Monday, October 31, 2011

Tell me, what were their names?

Brad DeLong, who has been chronicling World War II at his blog, notes that today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Reuben James by a German U-boat. 44 men survived out of 159 after the destroyer's bow was literally blown off (via):

The song by Woody Guthrie did something to preserve recollection of the attack (see lyrics). And yes, the internet will tell you their names.

Remarkably, the U-boat captain in question, Erich Topp, survived the war, and indeed lived until 2005. It must be said that escorting war materials to the UK was not a terribly neutral act; this undeclared war in the North Atlantic may have contributed to Hitler's decision to declare war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbor, since the countries were half at war already, or so it seemed to Hitler (oops).


  1. Anderson~
    On September 11, 1941, Charles Lindberg gave his famous peace speech in Des Moines, Iowa. In the speech he gives three reasons for the coming war with Germany and how FDR was arming Stalin and Churchill at the expense of our own defense. As you point out, US blockade running was "not a terribly neutral act."

    On that very day, FDR gave orders to the US Navy and the US Army Air Force to attack without provocation and sink German war vessels in international waters. FDR had already been harassing German merchant vessels and passenger ships in international waters.

    On that day, too, groundbreaking ceremonies were held in DC for the construction of the Pentagon.

    Congress may have not yet authorized an official declaration of war with Germany, but FDR had begun the unofficial war on 11SSEPT1941. Germany officially declared war on America on 11DEC1941.

  2. The folowing link is a translation of the speech that Adolph Hitler delivered in 11DEC1941 to the Reichstag shortly after Ribbentrop had delivered the official German Declaration of War to US offcials in Berlin.

  3. "how FDR was arming Stalin and Churchill at the expense of our own defense"

    Arming "Stalin and Churchill" was in fact for "our own defense." How many Americans would've died to stop the Nazis if Stalin had surrendered or cut a separate peace with Hitler? How long would the war have lasted if we couldn't have used Britain as a base?

    And it would be less of a giveaway if you linked to some other site for Hitler's speeches besides a notorious Holocaust-denial organization.

  4. [Further comments from Nazi sympathizer deleted; go play at Stormfront or suchlike, dear Anon.]