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Aftermath of Pearl Harbor


Steve C.

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You have understand that not all people have a great understanding of WW2 or any war. To not appreciate the meaning of Pearl Harbor to Americans is probably understandable as many places like Japan teach nothing of the history of WW2. 

I was actually a little surprised when I went to visit the memorial at Pearl Harbor, to see that it was stated on one plaque that WW2 started when the bombings occurred there. As an Australian I was flabbergasted to see that the difference between America entering the war and the actual start of the war had been ignored. 

 

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1 hour ago, 5088downunder said:

That’s fairly inaccurate. You might want to research the Bangka Island massacre. There 22 Australian nurses were marched into the sea and machine gunned. All the wounded allied soldiers present were also murdered. There was one survivor, Vivian Bullwinkle who ended up a POW and eventually made it back to Australia. 

No, I'm talking after the islands fell to Japan. At Coral Sea, Midway there were no women. They were not allowed to serve on a man of war ship. On Guadalcanal, no female nurses either. So what they use to call a "love interest" for a war movie didn't happen. If you read about some of the sub guys when they set up a rest camps in the wilds of Australia with no women around to be a "distraction" and to discourage US service members from marrying "foreign nationals" the sub guys were pretty mad. Even in the US there was a movement to shut down prostitution near military bases. Mostly mothers didn't want their babies dying with the sin of adultery hanging over their heads. One of the politicians firmly behind that was my brother in laws grand father.  

So no what I said was dead on accurate. The Bangka Island massacre occured in Feb 1942.  The battle of the Coral Sea took place in May of 42. By the time the battle of the Coral Sea took place Japan had about spent it's expansionist movements. When the allies when on the offensive with the invasion of Guadalcanal few if any US women not held in POW camps or interned in other camps were very few and far between. The US government was not about to be exposed to people questioning how a woman, taken prisoner, was tortured, maybe raped and then killed. The US glosses over any women who were serving who may have been captured and maybe brutalized. But after Guam, Wake, Philippine Islands and any other territories fell the US did it's best to keep women out of harms way.   

And actually 2 men survived the The Bangka Island massacre too. Vivian Bullwinkle was the only woman to survive. Recent evidence collected by historian Lynette Silver, broadcaster Tess Lawrence and biographer Barbara Angell, indicates that most of the nurses were sexually assaulted before they were murdered. However, Bullwinkel was not permitted to speak about the rapes after the war. According to the Australian government, the perpetrators of the massacre remain unknown and "escaped any punishment for their crime".

But while that was horrible by the time of the Coral Sea and later engagements most women were not in any danger of falling into Japanese hands or of being killed in action. And yea, for you younger guys. Getting killed by a bomb while in a shelter is considered KIA. But the US was totally against endangering any women serving. They were not allowed to serve on war ships and for the most part were kept as far away from any physical danger as possible. IIRC the closest female nurses to Guadalcanal were at Espiritu Santo during Guadalcanal. Next was in Australia and Pearl Harbor. So at the Coral Sea and Midway there were really no women.

Rick

 

 

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2 hours ago, 5088downunder said:

You have understand that not all people have a great understanding of WW2 or any war. To not appreciate the meaning of Pearl Harbor to Americans is probably understandable as many places like Japan teach nothing of the history of WW2. 

I was actually a little surprised when I went to visit the memorial at Pearl Harbor, to see that it was stated on one plaque that WW2 started when the bombings occurred there. As an Australian I was flabbergasted to see that the difference between America entering the war and the actual start of the war had been ignored. 

 

I don't think anyone in the US denies the war started in '39 but the war "started" for the US, really, on December 7th. Before that it was a far-off, European war that many, if not most, soured by the previous one, wanted no part of.

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31 minutes ago, New Englander said:

I don't think anyone in the US denies the war started in '39 but the war "started" for the US, really, on December 7th. Before that it was a far-off, European war that many, if not most, soured by the previous one, wanted no part of.

I have no real idea why the US didn’t join the war earlier, but I doubt it was because Europe was so far away. I think there was more to it than that. Not to mention that the US in reality had only participated in WW1 for a short period of that war anyway as they had apparently wanted to remain pacifist. 

Other nations had gone far further to fight in WW1 and WW2 than the US, and had been there for the entirety of both conflicts. 

Clearly this pacifist way of thought was no longer followed by the US after WW2. 

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34 minutes ago, 5088downunder said:

I have no real idea why the US didn’t join the war earlier, but I doubt it was because Europe was so far away. I think there was more to it than that. Not to mention that the US in reality had only participated in WW1 for a short period of that war anyway as they had apparently wanted to remain pacifist. 

Other nations had gone far further to fight in WW1 and WW2 than the US, and had been there for the entirety of both conflicts. 

Clearly this pacifist way of thought was no longer followed by the US after WW2. 

There was a strong isolationist movement in the US after WWI. That included buy American stuff too. Historians today say that is what triggered the Great Depression. The US had become a world monetary leader. Then we refused to buy foreign products. In turn Foreign nations boycotted US goods. When factory orders dropped because of that the Great Depression kicked in. The isolationist passed blame onto anyone they could. Buy I regress. Americans could not see where saving Europe from Kaiser William benefited America.

After WWII people were afraid. And yea the government played on that "better dead than red". So NO, pacifism didn't rule after WWII. That really started at the end of Korea.

 

Rick       

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No mention that I see so far of this.  The isolationist element gets mentioned too

Gordon W Prange (and others) "Pearl Harbour:  The verdict of history"  .

Others in his list that I haven't read are "At dawn we slept", "Miracle at Midway" and "Target Tokyo"

 

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