Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stand, Men of the West!

From the book Lieutenant Ramsey's War-From Horse Soldier to Guerrilla Commander, by Edwin Price Ramsey & Stephen J. Rivele. Pub. by Potomac books, memories of war series.

“Now I could see scores of Japanese infantry in brown fatigues firing from the village center, and behind them hundreds more wading the river and crowding toward the Batolan bridge. In a few minutes more the entire body would be flooding across to seize Morong.
Over the rattling gunfire I ordered my troopers to deploy as foragers, and I raised my pistol. A charge would be our only hope to break up the body of Japanese troops and to survive against their superior numbers. For centuries the shock of a mounted charge had proved irresistible; now the circumstances and all my training made it instinctual.
I brought my arm down and yelled to my men to charge. Bent nearly prone across the horses’ necks, we flung ourselves at the Japanese advance, pistols firing full into their startled faces. A few returned our fire, but most fled in confusion, some wading back into the river, others running madly for the swamps. To them we must have seemed a vision from another century, wild-eyed horses pounding headlong; cheering, whooping men firng from the saddles.
The charge broke clear through the advance unit and carried on to the swamp, here we dismounted and grabbed our rifles from the scabbards. I threw out a skirmish line of our squad along the river to keep the main column from crossing, and led the rest back into Morong to search for snipers.”

footnote: Ramsey’s charge at Morong, January 16, 1942, was the last mounted cavalry charge in United States military history.

The Japanese counterattacked:

“Troopers were falling around me, from mortars and the hidden snippers, even as I shouted directions at them over the noise. Suddenly I spotted an American officer taking cover against the church, and my adrenaline and anger boiled over.
“Hey, you yellow son of a bitch!” I screamed at him “Get over here and fight!”

Later in the hospital Ramsey learns that the officer he yelled at was General Wainwright’s chief of staff. He’d recommended Ramsey for the Silver Star.

Congressman Rangel, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, John Murtha, Teddy Kennedy, Dick Durban, Harry Reid, Carl Levin, Henry Waxman, Chuck Schumer, Lincoln Chaffee, Chuck Hegel, CNN, AP, NY Times, et. al. You yellow sons of bitches! Get into the fight! Why are you such lousy quitters? Why are you so determined to give up? Why take others down to despair with you? Do you long for the security of the looser? I suppose it is in the great tradition of the Democratic Party since 1975, to turn their backs on a fight...

Of course, fantasize. “We’d have stood at the bridge. We’d have supported the Czechs. We’d have saved the Jews of France. Well, the opportunities’ come ‘round again. Where is your mettle?

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