IFEMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2313 times:
To those who lost their lives so suddenly and without warning on that day, may you continue to rest in peace.
To those who lost their lives in the subsequent battles that ensued, to you we are thankful for the brave sacrifices you made. To those who fought and were lucky enough to return alive, thanks for sacrificing those years with your wives and children. To those who fought and died, thanks for sacrificing your lives so that the rest of us could enjoy freedom and liberty.
Having visited the Pearl Harbour memorial a couple of times, I was moved on both occasions by the enormity of what happened. The fact that the USS Arizona is still so clearly visible below the waterline, and still leaks drops of oil to the surface, is a stark reminder of how brutal the day of infamy was.
To all men and women who have served in the past or who are currently serving, I salute you. Thank you for your service.
And to our a.net friend in Iraq - keep fighting the good fight, and come back home safely. Good luck and God speed.
IFEMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2247 times:
Quoting 9V (Reply 7): Have a look at THESE "Never seen before" pictures.
Several of those pictures are display at the Pearl Harbor Museum, but they are still quite shocking to see. At the harbor today, there is very little to indicate that it was once the scene of such devastation, and to be able to put these pictures in perspective to the lay of the land is quite fascinating. Looking at the various people in the shots, you can almost see the shock on their faces at what is unfolding before them. Thanks for posting, 9V.
RIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 773 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2236 times:
Pearl Harbor, an attack which will "live in infamy" according to Roosevelt! Too many people tend to forget that the U.S. lost almost as many people in the Pearl Harbor attack as they lost in the 9/11 attacks. I salute someone who reminds us in photos regarding the terrible attack on Pearl Harbor.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13336 posts, RR: 64 Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2150 times:
The people killed in Pearl Harbour were not the first Americans to be killed in WW2. Starting in 1939, there existed an unofficial battle between the US Navy escorting convoys to Britain in the Western Atlantic ocean and German submarines. During this time several American warships have been sunk, including the destroyer Reuben James.
I also remember having heard about an incident in China in the 1930s, where an American gun boat patroling the Yangtse river was attacked by Japanese forces.
This doesn't include the American volunteers who fought in China, Spain and Britain from 1935 to 1941 (including American pilots who volunteered to fight in the RAF during the Batle of Britain).
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13336 posts, RR: 64 Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2122 times:
Quoting Saintsman (Reply 16): Unfortunately I'm unaware of the history behind this attack. What were the Americans doing to cause Japan to strike in the first place?
Please note this is not a USA bashing question.
In the late 1920s Japan was defacto taken over by an ultranationalist military junta, which declared that it ruled in the emperor's name, through political assasinations (often caried out by Yakuza gangsters) and pressure on opposition politicians (who were arrested by a "thought police", killed or imprisoned). The aim of the junta was build up a colonial empire, mostly centered around Korea, Taiwan, Mandshuria and the raw meterials rich regions of northern China. They also had an eye on eastern Siberia.
China at this time was embroiled in civil war with several warlords and considered weak, as was the early Soviet Union. Korea and Taiwan were already occupied since the early 20th century.
In the mid 1930 Japan, which as a WW1 winning power had a share in the administration of the multinational city of Shanghai, staged a faked attack on a Japanese train and used this as a pretext to declare war on China (quite similar to the fake attack on a German radio transmitter close to the Polish border by German troops dressed in polish uniforms, which gave the pretext of Hitler's invasion of Poland).
Japan found itself soon stuck in a prolonged guerilla war and reacted ultrabrutal (e.g. the Rape of Nanking). This caused the US government to take opposition to Japan in two ways:
1) a ban on Japanese immigration to the US, which was an important safety valve to the overpopulated Japanese islands (Interestingly most Japanese immigrants to the US firmly supported the US in WW2 and, after initial internments, volunteered in big numbers to join the US forces, the Nissei Battalion, made up of ethnic Japanese soldiers prooved itself fighting in Italy against the Germans).
2) An embargo of American oil and scrap steel.
Since Japan has no oil of it's own, the boycott was soon felt, especially the Japanese Navy was increasingly being immobilised due to lack of fuel.
