Why were there so many US military deaths outside of the major battles in WW2?

Why were there so many US military deaths outside of the major battles in WW2?


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Recently I have started to take a huge interest in WW2. I've been researching new information everyday about it. But one of the things I've been interested in is the number of deaths each country suffered during the war. I'm mostly interested in US deaths in WW2.

The number of military deaths for the US was 417,000 during the war. And I recently estimated that around 1/3 deaths were caused by major battles on the islands of Japan and in Europe. But this still leaves 2/3 of the deaths that weren't caused by major conflicts. How did these deaths outside of the major battles occur? These numbers I got are just estimates. Most sources I found said 417,000. I added up all the major battle deaths for us and got the number 140,000, but that probably not the most accurate number. So I think 1/3 Is more accurate. And the battles I'm talking about are like Iwo jima and like the battle of bulge. Battles that had a lot of death involving the us.


In almost every war, most deaths occur not in the major battles. In the Pacific war that you refer to most US death occurred from mines, bad weather conditions, accidents and diseases. Also the Japanese lost more ships to mines than in combat. This is a general pattern in all armed conflicts.


Besides accidents and disease mentioned in other answers, there were many combat deaths outside of big battles. "Mines" were a reason. Also, there were many small actions outside of big battles. Armies ran "patrols," and fights would flare up between small groups. There would typically be a lot of artillery fire (more, perhaps in World War I than World War II) between battles that would kill soldiers. Soldiers would be killed by "bombing" (and airmen by anti-aircraft) between battles. Soldiers would get killed "moving," they have been known to collapse and die the ranks, and there were vehicle-related deaths "on the march." (Some would be classified as "accidents" but if they were incurred on the way to battle, or worse, on the retreat, they would be "combat" related.)

Big battles are when "most" (combat) deaths occurred, not when all of them occurred. The fighting and killing doesn't stop just because a battle is over; it just goes from "high" intensity to "low" intensity. Put another way, "war" goes on 365 days a year, while "battles" may occupy a multiple of ten days (for a given unit). Those battle days represent a minority of fighting time, although a disproportionate amount of killing does go on during those days.


Coffin on Wheels: Why the Sherman Tank Was a Total Death Trap

The M-4 Sherman was the workhorse medium tank of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps during World War II. It fought in every theater of operation—North Africa, the Pacific and Europe.

The Sherman was renown for its mechanical reliability, owing to its standardized parts and quality construction on the assembly line. It was roomy, easily repaired, easy to drive. It should have been the ideal tank.

But the Sherman was also a death trap.

Most tanks at the time ran on diesel, a safer and less flammable fuel than gasoline. The Sherman’s powerplant was a 400-horsepower gas engine that, combined with the ammo on board, could transform the tank into a Hellish inferno after taking a hit.

All it took was a German adversary like the awe-inspiring Tiger tank with its 88-millimeter gun. One round could punch through the Sherman’s comparatively thin armor. If they were lucky, the tank’s five crew might have seconds to escape before they burned alive.

Hence, the Sherman’s grim nickname—Ronson, like the cigarette lighter, because “it lights up the first time, every time.”

In the new film Fury, a single Tiger tank devastates a platoon of Shermans advancing across Germany. Gus Stavros, a World War II veteran who witnessed actual combat between a Sherman and a Tiger outside of the town of Nennig, Germany, said the reality of pitched battle between the two tanks was just as horrifying.

“If you’ve seen movies where the people come out of the tank all aflame—I saw that,” Stavros said during a video interview for a combat oral history sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“The German tank had an 88-[millimeter gun] and it just blew the General Sherman tank to pieces until there was nothing left but smoke and fire.”

The loss of both men and machines is hard to grasp. Simply put, in the heat of battle it was as dangerous inside of a Sherman tank as it was outside of one.

“The 3rd Armored Division entered combat in Normandy with 232 M-4 Sherman tanks,” writes Belton Cooper, author of the appropriately named Death Traps, a study of U.S. armored divisions and their battles in Europe during World War II.

“During the European Campaign, the Division had some 648 Sherman tanks completely destroyed in combat and had another 700 knocked out, repaired and put back into operation. This was a loss rate of 580 percent.”

Yet, the Sherman’s strength was in its numbers. It was one more example of the United States’ industrial prowess during World War II, a time where factory workers and factory output did as much to win the war for the Allies as the soldiers, sailors and airmen in battle.

Companies ranging from the Pullman Car Co. to Ford Motors cranked out nearly 50,000 Shermans, the second-most produced tank during the war. Only the Soviet Union outdid the U.S. in tank production at that time through manufacturing the legendary T-34.

In comparison, the Tiger—clearly the superior tank when compared to the Sherman—was made of costly materials, laboriously assembled and expensive to operate. The Germans manufactured slightly more than 1,300 Tigers.

The Tiger outmatched the Sherman, but the United States always had another Sherman to put in the field.

Whether there was another trained tank crew to man the Sherman was more problematic. But for all of its problems, infantrymen were always happy when a Sherman arrived.

Common roles included infantry support—often times, soldiers would stack up in long lines behind Shermans as the tanks advanced across open fields, leading the assault and letting armor block rounds fired from German MG-42 machine guns or small-arms fire from enemy soldiers.

The Sherman packed decent firepower. Although its 75-millimeter gun was less potent than German tank guns were, it still could fire high-explosive rounds that would level buildings sheltering German troops.

Additional weapons included two M1919 Browning .30-caliber machine guns and a Browning .50-caliber M2 on a coaxial turret mount. Both guns could mow down German infantry or destroy machine gun nests.

In the Pacific, Marines deployed Shermans equipped with flamethrowers to destroy Japanese defensive positions. In the last months of the war when die-hard Japanese soldiers rarely surrendered, shelling pillboxes often didn’t stop the withering fire directed at American troops.

Shermans modified to stream napalm through their gun muzzles blasted Japanese strongholds with jets of flame aimed at the enemy gun ports.

Despite its many weaknesses, the Sherman tank became a mainstay for both the U.S. military and armed forces around the world.

The Sherman tank remained in service with both the Army and the Marine Corps after World War II, and saw action throughout the Korean War. Even after the United States replaced the Sherman with the M48 Patton main battle tank during the 1950s, the Sherman served with U.S. allies until the 1970s.

Heavily-modified “Super Shermans” even saw combat with the Israeli Defense Force during the Six Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

This article by Paul Richard Huard originally appeared at War is Boring in 2014.


1 Bloodiest Battles

The Battle of Gettysburg, considered to be the most important of the war, was by far the bloodiest and cost the nation approximately 51,000 lives. The battle was a tremendous defeat for the Confederacy, which had been convinced of victory. The Union Army still suffered tremendous losses in the battle, with casualties numbering near 23,000.

Other bloody battles included the Battle of Chickamauga, which took place in southeastern Tennessee and had a death toll of 34,624, and the Battle of Spotsylvania, which took 30,000 lives. Much of the astonishingly large battlefield death toll could be attributed to the fact that newer military technology – i.e., deadlier weapons – were combined with older military tactical style, producing an unprecedented number of casualties. Although the South had nearly complete conscription and ultimately lost fewer lives over the course of the war, they were outnumbered by the soldiers from the North and eventually forced to surrender, ending the war.


6 Reasons Why the Battle of Iwo Jima Is So Important to Marines

No historical account of World War II would be complete without covering the Battle of Iwo Jima.

