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Posted on Jan 7, 2010 in Armchair Reading

March 2010 Web Mailbag

By Armchair General

WORLD WAR I PHOTO?

Canadian troops go ‘over the top’ during a training exercise on World War I’s Western Front. (National Archives)

Sirs, I noted the photo at the top of page 48 [“Images of War: History’s Great War Photos,” January 2010] had the caption "…pre-war…". This is certainly not a pre-war photo as the equipment worn and rifle carried was introduced during WWI not before it and no one conducted any training for trench warfare prior to 1914 which is when Canada became involved in that conflict. The photo may show pre-battle training but more likely a staged one that would be to portray the idea of "real battle".

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Thanks
J. A. Davidson, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Thanks very much for your email regarding the caption on p. 48 of our January 2010 issue. As you point out, the photo is “pre-battle” training behind the lines in France which the caption was intended to indicate. Here’s the relevant parts of the caption: “Canadian troops go ‘over the top’ during a training exercise on World War I’s Western Front. Most photos purporting to portray actual ‘combat action’ during World War I in fact show troops during pre-war training exercises or soldiers like these well behind the lines.” I did not identify this photo as being “pre-war” but included that “pre-war” reference because so many of the German army “combat photos” seen in history books are actually of pre-war German army maneuvers.

Jerry Morelock, PhD
Editor in Chief, Armchair General Magazine

WAR PHOTO ESSAY
The new January 2010 issue of the magazine includes some interesting topics. I’ve added below my comments on the following articles:

1. History’s Great War Photos: You forgot to cover one of the best war photographers, David Douglas Duncan and his great photo journalist books, This is War, on Korea, and War Without Heroes on Vietnam.

2. The photographer on page 55 is Dickey Chapelle, not Catherine Leroy.

3. The best book on the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam is Ripcord, Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970 by Keith W. Nolan.

Still like your magazine,

John Kruse
1LT USASF
RVN 71-72

Thanks very much for your letter to Armchair General magazine and your comments concerning our January 2010 issue. Regarding your comment about David Douglas Duncan, I would point out that the photo of Marine Captain Ike Fenton on p. 54 is one of Duncan’s great Korean War photos. We were limited to selecting only 25 great war photos to cover the entire era of combat photography, so had to limit our selection, but were able to work in one of Duncan’s classic war images. Also, the woman photographer in the photo on p. 55 is, indeed, Catherine Leroy as our caption noted, not Dickey Chapelle (who had been killed – November 4, 1965 – by the time this photo was taken by Larry Burrows at Dong Ha in 1966). I have not read Keith Nolan’s book, but thanks for the recommendation.

Thanks for reading Armchair General!

Jerry Morelock, PhD
Editor in Chief, Armchair General Magazine

PATTON MUSEUM PHOTOS?
An ACG reader visited the Patton Museum at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, on October 24, 2009, and sent us several great photos, all showing him holding the November 2009 issue “Patton” cover. We particularly like these two, the first showing him in front of the museum, and the second in front of the automobile that Patton was riding in when he suffered his fatal injury in December 1945. Unfortunately, his name, address and contact information were lost when the photos were sent from our California office to the Editor in Chief in his Fulton, Missouri home office. We hope he will see his great Patton photos posted here on our website and get in touch so we can thank him properly and give him due credit for the photos.

Jerry Morelock, Editor in Chief

4 Comments

  1. Editor.
    It is misleading to depict TR and Rough Riders, all on horseback, charging up Kettle Hill on pg.4 (an obvious saloon mural on the order of the beer company’s famous Custer’s Last Stand).

    The fact is that the Cavalry Division of V Corps was dismounted, no room on the shipping from Tampa, then POE, for cavalry regiments’ horses, save a few for commanders like Lt Col Roosevelt, XO, 1st US Vol Cav (CoL L Wood was the regimental CO, who took over the 1st Brigade of the CavDiv, thus moving TR up to regimental command).

    It is also misleading to imply that only the 1st US Vol Cav and the 10th Buffalo Soldiers were the only regiments involved.. Others in the waves of dismounted troopers arrayed in lines of skirmishers included the 6th Cavalry and the 3rd Cavalry, among several other Regular Cavalry regiments.

    My great uncle, Lt John Carrington Raymond, USMA 1897, a little over a year after graduating, was with the 6th, and took command of his troop when the troop commander was wounded and fell by the side during the assault up Kettle HIll. This was a favorite story of my grandmother who admired her brother – in – law, the younger brother of her husband and the husband of her younger sister.

    Captain “Jack”, as the family called him, was one of only four cadet company commanders of the Corps of Cadets in his senior year, went on to serve two tours in the Philippines during the Insurrection, attended the War College, and died while serving as a captain, commanding a troop in the 2nd Cavalry in 1909 at Ft DesMoines IA, taking a bullet from a drunk trooper aiming for the 1st Sergeant.
    Charles W. Raymond III

    • Looking for grand-children of John C. Raymond to return a diary from John that he made in 1897 while arriving in the Philipines

  2. Dear Sir,
    In your article “Napoleon’s Russia Campaign,1812”
    you made a mistake, or a typo.
    Total number of dead in Borodino, Sept. 7, 1812 )
    wasn’t 180,000.
    It was between 70,000 and 80.000.
    Something like 45.000 Russians and 35.000 French.

    Sincerely,
    B.Bondar

  3. In the May 2010 issue, Jerry D. Morelock’s analysis of “America’s ‘Germany First” Strategy” was insightful but less deserving of consideration than the decision not to attempt a Dunkirk style evacuation of the 135,000 U.S. and Philipine troops from the Philippine Islands to the Hawaiian Islands. America’s “Atlantic First” strategy, which later became the “Germany First” strategy, was really a “Western Europe First” strategy that continued until the end of the “Cold War”. During those eras, Western Europe had the second greatest industrial concentration in the world and was the birthplace of modern engineering. Both ingredients could have fueled a modern war machine which would have been a far greater threat to U.S. security. This becomes more apparent during the Korean War when the most highly trained, and greatest number of troops with the most modern weapon systems, are deployed to defend Western Europe -as opposed to being deployed to Korea.

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