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Old March 18th, 2015, 02:45 PM   #1

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Im an american but i dont american military history that interesting


Maybe its because of Americas relatively short history, or maybe even because for most of its history they didnt have a large standing army/navy. Nowadays they have both but i feel in a conventional war at least America simply cant lose, and not because of tactical superiority but simply because they can overwhelm the enemy in terms of sheer numbers/equipment/firepower. I feel that outside from technology America hasnt had to innovate their tactics/strategies because they're already so powerful they'll pretty much win no matter. Now this isnt to say that individual american generals arent innovators but was there really any doubt that America would win the Gulf War?
There is no doubt that individual soldiers/ marines are some of the best in the world but a large part of that is due to logistics, America can afford the largest military budget in the world. Most countries in history have had to operate amongst many constraints(small population size, lack of resources, surrounded by far more powerful enemies) but America nowadays has one of the largest and richest populations in the world and they border no enemies so they pretty much free rein.
Even historically America has fought very similar to this. The Union won the civil war not due to tactical brilliance or mind awing strategy but simply because they had far more people and industry than the South. Yet even despite having more than double the population(and half of the souths population were slaves) an actual navy and an overwhelming majority of the industry it still took 4 years to beat the south. Next the Spanish-American war, America once again wins due to their having a larger and more technogically advanced navy. The. We have World war 1 where we enter right at the end when germany is exhausted and we already have a massive numerical history so of course we are going to win. Same with WW2 we once again face nations that have no hope to match our population and industry so of course we win. Furthermore we dont even have to fight the bulk of the German of Japanese Units because they're busy fighting the soviets and Chinese.
Despite our massive superiority we however lose the Vietnam war but this mostly due lack of a cohesive strategy, lack of political will and having to face an enemy that uses unconventional tactics.
Im not trying to say that America has weak/bad military but merely that unlike the states of Europe America has never had to fight someone who face them on equal terms. Furthermore if you like American military history good for you, i however tend to think of the Civil War as a bunch of unprofessionals engaging either like buffoons. Also i do enjoy reading about other aspects of American history like the economic and political factors.
I understand some of you think that wars are only about attrition but at the same time did the Soviets really win when 20 million died? My overall point is that it seems America operates itself from the viewpoint of we dont have to be the best tactically because in the end we will win no matter what simply because we can outproduce you.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 02:49 PM   #2

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It's not that uncommon. I'm an American, yet spend 95% of my historical research on Europe.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 02:51 PM   #3

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I have a confession of my own to make. I'm an American and I don't really find American history prior to WWII very interesting.

Having said that, I find the conflicts of WW2 and Vietnam utterly fascinating. Our modern wars are very interesting as well.

I agree that so much of our strength lies in our production ability, but, that's modern warfare for you.

Last edited by Menshevik; March 18th, 2015 at 02:53 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 02:54 PM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific_Victory View Post
It's not that uncommon. I'm an American, yet spend 95% of my historical research on Europe.
I enjoy reading about europe far more as well
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Old March 18th, 2015, 02:55 PM   #5

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For tales of adventure, noble ideals, military brilliance, tactical incompetence, base cowardice and unfathomable courage, one can do no better than the American Civil War.

You're depriving yourself, friend.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 02:57 PM   #6

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Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
For tales of adventure, noble ideals, military brilliance, tactical incompetence, base cowardice and unfathomable courage, one can do no better than the American Civil War.

You're depriving yourself, friend.
Any reading suggestions you care to share?
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Old March 18th, 2015, 03:00 PM   #7

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Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
For tales of adventure, noble ideals, military brilliance, tactical incompetence, base cowardice and unfathomable courage, one can do no better than the American Civil War.

You're depriving yourself, friend.
Tell me about it!

I've bought books, watched documentaries, seen movies and played video games that were based on the ACW. I try to get into it. I still just find it kinda dull.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 03:05 PM   #8

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Any reading suggestions you care to share?
I don't like to recommend. I don't know what sort of books you like. Anything by Bruce Catton is sure to please, however.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
For tales of adventure, noble ideals, military brilliance, tactical incompetence, base cowardice and unfathomable courage, one can do no better than the American Civil War.

You're depriving yourself, friend.
Unless you are into very specific, and technical, aspects of military history, the M.H. of the US is pretty boring. Not that it is anything tragic, as North America did not experience the destruction and turmoil of Europe at any time in its history.

FWIW, I find the military history of European powers from about 1550 to about 1750/60 much more interesting. In those times American M.H. was pretty much an extension of what occurred in Europe. Until about 1941, possibly excepting the ACW, American military history is an 'amateur hour.'

We have been so over exposed to the ACW that it doesn't hold that much attraction for me any more.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 03:22 PM   #10

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Originally Posted by pikeshot1600 View Post
American military history is an 'amateur hour.'

We have been so over exposed to the ACW that it doesn't hold that much attraction for me any more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menshevik View Post
I've bought books, watched documentaries, seen movies and played video games that were based on the ACW. I try to get into it. I still just find it kinda dull.
Tough room!

Sorry, but American military history is exactly the same as every other military history - it just happens to have Americans in it. How anyone could read Chamberlain's The Passing of the Armies and be unmoved is a mystery to me.
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