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Bowe Bergdahl to be charged with desertion

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Otto, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    It's about time.
     
  2. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    Finally.

    What a waste the man has been, an absolute Typhoid Mary. Soldiers killed trying to find him, then all the negotations and self-congratulatory piffle from the chief executive about getting his worthless carcass back, and now the army and the public will have to bear the expense of court-martialling him. I don't know if we still execute people for desertion and cowardice in the face of the enemy, but doing so would at least save even more momey and effort wasted feeding him and guarding him.
     
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  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    seems like the Obama/Holder people love their deserters and criminals
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    If you can ignore the political side of this story, you are left with an extremely confused and naive kid. He grew up in a bubble, in the kind of family where there were no consequences or expectations. When you look at some of the things the father has said, you'll see what I mean. I don't think he was matured beyond the level of a 13 year old. It's all unicorns and rainbows to people like that.

    The officers of the court are not going to see the kind of man who joined the SS in WWII out of antisemitism or fascist political conviction. They are going to see a broken child who should never have passed the psychological screening into the army in the first place. I wouldn't expect a harsh sentence. I don't think he understood the consequences of his actions, just as his family doesn't understand now.

    He took the oath and he broke it, and people died because of that. But... if you're expecting a 25 year sentence, you'll be disappointed.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I usually don't care about the circumstances....like if a drunk driver 'accidentally' kills someone...of course he didn't mean to kill...but, tough luck....hard punishment....or a 'mentally' disabled, slow-in-the-brain person kills...hard punishment....life is tough..
    a lot, if not most, people joining the military are kids....I turned 21 in boot camp, and I was one of the oldest....a lot of them can be described as living in some kind of bubble at home, or can be described as 'children'...or can claim they were not brought up properly...they are a far, far cry from 40 and 50 year olds...I can tell you all kind of dumb stuff the ''kids'' did in our units...but rarely something like this, which is a serious breach of conduct.....
    Like I stated before, I don't care about the political crap....I'm neither left or right, just American...and stand for what is right...he knew not to desert, if he actually did....
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I agree with you, Bronk, but what I'm saying is that they don't hand out 25 year sentences for stupid. If he had run off because he had become Islamist, then you'd have a case of treason or malice of some kind and a 25 year to life sentence. This isn't that. He'll get a dishonorable discharge and a light sentence. That is probably much less than he deserves, but that's what will happen.
     
  7. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    I have a genuinely honest question. I seem to only recall one deserter being executed in WW2. Is my memory faulty, I honestly do not know.

    I am just curious about what are the precedents of situations involving convicted deserters in past wars. Which brings up off topic WW1 deserters too.? What happened them. Courts do cost time and money but I do believe in due process and a fair trial in any case. DNA was shown we have fried up a few innocent people.

    I am not refereeing to this case. , just in general. What has actually happened to deserters ? That seems to be a valid forum topic.

    BTW, I do not think anyone in the executive, legislative or judicial branch should comment on any pending case.

    Gaines
     
  8. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    They shot a few just to make examples, Eddie Slovik being the best known case because a movie was made. Most of them were shipped off to hard labor. In some cases they were sent back to the line for a second chance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2QiWZuKaDU
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Slovik was the only one that was shot for desertion since the American Civil War. The other Americans that were executed during World War II were for criminal offenses such as rape and murder.
     
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  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    A good article on Slovik written for the American Heritage magazine, by Benedict B. Kimmelman - Mr. Kimmelman, in December, 1944, was a Captain in the US Army and served as one of the judges for the Slovik trial.
    http://www.americanheritage.com/node/55767

    There is also one recent book written on the subject of deserters.
    "The Deserters" written by Charles Glass.
    New York Times review of the book: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/books/the-deserters-a-world-war-ii-history-by-charles-glass.html?_r=0
     
  11. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    yes, Slovik was offered to go back to the front, but he declined, thinking he'd just get jail time.....
     
  12. Bundesluftwaffe

    Bundesluftwaffe New Member

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    Bodies fill the fields I see, hungry heroes end
    No one to play soldier now, no one to pretend
    Running blind through killing fields, bred to kill them all
    Victim of what said should be
    A servant 'til I fall

    Soldier boy, made of clay
    Now an empty shell
    Twenty one, only son
    But he served us well
    Bred to kill, not to care
    Do just as we say
    Finished here, Greeting Death
    He's yours to take away

    Back to the front
    You will do what I say, when I say
    Back to the front
    You will die when I say, you must die
    Back to the front
    You coward
    You servant
    You blindman

    Barking of machinegun fire, does nothing to me now
    Sounding of the clock that ticks, get used to it somehow
    More a man, more stripes you wear, glory seeker trends
    Bodies fill the fields I see
    The slaughter never ends

    Soldier boy, made of clay
    Now an empty shell
    Twenty one, only son
    But he served us well
    Bred to kill, not to care
    Do just as we say
    Finished here, Greeting Death
    He's yours to take away

    Back to the front
    You will do what I say, when I say
    Back to the front
    You will die when I say, you must die
    Back to the front
    You coward
    You servant
    You blindman

    Why, Am I dying?
    Kill, have no fear
    Lie, live off lying
    Hell, Hell is here

    I was born for dying

    Life planned out before my birth, nothing could I say
    Had no chance to see myself, moulded day by day
    Looking back I realize, nothing have I done
    Left to die with only friend
    Alone I clench my gun

    Soldier boy, made of clay
    Now an empty shell
    Twenty one, only son
    But he served us well
    Bred to kill, not to care
    Do just as we say
    Finished here, Greeting Death
    He's yours to take away

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdN9731rgFc
     
  13. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    http://news.yahoo.com/bergda
    Bergdahl attorney releases a statement....it says he tried to escape within hours after his initial capture [ italics mine ] but the news doesn't say anything about the actual capture itself.....he left behind body armor?? why?

    http://www.tricitymarines.com/general.htm here are the General Orders, for manning a post, etc...
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Read this link below.

