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tv   Reel America Army in Action - The Slumbering Giant Awakens - 1965  CSPAN  August 11, 2020 9:12am-9:43am EDT

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♪ >> the presidents, available in paperback, hard cover and ebook from public affairs, presents biographies of every president, inspired by conversations with noted historians about the leadership skills that make for a successful presidency. in this presidential election year as americans decide who should lead our country this collection offers perspectives into the lives and events that forged each president's leadership style. to learn more about all our presidents and the book's featured historians visit presidents available in paperback, hard cover and e-book, wherever books are sold. ♪ by winter, 1942, one year after pearl harbor, our army fighting forces were building up fast and being deployed around the world, fighting beside
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australian troops in new guinea, on guadalcanal, where they had taken over from the long-embattled marines. large-scale amphibious landings had been made successfully in north africa. joining up with the british and fighting french. other army units were arriving at overseas staging areas in north ireland, england, and australia. as our combat and support forces began to encircle the globe, our lengthening supply lines were stretched to the utmost.
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the snow an army cannot fight without food, clothing, weapons, ammunition, medical supplies and services, transportation, armor, and aircraft that must be constantly supplied with fuel and is constantly serviced, repaired, or replaced. ♪ during the fighting through vast stretches of arid desert lands in north africa, the german general rubinstein, commander of the 21st panther division, remarked that north africa is a tactician's paradise and a quartermaster's hell. an american or allied commander could very well have made the same mistake.
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on the other side of the world in the southwest pacific, support for the combat troops was even more difficult in an entirely different kind of warfare. ♪ ♪ >> the problem of supply is spoken of as logistics.
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more specifically, it is the transportation, supply, and quartering of troops, the procurement of all required military equipment and material, shipping and distributing cargo to the right place, to arrive at the right time. in world war ii, our military planners successfully solved the most stupendous problems of logistics the world has ever known. our lines of supply fanned out like a network around the world, extending northward to alaska and the aleutians, to the panama canal, westward across the pacific to a chain of islands, on to china by way of india, to burma, to australia, eastward across the atlantic, to north africa, the length of the
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mediterranean, the middle east and the southern route through the persian gulf to russia, to great britain, iceland, and to russia by way of murmansk in the far north, and eventually the entire continent of europe. under land leased to our allies alone, the services of supply shipped approximately $25 billion worth of war materiel. these included approximately 850,000 pieces of heavy equipment, tanks, locomotives, trucks. ♪ free french forces in north africa were supplied enough arms
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and materiel to equip 12 combat divisions. millions of dollars worth of supplies went to china, flown there from india. ♪ >> to russia alone, over the submarine-managed route to murmansk, equipment, railroad rolling stock, vast stores of munitions and equipment went to amman. all of this while we were supplying our own widely deployed forces and building up mountains of supplies for the
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massive invasion of europe yet to come. the miracle of supply achieved by the united states army in world war ii was historic. it represented the outpouring of a great nation's energies and resources, not for conquest, but to win freedom for men who would be free everywhere. >> mighty america had come fully alive. a revitalized agriculture reached the largest food production goals in the history of mankind. food not only for ourselves and our allies, but for the hungry populations of the countries our armies would liberate and occupy. ♪
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♪ ♪ >> industrial output staggered the imagination, brought renewed hope to our hard-pressed allies, dismay and consternation to the aggressors. it amazed even ourselves. ♪
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>> at long last, the united states had come of age, had found a vitality, a strength, and a will to do that was phenomenal in all the annals of men and nations. ♪ >> great convoys of ships stretched out as far as the eye could see, carrying the millions of tons of cargo we kept pouring overseas. ♪
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>> all of this in support of gi joe. and who was gi joe? he was the oftentimes grimy, unshaven, heart and soul, blood and guts of america, the citizen soldier, the immortal image of the american fighting man whose forefathers had starved and frozen at valley forge to fight on and triumph at yorktown, and again a few years later at the battle of new orleans. he had been a raw recruit at bull run but emerged the victor at gettysburg and the winner of a great and tragic civil war at
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appomattox. he was the man who drove the enemy to defeat at san mihal and the news argonne. he was and is the american soldier personified. and who were his leaders? marshall, eisenhower, macarthur, mcnair, bradley, devers, patton, clark, hodgins, krueger,
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eichelberg, hatch, men like mccolloch, men that possessed the indomitable spirit and genius of washington, wenfield scott, andrew jackson, grant, sherman, sheridan, george g. mead, robert e. lee, john j. pershing. this was the heritage of american military leadership in world war ii, a heritage they could not and would not fail. their one and only goal, victory. from buck privates to four-star generals, these were the priceless outpouring of america's greatest resource, the product of more than a century and a half of freedom, of
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democracy in action, of a great dream that their forefathers had fought for and made a reality, and which these, their sons, were fighting to preserve. but even amidst the tensions of war, there were precious hours of respite in which battle-weary men found rest and relaxation and brief moments of humor. ♪ but when they fought, they fought to win. theirs was a sublime dedication. theirs was a glory the world would not soon forget. while the fighting was continuing in north africa, president roosevelt and prime minister churchill met at casablanca to determine further strategical moves. they agreed on four major points -- invade sicily and italy at the first opportunity, intensify counterattacks against
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hitler's submarines and launch a combined bomber offensive on germany, begin preparing for a major offensive in the pacific, accept nothing short of unconditional surrender as a basis for ending the war. this was the kind of positive, top-level determination the free world had long awaited. there was swift response on all fighting fronts. tripoli fell to the british eighth army. ♪ >> in bitter fighting, nazi tanks hurled back allied forces to the algerian border. ♪
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>> but then, combined american, british, and french units stopped the german/italian drive at kasserine and overran tunisia. in the pacific, on bloody guadalcanal, fighting an entirely different kind of warfare, united states troops overcame the last fanatical japanese resistance and won complete control of the island and its airfield. in the battle of the bismarck sea, allied bombers sank eight transports and four destroyers of a japanese convoy of 16 ships.
