Author Topic: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread  (Read 142995 times)

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Offline blue911

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3725: February 07, 2024, 01:07:56 PM »
Yeah if you watch the video I posted they talk about how the more realistic alternatives to the Panama Canal are rail links. Mexico is building a freight rail network across the thinnest part of Mexico that they are talking about as a canal-killer.

The Spanish did this for centuries, ship spices from India/Asia to Manila then Acapulco. Then overland to Vera Cruz and from there to Spain.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3726: February 07, 2024, 02:13:07 PM »
Which may explain why everything at Taco Bell tastes like balut
The Spanish did this for centuries, ship spices from India/Asia to Manila then Acapulco. Then overland to Vera Cruz and from there to Spain.

Offline English Natsie

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3727: February 07, 2024, 06:33:27 PM »
If you can track it down, there's an excellent 'American Experience' film about the Panama Canal.

Offline tomterp

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3728: February 08, 2024, 02:29:06 PM »
10 miles from where? The landing areas are pretty widely separated. Ste-Mère-Église is 60 miles from Ouistreham, for example.

The times I've been there, I've stayed in Carentan, Arromanches, Bayeux and one or two truck-stop parking lots. Carentan is pretty centrally located for the American beaches and LZs, but it's a bit more of a drive to the Anglo-Canadian zones, as well as other sites like Avranches, Mont-Saint-Michel and Falaise.

I have a book called Major and Mrs. Holt's Battlefield Guide to Normandy Landing Beaches that I picked up in London several years ago. I can loan it to you if you'd like.

Admit I had no real idea where our place is.    :lol:  It's in Saint-Vigor-le-Grand, just outside Bayeux and not too far from the Longues-sur-Mer battery and Omaha Beach.  I might take you up on that book offer.  Fairfax area?

Offline Dave in Fairfax

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3729: February 08, 2024, 11:15:46 PM »
Admit I had no real idea where our place is.  :lol:  It's in Saint-Vigor-le-Grand, just outside Bayeux and not too far from the Longues-sur-Mer battery and Omaha Beach.  I might take you up on that book offer.  Fairfax area?
Ah, OK. So that puts you on the east side of the Bayeux ring road, a little north of the Eisenhower Memorial. The Musée de la Bataille de Normandie is on the southwest side of the ring road. Have you been to Bayeux before? If not, the Musée de la Tapisserie is a must-see for the historically-inclined.

The last time I was at Longues-sur-Mer, it was mid-July and the wheat was near harvesting. You could take the spikelets straight off the plant and chew them and it was surprising how sweet the wheat was.

I'm near Fair Oaks, not far from the 66/50 intersection, so fairly easy to get to. I'm still trying to find the accompanying map that goes with the book.

Offline tomterp

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3730: February 09, 2024, 10:04:40 PM »
Ah, OK. So that puts you on the east side of the Bayeux ring road, a little north of the Eisenhower Memorial. The Musée de la Bataille de Normandie is on the southwest side of the ring road. Have you been to Bayeux before? If not, the Musée de la Tapisserie is a must-see for the historically-inclined.

The last time I was at Longues-sur-Mer, it was mid-July and the wheat was near harvesting. You could take the spikelets straight off the plant and chew them and it was surprising how sweet the wheat was.

I'm near Fair Oaks, not far from the 66/50 intersection, so fairly easy to get to. I'm still trying to find the accompanying map that goes with the book.

We live really close.  I'm near the Vale / Fox Mill Road intersection. 

Offline varoadking

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3731: February 19, 2024, 03:30:37 PM »
In the future, but starting to get amped.  One of my bros and I are going to Normandy for a week spanning June 6.  80th anniversary of Operation Overlord.  My wife has no interest in France as a travel destination, his S.O. has been there, done that.  I think we'll make do.   :)

Staying in a little 2 bedroom villa about 10 miles away, renting a car.  Baguettes, charcuterie, vin de rouge.  Especially looking forward to walking the landing beaches, visiting Sainte-mère eglise, cheering on the parade of Shermans and just being there.

I hope this link works...

https://www.facebook.com/reel/3575831249337044

Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3732: February 19, 2024, 04:56:08 PM »
I’d read Ambrose’s d-day before going (or reread)

Offline Dave in Fairfax

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3733: February 20, 2024, 10:48:06 AM »
I really dislike Ambrose.

Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3734: February 20, 2024, 12:00:40 PM »
I really dislike Ambrose.
Why? I've enjoyed his books and the museum he started in New Orleans is incredible IMHO.

Offline Dave in Fairfax

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3735: February 20, 2024, 01:10:35 PM »
Why? I've enjoyed his books and the museum he started in New Orleans is incredible IMHO.
As a historian, I despise his unprofessional and self-congratulatory approach. When called out for errors, he defended himself by saying he was simply telling stories. And that's not even getting into the repeated acts of plagiarism, which he defended on essentially the same grounds - to paraphrase, "I'm just telling stories. Quotation marks, citations and footnotes are for those fuddy-duddy academics."

Band of Brothers is particularly egregious, since his approach to so-called oral history was to simply record the recollections of veterans, without actually doing the historian's job of fact-checking. You average soldier, who was more concerned with staying alive, was less likely to remember a lot of details accurately, especially when trying to recall them decades later. And HBO compounded the errors by failing to fact-check the book when they were producing the miniseries.

The treatment of Albert Blithe is one of the worst examples. The book and miniseries effectively treat him like a coward, and tell us that he died of the wounds he received in Normandy, apparently solely based on the recollections of the members of Easy Company to which Ambrose talked. Blithe not only did not die, he remained in the Army until his death in 1967. He was a decorated veteran of World War II and Korea, and was a Master Sergeant at the time of his death.

Just today alone, I've spent several hours going through primary sources to ensure that I did not mix up two WWI German railway officers with the same surname, due the the annoying Prussian tendency to omit given names in rank and seniority lists and the journals that gazetted promotions and awards. I cannot imagine Ambrose would have bothered.

Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3736: February 20, 2024, 01:16:06 PM »
I appreciate the insight. Thank you!

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3737: February 20, 2024, 01:31:59 PM »
The treatment of Albert Blithe is one of the worst examples. The book and miniseries effectively treat him like a coward, and tell us that he died of the wounds he received in Normandy, apparently solely based on the recollections of the members of Easy Company to which Ambrose talked. Blithe not only did not die, he remained in the Army until his death in 1967. He was a decorated veteran of World War II and Korea, and was a Master Sergeant at the time of his death.
My goodness. I didn't think they painted him as a coward so much as stressed in combat and human. The way they told the story, Blithe did step up once he had that under control. I thought it was pretty humane. That said, to have him dead when he survived was appalling.

Offline blue911

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3738: February 20, 2024, 01:54:22 PM »
As a historian, I despise his unprofessional and self-congratulatory approach. When called out for errors, he defended himself by saying he was simply telling stories. And that's not even getting into the repeated acts of plagiarism, which he defended on essentially the same grounds - to paraphrase, "I'm just telling stories. Quotation marks, citations and footnotes are for those fuddy-duddy academics."

Band of Brothers is particularly egregious, since his approach to so-called oral history was to simply record the recollections of veterans, without actually doing the historian's job of fact-checking. You average soldier, who was more concerned with staying alive, was less likely to remember a lot of details accurately, especially when trying to recall them decades later. And HBO compounded the errors by failing to fact-check the book when they were producing the miniseries.

The treatment of Albert Blithe is one of the worst examples. The book and miniseries effectively treat him like a coward, and tell us that he died of the wounds he received in Normandy, apparently solely based on the recollections of the members of Easy Company to which Ambrose talked. Blithe not only did not die, he remained in the Army until his death in 1967. He was a decorated veteran of World War II and Korea, and was a Master Sergeant at the time of his death.

Just today alone, I've spent several hours going through primary sources to ensure that I did not mix up two WWI German railway officers with the same surname, due the the annoying Prussian tendency to omit given names in rank and seniority lists and the journals that gazetted promotions and awards. I cannot imagine Ambrose would have bothered.

How do you feel about William Prescott?

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3739: February 20, 2024, 02:42:17 PM »
Ambrose sounds like the Doctor Oz of historians.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3740: February 20, 2024, 04:47:51 PM »
"Haptmann Hinke!"  Chorus: "Jawohl"
Just today alone, I've spent several hours going through primary sources to ensure that I did not mix up two WWI German railway officers with the same surname, due the the annoying Prussian tendency to omit given names in rank and seniority lists and the journals that gazetted promotions and awards. I cannot imagine Ambrose would have bothered.

Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3741: February 20, 2024, 06:07:35 PM »
Dave, i'm curious if you are familiar with this book: The German Generals Talk: by Basil Liddell Hart.
https://www.amazon.com/German-Generals-Talk-Basil-Liddell/dp/0688060129

It is a compilation of postwar interviews with German Generals (after WWII). I had to read and report on it during my Officer Basic Course and found it to be fascinating.

Though it has been almost 30 years, the one part I remember most clearly is when the Generals were asked why they didn't push back against some of Hitler's crazier schemes, like invading Russia, the reply was mostly along the lines of "after he made us look like fools by going through the Ardennes to invade France, we thought he was smarter than us." They also talked about the primary motivating factor for German soldiers to fight was allegiance to Hitler.

Offline English Natsie

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3742: February 20, 2024, 06:10:03 PM »
. Quotation marks, citations and footnotes are for those fuddy-duddy academics."

Indeed - as a fuddy-duddy academic, I've always been rather for them... ;) 

Offline English Natsie

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3743: February 20, 2024, 06:15:59 PM »
Dave, i'm curious if you are familiar with this book: The German Generals Talk: by Basil Liddell Hart.
https://www.amazon.com/German-Generals-Talk-Basil-Liddell/dp/0688060129

It is a compilation of postwar interviews with German Generals (after WWII). I had to read and report on it during my Officer Basic Course and found it to be fascinating.

Though it has been almost 30 years, the one part I remember most clearly is when the Generals were asked why they didn't push back against some of Hitler's crazier schemes, like invading Russia, the reply was mostly along the lines of "after he made us look like fools by going through the Ardennes to invade France, we thought he was smarter than us." They also talked about the primary motivating factor for German soldiers to fight was allegiance to Hitler.

Very influential, in his day (he was knighted for his services to military strategy and history) - the cloud over his reputation was promoting the 'Clean Wehrmacht' myth, which he defended as a political necessity for West Germany.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3744: February 20, 2024, 06:51:12 PM »
Liddell Hart said Sherman's march to the sea to the sea was a precursor for modern tank blitzkrieg. Multiple mutually supporting lines of advance threatening lines of communication that put multiple places at risk.

Offline Dave in Fairfax

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3745: February 21, 2024, 04:54:32 PM »
Liddell Hart was pretty damned influential as both a historian and a military theorist. It's probably an exaggeration to credit him, J.F.C. Fuller, Charles de Gaulle and Heinz Guderian with creating modern maneuver warfare, but the thinking of all certainly played a role. I'm pretty sure I read The German Generals Talk as far back as high school, but I've also read several other works of his. He and the other maneuver warfare theorists enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970s/80s as the U.S. Army went through a fundamental reassessment of how it approached warfare.

I too can see a lot of lessons from the U.S. Civil War as influencing later doctrinal developments in Europe. To what you observe about Sherman, I'd also add the use of railways to facilitate not just logistics but also maneuver by allowing forces to operate on exterior lines and converge on a decisive point. More ominously, of course, the experience of trench warfare in the Richmond/Petersburg campaign might be seen as presaging World War I.

On the flip side, a few years ago I read a dissertation from the School of Advanced Military Studies at the Command & General Staff College by a Bundeswehr officer. He argued that European, especially German, military observers took few lessons from the US Civil War. To the extent European thinkers took lessons on these matters, it was mainly more from their own experiences in Crimea, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, etc.

I am not sure if I completely agree with his thesis; I think European observers took lessons from the U.S. experience, even if they only reinforced lessons from their own conflicts. There was a tendency for Europeans to dismiss Americans as lacking their level of military organizational and technological sophistication, as well as to claim that the terrain, population density, etc. of the U.S. was too different from Europe to allow for application of U.S. experience. However, I've read Moltke the Elder's own writings from his service as an advisor to the Ottoman army during the Egyptian–Ottoman War. Despite the obvious differences in terrain and technology between the Ottoman Empire in 1839 and central and western Europe in 1866 and 1870-71, there's a clear through-line between Moltke's observations then and the lessons he put into practice as Chief of the General Staff.

Offline tomterp

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Offline varoadking

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