Alaska's Bloodiest battle
#1

http://www.historychannel.com/classroom/alaska/

 

Watch SAVE OUR HISTORY: ALASKA'S BLOODIEST BATTLE on Saturday, March 25 @ 8pm/7c - The History Channel

 

Save Our History: Alaska's Bloodiest Battle

 

Since the War of 1812, the Battle of the Aleutians in 1942-43 was the only armed conflict with foreign troops that was fought on American soil.

 

In this episode of Save Our History, Steve Thomas journeys through the Aleutian Islands to Attu, the westernmost island in the Alaskan chain, where he walks in the footsteps of the soldiers engaged in this little-known but crucial battle during World War II. Along the way, Steve explores a variety of military structures–-forts, guns and planes–-which are either now being restored or are in need of preservation.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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#2

I got the chance to watch it this morning. Learned a lot. They had interviews with several vets and this included many members of the 50th Combat Engineers.

 

Betcha not too many folks know about the fight in the Aleutians. If you are among them, please take the time to broaden your horizons about the guys that fought there.

 

It was here that the Americans found the first intact Zero that had crashed in the Aleutians. How did that happen? Well several men were flying together and one of the guys was getting really sick. He chose to let it go outside the aircraft and as he did he called to his fellow flyers. Told them he spotted a crashed plane below. From this the Allies were able to study the plane and learn much about the construction. Thank God for air sickness! ;)

 

Two other pertinent points that pertained to the 50th Engineers:

 

Number one: It was here that the first experimental airfield was created in 1942. Because of the inhospitable conditions, the engineers had to get creative. They placed metal mesh that connected together and formed the runway. It was a success and used many times after during the war. You can see a photo of it here:

 

http://www.nps.gov/aleu/WWII_in_the_Aleutians.htm

 

Another obstacle was overcome again due to engineering igenuity. Because of the terrible terrain (mushy, volcanice, etc.), the troops were having a very difficult time making headway up the hills. It would take hours and hours just to move an artillery gun, etc. 500 feet. Most of the equipment would simply sink. Well a few of the engineers got a big rig up to the top of one hill, then set up what worked like a ski-lift; cables that ran up and down and assisted the men and machines. Go engineers. Love you guys!!

 

 

Here are more links of interest:

 

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/brochures/aleut/aleut.htm

 

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1675.html

 

http://www.hardchargers.com/historyp/ww2images.html

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#3

That was a great show. The veteran that accompanied Steve Thomas must have been one tough cookie...he was bayonetted 6 times in one battle and shot 5 times in another and survived the war!

 

:woof:

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#4

Oh ya. When Steve Thomas asked him the final question at the end of the show; why he chose to come back to Attu... Well that brought tears to my eyes. Got all choked up. He was quite a guy. Someone I would love to meet in person.

 

And the grin on the one vet's face that used to fly PBY's, when they took him up. That was priceless! :pdt34:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#5

That was a great show. The veteran that accompanied Josh must have been one tough cookie...he was bayonetted 6 times in one battle and shot 5 times in another and survived the war!

 

:woof:

I saw some of this show yesterday, that poor guy was attacked by a mob of japs. He said one of his wounds the bayonet went thru his thigh and out his buttocks, one in the wrist, one in the chest, and the fellow WALKED back to the aid station!!

 

That's one tough bird.

 

Brooke

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#6

That was a great show. The veteran that accompanied Steve Thomas must have been one tough cookie...he was bayonetted 6 times in one battle and shot 5 times in another and survived the war!

 

:woof:

I saw some of this show yesterday, that poor guy was attacked by a mob of japs. He said one of his wounds the bayonet went thru his thigh and out his buttocks, one in the wrist, one in the chest, and the fellow WALKED back to the aid station!!

 

That's one tough bird.

 

Brooke

..and once in the forehead ! :wacko:

 

 

:woof:

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#7

Dogone. Must have missed it. Little has been posted on the fighting o n the Alethusian

islands in WW 2. Just how many troops from each side were involved and just what were our and their casualties in thiese battles. And how long the battles involve??

Seems to be a non publiced part of the war.? Looks like a a part of the war not much

publicied. Wonder why not.?

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#8

Joe:

 

Did you happen to click on any of the links above. They contain more info on this little known battle. I love being able to turn people onto new info regarding the war. The vets that fought this one deserve the attention as much as anyone else.

 

:pdt34:

 

Here's more links too:

 

http://www.usace.army.mil/publications/eng...-1-42/c-6-2.pdf

 

http://www.elmendorf.af.mil/3wing/units/hi...20AF%20WWII.htm

 

http://www.hlswilliwaw.com/aleutians/Attu/...hotos-cover.htm

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply
#9

A recurring theme in these stories of hand-to-hand combat between our boys and the japs seems to be that our guys had little trouble dispatching them on a one to one (or one against two) situation, despite the judo and other martial arts skills. I have heard several Marines stories where they were able to disarm a banzai-charging japanese and kill him with his own bayonet or gun butt.

 

 

:woof:

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#10

Over and over what kept occuring is once the Japanese were flushed from their caves/hills and other cover, they became easy targets because of the tactics they used, mainly taking all their men and running bonzai charges. They literally became sitting ducks for our boys. They tended to take platoons, companies, etc. and run full-out charges regardless of terrain and odds. So many Japanese troops were needlessly slaughtered. Top that off with their fight-tiil-were-all-dead/we ain't gonna surrender beliefs and well you wind up with really high atttrition rates.

 

Of course our boys also suffered high attrition rates because the Japanese did not believe in surrender. It was an utter disgrace to them, and hence many battles that should have ended much sooner and would have saved many lives on both sides...

 

As you probably know, but maybe some that are reading this do not, is that many Japanese troops jumped off cliffs, etc., taking their own lives, rather then surrending to the Americans. IIt was literally fight-to-the-death. They were also told that Americans were animals and would do horrible things to them if they were captured. Ya, look what the hell they did to our boys throughout the war. Look at the Bataan Death March. There are hundreds of other such examples. :unsure:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
Reply


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