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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

"The Pacific" and "Nazi Megastructures" (timewasting?)

I have been catching up on a few television programmes that I had recorded.

First up - from Sky Atlantic - "The Pacific" - produced by HBO, Playtone and Dreamworks - a 10 part series following a group of men through the Pacific Islands campaign. This series was very well done. Each programme had a three minute introduction using maps, original film from the time and a voice-over explanation by Tom Hanks. The early episodes had some back-story and action from Guadalcanal but as the series' story progresses through Pellilau, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the action sequences get better and better, and the experiences of the young men and their struggle to survive and keep some sanity come to the fore. A very good series.

Related to this series was a programme from the second series of "Nazi Megastructures" about the Japanese response to the American successes in the Pacific theatre, the formation of the Kamikaze squadrons and the design of suicide aircraft.This is a branch of military history that I have little knowledge of, in particular, the Yokosuka MXY7 "Ohka", a rocket propelled plane that was two-thirds bomb, 2,600 pounds or 1200 kgs of explosives. The Ohka was slung underneath a medium range bomber and flown to about 25 miles from the target. The Ohka would be released, the pilot flew it as a glider to within striking distance and switched on the rocket engines to power into the target ship.

The Japanese had a few successes and some US Navy ships were lost.

Now that I have watched these programmes I am feeling a little guilty of time wasting as I should be preparing my talk for York U3A next month. I am getting on with it and the research is very interesting, but sometimes the spirit is a little reluctant.

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