At first glance, it seems similar to many other battles that happened late in the Pacific War: American troops fiercely fought their way through booby traps, Banzai charges and surprise attacks while stalwart dug-in Japanese defenders struggled against overwhelming U.S. power in the air, on land and by sea.

For the United States Marine Corps, however, the Battle of Iwo Jima was more than one more island in a string of battles in an island-hopping campaign. The Pacific War was one of the most brutal in the history of mankind, and nowhere was that more apparent than on Iwo Jima in February 1945.

After three years of fighting, U.S. troops didn't know the end was near for the Japanese Empire. For them, every island was part of the preparation they needed to invade mainland Japan.

The 36-day fight for Iwo Jima led Adm. Chester Nimitz to give the now-immortal praise, "Uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Here are six reasons why the battle is so important to Marines:

1. It was the first invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.

The Japanese Empire controlled many islands in the Pacific area. Saipan, Peleliu and other islands were either sold to Japan after World War I or it was given control of them by the League of Nations. Then, it started invading others.

Iwo Jima was different. Though technically far from the Japanese Home Islands, it is considered to be part of Tokyo and is administered as part of its subprefecture.

After three years of taking control of islands previously captured by the Japanese, the Marines were finally taking part of the Japanese capital.

2. Iwo Jima was strategically necessary for the United States' war effort.

Taking the island meant more than a symbolic capture of the Japanese homeland. It meant the U.S. could launch bombing runs from Iwo Jima's strategic airfields, as the tiny island was directly under the flight path of B-29 Superfortresses from Guam, Saipan and the Mariana Islands.

Now, the Army Air Forces would be able to make bombing runs without a Japanese garrison at Iwo Jima warning the mainland about the danger to come. It also meant American bombers could fly over Japan with fighter escorts.

3. It was one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the Marine Corps.

Iwo Jima is a small island, covering roughly eight square miles. It was defended by 20,000 Japanese soldiers who spent a year digging in, creating miles of tunnels beneath the volcanic rock, and who were ready to fight to the last man.

When the battle was over, 6,800 Americans were dead and a further 26,000 wounded or missing. This means 850 Americans died for every square mile of the island fortress. Only 216 Japanese troops were taken prisoner.

4. More gallantry was on display at Iwo Jima than any other battle before or since.

Iwo Jima saw more Medals of Honor awarded for actions there than any other single battle in American history. A total of 27 were awarded, 22 to Marines and five to Navy Corpsmen. In all of World War II, only 81 Marines and 57 sailors were awarded the medal.

To put it in a statistical perspective, 20% of all WWII Navy and Marine Corps Medals of Honor were earned at Iwo Jima.

5. U.S. Marines were Marines and nothing else on Iwo Jima.

The U.S. has seen significant problems with race relations in its history. And though the armed forces weren't fully integrated until 1948, the U.S. military has always been on the forefront of racial and gender integration. The Marines at Iwo Jima came from every background.

While African Americans were still not allowed on frontline duty because of segregation, they piloted amphibious trucks full of White and Latino Marines to the beaches at Iwo Jima, moved ammunition and supplies to the front, buried the dead and fought off surprise attacks from Japanese defenders. Navajo Code Talkers were instrumental in taking the island. They were all Marines.

6. The iconic flag-raising became the symbol for all Marines who died in service.

Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal's photo of Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi is perhaps one of the best-known war photos ever taken. Raising the American flag at the island's highest point sent a clear message to both the Marines below and the Japanese defenders. In the years that followed, the image took on a more important role.

It soon became the symbol of the Marine Corps itself. When the Marine Corps Memorial was dedicated in 1954, it was that image that became the symbol of the Corps' spirit, dedicated to every Marine who gave their life in service to the United States.


7 Major Mafia Murders [Warning: Gruesome Photos]

Siegel, in an effort to reinvent and legitimize himself, had moved to Las Vegas to oversee the construction of the Flamingo resort. He failed miserably at the job and then was murdered just months after the casino went nearly bankrupt. While reading the Los Angeles Times, Siegel was shot many times through a window by a .30 caliber military M1 Carbine. The crime is unsolved, but his failure in Las Vegas makes me suspicious. A memorial to Bugsy is still located in the Flamingo Hotel near the wedding chapel.

2. St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Murdered: Peter Gusenberg, Frank Gusenberg, Albert Kachellek, Adam Heyer, Reinhart Schwimmer, Albert Weinshank, John May

Committed for a number of reasons, (including trying to cripple the North Side Gang and in retaliation for Bugs Moran—leader of the North Side Gang—“muscling in” on Al Capone’ dog track in Chicago’s’ suburbs) the St Valentine’s Day Massacre was the worst mob-hit ever seen in the USA. It succeeded in impeding the North Side Gang, but also made life much more difficult for Capone. Bugs Moran escaped the hit because one of the look-outs mistook one of Moran’s men for Moran. Four men carried out the massacre, two dressed in trench coats, two in police uniforms. Some say that Moran fled when he saw the police entering the building, thus sparing his life.

3. “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn

Murdered: “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn (born Vincenzo Antonio Gibaldi)

McGurn was gunned down, while bowling, by three men with machine guns. The identity of the hit men and motive is not known. However, two theories are widely accepted: 1) Revenge for McGurns’ supposed involvement in the Valentine’s Day massacre. 2) Silencing heavy drinker and braggart McGurn by the South Side gang. Curiously, a poem was found in his right hand and a nickel in his left. (McGurn had been known to press nickels into his victim’s hands)

4. Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia

Murdered: Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia (born Umberto Anastasio)

The brutal and violent head of the Mangano/Gambino family mob was brought down while in his barber’s chair. His bodyguard had conveniently taken a walk when two masked gunmen burst into the shop and opened fire on Anastasia. They continued to shoot until he collapsed to the floor dead, and then shot him point blank in the back of the head. It is believed that Larry and Joe Gallo carried out the murder under a contract from Don Vito Genovese. Anastasia’s wife maintained his innocence of any mob involvement or violence and wanted him to be remembered as a loving and devoted, churchgoing, husband and father. Yeah, right.

5. Carmine “Cigar/Lilo” Galante

Murdered: Carmine “Cigar/Lilo” Galante, Leonard Coppola, Guiseppe Turano

Galante was having lunch at Joe and Mary’s Restaurant when three men burst in and began to shoot. Cesare Bonventre, one of Galante’s mafia recruits, did nothing to stop the murder and left the restaurant calmly. “Cigar” had created the modern drug trafficking business and began keeping more and more drug money from his bosses. Galente had recently asked the Mafia’ s governing commission if he could retire. His request was granted but then it was learned that he had 30 “greenies” (new recruits from the old country) working for him. The Mafia commission is said to have met again and decided it was time for Galante to permanently retire. The legacy of drug trafficking and associated crime left Bushwick, Brooklyn in shambles for decades after his murder.

6. Paul “Big Paul” Castellano

Murdered: Paul “Big Paul” Castellano (born Constantino Paul Castellano), Tommy Bilotti

Big Paul had become jealous of John Gotti’s drug dealing and threatened to kill anyone involved with narcotics. He had also acquired enemies when he did not attend the funeral of Aneillo “Neil” Dellacroce, one of his underbosses, and then named Tommy Bilotti, a body guard, as a new underboss despite Bilotti’s lack of skills for the job. Castellano and Bilottie were shot dead outside a steak house by order of John Gotti. The men had been lured there with the promise of having a talk with Gotti to “iron things out.”

