In the middle of the war of the war, I picked up a book on Sherman and was shocked at some of the similarities between what I was reading, and what was happening out in Iraq.
I live in South Carolina. I was born in South Carolina. That means I’m CONFEDERATE by nature. And Sherman, who ended the war after leading burn’n, thiev’n yankee troops through the heart of South Carolina is about as popular as the devil around here. Until I read the book, I had a hazy knowledge of Sherman as a man who lead a horde on an unopposed pillage through the defenseless heartland of the CSA while burning everything his men could get thier hands on.
Reality turns out to be different. Faceing Sherman’s 75,000 troops were 60,000 Confederate soldiers. Since one Confederate soldier can whip two Yankees (see, I am from the South), Sherman was going in quite outnumbered. But his increadable strategic manuvering left his opponets having to fall back, or fight battles that were such onesided slaughters that they are not worth mentioning.
The great paralel I found was his belief that by going for the heartland of the enemy county, he could force the enemy to give up. Confederate soldiers with their homes safe belived that they could whip anything. Confederate soldiers with an enemy army marching seemingly unopposed through their states’ capitals, belived that the war was over, and in accodance with that belief, quit fighting.
Which cities did more fighting take place in? The big homeland Iraq citys? Or the ones on the south edge of the county? In the eyes of an Iraqi soldier, Americans in Um Qatar means the war is starting, but Americans in the center of Bagdad means the war is over.
Sherman belived that only by guerrillas could he be defeated, and made his plans so as to avoid starting guerrilla warfare. Again in Iraq, I think the only thing that could push us out of the country agaist our will is guerrilla/suicide warfare. At the moment Iraqis are glad to see us. Lets keep out the Palestinians, not make stupid laws, and keept it that way.
Sherman did not believe in rigid plans, and set piece attacks, but rather in flexibility. His army was split into three main columns that moved as one animal. Apart and yet supporting each other, they twisted and coiled through the CSA, constanly baffling the enemy and to their intentions. This war has been one of the wars stunningly won through flexibility.