Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Military-Industrial Complex in WWII

Stumbled across this site (Pacific War Encylcopedia) via a comment on Reminds me of my fascination growing up with the navy and WWI and II. Idly surfing it, and trying to exercise willpower, I came on this:

The Alaskas formed the heavyweight tier of a three-tiered cruiser family conceived in 1939 (the other two tiers eventually becoming the Baltimores and the Clevelands.) They were an utterly unnecessary design, doing nothing that an Iowa did not do better, and doing most things much worse; and, at $75 million apiece, they were not that much cheaper than the Iowas. They were originally a response to rumors that the Japanese had something similar in the works, which the Japanese did not.
I'd also cite this bit:
Allied interrogators did not as a rule employ any form of torture. They did not need to. Because the Japanese military code of honor absolutely forbade surrender, Japanese soldiers received no instruction on how to behave in captivity, and those captured felt such shame that they had little psychological resistance to interrogation. Many sang like canaries. However, the fact that officers almost never surrendered meant that almost all prisoners were enlisted men with little or no high-level information to impart.


Kent G. Budge said...

Glad you enjoyed the site.

The Alaska cruiser article needs a bit of updating. I ran across a source that indicates that when the Japanese learned about the Alaskas, they started working on a response. So the Japanese developed a very heavy cruiser in response to Americans plans for a very heavy cruiser that were triggered by false rumors of a Japanese very heavy cruiser.

Bill Harshaw said...

Welcome to arms races. :-)