7. Angelo "The Gentle Don" Bruno

Murdered: Angelo “The Gentle Don” Bruno (born Angelo Annaloro)

Angelo Bruno was killed by a single gun shot blast in the back of his head while sitting in his car. He had developed many enemies by cashing in on the heroin market in Philadelphia while other families were barred from narcotic distribution. Antonio Caponigro (aka Tony Bananas) ordered the killing but was himself killed just a few weeks later in retaliation. Dollar bills were found stuffed in his mouth and (cover your eyes) anus—to symbolize greed. The Philadelphia Family went into decline after Bruno’s death.


World War II: Interview with Major Richard M. Gordon — Bataan Death March Survivor

At 12:30 p.m. on April 9, 1942, Brigadier General Edward King, commanding officer at Bataan in the Philippines, surrendered to the Japanese. The victorious Japanese then forced more than 10,000 American and 65,000 Filipino survivors of Bataan’s garrison to march 100 kilometers in blazing heat from Mariveles to San Fernando. Already weary from months of fighting, the Filipinos and Americans also suffered from malaria, hunger and thirst. Those who fell along the way were beaten and clubbed–often to death–by their captors. Six hundred to 650 Americans and 5,000 to 10,000 Filipinos died on the trek.

At San Fernando the survivors were crowded into stifling, sealed railroad boxcars, in which many more died. When the men arrived four hours later in Capas, Tarlac province, they were forced to detrain and begin a 10-kilometer walk to Camp O’Donnell. During the first 40 days in prison, about 1,570 Americans died from malnutrition, disease and beatings. More than 25,000 Filipinos died in about four months, until the Japanese began paroling Philippine army personnel in July 1942. But Philippine Scouts, who were part of the U.S. Army, were kept in captivity.

On June 6, 1942, the American survivors of Camp O’Donnell–except for about 500, who were held primarily for burial detail–moved once again, to Camp Cabanatuan. About 3,000 more Americans would die there, mostly from the lingering effects of the fighting on Bataan, the Death March and Camp O’Donnell.

Major Richard M. Gordon, U.S. Army (ret.), was a defender of Bataan and is a survivor of the Death March, Camp O’Donnell, Camp Cabanatuan and three years’ captivity in Mitsushima, Japan. As the founder of a group known as the ‘Battling Bastards of Bataan,’ whose motto is ‘In Pursuit of Truth,’ Gordon has worked hard to dispel some of the myths surrounding the infamous Death March.

‘Less than 1,000 survivors of Bataan are alive today,’ he said. ‘In perhaps 10 years, they will all be gone. Most, if not all, would like to leave behind them the truth that was Bataan. To do less would dishonor those men who died on Bataan, in Camp O’Donnell and Cabanatuan, aboard the hell ships taking them to Japan and Manchuria, and in prison camps all over those countries.’

In an interview with John P. Cervone, Major Gordon recalled those terrible events.

Military History: How did you come to be on Bataan?

Gordon: I joined the Regular Army on August 5, 1940. When I enlisted, I requested the 31st U.S. Infantry Regiment in Manila. I was first sent to Fort Slocum, N.Y., where we received some introductory training. I remained there until September 7, 1940. At the time, Fort Slocum was a staging area for those going on overseas assignments, including Panama, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Philippines. From Fort Slocum our unit was taken by tugboat down the Hudson River to the Brooklyn Army Base, where we boarded the U.S. Army transport Grant on September 14, bound for the Philippines. The trip, counting a week stopover at Fort McDowell in San Francisco, took 48 days.

MH: What did you do upon arrival?

Gordon: I received basic training in Manila. I was assigned to Company F and lived in the Estado Mayor Barracks, formerly the home of the Spanish army cavalry when they occupied the Philippines in 1898. At the time, I was paid $21 per month, with an increase to $30 after four months.

MH: What was it like to be stationed there?

Gordon: Being in the Philippines before the war was great! We lived much like the British soldiers in India. Due to the heat, we only trained until noon, except when in the field for jungle training. Rifle marksmanship was a two-week period, once a year. Lack of funds prohibited further firing. This was our routine for 15 months before the war broke out.

MH: What was the general reaction when war started on December 7, 1941?

Gordon: We knew war was coming to the Philippines months before it happened, so it was no surprise. As Americans, we felt unbeatable and thought the skirmish would be short-lived. We looked upon the Japanese soldier with contempt–clearly a mistake.

MH: What did your outfit do in those first days of the invasion?

Gordon: On December 10, 1941, my unit moved into the field from our peacetime post at Fort William McKinley. We moved north with the North Luzon Force, then commanded by Maj. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, acting as the security force for his headquarters and staff. Within two weeks our unit had divided into forward and rear command posts [CPs]. I was assigned to the forward CP. Our platoon, under the command of Lieutenant Henry G. Lee (a noted poet of the time), acted as a skirmish line to contend with Japanese infiltrators.

MH: When did you move to Bataan?

Gordon: We moved into the Bataan Peninsula on New Year’s Eve. The battle for Bataan began officially on January 2, 1942. After we assumed our first major line of defense, the Pilar­Bagac line, we held our ground for nearly two months. The Japanese were defeated trying to crack this line, and things settled down until their replacements arrived. It was during this period that Brig. Gen. Maxon S. Lough of Palo Alto, Calif., assumed command of the Philippine Division, of which the 31st was a part. Events were also set in motion that would set the stage for the next few years. The United States could not decide whether to fight or evacuate the Philippines. In December 1941 Secretary of War Henry Stimson was asked about plans for Bataan and replied, ‘There are times when men must die.’ In early January our rations were cut in half, and in February they were halved again. By March we were existing on 1,000 calories a day, eating salmon and rice. Quinine, used to ward off malaria, disappeared by March 1, and dysentery was running rampant. Much of our ammunition was from World War I. Of 10 grenades, three might detonate. We had mortars, but no ammunition for them.

MH: When did the Japanese offensive resume in earnest?

Gordon: Enemy pressure began to build again in March 1942, with the arrival of replacements. Our division CP began to move backward on a regular basis–we seldom held one area for very long. General Lough never believed in leaving his command post any sooner than necessary. As a result, each night we were required to establish new defensive positions around the CP. During those last nights on Bataan we often heard the Japanese trying to infiltrate our lines. One morning General Lough was entering his staff car just as a unit of Japanese came around a bend in the road. We slowed them up until he was safely away.

MH: How long were you able to hold the line?

Gordon: We remained there–on several different lines of resistance–until the final Japanese breakthrough on April 3, 1942.

MH: How did you feel about the surrender?

Gordon: I was captured–I did not surrender. Most of my fellow soldiers felt as I did–that we could not lose. We believed it was just a question of when the promised reinforcements would arrive. We were lied to–but by Washington, not by General Douglas MacArthur. We never knew defeat was imminent until our commanding general told us he had surrendered. At the time, no one believed him, and when they found out it was true, many were in tears. We felt we indeed had been ‘expendable.’ During a later prison camp session held by our Bataan garrison CO, Maj. Gen. Edward P. King, Jr., before he was shipped out to Mukden, Manchuria, he told us we had been asked to lay down a bunt to gain time. The baseball metaphor was probably the best way to explain why we were there in the first place.

MH: How were you taken prisoner?

