Favorite Pacific War Front



  • Which region of Pacific War do you enjoy studying most?


  • '10

    The Solomons. Thats the area where my father served in WWII. (Seabees) And the 1st Marine Div. was involved in a big way. I was a member of that division in the fifties. Glad I was never on Guadalcanal or Tulagi.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Wow Fishmoto. A Marine! What branch can I ask? And how long did you serve?
    I have never been a Pacific fan, I am afraid. My grandfather was  a desk Sergeant in the RAF, based at Duxford and other English bases and my Italian one was in Signals and served in Africa and Russia. Both were prewar volunteers.



  • @wittmann:

    Wow Fishmoto. A Marine! What branch can I ask? And how long did you serve?
    I have never been a Pacific fan, I am afraid. My grandfather was  a desk Sergeant in the RAF, based at Duxford and other English bases and my Italian one was in Signals and served in Africa and Russia. Both were prewar volunteers.

    so, both grandfathers fought on opposing sides? must be fun family reunions!


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Mum and Dad were married in Italy in 68. Their parents only saw each other twice after that. My Italian Grandad really did not talk about the war. He was on the front line at times. My English one was a desk Sergeant. They did not speak each other’s language.


  • '10

    @wittmann:

    Wow Fishmoto. A Marine! What branch can I ask? And how long did you serve?
    I have never been a Pacific fan, I am afraid. My grandfather was�  a desk Sergeant in the RAF, based at Duxford and other English bases and my Italian one was in Signals and served in Africa and Russia. Both were prewar volunteers.

    You asked what branch and I always tell everyone that the Marine Corps is the fighting branch of the Navy. The Navy exists to transport and support the Marines. Now that I have made that statement I am sure that I will stir up some interesting comments. I enlisted in june 1956. I was 18 years old. My permanent duty station was at camp Pendelton California. I was in weapons platoon in Lima company, 3rd battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine division. My job was a machine gunner. Model 1919 aircooled 30 caliber. Its kind of strange but I have never found a civilian job that matches. I did get an all expenses paid trip to Pearl Harbor then to the Philippines and from there to Japan in 1958. (not first class though) When my enlistment was up in 1958 I was given a shipping over talk which would have meant a four year commitment. I said no. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had said yes. I know that I would not have the family I have now if I had reenlisted. Hope this has answered your question.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you. It is nice to know a little about the people we talk to.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Fishmoto37:

    You asked what branch and I always tell everyone that the Marine Corps is the fighting branch of the Navy. The Navy exists to transport and supply the Marines. Now that I have made that statement I am sure that I will stir up some interesting comments.

    I think that the folks in the Navy might feel this implies that, as non-Marines, they’re non-fighters – and I’m sure they would object vehemently to that notion.  Navy personnel can send an awful lot of firepower in the direction of the enemy (including nuclear torpedoes and nuclear ballistic missiles), and they themselves can be at the receiving end of some pretty lethal enemy ordnance.  I think all of that qualifies as combat, even though it doesn’t involve putting boots on muddy ground.

    Anyway, it’s interesting to hear about your background as a Marine.  Your comment that you had never found a civilian job that matches reminds me of a TV interview I saw in which a mortarman (I can’t recall if he was in the US Army or the US Marines) was discussing some defense cutbacks which would soon eliminate his position.  He said, “I’m a mortarman.  I fire explosive rounds downrange using a mortar.  There aren’t too many civilian jobs out there in which I could put those skills to use.”


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Boots on the ground (Infantry) is the tool of conflict.

    Everything else is support.

    Everything

    Please do not be offended Marc. 🙂  But from the dawn of time, to today… if you remove the infantry, you lose/resolve/close the conflict.


  • '10

    @CWO:

    @Fishmoto37:

    You asked what branch and I always tell everyone that the Marine Corps is the fighting branch of the Navy. The Navy exists to transport and supply the Marines. Now that I have made that statement I am sure that I will stir up some interesting comments.

    I think that the folks in the Navy might feel this implies that, as non-Marines, they’re non-fighters – and I’m sure they would object vehemently to that notion.�  Navy personnel can send an awful lot of firepower in the direction of the enemy (including nuclear torpedoes and nuclear ballistic missiles), and they themselves can be at the receiving end of some pretty lethal enemy ordnance.�  I think all of that qualifies as combat, even though it doesn’t involve putting boots on muddy ground.

    Anyway, it’s interesting to hear about your background as a Marine.�  Your comment that you had never found a civilian job that matches reminds me of a TV interview I saw in which a mortarman (I can’t recall if he was in the US Army or the US Marines) was discussing some defense cutbacks which would soon eliminate his position.�  He said, “I’m a mortarman.�  I fire explosive rounds downrange using a mortar.�  There aren’t too many civilian jobs out there in which I could put those skills to use.”

