Tennessee vs The Maxims vs Georgia

#1

OneManGang

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
1,073
Likes
2,708
#1
Tennessee vs The Maxims vs Georgia

For a few brief shining moments Saturday the moribund shape that is the current edition of University of Tennessee football rose from its bier and stood. We Vol fans cheered mightily. Was this the time? Could this possibly happen? Memories of the '82 upset of Bama began to flicker in those of us old enough to remember. But, after about twenty minutes of game time, the Dawgs' superior firepower and the fact that they actually know how to win big games took hold. After a few twitches the corpse laid back down and the Pups walked away with a 29-point victory.

In the aftermath, the airwaves were crowded with recrimination and anger.

And so it goes.

Sunday morning found me sitting in Holy Ghost Church. The first reading was from the prophet Habbakuk. It struck me that a Hebrew who has been dead for over 2500 years has somehow managed to insert his writings into the script for nearly every caller to a sports show in Tennessee:

How long, O Lord? I cry for help
but you do not listen!
I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not intervene.
Why do you let see ruin;
why must I look at misery?

The Lord, of course, keeps His own counsel and does not deign to become involved in college football.

There are several things to bear in mind as this season unfolds. 1.) Coach Pruitt is in only his second year as a head coach at ANY level. The learning curve is steep, but he seems to be a willing student. He has surrounded himself with capable assistants and will, I believe, in the end become a very good coach, if not on The Hill, at whatever school picks him up after our rabid fan base runs him off. 2.) The entire program is struggling to throw off over a decade of mismanagement at the highest levels, (and no, I'm not talking about coaches) disappointing seasons and lackluster performance. 3.) A lot of supposed “fans” need to take a long look in the mirror and realize that if they held themselves to the same standards as they do players and coaches East Tennessee would have the largest concentration of millionaires on the planet.

* * * * * * * * *​

It is really quite difficult even for a seasoned military historian like Yours Truly to wrap one's head around the sheer magnitude of America's war effort in Second World War.

A case in point is June of 1944.

On 6 June there was, of course, the massive D-Day invasion in Normandy. A small sliver of that vast story was told earlier this year. That invasion involved landings on five beaches by men from three different armies (US, British and Canadian) supported by thousands of aircraft and ships, most of them manufactured in the United States. In terms of sheer numbers, it was the largest fleet ever assembled.

About a week later, 15 June, literally on the other side of the planet, another massive fleet assembled near the Marianas Islands for the invasion of Saipan which was to be quickly followed by invasions of Tinian and Guam. In terms of firepower nothing had ever been seen like it before. The centerpiece was Task Force 58 which boasted no less than fifteen fast carriers and seven fast battleships along with dozens of escorting cruisers and destroyers and that doesn't even account for the invasion force itself. That force boasted seven old battleships and a host of the small but quite useful escort carriers, not to mention escorts and landing craft.

Virtually every single invasion, on both sides, during World War II in the Pacific was predicated on one objective: airfields. Last week, we discussed the invasion of Guadalcanal. It was launched in order to seize an airfield the Japanese were building that would threaten Allied bases in the South Pacific. Likewise, to the Japanese, the Americans having that base threatened their base further up the Solomon Island Chain at Rabaul.

The Marianas operations fell into this category but with a significant difference. The airfields to be captured or built were to be the home of the brand-new B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers. From these bases the SuperForts could reach virtually every corner of metropolitan Japan.

Many think that the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic weapons was the most expensive project of the war. In reality the expenditures for the B-29's development exceeded it by over $1 billion back when a billion dollars actually meant something. (For example, an Essex class fleet carrier cost about $60 million in 1944. Our newest carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, comes in at $13 billion.)

Another difference was that Japan had acquired Saipan from Germany as a result of the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I. When the Japanese took possession of the island, they removed all the native Chamorros and moved in Japanese citizens. In fact, in the 1920s, Saipan was made a part of the Tokyo Prefecture and considered a bit of mainland Japan. For the first time, the invading Americans would come into contact with large numbers of Japanese civilians.

On the morning of 15 June the 2nd Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division and the 24th Marines of the 4th Marine Division (MARDIV) landed on the west coast of Saipan near the village of Charan Kanoa. Japanese resistance was initially light but a strong current muddled the landing beaches and took a while to sort out. Still, the advance did not reach the planned extent on the first day. That night the Japanese mounted a strong counter-attack which was rebuffed with concentrated machine gun fire supplemented by 75mm howitzers and 5-inch naval shells. Over 700 Japanese were killed in that attack.

The Marines moved east toward the main objective of Aslito airfield which was captured on the 18th. Meanwhile the rest of the 2nd and 4th MARDIVs came ashore along with the men of the Army's 27th Division.

After seizing the airfield, renamed Isley Field after Navy Commander Robert Isley who was shot down and killed on 13 June while strafing the airfield, the American advance turned and moved north with the 2nd MARDIV on the left, the 27th Division in the center and the 4th MARDIV on the right.

The Japanese defense was skillful and tenacious and the advance was slow. The newly arrived 27th Division seemed to have the most trouble and soon was lagging behind its Marine counterparts. Overall ground commander, Marine Lt. Gen. Holland M. Smith, who earned his nickname “Howlin' Mad,” badgered the 27th Division commander, Maj. Gen Ralph Smith, to pick up the pace. By 24 June, Howlin' Mad had had enough and relieved Gen. Smith of command and replaced him with Maj. Gen. Sanderford Johnson.

