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World War II's Last Surviving Doolittle Raiders Make Their Final Toast

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the last-call dept.

United States 211

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "As we come up on Veteran's Day, Barrie Barber reports for the Dayton Daily News that the last Doolittle Raiders symbolically said goodbye to a decades-old tradition and to a history that changed the course of the Pacific war in World War II. Gathering from across the country together one last time, three surviving Raiders sipped from silver goblets engraved with their names and filled with 1896 Hennessy cognac in a once-private ceremony webcast to the world at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Robert E. Cole, 98, led the final toast to the 80 members of 'the Greatest Generation' who took off in 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers April 18, 1942, from the deck of the USS Hornet to bomb Japan four months after a Japanese surprise naval and air attack on Pearl Harbor. 'Gentleman, I propose a toast,' said Cole, as about 700 spectators watched one final time, 'to those we lost on the mission and those that passed away since. Thank you very much and may they rest in peace.' Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said the raid showed the courage and innovation of the World War II airmen flying from a carrier in a bomber that had never seen combat to attack a heavily defended nation and to attempt to land at unseen airfields in China in a country occupied by Japanese troops. More than 70 years after the attack, Edward J. Saylor, 93, remembered ditching at sea once he and his crew dropped their bombs and several close calls with being discovered by the Japanese Army while making his way through China. 'This may be the last time I see them together,' said the 92-year-old raider who has attended Raider reunions since 1962. 'It's a little sad for me because I've known them so long and know the story of what they did in 1942.'"

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HOW ABOUT A CELEBRATORY RAID ON TOKYO !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390343)

Seems only fair !!

What about the Japanese casualties? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390373)

May the Japanese casualties rest in peace as well.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390439)

Such sympathy does not apply to the side that starts a war and loses. Food for thought, when America remembers all the wars it has started and lost.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390485)

Chill, dude, WWII is over. Quit holding a grudge.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390925)

Chill, dude, WWII is over.

November 11th was the end of World War I (28 July 1914 - 11 November 1918; the USA got involved in 1917).

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391017)

>>November 11th was the end of World War I (28 July 1914 - 11 November 1918; the USA got involved in 1917).

Wow, not only did you not RTFA, you did not read (or understand) that the F'ing summary is talking about a tradition from a WWII event. At least make ignorant comments or trolling 'corrections' on things that are true or that you actually understand.
  Slashdot where have you gone?

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (2)

alex67500 (1609333) | about 9 months ago | (#45391349)

>>November 11th was the end of World War I (28 July 1914 - 11 November 1918; the USA got involved in 1917).

Wow, not only did you not RTFA, you did not read (or understand) that the F'ing summary is talking about a tradition from a WWII event. At least make ignorant comments or trolling 'corrections' on things that are true or that you actually understand.

  Slashdot where have you gone?

It still took the USA 2 years and a cowardly attack on Pearl Harbour to pull their fingers and start getting involved.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (3, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390521)

IMHO such sympathy does not apply to the leaders who started the war but the innocent casualties still have my sympathies.

Not so sure about those who blindly followed those leaders without thought or due to political brainwashing and my brain isn't working well enough on a Monday morning to get that deep into philosophy...

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (3, Interesting)

Falconhell (1289630) | about 9 months ago | (#45390563)

Sympathy applies for all war casualties, there is no more stupid waste of life.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45390619)

I don't agree. For all that I've no use for people who don't realize that, unlike many recent ventures, the US fought WWII for very good reasons, and probably saved millions of lives by doing so, I'm not completely averse to the Japanese remembering their civilians lost in the war. Personally I have little use for Japanese sanctimony about the use of the A-bombs, but commemorating the dead is another matter. Even remembering, if not commemorating, their rank-and-file war dead, while a touchy subject, doesn't seem completely unreasonable to me. Many of the rank-and-file had little choice but to "serve".

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#45390747)

For all that I've no use for people who don't realize that, unlike many recent ventures, the US fought WWII for very good reasons, and probably saved millions of lives by doing so,

Pop quiz: Who sold the Nazis fuel and metal so that they could run around killing motherfuckers? Answer, the USA. We fueled the war deliberately, kept it going until Europe was in a shambles, then entered the war. It permitted us to reduce a bunch of our excess population, and come out of WWII with massive economic concessions that made us the world's #1 superpower.

Many of the rank-and-file had little choice but to "serve".

You always have a choice. You never get considered to be more moral for being unwilling to die rather than kill people. You're just selfish. Understandably so, but that changes nothing, especially for the people you kill.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (2)

rvw (755107) | about 9 months ago | (#45390827)

Many of the rank-and-file had little choice but to "serve".

