This week is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, one of the most decisive naval battles in American history, and possibly in world history. It was certainly the first major Allied victory against the Japanese fleet in World War Two.
Why is this American victory called a “miracle”, most notably by renowned historian Gordon Prange in his bestseller Miracle at Midway? Because the possibility of an American victory seemed so remote, and the circumstances of the American victory were so unlikely.
I haven’t done a lot of posts lately, much less history posts. But today is an important anniversary, and will probably be the last major anniversary for this event in which there are still a number of people alive who remember it.
The attack on Pearl Harbor was one of those events that defined my grandparents’ generation, and virtually everyone could tell you where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. And of course, President Roosevelt’s speech to Congress the following day is one of the most famous in American history.
I found another good video on YouTube about rogue waves, and this one actually talks at length about the dangers to offshore platforms and people on shore from rogue waves, using actual recent historical examples.
Part of the problem with doing family history is that there is so much missing. Kelly and I both had relatives serving in the U.S. Navy in World War Two, and on a wide range of different ships. Kelly had a grandfather that served on the USS Massachusetts (BB-59) during the war, and I had a grandfather that eventually served on the USS Cutlass (SS-478). Interestingly enough, both of these vessels are well-documented, and even more fascinating, both of them still exist.
As many of you already know, I am a lover of history. Maritime history is especially one of my favorite sub-fields of history, and I love to see historic ships or reproductions of historic ships at any opportunity. I am lucky enough to live in a state (and a region) that has many.
So I went to the old Navy Yard in Charlestown on Saturday, since my back was feeling a bit better and I was feeling up to doing some walking around. And I am so very glad I did, because for the first time ever I got to take a tour of the inside of the USS Cassin Young, one of the museum ships kept there by the National Park Service.