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location Minneapolis, MN
age 60
visits member for 3 years
seen Oct 24 '13 at 21:09

Jul
9
comment Does Grant's use of attrition tactic support his reputation as a general?
@T.E.D.: You're missing the point. Grant was responsible for the actions of the Army of the Potomac, but that wasn't the limit of his responsibility. If you're going to judge Grant's generalship, you need to consider the attacks on the Army of Virginia and Sherman's sweep through the south.
May
29
comment Did any of the 50 Destroyers swapped for bases with Great Britain in 1940 sink any Axis military vessels?
@Major Stackings: Those destroyers were completed in the early 1920s, and didn't see service in WWI. Completing hundreds of destroyers that were not of the best design (the late war British V&Ws were much better) right after a war is one of the USN's dumber moves.
Mar
19
comment World War II - Have Historians Envisioned How The Axis Powers Might Have Won?
@Sid: The US was getting involved in the war in Europe about as fast as Roosevelt thought he could push it. The USN already was at war in the Atlantic, from September 1941 on. Having the US formally in the war in December 1941 actually created problems for the Allies.
Mar
12
comment What incentives are in place for American soldiers to go fight in Iraq?
@Rodrigo: Yes, since Vietnam was over the US military has taken very light casualties in wartime. In the 1991 Gulf War, during the ground action US deaths were, if anything, a bit lower than you'd expect from a comparable group of civilians in the US.
Mar
12
comment Why weren't aircraft carriers utilized during D-day?
Light bombers operated from carriers, and USN dive bombers and torpedo bombers (used as level bombers) were reasonably effective, and likely more accurate (if more vulnerable) than the fighter-bombers actually used.
Feb
20
comment Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?
You're leaving out crossbows, which were tactically similar to early arquebuses, but required a lot less training than longbows.
Feb
20
comment Are modern handguns a major reason for democratization?
What do you mean by "handgun"? I can see an argument for guns small enough to be carried by one person, but restricting it to pistols and the like seems excessive.
Feb
14
comment Did the USA win the counter insurgency war in the Vietnam war?
The Viet Cong were mostly ineffectual after 1968, and whether they gave up or not wouldn't have affected the outcome. The 1975 offensive was basically the NVA.
Feb
6
comment Why did Chamberlain act to appease Hitler leading up to the outbreak of World War 2?
Let's not forget the exaggerated size of the Luftwaffe, and the tremendous overestimation of the effects of air power before the war.
Feb
1
comment What effect did tanks have on warfare strategies upon their introduction?
If the question is about WWI itself, which is a possible interpretation, this is a reasonably focussed question.
Jan
27
comment What were the reasons for making Prohibition a constitutional amendment?
Actually, another reason (applicable only to the US Constitution) is to give Congress authority in the first place. All acts of the US Government are required to have Constitutional authority, and this is enforced (although you may not agree with some of the interpretations of the Constitution the Supreme Court makes). Sometime around then, the Constitution had to be amended to make the Federal income tax legal.
Jan
26
comment What were the reasons for making Prohibition a constitutional amendment?
People who really want to drive something in sometimes go for a Constitutional amendment for emphasis and to make it harder to change in the future. Some people in Minnesota are trying to pass an amendment to the state Constitution that would prohibit what is already prohibited by statute, for example.
Jan
23
comment How to research controversial history?
@DVK: Was there any real way of corroborating such stories at the time? Some soldiers said that happened, most didn't, and the government denied widespread atrocities but wasn't trusted (with at least some reason). Nobody knew, and as you say people went wild with pretty sketchy evidence. (FWIW, if such atrocities had been widespread, I'm sure we'd have confirmation by now. Not that that stopped me from believing it likely back then.)
Jan
22
comment How to research controversial history?
FWIW, there were reports from US soldiers that My Lai-type incidents were quite common, and we certainly couldn't trust the military to be completely honest. At the time, there was no way for the general public to know what the truth was, and of course which story somebody believed usually depended on their politics. The secondary sources are therefore pretty much useless in telling what happened.
Jan
22
comment Why did George McClellan fail to act?
He also had a good deal of strategic ability. His first campaign had a shot at taking Richmond, if executed decisively.
Jan
21
comment Which war games did Napoleon practice with his generals?
The rise of the wargame as training aid was sometime after Napoleon, I believe as a result of the reform of the Prussian Army.
Jan
19
comment Does US law permit spending taxpayers' money to support foreign political parties?
@MichaelF: A question on what money the US has spent supporting pro-US parties and where would be on topic. A question of current legality would not be. Currently, the last sentence, which isn't the original question, is on topic.
Jan
18
comment Does US law permit spending taxpayers' money to support foreign political parties?
How is this question historical? It deals with current law.
Jan
16
comment What are the counterarguments to calling German nazism a right-wing movement?
@DVK: The media is not particularly left wing. In the US, reporters tend to be on the liberal side and management on the conservative. Neither side is particularly left-wing by standards elsewhere. Any argument depending on the media being hard left wing is fallacious.
Jan
16
comment Is the claim that Hitler came to power democratically justified?
Was Hitler, himself, actually elected to anything? Nazis were elected, but he was appointed Chancellor.