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Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Averageamerican, Jun 27, 2013.

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  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. (1 Samuel 18:7)

    The web is abuzz over Dillard Johnson, a retired Army sergeant first class whose newly released memoir, Carnivore, claims he killed 2,746 enemy combatants in Iraq with everything from a .25 mm chain gun to a sniper rifle to a hunting knife. Can that figure be right?

    Well, it’s almost certainly too high – not because Johnson and his co-author, ex-cop and firearms expert James Tarr, are being dishonest, but because their methodology is flawed. It’s more likely that Johnson killed several hundred adversaries, not almost three thousand. That’s still a staggering number and how he did it says a lot about the tactics and technology of modern war.

    Johnson is a genuine hero with a Silver Star, the valor award just two rungs below the Medal of Honor (the one in between is the Distinguished Service Cross). Like most decorated soldiers, he’s clearly uncomfortable with self promotion. Just play this Fox & Friends clip and watch his body language as the unctuous interviewer calls him and his book “incredible” four times in less than 40 seconds.

    “Um, I’ve just always been lucky, I guess,” is the first sentence out of Johnson’s month. “I guess it’s better to be lucky than good.” (Just to emphasize the obvious: Johnson is actually very, very good at what he does).

    I’ve interviewed decorated combat veterans myself (although I’ve never had the honor of talking to Dillard Johnson) and, yes, this is how they talk – when they’re willing to mention they have a valor award at all: One officer, Harry “Zan” Hornbuckle, talked to me for 30 mintes about a firefight outside Baghdad in 2003 without letting slip he’d received the Bronze Star for Valor (one tier below Johnson’s Silver Star) for that very battle.

    “I really didn’t want to write this book,” Johnson tells the Fox interviewer, and I believe him. “There were other troopers that did as much as I did or even more.” Johnson says he got sick of other accounts, like the one in the Army’s official history On Point, focusing on him and not the rest of his unit. That Johnson’s cancer has relapsed – he beat it once before – and requires expensive treatment might be another reason.

    Here’s another telling thing Johnson said on Fox: “The confirmed kills aren’t as if I went out there and actually counted bodies.” So where does that number come from?

    121 kills are from Johnson’s time serving as a sniper during his second tour in Iraq. Since snipers kill their enemies one at a time, precisely and deliberately, usually with a spotter at their side to help keep track, this figure is almost certainly correct. It also makes him the sniper with the second highest number of confirmed kills in US history, surpassed only by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

    Hundreds more kills come from a single, well-documented incident near As Samawah in 2003, when wave after wave of suicidally brave and/or stupid Iraqis, mostly half-trained fanatics of the Saddam Fedayeen, charged a M2 Bradley troop carrier – nicknamed Carnivore – commanded by Johnson and an M1 Abrams main battle tank commanded by Sergeant First Class Anthony Broadhead. A Bradley isn’t quite a tank, although you could be forgiven for mistaking it for one. It has tracks, a turret, and a big gun, but it’s primarily a troop carrier, and its weapons are much lighter than the M1’s massive 120 mm smoothbore gun. In this case, though, the Bradley’s rapid-fire 25 mm chaingun and assorted machineguns were actually better than the M1’s tank-killing cannon for mowing down waves of unarmored foot soldiers.
    Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/2504190742001/true-stories-from-one-of-americas-deadliest-soldiers/
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  2. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  3. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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