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FRANCE TO BE FASCIST STATE; LAVAL, WEYGAND IN POWER; WIDE AIR RAIDS ON GERMANY (7/9/40)
Microfiche-New York Times archives, Monterey Public Library | 7/9/40 | Hallett Abend, Hugh Byas

Posted on 07/09/2010 5:51:35 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson

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TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: milhist; realtime; worldwarii
Free Republic University, Department of History presents World War II Plus 70 Years: Seminar and Discussion Forum
First session: September 1, 2009. Last date to add: September 2, 2015.
Reading assignment: New York Times articles delivered daily to students on the 70th anniversary of original publication date. (Previously posted articles can be found by searching on keyword “realtime” Or view Homer’s posting history .)
To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by freepmail. Those on the Realtime +/- 70 Years ping list are automatically enrolled. Course description, prerequisites and tuition information is available at the bottom of Homer’s profile.
1 posted on 07/09/2010 5:51:42 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
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To: r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; GRRRRR; 2banana; henkster; ...
3 Leaders to Rule – 2
Japan Complains that Our Marines Insulted Her Army – 3-4
The International Situation – 4
Defers Accepting Rolls-Royce Job – 4
Chief of U.S. Fleet Makes Secret Trip to See Roosevelt – 5
Burma Road Reply Rejected by Japan – 6
British Destroyer Sunk by a Torpedo – 7
23 College Heads Back Defense Aims – 9
Texts of the Day’s War Communiques - 10
2 posted on 07/09/2010 5:58:04 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

http://www.onwar.com/chrono/1940/jul40/f09jul40.htm

British damage Italian battleship

Tuesday, July 9, 1940 www.onwar.com

In the Mediterranean... The Royal Navy’s Force H (with 3 battleships and 1 carrier), under the command of Admiral Somerville, is attacked by high-altitude bombers without loss. Admiral Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet and an Italian squadron under the command of Admiral Campioni (with 2 battleships, 8 heavy cruisers and 12 light cruisers) are involved in a brief surface action in which the battleship Guilio Cesare is damaged by a hit from the Warspite after which the Italians break off.

In Vichy France... Marshal Petain is granted powers to make and alter the constitution by vote of the French parliament. He is opposed by only four votes, three in the Chamber and one in the Senate.


3 posted on 07/09/2010 6:12:58 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andrew.etherington/month/thismonth/09.htm

July 9th, 1940

UNITED KINGDOM: RAF Bomber Command: 4 Group (Whitley). Operations cancelled due to weather conditions.
Britain is alive with reports of parachute landings, which were officially denied today. In the invasion of Holland, some parachutists were disguised as clergymen. Some rumours say that they have been disguised as nuns in Scotland. Other rumours of “fifth column” activity include secret rays in operation, which stop car engines dead, and spy messages concealed in the personal column of The Times. It is now an offence to spread rumours - a man was fined GBP 25 today for saying that 20 parachutists had landed in Kent. The Ministry of Information has asked people to join the “Silent Column” and to report defeatist talk.

RAF Bomber Command: 2 Group ( Blenheim). 21 Sqn and 57 Sqn. 12 aircraft bombed Stavanger/Sola airfield in Norway. 7 aircraft lost to fighters.

Submarine HMS Salmon sailed on patrol on 4 July but was not heard from since. After the war it was found that she had been routed across a German minefield that had just been laid at 57 22N 05 00E. All 30 crew lost. (Alex Gordon)(108)

Corvette USS Temptress (ex-HMS Veronica) laid down.
Corvettes HMS Dianthus and Jonquil launched. (Dave Shirlaw)

FRANCE: VICHY FRANCE: The French Chamber of Deputies votes for the reform of the Constitution by 395 votes to 3. Thus the French parliament grants Marshal Petain the power to make and alter the constitution.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Action off Calabria: Battle of Punto Stilo - Italian aircraft based out of Sicily start five days of high-level bombing against Admiral Cunningham’s force (and Force H out of Gibraltar) and cruiser HMS Gloucester is hit and damaged.

In a series of actions, Skua II fighters from 800 and 803 Sqns, FAA, break up most of the attacks, downing three and damaging several more of the attackers. No hits are obtained.

Mediterranean fleet heads for a position to cut off the Italians from their base at Taranto.

Eagle’s aircraft fail to find the Italians and first contact is made by a detached cruiser squadron which is soon under fire from the heavier ships. HMS Warspite comes up and damages battleship ‘Giulio Cesare’ with a 15in hit. As the Italian battleships turn away, the cruisers and destroyers engage but with little effect. Mediterranean fleet pursues to within 50 miles of the Calabrian coast before withdrawing.
In what might be the best single incident of long-range shooting on record, the WARSPITE scores a 15-inch hit on the CESARE, almost dead amidships on a moving target, without radar, at a range of over 15 miles. Meanwhile, Italian bombing attacks obtain loads of near misses and one solid hit, which lands on the bridge of the cruiser GLOUCESTER killing the captain and 19 others. No ship is sunk in the actual engagement, but the British destroyer ESCORT is sunk by an Italian sub while on the way home. (Mike Yaklich)

Force H is the subject off repeated bombing attacks by Sicilian based aircraft of Reggio Aeronautica. In a series of actions, Skua II fighters from 800 and 803 Sqns, FAA, break up most of the attacks, downing three and damaging several more of the attackers. No hits are obtained.

Meanwhile, Swordfish I search planes from 813 Sqn, FAA aboard HMS Eagle having established contact with the Italian Fleet for Admiral Cunningham’s Mediterranean Fleet, the 9 Swordfish Is of 824 squadron, FAA, also aboard HMS Eagle, deliver two separate torpedo attacks on Italian warships in the Ionian Sea. Unfortunately for the Royal Navy, the Italian cruisers outmanoeuvre both attacks. The second of the two attacks is delivered within sight of the British Fleet during the gunnery engagement between HMS Warspite and the Italian battleships Conti di Cavour and Giulio Cesare. These are the first aerial attacks delivered by carrier-based aircraft on the Italian Navy in the Mediterranean. (Mark Horan)

Mussolini has told his fleet: “You have obtained our first naval victory!”

AUSTRALIA: Destroyer HMAS Nestor launched. (Dave Shirlaw)

U.S.A.: Submarine USS Unbeaten launched. (Dave Shirlaw)

The All-Star baseball game between the American and National League All-Stars is played in Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis, Missouri. The National League is the home team. Before one man is retired, the National League scores three runs on Boston Braves’ right fielder Max West’s home run with two men on. Five National League pitchers, the Reds’ Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters, the Dodgers’ Whit Wyatt, the Cubs’ Larry French, and the Giants’ Carl Hubbell hold the American League’s All-Stars to three hits giving the National League a 4-0 win, the first shutout in All-Star history. (Jack McKillop)

ATLANTIC OCEAN: SS Tiiu sunk by U-34 at 50.20N, 12W.

At 2119, the unescorted Aylesbury was torpedoed and sunk by U-43 about 200 miles SE of Ireland. The master and 34 crewmembers were picked up by HMS Harvester and Havelock and landed at Liverpool. (Dave Shirlaw)


4 posted on 07/09/2010 6:28:32 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Hussein is jealous of what the French achieved in an incredibly brief period of time.

“. . . the new lower house would comprise representatives of labor, service organizations, farmers and the trades.”

“. . . both houses would be mere advisory bodies to the government.”

“A dispatch from Vichy . . . the new constitutional “reform” aims to give the government authority to create a new France, safeguarding the rights of labor, the family and the nation.”


