Batalha de Viena e Guerra Moreana: qual foi a posição da Rússia?

Batalha de Viena e Guerra Moreana: qual foi a posição da Rússia?

A Rússia não aparece nos relatos da Wikipedia sobre a Guerra Moreana ou da Batalha de Viena anterior. Acho isso um tanto surpreendente. Talvez a razão seja que antes de Pedro a Rússia era menos ativa com sua fronteira sul?

Pergunta: Há uma posição russa registrada sobre esses conflitos?


Viena foi sitiada em 1683. No Tratado de Bakhchisarai, a Rússia concordou em não lutar contra o Império Otomano durante o período entre 1681 e 1701 e, na verdade, manteve a promessa ... até 1686, isto é. Em seguida, juntou-se à coalizão europeia e iniciou a Guerra Russo-Turca (1686-1700), que venceu, ganhando Azov e Taganrog. Ambos foram perdidos logo em 1711, Azov retomado pelos turcos e Taganrog auto-demolido.


Lembre-se que apenas um ano antes da Batalha de Viena, o czar Feodor Alexeyevich faleceu, o que resultou na Revolta de Moscou de 1682. Como resultado, todo o poder foi conquistado por Sophia Alekseyevna, que se tornou regente da Rússia. O futuro czar, Pedro, o Grande, tinha apenas 10 anos.

Após a revolta, a situação interna da Rússia estava muito instável, com o Príncipe Ivan Khovansky tentando obter a regência para si mesmo. No outono, depois que o príncipe foi executado, outra rebelião começou em Moscou, que até conseguiu tomar o Kremlin.

Nessa situação, a política externa ficou menos importante por um tempo e qualquer ideia de tirar o exército do país em tempos tão difíceis, certamente seria considerada um risco que não vale a pena correr.


A PIOR derrota da história da Marinha Russa

No início do século 20, o Japão desafiou a posição dominante da Rússia no Extremo Oriente. Antes trancada em auto-isolamento, mas agora modernizada e rearmada, a Terra do Sol Nascente declarou abertamente seus interesses geopolíticos na Coréia e no nordeste da China, uma zona tradicional de interesses de seu vizinho do norte.

A Guerra Russo-Japonesa, que eclodiu em 1904-1905, chocou o mundo inteiro. Ninguém poderia imaginar que, no decorrer disso, o exército czarista não conquistaria uma única vitória e que na batalha de Tsushima a frota russa sofreria a derrota mais terrível de toda a sua história.

Art Media / Print Collector / Getty Images

Uma longa viagem

Em 15 de outubro de 1904, os navios de guerra do 2º Esquadrão do Pacífico, formado no Mar Báltico, deixaram o porto de Libava (atual Liepaja na Letônia). Eles deveriam viajar meio mundo, chegar ao Mar Amarelo e ajudar seus colegas do 1º Esquadrão do Pacífico que estavam sob forte pressão da Marinha Imperial Japonesa.

A fatídica viagem começou mal. Na madrugada de 22 de outubro, perto da costa da Grã-Bretanha, os navios russos abriram fogo contra navios pesqueiros locais, tendo-os confundido com forças japonesas de sabotagem. Como resultado, vários marinheiros ingleses foram mortos e foi somente graças aos esforços frenéticos dos diplomatas russos que o conflito foi resolvido pacificamente.

Frota russa ataca traineiras de pesca britânicas.

O 2º Esquadrão do Pacífico levou sete longos meses para chegar ao Extremo Oriente. Ao largo da costa da Indochina Francesa, juntou-se a ele o 3º Esquadrão do Pacífico do Contra-Almirante Nikolai Nebogatov, que o alcançou após tomar um atalho pelo Canal de Suez, em vez de circunavegar a África.

Em 27 de maio de 1905, 11 navios de guerra, nove cruzadores, nove destróieres, bem como navios de transporte e auxiliares sob o comando do vice-almirante Zinovy ​​Rozhestvensky, entraram no estreito da Coreia perto da ilha de Tsushima, onde o inimigo já os esperava.

Massacre

Almirante Togo Heihachiro a bordo do navio de guerra 'Mikasa'.

A Frota Combinada do Japão não só tinha uma vantagem numérica sobre os russos (em cruzadores e contratorpedeiros), mas também se preparou cuidadosamente para enfrentar o esquadrão russo. O almirante Togo Heihachiro estava determinado a destruir o inimigo com um único ataque.

Os japoneses avistaram os navios Rozhestvensky e rsquos enquanto ainda estavam a uma longa distância, enquanto o comandante russo falhou não apenas em realizar o reconhecimento adequado, mas também em desenvolver um plano de ação claro em caso de encontro com o inimigo, além de abrir caminho em direção a Vladivostok.

Eriçado com armas, o esquadrão russo estava se movendo em uma coluna de esteira, um navio após o outro a uma distância definida, o que estreitou significativamente seu alcance de tiro. Como, além dos navios mais novos, havia também muitos obsoletos, o comboio se movia a uma velocidade média de nove nós. Togo mandou atacar o lento e desajeitado inimigo com pequenas formações manobráveis ​​de quatro ou seis navios, que, desenvolvendo uma velocidade de até 16 nós, ultrapassaram o comboio e avançaram para atacá-lo de ângulos favoráveis.

No início da batalha, o navio de guerra russo & lsquoPrince Suvorov & rsquo, onde o vice-almirante Rozhestvensky estava a bordo, foi gravemente atingido. & ldquoEu me virei. Que devastação! ”, Lembrou um oficial do estado-maior do comandante, Vladimir Semyonov. & ldquoCabinas da tripulação queimando nas pontes, destroços queimando no convés, pilhas de cadáveres. Estações de sinais e telêmetros, postos de observação de projéteis - tudo foi varrido, tudo foi destruído. Atrás estavam o & lsquoAlexander & rsquo e o & lsquoBorodino & rsquo, também envolto em fumaça! & Rdquo

Mary Evans Picture Library / Global Look Press

O ferido Rozhestvensky foi evacuado para outro navio, enquanto o esquadrão perdeu o comando por um tempo, o que também contribuiu para o desastre iminente. O contra-almirante Nebogatov, que o substituiu, não conseguiu unir todas as forças sob seu comando e, na verdade, continuou a liderar apenas seu destacamento.

Os japoneses, que estavam bem preparados para a batalha, tinham mais experiência de combate, estavam mais bem equipados e tinham uma vantagem numérica, conseguiram tomar a iniciativa desde o início e segurar até o fim. À noite, eles conseguiram finalmente dispersar o esquadrão russo, após o que seus navios de guerra, cruzadores e contratorpedeiros puderam ser facilmente destruídos e capturados um por um.

Arquivo Hulton / Imagens Getty

& ldquoEnquanto nossos melhores navios pereciam um após o outro, perfurados por projéteis inimigos e destruídos pelo fogo, viraram, mas não saíram da formação de batalha, o inimigo permaneceu praticamente invulnerável & rdquo relembrou Vladimir Kostenko, um engenheiro do encouraçado Oryol. A Frota Combinada perdeu apenas três contratorpedeiros na batalha de Tsushima. Além disso, um deles não foi atingido por fogo russo, mas afundou, colidindo com outro navio japonês.

Desastre

As perdas sofridas pelo esquadrão russo foram muito mais significativas do que as dos japoneses. Vinte e um navios foram destruídos pelo inimigo ou explodidos por suas próprias tripulações após os danos recebidos: seis navios de guerra de esquadrão, dois navios de guerra de guarda costeira, quatro cruzadores, cinco destróieres, um cruzador auxiliar e três navios de transporte. As perdas humanas totalizaram 5.045 marinheiros, incluindo 209 oficiais.

Danificou o encouraçado Imperial Russo Oryol.

Os quatro navios de guerra restantes, um contratorpedeiro e dois navios-hospital acabaram levantando a bandeira branca. No total, 7.282 homens foram capturados pelos japoneses, incluindo os dois comandantes - Rozhestvensky e Nebogatov.

Os sete navios conseguiram chegar a Manila e Xangai, onde foram internados. Apenas o cruzador & lsquoAlmaz & rsquo e os destróieres & lsquoBravy & rsquo e & lsquoGrozny & rsquo conseguiram chegar a Vladivostok: apenas 870 oficiais e marinheiros das 16.000 pessoas que o esquadrão contava antes da batalha.

