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Military History Digest #140

December 18, 2010

Table of Contents

1. Levi S. Tanner by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project
2. Countdown for Polaris by NHHC at Naval History Blog
3. Operation Inland Seas by NHHC at Naval History Blog
4. The Uss Idaho: a Greek Battleship (Part 2 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain
5. World War Ii: SB2C Helldiver Rolled Out by n/a at About.com Military History
6. Diving History — History of the Navy Diver Rating by NHHC at Naval History Blog
7. Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead! by Charles McCain at Charles McCain
8. James Albert Taber by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project
9. Baseball and the Navy: Bob Feller, “the Heater From Van Meter” by NHHC at Naval History Blog
10. Hannings: “Every Day of the Civil War: a Chronological Encyclopedia” by noreply@blogger.com (Drew@CWBA) at Civil War Books and Authors
11. Message Home by Naval Air Writer at Naval History Blog
12. Pearl Harbor Through the Eyes of Tai Sing Loo by Proceedings at Naval History Blog
13. Ens. Theodore W. Marshall, a-v(N), Usnr: Perseverance at Pearl Harbor by NHHC at Naval History Blog
14. Those Old Ships of the Line by noreply@blogger.com (Craig Swain) at Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial
15. Crewing a Ship’s Boat by yelpmark@comcast.net (Seaman Rob) at Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial
16. Nc Civil War Symposium: “the Real War Will Never Get in the Books” by matthew.t.eng@navy.mil (Matthew T. Eng) at Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial
17. Readiness and Care of Vessels in Inactive Status by NHHC at Naval History Blog
18. Our Cbs Radio News Man in Berlin Endures an Air Raid by Charles McCain at Charles McCain
19. Punic Wars: Hannibal Surprises at Lake Trasimene by n/a at About.com Military History
20. Preserving Cannons by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns
21. The Uss Mississippi: a Greek Battleship (Part 1 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain
22. Review of Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery (Part 2 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain
23. Review of Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery (Part 1 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain
24. Pearl Harbor, 69 Years Ago Today by n/a at Other Military History Stuff

Contents

1. Levi S. Tanner by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project

Levi S. Tanner was born on June 22, 1840, in either Columbus,
Franklin County, or Fairfield, Butler County, Ohio, the son
of the John B. (1815-1903) and Sarah (Peugh,
1819-1881).Maryland native John B. married Sarah, probably in
Ohio where she was born and eventually settled in Ohio by
1840. Levi’s family moved from Ohio to Michigan probably
sometime between 1850 and 1860 when Levi was a farm laborer
working for Zebulon Hinman in Sparta, Kent County. He was
probably living with his family in Chester, Ottawa County,
where his father worked as a farmer. (Nearby lived John…

2. Countdown for Polaris by NHHC at Naval History Blog

This Cold War documentary follows the development of the
Polaris submarine launched ballistic missile and contains
footage of numerous test launches of Polaris as well as the
launching and commissioning of USS George Washington
(SSBN-598). Source: Naval History and Heritage Command,
Photographic Section, UM-23….

3. Operation Inland Seas by NHHC at Naval History Blog

The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, allowing large ships
to transit from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. That
summer, the U.S. Navy launched Operation Inland Seas, a
massive public relations tour of the lakes by ships from the
Atlantic Fleet. This 1960 documentary, narrated by Glenn
Ford, tells the story. Source: [...]…

4. The Uss Idaho: a Greek Battleship (Part 2 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain

The USS Idaho was the USS Mississippi’s sister ship and was
commissioned for the US Navy in 1908. She was subsequently
sold to Greece in 1914 and was then renamed Lemnos. Lemnos
saw minimal action during WW 1, assisted the White Russian
Forces in the 1919 Allied Crimean expedition, and was
decommissioned in 1932 when her guns were removed and used as
a coastal battery. The rest of the ship was sunk by German
Bombers in April 1941 while docked at Salamis Naval Base.+USS
Idaho, fitting out at the Cramp shipyard, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, circa 1906.+USS Idaho…

5. World War Ii: SB2C Helldiver Rolled Out by n/a at About.com Military History

December 13, 1940 – The prototype of the Curtiss SB2C
Helldiver (right) is rolled out. Designed as a replacement
for the SBD Dauntless, the SB2C was plagued by problems
during its design and development process. These led to the
aircraft having an extremely poor reputation when it was
introduced in late 1943. Though the Helldiver was faster and
carried a heavier payload, air crews were reluctant to give
up their “Slow but Deadly” Dauntlesses for the new “Son of a
Bitch 2nd Class.” Also dubbed the “Beast” by pilots due to
its handling, the SB2C eventually proved to be a highly…