You always have a choice. You never get considered to be more moral for being unwilling to die rather than kill people. You're just selfish. Understandably so, but that changes nothing, especially for the people you kill.

Get real man! Many of those people, whether serving as soldier or at home doing their normal stuff, didn't even realise they had a choice. Especially in Japan it's in their culture and in their blood. They're raised like that, from the first day of their life. You have to be pretty clever and independent to stand up to that and survive without being put in some kind of institution because you're ill or crazy or criminal.

No TV, no internet, facebook, phone, twitter or google. Even radio was sparse with limited stations. It's easy talking. Even with what I know now I am not sure I can withstand the pressure if it comes to it.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390895)

Don't immediately assume malace when ignorance is a simpler answer. Not that I know WTF I'm talking about most of the time ;p

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390787)

I don't agree. For all that I've no use for people who don't realize that, unlike many recent ventures, the US fought WWII for very good reasons, and probably saved millions of lives by doing so

Since you seem a bit confused about the reason the United States of America joined the war effort let me educate you. The USA practised an isolationist policy and refused to join World War II to defeat Germany and its allies until Japan carried out an attack on Pearl Harbor. The entire attack would not have happened except for a delay by some US political figure whose name I forget at the moment to see the Japanese Ambassador. When the Japanese Ambassador and his aid heard of the attack from the person they were meeting they were gravely disappointed. There is a fact-based movie about the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor; not the crap movie made of recent vintage. You really ought to read a few non-fiction books about World War II before posting on the subject.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (5, Informative)

clovis (4684) | about 9 months ago | (#45391187)

RE:
"The entire attack would not have happened except for a delay by some US political figure whose name I forget at the moment to see the Japanese Ambassador."

You are totally wrong - the attack was absolutely going to happen when it did. The planes were already in the air.

The sole purpose of the ambassador's visit was to present the declaration of war immediately before the attack so that Japan could not be accused of a "sneak attack". It planned to be timed so that there would be only a moments delay between the declaration and the actual attack so that there would not be time to warn the American bases.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391241)

If Japanese Ambasador and his aide were not aware of the attack they were just Pawns in the game of war. Warmongers among Japanese already made a different plans. You cannot reason with people like these, that's why every peace loving nation, such us US, needs a strong army.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (3, Insightful)

quacking duck (607555) | about 9 months ago | (#45391471)

I don't agree. For all that I've no use for people who don't realize that, unlike many recent ventures, the US fought WWII for very good reasons, and probably saved millions of lives by doing so

Since you seem a bit confused about the reason the United States of America joined the war effort let me educate you. The USA practised an isolationist policy and refused to join World War II to defeat Germany and its allies until Japan carried out an attack on Pearl Harbor. The entire attack would not have happened except for a delay by some US political figure whose name I forget at the moment to see the Japanese Ambassador. When the Japanese Ambassador and his aid heard of the attack from the person they were meeting they were gravely disappointed. There is a fact-based movie about the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor; not the crap movie made of recent vintage.

(Bold emphasis mine.)

Not the poster you're responding to, but if this fact-based movie you speak of is Tora! Tora! Tora!, you're forgetting key details.

In that movie it's made quite clear that the entire attack would happen whether or not the Japanese ambassador saw the US official. That delay was also secondary to another delay caused by a Japanese security directive that meant the regular typist(s) couldn't type up the last of the 14-part message, and a much slower hunt-and-peck non-typist with enough security clearance had to be used instead.

Whether that part of the movie is accurate is also largely irrelevant, since in reality the 14-part message was neither a declaration of war nor severed diplomatic relations (though combined with intercepted Japanese instruction to their embassy to destroy their decoding gear, it was taken as a strong indicator that either would've happened shortly afterward). Documents revealed in 1999 also strongly suggest the Japanese military convinced the government not to do so before their surprise attack happened.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391257)

That the US entered WW2 for liberty, justice and democracy is just about as stupid as saying the Union attacked the Confederate States to liberate black people.
The US was happy sitting out of WW2 selling at high prices materiel to Germany and English alike. Making enormous profits by the way. Had the Japanese not attacked Pearl Harbor it is conceivable that the US wouldn't have given a rat's ass about the destiny of europe, the jews or far east asia. This is the reality.
Of course the poor americans that fought were indoctrinated to believe they were fighting for higher ideals, nobel ideals. But so were the german soldiers, the italians, the french, the japanese.
Nations fight wars because of greed. It's a simple power grab.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390935)

Yes, those damn civilians who started a war by going about their daily business! It's great that they died painfully by being burned to death!

