Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Britain May Be Our Closest Friend...

And we have a special relationship with them.  They are very good friends, neighbors, allies, cousins,

But Australia is our brother.  

Our two nations have a similar make up.  European colonists let loose in a vast wilderness and build a nation.  With all that entail.  The two are of similar size, the center is conducive to ranching and mineral exploitation.  We both have rough histories warring with stone age indigenous people that we still beat ourselves up over, it was such awful conduct at times.  We speak the same language.  Sort of. 

Folks came to America and went, "Look at this challenging wilderness, deadly snakes and spiders and bears and poison ivy.  So dangerous!"  Then Australians came along. "Deadly snakes and spiders?  Hold my beer, mate.  No bears, but we have these big birds...  And, oy, never touch the gympie gympie plant."  

Both countries even had a similar firearms culture until recently.

But, while Britain supports us in our Military Defense quite often, Australia ALWAYS does. They are always willing to pitch in, no matter what.   They stood with us in Viet Nam, a war too unpopular for Britain to touch.  We should remember that.  

While we were scrambling to turn the Imperial Japanese tide we stopped their Fleet at Midway and were thinking to block them by having Marines occupy Guadalcanal to keep their Army from turning that flank.

But the Australians blocked the Japanese at an arguably more important center thrust in conditions even worse than Guadalcanal, and with fewer resources.  The Kokoda Track Campaign which then lead to the Battle of Buna Gona.  

If the Japanese had managed to scale the Owen Stanley Range successfully, then actually descend down and take Port Moresby, they'd have airstrips and an air supply route from close by Rabaul.  The distance is hard on the ground but easy by air.  From Japanese held Port Moresby, the north coast of Australia would be vulnerable to attack.  And it would better secure the massive base at Rabaul.  

The whole thing was misery.  Jungle rot on every bit of cloth, leather, and wood.  Deadly scrub typhus from lice that the Australian soldier hadn't built any sort of personal immunological defense to.  (Nor Americans, and we'd suffer from it too, especially on any sort of battle line in New Guinea.)  Malaria, of course, and dengue fever.  And all that was before facing a determined and better armed Japanese military force.  Things were so desperate and prevailing so important multiple generals were sacked during this battle when they didn't achieve enough militarily.  

But the Japanese had to be stopped and stop them they did.  Heroically.  79 years ago, now.  Battalion size unit clashes because of the terrain.  Americans help in the push but don't pay that no nevermind.  This was an Aussie show and they faced down the Japs and a green hell splendidly, at Australia's Thermopylae. 

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