Showing posts with label war. Show all posts
Showing posts with label war. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Next To Last Doolittle Raider Passes - Only One Left

David Thatcher, an Army Air Force gunner decorated for helping save the lives of four seriously wounded fellow crewmen in the Doolittle Raid on Japan of April 18, 1942, America’s first strike against the Japanese homeland in World War II, died Wednesday in Missoula, Mont. He was 94 and the next-to-last survivor among the mission’s 80 airmen.

While it was not a large action, it was the most imaginative and perhaps the most consequential early action in the war. Among the consequences was that Japan removed a large carrier task force from the Indian Ocean to their home waters and goaded them into the disastrous (for them) attack on Midway.

Here  is a link to the NYTimes article about Thatcher.

If you have not seen the movie, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, I strongly recommend it.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Round Up The Usual Movies

This weekend I did a lot of channel surfing. Each Memorial Day, we are treated to a variety of war movies - mainly World War II movies. It was a good review of events.

Some thoughts:

1. The Republican candidate for president, who has  never served in public office (elected or appointed) or in the military, claims he is equipped to be president because he attended a private military high school.

No he isn't.

More to the point, to even utter such a claim reveals an incredible level of contempt for the profession of arms and the skill and knowledge of the Americans who practice it.

2.  Over the past few days, I re watched "The Longest Day" and "A Bridge Too Far." a good contrast between the results of good military planning (D-Day) and over-optimistic and over-confident planning (Operation Market Garden).

Over confidence isn't uncommon in human conflict. A recent example was when George W. Bush's chicken hawk staff dismissed General Shinseki's estimate of the requirements to occupy Iraq. Apparently they thought Shinseki just scribbled a guess on the back of an envelope. That's not how professional military planners work.  Shinseki's was a staff estimate, not a guess. And it was pretty accurate.

3. Our Constitution establishes civilian control of the military. For this to work, we can't require presidents to themselves be military professionals. But they need to take the profession seriously and to treat the profession with respect.

That's a challenge.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Living with risk and danger in a time of war

Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

US Heavy Weapons In Eastern Europe

Today's New York Times reports the US is planning to preposition heavy weapons in new NATO countries in Eastern Europe:

The purpose is to send a message to our new allies and to Russia's Putin that the US is prepared to quickly come to the assistance of those countries closest to Russia. a half century ago, we would have called this an act of deterrence.

Deterrence was a much simpler concept when we thought we were living in a bipolar world. If we were talking about nuclear deterrence, we called it "mutual  assured destruction." But we no longer live in a bipolar world, if ever we did.

So how do we compel other states to do our bidding? Defense intellectuals spend their lives examining such questions. The answers aren't obvious. Failure is more common than success.

The situation can be very perilous when a stable system of international order falls apart, at least until a new system emerges. We have been in such a period since the late 1980's. It isn't over yet. 

I'll have a few thoughts over the next few weeks about the period's challenges and the historical setting. It isn't just about Russia. It is also about Germany.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Paying Respects To Deceased Soldiers

From time to time I hear Americans complain about our ungrateful allies (usually the French) not paying sufficient respect to the Americans who saved them in the two world wars.

I have lived in France and Belgium and traveled widely in Holland and elsewhere in Europe. This image of ingratitude is just not true. I could give many examples. In fact, tributes to our soldiers who died in Europe put our own observances to shame.

To make the point,I want to share the following post forwarded by a former shipmate.

> About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in "Operation Market Garden" in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall/winter of 1944.
> Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the  Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted.  It is even the custom to keep a portrait of "their" American soldier in a place of  honor in their home. 
>        Annually, on "Liberation Day," memorial services are held for "the  men who died to liberate Holland." The day concludes with a concert.  The final piece is always "Il Silenzio," a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland' s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.
>  This year the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands ).  This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was composed by Italian composer Nino Rossi.

> After you watch the above web site, check out the below.

>    Our war heroes in alphabetical order:
>        1.  The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne , France ... A total of  2289
>        2.  The American Cemetery at Ardennes , Belgium ... A total of  5329
>        3.  The American Cemetery at Brittany, France ... A total of  4410
>        4.  Brookwood , England - American Cemetery ... A total of 468
>        5.  Cambridge , England ... A total of 3812
>        6.  Epinal , France - American Cemetery ... A total of 5525
>        7.  Flanders Field , Belgium ... A total of 368
>        8.  Florence , Italy ... A total of 4402
>        9.  Henri-Chapelle , Belgium ... A total of 7992
>        10.  Lorraine , France ... A total of 10,489
>        11.  Luxembourg , Luxembourg ... A total of 5076
>        12.  Meuse-Argonne... A total of 14,246
>        13.  Netherlands , Netherlands ... A total of 8301
>        14.  Normandy , France ... A total of 9387
>        15.  Oise-Aisne , France ... A total of 6012
>        16.  Rhone , France ... A total of 861
>        17.  Sicily , Italy ... A total of 7861

Then stop and think about the Frenchmen who died in America fighting for our independence. More than two thousand of them. Where are they buried and how do we Americans remember them?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

How Long Do Wars Last?

