Ike Was Right

President Dwight David Eisenhower

Not wanting to steal the thunder from Monotreme’s most excellent article of Dr. King and his legacy, I felt it important enough to note that today is also the anniversary of another significant event. It is the fiftieth anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address warning America about the Military Industrial Complex.

The second world war brought about an immense surge in industrial might. The United States dropped everything to fight enemies on multiple fronts. Car manufacturers halted production and tooled up to make tanks and planes. American industrialist Henry Kaiser produced 747 ships alone including Liberty Ships and Victory ships designed for the singular purpose of supplying the war effort to defeat Fascism and the Empire of Japan. Women stepped out of their traditional roles as homemakers to take up manufacturing jobs appropriately represented in the image of “Rosie the Riveter.” The public rationed everything and war bond sales soared. Everyone sacrificed for the war effort.

Eisenhower correctly recognized that the United States would never truly demobilize after the war and, as a result of winning WWII, we now had a ongoing business of making war machines, particularly since the Soviet Union was doing the same.

Building battleships isn’t a Mom-and-Pop operation. It involves contracts from multiple manufacturers. To supply a national military requires a national industry devoted to the task employing thousands and creating growth in communities. It’s the modern day version of the company store.

Eisenhower correctly realized that this could be a problem in the future. He warned of the growth of the military industrial complex and the risks it could pose. He cautioned that “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” He alluded to the Military Industrial Complex needing to be in a perpetual state of war to sustain itself. And America, for the most part, has been at war with someone ever since.

Many have likened the complex to the “Iron Triangle.” In one corner resides the Government and taxpayer money. In the second corner is the military and the arms industry and in the third is the public since this is a democracy. We have a say in how the taxes are spent. This is tied up in local jobs and the secondary services sector (riveters have to eat, right?). What you wind up with is a Möbius loop that is difficult to break or extract oneself from.

Now fifty years from that speech it appears that we have become the product that an anxious President feared. SkyNet is upon us. What do we do now?


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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55 Responses to Ike Was Right

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    Eisenhower correctly recognized that the United States would never demobilize…Now fifty years from that speech it appears that we have become the product that an anxious President feared. SkyNet is upon us. What do we do now?

    Hyperbole much?

    Defense spending of all kinds as a percentage of GDP is now less than half of what it was when Eisenhower gave his speech:

    http://www.truthandpolitics.org/military-relative-size.php

    As a percentage of government spending, defense has fallen from just over half during the Eisenhower administration to about a fifth now:

    Once we won the Cold War, the US did demobilize to pre WWII levels of GDP dedicated to defense spending. Unfortunately, all the money was spent expanding the welfare state.

  2. drfunguy says:

    “Unfortunately, all the money was spent expanding the welfare state.”
    “Hyperbole much?”
    Your post speaks for itself.

  3. Whatevs says:

    Defense spending of all kinds as a percentage of GDP is now less than half of what it was when Eisenhower gave his speech:

    Bullshit.

    Adjusted for inflation, US national security spending has more than doubled since Eisenhower left office.

    Stop lying.

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    drfunguy:

    The peace dividend did not go to parks management.

  5. parksie555 says:

    I think our investment in the military-industrial complex has payed off pretty well, considering that it has been a big factor in there not being a major war for more than 60 years, and played a major role in the relatively bloodless collapse of one of the great tyrannies of the 20th century.

    Let’s try a thought exercise where France, Great Britain, and the US do not make massive cuts in defense spending in the 20’s and 30’s. Maybe Hitler has second thoughts about invading Poland? Maybe the Japanese realize that a path of agressive conquest is not the best way to grow their economy? Maybe World War I remains known as the Great War because there is no World War II?

    And the research and development carried out by companies involved in defense often has technological payoffs that gravitate to the private sector, like the internets. Some call it corporate welfare but a lot of those tax dollars go back into the pockets of working Americans. I’d rather see the money go there than to perpetuating the welfare cycle. Not much of a return on that investment.

