The Monday American | American History Podcast

The podcast that never takes the 'story' out of American history.

A Podcast revisiting American history one story at a time. Studying history teaches that contrary to popular belief, hindsight isn't always 20/20. A history podcast presenting American history while ensuring the "story" is never left out of history.

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The following is a list of works cited or referenced for the creation of each part of the series covering World War II. This list includes all works cited directly as well as any additional work used to gather information pertinent to the episodes.


Works Cited


Sledge, E. B. With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa. New York: Presidio, 2010. Print.


Atkinson, Rick. The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945. NY, NY: Picador, 2014. Print.


Hofmann, Michael, and Ernst Jünger. Storm of Steel. New York: Penguin, 2004. Print.


McManus, John C. Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II through Iraq. New York: NAL Caliber, 2011. Print.


Keegan, John. The Face of Battle. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988. Print.


Kershaw, Ian. Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.


Bishop, Morin, Mike Humphries, and Joanne Camas, eds. World War II Victory: The Pivotal Events That Won The War (2015): n. pag. Print.


Welch, Claire. Rise and Fall of the Nazis. London: Magpie, 2008. Print.


Mettler, Suzanne. Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation. New York: Oxford U Pr., 2007. Print.


Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic, 2012. Print.


Range, Peter Ross. 1924: The Year That Made Hitler. New York, NY: Little, Brown, 2016. Print.

