Battle of Midway III

Lead: In the late spring of 1942, two great armadas met off the Midway Islands.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Isoroku Yamamoto opposed the war with America. He had served as Naval Attaché at the Japanese Embassy in Washington and knew first-hand how lethal was the power of the giant American democracy once awakened. However, when the decision to go to war was made he insisted that Japan’s only hope for victory was a surprise attack which would cripple U.S. forces in the Pacific. Pearl Harbor proved him right but he had missed the American aircraft carriers on December 7th, because they were at sea on maneuvers. Yamamoto was back in the Central Pacific in late May 1942 to take out those carriers and to establish an early warning picket line anchored by the two tiny Midway Islands at the tip of the Hawaiian archipelago 1300 miles northeast of Honolulu.

Battle of Midway II

Lead: Samuel Johnson, the author of the first great English Dictionary once said, “the prospect of hanging clears the mind, wonderfully.” In the early summer of 1942 with two great armadas converging on Midway Island, the mind of the Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was very clear.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Since civilian Eugene Ely first flew an airplane off a specially constructed platform on the USS Birmingham in November 1910, aircraft carriers played an increasingly important role in strategic planning. If there were any lingering doubts as to the value of the aircraft carrier, these doubts departed with the Japanese dive bombers leaving Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The Japanese attack was very destructive but it failed to take out the greatest prize of all. The three aircraft carriers assigned to the U.S. Pacific fleet were out at sea when Pearl Harbor was pulverized. In the early summer of 1942, a fleet under Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto returned to the Central Pacific to provoke a battle which he was confident he could win, take out those carriers, and establish an early warning line using the Midway Islands as an anchor.

Battle of Midway I

Lead: In the early summer of 1942 United States forces in the Pacific could have been defeated at the distant tip of the Hawaiian archipelago.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the last Japanese dive bombers departed through the smoke that billowed from the ruined U.S. Naval Station at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, they left a job undone. While the line of battleships was hard hit and some of vessels such as the USS Arizona were lost for good, battleships were headed for a diminished role in strategic military planning. Hickam and Wheeler Air Fields were filled with many burning wrecks, but the aircraft could be easily replaced. Japanese had missed the greatest prize. Three aircraft carriers assigned to the Pacific fleet were absent on that fateful Sunday morning and to the Japanese command these ships remained a deadly threat.

Flight of Rudolph Hess

Lead: On May 10, 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted onto a Scottish farm after an 800-mile solo flight. It was one of the war’s most bizarre incidents.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Adolf and Rudolf served together in World War I and the latter became one of the Fuehrer’s most devoted followers. In prison with Hitler following the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, Hess took much of Hitler’s dictation for Mein Kampf and, as success attended the Nazi movement, Hess became Hitler’s private secretary and, in 1939, was designated second in line to succeed him.

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The Last Full Measure –Admiral Ernest King

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time (is presented by the people of _________ and) is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Content: During World War II, the organizer of the U.S. Navy's contribution to victory was a determined, often grumpy and taciturn, Scot, born November 23, 1878; Fleet Admiral Ernest Joseph King. Raised by his father, a hard working railroad foreman of Scottish heritage, King secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned in 1903.

 

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LFM: Anthony McAuliff at Bastogne

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Located on a plateau 1600 feet above sea level, the small Belgium market town of Bastogne had been the focus of military strategy for centuries. In the fall of 1944, Adolf Hitler snapped out of the lethargy induced by the attempt on his life the previous summer and determined to go back on the offensive, to seize again the initiative lost when the Allies invaded Normandy. On the morning of December 16, 1944, thousands of German troops and tanks surged back across the Allied lines in an attempt to throw them into the sea. This action became the Battle of the Bulge.

 

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Dancing Stallions from Lipizza II

Lead: Bred as royal horses of the Austrian emperors, the beautiful and graceful Lipizzaner stallions were the subject of a spectacular rescue at the end of World War II.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Hapsburg emperors bred the Lipizzaners for their strength and intelligence. With the end of World War I, the empire was no more but the white stallions, in their home at Vienna's Spanish Riding School, continued the tradition of the precision riding originally developed as battlefield maneuvers against enemy soldiers.

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