Friday, April 12, 2013

April - a Month Laden With History...

During the month of April, two events occurred which altered the course of history:
The first took place on this date, the 12th of April, in 1944, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died suddenly at Warm Springs, Georgia. The man who held the most powerful position in the Western world had been in office throughout the Great Depression and into much of the Second World War, and, tragically, did not live long enough to be witness to the end of the greatest military conflagration in history.
The second event occurred on April 18, 1942, when the famed Doolittle Raid took place.
A PHD recipient from MIT, in aviation engineering, James Doolittle, was the creator of an unprecedented military operation, and that was a flight of B-25 bombers which took  off from an aircraft carrier(the USS Hornet), having  steamed  to within 700 miles of Tokyo. These large bombers raided Tokyo and three other major cities on the Japanese mainland, which utterly stunned the Japanese military, let alone the civilians, who never dreamed of  being attacked in any form, especially so soon after their attack on Pearl Harbor. This operation was sanctioned by Roosevelt, and  so thoroughly shocked the top military in  Japan, that their reaction was to immediately plan on extending their ring of defense further out into the Pacific. Their primary choice was Midway island, an American territory. Unknown to the Japanese, their naval code had been broken into by the Americans. The result, in brief, was that the Americans were in wait for the Japanese fleet, and permanently  destroyed the offensive  power of the Japanese navy - from that point, the Japanese Empire could wage only defensive war, which ended in its overwhelming defeat in 1945.
And so, April gives us two defining events, which were factors  in the formation of the remainder of the 20th century.                                   



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