Ep. 10 World War II (Part I) Transcript

What you're about to listen to is part one of a multiple episode series. It's attempting to analyze World War II in a way that you as the listener have never heard before. I think with a topic as weighty and enormous as this prelude is necessary to help you know why I'm doing this and what makes us unique as opposed to the plethora of World War II information and programming available. So I'll start with my own fascination of World War II. I've always had. For as long as I can remember in unavoidable this unshakeable fascination with anything concerning the Second World War I'll never be able to stop studying or learning about it whenever I can find anything. All I've ever stumbled on before I eat it up and this fascination I had. It was the foundation for my interest in history overall as well as as my future of studying history in college and for life. I can easily attribute that mesmerizing effect it has on me to the creation of this very program. It's an event that I believe has shaped the course of humanity in the world unlike any other event in the history of mankind. And as I go through the show in this first episode My goal is for you the listener to hear the stories of the men that fought and died and the stories of the civilians involved. And to be able to hear their words in each story in a way that makes you look at the world you live in differently. I'm a firm believer that history is one of mankind's most valuable assets. If we are to advance ourselves. As time goes on it provides us with the ability to look at what happened in the past and why then we can gain further understanding of how to handle situations that arise in the future. With the benefit of knowing why in the past history is all about discovering the why. And I think that in that process it's important to never take the story out of history much like in a high school classroom these days that only focuses on broad facts and dates but never dives into a real story. We're not going to leave the story out of history. And what you're about to listen to is just that it's a story about an event that happened about 80 years ago. The story is made up of many individual stories that all comprise and have an answer to the question of why it happened and how it got us where we are today. When I was initially planning this episode out this whole series out I really wanted to make sure I maintained a sense of uniqueness because there is a lot of war to information programming available and I wanted to make sure that this was not just more noise or just a repeat of something that was already out there and really would negate this entire project. So I started thinking about what would make it unique in and usually in the world of history. Thats a thesis. A thesis is going to make something unique. I dont necessarily want to dive into a thesis but I do want to make sure I'm attacking this from a certain angle during the course of this research period for this for this series I there's I think I used 11 books. They're all posted on the Web site by the way at the Monday American dot com there's a note a section for show notes and citations if you're interested in further reading. But there's a book called grunt's and that is written by John C. McManus and it covers everything from more work to all the way up to Iraq. And in that book his thesis is that the modern weapon the modern weaponry of today even dating back to World War II in World War One. All of that modern weaponry pales in comparison to the weapon of the common footsoldier and the whole book uses battles to support his thesis on that. Now I'm not really going into a thesis quite the same way. But I do want to point out from the get go the way that I am attacking this whole subject is really what I think is the most important part of the entire war if you can narrow it down to something so so finite. But. It's looking at the war through the eyes of the soldiers who fought there. These men they shed blood on this battlefield they killed other men and they came back and the ones who came back they didn't come back complete. So there's a really good quote from a World War II combat soldier and it's in this book grunts by John C. McManus it is and I quote There is no worse place than where the infantry is or what it has to do. A war is not over until the infantry is done with it finished moving on foot more than the other finished killing more than the other. And when it is all done and the infantry man is taken home again some of him will remain in that place forever. And I think that's that's the overall theme to this program is these men we're going to we're going to dive into their stories we're going to see what they saw based on their own words. And I think it is so vitally important to never take what these men did for granted and to fully understand what they went through which is not even a thing that we're capable of doing today. But to understand as best we can the horrors that they went through. Is the highest level of respect. I think we can give them so all of that is to say that this is a multiple part series on World War II. This is the beginning part one the foundation for destruction.The date is September 1st 1939. This is the day that Nazi Germany invades Poland. It is the mark of where the world was sent into its second world war in 20 years and it would leave behind it an all too familiar trail of death and destruction. For nearly everyone alive it was a it was akin to watching the worst nightmare imaginable in front unfold in front of their very eyes. This was the one thing that they had been trying to avoid at all costs with every method conceivable. For the last twenty years this is the point at which several smaller conflicts were merged into what we know now as World War II. It was the day that the world geared up for another conflict they thought would be overshadowed in death and destruction by the great World War. World War One which ended just so recently. Before this it seemed like it was yesterday. The question that grappled the minds of everyone at the time was how did we let this happen. This is the question they knew the answer to already and didn't want to accept it because by all accounts World War One and the post-war actions were the blueprints for the most godless bloody and cruel event in human history and those people went through the first world war. The beta version of World War II if you will. They were about to watch it all happen all over again. Not like anything involving history. Context is never too important so the context of one or two is what happened before to make it start. What was the catalyst. The simple answer is world were one. But that's more involved. There's always a there's always a more involved answer to a question you can bring up in a historical sense. So before we go past and talk more about Hitler and the Nazis invade Poland we have to back up. We have to understand why World War II happened in order to go on with this story. So briefly backing up into World War One world one ended in 1919 I believe off the top of my head I cannot believe I don't have this written down in front of me but it ended with the most casualties the world had ever seen. It ended with just years prior. A a level of technology that was already obsolete in warfare in a style of warfare that was no longer relevant and it ended with the Treaty of Versailles which was in Paris and sorry in France and that that's where I'm going to briefly pick up for the cause of world war 2 the Treaty of Versailles was a horrible treaty. It was a really horrible treaty that treaty was essentially the ending of World War One and the countries got together and decided someone's going to pay. Well poor poor little Germany. They they got the short end of the stick for sure in this treaty. Now what follows is not a justification for their actions but it is an explanation for why they chose those actions. France was incredibly concerned with ensuring that Germany would never be able to do anything like that again in France bore the brunt of the German assault. They never wanted to have trench warfare like that again. They even built a wall a fortress that spanned the border of France in Germany so they could defend them from invading. And we will get there later because I think it is the dumbest thing in history I've ever seen. But the Treaty of Versailles it essentially made Germany responsible for cleaning up Europe paying for all the damages and if that was not enough they also had to strip their army and they were prevented or prohibited from ever escalating or building arms again just in case. And what that led to was a little seed of hatred. This is where Hitler was a soldier in World War one as well as Churchill and I believe Eisenhower. This is where he got his motivation in where the people of Germany also got their motivation to basically do some of the things that they didn't want to. I'm not saying it's justified but it does make sense. I think history is all about putting yourself in the other person's shoes. Everyone always says history is written by the winners. That's not entirely true. I think any any good student of history is taking the the losing perspective if you will or the opposite perspective and trying to gain an understanding of how they saw it and taking to account for the times that you are studying. So you can't just say Germany's screwed up. They killed a lot of people they caused a horrible war. They deserve this. You have to think of it from from there into is they were fighting a bloody war the likes of which the world had never seen. They weren't entirely at fault for World War 1 and they were much much more centrally to blame for World War II. But you you have to at least try to understand where they were coming from they had some legit legitimate reasoning's to do what they did but we'll get there. So the big thing to glean from World War 1 is the time period that it's in it's at the beginning of the 19th or 20th century. I mean I think that the the movie theaters were just being invented during World War One. So this is this is a big big boom in technology and that comes with a big big boom and warfare and weaponry which the world gave people the ability to test it all out with word or one. I think one of the most important things to remember about World War One is that it started in 1915 and the French troops went into battle with the same uniforms and armaments that they went to fight Napoleon with. Nothing had changed in warfare for hundreds of years really at this time. I mean the invention of the rifle and the musket that that was a big big deal in Navy that Navy has always been there but they were able to have better materials but there were no real innovations in warfare other than the rifle and black powder for hundreds of years. This war saw more change in technology that something brand new in 1915 was a piece of scrap metal. If it was a Navy boat in 1919 that is how fast the technology was going during this time. And the thing that most people don't remember or obviously don't remember don't take into consideration is that all that all that technology was creating ways to kill people more efficiently and that saw a new type of warfare that the world had never seen before. And I think that all too often people are gleaning over what that was like for the soldier on the ground. In his book entitled The face of battle of John Keegan another historian talks about warfare in the age of edged weapons versus the current day world war one and talking about the inhuman face of war. He says that a sort of empathy with one's adversary is the one thing that was no longer in warfare. And what he's getting at here is that World War 1 was the first time where were men were not squaring up on a battlefield in close proximity to each other with this kind of chivalric King Arthur's Court knighthood type of war and in trying to stab each other with edged sharp bladed weapons. This was this was something entirely different. The world had never even seen it before. And he goes on to say that that one of the biggest differences is a brazenness which would allow a man to look a stranger in the face and strike to fell him without provocation and compunction. That is what he argues is one of the biggest changes in the modern technology of war. And I couldn't disagree with him at all. He's absolutely right. No longer are two men squaring off and in having the audacity and the boldness to go hand to hand man to man and to pierce him with a spear or a sword and to look him in the eyes and probably touch him puts him onto the ground while you're doing it. It wasn't like that anymore. And they did not expect this and more were one and all they really did think it was going to be similar to all the other wars in the past and who could blame them. It was a type of warfare they had never seen. I mean the French army was wearing Napoleonic uniforms. And I think one of the biggest the biggest concepts to gather about this change in technology and warfare is the change in the weaponry. It was it was it was cruel and it was dirty it was it was mean. Keegan says get Keagan says in his books. Weapons have never been kind to human flesh but the directing principle behind their design has usually not been that of maximizing the pain and damage they can cause before the invention of explosion explosives. The limits of muscle power in itself constrained their hurtfulness so this shouldn't be too hard to understand until World War One you had to use manpower the muscle of a man was required to use a weapon of war for the most part. You had to. You had to manually operate it to kill someone but this was entirely different. He continues to expound on that idea when he says the rise of thing. Killing as opposed to man killing weapons heavy artillery is an example. Which by their side effects inflicted gross suffering and disfigurement. It invalidated all these restraints and he's talking about the chemical gas and certain type of bullets they were given international force by the Hague Convention of 1899 outlawing them. But basically he was saying that after they saw these new weapons those those didn't matter. Those were no longer the worst weapons he continues as a result. Restraints were cast to the wind. It is now a desired effect of many man killing weapons that they inflict wounds as terrible and terrifying as possible. And this just goes to show why World War One was so massively catastrophic to the people that were in it is because it embodied this divergence from civilian life in Soldier life. Keegan touches on it in this book the face of battle. I'd highly recommend it if you have any interest in reading any kind of military history. But he talks about how in this war it it was the marking point of where no longer was it a citizen and a soldier and military and civilian life having having crossovers. They were they were diverting from each other quickly and you start to see that with soldiers in war or one who were coming back shell shock that was the first real reported case of shell shock I believe was a more or one. But the first widespread case of self-talk was absolutely and we're all one and the Allies used to assassinate not assassinate. They used to put the men who had shellshock which we now know as PTSD. They used to execute them because they thought it was cowardice. And it goes it just serves to give you an idea of what time period this was what was going on and how these people thought and it's not their fault. They didn't know any better. But to think that. Motorcars mimic missiles and machine machine tools mimic machine guns like in this futuristic way the divergence between the facts of everyday and of battlefield exists. It it it was not only greater than ever before but it was widening each year and you see that with the types of weapons they're building these people are thinking up though the worst ways for someone to die and then they're making that to happen. It was a war that saw many many changes not just on the battlefield. Now one of the reasons why World War II started is because the people coming out of a War One were so overly concerned with this quote unquote never again mentality. They wanted to ensure that a war like that would never happen again. And understandably so. And one of the reasons why they had this mindset was because of how bad World War One was in comparison to every other war that the world had ever seen. Whereas used to it used to be before World War One on a battlefield. A battle would last no more than one to two days. And that was a long battle. One of the most famous battles of World War One is the battle of the Somme which started on July 1st of 1916 and it went all the way to November of the same year. And if these people were used to a two or three day battle being a long one and the Somme goes on for that long you cannot blame them for for not being able to handle that that amount of warfare all at once. It was a lot of changes. Remember some of these people were born when the Civil War was going on or before it. A lot of things were changing in this war. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of automatic weapons to the battlefield and how that affected the trench warfare in World War 1 you had a lot of stalemates and that is part of the reason for the Somme lasting so long you had artillery that was shelling the battlefield so much that the soldiers would nearly refuse to go out. But you also had zeroed in presumed machine gun nests and machine guns hadn't been used like this ever before and they didn't really know how to fight them.It was a lot of this war was just people figuring out how things were going to be used in the future. Like airplanes they didn't think they had a place for them in the war. And it turns out that they did. But the battle of the Somme. That was one of the worst battles in World War One. And one of the big reasons that a lot of the people just as they said they would do anything in order to prevent that from happening again. And I don't blame them one single bit and a sergeant from the Irish Army has a great great account of what it's like to be in that place and to charge into what you're pretty sure is just your death and fighting with these machine guns he says. I could see way to my left to my right. Long lines of men. Then I heard the patter patter of machine guns in the distance. By the time I'd gone another ten yards there seemed to be only a few men left around me. By the time I had gone twenty yards I seemed to be on my own. Then I was hit myself. Now aside from just the actual horrors of being in that situation and being just waiting in a trench knowing that you're going to have to climb a ladder out and you're going to have to charge. And if you're lucky enough to make it through which 33 percent of all the soldiers were killed immediately from getting out of the trenches by machine gunfire. If you were one of those lucky people who made it then you had to go and charge the lines against the Germans and meet them at the trenches very seriously outnumbered. This was a suicide mission and no wonder so many people went crazy. I can't imagine having to face that and to do that and to know that I'm going to jump out of there and probably immediately get hit by a couple bullets if I'm quote unquote lucky. I don't even see how lucky I might make it to the enemy line. On top of that it was a learning experience for the generals as well. It was a very it's famous for being a very poorly run battle. They didn't know how to use the artillery that they had. They didn't understand what was really at stake here they didn't. They didn't really know how to fight war. Yet in the 20th century and this was a battle that was notoriously well are under planned but a notoriously good learning curve for all those involved for the future of World War One. Not to mention the battle of the Somme alone took one point five million casualties from all sides combined. That's a number that's so outrageously big. It reminds me of the quote from Joseph Stalin and this may very well be where he got it from a war and one where a hundred deaths is a tragedy. A thousand deaths is a statistic and I think I butchered it. It might actually be a million deaths is a statistic but the point remains the same. You know a small amount of deaths that's always a tragedy. Everyone's always very sad. But the the larger Any death toll gets for anything the more humans become less and less sympathetic. Because of the large number they can't personalize that many deaths they can't they can't quantify that in their heads it doesn't hurt them it's not a tragedy. The battle of the Somme was a tragedy. And at one point five million people died and that was just one of the first battles of the whole war. And keep in mind they were not used to this big armies used to have 30000 people dying in the course of an entire campaign or maybe even the whole size the army so to say 1.5 million people died. The people of Earth couldn't fathom that they couldn't comprehend that. And that kind of gives you a good idea of why this was so shocking to them and why they justified what they did with it. And I don't think anyone would really blame them if they went through that and all that led to was the appeasement method which is so famously known for a terrible way to handle that after World War One and escalate World War II. But they all they wanted to do was avoid having another one battle that killed 1.5 million people. It really is hard to blame them. So the Treaty of Versailles. It only added added to the pain by forcing Germany to pretty much humiliate itself. It was a very prideful country. They always have been but they had to deescalate their armies. They weren't ever allowed to build them up again. They got they got the screws pushed to them pretty hard in this treaty. And the French were largely the ones who wanted that to happen in the treaty. And you're going to get a sense of that the more you listen to this episode and the upcoming ones that I am just on a personal note I'm no fan of the French and I will tell you why and I will not filtered out. But that's not on this on this stretch right here. But the French they just won't they sought punishment for for Germany. Then they built the Maginot Line which is a very well constructed very impressive defense of fortification. Spand spanned the line where France and Germany came together and this is always the problem I've had with this beauty. Beautifully well-built very very impressive in size and the ability to house soldiers. It was like some of these soldiers could stay in there for a year without seeing the sun if they wanted to. But the the French built this on their border with Germany. And the problem is that's not how Germany invaded them the first time and it wasn't how they invaded. And the second time. So they wasted all that money. They were supposed to hold out against Hitler. I think it an estimate I saw was three to four years. They lasted barely three months. I don't even think they made it that long. So all that to say with the poor leadership did not end with the battle of the Somme. It continued down into Charles de Gaulle and General Charles. Charles I was first in Montgomery the British the basically the British highest general and Charles de Gaulle was the president of France who tucked tail and ran as soon as the Germans got in. So like I mentioned before this is not an apology for the way that they they acted before World War II the people in that era and the way that they were they were genuinely afraid. And you have to understand when someone is genuinely afraid they are not going to think rationally and sure enough Hitler got power of Germany and convince the people to follow him. And history has shown us time and time again that that is one of the most dangerous things for ourselves as human beings is when someone can successfully convince others to follow him. And that is what Hitler was good at and really really good. And it brings us back to September 1st of 1939. All that should help you understand why the people chose the appeasement that you always hear about. It will help you understand why Germany had motive to do what they did not justified motive. But they use that in their own heads as a justification. Now all of this was going on what was America up to. They were pretty much doing their own thing. They hadn't really secured. You could say they secured but they hadn't fit into their role of superpowers yet they didn't really become a superpower until after World War II. But certainly World War One they saw a massive depression that they were able to get out of. And they they were able to turn things around. They were they were very isolationist they wanted nothing to do with Europe. You can find papers that just get mad mad as hell for FDR for putting them back in there. And that brings us to how we got involved in this war to make it the big big war that it was up until this point we had not really had any issues most part with Nazi Germany. They were leaving us alone and they really then decided they were leaving us alone and we were for the most part leaving them alone. Also a tribute to that appeasement. So there's so many different factors for why World War Two could start. I mean literally have a book that has 10 reasons and it is just one of those things that I don't find the why as important here because I find the personal testimony as the most important here and that's where I think my fascination lies in a word or two these firsthand accounts like Eugene Sledge. His book title with the Old Breed one of the most compelling retellings of military engagement in of all of them have ever been written books like blood lands that take you into the world of people who were experiencing all of these horrible events. Not only do they take you into that world they give you a one of a kind glimpse of that world through their own eyes and it's not always a view that's easy to stomach either. So keep that in mind as we continue. We're going to see World War Two as those who were actually there.So now let's go over to the Eastern Front pre everything we've talked about so far. We have Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union and what was going on in 1932 in 1933 was a famine. But this was a famine like the world has never even seen before. And really the world has never seen a famine on this scale since then and thank God for that. So this was Stalin. He was starving his own people in the Ukraine and the Ukraine came about after World War One sort of during World War one but World War One and the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 it secured its independence with cities like Kiev. And I am sure I'm pronouncing this incorrectly so pardon my butchering of what is going to be plenty of butchering scum. The city of Lviv L V I V. Those are two of the cities that mainly represented the independence of the Ukraine. So in the in the native russian this famine in the Ukraine is known as a whole lot more and it had been pre-warned about you know based on climate conditions people can make these sorts of predictions. But no one could have ever predicted the way that Stalin was use it to kill the population off in the Ukraine or the way in which Stalin and his Communist Party were able to make it their tool of genocide. In the Soviet Union authorities all but banned discussion of the famine. Ukrainian historian Stanislav Kocinski States the Soviet government ordered him to falsify his findings and depict the famine as an unavoidable natural disaster to absolve the Communist Party and uphold the legacy of Stalin. But let's call it what it is. It was a genocide. The official death toll of this starvation isn't exactly known to due to poor record keeping in the Soviet bloc but depending on which source you use and there are many deaths can span from 10 million people up to as many as 12 million people starved to death. Think about that for a minute. 