6. Diving History — History of the Navy Diver Rating by NHHC at Naval History Blog

Back in the late 1800′s, the very first Diving rating was
Gunners Mate. Instruction in simple diving had been part of
the course at the Gunnery School because Gunners Mates were
assigned as ships divers as a collateral duty. The
introduction of the torpedo, a weapon that revolutionized
Navy warfare caused the Navy to require [...]…

7. Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead! by Charles McCain at Charles McCain

+Adm. David G. Farragut, ca. 1863This is a great expression
and actually dates to the Civil War but the meaning of the
word “torpedo” has changed from then to now. These words were
shouted by Admiral David Farragut on the morning of 5 August
1864. Under his command, a large fleet of Union ships was
running the gauntlet of fire from the Confederate defenses of
Mobile Bay as part of a multi-pronged strategy to seize
Mobile, by then one of the last two remaining ports in the
Confederacy which could be used by Confederate blockade
runners. (Wilmington, NC…

8. James Albert Taber by Steve Soper at Third Michigan Infantry Research Project

James Albert Taber was born around 1843 in New York, possibly
the son of Louisa M. (1810-1879).Massachusetts native Louisa
was married sometime before 1840, probably in New York, and
eventually settled in western Michigan. By 1850 “Albert” was
living with his mother in Hastings, Barry County and by 1860
“James” was working as a clerk and living with his mother in
Hastings, Barry County.He stood 5’8” with black eyes, dark
hair and a light complexion and was 18 years old and possibly
still living in Barry County when he enlisted with his
mother’s consent in Company E on…

9. Baseball and the Navy: Bob Feller, “the Heater From Van Meter” by NHHC at Naval History Blog

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 7 December 1941,
Major League Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis
wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt, asking him, “What do
you want [baseball] to do? . . .We await your order.” The
President replied, “I honestly feel it would be best for the
country to keep baseball going.” [...]…

10. Hannings: “Every Day of the Civil War: a Chronological Encyclopedia” by noreply@blogger.com (Drew@CWBA) at Civil War Books and Authors

11. Message Home by Naval Air Writer at Naval History Blog

In the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, families
back home in the United States with loved ones serving in the
Pacific were naturally worried about their status. Lieutenant
(junior grade) Thomas C. Provost, III, a naval aviator in
Fighting Squadron (VF) 6 serving in the carrier Enterprise
(CV 6), was out at [...]…

12. Pearl Harbor Through the Eyes of Tai Sing Loo by Proceedings at Naval History Blog

Tai Sing Loo was the official Navy photographer of Pearl
Harbor Naval Shipyard during the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor. In this excerpt from Air Raid: Pearl Harbor edited by
Paul Stillwell, Mr. Loo provided a unique account of his
experiences that day. How I Were at Pearl Harbor By Tai Sing
Loo On the 6th of [...]…

13. Ens. Theodore W. Marshall, a-v(N), Usnr: Perseverance at Pearl Harbor by NHHC at Naval History Blog

The first Japanese bombs to fall on Ford Island on Sunday, 7
December 1941, landed close to Patrol Squadron (VP) 22’s
hangar. The surprise attack by the enemy, delivered with
devastating precision at a number of places almost
simultaneously, served as a rude and deadly form of reveille.
Ens. Theodore Wood Marshall, A-V(N), USNR, VP-21’s [...]…

14. Those Old Ships of the Line by noreply@blogger.com (Craig Swain) at Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial

Hard to believe, but at the eve of a war which would feature
use of armored warships, steam propulsion, rifled naval guns,
mines, and primitive submarines, the U.S. Navy retained
several ships-of-the-line on the vessel list. Although most
sat on the stocks out of commission, in 1860 the Navy counted
eight 74-gun and two 120-gun ships-of-the-line.Retention of
such seemingly obsolete vessels was not as absurd as it may
seem. Steam propulsion, a technology still evolving past
infancy, suffered from a few tactical issues. Among those was
slow speed handling in exactly the…

15. Crewing a Ship’s Boat by yelpmark@comcast.net (Seaman Rob) at Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial

Photo courtesy USS Ft. Henry web site.One of the things I
like most about Civil War Navy living history is getting the
opportunity to try doing some of the things “the old salts”
did back then. The first weekend of October 2010, I
participated in a small re-enactment event in the Tampa area.
Dubbed “The Battle of Ballast Point”, the event recalls a
Union Navy cutting out expedition conducted in the fall of
1863 to destroy two Confederate blockade runners – the Kate
Dale and the Scottish Chief hiding up the Hillsborough River,
a major tributary of Tampa Bay. A…

16. Nc Civil War Symposium: “the Real War Will Never Get in the Books” by matthew.t.eng@navy.mil (Matthew T. Eng) at Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial

The History Department at North Carolina State University
invitesproposals for a symposium on the public history of the
American CivilWar.”THE REAL WAR WILL NEVER GET IN THE
BOOKS”The Public History of the American Civil War, a
SesquicentennialSymposiumMarch 26, 2011The approaching 150th
anniversary of the American Civil War provides aunique
opportunity to explore the many ways that public and
academichistorians can work together to engage general
audiences atbattlefields, historic sites, and museums across
the country. OnSaturday, March 26, 2011, the History
Department at North Carolina StateUniversity will host a
symposium to facilitate discussions among CivilWar
interpreters, museum curators, and…

17. Readiness and Care of Vessels in Inactive Status by NHHC at Naval History Blog

After victory in World War II, the United States Navy
initiated a complex process to migrate portions of its
massive armada into inactive status. This 1945 documentary
explains the proper methodology for preparing a warship for
the Reserve Fleet. Source: Naval History and Heritage
Command, Photographic Section, UM-20….

18. Our Cbs Radio News Man in Berlin Endures an Air Raid by Charles McCain at Charles McCain

As mentioned previously, one of the best sources of
information about daily life in the Third Reich is Assignment
to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery, a CBS Radio Correspondent
sent to Berlin to replace William Shirer although their
tenure overlapped for a few weeks so Shirer could show the
ropes to Flannery.On this particular evening, Shirer
accompanied Flannery to the broadcast studio and the two men
arrived early enough to dine at a nearby restaurant. They had
just begun to eat dinner…when the alarm sounded. It was a
startling, annoying, frightening sound, like the long
drawn-out wail of…

19. Punic Wars: Hannibal Surprises at Lake Trasimene by n/a at About.com Military History

Having won a stunning victory at the Battle of the Trebia in
218 BC, Hannibal advanced south into Italy. The defeat led to
a change in the Roman leadership with Gnaeus Servilius
Geminus and Gaius Flaminius becoming consuls. Opposing
Hannibal, Flaminius was cut off from Rome by Hannibal in 217
BC. Pursuing the Carthaginian army, Flaminius was ambushed by
Hannibal at the Battle of Lake Trasimene on June 24. Pinned
on a narrow plain along the lake’s northern short, the Romans
were quickly attacked on three sides. In the fighting, around
half the Roman army was killed, including Flaminius. Only…

20. Preserving Cannons by Craig Swain at To the Sound of the Guns

On a few occasions folks have asked me about preserving and
restoring Civil War cannons. While I do spend a lot of time
looking and studying the guns, about the only first hand
experience I have maintaining the pieces is … Continue
reading →…

21. The Uss Mississippi: a Greek Battleship (Part 1 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain

The USS Mississippi was the first battleship of her class and
was commissioned for the US Navy in 1908. She was
subsequently sold to Greece in 1914 and was then renamed
Kilkis. Kilkis saw minimal action during WW 1, assisted the
White Russian Forces in the 1919 Allied Crimean expedition,
and became a naval artillery training facility in 1935. She
was sunk by German Bombers in April 1941 while docked at
Salamis Naval Base.+Dressed with flags, off Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, during Founders’ Week, 1908. Note motor launch
off the starboard quarter, with Mississippi’s name painted on
its stern, and…

22. Review of Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery (Part 2 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain

Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery. First published in
June of 1942. Four stars.Excerpts from Flannery’s book:Like
all broadcasts by foreign radio correspondents, Flannery’s
script had to be approved by a German censor from the
Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment prior to
broadcast. One of the oddest things Flannery discovered was
this:…the Nazis would not permit the use of the word
‘Nazi.’ They contended it had an uncomplimentary connotation
in the United States and the correct term, anyway, was
‘National Socialist.’Flannery gives a good description of a
man named Paul Schmidt, the main spokesman for the…

23. Review of Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery (Part 1 of 2) by Charles McCain at Charles McCain

Assignment to Berlin by Harry W. Flannery. First published in
June of 1942. Four stars.++When I was researching wartime
Germany for my novel, I found the best books for everyday
details weren’t academic histories or even popular histories
but diaries kept by Germans themselves and books by American
journalists. Harry Flannery replaced William Shirer as the
CBS Radio News correspondent in Germany after Shirer was
kicked out of the country because his broadcasts annoyed the
Germans. Shirer was an author and intellectual. He witnessed
many key events of the 1930s including the French surrender
to Germany in…

24. Pearl Harbor, 69 Years Ago Today by n/a at Other Military History Stuff

Sixty-nine years ago, on December 7th, 1941, the Imperial
Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack against the United
States naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over 350 Japanese
aircraft attacked in two waves, strafing, dropping bombs and
torpedoes. Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, four other
battleships were damaged, and eight other ships were either
sank or damaged. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402
personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. The following
day, the United States declared war on Japan, officially
entering World War II. This year’s 69th anniversary coincides
with the dedication of a new $56…

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