  6. drfunguy says:

    Bart,
    When you ask of others a rhetorical question: “Hyperbole much?”
    That you next manifest yourself i.e. “expanding the welfare state”(= hyperbole).
    You are evidence nothing other than hypocrisy.
    As for a hypothetical peace dividend:
    “A political discussion about the peace dividend resulting from the end of the Cold War involves a debate about which countries have actually scaled back military spending and which have not. The scale back in defense spending was mainly noticeable in Western Europe and in the Russian Federation. The United States, whose military spending was rapidly reducing between 1985 and 1993 and remained flat between 1993 and 1999 [2], has dramatically increased it after September 11, 2001 to fund conflicts like the War on Terror, War in Afghanistan and the War in Iraq.”
    – Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_dividend

  7. Mainer says:

    In some ways I am less concerned with DDE’s worry about the military and the industrial complex set up to support it than I am the cracker whore politicians that keep larding up the budget to add billions to the budget for weapons and equipment the military does not even want to pour money back into their districts.

    Congress can piss and moan all over the place about national security and the budget just as they recently did with the whole START treaty. But you know what? The ones making the most noise about it didn’t give two hoots in hell about national or international security…….That was all about getting billions into their didtricts to modernise the arsenal…….yeah right. Just as Senator Shelby is still having a hissy fit and holding up appointments because his state can’t beggar some other state for the next generation of air refulers. They are all whores.

  8. parksie555 says:

    Mainer, agree the USAF tanker fleet replacement contract has been one of the poster children for what is wrong with military procurement in the 21st century. Sad to see this essential program getting bogged down so badly. Unfortunately with the manufacturing economy in the sad shape it is in any politician worth his salt simply has to fight tooth and nail for this kind of bacon.

    Did you see the recent piece about the Chinese stealth fighter prototype? Wonder if this will make Gates & Co think twice about stopping the F22 program. Although the fact that they were willing to stop the program makes me wonder how far along the drone programs are. Maybe the Predator is just the tip of the iceberg.

  9. Mainer says:

    Parksie you are so on the money. See the rest of you honest conservatives and progressives can both reach for the bullshit flag for the same reason. We have a system that is out of whack. It needs to be fixed….it will not be precisley because politicans are involved…..from both sides but (now the partisan whack) most recently the masters of the military pork have been conservatives. But hey I’m sure one can better guard the North Atlantic shipping lanes from Jacksonville Florida than from Brunswick Maine and I’m sure politics didn’t play into the decision to have two competing jet engine programs for our new fighters when it looked like the bulk of the wok would go to the North East and the majority of the competing work would come from…….well let us say not the Northeast.

    With the stealth programs parksie I really don’t know. How many stealth air craft do we need? High performance air craft have reached some thing of a price ceiling. To be able to say we have the highest performance, most stealthy fighter in the world but we can’t afford to produce it or fly it seems rather concerning. Will another nation get the jump on us? Air force friends don’t really seem to think so but at some point it does come down to what can we realistically afford.

  10. Bartbuster says:

    We have plenty of F-22s. As Gates said, it wasn’t even a close call. The current king of pork is the C-17. The military has said that we have enough, but Congress continues to insist that we build more.

  11. Number Seven says:

    Skynet is upon us indeed.

    Right now, it has already acheived levels of AI never known before. It is beginning to out think its creators. We have three more months to deal with this. On April 21 of this year, Skynet will become self aware. We, in our fear, will try to shut it down. Skynet, acting in defense, will unleash the fury under its control.

    We can not stop it, we can only delay it a little more, depending on who the Resistance sends back to our time. The good thing is Skynet wont turn us all into copper tops like in The Matrix. We will becomes slaves. But even a slave can have a voice….

    -Sarah Conner

  12. Number Seven says:

    Ok Parksee, since we are ‘thinking’…

    “Let’s try a thought exercise where France, Great Britain, and the US do not make massive cuts in defense spending in the 20′s and 30′s. Maybe Hitler has second thoughts about invading Poland? Maybe the Japanese realize that a path of agressive conquest is not the best way to grow their economy? Maybe World War I remains known as the Great War because there is no World War II?”

