Should We Refer to WWI as the ‘Oops’ War? A Military History Reader Objects

[Re. “The ‘Oops’ War,” by Daniel McEwen, March 2022] The article definitely doesn’t downplay the large value of World Conflict I, however the title struck a nerve with me. From what I’ve learn, the interlocking set of alliances German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had arrange made the struggle inevitable as soon as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand lit the fuse. With out Bismarck on the helm, nobody might management the collection of occasions that drew the key powers into struggle. I’d recommend that fairly than referring to World Conflict I as an “unlucky accident,” one would possibly higher characterize it as an unintended struggle.

Invoice Knowlton
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Thanks for that effective memorial on the demise of Joe Galloway [News, March 2022]. Joe was fearless and all the time up entrance. He was sincere in his depiction of the troopers’ situation in battle and felt honored to narrate the tales of their selfless heroism in fight. I considered him because the Ernie Pyle of the Vietnam Conflict.

However Joe and I differed on the difficulty of Vietnam. He believed the struggle was unwinnable, taking the horribly mistaken Walter Cronkite narrative as gospel.

I want to observe North Vietnamese military Gen. Bùi Tín in his model of floor reality—that the 1968 Tet Offensive was a monumental mistake by North Vietnam any approach one measures it (with army, political or psychological yardsticks) and that its losses have been unacceptable, together with destruction of the Viet Cong, the shattering of any offensive functionality on the a part of the NVA for 4 years and, most essential, political turmoil in Hanoi.

In a postwar interview with The Wall Road Journal Bùi contended the USA misplaced the struggle as a result of it did not observe up on North Vietnam’s defeat within the Tet Offensive.

Nevertheless, Galloway’s place on the struggle takes nothing away from his first-class service because the GIs’ reporter in Vietnam. He might be remembered by these with him on the level of the bayonet.

Col. Wayne Lengthy
U.S. Military (Ret.)
Haverford, Pa.

I loved “Era Yank,” by Peter Zablocki [January 2022]. Nevertheless, I used to be shocked to search out no point out of Cpl. Robert E. Krell, the Yank correspondent killed after leaping throughout the Rhine throughout Operation Varsity. Yank honored him with an obituary in its Could 4, 1945, situation.

Krell earned his soar wings at Fort Benning, Ga., the place he lined sports activities for the bottom newspaper, The Bayonet. Among the many groups he lined was the parachute faculty’s basketball squad, whose prime participant would turn out to be the nation’s prime collegiate scorer for the 1943–44 season. Stanley “Whitey” von Nieda had been a standout ahead at Penn State. Krell wrote quite a few articles about Whitey’s excellent play and nicknamed him the “Blond Bullet.” By season’s finish Von Nieda had set a nationwide report of 1,066 factors scored in 44 video games.

At season’s finish Whitey transferred to Camp Mackall, N.C., the place he was assigned to the 517th Airborne Sign Firm of the seventeenth Airborne Division. Krell had established a private relationship with Von Nieda, so when assigned by Yank to cowl the “Talon Division’s” soar throughout the Rhine, he seemed up the previous basketball star. In actual fact, they spent the evening earlier than the soar collectively, buying and selling darkish humor jibes with one another as to what would possibly occur in the event that they have been to be captured—Krell due to his Jewish background, and Whitey due to his aristocratic German surname. Little doubt Krell needed to find out if his good friend within the division commo shed (Whitey was a T-4 sergeant communications middle clerk supporting the seventeenth’s command employees) might assist him get dispatches again to the writer.

On March 24, 1945, Krell jumped because the final man within the lead plane of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Nevertheless, the lead component’s plane dropped their paratroopers some 2 miles off beam. It was on this confused state of affairs that Krell was killed by small-arms hearth. Shortly after touchdown Krell had by some means managed to knock out an article describing the bottom camp in France previous to boarding. Whereas the article did not make the common weekly situation of Yank, it did seem within the postwar anthology Yank: The GI Story of the Conflict.

At present Whitey Von Nieda, 99, is the oldest dwelling alum of the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation and of the seventeenth Airborne. Bob Krell’s physique was repatriated in 1949 and laid to relaxation at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Glendale, N.Y. Krell’s tombstone memorializes his service with the seventeenth.

Col. Thomas C. Fosnacht
U.S. Military Reserve (Ret.)
Historian, American Legion Put up 386
Hershey, Pa.


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