March 1942 (1)

Japanese in N.E.I.

Japanese in N.E.I.

The arrival of Japanese units on Java gave the enemy the important naval base at Surabaya and access to the valuable assets of oil, rubber, bauxite and rice.  This positioning would aid the operations targeting assaults on Australia.

HMAS Yarra

HMAS Yarra

2-4 March – The HMAS Yarra arrived at Tjilatjap with the depot ship Anking, the tanker Francol and the minesweeper MMS-51, the sloop was ordered to escort the other 3 ships to Freemantle.  A day later, the ship rescued forty survivors of the Dutch ship Paragi from their life rafts.  By the 4th, the convoy encountered an enemy fleet with the cruisers Atago, Takao and Maya and 4 destroyers.  Despite the gallant efforts of the Yarra, all 4 ships were pursued and sunk.  There were originally 34 survivors, but rescue did not arrive until the 9th and there were only 13 remaining. Holland_Japanese_IndonesiaA_280x196 JapBikes 9 March –  prisoners of war were rounded up nearing 98,000 and two days after the last Allied troops surrendered on Java, Emperor Hirohito warned Marquis Kido, Lord Privy Seal, “The fruits of victory are tumbling into our mouths too quickly.”  It was his 42nd birthday.  As the Japanese Empire grew in size each day, they were faced with the problems of defending and administering to their newly acquired territories. By this time, Churchill made even more demands of the US for tanks, aircraft and troops to be shipped to Britain.  But, with the added concern of protecting Australia and New Zealand, FDR warned him that the original build-up plan must be cut for the emergency status in the Pacific.  This gave Admiral King the opportunity to try to push his “Pacific-First” campaign.

a 1942 sample of war news. Click on to read.

a 1942 sample of war news.
Click on to read.

The Director of War Plans, BGen. Eisenhower, insisted on (A) maintenance of the United Kingdom; (B) retention of Russia in the war; (C) maintenance of the Indian-Middle East area to prevent a junction of the Axis enemies. [C- was actually a misconception here as Japan felt no attachment to Germany other than one old trade agreement.  It was the Allied powers that created the “link” between the 2 nations.].  King continued to argue that the US priority was the Pacific, while Ike called him “an arbitrary and stubborn type with too much brain…”  Marshall put forward a compromise, which went into effect, favoring the Atlantic.

Japanese soldiers teach New Guinea villagers songs as part of their indoctrination.

Japanese soldiers teach New Guinea villagers songs as part of their indoctrination.

8-17 March – on New Guinea, Japanese forces invaded with 2 battalions at Lae and Salamaua in the Huon Gulf.  Two days later, the enemy started their air raids on Port Moresby as the Allies sent aircraft to strike the Japanese positions.  Enemy forces secured the northern coastline with a landing at Finschafen.  The US cruisers Enterprise & Lexington launched major air raids against enemy shipping and landing parties.  The US Navy reported 2 enemy heavy cruisers, 5 transport vessels, 1 light cruiser and possibly 3 destroyers sunk; 1 destroyer and 1 cruiser damaged.  Those included the Armed Merchant Cruiser Kongo Maru, aux. minelayer Tenyo Maru [that broke in 2 pieces before sinking] and the transport Yokohama Maru.  The USS Yorktown was credited with the destruction of seaplane tender Kiyokama Maru. Click on images to enlarge and read. ################################################################################## MILITARY  HUMOR – Pin-ups became VERY popular – 

Vivian Austin

Vivian Austin

Ann Miller, Yank Magazine

Ann Miller, Yank Magazine

################################################################################## BENEFITS FOR TODAY’S VETERANS – submitted by Sheri DeGrom, we both hope these links will assist any veteran! www.va.gov military advantage VA Registry  ################################################################################## Farewell Salutes –  James Biden – El Paso, TX; US Army, Korea & Vietnam

Michael Davison – Vernon, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETOBN91311

John Eldridge Jr. – Fairbanks, AK; US Army (Ret. 20 years), Vietnam, Bronze Star

Gordon Jones – NH, MA & FL; US Navy, USS Cecil J. Doyle, navigator

Peter Kassig – Indianapolis, IN; US Army, Ranger, Iraq

Kenneth Leisy – Sun Lakes, AZ; US Army Major (Ret.), WWII John McEwing – Dargaville, NZ; RNZ Army #443847, WWII, Lance Cpl.

