June 19th-21st Battle of the Philippine Sea - History

June 19th-21st Battle of the Philippine Sea

One of the few Japanese planes to get through

Nine Japanese carriers accompanied by battleships and cruisers attempted to attack an American force led by 15 carriers, covering the landings in Saipan. The battle became known as the "Marina's Turkey Shoot". The Japanese started the battle with 430 carrier aircraft. When it ended they had only 35 carrier aircraft left. Almost all were shot down by the American fighters and anti-aircraft guns, while attempting to attack the US force. In addition, two Japanese fleet carriers were sunk by submarines and one by air attack.

On June 12, 1944, the US began air strikes against the Marianas Islands indicated that the US was going to stage an invasion there. The Japanese had spent a year rebuilding their fleet in anticipation of a decisive battle with the American fleet. The invasion of the Marinas endangered the Japanese home islands and therefore was seen as a strategic threat worthy of sending the fleet to defend the Marianas. The Japanese sent nearly their entire fleet three fast carrier, two slower carriers, four light carriers, five battleships,11 heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, 31 destroyers, and 24 submarines. Awaiting the Japanese fleet were seven US Fleet carriers and seven escort carriers, seven fast battleships, eight heavy cruisers, 13 light cruisers, 68 destroyers, and 28 submarines.

The US fleet was larger, but the Japanese hoped that their land-based aircraft and the greater range of their planes would compensate for the larger US fleet. The American, however, had two other advantages, a new secret proximity shell that was able to disable a plane easily and the new aircraft the Hellcats that the S was flying that outclassed the Japanese planes.

On the morning of June 19th, the Japanese found parts of the US fleet and began launching aircraft from Guam to attack. 30 Hellcats were dispatched to intercept the Japanese planes, quickly 35 Japanese aircraft were downed with the loss of only one Hellcat. The Japanese then launched a raid with 68 aircraft from their carriers. They were met by American fighters 70 miles out. 25 Japanese planes were quickly shot down, against the loss of only 1 American plane. As the aircraft got closer to the US fleet, another 16 were shot down six aircraft reached the fleet and caused only minor damage. A second raid was soon detected of 107 aircraft of them 97 were shot down, The third raid of 47 aircraft while less aircraft got shot down they manage to inflict only minor damage. By the end of the day, Japanese losses numbered 350 planes.

Meanwhile, the submarine USS Albacore maneuvered into firing position to the Japanese fleet carrier Taiho the newest Japanese carrier. While only one torpedo reached its mark, poor damage control by the Japanese crew resulted in the carrier sinking later in the day. Later in the day, the submarine USS Cavalla fired six torpedoes at the Japanese carrier Shokaku which quickly sunk.

The next day the Americans located the Japanese fleet, they were at the very extreme of the flight operations of the attacking planes. When they reached the Japanese ships, they sank two oilers and a light carrier, damaging three other carriers. By the time the planes had returned to the US forces, they were running on empty. Admiral Mitscher ordered all of the lights of the ships lit and searchlight aimed at the sky, despite the danger of submarine attack. 80 of the returning planes were lost, but most of the pilots were rescued.

By the end of the battle, the Japanese had lost 433 carrier aircraft and 200 land-based aircraft. The Americans lost 23 aircraft. The action became known as the Marianas Turkey shoot. The superior US aircraft combined with better training had doomed the Japanese. This battle was the end of an effective Japanese naval based air arm. They were never able to make up the loss.

24th Infantry Division (United States)

The 24th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army. It was deactivated in October 2006, it was based at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Formed during World War II from the disbanding Hawaiian Division, the division saw action throughout the Pacific theater, first fighting in New Guinea before landing on the Philippine islands of Leyte and Luzon, driving Japanese forces from them. Following the end of the war, the division participated in occupation duties in Japan, and was the first division to respond at the outbreak of the Korean War. For the first 18 months of the war, the division was heavily engaged on the front lines with North Korean and Chinese forces, suffering over 10,000 casualties. It was withdrawn from the front lines to the reserve force for the remainder of the war, but returned to Korea for patrol duty at the end of major combat operations.

After its deployment in the Korean War, the division was active in Europe and the United States during the Cold War, but saw relatively little combat until the Persian Gulf War, when it faced the Iraqi military. A few years after that conflict, it was inactivated as part of the post-Cold War U.S. military drawdown of the 1990s. The division was reactivated in October 1999 as a formation for training and deploying U.S. Army National Guard units before its deactivation in October 2006.

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"Goring's Reich" An Alternate World War II

The Germans didn't lose too much, about 25% of their merchant fleet to internment or combat. A lot of ships are sitting in Argentina but the bulk spent the war in the Baltic or in coastal waters. The Italians and Spanish lost well over 60% of their merchant fleets, particularly their larger more valuable vessels like tankers and large cargo ships. Most of their passenger ships survived, although not all of course. The other Axis powers didn't have much to begin with other than coastal shipping.

You can expect them to work on remedying that however

Galveston bay

The Liberation of the Philippines Part 1

Philippines Campaign – Preliminaries
The Battle of Guam June 1944
The first major operation is the assault on Guam, which Towers and Nimitz hope will draw out the Japanese fleet. However the Japanese have already determined that while critical, they cannot get all of the needed airpower into position to support the Mobile Fleet in the Marianas. The 11th Army, commanded by General Osanoe, has 45,000 soldiers and sailors and orders to fight as long as possible. He has constructed strong positions and intends to meet the Americans on the beaches and then crush them in a full scale counterattack. The Americans storm ashore with the 1st Marine Division and Americal Division, with the 41st Infantry Division in reserve commanded by General “Howlin Mad” Smith. Heavy gunfire support by six old battleships all armed with 14 inch guns, as well as numerous cruisers and destroyers and air support from a fleet of 12 escort carriers is enough to get the landing force ashore in spite of heavy losses. Without valuable intelligence provided by locals led by Petty Officer George Tweed, who survived 3 years on the run from the Japanese after Guam fell, the assault might have been even more costly. The Marines and National Guardsmen take the island in fierce fighting with the climax a massive banzai charge with 10,000 Japanese troops against the 132nd Infantry Regiment, an Illinois National Guard regiment assigned to the Americal very nearly destroys all three of its infantry battalions before support from the two adjacent regiments and a strong attack by the 162nd Infantry Regiment (Oregon National Guard) with tank battalions from all 3 divisions destroys the spearhead and overruns the survivors. In a week, the 3 American divisions suffer 13,000 casualties, including 4,000 dead, but have shattered the Japanese as an organized force. The the National Guard troops mop up resistance over the next two weeks, with the island completely secured by July 3. Only 3,000 Japanese and Korean troops are taken alive.

Yap and the Palau Islands
These landings occur on June 24, and involve General Geiger's II Amphibious Force with the 2nd Marine Division (Yap) 3rd Marine Division (Peleleiu) and 5th Infantry Division as a reserve. Defending is the Japanese 15th Army (Mutaguchi) with a brigade of the 86th Infantry Division at Yap, and a brigade of the 81st Infantry Division at Peleliu. This time the Japanese try a different strategy, foregoing the previously fierce counterattacks and have dug into caves and tunnels for a longer drawn out defense. This works very well, and in spite of heavy fire support from the 16 and 14 inch guns of six American battleships and strong air support, clearing both islands takes nearly six weeks and costs the Americans a total of 20,000 casualties, including 6,000 dead, and neither Marine Division will be combat effective again until March 1945. Both divisions are pulled out of action after a month, and the Army infantry finishes up the final mopping up. In all 16,000 Japanese are killed, with only 500 captured in this costly battle.

Iwo Jima and Ulithi
However, with the capture of Guam, Pelelieu, and Yap, as well as the capture of Ulithi atoll (defended by a single company of Japanese naval troops), the Allies have the air and naval bases needed for the invasion of the Philippines. Although costly, the 10th Army (Simpson) still has reserves available after these landings and takes the opportunity to land the 5th and 6th Marine Brigades at Iwo Jima on August 18, which is defended by only a brigade of Japanese naval troops, and in a week of fighting and 2,500 American casualties destroys the 3,000 man Japanese garrison and secures an island within long range fighter range of Tokyo.

Filipino Uprising in the Philippines
The Army of the Philippines was left a strong cadre from the beginning, with a regiment of each of the 10 Filipino Army divisions having orders to act as stay behind troops and form the cadre of a resistance force. By 1944 all of these divisions are up to full strength in numbers, with a total of 75,000 full time troops led by trained American and Filipino officers and armed with weapons such as the M1 Carbine and a variety of mortars and a sizable number of bazookas as well. Routine visits by submarines brought in specialists and special equipment throughout 1942 and 1943, and with the American conquest of western New Guinea in early 1944, the Filipino Army has constructed a number of air strips and prepared landing zones so that American cargo planes can bring in or airdrop many tons of supplies and even more specialists. A network of radio stations has been established throughout the islands, while in much of the interior the Filipinos are in complete control and a shadow government, led by appointees from the Filipino Commonwealth government (in exile) handles much of the civilian administration. In addition to the full time guerillas there are also nearly 250,000 others who are part-time members of the National Army or who are providing intelligence to the Allies. All of this is being led by General Allen Dulles of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with General Robert Frederick, who led the 1st Special Service Force in the Aleutians Campaign having been brought into the Philippines to command the ground combat forces in October 1943.

In August, even as American aircraft begin operations out of Yap and Peleliu, and the 13th Air Force transitions from a tactical air force to an airborne assault and airlift force, the Filipino Army begins full scale operations to push the Japanese out of the hinterlands in the central and southern Philippines and push them into smaller more easily defended but more compact areas. The Japanese fall back to the port cities under heavy pressure in fighting that will eventually cost 100,000 Filipino lives (most of whom are civilians) but also inflicts over 40,000 Japanese casualties throughout the islands as fighting also becomes frequent in the highlands of Luzon.

The Japanese in the Philippines consist of the 13th Area Army (Okuda) with the 14th Army in Luzon (2 divisions (Kuroda) plus several brigades of Naval troops, the 18th Army (Adachi) with a division each in Cebu, Leyte, and Paney, and the 43rd Army (Hoskara) with 2 divisions in Mindanao, and another in Palawan. All told the Japanese have 200,000 troops in the islands, a far cry from the planned 400,000 they had planned on (or authors note, the 530,000 in OTL). The Soviet entry into the war has pulled every available unit of the Imperial Army into Northern China, Manchuria and Siberia and while new formations and divisions are hurriedly being formed, none are available for deployment. The Japanese do however have a powerful Air Army with 500 combat aircraft deployed in Luzon, as well as nearly 2,000 land based Naval aircraft and 600 carrier aircraft assigned to carry out Operation Sho-Go.

