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Posted on Jan 28, 2008 in Armchair Reading

March 2008 Mailbag

Armchair General


Does anybody on your editorial staff check on accuracy of historical facts that you let the contributors so lavishly and glaringly foist on your readers? To wit:

–Skorzeny was a colonel not a major when he kidnapped Horty [sic], Jr. [Ed Note: See You Command, January 2008 ACG]

–Jugoslavia was not a helper to Hitler simply because Hitler dismembered it. [Ed Note: See You Command, January 2008 ACG]

–Guderian was sacked by Hitler on Dec. 19, 1941 and all those narratives that Andrew Hershey [sic] spins are total fantasy, after that date, Dec. 19, 1941. [Ed Note: See Heinz Guderian: Hitler’s Troublesome Panzer Genius by Richard Armstrong, January 2008 ACG]

I am sorry that I just renewed my subscription and made a gift subscription to a friend.



D. M. Vidic
Dearborn, MI

Dear Mr. Vidic,

Thank you for your letter to Armchair General magazine. We always appreciate hearing from readers and want to thank you for taking the time to send us your comments on the January 2008 issue, including those on the You Command article featuring Otto Skorzeny.

Skorzeny was promoted to Major after snatching Mussolini in July 1943 and was not promoted to Lt. Colonel until after he successfully grabbed Horthy’s son and then Admiral Horthy in October 1944 (i.e. he was a Major – actually the SS equivalent rank — at the time depicted in the You Command article).

As author Richard Armstrong included in his article on Heinz Guderian, Hitler sacked his troublesome subordinate in December 1941. Yet, Guderian returned as Inspector General of Panzer Troops in February 1943 and served until Hitler fired him for the final time in March 1945.

Although many, perhaps most, Yugoslavians opposed the Nazis (notably the extensive partisan units serving under Tito, the only partisan movement that liberated its country from the Nazis virtually unassisted by regular Allied troops), others actively supported Hitler’s policies, particularly the infamous Handschar Division composed of Bosnian Muslims which fought briefly as a combat unit with Nazi SS forces, but later helped persecute Yugoslavia’s Jews, assisting the SS.

Thanks very much for renewing your subscription and for giving a gift subscription to your friend.

Best Wishes,

Jerry D. Morelock, PhD
Colonel, U. S. Army, retired
Editor in Chief,
Armchair General Magazine

* * *

From: Jerry
Date: 12/01/07 15:31:02
Subject: Clarification

RE: SAS and Commando

I meant to post a message in September, January’s issue reminded me.

In your Interactive story: Scud busting in Iraq (You Command, September 2007 ACG), you refer to the SAS commander leading his commando’s. The SAS regiments together with the SBS (Special Boat Services, a unit of the Royal Marines) form the UK’s special forces. Royal Marine Commandos unlike the USMC are not a separate service but part of the Royal Navy. There are 3 Commando’s, a commando is roughly an army regiment equivalent , 40, 42 and 45 which form 3 Commando Brigade.

The RM commandos would function along similar lines  to the US Rangers. They specialize in mountain and arctic warfare, as well as operating in small recon’ teams much as the SAS and other special forces units do. However their main role is as the UK’s Amphibious Force a  core component of the UK’s Joint Rapid Reaction Force.

It is highly unlikely that an SAS officer would lead RM Commando’s and I doubt if the SAS would refer to themselves as such.

From the SAS site;

“The Iraqis thought that some 10,000 men were fighting behind the lines.  In all some 300 men and 15 from R(eserve) squadron SAS were deployed in Iraq.   The SAS played a crucial role.”


Dear Jerry,

Thanks very much. We appreciate the information you’ve passed along.

Thanks for reading Armchair General magazine.

–Jerry D. Morelock
Editor in Chief,
Armchair General
* * *

Date: 10/27/07 20:51:39
Subject: King County

Dear Sirs:  In the December issue of American History on page 74 you refer to the county originally named after William Rufus King, King County.  You place it in Oregon.  Please.  It is and always has been in Washington.  I hope this silly error is not typical for your publication.

Bruce Bailey
Dear Mr. Bailey,

You have sent your email to Armchair General magazine, not American History. You should send it to the below address if you wish to comment on that publication.

American History magazine email address:

Jerry Morelock
Editor in Chief,
Armchair General Magazine

[NOTE TO READERS: I included this email as an example of numerous emails and letters we’ve received at
Armchair General magazine referring to articles in one of the other Weider History Group magazines. Although our publisher, Eric Weider, owns ACG as well as the WHG magazines, ACG is managed separately; hence we must routinely refer such misdirected communications to, the WHG contact address. However, as with any email or letter sent to ACG, we try out best to provide a personal reply to each one – even those we receive by mistake! By the way, American History published a letter to the editor on the King County mistake in its February 2008 issue.]