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Lost Evidence - 6/13/2012 8:03:16 PM   
Empire101


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I watched the 'Lost Evidence' Documentary about the retaking of Guam in 1944 on Sky today.

It was one of the more horrific battles amongst the hundreds of battles fought in the Pacific, and the surviving Marines who were on the documentary,
( George Tibbs, Andy Manzanff, Cyril O'Brien, Sam Ukrop and Gib Kanter, all from the glorious 1st Marine Brigade ), each had their own story to tell of that terrible battle.
Men who had been to hell and back quite literally.

I was truly humbled listening to their stories.

True Heroes.

The American Marines.......a great credit and asset of America.

[ incidentally, the last Japanese prisoner taken on Guam was in 1972 ]

< Message edited by Empire101 -- 6/13/2012 8:05:29 PM >


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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/13/2012 8:53:55 PM   
dr.hal


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Is it on the web?

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/13/2012 8:55:55 PM   
Empire101


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I don't know, I just saw it this afternoon on Sky.

Horribly riveting...

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/13/2012 9:23:29 PM   
moonraker


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All the Pacific editions of "The Lost Evidence" are very good as are the European and North Africa Campaign ones made before .

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/13/2012 9:49:06 PM   
spence

 

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I do not wish to denigrate the achievements nor the valor of the USMC (and US Army) in their island assaults in the Pacific in WW2 but the U.S. always brought enough of everything to the fight to insure that the Japanese garrison was done for.

That is very much unlike the IJN/IJA who figured that 1000 men of the Ichiki Detachment could handle 10000(+) U.S. Marines. The Japanese garrisons of the various islands fought bravely for sure but the end and strategic result was in every case the same: the island was lost, 90%+ of the garrison was dead, and the U.S. had another base closer to Tokyo. Except for Iwo Jima the IJA/IJN loses (virtually all dead) were the same or greater than the total U.S. losses (KIA,WIA,MIA combined). In the specific instance of Guam the overall land combat odds were 1.5 to 1 in favor of the U.S. The overall losses were 2.5 IJA/IJN (virtually all dead) to 1 US (KIA,WIA,MIA).

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/13/2012 10:25:48 PM   
AW1Steve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

I do not wish to denigrate the achievements nor the valor of the USMC (and US Army) in their island assaults in the Pacific in WW2 but the U.S. always brought enough of everything to the fight to insure that the Japanese garrison was done for.

That is very much unlike the IJN/IJA who figured that 1000 men of the Ichiki Detachment could handle 10000(+) U.S. Marines. The Japanese garrisons of the various islands fought bravely for sure but the end and strategic result was in every case the same: the island was lost, 90%+ of the garrison was dead, and the U.S. had another base closer to Tokyo. Except for Iwo Jima the IJA/IJN loses (virtually all dead) were the same or greater than the total U.S. losses (KIA,WIA,MIA combined). In the specific instance of Guam the overall land combat odds were 1.5 to 1 in favor of the U.S. The overall losses were 2.5 IJA/IJN (virtually all dead) to 1 US (KIA,WIA,MIA).



Spence numbers are wonderful, but almost NEVER tell the whole story. Otherwise accountants would rule the world. (Or mathematicians rule the forum, but that's another story).

As someone who has climbed all over the battlegrounds of that island, let me tell you that there were many terrain features where 10 men could hold thousands. (Take that Spartans!). None of the Marianas are easily taken, as they are filled with cliffs,reefs,overlooks, reversed slopes and many other features favoring the defenders, who had nearly 3 years to fortify them. And the Japanese did that , and defended them well. Numbers and weapons would help, but the only way to take those islands foot by foot, inch by inch. Accept that, and the courage it took , or you DO denigrate those men. As well as the Chamorro's who did their best and risked their lives to help the Americans.

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/13/2012 10:40:36 PM   
Historiker


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Youtube is filled with the lost evidence epiodes.

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/14/2012 10:00:01 AM   
Empire101


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve



Spence numbers are wonderful, but almost NEVER tell the whole story. Otherwise accountants would rule the world. (Or mathematicians rule the forum, but that's another story).

As someone who has climbed all over the battlegrounds of that island, let me tell you that there were many terrain features where 10 men could hold thousands. (Take that Spartans!). None of the Marianas are easily taken, as they are filled with cliffs,reefs,overlooks, reversed slopes and many other features favoring the defenders, who had nearly 3 years to fortify them. And the Japanese did that , and defended them well. Numbers and weapons would help, but the only way to take those islands foot by foot, inch by inch. Accept that, and the courage it took , or you DO denigrate those men. As well as the Chamorro's who did their best and risked their lives to help the Americans.


[You have been there Steve!? Got any pictures???]

Well put sir. The sheer guts and determination of the Marines always makes me admire their achievements.

One also admires the martial prowess and guts of the IJA, but there is always left in the back of one's mind,
a lingering horror to the unnecessary brutalities inflicted on PoW's and civilians alike.