5 posted on 07/09/2010 6:34:21 AM PDT by Jacquerie (We live in a judicial tyranny - Mark Levin)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

http://worldwar2daybyday.blogspot.com/

Day 313 July 9, 1940

Battle of Calabria, first major sea battle in the Mediterranean. At 3.15 PM, Italian convoy to Benghazi, Libya (2 battleships Giulio Cesare & Conte di Cavour, 14 cruisers, 16 destroyers, 4 torpedo boats, 5 cargo ships) runs into a British convoy from Alexandria, Egypt to Malta (3 battleships HMS Warspite, Royal Sovereign & Malaya, 1 aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, 5 cruisers, 16 destroyers) 50 miles South of the heel of Italy. A 15-inch shell from HMS Warspite hits Giulio Cesare at a range of 24 km, one of the longest naval artillery hits equaling the shelling of HMS Glorious by German battleship Scharnhorst on June 8. Giulio Cesare does not sink but the Italian battleships withdraw; an indecisive cruiser battle ensues. 76 Italian high altitude bombers attack the British fleet, causing no damage but forcing a withdrawal, but 50 Italian aircraft bomb their own ships (also without damage). At 5 PM, battle ends & both sides withdraw.

Southwest of Ireland, U-34 sinks Estonian steamer Tiiu at 12.32 PM (all 20 crew picked up by a British trawler and landed at Milford Haven) and U-43 sinks British steamer Aylesbury at 9.19 PM (all 35 crew picked up by destroyers HMS Harvester & Havelock and landed at Liverpool). http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/ships/416.html

British submarine HMS Salmon is lost, presumed sunk by a mine, 60 miles of Stavanger, Norway (all 39 hands lost).

German armed merchant cruisers Komet departs Bergen, Norway, to raid in the Pacific Ocean via the Arctic Ocean, assisted by Soviet icebreakers. Komet, with a crew of 270 under Kapitän zur See Robert Eyssen, is equipped with a strengthened bow and a special propeller for ice navigation. Germany plans to send 26 ships via this route but Komet is the only one to attempt the Northern passage. http://www.bismarck-class.dk/hilfskreuzer/komet.html

Luftwaffe again bombs shipping in the English Channel and near the British coast.


6 posted on 07/09/2010 7:07:18 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
"Chief of U.S. Fleet Makes Secret Trip to See Roosevelt – 5"

This news article tells us nothing about the meeting, but other sources say:

"Richardson protested this redeployment to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and to other politicians in Washington, arguing that the burden of defending a perimeter so far removed was not possible, despite Japan's attack on China and whatever promises had been made to the British to come to their aid if attacked.

"On October 26, 1940, a White House leak to the Washington-based Kiplinger Newsletter predicted that Richardson would be removed as Commander in Chief.

"He was replaced by Admiral Husband E. Kimmel in February 1941.

"Richardson is consequently a main focus of historical fact seekers, who claim pre-war intelligence that heavily suggested Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy in early December was deliberately withheld from the military commanders at Pearl Harbor by the Roosevelt administration.[1]

"As of 2010, the CIA refuses to release many of the JN-25 codes deciphered before December 7, 1941."

Richardson argued the US fleet should not be stationed so far forward at Pearl Harbor, but if it were stationed there, then the fleet must be in a constant state of alert for surprise Japanese attack.

Roosevelt wanted the fleet kept in Pearl Harbor, on a decidedly non-alerted status.

The two could not agree and Richardson was fired.

7 posted on 07/09/2010 7:15:40 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective...)
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To: Jacquerie
“. . . both houses would be mere advisory bodies to the government.”

Yep. That's what El Presidente Generalissimo Obama would like here.


8 posted on 07/09/2010 7:30:34 AM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
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To: BroJoeK
Again, I urge you not to use Wikipedia as a source. The last two statements of your post are either not cited or misrepresented in its citation.

The first one that is cited states: "Richardson is consequently a main focus of historical fact seekers, who claim pre-war intelligence that heavily suggested Pearl Harbor was going to be attacked by the Imperial Japanese Navy in early December was deliberately withheld from the military commanders at Pearl Harbor by the Roosevelt administration."

Yet nowhere in the source for this statement does it say that the Roosevelt administration withheld the knowledge of an attack at Pearl Harbor, or that they knew Pearl Harbor itself was going to be attacked at all.

What it does say is that FDR was "white as a sheet" since he expected to "get hit, but not hurt." It also make the well established claim that he knew we were going to get hit "somewhere". Yet no where in the article does it state the FDR expected to be hit specifically at Pearl Harbor or that he intentionally withheld information from the military. In fact, the article makes the exact opposite claim. It claims that FDR accused the Army in the Philippines of withholding information from him, not the other way around, when it came to their capability to defend the Philippines.

There are plenty of sources out there that make a better (and properly researched) argument that FDR knew Pearl was going to get hit, so I would look into those sources rather than use the fallacious Wikipedia source.

The second statement on the JN-25 codes being withheld by the CIA has a [citation needed] request so it is actually completely unsubstantiated.

Wikipedia is only good when there is only one possible answer. When it is something that is open to debate there is the risk like what we see here of the source material being misrepresented, or unsupported statements thrown out there as fact.

9 posted on 07/09/2010 8:29:49 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (A moose once bit my Hitler.)
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To: Jacquerie

For all intents and purposes, our “lower” and “upper” houses have been little more than Hussein’s rubber stamps. He reads all the empty phrases from TOTUS, while Reid, Pelosi and their robots vote his bidding.

Vichy was a dark stain on the history of France. I’m pretty confident 0bamunism will be for us.


10 posted on 07/09/2010 10:54:45 AM PDT by henkster (A broken government does not merit full faith and credit.)
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To: CougarGA7; BroJoeK

I agree with Cougar. Gordon Prange, the pre-eminent U.S. historian on Pearl Harbor, completely rejected any inference that FDR “knew” of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. FDR knew that the Japanese would attack, but everyone believed it would be the Philippines, not Pearl Harbor. If FDR is guilty of anything, it is that he held the belief that the fleet was not in imminent danger of Japanese attack while based at Pearl. This complacency spread generally through the US Command, from Harold Stark to Husband Kimmel. Compounding matters, he had an old, incompetent WW1 retread in Walter Short as Army commander in Hawaii. Short was responsible for defense of the islands, which included the fleet base. His performance here was pretty lame.

Basing the fleet at Pearl was only one aspect where Richardson disagreed with FDR. Despite Richardson’s assurances in the Times that naval assets weren’t going to be siphoned off to the Atlantic, he knew full well that it was inevitable. Finally, these disagreements don’t mean they were the reason Richardson was removed from command. Periodic rotation of fleet commanders was a routine peacetime practice.

I’m going to go out on a limb and take a position that’s probably fairly unpopular around here. Let’s just man up; in discussing Pearl Harbor let’s give credit where it is due; to the Japanese. They had the ingenuity to dream up a daring attack plan, a well trained and equipped navy and naval air arm capable of carrying it out in complete secrecy and finally, the balls to go through with it. Pearl Harbor was really the largest and most successful “commando raid” in history against a foe that was essentially asleep at the switch. No “conspiracy” here; we just plain got beat.


11 posted on 07/09/2010 11:13:32 AM PDT by henkster (A broken government does not merit full faith and credit.)
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To: henkster; BroJoeK

Certainly as with any major event, there is an ever present sense on conspiracy around it. This is true with Pearl Harbor, just as it’s true with the Kennedy Assassination and 9/11.

Unfortunately, as new bits and pieces come out, it tends to only add to conspiracies rather than really vett fact from fiction. I cannot speak to whether the CIA is purposely blocking the release of decoded JN-25-B code that was translated, but I do think if they were (wouldn’t this fall under the NSA though since it’s signals intelligence?) they are not holding a smoking gun. I seriously doubt that any of these decrypts have FDR’s initials on them with a note to “withhold this intel” on it. This is what I do know:

FDR knew we were going to be attacked. And so did everyone in the military establishment.

