- Feb 8, 2009
- Reaction score
"In Our Time..." A British officer who has seen much of the U.S. fighting-man in Korea last week gave this shrewd, balanced appraisal:
"Your chaps have everything it takes to make great soldiersintelligence, physique, doggedness and an amazing ability to endure adversity with grace. The thing they lack is proper discipline. They also would be better off with a little more training in the art of retreat. I know they like to say that the American soldier is taught only offensive tactics, but if Korea has proved nothing else it has proved the absolute necessity of knowing how to retreat in order. Your marines know how, but your Army men just don't. In our time, you know, we were able to make quite a thing of the rearguard action.
"Also, it seems to me that you are a little too reluctant to take casualties for your own good. I've seen an entire American division held up all day because a regimental commander was unwilling to risk what at most would have been ten or 20 casualties. I don't want to sound blood-thirsty, but 20 casualties in a light action today may frequently save 100 or so tomorrow."
Like all British observers of the U.S. Army, this observer was both envious and appalled at the bulk and variety of U.S. equipment and its "amenities." One Briton in Korea says that he saw tanks held up for hours by beer and refrigerator trucks. Another, who had been with U.S. troops landing in Southern France, said last week. "In France, I thought someone was just having his little joke when they brought the office wastebaskets ashore from the ship. But damned if they didn't do the same thing in Korea, too."