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  • Archive for the 'Okinawa 65' Category

    History Friday — The WMD Back-Up Plans for the Atomic Bomb

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 8th August 2014 (All posts by )

    It has become something of a tradition for Leftists to commemorate the August 6th and 9th 1945 US A-bomb attacks on Imperial Japan, and to try and make the case that even if the first bomb was needed — which it was not — that the second bomb was what amounted to a war crime because the American government and military knew the Japanese were trying to surrender, but wanted to intimidate the Soviet Union with the A-Bomb.

    I have dealt with this annual leftist commemoration ritual with myth destroying commemorations of my own explaining why Leftists are wrong on this. See the following posts:

    2013 — History Friday: US Military Preparations The Day Nagasaki Was Nuked
    2012 – Nagasaki Plus 67 Years
    2011 – Happy V-J Day!
    2010 – Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Saving Hirohito’s Phony Baloney Joband
    Hiroshima — The A-bomb plus 65 years

    Today’s column addressing those myths is about the weapons of mass destruction back-up plans for the Atomic bomb. They were in many ways worse than the A-bomb and there was more than one — two coming from the Sphinx Project, one from General Douglas MacArthur — and they all involved the use of poison gas, American, Australian, and amazingly enough captured German nerve gas!

    German 250-kg Chemical Bombs capable of carrying Phosgene, Mustard or Nerve gases, formerly in the Chemical Corps Museum’s collection (U.S. Army Chemical Corps Museum, C. 1950)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, War and Peace | 7 Comments »

    History Friday: Secrets of the Pacific Warfare Board — Pershing Tanks for Operation Olympic

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 11th July 2014 (All posts by )

    Today’s History Friday column is another in a series focusing on an almost unknown series of military documents from World War II (WW2) called “The Reports of the Pacific Warfare Board,” and specifically Pacific Warfare Board (PWB) Reports #42 Pershing, PWB #76 Future Armament and Employment of Main Armament Flamethrower Tanks, and Pacific Warfare Technical Reports (PWTR) 2 & 3.

    These reports, like most of the PWB reports, had been classified for decades and only now, thanks to the cratering costs USB flash drives and increasing quality of digital cameras, has it become possible for the interested hobbyist or blogger to access and write about these reports from the formally hard to use National Archives. While the US Marine Corps histories make clear how they were going to arm their tank battalions, the same is not true of the US Army Tank battalions and much in the way of myth, and little fact, has filled the void. Today’s column seeks to fill in and correct the official narrative of the cancelled by A-bombings Invasion of Japan.

    A T26E3 (later M26) Pershing some where in Europe during WW2. The 90mm high velocity gun armed American answer to German “Big Cats” – the Panther and Tiger tanks — was to play a larger role in the Invasion of Japan than current histories give it credit for.

    TANK BATTALION FORCE POSTURE AUGUST 1945
    There were 14 independent US Army tank battalions in the Pacific in August 1945 with three more due to arrive in September 1945. One of these tank battalions, the 713th on Okinawa, was a ‘provisional’ flame tank unit with 54 flame tanks and three gun tanks in three companies of 19 radial engine M4 Shermans and an additional headquarters element with three M4 gun tanks and an assault platoon of six Ford engine M4A3(105) with HVSS (Horizontal Volute Suspension System) 24-inch wide track suspensions. It would remain a special flame tank unit for Operation Downfall, but was too shot up to participate in the invasion of Kyushu.

    While the 713th wasn’t going into Kyushu, nine of the 16 other US Army tank battalions and three Marine Corps Tank battalions were to invade Japan in the November 1945, in the first half of the “Operation Downfall” strategic invasion plan. Those 17 US Army tank battalions were to be joined by six more US Army tank battalions in two Armored Divisions scheduled for the 2nd half of Operation Downfall — the March 1946 Operation Coronet invasion of the Tokyo plains on Honshu.

    The standard Pacific area US Army tank battalion in MacArthur’s SWPA (South West Pacific Area) theater prior to V-E Day had three companies of 18 radial engine Shermans armed with 75mm guns (17) and 105mm (1 tank) guns, a single company of 17 each, 37mm gun armed, M5A1 Stuart light tanks plus a battalion headquarters unit with three 75mm gun tanks and a separate “Assault gun” platoon that was to be equipped with 105mm gun armed Shermans. Often shortages of the 105mm gun armed radial engine M4 or M4A1 Sherman lead to their replacement with “Limited standard” or “Substitute Standard” 75mm howitzer armed, M5 Stuart tank based, M8 assault guns; the M7 “Priest” self-propelled guns; or 76mm armed M-10 tank destroyers. A few lucky US Army tank battalions in the SWPA and the US Navy’s Central Pacific Drive had the 75mm armed M4A3 with the more powerful Ford gasoline engine and narrow 16-inch track VVSS (Vertical Volute Suspension System) suspension. In multiple planned invasions of Japan, this situation was going to change radically.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, War and Peace | 24 Comments »

    History Friday: Analyzing The Okinawa Kamikaze Strikes & Japanese/US Planning For Operation Olympic

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 7th March 2014 (All posts by )

    This column has visited established narratives of Pacific war many times to try and validate their worth by “opening the hood” of the “Narrative Car” to see what makes them run. Today’s column does that with the Japanese Kamikaze campaign at Okinawa and rival Invasion of Japan planning in the form of the Japanese “Ketsu-Go Six“ plan — predominantly take from Japanese Monograph No. 85 – and various American “Sphinx Project” reports and the Pacific Theater War Plans for Operation Olympic. Then the column will analyze them via operational realities that are generally missing from even the best end of the Pacific War books like Richard B. Frank’s “Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire.”

    The genesis of this column began when I recently read THE ULTIMATE BATTLE, OKINAWA 1945 — The Last Epic Struggle of World War II by Bill Sloan. He made a comment to the effect that the Imperial Japanese high command planned during operation TEN-GO – the Kamikaze plan used during the American Invasion of Okinawa — to include 4,085 aircraft for suicide operations.

    Satellite Photos of Southern California Grass Fire Smoke Plumes

    One of the unexamined operational factors of the canceled November 1945 Operation Olympic invasion of Japan would have been smoke plumes caused by the planned 1-2 punch of defoliant and napalm fire bombing of Japanese cave positions behind the Kyushu invasion beaches by General MacArthur’s Far Eastern Air Forces, as this 2003 satellite photo of southern California grass fire smoke plumes makes clear.


