21-31 December 1941

Non-military objectives of the Philippines. (top) Pasay and (bottom) Cavite

Non-military objectives of the Philippines. (top) Pasay and (bottom) Cavite

 

21-30 December, the 11th Indian Division retreated into southern Malaya and the Japanese were freed to push back the Australian troops.  The following link comes with a WARNING!  I located a video of Indian action in the war but there is Graphic Violence____HERE!

 

The big guns of Corregidor respond.

The big guns of Corregidor respond.

23 December, the American and Filipino units on Luzon, Philippines, began moving into the Bataan Peninsula.  MacArthur was commanding from Corregidor and declared Manila an ‘open-city.’  The next day, 7,000 Japanese troops landed at Lamon Bay on the island and entrap the Allied soldiers on the peninsula.

24 December, after 2 weeks of steady bombardment and the landing of Japanese troops, Wake Island succumbed and US forces surrendered.  /  The vital British naval and air base at Rangoon, Burma received a major air bombardment.

 

24-31 December, along 400 miles of Borneo’s coast, the Japanese made amphibious landings at Kuching.  By the end of the year, the British troops were in general retreat throughout the Dutch East Indies as German-trained Japanese paratroopers were dropped on Sumatra.  On the 25th, Hong Kong officially surrendered.  /  And, on the 31st, Admiral Nimitz officially took command of the US Pacific Fleet.

PM John Curtin

PM John Curtin

Churchill and FDR had their first meeting, during which a message arrived from V.G. Bowden, Australia’s representative in Singapore, saying that the deterioration in the “defense of Malaya was assuming landslide proportions.”  Churchill denied the truth of the message despite South Africa’s Prime Minister Smuts argument, “that unless Japanese moves are countered by a very large scale action, they [Japan] may overrun the Pacific.”

Australia’s PM, John Curtin, challenged Churchill and his strategies, this dispute brought public the conflicts between the two men.  Churchill remained defiant by saying:  “…countries of the Far East simply have to accept a greater degree of threat…”  As Australia’s forces were scattered around the globe, Japan continued to sweep south and the plans for “Germany First” only allowed 2 inferior naval fleets to cover the Indian Ocean and the vast Pacific.

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On 26 December, at the “Arcadia” meeting, FDR discussed the possibility of a unified command in the Far East. (Actually an idea of Gen.Marshall’s, relayed by the pres.).  Churchill violently disagreed  until he discovered that they wanted General Archibald Wavell as the commander.  The British Chiefs of Staff felt it was somehow a “a Roosevelt trick,” the Far East was crumbling and Wavell would be blamed.  They answered, “Let some American take the post.”  Churchill did not want to surrender responsibility for Singapore to the US, “Think what the Australians would make of that!”  FDR was insulted – but a unified command was formed at the meeting.

Adm. Nimitz replaces Adm. Kimmell (left) and Knox visits Nimitz in Hawaii.

Adm. Nimitz replaces Adm. Kimmell (left) and Knox visits Nimitz in Hawaii.

While complaining about the humidity during his 6 days in Palm Springs, Florida, Churchill displayed “a wild and childish temper” at the Australians and their concerns over their own defense.  Although he considered Singapore to be a total loss, the Prime Minister told the Australians that there was strength at the ‘Fortress’ and the men would “hold out to the last.”  He then diverted his attention to Burma.  New Zealand on the other hand continued to receive his praise for their loyalty.

The proud Roosevelt's Christmas card for 1941.

The proud Roosevelt’s Christmas card for 1941.

Click on images for a larger view.

Most photos are from “The Veterans of Foreign Wars Pictorial History of the Second World War” vol. 2; the last two photos are from John Tolands, “Infamy and the Aftermath.”

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Humor –  political cartoons of the times____

20 David Low cartoon

41-A

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Howard Abisch – Tamarac, FL; US Army, WWII, 44th Infantry Division, ETO

passing of the colors

passing of the colors

Lawrence Bradley – Wowan, AUS.; RAAF # 25047, WWII

Gordon Cates – Vancouver, CAN.; RC Army, WWII

Charles Bandelier – New Haven, IN; USMC, WWII

Vito Ernest – New Haven, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO

Anthony Hobbs – Hamilton, NZ; RNZ Navy # 2027, WWII, Chief Petty Officer

Robert Pavlik – Boca Raton, FL; US Army, Korea

Harvey Stewart – Huntsville, AL; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, Chaplain, Colonel, (Ret. 31 years)

Patricia Wentz – born: Edinburgh, SCOT, McLean, VA; British Military SOE (cryptographer for European resistance), ETO

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on September 25, 2014, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. The video clip is a great record of a part of that time in Malaya.
    Interesting to note that the behind the gentleman being interviewed
    is a bust of Queen Victoria, shows that the allegiance was still strong with the British Empire.
    Emu aka Ian

    Like

  2. Fantastic historic footage as well as the cartoons… As for the “politiking”, both Churchill and FDR did a great job hiding their secrets. I’ll leave it at that for now! On the other hand, I think you know how I feel as an armchair historian looking back that MacArthur was darn lucky not getting courts-martialed for his lackadaisical handling of the days immediately before and after Pearl.

    This politiking is going on today… Example: Obama now blaming others for his delayed reaction to ISIS (which he refers to as ISIL).

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    • Thanks for the compliments, Koji. And yes, MacA was VERY lucky he did not go by the wayside with Kimmell and Short. The subject was brought up to FDR, but it was decided that with the crushing blow of Pearl Harbor, the public needed some one as a hero to pin HOPE on – MacA was who they chose. (Then FDR abandoned everyone in the Philippines!!) I’ve given up on listening to our pres. sometimes I think he changes his mind everyday just to get back in front of the camera.

