World War II Day by Day

An interesting look at World War II on a global scale day by day.  Amazing to recall how seventy years ago battles were being fought that set the course of our world, and greatly impacted the lives of us all from that time to the present.


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  1. “Never in the course of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” W. Churchill.

    As an estimated 5,000 WWII vets pass away each year, may our hearts and prayers accompany them on their last mission. Their landing day on Heaven’s shoreline.

    If you ever have the distinguished honor to escort a group of WWII vets to Washington D.C. for Memorial day weekend you will be blessed. An unforgettable treasure, as are these brave souls who gave us years of freedom.
    God Bless Our Vets!

  2. There’s a bit of a tendency among American Catholics to glamourize the Irish. That little white space in the top left should bring us back down to earth.

  3. About 80,000 citizens of the Republic of Ireland fought against the Nazis including 4,193 members of the miniscule Irish military who deserted to fight. When Belfast was bombed by the Nazis on April 15, 1941 firefighters from across the border flooded in to aid Belfast.

    De Valera protested to Berlin and rose to near greatness with his “they are our people” speech on April 26, 1941:

    “In the past, and probably in the present, too, a number of them did not see eye to eye with us politically, but they are our people – we are one and the same people – and their sorrows in the present instance are also our sorrows; and I want to say to them that any help we can give to them in the present time we will give to them whole-heartedly, believing that were the circumstances reversed they would also give us their help whole-heartedly”

    Sadly de Valera could not get beyond his hatred of Britain and Ireland never entered the War. His signing of the condolence book at the German embassy after the suicide of Hitler was the second worst thing he did, after setting up Michael Collins to take the fall for the peace treaty with Britain.

  4. It seems like a replay – albeit on a larger scale – of Athens versus Sparta. Sea power versus land power faced off. In World War II, the sea power ultimately prevailed, which thankfully for us was also the side fighting for freedom.

  5. Excellent way of putting the war in perspective. At the Lincoln Museum in Springfield they have a similar video for the Civil War, but they also provide a running casualty count as well.

  6. “have a similar video for the Civil War, but they also provide a running casualty count as well.”

    It is stunning to see how many of the casualties of the war occurred in 1864. That War was hotly contested until the last shot.

  7. From what I’ve read, there was a lot of under-the-table cooperation between the Irish Republic and Great Britain during the war. In addition to freely issuing visas to Irish who wanted to work or fight for Britain (with the exception of the deserters from the official armed forces) and providing weather forecasts to the Allies, there was tacit Irish acceptance of neutrality violations by Britain (overflights, use of ports for British military purposes) and cooperation on making German navigation difficult. There was even some planning between the militaries of both Ireland and Britain for a “redoubt” should Britain be invaded.

    Once America was in the war, the cooperation was assured, and the number of volunteers increased. Fun bit of trivia: it was a weather forecast from a station in County Mayo that convinced Eisenhower to go ahead with D-Day.

  8. Not that there weren’t good Irishmen, who understood what was happening and did their part. It’s just…well, you know. We over-romanticize the degree of the Catholicism of France before 1789, too, and more dangerously, that of the US before the 1960’s. We do well to study the more sobering parts of history.

    PS – Did you notice that pink part of the Pacific recede? That was my dad! (Well, him and some other people.)

  9. Sobering to realize that the movements of aggression on that map led to the deaths by murder and disease and famine of 1 out of every 50 people on the planet. What an evil time. No wonder people stopped their cars and knelt in prayer in the road when the D-Day invasion was announced in the U.S.

    The times today are potentially no less evil. Would we pray, or would we find a way to negotiate a kind of peace? Heh, we all know the answer.

  10. The 70th anniversary of D-Day is just 15 days away. The 75th anniversary of the commencement of the War in Europe (September 1 – the German invasion of Poland) is just a bit over three months away.

    Most of the people who participated in the war – and those who have a living memory of it – have died. My mom will be 74 this year. She was almost 5 when there was a parade in Charleroi, Pennsylvania commemorating V-J Day.

  11. “PS – Did you notice that pink part of the Pacific recede? That was my dad! (Well, him and some other people.)”

    Good one Pinky.

    See that big red bit on North Africa around Nov. Dec. 1942 disappear ?

    That was the ANZACS. 🙂

  12. Pinky writes, “…There’s a bit of a tendency among American Catholics to glamourize the Irish. That little white space in the top left should bring us back down to earth…”
    My mother was born and raised in Ireland. She went to England in 1943 and worked in an ammunition factory to make the ammunition used by English soldiers to repel the Germans. She then went to London and survived the German blitzkrieg.
    My Irish American father was in the United States Infantry during WWII.
    They both rest in peace in the United States Veteran Cemetery in Pinelawn Long Island, New York together with hundreds of thousands of other soldiers and sailors, many who were the descendants of immigrant Irish, who engaged the war effort.
    The Irish people (including American Irish) did more to help England than England ever deserved based upon the extraordinary cruelty that single nation has unremittingly inflicted upon Ireland and her people for centuries.
    Shame on you.

