History has to “make sense”

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

The “Pacific War trilogy” is so good, even though I only have read 30% of the the first book “Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific”. I plan to finish it in H1 this year.

The book covers vividly what “actually” happened during the war, supported by a lot of first-hand evidence. The readers will get so many details comparing to movies, or even documentaries.

While reading, I could not help, but keep on thinking that History has to make sense.

Thinking from this angle, we can call bullshit a lot of the “propaganda” material, even though probably that is what we want to see.

Photo by Suzy Brooks on Unsplash

For example, a lot of the movies and documentaries, in order to showcase courage of the soldiers and give people hope that they would win eventually, highlighted how angry and committed the US soldiers were right after the Japanese surprise attack on Peal Harbor, having seen their colleagues die and their ships burn.

I am sure they were.

But what would make more sense, as the book described with tons of evidence, was that

  1. They were scared shit-less about the possible invasion of the Japanese, because they could not locate the Japanese carriers
  2. They were extremely low in morale
Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

Some of the details in the book (I could not remember all):

  1. In the chaos after the attack, weapons were distributed “randomly”. No signature were required and no record was kept.
  2. Ground defense and anti-air would just fire on anything that moved, causing multiple casualties, including the 5 fighters from “Enterprise” (4 damaged with one shot down and its pilot killed). Even the Admiral commanding the “Enterprise” were shot at when he tried to reach shore in a small boat while the carrier was being resupplied and re-fueled.
  3. Light restrictions were way beyond reasonable level. Soldiers would shoot any lights that were on. People who did not follow would get their windows smashed. Even lighting a cigarette in the back yard were fined.
  4. Light restrictions were not conducted in the islands, but also across west coasts
  5. Nursers kept poisons in their pockets because they heard how brutal the Japanese were towards females in general
  6. Rumors flew: Japanese sub-marines in the harbor, Japanese bombers over San Fransisco, Japanese landing on Pearl…Wives would screen at random rumors about the ship their husbands were on…

….

Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

Logically, that would make more sense as well.

Just put ourselves under those circumstances and we would be able to realize it.

Also, that was also part of the purpose of the risky “Do-little Raid” to boost US morale and inject fear to the Japanese minds.

Photo by Edgar Serrano on Unsplash

Therefore, even though it is good to watch those angry and committed soldiers on screen, we could easily realize that the other side would be more human and make more sense.

And that only made the Americas more admirable.

We all have fear. It is what we do right then that makes a difference.

History has to make sense.

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