By Winston Groom
This account covers the Allies' relentless defeats because the Axis overran so much of Europe, North Africa, and the a ways East. yet midyear the tide started to flip. the USA eventually went at the offensive within the Pacific, and within the west the British defeated Rommel's panzer divisions at El Alamein whereas the U.S. military started to push the Germans out of North Africa. through the year's finish, the odor of victory used to be within the air. 1942, informed with Groom's finished storyteller's eye, permits us into the admirals' technique rooms, onto the conflict fronts, and into the guts of a country at war.
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Extra resources for 1942: The Year That Tried Men's Souls
It might be varied whilst a battleship was once out at the open ocean, capable of succeed in speeds imminent 40 miles consistent with hour, twisting and turning and firing all her monstrous guns at a puny aircraft attempting to drop a bomb from excessive altitude on a boat wheeling round quicker than many a speedboat. nonetheless, Phillips was once given pause. the placement was once now not transparent as to what he may perhaps run into miles north, within sight of the japanese airfields in Indochina. on the final minute he asked of the British air commander in Malaya a few air hide yet was once became down as the eastern had already knocked out the airfields in northern Malaya and lots of of the planes at Singapore didn't have the variety to arrive north Malaya. “Well,” acknowledged Tom Thumb, “we needs to get on with it. ”3 Phillips evidently knew he was once crusing into risk, yet his experience used to be that it'll were too nice a humiliation for his robust warships, approximately which a lot ballyhoo were brandished, to retire within the face of the enemy, and he additionally knew it might be suicide to only allow them to sit down within the harbor, watching for the japanese planes. His plan was once to race north as quick as attainable to ambush the unloading jap transports at the shores yet to retire if his strength was once noticed by way of reconnaissance planes, because the part of shock might were misplaced and the japanese transports could have placed to sea. by means of December nine (Far East time), the day after Pearl Harbor, every thing going good. Heavy rainstorms shrouded Phillips’s fleet and allowed it to head undetected till the ships have been inside lower than an afternoon of the japanese touchdown aspect at Kota Bora. Then the 1st piece of good fortune ran out; a lookout at the Prince of Wales noticed a jap reconnaissance aircraft, which had evidently additionally noticed them. Phillips reluctantly took place and headed he knew now not the place. Then got here a file of eastern landings farther south, now not faraway from his place. They became out to be fake, yet Phillips now encountered his moment piece of undesirable luck—a eastern submarine had noticed them additionally. four ahead of sunrise on December 10 jap bombers and torpedo planes—eighty-eight of them in all—were scrambled from fields in Indochina and despatched south trying to find the British warships. they discovered not anything and have been flying dispiritedly domestic while, at 11 A. M. , one of many pilots seemed via a gap within the clouds and observed the large ships, fifty miles from the Malay coast. the japanese air fleet instantly attacked. Repulse suffered an instantaneous hit presently from a high-level bomber. Prince of Wales obtained torpedoes, which jammed her rudder and decreased her velocity to 15 knots, making her effortless prey. for 2 extra hours the japanese tormented the helpless behemoths; Phillips’s 3rd and ultimate piece of success had run out. Aboard the Repulse was once a thirty-four-year-old American CBS radio correspondent named Cecil Brown, who stored a diary of the conflict. What he observed first was once 9 jap twin-engine bombers strung out in a line above the send at 10,000 ft.