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  • Military history

    Think of this:

    America has never been defeated on her home territory.

    It is all but unheard of for any European nation to be defeated on their soil by any non-European army.

    Somewhat less rare, but still uncommon, is the defeat of an American or European army anywhere, by anyone.

    Finally, the vast majority of explorations, inventions, innovations, advances and other benefits to mankind have come from Americans and Europeans.

    Any comments on why this is so?
    Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
    (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

  • #2
    Maybe this is a bit too simple, but it was a knee-jerk quick response as I was heading out for the day... Western, mostly secular, nationalistic technocratic militarism since the Dark Ages.
    If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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    • #3
      We have the best resources. Good Farming, grazing fishing lots of oil gold coal and all of that. Ourselves and Europe also have the best industry.
      101st Airborne Screaming Eagles Rule

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      • #4
        American military defeats

        Hogdriver....as much as I would like to join you in singing the paeans of American military glory the fact remains that its not true. We've had our share of debacle. For seven long years we fought George's men for our liberty and lost far more battles then we won. It was only after Europe lent a hand that Howe and Cornwallis, and Johnny Burgoyne, knew the jig was up. I know you've heard of the Bladenburg Races. Chippawa and Lundy's Lane were bright spots in an otherwise dismal performance. We like to celebrate Old Ironsides..but the reality is that she and most of her sisters remained bottled up in our harbors by the Royal Navy for greater part of that war. We did unusually well in Mr. Polk's little war..but much of that can be placed on the rather inept leadership of Santa Anna. The periodic wars on the frontiers with our own aborigines was not always successful. Notwithstanding Custer and the 7th cav...the fact is there were a number of reverses from the time of our colonial days all the way up to Chief Joseph and Nez Pierce wars before the indians bowed in the face of inevitablity or extermination. Guam, Wake, Bataan, Corregidor can not be seen in any other light except as military reversals even if you might not considered them part of the "home territory" tho at the time they certainly were. It is hard to see Pearl Harbor as anything but a downturn in our fortunes. Even as we were talking about "home for Christmas", the 106th in the dark forests of the Ardenne crumbled in the face of Tigers and panzertruppen. But theres no need to continue the litany. If you mean we come back from defeat to victory. Yes, we have. The indomitable spirit of the American people and the American soldier has performed mircles both on and off the battlefield. But even there it would wrong to claim invincibility. But to ignore the hard learned lessons that cast our Flag into the dust is to ignore our true greatness as a Nation. It is the reversals that teach us how to fight, that drives our nation on to greatful victory. None of these lost battles reflect shame on our character but they do reflect reality.

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        • #5
          If you want to get nitpicky about it, technically the Confederacy was America, and they lost the Civil War.

          Don't forget about the Muslim invasions of Europe back during the middle ages, either. If not for a few decisive events, Europeans would be followers of Mohammed instead of ......well, whatever they like to think of themselves. For a good while, the Arabs, Turks and Moors were the predominant powers of the world.

          Some would say that we lost Vietnam as well. (currently in debate) Definately the French lost in Vietnam, since we had to go in and bail them out.

          Washington, D.C. and the White House burned during the War of 1812. (whether we lost is currently in debate) We were able to defeat the British (after the war was over) at New Orleans

          The Madhi of the Sudan thoroughly whuped the English in the mid 1860's in the Sudan (Which included the fall of Khartoum and the death of English Gen. Gordon)

          The Russians lost the Japanese-Russian war in the early 20th century with huge naval defeats.

          Even though we didn't lose the war, the Americans and the British lost major battles in the Pacific theater during WW2 (some on American or British owned territory
          Pvt. Bob Mana,
          Co. B, 3rd Maryland Vol. Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps, Union Army of the Potomac

          For the Union

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          • #6
            Remember also; Had it not been for the intervention of the US, the French would probably be speaking German right now.

            Mark
            Deo Vindice
            Si vis pacem, para bellum. (If you want peace, prepare for war.)