Once news of this reached Washington a firestorm of controversy arose which persists to this day in professional journals from all three of the involved services.

Either way, the advance continued up the length of the island. The Japanese had ordered all civilians to evacuate to the interior of the island as the invasion fleet hove onto the horizon. Now those civilians were running out of places to hide. Japanese propaganda had told those civilians that the Yankees were barbarians who would kill and rape the women and eat their children. Since all this propaganda was done in the name of the Emperor, it was believed and precipitated one of the most horrifying scenes from a horrific war.

As the Americans closed on the north end of the island, the central ridge line ended in a set of tall cliffs overlooking a narrow plain that ended in another set of cliffs overlooking the ocean. Tough Marines and soldiers were horrified to see thousands of Japanese civilians crowding the cliff tops and throwing themselves over. Fathers threw their children off the cliffs and then, holding hands with their wives, jumped to their deaths. Japanese language specialists were brought up and, using loudspeakers, pleaded for them to stop, but to no avail. This appalling scene was repeated a few days later as the final advance neared the ocean cliffs.

There are points in time where one wonders if being an historian is really worth it.

About a year later, 6 August 1945, a B-29 nicknamed “Enola Gay” was backed over a pit at North Field on nearby Tinian. A single bomb was loaded onto her and she then took off for her target: the Japanese port city of Hiroshima.

*********​

So how did the team do compared to the Maxims?

1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

Georgia knows how to win big games, Tennessee doesn't. As stated before, the Vols have got to learn how to do this. The bad news is that they have to actually WIN big games to do so. And so it goes.

2. Play for and make the breaks. When one comes your way … SCORE!

It was during the second half that the Vols violated this in the extreme. There were points where they still could have come back and made it a game but just couldn't generate the firepower to do it.

3. If at first the game – or the breaks – go against you, don’t let up … PUT ON MORE STEAM!

When needed most the Vols just couldn't get it done. One hopes that our young quarterback, who last year was more concerned about who to take to the Homecoming Dance than how to win a major game in the SEC, will learn how inspire his team as well as throw tight spirals.

4. Protect our kickers, our quarterback, our lead and our ballgame.

All of that in #3 presupposes the offensive line can learn how to keep Maurer alive long enough to evolve. Saturday provided no reassurances in this regard.

5. Ball! Oskie! Cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle … THIS IS THE WINNING EDGE.

If you still don't know what to do, hit the guy in front of you.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

Both Cimaglia and Doyle had off days and added to the Vols' other woes.

7. Carry the fight to Georgia and keep it there for sixty minutes.

HeadVol Pruitt got about 20 minutes out of them and (OMG groans) maybe that's all we can expect. I certainly hope not, but …

We long suffering Vol fans can take some solace from the second part of Ol' Habbakuk's lesson. The Lord tells him to write this down:

For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.

Next up is “Mississippi State University, home of the Allutrous Bulldawgs, Grrr!” And that story, my Faithful Readers, is for next week.

MAXOMG

© 2019 Keeping Your Stories Alive

Suggested Reading:

Philip A. Crowl, Campaign in the Marianas: U.S. Army in World War II

James Hornfischer, The Fleet at Flood Tide

Samuel Eliot Morison, New Guinea and the Marianas: History of US Naval Operations in WWII, Vol. VII

US Marines come ashore on Saipan, 15 June 1944. (US Marine Corps)

saipan-marines-1200x640.jpg
 
Last edited:
#7

AllVolinGA

VOL by birth
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
2,440
Likes
1,945
#7
Some Vol fans have turned this past decade into their own Saipan, believing there is no other choice. Nice read and the quote from Habbakuk was most appropriate. I was beginning to believe OMG had went down with the ship.
 
Likes: OneManGang
#10

Boca Vol

Fan of #31
Lab Rat
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
22,437
Likes
13,360
#10
Well done, OMG!

One of these days we may get to read about an a$$-kicking Arsenal that came out swinging and didn't let up until there was nothing left to destroy. Until then, my knowledge of failed missions and sad endings will continue to grow.
 
Last edited:
Likes: OneManGang
#12

OneManGang

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
1,073
Likes
2,708
#12
My dad fought at Iwo Jima. My Uncle Bob flew 74 missions over North Africa and Italy in a P-47 Thunderbolt.
Have you seen this? It's a documentary about P-47 pilots in the Italian campaign.


BTW, the P-47 at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation in Sevierville is painted up in the colors of the 65th Squadron, specifically, "Hun Hunter XVI."
 
Last edited:
#13

MWR

-----------
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
3,224
Likes
4,298
#13
I read somewhere that there was an old saying in the 8th airforce, "If you want to be a glamour boy fly jockey, you fled the P-51. If you want to come home, you flew the P-47."
 
Likes: OneManGang
#14

Tin Man

Dirt's Childhood Playmate
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
17,049
Likes
8,242
#14
The P-51 was a fine airplane for aerial combat. If one was escorting bombers and engaging in high altitude dogfights, one couldn't ask for a better aircraft.

The P-47's huge double-wasp radial engine made it more survivable in the ground attack role. Pilots reported bringing them home with cylinders blown apart and push rods flailing.
 
#15

1973Vol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2013
Messages
190
Likes
82
#15
Love point #3 in your opening... spot on! In spite of how the Vols perform, I really enjoy your weekly history lesson. Just saw a Vietnam era documentary "Scramble The Sea Wolves"... quite moving. Go Vols!
 
Likes: OneManGang

VN Store



Sponsors
 

Top