Did you know that the last naval battle of World War II was fought by sailing ships?

A pair of Chinese junks photographed some time before the war
(Photo: unknown photographer)
Amazingly, the last naval battle of a war that featured carriers, battleships and submarines was fought by sailing vessels. U.S. Navy Lieutenant Livingston Sentzel and USMC First Lieutenant Steuart Pittman were taking two junks, traditional Chinese sailing ships, from Haimen to Shanghai in China shortly after the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945. The two ship’s total crew were seven Americans and twenty Chinese guerillas.
On the 21st, they encountered a Japanese junk which opened fire on them from far away. The Japanese might have believed the two American-commanded ships to be pirates, or they simply might not have known about the war’s end. Either way, the Japanese junk was crewed by around 80 men and was armed with a 75 mm howitzer gun, six machine guns, and about a hundred rifles.
An American submarine approaching a junk in the Pacific on another occasion
(Photo: Evan Cerne-Iannone / U.S. Naval Institute)
The American ships were outgunned, but still quickly ran up their flags and engaged the enemy. Once they got close enough, two bazookas were used to kill many of the Japanese crewmen and silence the howitzer. The American vessels then closed in for boarding action, killing more Japanese with grenades and eventually forcing the last crewmen in the hold to surrender.
The last naval battle of World War II was thus also the last battle in naval history to be fought with sailing ships, and the last battle in which an American crew boarded an enemy ship and took it as prize. Sentzel and Pittman were awarded the Navy Cross for the actions, the last two Navy Crosses of the war.

Battle of the Bulge promotion

Pay in full and get 15% off until January 25

An American soldier in an attack on German forces in December 1944
(Photo: U.S. Army, Tony Vaccaro)

We will start 2023 with a promotion in remembrance to the men who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. In the current four-week promotion period you can get a 15% discount on our select tours by booking and paying full by January 25, 2023. Note that this offer applies only in case of new bookings, and it cannot be combined with other special promotions. The offer excludes those three tours in 2024 which include the 80th anniversary D-Day commemorations in Normandy. If you have any questions related to this promotion or our tours, feel free to contact our travel consultants.

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