1942

4-1-1942

The most incredible military victory of the 20th century would be World War Two. Also, known as the Second World War, a global war. It started in 1939 and considered ended in 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations; forming the two opposing military alliances: the Allies U.S., Britain, France, USSR, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Yugoslavia) and the Axis (Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria). The problem that cause the war is The Empire of Japan aimed to dominate East Asia and was already at war with the Republic of China in 1937, but the world war is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom. From late 1939 to early 1941. I think it was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people fighting battles from more than 30 different countries during 1939-1945. The major country put their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities into the war effort. Mark by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million death by accident, in war, or from disease.

As the world process,The Axis advance was stopped in 1942. Japan lost a critical battle at Midway, near Hawaii, and never regained its earlier momentum. Germany was defeated in North Africa and, decisively, at Stalingrad in Russia. In 1943, with a series of German defeats in Eastern Europe, the Allied invasion of Italy which brought about that nation’s surrender, and American victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts.

In 1944, the Western Allies invaded France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the United States defeated the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands. The war in Europe ended with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet and Polish troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 August and 9 August respectively.66,000 people were killed at Hiroshima out of a population of 255,000. Of that number, 45,000 died on the first day and 19,000 during the next four months. In addition, “several hundred” survivors were expected to die from radiation-induced cancers and lukemia over the next 30 years. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago (known as Operation Downfall) imminent, and the Soviet Union having declared war on Japan by invading Manchuria, Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, ending the war in Asia and cementing the total victory of the Allies over the Axis.

If we survive World War II the deadliest conflict in human history and come out with a incredible victory. I believe America is ready to survive anything.

See King & Country  Toy Soldiers. Depicting many of the soldiers involved in the greatest military battles ever.

Jarheads

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The Latin phrase, Semper Fidelis, meaning “Always Faithful” is a motto used by the United States Marine Corps that encompasses the complete essence of the dedication and loyalty of the soldiers who make up the organization. The idea of being “Always Faithful” in a time when the most consistent element of the masses is inconsistency is novel. This is the age of instant gratification and one thing can be assured the grass is always greener. The idea that there is always something bigger, better, and grander inundates our culture. Which makes concepts such as commitment and steadfast loyalty almost seem archaic. Using the Marine Corp as an example, Semper Fidelis, is not nativity but a fireproof way to ensure one conquers their goals in life.

Semper Fidelis was adopted by the Marine Corp in 1883 and has been the fabric that encapsulates the mission and values of the organization. Commitment to completing the task, never leaving a man behind, discipline, self-reliance, and integrity are all elements of Semper Fidelis. The meaning of these concepts is simply dedication. Without dedication, any attempts to achieve a goal, make a dream come true, or complete a task is futile. It is nearly impossible to make any strives in life without the notion of being “Always Faithful”.

Most individuals have goals, desires, things they want to experiences but not everyone has the fortitude to see their aspirations realized. It is quite easy to become distracted in life. In general, life is not easy and when it becomes challenging it is easy to move on to another idea, goal, or even thought process. The mere concept of someone working at a company for thirty-five years and then retiring is no longer a normal practice. Consistency and steadfast loyalty often equates now as boring and dull. As a result, we live in a society that provides an out for every challenge and road-block. If difficulties arise, move on because of the illusion of something better. This may be a temporary fix but we are aware that difficulties will always come and it is only through embracing the difficulties that we are able to reap the benefits of surmounting the challenge.

Every day I see the examples of how adopting the motto of Semper Fidelis can be rewarding and lead to great success. I believe that the concept of “Always Faithful” has a number of meanings but the most important and impactful is having the belief in oneself. This allows one to find the fortitude to meet a challenge head on. To realize that the responsibility you have to yourself extends to your family, friends, neighbors, and country. If you are true to yourself, there is no obstacle too large to tackle and no dream too big. There is a song written by Jack Johnson called “Dreams Be Dreams” and in the song there is a line that states “don’t let your dreams be dreams”.

Semper Fidelis provides the motivation for to anyone to have the discipline, eagerness, determination, and pure grit to not simply dream but master this thing called life.

Never Waiver

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The concept of “Semper Fidelis” as the motto for a group of the Armed Forces was a new idea to me, who came to the U. S. as an international student in 2011. Now that I have had the opportunity to gather some more knowledge about the Armed Forces and have heard more people in my environment talk about the Marines, I understand that “Semper Fidelis” as the motto for the Marines has a very deep meaning. From what I understood by listening attentively and putting together the pieces of the puzzle, which the American society can sometimes be for an international student, I constructed that only the smartest, physically most able, and morally strongest young men and women are allowed to join the Marines. The young people who become Marines are role models, in every sense, to the society they serve, which is what I am striving for.

