Tomoyuki Yamashita – the Tiger of Malaya

H/T Beyond The Band Of Brothers.

  The Japanese general who inspired the legal principle of command responsibility.

        Tomoyuki Yamashita (1885-1946) was one of the most brilliant Japanese generals of World War II. During the First World War he fought against Imperial German forces in their Chinese colonial territories. Between the world wars he was occupied with reforming the Japanese Army, but getting involved in Army faction politics pitted him against fellow officer and later Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō.  

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Tomoyuki Yamashita

In February 1926 a group of Japanese officers unsuccessfully tried to topple the government. Once the coup was defeated, Yamashita pleaded for leniency toward the rebels, which earned him the Emperor’s disfavor and he was sidelined and sent to Korea. While there, he became interested in Zen Buddhism and acquired a more mellow personality along with the new-found discipline.

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Japanese bicycle troops in the jungle, 1942

Yamashita’s big chance came with World War II. On December 8, 1941, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he led the Japanese invasion of the British-controlled Malayan Peninsula. His army of 30,000 was outnumbered by the defenders 1 to 3. Yamashita knew that attrition would spell doom for the invasion and conducted a lightning-fast advance, capturing Malaya in less than 2 months. He compensated for his smaller force by making good use of air force and light and medium tanks. The British had considered the terrain unsuitable for armor and didn’t have many vehicles in the area. He achieved additional mobility by having his infantry troops confiscate bicycles from locals, allowing for faster movement and being able to carry heavier loads even on rough terrain.

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Yamashita (sitting) conferring with his officers in the jungle during the Malayan Campaign

The crowning moment of the invasion was the capture of the island city of Singapore in a week’s fight in February 1942. It’s sometimes claimed that Singapore’s heavy defensive guns were only designed to repel a naval attack and couldn’t turn around to target ground assault from inland. This is not actually true, but the guns were hindered by being mainly supplied with armor piercing ammunition against ships and not having enough high explosive shells.

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One of Singapore’s 15-inch coastal defense guns

Thanks to his speed, aggression, willingness to bluff and British mistakes in anticipating his moves, Yamashita’s force of 30,000 minus casualties captured 80,000 British, Indian and Australian defenders in the city and another 50,000 during the advance down the peninsula. The loss of the port city, also called the “Gibraltar of the East,” was the greatest mass surrender, and, in Churchill’s words, the “worst disaster” in British military history.

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Surrender talks: Yamashita, seated left of center, demanding unconditional surrender from General Percival, sitting with his back to the camera with a clenched hand to his mouth

Half a year after his victory, Yamashita was sidelined again and sent to Japanese-occupied China. This might have been the deed of his old rival Tōjō, the Prime Minister by that time, who used Yamashita’s gaffe of publicly, and incorrectly, calling conquered Singaporeans Japanese citizens as an excuse.

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A group of British soldiers led by Lieutenant General Percival (extreme right) carrying the Union Jack and white flag of surrender while being accompanied by a Japanese officer on their way to surrender

Yamashita was put back into action again in September 1944, by when Tōjō was no longer Prime Minister, but the tide of war had turned. He was charged with defending the Philippines. When his position in the capital city of Manila became untenable, he withdrew his troops from there and declared the place an open city to protect the inhabitants. Almost immediately, Rear Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi reoccupied the city with his own troops, turning it into a deadly battlefield when American forces arrived. Collateral damage and atrocities by Iwabuchi’s troops claimed the lives of over 100,000 civilians.

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U.S. troops in Manila during the battle for the city

Yamashita continued to delay U.S. troops until several weeks after the atomic bombs were dropped on Tokyo. He eventually surrendered on September 2, 1945 to U.S. General Jonathan Wainwright and British General Arthur Percival, the defender of Singapore who had surrendered to him with 80,000 of his men three and a half years earlier.

