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3 thoughts on “That was a close one”

  1. If you want to read the history of the Alaskan campaign of the US vs. Japan, you need to read a book titled “Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians” – it is a great recounting of the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands as a feint when they were going after Midway.

    Everyone knows the tale of the Battle of Midway – and deservedly so. It is the turning in the Pacific Theatre of Operations in WWII.

    But most forget the men who fought in some of the worst possible conditions in WWII, in the Aleutian campaign, which was launched at the same time as the Japanese attack on Midway. Today, academics argue whether or not the Aleutian attack was a diversion from Midway – seeing as how it happened simultaneously, and it was planned by Yamamoto, who was also planning the Midway attack, it seems like the sort of useless debate that thrills academics to pieces and is pointless to the rest of us who live in this place we call “The Real World.” The point is, the Japanese invaded the Aleutians in force, and took two islands. The events of this battle front in WWII are significant – it was from the Aleutians that we gained our first look at an operational AIM-6 “Zero” fighter and were able to test it. It was in the Aleutians where Dick Bong, flying a P-38, drew first blood for the P-38 against the Japanese. Bong would go on to the the highest scoring American ace of WWII – all his kills being made in the P-38 against the Japanese.

    The fighting was vicious, cold, brutal and often non-conventional. The US military, as is often their practice (even to this day) sent in men who had no winter gear. The US military seems so fond of fighting battles in deserts and jungles that they forget that cold is a very real threat to troop effectiveness, and they consistently fail to outfit troops with winter gear. So it was in the Aleutians.

    Again, read the book I referred to above if you want to learn about a front in WWII that has been forgotten by most people, even well-informed veterans of WWII.

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  2. So why would the guy be using an M1903 bolt gun in 1943 vs a Garand? No scope so not a sniper. Was this common?

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