Thursday, March 27, 2008

In Comparison

During World War II, the Japanese attacked the Aleutian Islands, establishing small numbers of troops on American soil (the Aleutians are part of Alaska.)

One of the major battles the Americans fought was to regain the island of Attu. Read what Wikipedia has to say about the operation.


On May 11, 1943, the operation to recapture Attu began. Included with the invasion force was a group of native Alaskan scouts known as Castner's Cutthroats. A shortage of landing craft, unsuitable beaches, and equipment that failed to operate in the appalling weather made it very difficult to bring any force to bear against the Japanese. Many soldiers suffered from frostbite because essential supplies could not be landed, or having been landed, could not be moved to where they were needed because vehicles would not work on the tundra. The Japanese defenders under Colonel Yasuyo Yamasaki did not contest the landings, but rather dug in on high ground away from the shore. This caused bloody fighting: there were 3,929 U.S. casualties: 549 were killed, 1,148 were injured, 1,200 had severe cold injuries, 614 succumbed to disease, and 318 died of miscellaneous causes, largely Japanese booby traps and friendly fire.

On May 29, the last of the Japanese forces suddenly attacked near Massacre Bay in one of the largest banzai charges of the Pacific campaign. The charge, led by Colonel Yamasaki, penetrated U.S. lines far enough to encounter shocked rear-echelon units of the American force. After furious, brutal, close-quarter, and often hand-to-hand combat, the Japanese force was killed almost to the last man: only 28 prisoners were taken, none of them an officer. U.S. burial teams counted 2,351 Japanese dead, but it was presumed that hundreds more had been buried by bombardments over the course of the battle.


Use your imagination to picture what the outcry from Democrats today would be over such a battle in Iraq. The casualties above occurred in just over two weeks. This goes to show something the Democrats seem to have missed -- War is messy.

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