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Author Topic: Old saw: column of companies, column of platoons  (Read 321 times)

Offline vtsaogames

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Old saw: column of companies, column of platoons
« on: May 09, 2021, 05:13:43 PM »
There is a story that I've read in three different books, same story. It is said by an unamed US Army officer about the implied tendency of the US Marines to make frontal attacks. "The attack went up the hill in column of companies. The casualties came down in column of platoons."

The first place I read this story was in Pisor's "End of the Line, the siege of Khe Sanh". This was early in the book, when the Marines cleared the NVA out of hills overlooking the planned base. The next time I read this exact same tale was in Toland's "1918", about the final year of the Great War. I also read it in a book (that I'd don't recall the name of) about the Pacific fighting in WWII.

That's three wars claiming the same story. At least two of these stories must be false. Anyone shed any light on this? Perhaps it was just a tale that floated around?
And the glorious general led the advance
With a glorious swish of his sword and his lance
And a glorious clank of his tin-plated pants. - Dr. Seuss


My blog: http://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

Offline DonFabrizio

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Re: Old saw: column of companies, column of platoons
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 09:40:04 AM »
hmm, that's an intresting little mystery. Purely based on the gerenal contexts of the different conflicts, WW1 seems to be the most fitting for this story, but you never know.

Tolland's book is from 1980, Pisor's from 1983. Where in Tolland did you find this story?

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: Old saw: column of companies, column of platoons
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2021, 12:17:00 PM »
Not sure, been a while since I read this. But the tale struck me, since it read exactly the same in three different books, three different wars.

 

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