tv Gen. George Patton and the 1943 Battle of El Guettar CSPAN March 24, 2018 5:04pm-6:01pm EDT
chair with me. i could hear them say, at last, we have a seat at the table. >> [applause] >> and then they were gone. my first thought was, we want more. we won't rest until we have more. was standingrse i on the shoulders of these brave pioneers. strong shoulders for the next generation to succeed. >> watch the entire program tonight at 7:00 oh 5 p.m. ontern -- 7:05 p.m. eastern american history tv, only on c-span3. >> this year marks the 75th
anniversary of the battle of nazarene pass in north africa. leo barronstorian talks about how general george patton commanded troops in the battle of el guettar, which happened after the 1943 u.s. defeat in the battle barron talks about how general george of catherine passed. he is the author of "patton's first victory." about 45 minutes. welcome back everybody. i hope you are ready for another interesting discussion. we have had the opportunity to see kasserine from the battalion level. we have had the lead-in from rob. now we are going to get into top level leadership. the accomplishments of, at the
time, lieutenant general george patton. speaker is an author as well as a scholar. the second book is "patton's first victory." we are going to hear from leo barron. mr. barron: thank you very much. it is an honor to be here thank you for the visitation. to this is really exciting. i was able to get here from new orleans i figured i would go to a place with the muggy heat. sure enough, new orleans delivered. bear with me here, i like to talk with my hands. i also like to wander around,
but they told me i have to hold onto the podium so i don't wonder. i am here to talk about the battle of el guettar and general. -- general patton. secret about the publishing world, i did not come up with at thele, nor for patton battle of the bulge. the editors are like, we want to sell books, so we are going to put patton in the title. a prominenttely player in this story, but it is a lot about the junior officers the battle atwon el guettar. i want to talk about them as well. i want to talk about general patton and's influence on the second corps after the fiasco at kasserine. rob was asking me, leo, why did you pick the battle of el guettar?
well, i could actually pronounce it. >> [laughter] mr. barron: if you notice a lot of these names -- i can't really do that. it.ll end up pointing at role itity was the played, a lot for our army's psyche and morale. we had just gone through the battle of kasserine pass, played, a lot and there was a lot of doubt. a journalist working at the new yorker, who was present at the battle of el guettar, said the was this impression amongst the american soldiers that the germans were supermen. that was the word he used. el guettar was an important battle because it dispelled a lot of those myths.
is not a good thing when you have a general talking about his adversary as if he is some learned professor and you are just a student. it is me of star wars -- reminds wars, obi-wan kenobi and darth vader, the student and master. it reminded me of the first time we had beaten the germans in a stand up fight. the 10th panzer division, one of their crack elite panzer divisions, and we were able to defeat them soundly in a standup guy. -- in a standup battle. it was a pretty small battle. it was one division versus one division. in this case, it was the first infantry division versus the
10th panzer division. there were a couple reasons why we won at el guettar. why were we at el guettar? you stole my thunder with that map. after kasserine, there was a huge shakedown. general freedom hall was relieved on march 6, 1943. i believe he was no longer in charge of second corps. patton takes charge. patton was originally at this time planning for the invasion of sicily. don't amongst of our allies. -- doubt amongst our allies. betterou have to have men than this. eisenhower says, to save face,
this guy has got to go. bradley went around us eisenhower's spy and talked to , and therent generals story was universal. he was notike responsive for support. he had to go, and patton show sup. he comes in, and bradley describes it like a roman charioteer. patton is reluctant to badmouth one of his contemporary officers, but within a week he hall, i don'tm
know what he did to justify his existence. he felt second corps as a whole lacked discipline, the staff wo rk was poor, and there was not a lot of general purpose and drive. patton did institute a dress code. code. he would fine soldiers $25 if they were not wearing their tie or helmet while digging foxholes. that was not popular with the soldiers of the second corps, who did not take well to patton 's idea of discipline. i wrote in the first book how there is a difference of opinion among the soldiers. bulge,battle of the had taken third army from
its beginning, had taken third m its beginning, had it ready from northwest europe. the soldiers in the third army generallyit was not the same foe soldiers of the first infantry division in 1943. they did not like patton at all. that was true from the lieutenants, nco's, and senior officers. they felt patton tended to focus on unimportant things like dress code. didh be told, second corps need a shot in the arm. they had been badly whipped at at leased at the
first part. patton invigorated the moral, started to treat them like soldiers. of theistant commander second infantry division, teddy roosevelt junior, felt patton was a good addition to second co rps. we did not waste a lot of time after kasserine. w of the e did not have a lot of time to recover, because we immediately went on the offensive operations. the eight army got to the tunisia.ine in he needed to take some of the pressure off. u.s. army second corps was given a task to draw those forces away. albeit, it was a supporting role.
