Good morning, we will conclude our series on World Ward War I and World War II for November with the last episode of Wartime Farm. Truth, Peter, and Alex conclude their time on the Wartime Farm by bringing in the wheat harvest. The wheat harvest is the climax of the year. The Nazis were fighting back, putting imports in danger again. Towards the end of the war, the fields were exhausted so the farmers needed to put some fertility back in the land. A new food crisis is looming and can the farmers survive it?
The wheat is looking healthy. Alex and Peter are relieved. The flax crop has failed due to the wet summer. Alex examines the wheat kernels and they are still wet. There are still a few weeks left before the wheat harvest. The boys will use a combined harvester to harvest the wheat. After five years of bountiful harvests, the wheat harvest was falling. So our farmers are going to spread manure on the land. Ruth drives the manure spreader to put the manure on the land.
Although it was needed, the amount of manure was falling. On top of that, after the animal slaughter before the war, farmers questioned the wisdom of killing so many animals. Animals were providing manure for the farmers. Manure was used to put the heart back in the land. The government realized that record food production could not be sustained through another year of the war.
Spring of 1945, the Russians broke through in Berlin. On May 7, the war ended. Ruth, Peter, and Alex want to throw a celebration to remember the end of the war. They talk about how the people would have felt about the end of the war. It was sheer relief for the people at the time. So Alex suggests that they bring in people who remember the end of the war.
The end of the war against Germany meant that blackout precautions were done. Peter removes the blackout curtains and tape from the windows. Rationing continued, so any party celebrations needed to be carefully planned. Ruth examines a recipe and creates baked potato pudding. She even comes up with a recipe for mock orange juice. Ruth is hopeful that people will like the baked potato pudding.
While the wheat harvest is waiting and Alex wants to restore fertility to another part of the farm. He wants to use the cows to do it. So Alex installs an electric fence. The government recommended farmers install electric fences. The electric fence was economical and could easily be put up. Alex uses an electric battery to power his fence. When the fence is up they turn the cows out to the field.
The V-E Day celebrations begin on the farm. Ruth offers her baked potato pie for the guests. Alex puts on the radio so the party can listen to the radio announcement. Ruth, Peter, and Alex talk with the people who remember V-E Day. There were celebrations in the street of the country. There were fireworks. There was dancing in the street. The end was not in sight for Britons with relatives fighting in the Far East. Ruth talks with the daughter of one of these men. She had no idea what happened to her father and she did not find out that her father had died until 1946.
After V-E Day a new food crisis began. Will the team be able to bring in a successful wheat harvest to combat that food crisis? To find out what that was, continue to watch the episode.
This would be an excellent episode to show in a history classroom. It shows how the team celebrated the end of the war.
The Americans are coming! The Americans are Coming! Manor farm welcomes the Americans. The Allies were in control of the skies and the seas again. The ships were importing military hardware and soldiers. The farmer’s job was not done yet.
Eleven million acres of land were taken over for military camps. It was one-fifth of British land. The Americans had to do their maneuvers somewhere. Flax was the key to D-Day’s success. Farmers had to meet the demand for flax. Flax production went from 1,000 to 60,000 acres. However, Peter and Alex are having no luck with their flax. When Britain fought in World War II they had the perfect weather conditions to grow flax. Alex and Peter comment on the farmers and how the War Ag expected farmers to go against their instincts.
The preparation for D-Day continued in Britain. One important piece of that preparation was carrier pigeons. Civilian racing pigeons were used for this part of the war effort. They parachuted pigeons behind enemy lines and were picked up by the resistance. Bomber crews also carried pigeons in their planes. There were even metals for animals. Pigeons won the most medals out of the animals that received the medals. Farmers trained their birds to be able to fly over large distances. If they did not train the pigeons, they would not get the feed for pigeons. Ruth is given the task to make a pigeon basket.
