Tag: World War II

This Week’s Book Review – The Second World Wars

 

Books written about World War II fill libraries. Can anything new be said about that war, especially in an overview book? The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won by Victor Davis Hanson proves there is. A one-volume look at World War II, it offers surprising conclusions.

The surprises lie in Hanson’s presenting conclusions, which seem obvious once stated, but overlooked until Hanson highlights them. One example: Germany and Japan started wars they could not finish.

Germany lacked the capability to occupy Britain. After May 1940, Germany needed a seaborne invasion, which they could not do. Similarly, Germany could have occupied European Russia, but were incapable of occupying all of Russia. Japan’s situation was even worse. They could not reach the United States.

Member Post

 

This time of year seems to inspire a closer look at our human condition. As I clean up and organize in preparation for the holidays, tax season, acknowledging another year coming to a close, I seem to reflect on my spiritual condition more closely. Inspired by recent posts by @paddysiochain, @susanquinn, @skipsul, @curtnorth, @gilreich, @midge […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

The Old Wooden Shoeshine Box

 

Back in 2005, I was searching for a shoeshine box for my husband. I know that it’s a nutty gift, but I found all his shoe polish, old rags, and brush in a nasty, zip lock bag. He would get it out and polish and buff his shoes on occasion. He was taught to take care of his shoes, his car, his clothes, all his belongings.

I had fond memories of this wooden shoe box that belonged to my dad. My dad’s wooden shoe box contained all the supplies needed to make your leather shoes look like new, and a footrest to buff, on top of the box. I loved that box – it was a part of my dad’s life, like his army dog tags in his cedar box on the dresser from the 1940s, where he was deployed to Japan and served as military police, and his hand-tied fishing hooks that I still have from his fly-fishing days.

My husband reminisced about a similar shoeshine box that his dad bought him from a drugstore when he was ten. His dad showed him how to care for his shoes and it contained buffers, polishing rags, a brush and several colors of polishing paste. I was determined to find a similar box as a birthday gift.

The Not So Quiet Legacy of Sir Nicholas Winton

 

On the heels of a recent post by @Jon about legacy, I read a story about a man who, at the tender age of 29, began to create a legacy that would not be revealed for 50 more years. Jon asked the question, “How do you want to be remembered? Sometimes fate answers that question for us. Even in the midst of the darkest of times, a light was shining brightly, illuminated from a quiet soul with no thoughts of legacy, who rose to the challenge of his day.

In 1938-1939, Nicholas Winton single-handedly began to rescue Jewish children from the Holocaust. He brought 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia to Great Britain, in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport, helping them to find new families who gave them a home. Most of the children’s parents would perish in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He never mentioned the children he rescued to anyone.

One day, some 50 years later, his wife, Grete, found a notebook in the attic containing the names and pictures of all the children that her husband had saved. Grete gave the notebook to a journalist and Winton was invited to appear on a television program. He didn’t know the audience was comprised of all the people whose lives he had saved. Now adults, they came to express their profound thankfulness. When counting the 669 children that he saved, along with their offspring of children and grandchildren, Nicholas Winton saved the lives of over 15,000 people.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review on Ricochet on the following Sunday. Seawriter Book Review A book as entertaining as it is informative By […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review on Ricochet on the following Sunday. Seawriter Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Victor Davis Hanson places the new film Dunkirk in its full historical context, explaining the events that preceded it, the scope of the challenges facing the British military, and the reason why German forces didn’t strike a killing blow despite Allied vulnerability.

“His Holiness Will Receive You in a Few Moments. I Could Have Dropped Dead!”

 

One of the touchstones of my life has always been the story of how my dad met the Pope, in Rome, on June 5, 1944. Truth be told, my mother always pooh-poohed the whole thing a bit (not unusual for Mum to do something like that, especially for an event in which she wasn’t the main focus). And given Dad’s legendary story-telling abilities, we did sometimes wonder how much of it was really true, and whether he’d gilded the lily at any point.

Apparently, not.

I’ve told the following story on Ricochet before, more than half a decade ago. Many of you weren’t here, so perhaps those who were will forgive me if I repeat it. Those of you who liked it then, I hope you still do; those of you for whom it’s new, I hope you enjoy it, too. The accompanying black-and-white images (except for the one of Dad’s letter, which I took from my brother), are from contact prints of photos Dad himself took during the war. Apologies for the poor quality, but the initial prints are tiny (click to enlarge the images).

Two Texas Heroes

 

It was my honor to deliver the keynote address at yesterday’s Memorial Day ceremony at Galveston’s Seawolf Park. Seawolf Park is the home of the American Undersea Warfare Center, and has the destroyer escort Stewart and the submarine Cavalla on display. Cavalla sank the Shokaku, one of the six carriers with which Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Stewart is one of only two destroyer escorts available for public tours.

The audience seemed to enjoy it. I thought it might be worth sharing with the Ricochet audience.

Winning: V-E Day!

 

Seventy-two years ago, on May 8, 1945, after six long years, World War II in Europe finally came to a close. Eight days previously, Adolph Hitler had committed suicide, and 24 hours earlier, Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower had accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender. Europe was free, although the full extent of Nazi horrors was still being revealed as Allied troops marched through Central and Eastern Europe.

On the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, Victor Davis Hanson looks at the Great War’s legacy in terms of politics, foreign policy, and military history.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Book Review  Battle of the Atlantic By MARK LARDAS Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

The Japanese haven’t forgotten. The place is my living room, the time is yesterday morning Japan time, or this morning U.S. time. I’m reading the newspaper, specifically the Yomiuri Shimbun, which has the highest circulation of all newspapers in Japan, over 9 million. As I’m flipping pages, I get to the centerfold, and am confronted […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Book Review Examining the final years of the War in the Pacific […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Hacksaw ridge

 

hacksaw

My friends here, as well as the larger public, have recently had to put up with my complaints about the philistinism of our political alliance. Some of us here believe conservatives should be investing in what we call the culture. Well, one part of that work is a defense of Christianity. & one part of that is telling well the true stories of Christian sacrifice & service in America. Conservative men of principle & moderation do not seem to care much about that; one Catholic man of very questionable morality & character has done it again–I’m talking about Mr. Mel Gibson.

This is the story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist who enlisted in WWII as a conscientious objector, having figured out that he could serve his country as a medic without having to take up arms. The military did not look kindly upon his lack of manliness. The story is supposed to show, among other things, why he was awarded, by your government, the Congressional Medal of Honor, for his actions during the fighting on Okinawa. It is also designed to show the Christian faith of America as a dedication to life & the faith of Imperial Japan as a death cult. It is, finally, supposed to show that Christianity provides America with the true understanding of equality–the equal worth of each human life, as defended by Desmond Doss.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Book Review The Rough-Edged Origins of the SAS Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2016 […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Book Review ‘Spies in the Congo’ takes a look at the atomic […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.