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    Posted in History, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, War and Peace | 20 Comments »

    History Friday: “Joint” Communications in the Central Pacific

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 14th February 2014 (All posts by )

    In my last two columns (See article links here and here) I have been following the thread of the US Navy’s visual and radio communications style and how it affected the US Navy’s night fighting and amphibious styles in the Guadalcanal/Solomons campaigns and during the landing at Tarawa respectively. Today’s column continues that US Navy communications thread and weaves it together with several other threads from previous columns including ones on

    • Intra-service politics regarding sea mining in the Pacific War,
    • Theater amphibious fighting styles,
    • A quirk of in promotion policy in the WW2 US Army’s military culture, and
    • The Ultra distribution war between MacArthur and both the Navy & War Department intelligence mandarins

    (See links here, here, here and here) so as to tell the story of how the US Navy’s interwar mania for controlling radio communications turned into a huge problem of interservice politics that hurt the war effort in the Pacific.

    U.S. Navy Shipboard Radio Room showing WWII RAK/RAL & RAO/RBL receivers along with the LM Freq Meter far  upper right and the Scott SLR receiver located just below the order binders.   Source: Radio Boulevard Western Historic Radio Museum online at http://www.radioblvd.com/WWII-PostWar%20Hamgear.htm

    U.S. Navy Shipboard Radio Room showing WWII RAK/RAL & RAO/RBL receivers along with the LM Freq Meter far upper right and the Scott SLR receiver located just below the order binders. Source: Radio Boulevard Western Historic Radio Museum online at http://www.radioblvd.com/WWII-PostWar%20Hamgear.htm

    The US Navy’s fighting style, in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor through Okinawa, was characterized by naval centric “joint” warfare where the Navy was always first among equals and most staff work was done under Adm. Nimitz’s eyes. Where that “First among equals” theater fighting style rubbed the US Army wrong most heavily was with the Navy’s centralized style with radio communications.

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    Posted in History, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, Uncategorized, USA, War and Peace | 7 Comments »

    Tarawa and the Role of the USN’s Visual Communication Style

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 31st January 2014 (All posts by )

    In my last column I spoke of the impact of the US Navy’s visual communication style on the night fighting in the Solomons, and how it negatively impacted the “Black Shoe” surface ship officer’s ability to adapt to the radar and radio centered reality of night combat with the Imperial Japanese Navy. This column will explore how this communication style impacted the use of LVTs, or “Landing Vehicle Tracked” at Tarawa, and compare and contrast how that style interacted with how the US Army and US Marine Corps approached fighting with LVTs later in the Pacific War, and what it meant for the future.

    THE BLOODLETTING
    The assault on the island of Betio, in the Tarawa atoll, was the worst 76 hours of bloodletting in the history of the USMC. In the words of Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret):

    The final casualty figures for the 2d Marine Division in Operation Galvanic were 997 Marines and 30 sailors (organic medical personnel) dead; 88 Marines missing and presumed dead; and 2,233 Marines and 59 sailors wounded. Total casualties: 3,407. The Guadalcanal campaign had cost a comparable amount of Marine casualties over six months; Tarawa’s losses occurred in a period of 76 hours. Moreover, the ratio of killed to wounded at Tarawa was significantly high, reflecting the savagery of the fighting. The overall proportion of casualties among those Marines engaged in the assault was about 19 percent, a steep but “acceptable” price. But some battalions suffered much higher losses. The 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion lost over half the command. The battalion also lost all but 35 of the 125 LVT’s employed at Betio.

    Two destroyed LVT's in the Tarawa Lagoon in 1943.  They lacked radios and their crews were untrained in US naval visual signals

    Two destroyed LVT’s in the Tarawa Lagoon in 1943. They lacked radios and their crews were untrained in US naval visual signals

    The Marines lost roughly 333 men killed a day, or 13.25 men killed an hour for every hour for the assault at Betio. And for every man killed, two more fell wounded.

    There were a number of reasons for this. The standard narrative speaks to inadequate naval fire support and bombing by the air forces of the Army and Navy, of Betio being surrounded by reefs that cut off the LCVP Higgins boats from the island, save at high tide, and a once in several decades “super neap tide” — where the combination of a strong solar perihelion tide, weak lunar apogean tide plus the expected last-quarter moon neap tide could combine for a no-tide period — that prevented the high tide from rising enough, thus forcing troops to cover hundreds of yards of machine gun and artillery swept shallows just to get to shore.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 30 Comments »

    History Friday: Operation Olympic – Something Forgotten & Something Familiar

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 10th January 2014 (All posts by )

    One of the objectives when I started writing my “History Friday” columns was to improve the public’s understanding about the “cancelled by atomic bomb” November 1945 invasion of Japan. A recurring focal point has been trying to answer the “counterfactual” or “What If” question “How would the American military have fought the Imperial Japanese in November 1945 if the A-bomb failed?” in ways that challenge current academic narratives about the end of World War 2 in the Pacific.

    This History Friday column returns to that theme by examining a technology forgotten and a technology familiar and using the combination to challenge the standing academic narrative of “If America invaded Japan in 1945 without the A-bomb, Japan had a chance of winning.” The “Forgotten” is the “Brodie Device” a “cableway” technology for launching and landing small fixed wing aircraft. The “Familiar” are small general aviation planes of the Piper Cub class and television. Early television created in the form of the “Block III” missile guidance seeker of R.C.A.’s WW2 era chief scientist Dr. Vladimir Zworykin. And taken together, they represented the qualitative aspect of the American materialschlacht – battle of material – that was actually on a sharp upward slope in the closing months of WW2. Creating for the cancelled Operation Olympic Invasion of Japan something that looked like a direct ancestor of the 2013 Robert J. Collier Trophy winning MC-12 Liberty. A Hawker Beechcraft King Air “Manned UAV,” which is flying combat missions over Afghanistan today.

    This is the Brodie Device in it's land based and alternate se based configurations

    This is the Brodie Device in its land based, freighter and LST configurations

    Brodie Device
    The “Brodie Device” was the invention of one Lieutenant, later decorated with the Legion of Merit and promoted Captain, James H Brodie of the USAAF Transportation Corps. Brodie’s day job was redesigning freighters in the Port of New Orleans to carry aircraft to the front. He saw any number of ships with his work torpedoed and sunk by U-boats, and unlike most, he could and did something about it. He designed a cableway device to give his freighters their own Piper Cub air spotters. With much politicking on his part, he was given $10,000 and designed a 7,000 lbs (3,175 kg) cableway launch and landing system that began testing in April 1943. By July 1943 he was pestering transient USAAF pilots to test fly an L-4 “Grasshopper” Piper Cub into his contraption. Finally he found a B-26 pilot, named Maj James D Kemp, with enough bravery and shear craziness to do both a take-off and landing on 3 Sept 1943.