The summer is proving to be wet. Alex is working on repairing his raincoat. He makes a traditional waterproofing solution. He uses beeswax, linseed oil, and paraffin. He slowly mixes the liquid up. Peter volunteers to put on the jacket while Alex paints on the solution.
Ruth makes a pigeon basket. The demand for the basket was huge and during the war, basket making saw a huge comeback. There were plenty of baskets that were used for the military. Ruth comments on the demand for baskets. She comments that her basket-making efforts would make a professional wince. However, she is proud of her efforts. Peter and Alex will take Ruth’s basket to help train carrier pigeons. Basket-making became a reserved occupation. The Women’s Institute also taught basket making.
Alex and Peter are watching the flax, however, the rain is washing the nitrogen out of the soil. The boys use chemical fertilizer on the flax field. Alex comments that if a farmer did not use chemical fertilizer would have been seen as not being part of the war effort.
Peter and Alex meet up with Leonard, a man who trains carrier pigeons. He started in 1947. They show him Ruth’s basket and they all have a good laugh at Ruth’s expense. Leonard remembers the homing pigeons being recruited to carry back messages from France. He commented that if you did not join, you did not get an allocation of feed. He saw only one pigeon come back. Once the pigeon came back they would take the message to the police station. Radio silence was crucial to the D-Day invasions.
The other type of pigeon was not a welcome sight in the sky. Wood pigeons could be shot down, and the government tracked down flocks. It was additional meat to the diet and people who were “sniffy” at eating them started to eat them. Ruth prepares a wood pigeon. Pigeon makes a rich brothy stock.
Peter and Alex then head out to the sea to train the bird they borrowed. The Government took control of fishing boats as well. The boats were used to run supplies between the bases. To continue to learn more about homing pigeons and what Ruth made watch the rest of this episode.
The basking making would be a good section to show to an art class. This would be a good episode for an independent study student to watch.
Times are getting tough for our wartime farmers. Ruth is tending to the dung heap for compost. The cows are contributing to Ruth’s dung heap. The boys are building a straw house. Alex and Peter are giving up their room to someone who will the farmers with their rat problem. Straw buildings were fairly common during the war as housing was scarce. As the boys build the roof on the house, they realized that they forget a window. They had to rearrange the house to put a window in. Peter works on building the frame and Alex pulls nettles for the roof thatch.
By 1943, there were concerns that stamina was running out. Four years of war were endured. Everything got worse and worse. Life became harder and harder. Now the people of Britain were tired. They were war-weary.
The farmers also take aggressive measures to protect their harvest. They bring in an exterminator to use wartime methods to get rid of the rats. The wheat harvest is months away, so they will need to be taken care of and fast. Over 2 million tons of food could be destroyed by rats. Women were trained as rat catchers and moved from farm to farm to help with the rat problems. Alex and the rat exterminator go through the places where the rats were. They set traps to first lure the rats to places around the farm and then they will switch the bait for the poison to get rid of the rats.
After they build their house, the boys then turn to hay-making. The Farmers turned to unusual places to get hay. All the meadowland had been turned to fields. So the farmers turned to orchards and churchyards to get hay. The jobs on the farm pile up, so our farmers enlist children. They form a harvest camp for the kids. Ruth, Peter, and Alex erect tents for the kids. 70,000 children worked in harvest camps, without these camps the farmers would not have been able to feed the nation.
The kids harvest herbs and plants for the pharmaceutical industry. Farmers could get paid by the pharmaceutical industry by harvesting. At the start of the war, 90% of the chemicals needed for medicines came from plants from abroad. That changed with the war. Kew Gardens helped come up with a list of plants needed for the pharmaceutical industry. Vast quantities of meadowsweet and willow bark would be needed for aspirin. Ruth processes the herbs that were collected by the children. Selling dried herbs was another way farmers gained an extra income.
The children also help out with the hay harvest. They put the hay into big piles to help keep the rain off it. Peter is in charge of the nine kids working with the hay.