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Germany and V-E (Victory in Europe) Day. WWII between the United States and Germany lasted from December 10, 1941 until the surrender on May 8, 1945. Almost exactly three years and five months.

This coming August 13 will be the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender (V-J Day). Our war with Japan lasted from December 7, 1941 until August 13, 1945, or three years, eight months and six days.

March 8, 1965 - first American combat troops (Marines) landed at Danang. March 29, 1973 - last US combat troops leave Vietnam. Duration: eight years, three weeks.

More recent: Iraq? Afghanistan? Middle East? Who knows?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Words To Remember On Memorial Day


    I WENT into a public 'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
    The publican 'e up an' sez, ``We serve no red-coats here.''
    The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ``Tommy, go away'';
    But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.
    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music 'alls,
    But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ``Tommy, wait outside'';
    But it's ``Special train for Atkins'' when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's ``Special train for Atkins'' when the trooper's on the tide.
    Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
    An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ``Tommy how's yer soul?''
    But it's ``Thin red line of 'eroes'' when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's ``Thin red line of 'eroes'' when the drums begin to roll.
    We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
    Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
    While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an ``Tommy, fall be'ind,''
    But it's ``Please to walk in front, sir,'' when there's trouble in the wind,
    There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
    O it's ``Please to walk in front, sir,'' when there's trouble in the wind.
    You talk o' better food for us, an'schools, an' fires an' all:
    We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' ``Chuck him out, the brute!''
    But it's ``Saviour of 'is country,'' when the guns begin to shoot;
    Yes it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool--you bet that Tommy sees!
    Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Instrument Of Surrender May 7, 1945

Our Documents Surrender of Germany 1945

May 1945: War In Europe Winding Down

V-E (Victory in Europe) Day is usually listed in the US as May 8. But surrenders were already underway in April.

1,500,000 prisoners taken on the Western Front in April by the Allies; 120,000 German troops captured in Italy; up to the end of April, over 800,000 German soldiers surrendered on the Eastern Front.

Finland: On 25 April 1945, the last Germans were expelled by the Finnish Army;

Mussolini's death: On 27 April 1945, as Allied forces closed in on Milan, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was captured by Italian partisans. Executed 28 April;

Hitler's death: On 30 April, realizing that all was lost and not wishing to suffer Mussolini's fate, German dictator Adolf Hitler committed suicide;

German forces in Italy surrender: On 29 April, the day before Hitler died, SS General Karl Wolff signed a surrender document agreeing to a ceasefire and surrender of all the forces at 2pm on 2 May; nearly 1,000,000 men in Italy and Austria;

 German forces in Berlin surrender: The Battle of Berlin ended on 2 May. On that date, General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling, the commander of the Berlin Defense Area, unconditionally surrendered the city to General Vasily Chuikov of the Soviet army;

German forces in North West Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands surrender: On 4 May 1945, the British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery took the unconditional military surrender from Generaladmiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, and General Eberhard Kinzel, of all German forces "in Holland [sic], in northwest Germany including the Frisian Islands and Heligoland and all other islands, in Schleswig-Holstein, and in Denmark… includ[ing] all naval ships in these areas." The number of German land, sea and air forces involved in this surrender amounted to 1,000,000 men. On 5 May, Großadmiral Dönitz ordered all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases. At 16:00, General Johannes Blaskowitz, the German commander-in-chief in the Netherlands, surrendered to Canadian General Charles Foulkes in the Dutch town of Wageningen in the presence of Prince Bernhard (acting as commander-in-chief of the Dutch Interior Forces).

Central Europe: On 5 May 1945, the Czech resistance started the Prague uprising.