All stations in the Pacific were warned as such but when it comes down to potential points of contact with the Japanese, Pearl Harbor is not mentioned as a specific target in the communiques that invoked WPL 46 (The Navy’s portion of War Plan Orange). In fact the war warning sent by Admiral Stark states that “AN AGRESSIVE MOVE BY JAPAN IS EXPECTED IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THE NUMBER AND EQUIPMENT OF JAPANESE TROOPS AND THE ORGANIZATION OF NAVAL TASK FORCES INDICATES AN AMPHIBIOUS EXPEDITION AGAINST EITHER THE PHILIPPINES, THAI, OR KRA PENINSULA OR POSSIBLY BORNEO.” The Navy was looking at the southwestern Pacific, not in the direction of Pearl.

Portions of the JN-25-B code were being read in 1941, but how much is a matter of debate. Also, that code went silent on the 4th of December when the encipherment was changed. By the 4th, the armada was on its way under radio silence anyway to that’s not a big issue. Of the code that was read there is no definitive proof of exactly when some critical information was decoded and what channels that information made it through.

So my assessment of the events is that we all knew that Japan was going to attack, but all the military planners agreed that the Japanese would stick close to their home waters and attack the Philippines and perhaps Guam (as far as American possessions go). The Japanese strategists as a whole were very Mahanian in general (and continued to be through the war despite the great air battles). They believed in the Mahan doctrine of a decisive battle, preferably in by luring them as close to their home waters (and resources) as possible. It was Yamamoto that thought outside that box and proposed these grand long arm strategies as well as the dependence on air power. He was a minority of this doctrine and it was only his established clout that carried it through to fruition.

As to whether FDR knew Pearl was going to get hit and did nothing to stop it. I’m with henkster in that I feel that is conspiratorial clap trap. I don’t think anyone would argue that FDR wanted us in the war. He wanted us to take on Hitler and to help Britain. Rainbow 5, which was the established plan at the time of December 7th makes that very clear. That’s why the Chicago Tribune jumped on leaking the war plan when Senator Wheeler leaked it to them. That paper was very anti-FDR and jumped on the opportunity to expose him as a warmonger.

However, I don’t believe that he would do nothing if he knew the Japanese were going to hit a specific target. It just doesn’t pass the test of common sense to me. Why would a leader put his entire Western front in peril just to go to war. He knew about the coming attack, prepared his fleet and whooped the Japanese butts over Pearl Harbor, he would have achieved the same ends. The fact that the Japanese attacked us would not have changed, and that was the true catalyst of us going to war. If we had repelled the attack, we still would have had losses, the nation still would have been enraged, and we still would have declared war on Japan. And on December 11th, Germany still would have declared war on the U.S.

My opinion on this is mirrored by Pearl Harbor Survivor James L. Evans USMC:

“I cannot imagine any President or anybody else that would sink his navy to go to war. I mean it makes little sense. Now if Roosevelt or anybody in the Navy Department, Army or whatever knew about it, why not repel them? It would have served the same purpose.”


12 posted on 07/09/2010 1:12:57 PM PDT by CougarGA7 (A moose once bit my Hitler.)
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To: CougarGA7
I cannot imagine any President or anybody else that would sink his navy to go to war.

I don't think Roosevelt believed that the navy would be sunk. The carriers were vulnerable, so they were sent to safety at sea away from the attacking force (but with a war warning to engage the enemy if spotted).

Like most of his generation, he thought capital ships were safe from air attack (ignoring Tarento and the news a few days ago about the British air attack on the French fleet; today's news about the the inconclusive air attacks by the Brits and the Italians was more in keeping with conventional wisdom.

I believe Roosevelt was honestly shocked by the damage to the battleships at Pearl.

13 posted on 07/09/2010 7:13:12 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: PAR35

Perhaps. But honestly, I agree with the contention that you would have had the same result by repulsing the attack. If Roosevelt knew Pearl was going to be attacked and felt it was necessary to let the battleships take a pounding because they wouldn’t sink, then he was an outright fool.

I have many opinions on FDR, most of them not good, but being a fool is not one of them. On top of that the U.S. Navy, much like the Japanese also were heavily populated by Mahanian proponents. There were very few carrier commanders who, through working directly with the potential of air power, had become converts to this new form of warfare. The only old timer I can think of that felt strongly about the potential of naval aviation was Admiral Moffett and part of that must be attributed to his efforts to keep the naval air assets separate from the army’s. He was killed in the crash of the airship Akron in a storm in 1933.

If you follow Mahan’s teachings, the battleship is the most important ship in your fleet, and the aircraft carriers are just support units for battleship groups. With that type of mentality, you wouldn’t dream at risking the entire backbone of your navy under the assumption that air attacks can’t sink battleships. (Remember that one of these old Navy men is FDR himself)

I think FDR was indeed surprised. He was surprised that the Japanese attacked outside their own side of the Pacific. I haven’t seen anything as of yet that has convinced me that FDR let the fleet at Pearl get hit with foreknowledge.


14 posted on 07/09/2010 8:07:23 PM PDT by CougarGA7 (A moose once bit my Hitler.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Is there a good analysis of how it was that the French Assembly voted so heavily for Fascism? Were the non-Fascists not in Vichy or were they cowed into going along by the collapse of the Republic in the face of German aggression?


15 posted on 07/10/2010 12:23:15 AM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (Good night. I expect more respect tomorrow - Danny H (RIP))
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To: CougarGA7; henkster; PAR35; Homer_J_Simpson
CougarGA7: "Again, I urge you not to use Wikipedia as a source."

I've said here before, my major sources for this subject are:

But I often cite Wikipedia because:

But my point here was not necessarily to reopen the entire Pearl Harbor debate (nothing wrong with that, but I was focused on a much smaller point).

My point is that Admiral Richardson objected to stationing the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and was soon fired, demoted and retired by President Roosevelt.

This much is well known by all.
But is there more to the story?
Answer: yes a lot more.

Victor goes into great detail (pp 154 to 164) on why Richardson objected to moving the fleet to Pearl Harbor, and what were the results of his objections.
I have summarized it by saying: Richardson did not think the fleet safe at Pearl Harbor, and so wanted it kept on constant high-alert.

Since that was not FDR's plan, it got Richardson fired.

I contend that it's impossible to comprehend what happened on December 7, 1941 without first realizing why Richardson was fired.
Richardson fully understood FDR's plan, and would not accept it.
By contrast, Admiral Kimmel and General Short were clueless, and so did as ordered.

16 posted on 07/10/2010 5:47:01 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK; CougarGA7; Homer_J_Simpson

BroJoeK

I love you, you are a great poster, and I could agree with you about Pearl Harbor but then we would both be wrong.

Several years ago I was frequent poster on another forum dedicated to WW2, where I encountered people whose knowledge of WW2 made mine look primitive. There I had the pleasure of corresponding with Lt. Cmdr. Phil Jacobsen (Ret), who was one of the WW2 JN-25 codebreakers. He is now sadly deceased, but Lt. Cmdr. Jacobsen cared a great deal about the service he rendered to his country, and spent much of the latter part of his life debunking Stinnett. Lt. Cmdr. Jacobsen’s research and knowledge literally ripped Stinnett to shreds. To me, Phil’s money line was: “I was there. Stinnett was not. I read the decrypted traffic. He didn’t.”

I have no love for FDR. He was a one-world socialist through and through and his misguided economic policies, repeated today, brought short term and long term impairment of our national prosperity. However, there is no question that once committed to war, FDR would settle for nothing less than complete military victory over our enemies. While I do not feel the same about the current regime, there is nothing in the way FDR subsequently prosecuted the war that shows he would deliberately sacrifice his battle fleet to start a war.


17 posted on 07/10/2010 6:25:47 AM PDT by henkster (A broken government does not merit full faith and credit.)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla

Lucius

There is a very good account of this in Shirer’s “Collapse of the Third Republic.” I recommend it highly. It is a pity that the book is not still in print, but you can get copies at Amazon.com. I’ve had my copy since I was in 8th grade and it is literally disintegrating in my hands as I re-read it.

