Let's close out Marne Birthday weekend with a thread on Lucian Truscott, the most accomplished officer to ever command the 3rd Infantry Division and one of the most celebrated Soldiers in 3ID history.
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Lucian's WWII legacy begins before he commanded 3ID: as a 1-star General, he formed the US Army Rangers in 1942. Lucian was actually the senior US officer involved in the momentous Dieppe, France Raid in Sept 42 that offered invaluable lessons for D Day two years later
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He took command of the Third Infantry Division in March, 1943 as a 2-star General. He was 48, the youngest Army Division commander at the time. He led 3ID through the invasion of Sicily under Patton's 7th Army.
3 of 5: Rafael ColonHernandez gave his pitch from @FortKnoxKY where he's going through the Sergeant Major Assessment Program. He gave his Exit Interview from the barracks during a break in the assessments.
55 years ago this morning [Nov 14, 1965], Lt Col Hal Moore’s 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry conducted an air assault into LZ X-Ray in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. So began the first battle of the Vietnam War between the @USArmy and large-scale North Vietnamese units.
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Even for this war, this first major battle was stunning in its brutality. During 4 days of fighting, each side inflicted heavy casualties on the other. Both sides claimed victory; N. Vietnamese peasants withstood a US high-tech firestorm, convincing them they could win.
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After Ia Drang it was clear to both sides that the war had changed. For the Americans, the enormous number of casualties inflicted on the enemy validated the concept of airmobile warfare (remember, the @1stCavalryDiv had just converted to an airmobile formation).
Lisa Bailey is doing it for the culture, she's doing it for her 6-month-old boy Isaac, she's doing it for every overworked Behavioral Health specialist in the Army, she's doing it for every Soldier suffering in silence.
On November 7, 1918, in the early afternoon, a rapid succession of fevered emotion exploded across the country: euphoria was followed by confusion, confusion followed by anger, anger followed by sorrow.
Today is the 102nd anniversary of the False Armistice.
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At 11:59 AM Eastern, a cablegram from the port of Brest on the Brittany coast of France from this guy, Roy Howard, the president of United Press [sent just before 4:30 pm French time], reaches the NY United Press office.
The message: Germany surrendered. WWI is over.
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Within an hour, the message races throughout NYC.
Hundreds of newspapers subscribe to the United Press. Editors of these paper print out the end of war announcement as fast as they can.
#TDIDCH: Nov 6, 1957 – The Gaither Report [a report from a special committee chaired by corporate titan Horace Gaither to review the nation’s defense readiness] is released to President Eisenhower.
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Formal name of the report: Deterrence and Survival in the Nuclear Age.
Formal name of the committee: the Report the Security Resources Panel of the Science Advisory Committee.
The report paints Soviet missiles as a mortal threat to the United States
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The report indicates that the US is falling far behind the Soviets in missile capabilities. In fact, the "the threat posed to SAC [Strategic Air Command] by the prospects of an early Russian ICBM capability, call for prompt remedial action."
37 years ago today, the US invaded a teeny-tiny Caribbean island, rescued a bunch of medical students, and rounded-up a group of gang members, along with their Cuban communist backers. Remember that? No? Well, read on.
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It was Operation Urgent Fury, the US invasion of Grenada, and it began on the morning of October 25th, 1983 with assaults on airstrips at Point Salines and Pearls.
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Over the next 4 days, US troops rescued US citizens, restored a popular native government, & eliminated a threat to the stability of the Caribbean & US strategic interests there.
Earlier today we explained that the XVIII Airborne Corps was alerted for a possible invasion of Cuba in the frenzied first four days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now let’s take a look at the proposed plan presented to JFK.
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It was a contingency plan developed after the April 1961 Bay of Pigs disaster: OPLAN 316, a simultaneous airborne insertion by the Corps and an amphibious assault by II Marine Amphibious Force.
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Contingencies never arrive at a perfect time, and this one developed at a particularly complicated period for the XVIII Airborne Corps. First, a large portion of the corps was in the process of changing its basic organizational structure under the ROAD reorg.
This is the story of the genius of the American Soldier. It’s is a true story. It’s a good story. Most importantly, it’s a story that reveals why the Dragon Innovation Program is so important.
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The Dragon Innovation Program that we’ve been promoting focuses on developing a Culture of Innovation across the corps. By that we mean we’re looking to all Soldiers across all formations and all installations to constantly generate new ideas.
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Some of the best ideas are trapped inside formations. In some cases, the best ideas are buried under layers of bureaucracy and process. In others, Soldiers are just waiting for someone to ask them what they have to offer.
October 17, 2005 – FOB MacKenzie: 1915 local time, 12:15 pm EST
The 3 Bradley convoy is set to leave the wire.
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Leon Matthias, leading the patrol, heads to the fire pit to test fire his weapon. Alwyn’s Bradley (#2 in the order of march) drives around Leon’s. After a brief exchange, Alwyn convinces Leon that he, the PSG, will lead out on Leon’s first night back out of the gate.
