Saturday, June 6, 2015

No Painting ... Just Shooting


Just got back from a brief stint to the Republic of Nauru: a geographically isolated Pacific island where I was delivering some training for work. Whilst I'm not obsessed (any more than the next man that is) I did manage to get a bit of war-tourism in as this island was occupied by the Japanese armed forces in WWII as a supply and staging post.
It was never taken by the allies due to the pinnacle rock and reef rock formations which ring it - we couldn't get a landing craft in. Once isolated after the demise of the Japanese fleet; however, the strategic use of this place died away and the occupiers together with many of the remaining inhabitants were reduced to effective starvation.
The original inhabitants were shipped all over the occupied islands as labour and I can't imagine they were particularly well treated. In turn, apart from starvation the island was subjected to bombing by the allied air forces en route to Japan and their islands groups. Cruelty met by cruelty in turn.
What images can't convey is the humidity and heat of the tropical zone. This was an overcast day bringing much relief but we were soaked through, inside and out. It's once here you can also start to appreciate the plight of the Japanese soldier - the rank and file often pressed into service under a harsh regime, forced to fight in harsh climates and in turn dealt with heartlessly by us. Everyone in war seems to me a victim one way or another - makes me ponder who gets anything out of it.
These anti-aircraft guns were a real find. Miraculously well preserved remaining where they were originally sighted. Fixed in concrete positions with underground tunnels - sometimes steel lined. It didn't take much imagination to see them blasting away at the passing bombers. I wonder if they ever claimed anyone: obviously they weren't hit.
Before I left, I ordered a spare part for my band-saw - a wheel tyre. It has been over a fortnight now and they have informed me it still hasn't shipped for them to on-forward it to me. They say necessity is the mother of invention and whoever first phrashed that statement really knew what they were talking about. I taped the broken pieces back together and refitted the make-shift tyre, spooled the saw blade back on an I am now back in businesses. My hussar bases are cut and the figures are going on today. Not before time. 

1 comment:

  1. Incidentally, the guns are type 89 127mm (5") dual purpose AA guns which were naval ordinance, capable of firing eight rounds per minute - common for coastal defence of the period and mounted on cruisers and larger vessels.

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