World War Two.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:14 am

Originally posted by Angie:
Lliam, is the Slater a Liberty ship?

My dad speaks fondly of them, although he was just 10 in 1939. He remembers riding a bicycle delivering flowers in Malta, chased by a low-flying Stuka (I think), getting a few rounds off as they were pulling out of a dive. He's told me that the bombing was so bad, eventually the air raid sirens just stopped because they would have been going practically round the clock.

And I think I've got it rough when I have to head out to the corner store for milk.
Hi Angie, with your question already answered, may I ask you a question? Was your dad Maltese?
I went on holiday to Malta a few years ago. A nicer race of people you could ever wish to meet.
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby Angie Parkes » Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:28 pm

Thanks so much, Shap. I heard my dad speak of Liberty ships many times but up until now I assumed they were military vessels, not merchant cargo carriers. However, it would explain my dad's interest in them since he's always preferred sailing merchant marine and his time in the RN was not his happiest at sea. I found the liberty-ship.com site particularly informative.

Lliam, my dad's father was Maltese but his mother was English. He was born on the island and lived there until he was about 17. He still speaks Maltese. When I was little my dad would use what I thought were funny, made-up words, and it wasn't until I got to Malta that I realized they were Maltese (I used to be told "don't be such a ċooċ," pronounced "chooch", meaning dimwit). I haven't been to Malta in decades but loved it when I was there.
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Angie Parkes » Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:41 pm

Hope no one is offended by this, but I read this story years ago. (I don't remember the names of the actual ships, so bear with my fictitious ones.)

Shortly after WWII an American destroyer and a British minesweeper were guests in a foreign port and were berthed next to each other, the destroyer dwarfing the tiny minesweeper. The crew of the destroyer hung a large banner over the side proclaiming, "U.S.S. America -- Second to None". A day later, the British crew hung a similar banner saying, "H.M.S. None".
Cheers,
Angie
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Re: World War Two.

Postby lliam » Sat Jun 11, 2005 8:29 am

Angie, when my family and I were in Malta we stayed in, Buggiba nr, St Paul’s bay.

As I remember it was dark when we arrived.
We where taken to a new block of apartments.
Welcome provisions should have been supplied for the next day till we did some shopping but, there was none.
After a quick unpack and a freshen up off we went to find something to eat.
After a short stroll we came upon a restaurant (The Misty Blue).

We ordered our meal; the proprietor (Miguel) came up to me and asked if everything was ok, where were we staying etc.

I enquired if there were any shops open so we could get basic food for the next morning.

He asked me if we got our welcome pack.
After I told him what we should have had in the welcome pack he replied, "No Problem"?

When we finished our lovely meal, Miguel bought a carrier bag full of provisions, tea, coffee, milk, eggs, bacon, bread, butter, fruit and cereals.
I was very grateful and asked how much I owed him.
"Nothing at all, just enjoy your stay in Malta".
And that's how it was for three gorgeous weeks.
Miguel even got a hired car for us to tour the island at half the price of our brochures charge.
And of course every time I thanked Miguel he same reply resounded all the time we where in Malta and it was,” No Problem"

On the Christmas that year we received a lovely Christmas Card of Miguel.

One of my fondest memories was when we took a tour of the Grand harbour.
The Captain was a former British naval seaman, he told us that when, Earl Mount Batten visited the island he used to look after him.
He made us some tea and biscuits and opened this old photo album.
The album was full of the captain and the Earl.
When the Captain began to reminisce he said, " Earl Mount Batten was a very good man, why was he murdered", at that he turned to me and tears where streaming down his face.
During my holiday I found the Maltese people very warm towards the British, nothing was too much trouble for them. "Just enjoy your stay in Malta" was the norm.
All in all we enjoyed every minute of our stay in Malta (The George Cross Island) we've never been looked after like that ever since by such friendly people whom I thought where more British than us sometimes.
Lliam.

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Re: World War Two.

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:42 am

Originally posted by Angie:
"H.M.S. None".
<big horse laugh> I love it!
>^..^<
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Shapley » Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:51 pm

The History Channel had an excellent program on last night: Wake Island: The Alamo of the Pacific.