O cruzador russo 'Izumrud' após a batalha.

Photo12 / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

O desastre de Tsushima precipitou o fim da guerra com o Japão, que foi desastrosa para a Rússia. Tendo perdido quase todas as forças principais de sua frota, a Rússia tornou-se apenas uma potência naval menor. Seu prestígio militar internacional sofreu um grande golpe, enquanto dentro do país o descontentamento público com as autoridades aumentava rapidamente, o que acabou levando à Primeira Revolução Russa de 1905-1907.

O Império Russo perdeu completamente sua posição dominante no Extremo Oriente para o Japão, que teve a oportunidade de realizar uma expansão em grande escala na Coréia e na China. Foi apenas em 1945 que a União Soviética foi capaz de vingar a vergonha de Tsushima.

Clique aqui para ler 5 fatos sobre o tratado que encerrou a guerra desastrosa da Rússia com o Japão.

Se usar qualquer conteúdo do Russia Beyond, parcial ou totalmente, sempre forneça um hiperlink ativo para o material original.


Os anos das Forças Aliadas em Viena (1945 a 1955) - História de Viena

Em novembro de 1945, as primeiras eleições para o Conselho Municipal foram realizadas em Viena, e a cidade foi restaurada à democracia. As 100 cadeiras do Conselho da Cidade de Viena foram divididas entre os Socialistas (58 cadeiras), o Partido do Povo, ou Conservadores (36 cadeiras), e os Comunistas (6 cadeiras). As primeiras e principais prioridades do novo governo municipal eram garantir programas de bem-estar para jovens e idosos, reparar os serviços públicos municipais e reconstruir a cidade - um programa que continuou essencialmente até o início dos anos 1960.

Já em 1946, a chamada "Lei de Revisão Territorial" (Gebiets nderungsgesetz) foi aprovada, com o objetivo de mais ou menos revogar a expansão de 1938 da cidade. A aprovação das Forças de Ocupação Aliadas foi retida por oito anos, uma vez que as forças soviéticas em particular se detiveram, de modo que só entrou em vigor em 1954. Desde então, a área urbana compreende 23 distritos. Em comparação com a situação anterior a 1938, o território que agora forma o 22º distrito ao norte do Danúbio e o 23º distrito na extremidade sul da área urbana fazia parte de Viena. Um ano depois, em maio de 1955, o país foi restaurado à liberdade com a conclusão do & quotAustrian State Treaty & quot (& quotStaatsvertrag & quot). Em Viena, a economia deu uma guinada decisiva para melhor, não apenas como resultado da assistência concedida pelo Plano Marshall, mas também porque os confiscos de propriedade industrial pelos soviéticos cessaram.


Guerra Russo-Japonesa começa

O Japão declarou guerra formalmente contra a Rússia no dia do ataque a Port Arthur. Mas os líderes do Império Russo não receberam notificação das intenções do Japão & # x2019 até várias horas após a potência asiática ter atacado Port Arthur, que serviu como base de operações da marinha russa na região.

Seus conselheiros disseram ao czar Nicolau que os japoneses não desafiariam a Rússia militarmente, mesmo depois que as negociações entre as duas potências fracassaram.

Notavelmente, o direito internacional não exigia uma declaração formal de guerra antes de lançar um ataque até a Segunda Conferência de Paz de Haia de 1907, dois anos após o fim dos combates entre russos e japoneses.


Batalha de Viena e Guerra Moreana: qual foi a posição da Rússia? - História

Logo após Napoléon & # 8217s abdicação e exílio em 1814 os vencedores se encontraram em Viena na Áustria . As Guerras Revolucionárias Francesas começaram com uma guerra contra Áustria. Viena, capital da Áustria, parecia uma escolha óbvia & # 8230

Significado

Foi uma das conferências internacionais mais importantes da história europeia, que reorganizou a Europa após Derrota de Napoleão e # 8217 . Os monarcas europeus estavam determinados a criar uma paz duradoura com base no restauração da ordem & # 8220 antiga & # 8221: para apagar o legado do revolução Francesa e todo o fervor revolucionário que se espalhou por toda a Europa, para garantir que os ideais democráticos, igualitários e liberais ou o nacionalismo, ser totalmente apagado da Europa. Isso trouxe o restauração de uma ordem conservadora na Europa tentando voltar no tempo para antes de 1789.

Em uma nota mais mundana, o Congresso de Viena foi um cultural Olimpíada sem comparação. Durante nove meses, Viena entreteve mais de 200 delegados de toda a Europa com uma maratona de calendário cultural que consistia em bailes de dança diários (por exemplo, Viena valsa) e eventos da sociedade para atender às vaidades e ao bem-estar emocional de seus principais convidados & # 8230

Fundo

A Revolução Francesa começou a preocupar os monarcas vizinhos da França e # 8217, especialmente depois que a França declarou guerra ao Áustria (e seus aliados Prússia) em 1792 e depois que o rei francês Luís XVI foi julgado e decapitado no ano seguinte. Isso desencadeou dez anos de Guerras Revolucionárias Francesas (1792-1802) seguidos por onze anos de Guerras Napoleônicas (1803-14) contra a maioria das monarquias e países europeus: Grã-Bretanha, Áustria, Prússia, Espanha, Portugal, Holanda, Nápoles, etc. que se formaram até Seis coalizões diferentes para derrotar a França republicana!

Jogadores Principais

o quatro grandes potências (enfrentando a França) dominando o Congresso foram:

  1. Grã Bretanha
  2. Áustria
  3. Prússia
  4. Rússia

Aproximadamente 200 governantes e seus diplomatas reuniram-se na capital austríaca, Viena: 15 membros de famílias reais ao lado de 200 príncipes e 216 chefes de missões diplomáticas. Além disso, Suíça e outros estados europeus também enviaram delegados.

Não se tratava dos povos e das suas necessidades de liberdade e prosperidade, mas de restaurar os interesses das antigas dinastias europeias. O Congresso de Viena foi essencialmente sobre:

  • Restauração& # 8221 do absolutista monarquias na Europa antes da Revolução Francesa de 1789
  • Legitimar as monarquias governantes e feudos
  • Reestruturação Alemanha
  • Enfraquecendo e contendo França (A França está praticamente reduzida às suas fronteiras de 1791)
  • Criando as regras para mediar e gerir conflitos entre governantes europeus de forma pacífica.

A maioria das disposições da Ata Final do Congresso & # 8217 pode ser subordinada sob os títulos de "Legitimidade,” “Segurança," e "Compensação, ”Que foram os três grandes princípios que dominaram o Congresso.

  1. Legitimidade”Envolveu o restauração de dinastias depostas durante o período napoleônico, entre as quais a restauração de Bourbons linhas aos tronos da França, Espanha e do Reino das Duas Sicílias, e a restauração da Casa de Orange ao trono da Holanda.
  2. Sob o princípio de “Segurança, ”O objetivo era conter França por um cinturão de & # 8220buffer states & # 8221 para prevenir qualquer futura agressão francesa: o & # 8220Reddom of the Netherlands & # 8221 (Bélgica foi adicionado então, mas após a Revolução Belga, a parte sul do novo estado tornou-se independente em 1830), Áustria, Prússia, a italiano Reino do Piemonte e Suíça.
  3. Sob o princípio de “Compensação, ”(Além de abraçar as disposições territoriais feitas em“ Segurança ”), poderes como Rússia, Suécia, Grã-Bretanha e Áustria receberam novos territórios.

Enquanto o batalha de waterloo ainda estava furioso, o cinco estados signatários assinou o Tratado de Viena: Grã-Bretanha, Áustria, Prússia, Rússia e França.

O Congresso de Viena foi considerado um grande sucesso por ter alcançado seus objetivos principais.

