September 2011 Mailbag on the Web
Envelope art sent in by a reader.
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– A comment posted at armchairgeneral.com:
I am very ill-at-ease to see the German submariners praised as “Great Warriors” in the July 2011 issue by Jerry D. Morelock. The article comments on their suffering, endurance, effectiveness and their casualties in a tone that sounds a lot like admiration and to me.
Few of history’s Great Warriors have endured worse fighting conditions and heavier losses than did the U-boat crewmen of World War II.”
What the article completely forgets to mention is that these men targeted civilian shipping indiscriminately and almost never made any effort to help the crews of their victims if they were lucky enough to get to the life boats. (Later in the war Dönitz would expressly forbid them to do so.) Their operational doctrine pretty much amounted to: “be cruel to the weak and cowardly towards anyone who can fight back” – the exact opposite of any decent warrior’s ethos. Neither does the article mention the purpose of what they were doing: to starve Britain into submission to the Nazi regime. They served this horrid purpose with skill, dedication and enthusiasm. There was almost always cheering when they successfully sunk a civilian craft – cheering at civilians dying and suffering.
In my opinion you disqualify yourself as a Great Warrior when you serve such a blatant evil as the Nazi regime. There is nothing good or laudable in that they did so enthusiastically, skillfully and with great endurance – it only makes them more effective in their evil. There is nothing admirable and certainly nothing great in being effective in evil.