Tag: WWII

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America reflect on the 75th anniversary of D-Day and applaud President Trump’s address at Normandy. They also discuss Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden walking back his position change on the Hyde Amendment and facing criticism from his rivals for not backing taxpayer-funded abortions. And they […]

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The Winds of War: Herman Wouk Dead at 103

 

He was many things. A gag writer, a sailor at war, a novelist, the grandson of a rabbi. But above everything else, he was a storyteller. Herman Wouk has died at age 103.

He is best remembered for his breakthrough novel, The Caine Mutiny, and an epic pair of television mini-series The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Caine won the 1951 Pulitzer and was made into a classic film starring Humphrey Bogart as the mentally unstable Captain Queeg.

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This Week’s Book Review – Code Name: Lise

 

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 here on the following Sunday.

Book Review

“Code Name: Lise” reads like a thriller and a romance, yet is solid history

By MARK LARDAS

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A Family – A Life – A Republic

 

I started the New Year 2019, with goals — you know, the usual. Get in shape, eat better, exercise, and purge all the junk. By junk, I mean discarding old business info, tax returns, and loads of saved memorabilia. There is the dilemma. I have boxes and bags and volumes of family photos. I have the physical snapshots of a life. Mine. It will take time to sort through, and I am wondering how others deal with purging, organizing and passing on a lifetime of assorted collections?

I was looking at the photos I do have on display in my house. There’s my dad as an MP at a check post in occupied Japan. There’s two of my Uncle Al as a soldier before the ruins of a bombed out Germany. My aunt said my relatives went in later — they were young, when the war was wrapping up, as part of the rescue teams. My Uncle Bo was deployed to Italy during the reign of Mussolini – no pictures.

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74 Years Ago Today

 
LST-460 at Guadalcanal.

My father lost two first cousins in the Second World War. One was lost in the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in July 1945. The other was killed in a Kamikaze attack on his ship, LST-460, 74 years ago today.

His name was Gordon Spredeman. He received a posthumous Silver Star for his actions in the sinking of the ship. Unfortunately, I don’t even have a picture of him. But his Silver Star citation reads as follows:

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This month of Thanksgiving was marked by the quiet passing from this world into the next, of someone who risked her life to save members of the Jewish Resistance during a time when pure evil threatened everyone in its path. With determination and courage to fight back, this small group of nuns stepped out to […]

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The Phobia(s) That May Destroy America

 

I am continually dismayed by the level of fear, contempt, and anger that many educated/urban/upper-middle-class people demonstrate toward Christians and rural people (especially southerners). This complex of negative emotions often greatly exceeds anything that these same people feel toward radical Islamists or dangerous rogue-state governments. I’m not a Christian myself, but I’d think that one would be a lot more worried about people who want to cut your head off, blow you up, or at a bare minimum shut down your freedom of speech than about people who want to talk to you about Jesus (or Nascar!)

It seems that there are quite a few people who vote Democratic, even when their domestic and foreign-policy views are not closely aligned with those of the Democratic Party, because they view the Republican Party and its candidates as being dominated by Christians and “rednecks.” This phenomenon has become even more noticeable of late, with the vitriolic attitude of certain prominent “conservatives” toward Trump supporters as a class.

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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 here on the following Sunday. More

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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 here on the following Sunday. More

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Darkest Hour: Movie vs. War Cabinet Minutes

 

Winston Churchill once tossed off a line to the effect that history would be kind to him because he intended to write it. The prophecy has been largely borne out, due in no small part to those writings. Churchill’s six-volume history of World War II did much to create his reputation for defiant courage—but also the enduringly unflattering one of his immediate predecessor as Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain (nicknamed “Old Umbrella” by his colleagues).

The movie Darkest Hour, with Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor (Gary Oldman), is very much in the Churchillian tradition, with the protagonist presented as a lonely and unpopular voice for fighting on no matter what. Ironically, however, Churchill never publicly referred to the conflict in the War Cabinet that is at the heart of the movie—whether to carry on the war against Germany alone or seek terms for ending it.

