You have probably heard the phrase "fog of war." You have probably not heard of the Battle of Kiska.
During World War II, the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. In August 1943, over seven thousand American and Canadian troops prepared to take back the island of Kiska.
The landing was shrouded in heavy fog. Allied soldiers soon found themselves in a firefight. They experienced fear; confusion; and the difficulties of fog, wind, and frigid temperatures. Men began to die. For two days the Allies slugged it out with an enemy they could not see.
The Allies suffered scores of combat casualties before Kiska fell. It was then discovered that the Japanese had abandoned the island before the invasion. In the heavy fog, the Americans and Canadians had been shooting each other.
The fog of confusion intensifies fear and fuels overreaction. When you are overwhelmed with confusion—stop, consider the situation, explore the options and proceed with caution.
To paraphrase one of my Dad's sayings, "When you know something is right be decisive, when in doubt—wait."
For GN Magazine, I'm Gary Petty.