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (5, Insightful)

shikaisi (1816846) | about 9 months ago | (#45390509)

More to the point, what about the Chinese casualties? The often ignored result of the raid was that the Japanese, in reprisals against any family, village or town that they thought might have helped the escaping Doolittle raiders, murdered about 250,000 men, women and children. That number is not a typo. It is not a mistake or an exaggeration. Two hundred and fifty thousand Chinese were slaughtered by the Imperial Japanese Army during the search for Doolittle's men.

Now please remind me again why I should care about the Japanese casualties.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (4, Insightful)

jalopezp (2622345) | about 9 months ago | (#45390553)

Dead citizens in Tokyo were for certain not involved in massacring the Chinese. Why should you care about Japanese casualties? For the same reason you care about anyone that dies needlessly in a war.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#45390719)

It does, however, make sense to care less about the casualties of a nation which failed to stop its people from committing such atrocious acts.

Yes, I realize that works the same way, and that nobody should feel too bad if the USA gets wiped off the map.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about 9 months ago | (#45390971)

Remind me again what you are doing to stop the American military from killing innocents in its wars?

Also, to which extent do you feel you deserve death for what they are doing?

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#45391219)

Remind me again what you are doing to stop the American military from killing innocents in its wars?

No. I never told you to begin with. I'm not going to tell you about anything I'm doing besides proselytization.

Also, to which extent do you feel you deserve death for what they are doing?

Less than the average citizen, but more than someone who isn't contributing at all. Dramatically less than the typical one-percenter (for lack of a better term.)

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391245)

Tuche.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391455)

Remind me again what you are doing to stop the American military from killing innocents in its wars?

Also, to which extent do you feel you deserve death for what they are doing?

Feeling good about himself by pontificating on the internet?

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45391281)

nobody should feel too bad if the USA gets wiped off the map

Like the way that Japan and Germany were wiped off the map? And if our goal was to wipe them off the map, why did we send food and other aid after victory?

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (1)

GTRacer (234395) | about 9 months ago | (#45390773)

I really don't like the inability to confirm a mod-choice. I'm sorry, jalopezp, that was supposed to be Insightful.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45390739)

You make an excellent point. I would be interested in a cite about the number of Chinese killed, not because I doubt you, but out of historical interest. We should also remember that the Chinese provided great support and assistance to the survivors of the Doolittle raid.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (3, Informative)

JoelWink (1846354) | about 9 months ago | (#45390853)

The Nanking Massacre (AKA "Rape of Nanking") is just one example of the atrocities committed by Japan. From the late 19th century through WWII the Japanese goverment was extremely militaristic and hell bent on expanding their empire by any means necessary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre [wikipedia.org]

now, China... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 9 months ago | (#45391107)

China's aggressive govt is looking a lot like Japan's aggressiveness 90 years earlier...

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (5, Informative)

shikaisi (1816846) | about 9 months ago | (#45390979)

I would be interested in a cite about the number of Chinese killed.

"The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid—America's First World War II Victory" by Craig NELSON. London: Penguin Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-14-200341-1. See pages 226-228.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (0)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45391239)

Just curious, what is your opinion about those killed in 9/11? I'm pretty sure many Taliban were attacking the US due to people killed by the US in the middle east.

Not saying either side is right but any idea from a certain point of view...

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (2, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45390649)

May the Japanese casualties rest in peace as well.

Quoting the PP not because I agree with him, but because moderating him to -1 is censorship. That's ironic considering that one of the freedoms veterans fought to defend is freedom of speech. Don't bother me with "Slashdot is a privately owned forum, it's not the government censoring it", blah, blah, blah. This case isn't going to the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, modding down somebody who made a controversial, but not needlessly inflammatory or insulting remark, is stifling debate. That isn't how things are supposed to work in this country.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (2)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 9 months ago | (#45390981)

You are coming to the posting early. As the thread matures, other folks will come along and mod him (or her) up. That's how it works with a system of unpaid moderators. You'll get the folks who will mod him down and others who'll mod him right back up. Eventually it'll balance out and the more thoughtful will have moderated him to +5 Insightful.

[John]

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45391131)

Hopefully you're right. Posting "why the hell did you mod him down" sometimes helps that. It does when I have mod points.

Re:What about the Japanese casualties? (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 9 months ago | (#45391221)

It's already at Score 2 Insightful. :)

[John]

Why must we celebrate violence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390397)

Happy to see that dark era in our history end. Chemical weapons and atom bombs should not be celebrated.

Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (5, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#45390411)

Perhaps you should learn the difference between celebration and commemoration.

Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (5, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#45390973)

I am quite content to both commemorate and celebrate the victory of the allied powers over:

Imperial Japan
Nazi Germany
Fascist Italy

I am quite happy to welcome the friendship of, and cheer for, democratic Japan, Germany, and Italy.

The world would be a very dark place indeed had the former regimes not been defeated.

Now their peoples and nations are shining examples to the world - long may they live and prosper.

Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (5, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45390469)

I don't know why you mention chemical weapons and atom bombs, since the Doolittle Raid involved neither. Nevertheless HE and incendiaries do kill people. They're not celebrating the violence of the mission, but the value of, and the the sacrifices made by, the men who flew that mission. That's what Veteran's Day is about. Considering the idiocy of getting into many of the wars we've gotten into, or started, in recent decades, you may forget that WWII was fought for very good reasons, and that the US was attacked by Japan. The US fight in the Pacific probably saved many lives elsewhere in Asia, the surrounding archipelagos, and Australia. We were allied with just about every other country fighting Japan. The penchant of the Imperial Japanese Forces for mass slaughter was not just propaganda. Good news though: we won, and have been at peace with Japan for 68 years. None of the Doolittle Raiders have complained about that.

Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390497)

Incorrect. The Japanese government was installed by the United States after WWII and has been under our thumb and under our direct control ever since. (Yes, I reside in the USA)

Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (5, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45390839)

The Japanese government was installed by the United States after WWII

To their benefit, and I don't give a damn about complaints of paternalism. The US occupation of Japan was one of the most beneficent occupations of a vanquished enemy in history, and whether the motivation was genuine beneficence, ensuring that Japan never threatened us again, or a bulwark against the communists, doesn't change the fact.

Furthermore, the Japanese are free to to change their Constitution, but have chosen not to do so. The "under our direct control" may have been true in the 50's, or arguably the 60's, but certainly not in the 40+ years since. Do you think we'd invade Japan if, for example, they told us to close our bases there? We didn't invade the Philippines when they did so, or France, or New Zealand when they broke the ANZUS agreement.

Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (3, Insightful)

GenieGenieGenie (942725) | about 9 months ago | (#45390613)

The US fight in the Pacific probably saved many lives elsewhere in Asia, the surrounding archipelagos, and Australia. We were allied with just about every other country fighting Japan.

If everyone had just surrendered to the Japanese, there would have been much fewer deaths in the Pacific theater in WWII. The point of fighting that war was not about saving the quantity of lives, but the quality of them.

Re:Why must we celebrate violence? (4, Informative)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390651)

Given some of the reports of the war crimes committed by Japan (yes some of these may be the victor writing the history but I don't see many reports refuting this) I'm not sure things would have been better if we surrendered to them. Some of the crimes I believe were committed when the resistance of an area was effectively eliminated...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_war_crimes [wikipedia.org]

Godspeed and thank you (4, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390407)

...

Re:Godspeed and thank you (-1, Troll)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about 9 months ago | (#45390627)

Mr. Cole did not invoke any imaginary persons in his toast. For that I give him an extra salute.

Re:Godspeed and thank you (3, Interesting)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390727)

Godspeed an expression of good wishes to a person starting a journey.

Yes the phrase had a religious connotation originally but it does not really any more (to me anyway). Do you prefer god's speed or goodspeed (which to me sounds more like wishing someone a speedy journey to a known destination whereas godspeed or god's speed is more wishing a person a good journey to a destination which I do not and cannot know)?

Re:Godspeed and thank you (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45391271)

I find it sad that my annoyance of the assumption my post is religious is getting higher ratings than my post thanking those who fought and died for us regardless of weather or not it included a religious consideration. Feel free to rate me into the basement but I believe the sacrifices of those who fought it WW2 is among the greatest actions of a people in history.

Re:Godspeed and thank you (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45390907)

Would it have lessened his contribution if he had? His service is far more important than any religious differences you may have with him. Interestingly, there are few "Jesus Saves" postings on Slashdot, presumably because it's an inappropriate forum. For some reason, Evangelical Atheists think themselves different.

Re:Godspeed and thank you (1)

Nephandus (2953269) | about 9 months ago | (#45391269)

Depending on what he thought he was doing and why, yes, very much so. We've got a better argument than almost all the evangelical politicos who natter and troll all the time here...and a great many now on this very topic. Besides, I recall mixing religion with politics, much less warfare, being something of an issue...at least if a conservative does it.

Imagine Japan doing the same (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#45390421)

Just imagine Japan doing a celebration of pilots raiding Pearl Harbor. Or how about Germany holding annual celebrations for pilots of the Blitz?