In early May, the first Allied special operations troops begin to arrive in quantity as the Canadian-American 1st Special Service Force, the Australian-American 2nd Special Service Force, the Alamo Scouts and the 1st and 2nd Army Ranger Battalions arrive in the Philippines by submarine and transport aircraft. This provides Dulles and Frederick high quality commando type troops to spearhead attacks by their Filipino guerrillas. Also brought in by air is a mobile army surgical hospital for Mindanao and another for Samar, where General Peralta and his 61st Filipino Infantry Division have contained the Japanese on Panay island and forced their evacuation from Samar itself.

The Filipinos are more than ready for liberation by Eisenhower and his armies.

Galveston bay

The Decisive Battles: The Philippine Sea and Sulu Sea
September 1944
On September 17, 1944 the US 7th Fleet arrives in Ilman Bay, Mindanao carrying General Collins and the X Corps, with the American 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions and the Australian 6th Infantry Division comes ashore in the face of no resistance, as the Japanese were convinced that Americans would attack Davao directly. At the same time, in a large airlift, the 511th Parachute Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division is parachutes onto Del Monte Field as Filipino guerrillas launch a series of attacks on the Japanese battalion holding the airfield. In quick fighting the American paratroopers and Filipino guerrillas and Army Rangers of the 2nd Ranger battalion take the field wiping out the garrison.

Meanwhile Japanese patrols discover the American landing and reconnaissance find the American 7th Fleet. Operation Sho-Go 1 is ordered on September 20, 1944.

The Japanese fleet is divided into three groups. The Southern Force, commanded by Admiral Mikawa has 4 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser and 20 destroyers, and its mission is to engage and destroy the American transport force in Ilman Bay. It will depart last, steaming from Brunei through the Sulu Sea through the Sulu Islands into the Moro Gulf and into Ilman Bay. A second prong, consisting of the Northern Force under the command of Admiral Shima consisting of 4 fast battleships, 4 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser and 20 destroyers will steam from Formosa southwest to the southwestern side of Luzon and link up with the Southern Force and at that point Admiral Mikawa will take command of the entire group. To draw off the American carriers, Admiral Ozawa will take the 1st and 2nd Air Fleets, with all 9 remaining Japanese carriers, 700 aircraft and 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers and 30 destroyers and attack and destroy with the help of land based aircraft of the entire 3rd Air Fleet (all 6 air flotillas) that are already rebasing to Luzon to draw off the American carriers while land based air destroys as much of the American amphibious covering force as possible so that Admiral Mikawa can achieve its mission. The survival of the carriers is secondary to achieving the mission. The Japanese believe that destroying the amphibious shipping at Ilman Bay will permanently crippled the American drive in the Pacific and buy time for a negotiated peace.

One of the most serious flaws in this plan is that by the time the Japanese can reach Ilman Bay, the overwhelming majority of the American amphibious ships will have completed their unloading and will have left the area. A serious misunderstanding of the power of the American carrier force is the other severe flaw in the plan. However the first of the flaws that would doom the operation is the Japanese ignorance of the continued American codebreaking and the superb intelligence coming from Luzon regarding the Japanese air buildup.

Counterair at Luzon
Leaving 1 task group off the south coast of Mindanao to provide cover for the 7th Fleet, Towers takes 10 fleet and 6 light carriers north along with their escorts to hit the Japanese airfields at Luzon. In a 2 day fight lasting September 19th – 21st, the Japanese lose 1,200 aircraft destroyed or knocked out of action in the air or on the ground by American carrier planes and anti-aircraft fire along with several attacks by Filipino Guerrillas and elements of the 2nd Special Service Force that manage to fight their way into Japanese airfields and inflict losses on ground crews and delay repairs of facilities and aircraft. However the Japanese manage to inflict some serious damage of their own. A Judy dive bomber manages to drop a bomb on the Franklin as she is preparing to launch a strike and a series of devastating blasts kills nearly 700 American sailors, nearly a quarter of her crew. Attempts to save her fail when a pair of Jill torpedo bombers successfully hit her with 2 torpedoes and deciding that she is a total loss, Admiral Bogan, commander of Task Force 38.1, orders her abandoned and scuttled.

The second loss is at first light on September 21, when a Japanese Francis twin engined torpedo plane is hit attacking the Princeton as she is arming and fueling aircraft for a strike and the Japanese pilot crashes directly into her packed flight deck. A Japanese Jill manages a bomb hit soon after, and the burning listing carrier is ordered abandoned before noon. Much to the horror of nearby ships, the Princeton suffers a magazine explosion as the cruiser New Orleans has moved up to take on wounded survivors, and her decks are converted into a slaughterhouse. In all nearly 500 sailors are killed aboard both ships, with another 400 wounded, and the New Orleans is sent back to Pearl Harbor and ultimately San Francisco. A final strike manages to seriously damage the light carrier Independence, sending her home with a serious list from two bomb hits and a torpedo hit but through outstanding damage control efforts the ship is saved, although she is knocked out of action for a long time to come.

However this effort has completely drawn the fangs of Japanese land based Naval air and prevented any serious effort to attack the 7 th Fleet. Reorganizing his ships on the move, Towers orders the other task group north to rendezvous with the rest of 3rd Fleet as it meets the Japanese carrier force as it steams through the Philippine Sea on September 23. He does take the precaution of sending Admiral Lee with the New Jersey and Iowa, along with a pair of light cruisers and 8 destroyers to reinforce Admiral Kirk's 7th Fleet.

Air Battle Southern Philippines September 19-24

Meanwhile, the Japanese 4 th Air Army is making an all out effort to suppress American airpower over the Mindanao in the face of 5th Air Force Corsairs operating from the Jeep Carriers and newly opened or captured airstrips. While Allied losses are not light, the Australian, American Army Air Force and Marine Corps squadrons are able to maintain control of the skies over the transport area and their airfields and they butcher the relatively inexperienced Japanese Army pilots who were rushed into front line units over the last few months in the face of heavy continued attrition in Mongolia, Siberia, India, and elsewhere.

The Sulu Sea: The Great Shoot Out September 23-24
The Japanese successfully unite the Southern and Northern Force and steam south, hoping to make the final run toward Ilman Bay at night and reach the transport area just after first light. Admiral Kirk assembles two battlegroups to deal with them. The first battlegroup, Task Force 34, consists of Admiral Lee and his 2 fast battleships, plus 8 light cruisers and 16 destroyers. His orders are to get behind the Japanese in the Sulu Sea and strike once the Japanese run into Task Force 77. Admiral Olendorff and his Task Force 77 meanwhile will block the Japanese advance with 9 of his 11 old battleships (leaving only the Texas and New York out of the fight), along with 8 American and 8 Australian destroyers and the New Zealand manned battleship Malaya and the Australian manned battleship Valiant.

The Japanese force runs into trouble just before dark, when two American submarines, the Cavalla and Tambor fire spreads of torpedoes into the vanguard of the Japanese force, sinking the cruisers Ashigara and Myoko, and sending the cruiser Haguro limping toward Manila Bay with her bow blown off escorted by 4 destroyers. The next setback for the Japanese is when an Australian PBY equipped with radar finds the Japanese force and determines that it is heading for the Basilan Strait, the northern most passage (and best charted) route through the Sulu islands into the Moro Gulf. This is also the shortest route to the transport force and thus the route most easily reached by the slow old American battleships.

The Last Gunfight: the Battle of Basilan Strait.
The American battleline consists of the modernized 16 inch gun battleships Maryland, Colorado, West Virginia, the 15 inch gun battleships Malaya and Valiant, the 14 inch gun Nevada, California, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Mexico, Idaho, with the American destroyers and Australian destroyers each organized into a flotilla with orders to fire their torpedoes and get the hell out of the way. The Japanese proceed through the strait with 10 destroyers and 5 light cruisers, plus the heavy cruiser Nachi in the van, followed by 6 more destroyers. The 4 battleships led by the Haruna are behind them, then the 4 heavy cruisers led by the Mogami behind, and then 5 more light cruisers and 10 destroyers in the rear. On either flank are 5 destroyers, but these are forced to close up with the battleships as the channel narrows.

At 0200 Hours, Allied reconnaissance aircraft that have been tracking the Japanese fleet send off their final position reports. Admiral Lee and his task force are already 40 miles behind the Japanese and shifting into position to block their escape, and Admiral Olendorff orders his destroyers to attack. The Americans and Australian tincans launch and then flee south at high speed, and unaware of the Allied presence, as their own search aircraft are being knocked down by Corsairs and Black Widows equipped with radar as soon as they enter the area, the Japanese first discover the Allied presence when nearly 120 torpedoes comb the waters where the lead Japanese destroyer flotilla is steaming. All ten of the Japanese ships are hit and most quickly sink with the rest left burning helpless wrecks. The Japanese recover quickly however, firing off spreads of their own, and sink 2 US and 1 Australian destroyer and leave 3 American and 1 Australian destroyer heavily damaged and out of action. All four of these ships are fatally damaged as it turns out, as they are unable to get out of the way of the deluge of shellfire that will come in from the Allied heavy ships and the Japanese ships that see them as they pass.

At this point, the 11 ships in the lead of the Japanese column, 6 destroyers and 5 light cruisers, have been tracked by radar for several minutes and Olendorff has assigned a battleships to service each target. They open fire and the night sky is lit up by the flashes of Allied heavy guns and tracers and the streaks of shells as they fly through the sky are bright enough to nearly turn night into day for a few moments. Not one of the Japanese ships survives more than 5 minutes before blowing up and sinking under the rain of shells, and the Americans and Anzacs quickly shift to the next targets.

Mikawa orders an emergency turn but it is too late, as shells are already falling on his heavy ships. The Japanese fire back desperately and indeed with considerable accuracy, inflicting heavy damage on the upper works and fire control of the Maryland, West Virginia, Colorado and getting a torpedo hit that severely damages the Malaya but the Allied ships convert the cruiser Nachi and all four Japanese battleships into blazing wrecks and indeed the Nachi explodes in a massive fireball that leaves nothing but fragments in its wake. Mikawa aboard the Mogami is appalled by the slaughter, and orders a retreat, while Admiral Shima was converted into gas by the detonation of the Nachi. In a 20 minute battle, the Japanese have lost 4 battleships, 1 heavy cruiser, 5 light cruisers and 16 destroyers and of the over 12,000 men aboard those ships only a few hundred remain to now fight for their lives in shark infested seas. Allied losses are 4 American and 2 Australian destroyers sunk, 3 American and 1 New Zealand battleship knocked out of action, and 2,000 dead or missing. Most of the Allied survivors are picked up after daylight as are nearly 500 Japanese survivors.