  1. Grã-Bretanha e Áustria garantiu um Saldo de poder na Europa, especialmente um equilíbrio entre Prússia e Rússia. A Grã-Bretanha apoiou o fortalecimento do poder da Prússia que iria equilibrar a influência da Rússia & # 8217s na Europa. Mas, para combater uma aliança russo-prussiana, Áustria, Grã-Bretanha e França assinaram um tratado secreto concordando em se opor a tal aliança.
  2. Rússia e Prússia tiveram suas ambições expansionistas realizadas. A Rússia obteve grande parte de Polônia
  3. Áustria recebeu grandes territórios na Itália e recuperou outras regiões.
  4. Suíça foi estruturado em 22 cantões e obteve neutro status.
  5. A Suécia perdeu a Finlândia, mas foi reconhecida como seu território norueguês.
  6. A Santa Aliança: O czar Alexandre I da Rússia convenceu a maioria das nações europeias a assinar um Santa Aliança. Áustria, Prússia e Rússia formaram um reacionáriocoalizão que buscou preservar a Europa da revolução.
  7. Nacionalismo: A visão anglo-austríaca do europeu nunca satisfez as aspirações dos povos de nacional unidade. A decepção é importante para o alemão e italiano patriotas. Os nacionalistas não estavam satisfeitos com as novas fronteiras estabelecidas que serviam para manter o equilíbrio de poder, em vez de unificar um determinado grupo que compartilhava a mesma língua e cultura. A Alemanha não teve sucesso em cumprir seu objetivo de criar um estado alemão unido. Restaurar a Alemanha ao seu status anterior de caótico e fragmentado & # 8220Holy Roman Empire & # 8221 não serviu a ninguém & # 8217s. Em vez disso, uma & # 8220Confederação Alemã & # 8221 foi criada.
  8. França: Após a batalha de Waterloo, a França derrotada acabou perdendo territórios importantes e foi forçada a pagar 700 milhões de francos de indenização e devolver os tesouros de arte europeus roubados por Napoleão. No entanto, a França conseguiu reduzir o custo de sua perda territorial e reconquistar seu lugar, apoiando a posição britânica no proibição detráfico de escravos. Também apoiou a restauração do Bourbons.
  9. As grandes potências também concordaram em consultar frequentemente sobre assuntos de interesse comum, lançando assim o chamado & # 8220sistema de Congresso & # 8221 que envolvia congressos (ou conferências) periódicos. Esta série de arranjos mais ou menos manteve o Paz (A Europa fez não todos vão para a guerra de uma vez por um século, não até Primeira Guerra Mundial estourou em 1914), e evitou uma grande revolução até 1848.

Nesse sentido, o Congresso de Viena foi um triunfo de diplomacia.


Guerra coreana

Em junho de 1950, as forças comunistas da Coréia do Norte invadiram a República da Coréia do Sul, alinhada ao oeste, iniciando a Guerra da Coréia. Douglas MacArthur foi colocado no comando da coalizão liderada pelos americanos de tropas das Nações Unidas. Naquele outono, suas tropas repeliram os norte-coreanos e eventualmente os levaram de volta à fronteira chinesa. MacArthur se encontrou com o presidente Truman, que temeu que o governo comunista da República Popular da China pudesse ver a invasão como um ato hostil e intervir no conflito. O general garantiu que as chances de uma intervenção chinesa eram mínimas. Então, em novembro e dezembro de 1950, uma força maciça de tropas chinesas cruzou a Coreia do Norte e se lançou contra as linhas americanas, levando as tropas americanas de volta à Coreia do Sul. MacArthur pediu permissão para bombardear a China comunista e usar forças nacionalistas chinesas de Taiwan contra a República Popular da China. Truman recusou categoricamente esses pedidos, e uma disputa pública estourou entre os dois homens.

Em 11 de abril de 1951, Truman removeu MacArthur de seu comando por insubordinação. Em um discurso aos americanos naquele dia, o presidente declarou: & # x201CI acredito que devemos tentar limitar a guerra à Coréia por estas razões vitais: Para garantir que as preciosas vidas de nossos combatentes não sejam desperdiçadas para garantir que a segurança de nosso país e do mundo livre não é prejudicado desnecessariamente e para evitar uma terceira guerra mundial. & # x201D MacArthur havia sido demitido, disse ele, & # x201C para que não houvesse dúvida ou confusão quanto ao verdadeiro propósito e objetivo de nosso política. & # x201D

A demissão de MacArthur & # x2019 desencadeou um breve alvoroço entre o público americano, mas Truman permaneceu comprometido em manter o conflito na Coreia uma & # x201 Guerra limitada. & # X201D Eventualmente, o povo americano começou a entender que as políticas e recomendações de MacArthur & # x2019s podem ter levou a uma guerra massivamente expandida na Ásia.


Revolução Húngara de 1848

Na época da revolução, a Hungria já tinha seu próprio parlamento e considerável autonomia, mas os liberais europeus do século 19 buscavam a ideia de soberania nacional, e o império Habsburgo, independentemente de qualquer compromisso ou reforma que pudesse oferecer, permaneceu no caminho. A ideia de nacionalismo para a Hungria, entretanto, era especialmente complicada, uma vez que a área geográfica conhecida como Hungria incluía muitos grupos étnicos diferentes com lealdades conflitantes. Além dos magiares, a região incluía eslavos, croatas, sérvios e eslovenos, alguns dos quais eram leais à Áustria e se opunham ao movimento húngaro pela independência. Logo depois que Louis Kossuth declarou um Reino da Hungria independente, os croatas se rebelaram contra os húngaros e declararam sua lealdade à Áustria. Os primeiros combates na revolução húngara foram entre croatas e magiares, e a intervenção da Áustria por parte de seus leais súditos croatas causou uma revolta em Viena.

A rebelião na Hungria poderia ter sido facilmente reprimida se fosse um evento isolado. Mas como foi programado para coincidir com as revoluções em Viena e na Itália, o governo austríaco foi incapaz de responder com eficácia. A Áustria não tinha os recursos militares para sufocar quatro rebeliões simultâneas, então fez generosas promessas ao líder na Hungria a fim de ganhar tempo. Mesmo com as concessões da Áustria, no entanto, os húngaros optaram pela rebelião. Eles reuniram um exército de voluntários e conquistaram várias vitórias iniciais. A maioria dos eslavos da região, entretanto, se opôs à independência húngara, então a Áustria pediu à Rússia que interviesse. Os mal equipados patriotas magiares não conseguiram resistir à imensamente superior força russa, e a revolução húngara foi rapidamente encerrada.


Peter Kotlyarevski

Peter Stepanovich Kotlyarevski nasceu como filho de um padre de um vilarejo no leste da Ucrânia em 1782 e deveria seguir os passos de seu pai até que o destino interviesse. Um oficial russo, o tenente-coronel Ivan P. Lazarev, viajando para uma nova designação nas montanhas do Cáucaso, foi forçado a buscar abrigo na igreja durante uma forte tempestade de inverno em 1792. Lazarev ficou tão impressionado com o inteligente homem de 10 anos velho que ele garantiu um posto para ele em sua própria unidade, o Corpo de Jaeger do Cáucaso. No ano seguinte, Kotlyarevski foi alistado como soldado raso no 4º Batalhão, comandado por Lazarev. Como era comum na época, jovens bem-nascidos subiam na hierarquia à medida que prosseguiam seus estudos. Um ano depois, aos 12 anos, Kotlyarevski tornou-se sargento.

Mikhail Skobelev.

As forças russas no Cáucaso estavam engajadas em uma guerra constante contra as tribos rebeldes das montanhas, bem como resistindo aos esforços turcos e persas para conter a invasão russa em suas esferas de influência tradicionais ao sul das montanhas. A luta foi violenta, sem nenhum lado dando nem pedindo trégua. Em 1796, Kotlyarevski, de 14 anos, recebeu seu batismo de fogo durante o ataque à fortaleza persa de Derbent, na costa do Mar Cáspio.

Kotlyarevski foi promovido a alferes em 1799 e tornou-se ajudante-de-ordens de Lazarev, agora major-general. Infelizmente, sua associação logo teve um fim trágico. Em 1800, a rainha viúva Mariam da Geórgia, chateada com a abolição da monarquia georgiana pelo czar Paulo I, pessoalmente esfaqueou Lazarev até a morte quando ele chegou à capital georgiana, Tiflis, para removê-la para a Rússia. O novo comandante das forças russas no Cáucaso ofereceu a Kotlyarevski uma posição como seu ajudante de campo pessoal. Kotlyarevski recusou, no entanto, optando por comandar uma companhia em um regimento jaeger. No final do ano, agora capitão, Kotlyarevski participou da defesa de Tiflis de uma grande força de rebeldes membros da tribo Lezghin.