12 million even 10 million people. These are kinds of numbers that hardly can be grasp when they reach figures that are this high. That's nearly twice as many as the Holocaust. And this all happened in one year. It all spanned between 1932 in 1933 and ironically enough it's this kind of death toll that reminds me of a quote from Stalin himself. One death is a tragedy a million deaths a statistic. It's deaths like this that make that make it just impossible to grasp that that one death is a tragedy. If everyone can imagine one person dying or if they hear about one person dying it's a tragedy. Everyone in the community is around them and it involves everyone. But when you have a million people dead that's so many people that it it just becomes a statistic that you read and you feel sad but it doesn't hit you the same way emotionally. In that quote that applies perfectly to this 12 million people at this point in history we can't really put that into perspective. It's become a statistic to us it's times like these where I turn to the words written by others that describe this event much more eloquently than I am able to do. And Timothy Snyder's book the blood lands which talks about Europe between Hitler and Stalin. It starts with saying that the German and Soviet Soviet killing sites the methods of murder were rather primitive. Of the 14 million civilians and prisoners of war killed in the blood lands between 1933 in 1945 more than half died because they were denied food. The two largest mass killing actions after the Holocaust Stalin's directed famines of the early 1930s and Hitler's starvation of Soviet prisoners of war in the early 1940s in Stalin's great terror of 1937 to eight nearly seven hundred thousand Soviet citizens were shot and it goes on to talk about how in the Holocaust the Jews were taken by the Germans were whereas likely to be shot as they were to be gassed and then he even goes on to say that the gassings committed by Hitler those those were almost lenient compared to this method of dying in the Soviet Union and in 1940s hydrogen cyanide was used as a pesticide. Carbon monoxide was produced by internal combustion engines. The Soviets and the Germans relied upon technologies that were hardly novel even in the thirties and forties. These were the ways that they were gassed and if it was carbon monoxide Sometimes you just fall asleep. He goes on to say no matter which technology was used the killing was personal. People who starved were observed often from the Watchtower's by those who denied them food. People who were shot were seen through the sights of rifles at very close range or held by two men while third placed a pistol at the base of the school. People who were asphyxiated were rounded up put on trains and then rushed into the gas chambers. They lost their possessions and then their clothes. And then if they were women their hair each one of them died a different death. Since each one of them had lived a different life. Think about that for a minute of all those millions and millions of people each one of them lived a different life. And even though they died in the same way they died a different death and that is a powerful powerful quote from the book bloodlines and Timothy Snyder and he goes on because often times we as adults don't really sympathize with other adults or stories. Sometimes it takes unfortunately as in this case the story of children to really evoke the emotions out of someone and to really understand just how awful it was of what was going on. He notes just before going into a story that the average life expectancy of a boy born in 1933 was just seven years. He continues into a story and I'll quote schoolchildren at first wrote to the appropriate authorities in the hope that starvation was the result of a misunderstanding. One class of elementary school students for example sent a letter to party authorities asking for your help since we are falling down from hunger. We should be learning but we are too hungry to walk. The story continues. Soon this was no longer noteworthy. An eight year old Uri Lysenko school in the Kharkiv region. A girl simply collapsed in class one day as if asleep. The adults rushed in but Uri knew that she was beyond hope that she had died and that they would bury her in the cemetery like they had buried people yesterday and the day before yesterday and every day boys from another school pulled up the severed head of a classmate while fishing in a pond. His whole family had died. Had they eaten him first or had he survived the deaths of his parents only to be killed by a cannibal. No one knew. But such questions were commonplace for the children of Ukraine in 1933. It's stories like those that accurately portray the horrors of what was actually going on in these places. At that time and what these people were actually seen. Now despite all of those killings Stalin did not exactly want to go back into another very escalated drawn out conflict especially when he was starving his own people that could be potentially used as machine gun fodder Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union surprised the world by signing the German Soviet non-aggression pact in which the two countries agreed to take no military action against each other for the next 10 years. This was in 1939 after the bloodletting. But shortly before the invasion of Poland it was this non-aggression pact that placed a very odd strain on the shoulders of the allied forces. Their appeasement method that had been unchecked before now after this non-aggression pact meant that the Nazi expansion could go on to the borders of the Soviet Union and stop on the shores of England. Whether that be the Tymms or the Atlantic the US decided to help the British through the Lend-Lease Act which was an act in which we would lend them ammunition parts airplanes tanks in response in return for money money which they didn't have to pay right away. It was essentially a at face value act it was just so we could give the British some help without actually being caught in an act of war seems to be a motif for American history. As far as our move for what we are going to do before actually getting officially involved in the war. But I digress. This act was passed this Lend Lease Act was passed on March. It was passed in March of 1941 four days after the attack on Pearl Harbor which we're about to get into. On December 11th of 1941 Hitler and apparently without consulting nearly anyone declares war on the United States. He cited a series of provocations as the reasoning which all really started with the Lend-Lease Act. Later that afternoon the US would declare war on Nazi Germany setting in motion the machine of war that eventually leads us to the shores of France. But before we get to that point let's take a quick break and let's go over to Asia. And this is what makes it so difficult to cover World War II is because it is such a massive massive topic with so much going on that you have to jump in between topic and topic. Right now we have to go back over to Asia because without knowing what's going on over there none of none of the rest of the story really makes sense. So bear with me as I do jump back and forth. But it is important and I promise it will come all to a to an ending a bloody bloody horrible ending. But on to Asia we go and we're going to back up in years a little bit about 10 years just after World War One and we're going to talk specifically for just a brief moment about the relations of Japan and China as it pertains to World War II and to be warned that the Pacific theater of this war is the war that tends to be the nastiest and have the most harrowing of personal stories. So I'll keep this backstory brief for time's sake. Starting in about 1937 the Japanese and the Chinese were involved in a war already. This was the conflict that escalated and eventually evolved into the Pacific Theater of War War II. It starts in August of 1937 when generalis Simone Chiang Kai shek deployed his best army to fight about 300000 Japanese troops in Shanghai. But after three months of fighting Shanghai fell the Japanese continued to push the Chinese forces back capturing the capital of Nanking in December of 1937 and committing what would which would be known as the Nanking Massacre. And I will pause here because what is typically known as the Nanking Massacre is known to historians and in historians circles as the rape of Nanking on December 13th in 1937 the Japanese struck at the nationalistic capital city Nanking. Today is known as Nanjing. This became one of the most brutal exhibitions of sadistic horror in history between 250 and 300000 residents of the city were murdered. Most of them were tortured before they were murdered women were raped repeatedly and then their uteruses were ripped out. They were bound and gagged and left to die slowly as rats began to eat the guts that hung out of their bodies. It was reported in Tokyo papers that at least two Japanese officers actually had a contest to see who could lop off the most Chinese heads. Chinese soldiers were declared by consent of the emperor not enemy combatants but criminals. On December 18th many of them were taken out to town to the banks of the Yangtze River tied together bayonetted some were now dead. Some were alive and they were all pushed into the river to drown. Fifty seven thousand five hundred died in what is called the straw string jor gorge incident. Screams of those still alive tied to the dead bodies echoed through the gorge but not for very long. And I'll pause here to tell the story of what I think is the most disgusting gruesome photo I've ever seen. During the Rape of Nanking there is a photo and you can find it online. I probably will post this on the Web site of two Japanese soldiers with bayonets fixed to their rifles playing catch using their bayonets and they are playing catch with a dead infant. It is the most disgusting and the most sadistic. It's easily the most evil evil down to its core thing that I have ever seen in all my studies of history and through all the photographs that I've seen that I wish I could never see again. This is the one that sticks out the most that I wish I could unsee. In it is the most brutal example of the evil capacity of human beings and that is the precursor for this war in Asia that is about to unfold.But back to the story. On December 12th in 1937 as the attack was raging and named King an American naval vessel the USS Panay was anchored along the river outside the city was hit by Japanese bombers. This is a shallow draft gunboat meant to patrol the Yangtze River to protect American interests. Regardless if flew the American flag and had American flags clearly painted on its decks that should have been seen from a plane above. This should have been a precursor for the Americans in a warning. The Japanese claimed they didn't see the flags. Over incidents like this. Wars can begin. The US chose to accept the Japanese explanations that it was all just a mistake. We have full diplomatic relations with Japan and it was an important trading partner. The Chinese government was weak and did not even govern vast areas of China saying it would be futile. We had no means to either aid the Chinese or attack Japan. And that is something that I think most people realize is we had no army to speak of. Not much of a navy or planes and all of this was happening ten thousand miles away from the United States shores. It wasn't until something happened to us that we could really make a fuss about it. Well if it was direct incitement that the American people were looking for Pearl Harbor was just around the corner. On November 26 a Japanese fleet one headed south and one was headed elsewhere so there were two fleets. My apologies. It was spotted off the Philippines and was so reported it was apparently heading towards Singapore. Nobody in Washington or Hawaii even knew about the other one. At least not for certain though there was speculation that a second fleet was mysteriously missing. We know of course the second fleet was headed to Pearl Harbor. It could be called back if somehow the powers in Tokyo decided to call it back. They had to keep strict radio silence but it could receive radio signals a weather report from Tokyo saying east wind rain in those words in precisely that order meant that the decision had been made for war and the attack should proceed precisely as planned and it was on November 27 that Admiral Kimmel and General Short based in Pearl Harbor received a war warning from Washington saying that diplomacy had broken down and an attack was expected. This was over our negotiations with Japanese oil and we were really their lifeline for oil. It did not end it could not pinpoint precisely where an attack might come. It specifically suggested the Philippines the Krupp Peninsula or Borneo as the most likely targets in Hawaii. This came amid all kinds of contradictory notices dispatches and reports most of them based on guesswork as though trying to fit the pieces of a puzzle together. It was like a hurricane warning that didn't quite materialize. And then when the real one comes nobody takes it seriously. What would you have done if you had been Kim or short and you've received this warning but there's been so much other speculation. Nobody seems to think is the most likely target but only a possible target. And it's this revisionist history that comes into play where people so often try to they try to say that it should have been evident but they have no basis for that. They were not there. All we know today is that no one expected this. And what was a precursor or a warning was seen as just a minor detail that really didn't matter in the long run because it seems so apparentIy just was not an attack. Sure enough hindsight is always 2020. And on that day December 7th of 1941 it was a Sunday. It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Americans posted to a gorgeous spot like Hawai had gone out Saturday night. Many were hung over that Sunday morning. The attack was a complete surprise. Massive damage was done to the United States Pacific Fleet. The battleships the dread not classes of Arizona Oklahoma and Nevada Tennessee and Maryland and the California were all sunk. Two thousand two hundred thirty five Americans died. Many more were wounded many of them are wounded for life. It was the darkest single day in American history. President Roosevelt addressed the Congress the next morning. War was declared by the United States on Japan on December 8th of 1941. And now this point to specifically marked to this a truly global war. The war we now call World War II and what happened from this point on was a mixture of events that I'm going to give a brief overview for what happened was Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and then they expanded into the Philippines as well where the British the United States and a few others had colonial interests. They took those over and they took all those people hostages. The Bataan Death March is where this comes from where they marched I believe it was about 60000 prisoners. I'm sorry it was about 76000 prisoners they marched them 50 miles because they needed to move them. They didn't feed them. It was hot. They had already been tortured for a very long time. And most of the men would die by asphyxiation because their tongue would swell from dehydration. They were bayoneted along the way. Anyone who stopped to help them along the way was bayoneted as well. And then they were forced to dig graves for those people. It was a brutal brutal way to kill prisoners. And it kind of set the scene for the way that the Japanese were going to be treating the Pacific theater of war and their prisoners. And it kind of sets the tone for the way that the Americans had a a just brutal hatred for the Japanese and what they had done and who could blame them if these were yours your citizens these were your friends and family dying like this over there. And this was this was one of the good stories. This wasn't even one of the gruesome ones. How could you blame anyone in that time period living in a different world for what they they heard and how the stories they bred hatred. It's just it's a natural human reaction and it happens in every war. But this one was so much different in what happened from this point on was the Marines the United States Marines going island to island fighting the Japanese. And they were fighting a foe that was determined at all costs to defend their land all the way up to their home. And now remember that they weren't on there. Their Japanese Empire the Japanese soil they were on land that they had taken over and it had become the Japanese Empire. So the farther in they got the more brutal the conflict began. And one of the worst feelings for Americans was the pre-landing bombardment that they would have to sit through before they went on and it was almost like it was almost a tease because these bombardments were so awesome and they were so large that I believe I've seen pretty much the same account from most of the Marines when they see their first one of who could live through that and in the book The grunts it tells a great story about the bombardment of Guam which was pretty much the same thing as the rest of them and all started with the Mubarak. It was an overwhelming cacophony of sound and violence that men could feel the concussion in their chests their ears were assaulted by so much noise that they had trouble hearing the engines of their landing craft battleships spewed 16 inch shells at the shadowy hills beyond the beach cruisers added hundreds of 8 inch shells. The explosions sent fire and smoke hundreds of feet into the air. One Marine officer later wrote small fires burned along the entire length of the beach. Destroyers were firing shells from close range. They drove back and forth one firing a series of volleys followed by another firing into the same area. Each battleship cruiser and Destroyer bristled with multiple anti-aircraft gun tub's the crews lowered their guns to shoot in a flat trajectory and unloaded a dizzying array of small caliber shells into pre-selected targets tracer rounds from these guns formed nearly solid orange and red lines that stabbed into the beach with seemingly geometric precision. As the sun began to rise specially modified landing craft infantry LCI ships hurried towards the shore and erupted in volleys of inaccurate but devastating rockets a Japanese pillboxes command posts and machine gun nests in total on this day alone. They fired nearly 1400 rounds of 14 and 16 inch shells 1332 rounds of eight inch shells 2400 and 30 rounds of six inch shells. Thirteen thousand one hundred thirty rounds of five inch shells along with nine thousand rockets in the sun had just risen by 6:30 in the morning. In amongst all that chaos and all that destruction the most destroying and the most destructive thing of all was what the Marines faced when they got to the beach and when they realized those bombardments did almost nothing in the face of the Japanese because they were so organized in their defense with tunnels and pre dug defensive fortifications knowing that this was the only way we could do this. They were almost all their. They were actually so ineffective that experienced Marines knew better than to get excited about what they were witnessing. But the new Marines they had no idea. Private First Class William Welsh wrote it made you wonder if anything could live through this pounding. Corporal Mari Williams a recon scout with the 21st Marines says the move Barbara was so intense that it seemed that the island itself would sink into the depths of the water from the terrific pounding it was taking. I was convinced that not many Japs could survive that fire. It was Admiral Connelly who was in the boats those days that really voiced what everyone who had either been through it or was smart enough to already know the bombardment cannot attain physical land objectives. There always must be fighting by the troops on the shore to secure the positions he wrote. So even with the most effective pre-landing bombardment even with all that firepower it's still wholly ineffective in comparison with the boots on the ground who actually have to secure each position and secure the victory and the fear that these men had when they were approaching the shore is something we've always wondered. It's been written the raw fear stimulated adrenal glands enhancing the senses. One soldier writes Your senses are different when you're about to invade. One Marine explained the sun is never brighter the sky never bluer the grass. The jungle is never greener and the blood is never redder. All your senses are just tingling. It's this pre-landing feeling in each soldier's stomach and head that we have been searching for since those days to find an accurate representation of what it was really like and everyone in that scenario can only offer up their personal experience. It's often been noted that the beginning to the movie Saving Private Ryan is as close as you will ever get to a movie setting of what it was like by many many of the vets who were there. And I have to tend to agree with everything that I've read that is the most fascinating and the most realistic horrific recount of what it would actually be like to be landing on those beaches. And these Marines were doing it over and over and over some of them made it from Guam all the way to the very last landing. Imagine seeing that over and over and all that carnage displayed in front of you only to get back on the boat and to do it all over again. And if all that wasn't enough you actually had to do the fighting against the Japanese and they were notorious for their terror tactics. They would often surprise Marines in their foxholes in the middle of the night in a good way to describe these Bonzai charges with the way these these Japanese were sneaking up on these soldiers was on the night of July 25th 1944 on Guam a night commonly known as Fright Night. So on that night there were periodic thundershowers filling the foxholes of the Marines with water. The Japanese exchanged goodbyes with one another and said their final prayers in preparation for that sacred assault. The mood was sadness laced with grim determination. The word Guio Qusai meaning death with honor could be heard passing from the lips of many of these men. One wrote. Some took out photographs of their parents wife or children and bid farewell to them. Lou Tennent Colonel Takeda wrote some prayed to God or Buddha some composed death poem and some exchanged cups of water a final parting with intimate comrades all pledged themselves to meet again at the Jasu key Yasukuni Shrine. I apologize for my lack of pronunciation running from this story. The men believe that their spirits would live on forever at this great national shrine. Most fortified themselves with generous quantities of socky