Gordon: General Lough gave us the word of our unit’s surrender. After hearing this, we camped in combat positions on Mount Bataan, known at the time as Signal Hill. A small group of us went farther up the mountain, in an effort to avoid surrender. Several days passed with no sign of the enemy. Hungry and in need of provisions, Co

rporal Elmer Parks (of Oklahoma) and I volunteered to drive down the hill to our last position in search of supplies. Elmer was driving and I was riding shotgun in a Dodge pickup truck. We gathered up a number of Garand M1 rifles at our former position, left behind by the Japanese, who did not want to use them. Loading the rifles aboard the truck, we decided to go a little farther down the road to where other units had been. Driving down the mountain road, we came upon a huge Philippine banyan tree, so large it served as a road divider. As we approached the tree, a lone Japanese soldier holding a rifle stepped out from behind it. Elmer stopped the truck, and we stared at one another, wondering what to do next. The thought of attempting to run occurred to both of us, as did the thought of picking up one of the newly acquired Garand M1s. But neither of us did a thing, other than stare at the Japanese soldier. Finally, he motioned to us to get out of the truck. At that moment 10 or 15 more Japanese came out from the brush lining the road. They surely had us in their sights all the time and probably would have enjoyed shooting us more than capturing us and adding to their burden. These were front-line troops, scouring the area for enemy resistance. Once we were out of the truck, they took turns hitting us with the butts of their rifles. We were searched, and whatever valuables we had–like wristwatches, cigarette lighters and wallets–were taken. On our way down the mountain I saw our battalion commander, Major James Ivy, bare from the waist up and dead, with countless bayonet holes in his back. It was then that Elmer and I knew we were in trouble.

MH: What was it like being marched back by the Japanese?

Gordon: Walking down that mountain, we passed American and Filipino corpses along the roadside. The stench was almost unbearable. Finally, as it was growing dark, we came to where the mountain road leveled off into the West Road of Bataan. Our captors turned us over to another group of soldiers. Unable to see us well in the dark, they felt our shoulders and pushed us through an opening in the bush lining the road. We later found out that the shoulder and collar inspection was to determine if the prisoner was an officer. If he was, he was kicked through the same opening instead of being pushed. That night was so dark and confused that I immediately lost contact with Elmer. I assumed he had died. I never saw him again until a reunion 47 years later at Fort Sill, Okla.

MH: What happened during your first night in captivity?

Gordon: That night in the encampment we were searched and beaten about the head several times. There were so many men crowded into that field that finding a place to lie down was almost impossible. I eventually found a spot near a ‘field latrine’–in reality, just an open ditch. All night long a stream of sick, diseased soldiers beat a path to that trench over and over again.

MH: Can you describe the march out of Bataan?

Gordon: The very next day, probably the 11th or 12th of April, I began marching out of Bataan. Not one of my fellow soldiers was known to me, American or Filipino. Our first day’s march took us up the infamous Zig Zag Trail, which seemed to last for miles and miles until it leveled off in flat country. Yet it was the first leg of the march, and we were in much better shape than we would be in four or five days. Anyone captured north of Mariveles was fortunate to miss this tortuous leg of the march. Hundreds of bodies were strewn along the side of the trail, men who could not make the steep climb. During that climb, I saw an old friend of mine, Sergeant Florence Hardesty. He had taught me to ride a motorcycle just before the war. Hardesty reminded me of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., sitting, in death, against some sort of wall. He was entirely covered in the white dust that blanketed the trees, the road and the marchers. I almost broke down and cried. Hardesty was an old soldier, and I thought of him as a father figure. I have carried his image with me ever since I first saw him.

MH: What happened once you got to the end of the Zig Zag Trail?

Gordon: We were momentarily elated when we reached the top of that climb–we actually felt we had the worst behind us. Walking became much easier. But depression soon set in when we discovered there was no food or water to be had. Some attempted escape on that second day others continued to fall, unable to keep up. These soldiers were shot, beheaded or bayoneted and left to die on the side of the road. Each night we were placed in a field and allowed to fend for ourselves. We expected water, if not food, but received neither. When dawn broke and we were put back on the road, a number of bodies were always left behind littering our sleeping field. In some ways, they were the lucky ones. Their miseries were over. For the rest of us our agonies had just begun.

MH: Is that the way the rest of the march went?

Gordon: Days went by with no change in the routine established by the Japanese. We would stop in an open field and be forced to take off our hats during the hottest part of the day while the Japanese had their lunch–ostensibly to assure that we did not hide contraband under them, but also a deliberate act to cause us more hardship. We were required to sit there for an hour or more. Those caught with Japanese money, diaries, photos or anything taken from dead Japanese soldiers–despite the warning to dispose of such items–were usually executed on the spot. Fortunately, I had absolutely nothing of value left, although those with nothing were often cuffed about the ears as punishment. On the third day we were marched backward and stopped alongside the road in daylight, in plain sight of Corregidor and the American guns. The guns of Corregidor opened up on the Japanese artillery positions alongside the road. We were being used as human shields. I saw a direct hit on a Japanese 105mm gun–it went up in the air like a toy. Score one for Corregidor! A number of prisoners were hit by the American gunfire, including me. I received a gash across my left leg, which surprisingly did not bleed that much. I covered it with my handkerchief, my last personal object.

MH: Where did you go from there?

Gordon: Days seemed to run together, and I lost track of time. Looking around during those first few days, I saw officers carrying duffel bags to hold their personal possessions. One lieutenant, named Olsen, walked by in his most prized possession, his riding boots. A day or so later, I passed Olsen’s duffel bag, with his name stenciled on it, on the side of road. The next day I passed his boots, which nobody seemed to want. Finally, on the third day I passed Olsen, dead on the side of the road. I was amazed that some officers tried to take things with them, adding to their burden of walking in the extreme heat and humidity. These items invariably led to their deaths.

MH: When did you reach a town or village?

Gordon: I don’t remember what day I arrived in Lubao. In that small town there was a sheet-metal warehouse about the size of a football field. Many prisoners were pushed inside the warehouse to sleep that night until there was room for no more. Unfortunately, I was among that group. There were so many men inside that place that sitting down, let alone lying down, was impossible. The heat beating down on that tin had sent the temperature soaring to 120 degrees and then some. Men stood all night, shoulder to shoulder, among the groans of the sick and dying. The next day dozens of men were carried out dead and left along the road as we began another day of the march. Everyone was dehydrated, with no chance to replenish the lost water.

MH: Where did you stop next?

Gordon: Within a day or two, I found myself in the town of San Fernando, a railroad junction in Pampanga province. Here again I had to sleep in the schoolhouse, with conditions almost equaling those in Lubao, but we were promised food the following morning. When morning came we were moved out, again without food or water, and put aboard the boxcars that would take us to Capas and Camp O’Donnell, our next destination.

MH: How did you survive?

Gordon: Words cannot really describe those days or the thousands of individual horrors. Suffice it to say, I went nine days without food and with very little water. My training as an infantryman paid off. I conserved water in my canteen by taking a sip, swishing it around in my mouth and letting a little drip down my throat. I would do this until I reached the next potable water spot. Others, untrained and dying for water, would prostrate themselves along the side of the road and drink water from puddles. All this water was contaminated with flies and fly feces and brought on death from dysentery. Thousands of Filipinos and several hundred Americans died this way. The Japanese beat any who attempted to break ranks and obtain water, killing a number of them in the process. Japanese tanks, moving south to take up positions to attack Corregidor as we marched north, would deliberately drive over the dead and dying on the side of the road.