  13. I always miss the passing of my WWII-vet, Pacific-theatre father, who was an eye-witness to so much history,he a witness in contradiction to the revisionist history that has somewhat overlaid what is proclaimed as fact today.

    Facts such as, that during the first 6 months of 1942, there was serious doubt among the Pac-theatre US military that we might be able to defeat Imperial Japan; that, as he said, “Until Midway, we thought we were going to lose this thing. Then Midway happened—and we knew we had a chance to win.” A chance, mind you. Now, this is from a senior officer with the Hawaii “Pineapple Pentagon” and US Pentagon clearance: he was reading the situation reports—and from the Phillipines, New Guinea, Rabaul, Guam, Wake, and the Solomons—it wasnt pretty. And he was going in there next.

    The day after Pearl Harbor, as a then-captain of artillery (6th Army), he was ordered to deploy their equipment — horse-drawn 37mm howitzers!—pea-shooters by even WW2 standards— and his battalion to a ridge commanding a view of Skyline Bl. at what is now Foothill Expwy and Page Mill Rd, at the SW corner of the Stanford U campus. Why? They were to stop Imperial Japanese (IJ) Army sappers, which good intelligence info revealed were aboard troop transport ships moving at will in the now completely undefended Pacific, from landing just north of Santa Cruz at a place called Davenport, CA, then racing mechanized equipment and artillery up the Skyline Bl to a commanding ridge overseeing San Francisco and its naval installations and massive gun emplacements—gun emplacements all of which faced the ocean: none could be brought to bear southwards to defend a land attack up the SF peninsula! This bold plan, a seriously considered and daring knife thrust at the then-key US naval and army deployment port of the Pacific, would have bottled up the Golden Gate, and possibly forced (the senior IJ military personnel hoped) the US to sue for an armistice. People today do not know that there was a IJ plan for an army commandancy and occupation of San Francisco. Luckily for the US, the troop ships our subs were reporting moving in the Pacific were ordered to the Phillipines to protect the oil transport pipeline from Sumatra and Java. As a result the US and Phillipine military personnel in the Phillipine Isl. were basically sacrificed (as were Wake, Guam and other installations) to buy time, for Roosevelt and Nimitz and Ernest King and the evacuated MacArthur, to construct a game plan—weakened as the US Navy was after Pearl.

    I occasionally pass by that oak-strewn open field and ridge today—it is still there—and think of Dec 8th, 1942, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and imagine the 500 or so men and horses and dinky field pieces pointing up at the Santa Cruz mountains — and nobody, least of the Stanford professorial elites—knows what went on, and could have gone on about 72 years go this year. For me it has all the sacrednessand deceptive peacefulness of a civil war battlefield

    There are so many other personal accounts he told me—he was prodigious in his memory and exact recollection, right to the day he passed at age 92—I regret I did not record them all. But one thing I came to realize: our version of WW2 today, as we come up on June 6th, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day—our version is tainted by the diminishers and the cynics. Dad always said God protected us, and EVERYONE prayed, attended Mass or Protestant services or synagogue services,even the atheists–before battle. “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name…” Ps 115:1

  14. Thanks for the Victory at Sea clip. I watched that series as a kid. Each of the armed services was appropriated money for a war memorial. The Navy spent part of it on the series, I think. The Marines bought the Marine Memorial Hotel in downtown San Francisco. I have stayed there, though I was not a jarhead.

    I own the DVD set with volume that is too soft for the narration and the gunfire blows out your ears. I like it because that is the way it is.

    I “forget” to lower the clicker volume. That really gets to the warden.

  15. So few saved so many by their ultimate sacrifice. Which reminds me of Benghazi, and a comment/poem forwarded to me by a friend:

    “A bump in the road” …. remember that statement?
    President Obama was referring to the Benghazi incident as “a bump in the road.”

    A poetic response:

    “We’re the battling boys of Benghazi
    No fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
    Just a fiery death in a blazing hell
    Defending our country we loved so well.
    It wasn’t our job, but we answered the call,
    fought to the Consulate and scaled the wall.
    We pulled twenty Countrymen from the jaws of fate
    Led them to safety, and stood at the gate.
    Just the two of us, and foes by the score,
    But we stood fast to bar the door.
    Three calls for reinforcement, but all were denied,
    So we fought, and fought, and fought ’til we died.
    We gave our all for our Uncle Sam,
    But Barack Obama didn’t give a damn.
    Just two dead Seals who carried the load
    No thanks to us, we were just ‘Bumps In The Road’ “

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