and a few might have even told their fears with narcotics which was a common place thing in this time for footsoldiers and a suicide charge before they went into the night. Groups that were small and large noisy and quiet and so picks up our story of Frank Goodwin and an 18 year old kid and I mean kid from Malden Massachusetts who was sitting in a shallow foxhole atop a small hill peering into the darkness around him where the other men of first company of the 21st Marines who are all doing the same thing at his elbow. His buddy was sleeping since it was Goodwins turn to keep watch. He was huddled behind the protection of several coral rocks that he and his buddy had stacked for protection around their hole in front of the position Marines had placed empty trash cans on sticks in hopes that anyone sneaking up on their holes would bump into these cans thus making noise. It was a very common first line of defense against these Japanese sneak attacks because they were so talented at it. Overhead a flare bathe the area half light. Goodwin looked down the hill and caught sight of what looked like four tree stumps a couple hundred feet away. He did not remember them being there in the daytime but he knew the mind could play tricks at night. He woke his buddy and told him to take a look but he saw nothing and he wrote. I stared out in that direction for a long time and his Nothing seemed moved. I guess he was right. Besides if they were that close they surely would have run into the cans. Exhausted from several days of existence on the front line Goodwin dozed off with a pistol in his left in just a few thousand yards to Goodmans left was Private First Class at Adamski who was in a machine gun nest. That was a forward outpost for company in the 9th Marines and adamski had a dog. He was part of the dog company of the Marines who were exceptionally talented at notifying their owners whom they were unbelievably loyal to that the Japanese were soon to be there with a sneak attack at night. And this is where there are two different ways the attack could go. There is either the total surprise just by a few Japanese soldiers on some unsuspecting Marines which was normal at night. They would just sneak up in small groups knowing that they were going to die maybe ten of them would spread out and jump into a foxhole and kill as many people as they could. Or in this case it was a bonzai attack in which in which case it was every Japanese soldier on the island. Oftentimes they would even come out on crutches wounded or not would be on a death charge. Just one final charge. Hence the name Bonzai at the frontlines of the United States Marines and they were never effective. And the idea was to overwhelm them but they all knew they were running to their graves and at this point they are making a lot of noise and I apologize for the language I am quoting. A Marine here when he talks about the things that they would yell at these Marines as they were coming so I'll pick up with the story of Private Bill car would corporate Wick's corporate which Sorry I cannot pronounce some of these names. And he says he can hear them yelling making noises like beating metal drums whistleblowing etc. Another Marine heard the enemy laughing like shrill hyenas clinging sabers against bayonets shouting the Emperor draws much blood tonight. Other Americans heard the sounds of bottle shattering amid slurred bellow shrieks and screams the Japanese soldiers hollered many chilling phrases such as Wake up American and die. Meriem you die tonight. One even cried: “Fuck Babe Ruth.” Sometimes they parroted the Americans hurling grenades and yelling fire in the hole or Cormen. This was a classic example of posturing in the human psyche. They will often try to mimic a bigger psychological threat or fear in hopes of the enemy turning away. And what should be noted here and what makes me proud of my my country is that there was not one recorded instance of a Marine running away. The sound of an enemy scream and that really says a lot because the amount of fear that paralyzed these Marines was unspeakable. And I think that that is such a interesting and often overlooked fact. Not a single Marine was said to run away at the sound of an enemy scream. That means a lot to me. And now back to our friend Frank Goodwin who was asleep when all this had started. He was awoken in the middle of the night by a blood curdling scream of a Japanese soldier who had jumped right into his hole. Startled and terrified he rolled over onto his back and pointed his pistol firing at the same time hitting the Jap in the face and he fell right on top of me. He says all at once. Another enemy soldier was in the hole attacking Goodwins buddy.A large man named Dernburg the big marine grabbed the smaller Japanese soldier and quote picked him up right by the crotch and threw him out of the hole and then went after him. Somehow or other he found a rock in the middle of all this and smashed his head and all along our lines the screaming Japs were making their assault. We fought with anything we could get our hands on in entrenching tools pistols rifles fists and rifle butts. They were right in the holes with us. Some of the Japanese had explosive demolition kits strapped to their chests. They were trying to jump into the American foxholes and detonate the explosives. There were pieces of flesh flying all over the area. Goodwin describes as the Japanese soldiers detonated their kits. There were little pieces of flesh flying through the air. It's hard for us today to imagine what that was like in back to Ed Adamski the dog handler his dog big boy was alerting him to every Japanese that was on his way. Eventually a grenade was dropped into the foxhole that spent that sent pieces of shrapnel into fencers legs knocking him into the hole. His dog skipper had massive shrapnel wounds as the fighting raged around them. Fetzer tried to administer first aid to his beloved dog but the young Marine had his head pressed against skipper's chest and listened at his companion's heart while it stopped beating. This is a story I include to show the opposite side of this raging Gulf. Private First Class Fetzer.I went crazy. I stood up there like a wild man shooting around my foxhole there must have been eight or ten Japs laying there. They shouldn't have killed my dog. That was just like a piece of me and that's what I include that Adamski saw because it shows this this unique perspective of what all this destruction and chaos was going around him. These soldiers these Marines on all fronts were suffering such incredible loss and heartache while also experiencing this chaotic adrenaline and fear in just awe around them. It's hard to imagine yourself in a situation like that. Certainly I think I would be going insane. And this is this is just one small example of that that while they were experiencing anger and rage beyond anyone's imagination they were also experiencing the most heart ache in the biggest portion of pain all at once that you could possibly imagine and it's no wonder that these soldiers most of them came back scarred forever. This ability to defend the island after island was the Japanese most strong tactic and it came to its high watermark on the island of Peleliu in September of 1944. The greatest strength of the Japanese soldier or two was his willingness to fight to the death in the most tenacious fashion even one cut off surrounded and leaderless. And this this willingness stems from the Bushido warrior code which inextricably linked to soldier's family honor duty and patriotism and is loyal to the Emperor with his willingness to sacrifice himself which in general meant that the Japanese soldiers were better on defense the offense. And like I mentioned before it was never more apparent than on the island of Peleliu in September of 44. The general taking his cue from General in a way was the Army's commander plus understood that land defense was the best way to maximize his strength. He says I issued strict orders that the Bonzai attack was not to be employed because it wasted manpower which could be put to more effective use. I ordered that the men fight a delaying action from prepared positions causing as many enemy casualties as possible. Basically he understood that Japan no longer possessed the naval and air strength by this point to repulse American invasions at the waterline. Bonzai attacks were just wasteful and it could be tied to more vanity than victory. The best hope for victory was to just bleed the Americans dry until they had no more will to fight. So at Paley Lou he ordered his ten thousand five hundred defenders to just dig extensive fortifications within caves that could be impervious to the bombing and to make matters worse. The island of Peleliu had natural fortifications within those caves which made the Japanese all the more merry to do that job in the first place and what they did with the beach is that they didn't. They had presided the entire landing area from the beaches all the way to a prominent coral reef of a few hundred yards offshore so the Marines were walking into a machine gun trap. One Marine writes during the landing that non-blue machine guns chattered mercilessly seemingly inundating the beach with bullets kicking up sand and water tearing into men. The bullet shattered bones blew heads off lacerated kidneys and tore muscles into mush. This machine gun tactic was known as grazing fire and what its purpose was was to hit anything within two feet of the ground especially a prone Marine. One Marine writes from then on it was just a series of close shaves and acts of God.No one would make it to shore easily and most wouldn't and if the machine gunfire wasn't wasn't bad enough. Corporal Alexander Castella he tells the story about the snipers that were on the beach. Our men were being picked off like flies. I ran up the beach dodging sniper fire mortar fire all the time firing my weapon into the trees hoping to hit some snipers. He dived face down into a shallow hole gritty grains of sand irritated his eyes and lips. One sniper got his sights on me. He did not miss by much the bullet hit the sand in front of my face with such impact that it drew blood from my face and when he was in this foxhole a friend of his named Jo Reed jumped in next to him. Reid was a popular guy the sort of person who knew how to make everyone else laugh. Castella turned to warn Reid about the snipers he says and I quote before I could finish my words he was hit in the middle of the forehead. The blood seeped out of a small hole. He had a blank stare. I knew he was gone. CASELLO said he felt terrible but he had no time to dwell on his friend's death. He just sprayed trees with fire from his Thompson submachine gun got up and ran to another position after another position. The only way to stop this. This machine gun blanketing was to make your way little by little close enough and they had to had to lean in and shoot them point blank with no mercy or reflection in grunts. The quote is it was the very essence of the infantryman's decidedly personal war. One Marine wrote of the Palillo beach landings. Who was new to combat. Filled with anger revulsion abject frustration. He says I quote. I had tasted the bitterest essence of war. The sight of helpless comrades being slaughtered and it filled me with disgust. And people often overlook the job that the medics had. All while this was all going on. One medic writes his name Leslie Harold he was 19 in the company of Marines who was moving up the beach when he saw a man from his unit get shot in the mouth. He writes The guy's tongue was cut.He was choking to death on his own tongue and blood flowing down his throat. I got a hold of the guy's tongue and his bottom lip and I clipped him together with with a hemostat Harold than GM several compress badges and in the Marines mouth to further staunched the bleeding. I dug out teeth and bits of gum. I did treat the shock by putting in a liter of blood plasma he wrote down what he had done on and tagon pointed to the wounded man and doctors aboard a hospital ship offshore would know what his status was. Then he flagged down an Amtrak to evacuate him and no sooner had he finished with the case than a bullet slammed into another Marine quote right between the eyes. The bullet went in hit something turned and went out right in front of his ear. It was like hearing a cantaloupe dropped on the sidewalk. Harold attended to him tagged him and sent him to an Amtrak. All the while under withering fire.To say that this was a bloody gruesome war would be an understatement. And what these Marines saw in Japan was was more. More violence and more carnage than the human mind I think has ever intended to see and it resulted in this desensitization. Colonel Eugene Sledge writes in his memoirs many many years later but something that I've always always had stick out with me is a story. Well it's not just really one story it's many stories but if you've read his book with the old breed you know the stories I'm talking about because they're some of the most famous. And he begins with writing about how they treated the dead the dead enemies that had fallen on the battlefield. And he says the men gloated over compared and often swap their prizes. It was a brutal ghastly ritual the likes of which have occurred since ancient times on battlefields where the antagonists have possessed a profound mutual hatred. It was uncivilized as is all war and was carried out with that particular savagery that characterize the struggle between the Marines and the Japanese. It wasn't simply souvenir hunting or looting the enemy dead. It was more like Indian warriors taking scalps was or removing a bayonet and scabbard for dead Japanese soldiers I noticed a Marine dragging what I assumed to be a corpse. But the Japanese wasn't dead. He had been wounded severely in the back and couldn't move his arms. The Japanese his mouth glowed with huge gold crowned teeth in his capture captor wanted then he put the point of his K-Bar knife on the base of his tooth and hit the handle with the palm of his hand. Because the Japanese was kicking his feet and thrashing about the knife point glanced off the tooth and sink deeply into the victim's mouth. The Marine cursed him and with a slash cut his cheeks open ear to ear. He put his foot on the suffers lower jaw and tried again.Blood poured out of the soldier's mouth. I've been shouted Put the man out of his misery. All I got for an answer was a cussing out. Another Marine ran up put a bullet in the enemy soldiers brain and ended his agony. The scavenger grumbled and continued extracting his prizes undisturbed. If that is not a harrowing firsthand account of what it was like as far as desensitisation of violence and gruesome treatment of another human being then I don't know what is. He goes on to talk about another story where he details what it was like to knowingly get his first kill and his happened to be up close and personal. He writes Even before the dust had settled I saw a Japanese soldier appear at the blasted opening. He was grim determination personified as he drew back his arm to throw a grenade at us. My carbine was already up when he appeared. I lined up my sights on his chest and began squeezing off shots as the first bullet hit him. His face contorted in agony. His knees buckled. The grenade slipped from his grasp. All the men near me began firing. The soldier collapsed in the fuselage and the grenade went off at his feet. He then writes I just killed a man at close range that I had seen clearly the pain on his face when my bullets hit him came as a jolt. It suddenly made the war a very personal affair. The expression on that man's face filled me with shame and disgust for the war and all the misery that it was causing in what I think is special about Sledge's account of of his experience of World War II is that he captures this ability to retell the war in a way that makes the reader aware of how much death they were constantly surrounded by. Most people always talk about stories like I just told firsthand accounts of their first kill or killing another soldier. But sledger writes about and he writes in detail about all the death. It was just always around them. Here he writes. There were certain areas we moved into and out of several times as the campaign dragged along its weary bloody course in many such areas. I became quite familiar with the sight of some particular enemy corpse as if it were a landmark. It was gruesome to see the stages of decay proceed from just killed to bloated to maggot infested rotting to partially exposed bones like some biological clock marking the inexorable passage of time. On each occasion my company passed such a landmark we were fewer in number. How do you handle going from in Sledge's case. The son of a doctor in Alabama and a nice house to all of a sudden hell on earth. It's a transition that few people can actually understand and he has one story that's particularly gruesome. About the way that they treated these dead bodies around them. They were so used to him they didn't even they didn't even notice that they were there. He writes about a time on Peleliu where they had a little bit of downtime before their next advancement and he says at first glance the dead Japanese machine gunner appeared to appeared about ready to fire his deadly weapon. He still sat bolt upright in the proper firing position. Even in death his eyes stared wildly along the gun sights. The crowd of the gunners skull had been blasted off as a as a company rifleman and I talked I noticed a fellow mortar man sitting next to me. He held a handful of coral pebbles in his left hand with his right hand. He idly tossed them into the open skull of a dead Japanese machine gunner. Each time his pitch was true I heard a little splash of rain water and the ghastly receptacle. My buddy Tuss the coral chunks as casually as a boy casting pebbles into a puddle on some muddy road back home. There was nothing malicious in his action. The war had so brutalized us that it was beyond belief. He later goes on to write about how the war was for those who were not on the frontlines and how different it was. He calls it on the periphery of action. But what is important to remember is just like in the thesis of that book grunt's I talked about earlier is that the foot soldiers the ones who were who were doing the action the ones who were getting those objectives this was their war. This was this was something unexplainable that they were going through for the name of whatever cause they were fighting for in sledge rights to the noncombatants and those on the periphery of action. The war meant only boredom or occasional excitement but to those who entered the meat grinder itself the war was a netherworld of horror from which escape seemed less and less likely as casualties mounted and the fighting dragged on and on. Time had no meaning. Life had no meaning. The fierce struggle for survival and the abyss of paler blue eroded the veneer of civilization and made savages of us all. We existed in an environment totally incomprehensible to men behind the lines. Service troops and civilians and I mean based on that quote I might as well just stop what I'm doing right now because no one can truly understand what it was like for those men. On page two or in the Pacific theater or in France on the European side no one can actually know what that was like no matter how many books you read or stories you hear it cannot be accurately portrayed unless you were there in the middle of that chaos carnage and death surrounding you the entire time. But we can do our best to try and understand what that was like for all of those men there. Because the more you learn about it the more you realize that this is something that humanity should never have to go through again. But unfortunately if history is any judge of the future it seems like we will have this happen again at some point. And this was just one island among so many that the Marines jumped onto and went through chaos after chaos after death after death in order to fight the Japanese in the name of American freedom. All the while getting closer to the mainland of Japan where casualty casualties were expected to reach 1 million American soldiers just in the initial invasion. But that's getting ahead of ourselves in this story. We have to back up a little bit to the summer of 1944 in London where they had just gone through an intense amount of bombing known as the Battle of Britain. This was Hitler's plan to take over Great Britain and then move towards the United States. But no none of them knew at the time that he actually had ambitions for the US. Nonetheless Britain had been subject to horrific bombings and air raids for months on end before finally Hitler made the vast mistake of invading the Soviet Union just like Napoleon did in the winter time in 1941. What this did was aside from freezing to death half of his troops it split his army in multiple directions and the Americans and the allies took advantage of this split and decided that after this and after the mounting losses that he had he had sustained and by 1944 his losses were 3.5 million. Which is noted that the Russian forces had quadruple that amount lost in that attack in Operation Barbarossa which is the code name Hitler gave for that winter invasion in Russia which I also skipped ahead without saying. Obviously it should be noted that the Nazis went against the agreements of the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact earlier and decided to attack Russia. It was Hitler's biggest mistake and obviously he lost quite quite a bit. Quite a million of people 3.5 million to be exact. So with these losses mounting it became apparent that the time was coming. If we were going to get involved in the war this was going to be close to when it was going to happen and sure enough just three years later they put Dwight D Eisenhower who we would later know as Ike as our president in charge of the he was the supreme general of the Allied command. He was in charge of formulating the plan to invade France and start the liberation of Europe from the Nazi whole. And it should be noted that Eisenhower was probably the only reason that this entire invasion didn't go south. He got all of his generals and commanders and many many common privates together to discuss the plan that Churchill says the only plan was to persevere as he put it himself and perseverance had brought them to the brink. A chance to close with the enemy and destroy him and his European Citadel. Four years after Germany overran France and the low countries they have long been advocating confronting the main German armies as soon as possible and this pugnacity pugnacity decried as ironmongery by British strategists whose preference for reducing the enemy gradually by attacking the Axis had led to 18 months of Mediteranean fighting which I was speaking about earlier as the Battle of Britain. This arena would shift north and the British Americans would Mongar iron together. So Eisenhower got all his people together and he said I consider it to be the duty of anyone who sees a flaw in the plan not to hesitate to say so. He was a smart smart man. He knew that if he was going to make a plan he had to present it to his soldiers who were actually going to be carrying it out in order for them to point out the flaws in it is in an speakable strength of a leader who can take a plan of his and subjected to the lowest of his command for overall criticism and that is part of why the Americans won the war because the Nazis were responsible to answer strictly to Hitler. They could not they couldn't come up with plans on the fly. They couldn't adlib so to speak on the battlefield. And that has always been one of the biggest strengths of American wartime strategies that there's a famous quote where it sounds awful lot like General Patton saying it but I can't attribute to anyone right now where one one kind of gritty colonel is saying to another if we don't know what we're doing on the battlefield then the enemy sure as hell doesn't know what we're doing. And that's kind of the whole thing that got the Nazis as they had I mean they had an entire tank regiment that didn't even respond to the D-Day landings. But I'm getting ahead of myself in the story and I don't want to spoil part of the next episode. So General Eisenhower was planning out Operation Overlord. What we know is D-Day and it really came down to as simple as this if overlord's succeeded. The Normandy assault would dwindle to a mere episode in the larger saga of Europe's liberation if overlord failed the entire allied enterprise faced abject collapse and had to begin with quote an ugly piece of water called the channel. As the official U.S. Army history would describe it it was a invasion that was only 19 miles away from its from its starting point from country to country and it was an invasion that had more planning and foresight than any any operation in the military history of the United States. It was so complicated and so difficult a question the answer of how to get into France to fight the Nazis that they even considered tunneling under the channel. A detailed study deemed the project feasible requiring a year and fifteen thousand men to excavate and five thousand tons of spoil. Wiser heads questioned the strategic and functional complexities such as the inconvenience of the entire German seventh army waiting for the first tumbler to