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When Things Get Crazy…
…The Crazy Turn Pro by Teutonic Fist
“War is Hell!”
William T. Sherman was a failure in his civilian life.
Born in 1820, he was raised by foster parents following the death of his father and later married his foster sister, the daughter of a wealthy and well-connected Ohio lawyer. When he was 16, his foster father secured a place for him at West Point where his classmates described him later as brilliant. But despite these family connections every business scheme he tried failed. He was an honest but unsuccessful banker during the 1848 California Gold Rush, the secession of the southern states ended his position as a college administrator in Louisiana. He tried many jobs and all of them failed and so he was confronted with bankruptcy unable to support his family before the civil war began.
He joined the union army at the beginning of said war at the rank of colonel. Promotions followed. During the battle of Shiloh he was wounded twice and things were going so bad, Sherman was close to suicide. It might be there that the perception dawned in him that slugging it out with the poor sons of sharecroppers in upfront confrontations would not result in victory. The standard military tactic of the Union Army at that time could be reduced to "there is a gun emplacement over there? Throw some Irish immigrants at it until they drown in blood!"
The approach by Sherman was different and so he is today often regarded as the Inventor of Total War. You defeat an enemy not by killing his warriors, but by destroying his will to fight, meaning beating into him that he will lose more in the fight than he could win. This was during a time where the average fertility rate was around 8 in the United States. John Brown had seven sons of which six participated in the killings of the Planters (An almost mocking term for people who never worked a day in the field in their life). But the point is, John Brown created his own street gang with his Dick.
Killing warriors in such an environment gets you nowhere, especially not if their warlords are the wealthiest pricks on the planet who would never give up their lifestyle. You need to destroy the base of these warriors first, meaning the populace and their supply system, cut them off from their material, personal and moral support.
In regards of the American South that meant destroying the plantation system that made a small class of people obscenely rich and that they wanted to expand to the Caribbean to get even more filthy rich.
This strategy is not so new, it was the standard modus operandi in most of human history, until it resulted in an age of colored uniforms and gentleman demeanor, that sought to ritualize war in an almost bureaucratic manner. WAR was locked in a box and hidden away in the basement. No respected person would even think of such a proposal, but then, Sherman was no respected person and his long list of failures hardened him against the mockery and accusations of the public. There was nothing to lose.
And so because for Sherman there was nothing to lose, he was the perfect prick that could teach the southern aristocracy to lose big time. The Soldiers of Sherman’s Army and Sheridan’s Army burned Barns, Mills, Granaries, Plantations, Mansions, trampled Cotton fields, drove off livestock, tore up railway lines, cut Telegraph and left the population without the means to support themselves, so supporting the confederate army was out of the question. And destroying shit is really bad for the moral of people who pay protection money in the form of taxes to institutions who claim they would prevent that. A man might forgive the death of his father, but he will never forgive the destruction of his heritage. By destroying their stuff Sherman saved the lives of conscripted southern soldiers, yet even to this day the south hates Sherman.
I have no doubt Sherman was crazy, especially with that long history of bipolar depression in his family. But when things get crazy, the crazies turn pro. Crazy-eyed and wild-haired Sherman was the perfect man for this war, a war that waited for Sherman.
And the sad lesson from this is not personal tragedy someone must endure to harden ones heart, but that modern society has no need for such men anymore. There are over 30 movies about the outlaw and bushwacker Jessie James, but not a single one about Sherman. Today Sherman would be trialed as a war criminal. Yet I still hope that maybe in two years there would be a movie about Sherman and one day we could finally overcome this timid lying morality.
Because war is hell, and not a popularity contest.
Sheridan, the highest ranking and most accomplished Union Cavalry general [Custer’s Civil War boss] and eventually put in charge of the war effort against the Plains Indians, worked as a military advisor for the Prussian Army during the Franco-Prussian War and “scorched earth” doctrine in modern war can be traced back to his work.
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PRFebruary 9, 2018 10:12 PM UTC

Genghis Khan fought this way too. Wherever he was opposed, he turned cropland into pasture for his horses to make it easier to invade the next time. When he wasn't opposed, he left everyone alone.
responds:February 10, 2018 4:02 AM UTC

And he held "their women close..."

The man is responsible for 4% of the human genome!

If my calculation without a calculator of 220 million of 8 billion is correct.
Jeremy BenthamFebruary 9, 2018 1:30 AM UTC

Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the Jubilee.

Hurrah! Hurrah! The flag that makes you free,

So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,

While we were marching through Georgia.

While we are marching through Georgia - Tennessee Ernie Ford

Destroy the enemy and his will to fight!