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  • #31
    Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
    The Japnese forces on the island were fed in piecemeal, yes? I can't recall there being any point where the Japanese interupted their offensive operation for a 'build-up' period.


    correct me if wrong here....
    Exactly. Portions of units were landed, both Army and naval landing forces, and mounted uncoordinated attacks. There was little logistics, and they had to abandon a great number of heavy weapons due to the terrain. Only the ferocity of their attacks and the stubbornness of their defense kept the Marines from realizing the truth in relative numbers.

    John Toland in 'The Rising Sun' does a superb job of describing their struggle. The Japanese lost approximately 25,000 dead against just under 1600 US KIA. A sizable number of the Japanese dead were from disease or malnutrition. With no ability to maintain a flow of supplies, units has to attack soon after they landed, and so were chopped to pieces one after another.

    The Japanese made what can only be considered an epic effort for no gain at all. The Marines' defense under terrible conditions cost Japan resources that paved the way to victory.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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    • #32
      Dear Darkplace...

      from what I understand, Captain John Paul jones waited so long and took so much fire that his ship was alreadysinking when he managed to grapple and board his adversary.

      And they did that as a matter of their own survival.

      sounds a bit like a "forlorn hope" or "last stand/option to me....
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      • #33
        Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
        Exactly. Portions of units were landed, both Army and naval landing forces, and mounted uncoordinated attacks. There was little logistics, and they had to abandon a great number of heavy weapons due to the terrain. Only the ferocity of their attacks and the stubbornness of their defense kept the Marines from realizing the truth in relative numbers.

        John Toland in 'The Rising Sun' does a superb job of describing their struggle. The Japanese lost approximately 25,000 dead against just under 1600 US KIA. A sizable number of the Japanese dead were from disease or malnutrition. With no ability to maintain a flow of supplies,
        units has to attack soon after they landed, and so were chopped to pieces one after another.
        The Japanese made what can only be considered an epic effort for no gain at all. The Marines' defense under terrible conditions cost Japan resources that paved the way to victory.
        Thanks for reply Arnold!

        So what could also be saiid then, was that Colonel Ichiki's "attitue" to attacking early had less to do with his diary "pre" entry ("Enjoyment of the fruits of victory"), and a lot more to do with just what was expected of these officers, with no supply chain to speak of in the field, "going bush" as an Aussie would say, ALL the time, no break from it. Victorious... get wounded and evaced ......or die...three stark choices...

        Drusus

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
          Dear Darkplace...

          from what I understand, Captain John Paul jones waited so long and took so much fire that his ship was alreadysinking when he managed to grapple and board his adversary.

          And they did that as a matter of their own survival.

          sounds a bit like a "forlorn hope" or "last stand/option to me....
          I still wouldn't call it a Last Stand action.
          For a start traditionally the side having the Last Stand has to be outnumbered. Jones wasn't. He had four ships in his squadron and both BonhommeRichard and Alliance took part in the action against Seraphis.

          Also, he didn't get to take Seraphis by boarding. Seraphis struck at about ten thirty at night because the convoy she was escorting had got away and even when the BonhommeRichard sank, as she was doing. There still was Alliance to deal with and Alliance was practically undamaged and only after she had struck did the BonhommeRichard put a boarding party on to her.

          It's a hard fought naval action no doubt about it but to class it as a last stand action is wrong it fits non of the criteria.
          "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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          • #35
            I'll happily defer sir!

            point to you!
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            • #36
              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
              While it was impressive, the 1st MarDiv actually outnumbered the Japanese forces on the island. And so long as the USN could get through, there was no danger of them having to surrender. Although in their defense they thought they were outnumbered.

              What about the USMC in Korea at the Reservoir? Not a last stand, but they faced incredible odds under horrific conditions, and it could have cost them thousands of men.

              And then there is IDrang in Vietnam.

              The 1/7 Cav was certainly fighting for its life.
              USMC at Chosin was one of the greatest feats in US military history--my father was wounded there.......outnumbered with temps down to 30 degrees below 0, very difficult terrain, a bridge to saftey was blown out, and they destroyed the Chinese
              ...Fox Company at Fox hill is a heroic stand by itself...they were positioned at a vital area near the escape route, and fought with many wounded and dead, until my father's unit relieved them

              a last stand would've been east of Chosin with the Regimental Combat Team 31 destroyed
              MacArthur was one of the reasons it was destroyed--see my post in Korean War forum--OP Smith thread
              the Corps commander-- General Almond--also failed his men ... he's the one that wanted the USMC and RCT-31 to drive to the Yalu, ignoring evidence of hundreds of thousands of Chinese in the way, below zero temps, very difficult terrain, bad roads, etc
              it was a big intelligence failure on Mac and Almond's part...
              an I and R platoon disappeared which was more evidence something was up, but this was not taken as a problem
              units were scattered and not placed well
              they had Koreans in the unit, which did not give it full esprit de corps, etc
              USMC air cover helped RCT-31 a lot...they had a USMC air liaison team attached...the USMC officer took charge of his area

              here is a link to a brief on RCT-31 at Chosin
              https://armyhistory.org/nightmare-at...sin-reservoir/

              East of Chosin is a good book on it, for the full story..I highly recommend it
              Last edited by Moulin; 25 Nov 16, 09:14.