Em junho de 1805, um exército persa de 40.000 homens invadiu o território do atual Azerbaijão. A vanguarda persa que avançava colidiu com um pequeno destacamento russo que guarnecia um pequeno forte antigo na aldeia Askeran, bloqueando a estrada em uma passagem estreita na montanha. Os 500 soldados russos, incluindo a companhia de Kotlyarevski, acrescidos de recrutamentos armênios locais, resistiram por duas semanas. Como os reforços persas cada vez maiores tornavam a posição russa insustentável, os armênios leais ajudaram os russos a escapar por trilhas nas montanhas.

Com o passar dos anos, Kotlyarevski continuou fazendo campanha, subindo na hierarquia e acumulando feridas. Em 1807, aos 25 anos, foi promovido a coronel e recebeu o comando de um regimento jaeger.

Russos sob o comando do general Peter Kotlyarevski em campanha contra os persas no montanhoso Azerbaijão. Como todos os grandes generais, Kotlyarevski perseguiu seus inimigos em retirada para aniquilá-los.

Em 1810, uma força persa de 30.000 homens liderada pelo príncipe herdeiro Abbas-Mirza invadiu o Karabakh Khanate, um protetorado do Império Russo. Um dos principais destacamentos persas ocupou a Fortaleza Migri, estrategicamente localizada em uma encruzilhada importante. O coronel Kotlyarevski com uma força de 400 jaegers e granadeiros foi despachado para retomar a fortaleza.

Usando guias locais, Kotlyarevski conduziu seus homens por terrenos montanhosos difíceis e chegou nas imediações de Migri sem ser visto. Um súbito ataque russo limpou continuamente uma fortificação periférica após a outra, eventualmente forçando a maior parte da guarnição de 2.000 homens a se retirar da fortaleza. Colocando-se à frente do ataque, Kotlyarevski sofreu um ferimento no braço esquerdo. Dois dias depois, Abbas-Mirza abordou Migri com sua força principal. Depois de várias sondagens malsucedidas e de encontrar a fortaleza muito bem defendida para arriscar um ataque, o príncipe persa ordenou que suas tropas recuassem para a fronteira.

Mas não era da natureza de Kotlyarevski deixar o inimigo escapar sem ser desafiado. Aumentado por poucos recrutamentos locais, ele perseguiu e alcançou o exército persa em retirada enquanto este cruzava o rio Araks à noite. A força russa de pouco mais de 400 homens era muito superada em número pelo exército persa de mais de 10.000. Sabendo que qualquer hesitação seria mortal e que nenhum homem poderia ser poupado para guardar cativos, Kotlyarevski ordenou que seus homens não fizessem prisioneiros. Um furioso ataque de baioneta russa explodindo na escuridão pegou completamente as forças persas de surpresa. A desordem e o pânico varreram suas fileiras e o exército persa derreteu.

No ano seguinte, 1811, Kotlyarevski executou outra manobra ousada, levando dois batalhões de infantaria e 100 cossacos através de montanhas cobertas de neve para capturar a Fortaleza Akhalkalak por um ataque noturno. Por essa ação audaciosa, Kotlyarevski foi promovido a major-general.

Em 1812, mais uma vez, Abbas-Mirza liderou um grande exército contra o território controlado pela Rússia. As forças russas dispersas não podiam guarnecer todos os pontos-chave, e os persas rapidamente ocuparam várias posições estratégicas. O Gen Brig Kotlyarevski recebeu autoridade para operar por iniciativa própria para recapturar o território. A força sob seu comando numerou 2.200 homens e seis canhões eles enfrentaram cerca de 30.000 persas.

Cruzando o rio Araks, fronteira entre a Rússia e a Pérsia, Kotlyarevski atacou os persas em Aslanduz em 19 de outubro e os derrotou, capturando a fortaleza mais tarde durante a noite. Por esta vitória, Kotlyarevski foi promovido a tenente-general.

A Fortaleza Lenkoran, cercada por pântanos, protegida por fortes fortificações e guarnecida por 4.000 persas, foi a próxima. Em 26 de dezembro, Kotlyarevski chegou a Lenkoran. Sem artilharia pesada, o bombardeio de cinco dias foi inútil. Com a munição de canhão acabando e com relatos de uma forte força de socorro persa se aproximando, Kotlyarevski tomou a decisão de tomar a fortaleza de assalto.

Na véspera do ataque, Kotlyarevski ordenou: “Não haverá recuo. Devemos tomar a fortaleza ou todos morrerão…. Não dê ouvidos ao sinal de chamada, ele não virá! ” Os saques foram proibidos sob pena de morte até o fim do assalto.

Uma pintura contemporânea da Batalha de Shipka Pass mostra tropas russas se defendendo de um ataque desesperado dos turcos. O general russo Mikhail Skobelev se destacou durante a Guerra Russo-Turca de 1877-1878 por capturar a passagem de montanha estratégica.

O ataque começou antes do amanhecer de 31 de dezembro de 1812. O avanço das colunas russas foi recebido com fogo fulminante. Vítimas particularmente pesadas ocorreram entre os oficiais russos, normalmente liderando na linha de frente. Quando um coronel que liderava uma das colunas caiu, Kotlyarevski colocou-se à frente de seus homens. Uma bala perfurou sua perna, mas o bravo general começou a subir uma escada de assalto. Quando ele alcançou o topo da parede, duas balas o atingiram na cabeça e Kotlyarevski caiu da parede.

Vendo seu amado general cair, os enfurecidos soldados russos carregaram a fortaleza à baioneta. Nenhum quartel foi concedido e a maioria dos defensores persas foi caçada através da fortaleza. Milagrosamente, Kotlyarevski sobreviveu a seus ferimentos graves.

A queda de Lenkoran decidiu o resultado da Guerra Russo-Persa, com a Pérsia cedendo grandes porções de território ao sul das Montanhas do Cáucaso. Devido aos ferimentos, Kotlyarevski renunciou ao exército, estabelecendo-se na Ucrânia.

Quando a próxima guerra com a Pérsia começou em 1826, o czar Nicolau I ofereceu a Kotlyarevski o comando das forças russas no Cáucaso. Kotlyarevski recusou, no entanto, citando problemas de saúde. Kotlyarevski viveu o resto de sua vida em reclusão. Ele faleceu em 1852.

Os eventos no Cáucaso foram ofuscados pela luta titânica da Rússia contra Napoleão, e o nome de Kotlyarevski é virtualmente desconhecido até na Rússia moderna. No entanto, o “Flagelo do Cáucaso” escreveu uma página brilhante na história militar russa.


Guerra da Coréia: uma nova perspectiva

Dispensada como a guerra & # 8216esquecida & # 8217, a Coreia foi na verdade um dos conflitos mais significativos da América. Embora nascida de um equívoco, a Guerra da Coréia desencadeou o acúmulo de forças dos EUA na Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte (OTAN), iniciou o envolvimento americano na Guerra do Vietnã e, embora vista como uma aberração na época, agora serve como o próprio modelo para as guerras do futuro da América e # 8217.

Um dos motivos pelos quais a importância da Guerra da Coréia não é mais bem avaliada é que, desde o início, o conflito apresentou mensagens confusas e contraditórias. O historiador e veterano de combate da Guerra da Coréia, T.R. Fehrenbach escreveu em seu clássico Este tipo de guerra: & # 8216Os americanos em 1950 redescobriram algo que desde Hiroshima haviam esquecido: você pode voar sobre uma terra para sempre, pode bombardeá-la, atomizá-la, pulverizá-la e limpar sua vida & # 8211 mas se você deseja defendê-la, proteja-a , e mantê-lo para a civilização, você deve fazer isso no solo como as legiões romanas fizeram, colocando seus jovens na lama. & # 8217

Fehrenbach concluiu: & # 8216 Em abril de 1951, o Oitavo Exército comprovou novamente a afirmação de Erwin Rommel de que as tropas americanas sabiam menos, mas aprenderam mais rápido do que qualquer guerreiro a que ele se opôs. A tragédia das armas americanas, no entanto, é que, tendo um senso imperfeito da história, os americanos às vezes esquecem tão rápido quanto aprendem. & # 8217 Essas palavras provaram ser verdadeiras.

