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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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Why is it most people think Europe was the main part of WWII and so many people following my wordpress blog of Pacific Paratrooper say they were never taught info on it in school except maybe two of the main USMC battles?

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On 3/11/2018 at 10:55 AM, GP Cox said:

Why is it most people think Europe was the main part of WWII and so many people following my wordpress blog of Pacific Paratrooper say they were never taught info on it in school except maybe two of the main USMC battles?

Acccording to the dictates of von Clausewitz, when you're facing two enemies... you concentrate on the most dangerous one first. The Pentagon had decided that Germany's high tech and industrial muscle represented the more dangerous of the two countries with whom the USA was officially at war. Add-in the influence of Hollywood -  a truly unreliable source of information. A sheepfarming friend from Maryland assured me with complete sincerity that "The British didn't fight against the Japanese, you know." Which would have come as a surprise to my late father-in-law, who mservied in the "forgotten" XIV Army under Field Marshall Slim. ("Forgotten" because when the Nazis surrendered, so many people decided that THE WAR was now over.) The Brits - and the Indians - mainly fought the Japanese on the Asian mainland, including some vicious set-piece battles involving substantial numbers of casualties. It really wasn't ALL "Island hopping".

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I think it's a bloody shame that the European theater gets most of the attention.  The Pacific campaign represented in many ways much tougher fighting and in conditions which were difficult in different ways.  I try to read something about the Pacific War for very one or two articles/books I read about Europe. 

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21 minutes ago, Jon M Brown said:

I think it's a bloody shame that the European theater gets most of the attention.  The Pacific campaign represented in many ways much tougher fighting and in conditions which were difficult in different ways.  I try to read something about the Pacific War for very one or two articles/books I read about Europe. 

I'd recommend "The Jungle is Neutral", a memoir by F.Spencer Chapman which was good enough to be made required reading at the Jungle Warfare Training School near Penang. The central point made by the author is that of the huge number of casualties suffered by BOTH sides during the Pacific war.... the vast majority were not caused by enemy action. The Jungle itself is doing a pretty good job of trying to kill you, regardless of whether you ever SEE the enemy. It wasn't until mid way through WW2 that antibiotics became available. Before that point, even a minor scratch - in the jungle - could rapidly turn septic and kill you. Disease killed rather more men during the Burma campaign than bullets did...

https://www.amazon.com/Jungle-Neutral-Soldiers-Two-Year-Japanese/dp/1592281079

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