December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

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December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:57 am

Today marks the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. "A date which will live in infamy" - lest we forget. As the number of WWII veterans continue to dwindle, it's important we remember. We all might be singing a completely different tune if it were not for the supreme sacrifice of our men and women.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: December 7th

Postby fire5soon » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:02 am

Amen.
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Re: December 7th

Postby chaz » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:28 pm

"A day which will live in infamy" said by FDR.
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Re: December 7th

Postby JamesSFO » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:33 pm

Sadly I think 2011 was the last year they held a commemoration in HI due to dwindling numbers of people to attend.
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Re: December 7th

Postby Taylor Larimore » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:48 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Today marks the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. "A day which will live in infamy" - lest we forget. As the number of WWII veterans continue to dwindle, it's important we remember. We all might be singing a completely different tune if it were not for the supreme sacrifice of our men and women.


I remember that day in 1941 very well.

I was a 17 year-old cadet at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia. I was in my room listening to the radio when President Roosevelt made the announcement. Word quickly spread through the barracks and the realization that we were likely to be among the first to be drafted in a war that changed nearly everyone's life and is estimated to have killed over fifty million people.

WORLD WAR II

Best wishes.
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Re: December 7th

Postby nodenuff2 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:01 pm

My dad was there when it happened . Pulled sailors off burning ships that day. He was a welder in the submarine repair shops. They put a welding machine on a helicopter and for weeks they would land that helicopter on a submarine deck (not a small feat in itself) and he would weld aluminum bulkheads, sleep, and then weld some more. He refused to the day he died to consider himself a Hero but we all did. Dad joined the Navy in '38 at 19 next time he came home he was 26 in '44. We owe so much to that generation.
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Re: December 7th

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:49 pm

This thread is now in the Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community forum, we'll consider this a community event.

Since we have a number of non-US members, I retitled the thread to be more explicit. Here's additional info: Attack on Pearl Harbor

My Dad joined the Navy after hearing about the attack.
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Re: December 7th

Postby Epsilon Delta » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:07 pm

chaz wrote:"A day which will live in infamy" said by FDR.

The quote is "A date which will live in infamy." FDR chose his words carefully.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby dandan14 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:52 pm

Glad to see this post. My dad would tell me about Pearl Harbor every December 7. (He was just a kid, but saw WWII America from a child's eyes.) I asked some of my co-workers on a conference call this morning, and not many knew what Dec. 7 was.

Interestingly enough, I also mentioned to a co-worker yesterday who did a presentation where she talked about "re-education" that she may want to be careful with that word. She was totally unfamiliar with the connotation of "re-education" and said I was the first person to mention it.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby Sheepdog » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:08 pm

I was 7 years old when the announcement came through. I didn't understand then what it meant, but it took little time for even a child to comprehend. My father was a WWI veteran, and he taught me as did all of the young men in my neighborhood who answered the call in the weeks following. They did not wait for a draft. Few returned. There were so many homes with a star banner in the window. They sacrificed for us. Don't forget and don't forget to teach others. So many lives were given to provide our freedom..
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby fishnskiguy » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:20 pm

My great uncle was the Commanding Officer of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on Dec. 7, 1941.

He had plenty of work to keep himself busy for the next four years.

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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby pennstater2005 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:22 pm

God bless all our veterans. Their sacrifices both past and present are why we enjoy the freedoms we have. And a special thank you to all of our own resident Boglehead veterans.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby rustymutt » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:31 pm

I'm proud to be an American. God bless those who've made that total sacrifice.
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Re: December 7th

Postby chaz » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:38 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
chaz wrote:"A day which will live in infamy" said by FDR.

The quote is "A date which will live in infamy." FDR chose his words carefully.

Thanks.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby chaz » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:42 pm

Chaz

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Why did the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor ?

Postby Taylor Larimore » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:26 pm



I read the article but question its thesis that Harry Dexter White and the Soviet Uniion participated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the reason according to Wikipedia:

The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and hence protect Japan's advance into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, where it sought access to natural resources such as oil and rubber.

War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility of which each nation had been aware (and developed contingency plans for) since the 1920s, though tensions did not begin to grow seriously until Japan's 1931 invasion of Manchuria. Over the next decade, Japan continued to expand into China, leading to all-out war between those countries in 1937. Japan spent considerable effort trying to isolate China and achieve sufficient resource independence to attain victory on the mainland; the "Southern Operation" was designed to assist these efforts.[17]

From December 1937, events such as the Japanese attack on the USS Panay and the Nanking Massacre (more than 200,000 killed in indiscriminate massacres) swung public opinion in the West sharply against Japan and increased Western fear of Japanese expansion,[18] which prompted the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to provide loan assistance for war supply contracts to the Republic of China.