Dois anos depois, quando a guerra chegou ao fim, o secretário da Força Aérea Thomas K. Finletter declarou que & # 8216A Coréia era um desvio único e nunca repetido do verdadeiro curso do poder aéreo estratégico. & # 8217 Para o no próximo quarto de século, o armamento nuclear dominou a estratégia militar dos Estados Unidos. Como resultado, o General Maxwell D. Taylor, o último comandante do Oitavo Exército & # 8217 em tempo de guerra (e mais tarde presidente do Estado-Maior Conjunto durante a Guerra do Vietnã), reclamou que & # 8216 não foi feita nenhuma análise completa das lições a serem aprendi com a Coreia, e mais tarde os legisladores passaram a repetir muitos dos mesmos erros. & # 8217

O erro mais terrível que esses formuladores de políticas cometeram foi julgar mal a verdadeira natureza da guerra. Como Karl von Clausewitz, o renomado filósofo da guerra prussiano, escreveu em 1832: & # 8216O primeiro, o supremo, o mais amplo ato de julgamento que o estadista e o comandante devem fazer é estabelecer & # 8230 o tipo de guerra contra que eles estão embarcando & # 8230.Esta é a primeira de todas as questões estratégicas e a mais importante. & # 8217

As President Harry S. Truman’s June 27, 1950, war message makes evident, the U.S. assumption was that monolithic world communism, directed by Moscow, was behind the North Korean invasion. ‘The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt,’ said Truman, ‘that Communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.’

That belief, later revealed as false, had enormous and far-reaching consequences. Believing that Korea was a diversion and that the main attack would come in Europe, the United States began a major expansion of its NATO forces. From 81,000 soldiers and one infantry division stationed in Western Europe when the war started, by 1952 the U.S. presence had increased to six divisions–including the National Guard’s 28th and 43rd Infantry divisions� aircraft, 82 warships and 260,800 men, slightly more than the 238,600 soldiers then in combat in Korea.

Another critical action was the decision to become involved in Vietnam. In addition to ordering U.S. military forces to intervene in Korea, Truman directed ‘acceleration in the furnishing of military assistance to the forces of France and the Associated States in Indo-China and the dispatch of a military mission to provide close working relations with those forces.’

On September 17, 1950, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) Indochina was formed, an organization that would grow to the half-million-strong Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) before U.S. involvement in that country came to an end almost a quarter century later. As in Korea, the notion that monolithic world communism was behind the struggle persisted until almost the very end.

The fact that such an assumption was belied by 2,000 years of Sino-Vietnamese hostility was ignored, and it was not until Richard Nixon’s diplomatic initiatives in 1970 that the United States became aware of, and began to exploit, the fissures in that so-called Communist monolith. By then it was too late, for the American people had long since given up on Vietnam.

The fact that the U.S. response to both the Korean War and the Vietnam War was built on the false perception of a Communist monolith began to emerge after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. At a July 1995 conference I attended at Georgetown University, Dr. Valeri Denissov, deputy director of the Asian Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, revealed the true nature of the Korean War’s origins.

Drawing from the hitherto secret documents of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, Denissov revealed that far from being the instigator of the war, Soviet Premier Josef Stalin was at best a reluctant partner. In September 1949, the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party rejected an appeal from North Korea’s Kim Il Sung to assist in an invasion of the South. But in April 1950, says Denissov, Stalin changed his mind and agreed to provide assistance for an invasion of the South. For one thing, Kim had convinced Stalin that the invasion was a low-risk operation that could be successfully concluded before the United States could intervene.

‘Thus,’ said Denissov, ‘the documents existing in Russian archives prove that…it was Kim Il Sung who unleashed the war upon receiving before-hand blessings from Stalin and Mao Zedong [Mao Tse-tung].’

Why did Stalin change his mind? The first reason lay in Mao Tse-tung’s victory in the Chinese Third Civil War. Denissov asserted that ‘Stalin believed that after the U.S.A. deserted Chiang Kai-shek ‘to his own fortunes’ in the internal Chinese conflict they would not risk a participation in a Korean-Korean war as well.’ Another factor, Denissov believed, was that ‘the Soviet Union had declared the creation of its own nuclear bomb, which according to Stalin’s calculations deprived Americans of their nuclear monopoly and of their ability to use the ‘nuclear card’ in the confrontation with the Soviet Union.’

Another Russian Foreign Ministry official at the conference, Dr. Evgeny Bajanov, added yet another reason for Stalin’s change of heart–the ‘perceived weakness of Washington’s position and of its will to get involved militarily in Asia.’

That perception was well-founded. Dispatched to Korea at the end of World War II to disarm the Japanese there, the U.S. military was not too fond of the country from the start. When I arrived at the replacement depot at Yongdungpo in November 1947, our group was addressed by Lt. Gen. John R. Hodge, commander of the XXIV Corps and of U.S. forces in Korea. ‘There are only three things the troops in Japan are afraid of,’ he said. ‘They’re gonorrhea, diarrhea and Korea. And you’ve got the last one.’

After a year with the 6th Infantry Division in Pusan—a time spent mostly confined to barracks because of the civil unrest then sweeping the country—I was only too glad to see the division deactivated in December 1948 and myself transferred to the 24th Infantry Division in Japan. In 1949, the 7th Infantry Division, the only remaining U.S. combat unit in Korea, was also transferred to Japan, leaving only the several hundred men of the Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG).

‘In Moscow,’ Denissov said, ‘American military presence in South Korea in 1945-1949 was viewed as a ‘deterring factor’ which became defunct after America’s withdrawal from the South.’ Yet another sign of lack of American will was Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s public statement in January 1950 that Korea was outside the U.S. defense perimeter in Asia. Finally, Moscow must have been well aware of the drastic cuts made in America’s defenses by the false economies of Truman and Louis Johnson, his feckless secretary of defense.

While Stalin’s and Kim Il Sung’s perceptions of U.S. lack of resolve may have been well-founded, they were also wrong. During a Pentagon briefing in 1974, General Vernon Walters, then deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was asked about the unpredictability of U.S. reaction. ‘If a Soviet KGB spy had broken into the Pentagon or the State Department on June 25, 1950, and gained access to our most secret files,’ Walters said, ‘he would have found the U.S. had no interest at all in Korea. But the one place he couldn’t break into was the mind of Harry Truman, and two days later America went to war over Korea.’

In taking the United States to war in Korea, Truman made two critical decisions that would shape future military actions. First, he decided to fight the war under the auspices of the United Nations, a pattern followed by President George Bush in the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and, currently, by President Bill Clinton in Bosnia. Second, for the first time in American military history, Truman decided to take the nation to war without first asking Congress for a declaration of war. Using the U.N. Security Council resolution as his authority, he said the conflict in Korea was not a war but a ‘police action.’

With the Soviet Union then boycotting the U.N. Security Council, the United States was able to gain approval of U.N. resolutions labeling the North Korean invasion a ‘breach of the peace’ and urging all members to aid South Korea.

The United States was named executive agent for the conduct of the war, and on July 10, 1950, Truman appointed General of the Army Douglas MacArthur as commander in chief of the U.N. Command. In reality, however, the U.N. involvement was a facade for unilateral U.S. action to protect its vital interests in northeast Asia. The U.N. Command was just another name for MacArthur’s Far East Command in Tokyo.

At its peak strength in July 1953, the U.N. Command stood at 932,539 ground forces. Republic of Korea (ROK) army and marine forces accounted for 590,911 of that force, and U.S. Army and Marine forces for another 302,483. By comparison, other U.N. ground forces totaled some 39,145 men, 24,085 of whom were provided by British Commonwealth Forces (Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and 5,455 of whom came from Turkey.

While the U.N. facade was a harmless delusion, Truman’s decision not to seek a declaration of war set a dangerous precedent. Claiming their war making authority rested in their power as commanders in chief, both Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon refused to ask Congress for approval to wage war in Vietnam, a major factor in undermining support for that conflict. It was not until the Gulf War in 1991 that then President Bush rejected suggestions that he follow the Korean precedent and instead, as the Constitution provides, asked Congress for permission to wage war.

All those political machinations, however, were far from the minds of those of us then on occupation duty in Japan. We were as surprised as Stalin and Kim Il Sung at Truman’s orders to go into action in Korea. For one thing, we were far from ready. I was then a corporal with the 24th Infantry Division’s heavy tank battalion, only one company of which was activated–and that unit was equipped not with heavy tanks but with M-24 Chaffee light reconnaissance tanks, armed with low-velocity 75mm guns, that proved to be no match for the North Koreans’ Soviet-supplied T-34 85mm-gun medium tanks.

