Friday, October 17, 2008

Fullbore Friday

If I never have to sit through another JAG lecture on LAWFARE, it will be too soon.

Within living memory, we knew what it was like to go to war against an enemy who gave no quarter - and asked for none.

POW in this war, none. At least Imperial Japan, for all her horrors towards POWs, took thousands. Ponder.

To add to your pondering, I want you to review the last 48 hours of a great warship's crew; the Heavy Cruiser IJN Chikuma in the Battle Off Samar (of Taffy III fame).
On 25 October, during the Battle off Samar, Chikuma engaged U.S. escort aircraft carriers, helping to sink USS Gambier Bay, but came under fire from the American destroyer USS Heermann and heavy air attack. Chikuma inflicted severe damage on Heermann, but was soon attacked by four TBM Avenger torpedo-bombers, one of which succeeded in hitting her stern port quarter with a Mark 13 torpedo that severed her stern and disabled her port screw and rudder. Chikuma's speed dropped to 18 knots, then to 9 knots, but more seriously, she became unsteerable. At 1105, Chikuma was attacked by five TBMs from USS Kitkun Bay. She was hit portside amidships by two torpedoes and her engine rooms flooded. At 1400, three TBMs from a composite squadron of ships from the USS Omanney Bay and the USS Natoma Bay led by Lt. Joseph Cady dropped more torpedoes which hit Chikuma portside. Cady was later awarded the Navy Cross for his action. The destroyer Nowaki took off survivors from Chikuma, and then scuttled her at [show location on an interactive map] 11°25′N 126°36′E / 11.417, 126.6 in the late morning of on 25 October 1944.

On 26 October 1944, Nowaki was sunk by gunfire from USS Vincennes, Biloxi and USS Miami and DesDiv 103's USS Miller, USS Owen and USS Lewis Hancock. It sank 65 miles SSE of Legaspi, Philippines with about 1,400 men including all but one of Chikuma's surviving crewmen.
Did you get that? An Destroyer overloaded with the CHIKUMA's survivors surrounded by three Light Cruisers and three Destroyers and pounded into oblivion taking roughly 1,400 men into the deep.

And we still won't take out pirates that send money to Islamists. We still ... well ... you get the idea.


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