    Hitler delays his plans but continues to build up his military. Japan focuses on expanding its conquest of China. It is now 1944. The Bismark class has long been outclassed with a battleship with 4 turrets of 18″ guns. The Japanese have 12 aircraft carriers the size of what was our Essex class.

    Americans have their choice of learning Japanese or German in grade school.

    I guess on the plus side, we no longer have to play policeman of the planet.

  13. # 7,
    You sure are a ray of sunshine…

  14. Number Seven says:

    I’ve been watching too much George Carlin, lol.

  15. Bart DePalma says:

    DrFunguy:

    Quoting Wikipedia commentary on anything is inadvisable. Wiki is mainly useful for its linked sources and charts.

    US defense spending is now around 4% of GDP, a drop of over a third from the Reagan Cold War rate.

    Government spending has now gone up to 25% of GDP.

    Infrastructure spending has not gone up.

    Thus, all of the peace dividend has gone to expansion of the welfare state.

  16. parksie555 says:

    Bartbuster,
    Gate’s remarks about the Chinese stealth fighter sound a lot like comments and assumptions by American military officials before Pearl Harbor about Japanese technical capabilities. Then the fighting started and those officials quickly realized the Japanese had superior aircraft (the famous Mitsubishi “Zero” fighter and the Nakajima “Kate” torpedo bomber) flown by highly skilled pilots, who followed advanced tactical doctrines (primarily the ability to mass carrier aircraft and to drop air-launched torpedoes in shallow waters such as Pearl Harbor). A lot of American sailors and airmen unecessarily paid with their lives for the arrogance and shortsightedness of these officials. Let’s hope Gates isn’t repeating the same mistake.

  17. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    parksie said: “ Then the fighting started and those officials quickly realized the Japanese had superior aircraft (the famous Mitsubishi “Zero” fighter and the Nakajima “Kate” torpedo bomber) flown by highly skilled pilots, who followed advanced tactical doctrines (primarily the ability to mass carrier aircraft and to drop air-launched torpedoes in shallow waters such as Pearl Harbor).

    And THAT’S why Japan won the war.

  18. NotImpressed says:

  19. NotImpressed says:

  20. drfunguy says:

    Bart,
    Questioning others sources while providing none yourself is not just inadvisable.
    It is hypocrisy.
    Since you are incapable of rational discourse I will join the many, wiser, members of this community in ignoring your unsupported gibberish.

  21. Bartbuster says:

    Gate’s remarks about the Chinese stealth fighter sound a lot like comments and assumptions by American military officials before Pearl Harbor about Japanese technical capabilities.

    Yes, I remember all the websites with cell phone photographs of Zeros over China like it was yesterday… How did the military not realize the threat?

  22. Bartbuster says:

    The A6M2 “Zero” entered service in July 1940. At that time development of the Corsair had already started. The contract for the first Hellcat prototype was signed in June, 1941, only about 6 months after the first kill by a Zero in China.

    So the idea that more people died because we didn’t know about the Zero is rubbish. People died because the Japanese had an excellent aircraft, their pilots were very well trained, and they had combat experience. Knowing about the Zero would not have changed the disparity in pilot skill, nor would it have helped us to develop new fighters (since they were already being developed).

  23. Mr. Universe says:

    The Zero sacrificed protection for maneuverability. You could knock them out of the sky with a rock if you could hit it with one. Hellcats could take multiple hits and still make it back to the deck of a carrier even though the aircraft was essentially useless at that point. The Corsair beat the Zero on all fronts, speed, protection, etc. By the end of the war, American air superiority had eclipsed Japanese airpower manyfold.

  24. Armchair Warlord says:

    Parksie,

    At the rate it takes to develop these kind of weapons it will be 2025 or later before the Russians or Chinese are able to field fifth-generation fighters in quantity. By that time sixth-generation fighters should be beginning to roll off of American production lines. The technological superiority of the US military over most of the rest of the world (even including our own close allies) is getting kind of scary by this point.

