Friday, September 2, 2011

Midway and Aleutian Battles in Pictures

A slideshow of images from the WWII battles of Midway and the Aleutians in The Atlantic demonstrates how pictures can tell a story.
But images only tell part of the story.  The picture above is showing the destruction from Japanese bombs on Midway atoll. While the image provides a sense of what it was like that you won't get from reading an account of the battle, it lacks insight to the who, what and why of the events.  At the same time it shows something missed in many accounts. Note the birds in the foreground. These are nesting albatrosses or "gooney-birds" as the marines and Sailors call them.  Nothing, not even falling bombs perturbed them. Although the birds were a danger to aircraft operating from Midway, those stationed there admired their tenacity and refusal to budge.
In short, words and pictures alone can impart knowledge in different ways but taken together they work create a synergy, something more than just the sum of the two.

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