Originally published October 25th, 2008.
Filed under History, Lex, Uncategorized
There is a little old guy in my church, goes by the name of Bevo. Was on the USS Maryland during that battle. I asked him what it was like being in the last and largest sea battle in history, his answer surprised me. Said he didn’t see a thing, he was in the #2 turret and all they did for what seemed like forever was load and fire, load and fire. Had no idea how the battle was going outside.
Thinking on it, only those on all the ships who were on the bridge or in a gun tub saw anything. Everyone else, the majority, fought and lived and died inside those ships.
2 books I would recommend on the last year of WW2 – both written by British historian Max Hastings, are Armageddon (dealing with the European theater) and Retribution which deals with the Pacific.
In describing this battle – which I had not heard of before – Hastings said that Halsey could have ended the Japanese Navy by simply coming to the aid (of Nimitz?) – that a bit more aggression would have done it.
But until I read this – the small error with the padding space in the msg – I didn’t know why he didn’t do this.
Busbob – interesting account of Bevo – One of my favorite movies is Master and Commander which showed tactics of the 18th century navies. I guess – starting with Midway – combatant ship[s never saw each other.
I’m still amazed too of the capabilities of tyhe battleship – lobbing 2,000 lb shells over the horizon and hitting enemy ships – all without computers.
Bevo did witness and survive a violent act on a peaceful day. He was sunning one morning on top of the #2 turret while the battle group was at anchor near Saipan. A single plane flew among the ships and dropped something, no one fired a shot until the plane pulled up and the rising sun symbol could be seen on the underside of the wing. The something dropped turned out to be a torpedo and Bevo sat there and watched it head right for the Maryland and hit the forward side, right in front of him. Put the Maryland out of action with a huge hole in the side. Unbelievable repair job in Pearl–34 days to put the Maryland back in action.
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