Gunfight in the Sulu Sea
At 0400 hours Task Force 34 is in position to block the Japanese as they retreat, and Allied search planes are still shadowing the Japanese using radar. Task Force 77 remains as a cork in the bottle to the southwest blocking the Japanese from reaching the transports, and now the Americans are on their retreat route as well. Mikawa is badly shaken by the utter destruction of half of his fleet, and unaware that the Americans are now in front of him again. His first inkling is when his lead destroyers report warships ahead as 16 American destroyers launch their torpedoes into the 10 destroyers in his van. The Japanese hurriedly launch as well, but are at a disadvantage in time and position, and soon 7 of the Japanese destroyers are hit and on fire, with 3 sinking immediately. Only 5 manage to loose their torpedoes in return, failing to score, and the American light cruisers Cleveland, Columbia, Montpelier, Denver, Santa Fe, Birmingham, Mobile, Vincennes (II), open rapid fire with their 6 inch guns into the 5 Japanese light cruisers that were steaming behind the destroyers while their 5 inch guns and those of the destroyers finish off the Japanese lead destroyer group. None of the Japanese ships survive the night as they are all blasted into wreckage but they do manage to hits of their own, particularly the Oi and the Kiso, whose torpedoes gut the Montpelier and Denver, leaving both severely damaged and indeed damage control fails to stop the influx of water into the Montpelier and she goes down just after dawn. The Japanese heavy cruisers and destroyers swing wide at flank speed heading away from the Americans to the south, firing at the American cruisers and destroyers as they turn, and nearly every American ship suffers light or moderate damage. However the Iowa and New Jersey open fire at this point, well back from the cruisers and destroyers, and Mikawa is shocked when several 16 inch shells convert the Chokai into a fireball while more blow the stern completely off the Takao. He orders a torpedo attack by his destroyers while the cruisers fleet, and while none of the 5 remaining Japanese destroyers score a hit, and only 3 survive, they manage to force Lee to order his ships to evade and thus saves the Japanese cruisers.

At dawn, the sun rises over the pyres and oil slicks marking the death of most of the Japanese surface navy. Mikawa and 3 heavy cruisers and 8 destroyers are all that remain of the of the 64 ships he had the day before. 5 more ships are in Manila Bay, but the rest are gone. With them are nearly 20,000 men either dead, or in the case of nearly 1,000 survivors, picked up by the Americans and Australians from the sea. The Allies have lost 1 light cruiser and 6 destroyers sunk, 4 battleships, 7 light cruisers and 22 destroyers damaged sufficiently to require repair work at a yard and 3,200 dead or missing.

The last carrier battle
On September 22, Admiral Ozawa is informed by Third Air Fleet that the Americans have lost 6 carriers and hundreds of aircraft. Sadly for him this is wishful thinking exaggerating the very real loss of 3 carriers and 300 aircraft that the Americans have actually suffered and just as importantly does not include the arrival of the remainder of the American carriers to link up with Towers. Ozawa is convinced he has a fighting chance and he has orders to draw the 3 rd Fleet away to clear the way for Mikawa and his fleet, and he also misses in the communications traffic the very vital point that the 3rd Air Fleet and 4th Air Army have failed to inflict any damage on the US 7th Fleet, he proceeds with his mission.

Relying on the longer range of his aircraft, he begins launching strikes at the American fleet on the morning on September 23, and throughout the day more than 500 Japanese aircraft are thrown at the American fleet. The Japanese are blasted out of the sky by the score by American Hellcats and the proximity shells off 5 inch guns as well as massive numbers of 40 and 20 mm guns, only 47 aircraft survive to return home (most of them fighters), and not a single American ship suffers significant damage.

Ozawa is appalled by the losses, but continues to steam so that he can remain within range of the Americans and draw them off. Towers remains close to Mindanao so that he can support the the 7 th Fleet while continuing to strike at Japanese airfields on Luzon and in the Central Philippines to support Eisenhower's landing force and the 7th Fleet, but on the morning of September 24, Eisenhower alerts Nimitz that the Japanese surface threat has been crushed and Nimitz tells Towers to find and destroy the enemy.

Towers gets his message releasing him to hunt hours before Ozawa finally manages to get clear information on what happened to Mikawa and orders to withdraw, and by that point Towers is within range of his own strike aircraft. The Americans send 700 aircraft in all, and Ozawa has barely 90 fighters left to face 300 American ones. His fighter cover is brushed aside and then crushed, while American Dauntless and Helldiver divebombers and Avenger torpedo planes proceed to sink the Akagi, Kaga, Shokaku, Zuikaku, and Chitose and badly damage the Taiho, which ends up being finished off by the American submarine Spearfish. The Hiryu, Amagi and Unryu are damaged and only the Zuiho escapes harms as she manages to find a rain squall to hide in.

Increasingly poor weather forces Towers to break off and he flees south to avoid a typhoon, while the Japanese steam through it, sacrificing two destroyers to the weather but also escaping pursuit.

On September 25 it is clear that the Decisive Battle that Japan has sought has been fought and lost. The Japanese Navy is finished as a battle force.

A week later, Admiral Onishi is appointed commander of the new 4 th Air Fleet, which incorporates the surviving aircraft and aircrew from the other three fleets. He sends 50 of the new Shinryu (manned versions of the German Doodlebug) and 100 other aircraft to join the remaining 75 aircraft he has left in Luzon and orders to form special attack units and strike the Americans when they invade Luzon.


  • [1] Air Force Historical Research Agency, 27th Operations Group
  • [2] ArmyAirForces.Com 27th Fighter Group
  • [3] The 27th Bombardment Group (L) in Australia during World War II


  • Bartsch, William H. 8 December 1941: MacArthur's Pearl Harbor (Texas A&M University Military History Series 87., 2003)
  • Edmonds, Walter D. They Fought With What They Had: The Story of the Army Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific, 1941–1942 (1951, 1982)
  • Martin, Adrian R. and Larry W. Stephenson, Operation Plum: The Ill-Fated 27th Bombardment Group and the Fight for the Western Pacific (Texas A & M University Military History – 2008)
  • May, Mary Cathrin, The Steadfast Line: The Story of the 27th Bombardment Group (Light) in World War II (Privately Published 2003, 2006)

June 19th-21st Battle of the Philippine Sea - History

World War 2 started on September 1, 1939 with the infantrymen of the initial belligerents using the same rifles used a generation before in World War 1. The biggest difference was the use of a new generation of light machine guns – Bren guns, MG-34s etc.

The submachine gun did have an impact, and everyone wanted them. I read somewhere that half of the Soviet casualties (@ 390,000) were inflicted using the Suomi submachine gun during the Winter War of 1939-40. The Germans just could never get enough submachine guns. They had MP-28s, MP-34s, MP-38s, and then the MP-40 which was a simplified version of the MP-38.

The British did not have a submachine gun going into WW2. They bought some Thompson submachine guns. The Thompson was a good weapon but expensive (and heavy). They did copy the MP-28 (as the Lanchester) used by the Royal Navy. The Sten gun was demonstrated in January 1941 with production off the line in June 1941. It was cheap, no frills weapon that fired 9 mm ammunition, was 30 inches long, weight 6lbs, 8 ozs. About 3.5 million Sten guns were made. It had an average submachine gun range of 70 meters.

The U.S. would build a cheap, stamped metal submachine gun, the M-3. It had a range of 50 meters. 650,000 were made. My father in law used one in WW2. Interestingly, tankers in the U.S. Army were still using the M-3 in the First Gulf War.

The Japanese produced a small number of submachine guns with the Type 100. It fired the 8 mm Nambu pistol cartridge. It was based on the German MP-28. I have seen a reference to Japanese Naval Paratroopers using Swiss made MP-28s but no separate confirmation. The Japanese were obsessed with bayonets. They designed the Type 100 to take the bayonet. Why?

The Soviets took up the submachine gun with a vengeance. The PPSh-41 was a mass produced, cheap improvement on the PPD line of submachine guns. It had the 71 round drum, only fired on full automatic, and had a range of 120 meters. It fired the 7.62 pistol round. Whole units in the Red Army were armed with the PPsH-41 giving a large amount of fire power within short distances. The submachine gun is an assault weapon for close-quarter fighting. That fit in with Soviet doctrine of always being on the attack.

The concept of rifle carbines took two distinct paths in World War 2. One was the shrink the conventional bolt action rifle. The problem is muzzle flash, loud sound, and recoil using those long, powerful rifle cartridges. The Soviets produced a carbine version of the Mosin-Nagant rifle, the M-44. It came in handy for urban warfare and appears to have been liked by the Red Army. I would imagine you would have a sore shoulder firing it after 10 or 20 rounds.

The British produced the “Jungle Carbine,” an attempt to make a small Lee-Enfield rifle for use in Burma. It did not work out well. There were problems with keeping the weapon sighted in. It was loud and had a nasty kick. It was retired after only a couple years.

I mentioned the U.S. adopted the M-1 Garand rifle in the late 1930s. Gen. George S. Patton said it was “the greatest battle implement ever devised”. U.S. Army and Marine rifle squads had a great amount of fire power with 10 or 11 M-1 rifles, a Browning Automatic Rifle, and maybe a Thompson submachine gun or M-3 “Grease Gun.”

The Soviets were equipping their troops with a new self-loading rifle, the SVT-40. It fired the 7.62 x 54R cartridge. The rifle was not rugged and distributed to NCOs mostly. It was also used as a sniper weapon. The SVT-40 had an effective range of 500 meters as opposed to 1,000 meters for the Mosin-Nagant. Perhaps most sniping was done within 500 meters.

The Germans did produce two self-loading rifles, the G-41 and G-43. Both used the 7.92 Mauser cartridge. The G-41 was heavy and had problems including cleaning the gas operation. Both were used as specialist weapons and not produced in great numbers. One wonders if a Wehrmacht rifle squad had been armed with G-43’s instead of Kar 98Ks.

The German paratroopers were part of the Luftwaffe and not the Wehrmacht. They were in search of that most elusive weapon that would be submachine gun, light machine gun, and self-loading rifle all in one. The FG-42 is sort of like a Browning Automatic Rifle but lighter. It fired the 7.92 Mauser cartridge. It had both full-auto and single shot capability using a 20 round detachable magazine. Weight was 9 lbs, 15 ozs. It was also expensive to produce. The guess is maybe 7,000 were produced in all.

There were some interesting innovations in WW2 with new weapons that broke through the old thinking.

First, the U.S. M-1 carbine was a real breakthrough in attitude on rifles. The U.S. Army decided as John Weeks put in World War II Small Arms “arose from a sensible realization after World War I that pistols were not particularly effective weapons of war.”

The M-1 carbine weighs 5 lbs, 7 oz, has a 15 round detachable box magazine, and uses a 7.62 x 33 mm cartridge. Finally, the stranglehold on over powered cartridges was broken. Accepted in mid-1941, the first rifles were used in Operation Torch in North Africa in November 1942. The idea was for mortar men, drivers, signal corps, etc. to use the M-1 carbine. It was hugely popular with 6 million produced. After WW2, you see the French using it in Indo-China, the British in Malaya, U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam. There are pictures of a dead Che Guevara surrounded by Bolivian troops holding M-1 carbines. Somewhere in the world today, the M-1 carbine is being used. During the Battle of the Bulge, advancing German troops were picking up and using M-1 carbines from the stacks of captured American equipment.