general alexander felt it was an easy task for second corps to achieve. that was the first operation. the operation started on march 17, 1943. just about a month after kasserine pass. patton had only been in charge about 11 days, and already has an operation he has to conduct. the operation' sname, not very politically correct today. it was operation w-o-p. if your name ends in a vowel. that is what the operation was called. the idea was to draw german forces if your away from the son front.
defending was an italian division. the italians don't want any part of the american army at this point. morale is poor. they felt like their senior anymore.did not care all of a sudden, we take the city, and we can do more. patton orders the first infantry division to continue on to el guettar anymore. and keep pushing the germans. the armored division to the north did the exact same thing, forced the germans to react, pull forces away and help out the british eighth army. shortly thereafter, they take the tongue of -- the town of el guettar, and realize most of
these italian forces are in the hill masses. patton orders the first infantry division to keep pushing forward. onen realizes the italians, the high ground, their forces are facing this big valley here. it looks like they are going to have the american forces bottle up, so he asks for a night attack on march 21. the kernels has i will not approach through the valley, i will approach from the high ground. the italians did not expect it. the first battalion sweeps the italian defenders. the firstis a great success. surrender inorces the hundreds.
it is a great success. as a result. it finally gets the german high command attention. they realize this is a problem. there was nothing between the americans and the coast. even though they fought the ht the britishoug were the more experienced threat, they continued to the coast and basically cut the german forces in half. threat, they continued to the the overall german commander in the mediterranean orders the german forces in north africa to counterattack. every time they were coaught off guard, they immediately wanted to go on the counterattack. he borders the 10th -- orders the 10th panzer division to come
and counterey attack the american forces. if you have seen the imagery at kasserine, you are beginning to see a common theme. germanss are up here, are in the valley, it is disaster all over again. the german army, who at this point did not have the highest opinion of the american army, said, we will pull this off. we will envelop the american forces in the hills and buy time for our forces. that was the plan for the attack on march 23. meanwhile, the americans have no idea the germans are planning a counterattack. we have the 10th panzer division up north. did not think it was going to commit this counterattack.
its forces were postured for the offense. as a result, you will see the artillery is pretty far forward. the idea is the infantry has to be in theas a result, you will e indirect fire. this is one of those battles where the artillery guys are in the fight. 23, whenrning of march they are getting ready to continue operations eastward, they start hearing some from the valley. -- sounds coming in from the valley. they sound kind of mechanical. commandrecon under the of a captain pollock. one of his lieutenants sees motorcyclists speaking german.
they open fire on these motorcyclists, screaming panzer, panzer. that is when they realize there is a answered division coming up -- it was the seventh panzer regiment, two infantry battalions, a motorcycle battalion, and a lot of artillery from the 90th artillery regiment. because the americans are postured to go on the attack, and they have been fighting in the mountains -- what do you not need in the mountains? tanks. they have these wonderful things destroyers, which were anything but at the time.