To really understand how easily the French Assembly voted itself out of existence, you have to read Shirer’s whole book and I can’t post it here. But suffice to say that the Third Republic was a flawed body politic from it’s inception, and there were many on the Left and Right that never supported it. The German victory crushed the spirit of those who would defend representative democracy. Don’t forget that there is a big question about just who the Deputies represented at this point. Most of the country is now occupied by Germans. The Deputies are essentially “in exile” in their own country, cut off from their constituents, in some rural backwater town. The last official government is already controlled by fascist-sympathizers like Laval and Weygand. Cowing the beaten and demoralized Deputies turned out to be quite easy in the early bitter aftermath of defeat.


18 posted on 07/10/2010 6:37:22 AM PDT by henkster (A broken government does not merit full faith and credit.)
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To: BroJoeK

* Robert Stinnett’s “Day of Deceit — the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor”
* George Victor’s “The Pearl Harbor Myth — Rethinking the Unthinkable”

You should use those. Using Wiki when it is improperly referenced is just spreading bad information.


19 posted on 07/10/2010 7:05:18 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (A moose once bit my Hitler.)
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To: henkster; CougarGA7
henkster: "Lt. Cmdr. Jacobsen cared a great deal about the service he rendered to his country, and spent much of the latter part of his life debunking Stinnett.
Lt. Cmdr. Jacobsen’s research and knowledge literally ripped Stinnett to shreds.
To me, Phil’s money line was: 'I was there. Stinnett was not. I read the decrypted traffic. He didn’t.'"

First of all, I agree on President Roosevelt -- among his many socialistic flaws was at least one shining virtue: FDR had learned from Woodrow Wilson's First World War example that incomplete victory just doesn't work.
So an enemy dangerous enough for war must be thoroughly defeated.
Otherwise, you'll just have have "round two" as soon as they feel ready again.

Now, on Stinnett's book -- remember, the subject here is Admiral Richardson, not code-breaking.
So, where ever your Lt. Cmdr Jacobson may or may-not have been at the time, he was certainly not in on discussions between Richardson and Roosevelt.
To find data on that, we must look elsewhere.

Stinnett's book spends two pages discussing Richardson's conflict with FDR.
Victor's book devotes more than ten pages to it.
Here is an example from Victor (page 158):

"At [Navy Secretary Frank] Knox's request he [Richardson] visited Washington again in October [1940] and took the occasion to confront Roosevelt.
"His recollection of their long, tense discussion was largely supported by Roosevelt's friend, Adm. William Leahy, who was also present.
"Richardson and Roosevelt restated positions they had taken during the July visit. Richardson urged returning the fleet to the West Coast because of its vulnerability at Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt said the fleet was needed in Hawaii to deter Japan. Richardson said it was too weak to be an effective deterrent, and the Japanese knew that.
"Roosevelt replied:

'Despite what you believe, I know that the presence of the fleet in the Hawaiian area has had, and is now having a restraining influence on the actions of Japan.'

"(The basis of this statement is unknown. It was not supported by intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages or other intelligence that has come to light.)

"Both Roosevelt and Richardson made the same arguments over and over, becoming angry and challenging each other.
"Suspecting the fleet's transfer might be part of a hidden plan, Richardson finally broke the stalemate by asking if Roosevelt meant to go to war with Japan.
"That, the president answered, depended on where Japan attacked. If she attacked Thailand or the Dutch East Indies, the United States would not go to war. If she attacked the Philippines, the United States probably would go to war, but (in Richardson's words),

'[the Japanese] could not always avoid making mistakes and as the war continued and the area of operations expanded sooner or later they would make a mistake and we would enter the war.'

"The only U.S. territory in the Pacific more important than the Philippines was Hawaii. By inference a Japanese "mistake" meant an attack on Hawaii or on the fleet, either one would enable Roosevelt to enter the war.

"On October 7, the day before his argument with Richardson, Roosevelt had received an ONI memo, written by [Naval Intelligence Commander Arthur] McCullum containing proposed measures to help save Great Britain and ultimately to defeat Germany:

"It is worth emphasizing that measures to defeat Germany were directed against Japan.
And the memo ended with,

"If by these measures the Japanese could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better."

20 posted on 07/10/2010 2:28:11 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK; henkster

I don’t think anyone would dispute that FDR and Richardson didn’t see eye to eye. And I agree that it eventually led to Richardson’s dismissal.

I don’t think that would make the point that FDR felt the attack was going to come at Pearl Harbor though. Victor makes an interesting analysis in his writing when he assumes that the “mistake” could only mean Pearl Harbor.

FDR himself shows where his mind is when you look at the places named when he responds to Richardson’s question on if FDR meant to go to war with Japan. No, if they attacked the Dutch East Indies or Thailand. Yes, if they attacked the Philippines. FDR clearly shows that he is thinking much like the rest of the Navy that if the Japanese attacked that they would do so closer to their own home waters and strike south towards the resources of the South Pacific. The Philippines would happen to be in the way and it would be the potential American target along with Guam.

FDR is also clearly thinking about public reaction too. And attack on Guam for instance probably would not provoke the necessary outrage to declare war and as a result doesn’t appear to even be crossing his mind. The Philippines on the other hand would, especially with “America’s General” in the country.

I would think that if Pearl would have been on his radar that it would have likely had been included in answering this question, especially since the entire argument surrounded basing the fleet on the islands.

Victor says the “mistake” could only mean Pearl, but it also could mean the Philippines since it would also be a catalyst to get the U.S. into the war. It’s a bit of a leap by the author in my opinion.

I don’t doubt that FDR wanted a provocation to get us in the war. Had he not, he would have taken his own navy’s advice and eased up to give the the extra time they asked for to prepare forward bases. I just don’t see any evidence that he thought it would be Pearl Harbor as the target of Japanese aggression.


21 posted on 07/10/2010 8:57:31 PM PDT by CougarGA7 (A moose once bit my Hitler.)
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To: CougarGA7; henkster
CougarGA7: "I don’t doubt that FDR wanted a provocation to get us in the war... I just don’t see any evidence that he thought it would be Pearl Harbor as the target of Japanese aggression."

You may be missing the forest for all those pesky trees in the way... ;-)

Remember, the October 1940 meeting was now Richardson's second with Roosevelt, both times for the same reason -- Richardson doesn't like having the Pacific Fleet exposed and vulnerable at Pearl Harbor.

Richardson is disturbed and angry about it -- it's not safe, he tells FDR.
The fleet is too weak to do any good, it can't even protect itself against attack, unless kept on high-alert.

Oh, that's no problem, replies Roosevelt.
If the Japanese attack the Dutch East Indies or Thailand, we won't go to war with them.
If they attack the Philippines, we would "probably" / maybe go to war.
But, if they make a really serious "mistake" then we would certainly be at war, says FDR.

So I'd say that serious "mistake" can only mean Pearl Harbor.
After all, it's the whole focus of the discussion -- it's why Richardson is there in the first place.

FDR's strategy here is totally obvious.
He cannot, he will not, take the United States into war until or unless we have been seriously attacked.
And Hitler's U-boats sinking a few US ships in the Atlantic just won't do the job.
It has to be a serious attack on a major facility.

Well, which facility?
The Philippines was "probably" / maybe a serious enough target.
But the best Japanese target, to ensure US entry into war was the very one that Richardson had traveled all the way to Washington, DC, to discuss with his president.

Of course, in no possible way could FDR tell the Japanese where to attack.
But already, at this time in 1940, Roosevelt is thinking: where is the best place for an attack on the US to insure we will go to war.

And here was his Pearl Harbor commander, looking him in the eyes saying Pearl Harbor was too vulnerable and he couldn't be party to it.
So Richardson must obviously be replaced by someone less, well, understanding.