The Germans created the future in small arms with the Sturmgewehr 44. This had select fire capability, weighed 11.24 lbs, fired a 7.92 x 33 mm cartridge, and had a 30 round detachable box magazine. You may recognize the design which obviously was used for the AK-47. Some prototypes were used in 1942 on the Russian Front. The Soviets had surrounded a German Wehrmacht division. These rifles were air dropped and the division was able to blast its way through to safety. Unfortunately for the Germans, the StG 44 came out too late. It was not distributed in any number until October 1944. Estimates are around 400,000 were produced. What is amazing is how it continued to be used by a Yugoslavian paratrooper unit until the late 1980s and a batch showed up in Syria a couple of years ago! Where is the ammunition coming from?

There are stories that the Soviets used a prototype of the SKS rifle in the closing days of WW2 in Europe. I did some digging and that is not quite true. Simonov was working on a carbine that fired the 7.62 x 54R cartridge. This is what was used. It was found of interest to continue development to what would become the SKS a few years later.

When it comes to jungle warfare, firepower, compactness, and weight are all factors. One weapon used to a small degree was the shotgun. The Winchester Trench Gun was used in the Pacific. There are accounts of the 31 st Infantry using “riot guns” in the Battle of Bataan against Japanese rifle men hidden in trees in 1942.

On January 11, 1942, the Japanese attacked the U.S. Army Philippine Scout 57 th Infantry Regiment on the Abucay Line on the Bataan Peninsula, Luzon Island, Philippines. The Scouts were armed with M-1 rifles, Browning Automatic Rifles, and .30 Browning light machine guns. The 2 nd Battalion, 141 st Infantry of the Imperial Japanese Army made a frontal assault. The attack was repulsed leaving 200-300 dead Japanese. Considering dead are generally 1/3 of total casualties, the 2 nd Battalion, 141 st Infantry ceased to be an effective fighting force.

It is no coincidence the U.S. Army and Marines methodically ground up Japanese garrisons on their island-hopping campaign from fall of 1942 on. At most, one third of the U.S. Army was in the Pacific due to the Europe first strategy. Despite being the secondary theater, Japan was strategically in a no-win situation by the time the war ended in Europe. Geoffrey Perrett wrote in There’s a War to be Won that by 1945, platoons were doing the job it took companies two years earlier. Companies were doing the job of battalions. This force multiplication had a profound impact. The massive firepower a U.S. Army platoon or company could amass was unequaled except by Soviet Guard units armed with the PPsH submachine guns.

There were not that many “automatic rifles” used in WW2, certainly none used by the Japanese as portrayed in Marvin Albert as “Ian MacAlister’s” Skylark Mission or Jon Cleary’s The Long Pursuit.

To answer some of your questions
1) The Japanese military in the 30s were obsessed with the bushido code so edged weapons held a mystique for them
2) Re the Stg 44 ammo. East German stocks. They continued to produce the rifle and ammo until the late 70/80s.
Why no idea.
3) sells excellent (and expensive) reference books on the major weapons of the late 19th-21st century.
4) The Sten arose after Dunkirk when Britian had to abandoned most of their equipment there and needed super cheap weapons to thwart the probable invasion of the country. It was made to last just 2 years but anuyone with a basic tools could make them

The M1 carbine was the favorite weapon of Audie Murphy. Nothing more needs to be said.

The M-1 carbine had a good reputation coming out of WWII, not so good in recent years. Two things to remember: the carbine was designed to run ‘wet’, so use a lot of lube, and the magazines need to be pristine or as close to that as possible.


  • Constituted as the 65th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 20 November 1940
  • Redesignated 65th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy in 1944
  • Redesignated 65th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy and activated on 1 October 1946


    , 15 January 1941 – 29 April 1946
  • 43d Bombardment Group, 1 October 1946 , 16 June 1952 – 31 January 1970


    , Virginia, 15 January 1941 , Maine, 29 August 1941 – 17 February 1942 , Australia, 28 March 1942 , Australia, 23 June 1942 (Torrens Creek), Australia, 15 August 1942 , Australia, 13 October 1942 , Australia, 7 November 1942 , Port Moresby, New Guinea, 20 January 1943 , New Guinea, c. 11 December 1943 , New Guinea, March 1944
    , Schouten Islands, Netherlands East Indies, c. 11 July 1944 , Leyte, Philippines, c. 24 November 1944 , Luzon, Philippines, c. 16 March 1945 , Okinawa, c. 24 July 1945 , Luzon, Philippines, 10 December 1945 – 29 April 1946 , Arizona, 1 October 1946 , Texas, 15 March 1960 , Arkansas, 1 September 1964 – 31 January 1970


36 Stratagems

Mask your real goals, by using the ruse of a fake goal, until the real goal is achieved. Tactically, this is known as an ‘open feint’: in front of everyone, you point west, when your goal is actually in the east.

The Allies used this strategy in the World War II against Hitler. Before we took Normandy, we first sent several drops of mannequins into the area. The Germans got tired of us playing games – let down their guard – and when the real paratroopers came, they were unprepared.

Strategy 1: Fool the Emperor to Cross the Sea

2) Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao.

When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear. Know that he cannot be superior in all things. Somewhere there is a gap in the armour, a weakness that can be attacked instead. The idea here is to avoid a head-on battle with a strong enemy, and instead strike at his weakness elsewhere. This will force the strong enemy to retreat in order to support his weakness. Battling against the now tired and low-morale enemy will give a much higher chance of success.

Strategy 2: Besiege Wei to Rescue Zhao

3) Kill with a Borrowed Knife.

Attack using the strength of another person.

Attack using the strength of another (in a situation where using one’s own strength is not favorable). Trick an ally into attacking him, bribe an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy’s own strength against him. The idea here is to cause damage to the enemy by getting a third party to do the deed.

Oliver North did the dirty work for the CIA. Hit men are “borrowed” muscle for the mob. Ads borrow beauty to sell.

4) Relax and Wait for the Adversary to Tire Himself Out. Await leisurely the exhausted enemy.

Exercise patience and wear them down

It is an advantage to choose the time and place for battle. In this way you know when and where the battle will take place, while your enemy does not. Encourage your enemy to expend his energy in futile quests while you conserve your strength. When he is exhausted and confused, you attack with energy and purpose. The idea is to have your troops well-prepared for battle, in the same time that the enemy is rushing to fight against you. This will give your troops a huge advantage in the upcoming battle, of which you will get to select the time and place.

5) Loot a Burning House.

Hit them when they are down.

When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when disease and famine ravage the population, when corruption and crime are rampant, then it will be unable to deal with an outside threat. This is the time to attack. Keep gathering internal information about an enemy. If the enemy is currently in its weakest state ever, attack it without mercy and totally destroy it to prevent future troubles.

China lost the first Opium War (1840 – 1842) and after losing, China was tired and the country’s spirits were low. The USA and Britain seized the opportunity to consummate very one-sided agreements. The agreements are known today in China as the “unequal treaties”. Ambulance chasing is another example of this.

6) Make a Feint to the East While Attacking in the West.

Fake to the right attack to the left.

In any battle the element of surprise can provide an overwhelming advantage. Even when face to face with an enemy, surprise can still be employed by attacking where he least expects it. To do this you must create an expectation in the enemy’s mind through the use of a feint. The idea here is to get the enemy to focus his forces in a location, and then attack elsewhere which would be weakly defended.

Football makes extensive use of this tactic. Credit card companies emphasize no annual fees but stick the maximum interest monthly they can to you.

This tactic is best used when the other side is in disarray or confused and not sure what your target really is.

7) Create Something Out of Nothing.

Turn something that is not substantial into reality.

A plain lie. Make somebody believe there was something when there is in fact nothing. One method of using this strategy is to create an illusion of something’s existence, while it does not exist. Another method is to create an illusion that something does not exist, while it does.

In World War II, Rommel deceived his opposition by creating the illusion of mass movement by building fake tanks and putting them on Volkswagens while having a few heavy vehicles tow heavy objects, thus raising lots of dust.

Stratagem Seven: Create something out of nothing – 36 Stratagems of War Episode 2

8) Secretly Utilize the Chen Cang Passage. Pretend to Advance Down One Path While Taking Another Hidden Path.

Pretend to care about an issue and later give it up to get what you really want.

Míng xiū zhàn dào, àn dù chén cāng

Deceive the enemy with an obvious approach that will take a very long time, while surprising him by taking a shortcut and sneak up to him. As the enemy concentrates on the decoy, he will miss you sneaking up to him. This tactic is an extension of the “Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west” tactic. But instead of simply spreading misinformation to draw the enemy’s attention, physical baits are used to increase the enemy’s certainty on the misinformation. These baits must be easily seen by the enemy, to ensure that they draw the enemy’s attention. At the same time, the baits must act as if they are meant to do what they were falsely doing, to avoid drawing the enemy’s suspicion.

In the present day, “sneak through the passage of Chencang” also has the meaning of having an affair or doing something that is illegal.

Xerox sold it first copiers for almost 3 million dollars. It did this to encourage people to rent them instead of buying and thus to foster a dependency on them. Gas stations trick us into buying gas for one price while displaying in small print the extra 9/10 of a cent they always charge. Gas here – $1.24 and 9/10 is what they should be saying. The old dating trick – Gee, before we go to the movie, I forgot my coat. Let me stop by my apartment and get it real quick. Hey, since we’re there, would you like to see my collection of (whatever).

9) Watch the Fire Burning from Across the River.

Allow them to fight your other enemy while you rest and observe. Later, defeat the exhausted survivor.

Delay entering the field of battle until all the other players have become exhausted fighting amongst themselves. Then go in at full strength and pick up the pieces.

At the 1988 Winter Olympics the two main contenders (Katrina Witt, East Germany – Debi Thomas, U.S.) had enormous pressure put upon them because the whole world was watching them. A lessor skater (Elizabeth Manley, Canada) took the silver medal.

10) Conceal a Dagger in a Smile.

Befriend them to get their guard down, then attack their weakest point.

Charm and ingratiate yourself with your enemy. When you have gained his trust, move against him in secret.

Prior to invading Afghanistan in 1979, the Soviet Union would send monetary aid to them as well as military advisors that trained their army. In this way they gained control over the Afghanistan army and prepared the way to invade them.

Shu Han authored a book on Stratagems in Taipei in 1986. He says, “Masquerading as a swine to kill the tiger is a tactic used against a stronger opponent. You hide your sword from him, pretend to be as stupid as a pig and compliant in all things, keep a friendly smile on your face, and work like a slave. Ultimately, your enemy will be completely deceived. Then when a favorable opportunity presents itself, quick as lightning the slave turns into an executioner.

11) Sacrifice a Plum Tree to Save a Peach Tree. Let the Plum Tree Wither in Place of the Peach Tree.

Trade up! Take a small loss for a large gain.