In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina in an effort to control supplies reaching China. The United States halted shipments of airplanes, parts, machine tools, and aviation gasoline to Japan; this was perceived by Japan as an unfriendly act.[nb 5] The U.S. did not stop oil exports to Japan at that time in part because prevailing sentiment in Washington was that such an action would be an extreme step, given Japanese dependence on U.S. oil,[20][21] and likely to be considered a provocation by Japan.

Early in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii from its previous base in San Diego and ordered a military buildup in the Philippines in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East. Because the Japanese high command believed that any attack on Britain's Southeast Asian colonies would bring the U.S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to avoid U.S. naval interference.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby chaz » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:29 pm

Thanks for the info Taylor.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:16 pm

They forgot to ask Admiral Isoroku Yamamato his thoughts before that provocation:
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve".
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby SpaceCommander » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:34 pm

My grandfather was on a cruiser at Pearl the day of the attack. I had the privilege of serving on a cruiser at Pearl too (albeit about 60 yrs later!)
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby BC_Doc » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:36 pm

My mother-in-law's dad was a second lieutenant in the Philippine Rangers when the bombs started dropping a short time later in Manilla (December 8 as Manilla was across the international date line). He would survive the deplorable Japanese prison camps in the Phillipines only to die in 1944 on the hell ship Arisan Maru while being transported to Japan.

As American civilians, my mother-in-law and her mom spent three years as "guests of the emperor" in the Santo Tomas internment camp in Manilla before being liberated by American GIs on February 3, 1945.

My hat is off in remembrance and thanks to our WWII veterans.

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Re: December 7th

Postby Fallible » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:18 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:...The quote is "A date which will live in infamy." FDR chose his words carefully.


And here's why he made a good choice (from wiki's "Infamy Speech"):

"The President's description of December 7 as "a date which will live in infamy" was borne out; the date very quickly became shorthand for the Pearl Harbor attack in much the same way that September 11 became inextricably associated with the 2001 terrorist attacks. The slogans "Remember December 7th" and "Avenge December 7" were adopted as a rallying cry and were widely displayed on posters and lapel pins.[19] Prelude to War (1942), the first of Frank Capra's Why We Fight film series (1942–1945), urged Americans to remember the date of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, September 18, 1931, "as well as we remember December 7th 1941, for on that date in 1931 the war we are now fighting began."[20] The symbolism of the date was highlighted in a scene in the 1943 film Bombardier, in which the leader of a group of airmen walks up to a calendar on the wall, points to the date ("December 7, 1941") and tells his men: "Gentlemen, there's a date we will always remember—and they'll never forget!"[21]"

And in delivering the speech, FDR so memorably emphasized the key words "date," "live," and "infamy."
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Re: December 7th

Postby chaz » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:43 pm

Fallible wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:...The quote is "A date which will live in infamy." FDR chose his words carefully.


And here's why he made a good choice (from wiki's "Infamy Speech"):

"The President's description of December 7 as "a date which will live in infamy" was borne out; the date very quickly became shorthand for the Pearl Harbor attack in much the same way that September 11 became inextricably associated with the 2001 terrorist attacks. The slogans "Remember December 7th" and "Avenge December 7" were adopted as a rallying cry and were widely displayed on posters and lapel pins.[19] Prelude to War (1942), the first of Frank Capra's Why We Fight film series (1942–1945), urged Americans to remember the date of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, September 18, 1931, "as well as we remember December 7th 1941, for on that date in 1931 the war we are now fighting began."[20] The symbolism of the date was highlighted in a scene in the 1943 film Bombardier, in which the leader of a group of airmen walks up to a calendar on the wall, points to the date ("December 7, 1941") and tells his men: "Gentlemen, there's a date we will always remember—and they'll never forget!"[21]"

And in delivering the speech, FDR so memorably emphasized the key words "date," "live," and "infamy."

A good message Fallible. Thanks.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby MathWizard » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:05 am

That date will always be remebered in my house even though I was not born yet,

Dec 7, 1941 was supposed to be my parent's wedding day. The entire wedding party and guest were on their way to the church
for a small wedding when the news came over the radio. They stopped and discussed the situation, and decided they did not want to
have that as the date of their anniversary. They got married on Valentine's day 1942.

I just got to see Omaha Beach this summer, where one of my uncle's was on D-DAY.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby bpp » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:05 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:They forgot to ask Admiral Isoroku Yamamato his thoughts before that provocation:
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve".


He may have thought that, but there is no evidence that he ever said that.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby Valuethinker » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:49 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:


I read the article but question its thesis that Harry Dexter White and the Soviet Uniion participated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the reason according to Wikipedia:

The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and hence protect Japan's advance into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, where it sought access to natural resources such as oil and rubber.

