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Old 6th July 2008, 20:22
Sylvester Stadler's Avatar
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Top Ten Aces of the Military Channel

Today's official and unofficial policies of political correctness and
affirmative action are not only promoted by governmental agencies
which also include the public schools and universities, they are being
promoted by web sites and television programs which are being
swallowed wholesale by today's uninformed youth and adults but which
are recognized as such by persons who are familiar with the subjects
presented which turn out to be distortions of the truth or are total
lies.

One such subject which I noted on the Military Channel (MC) deals with
the top fighter pilots of history. The MC has pretty much replaced in
my viewing the History Channel (HC) which has changed its entire
format to deal with subjects appealing to the couch potato. The
Dogfights series was cancelled so that viewers could be more
entertained by such programs as Ice Truckers. The MC is very biased
in its presentations but at least there programs of historical
military significance. The bias is very evident in such programs as
the Ten Top Tanks which never even mentions the Panther tank; no
credit is given to Field Marshal Blücher for the victory at Waterloo;
the Ten Top Snipers mentions only American, British and Russian
snipers (admittedly info on German snipers is difficult to obtain but
I have two books on this subject); the Top Ten Fighters gives no
credit to the Bf 109 which scored more kills than any fighter in
history.

When I saw the program Showdown which compares fighter aircraft in
dogfights such as thus far the F-86 v MiG 15; P-38 v Zero; and
Wildcat v Zero, I was impressed. These documentaries took me to the
MC website where a link to the Top Ten Flying Aces was portrayed. To
my surprise, the #10 ace of all time was a Tuskegee airman who scored
the incredible total of five kills. Also to my surprise was the #9
top ace of all time who was a Soviet woman with around 11 kills. The
affirmitive action crowd obviously had to make room by deleting such
greats as Adolf Galland, Hans Joachim Marseille, Werner Mölders,
Johnnie Johnson, Robert Johnson, etc. John Thach, of the Thach weave
fame, had to be included but not the developer of the finger-four
fighter formation or Oswald Boelcke who developed fighter tactics
which are still in use today. No fighter force uses the Thach weave.
The MC never stated what the criteria were for the selection of the
top ten aces but evidently there is one standard for Africans, one
standard for females, one for Americans, and another for Germans.

Here is the MC list for the top aces of history:

#10 Lee Andrew Archer, Jr.: The only Tuskegee pilot with at least 5
kills.
#9 Lilya Litvak: female Soviet ace whose claim to fame is that she
is the first female to score a victory. Double ace.
#8 R. Stephen Ritchie: The only USAF ace in the Vietnam war.
#7 John S. Thach: developed the Thach weave to combat the Zero.
#6 Saburo Sakai: claimed 64 kills.
#5 James Jabara: With 15 kills, he was the second highest scorer of
the Korean War.
#4 Ilmari Juutilainen: 94 kills.
#3 Richard Bong: Highest scorer of the Pacific campaign with 40
kills.
#2 Erich Hartman: The Military Channel states that he was shot down
and captured by the Russians after 1400 missions (sic).
#1 Manfred von Richthofen.
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Old 6th July 2008, 21:28
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Re: Top Ten Aces of the Military Channel

Unfortunately many of these programs seem to be thrown together to appeal to a more general audience who aren't as exacting in their requirements as serious historians/researchers. How many times have you seen any bit of old footage of an exploding tank or aircraft getting shot down that isn't the correct type or from the correct campaign or even theatre or nationality. I'm sure some of these programs have excellent military advisors but unfortunately the editors and producers of many of these programs (just a job to most of them) decide what makes the cut and their historical eye for detail usually isn't as good as their abilities to produce mass media documentries.
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Old 6th July 2008, 23:50
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Re: Top Ten Aces of the Military Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvester Stadler View Post
Today's official and unofficial policies of political correctness and affirmative action are not only promoted by governmental agencies which also include the public schools and universities, they are being promoted by web sites and television programs
You don't need a bunch of paranoid right-wing garbage to explain the problem (although I suppose if you adopt the name of a Waffen-SS general, maybe you do need it?). The sort of programs and websites that so incense you are simply made by people whose self-confidence vastly and need for an audience exceed their knowledge of the subject in question. Serious history takes lots of patience, dedication effort and money to produce, and with no guaranteed result: qualities almost entirely incompatible with multi-channel TV. The problem is simply one of a commercial context that favours or indeed demands superficiality.
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Old 7th July 2008, 00:08
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Top Ten Aces of the Military Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Beale View Post
You don't need a bunch of paranoid right-wing garbage to explain the problem (although I suppose if you adopt the name of a Waffen-SS general, maybe you do need it?).
I cannot call something that was part of National Socialistic German Workers' Party, which introduced May Day, and used a Red Banner, anything close to the right wing!
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Old 7th July 2008, 03:05
NickM NickM is offline
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Re: Top Ten Aces of the Military Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franek Grabowski View Post
I cannot call something that was part of National Socialistic German Workers' Party, which introduced May Day, and used a Red Banner, anything close to the right wing!
The 'right wing garbage' comment was based on the OP's comments about Political Correctness in our school, that's all; it seems that the OP is making the point that many 'more worthy/impressive' fighter pilots who SHOULD be on the list are not, removed & replaced by more 'culturally diverse' icons--Archer, a Black Man; Litvak, a Woman, while ignoring guys like "Adolf Galland, Hans Joachim Marseille, Werner Mölders, Johnnie Johnson, Robert Johnson, etc." OF course I also noted his point that he's trying to make the MC was apparently 'ignoring' German Technology (his comments on the Panther) & personalities (Marshall Blucher at Waterloo);
Take it from me, MANY rightwingers/conservatives(Myself included-mostly) feel that political correctness is an ongoing political effort to 'devalue' & demonize the historical achievements of white males...but since I DON'T get Military Channel I can't comment on too much here;

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Old 7th July 2008, 03:19
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Re: Top Ten Aces of the Military Channel

One of my favourite shots is of the Dauntlesses dropping bombs in the film clip of the Pearl Harbour attack. Which proves that the Americans attacked Pearl Harbour so they could blame the Japanese and destroy them to eliminate their rivalry in Asia.

Anyway, it's usually good for a laugh. But, there are usually so many inaccuracies in these programs that it's good mainly for looking for shots of rare vehicles and aircraft, such as the Navy Buffaloes in John Wayne's Seabees.

Last edited by George Hopp; 7th July 2008 at 04:09.
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Old 7th July 2008, 10:20
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Re: Top Ten Aces of the Military Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickM View Post
Take it from me, MANY rightwingers/conservatives(Myself included-mostly) feel that political correctness is an ongoing political effort to 'devalue' & demonize the historical achievements of white males...
Since "conservative white males" wield the overwhelming mass of economic and political power in the world (and have throughout my white male lifetime) it's amazing how they are apparently so put upon by those cruel political correctness people - insofar as such exist outside the editorial imagination of the "Daily Mail" that is (UK-only cultural reference there).

I would suggest that the quality and content of modern multi-channel TV is not unrelated to the operation of a deregulated, competitive and globalised market. Perhaps "conservative white males" were at the forefront of opposition to so-called "free markets" but I missed it?

Returning to the original topic, the era of air-to-air combat may be all but over and so it is perhaps interesting to consider who might have contributed to development of its techniques and/or been a successful exponent. None of those people win wars on their own though, they are just at the end of a whole system of training, production, national policy etc.
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