emerge and the project was canned. And it was it was so many different ideas no one knew what to do. And Montgomery General Montgomery the the British High Command said we shall have to send the soldiers into this party seeing red. Nothing must stop them. If we send them into battle this way then we shall succeed. And he was right as much as I truly despise him and I'll tell you all about why. But he was right. They had to see red. They had to be dropped off and just let loose. But all of that hinges on the ability of the person coming up with the plan to do it correctly and no one was more keenly aware to the fact that three times prior to this Germans had nearly driven Allied landings back into the sea. It was all in Italy at Sicily Salerno and Anzio. And we were so lucky that we had Ike. General Eisenhower as the one planning and I mean the planners under him even coined the operation as an acronym called Pin weepie i n w e stood for problems of the invasion of northwest Europe because for every problem that was solved the way they solved it gave rise to another problem. They went as far as a fog to Spellar the blue flames in the air to burn off mist from British airships to keep it secret and it cost sixty thousand gallons of gasoline an hour. So how do you how do you do that. And then there were military replacements for civilian workers hired to assemble military gliders which were critical to the invasion plan. The civilians had so botched the job that fifty one of the first 62 gliders were deemed unflappable. Another hundred improperly lashed down had been badly damaged by high winds. I mean every penny item resolved another rose. Oxford officers now studied Norman town construction to determine what parts would burn best knowledge that would be useful in dispensing scarce firefighting equipment. They they compiled a list of 18 leading German military personalities now in France and particularly ripe for assassination. Rommel was among them and it was it was stuff like this that they had to consider every tiny detail and it just so happened to be the largest invasion in military history of the entire world. But Eisenhower was the one man who was able to get it done and he recently had written to a friend in Washington quote Everyone gets more and more on edge a sense of humor and a great faith or else a complete lack of imagination are essential to the project. He could really only ram his feet deeper into the stirrups that he was already in. And amidst all this chaos of planning and all of this confusion Eisenhower was able to think about the individual soldier and he even said quote I don't have to think he wrote to his wife. How many youngsters are gone forever. And he was able to keep as he called it what a man must develop and quote A man must develop the near of callousness the British Empire had now exceeded half a million casualties. Sixteen divisions to be committed under General Montgomery including the Canadians and Poles amounted to Churchill's last troops reserves. The British casualty forecast calculated under a formula known as something called Evetts rates projected three levels of combat. Until this point they were quiet normal and intense. End quote. But the anticipated carnage in Normandy had led planners to add a new level double intents according to a British study. Enemy fire sweeping 200 by 400 yards swatch of beach for two minutes would inflict casualties above 40 percent on an assault battalion a bloodletting comparable to the Somme in 1916. The American casual casualty predictions were used using a cushion called Love's tables which would like really Which part of me which would likely reach 12 percent of the assault force on D-Day or higher if gas warfare erupted and keep in mind they had no idea what they were going to be facing. The first infantry division. The point of the spear on Omaha Beach estimated that under quote unquote maximum conditions casualties would reach 25 percent of whom. Almost a third would be killed captured or missing. The admiral commanding the bombardment forces on Utah told his captains that quote we might expect to lose one third to one half of our ship's projected U.S. combat drownings in June. Exclusive paratroopers have been calculated at Grimley precise sixteen thousand 726 to track the dead wounded and missing the casualties section under their general intelligence agency. It will grow to 300 strong so complex where the calculations that an early incarnation of the computer using punch cards would be put to the task. I mean these were some serious things they were trying to figure out and all the while recent exercises and rehearsals just didn't look good at all. Eisenhower had no optimism whatsoever since January in cove's and Firth around Britain troops were decanted into the shallows quote hopping around trying to keep our more vulnerable parts out of the water. One captain explained quote Sometimes they stood on the beach in biffed imaginary defenders into the hills. Sometimes they biffed imaginary invaders from the hills into the sea. Sometimes they merely collided with imaginary rivals for the use of the main road and built them out of the way. And this was the exact quote of what Eisenhower was getting reported to. How can you have any faith that this isn't going to be ending in a complete and utter disaster. And that's the thing about this entire Normandy invasion. No one knew what it was going to turn out like no one knew what they were facing and no one really knew what success they were going to have. It's not uncommon knowledge that Eisenhower had two letters on that day one for a successful invasion and one for a failure in which he takes full responsibility and for the success he gives full responsibility to the men on the beaches. He was an incredible general and we are truly lucky to have him. It would be entirely different world had we not had his discernment and leadership available. It wasn't until one story came out about the imaginary quote unquote biffing turning all too real on April 28 of 1944 through quote a series of mistakes and misunderstandings and investigators later concluded troop convoy. Four was left virtually unprotected as it steamed toward slapped in sands on the south coast of Devon chosen for its resemblance to Normandy at 2 a.m. nine German airboats eluded a British escort 12 miles offshore and torpedoed three U.S. Navy LSD's with such violence that soldiers on three LSD's nearby thought that they had been hit. Fire quote spread instantly from stem to stern. A witness reported to ship sank one in seven minutes disproving latrine scuttlebutt that torpedoes were passed beneath a shallow draft. Ls t. And it often goes unnoticed that there were casualties before this invasion even began. How successful do you think an invasion would be if you were planning it and that happened. You can't blame anyone for thinking that this was going to be a total disaster. The final death toll for that slapped in sand's incident would reach 700 hundred and Eisenhower grieved for those men no less for the loss of those vehicles because they now stood with a reserve of zero. He wrote to George C. Marshall not a restful thought about the loss of those elist he's he often quoted Napoleon's definition of a military genius as quote the man who can do the average thing when all those around him are going crazy. And what a better time for this quote than now. Because everyone around him seemed to be going crazy. He was the supreme commander. That was his actual title. He was widely respected by all those who were under him. General Montgomery wrote he has a generous and lovable character and I would trust him to the last gasp other comrades considered him quote clubbable articulate and profoundly fair his senior naval subordinate Admiral Sir Bertram H. Ramsey asserted simply he is a very great man and FDR Franklin D Roosevelt the president at the time had chosen him to command this Operation Overlord as quote the best politician among the military men. He is a natural leader who can convince other men to follow him. That is the essence of what we needed we needed a natural leader who could convince other men to follow him or else this whole thing was caput. And as we often see in the great leaders of our time he had he had doubts about himself but he also sensed the doubts of him that were in British newspapers and his own diary he lamented the depiction of him in British newspaper as an administrator rather than a battlefield commander and he writes quote They just like to believe that I had anything particularly to do with campaigns. They don't use the words initiative and boldness in talking of me it wearies me to be thought of as timid when I've had to do things that were so risky as to be almost crazy. Oh hum and among all of these doubts that he had about himself and his plan he knew that the one thing that success rested on was a privacy and secrecy of the plan but B the character of the American footsoldier that the plan hinged upon. And what better to describe these millions of men by the words of poet Randall general who wrote quote You are something there are millions of just over eight million had been inducted into the U.S. Army and Navy during the past two years. Eleven thousand each day the average G.I. was 26 years old. Born the year to end all wars was ended in 1919. The manpower demands in this global struggle meant that the force is growing younger. Henceforth nearly half of all American troops are arriving to fight in Europe in 1944 would be teenagers one in three guys had only a grade school education. One in four held a high school diploma and slightly more than one in 10 had attended college for at least a semester or department pamphlet 21 dash 13 would assure them that they were quote the world's best paid soldiers a private earned $50 a month. A staff sergeant $96 and any valiant G.I. awarded the Medal of Honor would receive an extra $2 each month. The typical soldier stood five feet eight inches tall and weighed 144 pounds. Physical standards did have to be lowered though to accept defects that once would have been keeping many of these men out of uniform. A man with 2400 vision could now be conscripted if his sight was correctable to at least 2040 and one eye toward that end. The armed forces would make 2.3 million pairs of eyeglasses for their troops there was an old joke that the Army no longer examined eyes but instead just counted them. It seems it didn't come true although later on in the war the Army was so desperate for men that they began drafting quote moderate obsessive compulsive as well stutterers men with malignant tumors leprosy or certifiable psychosis were still deemed non-acceptable. But by early 1944 twelve thousand venereal disease patients most of them syphilitic were inducted each month and rendered fit for service with the new miracle drug called penicillin but all these conditions they only marked the physical. What about their soul. What about the ideals and their inner beliefs that that intrigued Eisenhower and made them these soldiers that he loved. Few professed to be warriors or even natural soldiers. Most were quote amateurs whose approach to soldiering was aggressively temporary. One officer said in April survey in Britain polled enlisted men about what they would ask Eisenhower if given the chance at least half one know what even the supreme commander could not tell them. When can we go home. A paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division the famous Easy Company said quote I will never get used to having some other person do my thinking for me. All of these months and I am still a civilian at heart. And thus he would die a few months later in Holland. What always gets me and I'll try to end with this because this is approaching two hours now. But the sheer monstrosity of the preparations for this invasion force just before they even got way to Britain. Here's an excerpt from a book called The guns at last light by Rick Atkinson probably the best book to read about the European theater that has ever been written. He says quote and so four by four by four they boarded those troop trains on the docks to be hauled to one thousand two hundred camps and 133 airfields across the British Isles. Quote this country reminds me reminds one constantly of Thomas Hardy and overeducated lieutenant wrote his mother. But in truth it was the land of the white swans and country folk who bicycled to ancient churches quote in the old steady manner and unsmilingly unsmilingly touched their caps as the journalist Eric Sevareid reported prayers tacked to pares doors in 1940 still pleaded could save our beloved land from invasion. Oh God. But no longer did the Home Guard expect to battle the Hun at Dover with decrepit rifle's or with the Pikes issued to those without firearms. Even some roadsigns removed early in the war to confound enemy parachutists had been put back after complaints that last American truck drivers were using too much gasoline. There were four hundred thousand pre-fabricated huts 279 thousand tents had been erected to accommodate the Yankees coming into Britain supplementing one hundred and twelve thousand borrowed Brit quote unquote borrowed British buildings and 20 million square feet of storage space. The new guys called this new world quote spam land. But the prevailing odor came from burning feces in the US Army School of Hygiene. Coal fired incinerators along with all the men. They brought 23 million tons of material carried across the Atlantic in cargo ships that arrived either days or months after the troops on their fast. The name of the ship was the Queens they were truck drivers separated from trucks drummers from their drums chaplains from their chalices thousands of arrived. Items arrived with indecipherable bills of lading or without shipping addresses other than glou the code for southern England or bang Northern Ireland or ugly. Which was an unknown codeword. The Ministry of Transport allocated 120 berth for us army ships in May but an extra 38 had arrived despite negotiations that reached the White House and Whitehall almost half the cargo from these orphant vessels eventually was dumped outside various ports and with all that material and all those men pouring into England even even the language was an issue to bear with. There were detailed glossaries that were translating English into English for American soldiers coming in. Chemist was a druggist geyser it was a hot water heater. Tire spelled Iare was what we considered a tire for a car. There were disparities in pay. I mean all these things. They they came along. But what what all the the British realized when the Americans realized it too. But this is coming from the British standpoint that both on the battlefield and in the rear the transatlantic relationship would remain in one British general's description. Quote a delicate hot house growth that must be carefully tended lest it wither away. Nothing less than the Western civilization depended on it as American soldiers by the boatload continued to swarm into their spam land camps. A British Major spoke for most of his countrymen when he said quote They were the chaps that mattered. We couldn't possibly win the war without them and that was the notion that no matter how many men wanted to or didn't want to admit it they all knew that they were about to go off to war and they all needed each other. It always blows me away the operation overlord and how much it took up the US Army had accumulated 300 and 1000 vehicles 8500 train locomotives 20000 rail cars 2.6 million small arms 2700 artillery pieces 300000 telephone poles and seven million tons of gasoline oil and lubricants. They had calculated that daily combat consumption from fuel to bullets to chewing gum at forty one point two nine eight pounds per soldier. This was an invasion that required landing in the first couple hours. Let me see what the quote is 7000 kinds of combat necessities. They had to reach it in the first four hours. Everything from surgical scissors to bazooka rockets followed by tens of thousands of tons in the days. In the days to come and what they did was they actually sat down in a in a basement near the Selfridges department store and they heard loading plans with the blueprints of deck and cargo space spread on huge tables with wooden blocks scaled to every Jeep Howitzer in shipping container and push them around like chess pieces chess pieces to make sure they fit soldiers in their camps laid out a full sized deck replicas of the ground and practice wheeling trucks and guns in and out. This was something that was not just going to fall together on accident into 22 British ports. Steve dores slung pallets and cargo nets into holds onto docks loading radios from Pennsylvania grease from Texas rifles from Massachusetts. I mean they needed 60 million K-rations just to feed the army for a month. They were packed into 500 ton bales. I mean this was a massive massive operation and just a logistical standpoint that it seems like a nightmare. And they were able to do it for the most part without a hitch. I mean obviously a lot got screwed up but they were successful. And that's something I think that gets so overlooked these days is just how minute they had to get I mean they had people pushing wooden blocks around like chess pieces to see if things fit. This isn't the planning that we are so used to today with all the laser measuring and computers to help us do the small my new details that we don't want to or need to be sped up calculation wise. I mean just take for example this armed guards from 10 cartography depots. They escorted 3000 tons of maps for D-Day alone the first 210 million maps that would be distributed in Europe were printed in five colors also into their holds were 280000 hydrographic charts for towns like Cherbourg and St.. Low for where they were going to be going. I mean these are that's that is so big that is 3000 tons of just paper maps. Can you wrap your head around that. That's a lot of stuff. And they had to get it all there and they had to get it all planned out correctly. And among all those things that were being brought into England among all those ports it was the blood that gave away to all the soldiers that D-Day was near what their plans were were they wanted to stockpile 3000 pints for Operation overlord's initial phase. That's one pint for every 2.2 wounded soldiers. Almost a four fold increase in the ratio used in Italy but whole blood only kept for two weeks at most and as the last week of May arrived there could be little doubt that D-Day was near the blood and large clearly marked canisters had landed and in the last ditch effort to keep this whole operation secret. Deception was the greatest key the greatest prevarication of the war originally known as appendix Y until it was given the name of fortitude it tried quote to induce the enemy to make faulty strategic dispositions of forces as the combined chiefs requested fifteen hundred allied receivers use phony radio traffic to suggest that a fictional army with eight divisions in Scotland would attack Norway in league with the Soviets followed by a larger invasion of France in mid-July through the PA DE Calais 150 miles northeast of the actual overlord beaches and they had deployed these things called big bobs.They've deployed more than 200 of them that were eight tons apiece. They were decoys landing craft fashion from canvas and oil drums conspicuously deployed beginning May 20th around the Thames estuary dummy transmitters now broadcast the radio hub of a spectral 150000 man U.S. First Army Group notionally poised to pounce on the wrong coast in the wrong month. The British genius for this was was incredible. They had more than a dozen German agents. All were discovered. All were arrested and all were flipped by British intelligence officers. They had a network of British double agents with code names like Garbo and tricycle embellished the deception in some 500 deceitful radio reports were sent from London to enemy spymasters in Madrid and thence to Berlin. The fortitude deception had spawned a German hallucination enemy enemy. Analysts now detected quote 79 allied divisions staging in Britain when in fact there were about 52. By late May by late May. Allied intelligence including ultra The British ability to intercept and decipher most coded German radio traffic had uncovered no evidence suggesting quote that the enemy has accurately assess the area in which our main assault is to be made. End quote. Which was a massive relief to Eisenhower to say the least. And to top off that story most of you have probably heard it but it's called the Ghost army where they actually had a fake tank corps under the charge of I think it was George C. Marshall or General Patton. I can't recall off the top of my head but they actually had blown up inflatable tanks men airplanes boats landing craft all staging in the area near the Strait of Dover which is where the Germans expected the attack to be because it was only 19 miles at its longest point from land to land and they successfully tricked the Germans into thinking they had a massive staging going on there. It should all just go to show you how much thought and how much creativity was used in prepping out this D-Day invasion this invasion of all invasions. That has never even been attempted before and hasn't been since it was truly hard to to imagine. All of this planning and foresight. And as for how the soldiers felt about all this I guess the words of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr were probably spoken and could be said for all soldiers quote We're ready now as ready as will ever be. And he wrote his wife quote The Blackbird says to his brother if this be the last song you shall sing sing well for you may not sing another and that is how each soldier felt going into this day of all days. We're ready now as will ever be in the moments leading up to the invasion. When the first paratroopers took off to be the pre pre-invasion the eighty second the hundred and first airborne who were the unfortunate divisions in the little big horn incident many many years earlier where they were slaughtered. The the prospect of another little big horn particularly for the two American airborne divisions ordered to France. They not at Eisenhower in these final hours. After watching them board he went in and he wrote just in case and I quote Our landings in the Cherbourg Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops he wrote. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone and he dated that paper July 5th. Just in case he needed to. He told one of his generals. It's really hard to look a soldier in the eye when you fear that you are sending him to his death. And it's hard to really imagine what kind of stresses and what kind of just unbelievable pressure this man was under the night before the invasion. And even amongst all that what really is the most awe inspiring of all the accounts of all of what happened is that of the individual soldier as he was headed out to go to war against an enemy that he did not know and to a place he did not understand. Ultimately he had no idea what he was getting into and their words on this final night before they were headed out to land on the beaches of Normandy or or I think the best to end the episode with as we pick up in the next episode that begins with the invasion. These are the melancholy words of the soldiers who were about to go and face the carnage that the world had never understood and would never see to this day again. One troop simply yelled flap your wings you big assed bird to the plane that was taking off and getting ready to carry him into chaos. When one soldier wrote I hope to God I know what I'm doing. One soldier wrote give me guts as he prayed over and over give me guts. And as they went out short C's snapped toe ropes flooded engine rooms and sloshed through troop compartments. Some helmsmen vessels blinkered a one word message. Seasick. Seasick seasick one soldier writes. Stay light he murmured. Stay on forever and we'll never get to Normandy. The light faded and was gone. Down ten channels they plunged to designated for each of the five forces steaming towards five beaches. Utah. Omaha. Gold Juno sword Wake's braided and regraded. Stay light stay on forever and we'll never get to Normandy. If you'd like this episode I'd encourage you to check out the show notes and the work cited and all the transcriptions that I will put available on the Web site. The Monday American dot com. You can also follow more on Twitter on Facebook on Twitter. You can follow us at. Monday American Facebook it's the Monday American you can find us on YouTube and pretty much on any any podcasting platform that's available. Thank you so much for listening to part one of what will likely be a three part series. I don't want to put a put a final estimate on it but I don't want to get too too overly involved as a two hour episode already. And I just cannot thank you enough for all the support that you have shown me and the downloads that have been growing literally exponentially per per week. I am so very thankful for all of you that are listening and all of you that are sharing and I hope that you have enjoyed this and I hope that you are eagerly anticipating episode 2 or part 2 Episode 11 of the mummy American which will cover World War 2 in part 2 form. Thank you again for listening and I will see you next time. 