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    Posted in History, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 16 Comments »

    History Friday: Curtis SC-1 Seahawk – A Case Study of U.S. ‘Materialschlacht’ vs. Samurai ‘Spirit’

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 15th November 2013 (All posts by )

    One of the focal points in writing this History Friday column has been trying to answer the question “How would the American military have fought the Imperial Japanese in November 1945 had the A-bomb failed?” Today’s column is focusing on an almost unknown aircraft, the Curtis SC-1 Seahawk light patrol seaplane as one of many “reality lives in the detail” changes in material, training and doctrine that the US military was making for the invasion of Japan. Then placing the Seahawk in the wider context of the contrasting US versus Imperial Japanese fighting styles, of American “matériel battle” aka “Materialsclacht” versus Japanese “Samurai spirit.”

    Curtis SC-1 Seahawk floatplane -- National Archives #80-G-399644

    Curtis SC-1 Seahawk floatplane — National Archives #80-G-399644

    This is what Wikipedia has to say about the Curtis SC-1 Seahawk

    “While only intended to seat the pilot, a bunk was provided in the aft fuselage for rescue or personnel transfer. Two 0.5 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns were fitted in the wings, and two underwing hardpoints allowed carriage of 250 lb (113 kg) bombs or, on the right wing, surface-scan radar. The main float, designed to incorporate a bomb bay, suffered substantial leaks when used in that fashion, and was modified to carry an auxiliary fuel tank.

    You can see a nice You Tube video titled “SC-1 SeaHawk Seaplane Fighters in Combat Operations!” at this link:

    The Seahawk served the US Navy from 1944 through 1948 and was replaced by helicopters. It is at best a footnote in the most detailed histories of World War 2. It is also a perfect metaphor for the fighting that would have happened, but didn’t, thanks to the ultimate in WW2 Materialsclacht…the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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    Posted in Aviation, Book Notes, History, Military Affairs, Miscellaneous, Okinawa 65, War and Peace | 15 Comments »

    History Friday: Napalm as a Weapon

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 8th November 2013 (All posts by )

    One of the focal points in my writing these History Friday columns has been trying to answer the question “How would the American military have fought the Imperial Japanese in November 1945 if the A-bomb failed?” Today’s column returns to that theme by examining one of many “reality lives in the detail” changes in material, training and doctrine that the US Army was making for the invasion of Japan. This column’s focus is on the use of napalm as a weapon. In reading about napalm as a weapon in World War 2, you see the following (from the Global Security web site) standard narrative explanation and not much more —

    Napalm was developed at Harvard University in 1942-43 by a team of chemists led by chemistry professor Louis F. Fieser, who was best known for his research at Harvard University in organic chemistry which led to the synthesis of the hormone cortisone. Napalm was formulated for use in bombs and flame throwers by mixing a powdered aluminium soap of naphthalene with palmitate (a 16-carbon saturated fatty acid) — also known as naphthenic and palmitic acids — hence napalm [another story suggests that the term napalm derives from a recipe of naphtha and palm oil]. Naphthenic acids are corrosives found in crude oil; palmitic acids are fatty acids that occur naturally in coconut oil. On their own, naphthalene and palmitate are relatively harmless substances.
     
    The aluminum soap of naphthenic and palmitic acids turns gasoline into a sticky syrup that carries further from projectors and burns more slowly but at a higher temperature. Mixing the aluminum soap powder with gasoline produced a brownish sticky syrup that burned more slowly than raw gasoline, and hence was much more effective at igniting a target. Compared to previous incendiary weapons, napalm spread further, stuck to the target, burned longer, and was safer to its dispenser because it was dropped and detonated far below the airplane. It was also cheap to manufacture.

    There is a lot more to napalm than just that, and you can’t really understand combat after action reports, the detailed reality, of the WW2 Pacific Theater without being aware of the capabilities and limitations of napalm as a weapon. The following list is from my own research over the last few years on the subject of tank-mounted mechanized flamethrowers that were in my last column.

    1) Napalm flame fuel was a “Non-Newtonian Fluid” as compared “Newtonian fluids” like water and gasoline. Everyday examples of “Non-Newtonian Fluids” include corn starch and milk gravy, alcohol hand sanitizer, hair gel, and ketchup. This meant that Napalm mixtures acted somewhat like a semi-solid glue when at rest and like fluid under pressure or when aerosolized. For example, if one takes a bottle full of water and a bottle of ketchup, then try to shoot fluids from both through a potted plant to a board behind it. The water will push the plant aside and predominantly move through to the board. The ketchup will stick to the plant, and the resultant flow will have far less will reach the board behind it, let alone hit where it was intended.

    This had huge implications in 1943-1944 when fighting in triple canopy jungle, dense undergrowth or in tall Kunai Grass. The South Pacific was noted for all of the above. In thick foliage napalm mixtures fired from flamethrowers stuck to plants rather than pushed past them like a Newtonian fluid. Quite literally, plant vegetation concealment _WAS COVER_ for firing apertures in bunkers of any sort. You also could not do an arcing overhead stream for fear of the plants so disrupting the flow that you would hit some of your own troops.

    New Georgia thin flame fuel attack -- from 'Portable flame thrower operations in World War II '

    New Georgia Flamethrower attack using thin flame fuel with little or no napalm — Source: ‘Chemical Corps Monograph No. 4 Portable Flame Thrower Operations in World War II’

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, War and Peace | 2 Comments »

    History Friday: Mechanized Flame Weapons from an “Invasion That Never Happened”

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 1st November 2013 (All posts by )

    I have written in past Pacific War columns about institutional or personally motivated false narratives, narrative hagiography, forgotten via classification narratives and forgotten via extinct organization narratives. Today’s column, like my previous “History Friday: 81st ID’s Peleliu Lessons for MacArthur’s Invasion of Japan” is another on how generational change makes it almost impossible to understand what the WW2 generation is telling us about it’s times without a lot of research. The case in point in this column is the confused development of the mechanized flamethrower tank.

    This is a Hawaii built Flametrower of the 713th Flame Tank Battalion on Okinawa.

    Figure 1: This is US Army Signal Corps photo of a Hawaii built Flamethrower of the 713th Flame Tank Battalion on Okinawa. This was the second generation of Hawaii flame tanks used in combat in the Spring of 1945.

