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  • Dirty or Efficant War tactics

    This discussion involves humans that have died, are dieing, and will die with regards to certain types of tactics. I try to remember this with such discussions.

    I am curious to the responses to the questions below.

    When it comes to a war campaign my idea is to destroy the enemy while having their civilian and political support dissolved at the same time.
    I do not condone the killing of non combatants (civilians); However, i will try to make their lifeís miserable as possible so that they lose the will to support the war. (i am not talking about putting a bumper sticker on your car support here, i am talking, feed, give arms to, sons, take in, support, ration supplies, all to support an army.

    Certain Wars with specific tactics will be discussed and with it the question of Dirty or Efficient.

    American Revolution. Roughly 1773-1786

    English side: At the time, Officers were of the upper class and were the only ones proper to command enlisted personnel. These men were considered noblemen and it was a gentlemanís agreement not to go after the officers during combat.

    The American rebels (not all were rebels of course) who fought in the war begin to purposely go after the officers first in order to inhibit the enlisted personnel in their tactical movements.
    The English were upset with this and thought it was bad form.
    Dirty or Efficient? I believe this to be Fair and efficient in winning battles and wars.

    Same war.
    Both Sides: At the time the Winter months were times when both sides did not fight each other. Not a truce or anything official, they just held their ground.
    The Rebels conducted a sneak attack across the Delaware River in order to engage enemy Hussein (German Mercs) soldiers camped on the other side during the cold winter season. This battle was very successful for the Americans. Again, the English were disappointed.
    Dirty or Efficient? I believe this to be Fair and efficient in winning battles and wars.

    American Civil War. April 1861- April 1865
    With Union Forces well into Dixie, a campaign started that involved the destruction of the country side along the Georgia and South Carolina east coast and into Atlanta. Destroying foods, train rails, anything that helped a person in surviving was on the hit list.
    A quote from this website: <http://sciway3.net/clark/civilwar/march.html> ; explains

    The Burning of Atlanta

    When he entered Atlanta, Sherman issued an order requiring all the people to leave within five days. Hood protested against this order, and the mayor and council of Atlanta appealed to Sherman to withdraw it, pointing out that most of the inhabitants were women and children, who would suffer greatly if compelled to leave their homes. To this Sherman replied, "I have read it [the petition] carefully, and give full credit to your statements of the distress that will be occasioned, and yet shall not revoke my orders, because they were not designed to meet the humanities of the case." When all preparations for the southward march had been made and the people had been forced to depart, Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground.

    Dirty or Efficient? I believe this to be Efficient. in 1864 the Confederate States of America were holding firm at the time, and a tactic that involves civilians to loose necessities in hopes of giving up on the cause is a good tactic.

    Endo China, 1953-1973.

    Vietnam. North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong (civilian underground resistance to American forces).

    Strapping on bombs and running into breached enemy positions and blowing themselves up a long with enemy (French and later American) officers was a tactic used.

    Dirty or Efficient? I believe this to be efficient. I do not feel comfortable with this because it is not in my nature to purposely take the lifeís of my allies. Under certain conditions (After 10 years of war and believing in a cause that involves a unified Vietnam) I may issue those orders and again under the right conditions work my way up to the officer bunker during the battle and blow my self up. ... one must understand the mind, the culture, and past history of the combatant to be comfortable with such a tactic. Furthermore, motivation of many of the Viet Cong and the N.V.A. redefined motivation.


    Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    March 2003-present

    Rebels/Insurgents/ what ever u call them use I.E.D.s Improvised explosive devices, to destroy Coalition Forces Vehicles and Personnel.
    Dirty or Efficient? I believe this to be efficient in slowing winning the war by brining down enemy solider, civilian, and political morale.


    As said before, people have died, are dieing, and will die from tactics just mentioned. Dirty or efficient are crude words to use in such descriptions. In the end, humans have lost their lives or were or are forever changed with such tactics.
    Last edited by Rick_the_new_guy; 07-12-2006, 07:37 PM.
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  • #2
    Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

    There are two 'e's in 'efficient'.

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    • #3
      Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

      Put it in the spell check. I really should not be that lazy. Thanks for the input.
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      • #4
        Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

        Based on what I hear from people coming home from Iraq, even with the IED's, the enemy is out manned, out gunned, and losing more combatants than we are.
        "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
        He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

        - Attributed to General George Patton, Jr.

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        • #5
          Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

          I've got a bit of a twisted view of war and combat ethics. I'm generally okay with many things considered "underhanded" in combat, with a single, major caveat.