Terry Sato – Denver, CO; WWII internee Paul Tidwell Jr. – Delray Bch, FL; US Air Force, Korea ##################################################################################

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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 November 20, 2014, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. very Very Intresting!! Thanks!

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  2. Interesting reading gp, Japanese teaching native villagers to sing, would have been a ludicrous sight, I was in PNG in 69, and some of the tribes were still very much bush natives, with some practicing cannibalism.
    Pin up girls are still beautiful.
    Ian

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    • The natives do look kind of confused, don’t they! I think the pin-up girls stand out better than today’s girls because back then, they weren’t air-brushing out the flaws! Thanks for coming by, Ian.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know I don’t post comments but I do read over your articles. I used to share them with my husband who loved history as much as I do, maybe even more! You always have such in depth information, thank you for your research and sharing it with us.
    I never thought about it but Anne C suggested I submit the names of my husband and father for the farewell salute, although it has been over 35 yrs since dad left and nearly 2 yrs for Tom, would that be possible? They are my favorite veterans!
    Blessings to you and your family this Thanksgiving!

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    • Not to fret, Patty, your men served and now they are no longer with us – they most certainly belong in the Salutes!! And not to worry about a comment each post, with time constraints, I can not comment very much these days either on the bloggers’ sites I visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I find it very frightening to read about even now, when it is so long in the past.

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  5. That first photo of the “supposed” Japanese soldiers looks mighty peculiar! That guy right of center, for example, doesn’t look Japanese at all… but then neither do I. A number of Koreans think I’m Korean! lol

    I loved that talk about Ike, Marshall, etc. Ike was THE one to put together the attack on Normandy while controlling ego-maniacs like Patton and Montgomery. But Marshall as Secretary of State? The jury’s out for me.

    The Battle of Coral Sea could have went either way but the breaking of Japanese codes allowed Nimitz to have his thin fleet in position BEFORE the three Japanese fleets arrived… at least that’s what I see as happened. After being turned back, the Japanese had no other choice than to endure a over-land war and therefore attrition took its toll.

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  6. I love the WWII history of this area. Great post.

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    • Most everyone in school learned about the ETO and the only mentions of the PTO were, Pearl, Iwo, Guadalcanal and surrender. I know I never heard about the CBI, just the Russo-Japanese War.

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  7. I always learn something new – things I just never thought about. Thanks!

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    • Things like this don’t usually come up in day to day conversation, but I’m happy to have some new info for you, Bev. I appreciate you being such a loyal reader.

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  8. It’s sneaking into popular usage “the HMS Gobstopper”. Technically not correct, HMS means “His/Her Majesty’s Ship” so correctly Gobstopper would be simply HMS Gobstopper, not the HMS Gobstopper. To say “the Her Majesty’s Ship” sticks in the craw a wee bit …

    Whereas with US ships the the is entirely correct …

    (I know. I’m a pedantic old poop—where would we be if everyone spoke the same?)

    And if we’re being pedantic—doesn’t the Royal Navy have a new class (type 45) of Darings?

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    • No, you’re not an old poop, I appreciate the correction. As an American I am used to saying “the” __, so I’ll try to watch myself in the future.

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      • No criticism intended, just hope it helps. I really like your posts, the research and the unsensationalistic manner of writing.

        (Most folks just have no idea of the sheer scale of the misery, you have a knack for humanising dry statistics.)

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        • I don’t take your comment as criticism, because that is exactly what I’m going for. I want to put the facts out there, minus my opinion or that of any historians I read – straight-forward data so people can make up their own minds about situations and any opinions. (Hopefully they will keep in mind that they are looking back with 21st Century eyes, ideals and political correctness that did not exist at the time of WWII.)

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          • Letting the data speak for itself carries a very powerful message to those who can read it.

            But your posts have a way of humanising stuff. Most folks brought up on a diet of John Wayne and Hollywood have no idea and so the romanticised notions just feed the beast—is this the reason for so many US vet’s suicides, reality smacking disillusioning ‘glory’?
            Your “straight-forward data” should be compulsory reading in schools and college; with disgruntled (pun intentional) vets brought in to clarify any points.

            I saw a U-tube of a modern frigate being torpedoed (test conditions) which should likewise be on the reviewing list for wannabe glory-hunters. “Blown out of the water” doesn’t begin to describe it …

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    • Yes the Type 45 is also known as “Daring” class, the old Daring’s to which I referred too were also caled te lat of the “Big Gun” ships, reason being that their main armament was the 4½” Guns, (not big compared to a cruiser of battleship).