    To take you there this time, first imagine a weapon who’s range and effectiveness varied from shot to shot. Who’s performance was dependent on the wind. Whether it was raining or it got soaked in salt water. Whether a rubber O-seal held pressure or the connection in which it was placed was properly seated. A weapon who had a two component ammunition, solid and liquid, you had to mix in the field before use. That required the chemicals in the solid component of ammunition to be properly ground to a consistent powder with no trace manufacturing contamination, and that required air and water tight packaging of your ammunition hold up in shipment. Which also required of the liquid batch of ammunition you were using not to have had too much water or alcohol contaminating it. And whose mixed performance rapidly and unpredictably deteriorated within hours to weeks since the manufacture of that batch of ammunition, when you did everything right.

    It gets better.

    This weapon has an effective range of 10 to 20 yards depending on all of the above, requiring a team of 7-15 other soldiers to cover you, as you move up to use it. Your last live fire training — in fact, any training at all — in using this 70 lb back pack weapon with your team happened more than 30 days before you use it. Which, by the way, has an effective firing time in combat of 8-to-10 seconds, and you as its operator are the enemy’s priority target on the battlefield.

    Your mission, your life, and the lives of around you, are depending on this weapon. And worse, for all those problems, it was the only effective weapon you have…when it works.

    Those were the facts of life and death for every American portable flame thrower operator in World War 2. It took 18 months of bloody infantry close combat from December 1943 to June 1944, with four increasingly better and more dependable portable flamethrower designs, to work out all those facts.

    And it was not until November 1943, with the shatteringly high U.S. Marine casualties during the assault of Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, that the American military began to seriously entertain fielding a flame throwing tank.
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    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 8 Comments »

    History Friday: Technological Surprise & the Defeat of the 193rd Tank Battalion at Kakuza Ridge

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 30th August 2013 (All posts by )

    In April 1945 the US Army’s 27th Infantry Division launched an attack against the Kakuza Ridge position held by the Imperial Japanese Army on Okinawa with the 193rd Tank Battalions 30 thirty tanks, self-propelled assault guns, and attached armored flame throwers from the 713th Flame Tank Battalion. When the battle was over, 22 of the 30 armored fighting had been destroyed in a coordinated ambush by Japanese anti-tank guns, artillery, mortars and suicide close assault teams. Among the dead was the battalion commander of the 193rd, on whom blame was laid for attacking without American infantry in close support. This battle is referenced in almost every narrative account of Okinawa as proof of the tougher defenses American soldiers and marines would face in an invasion of Japan.

    This is a M4 Sherman Tank after striking an aircraft bomb land mine in front of Kakuza Ridge

    This is a M4 Sherman Tank after striking an aircraft bomb land mine in front of Kakuza Ridge

    It turns out that while this particular narrative has a great deal of truth, it isn’t the whole truth and hides the most important one. In a photo film negative image of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s comment that “In war, The Truth must have a bodyguard of lies,” This narrative has a huge lie buried in a bodyguard of truth.

    The most important truth of this battle was that American troops suffered a technological surprise. The Japanese were listening to the SCR-300, SCR-500 and SCR-600 series frequency modulated (FM) radios of American infsntry, tanks and artillery forward observers at Kakuza Ridge (and other battles through out the Pacific in 1945) with Japanese Type 94 (1934) Mark 6 walkie-talkie radio that was issued to every Japanese infantry battalion.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in History, Military Affairs, Miscellaneous, Okinawa 65, Tech, USA, War and Peace | 15 Comments »

    History Friday: 81st ID’s Peleliu Lessons for MacArthur’s Invasion of Japan

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 23rd August 2013 (All posts by )

    I have written in my columns on the end of WW2 in the Pacific about institutional or personally motivated false narratives, hagiography narratives, forgotten via classification narratives and forgotten via extinct organization narratives. Today’s column is on how generational changes in every day technology make it almost impossible to understand what the WW2 generation is telling us about it’s times without a lot of research.

    Consider the difference between using a rotary phone land line communications and wireless smart phone internet device simply in terms of daily conversation and ability to know things. It is hard for the “100 texts a day smart phone generation” to get in the head of someone who has such a radically different, available daily, tool set.

    Now take for a second example how we deal with computers in the 21st century versus how they dealt with them in 1940′s. World War 2 (WW2) computers were mechanical analog devices that predicted ballistic trajectories. How friction worked was very important to their use. Friction is the amount of force needed to start and keep something moving when in contact with something else. If you look further into the world of friction, you will see it categorized as either “static friction” or “dynamic friction.” It takes more force to overcome a “static friction” than a “dynamic friction.” In other words, a slight vibration made WW2 computers work better. The name for doing this is “Dither.” When you check out the word “Dither” in Wikipedia, you will see a reference to mechanical analog computers in aircraft. The vibrations of planes while airborne reduced the friction between all the gears in the mechanical analog computer making it run smother. This was taken advantage of with the Norden bomb site. Which was a 1940′s high tech mechanical analog computer.

    “Dither” also showed up in the case of WW2 anti-aircraft (AA) guns. There was a small electric device with an off center weight on it that kept the gun platform jiggling to reduce the friction, so when gunners were aiming the gun, it could respond faster. A similar device was added to the mechanical analog fire control computers — also called “directors” — that aimed the guns. All that induced vibration was “dither.” Having the gun platform and associated directors jiggling just a little with a “dither” was important to improving AA gun system performance.

    In the age of electronic digital computers, the term “dither” and it’s meaning in context with its associated technology has been largely forgotten. (See the once common phrase “Quit dithering!”) That “dither” and analog mechanical computer example is one of the things I am running into in my WW2 writing project.

    81st Infantry Division's Aerial Tramway Moving Supplies on Peleliu, Sept - Nov 1944

    81st Infantry Division’s Aerial Tramway Moving Supplies on Peleliu, Sept – Nov 1944

    The fact is that many of the technologies used in late WW2, like the “Aerial Tramway” device in the photo above were taken for granted in the reports of the time, but have huge differences in understanding today when “the smart phone generation” looks at what the “slide rule generation” is talking about.

    Recently, my understanding of both the logistics and how fighting would have unfolded in General Douglas MacArthur’s proposed Kyushu land campaign, had the A-bomb failed to get Japanese surrender in August 1945, just changed radically away from the established narrative — “It would have been a mutual blood bath the Japanese had a chance to win.”

    When I got the 81st Infantry Division’s 1944 Peleliu and 1945 post-Peleliu Operation reports and then looked up the military history of WW2 Tramway and Cableway technology. That research changed my understanding of what the “Slide-rule generation” was saying. A completely different narrative of possible events emerged, simply from understanding what that technological tool kit meant in context.