So, consider this question: is there any record of Richardson's replacement, Admiral Kimmel, having ever met with FDR to discuss such strategic matters?

Answer: no, Kimmel was a patsy, neither told nor expected to ask about grand strategy.

22 posted on 07/11/2010 5:36:26 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK; henkster
I would not categorize the Philippines as a "possibly/maybe". What separates it from Thailand, or the Dutch East Indies, is that it is an American possession even though it was scheduled to be given independence in 1946 and it was stationed by American troops. An attack on there would have given all the justification he needed to declare war on Japan. And even if Pearl was the only "mistake" which a completely disagree with, a repelled attack would have the same effect as a successful one so there is no reason to just "let it happen".

Next there's this issue about the meetings with Richardson and FDR. The supposition that Richardson concern was that the American fleet would get attacked paints a narrow picture of the entire argument. From Richardson's own testimony in the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack conducted in 1946.

When asked about why he was against the fleet being at Pearl Harbor:

"My objections for remaining there were, primarily, that you only had one port, secure port, and very crowded, no recreation facilities for the men, a long distance from Pearl Harbor to the city of Honolulu, inadequate transportation inadequate airfields.

"A carrier cannot conduct all training for her planes from the carrier deck. In order to launch her planes she must be underway at substantial speed, using up large amounts of fuel. So that wherever carriers are training their squadrons there must be flying fields available, so that while the ship herself is undergoing overhaul, or repair, or upkeep, the planes may conduct training, flying from the flying fields

"There were inadequate and restricted areas for anchorages of the fleet; to take them in and out of Pearl Harbor wasted time.

"Another reason, which was a substantial one: Americans are perfectly willing to go anywhere, stay anywhere, do anything when there is a job to be done and they can see the reason for their being there, but to keep the fleet, during what the men considered normal peacetimes, away from the coast and away from their families, away from recreation, rendered it difficult to maintain a high state of morale that is essential to successful training.

"For those reasons, and because I believed that the fleet could be better prepared for war on a normal basis on the west coast, I wanted to return to the west coast."

Now concerning the October meeting itself:

Richardson did not like that the reason for basing the fleet at Pearl were for political and not military reasons. FDR in this meeting told him it was to serve as a deterrence to Japan in which Richardson did not think it would work:

"I stated that in my opinion the presence of the fleet in Hawaii might influence a civilian political government, but that Japan had a military government which knew that the fleet was undermanned, unprepared for war, and had no training or auxiliary ships without which it could not undertake active operations. Therefore, the presence of the Fleet in Hawaii could not exercise a restraining influence on Japanese action. I further stated we were more likely to make the Japanese feel that we meant business if a train were assembled and the fleet returned to the Pacific coast, the complements filled, the ships docked, and fully supplied with ammunition, provisions, stores, and fuel, and then stripped for war operations."

So it wasn't as much the fact that Richardson felt the fleet was unsafe at Pearl, though many commanders did broach the question, but it was more a point that it would not be able to prepare for war as well in this remote area as it could back on the West Coast. In a letter that Stark sent Richardson on November 22nd 1940, Stark asked Richardson about the safety of the fleet at Pearl from Japanese attack in which Richardson responded on the 28th in a note that said: "*This feature of the problem does not give me a great deal of concern and, I think, can be easily provided for.*"

In all of Richardson's testimony, never does he make the assertion that FDR felt the Japanese would strike Pearl Harbor and that FDR would let it happen. And those who fixate on the potential of attack as the sole source of the argument are really suffering from tunnel vision.

And it still doesn't offer any evidence that FDR knew Pearl Harbor would be attacked and just let it happen.

23 posted on 07/11/2010 8:40:26 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (A moose once bit my Hitler.)
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To: CougarGA7
"And it still doesn't offer any evidence that FDR knew Pearl Harbor would be attacked and just let it happen."

Somehow, I'm not getting the point across to you.

Certainly FDR did not "know" in July or October, 1940, that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Even the Japanese themselves did not know that!

Yes, I acknowledge Richardson's concerns about the inadequacies of Pearl Harbor for the US Pacific Fleet.
But even your quotes show us, those were not his only concerns.

Victor devotes well over ten pages to the dispute between Richardson and Roosevelt -- plus many more to the effects of it on Admiral Kimmel & General Short. Of all that, I've quoted here less than a page.

My point so far has been that even in July and October, 1940, the Roosevelt administration is seriously considering just what it would take to bring America into the war.
A Japanese attack on Thailand or Dutch East Indies would not do it.
An attack on the Philippines would "probably" do it -- "probably" is Roosevelt's word, according to Richardson through Victor, not mine.
And of course, your judgment today on this is utterly irrelevant, as is mine.

The issue is: what did Roosevelt think was necessary to bring the US into the war?
Answer: "probably" the Philippines, which I take to mean "possibly not".
Therefore FDR speculated further about a Japanese "mistake" which would put America at war.

Could such a "mistake" include attacking Pearl Harbor? Let's consider your quote from Richardson in November 1940 -- this is after his second meeting with FDR, but before being officially fired.

Is Richardson concerned about the safety of Pearl Harbor?

"This feature of the problem does not give me a great deal of concern and, I think, can be easily provided for."

Taken by itself, it seems to say he's not concerned.
That's because it's only one "feature" of a larger problem.
If the overall problem is solved, then this "feature" is not of great concern.

But the larger problem was never solved, and after Richardson's firing got steadily worse.

And in the mean time, FDR began to think of ways to poke or prod the Japanese into some sort of "mistake."

24 posted on 07/11/2010 1:21:40 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Somehow, I'm not getting the point across to you.

You are right, your not. But that's because you're not supporting it with anything. That "mistake" could be the Philippines. It could be Guam, or Panama, or even Midway. Richardson once said with the way the Japanese conducted their attack it could have been successful in Puget Sound so why not there.

You're basing your argument on an author's interpretation of a single word coupled with your own bias to the fact. Otherwise you would say that "probably" means "probably" and not "possibly not". Nothing posted here supports the contention that FDR thought there would be an attack on Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen.

25 posted on 07/11/2010 2:15:26 PM PDT by CougarGA7 (A moose once bit my Hitler.)
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To: CougarGA7
"Nothing posted here supports the contention that FDR thought there would be an attack on Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen."

There's no "would" about it in July 1940, only "could".

"Today," in July 1940, and again in October 1940 according to Victor, Roosevelt was confronted by his Pacific Fleet Commander, Admiral "Richardson, [who] urged returning the fleet the West Coast because of its vulnerability at Pearl Harbor."

Roosevelt did not deny the danger, but claimed the fleet was serving as "a restraining influence on Japanese actions."

Richardson said the fleet was too weak to be a deterrent, and the Japanese knew it.
He then asked if the President meant to go to war with Japan.
That, Roosevelt responded, depended on where the Japanese attacked.

So ask yourself: if there was no possibility of Japan attacking Pearl Harbor, then why did Richardson express his concern about Pearl Harbor's "vulnerability" to FDR?

Certainly, in July 1940, Roosevelt could not possibly have known an attack was coming on Pearl Harbor.
But, he was already considering Japan's possible "mistakes" in terms of whether they would "probably" or certainly bring America into the war.

26 posted on 07/12/2010 3:29:16 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: CougarGA7
"Nothing posted here supports the contention that FDR thought there would be an attack on Pearl Harbor and allowed it to happen."

By the way, the "allowed it to happen" part is not even debatable -- it was written, official US policy at the time.

On this subject, General MacArthur said:

"My instructions from Washington were not to initiate hostilities under any circumstances."

Stimson's November 27, 1941 dispatch to General Short said:

"the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act."

Stimson later testified:

"The situation was admittedly delicate and critical...we needed the Japanese to commit the first overt act...that nothing would be done unless necessary to the defense...to precipitate an incident and give the Japanese an excuse for war...and say we had committed the first overt act."