MH: Did you and your colleagues try to help one another get through the march?

Gordon: No. There was a complete lack of assistance on the part of our fellow Americans. I did not witness a single act of kindness. The desire to survive overcame any idea of helping one another. I was a stretcher-bearer for a wounded officer, having volunteered to do so–out of sense of duty and responsibility. After one complete day of carrying the man, we could not get another four volunteers to relieve us, despite what amounted to begging on our part. That night, when compelled to stop, we left the officer to himself. He was later seen by a friend begging for help along the way. Even fellow officers who had originally carried him deserted him. I believe a lack of discipline led to this horrific situation. Most of our American soldiers had recently arrived in the Philippines, and very few had the discipline necessary for this.

MH: What was it like after you had completed the march?

Gordon: The train ride to Capas was another horrific experience, as men were jammed into each boxcar and the doors closed tightly. Men died standing up. One of our guards did open the door to let a little air in during the slow ride. Filipinos attempted to throw food into the car when it slowed down. Those standing in the doorway caught the food and ate all they could catch–nothing was passed back to anyone. Another instance of every man for himself. Arriving in Capas, we unloaded seven dead men from my car and proceeded to march another 10 kilometers to Camp O’Donnell.

MH: After having survived the Death March, how did you end up in Japan?

Gordon: Our first extended stop was in Camp O’Donnell, and it was there that I almost died from malaria. A buddy of mine, Fred Pavia of New Jersey, stole some quinine and saved my life, only to succumb to malaria and die himself three weeks later. My next ‘home’ was Camp Cabanatuan, where I was placed on the grave-digging detail. The guards at Cabanatuan placed the head of a soldier who attempted to escape on a 20-foot pole, which they marched down the center of the camp as a warning. Soon after this grim reminder, we prisoners were placed in groups of 10. If one man escaped, the remaining nine in his group were shot. My malaria returned at Cabanatuan, and I became so ill that an American doctor recommended I volunteer for a work party going to Japan. On his recommendation, I was moved to Bilibid Civil Prison in Manila on October 31, 1942, awaiting shipment to Japan. Housed in this prison was a complete dental unit that had been captured on Corregidor. Imagine, Army and Navy dentists, with all their equipment–including dental chairs–and clean starched uniforms! For a while we actually imagined we were back home in a dental clinic. Prisoners being moved to Japan were offered the chance to have their teeth checked. For me that meant a half-hour in a chair while two teeth were pulled and one was filled. In my three years in Japan, I never had a toothache.

MH: What was the voyage to Japan like?

Gordon: My ship, Nagato Maru, sailed on November 7, 1942. I was three decks below, in the pitch-black hold of the ship. For 20 days we suffered with no toilet facilities, save for five-gallon buckets that they would pass down to us every four or five hours. We were given rice and fish for the first few days and then just rice. Water was passed down in five-gallon drums once a day. Thirteen men died during that voyage. Just outside Manila we were attacked by a submarine. The Japanese took the few life preservers left in the hold and put them on

boxes containing the ashes of their own dead. We survived the attack, but by this time many were hoping a torpedo would have hit us.

MH: What awaited you in Japan?

Gordon: My new home was Mitsushima, a village in the town of Hiraoka, where I would spend the next three years–three years of misery, freezing every winter. We had no heat and scarce rations. We were employed as slave laborers, building a hydroelectric power dam, which is still in use today. Eventually, I was placed in charge of a 40-man work detail for a civilian contractor handling cement for the dam and was held responsible in every way for their actions. On one occasion a number of the men refused to do some extra work. We were all taken into the camp and forced to stand at attention until the main body of the prisoners returned. Then we were beaten in front of the inmates. I was placed in solitary confinement for three days and two nights because of my men’s refusal to work.

MH: Can you describe your feelings when you were released?

Gordon: I was returned to American military control on September 4, 1945, after more than 3 1/2 years of captivity. We were taken to Arai, a town on the Japanese coast. There we were met by U.S. Navy personnel wearing strange-looking helmets and carrying strange-looking weapons, which turned out to be M1 carbines. Placed in landing ships, we saw the American flag for the first time in more than three years. It was at that moment that I realized how much my country meant to me. We had placed our faith in our country, and our country had kept that faith by bringing us home. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the boat after seeing the Stars and Stripes. From that moment on, I was on a high and did not come down for a year.

MH: Corregidor has sometimes been associated with the Bataan Death March, but you have said that that is not true. How so?

Gordon: In 1982, a joint resolution of Congress honored the men of Bataan and Corregidor who made the Death March, but Congress was unaware that Corregidor had not surrendered until May 6, by which time the Death March was over. Nobody in its garrison participated in that march. For the past 40-odd years, many have assumed Bataan, Corregidor and the Death March to be interrelated. In fact, Corregidor had no connection with the Death March whatsoever.

MH: Any final comments on your experience?

Gordon: No one knows what freedom means until one loses it. Most Americans take it for granted, forgetting that thousands and thousands of their fellow Americans died to give them that freedom. We in Bataan paid our price for our country’s freedom, and most of us would do it all over again if we had to. Many returned sick and died shortly after the war. Many, even today, are seeking something from their country to ‘pay’ for their suffering. They, too, have forgotten that freedom is not free. For my part, I was a Regular Army soldier. I enlisted. I asked for the Philippines. Everything that happened was of my doing. I have no regrets, and my country does not owe me anything.


WW2 casualties in today's perspective

Why were both the axis and allies OK with suffering losses in the tens of millions?

Could you even imagine if today 500,000 American soldiers died over a couple years? What about 5-10 million? What about if Japan started killing 10,000 Chinese evey day?

After a few thousand losses, we'd be like "Dude , wtf? We surrender. this is insane." And with good reason.

Why the hell didn't Germany figure, we'll. we tried boys. wasn't meant to be, before they lost 6 million people?

Why were both the axis and allies OK with suffering losses in the tens of millions?

Could you even imagine if today 500,000 American soldiers died over a couple years? What about 5-10 million? What about if Japan started killing 10,000 Chinese evey day?

After a few thousand losses, we'd be like "Dude , wtf? We surrender. this is insane." And with good reason.

WWI Alone killed something in the high 10 million people (I don't know the exact number)

WWII was much higher, over 60 million I think.

Whatever the amount is too much. It's not that the Axis and allies were ok with it. It was and it is the nature of war: Good and bad people end up dead. Victory was measured by the amount of pain you were able to inflict (both infrastructure and human life) Tragic, people's lives treated no better than pawns on a giant chess table.

So much for being an "intelligent, civilized" species huh?

doctorj wrote:

Why were both the axis and allies OK with suffering losses in the tens of millions?

Could you even imagine if today 500,000 American soldiers died over a couple years? What about 5-10 million? What about if Japan started killing 10,000 Chinese evey day?

After a few thousand losses, we'd be like "Dude , wtf? We surrender. this is insane." And with good reason.

WWI Alone killed something in the high 10 million people (I don't know the exact number)

WWII was much higher, over 60 million I think.

Whatever the amount is too much. It's not that the Axis and allies were ok with it. It was and it is the nature of war: Good and bad people end up dead. Victory was measured by the amount of pain you were able to inflict (both infrastructure and human life) Tragic, people's lives treated no better than pawns on a giant chess table.

So much for being an "intelligent, civilized" species huh?

