The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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What’s in a name

November 26th, 2016 · No Comments

“Place-names which pass into history often identify locations so unrewarding that only war could have rendered them memorable: Dunkirk and Alamein, Corregidor and Imphal, Anzio and Bastogne. Yet even in such company, Iwo Jima was striking in its wretchedness. The tiny island lay 3,000 miles west of Pearl Harbor and less than seven hundred south of Japan. It was five miles long, two and a half wide. Dominated at the southern tip by the extinct volcano of Mount Suribachi, five hundred feet high, in the north it rose to a plateau, thick with jungle growth. Iwo had been claimed by Japan in 1861, and desultorily employed for growing sugarcane. A Japanese garrison officer described it sourly as ‘a waterless island of sulphur springs, where neither swallows nor sparrows flew.’ The perceived importance of this pimple derived, as usual, from airfields.” – Max Hastings, Retribution

Tags: Max Hastings · The Second World War

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