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  3. It’s always interesting to hear the backstory on all the political maneuvering which went on between the Allied leaders during the war. And your old B&W photos really help the story. We are traveling in Germany now (Munich, Nuremberg, and Dusseldorf), and we’ve seen lots of photos of the damage done by allied bombs. The recovery in most of these cities is amazing, and must have been a huge effort. ~James

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    • You have the privilege of walking around amid history in your travels; I’m jealous. The recovery must have been more than we can imagine. I’ve seen those photos and videos of people at the onset, picking up rubble piece by piece – how did they cart it away? where did it go? Thank you for visiting here as well!!

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      • The destruction in most large German cities was widespread and extensive, and as you know from your experiences, bombs don’t discriminate a great deal. But the reconstruction approach each city took varied. Frankfurt, decided to tear down the damaged buildings and start form scratch, hence, the city today has very few buildings that pre-date the war. Munich decided to rebuild and restore the buildings (as much as possible) to the original. Using photos, and frequently the broken bricks and stone, they rebuilt. So today in Munich, there are lots of pre-war buildings. ~James

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  4. Just watched the video too. What a waste of human life. And another 3.5 years to go…

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  5. I like that Thin Ice cartoon !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll pass on the video … but note that hubris seems always to be followed by nemesis. I’ve often pondered Churchill’s sanity, but think that perhaps he was simply a product of his upbringing (you know, his time and place) and circumstances.

    That said, I now ponder Obama’s sanity … following close on the definitely loopy Bush. It occurs that wading through ol’ Obe’s pre-election promises and his (his?) post election acts, the guy in the hot seat is actually just a glove puppet for the real (unelected) powers behind the scenes.

    In the meantime it’s business as usual—and exactly a hundred years since the start of the Great War To End All Wars …

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    • That always amazed me – the war to END all wars! – how did anyone believe that was possible, knowing the history of mankind? Power, Greed, etc. etc. are just too strong an enticement for the human race. I said when Obama first ran and still do – he should have remained in Congress a while longer to really learn what Washington was ALL about. He just wasn’t qualified to begin with and NOW? he keeps digging a deeper hole trying to get out. But, he loves the camera, spending money, and going down in history as the first black president, by disavowing the white mother and grandmother that raised him. (or so it reads on his tax return).

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  7. Guess I wasn’t brave enough to watch the video either. Was surprised at the important role the Australians played as they were mentioned time and time again.

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    • They were defending their homeland besides obeying the British authority, ALL the nations of the Pacific were involved. My trouble is trying to locate it all (and is that possible, to not only find but fit on my meager blog site?) It’s alright if you didn’t watch the video, it added to the post, but you did not lose any information by missing it.

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  8. How anyone managed to survive let alone fight in these incredible conditions is beyond my comprehension. An Interesting point Churchill portrayed with a childish tantrum does kind of go against the more public viewpoint. More to the man than meets the eye!

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    • The conditions in the Pacific make it extremely difficult to imagine anyone coming out alive, but it does give testament to the stamina of the human body and mind. I had always believed the ‘up on a pedestal’ image of Churchill that was taught in school, much of all this was new to me when I first started researching, ‘there’s more than meets the eye’ and ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ phrases come to mind.

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  9. No comments… Everything has being said in the comment section.

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  10. The political chess game continues while ordinary soldiers lose their lives…imagine poor Churchill had to ‘suffer’ through the humidity of Florida while soldiers in these tropical countries had malaria and worse!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know, right? That’s how I felt when I read it (and NOT just in one resource). I appreciate you visiting today. When do you plan on putting up a new post for your site?

      Like

  11. I won’t watch the video. I will take your words for it… The older I get then more sensitive I get.

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  12. I have read comment section first to get a feel of this post. I will read it later today.

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  13. Thank you for including the video with its commentary about the INA. That provides an insight into the participation of local groups who saw the Japanese as allies against the colonial powers, Britain, France, the Netherlands. This is information that is often neglected in histories of the period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to watch it (you are the only I know of who did). After I came upon it, I had to think long and hard before posting it – hence the warning I put on it. Not everyone can deal with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have two comments:

        1. Those who fail to check out the links contained in posts miss a good deal of what we are attempting to convey. We are conveying information that is rarely found in history books as it is generally considered either too personal or as lacking in interest to the general public. I consider the comment ” lacking in interest to the general public” to mean that no one can make money on it.

        2. The video attached to your post was from a documentary shown on television. The material shown in the video pales by comparison with that in today’s movies and shown on television.

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  14. There’s always the other soundtrack that plays during wartime–the political one. I wonder has anyone ever detailed the collateral damage from the politics of war?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Very interesting look at the internal politics and maneuvering. The thought that aid should flow from the colonies to the mother country, as opposed to the opposite was as old as colonialism. –Curt

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  16. The old “Bulldog” Churchill always had to have his own way, or at least leave the appearance of having it so.

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  17. Nice post! Those political cartoons say a lot. Churchill is an interesting fellow. I really should read his autobiography but it’s daunting. Maybe a biography on him. Any suggestions which are not a thousand pages long?

    Like

    • Most of them are and I tend to stay away from them. I find the autobiographies are hampered by poor or intentionally distorted memories. Biographies I feel are produced by star-struck fans or authors trying to make a buck. It is very difficult to keep your own feelings out of your writing. I can only do it here myself because I have the outlet of the comment section (or I would have bit thru my tongue long ago! O_o ) I’m certain there are plenty out there that are based solely on fact, but how is one to know? I’m afraid you’ll have to spin the wheel and see which book it lands on Cindy, sorry I’m not of more help.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for the plug!

    Like

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