this is what they are facing. 50 german tanks, half of them are the mark four. that looks like a tank, doesn't it? panzer g.mark four that is a 75 millimeter gun. capable of knocking out a sherman tank from the front at about 1000 meters. from the site, it could knock out a sherman tank from about 3500 meters. very effective weapon. it was one of the few tanks that was used throughout the war. it as agunned response to the t-34. this was a killer, and it was coming to the american line. like i said, we did not have
tanks on the american line, we had tank destroyers. you hear star destroyer -- tank destroyer, it is kind of a scary thing. this is what was waiting for them -- yeah. that is not that scary. it has kind of an innocuous name, the gun motor carriage. you will notice it does not have a turret. on, because slapped that is pretty much what they did. there is a reason we don't do tank destroyers anymore. did. it was a flawed concept. general leslie mcnair came up concept.tank destroyer
he said, our tanks will not be used to destroy tanks. that is why sherman had a stubby 75 which was great for antipersonnel, but not so much tanks. the problem was in 1943, the arsenal of democracy had not kicked into high gear. we are in maybe first, second gear. we had to figure out some type of quick fix for the new tank destroyer doctrine. we have these surplus 75 millimeter guns from world war 1897, based on a french gun. do you know why that was called 1897? that was when it came out. we have a lot of these 75
millimeter french comes, let's throw them on this half track, put a gun shield on, and send these guys to fight the german panzers. one person from the tank destroyer battalion called it a purple heart box. see why. kind of let's go back to this vaunted german panzer. its frontal armor was eight centimeters. i know most of you here are like me, we don't know metric, so i took my daughter's ruler. i will show you eight centimeters. fist,about the size of my about three inches of armor. that is what is on this front tank. for that time, that was a lot of
armor. on this guy, they had 50 millimeters of -- 15 millimeters of armor. i can draw that on for you. it is about half of my finger. not a lot of armor. that is what the american forces stop the 10th two division -- 10th panzer division as it rolls up the valley. what they did have was a lot of guts and bravery. these guys in the tank destroyer battalion were the main force to stop the german effort along this highway. a lot of these guys in the 601st were artillery officers, and when the army came up with tank
destroyer doctrine, they said, you are now tank destroyer guy. forces --raided his he had about 37 tank destroyers going up against 50 plus german panzers, many of them the mark four. had besidesing they guts was the advantage of terrain. this is a true point -- is a ch oke point right here. it was a narrow choke point. you could not go left or right. el guettar -- people think, it is doesn't, i can drive -- it is desert, i can drive anywhere.
you can't really take your vehicle out into the old salt lakes. the germans had a narrow corridor they had to drive through. the americans, the night before, put a lot of mines in there. that corridor got even smaller. as this panzer column came these tank destroyers were there to greet them. sent back word that panzers were coming. as they come rolling up, these three tank destroyers are here to greet them. they start firing away. luckily, even though they are firing an old 75 millimeter french gun, they have upgraded
the munition. they were using and armor piercing shell that could penetrate the owner of the panzer tanks. these panzers come rollingup, these tank destroyers these are elevated. the panzers are stuck in this valley. the tank destroyers start startng away, and they scoring hits. it would normally take four or five rounds to take out one tank, but eventually the attack started to bog them down. the german infantry started to sweep forward. at first it was bravo company that had to fall back.