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General Yamashita and his staff surrendering

Yamashita was put on trial for war crimes committed by his troops. He argued that in the chaos of battle and with the resulting breakdown of communications, he didn’t know about the atrocities and had no control over the perpetrating troops, many of whom were, in fact, not even his but Iwabuchi’s. Based on previous war crimes perpetrated by troops under his command in Malaya, this was quite likely true. Back in 1942 he had forbidden looting, rape, arson and executed soldiers if they were caught violating his rules.

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Yamashita being removed from the courtroom immediately after delivering the verdict

Nevertheless, Yamashita was found guilty, sentenced to death and executed. The trial was criticized at the time by several voices, including two U.S. Supreme Court Justices. The presiding judges are said to have run the trial unprofessionally, admitting hearsay evidence and refusing to admit evidence that would have supported Yamashita’s defense. It has also been suggested that Yamashita was sentenced to death as a scapegoat for the Manila Massacre that he wasn’t really responsible for as revenge for the humiliation he inflicted on the British in Singapore. Whatever the truth may be, the case established the Yamashita standard, today referred to as command responsibility, which makes leaders legally responsible for the actions of their subordinates.

You can learn more about the commanders who shaped the outcome of the war on our World War II tours to Western Europe, the Eastern Front and the Pacific Theater.

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Bored USMC Pilots Used Their Planes to Make Ice Cream in WWII

H/T War History OnLine.

This story also proves the old adage of “Where there is a will there is a way.”

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a saying we’ve all heard. The American author Henry Petroski is quoted as saying: “Luxury, not necessity, is the mother of invention.”

During WWII, the creativity of some soldiers proved that both could be true.

Many of us know about the ingenuity of men in wartime. In WWII, this creativity was especially on display, since troops might have to wait weeks for parts to be flown in or sailed across the ocean.

At other times, new obstacles faced on the battlefield forced soldiers to come up with quick solutions. Sometimes, red tape prevented the advancement of an idea.

Perhaps the most famous spur of the moment idea to come out of the US armed forces in WWII was the “Rhino” tank attachment.

Taking pieces of German beach obstacles, American soldiers fastened large pieces of steel to the front of their tanks. This helped them to break through the tough hedgerows of Normandy.

Sherman “Rhino” in Normandy 1944.

Though many credit a sergeant in the 2nd Armored Division with the invention, it’s likely that he was given the inspiration by another soldier. In any event, the idea worked and caught on.

One of the most deadly enemies on the Eastern Front was the cold. Fighting often took place at sub-zero temperatures. The cold caused tank engines to seize up, cannon breeches to freeze solid, and the firing mechanisms on soldiers’ rifles and machine guns to freeze.

A knocked-out M5 Stuart light tank, fitted with a Culin-style “cutter” (August 1944, Ahuillé, France)

In recent years, historians have discovered why this happened less to the Soviets than it did to those on the Axis side. Many Soviet units began putting small amounts of gasoline in the oil they used to clean and lubricate their weapons.

Gasoline freezes at a much lower temperature, and it seems that this helped the soldiers of the Red Army stay in the fight longer, even as it got colder.

60th Infantry soldiers alongside of a Sherman “Rhino” tank.

Some inventions kept men alive, but there were other innovations which were less need-driven. For example, one US Marine squadron commander who was stationed on a tropical island in the Pacific decided that his men needed a little morale boost, so he set about making his own ice cream.

J. Hunter Reinburg, who retired as a colonel after flying in the Korean War and shooting down seven Japanese planes in WWII, commanded a unit of Corsairs in the Pacific towards the end of the war.

Many of his young pilots were frustrated with their duties which involved strafing and bombing enemy positions on assorted Japanese-held islands.

A restored F4U-4 Corsair in Korean War-era U.S. Marine Corps markings. Photo: Gerry Metzler – CC BY-SA 3.0

 

The WWII veteran, Jonathan Mendes, flew dive-bombers for the Marine Corps in World War II, and jet fighter attack planes in Korea.

 

U.S. Air Force North American F-86 Sabre fighters from the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing Checkertails are readied for combat during the Korean War at Suwon Air Base, South Korea.

 

The gun camera of a United States Navy F9F Panther fighter from the aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CV-32) took this photo of a Chinese MiG-15 as the Panther’s pilot shot it down over North Korea near the Yalu River during the Korean War.

