Part of the problem that the US Navy ran into when it went to war was that – like many military forces before or since – it had to learn some things for itself before it believed them. The British had over two years of experience fighting the Battle of the Atlantic at that point, but the Americans didn’t feel that they needed any advice from them on the matter. It didn’t help that Admiral Ernest J. King was an Anglophobe, in addition to having a generally abrasive personality. (His wife reputedly once said: “Ernie is the most even-tempered man I’ve ever met. He’s always in a foul mood.”) As a result, the Americans made mistakes in their early ASW methods of operations which could have been avoided. In fairness, the US Army had similar learning-curve problems in North Africa, notably at Kasserine Pass if I remember correctly.
WWII–-75th ANNIVERSARY DISCUSSION--#34---MAY 1942 (3)
Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the assassination of Schutzstaffel (SS)-Obergruppenführer and General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office, RSHA), the combined security services of Nazi Germany, and acting Reichsprotektor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The operation was carried out in Prague on 27 May 1942 after having been prepared by the British Special Operations Executive with the approval of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. Wounded in the attack, Heydrich died of his injuries on 4 June 1942. His death led to a wave of merciless reprisals by German SS troops, including the destruction of villages and the killing of civilians. Anthropoid was the only successful assassination of a senior Nazi leader during World War II.
Heydrich was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and an important figure in the rise of Adolf Hitler; as a Nazi potentate, he was given overall charge of the so-called Final Solution (Holocaust) of the Jews in Europe. Despite the risks, the Czechoslovaks decided to undertake the operation to help confer legitimacy on Edvard Beneš’s government-in-exile in London, as well as for retribution against Heydrich’s harsh rule.
Just want to hear your thoughts on a military operation designed to kill only one man. Even if that man was SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich, head of the SS-RSHA!