So, allowing the Japanese to strike us first was the official, written US policy, understood and acknowledged by all.

Do you have a problem with that?

27 posted on 07/12/2010 4:21:22 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
So ask yourself: if there was no possibility of Japan attacking Pearl Harbor

I've never said that. I'm saying that at no time did FDR have foreknowledge that Pearl Harbor, specifically, was going to be the target and intentionally withheld that information, allowing the fleet to be surprised; thus allowing him to declare war. There simply is no proof of that.

There was the potential of the Japanese attacking anywhere, including the west coast, that's why the war warning went to everyone and not just the South Pacific stations. When it was certain that an attack was coming the warning specifically mentions these southern stations, but it does tell everyone to be on the alert.

28 posted on 07/12/2010 8:18:10 AM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: BroJoeK

You are taking my statement out of context by word-smithing out the “allowed it to happen” from the rest of the statement. There’s not even a comma separating that part of the sentence with the rest of the statement which clearly states that “allowed it to happen” refers to FDR allowing Pearl Harbor to be attacked. And perhaps I should add to the sentence “allowed to be attacked even though he had foreknowledge and decided to let them be surprised” but in the context of the entire discussion I assumed that you would get that. If your going to rework my sentences to say something that they do not I would suggest next time deleting the word “Nothing”, this way you can just claim that I agree with you and save yourself some typing.


29 posted on 07/12/2010 8:28:23 AM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7; henkster; Homer_J_Simpson
"When it was certain that an attack was coming the warning specifically mentions these southern stations, but it does tell everyone to be on the alert."

You're getting way ahead of our story.
I'm still way back in July 1940, discussion the disagreement between Richardson and Roosevelt.

I'm trying to make the point that there was a disagreement, that it involved the "vulnerability" of Pearl Harbor to Japanese attack, and -- at least according to Victor quoting Richardson -- Roosevelt seemed primarily concerned about such a vulnerability in terms of whether or not it would bring America into the war.

If it did, that would be the great "mistake" which FDR believed the Japanese could not -- at some point -- avoid making.

It's a very small point in a very large subject.
I make it now because we have the news of of July 1940 here in front of us.

And I've quoted that particular section of Victor's lengthy discussion of the Richardson-FDR dispute specifically because it mentions the one key word which unlocks all real understanding of December 7, 1941.

What is that one key word? Why "deterrence" of course.
Do you know, in military terms, when a "deterrence" is not a deterrence? When, in fact, does a supposed "deterrence" become a provocation?

When you know that, you know the key to Pearl Harbor -- and that is precisely the subject of disagreement between Richardson and President Roosevelt.

But "today" is still July 1940.
There are many months yet to review and discuss all this in great detail. ;-)

30 posted on 07/13/2010 1:22:48 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: CougarGA7
"And perhaps I should add to the sentence “allowed to be attacked even though he had foreknowledge and decided to let them be surprised” "

How much clearer could the official language get?

"the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act."

How could "Japan commit the first overt act" if the US Navy & Army Air Corps planes were constantly out patrolling hundreds and hundreds of miles from their bases?
Under such conditions, Japanese would easily claim their fleet was only out for a peaceful Sunday picnic when it was suddenly pounced on by those evil Americans war planes?

But let me add another factor -- another "can't see the forest for the trees" element.
Did you ever notice how virtually every country invaded by the axis powers was seemingly "caught by surprise" -- most notably Stalin and Roosevelt, but many others as well including even France -- which had months to prepare. When the time came, they still weren't ready.

I think something else was at work here -- something so obvious that nobody wants to see it... ;-)

31 posted on 07/13/2010 2:48:50 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
See, I've been discussing the overall contention and have been doing so from the beginning. But OK, we can look at just FDR-Richardson as of July 1940.

First we have to throw out the "mistake" statement since that did not take place in July, but at the October meeting.

Now since Victor uses the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack (Victor references it as the PHA after initial citation so I'll do the same) as his primary resource for the items on page 158-159 I took the liberty of finding the transcripts to those hearings and read them. I also tracked down and read the transcripts from the Naval Court of Inquiry (I'll call this the NCI from here) that is often referenced in the PHA. Interesting stuff by the way.

Now I don't argue that FDR and Richardson disagreed on the disposition of the fleet and it led to Richardson being relieved. I never have contested that either so it's not much of a point. I do take issue with the "vulnerability" quote by Victor, but in some respects its only semantically so I'll hit that first.

In the PHA which Victor sources, Richardson never makes the claim that the fleet is vulnerable. That distinction goes to Admiral Kimmel who said in his NCI testimony that is often referenced in the PHA. In his testimony, Kimmel says when asked if he also suggested moving the fleet out of Pearl as his predecessor had, "I did not make any protest, any formal protest, against maintaining the fleet at Pearl Harbor at any time. I did, in conversation with the Chief of Naval Operations, in June of 1941, point out to him the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor as a fleet base".

Now the reason I don't discount a concern of vulnerability by Richardson out of hand entirely are two fold. First, as a commander of a fleet I would imagine you worry about the vulnerabilities of your fleet no matter where it is. Second, again in the NCI I found this in which he doesn't claim that the fleet is vulnerable, but does show that he sees the potential for danger.

Q. In other words, you considered that the means of attack would be by submarines rather than by air?

A. Yes, although in a statement, in a letter prepared which is before the court, presenting the inadequacies of the defenses of Pearl Harbor, I did point out and particularly stress the inadequacies with respect to anti-aircraft defense, and we did consider at one time the advisability of establishing a balloon barrage, abandoning the idea, so that we were not entirely without concern over the possibilities of a surprise air attack.

So as a reasonable commander he was looking at all angles, but as you can see, his primary concern from a defensive standpoint was with submarine attacks, and not a strike from the air. I guess I should solidify that statement by posting the answer to the previous question that led to this one I just listed above.

Q. At this time and in view of these rumors of a possible war with Japan, what was your estimate as to a surprise attack on Hawaii? Did you believe that the Japanese would make a surprise attack, and if so, how?

A. While I was Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet I was primarily concerned with the possibility of an attack by submarines.

So did Richardson claim that the fleet was vulnerable in his July 1940 meeting with FDR? Maybe, but if he did, it wasn't his primary concern. If it was it would have shown up in his testimony, especially when you look at what he did claim his issues were in that July meeting.

According to the PHA, this is the reasons he gives:

"My objections for remaining there were, primarily, that you only had one port, secure port, and very crowded, no recreation facilities for the men, a long distance from Pearl Harbor to the city of Honolulu, inadequate transportation inadequate airfields."

"A carrier cannot conduct all training for her planes from the carrier deck. In order to launch her planes she must be underway at substantial speed, using up large amounts of fuel. So that wherever carriers are training their squadrons there must be flying fields available, so that while the ship herself is undergoing overhaul, or repair, or upkeep, the planes may conduct training, flying from the flying fields"

"There were inadequate and restricted areas for anchorages of the fleet; to take them in and out of Pearl Harbor wasted time."

"Another reason, which was a substantial one: Americans are perfectly willing to go anywhere, stay anywhere, do anything when there is a job to be done and they can see the reason for their being there, but to keep the fleet, during what the men considered normal peacetimes, away from the coast and away from their families, away from recreation, rendered it difficult to maintain a high state of morale that is essential to successful training.

"For those reasons, and because I believed that the fleet could be better prepared for war on a normal basis on the west coast, I wanted to return to the west coast."

This mirrors the testimony he gave the NCI:

Q. Admiral, during the time you were in the Hawaiian area, and the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet, did you consider the basing of the United States Fleet in the Pacific, and did you make any specific recommendations to the Navy Department as to the proper base in the Pacific, at which in your opinion the Fleet should be placed?