     I should have used the word support instead of supply. Support would include supply as well as close air support and pre  invasion bombardment. Anyway I just made that comment to stir up the navy guys. We agitate the Navy whenever we can. I have a good friend who is a Navy vet that is my regular A&A opponent.



  • I enjoy reading about the Battle of Buna-Gona; events in the Solomons took headlines, but lessons from attacking the Japanese first class defenses shaped Allies plans in the Pacific.

    Here is a slide show I came across from the battle.

    http://youtu.be/gNCBEZtzSz4



  • I voted for the China theater (which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one).

    I it was a very colorful with lots of interesting characters. From the initial battles in the north and Epic struggle for Shanghai to the battles of Changsha and the Burma road the war covered a wide variety of climates and areas. Also, with Nationalist and Communist guerrilla running around the rural areas fighting each other as much as the Japanese, Japanese puppet troops and other minor and sundry warlords changing sides all the time in the ever shifting sands of alliances and betrayals, it makes the Vietnam war look like a duck pond.

    China was an important ally during WW2 and effectively tied down millions of Japanese troops. Had China not doggedly and stubbornly resisted for the eight years that she did (and endure all the suffering that would entail) all those Japanese troops could have been put to use on other fronts, like India or the Philippines, Okinawa or the Home Islands, all which would have greatly changed the outcome of the war for the allied powers. The fact that the Chinese were able to do this with one of the must corrupt and inefficient military organizations ever seen in history is a testament to hardiness of the peasant soldier and the real skill of commanders in the Chinese army/armies who did manage to achieve the few victories China had during the war. Stillwell (my favorite US commander) showed that with proper training, equipment, support, supplies, and leadership Chinese soldiers could fight just as well as any other in the world.

    China’s brutal military culture treated and used it soldiers like the marauding peasant levies of an earlier century. Historically, there had been very little reward given to Chinese troops for victory beyond the opportunity to pillage and no real emotional stake in any cause beyond his immediate unit. Caution and cunning were admired and respect did not come from initiative and dash in the attack, or endurance in defense. Unless victory came quickly they tended to fall back, though even after a headlong retreat in the face of a superior enemy, the long suffering Chinese soldier could be brought back to the fight and stand firm and beat their enemy back again.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Gargantua:

    But from the dawn of time, to today… if you remove the infantry, you lose/resolve/close the conflict.

    I wasn’t downplaying the importance of foot soldiers.  I was pointing out that the phrase “the Marine Corps is the fighting branch of the Navy” seems to simply that the rest of the Navy is a non-fighting branch, which is incorrrect.  The Navy’s surface ships and carriers and submarines did a huge amount of fighting in WWII, inflicting great losses on the enemy and taking many casualties themselves.  To pick an obvious example, the Battle of Midway was one of the most decisive naval battles of WWII, yet it didn’t involve a single infantryman setting foot on enemy soil (other than in the Japanese secondary action in the Aleutians).


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Fishmoto37:

    I should have used the word support instead of supply. Support would include supply as well as close air support and pre- invasion bombardment. Anyway I just made that comment to stir up the navy guys. We agitate the Navy whenever we can. I have a good friend who is a Navy vet that is my regular A&A opponent.

    The folks in the Navy seem to agitate right back.  When I visited the USS Constitution in Boston harbor, the Navy guy who was giving the tour made a number of jokes about the USMC, including one about the origin of the allegation that it takes three Marines to fire one rifle.  I’ve also heard that some folks in the Navy jokingly refer to the USMC as “the Navy’s Army”, and refer to Marine aviation as “the Navy’s Army’s Air Force.”


  • '14

    I enjoy reading anything I can about Saipan in the Mariana Islands.  My grandfather was a BAR man apart of the marines 2nd division.  He died when I was about 10 and he never liked to talk much about it.  So anytime I can learn something about Saipan I jump at the chance.  If anyone has any recommendations for any books about the 2nd marines on Saipan I would greatly appreciate it.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @pfc_pander:

    I enjoy reading anything I can about Saipan in the Mariana Islands.  My grandfather was a BAR man apart of the marines 2nd division.  He died when I was about 10 and he never liked to talk much about it.  So anytime I can learn something about Saipan I jump at the chance.  If anyone has any recommendations for any books about the 2nd marines on Saipan I would greatly appreciate it.

    This movie…

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284200/

    …includes colour footage of the Battle of Saipan (wartime Kodachrome footage, not computer-colorized black and white footage).


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