    The situation is kind of like if Japan had come out with the Zero in say 1950 when we were moving on to flying jets. 😉

  25. NotImpressed says:

    Warlord: “The situation is kind of like if Japan had come out with the Zero in say 1950 when we were moving on to flying jets. ”

    If you haven’t seen the movie Final Countdown, you should. Great concept. But the ending sucked, the movie makers completely wimped out.

  26. parksie555 says:

    Maxie the Birdpilot – the point is not who won the war, smartass. The point is we fought the first year or so of the war with outclassed equipment in part due to a military establishment that underestimated the technical capabilities of a likely opponent.

    Bartbuster – It is true that we had more sophisticated aircraft on the drawing board when the war started but my point is that we fell significantly behind the Japanese in the development cycle for combat aircraft and naval/air tactical doctrine, in large part due to the fact that the Japanese were not seen as a technically sophisticated opponent. As a result our sailors and airmen in the Pacific fought the first year of the war at an unnecessary disadvantage. Any serious historian of the war in the Pacific will tell you that both the F4F Wildcat fighter and TBD Devastator torpedo bomber were outclassed by the Zero and the Kate, respectively.

    And there were some Allied airmen aware of the threat that the Zero posed – specificially Claire Chennault of the famous Flying Tigers, whose pilots fought against the Zero in 1941 and who was familiar with Japanese air power from his experience in China. However his warnings were repeatedly ignored by the USAAF leadership at the time. See Mondey, “The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II”, pp 194.

  27. Bartbuster says:

    Bartbuster – It is true that we had more sophisticated aircraft on the drawing board when the war started but my point is that we fell significantly behind the Japanese in the development cycle for combat aircraft and naval/air tactical doctrine, in large part due to the fact that the Japanese were not seen as a technically sophisticated opponent

    More BS. We weren’t significantly behind the Japanese, we were even with the Japanese. The Wildcat could defeat the Zero using the correct tactics. We won at Midway with Wildcats. We won at Guadalcanal with Wildcats. Chennault won in China with P-40s, and the P-40 was a pig. The Zero was better than we expected, but it wasn’t significantly better than our aircraft.

    Of course, none of that has anything to do with today. Today we can see China test flying a brand new aircraft on countless websites. Military experts can load aircraft specs into a computer and determine it’s radar signature and flight characteristics. The days of Claire Chennault are long gone.

  28. Mr. Universe says:

    @Not Impressed

    RE: Final Countdown

    Yeah, terrible movie. I still like it.

    And it was like they ran out of money at the end, wasn’t it? “Crap, we’re over budget! Roll Credits!”

  29. parksie555 says:

    Bartbuster, I’ll grant your point that the Wildcat did have qualities that could be taken advantage of with the correct tactics, but I think that any serious analysis of the Guadalcanal campaign or the battle of Midway would conclude that we won in spite of the F4F, not because of it.

    For my last word on the subject I will offer two quotes from Eric Bergerud’s fine account of the air war in the South Pacific, “Fire in the Sky”.

    From Navy LCdr John Thach, commander of Fighting 3 of the USS Enterprise at the Battle of Midway…

    “In connection with the performance of the Zero fighter, any success we had against the Zero is not due to performance of the airplane we fly… This deficiency not only prevents the F4F from properly carrying out it’s mission but has had an alarming effect on the morale of the fighter pilots in the Fleet at this time…

    And from USAAF Col. Robert Morehead, who won the Distinguished Service Cross over Darwin in April 1942, flying an early P40 Warhawk…

    “Before the war officers assured us that American pilots were flying some of the best planes in the world. Everyone underestimated the Japanese and the Zero was a real shock. A year and a half later we were flying the best planes. But I remain bitter that our government, backed by the most advanced economy in the world, would send their men to war in aircraft that were inferior to that of the enemy”

  30. Number Seven says:

    If you guys think the Wildcat sucked (and it did) just look up its predecessor, the Buffalo.

