Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Final Countdown


When I was young, my dad rented the movie The Final Countdown. It was a story of how the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) got sent back in time to December 7, 1941 via some sort of "time storm." It was a "what if." Of course, just as the strike group was about to lay waste to the Japanese strike force, the storm rose once more and the Nimitz strike group was recalled, Pearl Harbor be damned. History continued as though it had never had the USS Nimitz there in 1941. It was a neat movie for a kid.

I was always amazed at the ship's historian or whoever the hell he was. When he read off to the captured Japanese pilot the exact ships that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, I was in awe. If anything ever stuck with me, it was that scene. I hoped to be as prepared as that guy should I ever be taken back in time. (Ok, I get it, but I was young and dumb) I worked to learn more about history. Eventually, I could list the ships (American battlewagons, and Japanese Carriers present during the Pearl Harbor attack from memory...always with that stupid scene in mind. To this day, I am stuck with that scene in mind, convinced that I should be able to live out my life should I ever venture upon a time vortex unannounced...I would, of course, be shit out of luck if it landed me anywhere other than WWII or the Cold War...

Since we are on the subject of "what if," I was just reading little about the attack on Midway. The US would have been shit out of luck hd the Japanese been prepared to invade Midway on December 7, 1941. It would not have taken much manpower. I know the USS Nautilus was out there in that general neck of the woods, but it is obvious her captain was not in a position to throw back an invasion force. What if the invasion force had met the Pearl Harbor Strike Force as it was returning from Pearl? Then the Strike Force could have hit Midway and the invasion could have commenced with relatively few men. Instead, they waited six months and the US was ready for them...yes, there was considerable luck involved, but what if? What would US submarine forces done without the forward base for refueling before parol? What about the long range raids made by PB2Y Coronados on Wake? What other things would have been more difficult if not impossible without that base?

Please leave me your opinion on this what if. I appreciate a little imput, despite the subject's obvious lack of merit. I usually despise "What If" scenarios, but, curiousity has gotten the better of me...what if the Japanese had invaded Midway in December 1941? Would it have held out as long as Wake? I doubt it. I think Wake was better prepared. But, you tell me! I challenge you to play this game with me!

1 comment:

Fran├žois said...

Funny post :) I also saw this movie when I was a child, and I remember being frightened by the idea of unwanted time travel !