Archives

All posts for the month December, 2014

[a portion of the entry for November 18, 1945]

This afternoon our intel guys debriefed the young photo recon officer, Lt. Jorg ‘Georgie’ Gjerde of Mankato, Minnesota, who had been in the back seat of a twin engine plane that went down with mechanical trouble just short of our lines. He managed to escape, but only after being interrogated by a Japanese officer and his translator.

The interrogator had asked, ‘Just how many soldiers do the Americans intend to attempt to land on the Japanese home islands?’ Georgie says he answered immediately, without a blink.

“All of them.”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Facebooktwitter

The greatest historians remain those who tell the story as it happens, with fidelity but without theories to advance and without trying to build a story by selection and speculation. We believe that Walt Tuttle’s “Kyushu Diary” is just that sort of direct honest work – history from the own eyes of the historian, which will be cited without caveat or argument for generations.

In this time of uneasy peace and ‘containment’ policies, we are pleased to present the second edition of “Kyushu Diary”. Great armies are again poised across imaginary lines from each other, as tangled webs of ancient rivalries, incompatible cultures, territorial ambition, and new existential threats challenge the lasting peace and trust many hoped they had fought for in the preceding generation. What we have learned, mostly the hard way, about the new epoch of nuclear warfare may temper impulses to action, or drive them with desperate immediacy. Only time will tell.

History may be a never ending game of unfinished business. Only the last person left in history will have a clear view to say. For his part, Walt Tuttle has limited his post-war edits of this book to a few footnotes (which highlight the unknowns of battle), some choice historical quotes to caption each chapter (to remind the readers, politicians, generals, and citizens alike that very little changes in human history), and a reflective postscript. (Walt refused to put any preface before the journal entries, which might color perspective of the reader.) The daily reports remain as we originally printed them in 1946.

With one exception: The War Department has let us re-submit the raw diary through the military censors. A number of details are no longer redacted. Some paragraphs flow better, stories are more complete, and details such as the positions of maneuvering units are now in print.

We didn’t get everything through though. The military is wary of letting loose information on tactics that may still be current. No one will say if Japanese imperialists, Chinese communists, Russian communists, or some other group will present the next military challenge, but for once the U.S.military is ready to admit in a post-war time that there will be a next challenge.

– Francis Dixon, Stone Lake Press
February, 1952
Saratoga, New York

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Facebooktwitter