EppsNet Archive: World War II

Europeans Tired of Tourists?

Europeans are tired of tourists?! I don’t know if they’d qualify as “tourists,” but Europe didn’t object to my dad and a few million of his uncouth American pals showing up in the 1940s to save them from fascism. Now they’re like, “Put an egg in your shoe and beat it.” Read more →

Female Code Breakers Who Helped Defeat the Nazis

Politico tells us that more than 10,000 female “cryptoanalysts” were enlisted by the U.S. Army and Navy to help crack Nazi codes and ensure the Allies’ victory in World War II , but until now they have been mostly overlooked by history. (Politico: The Female Code Breakers Who Helped Defeat the Nazis) OK, but male code breakers have been overlooked by history too, haven’t they? Name a few famous male code breakers. Name one. Don’t say Alan Turing, he was British. Read more →

Indignities

I was at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo over the weekend. Had to use the men’s room and the only stall available had a broken door latch. In order to keep the door closed, I had to press on it with my foot. Unfortunately, I pressed a little too hard and the door broke through the restraint and flew open in a forward direction. Granted, the Japanese had to put up with indignities at internment camps but that was in wartime . . . Read more →

Feb. 5, 1917: Immigration Act Passed Over Wilson’s Veto

On this date in 1917, Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the previous week and passed the Immigration Act of 1917, which, among other provisions, introduced a period of near complete exclusion of Asian immigration to the United States. Not that life was a bed of roses for Asian immigrants before 1917. Asian laborers were sought out for demanding and dangerous railroad jobs involving explosives. The phrase “Chinaman’s chance,” meaning little to no chance at all, dates from this period. Asians were not allowed American citizenship and were frequent victims of hostility and violence with no legal recourse. For example, in 1854, George W. Hall was convicted of murdering a Chinese man. On appeal to the State Supreme Court the decision was overturned because all of the evidence against him was from Chinese individuals. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the Chinese “recogniz[ed] no laws … except through necessity,… Read more →

Women’s World Cup: Why the US Will Beat Germany

A recurring theme in world history is the United States dick-slapping Germany: World War I, World War II, “Tear down this wall!” … maybe that’s not the most appropriate metaphor for a women’s soccer match but we’ve been winners all our lives. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! Read more →

Are the Viet Cong Still in Those Tunnels?

The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Cu Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. — Wikipedia The tunnels are now a popular tourist attraction. My son and seven of his friends are currently on a post-graduation trip to Southeast Asia. Here’s a picture of him in the tunnels. There were Japanese soldiers hiding out on Pacific islands for decades after World War II. They never heard the war was over. Is there any chance there are still Viet Cong in those tunnels? I think I see one over his shoulder . . . Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings from the underworld! I see that Pope Francis put a bee in Turkey’s bonnet a couple of weeks ago by calling the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 a genocide. According to the Turks, the Vatican should look to its own history before casting stones. Tu quoque! On that note, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography was just awarded to David I. Kertzer for The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. Historically, popes have been far more circumspect in condemning genocide and other atrocities when committed by countries willing to aggrandize the Church (or when committed by the Church itself!) See you in Hell, clerics of all stripes . . . Read more →

Louis Zamperini, 1917-2014

[View the story “Louis Zamperini, 1917-2014” on Storify] Read more →

EppsNet at the Movies: The Monuments Men

This movie is getting killed on Rotten Tomatoes — 34 percent as I write this. Granted, it’s not in 3-D, doesn’t have robots or aliens or other really fake-looking bullshit, and despite being set during World War II, has only a minimal amount of violent action. (If you like that kind of thing, fear not! We were shown previews for Pompeii, Spiderman, X-Men, some Tom Cruise sci-fi thing . . . rest assured there’s plenty of crap in the pipeline.) The Monuments Men tells an interesting story in an entertaining way, with memorable scenes and characters, and the best female role I’ve seen in a movie since Come Back, Little Sheba. Rating: The Monuments Men Director: George Clooney Cast: George Clooney Frank Stokes, Matt Damon James Granger, Bill Murray Richard Campbell, Cate Blanchett Claire Simone IMDb rating: ( votes) Read more →

HW’s Movie Reviews: 42

Look at this — before Jackie Robinson, they didn’t let black guys play major league baseball! Right . . . that was 70 years ago, in the 1940s. Let’s move on already. You know what else they did in the 1940s? They rounded up Japanese Americans, just took them right out of their homes and their jobs, and stuck them into “relocation camps.” When’s the last time you heard a Japanese person talk about relocation camps? They don’t talk about relocation camps because they’re too busy being engineers and doctors and businessmen and raising their families and sending their kids to top universities. You can focus your mind on what other people did a long time ago or you can focus your mind on what you’re doing right now. Let’s move on already. Rating: Footnote: We’ve come full circle on blacks in baseball. The defending World Series champion San Francisco… Read more →

The Last Freedom

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning Read more →

Happy Veterans Day

My dad was a Naval Academy grad who served in World War II. My brother retired after 20+ years in the Air Force. Our family is not piggybacking on others when it comes to service to America. So why do I not get the day off? Read more →

Miep Gies, 1909-2010

AMSTERDAM – Miep Gies, the office secretary who defied the Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager’s diary, has died, the Anne Frank Museum said Tuesday. She was 100. “I don’t want to be considered a hero,” she said in a 1997 online chat with schoolchildren. “Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary.” — msnbc.com Read more →

The Blog of Anne Frank

. . . everything can be taken from a man except one thing: the last of the human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. — Anne Frank On this date — September 2 — in 1944, Anne Frank was among 1,019 people on the 68th and last train from Holland to Auschwitz. Anne and others hiding with her had been betrayed and captured a month before and held in the Westerbork detention center. Read more →

Crafting a Mission Statement by General George S. Patton Jr.

C.K. Prahalad, one of the leading strategic consultants, has said that a mission statement should take less than three minutes to explain to an audience. That is absolute horseshit. Imagine making a declarative statement and then having to take an additional three minutes to explain what you just said. A mission statement should be immediately comprehensible. Three minutes of explanation is three minutes too many. I read a book on George Patton this weekend. Here is his mission statement for the Third Army: I don’t want to get any messages saying that “we are holding our position.” We’re not holding anything! Let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly and we’re not interested in holding on to anything except the enemy. We’re going to hold on to him by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the ass. And most of that I included just for context.… Read more →