World War II

A place for Sladists to share their thoughts on Michael Slade and his work...

Postby MrEd » Fri Apr 15, 2005 1:37 am

WaywardSoul wrote:I would tell you what we used to call Marines, but I think that kind of language is against forum rules. :twisted:



Well, we used to call ourselves "Stupid, leathernecked jarheaded motherf**kers"...and that was we were being complimentary to one another. :wink:
"One that will not reason is a bigot. One that cannot reason is an ignoramus. One that dares not reason is a slave." - Anon
User avatar
MrEd
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: North Highlands, California

Postby MrEd » Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:28 am

WaywardSoul wrote: The guys on submarines were called "Bubbleheads" and had to hear all about "300 men submerging and 150 couples resurfacing".



I can't believe I missed this the first time 'round, WS. :oops: Anyway - truer words may never have been spoken! :P
"One that will not reason is a bigot. One that cannot reason is an ignoramus. One that dares not reason is a slave." - Anon
User avatar
MrEd
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: North Highlands, California

Postby steelclaw32 » Sat May 28, 2005 6:44 am

This from my favourite English news paper. (no not the bloody sun either) !

"Japanese army pair may still be hiding 60 years on
By Colin Joyce in Tokyo and Sebastien Berger, SE Asia Correspondent
(Filed: 28/05/2005)

Japan was transfixed by claims yesterday that two of its soldiers had emerged from jungle in the Philippines six decades after they were believed to have been killed in the Second World War.

Japanese diplomats travelled to the port of General Santos on the island of Mindanao to meet the men and confirm their identities but the pair failed to show up.


Image


Nonetheless, the Japanese media confidently named them as Tsuzuki Nakauchi, 85, and Yoshio Yamakawa, 87.

Records show that the two were members of the 30th Division of the Japanese Imperial Army, which suffered heavy losses in the war's last months. Both were listed as having been killed. Japanese newspapers yesterday showed pictures of Mr Nakauchi's sister-in-law visiting the grave erected to him.

A spokesman for Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, told journalists that the octogenarians were apparently reluctant to meet the diplomats at a hotel because of the large crowds.

According to reports, the two men have lived for 60 years in the mountainous jungle of southern Mindanao and at least one of them married a local woman.

The area is controlled by Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas but the trail leading to the men started when a Filipina woman working for a logging firm told her Japanese husband that she had seen two elderly Japanese men living in the jungle.

Image


They were reportedly worried that if they returned to their homeland they would be court-martialled and shot. A veterans' association became involved, leading to yesterday's attempted meeting.

In General Santos the Japanese embassy's press attache, Shuhei Ogawa, said: "We are now doubting the reports. The only thing we can do now is to wait."

A senior Filipino police intelligence officer in the area warned: "There is a possibility that this could just be a hoax."

There have long been rumours of Japanese soldiers still in the jungles of south-east Asia unaware that the Second World War is over and relatives and friends of the two men reacted with a mixture of astonished joy and sadness.

Yoshiko Nakauchi, widow of Mr Nakauchi's brother, said yesterday: "If they were alive his mother and my husband would have rejoiced to hear this."

Japan's most famous lost soldier was Hiroo Onoda, who was found on the Philippine island of Lubang in 1974. He had survived for nearly 30 years living on coconuts and bananas and initially refused to surrender.

His first words on his return to Japan were: "While I am embarrassed, I have come back alive".

The archaic expression was gleefully adopted by Japanese and used for comic effect, while Lt Onoda became a cult figure.

Few Japanese believe lost soldiers could still be in the wilds. But Japanese veterans say they have credible reports that there may be dozens more and say Japan and the Philippines must boost efforts to search for them.

Keizo Nagai, an 84-year-old veteran of the 30th Division, told the Sankei newspaper: "When I heard there were two men alive I thought 'My God, after 60 years!' When they come back I want to tell them they did well to live through it and thank them for enduring."


Are there any other such people, and why doesn't Japan get it's act and REALLY look!?
steelclaw32
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 5.
User avatar
steelclaw32
 
Posts: 677
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:42 am
Location: A Brit living in Victoria, Canada. BC

Postby Slade » Sun May 29, 2005 1:10 am

Steelclaw,

You're closing in on the solution to the mystery of Special X # 12. More hints:

1/ What's the subject of the last book Slade said he was reading?

2/ What was Krista in Ma's avatar for a long time?

3/ What's super about Fizz Kick's background?

4/ What subject has its clock ticking down inexorably if Slade wishes to use a character who was involved in it and is still alive today?

