Blog Archives

14 – 20 December 1941

Clarkfield, P.I., aftermath depicted in a Japanese print

Clarkfield, P.I., aftermath depicted in a Japanese print

Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox reported to the white House after his visit to Hawaii.  He did not accuse Admiral Kimmell or General Short of dereliction of duty and did point out that neither of the commanders were privy to the Magic intelligence intercepts.   Secretary of War, Henry Stimson was unaware of this interaction.  He had already sent a replacement to Pearl for General Short.  Pres. Roosevelt, displeased with Knox’s exoneration, called a meeting of high officials (including Knox).  A paper was given to each with the information they were permitted to mention at their press conferences.  It was to be admitted that the Army and Navy were unprepared and Kimmell and Short were to blame.  Knox’s own press release was verbatim of that paper. (Future posts will deal with the Kimmell and Short hearings as they fit into this history.).

Sec. of the Navy, Frank Knox

Sec. of the Navy, Frank Knox

Henry Stimson

Henry Stimson

 

15 December, to replace Admiral Kimmell, the White House discussions quickly agreed on RAdmiral Chester W. Nimitz, who was actually startled by the promotion.  He remarked to his wife, “… the fleet’s at the bottom of the sea.  Nobody must know that here, but I’ve got to tell you.”

16 December, the Japanese 19th Division landed on the northern coast of Borneo and pushed the British and Dutch troops into retreat.  A conquest of the Dutch East Indies would enable the enemy to dominate the southwestern sector of the Pacific and make an invasion of Australia possible.  Also on this date, the Allied airbase at Victoria Point in Burma fell into enemy hands.  This cut off aerial supplies to the local British forces.

Clarkfield days before attack

Clarkfield days before attack

19 December, a Japanese regiment from Palau took over Davao, a major port on Mindanao in the Philippine Islands.  It would serve as a staging point for the continued Dutch East Indies invasions and for further Philippine islands.  The British forces on Penang (off the coast of Malaya) were forced off that island.

The Japanese 38th Infantry Division of 40,000 men landed at Hong Kong.  They outnumbered the British garrison of 12,000 men.  The British were forced to withdraw behind the Perak River in central Malaya while the 11th Indian Division fought to delay the Japanese push.

Flying Tigers

Flying Tigers

20 December, over China, 10 Japanese bombers were shot down by US pilots of the Flying Tiger “volunteer” force.  This was the first engagement for the First American Volunteer Group based in Kunming.  The three fighter squadrons had been composed from the US Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault.  Acting as a private military contractor group, they received 3-times the pay of the American military – plus bonus.  They would be replaced in July 1942 by the US Army 23rd Fighter Group.

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Humor – 

Despite today’s cutbacks – the military will continue to grow….

military pictures,military humor

181007-military_humor_10-4414

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What would your captions be?

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Farewell Salutes – 

Farewell...

Farewell…

Rocco Barone – Point Pleasant, NJ; US Army, WWII

Micharl “MJ” Duersten – Racine, WI & Tequesta, FL; US Army, Korea

Graham Greenwood – Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 452668, WWII, Squadron Leader, SSgt. 2NZEF & AK179 Z Special Force

Earl Johnson – Ottawa, CAN; RC Navy, WWII

Howard Lord – Monticello, IN; US Army

Fred MacGregor JR. – Chatsworth Greene, VT; USMC, WWII, PTO / US Army, Korea, Captain

Obert Ouimette – WPalm Beach, FL; USMC, WWII

Donald Raybuck – Cabot, PA; US Army, MP, Vietnam

Roger Stanley – Saraland, AL; USMC, Vietnam

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Japanese Blitzkrieg (1)

Japan's plan

Japan’s plan

 

The Japanese-style blitzkrieg offensive continued to spread throughout the Pacific carefully designed to weaken the Anglo and US strength in the Asia-Pacific zones and give Tokyo the time to seize strategic bases and economic resources.  The colonial outposts from Hong Kong to Manila and Malaya to Singapore were attacked while the US Naval Fleet lay crippled at Pearl Harbor.

Japanese troops in Johore, Malaya

Japanese troops in Johore, Malaya

Churchill, elated over the American attack, also saw the “terrible forfeits in the East” due to his misjudgment of Japan’s military power.  There would be little in the Pacific remaining between Japan and the virtually undefended Australia and New Zealand.

Malaya and Thailand had been invaded by the Japanese 5th and 18th divisions, along with the Imperial Guards, with the missions to capture Singapore, her port and the British troops surrounding it.  Let it be noted that the Malaya/Thailand and Singapore campaigns were designed as 2 separate strategies and were considered by the Japanese to be the most vital.  Pearl Harbor was merely meant to render the US fleet incapable of interfering with these operations.

Canadian troops training in Hong Kong, December 1941

Canadian troops training in Hong Kong, December 1941

The Japanese 15th Army on the Kra Isthmus of Burma were to sever the supply routes of supplies to China and secure the Burmese oil.  The British on  mainland China were pushed back due to the assault by 3 enemy regiments opposite Hong Kong.

Japanese Blitz in action

Japanese Blitz in action

8 December, in the Philippines, the Japanese infantry units went in to occupy Bataan while other units landed at Vigan and Aparri in the north portion of Luzon.  /  Wake Island began to receive heavy naval and aerial enemy bombardment.

FDR gives the "Infamy" speech

FDR gives the “Infamy” speech

FDR gave his “a day that will live in infamy” speech to Congress and they immediately passed the resolution to declare war on Japan. (NOT Germany).  Thirty-three minutes later, the president cabled Churchill_____

“…TODAY ALL OF US ARE IN THE SAME BOAT WITH YOU AND THE PEOPLE OF THE EMPIRE AND IT IS A SHIP WHICH WILL NOT AND CANNOT BE SUNK.”

Click on to images to enlarge.

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Humor – and the training shall begin…..

instructor.jpg Muscleheaded

 

armylife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postcards are courtesy of http://muscleheaded.wordpress.com/

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

John Borowski – Port Allegany, PA; US Army, WWII, SSgt., Europe/Africa/Middle East Theater

WWII Memorial poem at Arlington Cemetery

WWII Memorial poem at Arlington Cemetery

Donald Chapman – Redding, CA; US Army, Korea, 64th FAR/25th Division

Alex Giblin – Richmond, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 436608, Flt. Sgt., WWII

Raymond Hatfield – Cythniana, KY; US Navy, WWII

Joseph McEntee – Washington DC; US Army, WWII & US Air Force, Korea, LtCol. (Ret.)

Kenneth Rankin – Ottawa, CAN; RAF/RCAF, WWII, (Ret.)

Floyd “Flip” Soden – WPalm Beach, FL; US Navy,  USS Rowe 564

Robert Van Buren – WPalm Beach, FL; US Army, WWII

Adlophus “Ross” Wright  Jr. (89) – Columbia, MO; US Air Force, POW

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