The Advantage Of War In John Ambrose's Citizen Soldier

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In Ambrose’s book Citizen Soldiers, he refers to World War II as the “good” war. People called it this because we were opposing a sure evil. War is not always clear cut, but World War II seemed to be as clear as it could get. War for American soldiers began on December 7th 1941 after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Much of the American population already felt the need to go to war, but this attack gave citizens the drive to enter the draft and see themselves off to basic training. At basic training new soldiers were primed to a peak physical condition and instructed in learning skills that would see them well fit to fight the war in Europe. Ambrose notes that “Training was critical to getting the men into physical condition, to…show more content…
“Early in the war the need for better communication between, pilots and tank commanders, infantry captains and forward observers, and between the infantry men and the tankers after the closing of the hatch needed to be drastically improved” (Ambrose, 45-46). The opposing forces had already been in war for quite some time so one could argue that we had an advantage due to our freshness, and resources that had not been touched yet. Despite this we would be at disadvantage when it came to experience in the war and the terrain that would be encountered. The American tactics consisted of being mobile “and racing across the battlefield” all of these tactics went up in smoke when they landed in Europe and they were faced with heavy defenses and worst of all hedgerows (Ambrose, 56). War is always evolving and the Germans had many weapons and tactics our American troops did not foresee. Although basic training did not prepare soldiers to fight in Europe it did give them the characteristics needed to survive and succeed. It gave them the companionship and dedication to the job. These characteristics helped them successfully adapt to the unforeseen circumstances of World War Two. A couple decades after World War Two America began the Vietnam War. This was during the time of the cold war, so our nation fought with South Vietnam to prevent…show more content…
During the Vietnam War, the US only required that draftees serve for one year. So not only was the terrain weather and tactics an issue but experience became one too. In our interview Lt. Terry stated that, “As well trained as we were, soldiers were only required to fight for one year, and we would be fighting gooks that may have been fighting in the area for many years. It would be like your Regis baseball team trying to beat the Yankees.” As fighting really escalated the US took on many casualties. When Doherty spoke to our class he said, “Replacements couldn’t keep up with casualties.” This problem led to another problem. Men that began training toward the end of the war would have their basic training rushed or cut short. When Terry spoke to our class he said, “Boot-camp changed from 12 weeks to 8. We were beat down but never got built back up.” It seems that our troops struggled to find an effective way to fight the guerilla warfare in Vietnam, “Walked around in circles. No strategy.”(Doherty) He also wrote in his book, “I was not going to try to win the war. I was going to try to save as many Marines as I could and make sure that we didn’t harm any more civilians.”(117) In Vietnam we struggled to adapt to our enemies style of combat, this led to mass casualties, and many mixed feelings about the war itself. Today War has

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