Slade
User avatar
Slade
 
Posts: 3073
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:42 am

Postby steelclaw32 » Sun May 29, 2005 5:53 am

:oops: :oops: :oops: Slade thanks for that and I've made the relevant
notes and... Crikey not since I got the killer in "Death In The Clouds" after 8/9 chapters, have I had my timbers shivered... I've done it again...I THINK :?. Now all I've got to is read the book to see if your post's not another slight of hand !!!!. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I do spend FAR too MUCH time here...AND WHY the HELL NOT. !?
steelclaw32
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 5.
User avatar
steelclaw32
 
Posts: 677
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:42 am
Location: A Brit living in Victoria, Canada. BC

Postby MarylandManson » Sat Jul 23, 2005 3:28 pm

I'm often amazed by what's on the Internet. A little surfing yielded this interesting--if rather technical--link about battleship armor:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/armor_schemes.htm

On the same site is this funky conjectural piece:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/could_germany_win.htm

Back to the battlewagons, has anyone ever heard about the Shinano, a Yamato-class battleship converted to an aircraft carrier?

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books

And speaking of Japanese prototypes and such, I've been looking through an old book by a Baltimore man my father knew. It has a fascinating section with several large, detailed photos of the prototype-only (and very big) Nakajima Ki-87 fighter plane. Fascinating!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books

http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/IJ ... aki87.html

Finally, here's an interesting link, followed by a link to the book that tells the tale, about George H.W. Bush and his adventure against the Japanese island stronghold of Chichi Jima--the location of a key radiotransmitter:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... world.html

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=books

Cheers! MM
User avatar
MarylandManson
co-administrator
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Postby MarylandManson » Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:05 pm

Studying the Pacific War in preparation for Special X #12 yields plenty of interesting stories. One that would lend itself quite well to full-blown screen treatment is the Battle of Leyte Gulf, essentially Japan's last-ditch effort at a strategically feasible naval operation (the later Operation Ten-go was nothing more than suicide):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_leyte_gulf

There was plenty going on around Leyte Gulf: an armada chock full of aircraft carriers, battleships "crossing the T" on enemy vessels, the sinking of a Yamato-class superbattleship, vessels maneuvering at high speeds while bracketed by salvoes whose dye markers threw multicolored geysers skyward.

But perhaps the most interesting element was the story of U.S. task unit "Taffy 3" under the command of Admiral Clifton Sprague. Consisting of six escort carriers--the non-armored, scantly armed "baby flattops"--and a few escorting destroyers, the unit was at a severe disadvantage when surprised by Japanese battleships, heavy cruisers, and destroyers. Here's an account of the destroyer Johnston, with quotes presumably by someone who was on board during the battle (scroll down to the Leyte Gulf section):

http://www.bosamar.com/usforces/dd557.html

No wonder the Johnston's skipper, Commander Ernest E. Evans, got a Medal of Honor:

"This is going to be a fighting ship. I intend to go in harm's way, and anyone who doesn't want to go along had better get off right now."

Rousing stuff! MM
User avatar
MarylandManson
co-administrator
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Postby Slade » Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:37 pm

MM,

Interesting fact:

No one knows what will happen in a war until the fighting starts, and then you absorb the tactics of the enemy.

The British surfaced their carriers with iron plates. The Americans opted for hardwood decks. Then the suicide planes began smashing down...

Slade
User avatar
Slade
 
Posts: 3073
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:42 am

Postby MarylandManson » Tue Dec 27, 2005 10:25 pm

Slade,

Interesting question: why did U.S. carriers use the hardwood deck as an overlay (on steel) and put the armor on the hangar deck? There are several factors to consider:

Principles of naval architecture, notably the metacentric height (essentially the center of gravity). The more armor the higher up, the more top-heavy the vessel--which would have to be accounted for elsewhere in the overall design to bring the metacenter down and increase stability during rolls.

Availability of materials, especially given the numbers of ships built by the UK vs. the States. Note: Some UK carriers were U.S.-built on the lend-lease program.

Effect on planes landing, especially on a wet deck.

Availability of combat air patrol planes and antiaircraft guns. The U.S. strategy very effectively used these two concepts to decrease the probability of a deck hit.

The nature of the kamikaze, essentially a bomb delivered by the airplane instead of being dropped. What would be the difference between a dropped bomb and one flown in?

All told, it may be that any advantage afforded carriers by flight-deck armor was counterbalanced by other considerations. Still, psychologically it had to be scary to see a burning plane flying into your ship.

