Saburo Sakai, WWII Japanese Ace – know who you’re up against | Pacific Paratrooper

As the Intermission stories come to a close, until we reach the break of 1944-1945, we take a look at one of the pilots the Allied Air Forces were up against…..   Saburō Sakai in the co…

Source: Saburo Sakai, WWII Japanese Ace – know who you’re up against | Pacific Paratrooper

On this day: a prisoner of war | In Times Gone By…

Treatment of prisoners of war in the United States during the Civil War was often harsh, with prisons on both sides overcrowded, and with very few resources available. Food was scarce and thousands…

Source: On this day: a prisoner of war | In Times Gone By…

Women in WWII | Pacific Paratrooper

In honor of Women’s History Month this week’s posts will be a dedication to them…..

As WWII unfolded around the globe, women were also affected. Some found themselves pressed into jobs and duties they would never have previously considered. Hitler derided Americans as degenerate for putting the women to work, but nearly 350,000 American females alone served in uniform voluntarily. A transformation of half the population, never seen before, that began evolving in the early ‘40s and continues today.

For the WASPs, 1,830 female pilots volunteered for Avenger Field outside Sweetwater, Texas alone and it was the only co-ed air base in the U.S. These women would ferry aircraft coming off the assembly lines from the factories to the base. They acted as test pilots; assessing the performance of the planes. The WASPs were flight instructors and would shuttle officers around to the posts where they were needed. For artillery practice, they would…

Source: Women in WWII | Pacific Paratrooper

A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life: A Lighter Side Of The Peninsular Campaign

Originally posted on A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life.

In this year of the Waterloo bicentenary, there are so many illuminating posts on various historical sites, detailing the events and describing the countless other military engagements that have led to the ultimate Allied victory against Napoleonic France.

I have taken the liberty to address a lighter side of the gruesome conflict that had gripped Europe for such a length of time. In doing so, I am perhaps reinforcing the stereotype. It is often said of Regency aficionados that they view the era through rose-tinted glasses. That they choose to focus on the glamour, the balls, the manners, the high-society people in elegant apparel – whilst ignoring the dark realities of the time, such as the plight of the dispossessed, the lengthy wars that have crippled the country or the plain fact that even the muslin-clad ladies whose carefree lifestyle they admire were not immune to the tragedies of death in childbirth or the ravaging effects of...

via A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life: A Lighter Side Of The Peninsular Campaign.

Japanese Diary on Kolombangara | Pacific Paratrooper

In New Georgia on the Solomon Islands a Japanese private soldier found himself thrown into a campaign that had already been lost. He and his companions from the 23rd Infantry Regiment were landed on Baanga Island, where the troops in occupation were already in retreat. U.S. forces were already well established on nearby islands and the seas around were patrolled by PT boats and destroyers, making it increasingly difficult for the Japanese to land reinforcements or supplies.Little is known about Tadashi Higa apart from what was found in his diary which was found by the Americans and translated for intelligence purposes. On the 3rd August 1943 he made the following entry…

Source: Japanese Diary on Kolombangara | Pacific Paratrooper

Pull Your Finger Out (Phrase Origins) | Albert Jack

A pair of 18th-century Spanish cannons outside the museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Caernarfon Castle.

A pair of 18th century Spanish cannons outside the museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Caernarfon Castle.

Originally posted on Albert Jack.

The phrase these days is associated with encouraging someone to get a move on, or hurry up and complete a task more quickly than they are presently doing. Like so many English phrases it has a military or naval origin. Loaded cannons would have gunpowder poured into a small ignition hole, which was then held in place with a wooden plug.

But in times of battle, when speed was of the essence, the powder would be pushed in and then held in place by a gun crew-member using his finger. Impatient artillerymen, anxious to fire their cannons at the advancing enemy, would…

via Pull Your Finger Out (Phrase Origins) | Albert Jack.

On this day: the Siege of Vienna

In Times Gone By...

The Ottoman Turks began their Siege of Vienna on the 27th of September 1529. Suleiman the Magnificent led the Ottoman Empire’s first attempt to take Vienna.

The siege ran until the 15th of October, when the Christian Coalition defeated the Ottomans.

Austrian troops clash with Turks outside Vienna.

Engraving of clashes between the Austrians and Ottomans outside Vienna, 1529.

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February 1943 (2)

Pacific Paratrooper

"Warm Reception" by Jim Dietz of the Guadalcanal Cactus Air Force. “Warm Reception” by Jim Dietz of the Guadalcanal Cactus Air Force.

7-18 February – Chiang Kai-shek agreed to use his forces in the Burma campaign, but as usual, this was in exchange for a promise of even more US financial aid.  Mahatma Gandhi started his 21-day hunger strike in India in his non-violent opposition to British policies in his country.