So the Japanese government started eying the oil fields in the then Dutch colony of Indonesia. To get them and to clear the supply lines back to Japan the British colony Malaysia (which also housed the largest rubber plantations in the world back then) and the American colony of the Philippines were in the way. Especially the US could reinforce the Philippines using the battleships based in Pearl Harbor and from the Philippines attack the Japanese forces on the way to Indonesia. So to secure the lines of communication for an invasion of Indonesia, both the British and Americans had to go.
Simultanious with the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attacked Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines.
In the beginning the Japanese could count on anti European and anti white feelings in the population of the South East Asian countries, which evaporated fast when it was seen that the Japanese were much more brutal than the original colonial powers.
The biggest mistake the Japanese made in Pearl Harbor was that they attacked the American battleships, but missed the aircraft carriers, which were just out of port on an exercise. These aircraft carriers later gave the Japanese Navy a heavy blow at Midway and finally stopped Japanese expansion southwards in the Battle of the Coral Sea north of Australia.
Bwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1314 posts, RR: 4 Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2117 times:
Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 13): Not to nitpick further but...Japan attacked Chinese forces near Beijing on July 7, 1937 with forces staged in Manchuria, which itself had been occupied since 1931. The war in Asia was quite long.
Depends ofcourse how you define the second World War...
Usually the term is applied to the war between the Axis forces and the Allied forces. When the Japanese Empire invaded China, it wasn't part of the Axis forces yet, as they only became a "member" in 1940. There was also little or no official reaction to the invasion, and there was no formation of an Allied army to help the Chinese.
When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, the international reaction did come, with France and Britain (and some former British Colonies) declaring war on the Axis forces (at that time only Nazi Germany & Italy), though those Allied forces couldn't (or didn't want to) sent troops in time to assist the Polish forces.
The US congress choose to remain "neutral", though as of 1941 they did assist Britain with financial and materiel support.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13336 posts, RR: 64 Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2114 times:
BTW, in 1937 the Japanese made several attempts to invade Siberia from China, but received very bloody noses from Soviet troops lead by a General Chukov. This severe beating caused the Japanese not to invade Russia from the East on Hitler's request in 1941, which in turn enabled Stalin to free the Siberian troops guarding the Chinese border to use them to stop the German advance on Moskow.General Chukov later became a Field Marshall and was later know as the man who led the forces which captured Berlin.
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7631 posts, RR: 28 Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2109 times:
Excellent synopsis Jan.
The nisei soldiers of the 442nd infantry you refer to were the most highly decorated US unit in the European theater. It has been well established that their dedication and resolve stemmed from protest against the US government's internment of nisei citizens.
Among other Japanese mistakes early on, they not only didn't destroy the existing US carriers, they failed to develop a sizable fleet of their own. Early war planners in the Japanese navy insisted on the completion of marquee battleships Yamato and Musashi, both of which were well known internally to be nothing more than pork projects for naval shipbuilders well connected to the military junta. The lack of planning for the air war in the Pacific hampered any possibility of success from the outset.
There were a number of other interesting failings as well - in direct parallel to similar goings-on in Germany's mid-30s witch hunt against Jewish scientists, many of Japan's finest young engineering talent were forced into infantry service, robbing their scientific corps of many chances to further develop weapons technology that could have better aided the campaign.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13336 posts, RR: 64 Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2103 times:
Generally the Japanese Navy was more open to new ideas than the Army which was completely stuck in medieval ideas.
Treatment of Japanese soldiers was bad, recruits got routinely beaten up by their NCOs and veteran comrades.
It was Japanese doctrine that the army on the march should live of the land, e.g. by looting , to keep logistics simple.
Japanese recruits often came under immense peer pressure in their combat units and often had to prove their willingness to unconditionally obey orders by e.g. bayonetting prisoners Japanese soldiers were treated badly and handed down this treatment to prisoners and civilians alike.
It is especially surprising, since in WW! the Japanese forces, as part of the Allies, were exemplry in obeying the Geneva Conventions.