japanese destroyer

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Japanese destroyer Kikuzuki in Tokyo Bay off the coast of Japan, on 1 September 2016. He died 4 may 1942.

American amphibious LVT-1 remaining forever in the jungle of the Solomon Islands, on 7 September 2016

The wreckage of a Japanese fighter A6M, Palau, 29 Aug 2016.

Japanese light tank Ha-Go. Northern Mariana Islands, 28 August, 2016.

M3 Stuart, shot down by Japanese 37mm anti-tank gun. Arundel island, Solomon Islands.

Japanese light tank Ha-Go. Northern Mariana Islands, 28 August, 2016.

Floating tank LVT(A)-1, which is lined on Peleliu. 2012.

The skeleton of the Japanese tank Ha-Go on the island of GUAM.

M4 Sherman destroyed in 1944 during the battle for Peleliu

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National Armor and Cavalry Museum, Fort Benning Part 1

The National Armor and Cavalry Museum is a non-governmental museum and is located in Fort Benning, Georgia. Recently it closed down for a $35 million renovation on 90,000 square feet and 30 acres of land. It has a projected reopening of around 2020. The majority of the exhibits have since the museums closure been shipped to the Patton Museum in Fort Knox. Notable possessions included a Panther II, the T28, a T29E3 and the XM08.

1 to 3) Type 95 Ha-Go. Japanese WWII era light tank. Considered one of the best tanks of its time in 1935, it was a sufficient tank when it came to facing infantry such as the Chinese but was soon outclassed. It was not meant for tank-to-tank combat and perished quickly when pressed into. Some 2,200 were made, making it the most numerous Japanese tank of the war. 

4 to 6) Marder II. German tank destroyer of WWII mounting a 7.5-cm anti-tank gun and based off of the Panzer II chassis. It’s high profile and thin armor made its crew vulnerable to anything over .50 cal. Nonetheless, it provided much needed mobile firepower and was in service from 1941 to 1943. Only four Marder IIs remain today. This vehicle was on display in the Ordnance Museum at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, USA, for many years. In 1989 it was returned to Germany on loan in exchange for restoration. It was also in the Wheatcroft Collection for some years before returning to Fort Benning in 2012.

7 & 8) Panther II. Never made beyond a single chassis, the Panther II was a German design proposal of WWII. It incorporated thicker armor than the Panther, shared the suspension of the Tiger II, had a new “schmalturm” turret and a more powerful engine providing 200 hp more. Plans to replace the original Panther design with the Panther II were already underway before the first Panther had even seen combat. But a final meeting was held where it was decided that production of the Panther II would cease, and work would focus on the basic Panther. The example shown is the original Panther II prototype chassis with a basic Panther’s turret.

9 & 10) Panzer II. German light tank of WWII. A stopgap while the Panzer III was being produced it nonetheless went on to play an important role in the early years of World War II. The Panzer II was the most numerous tank in the German Panzer divisions beginning with the invasion of France. By the end of 1942, it had been largely removed from front line service and it was used for training and on secondary fronts. Its chassis remained in use as the basis of several other armored vehicles. This vehicle was captured in Libya during World War II and was on display in the Ordnance Museum at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland for many years.

April 19, 1917 - Japanese Second Squadron Arrives at Malta, 3 Cruisers and 12 Destroyers will Patrol for German and Austrian U-Boats

Pictured - Japanese Kaba-class destroyer in the Med.

In 1902, Britain and Japan signed a treaty of alliance. Two island nations with powerful navies, their pact was first in mutual opposition to Russia, and then, after the Japanese routed the Russian in 1905 and sent the Tsarist fleet to the bottom of the Tsushima Straits, against the Germans. In 1914 Japan joined the Entente on the promise that it would gain most of Germany’s Chinese and Pacific territories. Their alliance was a boon to the Allies, because Japan possessed one of the strongest fleets in the world, including twenty-one battleships and twenty-nine cruisers.

