1951 Japanese Surrender

Pacific Paratrooper

1951 Japanese surrender

A group of stranded survivors of a Japanese vessel sunk by the American military found their way to the island of Anatahan, 75 nautical miles north of Saipan.

The island’s coast line is precipitous with landing beaches on the northern and western shore and a small sandy beach on the southwest shore. Its steep slopes are furrowed by deep gorges covered by high grass.

This brooding cone jutting from the sea floor is a large, extinct volcano with two peaks and a grass covered flat field, the final resting place for a B-29 Superfortress that crashed upon returning from a bombing mission over Nagoya, Japan on January 3, 1945 killing the aircraft’s crew.

Anatahan/Mariana Islands

By 1951 the Japanese holdouts on the island refused to believe that the war was over and resisted every attempt by the Navy to remove them.

This group was first discovered in…

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USS Choctaw, Civil War Ironclad Ram

Inch High Guy

Choctaw_01The USS Choctaw was built at New Albany, Indiana in 1856, originally as a merchant steamer for trade along the Mississippi River. She was purchased by the U.S. Army in 1862 and converted into an ironclad ram. In 1863 she entered service with the U.S. Navy for action against the Confederacy along the Mississippi and its tributaries. A very fine photograph given the era, note the crew’s laundry drying on the lines forward.

Choctaw_02The Choctaw was large for a river steamer, with a length of 260 feet (79 meters) and displacing 1,004 tons. Propulsion was via a steam engine which drove two side wheels. This gave her an unusual profile and a blistering maximum speed of two knots.

Choctaw_03Choctaw was given iron armor and a ram on her bow. She carried six guns – one 100 pound rifle, two 30 pound rifles, and three nine inch cannon. Some depictions show…

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Tigers in the Mud Book Review

Inch High Guy


Tigers in the Mud, The Combat Career of German Panzer Commander Otto Carius

By Otto Carius, translated by Robert J. Edwards

Softcover, 231 pages plus documents, appendices, and index; illustrated

Published by Stackpole Books, 2003

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0-8117-2911-7

Dimensions:  8.9 x 6.0 x 1.1 inches

Otto Carius began his war as a loader on a Panzer 38(t) in the 21st Panzer Regiment at the start of operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union.  Sadly only the first few chapters are devoted to his time with the 21st Panzer Regiment.  The narrative mainly focusses on events after January 1943, when Carius returned to Germany for officer’s training and eventual assignment to Schwere Panzer Abteilung 502, a Tiger unit.

There Carius was a platoon commander in the 2.Kompanie.  He was often right in the thick of the action, as the Tigers were used to bolster defensive positions…

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