Cheers! MM
User avatar
MarylandManson
co-administrator
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Postby Slade » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:59 pm

MM,

All valid points to us armchair admirals. But when push came to shove from the point of view of a carrier's crew, when a kamikaze plane slammed into the deck of a top-heavy British carrier, it was pushed off into the sea, and the carrier's planes were back in action. When the same thing happened to a wood-topped U.S. carrier, it tore up the flight deck, and the planes were out of action. By the time of Okinawa, that was a major grumble with psychological "sitting duck" implications among the American crews, who bore the brunt of the suicide assaults while the armored Brits were off in a relatively safe holding action.

Slade
User avatar
Slade
 
Posts: 3073
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:42 am

Postby MarylandManson » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:23 am

Slade,

Armchair admirals? That's fun to play, but I had in mind straightforward study of design considerations--what went into the decisions made by the naval thinkers of the time (and country) in question as the ships were built? For example, it's a fair theory that British carriers built in the late 30s or early 40s had flight-deck armor that might withstand a shelling from the big-bore guns of a German battlecruiser. It would be interesting to find a source that confirmed or disproved that theory.

Getting into the mind of the man on the scene as the kamikaze comes screaming out of the sky toward his ship, is it reasonable to assume that he would assuage his fears by putting stock in what he had in hand? In other words, perhaps a U.S. sailor on a carrier would hope that combat air patrol or the antiaircraft screens would flame the kamikaze before it hit. Perhaps he'd know about British carriers and wish for deck armor, but it seems more likely that he'd hope for the effectiveness of the defensive measures that applied to his ship.

All of which leads to an interesting question: were there any British carriers in the Pacific war? And here are two interesting comments from Wikipedia's entry on the Illustrious:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Illustrious_%28R87%29

"Her armoured deck greatly reduced the number of aircraft that she could carry."

"While in the Pacific, she was hit by two kamikaze aircraft; but unlike her American counterparts, suffered minimal damage due to her armoured flight deck."

Further, the Wikipedia entry for the Illustrious-class carriers nicely summarizes (and supports) both sides of the flight-deck-composition debate.

Additional digging reveals that--in addition to Illustrious--Formidable, Victorious, Indefatigable, and Indomitable all shrugged off kamikaze attacks thanks to their armoured flight decks. Interesting! I didn't know there were any British carriers in the Pacific. Proof positive that real history is always more interesting than the speculative play of armchair admirals. Always learning...

But here's an interesting note about Indomitable, again from Wikipedia:

"During the operation, Indomitable's armoured flight deck succumbed to a 1100 pound bomb which pierced straight through the deck. She was hit twice overall, nearly being hit a further three times. The damage that she received knocked her out of the rest of Operation 'Pedestal'."

So maybe the Brits at Okinawa were lucky, unlike the Japanese, who lost several carriers through odd quirks of timing. For example, here's the Wikipedia entry on the Japanese carrier Taiho:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_a ... rier_Taiho

"What made Taiho special was the newly introduced heavy armored flight deck, analogous to the Royal Navy's Illustrious class. She was also the first Japanese carrier to incorporate a closed hurricane bow."

Although Wikipedia mentions that the Taiho went down when a torpedo attack ignited gasoline vapors, it doesn't mention that, rather than piercing the carrier's armoured hull, the torpedo caused an elevator to jam and aviation fuel to spill. An officer ordered the ventilation system turned on to dissipate the vapors, which were ignited during the brief time they were spread throughout the ship. An unlucky bit of fate for the crew of Taiho.

But why dwell on the fortunes of war when Occam's Razor suggests that, very simply, British carriers' armoured flight decks protected them from kamikazes? And now, best to close before those gold-encrusted epaulets weigh me down into the wingback...

Cheers! MM
User avatar
MarylandManson
co-administrator
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Postby Slade » Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:00 am

MM,

You're quite right about the British carriers being designed for combat with warships. America was lucky that her carriers were at sea during Pearl Harbor, and only as the war progressed did it become obvious that the carrier was the warship of the future. So oblivious were U.S. tacticians to its reach in 1941 that there were no antiaircraft guns at Hickam Field when the Japanese planes roared in, nor was the radar warning of an attack taken seriously. So the bottom line is that carrier development took place - quite literally - "on the fly." No doubt planes per flattop became the main platform of U.S. design, and only when the kamikaze came zooming in with their skidding runs tearing up the wooden decks did that become a drawback because of an unexpected tactic.