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              • #37
                A little up for my Battan's last stand ..
                Think it's a good choice .
                Desperate fight against a vicious ennemy with a cruel ending.Iconic and cinematographic.
                That rug really tied the room together

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by sebfrench76 View Post
                  A little up for my Battan's last stand ..
                  Think it's a good choice .
                  Desperate fight against a vicious ennemy with a cruel ending.Iconic and cinematographic.
                  Bataan is looking like my pick here too, Seb.

                  It has all the ingreients, and a tragic end to boot.
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                  • #39
                    The Battle Off Samar

                    “This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.” Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland

                    The Battle Off Samar even has a book with a title to fit this thread: "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" by James Hornfischer.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                      “This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.” Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland

                      The Battle Off Samar even has a book with a title to fit this thread: "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" by James Hornfischer.
                      I'd agree with that. Commander Ernest Evans' leadership and actions that day might be considered the definition of a last stand. His Medal of Honor citation is in quotes below:

                      The President of the United States in the name of the Congress
                      takes pleasure in presenting the

                      MEDAL OF HONOR to

                      Commander
                      ERNEST EDWIN EVANS
                      United States Navy

                      for service as set forth in the following

                      CITATION

                      "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. JOHNSTON in action against major units of the enemy Japanese fleet during the Battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. The first to lay a smokescreen and to open fire as an enemy task force, vastly superior in number, firepower and armor, rapidly approached. Commander Evans gallantly diverted the powerful blasts of hostile guns from the lightly armed and armored carriers under his protection, launching the first torpedo attack when the JOHNSTON came under straddling Japanese shellfire. Undaunted by damage sustained under the terrific volume of fire, he unhesitatingly joined others of his group to provide fire support during subsequent torpedo attacks against the Japanese and, outshooting and outmaneuvering the enemy as he consistently interposed his vessel between the hostile fleet units and our carriers despite the crippling loss of engine power and communications with steering aft, shifted command to the fantail, shouted steering orders through an open hatch to men turning the rudder by hand and battled furiously until the JOHNSTON, burning and shuddering from a mortal blow, lay dead in the water after 3 hours of fierce combat. Seriously wounded early in the engagement, Commander Evans, by his indomitable courage and brilliant professional skill, aided materially in turning back the enemy during a critical phase of the action. His valiant fighting spirit throughout this historic battle will venture as an inspiration to all who served with him."

                      /signed/
                      HARRY S. TRUMAN, President
                      http://www.bosamar.com/pages/evansmoh

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                      • #41
                        I think most instances one is going to find will be in the early Native American Wars, The Battles along the Wabash, such as the previously stated St.Claires Defeat 1790's. Beechers Island 1868, Hayfield Fight 1867 etc. In some ways it's an excellent example of how fighting the Native Americans actually advanced US Military Combat Tactics through the years, from the Parade ground to trench tactics of Europeon tactics. Our Millitary approach is more like the way evolved to fight Indians, our our enemies evolved to fight like Indians?.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
                          “This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can.” Lieutenant Commander Robert W. Copeland

                          The Battle Off Samar even has a book with a title to fit this thread: "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" by James Hornfischer.
                          good call....destroyers vs BBs.....light carriers vs BBs

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                          • #43
                            Weren't there several in Korea? The Chosin Reservoir comes to mind.

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle...osin_Reservoir
                            Credo quia absurdum.


                            Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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                            • #44
                              I used to have a scenario of a wargame based on the last stand of the Glosters in Korea. The Turkish Brigade also got run over by the Chinese.

                              Pruitt
                              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                                The problem is limiting to the US military.

                                The French Foreign Legion and the Brits have numerous heroic, to-the-last-man stands.

                                There was a famous stand on the retreat from Kabul, Rourke's Drift, the fight just before Rourke's drift which I cannot spell, Khartoum, several stands during the Mutiny...the Brits seem inclined to sneer at the odds and fight to the last man on the drop of a hat.
                                My thoughts exactly. it's usually British ,British Empire and French forces that specialise in heroic (and usually futile) Last Stands.
                                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                                Samuel Johnson.

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