Friday, November 11, 2011

If Sun Tsu ran the Allied High Command...

Every Remembrance Day, it saddens me to be reminded of the horrendous losses of human lives on both sides, and the countless animal lives on no one's side, from the D-Day Normandy landing to Berlin almost a full bloody year later. I should say the horrendous UNNECESSARY losses of lives.

[“World War II, June 6, 1944.”, 26 Oct. 2011:
• There is no official casualty figure for D-Day.
• It is estimated that more than 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded, or went missing during the battle.
• There were more than 209,000 Allied casualties. Roughly 200,000 German troops were killed or wounded.
• There were between 15,000 and 20,000 French civilians killed during the battle.]

Not to mention those horribly maimed.

And every year, it struck me that had the Allied High Command truly applied Sun Tsu's [The Art of War], they would have done something very different, thereby shortening the war significantly, and sparing hundreds of thousands of young men and women from being sent prematurely to their graves.

First, Let me critique the strategy used by the Allied High Command, which Sun Tsu would call a supremely "Yang", or more specifically, masculine, approach, which he seldom employed in his own almost always victorious military campaigns. The Yang strategy is the "Brute Force" approach, in which of course heavy casualties on both sides would be involved, and the High Command knew it.

Second, Normandy was the heaviest defended stretch of the European coast. The German line of defense and fortifications can be likened to the supposedly impregnable Marginot Line of France in WW1, which the then Germans disabled with ease by simply circumventing it. This lesson the Allied High Command did not learn, or hundreds of thousands of lives could have been save on that fateful day.

Third, the route followed was also the heaviest defended, with superior Tiger tanks and Panther tanks barring every inch of the way of the Allies' weaker Sherman tanks' advance. The Allies had to punch their way forward by the inch of ground gained, using themselves as batterring rams, through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany itself, often losing lives on a 50/50 basis with the Germans.

Very Yang indeed!

So, what would the Yin, more feminine approach be?


He would have invaded at the north coast of Germany itself, which is lightly defended and fortified, and only one-third the distance to Berlin than Normandy, and this shorter route would also be much less heavily defended.

The German armies stationed in the Netherlands, Belgium and France would be recalled by Berlin to its defense, that is, the German army would voluntarily withdraw from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The earlier-defeated French, Belgian and Dutch armies could then rise up, and attack the retreating German army from behind.

The rest you can imagine. Until next time...

Anthony Marr

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