Friday, May 1, 2015

Japanese Submarines Are May Meeting Topic

The next meeting of the New Jersey World War II Book Club will be on Tuesday, May 19,  at the Millburn Library, at 7 p.m.

Our speaker will be Bruce Tucker who will present a lecture, slides and some video on the Japanese Super Submarine (I-400 class) and Japan’s plan to use these submarines to alter the course of World War II. While there were a number of significant secret weapons developed during World War II such as jet aircraft like the ME-262 and missiles like the V-1 and V-2, one of the most secret and potentially most terrorizing of them all was a gigantic 400 foot long submarine that could travel 1 and 1/2 times around the world undetected and then surface briefly off the coast of a major US city like NY or Washington and launch a surprise attack. Although these monster Japanese submarines were never actually used as they were intended, and all traces of them disappeared shortly after the end of the war, they did manage to inspire the post war/cold war navy’s of the world with some of their astounding technologies. Two of their submerged wrecks, I-400 and I-401 were only recently discovered by divers in 2005 and 2013 off the coast of Hawaii. They now help to tell the rest of their story and why they were quickly disposed of by the US Navy in 1946.

 Bruce Tucker has taught history at Rutgers University School of Continuing Education Osher Life Long Learning Program and was recently awarded the 2015 Marlene M. Pomper OLLI-RU Teaching Award. Bruce also lectures and presents living history at various libraries, senior centers, community centers and public schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He is a graduate of the City University of New York and The Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. He lectured to us back in November, 2013 on Operation Catapult, the destruction of the French Navy during the fall of France in the summer of 1940, and was warmly received.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kaiser Lecture Available on Youtube

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David Kaiser's April lecture on his book, No End Save Victory, is now available on Youtube, with thanks to Richard Schonberg who taped and edited the lecture and Millburn Camera for the use of its equipment.  View the video »

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hedtke Lecture Available on Youtube

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Professor Hedtke's March lecture on the Freckleton, England air disaster is now available on Youtube, with thanks to Richard Schonberg who taped and edited the lecture and Millburn Camera for the use of its equipment.  View the video »

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

David Kaiser to Speak at April Meeting

The next meeting of the World War II Book Club will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, as usual at the Millburn Library, 200 Glen Avenue Millburn, NJ.

David Kaiser - No End Save VictoryOur speaker will be David Kaiser who will lecture on his new book No End Save Victory - How FDR Led The Nation Into War. While Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first hundred days may be the most celebrated period of his presidency, the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor proved the most critical. Roosevelt skillfully navigated a host of challenges - a reluctant population, an unprepared military, and disagreements within his cabinet - to prepare the country for its inevitable confrontation with the Axis. In No End Save Victory, esteemed historian David Kaiser draws on extensive archival research to reveal the critical preparations that enabled the United States to win the Second World War. David Kaiser has taught history at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, the Naval War College and Williams College. He is the author of seven books.

Dr. McLaughlin heard this lecture at the FDR Library and immediately booked Mr. Kaiser for the World War II Book Club. He is traveling from Watertown, Massachusetts to deliver this lecture. This is a lecture everyone will enjoy.

Read the New York Times review by Michael Beschloss »

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ronald Rosbottom at Words Bookstore - March 13

On Friday, March 13, at 8 p.m.,  Professor Ronald Rosbottom of Amherst College will present a lecture about his recently published book, When Paris Went Dark, at Words Bookstore located in Maplewood center at 179 Maplewood Avenue.

This book received glowing reviews and was on the long list for a national book award. Professor Rosbottom, drawing on a range of resources - memoirs, diaries, letters, archives, and interviews - evokes with stunning precision the detail of daily life in a city under occupation, the brave people who fought against the darkness, as well as those who collaborated with their occupiers.  Visit Words Bookstore for event details »

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Prof. Hedtke to Speak on March 17

The next meeting of the World War II Book Club will be on Tuesday March 17, 2015, as usual at the Millburn Library commencing at 7 p.m.

Our speaker will be Professor James R. Hedtke, a professor of history and political science at Cabrini College located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Professor Hedtke will talk about his recently published book The Freckleton, England, Air Disaster, the B-24 crash that killed 38 preschoolers and 23 adults, August 23, 1944.

On that date an American B-24 Liberator crashed into the small village of Freckleton in northwest England, located approximately 50 miles north of Liverpool. The plane was on a test flight when it encountered a rare and severe thunderstorm. Air traffic control at the American air base Warton recalled the bomber back to the base. When the pilot attempted to abort the landing because of poor visibility and high winds, a downdraft caught the plane and it crashed into the adjacent village of Freckleton. The huge ball of fire that erupted, engulfed a local school, and destroyed close to an entire generation of children in the village of fewer than 1,000 inhabitants as well as 23 adults. The village would never be the same.

Tragedies like this are not uncommon in war and most of them are very much overshadowed, receiving but brief press accounts and quickly overtaken by accounts of events deemed more newsworthy. Professor Hedtke has made several trips to Freckleton, met and interviewed many of the survivors, and done extensive research in preparing and writing his compelling story of this tragedy. His account brings to life the events that caused such havoc and heartache to this tiny English village.

We look forward to a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tonight's Lecture Cancelled

Unfortunately, the weather has prevented our speaker, Paul Zigo from speaking at our lecture tonight.