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    Posted in Book Notes, History, Military Affairs, Miscellaneous, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 46 Comments »

    Pearl Harbor Plus 71…a Matter of Minutes

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 7th December 2012 (All posts by )

    It isn’t often that a book utterly alters my understanding of the past, but the book “ECHOES OVER THE PACIFIC — An overview of Allied Air Warning Radar in the Pacific from Pearl Harbor to the Philippines Campaign” by Ed Simmonds and Norm Smith has done just that for me regards for both WW2 in general, and for today, Pearl Harbor.

    ECHOS is the story of Australian and wider Aglosphere efforts to field radar in the Pacific during WW2. I am still reading it at page 60 of under 300 pages — but it has these passages regards Pearl Harbor:

    Page 18 –

    The following is summarised from Radar in WWII by Henry E Guerlac and an article ‘The
    Air Warning Service and The Signal Company, Aircraft Warning, Hawaii’ by Stephen L
    Johnston20.
    .
    The strategic importance of Oahu was recognised in late 1939 and the Air Warning Service
    (AWS) was to provide warning of approaching enemy aircraft using the newly developed
    radar.
    .
    Extensive negotiations were needed as the sites, for the three SCR271s received in Hawaii on
    3 June 1941, were located on land owned by either the Department of Interior National Parks
    Service or the Territory of Hawaii. In addition access roads, power supply, water supply,
    buildings et cetera had to be constructed – which occasioned even further delay. The net
    result was that none of the SCR271s had been installed by 7 December 1941 !
    .
    Six mobile SCR270Bs arrived in Hawaii on 1 August 1941 and were shortly thereafter put
    into operation because very little site preparation was required. Extensive testing of the sets
    was carried out in the next few months on installations at Kaaawa, Kawailoa, Waianae and
    Koko Head, Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter.
    .
    On 27 September 1941 the SCR270Bs were tested in an exercise which, in retrospect,
    resembled to a remarkable degree the actual attack of 7 December
    . The exercise began at
    0430 hours. Attacking planes were detected by the equipment at Waianae and Koko Head as
    they assembled near the carrier from which they had taken off 85 miles away. When they had
    assembled, the planes headed for Hawaii. The ‘enemy’ were clearly seen on the cathode ray
    tube and fighter aircraft were notified within about six minutes.
    They took off and intercepted
    the incoming bombers at about 25 miles from Pearl Harbour
    .

    .
    Under the control of the Signal Corps, Air Warning, Hawaii, the Schofield training SCR270B
    was moved to the site at Opana about two weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbour. The
    construction of a temporary Combat Information Centre (CIC) was in progress and training
    of the personnel at the centre was under way with reporting coming from six mobiles
    SCR270Bs. Ironically the program was to hand the CIC over to the Air Corps when the
    installation had been completed and the personnel had been properly trained – scheduled for
    about two weeks after Pearl Harbour
    .

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Book Notes, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, Uncategorized, USA, War and Peace | 14 Comments »

    Operation Zipper, Sept 9, 1945 — The Other “Invasion That Never Was”

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 9th September 2011 (All posts by )

    Sixty six years ago today, had Japan not surrendered to the Allies after the dual A-Bomb attacks and the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria, the armed forces of the British Empire would have stormed the western beaches of Malaya at Port Dickson and Port Swettenham with two infantry divisions, one infantry brigade, lead by a regiment of DD-tanks and flame throwing landing vehicles. This invasion would have set off a chain of events that would have seen hundreds of thousands, if not millions, murdered and killed before the Allies put down the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces, starting with Allied Prisoners of War. The word of that atrocity would have prevented a later Japanese surrender as the British and American public’s rage would have left the American President and British Prime Minister no other options.

    This is was a very near run thing as Britain’s ambassador to Japan Hugh Cortazzi (1980 to 1984) said here:

    On Aug. 15, 1945, the Japanese authorities “announced that although Nippon had agreed to unconditional surrender, Field Marshal Count Terauchi, Commander in Chief of the Southern Army, did not associate himself with it and intended to fight on. What we did not know then was that a plan existed at Count Terauchi’s Saigon headquarters to execute all prisoners in case of invasion.”

    This passage on page 573 of “Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb by George Feifer, makes clear the human cost of that “Kill All” order being executed:

    “After the fall of Okinawa, Field Marshal Count Hisaichi Terauchin issued an order directing his prison camp officers to kill all their captives the moment the enemy entered his southeast Asia theater. That would have been when those 200,000 British landed to retake Singapore, less than three weeks after the Japanese surrender. There was a real chance that Terauchi’s order would have been carried out, in case up to 400,000 people would have been massacred.”

    And it would not have stopped there. When the British reached Singapore, it would have found a repeat of “The Rape of Nanking without wartime censorship being able to cover it up. More importantly, Allies Ultra and Magic code breaking let Allied leaders know this was on the table.

    From Truman’s August 9, 1945 Radio Report to the American People on the Potsdam Conference.


    I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb.
     
    Its production and its use were not lightly undertaken by this Government. But we knew that our enemies were on the search for it. We know now how close they were to finding it. And we knew the disaster which would come to this Nation, and to all peace-loving nations, to all civilization, if they had found it first.
     
    That is why we felt compelled to undertake the long and uncertain and costly labor of discovery and production.
     
    We won the race of discovery against the Germans.
     
    Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.
     
    We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan’s power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us.

    Emperor Hirohito took the hint and sent a personal representative known to Field Marshal Count Terauchi to get the Count to enforce a surrender on his troops.

    11 Sep 2011 UPDATE (Below the Fold)
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Britain, History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, Uncategorized, USA, War and Peace | 12 Comments »

    Happy V-J Day!

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 14th August 2011 (All posts by )

    A belated happy Victory over Japan Day.

    On August 14th in 1945 Imperial Japan accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and averted Operation Downfall, the two stage invasion of Japan. This invasion would have resulted in at least a million American casualties and likely millions of Japanese dead from direct effects of the invasion plus the mass starvation that would have been sure to occur in its aftermath.

    The best web site presentation on the “Invasion that Never Was” I have found is here.

    See the PDF copies of the original documents plus some HTML remapping of the same documents courtesy of the alternatewars.com web site.

    Were it not for the two atom bombings and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria shocking the Imperial Japanese into surrender, many of us would not be here today because our parents and grandparents would have died on the shores of Kyushu and Honshu.

