World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea II

Lead: In the May 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea, Allied naval forces halted the Japanese southern advance on New Guinea and Australia, but not without severe losses, including that of the Lady Lex.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the great disappointments to the Japanese after Pearl Harbor was that the surprise attack failed to catch the aircraft carriers, Enterprise, Lexington, and Saratoga, which were at sea. This failure would return to bite them badly in the Coral Sea six months later, yet in the heady days following the initial success in late 1941 Tokyo decided to expand its ambitions by moving south toward Australia. The most immediate target was Port Moseby in southeastern Papua New Guinea.

World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea I

Lead: In what may have been the first truly `modern naval engagement, Japanese and American carrier aircraft fought over the Coral Sea in May, 1942. No surface ship in either navy sighted the enemy.Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japanese forces sought to take advantage of Allied confusion and their own stunning success in the early days of the war in the Pacific. They upgraded their Strategic Plan to include strikes toward the central Pacific island of Midway and south toward New Guinea and Australia. Midway in June 1942 would prove to be perhaps the decisive defeat for the Japanese Navy in World War II, but the Coral Sea engagement a month earlier, even though it has been considered a draw, stopped the southern advance of the Japanese juggernaut and laid the foundation for the subsequent U.S. victory at Guadalcanal the following winter.

Samurai

Lead: Out of ancient Japanese history emerged a caste of iconic warriors that often had military and political power. They were the samurai.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The bushi or samurai were members of a powerful class of military combatants who played an increasingly influential role in Japanese political life from approximately CE 800 to fairly late in the modern era. They adhered to the strict ethical code of bushido, the way of the warrior, which stressed Confucian morality, devotion to one’s master, self-discipline and respectful conduct. In defeat, rather than accepting capture, some bushi chose what they considered to be an honorable death by se’ppuku, ritual suicide.

History’s Turning Points: Japan Discovers the Gun II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: Japan rediscovers the gun.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In 1543, visiting Portuguese explorers jumped from the deck of a Chinese commercial ship into Japanese shallow waters and with their muskets shot a duck. The unfavorable results on the duck were duly noted by Lord Tokitaka, who purchased from the Portuguese two guns and commissioned his swordsmiths to copy these new weapons. Within a century firearms were playing a widespread, destructive role in the dynastic and feudal warfare consuming the Japanese upper class. These weapons were very good, indeed the Japanese significantly improved on comparable European designs. One such innovation was waterproof rain protection for the ignition platform, but soon the Japanese abandoned firearms and mostly returned to hand-held weapons such as the sword and the bow and arrow.

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History’s Turning Points: Japan Discovers the Gun I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: Japan rediscovers the gun.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Japan has taken a well-earned place in the modern era as a seat of much industrial innovation. Within 60 years of the visit of Commodore Perry in 1855, Japan had wrenched itself so significantly into the contemporary world that its navy had inflicted havoc on Russian naval forces at the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, sending the pride of the Czar’s fleet to the bottom of the Sea of Japan. In another thirty-six years, Japan would temporarily humble the world’s preeminent industrial power at Pearl Harbor.

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Hiroshima

Lead: It was eight seconds past 8:16 AM, the teachers’ room of the Hongkowa Elementary School, exploded into a blinding bluish light.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: At first Katsuko Horibe heard nothing. Glass peppered her scalp and forehead but she felt nothing. She flung herself under a desk and plugged her ears against the horrible noise. Suddenly it was over. Silent and as dark as night. Just 600 feet southeast of Miss Horibe's hiding place, the world's second atomic bomb had just exploded. The City was Hiroshima, Japan, 1945.

 

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History’s Turning Points: Japan Rediscovers the Gun II

 

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: Japan rediscovers the gun.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In 1543 visiting Portuguese explorers jumped from the deck of a Chinese commercial ship into Japanese shallow waters and with their muskets shot a duck. The unfavorable results on the duck were duly noted by Lord Tokitaka who purchased from the Portuguese two guns and commissioned his swordsmiths to copy these new weapons. Within a century firearms were playing a widespread, destructive role in the dynastic and feudal warfare consuming the Japanese upper class. These weapons were very good, indeed the Japanese significantly improved on comparable European designs. One such innovation was waterproof rain protection for the ignition platform, but soon the Japanese abandoned firearms and mostly returned to hand-held weapons such as the sword and the bow and arrow.

Read more →

History’s Turing Points: Japan Discovers the Gun I

 

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider history’s turning points: Japan rediscovers the gun.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Japan has taken a well-earned place in the modern era as a seat of much industrial innovation. Within 60 years of the visit of Commodore Perry in 1855, Japan had wrenched itself so significantly into the contemporary world that its navy had inflicted havoc on Russian naval forces at the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War, sending the pride of the Czar’s fleet to the bottom of the Sea of Japan. In another thirty-six years, Japan would temporarily humble the world’s preeminent industrial power at Pearl Harbor.

Read more →