Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day Two Almost in the Books

I didn't attend one Civil war session today as none were really offered.  I did however, thoroughly enjoy the day so far.  The first session I attended was The War of 1812: Insights on generalship and the Operation Art in 1814.  Few even remember that we are celebrating the 200 anniversary of that war.  Most interesting presenter was Steve Rauch, Cyber Center of Excellence historian. He is a personal friend I mine as Jim Timmerman and I used to work for him capturing the history of GWOT for the Signal Corps.  He spoke on the war in Georgia something I was not aware of.

Second sessions was Intelligence in WWII and I ran into Lori Tagg, MI school historian from ft. Huachuca.  I worked for her producing historical documentaries for the past 2 years.  Most interesting talk was about Intelligence (or perhaps the lack there of) in Operation Market Garden.  I fully agree that Monty and he crew developed tunnel vision and relied too much on a single source for intel, Ultra. 

Third session dealt with Memory, Victory, and Defeat.  Curious thing, deja vous actually, for some reason one presenter was delivering his same presentation form a year or two ago about Misconceptions About the Tuskegee Airmen. Why?

Final session dealt with the evolution of amphibious warfare.  Serhat Guvenc from Kadir Has University, did a wonderful presentation on the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.  I was interested to hear how daylight savings time on Cyprus and the lack thereof in Turkey effected the operation.  Douglas Nacsh of the Marine Corps University did a good job of presenting the evolution of amphibious warfare in the Pacific, something I always ask my WWII students about.

Tonight is the annual dinner and the speaker will be GEN Anthony Zinni (RET). Should be a good time.

One session early tomorrow and then it is off to the airport.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Here we go Again!

It's seems only fitting and proper a begin this blog anew while I am at the Society for Military History Annual Conference, here in Kansas City, MO.  I try to attend this every year and it has never disappointed, this year is no exception.

Started last night with a wonderful reception at the WWI Museum.

Today, I attended four sessions .  The first, the most relevant to my Broomsticks to Battlefield Research:  Violence on the Civil War.  A bit of a misnomer, as the presenters spoke to Sherman's Bummers and the concept of cowards during the war.  Ann Sarah Rubin from the Univ. of Maryland presented a segment of her research entitled: A Delightful and Unmolested Trip across the Country.  Her research seems to indicate Sherman's Bummers were proud of the role they played in ending the war.  In addition, there was a distinct difference in how they treated the Southern civilian population.  If you left your property, accord to her, then the bummers felt all your goods were fair game.  If not, if you stayed then only those items of military significance were taken (horses, etc.).

The second: Battlefield Cowardice,Violence, and Memory in the ACW was given by Lesley J. Gordon from the University of Akron, was quite interesting considering use mentioned the 2nd Texas (see earlier posts and pictures). BANG!  Immediate connection.  One of my goals in the second edition, is to update my research concerning Robinett. She and I talked afterwards and will be talking some more in the coming month. 

Second session was Military Thought in the Napoleonic Era. Quite interesting.  The presenters all were well prepared and I came away thinking about the difference between doctrine and regulations and experience vs training.

The third session I attended was Other Fronts During WWI.  Good stuff: France in the Middle East, Riga.  Take aways?  The German Way of War, great staff work, that is mobile, flanking rapid warfare.  Joint Ops shone at Riga between air and land forces.  All good stuff.

Final sessions was interesting on a number of levels. The 7 member panel was from the Turkish Army war College and discussed the Battle of Gallipoli in WWI from the Ottoman Empire viewpoint (they won). 

All in all, a wonderful start to the conference. Can't wait for tomorrow!

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