Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seventy Years Ago

It has been 70 years ago, today, since the Japanese Empire sent naval units and aircraft to attack units of the United States Navy.  Though the Japanese planners had hoped to catch the US carriers in port, they instead succeeded in changing the way the US Navy fought its wars.  By placing the US Pacific Battle Line on the bottom, the Japanese opened up a chance for US planners to use an, up to then, unproven technology as the main way for the US to take war to the enemy.  Of course, I am speaking of the Aircraft Carrier.

There was another way that the USN took the war to the enemy.  Unrestricted Submarine Warfare.

Still, even though it took four more years to finish the war, our first bloody nose was a painful one.  Though the experts never seem to agree, I go with this number:  2400.  2400 men.  Two thousand, four hundred men lost their lives.  The United States armed forces, both the Navy and the Army, were caught with their pants down.  You can talk about conspiracy theories all day long, that doesn't matter.  In the long run, 2400 families lost loved ones that day, and that was only a drop in the bucket.

That is why I think it appropriate that we all spend a few minutes and think of the men and women who either gave part of their lives, themselves, or died for our country and their fellow soldiers.  I would like to personally thank every one of them, but that will never happen, so I'll do it here.  Thank you.  And to you who serve now, Thank you.

I also value the inanimate.  I think of the battleships on Battleship Row.  Arizona, you gave all.  Oklahoma, you sailed again, but under tow and only to founder after the war.  West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, California, and Nevada you all went back to sea and even managed to bring some much needed revenge back to the enemy who holed you.

Always remember the Day of Infamy.

1 comment:

Shweta Pathak said...

120 diferent kinds of aircraft
Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was also looking for it, And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him. So I should thank you for the free lunch I got.