Memorial day movie watching.


May 30, 2011, 07:03 PM
Ok, so I never served in the military, but I'm sitting here watching "The Longest Day," and a thought crosses my mind. It's during the scenes showing the actual landing on the beaches. At one is Eddie Arnold and I believe Robert Mitchum, and on another is Henry Fonda. Fonda and Mitchum are Generals and Arnold is a Colonel. And I'm thinking, I don't care what my rank might be or how many other armed soldiers there might be, I'm not storming a beach with several divisions facing me, and be unarmed!! Or only armed with a .45. Fonda, who is playing one of President T.R. sons, only has his pistol and a walking stick! Y'all who have been in the military, especially the Army or Marines, do the higher ranks still do this? Of course I know Generals don't still storm beaches, but these in the movies are only one star Generals.

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May 30, 2011, 07:51 PM
I think this "only one star generals" thing is where you kinda got the disconnect. General isn't just another paygrade. It is *highly* competitive. Even "one star only" varieties.

Would Generals storm the beaches? No. Definitely not. Would Generals carry a rifle, even in a combat zone? Also, probably not. They even tell little Lieutenants that the weapon of an Officer is his unit. Not his sidearm or rifle.

So I guess my take on it is this. *If* "just a one star" was in a beach assault ... he'd probably carry a pistol. Yes. But he wouldn't be. 8)

And I'm pretty sure that uh ... the guys weren't on the beach in the middle of the assault. That'd be a pretty idiotic thing to do. If the aide and all his lower officers even let him try to make it to the beach anywhere near the first wave.

May 30, 2011, 10:31 PM
T. Roosevelt Jr. did indeed land with the first wave. It took quite a bit of argument for him to get permission to do so. He was the only general officer to do so at Normandy.

Other generals did carry rifles, General Gavin (82d Airborne) being one of them. I bet a large part of this was to make themselves less conspicuous, since a man with only a pistol would be sniper-bait.

Tim the student
May 31, 2011, 12:36 AM
Yep, Jumpin Jim Gavin carried a rifle. I've seen a couple of pics of him with a rifle in Normandy.

I've seen generals outside the wire in Iraq, but I don't ever recall them carrying a rifle. I was on at least one dismounted patrol with a general, and I don't think the carried one then. Their aides did - and damn they were paranoid. They just didn't know how to act.

Here is a pic of General Gavin before the Normandy jump:

May 31, 2011, 01:18 AM
Yes Gavin made combat jumps. Yes Norman Cota was on Omaha Beach, Yes Teddy Roosevely led the troops in at Utah.
General Leslie McNair led from the front which got him killed.

Brian Williams
May 31, 2011, 09:31 AM
Thanks, While this thread is kind of about guns, it is more about Generals who might or might not carry them.
Thanks for watching the movies and remembering those who died while serving our country. Now back to our regular programing.

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