      The new ships are more thn twice the weight of the Daring class destroyers and at 8000 tons plus puts them in the same weight catagory as the old County Class Cruisers (i.e HMS Exeter) of WWII. Strangely the ships compliment of both classes is about the same.

      To my mind (old fashioned that I am) the old Daring Class looked like and had more character than these new ships.

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  9. Very interesting post. I really like the fact that I am learning something new. Although I went to a good school they never went in-depth like your posts!

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  10. I don’t agree with the statement that BGen Eisenhower’s item “(C) maintenance of the Indian-Middle East area to prevent a junction of the Axis enemies” was a misconception. I think his item (C) is nothing more than a simplified way of saying: #1 — “We have to keep the Germans from capturing the Suez Canal and the oil of Iraq and Iran.” The governments of Iraq and Iran were anti-British, and Saudi Arabia was not a significant source of oil in those days. The capture of the Suez Canal would have given the Germans access to the Indian Ocean. AND #2 — “We have to keep the Japanese out of India and from fomenting a national revolt.” Remember, there were Indian nationalists who supported the Japanese as an alternative to a less than popular British rule. While the Japanese and German may not have felt an “attachment”, both were driving to control significant natural resources and if either had been successful, the Indian Ocean would have become Axis-controlled. King may have seen Eisenhower as “”an arbitrary and stubborn type with too much brain . . .”, but I think that Eisenhower understood geography, history, and geopolitics and thus was the better leader. Marshall understood that. Marshall’s “compromise” favoring the Atlantic kept the Germans out of the Middle East and away from its oil and from controlling the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean. There is a reason, other than politics, Marshall later became Secretary of State after World War II and Eisenhower President.

    Liked by 2 people

    • First, Allen, It was Ike who said those things about King, and yes I know about the Suez Canal. Those were not my opinions, they were data discovered in researching – I only put my opinions in the comments. The Indians were already upset with Britain when Churchill refused to give them independence of any kind. In many cases looking into Japanese prison camps, they used Indian soldiers as guards. Marshall was a good general, no disrespect intended. [After seeing the actions of later-date Secretaries of State, I doubt he did any worse!!]

      Liked by 1 person

      • Please note that I wasn’t jumping on you. I was merely commenting on the opinions of the time. I know you intended no disrespect for Eisenhower, Marshall or King. Through my comment, I was trying to get readers to think a bit about why it was important to keep the Germans out of the Middle East. You do a fantastic and much needed job with your blog, and I wouldn’t want you to ever think that I am in any way critical of your efforts.

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  11. gp, Unbelievable details …………”the history behind the history” as we keep discussing. In the future I will just say the “HBH” for “the history behind the history!!!!!!!! OK, history teacher? Great post…They all are!!!!!!!!! Phil

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  12. It’s hard to wrap my head around the logistics and prioritizing of fighting and deploying on so many fronts during WWII. And, of course, the very real human characteristics of ego, greed and self-preservation were just as influential as the altruistic, selfless heroism.

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    • Most of those ruled by power and greed were no where near the front lines, that’s for sure. The logistics, as you say, are incredible! Everyone goes in different directions at the same time – and that explains my messy desk, actually desks, end tables and book shelves!!!! I usually need maps handy to keep track and why I put the maps into the posts. Thankfully I have readers who help correct me when I slip up!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for your historical efforts. Those of us born after the war may not appreciate the absolute desperation the world felt at the initial success and subsequent horrific acts of the Japanese toward their “enemies”. The current terrorist situation should remind us of the capabilities of evil human beings.

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  14. Two delicious young ladies….

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  15. Oups.. typo with my New Samsung Tab… Comment!

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  16. Love the commentre section.

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  17. I dontthink it came through before

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  18. The painting supposedly of the HMAS Yarra is not of the Yarra it looks more like a Daring class destroyer, The Yarra was a sloop and had 3 x4″ guns 2 For’ard 1 aft this picture has 2 twin turrets forward and also 2 funnels whereas the Yarra only had the 1 funnel, The Daring is a much larger destroyer just under 4000tons whereas the Yarra was just over1000 tons.

    You might like to substitute this pic of the Yarra in your post gp, thnks for another interesting post

    Here’s a link to the Yarra

    and here’s one of the HMAS Vampire, I used to have the pleasure of being a guide on this ship at the Austrlian National Maritime Museum here in Sydney She is 1 of only 3 Darings in existence

    Liked by 2 people

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