Yes, Veterans Day is coming so Balladeer’s Blog has been featuring some seasonal posts. In keeping with my blog’s theme I will take a look at more military actions that don’t get the attention that others do. Here is a look at U.S. Navy battles of the First World War.
OCTOBER 15th, 1917 – America entered the war just six months earlier and the Navy had been transporting the American Expeditionary Force under General “Black Jack” Pershing to Europe, with additional Navy craft escorting those transport ships and fighting German U-Boats. On this date the USS Cassin encountered U-Boat 61 and, after an hour’s pursuit the German submarine turned to fight the Cassin. After a lengthy exchange of torpedoes and depth charges the Cassin was battered but still afloat, while the U-61 suffered substantial damage also, including the destruction of its conning tower, forcing the sub to break off the action and flee.
NOVEMBER 17th, 1917 – The USS Fanning and USS Nicholson clashed with the German U-Boat designated U-58 when eagle-eyed sailors spotted the German sub’s periscope above the water line. Depth charges from the two U.S. ships damaged the U-58 and forced it to surface and engage in standard ship-to-ship combat. The Fanning and Nicholson sank the U-Boat, becoming the FIRST United States ships to Continue reading
Harry Truman in World War One
Veterans Day is approaching so Balladeer’s Blog is presenting another look at World War One since November 11th marks the date that war ended.
HARRY S TRUMAN, CAPTAIN OF BATTERY D – This future Democratic Party Senator, future Vice President and future President is credited with one of my favorite quotes: “There’s nothing new in the world except the history you don’t know.”
That Show-Me State Seneca was in charge of Artillery Battery D, a hard-fighting unit that was often deployed well forward, in the heart of the action. During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918 Truman’s Battery D provided fire in support of the young George Patton’s tank brigade. “Captain Harry’s” boys engaged German field guns, eliminating and forcing the abandonment of enemy batteries at a noteworthy rate. Continue reading
THE THREE-DAY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND IS HERE! As always Balladeer’s Blog marks the event with a few looks at neglected conflicts from America’s past. The servicemen who fought in those actions are just as deserving of being memorialized as those who fought in more familiar wars.
KOREAN EXPEDITION OF 1871 – A Diplomatic Mission was sent to Korea that year, with the time period’s usual military escort of war ships on such ventures. The U.S. expedition was snubbed on the diplomatic side and then Korean shore batteries opened fire upon the military escort. The Americans launched reprisal raids for a few days then departed, leaving U.S. – Korean relations somewhat cold for years afterward. Medal of Honor Winners:
WILLIAM F LUKES
Navy Rank: Landsman
Citation: June 9th – 10th, 1871 – During the assault on the Han River Forts on Ganghwa Island, Lukes came to the assistance of injured Lieutenant Hugh McKee. The Landsman fought his way through heavy resistance to the fallen McKee’s location and refused to abandon his comrade.
Through swordplay, bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat William received a severe sword cut to the head, a wound which would cause him to suffer convulsions for the rest of his life from the brain damage. When American reinforcements arrived they found the unconscious Lukes had suffered 18 bayonet wounds in the fighting. Continue reading
Since we are marking the 100 year anniversary of America’s entry into World War One here is Balladeer’s Blog’s handy guide to some differences and key players between that conflict and World War Two.
WW I – Lasted from 1914 to 1918 *** WW II – Lasted from 1939 to 1945
WW I – America entered the war in April, 1917 *** WW II – America entered the war in December, 1941
WW I – Italy and Japan fought on the side of the Allied Powers *** WW II – Italy and Japan fought on the side of the Axis Powers
WW I – Germany, under Kaiser Wilhelm, led the Central Powers *** WW II- Germany, under Adolf Hitler, led the Axis Powers
WW I – Sinking of the Lusitania *** WW II – Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
WW I – The Allied disaster at Gallipoli *** WW II – The Allied disaster Operation: Market Garden
WW I – Douglas MacArthur is an American Commander in charge of the Rainbow Division in Europe *** WW II – Douglas MacArthur is Commander in Chief of the entire Pacific Theater of Operations
WW I – George S Patton is an American Cavalry Officer who eventually becomes a tank commander *** WW II – George S Patton is an American Army commander leading troops in North Africa, Italy and France Continue reading
It’s Presidents Day Weekend! Three days of basketball and being reminded about how the Democratic and Republican Parties stick us with pieces of garbage like Barack Obama and George W Bush. Here are some takes on the more recent presidents.