Ruth in the meantime prepares lunch for the children. The Government was determined that the children were well fed. Ruth feels challenged by catering for 30 kids. The locals were encouraged to donate food supplies. There were also evening activities for the children.
Alex makes a bee skep; he wants to get honey for the children as a reward for the hard work. Honey could be used to dress wounds and it was also a sugar substitute. Alex collects bramble to build his bee skep. He also uses the leftover straw to build the bee skep. He will continue to add layers until the basket is complete.
Alex building the bee skep would be a good section to show to an art class or an agricultural classroom. This would be a good episode for independent study students.
Alex and Peter look over their farm for bonus land. The War Ag pressed farmers to use as much of their farms as possible. Even Leister Square was plowed up for use in growing vegetables. However, the small patch of land Peter and Alex plan on using is too small for conventual farm machinery. So they are renting a “trusty tractor.”
Wood was also in short supply. At the outbreak of war, Britain was importing nearly all their wood. Ruth joins up with the timber core and becomes a lumber jill. For the war, wood was used in airplanes and down mines. Eve, Ruth’s daughter joins up with Ruth and cuts down a tree. Ruth talks about who joined up with the Timber Core. It gave women the chance to support the war effort. Eve and Ruth chop down a tree and Ruth are thrilled to be able to yell “timber.” The women were trained in everything for two weeks and then the girls could pick something they were good at. The girls then spend the next two weeks training in what they were good at. Ruth talks with a former member of the timber core.
Farming became more mechanized in Britain. Peter and Alex plan on growing beans in their small land plot. They check out a Trusty Tractor for a week. Alex is having a tough time handling the tractor at first but then gets it figured out. They plow out that small field and then smoothed out before planting. They borrow a new seed drill to plant the beans. However, the weather is thwarting them. The beans would be used as another protein source. The mud is proving to be a challenge to Peter who is planting the field. The boys press on.
Peter and Alex train the calves to drink from a bucket. They had been bottle feeding the calves. Now is the time to teach them how to drink from a bucket. Alex is thrilled with the calves' independence. During the war, milk sales measured into a billion dollars.
Ruth checks to see if their pig is big enough for slaughter. Shorty the pig is still small. They decided to wait before slaughter. When the pig is slaughtered, half will go to the government the other half will go to the pig club members.
Gas was severely rationed to make sure the armed forces got their share. Farmers were given small amounts of gas for their tractors. They needed to come up with alternative methods of powering additional vehicles. Coal would be the alternative fuel to run vehicles. In the countryside, they were not linked up to the main so the farmer would have come up with something to collect the coal gas. Colin and Peter then work to convert a wartime ambulance to run on coal gas. Will they get the ambulance to work on coal gas?
Alex looks for a source for the coal. He goes into a coal mine to get some additional coal. Coal would eventually run short when the coal miners went off to war. The Bevin Boys went into the mines to help make up for the shortage. Thousands refused to work in the mines and went to jail instead of going into the mines. Many others went into the mines. Continue to watch this episode to find out more about our farmers’ efforts.
Colin and Peter continue to work on converting an ambulance from working on gas to work on coal. They revive old techniques to do this conversion. This section would be an excellent section to show in a STEM and STEAM classroom.
This would be a good episode to show both in a history classroom and a STEM and STEAM classroom.
The countryside was the frontline of freedom. It was a battle fought by the farmers of Britain. The farmers stepped up to save the country. If they failed, the nation could be starved into surrender. This time, Ruth, Peter, and Alex are facing the conditions of 1941. In 1941 Europe was taken over by the Nazis.
Ruth is looking for wood. Everyone was desperate to heat their homes. So they went into the woods to gather firewood. Once the wood was burned, then they could put the ashes in their garden. Before the war, the government passed emergency powers to take control of the farms. The War Ag dictated what the farmers could grow and what they could use the fields for. In the battle for food, it was important to know how much food could be produced.
