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A War Gets a Name

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know and some you may not!

  • Final Repairs: Saturday, September 23, 1944 – The last of the ships damaged in the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor returns to fight in the Pacific Theater. The USS West Virginia suffer from a total of 7 torpedo hits during the attack in 1941 and was refloated starting in May 1942. Upon reaching repair docks in Washington, at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, it was decided to modernize the ship to fit in line with current US Navy ship standards on equipment. During initial repairs to float the ship to return to the mainland US, the bodies of up to 70 men who were trapped in the ship when she sunk. Three are thought to have survived for as long as 16 days in air pockets while the ship sat damaged after the attack. The West Virginia would be overhauled with many aspects of the ship making her unrecognizable from before. Upon final completion of repairs she would be a part of operations in the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa to name a few. In 1959 she was sold and broken up for scrap in 1961.
  • The Second World War: Wednesday, September 19, 1945 – President Truman and the Secretaries of War and the Navy would approve of the designation for the recently ended war that covered the globe to be called World War II. The letter and following General Order designated that the war the war that the USA had been engaged in since 8 December 1941 be officially called World War II in all publications and orders.
  • Hürtgen Forest: Tuesday, September 19, 1944 – The Battle of Hürtgen Forest. During WW2 this battle would be the longest battle fought on German soil and the longest single battle that the US Army has ever fought. US goals in the heavily forested and mountainous terrain were to tie down German troops from being able to reinforce other German troops to the north, and a possible breakthrough to flank other German forces. The German commander, field marshal Model intended to bring the Allied thrust into the area to a standstill. Over the next several months the German defenders would utilize the terrain and the fortifications known as the Siegfried Line to their advantage. Fighting would continue till 16 December 1944, with the Germans launching what would become the Battle of the Bulge causing its final ending. As a result of the relentless German defense, the battle was a defeat for the US Army. In total 250,000 Soldiers, from both sides, would be killed, wounded or captured.

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