If your 60 million figure is correct, Soviets lost almost half of all WW2 deaths. Soviet military personnel killed, app. 8.5 million. Soviet citizens killed, app. 19 million, total, app. 27.5 million

How did Stalin keep Soviets from turning against him?

almost 1/2 were . wrote:

How did Stalin keep Soviets from turning against him?

Stalin had already purged anyone in his circle who might turn on him. Plus the Russians overall had the choice of misery under Stalin or death under Hitler. Hard to go looking to complain to Uncle Joe when your house is burning and the Nazis are raping and murdering your family. Time to jump into a T-34 and get your land back.

The European powers had built global empires over the previous centuries when Germany and Japan were a collection of feudal states. By the time they arrived at the bargaining table there was no room left. So they went to work building lethal war machines to force the issue. Technology and propaganda mind control coupled together turned a cold shower (for the allied powers) into a infernal bloodbath.

It's been estimated that 32 million military & civilian deaths occurred in the Pacific campaign alone. The Battle of Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the campaign with most every Japanese soldier fighting to the death. And many civilians took up arms and fought to the death or committed suicide. The population of the island was almost completely decimated.

Why were both the axis and allies OK with suffering losses in the tens of millions?

Could you even imagine if today 500,000 American soldiers died over a couple years? What about 5-10 million? What about if Japan started killing 10,000 Chinese evey day?

After a few thousand losses, we'd be like "Dude , wtf? We surrender. this is insane." And with good reason.

Read accounts of what the Battle of Verdun was like (WWI). Then follow up with Battles of Ypres and Battle of the Somme. It will definitely make you believe people just lost their minds, and that those fellows fighting were a different breed of people than we have today. Can't imagine being in a trench, seeing a platoon go out, get mowed down, then your commander says "your turn."

I don't agree with the German's attaching America and Britain but I wish they beat the Russians in 1941/42 and then made a deal with Britain to stop fighting before the US went to Europe/North Africa to fight. It would have been epic to see Stalin captured and put in a zoo or something. He was crazy and he caused so many millions of deaths outside of WW2 alone. The USSR caused so much carnage even after WW2 and now we have crazy Putin. I'm tempted to go to the Kremlin and tell them what I think. If Germany started Operation Barbarossa a few months earlier and didn't go so easy when they reached Smolensk they could of destroyed Moscow before the freezing winter stopped them in 1941. There would be so much less carnage and we wouldn't have Putin right now.

I'm just thinking that people back then were much more in the "flight or fight" response mode. People now of all the major countries have enjoyed complete peace for their entire life, and they don't want to lose it.

Also, you are scared of the unknown. Back then, the psychopathic leaders played their power games as usual and as they do today. However, people were pretty unaware of what other countries were like. So they were afraid and more easily propagandized.

Life was just tougher in general, and once people made it to a decent stock in life they were not going to give it up. Whereas today we all take a basic sustainance as a given in life. We've never been through true hardship on a large scale.

I am afraid of a country like China, because they have been propaganized so much that they attach their country/history/people and their way of life into "One China". which is a recipe for a populous willing to wage wars for the oligarchy.

I could not see a modern US populous willing to give up 1 million casualties.

I don't agree with the German's attaching America and Britain but I wish they beat the Russians in 1941/42 and then made a deal with Britain to stop fighting before the US went to Europe/North Africa to fight. It would have been epic to see Stalin captured and put in a zoo or something. He was crazy and he caused so many millions of deaths outside of WW2 alone. The USSR caused so much carnage even after WW2 and now we have crazy Putin. I'm tempted to go to the Kremlin and tell them what I think. If Germany started Operation Barbarossa a few months earlier and didn't go so easy when they reached Smolensk they could of destroyed Moscow before the freezing winter stopped them in 1941. There would be so much less carnage and we wouldn't have Putin right now.

The Germans had NO chance of conquering the USSR, just as Japan had NO chance of defeating the U.S.. Tweaking their attack plan or execution is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. the Nazis lost the war the moment they crossed the Bug River in 1941.

I think there are several factors that can explain the insanity of how murderous WWII was.

First, people were just used to death back then. The Spanish Flu out break in 1918 killed about 675k in the US. That is about 250k more than the total US casualties in WWII. A lot of very treatable diseases and illnesses were fatal in the 1930s. And the industrial revolution made the workplace a very deadly place to be. So, having a young 21 year old get mowed down in some obscure battle during WWII wasn't as big of a shock as it would be today.

Second, the 19th century was chock full of war. It is no coincidence that the combatants in WW2 were all imperial powers of the 19th century that engaged in nearly continuous military combat during the 19th century. When Europeans weren't fighting each other they were carrying out bloody imperial conquests or suppressing rebellions. In the 19th century, when the US wasn't at war with itself, it was at war with Indian tribes. It was pretty much understood by the early 20th century that war was a part of life and every male would be a soldier in combat at some point.

Third, while there was a significant anti war movement in the US and Europe, it was quickly overrun by state run propaganda and anti-sedition laws. Eugene Debs was jailed for giving anti-war speeches during WWI. In Germany or Russia, you would not last long if you protested against the war.

Fourth, and finally, the more bloody the war got, the more determined everyone was to win. No one wanted to be the one to surrender or negotiate a peace treaty when so many lives had already been lost. Everyone was all in during WWII, which is why it was so deadly.

Fourth, and finally, the more bloody the war got, the more determined everyone was to win. No one wanted to be the one to surrender or negotiate a peace treaty when so many lives had already been lost. Everyone was all in during WWII, which is why it was so deadly.

I don't fully believe that everyone was "all-in" during WWII. Certainly France was never all-in, and it's pretty clear that Italy never really wanted to be there either. Once Germany took Poland in Sep '39, there was quite a lull before the rest of Europe got involved.

In WWI, all the major players were in and "throwing haymakers" in August 1914. Much more immediate and brutal start to the war.

As for why so many dead in WWII, the punishment on civilians was much, much higher than any other war. Obviously genocide was a large part of it, but so was constant aerial bombardment and the stealing of resources (Japan from China, Germany from Europe).

I don't agree with the German's attaching America and Britain but I wish they beat the Russians in 1941/42 and then made a deal with Britain to stop fighting before the US went to Europe/North Africa to fight. It would have been epic to see Stalin captured and put in a zoo or something. He was crazy and he caused so many millions of deaths outside of WW2 alone. The USSR caused so much carnage even after WW2 and now we have crazy Putin. I'm tempted to go to the Kremlin and tell them what I think. If Germany started Operation Barbarossa a few months earlier and didn't go so easy when they reached Smolensk they could of destroyed Moscow before the freezing winter stopped them in 1941. There would be so much less carnage and we wouldn't have Putin right now.

The Germans had NO chance of conquering the USSR, just as Japan had NO chance of defeating the U.S.. Tweaking their attack plan or execution is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. the Nazis lost the war the moment they crossed the Bug River in 1941.

That's just like your OPINION man.

I don't agree with the German's attaching America and Britain but I wish they beat the Russians in 1941/42 and then made a deal with Britain to stop fighting before the US went to Europe/North Africa to fight. It would have been epic to see Stalin captured and put in a zoo or something. He was crazy and he caused so many millions of deaths outside of WW2 alone. The USSR caused so much carnage even after WW2 and now we have crazy Putin. I'm tempted to go to the Kremlin and tell them what I think. If Germany started Operation Barbarossa a few months earlier and didn't go so easy when they reached Smolensk they could of destroyed Moscow before the freezing winter stopped them in 1941. There would be so much less carnage and we wouldn't have Putin right now.