Ep. 8 "Secrets, Secrets are no fun" transcript

28:43because he I mean my god this if it had

28:47not been for Jack Kennedy's click wit

28:49the story goes that Hoover repeatedly

28:51tried to interest Jack Kennedy into a

28:53story about an American ambassador who

28:55was caught leaving a woodland bedroom by

28:57the woman's husband in you know JFK will

29:01always dismissed it finally he said he'd

29:03have to hire a ambassador who was run

29:05faster I mean that's typical JFK for you

29:08just a quick comeback that quells

29:10everything but you know we learned from

29:14the files that Hoover had a morbid

29:17fascination Kennedy's sex life he told

29:19Robert Kennedy the Attorney General

29:20about it so that they would know that

29:23Hoover had the power to blackmail you do

29:26you do you do you hear that he had the

29:28power to blackmail the president of

29:30essentially the free world at the time

29:32and the Attorney General and and it was

29:36up to his will if he wanted to do that

29:38or not that's not okay that's that is so

29:42much power in one man's hand it's kind

29:45of shocking but it didn't get worse and

29:47it didn't destroy a lot more than it did

29:52so that's just kind of an idea of these

29:56personal vendetta that Hoover had and

29:59just as a side note there is and I don't

30:02want to address this but I think it is

30:05important unless I don't want to it's

30:07because there's there's no real concrete

30:09evidence it's just a lot of pretty much

30:13evidence but stops just shy Hoover was

30:16probably gay and the reason that is

30:19actually important because I would not

30:21care otherwise is that the apparently he

30:26was a crossdresser and he showed up in

30:28parties and high heels I mean this stuff

30:33I mean this is this is absurd this is

30:35like fiction and this was the start of

30:38the FBI Hoover had a a long time

30:42quote-unquote life partner

30:45his name was Tolson I'm Clyde Tolson he

30:47was a deputy Bureau director they would

30:52take long vacations together always
30:53taxpayer expense by staging a raid


30:57making an arrest claiming they were in

30:59Miami Beach or California entirely on

31:01business others came forward later

31:05claiming that he was a heavy gambler and

31:08here's where the gay thing ties in I

31:09promise you I am making a point with

31:11that particularly he was he liked to bet

31:13on horses he liked a sure bet if you

31:16catch my drift

31:17he was entertained regally always at Del

31:20Mar the racetrack owned by Texas oilman

31:23Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson on

31:26the beach near San Diego merchants were

31:30there there shady guys he placed large

31:33bets and watched a large I mean like

31:35large bets through friends

31:37Walter Winchell who was a reporter

31:40Sherman Billingsley was the owner of the

31:42stork club in New York if you understand

31:46what club meant back in that day Lewis

31:48rosensteil a former bootlegger who then

31:51was the CEO of a distillery with mafia

31:54boss Frank Costello on races that were

31:56fixed so all of that comes into play

31:59because a lot of people came forward to

32:01say that Hoover and Tolson were lovers

32:03and the story of the cross-dressing is

32:06it backs up to a party where Rosen

32:10rosensteil the bootlegger his wife

32:13claimed to have been at a party in New

32:16York hosted by the former Joseph

32:20McCarthy the former Senator Joseph

32:22McCarthy at which Hoover was present and

32:26dragged just straight up black chiffon

32:27high heels introduced himself as Mary

32:30and was in the company of male

32:32prostitutes that is a very short snippet

32:37and based on everything that I have read

32:39because I've studied this in a couple

32:41courses I'm going to say that probably

32:43was a real occurrence one of the

32:47funniest things I've read was a cone was

32:48later have heard to say how nice to have

32:52Mary Hoover here tonight kind of it as a

32:55joking angle towards him but this is the

32:59the massive fallout of of this and why

33:02one person having all this power is

33:05really dangerous

33:06James Angleton at the CIA he had

33:09pictures of Hoover and Tolson

33:13exchanging favors and he showed them to

33:15CIA agents who were about to take up

33:18since it matter what the FBI said they

33:20knew that getting into it was also

33:23believed because the CIA had extremely

33:26close ties and when I say extremely I

33:29don't know if there's a stronger word to

33:30say close extremely close with the mob

33:35New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello and

33:38others bragged that they never feared

33:40harassment by the FBI because they had

33:42seen and they had pictures and when you

33:45look into it it makes sense because

33:47Hoover presided over the FBI precisely

33:51in the years that the mobs sunk it hooks

33:54deep into American economic life via


33:58the only conclusions possible that he

34:01was either incompetent or just totally

34:04compromised it would explain why he

34:07blackmailed others with files that he

34:09would he was being blackmailed

34:10themselves if the mob had an enemy and

34:12they had dirt on the guy who had dirt on

34:14everyone then they had dirt on everyone

34:16so Hoover I mean this is the director of

34:19the FBI a lawman this is how you can

34:23kind of see that this dude was he was

34:25being pushed

34:26he literally denied that there was even

34:28a mob with nationwide influence

34:31testified that in the late 50s he said

34:35that gambling was a local problem for

34:37local law enforcement it's finally he

34:41would literally deny that that was even

34:42a real thing there was finally a roundup

34:45at Joseph Barbara's getaway cabin in

34:48Appalachian New York it's a rural area

34:51and in 57 is when it happened it proved

34:54it was not a local matter because

34:55remember this is back in the day where

34:58you kind of had to take people at their

35:00word as far as the media and your

35:01officials um

35:02the arrests of Appalachian have been

35:04made by the local sheriff's office who

35:06were lightyears ahead of the FBI on this

35:08which should tell you again that the FBI

35:10was just turning its head and ignoring

35:12it and the monsters fled into the forest

35:16and we're wearing all white like silk

35:17clothes stuck out like a sore thumb now

35:21transition out of this digression of

35:23Herbert Hoover Unterberger

35:25j edgar Hoover's personal life the last

35:28point I'm going to make is that keep in

35:30mind all the betting and gambling he

35:31loved to do when Bobby Kennedy became

35:34the Attorney General the first thing the

35:36thing he's most famous for other than

35:37his assassination is that he was

35:40forcefully against the organized crime

35:42in America Hoover told Bobby that he

35:46knew the president was having

35:47extramarital affairs

35:48he used blackmailing Bobby in it kind of

35:53comes to fruition the day after Kennedy

35:55was shot that day after JFK was shot the

35:58country was in deep mourning Hoover and

36:00Tolson their buddies celebrated with a

36:04day at the races in Baltimore betting

36:07and gambling it just it goes to show

36:09that they he had a real hatred for four

36:13people and he could use his information

36:16to his own personal gain for the loss of

36:20America in general so when you take in

36:23all of that which was a just a lot of

36:26information really all at once and you

36:29can you can see those are the roots of

36:31how this intelligence community started

36:33you can kind of understand why we are

36:37where we are today this was a a

36:40government-sponsored taxpayer-funded

36:45blackmailing tool blackmailing apparatus

36:48of jayega keep on assay Herbert Hoover

36:51I'm sorry J Edgar Hoover it is not okay

36:55it's I don't know how it it was going on

36:59for so long I don't know how I mean he

37:02served like damn near half the

37:05presidents it's it's terrifying to think

37:07that that could still be going on the

37:10CIA they were kind of right along in

37:13step with them the CIA I'm going to

37:14switch back to the CIA now they they did

37:18black ops to try to kill Castro they

37:21nicknamed the operation to kill Castro

37:23which JFK did sign off on after the Bay

37:26of Pigs yes I don't really like that but

37:30you know no one's perfect because that

37:33is murder so

37:35they literally named the operation to

37:38assassinate Fidel Castro the operation

37:41was called Castro spelled backwards it

37:43was literally operation however you

37:46spells name backwards so I just think

37:48that's hilarious I'm sure it fooled a

37:50ton of people so let's let's move back

37:54again to the pre Cold War this was when

37:57all of these activities were overlooked

38:00because the country was fearful they

38:04were fearful they saw a reason to give

38:08up their liberties in order to quell

38:12their fears that it didn't even work so

38:17the the world had a lot of hope that

38:20Dwight Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev

38:23would be able to hammer out in and into

38:26the arms race and the upcoming Paris

38:28summit it was a big deal so that that

38:31all that clandestine operations all that

38:35was a precursor to what's going to

38:36happen in the Cold War the Paris summit

38:39was to begin on may 5th of 1960 and

38:42before it began I had to know how many

38:45ICBMs intercontinental ballistic

38:47missiles that the Soviets had he needed

38:50this info so he could negotiate with him

38:52and his own generals at home so what we

38:56did was we started spying on them in a

38:58plane called the YouTube plane it could

39:01fly higher than all known anti-aircraft

39:03guns could reach at the time 13 miles

39:06high it could take pictures with a

39:09resolution sharp enough to distinguish a

39:11dinner plate from an altitude of six

39:13miles up and it was knew it was a CIA

39:16operation but the air force supplied the

39:18equipment Americans knew nothing about

39:21it it was super super secret they made

39:23several flights over Soviet airspace and

39:27you know eventually the Soviets knew

39:29about the u2 flights and they were

39:31furious about it and here's where

39:33geopolitics comes into play you know how

39:36of course we would be pissed too but

39:38they couldn't do anything about it

39:40because they couldn't reach it and they

39:41couldn't really say anything about it

39:43because they didn't want to have their

39:45own people thinking they were powerless

39:46to stop it

39:48Soviet air commuters careers even the

39:51lives were in jeopardy because they

39:53couldn't figure out a way to get it down

39:54you know blight Eisenhower he knew this

39:57was irritable to say the least to them

39:59but he had to know how far along their

40:02ICBM program was kind of echoes to

40:05today's North Korea situation and if

40:07you're wondering why I'm kind of jumping

40:09back and forth between story to story it

40:11does have a point I will get there with

40:13this YouTube playing because anyone who

40:15knows about this situation already knows

40:17that I just kind of made a jump from a

40:19broad topic to a very specific one but

40:22essentially we started flying YouTube

40:23planes over Russia all the time to

40:25figure out this missile gap because we

40:29were supposedly neck-and-neck or behind

40:32Russia in our missile production who

40:36were the proponents of that information

40:37these people were pushing for us to to

40:40build by spend more on budget budgets

40:44for defense and it was the intelligence

40:46community who is behind this push this

40:49push for more missiles we they're going

40:51to beat us where there's a gap you know

40:53we have to have a gap if we're going to

40:55be ahead if we have to close the gap if

40:57we're behind this is what this the CIA

40:59the FBI they were all pushing this in

41:03order to further for a reason but we

41:07don't really know exactly what that

41:09reason was anyone with half a brain can

41:11deduce so the u2 flights eventually we

41:17had enough and like he didn't he was not

41:21fought on to begin with but like I said

41:23he had to he had to have that

41:26information and eventually he you know

41:29he said we're calling it quits on the u2

41:30flights as for any number of reasons

41:33there's a lot and the CIA pushed very

41:37hard I mean very very hard for one more

41:40flight they just wanted one more flight

41:42and the reason I'm mentioning this is

41:44because I've mentioned this before post

41:46Cold War post Cold War post World War

41:49two intelligence was comprised of ex

41:53generals from the military in World War

41:55two who were fighting the Nazis and they

41:58were heroic and they needed their war to

42:00fight and I'm not I'm not normally too

42:04quick to to say negative things about

42:07the military but this was this was

42:09pretty obvious what was going on they

42:11wanted a war they were hawks they were

42:14pushing it very strongly for one more

42:17flight and I think in a lot of people

42:21hold this belief as well it was because

42:23they wanted their war and they they

42:25sabotage that flight I think it was Gary

42:28Powers that flew the plane let me look

42:32and get his name right because it was

42:34Francis Gary Powers that's right he was

42:36the pilot and he was the only YouTube

42:39pilot that got shot down they never even

42:41came close before like I said earlier it

42:44could fly higher than anything else and

42:46faster than anything else and it didn't

42:49need to go low altitude for pictures so

42:53the important thing to to take out of

42:55this is the very last flight that I had

42:58canceled already that was the one of all

43:01the other flights that got shot down the

43:04last one that was canceled and then do

43:07you see how this when we were in this

43:09cold war environment already was was

43:12just stirring controversy it almost

43:15seems fabricated it's my personal belief

43:17that the CIA and FBI this time were the

43:20biggest enemies to America I still hold

43:23the belief that they were in the

43:24assassination of JFK you can come and

43:26deliver a tinfoil hat to me if you'd

43:28like but all the evidence is there the

43:33US was was spying with these planes and

43:37never even got close to getting shot

43:38down the last one gets shot down and the

43:40pilot was again Francis Gary Powers the

43:42reason I mentioned this I will repeat is

43:45because he was supposed to take his own

43:49life there was a destruct button in this

43:51plane not a eject but a destruct button

43:54so here's here's what kind of happened

43:57to back it up even again I'm sorry this

43:59is so spotty but I just there's so much

44:02information to sift through when the

44:05YouTube plane didn't return from that

44:06mission i authorized a cover story that

44:10plane was doing weather research along

44:11the Turkish Soviet border and it may

44:14have strayed into Soviet airspace

44:16Khrushchev then came out and told the

44:18world that he had not only the plane but

44:19the pilot as well which was a surprise

44:21because he was supposed to be dead and

44:25the plane was supposed to have

44:26self-destructed in the air so they could

44:28not get any Intel from it

44:30the cover story was exposed as a lie and

44:32Ike was humiliated the Soviets came to

44:35the Paris the accords in Paris the

44:37agreement there but then they walked out

44:39Khrushchev was a lot you know he was

44:42under pressure from his generals to do

44:43so but the summit crashed in flames the

44:46credibility of the United States

44:47government was never the same again even

44:50to its own people

44:50I can do it and he was an absolutely

44:53honorable man he is one of the most

44:54honorable men our country's history and

44:56he felt he had been betrayed from within

44:59he even said I want to resign that is a

45:02quote from him and that's why I'm

45:04bringing this up had he been betrayed

45:06from within we don't know for sure but

45:08you know where their smoke you'll find

45:11fire Khrushchev couldn't have continued

45:15to negotiate in arms limitation after

45:17that because this was the flight Geir

45:20the power slight was the one that was

45:21going to find missile buildup and they

45:23knew where was this needed pictures of

45:25they need to know and it would have it

45:28would have revealed that there was no

45:30missile gap it was just a product of

45:32pentagon hype the US was far ahead of

45:34missile development I had come very

45:37close to negotiating what might have

45:39been an in to the Cold War right there

45:40but we will never know because because

45:45the next president kennedy he he didn't

45:48know the military like i could did and

45:50he couldn't resist the push for more

45:51missiles and it was under candid and

45:53great missile buildup began profits

45:55rolled in to General Dynamics crewmen

45:57North American Rockwell Lockheed and the

46:00rest of the military-industrial complex

46:02however I didn't have a chance to stop

46:05that because he he'd never got the Intel

46:08he needed the one plane that was shot

46:10down to give him the Intel was was what

46:13would the one plane that did get shot

46:15down of all of them was that fight and

46:18in Ike's farewell speech to Americans

46:21the most one of the most famous speeches

46:23of President

46:23ever given he he addressed to the

46:27American public warning them about the

46:29dangers of the military-industrial

46:31complex the man who was in charge of the

46:34entire allied resistance of World War

46:37two warns Americans about the

46:39military-industrial complex did he know

46:42things he was not telling I mean these

46:46are things worth noting and just to get

46:50back to the intelligence community of it

46:52all we can continue on powers Francis

46:55Gary Powers story just a little bit

46:58there were a lot of people who were

47:00suspect of him downing the flight

47:03because he was supposed to kill himself

47:05and he agreed to that ahead of time you

47:07know as a service to his country to

47:08protect the intelligence personally I

47:11wouldn't agree to that but you know

47:14teaches on the flight if the five had

47:17been takes excessive île no major

47:20Soviet buildup of arms he could have I

47:23could have negotiated a reduction who

47:26stood to lose if that reduction had

47:28happened the Pentagon CIA and the

47:30armament makers the CIA again put very

47:33hard for Ike to not cancel that flight

47:34and to reinstate it so what happened did

47:38Soviet anti-aircraft capabilities

47:40suddenly improve overnight or was the

47:42plane flying much too low if so why

47:45officially the plane was hit at sixty

47:47eight thousand feet thirteen miles high

47:49but the pieces of the wreckage the

47:52Soviets put on display in Gorky Park in

47:54Moscow were huge and if it had been shot

47:57down at that altitude it they wouldn't

48:00have been that big I just would have

48:01deteriorated so you know knowing Francis

48:04Gary Powers background it's unlikely

48:05that he would have deliberately sabotage

48:07the mission but was the plane sabotaged

48:11it would have been done the airbase in

48:12Pakistan presumably on the borders or

