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Juneteenth Mania

Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in Texas after the end of the War Between the States. For a long time it was a Texas only holiday, but for some reason over the past year or so it’s become a national cause celeb.

I’ll leave it to the readers to discuss the reasons for that, since I don’t care to speculate.

Just a bit of perspective then.

On September 22, 1862 President Lincoln (a Republican) signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It took effect on January 1, 1863 and freed all of the slaves in territory of the Confederate States of America. Why President Lincoln waited until two or so years after the start of the War Between the States, only he knew and he never said.

Here is the text,

That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

None of this took effect in Texas until after the end of the war. General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston on June 19, 1865 to assert federal control over the former CSA state. One of his charges was to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.

The general issued the following proclamation officially informing Texans that there would be no further slavery in the state.

The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

The holiday was celebrated “Jubilee Day” and celebrated as that for many years.

In 1938 Governor of Texas James V. Allred issued the following proclamation,

Whereas, the Negroes in the State of Texas observe June 19 as the official day for the celebration of Emancipation from slavery; and

Whereas, June 19, 1865, was the date when General Robert [sic] S. Granger, who had command of the Military District of Texas, issued a proclamation notifying the Negroes of Texas that they were free; and

Whereas, since that time, Texas Negroes have observed this day with suitable holiday ceremony, except during such years when the day comes on a Sunday; when the Governor of the State is asked to proclaim the following day as the holiday for State observance by Negroes; and

Whereas, June 19, 1938, this year falls on Sunday; NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES V. ALLRED, Governor of the State of Texas, do set aside and proclaim the day of June 20, 1938, as the date for observance of EMANCIPATION DAY in Texas, and do urge all members of the Negro race in Texas to observe the day in a manner appropriate to its importance to them.

Note that this was a Texas only holiday and a strict reading implies that it was a one year only holiday.

In 1970 Texas made it an official state holiday. Again, commemorating the end of slavery in TEXAS.

So, here’s the problem with it being a national holiday. Texas was over two years behind the rest of the nation in officially freeing it’s slaves. Actually, the slaves in Texas had been free since January 1, 1863, but Texas refused to comply until Union troops forced the issue.

It’s moot point of course because the mania has resulted in all 50 states and the federal government declaring June 19 as “Juneteenth.” Except that it appears to be one of those Monday holidays, not one celebrated on the actual date like US Independence Day on July 4.

A cynic, which I am not, might think that it’s just an excuse for politicians to signal their virtue and for some employees to get another paid day off. In some states the employees have the option of taking Friday or Monday off. Which surprised me on June 18th, when my trash lay outside all day uncollected.

If we as a nation were serious, we’d make September 22 “Emancipation Day” as that was the day the proclamation was signed by President Lincoln.

I suppose we could consider November 1, 1864 since that is the day that Maryland (a Union State) officially ended slavery in the state. Yes, Maryland despite being a union state, was also a slave holder state.

We could start another debate about the real causes of the War Between the States, but that’s a debate that will go on for another 100 years.

Texas should keep “Juneteenth” and the rest of us should celebrate “Emancipation Day.”

Oddly enough, I couldn’t find the etymology of the word “Juneteenth.” Who came up with that and why?

A final note on Wikipedia. It’s convenient, but not particularly accurate. Some of the articles are horribly slanted, so use a lot of caution when reading articles and using it as a source. You’ll note that I took a couple of quotes and dates, but not much of the rest from the articles there.

 

Only Police And The Military Can Be Trusted With Firearms

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Or so we are told by the anti gun Main Stream Media.

Which makes this story by the always anti gun Associated Press a surprise.

Some stolen US military guns used in violent crimes

In the first public accounting of its kind in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found that at least 1,900 U.S. military firearms were lost or stolen during the 2010s, with some resurfacing in violent crimes. Because some armed services have suppressed the release of basic information, AP’s total is a certain undercount.