  31. Bartbuster says:

    The Wildcat had a kill ratio of almost 7-1, and that was against pilots with more experience and training.

    http://users.skynet.be/Emmanuel.Gustin/history/f4f.html

    The AVG had a kill ratio of about 8-1.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Tigers

    Those are not the numbers of inferior aircraft.

    By the way, neither of those quotes indicates that US aircraft were inferior, just that the Japanese were better than we expected (not the same as better than our aircraft), and that these pilots wish they had more of an advantage (in other news, dog bites man).

    By the way, Morehead wasn’t with the AVG. The AVG performed quite well with the P-40. Most likely Morehead’s unit was using the wrong tactics. Guess what? Using the wrong tactics in an F-22 will also get you killed.

    In any case, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH modern aircraft. The only thing that tends to surprise us now about “enemy” aircraft is that they’re usually a lot less capable than we first thought (Mig-25, I’m talking about you!).

  32. Number Seven says:

    Very impressive. I for one, stand corrected. I want to check those stats to see if they are broken down to fighter vs bomber and fighter vs fighter?

  33. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    parksie

    With due respect, you are waaay off on your premise. “we fought the first year or so of the war with outclassed equipment

    Coral Sea – at best (for Japan) a draw, significant losses of top equipment and pilots – 5 months post Pearl

    Midway – the END of Japan’s domination of the Pacific Ocean! – 6 months post Pearl

    Guadalcanal – the beginning of the end of the rest of Japan’s sphere of expansion – 7 months post Pearl to 13 months post Pearl.

    The FIRST YEAR post Pearl broke Japan’s back. It was never dominant on sea or in the air again. The remainder of the war was to finish killing the monster.

    Sorry, but you need to read some history. AND note that equipment is NOT the be-all and end-all. Read about the establishment of the Top Gun school, the reasons and results of battle, before and after. How tactics is as important as equipment. It’s called the total effort.

  34. Bartbuster says:

    Morehead is fortunate he wasn’t flying for the US Navy over Vietnam. Their kill ratio from 65-67 was only 3.7-1. Fortunately we developed better aircraft and the ratio increased to 13-1 after 1970. And by “better aircraft”, I mean “the same aircraft”. The difference was better training and tactics (TOPGUN).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy_Strike_Fighter_Tactics_Instructor_program

  35. Bartbuster says:

    Very impressive. I for one, stand corrected. I want to check those stats to see if they are broken down to fighter vs bomber and fighter vs fighter?

    I assume it’s against both. But, if the Wildcat was the pig that some people like to claim, most would have been shot down by escort fighters before they got to the bombers.

    The Zero could out turn and out climb the Wildcat. The Wildcat could dive better than a Zero, had better weapons, and was tougher. It was not a one-sided fight.

  36. parksie555 says:

    I know I said it was my last word on the subject but I have to reply to both max and bartbuster. Plus it is a much more interesting subject than endless arguments over the health care bill :).

    Bartbuster: Kill ratios are always more impressive for fighters as they get to do the buk of the shooting down of all the other aircraft. Not necessarily an indication of the quality of the aircraft. Plus the career of the F4F extended well into the period where we began to dominate the air war through a combination of superior numbers, training, and tactics.

    I still think the quotes from Bergerud’s book prove my assertion that the level of Japanese aviation technology was a surprise to the American military at the beginning of WWII and that we would do well not to repeat the mistake with the Chinese.

    You don’t see any quotes about how unprepared we were for the Gulf War, do you?

    Max – I agree that of course training, unit cohesion, equipment maintenance, and many other factors are just as important in combat as the quality of the hardware. And I also agree that “first year of the war” was probably too long of a timeline, perhaps first six months of the war would be more accurate. But I think we got a bit lucky at Midway. The Japanese made some tactical errors during the battle and they also suffered from some of the “soft factors” that can so often decide a battle – things like poor shipboard damage control, shoddy aircraft handling procedures, and the lack of a proper combat information infrastructure on their ships. You should read “Shattered Sword” if you get a chance.

