Gentlemen,I have just read (sure you all know it already)that a modern NA Author has compared Custer to this man.I've not been studying the BLBH for very long.but that comment has made me very angry,not just on Custers behalf,but of the USA government at that time.As far as I understand it (and I'm sure if I'm wrong someone will correct me.)Eichmann was a minor SS Colonel.who arranged roundups, and transportation of Jews to death camps on behalf of Henrich Himmler head of the SS who was following Adolf Hitler, and the German government policy of extermination of the Jewish Race.I.M.O. Eichmanns importance in this has been exaggerated by his capture and trial but that he was an Evil man is without question.It is a fact the army and Custer was given the task of rounding up the NAS and returning them to the reservations.but not to death camps.to be murdered.Also some NAS had committed torture, and murder against white Americans.The people Eichmann dragged out of their homes hadn't harmed anyone.How can he compare the two situations? Best wishes Trish.
Last Edit: Feb 10, 2016 1:54:46 GMT -5 by moderator
General of the Army (Medicine Man/Chief))
The corruptions which are being compared are from different ends of a spectrum. Eichmann et al, were intent upon eradication and by philoshopy. On the US side it was the treatment of buffalo which can justly be compared.
On the Plains, it was the nomadic lifestyle and broadly embedded warrior culture which was overcome. In Europe there is a long standing culture of social cleansing. Mixed in with this is breeding, royalty descended of the Gods and plain and simple very, very nasty people with airs and graces who believe they are special. Now, you just vote them out. Thank you USA.
Hope this helps.
Last Edit: Nov 15, 2015 8:13:19 GMT -5 by herosrest
If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck ~ it is probably a goose.
You're mixing apples and oranges by even putting Custer and Eichmann in the same sentence. No, Eichmann was not a minor SS Colonel in the Nazi party. The Israeli government would not have put him on trial in 1961, spending time and great effort to expose him and his henchmen to the withering glare of history, if he had been a minor functionary in the party. He was hanged in 1962 and his ashes dumped in the Mediterranean.
Robb,No I didn't mention them in the same sentence or compare them.This NA Historian has done that.that's what made me so cross.He is implying that President Grant and the U.S.Government had a policy to exterminate the NA race, and Custer and the Army were sent out to round them up and put them in one place so that could be achieved.Whatever the hardships, and deprivations there were on the reservations,and I sure there were many.They can't be compared to "living" in a concentration camp.Best wishes Trish.
Trish, I HAD to look that one up. Okay, so you apparently mean the 1969 classic "Custer died for your sins - an Indian manifesto" by Vine Deloria, Jr, right?
Has anybody here read it? I haven't yet but I guess it's quite a knowledge gap not to have read it. It was sth. like the rallyling cry of the American Indian civil rights movement in the late 60s.
Whenever an author likens anyone to Adolf Eichmann, it's always bound and meant to be a polemic that is supposed to stir the pot, arouse attention for a radical point to be made.
I just had a quick look at the LA Times obituary for Deloria from 2005. It contains a few talking points of Deloria. Like this one:
"Deloria told The Times then that he continued to view Custer as the Adolf Eichmann of the Plains.[...]
"Soldiers were nothing to him, except tools," Deloria told The Times, describing Custer as a psychopath. "The soldiers were not defending civilization. They were crushing another society."
This contains two very separate points of criticism. One deals with Custer's way of fighting and taking risks (for himself and his soldiers), the other one explains why Custer would have himself have been the executioner of an evil policy of eliminationalism. I believe that both statements are rather well defensible, at least to a certain point.
Eichmann was an organizer of outright mass murder. Custer wasn't. Instead, he was an avid agent of ethnic cleansing and destruction of Indian sovereignty, culture and long-term survival. In the introduction of MLOTP, the famous "if I was an Indian", his mental disconnect is laid bare. He basically concedes that the Indians are fighting a noble defensive war for their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Well, what fight does Custer's side then stand for? [Oh Sh*t, does that mean we are the baddies...?!] The implication is obvious. But then Custer sweeps these pesky rumblings of his conscience (let's call it sentimentalism and laugh it quickly away, shan't we?) all quickly away. "But the Indian may never be allowed to view things that way" and soothes his stirred conscience (and that of his readers) how supposedly "the world has looked upon it and nodded in consent" (sorry, probably not exactly verbatim, I'm trying to recite from memory).
Custer was a highly gifted self-promoter who got all the attention he ever wanted - and probably more due to the mythical overcharging of the LBH after his demise. First he became the martyr of Manifest Destiny, later he was recast as the bogeyman representative of a century of ethnic cleansing (they didn't use that word pre-90s, instead they jumped at genocide and from there the knee-jerk reference to Eichmann is all too predictable).