They wanted to dogfight their Japanese rivals, but at the end of the war, Japan was running low on both planes and skilled pilots. Those resources which the Japanese did have were (generally) being conserved for the coming invasion of Japan by America, as well as kamikaze raids.

The young Marines in Reinburg’s squadron wanted to go home as aces, but it seemed they weren’t going to get their chance.

Remembering old chemistry and home economics classes back in the good ol’ USA, Reinburg came up with an idea: he would make ice cream for his men.

Ice cream was a “gettable” commodity for Americans during the war, but it took a lot of paperwork, some time, and a ready ice-box. Far away across the Pacific, Reinburg didn’t have any of those things. Plus the odds were that a supply sergeant in a depot somewhere would eat it anyway.

At “Chow”- corn-on-cob, steak, succotash, cake, ice cream, and “jamoke” (coffee), WWII. U.S. Navy Photograph. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Reinburg had his maintenance crew take off the ends of an old belly-mounted drop tank. He ran wire through both ends and put an access panel on the side.

Into this panel, Reinburg put a large water-proof container that normally held .50 caliber machine gun bullets. He put canned milk and cocoa powder into the container.

The plan was to climb up into the freezing sky above 25,000 feet and come back down with five gallons of chocolate ice cream.

Reinburg had to log every flight and describe its purpose. The purpose of this one was described as an “oxygen system test.”

Commander Joseph C. Clifton eating ice-cream.

In retrospect, he should have flown higher to test his oxygen system because, when he returned, the mixture in his belly tank was more like thick chocolate milk than ice cream. But the Marines devoured it anyway!

Determined to get his recipe right, Reinburg logged his next flight as “supercharger test flight.” He flew with different equipment into his new “kitchen.” This time, he mounted two ammunition cans on the underside of a removable panel on both wings.

One of the problems with the first flight had been that the belly tank was too close to the engine, preventing his mixture from freezing. This time he flew a little higher. But when he came back down, the ice cream was not as smooth as he would have liked. Once again, the Marines were happy to eat it though.

B-29 Superfortress during Korean War.

The next time Reinburg went up, his maintenance guys added two small propellers to the ammo cans. Problem solved. Like Goldilocks on her third bowl of porridge, this time it was “Just right.”

Reinburg’s missions soon had a code-name: “Operation Freeze Flights.” But some things are too good to be kept secret, and soon the base commander called up one of Reinburg’s men and laid into him.

“Listen, goddammit, you guys aren’t fooling me. I’ve got spies. You tell [Reinburg] I’m coming over there tomorrow and getting my ration!”

Reinburg wasn’t the only pilot to make ice cream during the war. It’s recorded that a number of B-17 and P-47 crews in various theaters also made their own recipes.

Top Lawmakers Urge Pompeo to Ensure Safety of Diplomats in Venezuela

H/T The Washington Free Beacon.

It is time to get all of our diplomats out of Venezuela.

Engel, McCaul: Maduro retains control over Venezuela’s security forces who could harm Americans who remain there

Berkeley Approves 25-Cent Fee On Disposable Cups

H/T Godfather Politics.

It will not be long before restaurants in the Peoples Republic of Berkely start closing as people will not be able to afford eating out due to all of the taxes.

A California city approves a plan to curb food-related waste that includes a 25-cent fee per disposable cup as part of a city ordinance…

“The goal is to transition Berkeley from throwaway to reusable food ware, to incentivize people to bring their own cup,” Hahn said to the Associated Press.

WACH:

Patrons of restaurants and coffee shops in Berkeley, California, who don’t bring a reusable cup for their beverage will have to pay a 25-cent fee for a disposable cup as part of an ordinance approved by city officials to reduce restaurant waste.

Berkeley’s City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the fee on single-use cups that will take effect January 2020.