Japan duly gobbled up most of Germany’s eastern terriotries, including the port of Tsingtao in China after a lengthy siege. Their contiribution to the Entente cause afterwards was largely naval. Japanese ships protected Anzac troop conveys heading to Egypt, and other Entente trade in the Pacific and Indian oceans, freeing up the Royal Navy to blockade Germany. The Japanese squadron in the Mediterranean helped patrol for Central Powers U-boats that continued to sneak out of Austria and play havoc with Allied shipping.  When the United States entered the war, the Imperial Japanese Navy also protected the west coast of Canada and the (ironically, in hindsight,) the Hawaiian Islands.

The strength of racial prejudice held by white Europeans was such that even after the 1905 war many believed that Japanese were inferior seamen. The IJN duly proved them all wrong during the war, consistently running their ships at a level of efficiency unmatched even by the British. Japanese ships were underway almost twice as often as the French. By the end of the war, the Second Special Squadron had escorted 788 ships across the Mediterranean, safely transporting more than 700,000 troops to the Western Front. Winston Churchill summed up the change in attitude of Europeans when he said that he  “did not think that the Japanese [squadron] had ever done a foolish thing.“ 

May 3, 1917 - Two British Transports Sunk in the Mediterranean, Six Hundred Men Drown 

Pictured - Boarding for a fatal journey.

Germany’s unprecedented submarine war successes continued on May 3, 1917, when u-boats sank two different British troopships in the Mediterranean. SS Arcadian, heading to Alexandria from the Salonika front, fell victim off the island of Milos with 19 officer and 258 men drowned. In the Gulf of Genoa, another submarine sank the troopship Transylvania, which went down with 413 soldiers. Escorting Japanese destroyers picked up survivors in both cases, the Japanese ship Matsu saved 2,500 men from the Transylvania alone.

On March 1, 1942, USS Edsall (DD-219) was sailing towards Tjilatjap, having split off from USS Pecos (AO-6) and sister ship Whipple (DD-217) the day before. She was carrying the 32 P-40 Warhawk pilots that had been aboard Langley, sunk two days earlier. She had acknowledged her orders, taken the pilots, and sailed over the horizon… Never to be seen again by Allied forces.

Around noon on 1 March, Pecos came under attack by the same ships who sank Langley – the aerocraft of Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu, and Akagi. You may recognize those names as four of the six carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor. She broadcasted many distress signals, the last (and most defiant) being:

“LONG 10630 PICK UP SURVIVORS CQ CQ DE NIFQ SENDING BLIND SENDING BLIND CASNAY RAD US NAVY SENDING CQ CQ DE NIFQ COM LAT 1430 LONG 10630 PICK SURVIVORS OF LANGLEY AND PECOS CQ CQ DE NIFQ SINKING RAPIDLY AND THE JAPS ARE COMING BACK TO GIVE US ANOTHER DOSE OF WHAT THE U.S. IS GOING TO GIVE BACK IN LARGE QUANTITIES.”

It is unknown if Edsall heard them. It is known that Whipple heard them and returned, picking up 232 survivors before a submarine forced her to leave. 

From Japanese logs and reports, author Donald M. Kehn, Jr, in the book A Blue Sea of Blood, was able to figure out Edsall’s fate. She was found just 24 nautical miles away from Pecos’ survivors, by the Kido Butai – the Japanese fleet. Against eight destroyers, a light cruiser, two heavy cruisers, two battleships, and four aircraft carriers, the little Edsall found herself between a rock and a hard place.

Unable to run due to previous damage forcing her to lose speed, her captain, Cdr. Joshua J. Nix, chose to fight. 

It would take two hours before she finally sank, having dodged over 1,335 shells between 8″ and 14″ in calibre. It took dive bombers from three of four aircraft carriers to finally disable her.

And in the process, she saved the lives of those who were rescued by Whipple – at the cost of the 157 officers and men aboard Edsall, and their 32 aviator cargo.

Destroyer porter at the shipyard Philadelphia on 27 August 1936.Ships of this type were the first leaders in the American Navy.For powerful armament-8 pyatidyuymovym-had to pay a non-universality of their plants (which, incidentally, in the European fleets was a common thing).The ships (the first and last time) I had a spare torpedoes, like the Japanese destroyers.