luthy had to reportt they had to fall back. company, once they saw a bigger company fall back, now ind their flank was the air but a lot of those guys remained at the their post. think about it. i just told you what kind of armor they were sitting behind. armor versuss of 80 millimeters of armor. not really a fair fight. and oh, by the way, how do you turn a half track gun? you do it?think you got to pull back and then target.e your you don't have a nice turret. were basically shooting and scooting. they would go up, expose offselves for a minute, pop a couple of rounds, fall back behind the reverse slope of the hill, live to fight another day. despite this maneuver and despite the fact that they were panzers, they were
losing half tracks at an alarming rate. by the end of the day, the original 37, 30 had been knocked out. destroyerst tank , 14 killed inered action. the work was crucial because the sledgehammer was stopped here. the infantry kept on the 601stng and when pull back, who was behind them? the artillery. the artillery had to get in the fight. they're having to grab rifles and fight off german infantry. interesting is some of the accounts from both the 601st americanell as the infantry at how well the germans fought, especially the tankers. his tank, thelost german crew would get out of the mg-34, machiner gun, and literally lay beside
the tank and up on the support fire position and provide suppressive fire for the infantry. we have accounts from the american soldiers who watched this happen. got a hedge, they're fighting pretty hard. terms like parade like precision as the german column came marching up through valley. that was a word i saw time and time again used by the americans when they were observing this attack. so, eventually, though, without tanks, the infantry can't really secure the high ground. attack box -- bogs down roughly around 9:00, 10:00 in the morning. but, of course, as we know, first reports are getting back division headquarters is, kasserineaster, it's
all over again. he said i will like hell pull first whot the does. a little bit of a different mentality and if you thought he using hyperbole, he related a story that when he was battalion commander in the first world war, one of his subordinates, an officer refused to do a mission and alan said he buttocks, said you're wounded, go away, we'll have someone else take over your role. story isr not that true, that's what he told a.j. after thehortly battle of el guettar. so you had a totally different ofa and different concept the senior command. kasserine, there was chaos, people were running away and the senior commander was a broken manned. at el guettar, allen wasn't broken. he was a scrapper, he was a fighter. said we're going to stay
here. and sure enough, the attack bogged down. now patton was at his corps headquarters. he hears about this fighting and movie, heo the tblawnt at the beginning in the morning. but he did show up later on that the second attack. so germans realized that the attack has bogged down so they say we're going to try again. going totime we're focus most of our effort on the third battalion of the 18th infantry regiment, specifically k company here out there on their lonesome so for the second attack that's where we're going ourocus our combat, where decisive operation will be. the attack was going to start at 1600. time, intel knew about it. tacticalat they call signals intelligence. at the tactical level, both tended to operate in the clear, they were not talking incrind. germansotten word the were getting ready to steel
themselves for a second attack. 1600, 4:00 p.m. rolls around and allen iso attack and getting impatient. he's like where's this attack? intel guy, his what's going on? where's the attack supposed to coming? he said 1600. you know about german trains, they're very punctual. so allen -- any of you former intel guys, me being an intel myself, does something that's really a bad idea. the germanets on and basically asks, what the hell are you guys waiting for? sincee been ready 4:00 p.m. i can imagine what the intel guys were doing when they heard that because you're not supposed to let the enemy know that we're to their communications. thanks a lot, general. after he started to
i'm sure no one went up to him and said, you better not do that. did that once to my commanding officer. i just don't remember it. enough, the attack does eventually start a little 4:40ater, around 1640, so p.m. and the germans attack up againstthis peninsula their battalion under the command of colonel courtney brown. the regimental commander was colonel greer. companyl up against k and it's a knife fight. the sides are so close, no one achieve fire superiority and they're literally tossing hand grenades other.d forth at each ok? meanwhile, the rest of the german force is still marching valley. this time, instead of the panzers in front it's the infantry in front. about the artillery and as the germans are going to with then't mess american artillery.
