Tag: WWII

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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. Read More View Post

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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. Read More View Post

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 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.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 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.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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? Read More […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 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.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. 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. http://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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This is a story of the Battle of the Atlantic, the story of an ocean, two ships, and a handful of men. The men are the heroes; the heroines are the ships. The only villain is the sea, the cruel sea, that man has made more cruel… Before there was Das Boot, there was The Cruel […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Nose Art and the Spirit of Our Military

 

The current establishment art world cultivates insularity and isolation as a means to prop up the vapid, dysfunctional art they favor. From sterile white box galleries to haughty elitist attitudes, lots of effort is poured into erecting barriers to separate the experience of art from the despised masses and the realities of life.

But art does not exist to be plaything for decadent crypto-Marxist hipsters. It is a vital outpouring of the human soul, a visual method of spiritual communication. Art can take on surprising and spontaneous forms in the strangest places to remind us of who we really are.

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My Father-in-law made some remarks on Memorial Day, 2014 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts–the town that Norman Rockwell memorialized as quintessentially New England in his painting of Main Street at Christmas. Chet died in April at the age of 91, outliving his combat buddies by many years. I thought you might enjoy reading his remarks. Memorial Day […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. George

 

George was 77, going on 78 when we met. He owned a firm that rather suddenly had become my client due to an emergency failure in their IT network – an emergency that lasted 20 years. A protégé of George’s at the firm would end-up becoming one of my best friends – a relationship that will last forever.

George was remarkable: full-bird Colonel on General Patton’s staff, DoD project manager for the implementation of the world’s first mainframe computer, editor of a military journal for decades, college teacher, business owner, founder of the Pachyderms – a group of folks with thick skins, a sense of humor, and a keen interest in politics and bourbon.

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Just watched the excellent Netflix 3-part documentary, Five Came Back on filmmakers Frank Capra, John Huston, John Ford, George Stevens and William Wyler who left Hollywood to lend their expertise to educate and to boost American morale as well as document the conflict and horror of WWII. With commentary from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, […]

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I came across this video of VJ Day in Honolulu. It’s not the anniversary of VJ Day, it’s not Veteran’s Day. Maybe it’s because I started watching The Man in the High Castle, a counterfactual account of the post WWII era. This three-minute home movie showing how ordinary people responded to VJ Day cheered me […]

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