirely misses the point. It's pure melodrama and, on that basis it succeeds wonderfully, and that goes for any film featuring the Great Errol.

              None of Flynn's films meet any meaningful historical criteria- and they got worse, culminating in the notorious Objective Burma.

              If you believe They Died With Their Boots On is chiefly fantasy, You'd have a wonderful time with the earlier The Charge Of The Light Brigade.
              I understand where you are coming from, but I would argue that "They Died..." deserves to be held accountable for its flogging of history. Yes, it was made purely for entertainment (that is painfully obvious), but that does not excuse it for blatantly changing many facts about one of the most chronicled battles in American History. To me this shows a lack of respect for it audience. Not to mention the glorifying of an individual who was an incompetent glory-hound. As I have stated often, when a movie creates a false image of an important historical event or personage, it should be condemned. I might dilute my anger if I were posting somewhere else, but I will remind you that this is not the Errol Flynn Lovers site, it is Armchair Generals. To me that means that the community is interested in history in general and military history in particular. Given that, it seems appropriate to say that "They Died..." SUCKS!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                Libby was the daughter of a banker in a town Custer grew up in. Custer definitely knew who she was growing up. Her Father discouraged Libby from seeing him as he knew the Custers were poor. Libby was a beauty and was still charming men into her old age.

                While Custer did not use tobacco or alcohol, he did chase the ladies. After they were married Libby ignored the habit as she knew he would be coming back to her. There is speculation that 'Autie' passed on an STD which made Libby barren. There was also a rumor that Autie sired a child on a Cheyenne maiden he brought back after the Washita. Most people now blame the child on Tom Custer.

                Custer's nickname in the 7th Cavalry was "Hardass". He was not a kindly commander trying to make his troopers life easy. He rode some horses to ruin to get back to the fort on one occasion. He had some deserting troopers shot. He also deserted his men in the field to get back to Libby in Kansas.

                I don't really like Custer.

                Pruitt
                Excellent additional info. Thank you. Proof that an accurate movie about Custer would have been more entertaining. But could not have been made at that time and not with Errol Flynn in the lead. Interesting intellectual exercise: switch "They Died..." with "Patton" as far as when they were produced.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                  I don't either. He got all of his command killed looking for personal glory, and managed to break or ignore every single rule of warfare at the time while doing it.

                  He wasn't a hero, but rather a vain, egotistical and incompetent fool.
                  Absolutely agree.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dunnigan View Post
                    Interesting. I'm not a student of The Little Big Horn (besides watching "Son of the Morning Star" starring you favorite boss Lumbergh from Office Space), but from what I've heard, Custer was supposed to have been killed latter in the battle (close to but not the last), not early. Newer evidence may have proven my myth wrong.
                    I have read a lot on this subject so I feel I can weigh in on this. Because no white survived the "Last Stand" and the Indian accounts can not be trusted, it is impossible to know what exactly happened. In my opinion, the theory that makes the most sense was that Custer was mortally wounded in the aborted attempt to cross the river around the midpoint of the village. This would explain the withdrawal and the low morale of his command.

                    Custer dying near the end is what you would expect from a medieval tale like "The Song of Roland" or from an Old School Hollywood war movie. Same difference. Look at any old painting of the battle and you will see the template for the movie.







                    "Son of the Morning Star" is a prime example of how modern war movies are much more faithful to history (usually), mainly because of cynicism. It is the opposite of TDWTBO in accuracy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by warmoviebuff View Post
                      I understand where you are coming from, but I would argue that "They Died..." deserves to be held accountable for its flogging of history. Yes, it was made purely for entertainment (that is painfully obvious), but that does not excuse it for blatantly changing many facts about one of the most chronicled battles in American History. To me this shows a lack of respect for it audience. Not to mention the glorifying of an individual who was an incompetent glory-hound. As I have stated often, when a movie creates a false image of an important historical event or personage, it should be condemned. I might dilute my anger if I were posting somewhere else, but I will remind you that this is not the Errol Flynn Lovers site, it is Armchair Generals. To me that means that the community is interested in history in general and military history in particular. Given that, it seems appropriate to say that "They Died..." SUCKS!
                      Yes, I don't really need reminding, thank you, but to view "General and Military" in strict isolation from all other branches of history: economic and especially social, can lead to a distorted view of things.

                      The films in which Flynn features were essentially products of their time. (late 30s, early 40s) Throughout them all there are obvious propaganda parallels with what was happening in the international scene at the time: and they should be viewed in that light.

                      Apart from the subtle messages,they were vastly entertaining as well.

                      As for strict authenticity,you might just as well attempt to write an historical critique on The Adventures of Robin Hood.. (Go on ! I dare you !)

                      Come to that, it's difficult to name a single Hollywood production that didn't depart from strict historical accuracy for dramatic effect.

                      The only genre that came close were the British war films of the 1950s: The Battle of The River Plate, Sink the Bismark! The Dam Busters.

                      Still,I can understand your righteous indignation: one only has to remember Gibson's efforts Braveheart and The Patriot, that have certainly distorted the average movie-goers perception of events in history. It's unfortunate, of course, but hopefully, they might inspire some people to read more and learn what really happened.
                      Last edited by BELGRAVE; 07 Dec 13, 18:27.
                      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                      Samuel Johnson.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                        I don't either. He got all of his command killed looking for personal glory, and managed to break or ignore every single rule of warfare at the time while doing it.