A. I made such representations both unofficially, orally, and in writing, and I happen to have one.

Q. What were they, please? What were the recommendations?

A. Well, I have one in my pocket, if you want it.

Q. Briefly, just generally — just state it, if you please?

A. Well, I stated that the operating areas were not adequate, either for surface ships or air ; there were no airfields adequate to care for the planes that were on carriers, and could not be trained from the carriers because of the shortage of fuel. The only safe anchorage was Pearl Harbor, and it was entirely inadequate to handle the Fleet ; the distance from the West Coast increased the cost and the delay and the difficulty of maintaining and supplying the Fleet; that there were no recreational facilities; that in time of peace the men and officers could not see any reason for remaining for such a long time away from home ; that they were two thousand miles nearer a possible enemy; that we were unprepared to undertake offensive operations from Pearl Harbor, and that if we were involved in war, it would be necessary for us to return to the West Coast for stripping and mobilization and preparation for war; and that our presence in the Hawaiian area, when we were absolutely not trained, couldn't make any military people believe that we were planning offensive operations.

Q. Where did you recommend that the Fleet be based ?

A. Normal West Coast bases, except a detachment to remain in Pearl Harbor that could be adequately cared for by the facilities there.

So his main concern was that Pearl Harbor didn't have the facilities to support the fleet and the remote station would be more expensive and harder on the men. All reasonable concerns honestly, especially when you consider that if you cannot train adequately, and don't have the material resources to ramp up from peace to war status without cycling the ships back to the mainland, then you wont be in a position to take advantage of that forward position for offensive operations if war does break out.

Admiral Stark's testimony backs up Richardson's as far as his concerns when it comes to the fleet's stationing at Pearl Harbor (again from the NCI):

Q. At some time during the late summer or fall of 1940, did Admiral Richardson make either one or two official visits to Washington?

A. He did.

Q. And during one or both of those visits, did you have conversations with him relative to continuing the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor?

A. That question was undoubtedly one which we talked about.

Q. And do you recall that Admiral Richardson protested with strength and vigor the continued maintenance of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor under the then existing conditions ?

A. I recall his desire to bring the Fleet back to the Coast.

Q. Did he advance any reasons to you for that desire?

A. Yes, he supported them with reasons.

Q. Do you recall what the reasons were, as stated to you?

The witness requested permission to refresh his memory from documents he had in his possession.

The court granted the permission.

A. I can give you some of the reasons.

Q. Can you state generally your present recollection?

A. I recall one reason which Admiral Richardson gave which was in connection with morale, namely, that the fleet on the Pacific Coast would have better opportunity for recreation, visits with their families. I am not sure, but as I recall the question of re-enlistments was brought up in that same connection, but as to any material reason which he might have given, I do not recall specifically at the moment.

Q. Do you recall whether Admiral Richardson based his protest on the fact that he considered the Fleet was not secure at Pearl Harbor ?

A. I do not recall that, no, nor any official communication to that effect.

Q. Do you recall whether one of the factors behind Admiral Richardson's protest was that strategically and logistically, war operations could not be conducted, either actually or in training, from Pearl Harbor because of inadequate train then attached to the Fleet?

A. I remember a discussion of inadequate training came up and we were endeavoring to meet the needs of the Fleet to make Pearl Harbor suitable for some of these purposes, if not all of them.

So once again, we have Richardson's concerns with moral, facilities, and training, but noting on the fleet being vulnerable. In fact, Stark states that there were no mention of the fleet not being secure made to him by Richardson either officially or unofficially. So Richardson does not convey a concern about the security of the fleet at Pearl Harbor to his superior, or in official communiques at the time, or unofficially, or in his testimony in 1944 (NCI) and 1945 (PHA). But Victor's interpretation of the PHA testimony is that Richardson did make the argument with FDR that the fleet was vulnerable at Pearl Harbor, and apparently all the other reasons that are in the PHA were not an issue that came up in these meetings of July or October. Interesting assessment.

So at this point in time, I would be willing to say that Richardson and FDR are on the outs because Richardson wants to move the fleet back to the coast where it can better train and prepare for war while FDR wants to leave it at Pearl to exert political pressure on Japan.

32 posted on 07/13/2010 10:39:22 PM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7
"So at this point in time, I would be willing to say that Richardson and FDR are on the outs because Richardson wants to move the fleet back to the coast where it can better train and prepare for war while FDR wants to leave it at Pearl to exert political pressure on Japan."

Another great post -- lots of meat and potatoes in it, thanks!

And yes, for purposes of this discussion I've conflated the July and October meetings -- because they seem directly connected and demonstrate that Richardson's concerns about Pearl Harbor, far from being alleviated by Roosevelt's actions, only grew more intense over time.

And what were those concerns?
Oh, says his boss, Admiral Stark, Richardson was worried about the lack of training and maintenance facilities at Pearl Harbor.
Anything else?
Naw, that was about it, says Stark.

Of course, anyone of the "Roosevelt knew" school has to believe Stark was a major figure in the Pearl Harbor cover-up, so any such testimony must be viewed with suspicion.

So, what did Richardson himself say?
Yes, he was concerned about the lack of facilities at Pearl Harbor, but he also had higher strategic concerns, including, in effect, its "vulnerability" to attack.

What kind of attack?
Well mainly he was concerned about submarines, but also air attack.
And there are documents to support his concern, says Richardson.

And not only Richardson was concerned, but his successor, Admiral Kimmel was also concerned about Pearl Harbor's "vulnerability."

So, why is this word "vulnerability" or the phrase "inadequacies of defense" important strategically?
Because, militarily speaking, "vulnerability" is what turns a "deterrence" into a provocation.

Militarily, a deterrence is a force so powerful it says to any potential enemy: "don't mess with me, or you will be so, soooo sorry."

By contrast, a provocation is a force so weak it says to a potential enemy: "here I am, attack me to gain victory and glory."

In their October meeting, Roosevelt claims the fleet at Pearl Harbor is a deterrent to the Japanese.
Richardson answers -- no, it's too weak to deter, and the Japanese know that.

What is a force too weak to deter?
It's a provocation.
Roosevelt knows that, and considers the possibility of a Japanese attack as the great "mistake" which will bring American into the war.

33 posted on 07/14/2010 4:26:11 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
And yes, for purposes of this discussion I've conflated the July and October meetings -- because they seem directly connected and demonstrate that Richardson's concerns about Pearl Harbor, far from being alleviated by Roosevelt's actions, only grew more intense over time.

Just keeping things in line with the format you requested so we would not get "way ahead of our story".

Of course, anyone of the "Roosevelt knew" school has to believe Stark was a major figure in the Pearl Harbor cover-up, so any such testimony must be viewed with suspicion.

Then I think they better come forward with some real evidence to that effect then. What I've seen here so far is just a case of poor utilization of source material and word-smithing to try and read more into a word or statement than is necessarily really there. Unsubstantiated accusations and playing the "depends on what the definition of IS, IS" isn't going to win me over.

I'm afraid these revisionists need to come up with something a little more convincing to woo me over to their side, and I'm more than willing to go over their information, but when I find issues like I did with Victor's work and use of his sources it really makes me suspect his motivations.

There is a lot more to the testimony of these men that I didn't add to this because it didn't fit the time line or I felt was just making my post too long anyway. I'm happy with my analysis based on my own research into the primary source material and I will stand by it for that reason.

34 posted on 07/14/2010 5:17:53 AM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7; henkster; Homer_J_Simpson
"Then I think they better come forward with some real evidence to that effect then.
What I've seen here so far is just a case of poor utilization of source material and word-smithing to try and read more into a word or statement than is necessarily really there."

The evidence you posted is as clear and real as any evidence could be: both Richardson and his successor, Kimmel, were concerned about Pearl Harbor's "vulnerability" and "inadequacies of defense."

That is not "word-smithing" on my part, those are facts which you posted.

I have further posted Victor's report on Richardson's argument with President Roosevelt, wherein Richardson complains about the weakness of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, to which FDR responds: a Japanese attack would be the big "mistake" which brings America into the war.

