Friday, June 05, 2009

Momentum. Tempo. Zeitgeist.

Amazing how seemingly small and even insignificant events can change the perception of "how things are going".

67 years, 1 month, and 19 days ago today, the Doolittle Raid -- a militarily insignificant bombing raid on the Japanese home islands -- convinced the Imperial Japanese Navy high command of the necessity of eliminating the US Navy's forward base at Midway in an attempt to engage and destroy the USN carrier fleet.

And then, 67 years ago yesterday, after the American torpedo bombers had been virtually annihilated by IJN Zeros, the Dauntless dive bombers of the USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise appeared over the Japanese Main Force and proceeded to sink three aircraft carriers.

Had the Japanese ignored Doolittle, would this turning point in the Pacific War have occurred at all?

Addendum: For some reason, I always get choked up when I read the story of the the US carrier air strikes on the 4th of June. "What greater love has man than this, to lay down his life for his friends."