"Custer died for your sins" has an in-your-face theological take on history. Jesus and Custer, both scapegoted for the sins of wider society - it doesn't really come as a surprise that Deloria was a theologian, LOL!
I'm sure Deloria's strident verbiage has to be understood in the context of the time it was used in. I guees it was a rallying cry for trying to give a voice to the hitherto mute Indian community.
The pendulum has swung back some way since the 60s. Custer was a brave, charismatic, flamboyant soldier who lead from the front and tested his luck under enemy fire as often as he got away with it. In the Civil War he fought for the Union and the end of slavery - arguably for the side that had a better claim to being the "good guys" in the civil war. In the Indian Wars his side didn't fight wars of necessity but wars of expansion, aggression and that other buzzword which we use since the 90s instead of the contemporary "concentration policy" term. That doesn't make Custer an Adolf Eichmann or any other type of Nazi. But it made him a key figure of a policy which would later greatly inspire the Nazis.
For me, much of the fascination of the LBH lies in it's larger than life symbolism that goes way beyond that patch of prairie land in Montana. The symbolism that has admittedly fascinated me the most is that LBH was arguably Native America's finest hour in a desperate fight for those inalienable rights we all know from the Declaration of Independence which, unfortunately for the colonized Indians, didn't come from their mouth or pen but from their very colonizers, formulated from the get-go alongside accusations against "the inhabitants of our frontier, the merciless Indian savages".
Consider looking at the Indian Wars as a five-act dramatic piece. Depending on whether you consider the outcome of the Indoian wars a happy or an unhappy ending, it's either a dramatic comedy or a dramatic tragedy. Either way, LBH likely plays the role of the 4th Act, when the inevitable is suddenly counteracted and in doubt once again. As a tragedy, LBH is the moment of Indian defiance and -ultimately false- hope. As a dramatic comedy, LBH is the sudden kick in the balls of the good guys you are rooting for. Will the bloodthirsty red devils still prevail after all when everything already loooked like an imminent happy end?
In the dramatic comedy interpretation GAC becomes the martyr of the national cause who made an unequal fight with certain results quite heroic-looking. What could be more welcome? In the tragic interpretation of the Indian wars GAC plays the role of the "worthy yet evil enemy" who "had it coming" in Act IV. Is that unfair to the man? Probably yes. There were bigger Indian killers than Custer for sure. On the other hand - if you are such a shameless self-promoter as Custer, it's probably too late to complain about the blinding limelight.
Last Edit: Feb 8, 2016 16:48:15 GMT -5 by flashman
Forget about the future - let's get on with the past!
If extermination had been US national policy towards the Indians and headed by Custer then he would have been looking to kill every man, woman and child of the 8000 people in the village. After his defeat they all would have been rounded up and put to death. The Sioux and Cheyenne would have ceased to exist, not languished on reservations. So no Custer was not the Eichmann of the plains and it's silly for anyone to say so, pathetic even. He was the spearhead of one civilization disposesing another of their land and destroying their way of life in the process. There was no SS like death squad programme hunting down every Indian band far and wide and killing them to the last child. If there had been we'd sure be told about it today 24/7.
I've said what I think of Custer in political terms, the spearpoint of one civilizations armies in their campaign against another in a land war. I think of Custer in military terms as the Patton of the plains. A man who understood that speed and concentration of force in critical times at critical times wins battles. By marching through the night he was able to take several thousand Indians by surprise, quite some military achievement.
That German, by the way, as I should elaborate, may have been the confederate officer he took the sword from (if he took the sword from the particular confederate officer he slew). The officer appears to have not answered any of Custer's pleas to surrender, as Custer did prefer to capture but was more than well able to have it the other way as he very soon did, and he turned up with a German (inscribed) sword sometime shortly after he is believed to have shot this man, and this is more speculation than fact. I'm not familiar with the exact details, and I cannot say it for a certainty, but it is not unlikely that this may have been a German mercenary in service to the confederates, and Custer may have taken the sword from him.
Shenandoah See, aka the Magnificent Jack Strange
I always thought that sword had a Spanish inscription on it.
"The more I see of movement here (Little Big Horn Battlefield), the more I have admiration for Custer, and I am satisfied his like will not be found very soon again.”
~ Gen. Nelson Miles, Commanding General of the Army ------
"With our cherished ones deliverance within our grasp we waited breathless for the order that never came."
Your understanding of WW2 history is embarrassing and not worth responding to except for the fact that it's put up on this site for all to see. You've heard the expression, "a little learning is a dangerous thing", applies here...