Wednesday, June 15, 2022

War is Hell**

 This filling in for Sarge, while he's off loafing somewhere on the South East Coast, has been enlightening.  Finding ideas to post weekly has been challenging at times for me.  Other times happenings in my life demand reporting.  Writing a post daily is exponentially more difficult.  Sarge pulls it off well. But then again, he's got a book idea he's working on which helps.  I've thought about writing a WWII story myself. Tell me what you think.

There They were *...The Germans and Russians invaded Poland and won.  


Then the Germans invade France and won.  
Pretty sure the guy in the middle is roasting somewhere very warm.Source

Then they tried to invade Great Britain and couldn't.  But...It was a very close "couldn't".

We few, we happy few, we Band of BrothersSource

Meanwhile, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and pissed off the USA, who declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy along with some also ran allies of theirs.  



Then the Germans back stabbed their erstwhile allies and invaded Russia,  which caused the Germans to eventually lose the war.  



The Americans invaded Guadalcanal, learned a lot about logistics in the process and started island hopping towards the Japanese mainland which took a few years.  


Tarawa.  The US cleverly planned on invading at low tide (shown). Tide was so low the landing craft couldn't make it even to the beach.  The Marines had to wade almost a mile to shore.  The Japanese had machine gun emplacements all the way around the lagoon.  I knew a man that was in that invasion.  He wouldn't talk about it. Source 

Meanwhile, back in Europe, the Allies invaded France and started towards Berlin as did the Russians from the East. 

 In the Air, the skies were black with Allied aircraft reminding the Germans, Italians and Japanese that starting wars is a bad idea.  

Finally, Hitler got the clue and shot himself.  Meanwhile, the Japanese needed a bigger reminder, so the Allies rescheduled sunrise on a couple of summer days.  





The clue bird landed at that point.  So much so that the Germans and Japanese became Allies and the Russians our enemy.

End of Story.

Now you see why I'm not a published author.  Although he clearly stole the idea from me, I like Sarge's version better.

 Part of the objective of the post was to find photos of the various aspects of the war I hadn't seen before.  To the best of my knowledge the only one I'd seen before was the one of the guy roasting in hell.

Lt Fuzz,  Excellent recommendation on the Photomyne App recommendation a couple of days ago.  That makes importing printed pictures SO much easier.

Not that I have that many to digitize.  No, Not at all! 

That program might just make it doable. Thanks !

*Non-Standard SJC

** Attributed to William Tecumseh Sherman.  I think this version attributed to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is applicable also. The third sentence especially so.

“I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.”


  1. Thanks for increasing my knowledge base, that Pearl and the two A-Bomb photos are new to me juvat. Also, old enough to realize that dental care, an electric grid working, and food delivery are good things to have.

    1. I found the Pearl picture especially interesting. If you expand the picture (I originally said blow it up which given the circumstances might be inappropriate) and look just in front of the bow of the ship in the distance on the right you'll see a hill that extends about halfway up to the ridgeline. That's where USCINCPAC HQ was later located. My office had a reverse view of that scene. Sitting at my desk looking out or occasionally at the machine gun holes in the back wall, made me mindful of the potential realities of the military.

    2. That Nagasaki photo was shot just a few (a few dozens of ?) milliseconds after detonation. The compression shock wave is still visible.
      There's so much history captured in photos that will just sit in albums or boxes till someone's kids decide to throw it away. What a shame!

    3. Mike,
      Sorry, I missed your comment. I noticed that and wondered what it was. Thanks for the clarification. Makes the picture a bit more representative of what was happening. Lot's of people were within milliseconds of dying. Brings "War is Hell" to the forefront. Also, "Don't start something you can't stand the consequences thereof." As tough as the decision to use them was, given the circumstances, I think it was the right decision.
      Feel free to disagree. Politely.

  2. Hmm. I feel like some of the finer details are missing, but the overall storyline seems correct.

    (Three years ago I made it a goal to write something daily. It is incredibly hard to come up with things every day - I can barely string together sentences, but Sarge makes it look all so easy).

    1. THBB,
      Yeah, I thought so too, but I'm afraid something called plagiarism might need to come into play in my case. Besides, I'm an F-15 guy, shoot 'em in the face and be done with it. Short and simple.
      Sarge sure does make it look easy, doesn't he. And he has a job! I'm a little awed.
      Yes, Beans, Odd also.

