I happened to glance at the calendar and realized it was Dec 7Th, Pearl Harbor Day. I did not read anything in the newspaper or on the internet. Pretty damn sad...
It was news on our local TV.
My uncle was a Pearl Harbor survivor, he never really talked about it.
I only learned later in his life that he was a survivor when he asked about where I lived in Denver, and he said that he went through the "Lowry Army Air Corps Base" on his way to Pearl Harbor.
Front page here in DC.It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
It just occured to me that suicide bombers are/were not a new phenomenon...."To be free and to live a free life - that is the most beautiful thing there is."
This link shows the Destroyer Downes after the attack on Pearl Harbor. My father was the last man alive who escaped from it during the attack. He was a corpsman. He said he ran to his battle station when the attack began to await casualties. After a long enough wait he realized it was time to escape from the bowels of the ship because nobody was coming. As it turned out he was forced to do a lot of climbing before he could find a place clear enough to jump to the water. He was the 5th and as I mentioned last survivor.
AF, your father was a lucky man, fate was on his side much like mine from this > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teHsjwXTrcU
I had just gotten relived from duty off a midnight shift and went straight to my cot, I no sooner laid my head down when the explosions started.
Over 50 airman died that day,most of them flight crews and loaders.
At the time we didn't know if it was a Vietcong attack or not,turned out
to be a faulty primer on a bomb being loaded that started a chain reaction.
The anniversary was pretty well covered here in Orange County, CA. My Grandfather was a naval officer stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was out at sea on December 7th but my Grandmother and my father (6 months old at the time) were on Oahu during the attacks. My Grandfather served out the remainder of the war commanding various ships in the Pacific. He died in 1977 and rarely spoke about his experiences during the war. About 20 years ago we were able to get copies from the Navy of the captain's diaries he kept while working his way across the Pacific during the war and learned about the numerous kamikaze attacks he witnessed (he was awarded the purple heart for injuries resulting from one of them). It was fascinating reading but I can understand why he didn't talk much about it later in life.
Seriously, I have a hard time believing that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor because they were ambitious, wanted to invade the US, or were some 40's brand of terrorists.
They were pissed off by our expansion into the SW Pacific Theater and decided to do something about it. Pride cometh before the fall?
Certainly, many innocent lives were lost that day; but when the US makes foreign policy decisions like it or not, the ledger is often settled with US lives.
Clearly, they were not fighting to obtain Hawaii. They kicked our big, fat, lazy asses that day and we are smarter now because of it.
Full disclosure: i eat sushi and like it.
The Japanese WERE highly ambitious, but made serious miscalculations. The IMPERIAL Japanese empire had already decimated Korea and China w/o significant opposition in the late 1930s, and US embargoes of steel and oil were at most a 'pretext' for the PH attack. The warmongers in Tokyo (Tojo et al) got Yammamoto's best plan, but it came with a warning: the Japanese could not possibly hope to hold off the industrial might of a motivated America for very long. Yammamoto was a diplomat to America earlier in his career, toured the US, and told the Japanese high command as much. Failure to bomb supply depots and dry docks at PH was a major oversight.....
Payback came 6 months later at Midway, and later in the war when USAAF P38s intercepted Yammamoto and shot his transport plane down (the US had cracked the Japanese code at that time).
We're smarter now? What about Iraq?
The really interesting angle is whether or not America knew about an impending Japanese attack. Our carriers were elsewhere; the US needed a pretext to enter the war to aid Britain; most Americans were Isolationists....Lend Lease could only do so much. There were no Lusitainia's tempting U boats in the Atlantic...
PH was the 9-11 'prequel' if you get my drift, but for a much better cause.
Since I can see the Arizona Memorial from my front yard, I probably pay more attention to it than most. And since my back yard is the Punchbowl Nat Cemetery I do talk to the folks that gave it their all on that day. They don't answer much, but yea they hear me.
So anyways Yo Mike knows some stuff. As big of a blow as it was, the powers that be made some major F ups. Their battle plan was a copy of what the Brits did to the Italians about a year before. Look up Taranto Italy. Torpedo bombers took out the Italian Navy with modified shallow draft munitions. That allowed the Brits to have much more movement in the Med.
Where the Japanese messed up was like the Yo Man said. it is what they didn't do. They spared the oil reserves so they could see the major targets (the ships). They cancelled the third wave that left the drydocks and submarine base almost unharmed, and most of the fuel reserves in tact. Without the fuel, subs and dry dock Midway may not have happened and all the Indochina/Dutch reserves would have gone to the Japanease expansion.
Now the really shitty part was all those guys trapped in the hulls of those ships knew Morse code and were tapping messages for over 20 days after they sank. The Night watchers wouldn't even listen to the taps after a while because they knew they were all dead men down there. They just haden't run out of air yet. Now if you are an American, you better thank those guys and others like them, cause they died an ugly death for you and me brother. End of Rant.
Um wrong. Our involvement in Korea, Vietnam, anything in the Gulf region, Afghanistan, and central America in the 50s through the 80s shows this country is not a lick smarter than the day before Pearl Harbor."There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time."
Pearl Harbor was simply a part of the continuing struggle over resources between colonial powers.
To be sure, many innocent lives were lost. But, as the powers that drive our governments would have us believe as necessary cost of business.
To clarify: the Japanese didn't have ambitions for the US or Hawaii. Their attack at PH was part of their defense.
We learned our lesson and are smarter in that a foreign country has not successfully landed a strike against US soil/territory since Pearl Harbor - Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan included.
I did not say that WE aren't ambitious and wouldn't invade a foreign country.
I'm reading British historian Antony Beevor's "The Second World War" (not as good as his previous books on Berlin, Stalingrad and D-Day, but still a monumental and fascinating book). This time he focuses a bit more on the war(s) in the Far East and Japan's crucial role in the overall strategy of the Allieds and the impact on the Pacific theater on the European front.
PH was acknowledged by it's planners as an extremely risky gambit. They saw it as the one chance to cripple an overewhelmingly superior naval force in one fell swoop. But they were absolutely aware that if they didn't totally destroy the fleet, that the US would come back with a vengance and destroy them. They gambled with an audacious plan, and it almost worked. But ultimately their biggest fear about repercussions by an outraged US happened, and they were defeated. They absolutely knew it was a risky plan strategely, but they correctly saw that it was just a matter of time before the US would get drug into the war regardless.
With the kid showing an interest in WW2 stuff and Oma feeding tales from the mayhem days of liberation, I've started reading about Operation Blackcock that happened around the town where I grew up (Sint Joost). The town was pretty much obliterated in a couple of days of fighting.
As kids we'd play in the trenches and bomb craters that still remain in the forest but other than family stories not much was known. Interesting that now in the digital age a lot more is surfacing.
Montfort, which in a funny coincidence was bombed by Canadian Squadron as part of the push to get Germans out of this strategic area was where my bike club was located.The wise man said follow me...and he walked behind.
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