Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 80 years ago today Dec 7, 2021 9:19:18 GMT -5
Post by jdv on Dec 7, 2021 9:19:18 GMT -5
WHILE many people associate the beginning of WWII with Germany's assault of Poland in '39, in fact the Japanese had more or less been at war with China and Russia since the 1880's.
The Empire of Japan's most bold assault happened when their sneak attack of the United States took place Dec 7th, 1941 - 80 years ago today.
And for a brief moment after the aftermath of the destruction at Pearl, and concurrent attacks on the Philippines, China, Indochina (Vietnam), a country with less land mass than Michigan ruled more than half of the earth's surface area.
The Japanese were fierce warriors with the best trained pilots in the world flying the best planes on earth. And they were a united people with a strong command structure. Formidable opponents in every sense of the word.
With the United States Pacific fleet in tatters and Germany at the height of its powers in Europe not to mention what comrade Stalin was up to), it was a grim time for peace-loving people of the planet.
Yet the seeds for Japan's ultimate destruction were sown at Pearl as the most important boats - aircraft carriers - were spared as they were out on maneuvers at sea. It should be noted that that fact would only really be proven after the Battle of Midway.
That naval battle - still the largest in the history of this planet - would happen exactly 6 months later. Led by Ray Spruance (because "Bull" Halsey was sick) the US effectively destroyed the Japanese fleet as an offensive navy by the end of the battle.
But for the 6 months in between, Japan ruled the Pacific and effectively terrorized the US the entire time (see "1941" for a fun look at that). That time was the high water mark for the Axis, and conversely the low point for the Allies.
It would take 3 more years, over 110,000 American casualties, millions of dollars in gear, and the dropping of 2 atomic bombs to finally put down the Japanese.
The very last of those warriors - all but children themselves when the war started - are mostly all gone. Bob Dole and the last officer from "Band of Brothers" Easy company passed this week. Without men and women like them, our victory over Japan would have never happened.