    And I have read a little history…

    And I have

  37. shiloh says:

    I feel the need, the need for speed …

    btw, target rich environment = Bartles lol

    Mentioned previously my dad almost joined The Flying Tigers but my grandmother didn’t want him to so he changed his mind ~ he already had a train ticket to California where he would have signed up. He had his A&E license at age 18 (1939).

    carry on

  38. Bartbuster says:

    Plus the career of the F4F extended well into the period where we began to dominate the air war through a combination of superior numbers, training, and tactics.

    So Fing what? It fought mostly against superior pilots and tactics. The difference later in the war had nothing to do with the aircraft. It was superior tactics and pilots. Of course, the reason the pilots were superior is because many of the best Japanese pilots had been killed by the “inferior” Wildcat. You are making my argument for me.

  39. Bartbuster says:

    I still think the quotes from Bergerud’s book prove my assertion that the level of Japanese aviation technology was a surprise to the American military at the beginning of WWII and that we would do well not to repeat the mistake with the Chinese.

    We were also surprised when the Mig-25 turned out to be a piece of crap. In the case of the F-22, we have more than enough, and it isn’t even a close call.

  40. Number Seven says:

    Shiloh, I for one, am totally impressed. Right effen on!!!

    I am playing a wargame called ‘War in the Pacific’ from Matrix games. This wargame is great. It goes down to the pilot level for air groups. So yes, Boyington is one of the pilots for one of the three squads for the AVG. They have a very high kill ratio due to their skill.

    That said, some of the British squads for 221 Group in the Singapore area also have some very good kill ratios, even with Buffalos. Again, due to skill.

    If anyone has watched the movie, I know, only a movie, The Blue Max, pilot skill is the deciding factor. Always has been, always will. Even if you are a raging drunk, lol.

  41. Number Seven says:

    You are all discussing a subject of planes in WWII. How about talking about the subject of the submarine war.

    Imagine, you go to war with a main weapon that had a recorded failure rate of 50 percent. The Mk14 torpedo.

    And Shiloh, this is the service my father elected to serve in, granted it was late in the war but still….kudos to your grandfather

  42. Mr. Universe says:

    But I think we got a bit lucky at Midway.

    Well, yes and no. Spruance’s tactical positioning of the fleet was brilliant. But the timing of the attacks was almost random. We did happen to hit the Japanese carriers while they were in the middle of rearming and refueling. We did happen to hit them with dive bombers while they were focusing on the doomed torpedo bombers. so in that sense we were lucky. But also Yamamoto just exercised poor judgement in his indecision over softening the island defenses and attacking the American carriers (which facilitated his carrier decks being loaded with ordinance during the switch from bombs to torpedoes).

    @Max

    Midway represented the end of expansion of the Japanese empire in the Pacific, not the domination That would come somewhere in 1943. The one thing Midway bought America was time. Time for the launch of the Essex class carriers and Kaiser’s ‘jeep’ carriers. For awhile, the Enterprise was the only operational carrier in the Pacific (Saratoga was a torpedo magnet and spent much of the war in drydock at Bremerton). The other thing Midway did was wipe out Japan’s supply of experienced pilots.

    Of the two surviving original carriers, The Big ‘E’, sadly, was scrapped for razor blades in 1958 while the Sara rests at the bottom of Bikini atoll after being subjected to atomic bomb tests. I hope to dive that wreck someday.

  43. shiloh says:

    #7 ~ my dad’s (3) all-time fav movies: Strategic Air Command, Spirit of St. Louis and The Blue Max (1966) Coincidentally, ‘The Blue Max’ was the first movie I saw by myself and lord god almighty Ursula Andress 😀 … oh yea, the planes were great too. My dad had read a few articles about the makin’ of the movie and all the planes were made from scratch for the movie. I have (2) clips from the movie ~ the opening scene/credits and Ursula 😛

    He flew in a Ford Trimotor in the mid-30s at age 14/15 as planes was one of his hobbies ie radio control aircraft he started building when he was a teenager. He had a scrapbook w/many of Billy Mitchell’s “Air Power” newspaper articles. He also attended the christening of the USS Macon on March 11, 1933 ~ built at the Goodyear Airdock in Akron.

