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Skip Lackie
06-08-2017, 09:12 AM
This week is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, considered by many military historians to be one of the most decisive victories in the history of naval warfare. Midway is an isolated atoll about 1300 miles northwest of Hawaii and was the site of a large US Navy base.

The Japanese intended to use an attack on Midway to lure the American aircraft carriers (which were all at sea during the attack on Pearl Harbor and thus still represented a significant threat) into an ambush. But the US had broken the Japanese naval code, and had learned the outlines of the plan. A counter-ambush was planned that involved sending several waves of carrier aircraft against the Japanese carriers before they had a chance to attack. Three squadrons of Devastator torpedo bombers were the first to arrive and forced the Japanese to launch their Zero fighters. The Devastators were old, slow, and already obsolete, and the Zeros decimated them. Only six of the 41 Devastators that launched that morning were able to return. Only one man survived from the 30 crewman from torpedo squadron VT-8. It was the origin of the oft-used phrase “None of them came back.”

However, the attack by the Devastators meant that the Zeros were all back on deck refueling and re-arming when the next wave arrived. US dive-bombers were able to sink all four of the Japanese heavy carriers (all of which had been involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor) and a heavy cruiser, and lost only the carrier Yorktown and one destroyer. The Japanese lost 3057 men. US casualties were 307 men. The Battle of Midway is considered to be the turning point of the Pacific theater of World War II. The expansion of the Japanese expansion in the Pacific was halted, and the Allied strategy became one of offense rather than defense.

skyway
06-08-2017, 09:37 AM
Herman Wouk's excellent Winds of War includes a fine description of the sacrifices of the flyers of VT-8.

jclary
06-08-2017, 10:03 AM
What a contrast to today's world! It was a time of decisive action in a perilous world. It was a time of institutional "backwardness," and injustice. A human trait that still persists. Today, technology and weapons advancements have made such encounters obsolete. However, the insanity of human "backwardness" has simply moved from a mindset of "superiority," "dominance," and "imperialistic aggression," to a poorly defined concept of "political correctness," which parallelizes decisiveness, and renders the technological advances impotent.

So, I'm thankful for your post Skip. There was a time when such anniversaries of victory were celebrated. Major broadcast outlets would offer day long playing of movies, like "Midway," etc. However, I just completed a "search" of my gazillion satellite channels...nothing...

Of recent, not even memorial day, or D-Day, Veterans Day, offer to replay the greatest war movies in the manner, or enthusiasm that was once offered. Perhaps, they have decided such examples of decisive victory are too offensive. Meanwhile, cameras are quick to display profane comics, amoral celebrities, promote decadence, claim the "sky is falling," and show the latest carnage and mayhem on our streets.

MIDWAY! Thousands of young boys, gave all...but human frailties are still as dangerous as ever. Suppressing, playing down, and failing to keep it in our conciseness, is dangerous. Taking a moment to study, learn, and reflect, should serve to temper our resolve to never repeat.

Buzzard
06-08-2017, 11:03 AM
Skip & John,
Thanks for your posts and for bringing this important awareness to light.
Bill

wittsend
06-08-2017, 11:07 AM
... There was a time when such anniversaries of victory were celebrated. Major broadcast outlets would offer day long playing of movies, like "Midway," etc. However, I just completed a "search" of my gazillion satellite channels...nothing...

Of recent, not even memorial day, or D-Day, Veterans Day, offer to replay the greatest war movies in the manner, or enthusiasm that was once offered. Perhaps, they have decided such examples of decisive victory are too offensive. Meanwhile, cameras are quick to display profane comics, amoral celebrities, promote decadence, claim the "sky is falling," and show the latest carnage and mayhem on our streets.

John,
You might find this refreshing. http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi3714909209 This is a film/documentary directed by a friend of mine, Doug Steblton. The link is the trailer. Doug is late 40's/early 50's but has a real heart for the works of valor in war time. This one a touching story of a French woman who put flowers on American soldiers graves for years. In fact, he is in France at this very moment have gone for the D-Day anniversary just two days ago. I have sitting on my desk (yet to be watched) the latest film he was involved in titled: "Heroes of WW2 The European Campaign." Michael Reagan narrates. So, take heart in knowing that while there is little to commemorate the lost lives and past efforts of brave men there are a few that do still acknowledge it. And at least to you and I younger men at that.