48:15borders I'm sorry of an American who

48:17wanted the mission to fail Pakistan is

48:19where they took off from so why didn't

48:21he take his own life away is expected to

48:23in the reason I bring this up is because

48:25again this is just everything that the

48:28intelligence community of this era and

48:30today touches reeks of corruption and

48:34just it doesn't it does

48:37it just feels it feels dirty why didn't

48:41he take his own life though he's

48:42expected to he was put on trial in

48:44Moscow and he confessed he pleaded

48:46guilty to espionage in communist Russia

48:50and no one did that in communist Russia

48:52let's just say that he was sentenced to

48:5415 years which is essentially a slap on

48:57the wrist he only had to had to serve

48:58three he was released for a Soviet spy

49:02but Soviets didn't release prisoners

49:04like that baby they sent their own men

49:06to die in World War two and shot them if

49:08they were turned unless they kept

49:09charging they would be shot I mean these

49:11people did not they were not shy of

49:13killing so a 15 year sentence is already

49:16Wow thank God I'm not dead and then to

49:19only serve three I mean that's unreal so

49:23there have been a lot of speculation in

49:25the press that he led his country down

49:27by not taking his own life

49:28and by confessing and he gave a

49:32congressional so when he came back there

49:33was a congressional inquiry he gave a

49:36dramatic testimony about a dull thud a

49:38blinding orange light and the plane

49:40spinning out of control how he was

49:42unable to reach the destruct button he

49:44was rehabilitated in the eyes of the

49:46public at least a congressman then Barry

49:49Goldwater who I'm not a fan of but he

49:53was a very experienced pilot himself he

49:55sent him a note saying that you know you

49:57did good job for your country but he

49:59said but I don't think that was the way

50:00it actually happened

50:02he always held that belief a lot of

50:04pilots said that's that's not how it

50:06happened and when you put all the pieces

50:07together it just didn't quite fit and

50:10the government was just caught in one

50:13lie after another and the people never

50:15quite believed they're government again

50:17we still don't today I mean think about

50:18it we do not believe our government when

50:21was the first time they really started

50:23lying to us the intelligence era is when

50:26it started happening powers wife was

50:29committed to a mental hospital before

50:31his return at a divorce trial a CIA

50:35agent sat in the courtroom signaling for

50:37powers to answer questions or not - he

50:41got a job testing YouTube planes for

50:44Lockheed but later it was revealed that

50:45the CIA was paying his salary not

50:47Lockheed then he was unemployed

50:50long story short he eventually got a job

50:52as a flying a helicopter for traffic

50:55reports 4kg IL radio in LA and then he

51:01was also flying right over the famous

51:04quote unquote skunkworks of lockheed

51:06aircraft for the u2 was designed and

51:08built interesting there on august 1st

51:121977 and here's again there's the final

51:14stink of this whole situation he was

51:16covering a brush fire at Santa Barbara

51:18remember this is a military trained

51:20pilot who's one of the best pilots we

51:22had ever because those were who who flew

51:25the u2's the helicopter crashed and died

51:28in brush fire but the helicopter did not

51:31burst into flames what does that mean

51:32it was outta gas so no pilot of his

51:36experience would ever run out of gas on

51:38course or unser unless of course the

51:41gauges had been tampered with or

51:43something like that and that's how he

51:46died I mean you can you can put the

51:48pieces together for yourself you can see

51:50the effect of the the intelligence

51:54community in our country and how they

51:56cover their own tracks I mean this if

51:59it's some dark stuff so I mean just to

52:05get it back to the broader spectrum

52:06Nixon and Allen Dulles who Allen Dulles

52:08was the head of CIA they had a they were

52:12making plans to overthrow Castro

52:14together you know it's just if Americans

52:19were creating a monster it's some some

52:21pretty dark stuff in if that's the route

52:24if that's the foundation for the

52:26intelligence community that we see today

52:29how much farther down the road are they

52:31we don't know pretty much anything about

52:35about the CIA or FBI beyond surface

52:38level that that we did back then we

52:42probably even know less just because the

52:44the rumor effect is much less now that

52:47there's multi multi media reporting that

52:52you know counter counters itself so

52:55Americans don't know what to believe

52:57anymore so a rumor doesn't hold the

52:59weight it used to but this is some

53:01really dark stuff and it

53:03does bring a valid cause for concern

53:06about where we are today and if I

53:09haven't told you yet I'm going to finish

53:11out with one last story it should tie

53:14the whole thing together and this is the

53:16CIA and their involvement with the mob

53:19in Cuba because remember Cuba was a

53:23enemy because of Russia that's the whole

53:25Cold War thing you know they were they

53:27were like now you can't have missiles

53:29over here and they're like yeah yeah we

53:30can you know the Cold War so because

53:33that's that's how a respectable

53:35historian would retell that story right

53:38there so you're welcome to charge for


53:39so the Cubans uh they they were there

53:43they were communists and Castro was even

53:46if there's arguments that he was not a

53:48communist he was a leftist and that's

53:50what the government want to get rid of

53:51but that's um that's just not true so

53:55the Cuban Communist Party just off the

53:59coast of Florida so he knew what the

54:01United States had done in Guatemala with

54:02you know reorganizing their government

54:05to say the least

54:07every Latin American knew about that and

54:10the mob had a massive presence in Cuba

54:13there were you know casinos all over the

54:16island and the mob was very friendly

54:19with Castro they actually even had good

54:22relations they arranged to donate

54:24trackers to Castro's agricultural reform

54:27Jimmy Hoffa arranged a teamster pension

54:30fund till a loan

54:32I'm sorry a teamster pension fund loan

54:34to buy a fleet of c74 Globemaster

54:37aircraft from the Cuban government so

54:40you see right there very good ties and

54:42what happens when you sever your good

54:44ties with the mob they will get even

54:46with you that's like the definition of

54:48the mob so in the summer of 1959 for

54:53some reason Castro ordered all the

54:55casinos on the island closed he was

54:57probably doing that to keep the American

54:59valve because they were coming to try to

55:01kill him either way that's where the mob

55:04made a ton of their money so they got

55:06pissed Frank Sturgis was Castro's

55:10representative who brought the bad news

55:13and they mob barely got out in time

55:15Carlos Marcello

55:17who the head of the New Orleans mob was

55:19deported actually Santo Trafficante jr.

55:23I mean these are the coolest names

55:24you'll ever hear he was arrested

55:26scheduled for trial and probable

55:28execution his lawyer Frank Reagan Oh got

55:32him out probably for payment of a

55:34million bucks or more

55:35and guess who delivered the cash to to

55:40the racket other than Jack Ruby no one

55:44knew about him yet he was eight he was

55:46running a strip strip club in Dallas and

55:49he was a low-level runner for the mob I

55:52mean if if that doesn't just make your

55:55eyes pop out of your skull I'm going to

55:58reread it for you I'm looking at this

56:00right now

56:00these notes I took his lawyer Frank

56:04Reagan Oh

56:05trafficante jr. he got arrested got him

56:08off of you know out of it and for a

56:12payment of a million bucks to the

56:13government the cash was hand-delivered


thank you for listening this is the

0:15monday american podcast welcome back

0:18it's been a little bit since I have last

0:22done an episode so I'm sorry for that I

0:25just want to say very quickly right off

0:27the bat very big thank you to everyone

0:29who is leaving reviews sharing the

0:32episode but getting a lot of very

0:34positive reviews on iTunes lately if you

0:37wouldn't mind keep keep putting those

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0:45far as iTunes is concerned if you'd like

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1:01social media and even donate to the show

1:03so head over there check out the website

1:06and send me some messages and questions

1:08or your hate mail I accept all types of

1:11hate mail quick notes to start off with

1:15I just finished an interview for a

1:18podcast called the independence day

1:20podcast and the dispelled independent as

1:23in I am a strong independent woman

1:27that's how you spell that one

1:29independence day podcast they have

1:31another show today which I assume is

1:34coming out very soon to talk about

1:35historical perspectives relating to

1:38what's going on today kind of like what

1:40I'm trying to do here

1:41they were great go check them out again

1:43Independence Day podcast spelled like

1:46strong independent woman on top of that

1:49I will be joining the guys over at the

1:51molder was right podcast as well there

1:55so that I actually listen to every time

1:58they come out with an episode and they

2:00talk about conspiracies other lesser

2:02known events throughout history plots

2:05it's really entertaining it's a great

2:07show I'm really excited to go on there

2:09talk about the JFK assassination

2:13because as all of you know I'm very

2:15interested in the whole candidacy

2:17Kennedy administration again that the

2:20Mulder was right podcast go check them

2:22out as well they're an awesome listen I

2:24will let you know when those come out so

2:27you go check them out and you can tell

2:28me how much you hated me okay

2:31before I begin today's show I wanted to

2:33address quickly the previous episode

2:35there's actually a lot of very positive

2:37feedback from people who don't normally

2:39consider themselves anywhere near my

2:43political ideology or they normally

2:46consider themselves very close to the

2:49political ideology that kind of attacked

2:50and last episode if you reached out to

2:53me thank you I really appreciate it

2:55I did receive some negative criticism

2:57which I always assumes on its way as

3:01well as my first death threat which it

3:03was an exciting moment everyone knows

3:05you're not successful until you've

3:06gotten at least one death threat however

3:08I was critiqued not on the death threat

3:12but on the point of claiming a centrist

3:15political position and just being too

3:23attacking for Democrats on the show so I

3:27want to address that very very quickly

3:28so what I want to address is I just want

3:31to say this I am very politically Center

3:35so politics I'm very kind of Center

3:37slightly to the right but on social

3:39issues I'm very hard right I'm just

3:42going to point out there's some things I

3:43like about liberal approach and there's

3:46some things I like about conservative

3:47approach on policy as well what I want

3:50to address is that you don't have to

3:52pick and choose one side or the other

3:54there's no reason to confine yourself to

3:56an ideological stance when it comes to

3:58politics take every single issue that

4:01comes up and analyze it as objectively

4:03as you can as an individual saying until

4:06you can come to a decision for yourself

4:08don't don't confine yourself into one

4:11single track of thinking no matter what

4:13the issue is and as far as me addressing

4:19the attacks on Democrats on the Left

4:22last episode yes I was that was the


4:25I'm glad that

4:26I was able to get that across clearly

4:29because that was the goal I was trying

4:33to point out what they were doing and

4:36don't worry there will be a time for the

4:39Republicans for two to get back in the

4:42spotlight don't worry about that I will

4:44call a spade a spade if I see one side

4:48or the other doing something wrong doing

4:51something that is not within their job

4:55description I'm going to call them on it

4:57it happened to be the Democrats this

4:59time but if you're a betting man I think

5:01you take to think you take the bet - the

5:03Republicans are going to do something

5:04that will just be equally or worse down

5:08the road as far as inappropriate so just

5:12to get that out of the way I'm not out

5:14here to just attack one side or the

5:16other I do hold a slightly conservative

5:18bias everyone holds a bias you can't

5:20ignore that I know what mine is and I'm

5:23trying to be as middle the rung as I can

5:26be but you know sometimes that will come

5:29through but that was not the case in the

5:32last episode the last episode was just

5:34Democrats being really stupid

5:38so all that just to get that clear keep

5:41the air clear there today's show is

5:44going to deal with the history of the

5:46intelligence era and the intelligence

5:48community in the country so I hope you

5:52enjoy it and without any further ado

5:55episode 8 of the monday american so to

6:03start with the history of intelligence

6:06in america is a tricky position to start

6:10from there's no real i mean there is a

6:12set defined the start date of the CIA

6:15but it goes back further than that

6:17because intelligence intelligence

6:20gathering that was not a culture like we

6:23see today until fairly recently in world

6:26history and obviously very recently in

6:29our country's history so it kind of

6:31started we're going to kind of back it

6:33up to very briefly World War one and the

6:38the creation of the airplane and the

6:40usefulness of the airplane of war that

6:43is where I'm going to start this

6:46intelligence community story from in

6:49World War one airplanes were first used

6:52in battle to bomb and it was very very

6:57ineffective and it kind of was a lot a

7:03lot of times pilots are literally

7:04looking out the plane and just dropping

7:06a bomb out of their hand that's kind of

7:08how it started so no one really

7:10understood how to use airplanes in war

7:13because like I've mentioned before World

7:16War one with a massive change of

7:18technology very very rapidly

7:21you had Napoleonic uniforms on day one

7:24for the French in a trench warfare where

7:27they were getting mortared and shelled

7:28and running into machine gunfire they

7:31quickly realized we are we are not with

7:34the times and we need to modernize the

7:38airplane was the modernization of that

7:40era so the first major usefulness of

7:46airplanes came in the form of

7:47intelligence you would have planes

7:50flying over battlefields and taking

7:52pictures and they weren't great pictures

7:53but I'm not sure who started doing it

7:56first but they came back with these

7:57pictures and these generals and these

8:00strategists could see the battlefield

8:02like they've never been able to see them

8:04before I think that was the first time I

8:07mean intelligence has always been a very

8:08important aspect of war I think that was

8:11the first time where they actually

8:15realized the importance of intelligence

8:17and finally had a tool to get them in

8:20that day standards very fast

8:23intelligence they'd never been able to

8:25see from the bird's eye point of view

8:27the battlefield and see troop movements

8:29see pictures of gathering arms and

8:32supplies here there and they had it all

8:35of a sudden they had it so a major

8:37importance was placed on intelligence

8:40like that going through into World War

8:42two and in World War two you had

8:46actually the first department dedicated

8:49to strategic intelligence it was the Oh

8:52says the Office of Strategic Services

8:56that was the first real clandestine

9:00intelligence gathering department of the

9:03country and it was the origins the root

9:06origins of the CIA the people that this

9:10kind of job attracted because this was

9:12dangerous it was kind of gritty

9:14clandestine clandestine clandestine and

9:19downright dirty it attracted a

9:23particular kind of person they were

9:25active can do men with an often

9:27foolhardy brave personality usually

9:32actually elite class type of people a

9:34lot of Ivy League graduates were the

9:38applicants for this so after after the

9:42War World War two

9:45the OSS didn't quite seem necessary

9:47anymore and it was disbanded the

9:50Americans the country at the time was

9:52not fond of the idea of clandestine and

9:56black ops type of operations so you know

10:00they got rid of it and they didn't like

10:02the way that that sounded the the 1947

10:09National Security Act that was the same

10:11act that reorganized the War Department

10:13and Navy department into the Defense

10:15Department that was the act that the CIA

10:19was officially given a name for it

10:22created the CIA it would conduct

10:24intelligence operations finding out what

10:26the enemy was up to counterintelligence

10:29you know foiling the enemy's

10:31intelligence it was kind of like that

10:33James Bond despises spy Congress had no

10:37real trouble with these activities it

10:40wasn't they weren't happy with it but

10:42you know they acknowledged it was a

10:44dangerous world and that's a fair point

10:46we're gonna go over that later the the

10:49third kind of tier of their their job

10:55description is what Congress did have a

10:57problem with it was the covert

10:59activities and even today we still have

11:03issues with this it's not

11:05something that's very easy to dissect

11:08because you know covert by definition

11:11means we don't really know all the

11:12details but usually what what was going

11:15on is American agents in foreign

11:17countries trying to make things come out

11:19the way the US wanted them to come out

11:21it could include intervening in foreign

11:23relations elections overthrowing regimes

11:27helping to overthrow regimes for the

11:30favor of the US and maybe even removing

11:34key people that the US didn't like that

11:37that is murder by the way in so by

11:40nature this CIA that was created had to

11:42be kept secret US federal budgets are

11:46public documents and spies could easily

11:50obtain them so even the CIA budget had

11:53to be buried in the budgets of other

11:55agencies so if you can get an idea of

11:57how this all began the president

12:00basically could have a private army

12:02accountable to no one not even Congress

12:05and you know what honestly not even him

12:07eventually and that was from the form of

12:11CIA activities and it was ultimately

12:14approved because like I said earlier no

12:18single thing is more powerful for the

12:21government and as far as or I should say

12:24more effective in growing power for the

12:26government than fear if the government

12:29has a people who are in fear they will

12:32never see a higher rise in their stock

12:36of power than when their people are feel

12:38fearful of something so that you know

12:41Congress was very skittish about this

12:43essentially covered what happens if we

12:48get caught it could get the u.s.

