Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Less interest in the Pacific?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by JagdtigerI, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,959
    Likes Received:
    2,398
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Sounds like a teriffic project. I hope you can pull it off, but I also have questions about the bold statement. You might get an argument form the infantry who fought in the mountains of Italy, or those who fought in the hedgerows of France. My hat is off to any infantryman, from any war, in any theater. What they did is mind-boggling to me. I don't know if it's possible to quantify one as being harder than the other.
     
  2. 1986CamaroZ28

    1986CamaroZ28 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    17
    I know it's a pretty bad thesis to say, because it sounds like I don't respect the guys who fought and died in Europe. And btw, I'm not gonna mention the Italian campaign, cause that seemed far worse than what was going on after D-day. But seriously, who wouldn't rather fight in Europe than in the Pacific?

    First off, the weather. Euro- You had no winter gear for awhile, you froze to death, you got frostbite and trench foot. But atleast you could huddle next to your buddy, maybe smoke a cigarette. Pacific- 120 degree+ days, humidity, clothes rotting off of you, shitty water, dehydration, bugs infesting everything. No way to get cool, even in the shade. And you had to march in all of that, convoys aren't gonna get through that jungle. One thing I read once, a guy woke up and a huge worm was in his penis, and they had to get out with bamboo plyiers. Doubt anything like that happened in Europe, no bugs and creatures crawling around in the snow to crawl into you.

    Terrain: Euro- hills, mountains, forests, meadows, huge land scapes, mud mud mud. Atleast conveys were more abundant and could cross places.
    Pacific- Jungle, coral reefs. Have fun walking through the jungle, when a Jap could be one yard away waiting to ambush you and you can't even see him.

    Enemy: Euro- Germans would shoot all their ammo at you, and surrender. Unless they were devout, Waffen, Fallschimjaeger, etc. 2% chance of dying if you're captured, compared to the 30% if you're caught by Japs.
    Pacific- Japs. They will cut you open, eat you while alive, rape you(yes it's true). Hand to hand combat actaully happened, have fun gouging out eyes when they jump into your line at night or actaully having to sharpen your bayonet for a purpose. Battle of the bulge- Huge fucking battle, hundreds of miles of belgium/luxembourgh, hitler's last elite troops against starving, sick, thinly spread out U.S. GIs. About 15,000 of them die, right? Look at Okinawa, half the island was occupied, and we lose around 13,000 I think. Tarawa, 1 square mile, more than a 1000 dead in one day. 200% company casualty rates in some divisions (don't know about the percentage in Europe). Hell ships too- having to drink the piss and blood of your buddies and then get torpedoed by your own people....

    Navy: Euro- I don't have so much knowledge on this, but the Germans pretty much just had subs, right? Then we broke enigma, made some tactic changes, and they weren't so much of a problem
    Pacific- Actaul naval battles, ship blows up, you're stranded for days, dillusional, drinking sea water, sharks swimming around you, you just ate the dead guy on the raft. Oh look, here comes a ship... and it has a sun on it... Don't forget the Kamakazis too, fucked the navy up, men would be running around on fire with their body glistening with shrapnel. The sailors in Europe were probably cold.

    Other stuff too, like the invasion of Japan, possibly 1 million casualties for the U.S. 292,131 guys are daed already, and now we're gonna loose another million for a tiny island agianst old men, women, and children. Good thing that didn't happen. Also I think guys in the Pacific saw usually 30 days extra comabt than the guys in Europe? I think that was the number. Another thing, when they were making flags of our fathers, they asked Iwo Jima vets about the war, and they'd yell at them and hang up. Seems a lot of Normandy vets can talk about D-day, but when you ask a Pacific vet about the war, you're not gonna get a word out. To win against the Germans was to strike strategically, to win against the japs was to kill japs, kill japs, and kill more japs. Way more hatred against them.

    There's a ton of stuff I've forgot to add, and I'm sure stuff I've already said is debatable and wrong, but atleast I'm a 19 year old that's been studying the war for some time, compared to most people my age. But I'm sure we all know the Eastern Front was the worst of them all.
     
  3. 1986CamaroZ28

    1986CamaroZ28 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    17
    I know, they all died painfully with much suffering, but it just seems there was more struggle in the Pacific. I've read about 40 books so far on infantryman's accounts on the war, and the guys in the Pacific always seemed to have the more grim story.
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,652
    Likes Received:
    2,201
    Location:
    Alabama
    I understand what you are trying to say. The infantry was dealt a crappy hand, no matter where the were.
     