German forces in Breslau surrender: At 18:00 on 6 May, General Hermann Niehoff, the commandant of Breslau, a 'fortress' city surrounded and besieged for months, surrendered to the Soviets;

Jodl and Keitel surrender all German armed forces unconditionally:  At 02:41 on the morning of 7 May, at SHAEF headquarters in Reims, France, the Chief-of-Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command, General Alfred Jodl, signed the unconditional surrender documents for all German forces to the Allies;

Victory in Europe: News of the imminent surrender broke in the West on 8 May, and celebrations erupted throughout Europe. In the US, Americans awoke to the news and declared 8 May V-E Day. As the Soviet Union was to the east of Germany it was 9 May Moscow Time when the German military surrender became effective, which is why Russia and many other European countries east of Germany commemorate Victory Day on 9 May.

That left Japan.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Seventy Years Ago In Europe - The End Approaches

In early May, 1945, the German Army began collapsing. Soldiers on the Western Front were surrendering right and left. Here is one story of a German Army (150,000 men) surrendering to an American Division (10,000 men).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Can Be The Cruelest Month

The poet T.S. Eliot described April as "the cruelest month:"

"April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
Today is the 150th anniversary of the death of fifty-six year old President Abraham Lincoln at the hands of the assassin John Wilkes Booth. 

154 Years ago on April 12th, Confederate forces commanded by General P.G.T. Beauregard, fired at the United States Fort Sumter, guarding Charleston Harbor, setting off the Civil War.
Seventy years ago, April 28, 1945, Italian partisans captured and executed their erstwhile fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini.
Two days after the death of Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, the fifty-six year old Nazi dictator of Germany, committed suicide in his Berlin Bunker.
Seventy years ago, while at his vacation place at Warm Springs, Georgia, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt suddenly died of a massive stroke.

Forty-Seven years ago, April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
Of all U.S. Presidents, the two who most clearly left the country better than they found it were Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Only Two Doolittle Raiders Left

April 18, 1942, 16 US Army B-25 Medium Bombers took off from the Navy Carrier Hornet to attack the Japanese home islands. This was one of the most remarkable military operations in history. It happened only four months and eleven days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The raid didn't do much damage, but it showed Japan they were vulnerable and changed the course of the war. If you haven't seen the movie Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, put the movie on your list.
Retired Lt. Col. Robert Hite, one of the famed World War II Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, has died. He was 95 and had Alzheimer's disease .
LA Times

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Yankee Station And Selma

Fifty years ago, my ship was boring holes in the South China Sea, firing projectiles into the jungles of South Vietnam at targets we couldn't see - some nine miles away. It was hard and challenging work and our sailors did it well, but in the end it had little effect.

Meanwhile, brave Americans marched to Selma, stood up for freedom in Greensboro, marched in Memphis, and changed America for the better. These were real patriots and I salute them.

And so did President Obama:

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Last Man Killed (In the Great War)

When we lived in Belgium and traveled in northern France, we soon learned that Frenchmen had little to say about World War II. After all, we finally understood, to France, WWII consisted of two brief periods: one from the German invasion until Dunkirk and surrender, and eleven months between Normandy and the German surrender. The rest was German occupation.

The war of vivid French and Belgian memory was the "war of 14-18" as they call it. In 1980, we attended a wedding feast in Belgium, sitting across from an octagenerian who had been a young woman of twenty when the Germans (les Boches, she called them) invaded.  Her memory of those four years was as clear as if the events had happened yesterday. And she had no use for "les Boches."

Today's New York Times  has an article by Richard Rubin (author of The Doughboys) describing his search in the Argonne forest region for a monument he had seen years earlier. Finally, with the help of a local woman, he found it:

"It’s an unassuming marker, a stone just a few feet high. Someone had placed a bench next to it since the last time I’d visited, but [my guide] didn’t sit; perhaps she felt that would be irreverent. This, after all, was the very spot where the very last man was killed in the Great War: Pvt. Henry Nicholas Gunther of Baltimore, 23 years old, shot through the head at 10:59 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918."

There is surely a story here. The Armistice was to begin at 11:00 a.m. November 11, 1918. Surly the Sergeants told their soldiers to keep their heads down. Why did Gunther stick his head up? What was the German shooter thinking? What was the point of pulling the trigger?

Rubin's article is worth reading for many reasons. He tours the battlefields and is impressed with the formidable and technologically advanced German installations. "How could Germany have lost?" He asks repeatedly.

Historians still grapple with that question. But when Rubin asks local Frenchmen how the Germans lost, their answer is succinct: "Les Americains."

It is worth reading Rubin's other New York Times articles touching on the same subject:

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 25, 1944: Where Is Task Force 34? The World Wonders

Japan was in dire straits. Her navy fast disappearing. But it was not in disarray. Far from it. As US forces assaulted the Phillipines at Leyte Gulf, Japanese admirals planned an elaborate last-ditch gamble in an effort to disrupt the invasion.