“The goal is to transition Berkeley from throwaway to reusable food ware, to incentivize people to bring their own cup,” said Councilwoman Sophie Hahn, who co-authored the ordinance with Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

The ordinance, called Disposable-Free Dining, also requires restaurants to provide takeout containers that are compostable by mid-2020 and to provide only reusable plates and utensils for those eating in. It also says other disposable items, like lids and stirrers, can only be offered when requested.

Restaurants would keep all proceeds, and it would be up to them to decide what to do with the extra money. The funds, for example, could be used to replace plastic cutlery for more environmentally friendly silverware, she added.

The single-use cup fee is the latest effort in the socially forward city to reduce waste. Bans on plastic bags received support in the city of 120,000 long before California became the first state to impose a ban in 2014. The city has also imposed a ban on plastic straws.

Berkeley pioneered recycling in the 1970s and banned Styrofoam in the 1980s. But that alone is no longer enough, Hahn said. More

“The ordinance called Disposable-Free Dining…”Better known as “Staying at home to eat because it’s too expensive to eat out because we’ve taxed everything twice” ordinance.

All I can say is I’m glad I don’t live there. Let them tax themselves to prosperity. The implosion will be an epic horror show of biblical proportions.

Five News Publications Deemed ‘Trustworthy’ by NewsGuard that Posted Fake News

H/T Breitbart.

Anything NewsGuard has to say is fake news also.

Microsoft partner and browser plug-in provider NewsGuard lists news publications as credible even though they have had multiple corrections, misleading, and even false stories, which calls into question NewsGuard’s ability to identify reputable news sources.

Here are five news organizations listed as safe news sources by NewsGuard.

BuzzFeed
Buzzfeed released a bombshell report last week, citing two unidentified law enforcement officials, which alleged that President Trump directed then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congres and that he regularly told the president and his family about the Trump Tower project in Moscow, Russia.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller came out in a rare statement and said that the BuzzFeed report was “not accurate.”

BuzzFeed’s false report caused such a stir that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said last week that he would “absolutely” investigate the report.

NewsGuard suggested that BuzzFeed “maintains basic standards of accuracy and accountability,” although, it remains to be seen what repercussions will come to those staffers and the editors who released the erroneous Mueller report last week.

The NewsGuard rating for Buzzfeed, which gives it a green checkmark in every category, can be seen below:

 

CNN 

NewsGuard states that CNN serves as a reputable news organization even though in June 2017 three CNN employees resigned after CNN was forced to retract a hit piece on President Donald Trump and his associates.

The false report alleged that the Senate Intelligence Committee and Treasury Department were probing a Russian investment fund with ties to senior Trump allies such as Anthony Scaramucci, using a single anonymous source.

“That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci,” CNN wrote in their retraction.

The NewsGuard rating for CNN, which gives it a green checkmark in every category, can be seen below:

New York Times

In January, the New York Times was forced to issue a correction after they falsely reported that Paul Manafort passed along polling information to a Kremlin-connected businessman.

“A previous version of this article misidentified the people to whom Paul Manafort wanted a Russian associate to send polling data,” the correction reads at the bottom of the article.

The NewsGuard rating for New York Times, which gives it a green checkmark in every category, can be seen below:

NPR

NewsGuard deems NPR a reputable source of news despite that a false report by the news organization in November 2018 which claimed that Donald Trump Jr. had perjured himself before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The NewsGuard rating for NPR, which gives it a green checkmark in every category, can be seen below:

Reuters

In NewsGuard’s credibility section, the fake news app suggests that Reuters does not write deceptive headlines even though they sparked controversy in the cryptocurrency world in January 2018.

Reuters published a report with the headline, “South Korea plans to ban cryptocurrency trading, rattles market.”

However, an update to the story conceded that lawmakers have not even drafted a bill, and if they were to draft legislation, “could take months or even years.”

The NewsGuard rating for Reuters, which gives it a green checkmark in every category, can be seen below:

Barbra Streisand Wonders How Many Have To Die Before Gun Control

H/T Bearing Arms.

Wasn’t Babs was going to go to Canada?

I won’t say entertainers shouldn’t have opinions on politics. After all, they have the same rights as anyone else.