    I was unaware of this until now, but the Coast Guard tossed him out after 26 days for being psychologically unfit for duty. This does not exonerate Bergdahl for desertion, but what the hell was the army thinking?

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/03/30/bergdahl-defense-questions-army-enlistment-after-cg-dismissal.html?ESRC=dod.nl
     
  15. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    I suspect the army was thinking "we need bodies, so we will take anybody who volunteers." If we had a draft (as we should) the armed forces would not be put in such a position.
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    if there was a draft, you would get a lot of people that did not want to be in the military, and probably would cause more problems...I'll take quality over quantity anytime...the Israelis were greatly outnumbered in their many wars, and still came out on top...
    I just posted in another thread how the Pentagon is thinking of lowering standards for enlistment.....
    but, I agree that, the Army just needed bodies, and what the heck were they thinking!!?? that is very interesting Kody...it says he was ''unrealistic''...what does that mean???.....I would think they should've noticed something in Army basic training....
    if he had been kicked out for stealing, assault, etc, that's your normal idiot stuff...but something that says he was ''unrealistic'', that is a big red flag
     
  17. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

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    I hope they execute him, nothing but a treasonous piece of s***!
     
  18. Terry D

    Terry D Well-Known Member

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    To try and maintain our worldwide commitments without conscription is both ridiculous and unfair. With a volunteer-only force we can seldom provide really large numbers of combat troops, whch leads to indecisive results and long conflicts. We are overstretched globally, too weak in most places and not really strong enough anywhere. Counterinsurgency is particularly demanding of manpower, but because we lack a draft we have been forced to send the same men back for tour after tour. This burns them out and has contributed to high rates of PTSD, drug addiction, suicide, etc.

    And as for quality over quantity, that is a German idea that failed in two world wars. It may work in the short term but in the long term quanity will indeed beat quality, so long as the quantity has the will and the means to keep fighting. (See the Soviets in WWII.) In any case, the qualitative gap is seldom as large as proponents of this argument like to maintain, and it always narrows and often disappears or even reverses the longer a war goes on (the Soviets again). Napoleon said that God was on the side of the big battalions and that only numbers can annihilate, and he was right. And as for the Israelis, you will note that all the battlefield victories of their small but high-quality forces have not solved the fundamental strategic and political dilemmas in which they find themselves.
     
  19. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    Terry, the Israelis defeated an enemy that outnumbered them in many areas...there is no denying that....Israel is still a country, never defeated! they have peace with Egypt and others, no? as a matter of fact, I'm reading another book now , on the 67 war, which is called the Six Day War...very amazing that they defeated enemies on many fronts....
    and with the Germans...come on!!! be real!! the US, and Russia?????? and England?? vs Germany?? there is no comparison to those numbers....that would be like the US fighting China, all of the old USSR, India, etc, altogether.. let's be real and reasonable....the US used very few men to kick Taliban a$$.....the Japanese beat a much larger army at Singapore, ..there are many examples of shock troops defeating a larger enemy........the US, overstretched, does not need to be fighting in all these places, and not for so long....you cannot use US troops to form new governments and new countries...that had been proven in Vietnam....you are not going to change a culture of 5000 years in just 2 or 5 years...agree?.....
    and it depends on the will.....the US had overwhelming power in Vietnam, but failed..we had the draft then!!,...and the US had mucho air and Naval superiority....and NVietnam was a tiny, un-industrialized nation ....

    we should have a draft, if needed, say if China attacks Pearl Harbor....but for now, we do not need to be fighting in all these places, and not for so long....
    this goes back to the Total War thread......you would need a force comparable to near WW2 levels to totally defeat a country, or kill many civilians with bombers.....and these 2 will not happen unless the US is directly threatened...
    the US needs to stay out of a lot of these ''areas''..it's wasteful and this has been proven....Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc....the US economy and the country itself would not have fallen if we stayed out of these areas...
    bold type for emphasis only
     
  20. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    Bronk,
    You are overlooking a the fact that Israeli armed forces might be quality but it's a conscript military through and through. Conscription does not necessarily mean low quality, and the Israelis had not switched to a volunteer system to augment the quality of their troops. It's not even seriously considered. If they had done so they would lose so much manpower, they could not protect their borders and contain the Palestinian insurgency. In addition, are you not forgetting that the states they fought were not and are not military giants, but third-rate imitation of Soviet armed forces?

    Your example of Vietnam is not appropriate. The US was not near total mobilization and substantial forces were garrisoned in Germany to keep watch on the Soviet bear. For Communist Vietnam, their mobilization was indeed total and furthermore backed by China and Russia's military aid. Their will was superior to the American will as it was their country and they were willing to sacrifice an entire generation for it; this is called the advantage of the lower pain threshold. Generally in imperial wars the defenders have this advantage, as the attacker is only fighting for additional geopolitical leverage but the defender is fighting for naked survival.

    I do have to say, however, that maritime powers traditionally favor a small professional expeditionary force. Ground combat units are a political leverage of the last resort.
     

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