Monday, January 27, 2014

THE MASSACRE AT ISANDHLWANA

Forgotten and unlamented in the northern hemisphere, it was a battle in an age of epic military disasters brought to the world by the British Army. Isandhlwana raged on 22 January 1879
Last of the 24th by Stuart Liptrot.

At the end of the Battle of Isandhlwana, the last few soldiers of the South Wales Borderers, 24th Regiment of Foot, hold out till their last rounds of ammunition in the foothills of the mountain.
It was preceded by another forgotten massacre of even more people as Elphinstone retreated from the disaster he wrought in Kabul, Afghanistan from the 6th through the 13th of January.
An 1898 depiction of the last stand of survivors of Her Majesty's 44th Foot at Gandamak.
One of the treasures we carried out of Iraq and Afghanistan is another generation of officers who will not plan a repeat of the disaster that politicians and weak generals created in Vietnam and Cambodia.

It is easy, and easier to say, that the generals and the men who led the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did indeed fail to learn the hard lessons of history but I think a close study of the facts will bear out one resounding truth, the men that planned those wars planned for the immediate, overwhelming and total destruction of the enemy and they accomplished that.  They did it so well there was nothing left and that unfortunately encouraged the idiots. They forgot that after the war is over nothing is more destructive than a politician who appoints a State Department apparatchik to 'run the asylum' and rebuild it into a modern Bedlam.

2 comments:

  1. Oh so sadly true. As an architect friend of mine said of the disdain the locals would have for their new overlord: "Him? Why they'll throw fruit at him!"

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    1. You never ever hear of anybody doing that to the Russians. There's a reason for that and there should be an analysis done to show the cost in human life of killing a few vs killing the many because you were too weak to step on the cockroaches. Of course, you also don't want people who see other people as cock roaches... darn trade-offs!

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