Brian, an expert in the War Ag visits Ruth, Peter, and Alex. He talks about the history of War Ag and the powers he had. Farms were graded A, B, or C, and if a farmer got a “C” grade, then watch out. The government could step in and take some or all their farms. Peter askes the expert what should they grow in addition to the wheat. He suggests flax. Flax was used in parachute webbing. Milk was the number one thing that the farmers needed to produce. Brian will be back to give the farmers a grade.
To plant the flax, Alex finds an alternative to the Fordson. The tractor is called a Field Marshall. There was a shortcut in how to start it. They put in a gun powder cartridge and hit the firing pin with a hammer. Alex fails the first try and they have to load up another cartridge. After the second try, the tractor starts up right away
Unfortunately, milk production may be a challenge. A cow, Sarah, is giving them trouble. A teat was cut through and there was an infection. She will have to be culled from the herd, so they will keep the cow comfortable until she gives birth. Losing a cow could be a disaster for the wartime farmer. A cow’s milk production will be tied to the quality of the food they eat. So the boys open up the silo to check on their silage. Will the boy’s efforts in a silage-making payoff?
Farmers wanting to impress the War Ag kept up with the latest news. The farmers screen a film about how the farmers were contributing to the fight. Mobile cinemas were sent up and down Britain to spread the word. The film the series show is called “Spring Offensive.” Peter and Ruth talk about the movie and how it was important for the farmer to cooperate with the War Ag. Over 2000 films were produced by the Ministry of Information. Alex meets up with a farmer who remembered what happened to another man when he went up against the War Ag. The farmer had refused to plow up a field that was not good for crop growing. There was a 13hour standoff and the farmer was shot. The farmer commented that “it should not have happened.”
Peter and Alex then try out the mechanical milkers. Peter meets up with another crank handle and starts up the engine. Will Ruth’s, Peter’s, and Alex’s efforts be enough to get them the A rating for their farm? Tune into this episode to find out!
This one you could give to an independent study student when they are studying World War II. This episode would be a good resource to use for a lecture for World War II.
Episode 3 covers the conditions of the late 1940s. By November 1940, the war had gone on for fourteen months. The Blitz is starting and the cities turned to the countryside for help and defense. Ruth, Peter, and Alex celebrate a wartime farm Christmas.
The Battle of Britain saw the attempted destruction of Britain in advance of a potential invasion. The Battle of Britain was won by the British and the nation was grateful for the victory. The Bombing of British cities and ports continued. 40,000 civilians were killed during the bombings. Southhampton was bombed night after night, and as a result, people ended up sleeping in the fields.
Farms took part in sheltering the city people. They had plenty of outbuildings to house evacuees. Peter and Alex examine the buildings and discover that there are much-needed repairs. While the boys do that, Ruth builds some temporary beds. Furniture was in short supply, so the farmers had to figure out how to house these people. They had to find shelter and supplies fast.
Building supplies were in short supply too. Brick and tile factories could not keep up with demand. So old crafts were revived to help with the shortage. Colin Richard and Mick Crupper fix up and restart a tile-making machine. So the boys soften the clay for use in tile making. They get the tiles made, but Peter is not keeping up with the tiles. The results are quite comedic. The boys’ makeover a couple of hundred tiles for their building roofs. If you had the skill to make tiles, you helped out with the shortage. It was a case of “make do and mend.”
Cotton and linen were in short supply as well. Ruth is recycling old cloth to make quilts. The bags are made out of ticking and Ruth sews up the pockets every night. They are perfect for making the quilt. The quilt is more like a duvet. The job of the duvet is to keep people warm. Ruth is fighting the temptation to make it pretty.
In the meantime, the boys fire their tiles. It is a challenge to do in November. They have to maintain a constant temperature to fire. The kiln must burn for two days and two nights. This will require a lot of firewood, so they use an old-school power saw to cut it up. Alex and Peter joke about the Avon branded power saw.
