Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Day of Infamy
Quite tragic the number of naval aviators we lost in that one. The navy aircraft in use at that time lacked the speed and maneuverability of the enemy Zeros. Of all the 51 pilots in the torpedo boat squadrons only 7 returned. In the end despite the huge American losses we had destroyed I believe 4 Japanese carriers.
Had that not been accomplished.. well, I won't venture into alternative history or speculative fiction, but you get the idea.
Amazing that we had all those casualties in that battle but there were no Democrats calling for a withdrawal from the Pacific theater.
Thanks for reading VitW.
We all owe a debt of gratitude and honor to the Greatest Generation. Perhaps that is part of the reason there is such a big demand for all things WWII....books, movies, even computer games.
I read a book on military intelligence by John Keegan last winter and he included a chapter on the Battle of Midway. Interesting thing about it is that, even though the US Navy had near perfect intel on the Japanese fleet, most of the raids on the carriers failed because of the aircraft superiority you mentioned above. However, one squadron got lost. Providentially, a Japanese destroyer broke from the fleet to chase a US sub. After disengaging the sub, the destroyer hightailed it back to the fleet, going so fast it left a huge wake. In the clear conditions of that day, the lost squadron saw the prominent wake, which was a virtual arrow pointer right to the fleet. While the Zero's were busy with the other squadrons at low altitude, the lost squad made their bombing run at high altitude, sank 3 carriers and severely damaged a fourth in a matter of minutes.
What to you make of that? Here's what comes to mind when I hear this story:
"[Jesus] got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
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