Also inadequate were the infantry’s 2.36-inch anti-tank rocket launchers. Radios did not work properly, and we were critically short of spare parts. Instead of the usual three rifle battalions, the infantry regiments had only two. And our field artillery battalions had only two of their three authorized firing batteries. Although our officers and sergeants were mostly World War II combat veterans, we were truly a ‘hollow force.’

The 24th Infantry Division was the first U.S. ground combat unit committed to the war, with its initial elements landing in Korea on July 1, 1950. We soon found ourselves outgunned by the advancing North Korean People’s Army (NKPA). All of our tanks were lost to the NKPA T-34s, and our commander was killed for want of a starter solenoid on our tank retriever. Going into action with some 16,000 soldiers, the 24th Division had only 8,660 men left by the time it was relieved by the 1st Cavalry Division on July 22.

The shock of those initial disasters still reverberates throughout the U.S. Army more than four decades later. After the end of the Cold War in 1991, the watchwords of Army Chief of Staff General Gordon Sullivan were ‘Remember Task Force Smith,’ a warning not to let the Army again become the hollow force of 1950 that paid in blood for America’s unpreparedness.

Task Force Smith was the first of the 24th Infantry Division’s units to be committed. Named after its commander, Lt. Col. Charles B. ‘Brad’ Smith, the task force consisted of the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, and ‘A’ Battery, 52nd Field Artillery Battalion. The task force came under attack by the infantry columns of the NKPA 4th Infantry Division and the T-34s of the 209th Armored Brigade at Osan on July 5, 1950. Outnumbered and unable to stop the NKPA tanks, it was forced to fall back toward Taejon. There, the remainder of the 24th Infantry Division made a stand until July 20, before being pushed back into the Naktong Perimeter–losing the commander, Maj. Gen. William F. Dean (captured by the NKPA), in the process. Although at a terrible price, it had bought time for the remainder of the Eighth U.S. Army (EUSA) to move from Japan to Korea. Contrary to Kim Il Sung’s calculations, America had been able to intervene in time. North Korea’s attempt to conquer South Korea in one lightning stroke had been thwarted.

Wars are fought on three interconnected levels. At first, the United States was on the operational (i.e., theater of war) and tactical (i.e., battlefield) defensive, but at the strategic (i.e., national policy) level, it was still pursuing the same policy of ‘rollback and liberation’ that it had followed in earlier wars. That policy called for temporarily going on the defensive to buy time to prepare for a strategic offensive that would carry the war to the enemy in order to destroy his will to resist.

While EUSA held the Naktong River line against a series of North Korean assaults, General MacArthur laid plans to assume the strategic, operational and tactical offensive with a landing behind enemy lines at Inchon.

In a brilliant strategic maneuver, MacArthur sent his X Corps ashore on September 15, 1950. Consisting of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division and the Marine 1st Division, it rapidly cut the enemy’s lines of supply and communication to its forces besieging the Naktong Perimeter to the south, forcing them to withdraw in disarray. While X Corps pressed on to recapture Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, EUSA broke out of the Naktong Perimeter and linked up with X Corps near Osan on September 26. Seoul fell the next day.

‘After the Inchon landing,’ Secretary of State Acheson told the Senate in May 1951, ‘General MacArthur called on these North Koreans to turn in their arms and cease their efforts that they refused to do, and they retired into the North, and what General MacArthur’s military mission was, was to pursue them and round them up [and] we had the highest hopes that when you did that the whole of Korea would be unified.’

On Korea’s western coast, EUSA crossed the 38th parallel dividing North and South Korea and captured the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on October 19, 1950. EUSA continued to drive north against light opposition, and on November 1, 1950, it reached its high-water mark when the village of Chongdo-do, 18 air miles from the Yalu River separating Korea and the Chinese province of Manchuria, was captured by the 21st Infantry Regiment.

Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, X Corps had moved into northeastern Korea. The 1st Marine Division occupied positions around the Chosin Reservoir, while on November 21, elements of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division’s 17th Infantry Regiment reached the Yalu River near its source at Hyesanjin in eastern Korea. It seemed as though the war was over.

But disaster was at hand. On October 4, 1950, Chairman Mao Tse-tung had secretly ordered ‘Chinese People’s Volunteers’ into action in Korea. Those Chinese Communist Forces (CCF) consisted of some 380,000 soldiers, organized into two army groups, nine corps-size field armies and 30 infantry divisions.

From October 13 to 25, the 130,000-man CCF XIII Army Group covertly crossed the Yalu River in the western sector opposite EUSA. Two weeks later, the 120,000-man CCF IX Army Group also moved surreptitiously into the eastern sector in Korea, opposite X Corps. Because of intelligence failures, both in Washington and in Korea, the Chinese managed to achieve almost total surprise. Their intervention would change not only the battlefield conduct of the war but also its strategic nature.

According to the Soviet archives, in May 1950, Mao had agreed to join with the Soviet Union and support the North Korean invasion of South Korea. As the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Evgeny Bajanov noted at the 1995 Georgetown conference, Chinese Foreign Minister Chou En-lai ‘confirmed [on July 2, 1950] that if the Americans crossed the 38th parallel, Chinese troops disguised as Koreans would engage the opponent’ and that Chinese armies had already been concentrated in the area of Mukden in Manchuria. ‘In August-September 1950 on a number of occasions,’ said Bajanov, ‘Mao personally expressed concerns over the escalation of American military intervention in Korea and reiterated the readiness of Beijing to send troops to the Korean peninsula ‘to mince’ American divisions.’ But when Stalin sent a message to Mao on October 1, asking him to ‘come to the rescue of the collapsing Kim regime,’ Mao refused, instead suggesting ‘the Koreans should accept defeat and resort to guerrilla tactics.’

Under intense Soviet pressure, however, on October 13, ‘the Chinese, after long deliberation, did agree to extend military aid to North Korea,’ said Bajanov. ‘Moscow in exchange agreed to arm the Chinese troops and provide them with air cover. According to the available information, it was not easy for Beijing to adopt that military decision. Pro-Soviet Gao Gang and Peng Dehuai [who would later command the CCF in Korea] finally managed to convince Mao to take their side. Their main argument was that if all of Korea was occupied by the Americans, it would create a mortal danger to the Chinese revolution.’

In any event, after feints in early November against EUSA at Unsan and against X Corps at Sudong, both of which were ignored by Far East Command intelligence officers, the CCF launched its main attack. On November 25, the XIII Army Group struck the EUSA, driving it out of North Korea and retaking Seoul on January 4, 1951. Meanwhile, on November 27, the CCF IX Army Group struck X Corps, and by December 25, 1950, had forced its evacuation from North Korea as well.

At first, both Moscow and Beijing were elated. On January 8, 1951, Bajanov reported, Stalin cabled Mao, ‘From all my heart I congratulate Chinese comrades with the capture of Seoul.’ But Bajanov added, ‘By the end of January 1951…the euphoria of Communists started to decline and quite soon it disappeared and was replaced with worries, fear, confusion and at times panic.’

What made the difference was Lt. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, who took command of EUSA on December 26, 1950, replacing Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker, who had been killed in a jeep accident. Ridgway turned EUSA from dejection and defeat into a tough, battle-ready force within a matter of weeks. ‘The Eighth Army,’ wrote Fehrenbach, ‘rose from its own ashes in a killing mood….By 7 March they stood on the Han. They went through Seoul, and reduced it block by block….At the end of March, the Eighth Army was across the parallel.’

Attempting to stem that tide, on April 22, 1951, the CCF launched its great spring offensive, sending some 250,000 men and 27 divisions into the attack along a 40-mile front north of Seoul. It was the largest battle of the war, but by May 20 the CCF, after some initial gains, had been turned back with terrible losses. Como Tempo magazine put it, ‘The U.S. expended ammunition the way the Chinese expended men.’ After that success, the United States was in good position to retake the offensive and sweep the CCF from Korea. But Washington ordered EUSA to maintain its defensive posture, for U.S. military policy had changed from rollback and liberation to containment. That ruled out battlefield victory, for the best possible result of defensive operations is stalemate.