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390443)

That would be unimaginable because losers do not celebrate their defeats. We celebrate and cheer our heroes because they crushed our enemies.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about 9 months ago | (#45390567)

Australia would like to talk to you about ANZAC Day [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390455)

Difference being, they lost.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390459)

Well, neither of those two nations were provoked into war by a devastating sneak attack on a major naval base, and behaved rather differently during the war than the Americans did, so I'd hardly be surprised if the reaction to such a celebration might be different.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390463)

And I'm sure you also wanted millions to die on both sides, for the Allies to take Japan through conventional means as well. Right?

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390523)

And for us to have gotten there after the Russians, leaving Japan divided for the next 50 years like Korea and Germany...

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390795)

And for us to have gotten there after the Russians, leaving Japan divided for the next 50 years like Korea and Germany...

You do realise that the americans were the ones that agreed to the division of europe ? Yalta rings a bell ? And they were the ones to divide Corea in two ? The narrative that the Soviets just took by force half of europe is bullshit. Dear leaders Roosevelt/Truman and in lesser part Churchill together with their ally Stalin fucked half of europe and asia in the deal they made for the postwar order.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (5, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 9 months ago | (#45390487)

Have you ever gone to Pearl Harbor? It's a hotspot for Japanese tourism. Americans also go to Hiroshima when site seeing in Japan.

Remembering historic events does not indicate rubbing it in the face of your former enemy.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (2)

SJester (1676058) | about 9 months ago | (#45390493)

You really should have posted as Anonymous Coward; your comment is too stupid to have associated with your name. There is a difference between celebrating an act of aggression vs an act of defense or defiance. Both the Pearl Harbor raid and the Blitz were attacks carried out by expansionist aggressors. The Blitz was in fact deliberately targeting civilians, and both were not fought against incredible odds by a small force using unproven equipment with uncertain support.

Re: Imagine Japan doing the same (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390527)

Oh. So the nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki only killed military personal and miraculously left civilians completely unharmed. What a technology to vaporise only combatants.

Americans. You are do full of it.

Re: Imagine Japan doing the same (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45391049)

Americans. You are do [sic] full of it.

I'm not sure your comment even deserves a response, but are you saying that only Americans commemorate their veterans? Today is Remembrance Day in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth. Wave to those folks over our northern border - they were fighting WWII before we were. Do you think Russia fails to commemorate its veterans of the Great Patriotic War? (don't forget to thank them, because otherwise Nazi Germany would likely still be around). Should I go on listing the specifics for most of the Allies, or do you get the point?

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (2, Informative)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#45390511)

> Just imagine Japan doing a celebration of pilots raiding Pearl
> Harbor. Or how about Germany holding annual celebrations for pilots of the Blitz?

So many pseudo-intellectuals posting things like this. Do you not understand you would not dare say such things in those societies in the reverse?

Do you enjoy your freedom to speak? Good. I'm glad.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390537)

Do you have similar reservations about the celebration of D-Day or the liberation of concentration camps? Not to mention the tens of thousands of POWs freed at the end of the war: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner_of_war#Empire_of_Japan [wikipedia.org] .

Yes history is written by the victors and the US has screwed up plenty of times but I haven't come across much evidence that any of the Axis powers in WW2 were richeous in any way.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (3, Funny)

Deadstick (535032) | about 9 months ago | (#45390715)

that any of the Axis powers in WW2 were richeous in any way.

Or even righteous.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (2)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390777)

Stuck on an old version of IE with no spell checker due to IT policy and too lazy this morning to paste it into Word to make sure I got it right... or maybe I'm just inventing new words, I don't think the English language is confusing enough yet!

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390845)

Do you have similar reservations about the celebration of D-Day or the liberation of concentration camps? Not to mention the tens of thousands of POWs freed at the end of the war: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner_of_war#Empire_of_Japan [wikipedia.org] .

Yes history is written by the victors and the US has screwed up plenty of times but I haven't come across much evidence that any of the Axis powers in WW2 were richeous in any way.

And the allies were richteous in what way exactly ? Pray tell.
They commited "war crimes" just as easily as the axis powers. Only thing being the victors in the war has its advantages.
You brainwash your population to think the war was fought for moral reasons, you the good guys against the bad guys. And having god on your side gives you all the justification you need to carry out the ordeal. The end justifies the means.

Stop reading comic books about world war 2 and learn real unbiased history. It's never simple as it seems.

Re:Imagine Japan doing the same (4, Informative)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45391075)

Sure the US has fucked up and is doing so more often than it used to but can you point to specific examples where the government supported war crimes that could not be considered strategic actions (yes that is a massive grey area but can you define any of this in black and white in a way everyone will agree to)?