  5. mavfin

    mavfin Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    7
    I figured 'mainly' left room for the exceptions, such as the Exeter, the Hermes, the Victorious(?) brought in to fill the gap while the Enterprise was in the yard, before the Essex class and the Fast Carrier Force took over, and TF 57 around Okinawa. :D
     
  6. mister_rubber_dickie

    mister_rubber_dickie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hello. I just would like to share my thoughts as I was reading this thread.

    To be honest, I was really deeply hurt when someone considered the Pacific War Theater only a "slideshow".

    For these reasons, among others.

    1. My grandfather served in the USAFFE when he was 17 years old, took a year or more of training, and was immediately sent to Bataan to defend;

    2. My grandfather wholeheartedly and bravely defended the said place without supplies, ammunitions, and hope. Still, their order was to defend until the last drop of their blood;

    3. My grandfather surrendered, was captured, and forcibly marched from Bataan to Camp O'Donnel in Capas, Tarlac without food and water for more than a week. Every second, there was a threat of being bayoneted or shot.

    4. He was able to survive by drinking his own urine and by playing dead.

    5. Until now, he has nightmares of the said war.

    6. During the "Battle for Manila", many were brutally killed and raped, nuns were raped also as well as infants and children. Babies were thrown in the air and bayoneted, the sick were massacred on their hospital beds. This battle was much worse than Warsaw.

    Is this your definition of a "slideshow"?
     
  7. jemimas_special2

    jemimas_special2 Shepherd

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Mister RD,

    Thank you for sharing your Grandfather's story and what he went through... unfortunately, because of the threads title... many people are ignorant or exhibit poor choice in wording. Your post is the fuel we need to remember those that served... Situations like this, only feed my apetite for further research and greater appreciation.

    all the best,

    Mark
     
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    13,959
    Likes Received:
    2,398
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Mr. RD, I think you have every right to be offended by the "sideshow" comment, but that part of the thread was way off topic. If you check the original post by jagdtiger1, his objective was to discover why there seems to be more interest in this forum in the PTO. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to pursue off-topic ideas when a thread like this is opened. Try reading through the whole thread and separate out the off-topic comments. There are many interesting, informed opinions on why there is less focus on this part of the war. There also are a few who seem to be arguing that the PTO was of greater importance, but again, that is off the topic Jon presented.
    Your grandfather's experience should remind us that, no matter which theater someone served in, the effects of the war go far beyond 1945. Appreciation to him for his service, and to you for defending it.
     
  9. mister_rubber_dickie

    mister_rubber_dickie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    2
    First, I would like to thank you for the understanding and sympathy that you had shown in this thread. Indeed, soldiers, either on the allied front or in the axis, needs respect since they had offered their blood, sweat, and most of the time their lives for a cause that sometimes they do not understand.

    Before my grandfather turned 90 years old last April 27, fortunately, we were able to bring him to Corregidor and Bataan.

    As he stepped out from the car, I noticed that he was shaking a little bit and 'twas teary eyed. I asked him why? He told me that it was just yesterday the battle was fought and lost, many of his comrades died (fyi, not because of the bombs and bullets but because of beri-beri, dysentery, and malaria.) At first, they were promised reinforcement by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, but it never came. No rations were dropped but only bombs from "Tora-Tora" of the Japanese Imperial Army.

    Until April 9 came, they surrendered to the Japanese. When they already surrendered in one of the schools, beheadings were already started. He told me that when they entered the school's premises, he can see hundreds of headless corpses lying around, both Americans and Filipinos.

    He also told me that it was not the Japanese that were vicious and brutal, it was, in fact, the Koreans. Koreans were invaded by the Japs and their men were utilized as slaved soldiers.

    Well, as for the research, maybe this can add. :)
     
  10. mister_rubber_dickie

    mister_rubber_dickie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thank you for the understanding and sympathy. Just wanna ask you, are u a vetaran of what war? I just wanna know because I have many things to share. :)
     
  11. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    954
    Good points lou. I stopped reading this thread when other theatres were alluded to as sideshows. There were no sideshows. And my relatives experiences in burma match dickies family memories equally. The original poster posted a worthile and relevant question. But many on here and off air do not count the chinese and aisan or cbi as part of this. Thats fine... And so you have your answer.. You involve less nations then youll get less interest . And judging by some of the comments on here will get less and less .the forum has a pacific section, with a demoted cbi attached. Seems we have already decided on what constitutes a sideshow. Id hate to be chinese or a visiting 14th army vet but i suppose the forgotten army was coined for a reason.
     