    Posted in Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 42 Comments »

    Busting the Hiroshima Narrative

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 10th August 2010 (All posts by )

    Richard Fernandez, AKA blogger Wretchard the Cat, has a post on Pajamas Media titled The Foundations of Our World on the modern politically correct myths surrounding Hiroshima — America was the original “nuclear sinner” and war criminal while Japan was “innocent victim” — that have become “The Narrative” that the Ruling classes promulgate through the Western education establishment and main stream media.

    Just because this is “The Narrative” does not make it the objective truth. There is still a lot of historical information still being unearthed about that era. Information highly destructive of the politically correct narrative in the form of the unearthed history of the Japanese chemical warfare program.

    The bottom line up front is that Hiroshima was a center of chemical weapons production for the Japanese and the weapons produced there were used in against Chinese, British and American troops in World War Two.
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    Posted in Academia, History, Japan, Military Affairs, Okinawa 65, Uncategorized, USA, War and Peace | 9 Comments »

    Hiroshima — The A-bomb plus 65 years

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 6th August 2010 (All posts by )

    USAAF Post Strike Photo of Hiroshima
    Hiroshima Ground Zero

    These are post strike USAAF photo of the Aug 06, 1945 atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima

    The best way I can think of to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is to review an article by historian Richard B. Frank that was published in the Weekly Standard in 2005. In it, Frank lays out the competing visions of history that have grown up after the event, and its most recent turns, that refresh our understanding of that day.

    Why Truman Dropped the Bomb
    Sixty years after Hiroshima, we now have the secret intercepts that influenced his decision.
    by Richard B. Frank
    08/08/2005, Volume 010, Issue 44
     
    The sixtieth anniversary of Hiroshima seems to be shaping up as a subdued affair–though not for any lack of significance. A survey of news editors in 1999 ranked the dropping of the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, first among the top one hundred stories of the twentieth century. And any thoughtful list of controversies in American history would place it near the top again. It was not always so. In 1945, an overwhelming majority of Americans regarded as a matter of course that the United States had used atomic bombs to end the Pacific war. They further believed that those bombs had actually ended the war and saved countless lives. This set of beliefs is now sometimes labeled by academic historians the “traditionalist” view. One unkindly dubbed it the “patriotic orthodoxy.”
     
    But in the 1960s, what were previously modest and scattered challenges of the decision to use the bombs began to crystallize into a rival canon. The challengers were branded “revisionists,” but this is inapt. Any historian who gains possession of significant new evidence has a duty to revise his appreciation of the relevant events. These challengers are better termed critics.
     
    The critics share three fundamental premises. The first is that Japan’s situation in 1945 was catastrophically hopeless. The second is that Japan’s leaders recognized that fact and were seeking to surrender in the summer of 1945. The third is that thanks to decoded Japanese diplomatic messages, American leaders knew that Japan was about to surrender when they unleashed needless nuclear devastation. The critics divide over what prompted the decision to drop the bombs in spite of the impending surrender, with the most provocative arguments focusing on Washington’s desire to intimidate the Kremlin. Among an important stratum of American society–and still more perhaps abroad–the critics’ interpretation displaced the traditionalist view.
     
    These rival narratives clashed in a major battle over the exhibition of the Enola Gay, the airplane from which the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, at the Smithsonian Institution in 1995. That confrontation froze many people’s understanding of the competing views. Since then, however, a sheaf of new archival discoveries and publications has expanded our understanding of the events of August 1945. This new evidence requires serious revision of the terms of the debate. What is perhaps the most interesting feature of the new findings is that they make a case President Harry S. Truman deliberately chose not to make publicly in defense of his decision to use the bomb.

    I hope the last line whets your curiosity enough to go to the link and finish reading the article.

    It is well worth your time.

    Posted in Academia, History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 45 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — Pershing Priority Non-shipment

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 27th June 2010 (All posts by )

    The fighting on Okinawa saw many M4 Sherman tanks destroyed by the improved Japanese anti-tank defense build around the 47mm Type 01 anti-tank gun. Mid-May 1945 the US Army Ordnance branch took upon itself the task to send 12 of the Sherman’s successor tank, the M26 Pershing, to Okinawa. In my previous post on the priority shipments to Okinawa spoke of a LCT convoy from Okinawa to Hawaii to pick up M26 Pershings on Hawaii.

    That story was wrong.

    A M26 Pershing in Korea

    Korean War Mail Delivery, M26 Pershing Style

    I found several references after that post including Kenneth Estes’ MARINES UNDER ARMOR: The Marine Corps ans Armored fighting Vehicles, 1916-2000 that had dates of Pershing Delivery varying from 21 July to 31 July 1945. It turns the 31 July 1945 date is correct and the landing craft tank (LCT) I mentioned were at Okinawa the whole time, not in a round trip convoy to Hawaii.

    The following story of the shipment of 12 Pershings to Okinawa is from PERSHING: A History of the Medium Tank T20 Series by R.P. Hunnicutt:
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    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, War and Peace | 2 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — Revisiting and Summarizing

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 25th June 2010 (All posts by )

    I ran across more data on the priority shipping CDL Tanks and deploying Recoilless Rifles for Okinawa that made some of the things I posted my here factually wrong. There was also additional information of the “VT” proximity fuse in US Army artillery.

    Taken together, what didn’t make it to Okinawa would amount to a technological surprise for the Japanese defending the beaches of Kyushu, had the A-bomb failed to get a surrender.
    Grant Canal Defense Light Tank

    The M3 CDL tanks were assembled at Rock Island Arsenal. Instead of a main gun turret the tank chassis mounted a steel box containing a 13 million candle power carbon arc lamp backed by mirrors to focus the beam, a machine gun and fake cannon. A 10Kw generator was mounted on the back and run by a power take off from the engine. The 75mm sponson gun was retained. Some 500 M3 CDLs were produced in 1943-44. Some 300 entered US Army service with a few used during the battle for the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, Germany. Eighteen CDL arrived on Okinawa in June 1945 after the fighting ended

    First, it turns out that the June 1945 arrival of the M3 Grant medium tank based “Canal Defense Light” (CDL) tanks was not based on a April 1945 emergency request during Okinawa fighting like the Pershing, but instead was due to a trip by a US Army Ordnance officer working for 10th Army to Washington DC months earlier.
    See below:

    ON BEACHHEAD AND BATTLEFRONT
    Chapter 23, pages 453-453

    What of New Weapons?