Not saying all of this is 100% true and unbiased but given I was born 30 years after WW2 its the best I have to go on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_war_crimes_during_World_War_II [wikipedia.org]

Death rates of POWs in WW2:
Chinese POWs held by Japan: 56 reported survivors at the end of the war (meaning nearly 100% were killed)
U.S. and British Commonwealth POWs held by Germany: ~4%
Soviet POWs held by Germany: 57.5%
Western Allied POWs held by Japan: 27%
German POWs in British hands 0.03%
German POWs in American hands 0.15%
German POWs in French hands 2.58%
Japanese POWs held by U.S.: relatively low, mainly suicides according to James D. Morrow
Japanese POWs in Chinese hands: 24% (though it seems like they have reason to be pissed off)

"However, Japanese civilians "were often surprised at the comparatively humane treatment they received from the American enemy." According to Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power by Mark Selden, the Americans "did not pursue a policy of torture, rape, and murder of civilians as Japanese military officials had warned.""


In some cases the US in fact court martialed American soldiers due to war crimes (even though many were ignored). As best as I can tell the US as a whole did not support war crimes even if a number of people in power did, whereas both the Nazis and Japan Empire at the highest levels supported and encouraged atrocities. If you have indications to the contrary, please show me the reports.

Thank You Veterans (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390423)

On this Veterans Day, I would like to thank all veterans for serving our country for protecting our freedoms and way of life.
Without these brave men and women, we would not be the mightiest, richest, most powerful nation on Earth.
God Bless America.

Re:Thank You Veterans (0)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about 9 months ago | (#45390539)

Everything that has a beginning has an end... Enjoy it while it lasts.

Jingoism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390571)

On this Veterans Day, I would like to thank all veterans for serving our country for protecting our freedoms and way of life.

That applies to WWII veterans and Revolutionary War veterans. Everybody else?

Please explain how the Korean , Viet Nam, and the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan have protected my "freedom" and "way of life"?

Explain to me how the death of my loved ones in the military has protected my "way of life" or my "freedom"?

My way of life was destroyed and freedom eroded in 2001 when my retarded Congress passed the PATRIOT Act, put the DHS in place and pretty much put us on track to being a police state and curtailing many of my Fourth Amendment Rights.

My way life ceased to exist when my Government felt the need to spy on all of us.

To me, the true freedom fighters are the ones protesting against the wars, against the Big Money controlling our government and folks saying "Hey! Wait a minute here! WTF does Iraq have to do with terrorism?!"

I am grateful that they are folks who volunteer - even if it is just to pay for their education - to risk their lives for our country - don't get me wrong.

But let's not kid ourselves into thinking these wars are all about freedom and way of life - whatever "way of life" means. That's all jingoism to get the masses to go along with wars that do not hold up to scrutiny.

Fighting Germans and Japanese who want to control the World? Absolutely!

Invading a country because they may - sort of- possibly have weapons of mass destruction?

Please. If that's so important, then when is the N. Korean invasion? Or Chinese?

Re:Jingoism (0)

clovis (4684) | about 9 months ago | (#45391329)

Please explain how the Korean , Viet Nam, and the Gulf Wars and Afghanistan have protected my "freedom" and "way of life"?

You included Korea and Vietnam. How can you be so ignorant? How can you not know the difference between life under the communist regimes as practiced by the Soviet Union in those days, or even as practiced today in North Korea and Vietnam?
Your way of life, revised:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collectivization_in_the_Soviet_Union [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chinese_Famine [wikipedia.org]
http://www.libertyinnorthkorea.org/why-north-korea/ [libertyinnorthkorea.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeducation_camp [wikipedia.org]

As for the first Iraq war, look it up yourself.
As for the second Iraq war, I have to agree with you.
As for the Afghan war, sometimes it's simply revenge, and sometimes that's appropriate. See Ender's Game.

Re:Jingoism (1)

Nephandus (2953269) | about 9 months ago | (#45391435)

Consider what most soldiers actually consider "freedom" too. Most weren't fighting for many rights at all, but the expectation of denying them. They were fighting for their own myopic rights to authoritarianism. Only a tiny minority throughout history ever believed in freedom of speech, for instance. Most believe in enforcing sexism (mostly for women, ironically) and general religious or quasi-religious "tradition" based privileges.

Then there's insisting on innocence, on the explicit grounds they got paid to do whatever shit they did. No sense of irony there at all. The Nuremberg defense was always very popular in the US among the government's proud attack dogs, on and off their pissing grounds, which they even expanded. Remember the colonies that didn't want anything to do with the Feds to begin with? The Army took care of that and the following rebellions of the unwilling citizenry. Know how we "liberated" Hawaii from its population? That's obviously leaving out the tradition of the Army vs the continental natives...and even white pioneers they pretended to be "civilizing" the property of(f).