Not only were women and children relocated to the countryside. Contentious objects were also relocated to the country. They were sent to the country for additional labor. Alex and Peter meet up with one of the contentious objectors and talk about his experience. He objected on religious grounds and he talked about the questions he was asked. He did not have trouble registering as a contentious objector. Over 5,000 contentious objectors were imprisoned, others were sent to the country to work on the farms.
Thousands of evacuees came to the country. Betty Rudd, who remembered the refugees coming, spoke about her experience. It was a challenging time for the country people and the city folks. The people did not eat their greens and would have wanted fish and chips. They were not country people. The ”townies” and the country people eventually learned from each other. The children were put to work on the farm and had new experiences in the country.
The second half of this episode would be good to show what the World War II evacuees went through and how they were treated by the country's people. The crafting section was interesting and you could potentially use it for an art class. Otherwise, I would put this on an independent study student’s list for viewing.
Episode 2 finds our farmers Ruth, Peter, and Alex facing the conditions of 1940. The team must deal with rationing and making use of every last resource. The race to beat the shortages begins. Hitler is bombing the docks and the U-boats are sinking the ships bringing food over. Britain’s farmers were ordered to plow up more land. With the fields being used to grow food for people, there was not enough for the animals to eat.
Alex and Peter are preparing feed for their livestock. They are using barley to feed the animals. Using barley for animals was a waste for animals because the farmer could use barley for people. Alex, Peter, and Ruth will have to make hard choices concerning their animals. More people could be feed with a field of wheat than with a field of beef.
Ruth wants to keep the dairy herd because milk production would be important for the war effort. The beef herd will have to go, as well as the sheep. Millions of livestock were culled for the war effort. Will pets survive the wartime cull? At the time many people felt like it was a kindness to put their pets down. Henry will not face the fate of the British pet during Wartime.
How do the boys feed their dairy herd? They go to a sugar beet farm to pick up the tops for silage. The government encouraged the farmer to feed their dairy herds silage. Alex plans on making a clamp or a silo to store and make silage. They make their way to the sugar beet farm and see the device used to harvest sugar beets. They meet up with machine enthusiasts who are experimenting with the sugar beet harvester. One part of the machine lifts the sugar beets and the other part cuts the tops off. The experiment is proving to be a challenge.
Pigs were seen as a luxury. Sixty percent of the pigs were slaughtered. Pork became a rarity. Ruth wants to save a pig and she suggests a pig club. A pig club was made up of a group of people who agreed to feed a pig until it was time to slaughter. To see which pig they will keep, Ruth suggests that they make swill and see who will be the greediest. The greediest pig will be the pig that will grow the fastest.
Ruth goes shopping and brings home some meat. Rationing began during this time. Ruth shares what rationing looked like to the people. Sugar, pork, butter, and cooking fat were rationed according to a pre-determined measure. In January fresh meat was rationed and it was rationed by value. Each cut of meat had a different value and so if you were cagy with the butcher you could get more meat if it was a cheaper cut. Everyone, including the royal family, had ration cards.
If you lived in the countryside, you had some advantages. You could go into the woods and participate in the “hedgerow harvest.” Ruth finds mushrooms in her garden. She comments that there is much more food available in the countryside.
Continue to watch this episode to find out about wartime farm conditions and how Ruth, Peter, and Alex adjust to the changing conditions.
The second episode would be an excellent episode to show because it demonstrates how Ruth, Peter, and Alex adjust to farm life. That said, you could also use this episode for clips. Ruth leads the discussion on wartime rations and that is a fascinating look at how the rations for meat grew less and less. They also discuss black marketing and how they removed red dye from gas. This would be a good clip to show for a science class.
As I wind down November and the wartime theme, I will conclude the month with a fantastic series: Wartime Farm. Our friends Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn, and Alex Langlands work a farm as it would have been worked during World War II. This time they are joined by Henry the Sheepdog. This team will work together on the farm for a full calendar year.
