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Basement Biden Will Likely Take The Blame For the Afghanistan Debacle, But It Was Lost By Congress Years Ago

I’m going to piss some people off here, sorry but not sorry. I’ll go back to humor and sarcasm soon enough.

The USA has egg on it’s face over Afghanistan. We now look weak. No one is afraid of the strongest world power who should protect the world. We can’t protect anything now, and global tyrants now can start their plunder.

WHAT IS WAR

First, it’s not pretty. War is about killing people and blowing up things to stop the evil goals of power and control. If you don’t believe me, look what the Taliban are doing right now (they include raping though). There is too much history to ignore it. You win by unconditional surrender, or you waste time and money, accomplishing nothing.

You either fight to win (WWII) or chase your tail. Vietnam was won until we pulled out. Never forget Saigon. The Tet offensive was a success and the Viet Cong were all but defeated, yet we pulled out and an untold number of South Vietnamese were slaughtered. Guess what is going to happen to the Afghan’s soon, especially women?

The hostages in Iran could have only been held for 4 hours or 4 days, not 444 days if we had any guts.

Wars are won by those on the ground (figuratively and actually) who see the situation, take action and be decisive.

CONGRESS, THE CULPRIT

Congress took control because they are power hungry, or afraid of not gaining more and passed useless regulations hamstringing the troops from being able to execute.

The dumbest thing I every heard was them saying we need to win/secure the outcome. Who the hell knows what the outcome of a fight is until it is fought?

It is the get principle. Get in, get it (victory) and get out. You win or you don’t.

They each blame the other side (R’s and D’s) so they can put into place restrictions on being able to win a war (taking control out of the hands of the soldiers). Pilots have the enemy in sight, but have to call in whether they can take the shot. The assholes in Washington don’t want to look bad with any collateral damage to their re-election, or upsetting a Mullah who wants to kill us anyway. Those bastards don’t hesitate and rape, murder, cut off heads and will wait for centuries to win when they know the opposition is weak. Ever hear of death to America or that we are the great Satan?

If congress would have given the power to win back to the military, this didn’t have to happen. They used Abu Ghraib to take power and we got Benghazi and now Afghanistan as a result.

The other reason congress wants an unwinnable war is to divide the nation and create an endless bank for them to spend.

They have reduced fighting to win to wheel spinning and appearances.

Recently, ISIS was all but eliminated when we were allowed to actually fight to win. There is an example of how it works.

Congress never understood the tribalism or the reality in Afghanistan. It cost the USSR and now the US(S)A trillions, for nothing gained. The Taliban now has control. They hate the Western world and it’s a base for the next wave of terrorism. Where do you think 9/11 was hatched?

MORE INTERESTED IN BEING WOKE

China must be laughing at us now, with General Mark Milley as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff more concerned with CRT, the alphabet soup of LGBTWXYZ (I can’t keep up with the changes to this) and anything other than actually putting a fighting force together that can win.

We’ve shown (ask the soldiers) that there is no color problem, especially when you are being shot at. You want to have the best soldier beside you and be able to trust his ass that he’ll save yours.

Guess who is going to suffer the most? Afghan women. Where is Megan Rapinoe standing up for women now? Instead, she’s demanding more money for playing a kids game.

Or this loser

WHO’S NEXT

Look out Taiwan, you are next. Xi isn’t afraid of us doing anything now that he has bought off congress and know we won’t act. Putin has Hunter Biden’s laptop as blackmail to stop Biden from doing anything (ok, my speculation but think about it).

Don’t believe me? Look at Hong Kong being steamrolled into oblivion. They are being assimilated by the Borg that is China.

Are we doing anything about the island building in the South China Sea? No, it’s a military expansion while we twiddle our thumbs.

Japan is next. They have been pacifists since WWII and depend on the USA to protect them (like Taiwan). I hope they take a lesson from this and start arming themselves.

NO END IN SIGHT.

Congressmen and Senators have one main goal, to get re-elected. They don’t care about the country anymore and will sellout anyone for this goal. That’s you and me, the military, Taiwan, Japan, Europe and anyone who gets in their way.

Have they ever given up power once they voted it to themselves? Look at history to find the answer is no.

CAN WE GET OUT OF THIS

Where we stand today, the answer is no. The commander in chief is Congress, not the president. We need a leader, something I’m not sure we’ve had in a while. The last time we won on the world stage was when Reagan defeated the Soviet Union, without a shot fired.

The world was afraid of what Trump was going to do because he was unpredictable. That didn’t make him a great C-I-C, but there was a deal negotiated to not abandon all our equipment to terrorists. They now have the best US technology to use against us. I don’t know that I agree with either Trump or Biden about leaving. Neither wanted to win, but that doesn’t matter now.

Take power away from Congress and give it back to the military. Give us real leaders and soldiers. Quit worrying if we look the right way to some minuscule section of the population that dominates social media and develop a fighting force that doesn’t have to worry which bathroom to use.

Memorial Day 2020 Roundup – Freedom Is Not Free

I will continue to update this during the day as I run across relevant posts

 

The Patriot Post – Memorial Day

Lost Memories of The Black American Soldier

Memorial Day Lest We Forget

Memorial Day – Connecting The Past With the Present – American Thinker

America At the Crossroad on Memorial Day 2020

Happy Memorial Day 2020 – Freedom Isn’t Free – The Gateway Pundit

Normandy Speech – 40th Anniversary of D-Day – Proof Positive

The Fallen Soldier – Moonbattery

How Soldiers Die in Battle – The Art of Manliness

Memorial Day – Sacrifice, Legal Insurrection

Video’s for Memorial Day by the US Military

 

 

Covid-19, It’s Another Pearl Harbor – We’ve Been Through This Before And We Do It Best

Update:  On April 5th, the Surgeon General compared the Corona Virus to Pearl Harbor.

There are events in history that cause a divided nation to come together.

Some have been pandemics and others have been wars, but there are times defined by history that people put their selfishness aside and gather to do what is best.

As an example, I could pick the Spanish Flu, SARS, MERS, H1N1, Y2K, the Swine Flu, the Space Race to the Moon or any number of events, but I’m going to use Pearl Harbor.

I wasn’t there, but our nation was divided as to whether we should enter another World War or isolate ourselves and hope the problem would go away or others would solve it.  This all changed on December 7, 1941 when our country was forced into the events of the world.

We could have cowered to the attack and ask them not to do it again.  Neville Chamberlin tried to appease Hitler this way and it didn’t work out so well.

THE MIGHT OF THE USA

Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of Pearl Harbor knew that a surprise attack to take out our Navy was the only real chance for Japan to stop the USA so they they could expand their reach in the Pacific Rim.  After all, he had studied and lived in the USA and knew that our forces were depleted after WWI.  He also knew that he couldn’t attack us on our own soil.

What also turned out to be true was that if the attack didn’t work, that he would awaken the might of the greatest industrialized nation in the world and unite our country to defeat evil.

On December 8th 1941, men young and old were lined up to enlist to fight for our survival.  They knew that they would be leaving loved ones behind and there was a distinct possibility that they wouldn’t return alive.  They put their fears aside and were willing to fight for our survival and the future that we enjoy today.

Not long after, women went to work in the factories.  We had to ration rubber and metal for war supplies, but everyone did their part.

Companies changed their direction.  Auto makers went from making cars to building bombers.  Scientists invented new weapons to win, not to just survive and suffer.  Our nation came together as one because we had a cause to fight for.

After the war, the greatest achievements in technology, medicine and space exploration happened at a speed heretofore never accomplished.

WE’VE BEEN COMPLACENT AND DIVIDED

All of that progress created wealth, comfort and abundance and we lost our focus.  It’s no secret that we’ve been a divided country.  I’m not here to point fingers because there is enough of that going on through the tradional news and social media.  All of it has a bias one way or the other and it has been pulling us apart.

We haven’t had a common enemy to rally against since the downfall of the Soviet Union.  Instead, we’ve been feeding on ourselves instead of pulling together.  There is a strain of hatred for what we have been that defies the achievements that built our country.  I have read celebtards and sports figures that say we have never been great.  This just proves that they have no appreciation for the sacrifice and achievements that gave them the fame and fortune to preach from their soapboxes.  It also denies our ability to do it again.

We as humans need a cause to believe in and to fight for, whether we are handed or invent it ourselves.  Conversely, politicians have been poisoning us with their desire for power and control.  They have been playing a game of capture the flag on their own islands and haven’t put the good of the country and the people first.  They have been building their power base by taking away our freedom through regulation.

Our government was set up with a system of checks and balances to ensure that no one had the power like the monarchy who we defeated to become what we are.  We now potentially suffer from what the history of the world has suffered from since the beginning of time.  That is the selfishness, greed and desire for power that has aflicted man since the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

There also has been a faction for globalization that has tried to deplete our greatness by moving manufacturing offshore to the point that we could be held hostage for medical supplies.  Our spirit of nationalization has been tested by the border fight and ideology fueled by hate of the President.  It has ratcheted up these last few years in a power struggle because there was no enemy other than from within.

We have been eating ourselves instead of fighting together.

THE CORONA/COVID-19/CHINA/WUHAN/WHATEVER VIRUS

We now have a new Pearl Harbor.  We have been attacked by a new enemy who ambushed us again.  It is time for us to realize that we have a fight on our hands  Opportunity for success or failure knocks at the door of the fate of our country.

To do that, we need to go back to the spirit of 1941.  It was the people who came together in both the public and private sector, not the control of the Government that helped us save ourselves.

We can go back to being the humans that have struggle to fight against, rally together and overcome (both the virus and the overbearance of the governement regulations).

THE SILVER LINING

There is a great opportunity if we do the same as our forefathers.  Manufacturing in America again can help us right ourselves to help reunite our country and help other countries as we’ve done before.

We are beginning to see the automakers making ventilators, factories starting to make facemasks and other birth pains of our possible re-emergance to self-sustainment.  It can be done.

Before you manufacture in the USA instead of cheap labor offshore, there needs to be a construction boom to prepare production facilities.  After that, the job creation of made in in America is limitless, profitable and will help us help ourselves and others if they want it.

We already have become energy independent by producing enough oil so as to not be dependent on countries who hate us.

Our pharmacuticals are all made offshore by countries that have threatened to cut us off.  We need to do the same in the drug industry to continue our trend of independence and strength.  Through this can we help the rest of the world and save our nation from being held hostage for needed medical supplies and energy.

Most of all, we need fix our goverment and make them serve us instead of us serving them.  Companies and individuals need to be let loose to invent, design and create to defeat this latest Pearl Harbor instead of being told when and what we can or can’t do.  It’s time to limit their power and continue the greatness that history proves is inside of us.

Great Sayings – George Patton

“I don’t fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me which is saying, ‘Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?’” — George S. Patton Jr.

 

Love him or hate him, he got things done and was feared by the enemy, so much so that they had a respect for his command.  In these times of the Covid-19 virus, we need to keep going and not give up.  Stay on top and don’t give up.

11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the sounds of the guns went silent

Today is Veteran’s Day. the 100th anniversary

World Leaders gather to mark the 100th anniversary of WW1

The commemoration is the centerpiece of global tributes to honor the 10 million soldiers killed during the 1914-18 war and mark the moment the Armistice, signed in northeastern France, came into effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.

World leaders, including Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin, will be seated under a glass canopy at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, built by Emperor Napoleon in 1806, for the ceremony.

Macron is expected to speak and light a flame in honor of an unknown soldier who was killed in the war and whose remains are buried with others under the triumphal arch. Afterwards, Macron will host a lunch for the dignitaries at the Elysee.

We honor and remember those who fought for the Freedom of our country and fought side by side with those who are now or were friends of ours.

Remembering WW1

It is important to never forget that Freedom isn’t Free. Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Man has been at war since he was put on the face of the earth.

We appear to be on that track until the end of our existence. While I don’t advocate war, pacifism has always lead to tragedy because of the ruthlessness of those who seek power, ignore borders and human rights.

Here are links to Veterans Day that I found interesting:

From John Ray: Click on it to see these pictures.

The 11th of November in 1918 was when the First World War officially came to an end. And that day has been formally marked every year since in remembrance of those who died. When I was growing up it was known as Armistice Day in Australia and I still think of it as that. It is however now formally Remembrance Day. It is Veterans Day in the USA. It is perhaps a little more significant this year as the 90th anniversary of the event. Britain certainly seems to have been engaging in more than the usual amount of commemoration in the last few days.

Anything by Blackfive (a 4 part series this time)

Likewise for Murdoc

A great Picture from Knowledge is Power

Dedicating the Intrepid. A Carrier that saw plenty of action and sacrifice.

Michelle Maulkin Linkfest

December 7th, 1941; Sex, Drugs and Incompetency In Washington

pearl202a1.jpgRevelations of what happened leading up to and following this tragic day inform us of  a backstory of the events that took place in Washington.

Let me go on record to state that I am patriotic and an avid admirer of what the men of our nation did to overcome the tyranny of the Japanese and Germans in WWII.  If you click on the military category of my posts, you will see that when I get cut, I bleed red, white and blue.  I believe in the greatness and considerable achievements of the United States as well as it being the largest contributor for the betterment of others by any country in history.

However, as an amateur historian and an observer of the (in)competency and motives of bureaucrats  in Washington, what our government did leading up to and on that day shows the weaknesses of humans. It should be noted that the Americans and more especially the soldiers who fought the war are held as honorable in my opinion.  This post is not written to tear down any of the bravery accomplished during the war.  They fought valiantly and protected freedom with the Allies.

This event brought together the country so that good overcame evil and I have the utmost respect for what was accomplished in that war.

Much of this was inspired by “History Honors Pearl Harbor” on the History Channel as well as other documented sources.

A historical documentation and the actual speech can be found here.

Incompetency

America was woefully unable to protect itself by December 6, 1941.  It is not unlike today, December 7, 2016, as our current military has been decimated, or the decay of the military before the 9/11 Islamic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers by the administration in charge during the decade of the 1990’s .

On the day of the attack, Roosevelt was viewed by his son as frozen at times because of the thought of what it would do to his legacy.  Just like the 42nd and 44th president, their legacy was more important than the nation.  The worst attack on American soil would be under his watch and he would be unprepared to deal with it.  Fortunately, by 8 am on 12/9/41, brave young men around the country were lined up at the draft offices, but it would take the monumental effort of the country to overcome the government’s lack of responsibility to have a force that could protect our borders.

Next was the communications between Pearl Harbor and Washington.  Roosevelt couldn’t get information about what was happening.  Granted, the communications infrastructure was not what it is today, but there weren’t even secure lines or even direct lines to Washington. The Naval commander in Hawaii who tried to communicate information to the Chief Naval officer Admiral Stark at the War Department couldn’t give specifics as he wasn’t sure if the Japanese were listening in.

Further, the American leadership greatly underestimated the mental acuity of the Japanese thinking that they weren’t technologically capable of such an attack.  It was speculated that the Germans had given them assistance.  Hitler later admitted he had no idea that the Japanese were planning to, or had attacked Pearl Harbor despite what was taught at Faber College.

Douglas MacArthur couldn’t be reached in the Philippines for most of the day.  General Marshal of the Army tried for the better part of the day to warn him of the happenings in Hawaii and to prepare for a similar attack.  Washington wasn’t sure of where he even was or if the Japanese had already attacked.  MacArthur boasted that he had special insight into the oriental mind. When he finally was reached, his response was that he was on full alert and that “We are ready, we have our tails in the air”.  History documents that the Japanese attacked and drove him out of the Philipines shortly thereafter as MacArthur did virtually nothing and lost the islands in an embarrassing defeat.  He was woefully unprepared, but his ego wouldn’t let him admit it.

Finally, the government couldn’t spend more than $750 on an automobile so they couldn’t get a bullet proof car for the President to be transported from the White House to the Capitol to give the speech.  The Treasury Department had confiscated Al Capone’s car earlier so that one was used instead as they couldn’t be bothered to have proper protection for the leader of the free world.  That would haunt Washington as recently as November 22, 1963.

Roughly 6 hours after the attack, FDR approved Executive Order 9066 which imprisoned 92,000 Japanese to internment camps for no reason other than their might be a fifth column attack within.  It was supposed to be limited in scope to arrest any spies but morphed into what was one of the lowest points of FDR’s term of leadership.  Little to no evidence is ever recorded that there was any treason on their part and no one was convicted of espionage or disloyalty.

They were deemed guilty rather than innocent in one of the greatest acts of prejudice by an administration.

MORE INCOMPETENCE AND DID WASHINGTON KNOW ABOUT THE ATTACK BEFOREHAND?

As I’ve stated, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I am for facts.  FDR ordered an investigation headed by Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts of the attack 18 days after the attack.  Some interesting things were revealed.  You can read further about it in the book A Matter of Honor, Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest for Justice.

Admiral Kimmel, head of the Navy in the Pacific had asked Chief of Naval Operations Harold Stark six months before the attack to keep him apprised of latest intelligence regarding what the Japanese were up to.  Washington knew that Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to attack as early as November 1940.

Stark held back the information that aerial torpedos capable of being deployed in waters shallower than at Pearl were being used, despite Stark reassuring Kimmel that the water in the harbor was too shallow for a torpedo attack.  How this wasn’t an act of treason is curious.

The FBI had intercepted information that the Japanese had made inquiries as to the depth at Pearl and whether anti-torpedo nets had been deployed there, but again Kimmel was never informed.  Not sharing this with the command was grossly incompetent or an act of political chess.

Code-breaker Lawrence Safford visited Kimmel after he had resigned.  He then told Kimmel about project Magic that broke coded Japanese diplomatic messages.  Washington failed to inform Kimmel what they knew prior to the attack. It reveals the Japanese had spies informing the Imperial Forces where the exact location of the ships anchored as recently as 3 months before the attack.  The code breakers who discovered this in Magic was only shared by as few as 10 men who couldn’t or wouldn’t tell anyone else.  It was a power play by political operatives in Washington instead of military strategists who would have warned the fleet in Oahu and had the capability to defend against a surprise attack.

A message to the Japanese embassy was decoded instructing them to move to negotiations that had to be completed by 11/5/41, or things will happen automatically beyond that.

The Japanese fleet set sail on November 25th.  There was no turning back at this point.

FDR was aware that the Japanese were going to break off negotiations and 10 days prior to the attack, Admiral Stark issued a warning that there could be an attack, unfortunately not mentioning or notifying the Hawaiian Islands that they were a possible target.

Three hours prior to the attack, Stark received a message that indicated what was about to happen but failed to notify Kimmel.  By the time the message was placed into Kimmel’s hands, it was 8 hours after the attack and was not marked priority.

The intelligence was available, but Washington failed to connect the dots.

I hope that the administration which has meandered it’s way around the safety of our country hasn’t set the table for a repeat by those who have lost their respect for our capability to defend ourselves.

SEX

Missy LaHand, FDR’s assistant for 21 years contacted him on December 7th.  She was closer to the president than Eleanor during that time, some speculate in many ways other than a secretary.  With everything that was going on, the last thing he needed was to hear from a woman he’d had a relationship with.  Eleanor allegedly pushed for a divorce after discovering hat FDR had an affair with her social secretary,  so the last thing he wanted to do was push the envelope unnecessarily by contacting her.  With the decisions that would change the world in front of him, all he needed was additional drama from his wife and another woman.  He decided not to return her call from Warm Springs where she was recovering and it devastated her so greatly that she attempted suicide shortly thereafter.  Presidents have had trouble keeping their pants zipped.

As a side note, but belonging in the sex category, Edward R. Murrow interviewed FDR that night.  Not that it has anything to affect the situation, Murrow carried on a wartime affair with Churchill’s daughter-in-law Pamela Digby Churchill when he was a reporter in London.  He had a close relationship with the Leaders of the Free World and an even closer relationship with some of their relatives.

DRUGS

Roosevelt had a chronic sinus condition from which he suffered most of his life.  Shortly after the attack, he had a headache and was congested, so he was wheeled into the office of his physician, Dr. Ross Macintyre where he was treated with cocaine.  It can be argued that it may have affected his decision-making that day.  Since it was legal, it wasn’t an issue.  Drugs used to be a political show stopper until Obama, who admitted he snorted it got elected.

ROCK AND ROLL

Fortunately, the attack woke up the nation and kick-started the industrial might the US.  Some of the greatest human, scientific and technological achievements happened during the war.

Most important though was the lesson on how wars should be fought and won, something that has been lost on the leadership today.  You fight to win and settle only  for unconditional surrender.  At that point, you set the terms of how the relationship will proceed.  Germany and Japan have become industrial and world leaders, built up by the USA after the war unlike Vietnam and the middle east where our troops were strangled by congress rather than let soldiers fight the war.

70th Anniversary of #D-Day – Round Up of Coverage #DDAY

On the anniversary of one of the most historic battles and largest amphibious landing, here is a round up of coverage and events taking place.

I’ll be adding links throughout the day.  If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment and I’ll add it.

 

Remembrances of the men who were there

The War that had to be won to make D-Day a success

D-Day photo’s still haunting after the invasion

WSJ – D-Day Veterans Gather to remember

D-Day Memorial Anniversary Events

WWII Vets Travel To Normandy to Remember

BBC –  Staged Landing and Remembrances Event

D-Day Historic Battle Re-created

Videos of D-Day Anniversary

70th Anniversary Parade

The Darkroom, pictures and video’s of D-Day

Blackfive – The President’s Prayer, Eisenhower 

Blackfive – Courage beyond measure

France will never forget what it owes these soldiers

What does D-Day Stand for and other facts?

The eyes of the world were upon us on the longest day

One of the finest speeches ever delivered at Pointe-du-hoc

93 year old re-creates parachute jump over Normandy

89 year old veteran sneaks out of nursing home to attend ceremony

WSJ – The debt owed to the hero’s of D-Day

WSJ – The last of the D-Day veterans battle time to bear witness, moving from personal experience to history.

#D-Day 70 Years Later, The War That Had To Be Won Before Operation #Overloard

I’ve written about D-day before here and here, but I’ve recently found research about the planning and the pre-landing war at 25,000 feet. One of the issues that the strategists had to deal with was the mighty Luftwaffe.  Almost a year before the landing in Normandy, Operation Overlord or D-Day would have been much different if air cover had been used against the Allied landing force. They had to find a way to get rid of German air superiority before the landing or it would be unsuccessful.

300px-Color_Photographed_B-17E_in_FlightIn the month after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Army’s Eight Air Force was established in Savannah, Georgia.  Less than a year later, it is tasked with defeating the most powerful air force in the world, the German Luftwaffe.  By the end of the War in Europe, there were thousands of B-17’s and fighters produced.  Unfortunately, the early fighters couldn’t match the bomber range so they flew without cover both to and from the target until the fighters could find and protect what was left of the Bomber squadron.  It was thought that with 17 machine guns protecting each plane, they would be self defending against the Messerschmitt’s. Unfortunately, it was a turkey shoot for the Germans.  Almost 75% of the airmen would fail to complete the 25 missions which would complete their duty in the European theater. (Authors note: I have the greatest respect for the contribution and sacrifice of the other countries who participated.  Their efforts can be found by other authors and should be read and celebrated for what they did).

p51Much of this was proved on Big Week which ended on February 25, 1944 when more than 2,000 American airmen failed to return from their mission. The U.S. fighters were not able to engage the German fighters deep over Europe until the advent of the P-51 Mustang which was faster, better armed and had the range to protect the B-17’s the entire mission.  It was discovered that the Mustangs could win the battle against the German fighters, but they had to beat the deadline of D-Day to stop the Luftwaffe.

It has been written in documentaries that with the knowledge that the German’s would come after the B-17’s (the Germans used radar) and that the P-51’s would win, they used the bombers as bait to knock out the enemy’s air power. This was a certain death sentence for the crews of the bomber squadrons, but knowing that the landing at Normandy and the entire Operation Overlord would fail unless this was accomplished sealed the fate for the Eighth. Nevermore was this apparent when the Eight was ordered to bomb Berlin on March 6, 1944. This was the center of German government and the most heavily fortified city against air attack with an estimated 70% of the Luftwaffe fighters and 750 anti-aircraft weapons were placed.  Although ten’s of thousands of pounds of bombs were dropped, 69 bombers were lost.  The goal of reducing the Luftwaffe was accomplished as more than 179 German Fighters were destroyed.  The difference was that American planes and pilots could be replaced, the Germans couldn’t produce any more and these were their best pilots.

Two more raids were then ordered on Berlin, some say to draw out the fighters so they could be eliminated.  It was the beginning of the end of the Luftwaffe.  This strategy ensured the goal of Allied air superiority over Normandy, but at a very high cost.

By the end of the war, the 8th Air Force would suffer 26000 combat deaths.  This was more than the Marines suffered in all of World War II.

We honor the soldiers who gave their all, many with the ultimate sacrifice to secure freedom in Europe and likely for the world.  We know from history the amphibious landing and the issues and outcome.  It all came at great cost and reminds us that freedom is never free.  It always comes at some cost.  For the year prior to the landing at Normandy, there was a great cost at 25,000 feet.

For more on D-Day at 70, you can read about it here.

University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven

This is not only very inspiring, it is some of the best advice on the Interweb. For those in a good way, it will make you better, for those in a bad way it will show you how to begin to pick yourself up.  If you are young, it is a good lesson in how to live your life.

Navy SEAL Admiral Bill McRaven University Texas Austin Commencement Hook 'Em

AP Photo/The University of Texas at Austin, Marsha Miller

UT alum Adm. William H. McRaven gives students the “hook ’em horns” at the university’s commencement last week.

 

U.S. Navy admiral and University of Texas, Austin, alumnus William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater last week to give seniors 10 lessons from basic SEAL training when he spoke at the school’s commencement. 

McRaven, the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command who organized the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, stressed the importance of making your bed every morning, taking on obstacles headfirst, and realizing that it’s OK to be a “sugar cookie.”

All of his lessons were supported by personal stories from McRaven’s many years as a Navy SEAL.

“While these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform,” McRaven told students. “It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status.”

 

Memorial Day 2014 – Freedom Is Not Free…..Ever

memorial-day-2014-small

We remember those who served for our country, sometimes fighting for the freedom of other countries.  Most of all, we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Never forget, Freedom is not Free.

1. Why we observe Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have died serving our country.

2. It started with the Civil War

Memorial Day was a response to the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers on both sides died.

3. It was first known as Decoration Day

From the practice of decorating graves with flowers, wreaths and flags, the holiday was long known as Decoration Day. The name Memorial Day goes back to 1882, but the older name didn’t disappear until after World War II. Federal law declared “Memorial Day” the official name in 1967.

4. The playing of ‘Taps’

The 24-note bugle call, is played at all military funerals and memorial services.

5. Flying the Flag

It is customary on Memorial Day to fly the flag at half staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.

6. Flowers and Flags

These are the two most popular items people use to remember soldiers.

7. The last Monday of May

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May.

 America’s Top 10 Deadliest Wars. 

From Blackfive: The Gates of Heaven

What is Memorial Day really about?  While we are busy gearing up for the weekend, I thought I should post this annual reminder about the holiday.  It may surprise some of you.

If you are relatively new to Blackfive, you should read this story about a Memorial Day eleven years ago – Mathew Schram’s Memorial Day.  And, unfortunately, we’ve posted many memorials to our Fallen Americans.

The words to “Taps” are:

Day Is Done,
Gone the Sun,
From the Earth,
From the Hill,
From the Sky,
All Is Well,
Safely Rest,
God Is Nigh

When Taps is played at dusk, it has a completely different meaning than when Taps is played during the day.  No soldier really wants to hear it played during daylight.  For when the bugle plays Taps in the daylight…that means a soldier has fallen…There is a belief among some that Taps is the clarion call to open the gates of heaven for the fallen warrior and letting them know to “Safely Rest”…

Of course, Memorial Day is about remembering the sacrifices that our military men and women have made over the last 237 years.    We are still a young nation, but one that has made many sacrifices to remain free.  We should also take time to remember the families who have lost loved ones.

We have focused on just a few of the fallen over the last few years.  I’ve lost good friends during the War on Terror.  And I write about the others to ensure that we don’t forget their sacrifices – I do that for me as much as for anybody.

Click on the link to read the entire blog post.

Top 11 Memorial Day Museums

AOMDA Honors War Vets Buried Overseas 

There will be many Memorial Day observances here in the U.S. this weekend, but loved ones of service members buried abroad can rest assured their veterans will not be forgotten.

The American Overseas Memorial Day Association (AOMDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the memory of those who gave their lives in World Wars I and II, whose final resting places are in American military cemeteries or separate graves all over Europe and even Africa…….

Read more at this link

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day, the day to honor those who gave their lives for the freedom we all enjoy. We must protect our country so they did not die in vain.

While he was not an American, he was a great leader that sums it up…

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. —Winston Churchill

Omaha Beach June 6 1944 – The Longest Day

Anniversary of D-Day b the Army

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allied nations landed around 156,000 troops on the Normandy coastline. The American forces landed numbered 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops. In the British and Canadian sector, 83,115 troops were landed (61,715 of them British): 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach, and 7900 airborne troops.

The War Years has created a range of D-Day commemorative designs and merchandise. Each of our designs incorporates QR barcodes that enables anyone with a smartphone or similar web-enabled mobile device to connect to our digital content, such as this Omaha Beach video. We also use 2D QR codes so that you can connect to our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Checkout our website: http://www.thewaryears.co.uk

The Assault on Omaha Beach
On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, joined by nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks, infantry, and combat engineer forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defences and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land.

However, the assault on Omaha Beach did not go to plan. Almost all the specially designed amphibious DD tanks, that were to provide much needed covering fire for the infantry assault waves, sank off shore. Navigation problems caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day. The defences were unexpectedly strong, and the Germans inflicted heavy casualties on landing US troops. Under heavy fire, engineers struggled to clear beach obstacles; later landings bunched up around the few channels that were cleared.

Many troops were drowned or killed the moment they hit the beach. Many landing craft hit under water obstacles or were destroyed by mines. The surviving assault troops could not clear the heavily defended exits off the beach. This caused further problems and consequent delays for later landings.

Eventually small groups of Rangers and infantrymen scaled the heavily defended bluffs commanding the beach. Allied naval gunfire supported these improvised assaults. By day’s end, two small footholds had been won, which were subsequently exploited against weaker defences further inland, thus achieving the original D-Day objectives over the following days.

By The War Years Online http://www.zazzle.com/trumpess

Yamamoto’s Master Plan for Pearl Harbor Attack

Yamamoto was educated in the US and knew us well.  He also knew that we were a sleeping industrial giant.  He was well aware of the 2nd Amendment and how much we believed in it (We still do for the Islamic Jihad Terrorists).  He also knew he couldn’t attack the US, but a surprise attack would and could cripple us for a while until the industrial might of a sleeping giant was woken up.  Luck was not on his side that day as the US Carriers were out at sea and the Battleships (an aging, but vital weapon) was all that was harbored in Pearl Harbor.

Here is the take by the Pacific War.com

JAPANESE PREPARATIONS FOR THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR

Admiral Yamamoto plans the Destruction of the United States Pacific Fleet

These aircraft are superb reproductions of the Nakajima Type 97 carrier torpedo bombers (Allied code-name “Kate”) that attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. They were used in the gripping and historically accurate 20th Century Fox film Tora, Tora, Tora! (1970).

In conformity with this traditional approach to naval warfare, the Japanese Naval General Staff intended to limit naval operations in support of Japan’s military thrust into South-East Asia to offensive actions against local American, British and Dutch naval forces defending their country’s colonial possessions in South-East Asia. To the conservative admirals of the Naval General Staff, a direct confrontation in the central Pacific Ocean between their navy and the United States Navy was unthinkable.

In early 1941, Vice Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Japan’s Combined Fleet, and he immediately took issue with the cautious policy of the Japanese Naval General Staff. Yamamoto did not believe that the United States Pacific Fleet would remain idle at Pearl Harbor while Japan attacked and seized America’s Philippines, and British and Dutch colonial possessions in South-East Asia. He believed that Japan must cripple the United States Pacific Fleet at the same time as it launched its attacks on countries of South-East Asia.

With this firm conviction, Admiral Yamamoto began to consider a surprise carrier-launched air attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base timed to coincide with Japan’s military aggression in South-East Asia. Yamamoto instructed Rear Admiral Takijiro Onishi, Chief of Staff of the 11th Air Fleet, to assess the feasibility of an attack on Pearl Harbor by carrier-launched aircraft. Onishi enlisted the assistance of Commander Minoru Genda, a brilliant staff officer and tactician serving with Japan’s 1st Air Fleet. Genda studied the problem and came to the conclusion that an attack on Pearl Harbor could succeed if (a) the attack took the Americans completely by surprise, (b) the attack occurred early on a Sunday morning when American defence preparedness would be at a low level, (c) all six of Japan’s best aircraft carriers were used, and (d) highly skilled aircrews were used in the attack. To ensure complete surprise, Genda’s plan precluded alerting the Americans to their danger by a prior declaration of war.

Admiral Yamamoto’s plan for a surprise peacetime attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Hawaii would involve a strike force which included Japan’s six largest and most powerful aircraft carriers. His task was made much easier by President Roosevelt’s decision to relocate the United States Pacific Fleet from California to Hawaii. As Yamamoto saw it, the destruction of the American Pacific Fleet would give Japan time to seize the Philippines, Malaya, British Borneo, Burma and the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), and gain access to the oil, minerals, rubber and other resources that Japan needed to sustain its aggressive war machine. He was hopeful that, with its Pacific Fleet destroyed or crippled, the Americans would be willing to accept a peace settlement that allowed Japan to keep its new conquests in South-East Asia.

The Japanese Naval General Staff initially rejected Admiral Yamamoto’s plan for an attack on Pearl Harbor as being too great a gamble. They doubted that surprise could be achieved when the strike force would be at sea for two weeks before the attack. Japan had eleven aircraft carriers, and the admirals felt that Yamamoto’s plan could put at risk their six best carriers. They also felt that diverting Japan’s six most powerful aircraft carriers to Hawaii would leave the southern attacks on the Philippines and British Malaya dangerously unprotected. In the end, Yamamoto only overcame their opposition by threatening to resign.

Although the admirals of the Naval General Staff were reluctantly persuaded by Yamamoto to abandon the policy of defensive naval war in favour of attack, the years of night warfare training and the highly accurate, long range torpedoes associated with the defensive policy would give the Japanese Imperial Navy a significant edge over Allied navies in night actions during the Pacific War.

Training for the Pearl Harbor Attack

Early in 1941, despite the fact that the Chief of the Naval General Staff, Admiral Osami Nagano, had not yet approved a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto directed that intensive planning and training for such an attack was to be undertaken.

Japanese naval aircrews had already honed their war skills flying sorties against the poorly equipped and trained Chinese air force and army. However, Pearl Harbor offered special challenges to an enemy force proposing to use air-launched torpedoes. The harbor was comparatively shallow and a large area in the centre of the harbor was occupied by Ford Island. The American battleships were moored on the eastern side of Ford Island. The water area between the battleships and the eastern shore of the harbor was narrow. Japanese torpedoes would have to be redesigned for use in shallow harbor waters, and torpedo aircrews would have to learn to drop their torpedoes with great precision so that they would land in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern shore of the harbor and the battleships. The Japanese aircrews went about this training with great enthusiasm and dedication. By November 1941, they were ready for the attack.

On 3 November 1941, the Chief of the Japanese Naval General Staff finally gave his approval to Admiral Yamamoto’s plan to attack the United States Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base.

The Japanese Carrier Strike Force departs for Hawaii

To distract the American government while it secretly positioned a powerful aircraft carrier strike force for the “sneak attack” on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese government had ordered its envoys in Washington to engage the American government in intensive diplomatic negotiations.AdmiralYamamoto’s aircraft carrier strike force, under the command of Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, left Japan on 26 November 1941.

The fast and powerful aircraft carrier Akagi was regarded as the “Queen” of the Japanese Imperial Navy. It is shown here in 1941. It was the flagship of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Preserving strict radio silence, Nagumo’s carriers steered well clear of normal shipping lanes and headed for a stand-by point about 1,000 miles (1,600km) north of Hawaii. The carrier strike force comprised Japan’s six largest fleet aircraft carriers, Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku. Each of these aircraft carriers would later play a role in the major sea battles closely related to Australia’s survival in 1942. The last two would take part in the crucial Battle of the Coral Sea. The first four would take part in the pivotal Battle of Midway. The carriers were supported by battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines.

Japan’s Prime Minister Tojo threatens Britain and America with War

In the last week of November 1941, at a time when Admiral Nagumo’s aircraft carriers were sailing towards Pearl Harbor with hostile intent, Japan’s militarist Prime Minister, General Hideki Tojo, issued a blunt warning to Britain and the United States that Japan would “purge East Asia of US -British power with a vengeance”. General Tojo’s threat appeared on the front page of the New York Herald Tribune on Sunday, 30 November 1941, exactly seven days before the Japanese attack on America’s Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Despite the clear threat of war contained in Tojo’s warning, and despite having no knowledge of the whereabouts of Japan’s six largest fleet aircraft carriers, no steps were taken at Hawaii to bring the United States Pacific Fleet or the United States Army Air Corps to a state of war alert.

The Americans had broken the Japanese diplomatic code in September 1941, and were able to read coded messages from Tokyo to Japan’s embassies in Berlin and Washington. The United States government knew that Japan had warned its diplomats in Washington that certain unspecified events would occur after 29 November 1941. However, the Americans believed that the warning fore-shadowed possible aggressive moves by Japan against the Philippines or British or Dutch colonial possessions in South-East Asia. Although they did not believe that an attack on Pearl Harbor was planned by the Japanese, the American commanders in Hawaii took steps to guard against possible hostile action by Japanese submarines and sabotage to military aircraft or installations on the main island of Oahu. To guard against sabotage, Major General Short lined up his aircraft on the runways as if for an inspection. They would prove easy targets for Japanese aircraft when the attack came.

The Order to attack the United States Pacific Fleet

When the Japanese aircraft carrier strike force reached its stand-by point north of Hawaii, it waited to receive either final confirmation to proceed with the attack on Pearl Harbor or an order to return to Japan. On 1 December 1941, the Japanese government reached a firm decision to make war on the United States. On 2 December 1941, a radio signal containing the code words “climb Mount Niitaka” was received by Vice Admiral Nagumo aboard his flagship Akagi. The code message was an order to attack Pearl Harbor on Sunday, 7 December 1941. The Japanese were well aware that most Americans at this time observed Sunday as a holy day, and they had carefully timed the surprise attack to occur when many Americans in Hawaii would be preparing for or attending church services.

Surprise was considered vital to the success of the attack on the American fleet. There would be no prior declaration of war to alert the Americans to their danger.

Admiral Nagumo’s carrier strike force refuelled at sea on 5 and 6 December. Its approach to Hawaii was screened from American reconnaissance aircraft by low, dense cloud cover.

Japanese intelligence informed Nagumo on 6 December that the American battleships and a large number of smaller warships were in Pearl Harbor. However, Nagumo’s primary targets were the American aircraft carriers, and they were all absent from the harbor. The Japanese believed that the American aircraft carriers Lexington, Saratoga, Enterprise and Yorktown were all based at Pearl Harbor at this time. Their intelligence was faulty. Having undergone routine dry-docking, Saratoga was at San Diego on the American west coast. Yorktown was stationed with the newly commissioned Hornet in the Atlantic at this time. Only Lexington and Enterprise were actually based at Pearl Harbor on 6 December 1941, and fortunately for the United States and Australia, both carriers were at sea when the Japanese attack took place. Despite this setback, Nagumo was under orders to proceed with the attack.

On 6 December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt intervened personally in the cause of peace by sending a direct appeal to the Emperor of Japan. It fell on deaf ears in Tokyo. The Japanese government was determined on war and had no intention of recalling the Japanese carrier force.

Review of 20th Century Fox Pearl Harbor attack film “Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

PEARLINDEX

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November 10, 2012; The 237th Anniversary of the Marines

First to Fight, the Marines are one of the 5 Military Branches that protect and serve our country.  They have protected our freedom and the countless lives of many around the world.  I am a big supporter of the military and celebrate each branch for what they offer.

BACKGROUND

Marine Corps History

On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that “two battalions of Marines be raised” for service as landing forces with the fleet. This established the Continental Marines and marked the birth of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, early Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid on foreign soil in the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of the Corps’ first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy’s ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines disbanded.

Following the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines fought in conflicts with France, landed in Santo Domingo and conducted operations against the Barbary pirates along the “Shores of Tripoli.”

Marines participated in numerous operations during the War of 1812, including the defense of Washington at Bladensburg, Md. They also fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans. Following the War of 1812, Marines protected American interests around the world in areas like the Caribbean, the Falkland Islands, Sumatra and off the coast of West Africa, and close to home in operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida.

During the Mexican War, Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. While landing parties of Marines and Sailors were seizing enemy ports, a battalion of Marines joined General Winfield Scott’s army at Pueblo and marched and fought all the way to the “Halls of Montezuma,” Mexico City.

Although most Marine Corps service during the Civil War was with the Navy, a battalion fought at Bull Run, and other units saw action with blockading squadrons at Cape Hatteras, New Orleans, Charleston and Fort Fisher. During the last third of the 19th century, Marines made numerous landings around the world, especially in the orient and the Caribbean.

Following the Spanish-American War in 1898, Marines fought during the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion in China, in Nicaragua, Panama, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico and Haiti.

In World War I, Marines distinguished themselves on the battlefields of France, as the 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of “Devil Dogs” for actions at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont and the final Muesse-Argonne offensive. Marine aviation, which began in 1912, was used for the first time in a close-air support role during WWI. More than 309,000 Marines served in France and more than a third were killed or wounded in six months of intense fighting.

During the two decades before World War II, the Marine Corps began to more completely develop its doctrine and organization for amphibious warfare. The success of this effort was proven at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, New Britain, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. By the war’s end in 1945, the Corps had grown to include six divisions, five air wings and supporting troops, about 485,000 Marines. Nearly 87,000 Marines were killed or wounded during WWII and 82 earned the Medal of Honor.

As the Marine Corps attempted to modify the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) for operations in the nuclear age, the Corps began a decade long struggle to save the FMF and, in affect, its own existence. The Marine Corps had peaked in strength in 1945 at nearly half a million men in six divisions and five aircraft wings. The postwar Corps shrank to fit federal budgets rather than adjust realistically to fit the contingency needs of the Cold War era. Available manpower fell to 83,000 men in 1948 and dropped to just over 74,000 by the spring of 1950. About 50,000 men were assigned to the operating forces, but the FMF had only about 30,000 men in the two skeltal divisions and aircraft wings. Fewer than 12,000 Marines comprised FMFPac which included the 1st Division at Camp Pendleton and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) at El Toro, California. On the East Coast, the 2d Division at Camp Lejeune and the 2d MAW at Cherry Point, making up FMFLant, numbered just under 16,000 Marines. At the outbreak of the Korean War, no Marine unit of any size was based or deployed in the Far East.

The Corps’ supporting establishment was so small and its tasks for maintaining Marine Corps bases so extensive that many FMF troops spent more time housekeeping than training. The Marine Corps share of the federal budget was simply not enough to buy adequate manpower, training, or new equipment. The main threat to the nation was seen in inflation and unbalanced budgets rather than in the Soviet armed forces. On the eve of the Korean War, the FMF seemed doomed to fall to six battalion landing teams and twelve squadrons in 1950.

While Marine units were taking part in the post-war occupation of Japan and North China, studies at Quantico, Va., concentrated on attaining a “vertical envelopment” capability for the Corps through the use of helicopters. Landing at Inchon, Korea, in September 1950, Marines proved that the doctrine of amphibious assault was still viable and necessary. After the recapture of Seoul, the Marines advanced to the Chosin Reservoir only to see the Chinese Communists enter the war. In March, 1955, after five years of hard fighting, the last Marine ground forces were withdrawn. More than 25,000 Marines were killed or wounded during the Korean War.

The realities of the Korean War brought major changes in the basing and deployment of Marine Corps forces. The Corps strength ballooned to 192,000 men in June 1951, to 232,000 a year later and nearly 250,000 by June 1953. More than half the troops actually served in the operating forces, and the 1st Marine Division and 1st MAW, operationally employed in Korea, were kept up to strength. In the meantime, the 2d Marine Division and 2d MAW reached full strength for their European contingencies. In June 1951 Headquarters activated the 3d Marine Brigade, built around the 3d Marines at Camp Pendleton. In 1952 the brigade expanded to become the 3d Marine Division, and the same year the 3d MAW formed and occupied a new base in Miami. In another important reorganization, Headquarters in 1951 formed an organization known as Force Troops in order to provide the heavy artillery and other combat support and combat service support units necessary to sustain a Marine division in a land war.

The three-division/three-wing force structure decreed by the June 1952 passage of the Douglas-Mansfield Act, gave legislative support to the stated roles and missions of the Corps. The defense assumptions and programs of the Eisenhower Administration, however, left the Marine Corps role, and the corresponding basing and deployment strategy, less clearly defined. The emphasis on strategic forces over conventional forces, coupled with domestic economic implications of high defense costs and unbalanced federal budgets, challenged Marine Corps leaders of this period.

During the years 1953 to 1955, significant changes in the basing and deployment of Marine forces were realized. The 3d Marine Division deployed from Camp Pendleton to the Far East in the summer of 1953. Based in Japan, the Division followed regimental landings in Japan and Okinawa with a full-dress division landing exercise on Iwo Jima in March 1954. Significantly, the division began redeploying from Japan to Okinawa in 1955 and by February 1956 the Headquarters of the 3d Marine Division was moved to Okinawa where its remains today. Teamed with the 3d Division, the bulk of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, in Japan with headquarters at Atsugi, provided the air portion of a ready U.S. expeditionary force in the Far East.

The 1st Marine Division, meanwhile, which had been in Korea since the summer of 1950, was returned to Camp Pendleton in 1955. The 3d MAW during the same period moved from the East to the West Coast to support Pacific deployments.

In 1954, the 1st Provisional Marine Air-Ground Task Force, built around a reinforced infantry regiment and a reinforced air group, was established at Hawaii in response to strategic requirements in the Pacific Theater. One reinforced regiment of the 3d Marine Division, together with elements of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing were shifted from the Far East to Oahu to build the task force, later called the 1st Marine Brigade, to desired strength.

On the other side of the world, the commitment of a Marine battalion landing team to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, which began in 1948, continued except for brief periods in 1950-51 and 1955. During the Korean War, this practice was briefly interrupted due to wartime needs and during 1955 a reduction in amphibious shipping forced the termination of the rotating assignment for nearly a year. The deployment to the Sixth Fleet was designed to give the fleet commander a ready landing force in an area left unstable in the aftermath of World War II.

Events in the Far East from 1955 on likewise pointed out the need for a ready battalion of Marines afloat with the fleet, and from 1960 on, the 3d Marine Division maintained such a floating battalion under Commander Seventh Fleet.

In July 1958, a brigade-size force landed in Lebanon to restore order. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, a large amphibious force was assembled, but not landed. In April 1965, a brigade of Marines landed in the Dominican Republic to protect Americans and evacuate those who wished to leave.

The period from 1956-1960 witnessed the Corps’ continuing development of a permanent base structure to support its force in readiness mission as well as the procurement of supplies and equipment for a wide range of contingencies. Bases were developed stateside for cold-weather training at Pickel Meadows, and for desert warfare and supporting arms training at Twentynine Palms, both in California. Budget cuts and resulting reduced end strengths, however, became formidable obstacles to meeting desired manning levels for FMF units. The reductions resulted in all three divisions being placed on reduced manning levels in 1957 and total Marine Corps strength fell below 200,000. Commandant of the Marine Corps Annual Reports for the years 1957 through 1960 reflect the reduced manning levels throughout the FMF, stating of the Divisions and Wings, “their capability for sustained combat has been seriously diminished.” Reserve training also suffered during this period due to lack of funding.

By 1960, Marine Corps strength had fallen to 170,000 – down 30,000 in just three years. Over the same period the Marine Corps “green dollar” budget dropped from an already austere $942 million in FY1958 to $902 million in FY1961. Certain elements of the FMF had to be placed in cadre status. Perhaps just as damaging to the Corps’ readiness posture was the low priority given in the “blue dollar” budget to the construction of amphibious shipping and particularly helicopter-carrying ships, which threatened the development of the vertical assault mission.

To improve readiness in the Pacific, a system was implemented to rotate infantry battalions between the 3d and 1st Divisions. Beginning in 1959, the “transplacement” program had battalions forming and training in the 1st Division, then deploying to Okinawa for fifteen months’ service as a cohesive unit. The 2d Division began a similar program in 1960 which aided personnel stability and continuity, but as in the Pacific, it meant that several battalions could not be easily deployed in a crisis.

Nevertheless, in 1960 the Marine Corps began a five-year surge in its readiness that brought it to its highest level of peacetime effectiveness by the eve of the Vietnam War. The results of the Presidential election of 1960, coupled with internal redirection in the Corps, combined to form the highly favorable conditions for the Marine Corps to consolidate its amphibious force in readiness mission. The “Flexible Response” strategy of the new administration was ideally suited to the Marine Corps — stressing conventional force improvements in manpower, equipment modernization, and strategic mobility. Marine Corps budgets grew, as did the strength ceilings, and just as significantly, improvements were realized in obtaining amphibious shipping. During this period, as well, Headquarters enhanced the readiness of the Reserve with the formation of the 4th Marine Division and 4th Marine Aircraft Wing in the Marine Corps Organized Reserve.

The combination of increased amphibious exercises and contingency deployments kept the tactical units of the FMF busy during the early 1960s. The size of the possible Marine role in Europe grew as Headquarters aimed at a larger role in NATO. In 1964 II MEF conducted Operation Steel Pike I, an amphibious exercise in Spanish waters that exceeded all earlier exercises in both the size of the Marine force deployed and the distance covered. An amphibious force of 60 ships carried 22,000 Marines and over 5,000 vehicles to the amphibious objective area.

While FMF Atlantic forces were being exercized in Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa, FMF Pacific units trained throughout the Far East, Hawaii, and California. In 1964 there were 45 landing exercises worldwide, and by the beginning of the major U.S. involvement in Vietnam, in 1965, the FMF, both regular and Reserve, was as effective a force as the Corps had ever fielded in peacetime.

The landing of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Da Nang in 1965 marked the beginning of a large-scale Marine involvement in Vietnam. By the summer of 1968, after the enemy’s Tet Offensive, Marine Corps strength in Vietnam rose to about 85,000. The Marine withdrawal began in 1969 as the South Vietnamese began to assume a larger role in the fighting. The last ground forces left Vietnam by June 1971. The Vietnam War, the longest in the history of the Marine Corps, exacted a high cost, with more than 13,000 Marines killed and 88,000 wounded.

The Vietnam War proved to be the ultimate test of the Corps’ basing and deployment decisions of the 1950s and early 1960s. From the March 1965 landing of Marine ground troops as Da Nang until the departure of the last large Marine units in June 1971, the war impacted drastically on all Marine forces within and outside the III Marine Amphibious Force. Peak Marine strength in Vietnam was reached in 1968 when more than 85,000 Marines were in Vietnam out of a Marine Corps numbering just over 300,000.

By 1972 the Marine Corps was once again down to 200,000 men and post-Vietnam redeployments had returned the Corps to the same basing and deployment patterns that had been in effect from 1960 to 1965. The 3d Marine Division was back on Okinawa and the 1st Marine Brigade had been reconstituted in Hawaii. The 1st Marine Division was back in Camp Pendleton and the 3d MAW remained at El Toro. On the East Coast, the 2d Marine Division and 2d MAW remained in North Carolina.

In July 1974, Marines evacuated U.S. citizens and foreign nationals during the unrest in Cyprus.

During the 1970s, the Marine Corps assumed an increasingly significant role in defending NATO’s northern flank as amphibious units of the 2nd Marine Division participated in exercises throughout northern Europe.

As it moved into the 1970s, the Marine Corps once again faced close scrutiny of its missions, force structure, and personnel policies. The Marine Corps continued to emphasize global strategic flexibility and reemphasized the Corps’ amphibious mission, developing the concept of “sea-basing,” which aimed at greatly increasing sea-borne logistic support. At the same time, FMF Atlantic launched its first time NATO exercise outside the Mediterranean when a Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) conducted maneuvers in Norway and northern Germany in 1975. These exercises, which became annual and expanded to brigade size, and their underlying mission of preparing to assist in the defense of NATO’s Northern flank, represented the Marine Corps single most significant change in deployment patterns until the end of the decade.

The revolution in Iran, the seizure of the U.S. Embassy and hostages there, and the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 gave impetus to a Department of Defense plan to improve U.S. non-NATO military capability. The Rapid Deployment Force was created in response to the realization of the range of contingencies short of general war that faced the United States. In particular, the CONUS-based joint task force, with designated forces from all four services, was created with responsibility for operational planning, training, and exercises for designated rapid deployment forces worldwide with the initial focus on Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean. The new force widened the FMF’s force in readiness role without compromising its amphibious mission.

The Corps played a key role in the development of the Rapid Deployment Force, a multi-service organization created to ensure a flexible, timely military response around the world. The Maritime Pre-Positioning Ships (MPS) Program was instituted in late 1979 with the goal of providing three Marine amphibious brigades ready for airlift to potential crisis areas where they would unite previously positioned ships carrying their equipment and supplies. The MPS concept gave the Marine Corps and the U.S. a significant new dimension in mobility, sustainability, and the global response.

An increasing number of terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies around the world took place in the 1980s. In August 1982, Marines landed at Beirut, Lebanon, as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. For the next 19 months these units faced the hazards of their mission with courage and professionalism. In October 1983, Marines took part in the highly successful, short-notice intervention in Grenada.

In December 1989, Marines responded to instability in Central America during Operation Just Cause in Panama to protect American lives and restore democracy.

The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to the largest movement of Marine forces since World War II. Between August 1990 and January 1991, 24 infantry battalions, 40 squadrons (more than 92,000 Marines) deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. The air campaign of Operation Desert Storm began Jan. 16, 1991, followed by the main overland attack Feb. 24 when the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions breached the Iraqi defense lines and stormed into occupied Kuwait. Meanwhile, the threat from the sea in the form of Marine Expeditionary Brigades held 50,000 Iraqis in check along the Kuwait coast. By the morning of Feb. 28, 100 hours after the ground war began, the Iraqi army was no longer a threat.

In December 1992, Marines landed in Somalia marking the beginning of a two-year humanitarian relief operation there. In another part of the world, land-and carrier-based Marine Corps fighter-attack squadrons and electronic warfare aircraft supported Operation Deny Flight in the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina. During April 1994, Marines once again demonstrated their ability to protect American citizens in remote parts of the world when a Marine task force evacuated 142 U.S. citizens from Rwanda in response to civil unrest in that country.

Closer to home, Marines went ashore in September 1994 at Cape Haitian, Haiti, as part of the U.S. force participating in the restoration of democracy in that country. At the same time, Marines were actively engaged in providing assistance to America’s counter-drug effort, battling wildfires in the western United States, and aiding in flood and hurricane relief operations.

WORLD WAR II

Not to diminish any other time in their history, but to call out a particular time of sacrifice before technology and exemplifying hand to hand combat to save the world from oppression, I found this:

World War II

Color photo of the USMC War Memorial, a bronze statue of six men planting a flagpole with an American Flag into the ground.

Photograph of the USMC War Memorial, which depicts the flag-raising on Iwo Jima. The memorial is modeled on Joe Rosenthal’s famous Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.

In World War II, the Marines played a central role in the Pacific War. The battles of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Guam, Tinian, Cape Gloucester, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa saw fierce fighting between Marines and the Imperial Japanese Army.

Philip Johnston proposed the use of Navajo as a code language to the Corps. The idea was accepted, and the Navajo code was formally developed and modeled on the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet.

During the battle of Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photograph Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima of five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi. Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, having come ashore earlier that day, said of the flag-raising, “…the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.” The acts of the Marines during the war added to their already significant popular reputation. By the end of the war, the Corps expanded from two brigades to six divisions, five air wings, and supporting troops, totaling about 485,000 Marines. In addition, 20 defense battalions and a parachute battalion were set raised.[43] Nearly 87,000 Marines were casualties during World War II (including nearly 20,000 killed), and 82 were awarded the Medal of Honor.[44]

Despite Secretary Forrestal’s prediction, the Corps faced an immediate institutional crisis following the war due to the low budget. Army generals pushing for a strengthened and reorganized defense establishment attempted to fold the Marine mission and assets into the Navy and Army. Drawing on hastily assembled Congressional support, and with the assistance of the so-called “Revolt of the Admirals,”the Marine Corps rebuffed such efforts to dismantle the Corps, resulting in statutory protection of the Marine Corps in the National Security Act of 1947.[45] Shortly afterward, in 1952 the Douglas-Mansfield Bill afforded the Commandant an equal voice with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters relating to the Marines and established the structure of three active divisions and air wings that remain today.

Finally, what makes the title Marine so valuable?  Click to find out!

SEMPER FI

 

9/11, 11 Years Later…A Roundup of Posts

Today we remember the 11th anniversary of the worst attack against America on our home soil.  This year, it is mildly different as the perpetrator, Osama Bin Laden is now dead due to the bravery of Seal Team 6 (video of the actual operation here).

I congratulate the president on executing the mission to attack him, although it would have been better if we had been able to waterboard him for more information.  I believe that except for the most rabid of pacifists, most Americans would have been happy to give the same order.

Likewise, we should give credit to the Bush administration for setting up the intelligence network and the extracting and the correlation of the intelligence that lead to his demise.  So a great number of people who contributed should share in the credit and be praised for a job well done.

Here is a round up of coverage during the day regarding this anniversary.  I’ll gladly include any other coverage that is respectful and accurate.

9/11 And a shining city

We could have captured Osama before 9/11 but let him get away

Fortunately, we didn’t close Guantanamo Bay

Enhance interrogation on KSM helped find OBL

How and why we failed to coordinate the evidence about 9/11

The Path to 9/11

The makings of the next attack which could be nuclear

Rudy Guilinani: The Pain Stays, the Fight Goes On

9/11, A day of remembrance

9/11, Good vs. Evil

American’s prepare to mark the anniversary of 9/11

9/11 at 11: A Patriots day

United Airlines Flight 175 South Tower 9:03 a.m.

American Airlines Flight 11 North Tower 8:46 a.m.

5 words and 2 numbers – the note from the 84th floor

9/11: Remembrance, Resolve, Action

9/11: Americans remember attacks on 11th Anniversary (Photos)

A Tribute to 9/11 victims

Allen West’s statement on the 9/11 Attacks

The Pain never dies

Game Over, Evil Is Revealed

Memorial Day 2012 Round Up of the Best Posts

Memorial Day, when we remember that many sacrificed for our freedom, many made the ultimate sacrifice.

It pains me to see those who protest against those who serve and served, when their ability to make mendacious and hateful comments against our military are protected by those who defended that right to free speech.  Except for Jane Fonda who was over in Viet Nam and conspired with the enemy, John Murtha and John Kerry who served and later demeaned our soldiers, most of these protesters haven’t been there and have no idea of the hell these people go through.

Rep. Allen West

Remembering our guardians at the gate

by Rep. Allen West
05/28/2012

The solemn act of honoring those who have fallen in battle is a custom that seems to have faded in importance to our nation over time.

Nowadays, many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At cemeteries across the country, the graves of the fallen are sadly ignored, and worse, neglected.

While there are towns and cities still planning Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some think the day is for honoring anyone who has died, not just those fallen in service to our country.

Perhaps they do not know how deeply our nation once appreciated those who sacrificed their lives in defense of the principles we hold most dear. Perhaps those very principles of individual sovereignty, freedom and liberty are no longer so important.

It was not always so.

In 1868, on May 5th, Memorial Day, originally called “Decoration Day,” was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11.

General Logan asked that we cherish “tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes. Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.”

Freedom is never free.

Here is a round-up of coverage.

The importance of Memorial Day

Presidential proclamation

If you leave the blog here, watch this short video narrated by John Wayne on taps:

Honoring the Fallen

Memorial Day by Blackfive, a MilBlogger

Times Free Press, note it has the casualties from each war.

US Department of Veterans Affairs listing of Events

The Patriot Post

Memorial Cemetery in Belgium

Arlington Cemetary

The meaning of Memorial Day

The Sacrifices We Salute

9/11 Terrorist Trial

I’ll try not to take sides and let justice be served.  I’ll post events that are being covered as they occur.  I don’t know if KSM was really the mastermind as he claims or has delusions of grandeur.  Either way, he has all the appearances of being a troublemaker.

At least it is a military trial instead of a civil trial (he’s not a citizen of the US, rather an enemy) in the US with the ability to get off on a technicality.  We should see it to conclusion.

He and the others want to die as martyrs, for the only guarantee in the Koran of reaching heaven is dying in Jihad, although Gitmo may not qualify.

From the WaPo:

This weekend’s arraignment marks the beginning of the third major effort to bring the 9/11 conspirators to justice. The Obama administration dropped earlier military-commission charges against them when it decided in late 2009 to bring the 9/11 case to federal court in New York. But Congress, not wanting Guantanamo detainees brought to the United States, blocked the civilian trials. Meanwhile, the administration’s own view of the institution was evolving. When President Obama first took office, he froze commission proceedings with the apparent intention of shutting them down. But later that year the administration shifted gears and worked with Congress to make small but important adjustments to the Bush-era Military Commissions Act. These left commission proceedings more closely resembling the norms of a federal court trial.

Live or die from Wired

It’s been a long time since KSM was last in court. In 2008, during an arraignment for a commission that ultimately got cancelled, he quickly pled guilty to multiple murder counts. “This is what I want,” he told the court, in English. “I’m looking to be martyr for long time.”

That case was interrupted for a variety of procedural reasons, and KSM never got his chance. In the intervening years, Congress and the Obama administration reformed the controversial military trials — making it easier to seek capital punishment, by providing detainees with so-called “learned counsel” lawyers specifically skilled at death-penalty cases, which makes such sentences less likely to be reversed on appeal. Last month, after flipping a key detainee to testify against KSM, the government brought charges against KSM and four alleged accomplices for the 9/11 plot. “If convicted,” the Defense Department clarified, “the five accused could be sentenced to death.”

However much the commission procedures have changed, KSM’s ambitions probably haven’t. “He wants to die because it fits into his massively egotistical narrative,” says Josh Meyer, author of the recent book The Hunt for KSM. “He’s like Napoleon. Wasting away in a cell is not his style. Going out in a bang of glory is.”

That calculation means that the 12 U.S. military officers who will decide if a convicted KSM lives or dies will face more than a narrow legal choice. They’ll also, however unfairly for them, have the burden of a policy choice. Should KSM be put to death, it might simultaneously provide a measure of closure for the families of his victims and allow al-Qaida’s remaining acolytes to portray him as a martyr.

D-Day 2011, Remembering 67 years Ago

First, let’s start with President Reagan’s speech about D-Day on the 40th Anniversary

For the most graphic description of what took place, read BlackFive

Next, let’s look at the view of the beach that was taken

Here is the visual provided by the Army

It was one of the bloodiest days of WWII with the Germans cutting down our soldiers from pill boxes as they hit the beach, many seasick.  The sea was red with blood and it took days to clean up the beaches, but this was the beginning of the march to Berlin.  It was the “surge” that won the war.

As I’ve commented before, you do not negotiate the end of a war, nor the exit strategy.   You win and gain surrender, then negotiate the terms of surrender.  Pulling out just lets the enemy know how long they have to wait, then where to re-group.  Today’s enemy’s, terrorist Muslims hate the US and the West mostly because of the liberal values that are against their beliefs.  I especially blame Hollywood, MTV, College professors and the hippies of the 60’s for this.

Once, the world counted on America to know that if all else failed, they could count on us to be there.   With our leadership today, they don’t have that assurance.

D-Day was one of our greatest and most terrible moments in history.  I salute those who showed bravery and fought for the freedom we have today.

The 65th Anniversary of the Hiroshima Bomb

August 6, 2010 is the 65th anniversary of the introduction to the nuclear age.  Since then, over 1000 nuclear bombs of various configurations have been detonated by multiple countries, but only 2 have been in wartime.

Some say it was barbaric, I’m taking the position that it saved millions of lives.  At that time “while the infrastructure and industrial capacity of Japan may have been ruined, the army was committed to and capable of suicidal resistance to the end.”

That is difficult to comprehend unless you understand the dedication to the emperor as a god, and the Samurai code of death by suicide before capture.  Even when the Allies fought the Germans in the European Theater, both sides wanted to live and many surrendered before death.  Not so in the Pacific theater where many Japanese were dropped off on Islands without provisions and told to live (as cannibals), documented in “Flyboys”.  In fact, very few Japanese prisoners were taken as they either died fighting, or committed seppaku.

History notes the use of the bomb was first and foremost used to end a war against an enemy who was determined never to surrender.

While the Americans and their fellow countries were preparing for the Japanese invasion, they predicted the loss of life on both sides to be north of 2 million.

Ultimately, there had to be a statement of finality to convince this mentality of the utter futile nature of continuing.  The bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki did this.  My uncle, then a B-29 Pilot told me that far more damage and more lives were lost by the fire bombing, but it didn’t break the will of the Japanese people.

Victor Davis Hanson explains:

Japan still refused to surrender and upped its resistance with thousands of Kamikaze airstrikes. By the time of the atomic bombings, the U.S. Air Force was planning to transfer from Europe much of the idle British and American bombing fleet to join the B-29s in the Pacific.

Perhaps 5,000 Allied bombers would have saturated Japan with napalm. The atomic bombings prevented such a nightmarish incendiary storm.

The bombs also cut short plans for an invasion of Japan — an operation that might well have cost 1 million Allied lives, and at least three to four times that number of well-prepared, well-supplied Japanese defenders.

World War II was the most deadly event in human history. Some 60 million people perished in the six years between Germany’s surprise invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, and the official Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. No natural disaster — neither the flu pandemic of 1918 nor even the 14th-century bubonic plague that killed nearly two-thirds of Europe’s population — came close to the death toll of World War II.

Perhaps 80 percent of the dead were civilians, mostly Russians and Chinese who died at the hands of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Both aggressors deliberately executed and starved to death millions of innocents.

World War II was also one of the few wars in history in which the losers, Japan and Germany, lost far fewer lives than did the winners. There were roughly five times as many deaths on the Allied side, both military and civilian, as on the Axis side.

Further, evidence was found that the Japanese had their own nuclear bomb and tested it on the Island of Hungnam days after the “bomb” was dropped on Hiroshima. So this act not only saved millions of lives, it now appears to have stopped a nuclear war. Reporter David Snell has documented this.

American soldiers found and destroyed a cyclotron in Japan shortly after the attack.



So ultimately, the goal of all war and the way it should be fought was achieved, to win.  You fully defeat your enemy, then negotiate the terms of surrender.  I only wish that today’s political correctness would go away and we would let the soldiers do their job without the meddling of an incompetent congress and inexperienced leader and put in a man like Harry Truman who said “We will unleash a rain of terror from the air”.

We face this again and will continue to face it as everyone will challenge the top dog.  It is up to the free world to deliver what the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack knew.

This was both an important event in history and a lesson we should learn so that the next Hiroshima is not named New York.

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