Government records covering the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force show pistols, machine guns, shotguns and automatic assault rifles have vanished from armories, supply warehouses, Navy warships, firing ranges and other places where they were used, stored or transported. These weapons of war disappeared because of unlocked doors, sleeping troops, a surveillance system that didn’t record, break-ins and other security lapses that, until now, have not been publicly reported.

For a civilian gun owner losing a firearm is a big deal. A really bid deal in some states. In my state, which has very strict firearms regulations losing a handgun will at the least result in loss of one’s concealed carry license. At worst, it can lead to felony charges and permanent loss of the right to own firearms. That includes thefts if the state can demonstrate that firearms were not properly stored when not in use.

Top officials within the Army, Marines and Secretary of Defense’s office said that weapon accountability is a high priority, and when the military knows a weapon is missing it does trigger a concerted response to recover it. The officials also said missing weapons are not a widespread problem and noted that the number is a tiny fraction of the military’s stockpile.

“We have a very large inventory of several million of these weapons,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in an interview. “We take this very seriously and we think we do a very good job. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t losses. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t mistakes made.”

I should keep this quote in mind if I ever suffer a loss of one of my firearms. I’ll just tell the police that it’s only a tiny fraction of the number of firearms I own and I took it very seriously once I figured out that this expensive piece of hardware had vanished from my safe.

Yeah, that will work.

It’s often an insider who does the theft, especially someone who is in a position to handle firearms or parts on a regular basis. Human nature is to become a bit complacent about this and trust people you know to behave responsibly.

In 2014, NCIS began investigating the theft of weapons parts from Special Boat Team Twelve, a Navy unit based in Coronado, California. Four M4 trigger assemblies that could make a civilian AR-15 fully automatic were missing. Investigators found an armory inventory manager was manipulating electronic records by moving items or claiming they had been transferred. The parts were never recovered and the case was closed after federal prosecutors declined to file charges.

Yet the AP and other media outlets are constantly worrying about people making “ghost” guns in their basements. Why do that when you can buy high quality parts from a government employed thief?

BTW, this sort of thing also happens in EMS, only with controlled drugs like Fentanyl and Versed instead of firearms.

Note also that federal prosecutors declined to press charges. There are valid reasons for this, but there are also invalid reasons such as not wanting to embarrass anyone.

The entire article is worth reading, although there is some slant in it like all media articles. There also appears to be some prevarication on the part of the military so admit that there is a problem or how they plan to address it.

There are two things to keep in mind in addition to what was reported.

First, there are a measurable number of criminal gang members who enlist in the military. They do this for legitimate reasons such as wanting to escape the gang life and it’s risks. Some also do it for non legitimate reasons. One is to get military training so as to be more efficient at dealing with rival gang members and resisting the police. Another is the potential to bring criminal activity, such as theft and drug dealing into military housing. Firearms theft would also be a motivator. Something to think about, isn’t it?

The other is that this article covers theft or loss from out military, not civilian law enforcement agencies. I couldn’t find any good stories on the overall issue, just scattered articles on individual thefts.

Thefts include those of law enforcement weapons and thefts of guns taken in evidence or held for other reasons. It also includes more than a few stories where law enforcement officers left guns in places like public rest rooms or other places. Again, if a civilian does this, he is going to have a lot of explaining to do.

Somewhat embarrassingly, the federal agency in charge of enforcing firearms laws in the US also has a lost gun problem,

ATF’s problem of ‘lost, stolen, or missing’ guns has gotten better, but it’s still a problem

TF firearms have vanished under embarrassing circumstances, according to the report:

  • Ten firearms, including one rifle, were stolen from government vehicles in separate incidents. The agents received four- or five-day suspensions.
  • A neighbor found an ATF gun on top of a vehicle. The responsible agent was suspended for four days.
  • Agents twice lost pistols at restaurants. One officer received a letter of reprimand; the other was suspended for eight days.
  • An agent who left a weapon in a briefcase on the Metro was suspended for 10 days.
  • A missing revolver was found in an employee’s personal car, resulting in a 25-day suspension, the severest disciplinary action listed.