Every Army in history has inflicted hardship and brutal reprisals on the PoW's and civilian populations under their control, but nearly all were localised or down to a few individuals and were not official policy.
The IJA have blotted their copybook in history, because they went so far off the dial, and made it an official policy sanctioned by the Military.
Bushido has many concepts and ideas that one can admire, and many one cannot.

The Americans in the Pacific on the other hand, did, on the whole, show enormous courage against a determined (bordering on the fanatical in many case's ), disciplined and sheer downright bloody-minded foe.
And won.

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Post #: 8
RE: Lost Evidence - 6/14/2012 11:00:34 PM   
spence

 

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All that I meant to emphasize was that on a strategic scale the facts say that the Japanese garrisons were wiped out nearly to the last man, the U.S. gained whatever tactical/strategic position they sought and that although the (wargame) odds were less than optimal the total casualties (with the exception of Iwo Jima) basically favored the Americans.

It seems to me that there is a certain tendency to think that the U.S. beat the IJN and the IJA by supplying more men to the meatgrinder than the Japanese had bullets for. That is pure JFB B.S. The Japanese didn't give a rats @ss for however many men they threw away no matter how insignificant the reason. The U.S. did. Our casualties were therefore emphasized in the reporting of the battle. The other side's casualties and their lack of strategic achievement were not.

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/15/2012 5:39:52 AM   
Icedawg


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Empire101

I watched the 'Lost Evidence' Documentary about the retaking of Guam in 1944 on Sky today.

It was one of the more horrific battles amongst the hundreds of battles fought in the Pacific, and the surviving Marines who were on the documentary,
( George Tibbs, Andy Manzanff, Cyril O'Brien, Sam Ukrop and Gib Kanter, all from the glorious 1st Marine Brigade ), each had their own story to tell of that terrible battle.
Men who had been to hell and back quite literally.

I was truly humbled listening to their stories.

True Heroes.

The American Marines.......a great credit and asset of America.

[ incidentally, the last Japanese prisoner taken on Guam was in 1972 ]


I just read up on that guy. Absolutely amazing that he survived undetected for that long. I probably wouldn't have lasted a week! His name was Shoichi Yokoi. Google it and read his story. Granted, he fought for what history has conclusively shown to be the "wrong" side, but you still have to admire his dedication and resourcefulness.

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/15/2012 5:46:20 AM   
Icedawg


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You might also want to check out Fumio Nakahira. A quick google search indicates that he was the last Japanese soldier to surrender - in 1980! Thirty five years! This guy would sure kick butt on that show Survivor!

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Post #: 11
RE: Lost Evidence - 6/15/2012 6:34:04 AM   
danlongman

 

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You just have to look at the political effect that battles like Tarawa and Okinawa and the casualties incurred had
on the entire conduct of the war. Tarawa rattled the whole USN/USMC when they realised what each island base was
going to cost. The fact of the matter was that casualties mattered very much to the Americans. There was quite
a ruckus over Tarawa with more than a thousand KIA, most in a couple of hours, for a piece of coral smaller
than most american towns. Many people believe the casualties at Okinawa led directly to the decision to go nuclear.
Generally losses in island fighting were roughly equal with virtually all Japanese KIA and 2/3 to 3/4 of american casualties being wounded.
In Japan it was felt that if they could kill enough americans they would be able to get terms. That wan't going to happen but neither culture understood the other.

General Giap had a similar plan. It worked better but he had TV to use as a weapon.

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/15/2012 10:21:04 AM   
Empire101


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Good points Dan.

The Japanese were working on the premise that each Japanese soldier would take 5-7 Americans with them in the fighting.

The Americans were not prepared to die for Roosevelt, they wanted to live.

The noxious mixture of Bushido, Shintoism and the deification of the Emperor meant that the Japanese were prepared to die no matter how hopeless the situation was.

As it worked out, with superior American tactics, American guts and an insuperable material advantage, the actual reverse happened.

No amount of 'Samurai' spirit was going to redress those facts.

(One has in some regard to pity those who threw away their lives in such a lost cause, but as I've mentioned earlier in this thread only upto a point.)

Now I'm going to read up on the names Icedawgs post mentions!!




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Our lives may be more boring than those who lived in apocalyptic times,
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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/15/2012 11:55:52 AM   
zzodr


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Sure, casualties mattered to the US. However military deaths as a percentage of US population was quite low compared to other countries involved in WW2.

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/15/2012 3:47:24 PM   
oldman45


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I think Palau was the worst. Lots of factors caused the 1st Marine to suffer horrible losses. Poorly planned, poorly managed, and not even needed in the big scheme of things. Sheer brute force finally won the day at horrific cost.

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RE: Lost Evidence - 6/16/2012 2:19:29 PM   
Empire101


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quote:

ORIGINAL: oldman45

I think Palau was the worst. Lots of factors caused the 1st Marine to suffer horrible losses. Poorly planned, poorly managed, and not even needed in the big scheme of things. Sheer brute force finally won the day at horrific cost.


Sometimes one has to rely on sheer brute force to get the job done.


_____________________________

Our lives may be more boring than those who lived in apocalyptic times,
but being bored is greatly preferable to being prematurely dead because of some ideological fantasy.
- Michael Burleigh


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Post #: 16
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