There are circumstances in which you must sacrifice short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal. This is the scapegoat strategy whereby someone else suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.

In the German attack on Coventry, the British knew in advance that the attack was coming because they had broken the Germans codes. They did nothing to stop the attack and thousands of citizens died. They let this happen so that they could keep the upper hand and the Germans wouldn’t know they had cracked their code. The Brits used their own citizens as the scapegoat.

12) Take Away a Goat in Passing.

Take advantage of every small opportunity.

While carrying out your plans be flexible enough to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, however small, and avail yourself of any profit, however slight.

13) Beat the Grass to Startle the Snake.

Stir things up before beginning to negotiate for your true interests.

Do something without aim, but spectacular (“hitting the grass”) to provoke a response of the enemy (“startle the snake”), thereby giving away his plans or position, or just taunt him. Do something unusual, strange, and unexpected as this will arouse the enemy’s suspicion and disrupt his thinking. More widely used as “[Do not] startle the snake by hitting the grass”. An imprudent act will give your position or intentions away to the enemy.

Before the British and French commenced their landing operations at Port

Said in 1956 they parachuted wood and rubber dummies down. The Egyptians thought they were real and began shooting at them. They dispatched their army to dispose of the paratroopers in the field. The French and British observed all of this. And understanding the “real power” of the Egyptians proceeded with their landing and wiped them out.

Stratagem Thirteen: Beat the Grass to Startle the Snake – 36 Stratagems of War Episode 3

14) Raise a Corpse from the Dead. Borrow a Corpse to Return the Soul.

Revive a dead proposal by presenting it again or in a new way.

Take an institution, a technology, a method, or even an ideology that has been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose. Revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose or bring to life old ideas, customs, or traditions and reinterpret them to fit your purposes.

The Yugo car was introduced as having the reliability of a VW.

15) Lure the Tiger out of the Mountain.

Seek a neutral location. Negotiate after leading them away from a position of strength.

Never directly attack an opponent whose advantage is derived from its position. Instead lure him away from his position thus separating him from his source of strength.

The Chinese when negotiating with Americans, ask them to come to China to demonstrate equipment the Chinese are interested in buying. When the Americans get there the Chinese ignore them for a while, confusing the Americans. Then they feed them food that the Americans aren’t used to and delay the negotiations. The Americans are forced to spend more time and money to woo the Chinese and soon the Chinese have them in such a vulnerable position the American’s will agree to most anything just get out of there.

16) Let the Adversary off in order to Snare Him. To Capture the Enemy, First Let It Go.

Do not arouse their spirit to fight back.

Cornered prey will often mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom. His will to fight is thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is proven a falsehood the enemy’s morale will be defeated and he will surrender without a fight.

Coke introduced “New Coke” that was sweeter than Classic Coke. The public was upset. So Coke let the public “catch them” and brought back the Classic Coke thus capturing their customers even harder than before.

17) Toss out a Brick to attract a piece of Jade. Toss out a Brick to Attract Jade.

Trade something of minor value for something of major value.

Bait someone by making him believe he gains something or just make him react to it (“toss out a brick”) and obtain something valuable from him in return (“get a jade gem”).

McDonald’s uses a free dinosaur in their kid’s meals. The kids want the dinosaur more than the meal, but the parents end up purchasing the meal for the kids as well as a meal for themselves.

18) To Catch Bandits, Nab Their Ringleader First. To Catch the Bandits, First Catch Their Ringleader.

Convince the leader and the rest will follow.

If the enemy’s army is strong but is allied to the commander only by money, superstition or threats, then take aim at the leader. If the commander falls the rest of the army will disperse or come over to your side. If, however, they are allied to the leader through loyalty then beware, the army can continue to fight on after his death out of vengeance.

China is not organized along the lines of institutional rule, as we are in the U.S. The institution of the President of the U.S. limits the rule of the President to an extent with its checks and balances. In China, most social and political systems are based on a strong and powerful leader. Removing this leader, removes his policy.

19) Remove the Fire from under the Cauldron.

Eliminate the source of their strength.

Take out the leading argument or asset of someone “steal someone’s thunder”. This is the very essence of indirect approach: instead of attacking enemy’s fighting forces, the attacks are directed against his ability to wage war. Literally, take the fuel out of the fire.

Corporate raiders are examples of this. They try and buy up enough stocks (stealing the firewood) until they have enough to take over the control of the company.

Stratagem Nineteen: Steal the firewood from under the cauldron – 36 Stratagems of War Episode 4

20) Muddle the water to catch the fish. Gathering Fish from Troubled Waters.

Do something surprising or unexpected to unnerve them, and then take advantage of that situation.

Entrepreneurs profited immediately after the huge earthquake that centered in San Francisco in 1989 by selling T-shirts that said, “I survived the quake of 1989”.

21) The Cicada Sheds Its Shells. The Golden Cicada Sheds Its Shell. The Cicada Sloughs Its Shell.

Mask yourself. Either leave one’s distinctive traits behind, thus becoming inconspicuous, or masquerade as something or someone else. This strategy is mainly used to escape from enemy of superior strength.

In the 80’s, Family Fitness Centers came under attack from the government for a number of issues. To get out from under the problem, they sold off entire sections of the company. The sold them to people that used to work for FFC so they used the same sales tactics and eventually ran into the same trouble. But for a time, they were able to continue with their sales tactics by making it look like the owners were no longer there.

22) Fasten the Door to Catch a Thief. – Lock the Door and Catch the Thief

Completely destroy them by leaving no way for escape.

To capture your enemy, or more generally in fighting wars, to deliver the final blow to your enemy, you must plan prudently if you want to succeed. Do not rush into action. Before you “move in for the kill”, first cut off your enemy’s escape routes, and cut off any routes through which outside help can reach them.

23) Befriend a Distant State While Attacking a Neighboring State. Befriend Distant States While Attacking Nearby Ones.

Build strategic alliances with others that will give you the upper hand.

Invading nations that border your own territory has a higher chance of success. The battle fields are close to your own country, thus it is easier for your troops to get supply and to defend the conquered land. Make allies with nations far away from you, as it is unwise to invade them.

Israel depends on the U.S. for its power in the region, as well as other distant friends such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, while fighting in Lebanon and the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

24) Borrow a Safe Passage to Conquer the Kingdom of Guo. Attack Hu by a Borrowed Path.

Temporarily join forces with a friend against a common enemy.

Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place.

In the Vietnam War, the U.S. used Thailand and the Philippines to get our men and supplies to Vietnam.

25) Steal the Dragon and Replace with the Phoenix. Steal the Beams and Pillars and Replace Them with Rotten Timber. Steal the Beams and Change the Pillars.

Sabotage, incapacitate, or destroy them by removing their key support.

Disrupt the enemy’s formations, interfere with their methods of operations, change the rules in which they are used to following, go contrary to their standard training. In this way you remove the supporting pillar, the common link that makes a group of men an effective fighting force.

Christianity kept some of the practices and holidays of other religions that it scooped up so as not to alienate them as they converted.

26) Point at the Mulberry Tree but Curse the Locust Tree.

Convey your intentions and opinions indirectly.

To discipline, control, or warn others whose status or position excludes them from direct confrontation use analogy and innuendo. Without directly naming names, those accused cannot retaliate without revealing their complicity.

The US used nuclear weapons during WW II not just to defeat Japan but scare the Soviet Union.

27) Feign madness, but keep your balance. Pretend to be a Pig in Order to eat the Tiger. Play Dumb. Feign Ignorance and Hide One’s Intentions.

Play Dumb, then surprise them. Let them underestimate you.

Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.

Japan kept a low profile after WW II and was humble toward the U.S. Japan built a tremendous industrial base that would one day give it the economic power of a Super Power.

28) Remove the Ladder after your ascent. Lure the enemy onto the roof, then take away the ladder. Cross the River and Destroy the Bridge.

Lead them into a trap, then cut off their escape.

With baits and deceptions, lure your enemy into treacherous terrain. Then cut off his lines of communication and avenue of escape. To save himself, he must fight both your own forces and the elements of nature.

Cortez burned his own ships when he got to Mexico. Since they couldn’t leave, they either had to win or die. They won.

29) Decorate the Tree with Fake Blossoms. Flowers Bloom in the Tree.

Reframe deceitfully. Expand the pie with objects of little value.

Tying silk blossoms on a dead tree gives the illusion that the tree is healthy. Through the use of artifice and disguise, make something of no value appear valuable of no threat appear dangerous of no use appear useful.

Sanyo created shills looking to buy what was then an unpopular radio. When dealers saw that people wanted the radios, they stocked up. Sanyo went on to big success.

30) Turn Yourself into a Host from Being a Guest. Host and Guest Switch Roles.

Turn your defensive and passive position into an offensive and active one.

Usurp leadership in a situation where you are normally subordinate. Infiltrate your target. Initially, pretend to be a guest to be accepted, but develop from inside and become the owner later.

US is often invited to take a side in a civil war but then supplants the government that made the invitation. The Vietnam War provides an example of this switch.

31) Use a Beauty to Ensnare a Man.

The honey trap. Beauty Trap. Provide alluring distractions.

Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This strategy can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamored with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, the group of men will begin to have issues if the desired women courts another man, thus creating conflict and aggressive behavior. Third, other females at court, motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exacerbating the situation.

32) Open the Gate of an Undefended City. The Empty City Stratagem.

Deliberately displaying your weakness can conceal your vulnerability.

When the enemy is superior in numbers and your situation is such that you expect to be overrun at any moment, then drop all pretense of military preparedness, act calmly and taunt the enemy, so that the enemy will think you have a huge ambush hidden for them. It works best by acting calm and at ease when your enemy expects you to be tense. This ploy is only successful if in most cases you do have a powerful hidden force and only sparsely use the empty fort strategy.

On Candid Camera years ago, the host set up a stand and told people that he for some reason didn’t like $20 bills. He offered to exchange them for a $5 bill to passersby. Every one without exception turned him down, thinking they were counterfeit.

Strategy 32 of 36: Empty Fort Strategy – Zhuge Liang

33) Use Adversary’s Spies to Sow Discord in Your Adversary’s Camp. Turn the Enemy’s Agents against Him.

Provide inaccurate information to mislead them, especially through informal channels.

Undermine your enemy’s ability to fight by secretly causing discord between him and his friends, allies, advisors, family, commanders, soldiers, and population. While he is preoccupied settling internal disputes, his ability to attack or defend is compromised.

After IBM came out with its personal computer, it contracted with some Taiwan manufactures. Almost immediately, Taiwan became the world leader in PC production.

34) Inflict Pain on oneself in order to Infiltrate Adversary’s Camp and Win the Confidence of the Enemy. Self-Torture.

Appear to take some hits. Feign weakness while arming yourself.

Pretending to be injured has two possible applications. In the first, the enemy is lulled into relaxing his guard since he no longer considers you to be an immediate threat. The second is a way of ingratiating yourself with your enemy by pretending the injury was caused by a mutual enemy.