Chindits 1943 Chindits 1943

The 47th and 55th Indian Brigades were beaten back at Donbaik in the Arakan peninsula.  The Chindits opposed the enemy for the first time on the 18th in Burma and advanced.  They managed to cut the Japanese railroad line between Mandalay and Myitkyina.

New Guinea New Guinea

12 February – the Allies initiated the Elkton Plan; a campaign designed by MacArthur to eject the Japanese from New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomons.  This would isolate the enemy headquarters at Rabaul.  (The original plan included capturing Rabaul, but was scrapped…

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On this day: the Treznea Massacre

In Times Gone By...

Iuliu Maniu Square in Zalău on September 8, 1940 few days after the Second Vienna Award, Hungarian Army troops entering in Zalău. The Assumption Cathedral can be seen in background.

Hungarian troops nearby the day before the massacre

On the 9th of September, 1940, at least 93 (and up to 263, depending on which country is reporting) Romanians were massacred by Hungarian troops in the village of Treznea during the handing over of Northern Transylvania.

Amongst the dead were the local priest, the schoolteacher and his wife. The Orthodox church was partially burnt down.

This is a controversial event in the history of the Second World War, and historians in Hungary present a very different version of events to historians in Romania.

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An Unusual Tale

Pacific Paratrooper

Crusader Crusader

Story brought to us by Ian from Welcome to My World and Aussie Emu.

The Time a Fighter Pilot Ejected Into a Thunderstorm and Rode the Lightning

Marine Corps Lt. Col. William H. Rankin had flown combat flight operations in both World War II and the Korean War, but it wasn’t enemy fire that came closest to killing him during his military flying career. It was a summer thunderstorm over the east coast of the United States.

Lt.Col. William Rankin Lt.Col. William Rankin

On July 26, 1959 Rankin and his wingman, 1st Lt. Herbert Nolan, were flying a pair of F-8 Crusaders from South Weymouth, Mass back to their home base at Beaufort, S.C. when they encountered a line of severe thunderstorms over North Carolina. Shortly after the fighters climbed up to 47,000 feet to go over the growing cumulonimbus clouds, Rankin heard a loud grinding noise followed by a loss of power from…

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Current News

Pacific Paratrooper

Marines come home. Marines come home.

Remains of Missing WWII Veterans Return

Story courtesy of KHON.com & info from “Goodbye Darkness” by William Manchester

PEARL HARBOR (KHON2) — 39 U.S. marines who were missing in action during World War II were honored in a ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam on July 26th.

These veterans were reunited with their families after 72 years as unidentified remains. After the Battle of Tarawa during World War II the marines were considered to be missing in action.

Crews of scientists, historians, and surveyors from the non-profit History Flight have combed through Tarawa for the past decade. This is considered to be the largest recovery of missing in action veterans ever recorded.

Four of the veterans received the Medal of Honor; including 1st Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Jr.  Bonnyman, an engineer officer, along with 5 of his men, were responsible for approximately 200 enemy KIA, including the commanding…

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The Mad Monarchist: Sailor of Monarchy: Kinashi Takakazu

Originally posted on The Mad Monarchist.

Human beings are very fond of ‘keeping score’. This is as true in warfare as it is in sports or other civilian activities. We rank tank commanders by how many enemy tanks they destroy, fighter pilots by how many planes they shoot down or, with submarine commanders, how much tonnage of enemy shipping they sent to the bottom of the sea. Lieutenant Commander Kinashi Takakazu (or in western order; Takakazu Kinashi) was a submarine captain of the Imperial Japanese Navy, yet, his name will not be found in any top ranking of “ace” submarine commanders based on the amount of tonnage he sank. However, sometimes a submarine commander gains fame for accomplishing a particularly difficult or dangerous goal, for sinking some major enemy warship or something which, in some way, gains attention for…

via The Mad Monarchist: Sailor of Monarchy: Kinashi Takakazu.

Japanese Views

Pacific Paratrooper

'Shrine Entrance in Snowstorm' by Tosuke S. ‘Shrine Entrance in Snowstorm’ by Tosuke S.

Despite some common belief and wartime propaganda, not all the Japanese people wanted war with either America or England.  Here are some quotes located to help clarify that misconception.

The following quotes have been taken from Saburo Ienaga’s “Pacific War” (Taiheiyo senso) translated by Frank Baldwin.

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In the midst of the excitement and successful sinking of the US fleet at Pearl Harbor, Onozuka Kiheiji, former president of the Tokyo Imperial University, whispered to a colleague, “This means that Japan is sunk too.” ___ Ienaga Miyako

Onozuka Kiheiji Onozuka Kiheiji

This was true for even those members of the political elite who belonged to the cautious school of thought, made their point of view at the Senior Statesmen’s Conference by, Wakatsuki Reijiro: “Do we have adequate resources for a long war or not?  I am concerned about this problem.”  Yonai Mitsumasa added, “In attempting…

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