12:49embroiled in all kinds of nasty

12:50situations if it didn't work out it they

12:54could even require full military

12:55intervention at the very least if

12:58they're discovered the the Mirage of

13:01this great freedom loving democracy

13:03would be made to look like it did really

13:04believe in freedom or democracy at all

13:09it would make it look like the

13:12Communists in Russia and the Soviet

13:15Union were like we're cooking the books

13:16to make things come out the way we

13:18and we weren't above torture and murder

13:21if those things got us to an end but

13:24Congress was finally persuaded on

13:27approving this the official creation of

13:29the CIA these are dangerous times and

13:32quote-unquote required this kind of

13:34thing so Congress was to be fair largely

13:40led to believe that the CIA would mostly

13:43be essentially little ladies pouring tea

13:47over Soviet railroad timetables I mean

13:50they thought it was going to be

13:51something entirely different

13:52so the same people who had been drawn to

13:55the OSS in World War two were also drawn

13:57to the CIA

13:58they were very capable they were very

14:00patriotic and right from the start they

14:03sensed a certain kind of superiority

14:05complex among these group of people that

14:09they were just so talented and so

14:10patriotic that they didn't need to be

14:12held accountable to these mere ordinary

14:15people like a former haberdasher from

14:17Kansas City

14:18President Truman or has been General

14:21Dwight Eisenhower or some rich young

14:24handsome lightweight from Massachusetts

14:26JFK so in other words this induces

14:29aquent these were a conglomerate of a

14:33clandestine loose cannon and it was

14:35induced introduced into u.s. foreign

14:37policy and because the US was such a

14:40military and industrial power it would

14:44have repercussions everywhere and Dwight

14:46Eisenhower did correctly predict that in

14:48his farewell speech where he named the

14:52military-industrial complex and to be

14:54you know to be wary of it it seems we

14:57didn't really listen to him he was a

14:59smart man I feel like we should have

15:01done that so right from the start of the

15:04creation of the CIA here's how this all

15:06goes down and you can see why it's it's

15:08so corrupt today because this is how it


15:11this is this is post-world War two and

15:14pre Cold War so who else knew more about

15:18communists than former Nazi intelligence

15:21operatives themselves back in the 30s

15:24when Hitler was setting up his

15:25intelligence apparatus

15:27no one knew more than the ex ops of the


15:32intelligence apparatus the the Okhrana

15:34most of them were living in exile in

15:36Central Europe and after World War two

15:39no one knew more about Communists and X

15:42Nazi intelligence officers so that's

15:44where we got them from so it just kind

15:45of got passed down the line among these

15:47were Germans with the names of Reinhard

15:49Galen and Otto von Boldt ring those are

15:52some nasty dudes they were secretly

15:54brought to the u.s. to do contract work

15:57for the CIA and this is not the last

15:58time that the CIA brings in the

16:01quote-unquote bad guys to do contract

16:04work for them these were individuals who

16:06have been directly involved in some very

16:09brutal acts during the war and it

16:11brought a sense of moral ambiguity

16:14ambiguity pardon me I don't know how to

16:17speak English to the CIA what kinds of

16:19activity were we justifying the names of

16:21freedom what kind of individuals would

16:23take part in what the US and the West

16:26portrayed as a moral crusade against a

16:29godless enemy communism it was it was a

16:32very interesting beginning to to the

16:35intelligence era that we're currently

16:37living in today but don't you worry

16:40because as bad as it sounds for how the

16:42CIA started we can go ahead and go over

16:44the FBI and it'll just fill you with

16:47warm fuzzy feelings so let's back up a

16:50little bit to the creation of the FBI

16:52this was from the beginning more of a

16:56Justice based type of organization and

16:59investigation such as made kind of like

17:01a federal police force almost and that

17:03sounds worse than it than it is they

17:06were they were lawmen they were police

17:08they were they were they were

17:10investigators rather than intelligence

17:13gatherers so the creation of the FBI the

17:17federal Federal Bureau of Investigations

17:20was in 1908 and it was created by

17:23Theodore Roosevelt's attorney General

17:25Charles J Bonaparte he created it

17:29like I said in July of 1908 and he

17:32picked a great date on the calendar I'm

17:34sure this is just a total coincidence

17:36while Congress was out of session it was

17:38created so that's just a great start

17:41right from the get-go Congress was


17:44you get the feeling that Congress is

17:46really stupid if they keep falling

17:47follows crap all the time they were

17:49assured it was not to investigate

17:50personal or political activities give me

17:53a break it was housed in the Justice

17:56Department where solar men say with

17:58oversight if any by the Attorney General

18:01himself so Congress it seems the 1908

18:06Congress makes our current Congress

18:08looks like looks like a bunch of

18:10geniuses if they were stupid enough to

18:11fall for this however in the World War

18:14One eras like literally ten years later

18:17not even it started collecting

18:19information on people believed to be

18:21violating the Conscription Act of 1917

18:23draft dodgers or the very controversial

18:26Sedition Act of 1918 it was a wartime

18:30law which made any criticism of the

18:31United States government or its policies

18:33punishable with heavy fines along with

18:36jail sentences that's that's one of the

18:38most clear examples of shredding up the

18:40Constitution in front of the people I've

18:42ever seen the information gathered on

18:46political activity of immigrants led to

18:49the Palmer Raids of 1920 which was named

18:51for the Attorney General just a string

18:53of great Attorney General's I guess

18:55Mitchell Palmer who ordered them in

18:59which individuals were rounded up at

19:00night they were not charged they were

19:02not allowed to communicate and in some

19:04cases they were deported without ever

19:06receiving a hearing but they were

19:08deported criminally you cannot do that

19:11if they were citizens after the war the

19:14bureau provided information to railroad

19:17and steel companies on labor organizers

19:19I mean this was as shady from the get-go

19:23as is basically the point I'm getting at

19:26so they kind of it kind of got out all

19:32the stuff that was going on so they were

19:34caught in flagrant partisan activity it

19:38had a damaged reputation and to salvage

19:40it they they hired a new or they

19:42appointed a new director with orders you

19:45know to clean up the image of the FBI

19:47and his name was J Edgar Hoover so let's

19:50dive into who Hoover was a little bit in

19:53order to go further so he would serve

19:55every president from Cal

19:56Coolidge to Richard Nixon which is crazy

19:58to think about

20:00he made the FBI a national institution

20:03with constantly expanding jurisdiction

20:07in 1934 included bank robberies and

20:12crimes involving interstate flight which

20:15brought the the notorious g-men chasing

20:19John Dillinger Pretty Boy Floyd babyface

20:22Nelson you know the movies of gangs in

20:25Chicago right and that led to a kind of

20:30this classic good guy first bad guy

20:32almost movie film in a theater type of

20:36presentation of the FBI and ultimately

20:39that was Hoover's big he was known for

20:42this long before the the media age of

20:46America J Edgar Hoover was consumed with

20:49image and the Americans at the time they

20:53accepted that image as real so from day

20:57one those few people who had been in the

21:00in Hoover's FBI and who were willing to

21:03talk they they indicated even in those

21:06early years that there was he was it was

21:09something of an illness in the FBI

21:10Hoover was a martinet he dictated even

21:13the length of an agent hair he kept tabs

21:15on their private lives fired them if

21:17they had extramarital affairs or messy

21:20divorce criticism of the director was

21:23not tolerated like I mean this is this

21:25is some Authority and stuff he

21:27honeycombed the bureau with spies who

21:29kept files on agents noting every slight

21:32transgression every bit of gossip turned

21:34in by informers and he freely this one

21:37this is the one that just gets me every

21:39time he freely exchanged information

21:41with Hitler's Gestapo until the end of

21:43the 30s and with Interpol which was back

21:47then dominated by German international

21:49police that was three days before Pearl

21:53Harbor so to say that this guy was some

21:55angel and was just the most patriotic

21:57American would not be entirely truthful

22:03so Hoover eventually did in the late 30s

22:06make the switch to which he I think

22:09first became very famous for he became

22:12preoccupied with the American Communist

22:13Party he was convinced it had

22:16infiltrated the innermost reaches of

22:18American society the the Smith Act of

22:221940 it prohibited the advocacy of

22:25violent overthrow the government again

22:27that's that's um

22:28the borderline but that is I think

22:31protected in your your First Amendment

22:33right to to protest like that or to

22:36advocate for that without actually doing

22:38it that is getting into a whole

22:40different issue that I'm not going to

22:41dive into right now he advocated for the

22:45emergency detention and internal

22:47security acts of 1950 the anti riot act

22:51of 1968 these were all acts that

22:54expanded the bureau's power to hunt down

22:56their political enemies and put his

22:58political amenities I should say and put

23:00them in concentration camps loyalty was

23:03defined not as espionage not even as

23:06membership in a foreign sponsor

23:07organization but merely the potential to

23:09be disloyal

23:11it could mean anyone who questioned the

23:13government policy tolerance tolerance

23:15toward tyranny is absurd was was one of

23:19Hoover's famous quotes tolerance toward

23:22tyranny is absurd he himself was the

23:25tyrant that's the thing but that's

23:28beside the point and the the moment he

23:31became the tyrant was was on March 14th

23:351948 and that is the date of an

23:38executive order signed by harry s truman

23:40which did have true intentions it was

23:45well intended it the immediate reason

23:47for this executive order was to keep

23:50away files from witch-hunting

23:52congressmen on the house on American

23:54Activities Committee in Congress which

23:58was Senator Joseph McCarthy's kind of

24:00era and people were just grabbing files

24:04willy-nilly and making them fit their

24:07narrative however they wanted so

24:09Truman's executive order kind of curved

24:11that but ultimately it had an unintended

24:14side effects meaning that

24:16citizens and even elected officials

24:18could not know what files the government

24:20was keeping on them or for what purpose

24:22so Hoover kind of took that and ran with

24:26it he made himself the sole judge of who

24:30needed watching and why and how they

24:32would be watched and how the information

24:34gathered on them would then be used the

24:36bureau kept files on thousands of

24:39persons of interest relatives of persons

24:42of interest friends of persons of

24:44interest and people whose name were

24:45found in the address books of persons of

24:47interest I mean they had thousands of

24:50files and in those files were

24:53surveillance reports biographical data

24:56information from informants it was all

24:58raw undocumented unconfirmed stuff any

25:03gossip that anyone wanted to send about

25:05someone they didn't like was in there

25:07most of it was plain wrong the eventual

25:11release of a lot of these files showed

25:12it was just a rumor

25:13guilt by association a lot of the

25:17information was paid for with cash

25:19like you know greasing the palms of

25:22their informants and that encouraged

25:24lies and gossip and just a bunch of junk

25:27they often revealed a morbid interest in

25:31personal habits in sexual preference no

25:34one was immune from scrutiny I would

25:37like to take a second to talk about

25:39Hoover's fascination with other people's

25:42sex lives

25:43he took a delight in having hold on them

25:47he seemed to just really enjoy the

25:50ability to ruin their lives when it

25:52suited him he would share tiny tidbits

25:57with presidents about others who were

26:00with them and let them know he probably

26:02knew a lot about their sex lives as well

26:04and that they'd better not mess with his

26:06Bureau he apparently shredded many of

26:10the files of political celebrities

26:11shortly before his death in 1972 and a

26:15lot more were believed to have been

26:17carried to the Blue Ridge Club is kind

26:20of a hideaway for the upper echelon

26:21Bureau people hours after Hoover's death

26:24and they were burned in the fireplace

26:25there and then the club itself was

26:27burned to the ground Charlie

26:28after and in the files that survived

26:30there is internal evidence that many

26:32more had existed at one point in time so

26:34without actual concrete proof I think we

26:37all are capable of understanding what

26:40happened there for just a sample and

26:43this is slightly graphic I guess if

26:45there's anyone young listening to this

26:47it's I don't know why you would this

26:49would just bore me to tears as a

26:50ten-year-old but for a sample kind of

26:53stuff in the files his file on Sinatra

26:55Frank Sinatra

26:57noted that his dentist was a communist

26:59more precisely an associate of the top

27:03functionaries of the Communist Party

27:04which is pretty vague and what does it

27:07really matter who his dentist is but

27:10mostly I noted that Sinatra and keep in

27:13mind Hoover was kind of a racist when I

27:15say kind of I mean he was a racist it

27:18noted that he had connections with

27:21combating racial and religious

27:23intolerance well yeah he played with

27:25Sammy Davis jr. who was black of course

27:28he would oppose anything like that the

27:31bureau alleged that he struck a counter

27:35man I don't know what a counter man is

27:38that's just what the file says in a cafe

27:39in the south who had refused to serve a

27:41black man in Sinatra's party so these

27:45are notes that you see that you see that

27:50he is taking notes and information down

27:52about anything against his personal

27:57beliefs which is not okay in government

27:59it noted in 1938 Frank Sinatra had a

28:02relationship in quotations with a woman

28:04in New Jersey who is not his wife and

28:06noted in 1947 club owner took Shore paid

28:10a prostitute to give Sinatra in the

28:13vernacular a blowjob but she was too

28:14drunk to perform it as contracted

28:16demanded payment anyways and then there

28:18was a quote-unquote altercation this

28:20should give you a very good idea of the

28:22stuff that was in these files in how

28:25easily Frank or Frank Scott sorry Hoover

28:29could torpedo someone's career anyone's

28:31career I mean literally there's a lot of

28:34speculation and I think proof that he

28:38repeatedly bribed JFK or not bribe

28:42blackmail them