Skip to comments.Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941: Major victory for Japan
Posted on 12/08/2013 3:25:13 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper
The sinister surprise attack against the naval base at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Imperial Military is recognized by historians as one of the most successful sneak attacks in military history.
While many Americans initially thought the Empire of Japan intended to attack the United States mainland Californians along the coastal areas felt especially vulnerable the real targets were in Southeast Asia: Hong Kong, Siam, Malaya, Thailand, and the Philippines, as the first of many.
The attack upon the naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, shocked America and the world. While Americans were still reeling, Japanese troops were already en route to their real targets specifically marked for attack, destruction, and domination.
Pearl Harbor served as a sucker punch for the Japanese Imperial Military, intended to keep the U.S. out of their business, as they seized absolute control of the small island nations of Southeastern Asia.
Over 2,400 Americans had been killed, and nearly 1,200 military personnel and civilians had been wounded.
(Excerpt) Read more at communities.washingtontimes.com ...
There was some intelligence that ships had been spotted moving south. Based on what was known at the time I would have guessed the Philippines would be the target.
The code breakers kept precise notes on all their work. However, the exact time the codes were broke has never been known to the public. All involved kept their mouths shut to their deaths. Maybe they just weren’t talkative people...
From "And I Was There: Pearl Harbor and Midway Breaking the Secrets" by Layton (with Pineau and Costello), circa 1985.
Page 317: "... 'How do you know it's Akagi?' I asked. Joe explained, 'It's the same ham-fisted radio operator who uses his transmitting key as if he is kicking it with his foot'"
[See additional "fist" comments, for example, on page 174 and pages 229-230.]
As the story about IJN "radio deception" has as a major pillar that the Japanese naval radio operators from the Striking Force remained in Home Waters; the above shows that at least one remained on Akagi for the attack, transmitted, and was recognized. So much for that myth.
Also see page 547, note 19, for a bit more from a chapter of CSP-1494-A "Did the Japanese Paint Us a Picture" (The OP-20-G discrediting campaign against Rochefort and his men?)
But then, there is the tale of placing some of the Kido Butai's transmitters on destroyers which then sailed around Home Waters, ... and so on.
Of course, your mileage may vary.
A) Recall event of 22June1941.
B) Japan needed oil, and after a world-wide embargo became effective (thank you FDR and Churchill at Placentia Bay).
C) Japan always "gamed" their moves. The gaming of their move south (say NEI and oil), Pearl Harbor as a threat to their flank is seen. Hart and his "Asiatic Fleet" was not seen as a major force - largest warship is CA.
D) Japan knows, via the captured Blue Funnel streamer, from the COS papers that Britain is in no position to sustain a naval offensive in the Far East. (See Chapman's The Price of Admirality). The only worry - the Pacific Fleet, now lessened because FDR move major elements to Altantic - that convoying thing. Puzzle - how many fleet oilers remain at Pearl Harbor?
E) The US via FDR, committed to the armed support of British and Dutch terrority - unconstitutionally and not revealed until the Pearl Harbor Hearings
F) There was no treaty to defend Britain or the Dutch - nothing ratified by the US Senate.
G) Consider international law as well as the US being a declared neutral country at the time. And what that meant.
... And so on.
Timing is everything.
I wonder if he was underestimating the Japanese as many (foolish) Japanese underestimated us?
Many of the Congressional Pearl Harbor Hearings reports -multi-volumes - can be found there (note that many are tens of mega-bytes in size, but as these are PDF files they are conveniently searchable).
There is also an index into these volumes from the Greenwood Press - often helpful.
I suggest that you might begin with the Minority Report.
And no, the capacity of the IJN was not underestimated; the amount of damage at Pearl Harbor was by FDR and his War Cabinet, particularly Knox. The IJN ability to sustain losses and yet maintain a fighting spirit was greatly underestimated - a cultural thingy.
Same as to the IJA. The brutal fighting to the death at Guadalcanal and Papua New Guinea came as quite a shock. And we just passed the 70th anniversary of Tarawa where the Japanese very nearly did literally fight to the last man.
A. From Jonathan Daniels (son of former Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels), an adminstrative assistant to FDR, regarding Pearl Harbor attack:
"The blow was heavier than he (sic FDR) had hoped it would necessarily be ... But the risks paid off; even the loss was worth the price. ..."
The Aspirin Age: 1919-1941, Isabel Leighton (editor), New York, NY, 1949, page 490.
B. On those "lost carriers" - First Air Fleet is placed at:
" ... Five days previously Captain Eddie Layton, Kimmel's radio intelligence officer, had reported he had no information on Japanese Carrier Divisions 1 and 2. They had mysteriously disappeared from Hitokappu Bay a week before and hadn't been sighted since. ..."
From But Not in Shame - The Six Months After Pearl Harbor, John Toland, Ballantine Books (division of Random House), New York, NY, 1961, page 36.
FYI - Hitokappu Wan (has several names) is located approximately at 45 degrees North, 147 degrees East. This positioning is not supportive of any movement south. Via Google Earth - that long straight thing is the runway of a Russia (built in USSR times) interceptor base.
C. A quick scan, Giddy Minds and Foreign Quarrels by Charles Austin Beard, from 1938, Harpers. Or, with the economic mess that the US is in, deflect that with a war ...