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George Marshall On A World War I RIP/TOA Some 100 Years Ago
By the spring of 1918, the U.S. 1st Infantry Division and several others had already been bloodied during rotations into generally quiet sectors to gain experience, or in support roles with the British Army as the latter sought to contain the Imperial German Army’s Michael offensives. In the last week of April, the 1st Division made the move into the sector that would in a month’s time earn the division national acclaim: Picardy, in northern France, in which province stood the village of Cantigny. The Battle of Cantigny is regarded as the first distinctly American victory of the war.
1919, France - Col George C. MarshallPublic domain
A concerned Colonel George Marshall recorded that:
“We commenced the relief of the French units on the night of April 24th, and by the 26th the First Division was established in front of the enemy. There were no trenches, the men being distributed in individual pits or “foxholes”, and the Headquarters located in any convenient cave or cellar. This lack of covered communications and the continuous violence of the artillery fire made it almost impossible to circulate in the sector during daylight hours. Our casualties made a formidable daily list, considering the fact that there was no advance by the infantry on either side. The losses in officers were particularly heavy, as it was necessary for them to move about to oversee their men. The captains of the machine gun companies, whose personnel was more scattered than others, had a particularly trying task, and most of them were killed or wounded during the first ten days. After the machine-gunners, the field officers suffered most, and we had two Lieutenant Colonels killed and two others wounded in a very short time.” (Excerpted from Memoirs of My Services in the World War, 1917-1918.)
--The communications scheme under which you train may not be the same one you are able to employ when you enter a new area of operations. Anticipate this and be flexible.
--Leaders will be excited when their first action is imminent. That is normal and indeed a good sign, but it must be tempered with a sense of caution. No one benefits when a large number of key leaders are knocked out on the eve of battle.
--Likewise, the junior leaders of combat support units (machinegun companies in this case) are often more vulnerable, less situationally-aware, and may be less experienced when it comes to operating within the big picture. Be aware of and sensitive to that, and when possible devote some additional time or resources to help them do their job so that their units can subsequently provide you with the best possible support.
John Throckmorton is a business executive who lives with his family north of Atlanta. He served for 20 years as an infantry officer with assignments at Fort Bragg, Fort Hood, Fort Benning, and in Iraq. His great-grandfather was a machinegun officer with the U.S. 35th Infantry Division (and ironically saw the start of the next war while serving as a senior staff officer with the U.S. Army’s Hawaiian Department on December 7th, 1941). His World War I reading list can be found here: https://taskandpurpose.com/american-expeditionary-force-books/
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Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.
Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.
Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."
Minnesota Democratic Party staffer under fire for calling USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul a 'murder boat'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he is appalled by a state DFL Party staff member's tweet referring to the recently-launched USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul as a "murder boat."
"Certainly, the disrespect shown is beyond the pale," said Walz, who served in the Army National Guard.
William Davis, who has been the DFL Party's research director and deputy communications director, made the controversial comment in response to a tweet about the launch of a new Navy combat ship in Wisconsin: "But actually, I think it's gross they're using the name of our fine cities for a murder boat," Davis wrote on Twitter over the weekend.
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TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will "not to go forward with his confirmation process."
Trump said that Army Secretary Mark Esper will now serve as acting defense secretary.