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Military Cliches

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by ColHessler, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    1) "The Tiger Tank was the greatest tank of WW2."
    2) "D-Day won the war in the west."
    3) "The Japanese were an inferior opponent to the U.S"
    4) "The French military was full of unmotivated cowards."
    5) "Hitler's decisions were the reason the Germans lost"
    6) "The Italians were an inadequate fighting force with obsolete tactics and weaponry."
    7) "The German detour in the Balkans ended their hopes of defeating the Soviets."

    These are all WW2 centered, but they are all ones I've heard quite a bit. They all have elements of truth to them, but there is a much bigger picture and a story behind each one of these being not fully true.
     
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  3. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    All very good.
     
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  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Also illustrates that some clichés have more elements of truth than others.
     
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  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I like Tom Ricks, but occasionally he's like me, a contrarian and iconoclast for the sake of contrarianism/iconoclasm. :D And some corollaries to some clichés are just as true...for example.

    MH 6b. Good strategy won’t fix bad tactics. (But it may prolong the fighting and so give you some time in which to fix your tactics.)

    MH 7b. Plains/marsh/desert/urban tribes are always fiercely independent. [Maybe it has more to do with tribalism than terrain?]

    Anyway, it is a fine line between cliché and truism.
     
  6. harolds

    harolds Member

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    How about:

    1. Never reinforce failure.
    2. God is on the side of the biggest battalions.
    3. Americans are natural riflemen.
    4. Germans make better soldiers.
    5. German weapons are over-engineered.
    6. The battle of Midway turned the tide of the war in the Pacific.
     
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  7. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    How about the Sherman tank, and how:
    Yes, that's a direct barb at the farcical book entitled "For Want of a Gun" by Christian DeJohn. On the plus side it is good for laughs, and serves as fine toilet paper due to the heavyweight non-glossy paper used throughout.
     
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  8. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Some pretty good ones that I've seen re-worded, I've never heard 2 or 3 though, a little strange to be honest.
    Now that is a definite favorite among amateur "historians" and Hollywood correspondents, the Sherman was one of the Main reasons the U.S and other allied nations had a chance at winning some pretty major campaigns.
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I think the 'God' comment goes back to Voltaire (Napoleonic era) so is definitely long in the tooth. Never heard the 'Americans' comment in relation to WWII and suspect that one goes back as well. I seem to recall that those despicable Lobster Backs thought Colonial riflemen were devils for accurately dropping redcoats beyond the range of the Brown Bess.
     
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  10. harolds

    harolds Member

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    belasar is right about the "God is on the side..." cliché, but it does have relevance to WW2. The "American / riflemen" one that was going around the media in early WW2, inspired by Sgt. York, '03 Springfields, etc. Back in WW1 there might have been some justification for it since many of our soldiers came from rural/hunting backgrounds. Of course they ignored the fact that the NRA was founded because of the dismal shooting of the Union Army in our Civil War.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    "I know who you are, I know what you can do." (From "Fury".) Superman soldiers, never enough to go around.
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    German tanks used diesel and never burned.

    .
     
  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    First attributed to Marshal Turenne, but second-hand.

    Trevor was going to write a myths of military history book, but was still working on it when he died. Myths and cliches are similar I suppose. I worked on the "Grant the Butcher" chapter, which is definitely both a cliche and a myth.
     
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  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    " The German heavy gun is always an 88" from 1944 on...at least it seemed in Normandy to be that way
     
  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I just remembered one from WW2: "German soldiers are so regimented that they can't do anything but blindly obey orders."
     
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  16. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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