Unfortunately for everyone, they feel the need to share them, and because of who they are, they get a bigger podium to speak from. They have people who want to know about what they’re doing, and many of them will put up with listening to what they think to know the latest about their favorite stars.

Too bad for everyone that most of them are idiots.

Take the legendary singer and actress Barbra Streisand.

Oh, I know, most Bearing Arms readers aren’t fans, but a lot of people are. Even many who don’t count themselves as fans respect her body of work.

So when she posts a tweet like this, of course, people see it.

Barbra Streisand

@BarbraStreisand

To be clear, no one is trying to amend let alone revoke the Second Amendment. How many innocent people, especially children, have to die before it’s OK to have sensible legislation?https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/us/politics/supreme-court-guns-nyc-license.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share 

The Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear a challenge to a New York City gun ordinance.

Supreme Court Will Hear Second Amendment Case

The case concerns an ordinance in New York that prohibits people licensed to have guns in their homes to transport their guns outside the city.

nytimes.com

501 people are talking about this

First, as Breitbart‘s AWR Hawkins notes, Babs failed to tell us just what form “sensible gun control” would take.

In fact, California, where Streisand lives, has every gun control law Democrats are pushing on the federal level and then some.

In addition to red flag laws and universal background checks, California has gun registration requirements, a ten-day waiting period for gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a one-gun-per-month limit on handgun purchases, a minimum firearm purchase age of 21, a ban on campus carry, a “good cause” restriction for concealed carry permit issuance, and ammunition purchase controls. The ammunition controls limit law-abiding Californians to buying ammunition from state-approved vendors–all of whom are in-state sellers. It also adds a fee to any ammunition bought online, also requiring that ammunition to be shipped to a state-approved vendor for pickup.

He’s right, of course.

Further, despite Streisand’s claims that “no one is trying to amend, let alone revoke the Second Amendment,” there are some who want to do just that. I’d hardly call a former Supreme Court Justice a no one. Furthermore, a survey found one in three Democrats supported such a move. While that may not be a majority of the Democratic Party, it’s a significant portion of them.

To say “no one” is a horrible misstep at best.

Frankly, I don’t want to be quite that charitable.

Additionally, while Streisand wants to go on about how many people have to die before we pass gun control, I feel obligated to point out how many more times per year a life is saved because of a firearm.  Even the CDC found that around 2.4 million people defend themselves with a gun each year. That’s a massive number, far more than the number murdered by gun-wielding criminals who have already bypassed at least some gun laws in the first place. After all, we know that criminals aren’t getting their guns through legal means.

What more could gun control do?

The answer is that it can continue doing what it’s done so far, which is nothing but make life difficult for the good guys.

My question to Streisand is this: How many people will need to die because they couldn’t defend their lives before you and yours give up the idea that you can make the world safer by disarming the good guys?

Out With the Old: Cycling Your EDC Ammo (VIDEO)

H/T Bearing Arms.

This is some good advice as your life and the lives of your family depend on your gun being able to go bang.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Guns.com.

The shelf life on ammunition can last a life time provided that is kept in good packaging and in stored in a dry area. Our carry ammo on the other hand is constantly exposed to moisture and cycled through firearms. This can cause rounds to be unreliable or dangerous to the user.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

A few times a year I like to take all my rounds out of my magazines and inspect them. Rounds that have discoloration and corrosion may not work at all due to being exposed to moisture from the air and our bodies. You should also keep a close eye on the dimensions of your rounds. Are some rounds too long or too short compared to a new round out of the box? This can happen when the same rounds are cycled in and out of the chamber when we load and unload the gun. The projectile can be pushed in or pulled back too far out of the casing making pressures that are out of spec and dangerous to shoot.

WHAT TO DO WITH OLD AMMO

My favorite way to get rid of older carry ammo is to shoot it! Although I would advise only shoot it if the round looks to be the correct factory dimensions. Cycling out your carry ammo provides a great opportunity to train with the rounds you would actually use in a defensive situation. When you replenish with the new stuff it would also be a good idea to write down the date to keep a good timeline.