I have seen the movie, Wake Island several times, but didn't know the real story of that battle, and the subsequent tale of those who fought there. It was a sad program, several of the survivors being interviewed broke into tears telling their stories, but it was a good account of what happened. If any of you war history buffs get a chance to watch it, it's worth seeing.

V/R
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:57 am

Hiroshima book a url=http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/books/21hiroshima.html?scp=1&sq=Hiroshima&st=cse]fabrication?[/url]

A new book about the atomic destruction of Hiroshima has won critical acclaim with its heartbreaking portrayals of the bomb’s survivors and is set to be made into a movie by James Cameron. . . .

There is just one problem. That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay.

But Mr. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 and lived in Westbury, N.Y., never flew on the bombing run, and he never substituted for James R. Corliss, the plane’s regular flight engineer, Mr. Corliss’s family says. They, along with angry ranks of scientists, historians and veterans, are denouncing the book and calling Mr. Fuoco an impostor. Facing a national outcry and the Corliss family’s evidence, the author, Charles Pellegrino, now concedes that he was probably duped.


Think that Cameron’ll change his mind about making the movie? No, me neither
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:22 pm

Sympathy for those killed or injured in war seems a natural consequence of a guilty conscience. We feel bad sometimes when these things have to be done. I think in our culture killing is wrong--but we didn't fire the first shot and had little choice. Choice A, surrender; choice B, kill Japanese. Not pretty and nothing to be proud of.

What I've read about this leads me to believe dropping those bombs was absolutely necessary. Most chilling was from The Fog of War where Robert McNamera's conscience is bothering him over killing tens of thousands of Japanese civilians in a single night. Curtis LeMay blasted him with, essentially, "who's it gonna be, us or them? What's your choice?"

War is about death, when it's over one can be generous and humane, as we were. Second-guessing Truman on this is as stupid as it gets.
Thinking is overrated
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Re: World War Two.

Postby analog » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:35 pm

One needs to read
"Hiroshima", Hiroshima Diary", and "Enola Gay" to get a feel for the mindsets of the day. ... i should probably read Truman's memoirs also but haven't...

What I've read about this leads me to believe dropping those bombs was absolutely necessary.


I tend to agree...

A fellow in our church, very old now, worked his way across those S Pacific islands in the war. On the day of the surrender he was in a landing craft in Tokyo Bay.... we made a huge presence there to impress the Japanese with US might, he says everything that would still float or fly was there..... he also says when he got ashore and saw the way they'd fortified preparing for the invasion: " They'd have slaughtered us.."
Like most WW2 vets he's reluctant to talk about it , as much as i'd like to hear his recollections they must be horrific and it'd be unkind to press so i don't.
An invasion would have been incredibly bloody for both sides. Japan had called back huge numbers of troops from China to defend the home islands. My old veteran friend saw huge numbers of aircraft they'd held back for the last ditch fighting.
Per some history channel documentary i watched we had sixty thousand tons of nerve gas stashed in Australia for the invasion - what would they be saying today if we'd used that?

If i put myself in Truman's shoes - he knew the Russians had an army headed to Japan, and having watched how Stalin grabbed up Europe needed to end it before they got a toehold in Japan.
As it was they only got a little piece way up North..

One of those books i read relates the story of a Japanese fighter pilot. His plane was bent like a banana by the bomb but still would fly.. he surveyed the damage then flew to headquarters and reported to the bigwigs that it would take about seven days for us to eliminate all life on the islands... that influenced Hirohito's decision to abandon terms and accept unconditional surrender. If i remember right he overruled the hawks in his cabinet on that one.

So was it absolutely necessary? I sure don't know... but my opinion is it kept Japan from being a divided country like Germany and Korea, and saved a lot of blood on all sides.

a.
Last edited by analog on Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cogito ergo doleo.
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:50 pm

analog wrote: the Russians had an army headed to Japan, and having watched how Stalin grabbed up Europe needed to end it before they got a toehold in Japan.
As it was they only got a little piece way up North..


The Russian part of the equation is almost always ignored in discussions about this, thanks for reminding me.
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Re: World War Two.

Postby dai bread » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:39 pm

I have no qualms about the use of those bombs at all. They saved a lot of trouble, death and injury all round, mostly for the Japanese, who could not have stood up to American power for long no matter how many Americans they slaughtered on the beaches. Not to mention the Aussies and us. Given the Japanese mindset of the time, amply documented in reports of several intermediate island invasions, they would have been killed in their millions.

The part of all this that I find most interesting this long after the event is the lack of two-headed Japanese in Hiroshima. (I haven't been to Nagasaki). In other words, we were lied to about the on-going effects of radiation. Unless there is a secret hospital somewhere, full of irradiated monsters???
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Re: World War Two.

Postby jamiebk » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:53 pm

Found this reference:

An excellent reference for all manner of questions regarding the A-bomb survivors is the book by William J Schull, Effects of Atomic Radiation: A Half-Century of Studies from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Wiley-Liss, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012 (1995) ; ISBN # 0-471-12524-5. This is a scholarly book and yet is written at a level that the intelligent layperson can understand. It has a wealth of historical as well as scientific information about the studies, spanning the entire time period since the bombs were dropped. Following are answers to the specific questions asked:
Much information is available; for example, in the book cited above.

In 1995, 50 years after the atomic bombings, approximately 50 percent of the survivors were still alive. The exact number is difficult to state, but it could exceed 100,000. (For example, 284,000 survivors were identified in the 1950 census; this would indicate that there were about 142,000 remaining survivors in 1995.)

No genetic effects have been detected in a large sample (nearly 80,000) of offspring. By this, we mean that there is no detectable radiation-related increase in congenital abnormalities, mortality (including childhood cancers), chromosome aberrations, or mutations in biochemically identifiable genes.

Unfortunately, the epidemiologic studies on the survivors who received low doses of radiation (in the range of 0.01 Sv to 0.2 Sv) are equivocal regarding good measures of the risk of long-term health effects. This is because, even though the statistical sample available in the survivor studies is very large (nearly 100,000 subjects in the Life Span Study), it can be shown that many, many more subjects would be needed to draw reasonable statistically valid inferences from the data. Thus the data at low doses have large error bars and can be fit to mathematical models that show a threshold, no threshold, reduced effect, and in some cases even a beneficial (protective) effect, depending on the model one picks. There is no model that seems to be more valid than the others. Therefore, the consensus of the community of scientists interested in the A-bomb, as well as other, radiation studies seems to be that epidemiologic studies do not have the statistical power to give us answers to the low-dose questions. This issue is thoroughly discussed in the book by William J. Schull.
John D. Zimbrick, Ph.D. School of Health Sciences Purdue Univerity

Also this: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/334/8/545
Jamie

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Re: World War Two.

Postby analog » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:04 am

we were lied to about the on-going effects of radiation.


it's sure been used for hype by opponents of nuclear power.
And it makes good material for movies. "On The Beach" scared all us high school kids way back when......

From Jamie's post:
epidemiologic studies on the survivors who received low doses of radiation (in the range of 0.01 Sv to 0.2 Sv) are equivocal regarding good measures of the risk of long-term health effects.


Hmm let's think about this in simple terms:
.. the thing to keep in mind is radiation isn't choosy about which cells it hits...or where it hits them.
if you get enough radiation to really mess up a sizeable fraction of your reproductive cells it has also messed up a similar fraction of the rest of your cells ,,
and the DNA molecule is such a small target within the cell that most cell damage isn't to the DNA ..
so thinking about it mechanically, for survivors the odds should dramatically favor handing down intact DNA...
and the studies seem to bear that out.

a.
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Re: World War Two.

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:26 am

It is a measure of the power of narrative that we publicly grieve more for the deaths of our enemies than those of our allies in a war that is now fading quickly from human memory.

The Japanese killed more people on American soil than died at Hiroshima
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