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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


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Timerover51 last won the day on March 5 2018

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About Timerover51

  • Birthday 10/24/1951

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  1. Based on material that I have worked with in the US National Archives and other sources, I would say that China likely lost on the order of 50 million dead in World War 2. In the area that the Doolittle Raiders were supposed to land, the Japanese Army moved in and killed at least one-half million civilians for their effrontery at aiding Japan's opponents. Add the minimum of 200,000 killed at Nanking in early 1938, and you are already at 700,000 dead. Then added the anecdotal evidence from the Tokyo War Crime Trials, along with what was going on in Manchuria from 1931 onwards, where the Chinese were being shot out of hand for simply being near Japanese areas, or the Japanese wanted their land, business, women, property, on simply for the fun of it, and the body count keeps growing. Then add in the casualties from the aerial attacks on Chinese cities, from 1937 on. Then, since the Japanese were not officially at war with China, all captured Chinese soldiers were viewed as simple bandits, and shot out of hand. No, 10 million deaths from the Japanese in China during World War to is absurdly low.
  2. A couple of comment on this. First, with respect to the Navajo Code Talkers, their bodyguards were told to kill them to prevent capture in actually. The fear was that under Japanese Torture, one might agree to translate the coded radio messages. The same was true for the Magic detachment on Corrigidor when the Philippines were attacked. if they had not been successfully evacuated by sub to Australia, they would all have been shot by our side to prevent capture. War can be a very tough business at times. Second, I would agree that the movie U-571 was appallingly incorrect, although the US Navy did capture an Enigma machine on the U-505 in mid 1944. However, in 1941 the US was regularly breaking both the Japanese Naval and Diplomatic codes and had been for a while. When the Japanese sent the final message just prior to the Pearl Harbor Attack, the US Secretary of State Cordell Hull had the message de-crypted and translated before the Japanese did. Unfortunately, not it time to notify Hawaii.
  3. The ship photo claimed to be the French Battleship Strasbourg is actually a photo of the German World War One light cruiser of the same name. The French Strasbourg mounted eight 13 inch guns forward in 2 quadruple turrets, with no major caliber turrets mounted in the stern.
  4. That was the targeting list that was being considered. The other possibility was the synthetic oil plants, that were proving to be very hard to knock out with conventional weapons. I am not sure with an airburst the atonic bombs as built would have been any better than conventional weapons. For that type of target a surface burst would be required. Remember that the ones actually used were what would be low-yield weapons now. The Little Boy used on Hiroshima was betwee 12.5 and 15 kilotons (I have seen both figures cited(, while the Fat Man on Nagasaki was about 22 kilotons. An airburst to maximize overpressure would present limited fallout hazards, as it would be very widely dispersed.
  5. No US Guppy-type submarines tried to get under the ice pack the way that the Nautilus did. The USS Conchino, a Guppy-type, was lost in the Norwegian Sea in 1949 due to a battery explosion and fire. A number of the World War 2 boats were used for night commando raids during the Korean War. There may have been some offshore spying done, but any mention of that would still be classified. There was a lot of tension in the Formosa Straits area through the 1950s, and it would appear that a number of U-2 spy plane flights were made out of Taiwan over China. I have a copy of a declassified US Air Force study done on the Chinese Rail system in 1957, examining its vulnerable points, most of which were problems in World War 2 as well.
  6. The first B-29 strike of the war occurred on June 5th against Bangkok. The major invasion in the Pacific was the assault on the Marianas Island to get bases for the B-29 ti attack Japan directly with less logistical problems. This in turn precipitated the Battle of the Philippine Sea, also known as the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, resulting it the effective elimination of Japanese carrier-born aircraft for the remainder of the war. From then on, the Japanese Navy flew from land bases. Leyte was not the desired landing spot, as the Navy much preferred an invasion of Formosa, to pretty much cut all Japanese supply lines coming from Southeast Asia. MacArthur screamed bloody murder, jumped up and down, stormed about and managed to get his way to attack the Philippines. Then, when the Japanese did not surrender as planned by Dug-Out Doug, but retreated to the mountains of Luzon, he found himself frozen out of planning for the invasion of Japan. Why he was allowed to sign the surrender papers instead of Nimitz, I have no idea. However, keeping him in Japan did mean that he would not run from President under the Republican ticket in 1948. When 1952 rolled around, he was in disgrace. I do not have a favorable opinion of Dug-Out Doug.
