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One man, one ship: one decisive moment in WW2 October 28, 2007

Posted by Al in : educational,fighting , trackback

I’m British, and so, like many other Europeans, I have a distinctly Euro-centric view of World War 2. I would consider the conflict starting with Germany’s invasion of Poland, swinging through France, Belgium and Holland, Eastwards through the East European nations and into Russia, down through Spain, Italy and Greece, and then moving across into Africa. Although I am well aware that the war was being fought on the other side of the world, with Japan moving against the rest of Asia and the Pacific, this doesn’t seem anywhere near as relevant as the Blitz. (My mother never woke up to find herself in Tenko, whereas she did come out one day to find an unexploded bomb in her back garden.)

Forgetting about this other side to the war is wrong though, as if Japan had managed to conquer the Pacific, and drive the Americans out of the ocean, then our Eastern forces would have been seriously compromised, and who knows which way the war may have turned. It certainly would have left America with serious enough problems to think twice about committing their forces to Europe when they had a large Pacific border to defend. Fortunately, no matter how poorly the American forces had done prior to 1942, on one occasion one man, and later one ship, managed to turn the tide of the Japanese advance and set the stage for the rest of the Allied forces to drive them back. I’ll leave you to read the article, as it describes both the acts very well. Let us not forget Guadalcanal.


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