Which leaves open the question - given the principles of bushido - of WHY no one seems to have given serious thought to that "what if" threat.

A lot of my reading has focused on the Studs Terkel type of history - speaking to the common man - and it's from there that I got the repeated grumbling about how much better the Brit ships seemed at the time that they were withstanding kamikaze attacks while the wood tops weren't.

You're a seafaring man, and a military one. You know how the grousing works. Someone else always has better equipment than you do. Same with the British seaman, after Bismarck sank the Hood. "Their" best against "our" best, and who went down!

Slade
User avatar
Slade
 
Posts: 3073
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:42 am

Postby MarylandManson » Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:33 am

Slade,

You're right about the grousing. What good is sea duty if you can't complain about it?

Interesting comments about carrier war on the fly. An intriguing tidbit is that in 1938 the U.S. Navy didn't think it needed the Hornet! Congress foisted it on them along with big budget appropriations. But by 1942 the fleet was happy to have the Hornet. In fact, for a brief time before it was sunk, the Hornet was the only operable U.S. fleet carrier in the Pacific. After that, the Enterprise--which was damaged in the Battle of Santa Cruz (October 1942)--was the only U.S. fleet carrier in operation until spring 1943. Luckily for the U.S. Navy, the Japanese were down to two operable carriers and had suffered the decimation of their planes and experienced carrier pilots. They really backed down at Guadalcanal. And on luck, the U.S. victory at Midway is almost a study in providence. It's interesting to look at the naval war between May and November 1942: Coral Sea was the nail, Midway was the beam, and at Guadalcanal the Japanese house caved in.

As for why no one thought about the potential for Japanese suicide tactics, that's a question that Clausewitz might have enjoyed. He noted how, during the Peninsular War, Napoleon screwed up by appointing his brother king of Spain, completely disregarding the cultural characteristics of Spaniards, who revolted. Politicians and military minds still don't always pay attention to culture when assessing their enemies or when choosing allies. But in the fleet's defense, especially in 1942 they achieved a lot on a shoestring, even though they were second fiddle to the "big" war in Europe.

Cheers! MM
User avatar
MarylandManson
co-administrator
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Postby MarylandManson » Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:52 pm

Slade wrote:No doubt planes per flattop became the main platform of U.S. design, and only when the kamikaze came zooming in with their skidding runs tearing up the wooden decks did that become a drawback because of an unexpected tactic.

Which leaves open the question - given the principles of bushido - of WHY no one seems to have given serious thought to that "what if" threat.


Especially given that on October 26, 1942, Lt. Commander Mamuro Seki deliberately crashed his damaged "Val" into the Hornet's superstructure. Which leads to the question of when the "first" suicide attack occurred. Certainly the first organized kamikaze attacks occurred in October 1944 at Leyte Gulf. Here's a site that examines more potential controversy surrounding kamikaze attacks:

http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/rdun ... st_kam.htm

And there might have been an "American kamikaze" on June 5, 1942, at Midway:

http://www.medalofhonor.com/RichardFleming.htm

It's interesting that the citation language tells a different story from the subsequent account: "Fleming directed his aircraft in a screaming dive at the Japanese cruiser Mikuma. The enemy ship was struck with the bomb, then by Fleming's plane. A Japanese officer later wrote that it was a suicide bombing." The photo of the damaged Mikuma shows the wreckage of a plane on the aft turret.

Interesting that Seki and Captain Fleming were squadron commanders, too. Suicide or uncommon valor?

Cheers! MM
User avatar
MarylandManson
co-administrator
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

Postby MarylandManson » Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:28 pm

[quotes from the "Current TV Alert" topic]

Slade wrote:The Pacific War is fascinating to me because in so many ways it was fought by the United States along the lines of the 18th and 19th century British Empire wars. Lots of naval hammering and storming the shores.


Here's an irreverent but essentially accurate link that sheds light from another odd angle. How about General Douglas MacArthur's duplication of Russo-Japanese War moves at Inchon? And how about the British role? By the way, the Russo-Japanese War gets heavy attention at U.S. war colleges.

http://www.exile.ru/2005-November-18/ha ... d_war.html

Slade wrote:But from an international point of view...


Somewhere there's a statistic about how few years in human history have been unblemished by war. Is it all one, big, neverending war with occasional, brief lulls?

MM
User avatar
MarylandManson
co-administrator
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:10 pm
Location: Maryland, USA

PreviousNext

Return to Sladists Welcome!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron