05 June, 2011

June 4, 1942

I know it’s June 5 now. I meant to blog on this yesterday, but didn’t get around to any blogging as I was too busy with the in-laws.

June 4, 1942, a mere 6 months after Pearl Harbor, marked the turning point in the Pacific theater in WWII.


What was supposed to be another Pearl Harbor like sneak attack by the Japanese Navy turned into a route by the United States of America. Admiral Nimitz risked pretty much everything that was left in his fleet on this battle and his gamble paid off. As Oliver North said in his recent article, this is what a courageous decision looks like.

Notably, neither President Franklin Roosevelt nor Chester Nimitz, the tall admiral from Fredericksburg, Texas, took credit for the victory. They gave it instead to those who fought the battle. And unlike what would happen today, a "leak" about how our code breakers provided the decisive "edge" in the Battle of Midway -- first carried in an article in the Chicago Tribune and later carried in Time magazine -- did not get picked up in Tokyo. Now we have WikiLeaks -- and small-minded officials who want all the credit.

There are some problems with the script, but Midway is a great watch if you’re looking for old war movies. I recommend Tora! Tora! Tora! and then Midway. You’ll learn quite a bit about the war in the Pacific from both.

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