Before joining this part of the Armed Forces, during their service, and after being discharged, Marines develop and abide by a personal moral code which guides their every action. I feel that a Marine’s morals are usually among the best around, which proves the strength of their character. While I am still in college and only at the beginning of my path through life, I always try to follow the Marines’ example of being morally strong and steadfast. After all, if I waivered back and forth in decisions that involved doing what I considered “morally acceptable,” I would not sketch a very trustworthy picture of myself; neither would I appear as a role model to the people in my environment.

Marines also seem to be very involved in the society, which contributes to their reputation in their respective communities. This characteristic I have also always tried to copy since I grew up learning that involvement in church, clubs, and different associations not only allows for relationships to be formed, but also add to a city block’s liveliness and the inhabitants’ understanding and liking of each other. Being involved with the communities I live in has already helped me find several “homes away from home,” learn very much about my host communities, and convey a positive picture of Germany and Germans to my host family, church, school, etc.

Constantly striving for improving at what they do is another trait of the Marines which I try to imitate. I often hear how much of a “perfectionist” I am, but I believe that striving to improve is a sign of ambition and the wish to model to others to do the best they can. Also, perseverance is a characteristic needed in many situations in our daily lives, and striving to be the best at what they do needs perseverance until perfection is reached; giving up never is an option for Marines and neither should it be for non-Marines.

In my opinion, then, the members of the Marine Corps are one of the best sources of inspiration for a fulfilled, meaningful lifestyle. Their personalities are very mature, the strength of the moral guidelines which individual marines choose to follow are astounding, and any Marine’s patience and perseverance is praiseworthy.

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NCO’s

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I know firsthand that the most inspirational of military leaders is not one individual, but rather, a group of individuals. The Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) represents everything that embodies a military leader, and I am proud to say that I am a member of their corps. It is from the NCO that the common soldier draws his inspiration, his drive, and his strength. The NCO is known as the backbone of military, and for good reason.

The NCO believes and exemplifies a strict creed of professionalism, commitment to soldiers, competence, and mission readiness. There is a reason that when a recruit enlists into the military and ships out to basic training, he is trained by drill sergeants, rather than drill lieutenants. Whereas officers give orders and expect them to be carried out, NCOs make things happen, and will personally involve themselves to make sure that they do.

The NCO leads from the front, and will never order his soldiers to do something that he himself would not do. He serves as not only as a professional role model, but also a personal one. His uniform is perfectly maintained, and he is always clean-shaven, even after spending days in the field. He knows not only the regulations, but also the spirit behind them. He inspires his soldiers to “embrace the suck” that is often all to-common in military life.

The NCO is quick with an answer to any question, even though it may not be the answer that his soldiers want to hear. He knows when, and when not, to cross the lines that are part of being a leader. He is the first source of making sure that discipline is in maintained within the unit. He knows when to use a strong hand, and when to instead use a soft voice. He drives his soldiers to succeed by using the many tools available to him.

The NCO experiences fear, just as all others on the battlefield do, but he conquers it and leads the charge. He always has his soldiers’ backs, as long as they are in the right. He empowers them by providing guidance when needed. He does not believe in mistakes, but rather learning experiences. He is hardened by experience, and it is from him that his soldiers draw their strength.

As an NCO, I know my role in the Army. I know that my place is directly in front of my soldiers, and directly between my soldiers and the officers. I have not only learned the Creed of the Non-Commissioned officer, I live it at all times. I draw my own inspiration, drive, and strength from the NCOs more senior than myself. As NCOs, we are not only the backbone of the military, but also the foundation. We are not only the framework, but also the binding which keeps everything together. We are soldiers, professionals, and most importantly, leaders.

General George Washington

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Patience, Respect, flexibility, and an open minded confident presence are characteristics of a great leader. However, it is those that have the ability to lead when battles are lost and strategies continually fail. It is those that still hold the ability to lead even though everything seems against them. They are the ones who are inspirational leaders. George Washington was a man of such characteristics of a leader. He lead the American’s through the American Revolution even though there were a number of failures along the way.