War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility of which each nation had been aware (and developed contingency plans for) since the 1920s, though tensions did not begin to grow seriously until Japan's 1931 invasion of Manchuria. Over the next decade, Japan continued to expand into China, leading to all-out war between those countries in 1937. Japan spent considerable effort trying to isolate China and achieve sufficient resource independence to attain victory on the mainland; the "Southern Operation" was designed to assist these efforts.[17]

From December 1937, events such as the Japanese attack on the USS Panay and the Nanking Massacre (more than 200,000 killed in indiscriminate massacres) swung public opinion in the West sharply against Japan and increased Western fear of Japanese expansion,[18] which prompted the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to provide loan assistance for war supply contracts to the Republic of China.

In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina in an effort to control supplies reaching China. The United States halted shipments of airplanes, parts, machine tools, and aviation gasoline to Japan; this was perceived by Japan as an unfriendly act.[nb 5] The U.S. did not stop oil exports to Japan at that time in part because prevailing sentiment in Washington was that such an action would be an extreme step, given Japanese dependence on U.S. oil,[20][21] and likely to be considered a provocation by Japan.

Early in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii from its previous base in San Diego and ordered a military buildup in the Philippines in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East. Because the Japanese high command believed that any attack on Britain's Southeast Asian colonies would bring the U.S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to avoid U.S. naval interference.

Best wishes.
Taylor


The theory that FDR knew of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor before it took place, is one that just won't die.

It doesn't hold water. Inconceivable that an American president would know of an attack against his Pacific Fleet in which thousands of sailors and others would die, which could have crippled the fleet forever (had the oil tanks been destroyed) and which lost America many of its capital ships (the irrelevance of the Dreadnaught Battleship in the era of carrier aviation was yet to be realized).

The reality is a little more prosaic. The Americans had in their possession the Japanese codes, and one message told the Japanese embassy in Washington that an attack was going forward. But it was not decoded until weeks after Pearl Harbor. Other evidence (down to a radar track of the incoming strike force of the first raid) was there, but no one 'connected the dots'. Just like 9-11 in fact. Or Tet. Or just about any spectacular failure of military intelligence in world history.

Similar stories run and run about Churchill and the destruction of Coventry in early 1941 by aerial attack, the worst single episode of the Blitz. Again, it's a myth. We didn't have that good deciphering of Nazi codes at that point in the war (but did so, later).

On the oil point, I had understood it that the US had indeed cut off oil exports (the US was the largest oil exporter at the time). The Japanese Navy told the Imperial War Cabinet that within 18 months they would have insufficient fuel for operations. Therefore a strike against the Dutch oil producing colonies in Indonesia became inevitable. And also a strike to seize British tin mines and rubber plantations in Malaya (there was no synthetic rubber at that time, Japan needed rubber to keep moving, literally).

I shall have to check on that point.

Once a strike was inevitable then an attack on the US became inevitable, because the US fleet could interfere with the Japanese seizure of SE Asia, and B17s based in the Phillipines could bomb critical Japanese targets.

The Japanese were misinformed by history. A similar attack in 1904 had crippled the Russian Pacific fleet, and led to the seizure of Port Arthur and the loss of Russia's possessions in Manchuria (and an abortive Revolution in Russia). So they believed that such a preemptive blow would force the US to sue prematurely for peace-- make it too expensive for them to reconquer the Pacific. No one seriously believed Japan could defeat the world's largest industrial power, but they thought they could make it politically unappetizing to defeat Japan.

The real puzzle of Pearl Harbor is this. Why did General Macarthur, having been informed hours earlier of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, not order his B17s to bomb Japanese airfields in Taiwan? Instead, his air force was caught on the ground in the Phillipines, and largely destroyed.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:57 pm

I believe MacArthur would need an executive order from the President to make any such advance. It may have also been that Congress needed to provide authorization to declare war. :?:
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby BC_Doc » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:59 am

Valuethinker wrote:
The real puzzle of Pearl Harbor is this. Why did General Macarthur, having been informed hours earlier of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, not order his B17s to bomb Japanese airfields in Taiwan? Instead, his air force was caught on the ground in the Phillipines, and largely destroyed.


He froze and proved indecisive when the moment required a man of action.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby BC_Doc » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:07 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:I believe MacArthur would need an executive order from the President to make any such advance. It may have also been that Congress needed to provide authorization to declare war. :?:


This still doesn't explain his folly of leaving the planes on the ground where they were sitting ducks for Japanese pilots.
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Re: December 7th

Postby rustymutt » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:41 am

JamesSFO wrote:Sadly I think 2011 was the last year they held a commemoration in HI due to dwindling numbers of people to attend.