  3. Only the dead have seen the end of war ...

    I've never seen that picture from Pearl, haunting.

    1. Sorry for the delay, but "Back in the Saddle, Again!"
      I hadn't either and it took a few seconds to realize what I was looking at. Had to be in the post at that point.

  4. There's a reason I refer to Tarawa, Bloody Tarawa as Tarawa, Bloody Tarawa. The film of Marine bodies just covering the beach and floating in the surf is altogether too haunting for me. Even still photos are frighteningly horrifying.

    Even Iwo, which was overly horrible overall, wasn't so visually horrifying as the beach at Tarawa, Bloody Tarawa.

    1. Beans,
      More coming on that comment, but from everything I've read about it, both fiction and non-fiction, it was pretty close to hell on earth.

    2. (Very late comment - connection problems) - (from 'Strong Men Armed' , Robert Leckie). The decision to land at neap tide on Betio at Tarawa was from misunderstood information from local Brits of 5' over the reefs. Late in the operation, one insisted it would be 3'. They thought the depth would be enough to get landing craft across (not). It may not have mattered. When the Marines left the island, the spring tide lapped at the top of the sea wall. The boats would have easily gotten over the reefs, but without the shelter of the sea wall, there would be absolutely no cover as they landed (remember Betio was flat and less than a mile square)...

  5. You’re welcome!

  6. There are plenty of reminders as Pearl, but they're tame unless you go to Punchbowl.
    I've been at Nagasaki and viewed the city from the Mt. Inasayama Observatory.
    Just missed a tour to Hiroshima because I had SP duty at Kure that day.
    The terrain kept the contamination to a minimum, not that it wasn't pretty awful, but, overall, lives were saved.

    Nothing wrong with your writing style.
    It's concise and factual.

    1. Skip,
      Been to the Punchbowl, multiple times when stationed there. You're absolutely correct.
      I never was on Mainland Japan when I would be able to visit. Not sure I would've gained much understanding, but perhaps.

  7. Rescheduling sunrise! Never heard that before. Brutally funny.

    1. Tuna,
      A bit of morbid humor to downplay the stress of the reality of sitting at a forward base on 5 minute alert with live ordinance strapped to the jet with an adversary who's stirring things up. BTDT. Officially not a high spot on the fun meter readings.

  8. Just one mistake there. The USA declared war on Imperial Japan, and four days later Hitler declared war on the USA. At the time all Britain's oil was from Texas and Venezuela. The oil tankers sailed up the coast staying within the 12 mile limit. The U-boats now were free to indulge in the "second happy time" torpedoing many ships within sight of the eastern shore of the USA.
    It's an interesting question to ponder - had Hitler not declared war on the USA, how many US troops, planes and tanks would have been sent to Europe and Africa and what effect would it have had on the war, ie without the 8th Air Force would more Luftwaffe fighters been available for the Russian front and if so would they have shot down enough Stormoviks to change the outcome of the battle of Kursk?

    1. Al,
      You're correct and in the heat of the blog writing moment, I forgot that. I do remember reading about the second U-Boat "Happy Time".
      Hard to answer the "wudda, cudda, shoulda" aspects of the decision. He made it and was dead just a few years later. I try to leave the alternate realities thing to Science Fiction. It hurts my brain too much.

  9. One of the ww2 facts that wasn't generally known, until after the Soviet breakup, was that Stalin had scheduled his forces to attack across the German half of Poland a week after Hitler's forces crossed that border. Since Stalin never trusted his military, all the arms and needed supplies were stashed near the border. His army was pretty much unarmed when the Germans crossed. That was a big part of why the Germans made huge advances initially. For some time, when the Soviet army attacked, the second wave and following soldiers had no guns. They were told to look for weapons dropped by the earlier attackers.

    That Polish area was labeled the "breadbasket of Europe", IIRC, and both the Germans and Soviets really needed the entire area for their own people, which was an important factor driving them to grab the other half. Germany had too many in uniform, and not enough farmers, and Stalin never understood food production, which is how he ended up starving most of his farmers in the 20's-30's. Communist leaders are always city boys, and have no countryside knowledge or experience.


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