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Let's Go THIS Direction!

June 7 2010 at 4:36 AM
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Tom Womack  (no login)


Response to Re: Dutch Perception Of Admiral Helfrich

 
As always...Jan takes the logical route:)happy.gifhappy.gif But since I initiated this thread, I'll take the lead in setting a direction of conversation...at least in the immediate future.

My initial post was aimed primarily at getting a better idea of what the Dutch military (and later, historians) thought of Helfrich's leadership in the NEI campaign, 1941-42. As I pointed out earlier, he had a habit (to me anyway) of throwing both his Dutch and Allied naval counter-parts "under the bus" (i.e. back-stabbing is far too strong a description, so perhaps harshly critiquing) when they were not always able to defend themselves.

In both his Memoirs and after-action report dated July 1942, he seems to take an attitude of:

"I made THIS recommendation...and I made THAT recommendation...and my concerns were constantly overlooked and disregarded by the Americans and British...and I could have done MUCH better if I had been put in command of ABDA (FLOAT) so much earlier...etc"

Some of Helfrich's suggestions and concerns were certainly valid, while others simply strike me as being arrogant bluster. My earlier question was...was Admiral Helfrich that much smarter than everyone (as he seems to think he was)...or was he just pointing out the obvious that everyone knew as well? What do our Dutch friends in the KM and historian ranks think of his performance in the NEI campaign?

And finally...to clarify I used the term "near fanatical fixation" in my earlier post. Fanatical implies a different connotation (as compared to say, the Japan of the era) when I really meant merely to convey that Helfrich was strongly committed to the defense of the NEI. His commitment to the cause was certainly admirable, but perhaps a fight to the bitter end and complete annihilation was not the best option. Did Helfrich realize this (but blustered otherwise) or did he really expect total sacrifice?

Regards...
Tom

 
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Responses

  • VADM Helfrich & his discontents-- Part One - Melmoth theW on Jun 8, 2010, 5:12 AM
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  • Re: Let's Go THIS Direction! - Jan Visser on Jun 13, 2010, 10:05 PM
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