  7. There were a limited number of 4-stackers from the World War One building program used with the Asiatic Fleet at the start of the war as destroyers. Fifty of the 4-stackers were transferred to the UK in 1940 under the Destroyers for Bases deal. A few 4-pipers were used as destroyers in the Atlantic, but those is the Pacific were used primarily as destroyer transport and a few as minelayers. The earliest of the 1930s build of modern destroyers stayed in the Atlantic, while the single largest class used in the war was the Fletcher-class with 2 stacks, followed by the Benson-Livermore class immediately preceding the Fletchers, also with 3 stacks. There was a large scrapping of 4-pipers in the early 1930s, to free up tonnage for more modern ships.
  8. Based on the Official US Army History of World War Two, the 2nd Cavalry division was partially inactivated in 1942, reactivated in 1943, and then again inactivated in early 1944 in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, with its personnel being used to bring other divisions up to strength. The only cavalry unit from the US that I can locate in the CBI Theater is as follows. The quote comes from the history, Time Runs Out in the CBI. The individual may have been assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Division and retained the shoulder patch when sent to the Burma Theater. If he was a veterinarian, he would have been busy as a lot of animals were used in the supply lines in Burma. The 9th Cavalry Regiment was part of the 2nd Cavalry division, and was apparently broken up as the same time as the division.
  9. The designers and builders of the first Atomic bombs always assumed that they would be dropped on Germany, with the primary targets the industrial Ruhr Valley. When Germany collapsed, the scientist thought that bomb development would be stopped. Most were against dropping in on Japan, or having a demonstration drop. The scientists led a very sheltered life in the New Mexico desert. They knew that the Nazis were bad, but had no idea about how nasty the fighting with Japan had gotten.
  10. I put that on Wilson, as there were things in that treaty that no Senate of the US would accept. As it was, when the test came in 1931 with Japan taking over Manchuria from China, the League did zip. Same thing when Italy hit Ethiopia, no action worth mentioning. Quite simply, when it came to actually putting military into action, the League was useless. Wilson was an arrogant elitist for thinking that he could get it passed. His own party helped to kill it, not that that helped them a lot in 1920. There is a lot of sentiment against the United Nations as it is now, and I expect more cuts in US funding for it.
  11. The Amethyst Incident took place in 1949. Checking the record of the Yangtze Patrol of the US Navy, there were two British gunboats on the Yangtze as well. The USS San Pablo in the book and movie was based on the USS Villalobos gunboat in the mid-1920s. I am not sure exactly how far upstream the British gunboats patrolled. The Villalobos went upstream as far as Hankow and Changsha in the protection of American interests and nationals.
  12. You might want to check your source on that story about the Marine Corps defending the mail service from armed attack. It would be illegal under US law to use military personnel in that manner within the US. That would be the responsibility of the US Marshall service. It would be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. The Marines did begin to use the Thompson in Nicaragua in 1927-28, and discovered that they made excellent weapons for jungle combat.
  13. Use of the Thompson by Turkish forces in the 1920s would have been really odd, so say nothing of the problem of ammunition supply. The gun was not really ready for manufacture until about 1921, and then was produced under license by the Auto-Ordnance Corporation. It was unknown basically outside of the US until the Marines began to use them in Central America in 1927. The Germans had the Bergman machine pistol by the end of World War One, and then the Swiss took it over. That would make much more sense for use in Europe. That is interesting that Tony Curtis was in the movie, as he also starred in Some Like it Hot, a fictionalized version of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929 in Chicago, where Thompsons were also used. The submachine gun was viewed for a long time as a gangster and police weapon. It took the Spanish Civil War and the Russo-Finnish War, with the use by the Finns of the Suomi submachine gun to change that view for all.
  14. There is a good Osprey book on the subject. The closest thing to a museum would be the Petersburg Battlefield, where the 13 inch mortars on railway carriages were used. I do have one book on US and Confederate ironclads that has a fair number of detailed drawings. I will have to dig it out. If I remember correctly, it has passed into the public domain.
  15. Probably the most telling comment about Lee's limitations was when he was asked to release 100 railroad personnel from the Army of Northern Virginia to assist in making the Confederacy's dilapidated railroad system operate, and he refused, saying that the 100 men were more vital as soldiers than as supply personnel getting food to his army. A good tactician, aided by inferior opponents, but not good at grand strategy. Joe Johnston was begging for troops from Virginia to relieve Vicksburg, when Lee headed north into Pennsylvania. If McClellan had launched the Sixth Corps in one final all-out attack at Antietam, the war would have ended then with Lee/s army smashed. He was too focused on Virginian and did not really look beyond it.
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