darby remarked that it was like watching something from the civil war. niceermans are in these precise lines marching up the valley and the american artillery creams them, literally creams them. actuallyime, patton is there and he's watching the battle and he's actually watching the germans come up. does a pretty good job of showing this. he says they're murdering good wayntry what, a hell of a to expend good infantry men. needless to say, the attack is completely stopped before it really ever begins and up here when they go after k company, it go over very well. the americans own the high ground. roll handiterally grenades down the hill and they can kill germans and the german of that, that was part soldier, a german berger talks about
how it didn't work out. within a couple of hours, they realize it's a complete failure. the americans aren't going to run. fact, we're the wins who have to withdraw with our tails behind us wagging. there's a huge american victory. and by the night of march 23, everyone could pretty acknowledge it was an american victory. sometimes after some of these battles, it was like, hey, did we win or lose? clear on the evening of march 23 with all panzersrning hulks of in the valley, this was an american victory as well as the hull of german prisoners of war, it was a victory. i think the movie does a pretty good job although it was m-48 were the german panzers rolling forward. he-111's righte flying through the valleys. that was pretty much the battle of el guettar. a.j. liebling who was there said
if we could rip one german we can whip any german division and the problem is the ofmans don't have a lot divisions left. we recognized the fact that the germans were extending a wasting said, in on the steps of russia and they weren't song to replace these guys anyone killed here wasn't going to come back. that could be a staff officer, general officer. and eventually in the beginning of may, that's pretty much what happened, when the german pocket squeezed in tunis and bizerta you're talkingnd about a quarter of a million the table ofd off battle from the german army and the german air force. and for huge victory the american army, you know, point.ne was a learning this is where we start to see the lessons learned applied. m3-halfed that the track is not a very good tank destroyer and wasn't in service after that but
american artillery was a huge war winner. time and time again you would see the americans use artillery with great effect. fore were a lot of reasons that and it even goes down to the squad level. the americans at the squad level a browning automatic rifle. the germans at the squad level mg34 followed on by the mg32 so it didn't make a the americansor not to close in with the germans. many thought if i know the are in the wood line, i'll pound them with artillery until they surrender. you see that a lot of. the reasons we start to see this at el guettar and you great winninghat weapon? what was our 88? scr300 and 536 radios because we had such a and we had of radios radios down to the platoon level that a platoon leader could call get indirect fire. the germans generally didn't units hade panzer radios at the platoon level but
in the infantry units, they got below company level so a box standard u.s. infantry platoon call in 155, long toms, eight-inch guns, whatever they win the fight because of the radios and the ability to use the radios. the other thing was, prior to we were talking about this, we were the guys that came up with the idea of a fire direction center. ok? that's the idea of bringing in that great communication right?ructure, all and reach out to all these units fireink them together in a direction center so we can do time-on-target missions. which is what you were talking about, sir, where you could say battalionsin these of artillery and land all these point and you start to see this in el guettar, specifically the second wave in afternoon. the germans were creamed. and the division artillery infantry in the first
division mentioned it was an artillery fight and artillery battle. the guys in k company might have disagreement and i'm sure the be like,01st would hold on, we are half tracks, remember? pea shooter gun. but the artillery was crucial is one ofk el guettar those places where we saw how much artillery could change the that'sof the battle and why i think el guettar was truly one of our first victories and a great first psychological victory and generally after el guettar we lose often after el guettar. we had mishaps here and there a pretty good winning record, kind of like the new ok, alabama.ots -- got any alabama fans here? university of alabama -- i'm l.s.u.!his is sorry, sorry! fan, so, bearme with me here. so, ok, l.s.u -- we'll go s.e.c.
how about that? s.e.c. they didn't lose too many battles after that. that's why el guettar was ok?rtant, and that pretty much concludes my portion. i'd love to take questions for you guys. leo.ank you very much, [applause] going to take the first question on the floor in the center. great presentation. how many rounds did those half before they were rendered ineffective? leo: depending on who the drivers were and how good they were. some of them had to actually get resupply so a lot of these guys were getting resupplied. were expending their unit basic load and were trying to get resupplied. a couple of the half tracks were out pretty early.