People standing on freeway entrances with signs asking for help.

35) Lead Your Adversary to Chain Together Their Warships. Stratagem on Stratagems.

Devise a set of interlocking stratagems to defeat them.

In important matters, one should use several stratagems applied simultaneously after another as in a chain of stratagems. Keep different plans operating in an overall scheme however, in this manner if any one strategy fails, then the chain breaks and the whole scheme fails.

36) Retreat is the Best Option. If All Else Fails, Run Away.

If it becomes obvious that your current course of action will lead to defeat, then retreat and regroup. When your side is losing, there are only three choices remaining: surrender, compromise, or escape. Surrender is complete defeat, compromise is half defeat, but escape is not defeat. As long as you are not defeated, you still have a chance. This is the most famous of the stratagems, immortalized in the form of a Chinese idiom: “Of the Thirty-Six Stratagems, fleeing is best” (三十六計,走为上計).

June 19th-21st Battle of the Philippine Sea - History

The 24th Infantry Division was an infantry division of the United States Army. It was inactivated in October 1996, it was based at Fort Stewart, Georgia and later reactivated at Fort Riley, Kansas. Formed during World War II from the disbanding Hawaiian Division, the division saw action throughout the Pacific theater, first fighting in New Guinea before landing on the Philippine islands of Leyte and Luzon, driving Japanese forces from them. Following the end of the war, the division participated in occupation duties in Japan, and was the first division to respond at the outbreak of the Korean War. For the first 18 months of the war, the division was heavily engaged on the front lines with North Korean and Chinese forces, suffering over 10,000 casualties. It was withdrawn from the front lines to the reserve force for the remainder of the war after the second battle for Wonju, but returned to Korea for patrol duty at the end of major combat operations. After its deployment in the Korean War, the division was active in Europe and the United States during the Cold War, but saw relatively little combat until the Persian Gulf War, when it faced the Iraqi military. A few years after that conflict, it was inactivated as part of the post-Cold War U.S. military drawdown of the 1990s. The division was reactivated in October 1999 as a formation for training and deploying U.S. Army National Guard units before its deactivation in October 2006.

The 24th Infantry Division traces its lineage to Army units activated in Hawaii. It was activated under the Square Division Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) on 1 March 1921 as the Hawaiian Division at Schofield Barracks, Oahu. The division insignia is based on the taro leaf, emblematic of Hawaii. The division was assigned the 21st Infantry Regiment and the 22nd Infantry Regiment, both of which had been assigned to the US 11th Infantry Division prior to 1921. The entire Hawaiian Division was concentrated at a single location during the next few years, allowing it to conduct more effective combined arms training. It was also manned at higher personnel levels than other divisions, and its field artillery was the first to be motorized. Between August and September 1941, the Hawaiian Division's assets were reorganized to form two divisions under the new Triangular Division TO&E. Its brigade headquarters were disbanded and the 27th and 35th Infantry Regiments were assigned to the new 25th Infantry Division. Hawaiian Division headquarters was redesignated as Headquarters, 24th Infantry Division on 1 October 1941. The 24th Infantry Division also received the Hawaiian Division's Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, which was approved in 1921. The division was then centered around three infantry regiments: the 19th Infantry Regiment and the 21st Infantry Regiment from the old Hawaiian Division, and the 299th Infantry Regiment from the Hawaii National Guard. In July 1942, the 299th Infantry was inactivated after its ranks were depleted by the transfer of many ''Nisei'' (second-generation Japanese-Americans) to form the 100th Infantry Battalion, and the 25th Infantry Division's 298th Infantry Regiment was reassigned to the 24th. Also part of the division were the 13th Field Artillery Battalion, the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion, the 63rd Field Artillery Battalion, the 11th Field Artillery Battalion, the 24th Signal Company, the 724th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company, the 24th Quartermaster Company, the 24th Reconnaissance Troop, the 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, the 24th Medical Battalion, and the 24th Counterintelligence Corps Detachment.

The 24th Infantry Division was among the first US Army divisions to see combat in World War II and among the last to stop fighting. The division was on Oahu, with its headquarters at Schofield Barracks, when the Japanese launched their Attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and the unit suffered some casualties during the attack. Among these casualties were Sgt. Paul J. Fadon (killed in a truck 10 miles north of Schofield Barracks), Pvt. Walter R. French, Pfc. Conrad Kujawa, Pvt. Torao Migita (killed by friendly fire in downtown Honolulu), and Cpt. Theodore J. Lewis (who became the 24th Infantry Division's first soldier killed during WWII). The division was then charged with the defense of northern Oahu, where it built an elaborate system of coastal defenses throughout 1942. In July 1942, the 299th Infantry Regiment was replaced by the 298th Infantry Regiment. One year later, this regiment was replaced by the 34th Infantry Regiment from the Hawaiian Department Reserve. The 34th Infantry remained with the 24th Infantry Division until the end of the war. As an active component unit, the 34th was easier to deploy than the reserve component units, which were less trained.

In May 1943, the 24th Infantry Division was alerted for movement to Australia, and it completed the move to Camp Caves, near Rockhampton, on the eastern coast of Australia by 19 September 1943. Once deployed, it began intensive combat training. After training, the division moved to Goodenough Island on 31 January 1944, to prepare for Operation Reckless, the amphibious capture of Hollandia, Netherlands New Guinea (now Jayapura, Papua province, Indonesia). The 24th landed at Tanahmerah Bay on 22 April 1944 and seized the important Hollandia Airdrome despite torrential rain and marshy terrain. Shortly after the Hollandia landing, the division's 34th Infantry Regiment moved to Biak to reinforce the 41st Infantry Division. The regiment captured Sorido and Borokoe airdromes before returning to the division on Hollandia in July. The 41st and 24th divisions isolated 40,000 Japanese forces south of the landings. Despite resistance from the isolated Japanese forces in the area, the 24th Infantry Division advanced rapidly through the region. In two months, the 24th Division crossed the entirety of New Guinea.

After occupation duty in the Hollandia area, the 24th Division was assigned to X Corps of the Sixth United States Army in preparation for the invasion of the Philippines. On 20 October 1944, the division was paired with the 1st Cavalry Division within X Corps, and the two divisions made an assault landing at Leyte, initially encountering only light resistance. Following a defeat at sea on 26 October, the Japanese launched a large, uncoordinated counteroffensive against the Sixth Army. The 24th Division drove up the Leyte Valley, advanced to Jaro and captured Breakneck Ridge on 12 November 1944, in heavy fighting. While final clearing operations continued on Leyte, the 24th Division's 19th Infantry Regiment moved to Mindoro Island as part of the Western Visayan Task Force and landed in the San Jose area on 15 December 1944. There, it secured airfields and a patrol base for operations on Luzon. Elements of the 24th Infantry Division effected a landing on Marinduque Island. Other elements supported the 11th Airborne Division drive from Nasugbu to Manila.

The 24th Division was among the 200,000 men of the Sixth Army which moved to recapture Luzon from the Japanese 14th Area Army, which fought delaying actions on the island. The division's 34th Infantry Regiment landed at San Antonio, Zambales on 29 January 1945 and ran into a furious battle on Zig Zag Pass, where it suffered heavy casualties. On 16 February 1945 the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry took part in the amphibious landing on Corregidor and fought the Japanese on the well-defended island. The rest of the division landed at Sablayan, Mindoro on 19 February, cleared the remainder of the island and engaged in numerous mopping up actions during the following month. These operations were complete by 18 March, and the division moved south to attack through Basilan. the division landed at Mindanao on 17 April 1945 and cut across the island to Digos until 27 April, stormed into Davao on 3 May, and cleared Libby airdrome on 13 May. Although the campaign officially closed on 30 June, the division continued to clear up Japanese resistance during July and August 1945. The 24th Infantry Division and the Philippine Commonwealth military patrolled the region until the official surrender of Japan ended the war. On 15 October 1945 the division left Mindanao for occupation duty on mainland Japan. Four soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during their service with the 24th Infantry Division during World War II. They were James H. Diamond, Charles E. Mower, Harold H. Moon, Jr., and Francis B. Wai. Members of the 24th Infantry Division also won 15 Distinguished Service Crosses, two Distinguished Service Medals, 625 Silver Star Medals, 38 Soldier's Medals, 2,197 Bronze Star Medals, and 50 Air Medals. The division itself was awarded eight Distinguished Unit Citations for participation in the campaign.

After the end of the war, the division remained on mainland Japan. It occupied Kyūshū from 1945 until 1950. During this time, the US Army shrank. At the end of World War II it contained 89 divisions, but by 1950, the 24th Infantry Division was one of only 10 active divisions in the force. It was one of four understrength divisions on occupation duty in Japan. The others were the 1st Cavalry Division, 7th Infantry Division, and 25th Infantry Division, all under control of the Eighth United States Army. The 24th Division retained the 19th, 21st, and 34th regiments, but the formations were undermanned and ill-equipped due to the post-war drawdown and reduction in military spending.

On 25 June 1950, 10 divisions of the North Korean Korean People's Army (KPA) launched an attack into the Republic of Korea in the south. The North Koreans overwhelmed the Republic of Korea Army (ROK) and advanced south, preparing to conquer the entire nation. The UN ordered an intervention to prevent the conquest of South Korea. U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered ground forces into South Korea. The 24th Infantry Division was closest to Korea, and it was the first US division to respond. The 24th Division's first mission was to "take the initial shock" of the North Korean assault, then try to slow its advance until more US divisions could arrive.

Five days later, on 30 June, a 406-man infantry force from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, supported by a 134-man artillery battery (also from the 24th Infantry Division) was sent into South Korea. The force, nicknamed Task Force Smith for its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Braford Smith, was lightly armed and ordered to delay the advance of KPA forces while the rest of the 24th Infantry Division moved into South Korea. On 4 July, the task force set up in the hills north of Osan and prepared to block advancing KPA forces. The next day, they spotted an incoming column of troops from the KPA 105th Armored Division. The ensuing battle was a rout, as the Task Force's obsolescent anti-tank weapons and understrength units were no match for the KPA's T-34 tanks and full-strength formations. Within a few hours, the first battle between American and North Korean forces was lost. Task Force Smith suffered 20 killed and 130 wounded in action. Dozens of US soldiers were captured, and when US forces retook the area, some of the prisoners were discovered to have been executed. According to recently declassified documents the troops were captured and taken to Pyongyang where they are thought to have been murdered about three months later. Approximately 30 percent of Task Force Smith became casualties in the Battle of Osan. The task force delayed the KPA advance for only seven hours.

