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Exeat: Day 145/84: VJ at last ... August 14th - September 2nd 1945

Japanese militarism rampant from the 1930s. The Japanese Empire under Hirohito began its offensives into Korea, Manchuria and Mongolia in the 1930s; it's rationalisation was that it needed to secure resources for its industrial growth and development. In fact it was by Western cultural standards campaign after campaign of the greatest brutality. In 1940 it signed the Axis Pact with Hitler & Mussolini. China was Japan's next target and eventually Hong King fell December 1941 followed by Malaya and Singapore February 1942. The Dutch lost their East Indies/ Indonesia today and the US its allies in the Philippines. Burma fell and attacks on India immediately began. Across the Pacific the Japanese took island after island including much of Papua New Guinea eventually reaching the British Solomon Islands. The map shows the extent of the Japanese Empire at the start of 1942.

There on Guadalcanal the Japanese began construction of Henderson airfield that would have enabled them to bomb Australia's east coast as well as Darwin and south to Broome and to cut connections between west coast US and Australia's east coast. It was at this point that the Allies, led by the US which had joined the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941, were at last able to take the offensive. Landing in August 1942 US Marines recaptured Guadalcanal and although the Japanese tried in several battles on land and sea to retrieve it they failed departing in February 1943. The Allies now had a secure base to launch their campaign back across the Pacific including two atom bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally seeing the cessation of hostilities on this date August 14th, 75 years ago; surrender initially on August 15th and then 'officially' by the Emperor on September 2nd. Lt Philip Glücksburg, Prince of Greece & Denmark, later Mountbatten, was there by force of circumstance sailing on the destroyer HMS Whelp up from Guam …

Friday is of course Coffee Day. Once again I'm a redundant extra as Gill and Avril happily communed in Collingtree where husband John still awaits his knee surgery in Milton Keynes in September. I took my regular constitutional Captain Oates to the Towcester Road, just 700 yards in total ida y vuelta whilst they quaffed their coffee/ chocolate but returned to my own with Armagnac just after 12 noon. It's also fish night when Anne and Bryan regularly regale us with tales of their fine purchases [Bryan's back permitting his driving to collect]. Despite our determination to forgo the usual Fish Pie from Tesco we had it from Click & Collect and it surprised us this week … more salmon seemingly present and there were some excellent UK leeks and our own courgettes and just a few of our own peas too. Avril took Becks Blue shandy and I demolished the remains of a Furleigh Estates Pinot Noir after a generous helping of potato crisps. Tonight on the tv, now we have a paid licence note, it's Question of Sport soon at 8pm and Gardeners' World @ 9pm.
Burglar Alarums Weymouth. With us all being peripatetic it's proved as ever difficult to match our dates with the South Coast Alarms annual check up, but with Mathew & Co there today we all made the connection after the usual challenges of finding a way in from Brunswick Terrace. It good to know we're protected except for lightning strikes and to be able to recall the Code which Avril could on request as the check was in progress. [It seems from the following pictures that Ilkley Family Prestoungrange managed fish and chips too .. or at least they took beverages at Rockfish, the town's latest fish restaurant. It lists but never offers/ serves Dover Sole … the search goes on; only Nick in Rutland manages to locate them ….

Published Date: August 14th 2020

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