One result, as the battle developed, was that Admiral Sprague, with a pitiful force of escort carriers ("baby flat-tops") confronted a powerful surface force of Japanese battleships and cruisers, who were first spotted as they drew within range of their big guns. The US battleships had drawn away from protecting the invasion force, chasing a toothless decoy force of Japanes carriers with almost no aircraft.

A handful of small surface ships, destroyers and destroyer escorts and a small force of carrier aircraft armed for a different mission had to do their best to keep "Taffy 3," Sprague's force of small, slow aircraft carriers alive.

Here is the story.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Seventy Years Ago: October 5, 1944 - Audie Murphy Gets Another Silver Star

Soldiers and sailors mostly understand that success in war involves a lot of luck. Who survives and who doesn't may depend on a slight difference in the ballistic trajectory of a warhead or the difference of a foot or so in where the soldier stands.

But some soldiers have more luck than others. Or perhaps enough skill and determination to make a difference.

Such a soldier was Audie Murphy.

Before he was a movie star, he won a lot of medals.

Here is part of his story: his second Silver Star in three days.

The Big Lie Technique in Action A Century Ago

Last August I published the link to an extract from Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August concerning the burning of Louvain in Belgium by German invaders. The loss of priceless historical documents and works of art from the incomparable Belgian library at the University should have concerned Germans in academia.

Rather than being outraged, though, ninety-three prominent German scholars, including winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke out against the charges, defended the German invaders, and blamed it all on Belgium. Their lengthy rationalization is here.

Academics, seem no more inclined than the general public to question assertions of their national authorities in time of war. We see this again and again during World War I.

But Germany's policies of  treating occupied territories severely long predated World War I and can be documented during their occupation of Samoa in the 1880's.

Was our own treatment of Native Americans more enlightened?

Not so much.

And we can all remember more recent events of misrepresentation.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Another Day At Arnhem: A Bridge Really Too Far - September 19, 1944; Some Heroic Tales

Anyone who has ever seen the movie, "A Bridge Too Far," knows something of the heroics of British, Polish and American paratrooperes, with very light equipment, attempting to hold a road through Holland leading to the Bridge at Arnhem.

These were very determined men. They had a job to do: hold the bridge for two days, until the tanks arrived. They did their very best, even when the tanks didn't come. They lasted four days.

In some respects, the operation was, as the Brits say, a "shambles." Still they persevered. Some say they fought for their country. Maybe so. But more importantly, they were fighting for their fellow soldiers.

None would ever to claim to be a hero. They just did what had to be done, and none fought for any kind of personal gain or glory. They had a job to do.

Here are some of the stories.

RAF aerial reconnaissance photo of the Arnhem road bridge on 19 September, showing signs of the British defence on the northern ramp and the wrecked German vehicles from the previous day's fighting.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seventy Years Ago: Another Day On Peleliu

*World War II Today: 16 September 1944: Peleliu: US Marines attack towards Bloody Nose Ridge:
It was already apparent that the landings on Peleliu were not going to be over within the four days originally anticipated. Despite the blasting that the entire island had received prior to the landings on the 15th most of the Japanese defenders had survived in their bunkers. Eugene B. Sledge, with the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines 1st Marine Division, was keeping notes of his experiences in his New Testament Bible. He was later to develop it into one of the classic memoirs of the war. After being selected for officer training he and many others had deliberately ‘flunked out’ so that they didn’t ‘miss the war’. So it was that he found himself as a Private in the middle of one of the bloodiest operations in the Pacific. After a sleepless night under shellfire they were all desperately thirsty, but men fell ill after drinking from a well. When water reached them in old oil drums it proved contaminated with rust and oil. That day it would reach 105 in the shade and, as Sledge points out, they were not in the shade. Their job was to attack across the airfield:
“Let’s go,” shouted an officer who waved toward the airfield. We moved at a walk, then a trot, in widely dispersed waves. Four infantry battalions — from left to right 2/1, 1/5, 2/5, and 3/5 (this put us on the edge of the airfield) – moved across the open, fire-swept airfield.

My only concern then was my duty and survival, not panoramic combat scenes. But I often wondered later what that attack looked like to aerial observers and to those not immersed in the firestorm. All I was aware of were the small area immediately around me and the deafening noise.
Bloody Nose Ridge dominated the entire airfield. The Japanese had concentrated their heavy weapons on high ground; these were directed from observation posts at elevations as high as three hundred feet, from which they could look down on us as we advanced. I could see men moving ahead of my squad, but I didn’t know whether our battalion, 3/5, was moving across behind 2/5 and then wheeling to the right. There were also men about twenty yards to our rear.