  12. mister_rubber_dickie

    mister_rubber_dickie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hello Sir Urqh! I am fully agreeing with you. In my humble opinion, regardless of what theater you served, regardless who you served with, or regardless of which side you were, as long as you served your country well, you did not commit any injustices to your fellow human beings, and you upheld the idea of freedom and justice for all -- I salute you all the way.

    I am also interested with the Japanese atrocities committed in Burma, Philippines, and the rest of the Pacific.
     
  13. Centurion-Cato

    Centurion-Cato Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree with you. I myself find Europe a lot more interesting than the Pacific, because to me it seems the Japanese could not have won one way or another. I don't think they ever could have attacked America head on, although I do not doubt they would have tried.

    The Pacific to me was of lesser importance than Europe, where Germany and Italy were. Although I am not saying the Pacific was not important. I am just saying that a lot more of the famous battle would have been fought there.
     
  14. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    134
    Funny. When I think of famous battles of WWII, off the top of my head I can think of a lot more famous Pacific battles then European or North Africa. In the pacific, for the most part, there were no lines. Most every battle in the pacific was non stop fighting from the start. New Guinea and the Philippines might qualify as "campaigns."
     
  15. Kobalt04

    Kobalt04 Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    1
    The Pacific War, and certain lesser-known aspects of it such as the CBI Theater, possibly seemed very distant to many British and Americans, and still does, while the war in Europe was only a bound over the Atlantic. For Australians and New Zealanders, though, the opposite was and is true, and still, I as an Australian find that the war in Europe, both on the Eastern and Western Fronts, is of greater interest. There is another aspect of the Pacific War that is often neglected in the West, and that is the contribution of China in the war against the Japanese Empire. The Chinese lost 15-20 million civilians and military personnel and China drew an enormous number of Japanese troops into it against both the Chinese Nationalist and Communist forces in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45) where legions of these invading and occupying Japanese troops were lost in action against Chinese Nationalist or Communist forces. Indeed, not meaning to labour the point, immense numbers of Japanese soldiers were deployed and killed in action or seriously injured in China, yet China's contribution to Allied victory over Imperial Japan is rarely acknowledged, let alone studied, in the West.
     
  16. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    134
    As far as people in the US are concerned, those who lived in the west were far more concerned about the Japanese and the Pacific war. My folks always felt that we were drawn into the European war, while the Pacific war was a direct attack against us.
     
  17. STURMTRUPPEN

    STURMTRUPPEN Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    4
    some people might not be interested in the pacific war because of the length of campaigns and the battles taking forever to complete
     
  18. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    7,169
    Likes Received:
    1,466
    A Sideshow? I think not! Just goes to show that the History taught in today's educational institutions or "selective understanding" leaves a lot to be desired. I suggest a little study of the SWPA is in order. But I do kinda' see where he's coming from. We see more documentaries, books and articles of the Navy's aircraft far more than the fighters and bombers of the Army Air Force (who inflicted as much if not more damage). Leading one to believe (falsely) that the AAF were there merely to help out.
     
  19. Guaporense

    Guaporense Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yes, the chinese killed about 500.000 japs, half of the american number of kills.

    The pacific war was a large war, larger than any other war after 1945.

    However, it pales in significance to the "real war" in Europe.

    For example, the american army suffered about 920.000 casualties, 760.000 in europe and only 160.000 in the pacific. And the american army (+ airforce) was responsible for about 5% of the German KIA (american ground and airforces inflicted a litttle over 100.000 KIA on germany, out of 2.3 million), while in the pacific, it was responsible for about 60% of jap KIA (the chinese inflicted 30% and soviets, about 10%). So you can say that the war in europe was about 50 times larger.:eek:

    But it should be noted that interest doesn't imply always in importance. For example, the western front has received more attention than the eastern front, however, every serious historian knows that the western front pales in importance to the eastern front. So, the pacific war was a "sideshow" to the western front and the western front was a "sideshow" to the eastern front.
     
  20. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,617
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Location:
    God's Country
    Actually, from the perspective that you're taking the War in Europe was actually a sideshow, if you split the West Front/East Front into seperate theatres. Based upon troops involved and casualties, the war in Russia was the only REAL theatre. But then that upsets your whole theory as to why the PTO gets less attention, because the East front gets less attention than the West Front.
     

Share This Page