Colgate Studebaker
06-08-2017, 02:56 PM
I have been on Midway Island while I was in the Navy. In '69 while on our way to Westpac one of our refueling stops was Midway. Not much to see but certainly a place to remember. As John lamented about nothing on his hundreds of tv channels, I often think of the History channel and how tears ago you could watch actual programs containing history. Today the channel gives us American Pickers, Pawn Stars, Swamp people and all the others. There is a relevance to things historic, but not much actual footage of history as it happened. It seems having hundreds of channels is such a waste as there is not much worth watching on any of them. Bill

BobPalma
06-08-2017, 10:49 PM
:!: What Buzzard said in Post #4. Thanks, Skip and John. A good report and good insight, back-to-back. :!: ;) :cool: BP

52 Ragtop
06-08-2017, 11:33 PM
Thanks for the reminder! And of course, that was almost 2 years earlier than then D-Day, the invasion of Normandy! As my shop teacher in High School would say, "When men were men"

Please be sure to fly your American Flag next Wednesday on Flag Day!

Jim

Skip Lackie
06-09-2017, 10:15 AM
What a contrast to today's world! It was a time of decisive action in a perilous world. It was a time of institutional "backwardness," and injustice. A human trait that still persists. Today, technology and weapons advancements have made such encounters obsolete. However, the insanity of human "backwardness" has simply moved from a mindset of "superiority," "dominance," and "imperialistic aggression," to a poorly defined concept of "political correctness," which parallelizes decisiveness, and renders the technological advances impotent.

So, I'm thankful for your post Skip. There was a time when such anniversaries of victory were celebrated. Major broadcast outlets would offer day long playing of movies, like "Midway," etc. However, I just completed a "search" of my gazillion satellite channels...nothing...

Of recent, not even memorial day, or D-Day, Veterans Day, offer to replay the greatest war movies in the manner, or enthusiasm that was once offered. Perhaps, they have decided such examples of decisive victory are too offensive. Meanwhile, cameras are quick to display profane comics, amoral celebrities, promote decadence, claim the "sky is falling," and show the latest carnage and mayhem on our streets.

MIDWAY! Thousands of young boys, gave all...but human frailties are still as dangerous as ever. Suppressing, playing down, and failing to keep it in our conciseness, is dangerous. Taking a moment to study, learn, and reflect, should serve to temper our resolve to never repeat.

John -- a mild objection. Our family doesn't watch a lot of TV, so I'm in no position (or inclination) to defend the TV networks, but I feel compelled to note that PBS usually runs a bunch of patriotic/historical programs on the big national holidays. Maybe because of its DC location, the local PBS station always re-runs all 13 hours of "Victory at Sea" on Veteran's Day. That was a 1952 26-part NBC production documenting the history of the US Navy in WWII. The music was written by Richard Rodgers.

And one of the movie channels (AMC or TCM) usually runs "The Longest Day" on D Day, as well as "Battleground" and some of the other war flicks on other big anniversaries. I have already chucked the TV section of the Sunday newspaper, so can't confirm that they did that again on 6 June this year.

jclary
06-09-2017, 11:06 AM
Duly noted Skip... like printed newspapers(I no longer subscribe), PBS has become so "agenda" prolific, that I miss the few jewels they occasionally produce. A lot of the "change" observed by us old "dinosaurs," could be the result of "market studies," and if not supported by statistics/projected ratings, programming must be adjusted for results. Perhaps, departing from comments relating to Studebaker, reveals my self imposed isolation. A hazard of standing on "principle" regardless of which side of what principle we think we are upholding. A good reason to keep our moderators, so that we can attempt to focus on what unites us, rather than divide. So...next celebratory event, hopefully, I will remember this exchange and take a look at what PBS offers.:)

raprice
06-09-2017, 02:01 PM
I'd like to add that Smithsonian Channel runs a good deal of military footage. They just ran the story of the British attack in Germany's heavy water facility in Norway. The attack was a huge success.
Rog

48skyliner
06-11-2017, 11:19 PM
Those who are interested in the battle of Midway and the Pacific war in general should read the wonderful book

And I Was There : Breaking the Secrets - Pearl Harbor and Midway" by Admiral Edwin Layton.
Layton was the head of fleet intelligence starting about one year before Pearl Harbor and continuing throughout the war. After the war, Nimitz said that Midway was not just a victory of American ships and planes, but primarily an intelligence victory. There were so many books published, full of misinformation about the whole subject, that Admiral Layton decided to write this book as soon as the pertinent documents were declassified. He believed he was the only person still alive who knew all the facts and wanted to set the record straight before he died.

benaslopoke
06-12-2017, 12:20 AM
Another perspective of who was there SOLE SURVIVOR a book by George Gay , the sole survivor of Torpedo Eight at Midway.. I met him several years ago..

tomlewis
06-18-2017, 12:23 AM
Herman Wouk's excellent Winds of War includes a fine description of the sacrifices of the flyers of VT-8.
IIRC, it was actually in "War and Remenbrance" that Wouk honored those aviators. "Winds of War" was a novel that ended with Pearl Harbor and "War and Remembrance" followed the same characters through the actual war years.

Tom

skyway
06-18-2017, 12:45 AM
Tom,
Touché; thanks for the correction!
Been a long time since I read those books.
Gary