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Quote of the Day: “They Can Kill You, But They Can’t Eat You…”

 

“They can kill you, but they can’t eat you…”

I have heard the above quote all my life. My father said it regularly, so did my grandfather. I will even say it myself from time to time. These types of quotes are in the ether, we inherit them from our forefathers, friends, family, acquaintances, and society at large. This one has something to do with living through tough times. It always sounded incomplete to me. Obviously, if they can kill you, what is stopping them from eating you? Manners? If they were impolite enough to kill you, I am sure that manners would not stop them from eating you if they were so inclined. There was obviously a second part of the quote, a rejoinder that would make the first part make sense. Something lost, something forgotten, something that when I asked around nobody knew.

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Remembering Pearl Harbor

 

Doris “Dorie” Miller was a Mess Attendant working on the USS West Virginia. Like most mornings, he rose before dawn for a dreary day of hauling trash, scrubbing dishes and prepping food for the battleship’s cook. While collecting the crew’s laundry, the General Quarters alarm sounded. Ships have drills all the time — even on Sunday mornings — but a sailor still must answer the call.

However this time he couldn’t get to his designated battle station. The torpedo-twisted metal proved this alarm was for real.

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On Slack today, @exjon observed, “Condemning Nazis is the easiest political move in history. It costs Trump nothing.” I disagreed. There are a lot of ordinary people who fear that “Nazi”, at least these days, is chiefly a stick that elitists use to beat the proles. This fear, as many Trump voters like to put is, […]

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Dunkirk

 

I just returned from watching Dunkirk with my eldest. I refrained from reading any reviews of it in advance, just so I could form my own opinion. Spoilers ahead, so be warned.

Actual photo of the beach at Dunkirk

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I saw Dunkirk yesterday and found myself slightly underwhelmed. The people I was with thought it was great but to me there seemed to be no emotional core. I also found Nolan’s chronological playfulness somewhat confusing and/or unnecessary. Is it a problem that the “experience” of Dunkirk alone wasn’t enough to compel me? More

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Operation Dynamo

 

My paternal grandfather served in WWII. He regaled my father with stories of working in the RAOC (Royal Army Ordnance Corps) and later in REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers). He was a Motor Vehicle Fitter at various locations in England and later a REME instructor. My grandfather met my grandmother when she, as a member of the ATS (Auxilliary Territorial Service), was his supervisor in a motor vehicle workshop. They married in 1946, both in their demob suits.

My grandfather died in 1974, before my parents were married. My grandmother died in 1987 when I was young. Recently my father applied for his parents military service records. They revealed some interesting information.

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Sidebars of History: D-Day as It Happened

 

shutterstock_238061590It is 12:30 AM Eastern War Time. Outside of London, where the British have instituted “Double Summer Time,” it is 6:30. A German refugee working for the Associated Press is monitoring the shortwave transmissions of the Nazis. His ears perk up and he quickly sends out what he’s heard. By 12:37, it’s moved across the entire AP wire.

NBC is carrying dance music on its East Coast feed and on the West Coast, where it’s only in the 9 o’clock hour of June 5th, they’re airing a mostly forgotten weekly drama from San Francisco called Hawthorne House. The on-duty announcer in New York interrupts programming to read the AP bulletin.

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This post was inspired by the discussion in the post on Warplane Nose Art. https://ricochet.com/433550/nose-art-and-the-spirit-of-our-military/ The following is an essay my father wrote for an English class in October 1946, during what I assume was his freshman year of college after he was discharged from the Army Air Corps. He was twenty years old at […]

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This is an interesting video I ran across on social media. From what I can tell it has been around for a while but it is interesting in that it puts deaths for WWII and all war deaths in perspective. I don’t think may understand how many died during WWII or how few have died […]

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