Horowitz said his office identified “several significant deficiencies related to tracking and inventory of ammunition. For example, ammunition tracking records were understated by almost 31 thousand rounds at the 13 sites we audited. Given that ATF has over 275 offices, the number of unaccounted ammunition rounds is likely much higher.”

Need I drone on again about what would happen to me if I lost any of my firearms? And at the prices ammunition is selling at these days, I know where every single round I own is sitting!

So, when you hear someone talking about how gun owners should be penalized for losing guns or ammunition, point them this way.

Pulse Nightclub Terrorist Attack

On June 12, 2016 Omar Mateen attacked patrons inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. Over the past weekend there were numerous observances of this brutal attack and they all had one thing in common.

They all attributed this to homophobia, none mentioned that Pulse was not his first target, but one that he picked at random after his first intended target proved to have security that was too tight for him to breach.

Given the rampant homophobia in the Islamic world, it was not unreasonable for people, including then candidate Donald Trump to comment that it was a dual purpose attack by a deranged Islamofascist.

This is a transcript of Mateen’s long phone conversation with a 9-1-1 operator and then hostage negotiator in Orlando.

SUSPECT: This is Mateen (speaking in another language). I want to let you know I’m in Orlando and I did the shooting.

911 OPERATOR: What’s your name?

SUSPECT: My name is I Pledge of Allegiance
to (unidentifiable name) of the Islamic State.

911 OPERATOR: Okay. What’s your name?

SUSPECT: I pledge my allegiance to
(unidentifiable name) on behalf of the Islamic
State.

Note that he pledges his allegiance to the Islamic State.

A few minutes later he’s talking to the hostage negotiator.

SUSPECT: You’re speaking to the person who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of
(unidentified name).

NEGOTIATOR: Can you tell me where you are right now so I can you get some help?

SUSPECT: No. Because you have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq. They are killing a lot of innocent people. What am I to do here when my people are getting killed over there. You get what I’m saying?

NEGOTIATOR: I do. I completely get what you’re saying. What I’m trying to do is prevent anybody else from getting —

SUSPECT: You need to stop the U.S. air strikes. They need to stop the U.S. air strikes,
okay?

NEGOTIATOR: I understand.

SUSPECT: They need to stop the U.S. air strikes. You have to tell the U.S. government to stop bombing. They are killing too many children, they are killing too many women, okay?

NEGOTIATOR: I understand that. Here is why I’m here right now. I’m with the Orlando
police. Can you tell me what you know about what’s going on tonight?

SUSPECT: What’s going on is that I feel the pain of the people getting killed in Syria and Iraq and all over the Muslim (unidentified word).

Again, nothing about homosexual, lesbians, trans, or anything related. It’s all about the U.S. bombing Afghanistan and Syria.

In it’s investigation of the attack, the FBI found plenty of evidence that Mateen was infuriated by the US attacks in the Mideast, but none that homphobia was a factor.

Yet, the myth persists.

It does that because it perpetuates two falsehoods that the Fake Stream Media loves. One is that there is little to no Islamic Terrorism in the US, the other is that homosexuals are under constant attack.

Of course countless opportunists are using the terrorist attack as an opportunity to further their own agendas.

That might be the greatest tragedy of all. Perverting the attack on America and Americans into another check box on someone’s political agenda cheapens the deaths and injuries suffered that night five years ago.

As I’ve noted before, the Left prefers sympathetic victims to those who would defend themselves.

 

Edgar Buchanan

Edgar Buchanan was one of the most recognized character actors of the 20th Century. From his first role in 1939 until he retired he was in 100 movies and countless TV shows.

He practiced dentistry for about 10 years before moving to California. There he started out as an amateur actor in plays. In 1939 he had a small role in a movie and decided to become a full time actor. He turned his practice over to his wife, who was also a dentist.

