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Home Guard (United Kingdom)

The Home Guard was an armed citizen militia supporting the British Army during the Second World War. Operational from 1940 to 1944, the Home Guard had 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those who were too young or too old to join the regular armed services or those in reserved occupations. Excluding those in the armed services, the civilian police or civil defence one in five men were volunteers, their role was to act as a secondary defence force in case of invasion by the forces of Nazi Germany and other Axis powers. The Home Guard were to try to slow down the advance of the enemy by a few hours to give the regular troops time to regroup, they were to defend key communication points and factories in rear areas against possible capture by paratroops or fifth columnists. A key purpose was to maintain control of the civilian population in the event of an invasion, to forestall panic and to prevent communication routes from being blocked by refugees to free the regular forces to fight the Germans.

The Home Guard continued to man roadblocks and guard the coastal areas of the United Kingdom and other important places such as airfields and explosives stores until late 1944, when they were stood down. They were disbanded on 31 December 1945, eight months after Germany's surrender. Men aged 17 to 65 years could join although the upper-age limit was not enforced. Service gave a chance for older or inexperienced soldiers to support the war effort. There was a Home Guard during the First World War but it was not on the same scale as its Second World War successor, its activities were nominally confined to training young men for future call-up, rather than engaging in actual combat and so many Second World War Home Guardists resented any comparison. The origins of the Second World War Home Guard can be traced to Captain Tom Wintringham who returned from the Spanish Civil War and wrote a book entitled How to Reform the Army. In the book, as well as a large number of regular army reforms, Wintringham called for the creation of 12 divisions similar in composition to that of the International Brigades, formed in Spain during the conflict.

The divisions would be raised through a process of voluntary enlistment targeting ex-servicemen and youths. Despite great interest by the War Office in the book's assertion that'security is possible', Wintringham's call to train 100,000 men was not implemented; when Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, debates began in official circles about the possible ways in which the German military might launch an invasion of Britain. In the first week of the conflict, numerous diplomatic and intelligence reports seemed to indicate that there was the possibility of an imminent German amphibious assault. Many government ministers and senior army officials, including the Commander in Chief Home Forces, General Walter Kirke, believed that the threat of invasion was exaggerated and were sceptical, but others were not, including Winston Churchill, the new First Lord of the Admiralty. Churchill argued that some form of home defence force should be raised from members of the population who were ineligible to serve in the regular forces but wished to serve their country.

In a letter he wrote to Samuel Hoare, the Lord Privy Seal, on 8 October 1939, Churchill called for a Home Guard force of 500,000 men over the age of 40 to be formed. While government officials were debating the need for a home defence force, such a force was being formed without any official encouragement. In Essex, men not eligible for call-up into the armed forces were coming forward to join the self-styled'Legion of Frontiersmen'. Officials were soon informed of the development of the legion, with the Adjutant-General, Sir Robert Gordon-Finlayson, arguing that the government should encourage the development of more unofficial organisations; the fear of invasion in 1939 dissipated as it became evident that the German military was not in a position to launch an invasion of Britain, official enthusiasm for home defence forces waned and the legion appears to have dissolved itself at the same time. The Battle of France began on 10 May 1940, with the Wehrmacht launching an invasion of Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

By 20 May, German forces had reached the English Channel, on 28 May, the Belgian Army surrendered. The combination of the large-scale combined operations mounted by the Wehrmacht during the invasion of Norway in April and the prospect that much of the English Channel coast would soon be occupied made the prospect of a German invasion of the British Isles alarmingly real. Fears of an invasion grew spurred on by reports in both the press and from official government bodies, of a fifth column operating in Britain that would aid an invasion by German airborne forces; the government soon found itself under increasing pressure to extend the internment of suspect aliens to prevent the formation of a fifth column and to allow the population to take up arms to defend themselves against an invasion. Calls for some form of home defence force soon began to be heard from the press and from private individuals; the press baron Lord Kemsley proposed to the War Office that rifle clubs form the nucleus of a home defence force, Josiah Wedgwood, a Labour MP, wrote to the prime minister asking that the entire adult population be trained in the use of arms and given weapons to defend themselves.

Similar calls appeared in newspaper columns.

Yoshiyuki Takemoto

Yoshiyuki Takemoto is a former Japanese football player. Takemoto was born in Kanagawa Prefecture on October 3, 1973. After graduating from high school, he joined Japan Football League club NKK in 1993. Although he played many matches, the club was disbanded end of 1993 season. In 1994, he moved to JFL club Fujieda Blux. In 1995, he scored 14 goals; the club won the champions and was promoted to J1 League from 1996. However he could hardly play in the match in 1996 and he moved to JFL club Tokyo Gasin August 1996. In 1997, although he returned to Avispa, he could not play many matches and moved to JFL club Fukushima FC. Although he played many matches, the club was disbanded end of 1997 season due to financial strain. In 1998, he moved to JFL club Mito HollyHock. In 1999, he moved to newly was promoted to Sagan Tosu. In 1999, he scored 16 goals and became a top scorer in the club; however he could not play at all in the match for injuries in 2000. From 2001, he played many retired end of 2002 season.

Yoshiyuki Takemoto at J. League

Newton Henry Mason

Newton Henry Mason was a decorated United States Navy fighter pilot of World War II, killed in action at the Battle of the Coral Sea. Mason was born in New York City on 24 December 1918, he enlisted as a seaman in the United States Naval Reserve on 7 November 1940 and on 10 February 1941 was appointed an aviation cadet. Assigned to U. S. Navy Fighting Squadron 3 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga as a Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter pilot in September 1941, he reported to VF-3 while it was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Territory of Hawaii, in January 1942 after Saratoga had been damaged by a Japanese submarine torpedo. Reassigned to Fighting Squadron 2, Ensign Mason's first and only aerial combat occurred during the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942, when he disappeared during action with Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft and was declared missing in action the victim of Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters from the Japanese aircraft carrier Shōkaku. Mason was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his courage in battle.

The U. S. Navy destroyer escort USS Mason, in commission from 1944 to 1945, was named in his honor; the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason, commissioned in 2003, is indirectly named for him, as the ship is named for two previous ships named USS Mason, one of, USS Mason. This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships; the entry can be found here. Lundstrom, John B; the First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat From Pearl Harbor to Midway. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1984