especially in baker company, they lost a lot of their half morning. 7:00 in the by the afternoon, there was lefty only three platoons in the 601st. you had lieutenant mathers platoon from c company. you had lieutenant minors' platoon, really the only platoon a company anyways. and then you had lieutenant notert's platoon which was his platoon. command and had gotten other strangler vehicles laterunter attacked from in the morning but for the most part most were knocked out by two a.m. so after about hours of solid fighting, they were mostly inoperable. end of the day, they were able to recover and put back into service eight of them and if your armor guy will tell you, just because you're knocked doesn't mean you're dead and it really depends on how quickly you can get to that piece of how quickly your
maintenance crews can bring that into of machinery back operating order. there were 13 that colonel baker said that were just what we like call total losses, catastrophic kills, that they could not recover but they were them.o recover a lot of that was a huge problem. this is something we were still learning. we didn't own the valley the day. the germans still owned the valley and as a result of that were maintenance crews able to go out and grab a lot of and putrk 4 panzers them back into service. at the end of the 23rd. theywere recording that had lost about half of their tanks. they were down to 24, 25 tanks. but within a couple of days, a good chunk of those tanks were put back into service and we because we were able to get to the alter decurbs. they were decoding the panzer atisions reports back blechly park so that information was being recorded so they had a of whatood idea happened but because we didn't
own the valley, we valid to fight those panzers again and we did. thankfully, most were destroyed when the tunisian pocket may of 1943.n >> the question to your left and to your right. >> what were the differences between the half tracks and the panzers? leo: not very far. there's a great quote from willie nesmyth, because platoon leaderl, in b company was like, hey, the panzers are coming, what are you doing? and he goes, sir, i'm waiting until they get closer so i can hit them for sure. so it was kind of like bunker hill. they were getting pretty close. like i said, the m1897 firing ammunition could actually atetrate the mark 4's armor
about 900 meters so it was a little bit less. effective aste as the kwk40 on the mark 4 but it thattill pretty good with super charge ammunition but the problem was the panzer drivers they'll present the front of their tank as much as possible with the armor thick. to expose't going their phalanx but there were instances where that happened, when they were closer to the mine fields. especially a company, a lot of the mineere stuck in fields that the americans had put there and lieutenant minor, inmer artillery guy, calls all kinds of artillery on these tankers, german panzers, and them up pretty good when they were stuck in the minefield but it was close. than we a lot closer wanted it to be but that's how they had to fight. the worst oft even it. there were other guys manning millimeter guns. you might as well spit at a tank. it would be as effective. they could only engage a tank at
400 meters. that's if the tank exposed the flank of its armor so more the guys manning the 37 millimeter anti-tank guns knew missione on a suicide if the german panzers actually got to them. good question. good question. question to your right, leo. militaryr graphic, my mappology is a little rusty. where was that highly effective division artillery located? leo: well, some of it was getting shot at and having to fight it out with rifles. artilleryield battalion was right behind the guns weresome of the overrun. some they had to spike so the germans wouldn't get them. fifth artillery battalion lost? guns but there was also corps artillery, as well. they had long toms. back and forth
over the radio logs where like, we needas long toms in. andures was doing a really good job of coordinating the artillery. that's the communications network that we could call in bring in batteries to steel rain on these germans and you almost felt bad for them at you're outause there, you're marching, you're not in a tank. all you got is a helmet and all a sudden death comes from above and there's nowhere where you can go. it's the desert. there's no place to hide. you don't have any fox holes. you're out there marching and it was a blood bath. leo, i have a question myself as i get to the gentleman in the center. preferred title of the book? or does your publisher not let you say that? i did have a, title. it was a play on words and it be called "big red
w-0-n" and the publisher no, you're not -- so. >> great presentation, i just have a quick question. and mark 4 were both diesel, am i correct? leo: ibles. i believe so. they had maybach engines but well.idn't brew up very dieselcall, they were engines. i'm sure someone else could google it up. you got a thumb's up from colonel -- leo: he's a tanker so i'm good. question in the back on the floor and this is probably our last one. the artillery kind of just lower their tubes and just directly shoot at the tanks? leo: the 32nd artillery battalion? it might have happened.