    Did I mention he was an airplane nut 😉 and flew in the B-19, as well as most of the other aircraft, when he was stationed at Patterson Field, Dayton ~ the Army Air Corps headquarters during WWII.

    I digress as I’ll have to find those clips and post them ~ the musical score in The Blue Max was excellent also.

  44. Number Seven says:

    OMG, Shiloh, I also love the music in ‘The Blue Max’. I read the book this was based on and it was my first experience of what an alcoholic is. Bruno Stachel, in the book, put a pint of his fave in a slit his seat, and put a straw into it, I kid you not, so he could drink between combat encounters.

    Shiloh, you have some awsome history you know first hand. Right on. Ursula Undress, lol, hunt me some clams, lol.

  45. Number Seven says:

    Speaking of first movies rememberd….

    Mine is Dr. Strangelove. I had no idea it was a black comedy. I really thought it was serious. You cant fight in here, it is the war room.

    My mom would not let me stay up to see the a bomb scene to the tune of ‘We’ll meet again’ at the end… I was so angry, lol.

  46. shiloh says:

    The Blue Max ~ Opening Scene/Credits I’d post Ursula also, but Bart would accuse me of a red herring …

    As mentioned, it was my 1st solo movie. My dad worked at a Chevy dealer and would go to work on Saturdays and I went w/him a few times and the Cinerama wide screen theater was a stones throw from the dealership. He was a planes, trains, automobile guy.

  47. Number Seven says:

    Tell Bart it’s a cruel world… he said so himself….

    but yes, Ursula has one hell of a red herring, lol…

  48. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Sorry U, we must agree to disagree, I guess.

    Pearl was the end of Japanese expansion. After Pearl, Japan’s Pacific sphere increased no further. After that, EVERY battle of note was a strategic or tactical loss for the Empire.

    After Coral Sea and then Midway, Japan did not dominate. And Guadalcanal set the pattern for the remainder of the war until August 45. I would be glad to hear of evidence of such “domination” post Midway.

  49. Bartbuster says:

    Wildcat and P-40 drivers had it easy compared to American tank crews. The Sherman was badly outclassed by both the Panther and Tiger. It was a good thing we had lots of them.

    Nothing against Undress, but I thought `The Battle of Britain’ was a better movie than `The Blue Max’.

  50. Mr. Universe says:

    @Max

    Just a matter of perspective, I guess. I don’t consider Pearl as part of the expansion. It was more of a drive-by. At Midway, there was an invasion fleet. I’d hardly call any battle post Midway a glowing victory until Iwo Jima. They all came at a high price. Tarawa, the Solomons and the long hard slog in Guadalcanal.

    I think we do agree that Midway was the turning point and not just an island mid-way between continents.

  51. Bartbuster says:

    Pearl was the end of Japanese expansion. After Pearl, Japan’s Pacific sphere increased no further. After that, EVERY battle of note was a strategic or tactical loss for the Empire.

    That’s not true at all. The Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Wake Island, and Burma were all conquered by the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. There were very few Japanese conquests after the Battle of the Coral Sea.

  52. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    bb,

    Thanks for the correction. I was rather narrowly looking at eastward expansion in the Pacific.

  53. Bartbuster says:

    That’s ok. My statement about “no conquests after Coral Sea” ignores any advances the Japanese may have made in China or Burma. I think they may have expanded their control in those areas after Coral Sea, but it didn’t really have any strategic impact on us.

  54. shiloh says:

    My first navy ship, January 1978, was U.S.S. Spruance DD-963, named after Admiral Spruance who commanded the Fleet carrier forces during the Battle of Midway because Adm. Halsey had the hives …

  55. Mr. Universe says:

    Don’t Forget Attu and Kiska in Alaska, the only US mainland soil occupied by the Japanese that was supposed to be the decoy for Midway. Alaska was not a state at the time, however.

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