Who's this ?

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Thought I'd set a trivia question here !! ;)

    And theres a second part to the question ....... any idea of all the medals ?? :)

    Attached Files:

  2. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    Its Billy Mitchell!

    But don't ask me about the medals!
  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    He was quite a man ...... and he was right !! RIP Billy Mitchell


    His medals on display include -

    Uppermost - French Pilot Badge; U.S. Pilot Badge; Expert Rifleman Qualification Badge; Miniature Medal Bar with 14 Medals

    First Row - U.S. Distinguished Service Cross; U.S. Distinguished Service Medal; U.S. Spanish War Service Medal; U.S. Philippine Campaign Medal; U.S. Army of Cuban Pacification Medal; U.S. Army of Cuban Occupation Medal; U.S. Victory Medal with eight Battle Stars (World War I); French Croix de Guerre with Star, 4 Palms; Italian Croce al Merito di Guerra (War Merit Cross) (World War I)

    Second Row - French Commandeur L├ęgion d'Honneur (Commander of the Legion of Honor); Italian Ordine dei Santi Maurizio e Lazzaro (Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus); British Order of St. Michael and St. George; Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Membership Medal; Italian Ordine della Corona d'Italia (Order of the Crown of Italy) Grand Officer (neck badge); Italian Ordine della Corona d'Italia (Order of the Crown of Italy) Grand Officer (breast star).

    Third Row - Post Commander of the American Legion; Military Order of the Carabao; French Verdun Medal; Liberty Weekly Magazine Medal for Bravery; National Society of the Army of the Philippines; Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States.

  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  5. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    He was right, but not entirely for the right reasons. Very few ships were sunk by conventional bombing in WW2, or any other time. Almost all were sunk by dive-bombing or torpedoes, or later by guided missiles (Roma in 1943, Sheffield in 1982). Tirpitz was sunk by conventional bombing, but like Mitchell's target SMS Ostfriesland, she was at anchor and required an awful lot of raids over an extended period of time to be sunk. Direct hits merely knocked off chunks, as with Willie Tait's direct hit on Tirpitz's bows: to sink a large ship you needed to explode a large bomb alongside and crack the hull.

    I wonder if with more tact Mitchell could have made his point and still kept his job. He was a visionary and an independent thinker, and, like Dowding or Montgomery, a hero to those not in direct contact with him but a pain in the backside to have as a colleague or a boss.
  6. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  7. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    It is generally recognised that the Italian General Douhet was the theorist who developed the concept of strategic bombing, and it would not detract from Mitchell to assume that he, and Trenchard, had read Douhet's book.

    With reference to the fact that he made an enemy of Rear Admiral Moffat, Director of Naval Aviation, after the loss of the airship USS Shenandoah: ironically, Moffat was later one of 73 men to die in the loss of the airship USS Akron in 1933.
  8. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

  9. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    I didn't realise that Moffat was a Medal of Honor recipient! Clearly he was also a genius of innovation, perhaps even as much as Mitchell but in a quieter way.

    The rigid airship in a fleet reconnaissance role was a flawed concept, though. Even though Akron and Macon carried five Curtiss Sparrowhawk fighter aeroplanes internally, this would have been insufficient protection if they came across an enemy battlefleet with even one conventional carrier.

    Going back to Mitchell: every so often, history throws up a young, radical officer who manages by sheer force of character to get his views heard by the establishment, but the effect of instigating the changes they advocated served only to make war more deadly and more inevitable than before. The apocalytic vision of the proponents of Total War by strategic aerial bombardment, Douhet, Mitchell, Trenchard, Tukachevsky, etc is just one example.

    Another example is 'Jackie' Fisher (eventually Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher). He proposed a new type of Battleship which became known as the "Dreadnoughts". The problem was that these vessels made all previous battleships obsolete, which meant that Britain and Germany could start building fleets of them from scratch, leading to the arms race which was a major precipitant of WW1. When Fisher was given an actual wartime command, when as First Sea Lord he was largely responsible forthe Gallipoli campaign, he virtually had a nervous breakdown.

    Captain Louis Nolan advocated a radical re-think of the role of cavalry. At the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, it has been suggested that he wilfully misinterpreted an order from Lord Raglan and deliberately led the Light Brigade on their famous Charge. Despite being one of the first killed and being responsible for the deaths of over 120 others, his legacy helped fuel an overemphasis on cavalry that continued to WW1.

    Then there is General Curtis Le May: the man who made Patton look like a left-wing pacifist. Undoubtedly a disciple of Mitchell, he was largely responsible for the development of Strategic Air Command in the late 1940's. For the next ten years, he had his personal nuclear bomber permanently armed and fuelled, so that he could lead SAC into battle when WW3 started. He sent reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union without Presidential authorisation, which was at best irresponsible and may have been an attempt to provoke Soviet retaliation and provide an excuse for a pre-emptive nuclear strike. He was probably the inspiration for the mad Generals in the film Dr. Strangelove. Ironically, his influence came to an end due the eclipse of the SAC bombers by the ICBMs and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles.

    This Easter weekend, I was thinking of the difference between the legacy of these men and of Jesus Christ, who advocated a radically different approach, but was still seen as such a threat by the Establishment that they had to get rid of him. Sadly, the Church has of course compromised with the spirit of Empire ever since Constantine.

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