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>> 181 days after the allied landings in north of africa, they fell before the drive of american, british and french forces. ♪
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>> the drive reached its full fury with lightning speed, in the air and on the ground. the enemy was hit harder and harder, crushed in a vice from which there was no escape.
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♪ >> in five days all german resistance in tunisia collapsed. the forces surrendered. the myth of hitler's super race
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was beginning to crack. ♪ in the far away aleutian islands, american troops had landed on ato. ♪ ♪
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>> still farther away in new guinea american and australian troops drove back the enemy in malaria infested jungles. ♪ >> among the battle casualties we had suffered while fighting in the area, were three of our general officers, shot in action within less than 100 yards of the japanese lines. ♪ from victories on the deserts of
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north africa, the fog bound aleutians, through the tropical island of the guadalcanal to new guinea jungles where our troops were driving through resistance, we had, indeed, spread our forces around the world. who was it that once said the united states wasn't capable of fighting a two-front war? ♪ within less than 16 months, the united states navy had performed a miracle of salvage. ♪ of all the ships sunk or damaged at pearl harbor, all but three were back in service and in fighting trim by 1943. ♪ an achievement on a scale unequalled in naval history.
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♪ >> in russia, the germans had taken virtually all of stalingrad by 1942. their conquest was short lived. early in 1943, the russians launched a massive counter
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attack, retook stalingrad, captured 17 of hitler's generals. the tide had started to turn in russia. >> in june of 1943, hundreds of royal air force planes engaged in a nonstop aerial offenses over occupied europe that continued unremitingly for ten days.
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>> while the tide was turning in the air over hitler's fortress europe, american army and navy air forces along with nothose o new zealand launched an offensive to drive the japanese out of new guinea and the northern solomon islands.
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>> enemy forces on the island were wiped out. our troops drove for the airfield on new georgia island. >> with all of north africa in allied hands, preparations for husky began immediately. the immediate target sicily, little time was lost.
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only 60 days after the surrender of axis forces, the army invaded sicily simultaneously with british and canadian troops under montgomery. ♪ >> some 3,000 craft were employed to land an initial force of some 160,000 troops.
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>> almost 14,000 vehicles, about 600 tanks, nearly 2,000 guns. but sicily was held by more than 200,000 italian and german troops strongly entrenched on rugged terrain. it was to be a tough, hard-fought campaign. ♪ ♪ >> we invaded sicily just 18 months after pearl harbor.
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actually, an incredibly short period of time for a peaceful and unprepared nation to have accomplished so much. to have come so far. it was a brilliant reflection of our military planning and the energy and enterprise that implemented that planning. it was america at its dynamic best. the forces of agriculture, industry, labor and management, finance and manpower coordinated with the military. what the united states alone did in those first 18 months will live long in history. yes, we had come a long way, but we still had far to go in europe. still farther in the pacific. it would be 11 months after the invasion of sicily before we could build up and coordinate the massive ground, air, and sea forces for the invasion of normandy. 11 months of bitter fighting in italy and the vast island chain
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in the pacific. >> have you watched lectures in history lately, every saturday on american history tv on c-span 3, go inside a different college classroom and hear about topics ranging from the american revolution, civil rights and u.s. presidents, to 9/11. >> thanks for your patience and for logging into class. >> with most college campuses closed due to the impact of the coronavirus, watch professors transfer teaching to a virtual setting to engage with their students. >> gorbachev did most of the work to change the soviet union, but reagan met him halfway, reagan encouraged him, reagan supportd him.
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>> freedom of the press which we'll get to later, i should mention madison called it freedom of the use of the press and it is freedom to print things and publish things. it is not a freedom for what we now refer institutionally as the press. >> find it where you listen to podcasts. >> week nights this month we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span 3. tonight, a look at our series on the presidency. first, herbert hoover and fdr, the relationships between the roosevelt and kennedy families, and jfk's response to the nuclear arms race and civil rights. watch tonight beginning at 8:00 eastern. enjoy american history tv this week and


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