On Anzac Day thoughts turn to those who gave their lives during various wars over the last century. But there is one group which has never been given recognition for what they achieved in World War II and that is the United States submariners, 3505 of whom lost their lives, including 374 officers.The story goes on to accurately review aspects of submarine contributions to the war in the Southern Pacific. One thing the writer said at the end, though, surprised me:
When one analyses what they achieved there is no doubt they did more than any other group to defeat the Japanese and save Australia and New Zealand from being invaded.
The reason is simple - they sank more than 60 per cent of the Japanese merchant marine fleet. Without these ships, not only was the Japanese advance stifled, their occupying troops lost their supply lines and they virtually could not be evacuated like the British were at Dunkirk to fight in other battles.
Last year while in Los Angeles I spoke to a group of American submariners. Many did not know of their predecessors' achievements in the war and none knew there was a base in Fremantle.If this is true, and if he was talking about active duty submariners, I think the Sub Force needs to re-emphasize the "heritage" aspects of GMT.
It's nice to see a Kiwi showing support for the U.S. Navy. While most PacFleet Sailors get the opportunity to meet Australians and benefit from the fact that they have been taught to appreciate American Sailors, most of us don't get a chance to interact with New Zealanders due to their annoying nuclear ship ban. That's too bad... most Kiwis I've met (mostly at CENTCOM when I was an IA there) are decent people and not at all as smug as their national nuclear ban might lead you to believe they would be.