I have been a subscriber to World War II magazine since its inception. I enjoyed the September/October issue, but do have a complaint. I want to know what happened to the individuals in your articles after the war.
In the article about the spy Richard Sorge, what happened to Ambassador Ott and Hotsumi Ozaki? What happened to Ed Dyess after Bataan? In “The Other Dunkirk,” what happened to Marshall-Cornwall? Telling the reader the fate of the characters would make the article more interesting and real.
We agree, and will strive to complete the tales when we can. Ambassador Ott was dismissed, and sat out the war in China; Ozaki was executed with Sorge. Dyess was captured when Bataan fell, but escaped from Davao Penal Colony in the largest prison break in the Pacific Theater. Marshall-Cornwall took over the Western Command in 1941, but was dismissed a year later for going outside proper channels while securing the safety of the Liverpool docks.
The Werewolves Myth
I read with some interest your article entitled “What if…Hitler Had Not Killed Himself?” (September/October) wherein you discuss the possibility that the Werewolves insurgency movement would have been effective (at least for a time), comparing it with the Baathist insurgency program in Iraq.
Respectfully, I think the analogy is seriously flawed, and in reality, other than occasional small-scale disruptions, the existence of these “insurgents” was a non-event for the occupation forces. While I suppose one could argue that it was because neither Hitler, Himmler or any of the other Nazi elite were around to spur it on, I think there’s a very different reason. Germans are culturally and psychologically different from Iraqis, or indeed any of the tribal cultures of the Middle East or Eastern Europe. One of the fundamental reasons Hitler was able to rise to power is because the German people respected and obeyed authorities in power. In May 1945, the German populace was weary of war, and once the Allies overran Germany, the Germans did what they had done for the Nazi regime: followed orders and obeyed the prevailing authority.
Thomas J. Salerno
As the son of a WASP, I was particularly pleased and gratified to see the pictures by Lillian Yonally in the September/October issue, especially by the fact that they are in color. All of the ladies, including my late mother, who served in this organization had the same attitude: it was a privilege to have served their country and they are very proud of their record. Their receipt of the Congressional Gold Medal in March of last year was well deserved. Their story is only now becoming increasingly publicized, even as they, like all World War II veterans, are passing away.
Your article on Alistair Urquhart was terrific, and a great tribute to a very brave man. I would like to know how it was possible that he was denied an army pension! I’m sure many other readers are also shocked by this egregious injustice, and would also appreciate an explanation.
During the interview, Urquhart said he was told he didn’t have any paperwork to prove his claims of being a POW for over three years, though he argued he had no way to keep records throughout his imprisonment. After two or three tries, he got no further and gave up.
Heroes of Bataan
I have never had a clear picture of the Battle Of The Points until your excel lent 3-D map of Bataan and the article by historian John D. Lukacs (“Triumph On Bataan,” September /October). He’s right that it was perhaps the one bright spot in an unhappy series of retreats, defeats, and ultimate surrender. It’s remarkable that a rounded-up bunch of navy sailors, army pilots, bomb-loaders, and mechanics learned to use a rifle and grenades without training and, in company with the fabulous Philippine Scouts, adapted to jungle warfare “on the job,” and wiped out 2,000 crack Japanese troops while suffering around 100 casualties by comparison.
Lukacs is probably correct in saying that had the Japanese been able to break our lines from behind, the end would have come much sooner. And the much un publicized arms cache on Bataan before the war is another example of the enlightened preparations Japan took in advance of December 7th, 1941.
I read the article “Triumph on Bataan” with fascination, and found the heroism and adaptability of Captain Dyess and his comrades very inspiring. I retired from active duty at Dyess Air Force base in Abilene, Texas, just southwest of his home town of Albany. His legacy continues in the B-1 bombers and C-130 air lifters, which deploy from Dyess AFB to fight today’s wars. A full-sized model of his P-40 is on display at the main gate.
The Sepember/October issue’s reviews section has an excellent picture of a completed Spitfire Mk.IXC model. I wonder if anyone realizes that the little round flag next to the cockpit is not a marking for a shot down enemy plane, but rather it is the flag of the foreign pilot flying for the Royal Air Force. In this case the pilot came from Czechoslovakia.
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.