Are you saying that you wish Hitler and his Nazi Germany was not defeated and that they kept all the territories they conquered up to 1941-42, like France, Neatherlands, Belgium, Poland, etc. etc.? That seems to be what you are saying, but it's so crazy that I want to make sure.

I don't agree with the German's attaching America and Britain but I wish they beat the Russians in 1941/42 and then made a deal with Britain to stop fighting before the US went to Europe/North Africa to fight. It would have been epic to see Stalin captured and put in a zoo or something. He was crazy and he caused so many millions of deaths outside of WW2 alone. The USSR caused so much carnage even after WW2 and now we have crazy Putin. I'm tempted to go to the Kremlin and tell them what I think. If Germany started Operation Barbarossa a few months earlier and didn't go so easy when they reached Smolensk they could of destroyed Moscow before the freezing winter stopped them in 1941. There would be so much less carnage and we wouldn't have Putin right now.

The Germans had NO chance of conquering the USSR, just as Japan had NO chance of defeating the U.S.. Tweaking their attack plan or execution is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. the Nazis lost the war the moment they crossed the Bug River in 1941. That's historically true - Germany was no match for the Soviet Union. The question has always been asked "what if" Germany did conquer Moscow in Operation Barborosa?

"But would the fall of Moscow have meant the defeat of the Soviet Union? Almost certainly not. In 1941 the Soviet Union endured the capture of numerous major cities, a huge percentage of crucial raw materials, and the loss of four million troops. Yet it still continued to fight. It had a vast and growing industrial base east of the Ural Mountains, well out of reach of German forces. And in Joseph Stalin it had one of the most ruthless leaders in world history—a man utterly unlikely to throw in the towel because of the loss of any city, no matter how prestigious."

"A scenario involving Moscow’s fall also ignores the arrival of 18 divisions of troops from Siberia—fresh, well-trained, and equipped for winter fighting. They had been guarding against a possible Japanese invasion, but a Soviet spy reliably informed Stalin that Japan would turn southward, toward the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines, thereby freeing them to come to the Moscow front. Historically, the arrival of these troops took the Germans by surprise, and an unexpected Soviet counteroffensive in early December 1941 produced a major military crisis. Surprised and disturbed, Hitler’s field commanders urged a temporary retreat in order to consolidate the German defenses. But Hitler refused, instead ordering that German troops continue to hold their ground. Historically they managed to do so. However, with German forces extended as far as Moscow and pinned to the city’s defense, this probably would not have been possible. Ironically, for the Germans, the seeming triumph of Moscow’s capture might well have brought early disaster."

In fact, Germany was ill-prepared to start a world-war. General Ludwig Beck, who was Chief of the German General Staff in 1938, felt that Germany needed more time to rearm before starting such a war. In his assessment, the earliest date Germany could risk a war was 1940, and any war started in 1938 would be a "premature war" that Germany would lose.

Of course, Hitler didn't listen and fired Beck, who was later involved and implicated in the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944 (Operation Valkyrie). He was arrested and allowed to shoot himself to avoid torture by the Gestapo.


1. Japan’s Military Strength Went Weaker After The Defeat In The Midway’s Battle

The defeat of Midway’s battle had become a major wound on the imperialist Japanese Empire.

Japanese hoped that they would win the battle of Midway and to make it possible, their leaders Admiral Yamamoto, Nobutake Kondo, Chuichi Nagumo, and Tamon Yamaguchi had an amazing master plan.

Even, as per the plan, in the first phase of the battle, they fought using their full military capability.

But later as they expected, it didn’t happen.

Contrary, the game went against them. Mainly, US intelligence spoiled their entire plan.

The United States intelligence was already aware of their plan for Midway. They captured Japanese massages many days before.

As a result, Japan had to pay a big price.

During that four days battle, Japan lost the lives of 3057 experienced military personals four of their main aircraft carriers, named Akagi, Soryu, Kaga, and Hiryu got destroyed lost two destroyers name Arashio (in the bombing), Asashio 292 aircrafts got destroyed and faced many other major casualties.

After this battle, the military power of Japan reduced significantly. And therefore, their influence in WW2 also became much weaker.

2. Japan Also Lost The Hope of Controlling The Whole Pacific Region Alone

In the case of natural resources, Japan was always a poor country.

For a long time, they had been importing various natural resources including Oil, Coal from other countries mostly from Soviet Union, China, and the United States.

Before World War 2, they imported more than 50 percent of the resources from the United States.

But, from the late 1930s, they started taking expansionists policies against other countries, mainly against China.

To counter the Japanese aggression, the United States of America imposed some heavy economic sanctions against them.

Due to these economic embargoes, Japan started facing a lot of difficulties in meeting the shortage of natural resources.

However, they knew that the Pacific ocean was a massive source of natural resources.

Therefore, now to fulfill the need, they turned their motive to become the only emperor on the entire Pacific.

But there was a problem with their route and it was the United States of America.

Japan wanted somehow to end the United States’ influence from the Pacific.

As an act of its execution, on December 7th, 1941, the Japanese attacked the USA’s Pearl Harbor Island.

Here they succeed in causing devastating casualties, however failed to break the backbone of the US navy.

Hence again, with the same purpose, they also planned to attack Midway but somehow, this time, American intelligence already got information about that.

Earlier, the Japanese thought that after Midway’s attack, the USA would never be able to interfere in the Pacific region.

And using this opportunity, they would bring the US government to the table for peace negotiation.

But when the battle broke out, Japan had to face heavy defeat.

The defeat was so intense that it demolished their entire hope of controlling the whole Pacific alone.

Midway’s battle increased the US influence in the Pacific Ocean too much.

3. Allied Nations’ Morale Went Stronger To Win WW2

During World War 2 Japan, Italy, and Germany were fighting together against the Allied power nations.

Starting years of the War, there was a time came, when the Axis power was about to dominate the whole world.

But when Japan lost in the Midway’s battle and went weaker on the military side, then Allied nations’ morale went stronger.

It raised hope among Allied nations that they would win WW2. Because after this, Japan’s role did not remain as powerful as it was before.

4. The United States of America Became Much Stronger

After the decisive victory in the Midway battle, the United States of America became stronger than ever in WW2.

Their navy, Air force, and Ground military’s power and confidence went higher.

In 1945, the USA attacked Japan with Nuclear weapons.

The two atom bombs (Littleboy and Fatman), dropped in two of the main Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Within just three days, it caused the deaths of more than two hundred thousand Japanese people.


A Discussion about Sources ↑

Military statistics serve as the main sources: various armies originally published the following figures of soldiers killed. The exact origin of these statistics is key to any discussion of war losses, with four consequences.

