Friday, April 4, 2008

The Hinge of Fate

This is the fourth volume of the WWII series. I think I'm going to take a break from these for a while. I have two more to read, but I'm getting a bit burned out. They are each 800 some odd pages, not counting the appendices. But I am still fascinated by the stuff I am learning.

So, everyone out there, pop quiz. Who knew before now that just after the United States entered WWII our shipping was attacked constantly by the German Navy, even just off shore of New Orleans and in the Chesapeake Bay and all around Florida? We didn't have very effective anti-submarine defense at the time and they picked off ships at will. Even to the point of picking and choosing which ships to sink. Two-thirds of the ships that went down were tankers, since they were the most important. 70 ships were lost in 6 months. Most of the American.

Hello, I had never heard this before. All I have heard is we were never attacked on American soil except for Pearl Harbor (which almost doesn't count) and 9-11. OK, so this isn't soil but right offshore should count for something. I have asked various people and no one had heard this before. We tend to edit out losing things from our histories I suppose.
I knew that the desert war turned around at El Alamein, but I never knew just how close to Cairo and all the important stuff in Egypt it was. Had Rommel won there things would have turned out much different. But he didn't and this was the battle Churchill calls the Hinge of Fate, because it was the beginning of the Allied victories. After this they didn't lose any major battles.

The Hinge of Fate. Winston Churchill. Houghton Mifflin. 1950

1 comment:

jendoop said...

We learned about all those ships lost while we were in North Carolina. I guess the waters off shore in NC was called the great turkey shoot by the germans because they picked off so many ships by U-boat. In fact one of the best scuba dives is off coast NC, a german U-boat that was sunk during those years.

We went to Fort Macon, it was largely a civil war fort but was brought back into use during WW II.

You gotta love that selective history we get in school.