    Colonel Daniels thought good use could be made of Canal Defense Light tanks. The Japanese in their campaign in Malaya had successfully made end runs at night along the coast, landing tanks from boats, and could be expected to do the same thing along the coast of Okinawa. Against such attacks, the CDL’s with their blinding searchlights might be used to very good effect. General Buckner had never heard of the CDL’s but after having been furnished a description he gave Daniels permission for a flight to Washington to round up a company. When Daniels got to Washington, he found that all of these special tanks had gone to England for shipment to France, but that he might expect some in several months. Accordingly, he put in a request for about 18 or 20 CDL’s, and an officer and men trained in operating them. They did not arrive until late June 1945, after the Okinawa campaign was over.25
    .
    25. Ltr, Brig Gen Robert W. Daniels to Lida Mayo, 23 Nov 63, OCMH. When the CDL’s arrived Daniels got one ashore and showed it to Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, who had succeeded Buckner as Commanding General of Tenth Army. Stilwell was impressed. Ibid.

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    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 21 thru 22 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 22nd June 2010 (All posts by )

    21 June 1945

    On Okinawa, the Japanese headquarters on Hill 89 is taken by the forces of the US 32nd Infantry Regiment, part of US 7th Division. The body of General Ushijima, commanding the Japanese 32nd Army is found nearby.

    Five hours after 10th Army commander USMC Major General Geiger declares Okinawa “Secure” the Japanese high command delivered its last kikusui or “Floating Chrysanthemum” suicide strike of the Okinawa campaign.

    Several Kamikaze slip through and strike ships at the at the Kerma Ritto anchorage. Sea Plane tenders Kenneth Whiting and Curtis are both struck and the Curtis is heavily damaged by fire.

    LSM-59 is hit and sunk towing the hulk of the decommissioned USS Barry, which is also sunk in the same attack. The Barry’s new mission was to be a kamikaze decoy, for which it succeeded sooner than intended.

    The 22 June 1945 flag raising signaling the end of organized Japanese resistance

    RAISING THE AMERICAN FLAG on 22 June denoted the end of organized Japanese resistance.

    22 June 1945

    The US Navy suffers a suicide strike on LSM-213 at Kimmu Wan. The landing ship suffers heavy structural damage with three killed and 10 wounded.

    At Nakagusuku Wan the beached LST-534 suffers a bow door strike from a Kamikaze with three killed and 35 wounded. The nearby USS Ellyson is near missed by a Kamikaze with one killed and four wounded.

    Radar Picket Station 15, with USS Massey and USS Dyson present, is heavily attacked, but the fighter cover killed 29 out of an estimated 40 attackers without damage to either ship.

    On Okinawa, the battle with organized ground forces has ended. The 10th Army starts a 10 plan to mop up remaining unorganized Japanese ground forces.

    American forces have lost 12,500 dead and 35,500 wounded.

    In the air, the American forces have lost 763 planes.

    The Japanese losses include 120,000 military and 42,000 civilian dead.

    For the first time in the war, there are a relatively large number of Japanese prisoners: 10,755.

    American reports claim the Japanese have lost 7,830 planes.

    Including today’s suicide strikes, the US Navy had 36 ships sunk and 368 damaged by the end of the Okinawa campaign.

    Okinawa Background — The Death of Generals Ushijima and Cho

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    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, Uncategorized, USA, War and Peace | Comments Off

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 19 thru 20 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 20th June 2010 (All posts by )

    19 June 1945

    On Okinawa, the insistent use of propaganda by means of leaflets and loudspeakers, by the American forces, induces some 343 Japanese troops to surrender.

    Japanese forces fall back in some disorder along the frontage of the US 3rd Amphibious Corps but continue to resist along the line held by the US 24th Corps.
     FIGHTING TOWARD HILL 89, tanks of the 769th Tank Battalion attack a bypassed Japanese strong point on top of Yaeju-Dake, 18 June 1945


    FIGHTING TOWARD HILL 89, tanks of the 769th Tank Battalion attack a bypassed Japanese strong point on top of Yaeju-Dake, 18 June 1945

    20 June 1945

    On Okinawa, Japanese resistance along the center of the line, held by the US 24th Corps, continues to be strong.

    The US 32nd Infantry Regiment (US 7th Division) reaches Height 89, near Mabuni, where the Japanese headquarters have been identified.

    On the flanks, the American Marines on the right and the infantry on the left advance virtually unopposed, capturing over 1000 Japanese and reaching the southern coast of the island at several points.

    The scale of surrenders is unprecedented for the forces of the Imperial Army.


    Okinawa Background — Japanese Resistance Collapses

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    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 3 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 16 thru 18 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 18th June 2010 (All posts by )

    16 June 1945

    On Okinawa, Mount Yuza is captured by the US 381st Infantry Regiment. Fighting continues on the south of the island.

    At sea, the Japanese air offensive against American ships slackens, but the Japanese still sink 1 destroyer and damage 1 escort carrier.

    The destroyer, the USS Twiggs, was struck close to shore at twilight on bombardment duty by a low level torpedo plane. Her crew had 188 survivors with 126 men lost, dead and missing, including her captain.

    17 June 1945

    On Okinawa, reinforced American units advance in the Kuishi Ridge area which has been stubbornly defended by forces of the Japanese 32nd Army.

    Along the line of the US 24th Corps, the last Japanese defensive line is broken. The US 7th Division completes the capture of Hills 153 and 115.

    YUZA PEAK, under attack by the 382d Infantry, 96th Division. Tanks are working on the caves and tunnel system at base ridge of ridge.

    YUZA PEAK, under attack by the 382d Infantry, 96th Division. Tanks are working on the caves and tunnel system at base ridge of ridge.

    The commander of the Japanese naval base on Okinawa, Admiral Minoru Ota, is found dead, having committed suicide.

    18 June 1945

    On Okinawa, the remnants of the Japanese 32nd Army continue to offer determined resistance to attacks of the US 3rd Amphibious Corps and the US 24th Corps.

    Lt. General Simon Bolivar Buckner, commanding US 10th Army, is killed by Japanese artillery fire while he is on a visit to the front line, inspecting troops of the US 8th Marine Regiment.

    Buckner is temporarily replaced by USMC General Geiger, commanding the US 3rd Amphibious Corps.

    Okinawa Background — Processing the KUNISHI RIDGE with Recoilless Rifles

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    Posted in Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 3 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 15 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 15th June 2010 (All posts by )

    15 June 1945

    On Okinawa, Marines suffer heavy casualties and are unable to advance on Kunishi Ridge. The US 1st Division, already short of troops, is attached to the US 2nd Marine Division.

