Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How we beat two races of Supermen

The beginning of the 1940s was a fearful time for those who loved freedom.  France collapsed in a matter of weeks, falling to the German Blitzkrieg.  Britain was only saved by the astonishing valour of a tiny group of aerial Knights, charging their noble steeds (Spitfires in particular) into the teeth of Hermann Goering's Luftwaffe.  Churchill put it in typically Churchillian terms when he said that never had so many owed so much to so few.  As with most things said by Sir Winston, they were very well said indeed.

But the darkness continued to pour forth, with the end of 1941 seeing the fascists at the gates of Moscow, the American Pacific fleet smouldering in Pearl Harbor, and the seemingly unstoppable Imperial Japanese going from victory to victory: Thailand, Hong Kong, Guam, Wake Island, Burma, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines.

In both theaters, races of Supermen looked down on their opponents.  The Germans, lost in the heady brew of victory, saw their Soviet opponents not just as lesser menchen, but as barely human.  The soldiers of the Rising Sun looked upon their American opponents as undisciplined and ripe for a comeuppance.

They were half right.  Americans have always been undisciplined.  An old story from Colonial America describes a visiting English Lord. Looking for the local gentry, he happens upon a man hard at work at his forge. Frustrated at being ignored by the man, he exclaims, "You, there. Where is your master?" The man looks him up and down, spits tobacco not quite at the Englishman's feet, and growls, "That sumbitch ain't been born yet."

And so it was in the 1940s.  The undisciplined Americans joined together to drive two races of Supermen to their knees.  That "lack of discipline" was a creativity that showed itself under fire, as GIs took charge, adapted and improvised, and out thought the over confident foeman.  It was a typically American response, one that lives today.

I am proud to say that I know someone who has built a .50 BMG rifle in his garage.  I sure would have liked to be at the Dallas Area Blogshoot 2.0 to try the new and improved model.  The tinkering by what the "elites" might very well miss in their typical too-smart-by-half cursory glance is precisely why we clobbered the enemies of freedom, these seventy years ago.  Don't Mess With Texas, indeed.

And I'm also proud to say that I know someone who has built a cannon in his garage.  Sadly, I missed both blog shoots, but he too represents the Live Free Or Die American exceptional spirit that saw us through those dark days, and which will serve us well in these dark days.

Because if we could stare down two fanatical races of Supermen, Barack Obama and his Harvard crowd are nothing.  Bravo Zulu. Gentlemen.  Bravo Zulu.


Broken Andy said...

"That sumbitch ain't been born yet."


Old NFO said...

Improvise, adapt and overcome... Now WHERE have I heard that before??? :-)

Ian Argent said...

The Supermarine Spitfire being newly introduced and in short supply during the Battle of Britain meant that the majority of RAF interceptors participating in the Battle of Britain were Hawker Hurricanes. The Spitfire had better publicity during the war, and was more widely available afterwards to filmmakers due to it's more rugged construction, larger total production run, and the aforementioned better publicity.

Ian Argent said...

in regards the'll "undisciplined" point, I believe that the only reason the US and to a lesser extent Great Britain made paratrooper operations work is due to the LGOP being only suitable to the US military

"After the demise of the best Airborne plan, a most terrifying effect occurs on the battlefield. This effect is known as the rule of the LGOPs. This is, in its purest form, small groups of pissed-off 19 year old American paratroopers. They are well-trained, armed to the teeth and lack serious adult supervision. They collectively remember the Commander's intent as "March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you..." or something like that. Happily they go about the day's work....."

The above is why the Overlord drops worked at all; compare to the Fallschirmjaeger experience in Crete.

Theredneckengineer said...

Thanks for the kind words, Borepatch.
It's not the most advanced rifle in the world, (it's kinda the Hi Point of .50 BMG rifles), but given it's the first rifle I built, I can't complain.
You should try the new model. It's a real hoot. (Look out for flaming adhesive, though.) :)

You are absolutely correct.
That sumbitch ain't been born.
There is not a "yet."

I come from a long line of builders and tinkerers who, to me, epitomize the original American spirit, the challenge of looking at something raw and seeing a finished product, whether it be as complex as a country, a house, a business, an airplane, or something as simple as a boat, a mandolin, a fishing fly, or a firearm. For hundreds of years now, we and many others like us look at the world and tell ourselves, "Sure. I can do that."
When we're done, we share what we have with others, hoping and knowing the spirit will live on that way, all the while looking on with pride saying quietly to ourselves, "Yes, I did build that."