Born to a wealthy plantation owner in 1732 George Washington was born and raised in Virginia. In his youth Washington attended school excelling in mathematics and geography, which would aid him later in his life. At the age of 11 his father died leaving Washington’s older half-brother as holder of the family estate. His older half-brother who then built a house on a 2500 acre land in which he called Mount Vernon that Washington would inherit upon his brother’s death. His brother’s naval background and his brother’s wife, Anne Fairfax, whom he brought to Virginia from England, heavily influenced Washington’s character.i

At the age of 16 Washington took up the profession of surveying land. He first assisted Prince William’s official surveyor. A year after assisting the official surveyor he himself was promoted to the duty. He surveyed many lands throughout the colonies, which helped him gain knowledge about the land and become a resourceful tool during the American Revolution. Then in 1752 Washington’s older half-brother died of tuberculosis leaving Washington the Mount Vernon estate.ii

Washington’s military career began in 1753 when he fought in the seven years’ war. Then in 1754 he defeated French and Indian scouts in Pennsylvania and was later promoted to lieutenant and sent by the governor of Virginia to defend the Ohio Valley in Virginia. He went only to meet with defeat. However, first he successfully he attacked the French scouting party there even taking captives to a quickly fixed fort which he called Fort Necessity. Unfortunately, a man by the name of, Joseph Coulon de Jumonville was murdered in captivity which only angered the French and they retaliated so forcefully that Washington had to surrender on July 4 of that year. It wouldn’t be the only failure that Washington would face as a leader.iii

As a result of his political connections in Virginia and his wealth Washington was elected commander and chief of the army when the Revolutionary war began in 1775. Following a retreat from Boston in 1776 the continental army, under Washington’s lead, lost to the British in an attempt to defend New York. After his victory at the Battle of Trenton another failure followed on September 11, 1777 at the Battle of Brandywine in Philadelphia. Outnumbered, 15,000 to 14,600 men American defenses in Philadelphia had to retreat.iv

Despite the many defeats Washington kept leading the Continental army. He kept fighting and leading his men doing his best to keep morale up among them. Washington kept leading the Continental army through the many defeats. He lead at a time is seemed as if the American’s would lose the war and that is why George Washington is the most inspirational military leader.

Notes

i Britannica, “George Washington,” Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/636381/George-Washington (accessed May 12,2013).

ii Ibid

iii Mount Vernon, “A Brief Biography of George Washington,” George Washington’s Mount Vernon, http://www.mountvernon.org/meet-george-washington/biography-and-influence (accessed May 13,2013).

iv The American Revolution, “The Battle of Brandywine,” The Battle of Brandywine: The Glorious Cause for American Independence, http://www.theamericanrevolution.org/battledetail.aspx?battle=16 (accessed May 13,2013).

Napolean & The 3rd Coalition

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Emperor Napoleon is famous for his battles and heroism in France, as well as in the world. The Battle of Austerlitz of 1805 is my favourite one as it has multi-dimensional significance in terms of its military, political, economic, as well as cultural significance. It also forms a major event in Leo Tolstoy’s iconic novel ‘War and Peace’.

Napoleon defeated the combined forces of Russian and Austrian enemies with minimal losses to France, thus making it a heroic win for himself and his motherland. It altered the course of history as there were drastic hitherto unknown unfolding of events. These took the form of humbling of the Austrian Empire that was brought to its knees in the crushing defeat. Also, the rigid power structures of 18th Century Europe were challenged and the stage was perfectly set for the decade-long French domination of Europe.

It signified a major military feat as the impressive French victory also became a tactical model of warfare. Napoleon used deception to lure the enemies to his chosen field of battle and then broke formations with rapid manoeuvres by his corps resulting in the collapse of the 3rd Coalition. It thereby led to innovations in defence strategy for Napoleon to be used in future wars, as well as solidified the basis of French defence, teamwork, and swiftness in policy and action on the battlefield. Everything is fair in war (and love) after all!

The military and political results also influenced the French economy positively as it faced financial collapse prior to the Austerlitz Battle. It would become anyone’s favourite battle as it is mine because it did not compromise on the human side of war. Emperor Napoleon sought his place in the minds of the French citizens as he declared his satisfaction from this famous battle of victory and attributed it to the courage of the French army whom he provided with 2 million golden francs to the higher officers and 200 francs to each soldier. War-widows were given pensions and orphaned children were personally adopted by Napoleon graciously allowing his name to be added to their baptismal and family names.

Considering the multi-dimensional impact on all areas discussed briefly in the above paragraphs, the Battle of Austerlitz certainly goes down the golden annals of European history, in general and French nationalism in particular. It indeed occupies a special place in the minds of historians and hearts of people like me across the globe.