                        He wasn't a hero, but rather a vain, egotistical and incompetent fool.
                        You are wrong on every level. Custer was a self promoter, but he was anything if not pragmatic and rational. You clearly never read a thing about Custer and his actions. He was a scapegoat for a impossibly poorly planned campaign, and he was a convenient fall guy since he was not alive to defend himself. Just repeating the President Grant propaganda to get even with Custer for testifying against his cronies,including Grants own brother whom were stealing Native American reservation supplies and extorting the troopers, and Indians with overpriced, and inferior supplies; And subsequent sixties hippie revisionist history that made the US to be 100% in the wrong, and the Indians 100% nature loving peaceful hippies just defending their homes, and not the reality that they were often murdering and torturing whites and other Indians and Invading other Indians lands.

                        He did not attack for his own glory, he attacked, because if he didn't the Natives were going to discover his command, there were Indians all over the territory not just in the village, and if he waited for the infantry to get their as he tried, (Terry's collum was suppose to be their on the 26th! Custer waited as long as he could the afternoon of the 25th, If he had wanted to attack on his own, he would have attacked in the morning. He thought he had been discovered and he would have been discovered, and with dehydrated horses they had not had water in a day in 90' heat. He needed to get to the little horn to water the horses. If he waited for the infantry the Indians scattered, and he would have been left with the blame and the excuse the Grant cronies and fort contractors were looking for to get even with him for testifying against them stealing from Soldiers and Indians. He was put in an impossible situation, with horrible subordinate commanders. Reno was a drunken coward at that point in his life, and Benteen never met a higher officer he didn't like to hate.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am reminded of a bumper sticker seen often on Lakota vehicles:

                          CUSTER DIED FOR YOUR SINS!

                          There was not an Army officer in this campaign that was perfect. Custer certainly was not perfect. He also had a way of creating instant friends or enemies. Feel free to have your opinions. I have mine.

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post
                            You are wrong on every level. Custer was a self promoter, but he was anything if not pragmatic and rational. You clearly never read a thing about Custer and his actions. He was a scapegoat for a impossibly poorly planned campaign, and he was a convenient fall guy since he was not alive to defend himself. Just repeating the President Grant propaganda to get even with Custer for testifying against his cronies,including Grants own brother whom were stealing Native American reservation supplies and extorting the troopers, and Indians with overpriced, and inferior supplies; And subsequent sixties hippie revisionist history that made the US to be 100% in the wrong, and the Indians 100% nature loving peaceful hippies just defending their homes, and not the reality that they were often murdering and torturing whites and other Indians and Invading other Indians lands.

                            He did not attack for his own glory, he attacked, because if he didn't the Natives were going to discover his command, there were Indians all over the territory not just in the village, and if he waited for the infantry to get their as he tried, (Terry's collum was suppose to be their on the 26th! Custer waited as long as he could the afternoon of the 25th, If he had wanted to attack on his own, he would have attacked in the morning. He thought he had been discovered and he would have been discovered, and with dehydrated horses they had not had water in a day in 90' heat. He needed to get to the little horn to water the horses. If he waited for the infantry the Indians scattered, and he would have been left with the blame and the excuse the Grant cronies and fort contractors were looking for to get even with him for testifying against them stealing from Soldiers and Indians. He was put in an impossible situation, with horrible subordinate commanders. Reno was a drunken coward at that point in his life, and Benteen never met a higher officer he didn't like to hate.
                            Pruitt can defend himself, but I feel I must point out that the Battle of Little Big Horn (or as you probably call it - Custer's Last Stand) is possibly the most written about battle in American History. This means that there are many different takes by HISTORIANS as to what happened and what Custer's motivations were. I know because I have read extensively on this topic. Your opinion may be correct, but it is possible to hold the opposite view and have support from experts. To accuse Pruitt of not having read your source(s) is unfair.

                            Personally, I come down on the negaCuster side. I fail to see how abandoning your command to rush home to your wife is anything but gross negligence of leadership, for instance. I can mention several other examples of incompetence that cannot be classified as self-promotion or poor subordinates.

                            As to some of your other points, some of them are opinions that cannot be proven. From my reading, I feel the motivation of getting out of the dog house and getting a shot at the Presidency (God forbid!) was the most likely explanation for his actions. You are correct about Benteen and Reno. They were less than ideal, but he aggravated the command dysfunctionality. Benteen was extremely prickly, but you could argue that he was right some of the time in his disagreements with Custer.

                            Custer's tactics were certainly questionable. His men and horses were exhausted so it could be argued that forcing the issue was unwise. He could have just as logically hunkered down and waited for Terry's main body. I realize he felt he had been discovered, but it still might have been the best option. It was not an option for an overly aggressive self-promoter, however. BTW I have never run into the argument that he had to attack in order to water his horses in the Greasy Grass (Little Big Horn).

                            Why bring Indian scouts if you will not believe them when they cautioned about the size of the Indian force? They told him his plan was suicidal. These were brave men who were clearly not afraid to die and did die with him. But most egregious, dividing his command in the face of the enemy is a mistake that any West Point cadet would be ashamed of. But then again, he did not exactly excel at West Point, did he? Also, why depend on a drunkard and an enemy to conduct the other two prongs?

                            As to assigning equal blame for the events, you are on very shaky ground there. Certainly the Native Americans were no saints but they clearly were in the right. Hippies did overlook Indian atrocities and depredations, but that does not disprove their central thesis. The Indians had been promised the Black Hills and then Custer himself had precipitated the gold rush that blinded Americans to that fact. They were defending their land as any people would. They were the "good guys" without any doubt. For Hollywood to assign that role to Custer is a miscarriage of justice.

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