In the first episode, the peace is about to be shattered. The farm was going to be an additional front line in the war. Britain imported 60% of its food. It would have been easy for the Nazis to surround the island and sink any ships that tried to bring the British food. Great Britain was in a precarious position. British farming had been in decline for the past 20 years. As a result, there needed to be a revival in farming.
Britain farmers, due to cheap cereal imports, focused on animals. They raised pigs, cows, beef cattle, chicken, and sheep on their farms. This needed to change because you could feed more people with cereal crops than you could with animals. The farm manager takes Ruth, Peter, and Alex on a tour of the farm. Ruth is delighted to discover that the dairy is modern; modern for the late 1930s.
The team then tours the house where they will live. Ruth announces to the boys what type of stove she wants. She wants an electric cooker. Alex comments that the “lady gets an electric cooker because it is all part of the war effort.” Then each Ruth, Peter, and Alex talk about what they want to take from the experience.
The first thing that Peter and Alex do is to survey the fields. Alex is a landscape archeologist and is doing the survey. The landscape on the farm contains dips in the land and these dips hold water. They will have to try to come up with a way to drain the field. The narrator highlights that the farmers were ill-equipped and did not have the machinery to follow the government’s demands. As a result of the soggy fields, Alex and Peter will have to come up with a mole subsoiler to help drain the fields. This highlights the farmer had to have make-do and mend skills.
In the meantime, Ruth does some work on the house. Women were drafted to help with the labor because of the shortage of men. So there was a need to reduce the amount of housework that the Farmer’s wife did. Ruth talks with an expert in Wartime kit. Ruth’s wish for an electric cooker will sadly be unfilled. Farms were not on the main grid so they could not get electric cookers. They set up a generator and Ruth has electricity in the cottage. Ruth gets a radio and checks it out. The radio was how people got news about the war. She also checks out the electric iron and is thrilled to use it. Instead of an electric cooker, Ruth will get a paraffin stone. Ruth is thrilled to see the stove. It is just a free-standing cooker with paraffin lamps. The design helped people adopt the technology.
Continue to watch on to discover more about how Ruth, Peter, and Alex set up their farm for wartime conditions.
This would be an excellent series to show to your class when World War II is being studied. I am sure you can generate plenty of discussion with your students in regards to their grandparent’s memories of World War II. There are plenty of episodes to select from but if you are pressed for time, I would recommend showing the first episode. It is a great setup on how farming and the fight to grow food shaped World War II.
World War I: The Numbers covers the sheer numbers involved in World War I. The Imperial powers were not satisfied with the vast territories and wealth they acquired over decades. So when in 1914, when the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was killed the world exploded. This war would kill 18 million people. This war would change world history.
The sheer number of guns, people, ships, and airplanes is enough to boggle the mind. This war was fought on an unprecedented scale. Men would die in the millions. The Generals believed that no cost was too high. The men died at 6,000 per day and 1/3rd of the men in Europe would die in the trench. In the aftermath of the war communism and fascism came out of it. Votes for women also came about after the war. The people would target the old ruling class. Why did this war have to happen?
It is August 1914, men are called up to fight. 18,000,000 men volunteer to fight. It had been decades since the last European war. The war is going to be industrial. Previous wars were done on a small scale. The Industrial Revolution and new technology will have an impact on the war.
The first brick in the road to war begins with the elites. The elites desired to build the biggest empire. The British possessed the largest empire that ever was seen. They govern one-fourth of the world’s population. The Russian Empire was the second largest empire. The French Empire was the third largest and Germany brought up the rear. The Empire was incredibly important because it gave the ruling classes a way to control markets.
In Britain, they had a large merchant class and therefore would promote free trade. The other rulers saw their empires as a way of control and gaining prestige. For Germany’s small empire it was both a source of bruised pride and limited economic expansion. German steel production increases 300% and Germany is the main producer of chemicals. Ironically, the chemicals that the British army used to dye their uniforms came from Germany. Unfortunately, Germany did not have the access to the markets that the British, Americans and even the Russians had. This would put them at a big disadvantage on the international stage.