    Forces of the US 24th Corps continue operations to eliminate Japanese positions on Mount Yaeju and Mount Yuza.

    Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT)  on 01 April 1945

    Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) on 01 April 1945


    Okinawa Campaign Background -- LVT Attrition

    The USMC, at the beginning of the Okinawa campaign, had used previous island assaults as the base line for provisioning spares and supports for it’s landing vehicle tracked (LVT).

    It was utterly inadequate in the face of the reality of protracted combat on Okinawa:


    At the beginning of the campaign, the 4th and 9th Amphibian Tractor Battalions with a total of 205 LVTs were attached to the 6th Marine Division. Added to those in the 1st and 8th Battalions attached to the 1st Marine Division, the total number of LVTs available to IIIAC was 421. IIIAC AR, chap VII, p. 101. The resupply of spare parts for LVTs was totally inadequate, especially in the case of such vitally needed basic items as tracks, track suspension system parts, front drive assemblies, and transmission parts. The lack of all of these deadlined a good many LVTs and severely limited the amount of support they could have provided during the drive to the south and in the Oroku landing. At the end of the campaign, 75 LVTs had been completely destroyed as a result of enemy action, or, having been badly damaged, they were cannibalized for spare parts. Of the 346 vehicles remaining, 200 were deadlined for lack of spare parts. Ibid., p. 102.

    There were 421 LVT-3 and LVT-4 on 1 April 1945. By the end of the campaign only 146 of that 421 were operational. A number a hair under 35% of the original starting force.

    The logistical implications of those numbers for Operation Olympic in November/December 1945 were daunting.

    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, Uncategorized, War and Peace | 3 Comments »

    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 12 thru 14 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 14th June 2010 (All posts by )

    12 June 1945

    On Okinawa, many of the Japanese naval infantry cut off in the Oruku peninsula, reduced to a pocket of about 1000 square yards, begin to commit mass suicide to avoid surrender.

    The US 1st Marine Division captures the west end of Kunishi Ridge during a night attack.

    The US 96th Division attacks Japanese positions around Mount Yuza and Mount Yaeju.

    13 June 1945

    On Okinawa, the Japanese resistance in the Oruku peninsula ends. The US 6th Marine Division records a record 169 Japanese prisoners as well as finding about 200 dead. (This is a large total when compared with previous numbers of Japanese prisoners reported.)

    The fighting continues to the southeast, especially in the Kunishi Ridge area where a regiment of the US 1st Marine Division suffers heavy casualties.

    The US 24th Corps uses armored flamethrowers in the elimination of the Japanese held fortified caves on Mount Yuza and Mount Yaeju and on Hills 153 and 115.

    Battle line on the Kiyan Peninsula, 10-19 June 1945

    Battle line on the Kiyan Peninsula, 10-19 June 1945

    14 June 1945

    On Okinawa, mopping up operations proceed on the Oroku peninsula.

    The troops of the US 3rd Amphibious Corps and the US 24th Corps continue to eliminate fortified caves held by Japanese forces on Kunishi Ridge and on Mount Yuza and Mount Yaegu.

    An American regiment of the US 96th Division reaches the summit of Mount Yaegu, while the US 7th Division extends its control of Hills 153 and 115.

    Okinawa Campaign Background — Goodbye General Mud
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    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 08 thru 11 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 11th June 2010 (All posts by )

    08 June 1945

    On Okinawa, in the north heavy fighting continues on the Oroku peninsula.

    In the south, the US 24th Corps prepares to attack Mount Yaeju.


    09 June 1945

    On Okinawa, the Japanese forces defending the Oroku peninsula are cut off and surrounded by forces of the US 6th Marine Division.

    The US 1st Marine Division advance southward to Kunishi Ridge, one of the last Japanese strong points.

    10 June 1945

    On Okinawa, fighting continues on the Oroku Peninsula, where the forces of the US 6th Marine Division have reduced the Japanese pocket to about 2000 square yards. Heavy Japanese losses are recorded in nighttime counterattacks.

    Meanwhile, on the south of the island, the US 1st Marine Division suffers heavy losses in the successful capture of a hill west of the town of Yuza.

    The US 24th Corps forces, to the left, launches a major offensive against the last Japanese defensive line, the Yaeju-Dake Line. Japanese resistance is evidently weakening.

    YAEJU-DAKE was brought under American artillery fire

    YAEJU-DAKE was brought under American artillery fire shortly before the infantry attempted its first advance to the escarpment. Burst at upper left is white phosphorus.

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    Battle of Okinawa 65 Years Later — 07 June 1945

    Posted by Trent Telenko on 7th June 2010 (All posts by )

    07 June 1945

    On Okinawa, in the Oroku peninsula, Japanese forces hold attacks by the US 6th Marine Division while the US 1st Marine Division advances southward and isolates the peninsula defenders.

    The US 24th Corps is engaged in artillery bombardments.

    Okinawa Background — Colonel Unmacht’s 4.2 inch Mortar Gunboats

    A LCI(M) Off Okinawa photographed from the battleship USS West Virginia

    LVT amphibious tractors move past LCI(M)-809 (center), bound for the Okinawa landing beaches, 1 April 1945.

    The redoubtable Colonel Unmacht of Hawaiian flame throwing tank fame was also responsible for another major innovation in off-shore fire support in WW2 — the 4.2 inch Mortar Gunboat.

    They were simply LCVP, LSM and LCI landing craft given one to four 4.2 inch (107mm) mortars to provide fire support for landings. The inability of naval gunfire to hit reverse slopes and the short 1,200 yard range of naval 4.5 inch and 5 inch rockets means that the 3,500-4,500 yard range 4.2 inch mortar was ideal to hit the backs of hills and mountains fronting landing beaches.

    This is the time line of 4.2 inch gunboat development which supported not only the Central Pacific, but also General Mac Arthur’s SWPA command and the invasion of Sicily!

    1942 – Developing doctrine and experimenting
    July 1943 – Sicily
    Spring 1944 – Saipan, Marianas Group – aborted operation
    21 June 1944 – Bougainville, first successful amphibious combat operation
    August 1944 – Training in Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Solomon Islands
    15 September 1944 – Peleliu, Palau Islands: first LCI(M) combat use
    20 October 1944 – Leyte, Philippine Islands
    9 January 1945 – Luzon, Philippine Islands
    19 February 1945 – Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands, northwest Pacific basin
    1 April 1945 – Okinawa, the Ryukyus Islands, northwest Pacific basin

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    Posted in History, Japan, Military Affairs, National Security, Okinawa 65, USA, War and Peace | 1 Comment »