          ---If you begin use of a previously frowned upon war tactic, you implicitly give your opponent permission to modify THEIR tactics to counter it.---

          This is a pretty far reaching statement. For example, say you begin hiding military units in "civilian" or "non-combat" buildings, such as Hospitals. Once your opponent figures this out, expect them to start TARGETTING Hospitals, and don't complain when they do. I'm sure you can find the appropriate analog for most "dirty" combat tricks around today.

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          • #6
            Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

            Why can't a tactic be both dirty and efficient?

            And of all the tactics you posted on there, the use of IED's is perhaps the least dirty of all - excepting the Revoulutionary War examples.
            Last edited by Nikolas; 07-13-2006, 10:08 AM.
            A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

            "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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            • #7
              Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

              good point TYBALT, when discussing the carnage of war, it is hard to find the correct words. Getting the job done is what it is all about. Having not been in a war i lack the imagination on how to realy phrase the question.

              differnt cultures, and circimstances play a role in tactics and such.
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              • #8
                Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                Dirty, immoral and reprehensible tactics are defined by the winner of a conflict.
                [squadl]
                "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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                • #9
                  Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                  Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
                  Dirty, immoral and reprehensible tactics are defined by the winner of a conflict.
                  I sorta agree, but I think it's moot. The people who decide what's "fair" or "not fair" seldom get anywhere near the dirty business of enforcing the "rules", and the people who break the rules are usually targeted for death by the other side already so what's the downside to them?

                  It's like going after a dude's balls in a fight: whether or not it's "fair" depends on the consequences. If you try that in a fight with some BatDad at your kids little league game, people are going to look sideways at you. If you try it in a fight with a big guy who has a knife and has already cut you, people are going to say, damn straight.

                  Getting dirty ups the price of playing poker though: if you get nasty, you'd better win.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                    Sounds like a classic Hiroshima debate.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                      Originally posted by Steeler
                      Sounds like a classic Hiroshima debate.
                      Well that wasn't dirty was it? Back then, strategic bombing involved massive civilian casualties on all sides. The idea that war should make an effort to exclude civilians is a new idea.

                      Back in the day, when you won a war, you enslaved the conquered. Was that dirty?

                      Times change. Rules change.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                        Ah, but in WWII we tried to avoid bombing soft targets like schools and hospitals. There was at least some attention paid to civilian loss and the dishonor in targeting women and children. Now, you could say that we didn't know the full destructive force of the atom bomb before Hiroshima. But if you see that and say, wow, that's wrong, it certainly says something about Nagasaki.

                        Anyway, by modern standards the atom bomb is fighting dirty. In fact, it's so horrific that we have apologized for using it and vowed never to use them again unless attacked in kind.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                          Yeah I agree, a nuke is bad news. Definitely better not use it against BatDad. But I don't see how you're connecting it to the discussion of dirty tricks.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                            I never really considered the dirty or clean side of war. I'm a firm believer in victory by attrition, kill all who oppose you with whatever means available and the war is over.







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                            • #15
                              Re: Dirty or Efficant War tactics

                              I think we should remove Hiroshima and Nagasaki from this discussion. But that won't happen, so I'll add my own $.02.

                              You say that an effort had been made to avoid soft targets... now that may or may not have been the case at one point in the war, but by the late stages of the conflict in the Pacific, that was certainly not happening. If you haven't seen "The Fog of War," you should, because it covers some of this issue. By the time we nuked Japan, we had already been firebombing entire cities. Schools? Women and children? How about burning most of Tokyo to the ground in one night of completely unrestricted and untargeted firebombing?

                              The fact of the matter is that had the atomic bombing not occurred, more Japanese - both civilians and soldiers alike - would have been slaughtered. Operation Olympic would have turned one of mainland Japan's neighboring islands into the world's largest airport, and round-the-clock firebombing of Japanese cities was to follow. The Japanese could have easily lost more people in a single week of that type of bombing than from both nukes combined. As it was, the firebombing of Tokyo killed more in one night than the nuke in Nagasaki did.

                              And if it had come to a land invasion... the losses would have been absurdly enormous. Not to mention the one million Japanese troops still on the Asian continent that would've been utterly wiped out by the Russians...

                              The nukes saved Japanese lives. They saved American lives. They saved Russian and Chinese lives. They were not 'dirty' if you recognize the context of the situation.

                              Now, if you want to get into a really gritty and morally complex "dirty war" situation, look at the French Foreign Legion's counterinsurgency vs. Viet Minh in French Indo-China, and look at the Germans vs. Eastern European partisans. All sides involved in those conflicts used tactics we today consider extremely egregious.
                              A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                              "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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