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Of War And Peace

Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” - Maria Montessori

The grim fact is that we prepare for war like precocious giants, and for peace like retarded pygmies.” - Lester B. Pearson

There never was a good war nor a bad peace.” - Benjamin Franklin

During World War II, my Dad used to teach navigation to rookie pilots and navigators. I have three fascinating "charts" which I presume somehow came through him. They are folded up, but are really big when unfolded (like a big wall chart). They are probably something like 3 feet by 5 feet.

They were obviously weekly publications, since they are identified as:

1) Monday February 8, 1943, Week of January 29 to February 5th, Vol. 1 No. 42

2) Monday March 1,1943. Week of Feb 19 to Feb 26, 181st week of the war, 63rd week of U.S. participation, Vol. 1, No.45

3) Monday April 19th, 1943, Week of April 9th to April 16th, 188th Week of the war, 70th week of U.S. particpation, Vol. 1 No. 52

Now, another intriguing thing is that they all have the following designation on them:

"Prepared and distributed by ARMY ORIENTATION COURSE Special Services Division, Services of Supply, Rm. 2E580 Pentagon Bldg Washington D.C."

....which causes me to wonder if he taught American pilots and navigators too. If so, I wasn't aware of it..I'll have to ask the others in my family and see if they know. I am aware of the fact that he did some top secret research during the war. Mom said that he never once spoke of it in any way, so whatever it was died with him. We suspect it was research on something like developing chemical agents or something like that (he was a scientist by "trade").

Anyway, back to the charts. The first curiosity is that they are clearly intended as wall charts, but they're printed on both sides! Each of them has a large chart or world map showing various things on one side, and then has news of the war along with some other major focus point on the other.


The map shows which parts of the world are "United Nations", which are "Axis and Axis Occupied", which have "Relations with Axis Broken", and finally which are "Neutrals". The intriguing part, though, is that it shows "Points Where U.S. Forces Are Stationed". I had no idea, but basically they were everywhere around the globe! Places like Brazil, New Hebrides, and....guess what.....Iran and Iraq!!

On the flip side, along with news summaries such as "Strategy", "Tunisia", "Pacific" etc, there is a smaller map showing locations of various activities. Some of these are "Jap Planes Attack Aleutians", "Major Action Develops For Control of Solomons", "American Subs Sink Six More Jap Ships" and "Axis Supply Shipping Suffers Heavy Losses".


On this one, the full-size map is just of Tunisia, showing very small details such as trails, railways, railways under construction as well as things like "shallow salt lakes", "salt lagoons" and "marshes".

The flip side of this one is much like the previous one. In addition to summaries about the various war fronts, there is a smaller map showing the week's activities. "Enemy Loses All Central Tunisia", "Allied Air Assault Directed At Italy", and "Japanese Unleash Heavy Air Raids Against New Guinea" are some of the spots marked. (I had hoped to upload a neat picture from this one, but I guess my limit today for uploading by Blogger is "one".)


This is the one I find the most fascinating. On the "news side" again are written summaries of the week's activities, (i.e. "SINKINGS: Enemy submarines torpedoed and sank two medium-sized U.S. passenger-cargo vessels in the North Atlantic early in February.The sinkings occured within four days of each other and 600 of the 900 persons aboard the first vessel and more than half aboard the second are either known dead or missing. Most were service men of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard"). It also has a world map showing where all the action took place during the week in question. Here's the part that fascinates me, though.

On the entire other side is a chart of the front and side profiles of all sorts of tanks from various countries (a small section shown here). In huge lettering at the top it says "Learn to Recognize These Vehicles" and subtitled "Heavy, Medium and Light Armoured Cars". It has silhouettes for American, British, Russian, German, Italian and Japanese vehicles.

You may be able to tell that I'm thoroughly enjoying going through all the pictures and papers I brought from home when Mom passed. But that's probably it for now (unless there's some really neat stuff, of course!).


I'm Baaaaaack! I find this fascinating in that we both have family members who were active in the second world war. My father's father helped design and build the Atom Bomb and was involved in a lot of superm secret projects. When he passed away, men in black suits literally did a sweep of his house including drawers and crevices to "secure" any information. Seems that he was involved in the design of aircraft so advanced the public mistook them for UFO's. Interesting what you find out later, huh?

Yup, it was a different time and age then, wasn't it? Soldiers fought with bayonets on the end of their guns, and if your country called, you answered...no questions asked. Unfortunately Pandora's Box is now open, and will never be closed. That's the real tragedy, I think.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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