First: As our main sources are armies, it is impossible to calculate war losses by nations or empires. After the war, political leaders of new states tended to publish high figures of losses to show other nations how damaging the war had been for their people. But no one can say with any degree of certainty how many Poles or Czechs were killed. Some writers, though, tried to do just that. They first derived the number of Czech or Polish soldiers killed while wearing the Russian, German or Austro-Hungarian army uniforms based on the percentage of soldiers of each nationality within each imperial army. They then added these numbers to obtain, for example, the total Polish war dead. [1] This evaluation is highly problematic for three reasons. First, the definition of Polish territory varied between the three imperial armies, and does not coincide with Polish frontiers established in 1919. From what part of Poland did Polish soldiers come? Second, this evaluation made the assumption that Polish soldiers’ mortality rate was exactly the same as those of German or Russian soldiers. But this was just a hypothesis. It is impossible to ascertain whether Imperial Headquarters (German, Russian or Austro-Hungarian) engaged Polish soldiers as a matter of priority during battle, in order to preserve their own nationals, or, on the contrary, spared them out of distrust and fear of their possible connivance with the local population or their lack of fighting spirit. The German Headquarters preferred to send soldiers from Alsace to the Eastern rather than the Western Front. Incidentally, if one were to calculate French losses according to the same rules as Polish or Czech losses, one would include Alsatian soldiers killed while wearing the German uniform. Finally, since the armies’ losses were themselves calculated approximately, applying percentages of specific populations to them would only result in even more unreliable estimates. Better to avoid this and calculate losses not per nation but per army.

Second: War loss statistics were highly sensitive data. During the war, figures indicating the numbers of soldiers killed or wounded in action were arguments in political and military debates. High numbers of useless losses were invoked against commanders in chief, for example against Robert Nivelle (1856-1824) and Sir Douglas Haig (1861-1928) in 1917 such bloodletting was a major reason behind calls for their removal. Public opinion was shocked by the thousands dead on the first days of the Somme, the Chemin des Dames or Passchendaele, and the home population’s morale was at stake. Hence the armies were eager to conceal too high of losses in order to safeguard themselves from controversy. For this reason, it is likely that the main source of information was biased by commanders’ and their staffs’ temptation to minimise war losses.

Third: Regardless of this bias, armies were more interested in evaluating the number of living than dead soldiers. Commanders asked how many soldiers they could use in battle, how many were unavailable it did not matter whether the unavailable ones were dead or “only” wounded. For instance, the German Sanitätsbericht counted wounded soldiers coming back and those who did not return to the field army, but it did not distinguish in the latter group between those who died from their wounds and those who recovered but were sent home or discharged.

More generally, military sources used a category easy to understand, in order to find a place in the statistics for soldiers about whom nothing was known: the “missing”. Some missing were dead, others were prisoners of war (POWs), others were far from the trenches in rear hospitals, sometimes in foreign countries. Evaluations of war losses often included the missing. For the military, wherever they were, they were not on the battlefield. However, many of the missing were alive. French statistics provide monthly tables of war losses from November 1918 to July 1919 and surprisingly show a growing number of dead soldiers from month to month. A small reason for this growing death toll was that some soldiers died in hospitals after the armistice. But the main reason was the redistribution of those originally listed as missing into other categories: the dead, the wounded still in the army, the discharged. As the numbers were updated each month, new names slipped from the “missing” category to the category of those killed, wounded or discharged, each of which increased regularly. There were not new victims of the war, but rather artefacts of a better evaluation of war losses.

Fourth: Military statistics only registered officers and soldiers, not civilians. This makes such figures useless in counting not only the losses of civilian populations but also a small part of military losses after discharge. Some soldiers died from their wounds or illness after leaving the army. It would be fair to count them among war losses. Undoubtedly, for instance, gas victims are casualties of war, even when they were dressed in civilian clothes. However, it is impossible to include them in the calculation of war losses. Some of them died a few months after the armistice. Others had the chance to recover, to live many more years, dying perhaps from cancer or an accident, not from a gas-related illness. How should one separate these categories of cause of death? The only certainty is that evaluations of war losses are somewhat underestimated due to this difficulty.


According to the last update in 2008 from the National Archives, there were 58,220 U.S. military fatal casualties during the Vietnam War. All their names were honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

Death by Casualties Type

Among 58,220 U.S. fatal casualties, there were 47,434 hostile deaths and 10,786 non-hostiles.

Casualty Type Number of Records
Killed (Hostile) 38,505
Died Of Wounds (Hostile) 5,242
Died While Missing (Hostile) 3,523
Died While Captured (Hostile) 116
Died Of Other Causes (Non-Hostile) 7,455
Died Of Illness (Non-Hostile) 1,990
Died While Missing (Non-Hostile) 1,353
Total 58,178 (1)

Death by Years

Year of Death Number of Records
1956-1962 78
1963 122
1964 216
1965 1,928
1966 6,350
1967 11,363
1968 16,899
1969 11,780
1970 6,173
1971 2,414
1972 759
1973 69
1974 1
1975 62
After 1975 7
Total 58,220

The first American soldier died in the Vietnam War was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, Jr., a U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant. He was not killed in action but murdered by another U.S. airman and later died of his wounds on 8 June, 1956. On October 22, 1957, the U.S. forces suffered their first hostile casualties. Thirteen Americans were wounded in three terrorist bombings. Since then, number of terrorist incidents rose quickly. In the last quarter of 1957, 75 local officers were assassinated and kidnapped.

The U.S. casualties increased proportional to its growing military intervention in Vietnam. 1968 was the year when American troop strength in Vietnam peaked at around 540,000, which also happened to be the deadliest year with 16,899 deaths. The high casualty in 1968 also was caused by the first massive offensive from North Vietnam, widely known as Tet Offensive. In later years of the conflict, after President Nixon began to implement the Vietnamization policy, the number of soldiers decreased gradually and so did the number of deaths.

Charles McMahon and Darwin Lee Judge were the last American soldiers died during the war. The two men, both U.S. Marines, were killed on a rocket attack on April 29, 1975 – one day before the Fall of Saigon and South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, seven more soldiers died by the wounds they had suffered in Vietnam.

Death by Rank

There were 7,878 (1) American officers died in Vietnam War, including 1,278 Warrant Officers, 2,981 Lieutenant, 2,045 Captain, 898 Major/Lt Commander, 426 Lt Colonel/Commander, 238 Colonel, and 12 who had reached the rank of general. Major general/Rear Admiral was the highest ranking personnel died in Vietnam. Among five major general’s deaths, there were two served in the United States Army, two in the United States Air Force, and the other one in the United States Marine Corps.

Death by Race

By race, the ratio of men who died was nearly proportional with the ratio of men who served.

RACE RATIO OF MEN WHO SEVERED (%) RATIO OF MEN WHO DIED (%) DEATHS
White 88.4 85.6 49,830
Black 10.6 12.4 7,243
Other 1.0 2.0 1,147

Other Facts:

Dan Bullock is believed as the youngest Vietnam KIA at 15 years old.
Dwaine McGriff, the oldest person was honored on the Wall, died at 63 years old.
At least 25,000 soldiers who died in Vietnam War were 20 years old or younger.
There were eight women who died in Vietnam, seven of them served in the United States Army and one in the United States Air Force. The oldest woman died was Lt. Colonel Annie Ruth Graham, when she was 52. Annie was also the highest ranking woman died in Vietnam.


Watch the video: Η Ρωσία ξεκινά την διάθεση των S-500 - Το απόλυτο υπερόπλο που κλειδώνει τους ουρανούς


Comments:

  1. Cace

    The authoritative answer, funny...

  2. Shaktisida

    This variant does not approach me. Who else, what can prompt?

  3. Alvan

    You are not right. I can prove it. Email me at PM, we will talk.

  4. Kyrksen

    absolutely accidental coincidence

  5. Nopaltzin

    Yes, the quality is excellent

  6. Nixon

    On this day, as if on purpose



Write a message