En 1914, era bien sabido que atacar posiciones bien defendidas con cargas de infantería equivale a enviar a los soldados a la muerte segura. Se sabía desde que los japoneses capturaran a los rusos en las costas pacíficas Port Artur:
In May 1904, the Japanese Second Army, 38,500 strong, landed on the Liaodong peninsula. The Russian forces arrayed against it consisted of 17,000 soldiers under the command of Major-General Anatoly Stoessel.
26 May 1904, the Japanese had fought their way to the 116-meter high Nanshan hill, which guarded the approach to . 3000 men of the 5th East Siberian Rifles were there, dug into fortified positions protected by mine fields, machine guns and barbed wire obstacles. Nine assault waves by determined Japanese troops failed to break the Russian defense. It was only when the Russians had run out of ammunition that they retreated toward Port Arthur . Port Arthur
Out of ammunition, the Russians fought with rifle butts and swords, to the last man standing. By mid-afternoon, a Japanese standard was flying from the top of 203- Meter Hill. Among the dead, four layers thick that day, was General Nogi’s last surviving son.
15,000 Japanese troops had been killed or wounded in the final six-day assault on 203-Meter Hill. Nogi was so emotionally shattered that he asked for permission to commit the ritual samurai suicide, seppuku. Emperor Meiji’s direct order prevented him from carrying out his wish.
It was back to Chikuan and Ehrlung. More giant mines exploded under ramparts, hand-to-hand combat, soldiers killed and maimed by the thousands. Chikuan fought to the last man. Out of the initial 50,000, only 5,000 Russians were still capable of combat. General Stoessel surrendered Port Arthur on 2 January 1905. Rarely had so valiant defenders fought such brave attackers.
The Siege of Port Arthur cost the Japanese 57,780 casualties, not counting thousands more dead from diseases. The Russians had 31,306 casualties. Over 23,000 more were taken into captivity. General Nogi had little time to contemplate this, as he now took his remaining soldiers north, to join the forces of Marshal Oyama against the main bulk of the Russian army.
Sin embargo, a pesar de saber todo eso, nuestros hombres de estado y sus generales siguieron con esa táctica suicida:
But it’s useful to compare Nogi’s conduct to that of European generals who, merely two years after his suicide, would send millions of soldiers to their death in frontal attacks on fortified trenches in the hail of bullets and clouds of mustard gas of the Great War.
Nogi was the first commander to lead a major infantry campaign in the face of 20th century military technology. His Prussian training had emphasized massed infantry charges against defensive positions. Such tactics had led to his first easy conquest of Port Arthur, in 1894. But by 1904, firepower capability had doubled, and new defensive technologies had been implemented. Nogi was unable to understand the full implication of this in time to adapt his tactics. For that, 57,780 of his soldiers paid with their lives, and, by his own choice, so would he.
But the Allied generals of World War 1 had Nogi’s errors to learn from. Yet they ignored the Port Arthur lessons out of haughty stupidity and unwarranted hubris.
Yet, the same General Ian “Too Much Feather In His Brain” Hamilton would send division after British and ANZAC division, to storm over minefields bullet-spewing fortified Turkish positions on the cliffs and beaches of Gallipoli, wasting 141,000 soldiers in the 1915 Dardanelles campaign.
In 1915 too, General Douglas “Bottle For a Brain” Haig would state, «The machine gun is a much over-rated weapon,» and would later send repeated charges of tens of thousands of British soldiers “over the top,” straight into entrenched German machine gun, mortar and howitzer fire. In the four months of the Somme campaign alone, by ignoring the lessons of Port Arthur the British high command wasted 420,000 British soldiers, and the French 200,000, to gain two miles of land. A generation of British women would be left to live and die as “Haig spinsters.”
Throughout World War 1, Allied casualties were especially heavy among officers, who dressed in spiffy uniforms that German riflemen had learned to spot at a distance. Camouflage, crawling under fire, and other defensive methods were considered dishonorable, even though French military observers had concluded already in 1905, in Manchuria, that these precisely would be the indispensable methods of survival in the modern theatre of war. (9)
Lo peor de todo han sido las consecuncias. Entre ellas el pacifismo delirante de quienes renuncian a defenderse e impiden a otros que los hagan:
The trauma of mechanized slaughter of millions of cannon fodder conscripts, orchestrated by operetta generals in World War 1 was so great, that almost all the social pathologies of the 20th century may be traced to it. Communism, Fascism, Nazism, “democratic” socialism, pacifism, militant feminism, nouveau liberalism, false egalitarianism, aggressive Third-Worldism – all blossomed from the wreckage of this war.
Just because a hundred years ago power was wielded by incompetent white males of dubious character, the main qualification for the new Praetorian Guard is to be a woman, a non-heterosexual, or a “person of color” of dubious wisdom. But only true meritocracy and ethnic cohesiveness can save the West from being destroyed by the spreading chaos from the Third World, and by the might of the East, where male oligarchies, tribal allegiance, and ruthless meritocracy still hold sway.