We moved rapidly in the open, amid craters and coral rubble, through ever-increasing enemy fire. I saw men to my right and left running bent as low as possible. The shells screeched and whistled, exploding all around us.
In many respects it was more terrifying than the landing, because there were no vehicles to carry us along, not even the thin steel sides of an amtrac for protection. We were exposed, running on our own power through a veritable shower of deadly metal and the constant crash of explosions.

For me the attack resembled World War I movies, I had seen of suicidal Allied infantry attacks through shell fire on the Westem Front. I clenched my teeth, squeezed my carbine stock, and recited over and over to myself, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me…”

The sun bore down unmercifully, and the heat was exhausting. Smoke and dust from the barrage limited my vision. The ground seemed to sway back and forth under the concussions. I felt as though I were floating along in the vortex of some unreal thunderstorm. Japanese bullets snapped and cracked, and tracers went by me on both sides at waist height. This deadly small-arms fire seemed almost insignificant amid the erupting shells.
Explosions and the hum and the growl of shell fragments shredded the air. Chunks of blasted coral stung my face and hands while steel fragments spattered down on the hard rock like hail on a city street. Everywhere shells flashed like giant firecrackers.
Through the haze I saw Marines stumble and pitch forward as they got hit. I then looked neither right nor left but just straight to my front. The farther we went, the worse it got. The noise and concussion pressed in on my ears like a vise. I gritted my teeth and braced myself in anticipation of the shock of being struck down at any moment.

It seemed impossible that any of us could make it across. We passed several craters that offered shelter, but I remembered the order to keep moving. Because of the superb discipline and excellent esprit of the Marines, it had never occurred to us that the attack might fail.
How far we had come in the open I never knew, but it must have been several hundred yards. Everyone was visibly shaken by the thunderous barrage we had just come through. When I looked into the eyes of those fine Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester veterans, some of America’s best, I no longer felt ashamed of my trembling hands and almost laughed at myself with relief.

To be shelled by massed artillery and mortars is absolutely terrifying, but to be shelled in the open is terror compounded beyond the belief of anyone who hasn’t experienced it. The attack across Peleliu’s airfield was the worst combat experience I had during the entire war. It surpassed, by the intensity of the blast and shock of the bursting shells, all the subsequent horrifying ordeals on Peleliu and Okinawa.
See E. B. Sledge: With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa


Sherparick said...
E. B. Sledge's book I have come to see as the Great Book of WWII. If you have not read it, please do.
Today, September 17, is also the 152 anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
"I had just got myself pretty comfortable when a bomb burst over me and completely deafened me. I felt a blow on my right shoulder and my jacket was covered with white stuff. I felt mechanically whether I still had my arm and thank God it was still whole. At the same time I felt something damp on my face; I wiped it off. It was bloody. Now I first saw that the man next to me, Kessler, lacked the upper part of his head, and almost all his brains had gone into the face of the man next to him, Merkel, so that he could scarcely see. Since any moment the same could happen to anyone, no one thought much about it."
Christoph Niederer, 20th New York Infantry, 6th Corps"
For us historically minded humans, with our lives of numerals that end in "0" and "5," we have 200th anniversaries of the War of 1812 (Star Spangled Banner), the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (Sheridan's victory at 3rd Winchester is on 19 September), 100th anniversary of the Great War (the 1st Battle of Aisne had ended and the Race to the Sea has begun as the Western Front stalemates), the 70th and 75th anniversaries for WWII (a six year war produces such terrible double anniversries for "live blogging"), and now the beginning of 50th anniversaries for Vietnam, and next summer the 25th anniversary for the Gulf War I, and we have been in war continuously since September 11, 2001
And we are now going to do it again, and again, and again.

KenL said...
Don't forget the section where Sledge runs into Paul Douglas. Yes that Paul Douglas. The fighting economist.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seventy Years Ago: USS Houston At Peleliu, September 1944

USS Houston, assigned to RADM Bogen's Task Group 38.2, left Eniwetok August 30 to screen aircraft carriers against Japanese aircraft while they attacked the Palaus on September 6. The TG then provided naval gunfire support on Anguar, Ngesebus and Peleliu islands.

First wave of LVTs moves toward the invasion beaches - Peleliu.jpg

Houston provided naval gunfire support to forces invading Peleliu from 17 to 19 September. She then went to Saipan to replenish her ammunition magazines and proceeded to the vast anchorage at Ulithi, recently captured from Japan.