The rest of the 24th Infantry Division arrived in South Korea, through the port of Pusan, followed by elements of the 1st Cavalry Division and 25th Infantry Division from the Eighth Army. As more soldiers arrived, the 24th Infantry Division was placed under the command of I Corps, Eighth Army. For the first month after the defeat of Task Force Smith, 24th Infantry Division soldiers were repeatedly defeated and pushed south by the KPA's superior numbers and equipment. 24th Infantry Division soldiers were pushed south at and around Chochiwon, Chonan, Pyongtaek, Hadong and Yechon. The division's 19th and 34th Regiments engaged the KPA 3rd and the 4th Infantry Divisions at the Kum River between 13 and 16 July and suffered 650 casualties of the 3,401 men committed there. On 19 and 20 July, the KPA divisions attacked the 24th Infantry Division's headquarters in Taejon and overran it in the Battle of Taejon. In the ensuing battle, 922 men of the 24th Infantry Division were killed and 228 were wounded of 3,933 committed there. Many soldiers were missing in action, including the division commander, Major General William F. Dean, who was captured and later won the Medal of Honor. On 1 August, the 24th Division's 19th Infantry Regiment engaged KPA forces and was again forced back, losing 90 killed. KPA officers at the battle claimed that some US soldiers were "too frightened to fight." However, the 24th Infantry Division managed to delay the advancing North Koreans for two days, long enough for significant numbers of UN forces to arrive in Pusan and begin establishing defenses further south. By the time the 24th Infantry Division retreated and reformed, the 1st Cavalry Division was in place behind it. The division suffered over 3,600 casualties in the 17 days it fought alone against the KPA 3rd and 4th Divisions. By 4 August, a perimeter was established around Pusan on the hills to the north of the city and the Naktong River to the west. The Eighth Army, including the 24th Infantry Division, was cornered by the surrounding KPA. UN forces were now concentrated, the 24th Division was at Naktong, with the 25th Infantry Division to the south, and the 1st Cavalry Division and ROK forces to the north. The 24th Division was also reinforced by the 2nd Infantry Division, newly arrived in the theater. The 24th was quickly sent to block the KPA 6th Infantry Division, which attempted to attack the UN forces from the southwest. On 8 August, the KPA 4th Infantry Division crossed the river and attempted to penetrate the perimeter. After 10 days of fighting, the 24th Infantry Division counterattacked and forced the North Koreans back across the river. By late August 1950, only 184 of the 34th Regiment's original 1,898 men remained. The regiment was dissolved and was replaced within the 24th by the 5th Regimental Combat Team. The 34th Regiment's survivors were added to the ranks of the 19th and 21st Regiments in an effort to bring them up to strength and the 5th Infantry remained with the 24th Division until the division withdrew from Korea. Elements of the 24th Infantry Division were moved into reserve on 23 August and replaced by the 2nd Infantry Division. A second, larger KPA attack occurred between 31 August and 19 September, but the 2nd, 24th, and 25th Infantry Divisions and the 1st Cavalry Division beat them back across the river again. At the same time, X Corps, with the 7th Infantry Division and 1st Marine Division, attacked Inchon, striking the KPA from the rear. The attack routed the surprised North Koreans, and starting on 16 September, the Eighth Army broke out of the Pusan Perimeter and then began a general counteroffensive northwards. The 24th Infantry Division advanced to Songju, then to Seoul. The Army advanced north along the west coast of Korea through October. By mid-October, the KPA had been almost completely destroyed, and US President Harry S. Truman ordered General MacArthur to advance into North Korea as quickly as possible to end the war. The 24th Infantry Division, with the ROK 1st Infantry Division, moved to the left flank of the advancing Eighth Army, and moved north along Korea's west coast. The 24th Division then moved north to Chongju. The Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) entered the war on the side of North Korea, making their first attacks in late October. On 1 November, the division's 21st Infantry captured Chonggodo, from the Yalu River and Korea's border with China. Units of the Eighth Army and X Corps spread out as they attempted to reach the Yalu and complete the conquest of North Korea as quickly as possible.

The UN forces renewed their offensive on 24 November before being stopped by the PVA Second Phase Offensive starting on 25 November. The 24th Infantry Division, on the west coast of the Korean peninsula, was hit by soldiers from the PVA 50th and 66th Field Armies. Amid heavy casualties, the Eighth Army retreated from North Korea to the Imjin River, south of the 38th Parallel, having been destabilised by the overwhelming PVA force. On 1 January 1951, 500,000 PVA troops attacked the Eighth Army's line at the Imjin River, forcing it back and allowing the Chinese to capture Seoul. The 24th Infantry Division was then reassigned to IX Corps to replace the 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions, which had been placed in reserve due to heavy losses. The Chinese eventually advanced too far for their supply lines to adequately support them, and their attack stalled.

General Matthew B. Ridgway ordered I, IX and X Corps to conduct a general counteroffensive on the Chinese (Operation Thunderbolt) quickly thereafter. The 24th Division, as part of IX Corps, advanced along the center of the peninsula to take Chipyong-ni. The corps ran into heavy resistance and fought for the region until February. Between February and March 1951, the 24th Infantry Division participated in Operation Killer, pushing PVA forces north of the Han River. This operation was followed by Operation Ripper, which recaptured Seoul in March. After this, Operation Rugged and Operation Dauntless in April saw the division advance north of the 38th Parallel and reestablish itself along previously established lines of defense, code named Kansas and Utah, respectively. In late April, the PVA launched a major counterattack. Though the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions were able to hold their ground against the PVA 9th Army Corps, the ROK 6th Infantry Division, to the east, was destroyed by the PVA 13th Army Corps, which penetrated the line and threatened to encircle the 24th and 25th Divisions. The 1st Marine Division and 27th British Commonwealth Brigade were able to drive the 13th Army Corps back while the 24th and 25th Divisions withdrew on 25 April. The UN forces' line was moved back to Seoul but managed to hold. In May-June the UN launched another counteroffensive erasing most of the PVA gains. In September, the UN forces launched another counteroffensive with the 24th Infantry Division at the center of the line, west of the Hwachon Reservoir. Flanked by the ROK 2nd and 6th Divisions, the 24th advanced past Kumwha, engaging the PVA 20th and 27th Armies. In November, the PVA attempted to counter this attack but were unsuccessful. It was at this point, after several successive counteroffensives that saw both sides fighting intensely over the same ground, that the two sides started serious peace negotiations. In January 1952, the 24th Infantry Division, which suffered over 10,000 casualties in 18 months of fighting, was redesignated as the Far East Theater reserve and pulled out of Korea. It returned to Japan to rebuild. The 34th Infantry Regiment was reconstituted, and the division returned to full strength during the next year, having been replaced in Korea by the 40th Infantry Division of the California Army National Guard. In July 1953, the division returned to Korea to restore order at Geoje prisoner of war camp. It arrived two weeks before the end of the war. During the war, 10 soldiers of the division were awarded the Medal of Honor. They were William F. Dean, George D. Libby, Melvin O. Handrich, Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr., Carl H. Dodd, Nelson V. Brittin, Ray E. Duke, Stanley T. Adams, Mack A. Jordan, and Woodrow W. Keeble. Keeble's medal was awarded on 3 March 2008, 26 years after his death. The 24th Infantry Division suffered 3,735 killed and 7,395 wounded during the Korean War. It remained on front-line duty after the armistice until October 1957, patrolling the 38th parallel in the event that combat would resume. The division then returned to Japan and remained there for a short time.

On 1 July 1958 the division was relocated to Augsburg, West Germany, replacing the 11th Airborne Division in a reflagging ceremony. The 24th was organized under the Pentomic Division TO&E, in which its combat forces were organized into five oversized battalions (called "battle groups") with no intermediate brigade or regimental headquarters. Although considered an infantry division, the 24th included two airborne battle groups for several months. The 1st Airborne Battle Group, 503rd Infantry left the division for reassignment to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg on 7 January 1959 and the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 187th Infantry departed on 8 February 1959, also for the 82nd. On 13 July, less than 2 weeks after the reorganization, King Faisal II of Iraq was assassinated in a coup orchestrated by pro-Egyptian officers. The Christian president of Lebanon, pressured by Muslims to join Egypt and Syria in the Gamal Abdel Nasser-led United Arab Republic, requested help from the Eisenhower administration during the 1958 Lebanon crisis. On the night of 15 July, U.S. Marines from the Sixth Fleet landed at Beirut and secured the Beirut airport. The following day, the 24th Division's 1st Airborne Battle Group, 187th Infantry deployed to Turkey and flew to Beirut on 19 July. They were joined by a medium tank battalion and support units, which assisted the Marines in forming a security cordon around the city. The force stayed until late October, providing security, making shows of force, including parachute jumps, and training the Lebanese Army. When factions of the Lebanese government worked out a political settlement, they left. The 24th Division's 1/187th lost one soldier killed by a sniper. The 24th came into international press focus in 1961 when its commanding general, Major General Edwin Walker, was removed from command for making "derogatory remarks of a serious nature about certain prominent Americans . which linked the persons and institutions with Communism and Communist influence". The inquiry was sparked by Walker's "Pro Blue" program and accusations Walker and his Information Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Roberts, distributed John Birch Society literature as troop information in the 24th. After the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, the Seventh Army began sending infantry units from the divisions in West Germany on a rotating basis to reinforce the Berlin Brigade. The 24th Division's units participated in this action. In January 1963, the 24th was reorganized as a mechanized infantry division under the Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD) TO&E, which replaced the pentomic battle groups with conventional-sized battalions organized in three combined arms brigades. The 169th Infantry Brigade, previously assigned to the 85th Infantry Division was redesignated the 1st Brigade, 24th Infantry Division. The 85th Division's 170th Infantry Brigade was redesignated the 2nd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division. The 190th Infantry Brigade, previously assigned to the 95th Infantry Division, became the division's 3rd Brigade. In 1965, the 24th Infantry Division received its distinctive unit insignia. The 24th remained in Germany, specifically Augsburg, Munich until September 1968, when it redeployed its 1st and 2nd Brigades to Fort Riley, Kansas, as part of Exercise Reforger while the division's 3rd Brigade was maintained in Germany. As the US Army withdrew from Vietnam and reduced its forces, the 24th Infantry Division and its three brigades were inactivated on 15 April 1970 at Fort Riley. In September 1975, the 24th Infantry Division was reactivated at Fort Stewart, Georgia, as part of the program to build a 16-division US Army force. Because the Regular Army could not field a full division at Fort Stewart, the 24th had the 48th Infantry Brigade of the Georgia Army National Guard assigned to it as a round-out unit in place of its 3rd Brigade. Targeted for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) role, the 24th Division was reorganized as a mechanized division in 1979. Under then-Major General John Galvin, the division was earmarked to join the U.S. Army's component of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, the XVIII Airborne Corps. Galvin wrote years later that the 'logistical problems nvolved in Middle East deploymentswere tougher than anything I had ever encountered in my time in seven different divisions.' (Galvin 2015, 267). 'We went immediately to barcoding, minicomputers, and every innovation we could find to improve supply procedures and keep hedivision moving.' (Galvin, Fighting the Cold War, 2015, 267-8). The 24th ID eventually reequipped with new M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, that formed the core of the U.S. Army's heavily armored mechanized force for the 15 years that followed.

When President George H.W. Bush decided to send troops to Saudi Arabia after the Invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the division, as part of the XVIII Airborne Corps, was one of the first formations deployed to the Middle East. It arrived in 10 large cargo ships of the Military Sealift Command. Advance elements of the 24th Division began arriving in Saudi Arabia on 17 August. Some controversy erupted when the division's round-out formation, the 48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), of the Georgia National Guard, was not sent overseas. Army leaders decided that the use of National Guard forces was unnecessary, as they felt the active-duty force had sufficient troops. The 48th Brigade was replaced once the 24th Division was in Saudi Arabia with the regular Army's 197th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized). The 24th Division was then assigned to XVIII Airborne Corps as the corps' heavy-armored division. In the months that followed, the 24th Division played an important part of Operation Desert Shield by providing heavy firepower with its large number of armored vehicles, including 216 M1A1 Abrams tanks. Elements of the division were still arriving in September, and in the logistical chaos that followed the rapid arrival of U.S. forces in the region, the soldiers of the 24th Division were housed in warehouses, airport hangars, and on the desert sand. The 24th remained in relatively stationary positions in defense of Saudi Arabia until additional American forces arrived for Operation Desert Storm. Aviation units of the division included 2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, and 1st Battalion, 24th Aviation Regiment. ::25px 24th Infantry Division (Mech) ::MG Barry McCaffrey . 1st Brigade . 4th BN, 64th Armor Regiment . 2nd BN, 7th Infantry Regiment (Mech) . 3rd BN, 7th Infantry Regiment (Mech) . 1st BN, 41st Field Artillery Regiment (155SP) . 2nd Brigade . 1st BN, 64th Armor Regiment . 3rd BN, 69th Armor Regiment . 3rd BN, 15th Infantry Regiment (Mech) . 3rd BN, 41st Field Artillery Regiment (155SP) . 197th Infantry Brigade (Mech) – Acting 3rd Brigade . 2nd BN, 69th Armor Regiment . 1st BN, 18th Infantry Regiment (Mech) . 2nd BN, 18th Infantry Regiment (Mech) . 4th BN, 41st Field Artillery Regiment(155SP)

Operation Desert Storm began with an extensive aerial bombing campaign on 17 January 1991. When the ground attack commenced on 24 February, the 24th Infantry Division formed the east flank of the corps with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. It blocked the Euphrates River valley to cut off Iraqi forces in Kuwait and little resistance. At this time, the 24th Division's ranks swelled to over 25,000 troops in 34 battalions, commanding 94 helicopters, 241 M1 Abrams tanks, 221 M2 Bradley Armored fighting vehicles, and over 7,800 other vehicles. The 24th Infantry Division performed exceptionally well in the theater it had been training in desert warfare for several years before the conflict. On 26 February, the 24th Division advanced through the valley and captured Iraqi airfields at the Battle for Jalibah Airfield and Tallil. At the airfields, it encountered entrenched resistance from the Iraqi 37th and 49th Infantry Divisions, as well as the 6th Nebuchadnezzar Mechanized Division of the Iraqi Republican Guard. Despite some of the most fierce resistance of the war, the 24th Infantry Division destroyed the Iraqi formations and captured the two airfields the next day. The 24th then moved east with VII Corps and engaged several Iraqi Republican Guard divisions. The 24th Infantry Division's Task Force Tusker attacked entrenched Iraqi forces on 26 February 1991 to seize battle position 143, effectively severing the Iraqi Euphrates River Valley line of communication to the Kuwait Theater of operation and destroying the major combat elements of the Iraqi Republican Guard Forces Command's elite 26th Commando Brigade. VUA Citation On 2 March 1991 the 24th Infantry Division would participate in a controversial engagement against the Republican Guard Hammurabi Division. It would take place well after the ceasefire. It is known as the Battle of Rumaila. Iraqi Republican Guard forces were engaged within the Hammar Marshes of the Tigris–Euphrates river system in Iraq while attempting to reach and cross the Lake Hammar causeway and escape northward toward Baghdad on Highway 8. Most of the five-mile-long Iraqi caravan of several hundred vehicles was first boxed into a kill zone and then in the course of the next five hours systematically devastated by the U.S. 24th Infantry Division, including its armored forces, by AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and nine artillery battalions. Nine American artillery battalions would fire thousands of rounds and rockets during this particular engagement. At least six Hammurabi Republican Guard battalions were destroyed. The 1st Bn., 24th Aviation Reg destroyed 32 Iraqi tanks, 49 BMPs, 37 trucks, 8 Frog Missile launchers, numerous other assorted artillery pieces, anti-aircraft guns, and support vehicles. This devastating aerial attack assured the destruction of the Republican Guard Forces Hammurabi Division and the remnants of several other infantry divisions. Four companies within 1st Battalion, 24th Aviation Regiment would be awarded Valorous Unit Award Citations. General Barry McCaffrey reported the elimination of 247 tanks and armored fighting vehicles, 43 artillery pieces, and over 400 trucks. Richard S. Lowry, ''The Gulf War Chronicles: A Military History of the First War With Iraq'' Approximately 3,000 Iraqi soldiers were captured. The battle was one-sided and Iraqi attempts to return fire proved to be almost completely ineffective, as during the engagement only one U.S. soldier was injured and two U.S. armored vehicles were lost (an M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle damaged by enemy fire and an M1 Abrams tank set on fire by a nearby explosion of an Iraqi truck). A hospital bus with medics and wounded Iraqi soldiers who had already surrendered to another American platoon was also destroyed by gunfire, which later troubled many U.S. soldiers. Surviving Iraqi soldiers were either taken prisoner, fled on foot or swam to safety. After the Iraqi forces were defeated, the U.N. mandated that the U.S. withdraw from Iraq, ending the Gulf War. By the end of combat operations, the 24th Infantry Division advanced 260 miles and destroyed 360 tanks and other armored personnel carriers, 300 artillery pieces, 1,200 trucks, 25 aircraft, 19 missiles, and over 500 pieces of engineer equipment. The division took over 5,000 Iraqi prisoners of war while suffering only eight killed, 36 wounded, and five non-combat casualties. After returning to the United States in spring 1991, the 24th was reorganized with two brigades at Fort Stewart and the 3rd Brigade reactivated at Fort Benning, Georgia, replacing the 197th Infantry Brigade. In fall 1994, Iraq again threatened the Kuwaiti border, and two brigades from the division returned to southwest Asia. As part of the Army's reduction to a ten-division force, the 24th Infantry Division was inactivated on 15 February 1996 and reflagged to become the 3rd Infantry Division. Its three brigades were reflagged as 3rd Infantry Division brigades.

In the wake of the Cold War, the US Army considered new options for the integration and organization of active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard units in training and deployment. Two active duty division headquarters were activated for training National Guard units those of the 7th Infantry Division and the 24th Infantry Division. The subordinate brigades of the divisions did not activate, so they could not be deployed as combat divisions. Instead, the headquarters units focused on full-time training. On 5 June 1999 the 24th Infantry Division was reactivated, this time at Fort Riley, Kansas. From 1999 to 2006, the 24th Infantry Division consisted of a headquarters and three separate National Guard brigades the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team at Clinton, North Carolina, the 218th Heavy Brigade Combat Team at Columbia, South Carolina, and the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Macon, Georgia. The division headquarters was responsible for the Guard brigades should they be called to active duty in wartime. This never occurred, as each brigade deployed individually. The division's final operations included preparing Fort Riley for the return of the 1st Infantry Division, which was stationed in Germany. To expand upon the concept of Reserve component and National Guard components, the First Army activated Division East and Division West, two commands responsible for reserve units' readiness and mobilization exercises. Division East activated at Fort Riley. This transformation was part of an overall restructuring of the US Army to streamline the organizations overseeing training. Division East took control of reserve units in states east of the Mississippi River, eliminating the need for the 24th Infantry Division headquarters. As such, the 24th Infantry Division was again inactivated on 1 August 2006 at Fort Riley.

Though it was inactivated, the division was initially identified as the third highest priority inactive division in the United States Army Center of Military History's lineage scheme due to its numerous accolades and long history. All of the division's flags and heraldic items were moved to the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia following its inactivation. Should the U.S. Army decide to activate more divisions in the future following the activation of the 7th Infantry Division in 2012, the center will most likely suggest the first new division be the 9th Infantry Division, the second be the 24th Infantry Division, the third be the 5th Infantry Division, and the fourth be the 2d Armored Division.

The 24th Infantry Division was awarded five campaign streamers and one unit decoration in World War II, eight campaign streamers and three unit decorations in the Korean War, two campaign streamers for the Gulf War, and one unit award in peacetime, for a total of fifteen campaign streamers and five unit decorations in its operational history.

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Infantry regiment of the United States Army, Connecticut National Guard. They trace their ancestry back to when militia units in the Connecticut colony organized for drill in 1672, but their official organization as the 1st Connecticut occurred on 11 October 1739. Wikipedia

Battalion within the United States Army. Active duty unit. Wikipedia

Unit of the United States Army. The 1st Infantry has fought in seven wars from the Civil War to the Global War on Terrorism and has been awarded 19 Presidential Unit Citations, five Valorous Unit Awards, a Joint Meritorious Unit Award, two citations in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army, Nine Republic of Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry, the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal Third Class, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Belgian Fourragere. Wikipedia

Regiment of the United States Army that draws its lineage from a line of post American Revolutionary War units and is credited with thirty-nine campaign streamers. Assigned as support to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and to furnish the enlisted garrison for the academy and the Stewart Army Subpost. Wikipedia

United States Army regiment that has its antecedents in the early 19th century in the formation of the United States Regiment of Dragoons. To this day, the unit's special designation is "First Regiment of Dragoons". Wikipedia

Unit of the United States Army. One of the original "Buffalo Soldier" regiments in the post–Civil War Regular Army. Wikipedia

Infantry regiment in the United States Army that has served for more than two hundred years. Constituted on 12 April 1808 as the 6th Infantry and consolidated with 4 other regiments in 1815 to form the present unit. Wikipedia

Airborne infantry regiment of the United States Army. Independent regiment in the Pacific War during World War II at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in Okinawa, Japan and in Germany. Wikipedia

Infantry regiment of the Canadian Army. Known colloquially in English as the Van Doos (representing an anglicized pronunciation of the French number twenty-two, vingt-deux) or in French as le Vingt-deuxième, the mostly francophone regiment comprises three Regular Force battalions, two Primary Reserve battalions, and a band, making it the largest regiment in the Canadian Army. Wikipedia

Unit of the Army National Guard and is the oldest division-sized unit in the Department of Defense. Some of the units of the division can trace their lineage to Benjamin Franklin's battalion, The Pennsylvania Associators (1747–1777). Wikipedia

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