Thursday, March 18, 2021

Twilight of the Gods by Ian W. Toll

 The Final Volume of the Pacific War Trilogy

War in the Western Pacific 1944-1945

I'll not give a review of this book. I've read perhaps a dozen accounts of this conflict and watched half as many documentaries. I'll tell you how it turns out. Japan loses.

Many, including a former President with a strange smeared-shit-on-toilet-paper pallor and tiny hands, consider this America's greatest moment. Which is hilarious. A savage gump of a hick nation from the 1930s, with a laughable science program, kicks the crap out of a guy ten times smaller, and then somehow creates a physics-powered Long Boom economy.

The irony is the so-called greatness was done with a command economy and the help of a refugee population that gave us nuclear power and TV sitcoms.

WWII itself is not the glory we see in the movies and in our retarded popular culture. It will be remembered by our hopefully more advanced descendants as a burst open stinking carcass that best be buried in a cornfield someplace.

Regardless, each historical account provides another excerpt worth remembering, and here is the excerpt I culled from this book, 10/25/1944 at the Battle off Cape Engano, Bill Davis flying a Hellcat from the Lexington:

"At 10,000 feet there was a thick black cloud of bursting shells from the 40mm and 5 inch guns... a second deadly cloud forming at 4,000 feet from the exploding 20mm* shells". Knowing that velocity was his friend, Davis firewalled the throttle. Pulling out of the dive, he estimated he was flying more than 500 miles an hour, significantly faster than Grumman's recommended maximum. He was low over the sea, and a Japanese heavy cruiser loomed ahead. Rapidly it grew larger in his windshield; he did not have time to turn away. Davis pulled up and banked hard adn to the right, passing between the superstructure and the forward gun turret. "I was perhaps three feet from the windows on the bridge and could see the Japanese officers and enlisted men commanding the ship," he said. "There was an admiral in dress whites, complete with sword. The other officers and men were also in dress whites. I was going 530 miles an hour, and I only got a glimpse, but that image is impressed on my mind forever."

1 comment:

  1. *My dad was a signalman aboard an LST, who, during battle, manned a 20mm anti-aircraft gun. I've often wondered what happened to the Japanese counterparts of my dad.