Germany is also dominated by an officer class. Not only were they geared for war but they desired the colonial positions of their counterparts. The Germans then started building up their navy and their navy spending triples. The British response is to double the size of its Royal Navy. They had more and bigger ships. The HMS Dreadnaught was launched during this time. It was a formidable foe. In 1914 the British had at their disposal 22 dreadnaughts and had 500+ additional ships in total. The Royal Navy was a dominant force in the world. It is still considered the largest navy in the world.
The German’s large army and growing navy have yet to put a dent in their empire's growth. Their actions have alienated the British, French, and Russian. Germany's action unites the British, French, and Russians over their concern for the growing German ambitions. Tensions are high. The Imperial powers are trying to jockey for position. At the same time, they are suppressing the people who want change. The plot was set for World War I and all it needed was a spark. That spark came with the sound of two shots. Continue to watch the documentary to learn more about World War I.
This is a fascinating documentary about the sheer numbers behind World War I. I would share this documentary with a history class and independent study students. This would be a good documentary for a substitute teacher to show in class.
The USS Enterprise is the most revered ship in the US Naval Fleet. She was the lead ship since Pearl Harbor. She saw all the high points of the Pacific War. She was known as Lucky E. As the war gets closer and closer to Japan, the Japanese get more desperate. They then target the Enterprise. Will, the Enterprise’s luck run out? What sort of weapon will the Japanese come up with to stop a potential invasion?
January 10, 1945, a squadron of bombers fly off the Enterprise. They are going to perform night air attacks on the Japanese fleet. A Japanese Convoy is looking to transport supplies to the Japanese Fleet. They will be under attack tonight. The bombers are joined up with the Hellcats, and the Hellcats are armed with high-velocity rockets. The attack is broken off near dawn: three ships are sunk, more are heading towards land, and others are dead in the water.
The Enterprise had undergone major renovations earlier in the year. Her landing lights were upgraded. A new radar portal was installed. She also becomes the only ship designated to fight at night. It was controversial at the time. However, the man who was in charge of that decision felt that it was important to try. At night, nobody would see you coming. However, landing in the dark would be a challenge. They could find their targets by radar, but when it came to landing, all they had was lights to guide them. Landing in the day could be a challenge, landing at night could be worse.
Despite it all, war became a twenty-four-hour affair. The Enterprise joins up with their strike force and makes their way to the South China Sea. It was the first time that the US had entered Japanese-controlled waters. The night attacks on Japanese targets began. 200,000 tons of shipping were sunk during this time. The night fighters are proving their worth.
They target the harbor at Formosa, which is present-day Taiwan. The attacks began at 4:00 AM. The Japanese radar picks up the attackers. They attack the night raiders. However, with one man’s knowledge of radar, he was able to trick the Japanese into thinking one plane was coming in and not a squadron. Unfortunately, when the planes came back to the Enterprise, three planes were unaccounted for. Even with these losses, the night raiders continue to do their job. They even launch attacks on the Japanese homeland.
This triggers a ferocious Japanese response. This is clear at Iwo Jima. While the Marines are trying to take the island inch by inch, the Enterprise fighters bombard the island for seven straight days. Then the Japanese launch an attack on Enterprise. The bomb was a dud, it simply bounced on the deck. The men rolled it off the deck and into the sea. The next day the Franklin was hit. The men on the Enterprise look on in horror as the carrier explodes. The Enterprise leads the rescue efforts, but miraculously the Franklin survives the attack.
The Japanese attack the Enterprise, but do not wound the Enterprise. The men’s quick action allowed the fires to be put out quickly. Damage to the Enterprise was minimal. The Enterprise ends up with a souvenir from the battle: a Japanese dive bomber. Eventually the Japanese create the Kamikaze squad. 400 aircraft of every type and age were assembled to form this Kamikaze squad. To continue to learn more about the Enterprise watch the rest of this documentary.
This would be a good documentary to give to an independent study student working on studying World War II.
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