On July 10, 1951, armistice talks began between the U.N. Command and the CCF/NKPA. After the front line stabilized in November 1951, along what was to become the new demarcation line, the fighting over the next 20 months degenerated into a bloody battle for terrain features like Old Baldy, Heartbreak Ridge and Pork Chop Hill. The U.S. forces suffered some 63,200 casualties to gain or retain those outposts. With victory no longer in sight, public support for the war plummeted, and in 1952 Truman decided not to run for re-election rather than risk almost certain defeat. With the signing of the armistice agreement on July 27, 1953, the war finally came to an end.

Dwarfed by the total U.S. victory in World War II, the negotiated settlement in Korea seemed to many observers to be a defeat and at best a draw. Certainly it seemed no model for the future.

As indicated previously, it was Eisenhower’s strategy of massive nuclear retaliation that dominated the immediate postwar era. Conventional forces, like the Korean War itself, were dismissed as irrelevant. Even when the atomic war strategies were challenged by the John F. Kennedy administration’s policy of flexible response, conventional forces were still ignored in favor of the ‘new’ counterinsurgency war. Vietnam would be its test case.

The Vietnam War, like the Korean War, was pursued on the strategic defensive–the United States still not realizing that the best result possible was stalemate. In Korea, U.S. forces kept the external enemy at bay while giving local forces responsibility for counterguerrilla operations. But in Vietnam, this strategy–the only one with any hope of success–was regarded as ineffective, even though the Korean War objective of preserving South Korea’s independence had been attained.

Only in the wake of an unqualified failure in Vietnam, where Saigon fell not to guerrilla attack but to a Korea-style cross-border blitzkrieg by the North Vietnamese army, did the limited validity of both nuclear war and counterinsurgency operations become evident. The most probable future conflict was still a war fought with conventional weapons in pursuit of limited political goals—in short, another Korea.

That was exactly what happened in the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, and what the Pentagon is now prepared for with its policy of being able to fight two regional conflicts almost simultaneously.

One of those potential regional conflicts is Korea. As President Bill Clinton told the Korean National Assembly in July 1993, ‘The Korean peninsula remains a vital American interest.’ As proof of U.S. resolve, almost a half century after it was decimated at Kunu-ri protecting EUSA’s withdrawal from North Korea, the 2nd U.S. Infantry Division currently sits astride the Seoul invasion corridor as a tripwire guaranteeing certain U.S. involvement in any future conflict there. MH

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A less horrific SAW: The bizarre tale of the Pizza Collar Bomber

Posted On April 29, 2020 16:06:57

In 2003, the town of Erie, Pennsylvania made national news when an unassuming pizza delivery man walked into a local bank and demanded a quarter of a million dollars from the vault. What happened next would baffle authorities for years and see the crime become one of the most intriguing ever committed in the United States. Então o que aconteceu?

At roughly 2:30 PM on August 28, 2003, a 46 year old man by the name of Brian Wells walked into the Erie branch of PNC Bank and handed the teller a note that read, “Gather employees with access codes to vault and work fast to fill bag with $250,000. You have only 15 minutes.”

As the teller read the note, Wells informed them that he had a live explosive around his neck that would detonate if the demand wasn’t met. He then pulled down his shirt to reveal a crude, but threatening-looking metal collar with two pipe bombs attached. Wells was also holding a custom made cane that doubled as a shotgun.

Showing a remarkable amount of professionalism, the bank workers informed Wells that it wouldn’t be possible to retrieve that sum of money in such a short amount of time due to the various safeguards to limit access to the vault.

Wells then simply asked for whatever they had available, taking time to grab a lollipop from the counter, which he began to idly suck on whilst waiting for his money.

All-in-all Wells would leave the bank about 12 minutes later with ,702 in cash. He then went to McDonald’s next door for a bit, as you do, after which he headed back to his car.

As you might imagine, hanging around in the parking lot next door to the bank you just robbed isn’t a great way to not get caught. And so it was that Wells found himself tackled by police as he was walking to his vehicle.

Whilst being cuffed, Wells helpfully informed the troopers of the bomb around his neck and that three black men had put it there. He further stated that, as far as he was aware, it would go off any minute.

Naturally, the officers all very abruptly backed away from Wells, no doubt mumbling to themselves that they were “too old for this shit”, if movies from that era have taught me anything. After getting a safe distance away, they called the bomb squad.

As for Wells, for 20 agonizing minutes he sat alone on the concrete, occasionally shouting to officers to check if they’d called his boss to inform him why Wells hadn’t come back to work after the delivery, and inquiring when the bomb squad was going to show up.

Unfortunately for Wells, just a few minutes before said explosives experts arrived, the collar around his neck began beeping- never a good sign. Wells’ calm demeanor disappeared completely at this point and he frantically wiggled backwards in a futile attempt to get away from the bomb. Approximately ten seconds after the beeping started, the collar exploded, killing him.

After the bomb squad checked the collar to ensure all explosives had detonated, the gathered law enforcement began slowly sifting through Wells’ belongings, beginning what would soon become one of the most unusual cases in the annals of law enforcement history.

Most pertinent to the topic at hand, while searching through Wells’ beat up old Geo Metro, they stumbled across several pages of handwritten instructions ominously addressed simply to the “Bomb Hostage”. These instructions, evidently meant for Wells, included several explicit warnings against deviating from them in anyway and were littered with threats of harsh and instantaneous reprisal should they be ignored, including remote detonation of the bomb. Further, on one page it stated, “This powerful, booby-trapped bomb can be removed only by following our instructions… ACT NOW, THINK LATER OR YOU WILL DIE!”

Later analysis would conclude that these threats were baseless as there was no way to detonate the collar remotely, despite a cell phone seeming to be connected to the bomb in fact, it was just a realistic looking toy phone.

As for what the instructions were telling Wells to do, beyond of course instructing him to rob the bank, what followed was a twisted scavenger hunt to find several keys which the instructions claimed would delay the timer on the bomb and, eventually, disarm it completely. At that point, they stated he would be able to safely remove it without setting it off. However, it turns out, along with the cell phone being fake, the various key holes weren’t wired or linked to anything.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, experts analysing the collar would later conclude that although the device “looked” dangerous and sophisticated, including a lot of wires that seemed to be connected in significant ways, the guts of the bomb actually had the complexity of, to quote one of the investigators, a “child’s toy“- more or less just two pretty run of the mill pipe bombs connected to two electronic kitchen timers with nothing complicated about any of it. Cut the wires to the timers, no boom.

Further, it turns out even that wasn’t necessary to save Wells’ life, as had he simply reached up and tugged the mechanism to allow it to open and taken it off, this too wouldn’t have triggered the bomb. He could have even simply added time to the timers manually or turned them off if he wanted to leave the collar on without risk.

So what devil made this dastard device of destruction?

Investigators tried to follow the trail laid out in the instructions, traveling several miles to a nearby wood to find another note which in turn directed them to a seemingly random road sign miles in the other direction. The trail went cold at the road sign when a jar that was supposed to contain yet another clue turned up empty. Investigators would later surmise that the killer or killers had learned of Wells’ death and abandoned their plans to continue placing clues for him. Either that, or they’d simply assumed he’d not have had time to get to that point before the bomb would detonate so didn’t bother leaving another message.

With nothing else to go on, investigators turned to looking more into Wells. To begin with, upon initially being arrested, Wells, as noted, had alleged that the collar had been forcibly placed upon him by a group of large black men during a routine pizza delivery. Looking into it, indeed Wells had been working at the still existing and exceptionally well reviewed Mama Mia’s Pizzeria when a call came in from what turned out to be from a payphone at around 1:30p on that day of August 28, 2003. The original person who answered the pizzeria phone couldn’t understand the speaker, so passed it over to Wells, who then took the order and ultimately went out to deliver the pizzas.

Following the trail, investigators went to the site of that last delivery- a TV transmission tower at the end of a dirt road- and found nothing of significance other than a neighbor had stated he’d heard a gunshot at approximately the time Wells would have been there delivering the pizzas.

Local law enforcement and later the FBI further found nothing that would give Wells motive to commit such a bizarre crime had he been the one to instigate it. Wells had no apparent significant outstanding debts or commitments, and was noted as being a model employee and a man of good moral standing. People who knew him described him as a simple man, but also a very nice, and seemingly happy person.

In short, the authorities were at a complete loss. In fact, it’s possible this bizarre crime would have remained a mystery forever had the police not received a phone call a few weeks later from a man called Bill Rothstein.

