MIDWAY!!!!

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Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 4, 2012 - 05:06pm PT
Everything changed seventy years ago today in our war in the Pacific.

The Japanese went from offense to perpetual defense when a combination of luck and culture allowed the US to sink all four enemy carriers, but there was great valor displayed on both sides.

In one of the earlier unsuccessful waves fifteen US torpedo plane crews attacked without fighter cover.
All were shot down.
One man survived.

It would have been a different world if not for the bravery of these men.

Do you think climbers are tough?
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 4, 2012 - 05:07pm PT
Proud post, Ron!

Certainly one of the greatest (and most fortunate) events of the war in the Pacific.
zBrown

Ice climber
mercenario de merced
Jun 4, 2012 - 05:12pm PT
It got the front page in the local San Diego paper over the weekend. A black member of the (segregated) Yorktown crew is alive and doing well at 91 here in SD. He and numerous others abandoned ship for the second time, when having reboarded and got it almost sitting level it was hit by two more torpedoes.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jun/02/battle-midways-unsinkable-san-diegan/?page=1#article
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
Jun 4, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
Chuck Heston and Henry Fonda



TheTool
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 4, 2012 - 05:15pm PT
http://www.worldwar2facts.org/battle-of-midway-facts.html
beef supreme

climber
the west
Jun 4, 2012 - 05:16pm PT
Ron, good post. I think about this kinda thing all the time. Not only from the war perspective- like aviation back then with a compass and a huge set of balls for example (not to mention having people shooting at you), but also other things like people riding bikes to Nome in the winter during the gold rush, etc. People did all kinds of crazy sh#t back then; if people were doing the same things now they would just have to be sponsored by cliff bar or something for such feats.
I think that people were just way more hardcore back then. What happened? haha
Gene

climber
Jun 4, 2012 - 05:24pm PT
The code breakers.
Garbled radio messages from recon aircraft.
Halsey ill, so Spruance gets the call.
The Japanese fleet divides into three battle groups.
Superhuman effort putting band aids on the Yorktown.
Nagumo's indecision and bad call.
Serendipity when the US air attacks simultaneously hit the Japanese carriers.
Spruance knowing when to call it good.

Amazing event. The turning point in the Pacific. Two months later Stalingrad starts. The beginning of the end for the Axis.

Thanks, Ron.

g
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev.
Jun 4, 2012 - 05:54pm PT
agreed! ^^^^^ My Uncle William Anderson lost a leg that day due to the wing of a zero hitting the deck.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2012 - 05:59pm PT
Gene obviously knows his stuff.

I like Victor Davis Hansen's account in Carnage And Culture.



One of the things that won the battle was our superior damage control capabilities.
jstan

climber
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:01pm PT
http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011/08/world-war-ii-battle-of-midway-and-the-aleutian-campaign/100137/#0_undefined,0_


http://www.history.navy.mil/history/midwayOperationallesson.htm



http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/1998/mindell-0610.html

Professor David Mindell of the Program in Science, Technology and Society Program (STS) was a member of the search and survey team on the National Geographic Midway expedition that discovered the USS Yorktown more than three miles deep in the Pacific Ocean on May 19. (1998)

Dr. Mindell and the scientific team used video and sonar technology to take sound "pictures" of the ocean floor and locate the ship, sunk during the Battle of Midway some 56 years ago. The National Geographic expedition was led by Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic wreck, with the goal of locating, mapping, exploring and photographing the ship.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:02pm PT
Check out Netflix. There are a couple of really good movies you can stream there. The first is the Nat Geo special where they accompany Bob Ballard and four vets (2 American, 2 Japanese) looking for sunken wrecks. Really well done: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/National_Geographic_The_Battle_for_Midway

They also have the old John Ford documentary. Good, good stuff.
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:15pm PT
Midway was tough. It never ceases to amaze me how much "dumb luck", chance and bad judgment figures into war history and outcome (not discounting bravery and sacrifice).

The Naval Battle during the Invasion of Leyte was as tough and as deadly. If not for some extreme bravery and heroics performed by some out-matched American Destroyers the Japanese could have easily wiped out the Invasion Force and Carriers. Mix in the "dumb luck", chance and poor decisions and you have another epic.

Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:29pm PT
The Battle off Samar was equal in it's good fortune, and is recounted in one of the best books I have ever read regarding WWII history...."Last of the Tin Can Sailors".



Simply extraordinary.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
Climbers aren't very tough. In the military "take" is not in the vocabulary.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
Well, you're right, Jim.

Every climber who thinks him/herself tough enough, ought to read the book "Unbroken", by Laura Hillenbrand.

This story recounts the events of one Louis Zamperini, a Naval flier (and Olympic athlete) shot down over the South Pacific.

One of the truly great stories of survival......and redemption.
monolith

climber
albany,ca
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:53pm PT
Speaking of tough. How about Daniel Innouye:

(from wikipedia)

As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his M1 Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.

As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore".[10] Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye managed to pry the live grenade from his useless right hand and transfer it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye managed at last to toss the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroy it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them to return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, "nobody [had] called off the war!"[11]
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Jun 4, 2012 - 06:59pm PT
The Naval Battle during the Invasion of Leyte was as tough and as deadly.

The battle of Leyte Gulf is still the biggest naval battle in the history of the world. My father flew F6F Hellcats off the USS Enterprise in that fight--as part of the 75 combat missions he flew on his tour of duty with Air Group 20.

Curt
Gary

climber
"My god - it's full of stars!"
Jun 4, 2012 - 07:02pm PT
In one of the earlier unsuccessful waves fifteen US torpedo plane crews attacked without fighter cover.
All were shot down.
One man survived.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2012 - 07:03pm PT
Well now we are bouncing all over the place. I was thinking about an anniversary of a most pivotal point.
But I gotta admit that Cragman makes a good recommend.
One of my favorite parts in Tin Can Sailors was Blue Archer becoming the first person to attack an 80,000 ton battleship with a .38 special.

Bet he put the plaid pajamas on for that one!
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jun 4, 2012 - 07:22pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#250812
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