Character Type: Well-meaning but befuddled sitcom grandfather.
Military Service: World War One and World War Two
Motto: “FOOORE!” (Remember, the traditional cry as you’re teeing off in golf? Oh, never mind!)
Nickname: Uncle Milty
Pro: Knew enough to distrust Richard Nixon long before it became the national pasttime.
Con: Was the first president to pronounce nuclear as “nucular”.
JOHN F KENNEDY
Character Type: Rich playboy who disdained both Liberals and Conservatives and played by his own rules.
Military Service: World War Two
Motto: “Thank God for television!”
Pro: The man was shrewd enough to distrust both liberals and conservatives equally. I can’t praise that attitude highly enough given our present circumstances.
Con: Continue reading
John Adams called the Vice Presidency “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived.” A very old joke went “Once there were two brothers. One ran away to sea and the other became Vice President. Neither was ever heard from again.”
In George S Kaufman’s and Morrie Ryskind’s classic stage work Of Thee I Sing one of the characters turns down an offer to be Vice President because he’s ashamed to have his mother know. He’s persuaded to accept the office when it’s pointed out that if he doesn’t tell her about it she’ll never find out.
The office has featured eminently forgettable figures as well as comic relief buffoons like Dan “The Global Village Idiot” Quayle and Joe “Koo Koo For Cocoa Puffs” Biden. In the light-hearted style of Balladeer’s Blog’s look at U.S. Presidents here’s a look at the men who got to hang around and see if the country’s Chief Executive wound up six feet under. I’m omitting VP’s who went on to actually become President, so no John Adams or Thomas Jefferson, etc. Happy Presidents Day Weekend!
Served Under: Jefferson
Noted for: Shooting dead more Treasury Secretaries and hatching more plots to start his own country than any other Vice President. (So far, anyway.)
Best Burr Quote: “I’m still searching for the real killers of Alexander Hamilton.”
Served Under: Jefferson and Madison
P-Funk and Funkadelic Leading American Rebel forces against the British troops of his loyalist cousin Sir Henry Clinton during the Revolutionary War.
Best Clinton Quote: “Do fries go with that shake?”
Served Under: Madison
Noted for: Pioneering the method of “Gerrymandering” political districts in a way that the modern day Democrats and Republicans have raised to a mainstay in the world of white collar crime which they inhabit.
Best Gerry Quote: “I’ll be immortalized as the man who invented Elbridge-mandering!”
DANIEL D TOMPKINS
Served Under: Monroe Continue reading
Year-End lists continue with this look at 2016’s top posts about Barack Obama.
OBAMA: THE MOST UNFIT PRESIDENT EVER – HERE
OBAMA AND PUTIN – HERE
OBAMA ON THE ORLANDO ATTACK – HERE
OBAMA: IF IT SAVES EVEN ONE LIFE – HERE
THIS BUFFOON IS LIVING PROOF WHY WE NEED THIRD PARTIES.
BARACK OBAMA: VILLAGE IDIOT – HERE
OBAMA LEGACY – HERE
MY INTERVIEW WITH OBAMA – HERE
BARACK OBAMA APOLOGIZES – HERE
OBAMA SLAPPED BY SUPREME COURT AGAIN – HERE
OBAMA: MORON OR IMBECILE? – HERE
OBAMA & ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS – HERE
OBAMA ON MERIT – HERE
THE OBAMACARE DEBACLE – HERE
OBAMA & POLICE SHOOTINGS – HERE
OBAMA’S “CHECKERS” SPEECH – HERE
OBAMA SETS BACK RACE RELATIONS – HERE
BARACK OBAMA: THE KARDASHIAN PRESIDENCY – HERE Continue reading