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 Post subject: December 7
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:38 pm 
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"A day that will live in infamy."

I was born into a career Army family on 12/3/1942. My Dad was West Point, class of 1934, and my mother's dad was West Point, class of 1900. Her mother had been raised in the Indian Fighting Army since her father had been a Southerner who fought for the Union in the War Between the States. My father's maternal grandfather had been the Color Sergeant of the 4th Virginia Cavalry and had fought all of the way from the beginning to the end down near Lynchburg, Virginia. You could say that I come from a long history of service. I was kept out of that service by an injury that effectively blinded my right eye when I was 12, but I certainly tried hard enough. By the Fall of 1965, however, I had been turned down so many times and in so many ways that being classified 3-Y didn't upset me any longer.

I was raised in the shadow of World War II as were any of my generation, the wartime babies. When we played soldier, it was WWII that we played. When we weren't looking backwards at what had just happened, we were being overlooked as everyone was either eagerly anticipating or panicking at the thought of all of those Baby-Boomers to come right after us. We were also trying to come to terms with the reality that we could all of us in the Washington, DC area be snuffed out in a momentary flash of thermonuclear rage. I more or less came of age with the end of the Korean War and reached adulthood during VietNam. I am not certain what to make of all of this, but there it is.

Random thoughts on an significant anniversary.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:14 am 
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Thank you Hugh for the important reminder.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:19 am 
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My father joined the navy shortly after Pearl Harbor. He was only 16. Lied to get in.

One of his ships he served on a little later in his career.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:52 pm 
I think such things need to be take in the right context.in the UK being in the "Military" says two things.one "you have loads of money and you are "officer material".or two "you are the lowest of the low, and cannot find work :( .......the two classes attracted to the military are the very low and the very high......a generalistaion I'm sure :) .but very close to the mark :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:47 pm 
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Jorvik, that is not a generalizastion that I would care to make about the military in America, especially during wartime. For example, the son of our junior senator from Virginia, James Webb, enlisted in the U.S. MArine Corps right after 9/11 and, I believe, is currently serving in Iraq despite his father's pronounced anti-Iraq War stance. Also, it is not at all uncommon for enlisted perssonnel to rise into the commissioned officer ranks through Officers' Candidate School or some other training program as well as simple battlefield promotions during wartime.

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 Post subject: Wellington
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:06 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Not meaning to get too far from rememberance, but both the Germans and the British had handled their common soldiers roughly.

Wellington's toast after Waterloo :
A toast, gentlmen, to the scum of England!!!!


Generally, in an army in which commissions (a least to a certain rank ) had to be purchased, the "private soldier' was not representative of the Mainstream of British Society.

Society in the 19th century would no more have viewed soldiering a a good thing.
If you worked up a sweat of 'were in trade' (ie: not living on inherited money) you could not be a gentleman.

Gaius Marius of the Republican army considered it a 'vile slander' that it was put about that he 'was in trade'.

I woud be curious if vestiges of these feelings remain.

Working up a good sweat was not, I the 19th Century, a thing that a gentleman did.

Napoleon went to war with the world to feed his greed and to take apart the social system which relegated the poor to beign viewed as 'uot gebtleman' even when they were poor no more.

AS an aside, Wellington's army in the Peninsula was around 20-30% Irish serving in British Units.

The poor took the king's shilling and there desparateness of their situation was only ameliorated by Wellington becasue he coul dnot afford to have a mutiny amongst the Irish troops.

there was not proscription.

J

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 Post subject: Hold ON
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:18 pm 
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THe James WEbb, former assistant scretary of the navy abd author of "Fields Of Fire?"

If so,, Jorvik, do read the Book.

It is is thr same James Webb, that is one of the better books on the Grunt, and how class matter were dealt with.

He wrote one other, hugh do you remember it?


Well, to change the subject, the point was again made on the Military channel how much worse the US navy would have been if they had been able to sorty and made a fight of it at sea.


The commentator stated that "only the Arizona" was not returned to service.

As far as I know, Oklahoma couldnt be saved either,


The point being that if the 'damaged" vesssels of the fleet had taken the same damage in deep water, they cold not have been rasied and repaired, not would so many of the men tossed into Pearls muddy waters have survived a similar experience in the open sea.

The Scanario played did not mention how the US Carrrier forces would have fitted into a battle at sea.


the Us Battleship force wasa powerful, but a major engagement at sea without aircover would have been worse (in the long run) than being surprised in harbor.


If fighter cover could have been made available, matters may have been different.

J

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:42 pm 
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The fighters to provide some cover were there, but they never got off of the ground for whatever reasons you can name. Whether they could have been all that effective as air cover is another question. I suspect that the P-40s might have been given their history in the hands of the Flying Tigers up until then but the Tigers were very experienced fighter pilots and the ones at Hickam and elsewhere may well not have been.

It was Midway that destroyed the Japanese Naval Aviation and they were not able to recover as we were able to recover. Yamamoto was right about the "sleeping giant" and he was certainly right about the "terrible rage" aspect.

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1 John 1:5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:48 pm 
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BTW, John, Webb has written several books. I liked his Born Fighting about the Scots-Irish in American history. Here is his website which contains reviews of his books and a large number of other interesting links:
http://www.jameswebb.com/index.html

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 Post subject: Hi
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 7:52 pm 
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Right:

James Webb's first three books I did read.

