Tag Archives: World War II

Russell Dunham, World War II, Medal of Honor, Washington Post, April 8, 2009, Sgt. Dunham, 3rd Infantry Division, German fox holes, German machine guns, Greatest Generation passing

First of all, let me say that I have nothing but respect for the
Greatest Generation, the generation that survived the Great Depression
and saved the world from Nazi domination. Today in the obituaries, I
read of the passing of another American hero. The exploits of Russell
Dunham against German forces in World War II are another example of
the self sacrifice common among the Greatest Generation and harder to
find in the current masses of “me” individuals in our midst.

From the Washington Post, April 8, 2009.

“On Jan. 8, 1945, Tech. Sgt. Dunham’s company, part of the 3rd Infantry Division, was facing a formidable German force at the small town of Kayserberg, France, on the Franco-German border. The men were issued white mattress covers as camouflage in the deep snow.

Heavily armed, Sgt. Dunham scrambled 75 yards up a snow-covered hill toward three German machine gun emplacements. He took out the first bunker with a grenade.

Advancing toward the second, he glanced around to call up his squad and a bullet hit him in the back, tearing open a 10-inch gash. As he struggled to his feet, a grenade landed nearby; he kicked it away before it exploded.

He then crawled through the snow to the machine gun and lobbed his own grenade into the bunker, killing two Germans. His carbine empty, he leaped into the foxhole and hauled out a third enemy soldier by the collar.

In excruciating pain, his mattress-cover overcoat now stained a conspicuous red, Sgt. Dunham ran 50 yards to the third machine-gun emplacement and took it out with a grenade. As German infantrymen began scrambling out of their foxholes, Sgt. Dunham chased them down the back side of the hill. He and his elder brother Ralph, who was in the same unit, encountered a fourth machine gun; the older Dunham took it out.

A German rifleman who shot at Russell Dunham at point-blank range but missed became the ninth German he killed that winter morning.

His back wound had yet to fully heal when Sgt. Dunham returned to the front. On Jan. 22, his battalion was surrounded by German tanks at Holtzwihr, France, and most of the men were forced to surrender.

Sgt. Dunham hid in a sauerkraut barrel outside a barn but was discovered the next morning. As the two German soldiers who found him were patting him down, they came across a pack of cigarettes in his pocket and began fighting over it. They never finished their search, so they missed a pistol in a shoulder holster under his arm.

Later in the day, his two captors transported him toward German lines. The driver stopped at a bar, the second soldier’s attention wandered and Sgt. Dunham shot him in the head. He set off toward American lines in sub-zero temperatures.

By the time he encountered U.S. engineers working on a bridge over the Ill River, his feet and ears were frostbitten. A medic working to save his feet from amputation told him that the commanding officer had intended to recommend him for the Distinguished Service Cross but had changed his mind. The young man from Illinois, the officer had decided, deserved the Medal of Honor. “

Read more:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/07/AR2009040703851.html

Iraq war, history 101, United Nations, US role, facts, revisionist history

There are 1 or more people commenting on this blog that are purportedly University of Western Florida students. Responding with comments to my posts is ok. Disagreeing with me is ok. Trying to take over this blog is not. If you need a platform for your agenda, start your own blog.

History 101 and the Iraq War

Prerequisites: some fundamental knowledge of 20th century history. Closest analogy to Iraq war in past 100 years, World War II.

Topic 1 – The Iraq war is costing a lot of money. There is a cost of action and a cost of inaction. Assignment: calculate the cost of World War II in today’s dollars. Cost in human lives. What would the dollar cost and human cost have been if we had not entered the war? What would the dollar cost and human cost have been if we had gotten involved 1 year earlier? 2 years earlier?

Now, suppose we had not stopped the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. Now suppose we had left Saddam Hussein unchecked. Now factor in Iran and their desire for a nuclear capabability. Don’t believe for 1 minute that Iran has not been pursueing a nuclear program. A friend of mine 25 years ago was married to an Iranian nuclear physicist.

Lesson: there is always a cost for action and a cost for inaction.

Topic 2 – Does the US have a desire to police the world? The answer is no. The United Nations had a clear purpose to prevent Saddam Hussein from getting out of control. The United Nations failed to perform it’s duty. Why? Key members, France, Germany and Russia were “in bed” financially with Saddam Hussein. If my memory is correct, our so called policing was welcome in World War II when the world was going down the toilet and close to Nazi domination.

Lesson: The US is forced into action by the irresponsibility of other nations. Fortunately, the Iraq war was a coalition of many countries including Great Britain and Australia.

Myth: The US is the cause of death and injuries to the Iraqi People. This is an outright lie. The people saying this are liars. Saddam Hussein, remnants of his regime, factional frictions and outside radical Islamic cowards are the cause. And yes, anyone that would attack innocent women and children or ask them to become a weapon, that person is the lowest level of coward. Radical Islamists, if you were real men, you would face American men face to face and not send women and children to do your evil killing.

Any questions, class?