They had one this year. I watched it on TV.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby rustymutt » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:16 am

My father had the honor of serving on the U.S.S Theenim Assault Cargo ship (AKA-63)
Nick named the "Lucky Seven". He was a first class chief petty officer. "Sempar Paratis"

My heart felt thanks to all who serve to protect our way of living!
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:24 pm

BC_Doc wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:I believe MacArthur would need an executive order from the President to make any such advance. It may have also been that Congress needed to provide authorization to declare war. :?:


This still doesn't explain his folly of leaving the planes on the ground where they were sitting ducks for Japanese pilots.


MacArthur made a number of bad decisions in the Phillipines Campaign.

Just as the British decided to defend Malaya and Singapore (and Hong Kong) but then did not provide enough forces to do so, so the US had made the same mistake in Phillipines. The Phillipines was far too close to the main Japanese bases and air power to be successfully defended, the defence rested on a 'trip wire' thesis that Japan would not dare to challenge the United States by attacking its colonial possession.

The original plan had been to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island as a final redoubt and await relief from the US Pacific Fleet.

Yet MacArthur changed plan and tried to resist the Japanese invasion on the mainland, where his forces were outnumbered and easily beatened by Japanese troops, well trained and battle hardened from the China war. He lost control of the air within hours.

The key supplies were not moved to Bataan as per the original pre war plan. When the US forces retreated there, there were insufficient supplies, food and water. The horror of that siege was multiplied by the starvation of the troops there.

The British version of this was 2 battleships with no air cover (Force Z) at Singapore, which were promptly sunk when they sallied against the Japanese. An Army trapped and outmaneouvred in a disastrous retreat through Malaya after an abortive 'sweep' into Thailand to try to stop the Japanese (again, the British changed plan at the last minute).

When they got to Singapore, there were no landward defences-- they had all been built to resist naval attack. And Churchill threw a whole division, the 18th London division, into the garrison in the last days-- it was almost entirely captured and less than half survived captivity. The artist Ronald Searle survived that by drawing his cartoons, illicitly. Many would die as slave labourers building 'the Bridge over the River Kwai'.

Hong Kong they put 2 Canadian battalions in as a 'tripwire force' who were wiped out, a pointless sacrifice.

MacArthur would redeem himself in the South Pacific island campaign, although his treatment of his Australian allies, who took part in some of the fiercest fighting in New Guinea/ Port Moresby, was execrable and inexcusable. The Australians in that jungle fought a battle which will be forever remembered amongst the English speaking peoples for its ferocity and their courage.

And MacArthur, nicknamed 'dugout Doug' by resentful soldiers, would become obsessed with a reinvasion of the Phillipines, which became a massive strategic diversion in the drive on Japan (the USN/ USMC island drive across the Central Pacific bypassed much Japanese resistance). (I understand he was not without courage, wanted to stay on Corregidor to the last, but FDR ordered him to Australia).

His invasion plan for Japan, Operation Olympic (the invasion of the island of Kyushu, prequel to Operation Coronet, the invasion of Tokyo Bay), similarly ignored vital intelligence-- that the Japanese had mustered the core of their army on the island. Like the invasion of the Phillipines, or Okinawa, it would have been a bloodbath, pitting Allied forces against the cream of the Japanese Army defending its own homeland.

Whilst MacArthur would show his best side in his role as Governor of Japan post WW2, he would go on to master the landing at Inchon, behind North Korean lines. A rash but brilliant stroke.

And then throw it all away in a rash dash for the Chinese border, which brought China into the war. And left US and UN forces in one of the great traps of military history and a desperate retreat back to the 49th Parallel.

Had MacArthur not been fired by President Truman, in one of the great feats of political courage of a US president, the US would probably have gone fully to war with the People's Republic of China in 1950-51, and who knows what consequences that would have brought.

It's interesting despite the fame of his 'old soldiers never die' speech, the Republicans did not choose MacArthur as their candidate (but Eisenhower, an altogether more modest and less bombastic general).

I conclude that MacArthur was capable of brilliant strategic insight, but he was consumed by his own ego, rash, and tended to ignore information that contradicted his previously held view of the situation. A legend in his own mind, but not one of history's great generals.
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Re: December 7th [Attack on Pearl Harbor]

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:27 pm

My great uncle commanded an allied cruiser and destroyer force during the early days of the South Pacific war.

It was basically wiped out.

I have known a few veterans of 'the Forgotten Army' the 14th Army in Burma, which fought the Japanese to a brutal standstill at Kohima and Imphal. Their General, Sir William Slim (later Field Marshall and Governor General of Australia) has a statue in Whitehall with his beard and his binoculars. He ranks as perhaps the greatest British General of WW2.
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