To fans of movies during the Golden Age of Hollywood he was a frequent site in all sorts of movies.

Before television was invented he was a staple in movies. Mostly known for playing slightly or outright disreputable characters in westerns he also played judges, lawyers, and other secondary or minor characters in all sorts of films.

He even played a dentist in at least one movie filmed not too long after he gave that up to become an actor full time.

To Baby Boomers he’s best known as “Uncle Joe Carson” in the 1960’s TV comedy Petticoat Junction. He appeared in every one of the 222 episodes of that show.

He was rarely out of work during his film career and made an easy transition to TV where he was frequently cast as a guest star on popular shows.

Movie producers and directors often had favorite character actors that they would use over and over. Buchanan with is distinctive gravelly voice, easy going manner onscreen was very popular for small to medium roles in many movies.

 

Update To My Fauci Post

Since I can’t figure out how to bump posts, I want to let you know that i updated my post from June 7 with more information. It’s worth a second read.

Joining The 21st Century

A repost from last year. Or encore performance if you wish. With better pictures.

Striker fired, polymer framed handguns are all the rage these days. Well, truth be told, they’ve been all the range for over 30 years, but the trend in increasing. Every manufacturer seems to have several models and some manufacturers have stopped making metal framed pistols. More will follow as metal framed guns are expensive to make due to all of the machining required.

Law enforcement agencies have pretty much replaced their metal framed guns, with only a few hold outs left. The future is polymer framed and even though I’m not a fan, they do have their purpose.

What is really hot right now are “micro” and mini sized 9mm. Personally, I often carry a sub compact Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special 9mm (CS9). It’s compact, has an aluminum alloy frame, and is 100% reliable as long as the owner maintains it.

The problem is that S&W stopped making them around 2006 or so. Plus, those that have them don’t usually sell them. I was lucky to find one at a reasonable price and I snapped it up.

Many of the major firearms manufacturers have introduced polymer framed striker fired handguns with a similar configuration.

One of those is O.F. Mossberg. Mostly known for pretty good shotguns and rifles, management at the company saw this fast growing segment of the personal defense firearm and decided that they should join the party.

What they’ve come up with is the MC1sc. If you click on that link, you’ll see that there are ten different variations of the MC1sc. There are different variations, but the basics are the same. The major difference is that are two models with a manual cross bolt safety. The one that I got has no safety and thus operates more or less (maybe less) like a double action only revolver.

I picked on up today from a not quite local dealer who had a terrific price on the MC1sc. I won’t quote it, but it’s over $100.00 below the MSRP. If you’re interested, shop around, I have the feeling that a lot of dealers are going be carrying this.

Since it’s been way too cold to go to the range and actually shoot the MC1sc, this is a none firing review.

The gun feels good in my hand, which is important. If the a firearm doesn’t fit your hand comfortably, it’s unlikely to shoot well. The pistol feels solid and well built. In fact, it feel heavier than I expected. Balance is good, even with an empty magazine. With a loaded magazine, I expect it will feel even better. The sights are over sized white dots, which even more my ancient eyeballs are easy to pick up.

As I always do, the first thing I read when I got home was to read the manual. Then, I stripped the pistol and cleaned and lubricated it. The manual is full of the usual, and legally required, dire warnings, but it also has detailed stripping, cleaning, and reassembly instructions.

One really nice feature is the “Safe Takedown System.” This system allows the striker to be removed from the back of the slide and so does not require the trigger to be pulled to strip the pistol.

Oh, I forgot to mention a feature for left handed shooters. The magazine release, and safety (if so equipped) can be reversed to make operation easier for left handed shooters. That’s a neat feature that I don’t know if any other gun has.

Cleaning and lubricating the pistol is straight forward as is reassembly. This is where the Safe Takedown System really shines.