You see, Rothstein lived near the TV transmission tower Wells had made his final delivery to and had even been interviewed by the FBI who combed his property for clues, finding nothing. This changed, however, when Rothstein inexplicably confessed to having a human body in his freezer.

After being arrested, Rothstein identified the body as being that of Jim Roden, the lover of one of his ex girlfriends, then 54 year old Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong. Rothstein insisted that he had nothing to do with Roden’s death and that his ex had shot and killed Roden during an argument. Not wanting to incur his ex’s vengeful wrath, Rothstein had hidden the body at her insistence and even helped dispose of the murder weapon. However, when Diehl-Armstrong told him to grind up the body and bury it, Rothstein decided enough was enough and confessed.

Now, initially the FBI wrote the whole location of the two crimes off as a bizarre coincidence. That is, until Rothstein told local police that he was so wracked with guilt about the whole ordeal that he’d contemplated killing himself.

Why is this important, you ask?

Well, to prove this, Rothstein directed police to a suicide note he’d stashed away in a drawer. Along with containing a confession about the murder of Roden and his remorse over his involvement, it also for some reason contained the sentence -“This has nothing to do with the Wells case.”

Naturally, this led to some follow up questions about why he’d written that. While Rothstein and Diehl-Armstrong initially flatly denied having anything to do with the collar bomb plot, once again leaving authorities with nothing solid, over the course of many years of investigation that followed, this trail did lead somewhere and things slowly became reasonably clear.

To begin with, it’s important to note that while in her younger years Diehl-Armstrong had been a straight-A student type and ultimately even earned a Master’s degree in college, she also had mental health problems that only got worse with age. On that note, previous to murdering Roden, it came to light that she had shot and killed one Robert Thomas in 1984. As to why she wasn’t in prison for it, she was acquitted as it was deemed self-defense, despite that he’d been apparently just sitting on their couch at the time and she shot him not once, not twice, not thrice, not what we’re going to call frice and, I don’t know, fwivce- but six times.

Further, eight years later in 1992, her husband, Richard Armstrong, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. While we can only hope that was naturally induced, it is noteworthy that she managed to finagle a rather sizable legal settlement with the hospital involved over it. She also allegedly had a couple other men in her life who likewise met rather untimely deaths at ages where men not acquainted with Diehl-Armstrong didn’t normally find themselves failing to continue breathing.

Whatever the case with any of that, she was ultimately convicted of the murder of Roden. At the same time, police were still trying to figure out if they could connect her and Rothstein more concretely to the Wells case, but coming up empty…

That is, until Diehl-Armstrong herself became tired of the high security prison life at Muncy Correctional Institution about a year and a half after Wells’ death. She thus requested to be transferred to a minimum-security prison. In exchange for granting her request, she would tell the authorities anything and everything they wanted to know about the Wells’ case, which she subsequently did.

A further break was had getting another side of the story not long after when one Kenneth Barnes’ brother-in-law decided to call the police to let them know Mr. Barnes, a retired individual who’d taken up drug dealing for some extra money, had bragged to him about his own involvement in the pizza collar bomber case. As for Barnes, he was easy for police to find as he was sitting in a prison cell at the time after being arrested for his little side job as a crack dealer. Once confronted, Barnes too had a story of his own to tell the police.

Naturally, the confessions of those involved should be met with some degree of skepticism on the finer points, particularly as they all pointed the finger at someone else being the mastermind behind the whole thing. That caveat out of the way, combining all the evidence and the stories, the generally accepted tale the investigators cobbled together is as follows.

It would seem leading up to the bank robbery, Diehl-Armstrong approached Barnes to see if he wouldn’t mind killing her father. As to why, she believed, whether accurately or not isn’t clear, that his net worth was approximately million (about .7 million today). Notably, in his waning years, he’d begun donating this small fortune to various charities. To ensure she got the bulk sum, she apparently figured it would be best not to wait for him to die naturally, but just kill him immediately.

The problem was when she asked Barnes to take him out, Barnes asked for a sum of 0,000- not exactly something she had lying around, and he was unwilling to do the job with only the promise of money after the inheritance was acquired.

So how to come up with the 0,000 to get M? Well, robbing a bank apparently seemed like the easy solution if one could think of a way to ensure there was no chance of getting caught.

At some point in here, it’s not clear when, Rothstein became involved, with Diehl-Armstrong herself claiming he was the mastermind behind the whole thing in the first place, though most authorities think it likely that it was, in fact, her. And for whatever it’s worth, Barnes claims Diehl-Armstrong herself first asked him if he knew how to make a bomb for the plot, but he did not, and thus Rothstein, who was a bit of a closet genius and worked as a handy-man and shop teacher, did.

Whatever the case, plan developed, they now needed someone to actually go rob the bank and function as the fall-guy should things go wrong.

Enter prostitute Jessica Hoopsick, who was an acquaintance of Barnes through his drug dealing business, including using his house as a bit of a home base to entertain clients, as apparently several prostitutes in the area did.

While elements of Hoopsick’s story, as with all the others involved, are considered somewhat suspect, she claims she was asked by Barnes for someone who might be easily pressured into committing a crime, though she stated she had no knowledge at the time of what the crime would be. In exchange for drugs and money, she thus gave them the name of one of her frequent clients, Wells, as an ideal candidate given he was, to quote her, a “pushover”. Hoopsick also claims that, at least as far as she was aware, Wells had no prior knowledge of the plot before his fateful pizza delivery on the day of his death.

This brings us to Wells’ role in the plan. While there is still some debate on this point, it would actually seem that Wells had known the plan going into the delivery, though had been pressured into agreeing to it in the first place. Whether that is actually true or not, it would appear on the day of the event, he decided to back out.

You might now be thinking, “If he decided to back out, why did he go deliver the pizzas?” Well, it would appear his reticence to remain involved was squarely centered around the fact that in the planning stage, he had been told the bomb would be fake. But upon arriving on the day in question, he discovered they’d lied to him and Rothstein had, in fact, made a real bomb. Thus, when they tried to put the collar on him, he attempted to flee, resulting in a gun being fired as a warning shot, as heard by the neighbor. Further, according to Barnes, he had to punch Wells in the face to get him to allow the collar to be put on.

From there, it is speculated that Wells probably was under the impression he needed to follow the steps as laid out to get the collar off, which would go a long way in explaining why he chose to go get the paper with the next step at the McDonald’s next door, rather than, you know, fleeing the scene of the crime immediately after committing it. Unless of course he simply wanted to get caught, which would have been a massive risk, but perhaps one he felt was better than returning to his compatriots.

Of course, as the bomb put a hole in his chest, we’ll never know what he was thinking at the time. But given that there was no way for Wells to complete the steps the notes required of him in the time allotted, it’s thought by the authorities the conspirators had always planned for him to die. The steps were simply to lead him out of town where the bomb would detonate and they could go collect the cash. Making sure he felt he needed to follow them just ensured he wouldn’t lead police right back to them.

Had they left him alive, even if he wasn’t initially caught, there was little chance Wells wouldn’t be identified and arrested. And on the flip-side, should he be caught before the bomb went off, well, the limited time on the device gave good odds Wells wouldn’t have time to spill the beans. Thus, aside from the mistake of having Wells go to the McDonald’s next to the bank, this was a pretty ingenious plan overall. Had Wells made it out of town, it is likely they would have gotten the cash, with no further leads for the police other than Wells’ body.

This all brings us back to Roden’s death which foiled the whole plan. According to a fellow inmate of Diehl-Armstrong’s, she allegedly told said unnamed inmate that the argument the couple had was over the scheme. Allegedly, Roden told her if she didn’t call off the plot, he was going to tell the police. Rather than nix the plan, she simply decided to kill him and then handed the body over to Rothstein. From there, she allegedly threatened him to keep his mouth shut or he’d get the same.

Whatever the truth of that, in the end, Rothstein died of lymphoma in 2004 at the age of 60, years before any of this would become known, and thus the only one of the primary conspirators to avoid jail time Diehl-Armstrong met her maker thanks to breast cancer, dying in prison on April 4, 2017. As for Barnes, he joined the pair in the afterlife in June of 2019 at the age of 65 from complications due to diabetes.

This article originally appeared on Today I Found Out. Follow @TodayIFoundOut on Twitter.


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