Re:Thank You Veterans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390599)

On this Veterans Day, I would like to thank all veterans for serving our country for protecting our freedoms

Veterans since 2001 deserve no thanks for serving Barak Bush. Enjoy being violated by TSA, freedom lover.

Re: Thank You Veterans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390629)

I am American and you can take your self richeous attitude and shove it up you ass. And btw, fuck god also.

Re: Thank You Veterans (2)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390857)

Be glad these people fought so you can have the right to express this opinion. In my opinion the wars that came afterward had little to do with our freedoms but I don't think things would have turned out as well if we were currently under Japan Empire or Nazi rule today.

My bent $0.02 and I don't care where you'd like me to shove it, I'll give my opinion when it suits me and you are welcome to do the same.

Re: Thank You Veterans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390995)

It's not that I'm not agreeing with you, I just think it's funny how people voice their opinions so often by simply stringing together the same old drivel that has been passed down through the generations.

Seems like everyone's still so obsessed with showing their individualism by proudly wearing uniforms.

Re: Thank You Veterans (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45391141)

No disagreement there, just suggesting to state your own opinion rather than merely suggesting others "fuck off". I've found everyone (including myself) is usually right... and usually wrong. It is just a question of how much of each at any given time ;p

Re: Thank You Veterans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390861)

I am American and you can take your self richeous attitude and shove it up you ass. And btw, fuck god also.

Ironic coming from a person living in a country in which their currency is labelled 'In God We Trust."

Re: Thank You Veterans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391273)

BREAKING NEWS: Some people disagree with their leaders !!!

Re: Thank You Veterans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391069)

I have just prayed for you.

Re:Thank You Veterans (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 9 months ago | (#45390685)

Unfortunately, our thanks hasn't much of a material side: If you're a librarian or a mail carrier or a DMV clerk you have today off, but if you're only a veteran you have to go to work.

Re:Thank You Veterans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390855)

On this Veterans Day, I would like to thank all veterans for serving our country for protecting our freedoms and way of life.
Without these brave men and women, we would not be the mightiest, richest, most powerful nation on Earth.
God Bless America.

OK, seriously? Are you saying that we fought wars for, essentially, money and power? No. GTFO my 'Merica, you just don't get it. Here's how it went down:

"Well, boys, Japan just blew the shit out of Pearl Harbor and sunk a good chunk of the fleet. Who wants to go on a stupid-brave suicide mission just to prove a point, and then probably get captured and tortured without mercy? All of you, huh? OK, let's GO!"

Re:Thank You Veterans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391413)

...another place, same time...
Here's how it went down:
Politician1: "Thank you for your contribution. Rest assured that using misguided patriotism and nationalism we can achieve our goals in record time."

dD0ll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390475)

around return it corpse turned over 7000 Users of

Barry Barber (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390541)

That's my middle school history teacher! Back in the mid 90's he had all of us write questions to WWII soldiers and we got video responses from all of them. Very cool teacher who was/probably still is a huge techie. Great to see him doing well!

yo0 fail it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390547)

Who paid the price. (2, Interesting)

willy everlearn (82796) | about 9 months ago | (#45390549)

Doolittle's raid had little/no actual strategic value.

The price tag was..... I have read estimates that between 300 thousand to 1 million Chinese paid the ultimate price for getting the crews out.

Not taking away from the valor of the crew. They deserve our undying respect.

But, the price paid for it..... I wonder.

willy

Re:Who paid the price. (4, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45390605)

The short of it is the Doolittle raid led to the battle of Midway which is considered a major turning point of the war.

http://www.angelo.edu/content/news/1466-doolittle-raid-remembered-for-impact [angelo.edu]

Re:Who paid the price. (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about 9 months ago | (#45390891)

You beat me to it (my more long-winded post can be found below), but precisely. PRECISELY. The Japanese military knew that the raid was just that -- a raid, and no more -- but they still felt compelled to respond. And Yamamoto won his argument for Midway as a DIRECT result of that raid.

Re:Who paid the price. (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45391163)

Yeah, with all due respect to willy everlearn (I suspect most people here are intelligent most of the time, I know I'm not some times), I wish people would back up potentially inflamitory statements. It tends to sent off my I know I read otherwise flag and my must reeducate style rants :)

Re:Who paid the price. (4, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | about 9 months ago | (#45390703)

What Drethon said. The Doolittle raid was a major embarrassment to the Japanese military, and it became clear that any repetition would be followed by rolling heads. As a result, some major naval assets were pulled back into home-waters defense, and that contributed a lot to the outcome at Midway.

