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Dec.7,1941. 75th Anniversary today of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii.
never forget. I was lucky one year to meet a Pearl Harbor survivor who had made it his mission to speak to people about the event. Also I interviewed/ recorded my father in law about his memories of 7 Dec 1941 and that was memorable. One day all those who remember that attack will be gone from this life.
When you look at it from a strategic level bombing Pearl Harbor didn't do anything other than make the American public really mad. battleships and cruisers had been reduced to auxiliary support for shore bombardment and anti-aircraft warfare the two most important vessels in any navy where aircraft carriers and submarines. the submarine pins were untouched and the carriers weren't there. They also missed the shipyards and oil reserves.
Oil reserves and the shipyard would have been very difficult to knock out for anything other than very short term (less than a week or so).
Experience of the RAF and Luftwaffe showed that industrial machinery (heavy lathes etc.) could only be disabled by direct hits from HE bombs. The only way to permanently take such machinery out was with incendiaries and lots of them.
Likewise the oil tanks were only vulnerable to direct hits. Fuel oil as used in ships is quite hard to ignite at the best of times. And there were plans to expand the oil capacity as the fleet being based at Pearl was a new thing and so the existing tank farm wasn't regarded as big enough. The idea was to dig large pits and line them with rubberised fabric before filling them. This technique was later used on various Pacific islands as the USN advanced and worked well. The pits had already been dug by 7 December.
1944: Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, was presented with a formal demand from the German XXXXVII Panzer Korps that he surrender Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. McAuliffe was at a loss for a suitable reply, though his operations officer, Lt. Col. Harry Kinnard, had a suggestion based on something he heard McAuliffe say several times that morning. The reply: “To the German commander. NUTS! The American commander.” Read more about the Battle of the Bulge on HistoryNet.com.
On this day in 1836, William Barret Travis, commanding the Texans under attack in the Alamo, wrote his famous letter addressed "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World." In the letter, he pledged that he would "never surrender or retreat" and swore "Victory or Death." The predominant message, however, was an entreaty for help: "I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch." Travis knew that his men, besieged by Mexican forces under Martín Perfecto de Cos, could not hold out long without reinforcements. Inspired by his letter, more troops did make their way to San Antonio, but too few and too late to avert disaster. Travis was among the first to die in the battle of the Alamo, on March 6.
as an aside note.....I was honored to go to university with a direct descendant male of the above named commander of the Alamo, William B. Travis. The fellow I knew really well, was also named Travis and his family still lived in San Antonio. most of the males in his family had been in the military since those early days of Texas.
painting of William B. Travis commander of the Alamo 1836 from Wikipedia..
April 18th 1942, Jimmy Doolittle and his merry men bombed Tokyo, taking off in Mitchell B 25B bombers from the deck of the aircraft carrier Hornet. 75 years ago. Ted Lawson, pilot of The Ruptured Duck, wrote his famous book 30 Seconds Over Tokyo on which this movie was based.