Colonel Stauffenberg and Tom Cruise´s movie

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Terje Langoy
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Post by Terje Langoy » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:05 pm

"The American military has a saying: "You are here not to reason why but to do or die"

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

So what you are basically saying is that it doesn't matter what you, as a human being, see as right or wrong? There is no grey, just black and white? There ain't no moral boundaries, you're not here to have a conscience. This saying of yours scares the living crap out of me, that's for sure. You are actually saying that soldiers should act like robots, they should repel the very things that makes them human.

Please tell me you were just joking...

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:20 pm

This is actually a loose adaptation from the poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" by Lord Tennyson. The quote is:

Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:

The US Army has a lot stranger and funnier sayings.
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Post by Bgile » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:48 am

US Military personnel are allowed to disregard unlawful orders. Also, current thinking has emphasized personal initiative, and orders are definitely not an excuse for illegal activity such as murder. Does it happen in war? Of course, but you can be imprisoned for it.

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José M. Rico
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Post by José M. Rico » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:55 am

Bgile wrote:US Military personnel are allowed to disregard unlawful orders. Also, current thinking has emphasized personal initiative, and orders are definitely not an excuse for illegal activity such as murder. Does it happen in war? Of course, but you can be imprisoned for it.
I just remembered another Tom Cruise movie, "A Few Good Men" in which two marines following orders of a superior were responsible for the death of a man. Of course, despite following orders they were dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps.

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:08 pm

"I was just following orders" was never a valid defense. But to distinguish a lawful and unlawful order in the heat of battle is sometimes impossible.
According to the US "Uniform Code of Military Justice" a soldier has a duty to obey lawful and disobey unlawful duites. It is not always clear that the initiator of the unlawful order receives sufficient punishment, e.g., Ronald Reagan vs. Oliver North. http://www.omjp.org/ArtLarryDisobey.html
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Post by Bgile » Sat Sep 01, 2007 5:27 pm

Ulrich Rudofsky wrote:"I was just following orders" was never a valid defense. But to distinguish a lawful and unlawful order in the heat of battle is sometimes impossible.
According to the US "Uniform Code of Military Justice" a soldier has a duty to obey lawful and disobey unlawful duites. It is not always clear that the initiator of the unlawful order receives sufficient punishment, e.g., Ronald Reagan vs. Oliver North. http://www.omjp.org/ArtLarryDisobey.html
Good points. It takes courage to disobey an order, especially in a tension charged situation. You will probably be court martialled, and you just have to hope you will be exhonorated.

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marcelo_malara
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Post by marcelo_malara » Sat Sep 01, 2007 7:53 pm

We had a case here in Argentina in 1993 I think. A draftee was beaten to death by two draftees under the orders of a young lieutenant, then the body was abandoned in the wild and the dead was declared desertor. A search was initiated until the body was found, and the three men were taken to court and condemned by manslaughter. The whole thing brought the end of the draft regime here.
Also former members of the military during the military dictatorship back in the 70´s that are judged by crimes against humanity can not discharge themselves as "following orders".

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:15 pm

That is why I think Stauffenberg's heroic and/or desperate actions, whether one thinks he did it for selfish or selfless reasons, were in the best interest and traditions of the country. The fact that he did not wish to go up in smoke with the rest of them was not an act of cowardice, because he knew that a firing squad would be waiting; then to dig him up from his grave to strip him of his medals and rank was barbaric.
All I know first hand is that the opposition of the Fuehrer's Reich was ecstatic on 20 July 1944 for just a few hours..........what Stauffenberg dared that few others did.
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:48 pm

The controversy goes on of Scientology propaganda minister Tom Cruise's impersonation of Stauffenberg........but it is really not that important anyway.....

Still in the news, I anticipate that all the bad press is very good PR for the movie! http://www.spiegel.de/videoplayer/0,6298,22450,00.html
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... &plindex=0
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:26 pm

Today is the 100th birthday of Stauffenberg and Germany remembers a hero:
http://www.spiegel.de/videoplayer/0,6298,23956,00.html
Count von Boeselager at 90 is the only surviving witness of the event that failed. http://www.focus.de/panorama/welt/hitle ... 17325.html
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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:51 am

Real heroes born on November 15th:

1891 - Erwin Rommel, German field marshal (d. 1944)
1906 - Curtis LeMay, U.S. Air Force general (d. 1990)
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Thu Nov 22, 2007 3:02 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Real heroes born on November 15th:

1891 - Erwin Rommel, German field marshal (d. 1944)
1906 - Curtis LeMay, U.S. Air Force general (d. 1990)
To many of us Germans, Stauffenberg was the very, very last desperate hope. I know that some think he was selfish, but most heroes have multiple sides to their virtuallly unkown aims and to their mysterious personalitlies. Certainly, Rommel was not very different to Stauffenberg, but the Desert Fox movie and his unrealistic glorification even before the war was over, was popularized by the Nazi propaganda machinery and that carries over to this day. We were forced to see newsreels about his demise (e.g. his plane flew accidentally into a high tenson wire). History is made up of irrational contradiction and wild stories. Very few are based on fact, many on fancy. Rommel, LeMay, and Stauffenberg are all in the same mold of grandious glorification and are fairly insignificant historical personas in the overall picture.
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marcelo_malara
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Post by marcelo_malara » Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:44 am

Did LeMay ever crewed a bomber?

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Post by Ulrich Rudofsky » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:56 pm

He certainly did. He bombed Germany.....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_LeMay
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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:21 pm

Curtis Le May was an incredible person and an awesome officer. And he never falled in the moral delussions of other allied officers. He knew very well what he was doing and had the will to achieve them without the preachings of a superior moral stance. As a matter of fact he told some reporter that he was sure that if the Axis would have won the war he would have been indicted as a War Criminal. I never imagine Ike or any other allied officer considered himself that.
Le May was not West Point, he was ROTC from New York. He loved planes and he crewed them in combat. He was the one who developed many tactics the B-17s deplolyed during the bombing raids over Germany. When the war was over in Europe he devised new tactics for the B-29 over Japan (very different from those over Germany).
After the war, having 4 stars, he flew his own B-29. At the helm of the Strategic Air Command he had his greatest battle not against the russians but against a superior evil: Robert McNamara, the man who lost Vietnam and who almost lost the Western World against the decided commie vermin. McNamara and some fools from Business Management from Harvard want to eliminate the bomber wings from SAC and have a "missile only" policy so the US could dedicate more money to help the minorities and that stuff. Le May opossed that for many years and, thanks to him, the B-52 wings are still operating and, more important, the US never depended only in the Titans and Minuteman missiles which, once launched, are imposibble to recall as the bombers. Once Nixon used that capability to spook the dam russian commies over some question in Middle East.
Being a warrior (not a profesional soldiers as Ike or Bradley or Maxwell Taylor), but a "hedgehog" he was undoubtely a hero, greater than those praised by the liberals and the press. Political incorrect? Of course. WHen Old McArthur was trying to wing Korea for the US Le May was the only one with enough guts to tell his political superiors that he had the nuclear firepower to achieve McArthur´s plan and needs...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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