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1920: SP (the platoon ALWAYS met SP)
SP = Start Point [the time for the convoy to depart]
15 years ago today from FOB McKenzie, near Samarra, he was looking ahead. The end of a 12-month deployment to Iraq – his second of OIF – was 3 months away.
His Name Is #AlwynCashe. Over the coming days we'll tell his story.
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Alwyn’s platoon had a short route clearance mission scheduled for the October 15, 2005. Then a day off. Or, rather, maintenance of the vehicles and clean weapons. But nothing outside the wire on the 16th.
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Then, another mission on October 17th. This one was longer. A circuitous route that led through Diyala.
1 of 11: Operation Market Garden lesson 20 of 20: Character matters, particularly at the senior level. Let’s take a look the two main actors in Market Garden -- Eisenhower and Montgomery – and how their individual characters manifest in this tragedy
2 of 11: Ike missed WWI. After the Great War, he spent operational time in the Philippines as MacArthur's chief of staff & assistant adviser to the Philippine govt on military matters. This was an unstable period wherein the dangers of guerilla warfare loomed large in his memory.
3 of 11: Partly as a result of this experience, Ike favored a coordinated offensive along a broad front, where Allied mass, logistical expertise, & unrelenting pressure would not only push back the Germans but leave few pockets of resistance to disrupt the Allied comms zone.
Op Market Garden Lesson 9⃣of 20: Airborne & @usairforce must be SINGULARLY controlled by a joint commander and staff.
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By way of example, one of the best Airborne operations ever conducted in history was Operation Just Cause in 1989. XVIII Corps and supporting Air Force units under Lieutenant General Carl Stiner, corps commander, as the Joint Task Force Headquarters Commander.
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Stiner understood the limitations of the airborne forces was inserted. He also thought through the impact of resupply from the air on the operation.
Since tomorrow is our final day of Tragic Ambition, our commemoration of Operation #MarketGarden, we figured we'd give a bibliography of sorts. Let's go through some of the books we used throughout the series in the hopes that you'll let us know what you think of them.
2 of 12: Let's start here. This one was published 2 years ago to great reviews in the US. It's thorough (perhaps too detailed in its account of tactics) & makes a layered case of blame against Monty. The book has many critics & we'll let them voice their concerns in the replies.
3 of 12: This focuses on the US airborne units, giving life to the men of the @82ndABNDiv and the @101stAASLTDIV. In the US, A Bridge Too Far ( book & the movie) dominates the OMG landscape, but McManus offers new voices [& extends the story out through November].
As part of our Tragic Ambition series, b/w now & end of Friday we're giving you 2⃣0⃣ lessons for @USArmy leaders from Op Market Garden.
Here's Lesson 2⃣: An understanding of the op environment must drive any plan. The plan must NOT come first.
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Montgomery believed that his dramatic maneuver, a swift penetration deep into the heart of Germany, would win despite all the risks associated. Thus, he developed his plan without an understanding of environment [the environment serving as the context for that approach.]
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Here are 5 elements a clear-eyed study of the operational environment would have revealed:
1 of 4: OMG Lesson 1⃣: No plan should be so inflexible that it cannot be adjusted at the last minute.
[As we close out our commemoration of Operation Market Garden, we'll offer 20 lessons from that operation for today's @USArmy leaders. These lessons will run until Oct. 9.]
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The Market Garden plan was hastily developed in less than a week, one of 18 separate plans developed in a span of 40 days that swamped headquarters staffs. Prior to D Day, intel began to appear about the possible presence of Panzer units around Arnhem.
3 of 4: The Allied staffs were swamped with all the hasty planning, cancelled ops, planning, cancelled ops and were unable to respond to this new info. Furthermore, the Market portion was sufficiently rigid that there was really no way to alter the insertion based on this intel.
1 of 9: Today, on the 27th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, we caught up with Matt Eversmann, the @75thRangerOMST Staff Sergeant who lead the daytime raid. Eversmann, of course, is immortalized in "Black Hawk Down" (he's played by Josh Hartnett).
Here's what he told us:
2 of 9: "Back then, in 1993, the @USArmy hadn't seen that kind of combat since Vietnam. It was so unique, dramatic, & brutal for that age. It's an odd contrast with today. I was just on @FtBraggNC & now we have these young soldiers have led troops in battle 3, 4, 5, or 6 times."
3 of 9: "We have kids today who are what we were. The faces change. The names change. But that grit is the same. That valor is the same. That love for one another is the same."
1/7: Today we’ve been discussing Hongerwinter as part of our analysis of OMG. But, 27 years ago today in Somalia, the 2-day Battle of #Mogadishu began. Tomorrow we'll review the fighting, but for now it may be important to understand the parallel to the Dutch winter of 1944-45.
2/7: In 1991, the Somali government fell amidst crippling poverty & starvation. A group of tribal warlords fought for control & influence. Just as WW2 devastated Dutch rail/roadways, in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, block-by-block fighting destroyed agriculture, homes, industry.
3/7: As in Holland in the winter of '44, the international community tried to help. However, aid was thwarted by warlords, fighting, & destroyed road networks. 300k+ Somalis starved to death b/w 1991 & 1992.