I thought they were great.

I haven't read his latest though. Something I have to remedy.

To cahnge the subject a bit, the P-40 was never a match for the Zero Zen.

Also, it seemed, neither was the Spitfire.

So, correct me if I am wrong, the AVG may have only have had to deal with obsolescent Nakajimas for part of their involvemnt, at least in China.

This may or may not be true.

The P-40s that did manage to get Airborne from Kanohe (sp) strip had some success.

But, the strong points of the Warhawk were its firepower and rugged construction. The Zero was faster and far more manueverable.

I think that until the F6F and P-51 were deployed, the watchword was or should have been, don't dogfight a Zero.

When the watchword was obeyed and 'slash and run' tactics used, some success was realized.

Perhaps a case in Point was the Ambush of Yamamoto's Betty and its accompanying Zekes.

Dive, fire, hit and keep the airspeed high (PK-DV??) up, don't turn with them.

All this is by way of agreeing with you Hugh, so to speak.

If you missed Mr. Webb's first few books they are worth a read, just as I am sure the latest will be looked for by me at Amazon.


I am sure, more or less, the the Warhawk as a hardhitting interceptor, but not a dogfighter.

A slight parallel would have been the F-4 vs. a Mig 21.

j



I recommend Mr. Webb's book (changing the subject back) in the same vein from which we gathered to gether book titles regarding Life in the Legions for another thread.

Fields of Fire is about the Grunt.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:47 pm 
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I read Fields of Fire some years ago. Good book!

The P-40 was no match for the Zero in a dogfight but its top speed in a dive was a good deal better and that is how the AVG used it. The same applied to the Spitfire, although it was a better dogfighter than the P-40. But the RAF eastern command issued an order to their pilots that any pilot seen diving away from a dogfight with the enemy would face a Court Martial. The RAF suffered much higher casualties than the AVG and, later, the USAAF did. Stupid!

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1 John 1:5


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:52 pm 
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On Webb, it amused me to watch the liberal Democrats in Northern Virginia trying to convince themselves that Jim Webb was a nice cuddly liberal just like they were. They were just so desperate to beat George Allen that they were struggling to find ways to love Webb and Webb is a prickly individual and not terribly loveable, especially by liberal Democrats. But he did win and he does oppose the Iraq War. He has made no bones about it and has missed no opportunity to say so to George W. Bush. But, then, he has also said things that have peeved the liberals as well. :D :D

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1 John 1:5


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 Post subject: Well Hugh
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:15 am 
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You and I can recommend books, but who can make anyone read them.


That is an interestimg point above orderimg the Spits to dogfight the Mitsubishi.

As you said, arrogance, and the feeling of superiorty gained, perhaps, in the Battle of Britain.

However, in the skies over England, the Spit could outmanuerver the Me 109 and was slighlty (maybe 15mph) faster.

Sometimes it only takes a bit of an edge.

I can't say i am shocked at the order.

After the 8-1 'kill ratio" in Korea, USAF pilots had a bit of a commupance when trying to deal with the "Fresco" which was much more manueverable.

The Fresco was an upgraded Mig 15 (Banjo).

Much of the kill ration was casued necause american piltots, often, were veterans and wielded the same 6 50's that they had become used to in WWII.

An experienced US Pilot 'flew' a Mig 15 into the ground using his experience and the P-51's maneuverabilty as weapons.

Target fixation played a part, I suppose.

I will post pics on a follow up post.

In the 80's one could purchase a Mig 17 boxed and crated from China.

The Chinese skipped the Mig 21 and upgraded the Mig 19 (Farmer?) at its Shenyang plant.

I believe the Indian Air force flew these well made aircraft.

I could not, honestly, judge Mr. Webb on his politics. I liked his books so well, I am prejudiced.


I try and point out from time to time that a lack of sanguinity is not a survival trait in this world just yet.

This is 'realpolitik" and I speak from this corner in the knowledge that when a nation cannot fight, it willnot win,,regardles of how much I disagree with the Iraq War's flawed Genesis.

Webb sounds like, as the best of often do, an aithor who was a grunt and knows the sickening side of war, any war.

Did you receive my e mail?

J

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 Post subject: Re: Well Hugh
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:07 pm 
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JOHN THURSTON wrote:
<portion deleted>
Did you receive my e mail?

J

Yes, but you said that you dont use the AOL address any longer but sent it over AOL. What address do you wish me to send emails to?

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1 John 1:5


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 Post subject: Hi Hugh
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:59 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
You can use any, but the yahoo address I check more often.

I will send a PM with all adreses.

I assume you got the E mail thru AOL.

At the time I was using that .


I am going to dub an accompany thread "Hatfields and McCoys" in the air.

It seems every time we have a go round *the US" with opposing fighters, we end up with a veritable deadly fued between Aircraft of the opposing nations.

Example, early opponents to the Zero we the usel Brewster Buffalo, The Warhawk, the P-40 and, to a lesser extent, the Spitfire.

I pretty much agree with you, so i will simply post the "Antagonists" and their performance specs.

However, both the Airacorbra and P-40 were eventually modified to very competitive type by the end of the war.

I so not know how the was accomplished technically, but i recall reading that the P-40E was able to exceed 400mph, but the later marks did not see much combat. I am not sure how and when they were deployed.

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