Once I have had a chance to get to the range and do some test firing, I’ll write another post with the results.

 

Lies, Damned Lies, and Fauci

Early on in the pandemic we were assured that this was an accidental pandemic that originated in a “wet market” in Wuhan China. We were assured that it was mere coincidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was located in the same area.

Dr. Anthony Fauci poo pooed and tut tutted the conspiracy theories that this was likely an accidental release of a virus being investigated.

That was one of his early lies.

Another was that there was nothing to worry about (January 2020).

He predicted millions of deaths based on computer modeling and then when that proved wrong, he told us that computer modeling was unreliable.

On March 20th, he told us that there was no proof that HCQ was effective. That was two weeks before 6,000 doctors around the world reported that it was a highly effective treatment.

Another was his statement on masks being unnecessary.

Followed by his lie that masks were required, along with “Social Distancing” and of course hiding in our basements.

In February 2020 he said that there was no reason to shut down the economy. Followed by a statement in April saying that the President should have shut down the economy in … February.

Now we find out that Fauci was lying about what was going on at the Wuhan virus lab. He told Senator Rand Paul that he was “absolutely wrong” about the National Institutes of Health funding “Gain of Function” research on SARS viruses.

As it turns out, Fauci was lying. Money was funneled to the Wuhan lab via a non profit run by a British doctor. Fauci and the doctor the continued to lie about it until they could lie no more.

Emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request show that Fauci was worried about a lab leak early in the pandemic despite his public pronouncements to the contrary.

Fauci appears to have lied at every turn during the pandemic. From the origins, to preventative measures, to treatments, he changed his statements to enhance his image and to hurt political opponents.

Oddly, the best reporting on the emails comes from other nations. Our media seems intent on keeping Fauci’s reputation as pure as the driven snow.

Dr Anthony Fauci’s thoughts in the early days of pandemic revealed in 4000 released emails

The US’ pre-eminent Covid-19 adviser discussed the claim that the virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory in the early days of the pandemic.

The revelation comes in a trove of emails from Dr Anthony Fauci released by the US Government to BuzzfeedCNN and the Washington Post.

Dr Fauci was told the virus, close up, had “unusual features”.

The claim Covid came from a lab was widely dismissed at the time but recently new life has been breathed into the theory, with Dr Fauci himself saying he is “not convinced” Covid is all natural.

I won’t even get into the fault PCR testing that he oversaw, the over attribution of deaths to the Covid 19, or the inaccurate diagnoses of cases of Covid when patients likely had something else. Fauci was not alone in that, although he knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it.

And now we have this,

The Great Unmasking of the COVID-Origin Coverup Scheme Continues

Dr Peter Palese, a microbiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, signed the letter in the Lancet in February last year claiming the virus could only have been natural in origin and to suggest otherwise would create ‘fear, rumors, and prejudice’.

The ‘bullying’ letter, orchestrated by Dr Peter Daszak, the head of a non-profit that funnelled U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was criticized by experts for ostracizing anyone offering different opinions on the virus’ origins, dismissing them as conspiracy theorists.

…Professor Palese, 77, has made a significant U-turn, admitting all theories on how Covid came about now need proper investigating.

He told MailOnline: ‘I believe a thorough investigation about the origin of the Covid-19 virus is needed.

‘A lot of disturbing information has surfaced since the Lancet letter I signed, so I want to see answers covering all questions.’

Asked how he was originally approached to sign the letter and what new information had come to light specifically, Professor Palese declined to comment.

An apparent conspiracy among prominent “scientists” to cover up the origin of the virus and attack anyone who questioned the orthodoxy.

Fauci also lied about funding “Gain of Function” research at the very same lab that he assured us the China Virus could not have leaked from

Fauci admits ‘modest’ NIH funding of Wuhan lab but denies ‘gain of function’

Fauci admits ‘modest’ NIH funding of Wuhan lab but denies ‘gain of function’

The National Institutes of Health earmarked $600,000 for the Wuhan Institute of Virology over a five-year period to study whether bat coronaviruses could be transmitted to humans, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told lawmakers Tuesday.

Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the money was funneled to the Chinese lab through the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance to fund “a modest collaboration with very respectable Chinese scientists who were world experts on coronavirus.”

  But Fauci emphatically denied that the money went toward so-called “gain of function” research, which he described as “taking a virus that could infect humans and making it either more transmissible and/or pathogenic for humans.”

“That categorically was not done,” he insisted.

Gain of Function research can be spun different ways, but it’s becoming clear that the Chinese are exploring ways to use it to manufacture bioweapons

Peter Daszak is a great friend of Anthony Fauci. Fauci sent the money to Daszak who in turn sent it to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Who is Peter Daszak, the nonprofit exec who sent taxpayer money to Wuhan lab?

According to Fauci’s official emails, which were posted online this week by Buzzfeed Daszak wrote him on April 18, 2020, to express gratitude for Fauci’s public statements backing the theory that the coronavirus evolved naturally.

“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Daszak wrote.

Fauci knew that his statements about natural origins were lies.

How is he not in jail awaiting trial for mass murder?

It’s likely, but we’ll never know, that Fauci’s lies caused needless suffering because of the over reaction to the virus. There were increases in suicides and overdose deaths last year into this year. People deferred needed medical care because they were terrified to go to the hospital, or make an appointment with their doctors. That’s if they could get an appointment as for months doctors, dentists, and other clinicians were unable to work because of what in retrospect were likely unnecessary lock downs.

That doesn’t even mention the people who lost their jobs permanently because the businesses that they owned or worked for are gone forever.

All based on a series of lies.

I won’t even touch (for now) upon how the pandemic was overblown in an effort to influence the 2020 Presidential election. That ties into the ongoing audits and investigations into potential voter fraud. That scandal will explode later this year at which time I’ll probably post on it.

I you had told me last fall that I’d be posting any of this, I’d have told you that you were crazy. It all seemed so far fetched, but now we’re finding out it wasn’t far fetched at all.

What other surprises will 2021 have in store for us?

The Boys From Bedford

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Today marks the 79th anniversary of the allied landings at Normandy in France. This was the start of the liberation of Europe from the grip of the Nazis. Technically, Italy was the start, but in many ways that campaign was a diversion to help put the Germans off balance and help the Russian efforts to drive them out of their country.

Included in the over 150,000 Allied troops were Thirty Four young men from the city of Bedford, VA. They were a part, a small part, of the invasion force.

All Thirty Four were in Company A of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division of the United States Army. Company A was in the first wave of the landings and it was a bloodbath. Nothing went right initially and troops were being slaughtered in the water and on what beach there was.

The story of Able Company was well chronicled in First Wave at Omaha Beach in The Atlantic Magazine in 1960. It’s well worth the time to read it.

During that bloody morning Nineteen of the Bedford Boys were killed before they got off the beach. Nineteen of Thirty Four. Four more died in the following days.

There were 3,973 listed as residents of Bedford, VA in the 1940 Census. Imagine the impact of that type of loss of young men on a small town in rural Virginia. Or anywhere for that matter.

In 1988 a committee was formed in Bedford to build a memorial to the young men who had died on that day.

The Memorial opened on June 6, 2001. It has expanded in size and scope ever since. It’s an impressive site and has a museum as part of it. It’s well worth the trip out into the Virginia country side.

There is a website, the National D-Day Memorial  which is worth visiting if you can’t get to the actual site.

Here are a few pictures I took last summer when we were there. The website has professionally done pictures, but you’ll have to go to their website to see them.

I’m a mediocre photographer and I was using my smart phone camera, so they aren’t the best, but they will give you and idea of what is there.

The landing at Omaha

The names.

The main Memorial.