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            • #7
              Churchill:

              It wasn't meant to sing the praises of the American forces, rather as a rhetorical question as to why American and European military power has been predominant for so long. Especially as regards Europe, one must look closely to find the last time a non-European equipped and trained force defeat a European nation on European soil. As much as empires such as the Ottomans liked to tell tales of their greatness, that greatness did not include any great successful incursion into Europe. They got no further than the Balkans, and even there, their power was not absolute.

              Were European and Asian nations of like population and technology to meet on the battlefield, one must think twice (at least) at betting on the Asian nation. Is it about technology, weaponry, training and doctrine, societal mores, or what? No rational person would assert that Europeans are ethnically superior, there is great ethnic diversity in Europe. It is not technology, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, India and, to some degree, Pakistan have robust and diverse technology bases. As well, most have very robust financial markets. What of training and doctrine - certainly none of the Asian powers have the diversity and renown of America and Europe, but by andlarge they do have some resources to training at least their officer corps. Additionaly many utilize foreign academies, especially in the United States and England. Does their societal structure impress on them a greater reservation to conduct combat operations?

              There is no easy answer. A simplistic person probably would, in fact, assert that Europeans are etnically superior - the truth is far more complex. One train of thought proposes that European nations are superior in one respect because they are democracies, or emerging democracies, whereas many Asian nations tend to be, if not autocratic, then certainly not freely elected governments. The assertion is that a free man fights harder for his nation because he feels greater loss than the resident of the autocratic nation, who loses little of worth if the current regime is displaced. This argument is certainly validated by recent military actions, to wit:

              1982 Argentina (military dictator) The Argentine military performs well at the outset, but folds when substantial British troops arrive.

              1989 Panama (military dictator) In general, the PDF surrenders at first contact. A few units fight, but they are by far the exception.

              1991 Iraq (dictator) tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers surrender before the first shot is fired. Regular army units surrender or flea in droves, and many are buried inside bunkers and strongpoints. Even the vaunted Republican Guards give, in general, only token resistance. As least two divisions are caught in the "Road of Death" towards Basra.

              2003 Iraq (dictator) more troops do stand and fight, if briefly in many cases. Still, those who do stand are savaged and do not tend to stand again afterwards.

              This is but a small example, but it does tend to validate the democracy theory.
              Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
              (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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              • #8
                Culture and Carnage

                Hogdriver.....if your interested you might want to read Victor Davis Hanson's "Culture and Carnage", Anchor Books, Copyright 2001, ISBN 0-385-50052-1. Aproximately 500 pages in length. Hansen deals speciifically with your question and provides some thoughtful insights into why the Western way of War has been so predominate. I think you would find it useful reading if you haven't already done so.

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                • #9
                  Let's not forget that the chinese invented gun powder, I'd say that was a fairly big technological advance.
                  "If my theory of realitivity is proved true, then France will declare me a citizen of the world and Germany will call me a German. However, if it is proved untrue, then France will call me a German, and Germany a jew."

                  -Albert Einstein

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by scuud
                    Let's not forget that the chinese invented gun powder, I'd say that was a fairly big technological advance.
                    Yes, but they didnít invent guns.
                    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by last_cav1971
                      Remember also; Had it not been for the intervention of the US, the French would probably be speaking German right now.

                      Mark
                      Deo Vindice
                      Naturlich, alles die besser fur die Welt. Wer bedurfnis die Frankisch?
                      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Culture and Carnage

                        Originally posted by Churchill
                        Hogdriver.....if your interested you might want to read Victor Davis Hanson's "Culture and Carnage", Anchor Books, Copyright 2001, ISBN 0-385-50052-1. Aproximately 500 pages in length. Hansen deals speciifically with your question and provides some thoughtful insights into why the Western way of War has been so predominate. I think you would find it useful reading if you haven't already done so.
                        Thanks Churchill, I read it last year.
                        Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                        (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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