Re:Who paid the price. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45390705)

Doolittle's raid had little/no actual strategic value.

The price tag was..... I have read estimates that between 300 thousand to 1 million Chinese paid the ultimate price for getting the crews out.

Not taking away from the valor of the crew. They deserve our undying respect.

But, the price paid for it..... I wonder.

willy

WRONG

The Japanese response to the Doolittle raid was to attempt to seize Midway Island and the ensuing Battle of Midway [wikipedia.org]

The Battle of Midway ( Middow Kaisen?) in the Pacific Theater of Operations was one of the most important naval battles of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack on Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet Military historian John Keegan called it "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare." It was Japan's worst naval defeat in 350 years.

The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, sought to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The Japanese hoped that another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to capitulate in the Pacific War and thus ensure Japanese dominance in the Pacific.

The Japanese plan was to lure the United States' aircraft carriers into a trap. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway as part of an overall plan to extend their defensive perimeter in response to the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo. This operation was also considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji, Samoa, and Hawaii itself. ....

Re:Who paid the price. (5, Informative)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about 9 months ago | (#45390735)

> Doolittle's raid had little/no actual strategic value.

I may be a little older than you, but I'm surprised at the number of people nowadays who don't know what actually happened in WWII. It has been over half a century now, so at most it gets a chapter in the history books, highly condensed. I had the great pleasure of reading (among other things) Admiral Nimitz's history of that war, very detailed, with a look at every decision -- juggling horribly short assets against needs everywhere.

In fact, the Doolittle Raid had a significant strategic impact -- it caused the Japanese to redistribute their forces. In particular, they strongly weakened their carrier forces in the Indian Ocean. It also strengthened Yamamoto's position in favor of the Battle of Midway, which was the turning point of the entire Pacific war. (Some revisionist historians now want to argue with that, but their heads are filled with revisionist cheese. Losing several aircraft carriers in a single battle meant that Japan would never again be able to take the initiative.) :)

I hate war. As Sherman said, "War is hell." But if you attack me, or threaten those I love, I'm a typical American: I gitterdone, the entire time wishing that you'd just kept your mind right and left me alone. I'm not saying that everyone feels that way, but I am typical.

Only those who've seen the suffering can begin to imagine how awful war is. My Veteran's Day story comes from Sandy's grandfather, who was in a foxhole in St. Vith when the Germans kicked off the Battle of the Bulge. In my eyes, he was a freakin' hero, and I begged him to talk about it.

All he would say was, "I lost a lot of friends that day." Nothing more. I felt ashamed for bringing it up, and we changed the topic.

Yes, you can argue about Korea, Vietnam, et. al. But go back and read histories written by Nimitz and others who were there. No, there wasn't a great deal of fear that Germany or Japan could actually occupy the United States, but there was still a very real possibility that Japan and Germany would win. We've gotten cocky nowadays, but back then, what with bad torpedoes, ossified admirals who didn't want to use that "newfangled" radar, planes that couldn't keep up with the Mitsubishi Zero, it was anything but a guaranteed thing.

As for the results of an Axis victory, I suggest a good dose of Turtledove or other alternative history. It wouldn't have been pretty. At all.

Can't a bunch of old farts get together and drink (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 9 months ago | (#45390729)

. . . without everyone making a international political fuss about it? War is terrible for all . . . and these lucky few just want to celebrate that they managed to get their hairy asses out of that shit alive.

Leave 'em alone.

Re:Can't a bunch of old farts get together and dri (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#45390913)

Kind of hard to leave 'em alone when they've got webcams on commemorating (not celebrating) soldier's sacrifice at their last get-together for all the world to see, eh?

Many Japanese were glad when news of surrender came and the war was finally over for them too. Not all their civilians were war mongers. I agree: War is hell for all involved, but for some it's more hellish than for others. [youtube.com]

Re:Can't a bunch of old farts get together and dri (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#45391087)

Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Re:Can't a bunch of old farts get together and dri (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391333)

. . . without everyone making a international political fuss about it? War is terrible for all . . . and these lucky few just want to celebrate that they managed to get their hairy asses out of that shit alive.

Leave 'em alone.

Nobody is making an international political fuss about it. Just a few random commenters on libertarian slanting blogs like Slashdot.

World War II's Last Surviving Doolittle Raiders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45391459)

World War II's Last Surviving Doolittle Raiders Make Their Final Toast

I hope they didn't burn it.

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