There’s a lot more to see on the 50 Acre sight and if you’re ever in the southwest corner of Virginia, it’s worth the trip to see it.

 

The Liberation Of Rome

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On 5 June, 1944, the United Stats Fifth Army under the command of General Mark Clark marched into the city of Rome.

Like many things in World War 2, this campaign had it’s origins in what we can call politics.

The first factor was that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin had been pressing British and American political leaders for a “Second Front” to help take German troops away from the “Eastern Front” where ferocious fighting was still ongoing.

The second factor was that the British and American leaders believed that taking Italy and especially Rome would force the Germans to divert more troops from guarding the French Coast.

On 3 September, 1943 the Allies invaded Italy, launching the assault from the recently captured Island of Sicily. On 8 September Italy officially surrendered and Gemany went from being an ally to a brutal invader. German troops occupied Italy and constructed a series of defensive lines in the rugged mountains that crossed Italy from coast to coast.

The fighting continued through 1943 into 1944. On 22 January, 1944 the Allies attempted an end run around the German troops by invading Anzio. What initially seemed like an easy landing turned into a tortuous blood bath with the British, American, and other nations troops losing large numbers of soldiers killed, injured, or captured.

The battle in Anzio dragged on through the winter and into May. On 23 May, Allied forces broke out of Anzio and in what is still a highly controversial decision turned northwest and marched towards Rome.

By the end of the month, the Germans had deserted the Gustav Line, leaving the way open for the Allies to march into Rome.

The Liberation of Rome was not the end of the campaign in Italy. Fighting continued right up until the end of April 1945. The Germans continued to fight from defensive line to defensive line, exacting high numbers of Allied casualties.

Making matters worse, many of the troops that originally landed in Italy were withdrawn and moved to the invasion of southern France after the D Day landings in northern France on 6 June 1944.

All of this in what Churchill called the “Soft Underbelly of Europe.”

The Liberation of Rome and arduous fighting before and after that would have been a big story, however it was all overshadowed by the landings at Normandy the next day. That became perhaps the most famous event of the war in Europe and thus people forgot about Italy and Rome.

The True Cost

4 June 1942 was not the end of the Imperial Japanese Navy. While a decisive victory that slowed the Japanese advance in the Central Pacific, the enemy continued to advance in other parts of the Pacific and China Burma India theaters of war.

The Japanese lost four of their large fleet aircraft carriers and several other ships. They also lost a lot of airplanes and more importantly, the pilots and other aircrew that were in those planes. The Japanese had a policy of not rotating experienced combat pilots back to Japan to train new pilots.

It was “fly until you did” personnel management an in the end, that was their real loss at Midway. Ships and airplanes can be replaced, but not experienced pilots.

This loss was a continuation of what started at the Battle of the Coral Sea. While the US Navy lost a fleet carrier and the Japanese lost only a light carrier, the Japanese lost a lot of experienced pilots. In addition two of it’s fleet carriers were damaged and had to return to damage for repairs. Thus, they were not available a month later to participate in the Battle of Midway. Had they and their aircrews been there it’s very likely that the Japanese would have won there.

There were still more than three years of tough fighting to be done before the Japanese were defeated. Guadalcanal was a blood bath for both sides and the issue was in doubt for many months before the Japanese were defeated.

The United States would suffer significant losses in the Pacific, including the Battle of Savo Island which was a decisive Japanese victory. Still, the tide had started to turn and the Japanese were now on the defensive in the Pacific.

A Dawn Like Thunder: The True Story of Torpedo Squadron Eight by Robert J. Mrazek, is the story of the men of Torpedo Squadron 8 before, during, and after the Battle of Midway. 

Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway by N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss has the account of his actions at Midway. It also has a lot of information on the pre war US Navy. Kleiss was involved in hitting three of the four carriers sunk at Midway and was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. 

Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway by Walter Lord. One of the, if not the first definitive history of the battle. May be a bit dated now, but it was the first book on the battle I read back when I was young.