i'm not saying it didn't. i don't remember reading about it. was, because where they were, they could not probably have depressed their casesnough in a lot of because the fact that they were up in the hills and the germans were in the valley. have happened. i don't recall any particular story did. that happen in world war ii? absolutely. i'll make a pitch for my first book. the 463rdent night" artillery battalion did exactly that against german effect sod with great it was something that did actually happen. in this instance, i don't know happened here but it definitely happened in other places. >> leo, thank you very much. leo: thank you very much, i it.eciate [applause]
inouncer: interested american history tv? website, c-span.org/history. tv.ican history theou have the right to presence of an attorney. if you desire an attorney and afford one, one will be appointed. wasuncer: that right guaranteed in gideon v wainwright. explore that case and its legacy. graders selected the right to counsel as a topic winning entry in the student cam competition. >> i believe this case illustrates the point that you cannot have a counsel.l without
>> and there, clarence earl gideon, defenders. on june 3, 1961, an unknown andbroke into a pool hall stole liquor, cigarettes and $25 in coins. earl gideon was arrested and charged based solely on witness accounts. he could not afford a lawyer and because of the law at the time, he, a man of eighth grade trainion, was forced to himself against a trained prosecutor. >> when gideon was brought for his trial, he stood up and said judge, your honor, i don't have a lawyer, i'm too poor to hire one and the judge sorry, mr. gideon, we can't appoint a lawyer for you in this state. lost the trial and was sentenced to five years in wason but to gideon, this unjust. he believed that under the sixth amendment he had the right to right to be provided an attorney even if he
could not afford one so from letter appealing to the supreme court. >> he appealed to the supreme his principal argument my, i have been denied constitutional rights because i didn't have a lawyer to represent me. amendmently the sixth right to counsel was not a right to a public defender. it was a right to go out and and beur own lawyer assured that lawyer would be allowed to represent you in court. courteries of supreme cases in the 1930's decided that in all federal criminal cases, lawyerhad to provide a to the accused if they could not afford one. >> but in the state courts, was no such requirement. >> in 1942, a case known as bettes v brady decided accused criminals did not have a right lawyerurt appointed unless the supreme court culture found for special
circumstances. no man can conduct a trial in his own defense so that a trial is a fair trial. know how to doesn't , how to cross examine witnesses, how to make to -- he's, how helpless. prosecution has on its team the entire government. they have the police, all of the they put to bear on a single defendant. judges,e 1960's, lawyers and prosecutors were ready for change. the supreme court justices case and chose's abe fortas to represent him. the state of florida was a novice lawyer, bruce jacob. andhearing was held in 1963 addressed whether right to
counsel in the sixth amendment to state courts. >> start with the proposition that the 14th amendment requires their trial and we say that defendant in a criminal proceeding cannot get a fair has counsel.he >> on march 18, 1963, after three months, the supreme court's decision was announced. the justices ruled unanimously gideon. of landmark opinion held that states and localities have a constitutional obligation. gideon got a lawyer and was found not guilty. prisons in florida alone were set free because of the ruling. because of gideon's case, every to establish a public defender system, making free lawyers available to every person accused of crime. >> i think one of the things no how hard itbout is
is to be alone in that system. a judgeomeone who has looking at you literally from up on high, looking down at you. got the prosecutor in court literally pointing their you.r at strangers and jurors are staring at you with skepticism and the is the onlyder person on your side. >> there are still changes that be made to our public defender system. >> the reality is that we continue to struggle to honor upheld into counsel .ideon really want to represent you. drugs, rising arrest rate and mandatory minimums have caused state and ouro be overloaded system to collapse. >> legal representation for indigent defendants has been undermined by crushing case inadequate funding.
>> in some offices, public casesers have hundreds of at a time and can't investigate lawyers some offices, are only able to spend a couple of hours per case. appointed attorneys are often not experienced, committed or competent. >> it's very shortsighted not to have a system in which every andon would be competently adequately represented. they should be more professional, represent your client like they need to be there's ad because lot of people sitting in prison. >> as a former prosecutor, i virtually any increase in the resources that are given to criminal defendants. states, public defenders are also very understaffed and underresourced. carry as many as 2,225 misdemeanor cases and 700 in just one year.
>> gideon really doesn't have if individual states, counties and cities don't fund their public defender offices. we need lawyers to have the their job in the way the constitution requires. >> our failure to uphold the sixth amendment undermines the premise that in america, every to a fair the right trial and is presumed innocent until proven guilty. write was awayne landmark case that ensured citizens accused of a crime are guaranteed an attorney. although there is much to be done to eliminate social bias in caseegal system, the changing the way we interpret counsel. >> as many as 20,000 women and confederate
hospitals during the civil war. historian jane schultz talks about lives of women healthcare workers during the conflict. she's the author of "women at the front: hospital workers in america." symposium was co-hosted. >> i'd like to take a moment to next speaker, dr. jane e. schultz. jane is a professor of english at indiana university, purdue university indianapolis where since 1988 and where she received the trustee's award in 2016 and the distinguished faculty award in 2015. we believe this is really the first time that the museum and the symposium have included a professor of english on the program but there's a reason for