No "word-smithing" there, just facts.
In 1940, Roosevelt was less interested in the potential destruction of the US fleet than in the result of US entry to war.

Of course, as time goes on, there will be other important points to make, but as of "today" -- July 1940 -- this seems to me enough for us to remember and ponder...

35 posted on 07/18/2010 8:23:29 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Trying to make the word "deterrence" mean "provocation", saying "probably" means "possibly not". Attributing "vulnerability" to Richardson despite the fact that he never said that in his testimony. Not to mention taking only a portion of a sentence I wrote in order to make it mean something different from its meaning when taken wholly and in its proper context is word-smithing.

Richardson's primary concern was that there were improper facilities to put the fleet on a war footing. Any issues with Pearl's defenses were secondary and that shows when you read his testimony to both the NCI and PHA.

36 posted on 07/18/2010 10:27:10 AM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7
And you talk about me "word-smithing" ;-)

CougarGA7: "Trying to make the word 'deterrence' mean 'provocation'... "

You didn't "get it," did you?
Deterrence and provocation, militarily speaking, are opposites.
A deterrence is a powerful military force, powerful enough to discourage enemy attack.
A provocation is a weak military force, so weak it invites - provokes enemy attack.

In their October 1940 argument, Roosevelt tells Richardson his fleet is kept at Pearl Harbor as a deterrent against the Japanese.
Richardson responds: it cannot be a deterrent because it's too weak, and the Japanese know it. Militarily, that makes it a provocation.

So Roosevelt responds: if the Japanese attack, that will be the "mistake" which puts America at war.

This is not "word-smithing," it's defining our terms, accurately.

CougarGA7: "saying 'probably' means 'possibly not'. "

Certainly it does! Over the long run you will "probably" make money by investing in the stock market -- but "possibly not."
What else can "probably" possibly mean? ;-)

CougarGA7: "Attributing 'vulnerability' to Richardson despite the fact that he never said that in his testimony. "

Go back and read your own post #32:

Richardson answers about possible means of attack: "Yes, although in a statement, in a letter prepared which is before the court, presenting the inadequacies of the defenses of Pearl Harbor, I did point out and particularly stress the inadequacies with respect to anti-aircraft defense, and we did consider at one time the advisability of establishing a balloon barrage, abandoning the idea, so that we were not entirely without concern over the possibilities of a surprise air attack."

So now, Mr. Word-Smither, in exactly which sense is the word "vulnerability" not synonymous with "inadequacies of the defense"?

CougarGA7: "Not to mention taking only a portion of a sentence I wrote in order to make it mean something different from its meaning when taken wholly and in its proper context is word-smithing."

Say what?

CougarGA7: "Richardson's primary concern was that there were improper facilities to put the fleet on a war footing.
Any issues with Pearl's defenses were secondary and that shows when you read his testimony to both the NCI and PHA."

Of course that is true, but saying Richardson's concerns about Pearl Harbor's vulnerability were "secondary" does not mean they were "non-existent."
It only means that Richardson, correctly, did not believe in 1940 a Japanese attack was imminent.
Therefore, his immediate concern was Pearl Harbor's facilities.

37 posted on 07/18/2010 1:10:51 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

Clearly you need to go back and read what you have written on this thread. I clearly told you when you took my own statement out of context. You are taking this far too personally and I think you are getting tunnel vision as a result.


38 posted on 07/18/2010 2:38:56 PM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7
"I clearly told you when you took my own statement out of context."

I did not understand your complaint then, and still don't.

But I note you have accused me of "word-smithing" and now "tunnel vision," along with "taking this far too personally."

39 posted on 07/18/2010 3:22:47 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

I would again ask you to go back an read what you wrote then. I told you then that you were taking my statement out of context. It’s all right there, and my reasons have all been clearly presented. It’s not a complaint, it is an observation which unfortunately I think takes away from your argument as a whole.

I am glad you noticed that I stated that I think you are taking this too personally since you seem, in my opinion, to be getting far too spun up over this. I do believe that it is affecting your objectivity. You may take that for what it is, it is only my personal observation on how you have approached this debate.

I am still happy with my conclusions based on my own analysis of primary sources. I don’t think I’m out of line stating that Richardson’s concerns about Pearls defenses were very low on his list compared to his main objections. I think his stated objections that he made to Stark, and at his testimonies makes sense. Pearl Harbor did not have the proper facilities to train for war. It did not have the equipment to put the fleet on a war footing. It’s remoteness could have a negative impact on moral and Hawaii had only “one secure port”, meaning that there were no secured secondary facilities. It would make the West Coast very much preferable if you were the commander of that fleet. I think that the argument that Richardson’s argument with FDR was based only on the defenses at the facility is highly unlikely, and very biased when presented as a primary issue. All the evidence says otherwise. I am more than willing to look at proof that the “vulnerability” was his big issue, but as of yet I have not been presented with anything that suggests that.


40 posted on 07/18/2010 4:40:37 PM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7
"I think that the argument that Richardson’s argument with FDR was based only on the defenses at the facility is highly unlikely, and very biased when presented as a primary issue. "

A straw man. No one has done that.

The point is not that Richardson was more concerned about "x" or less concerned about "y".
Rather, the point is that Richardson was -- to whatever degree -- concerned about "inadequacies" in Pearl Harbor defenses, both against submarines and air attacks.
Richardson's successor, Kimmel, also expressed concern about Pearl's "vulnerability."

In Richardson's mind, these concerns turned what FDR considered a strong "deterrent" force against Japanese aggression into a weak "provocation" for Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

But remember, it is still 1940 and there is yet no concrete reason to expect attack, only concerns about possibilities.

And the point of it all is Roosevelt's response to Richardson's concerns: such an attack would be the big Japanese "mistake" which puts America into the war, said FDR.

So already in 1940, FDR is pondering just how big an attack -- and against which US targets -- it would take to put America at war.

And there is much more to this story, all in due time... ;-)

41 posted on 07/20/2010 2:03:06 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Rather, the point is that Richardson was -- to whatever degree -- concerned about "inadequacies" in Pearl Harbor defenses, both against submarines and air attacks.

It's the "to whatever degree" that is important. His concern with Pearl's defenses are rather minor and really on the level that would be expected from a commander of a fleet. It is not a primary issue, and that's the point. The primary issue is the inability to place the fleet on a war footing due to the state of the facilities at Pearl Harbor (training, equipping, ect). The secondary concerns are cost and morale.

42 posted on 07/20/2010 6:25:57 AM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7
"The primary issue is the inability to place the fleet on a war footing due to the state of the facilities at Pearl Harbor (training, equipping, ect)."

No disagreement here.
In their October 1940 meeting, Richardson advised FDR that his Pacific Fleet was too weak to be an effective deterrent, and the Japanese knew it.

He then asked if FDR intended to go to war with Japan, to which Roosevelt replied: that depends on where the Japanese attack.

There was then no evidence of an imminent Japanese attack, but the possibilities would naturally concern any military leaders.

But in Roosevelt's mind, some such attack was absolutely necessary to put America at war.

That's the only point I'm trying to make, for now. ;-)

43 posted on 07/21/2010 11:05:17 AM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

Then I can agree with you up to this point then. As we move forward I think we will both agree that FDR knew that he needed an overt attack from either Japan or Germany as well to get the isolationists on his side. I think the stickler will come when he try to determine if he knew about the Pearl attack.

Certainly Richardson would have to have somewhere in his mind the defense of his fleet at Pearl even at this time. The degree of worry I think is what is in question, and I’d be willing to bet that it will increase as events unfold elsewhere so I will be sure to keep this in mind as we evaluate this moving forward.

An interesting aside from research I was doing to back my claim that at this time the defenses at Pearl were relatively low on Richardson’s list compared to other issues:

At this point in time (July 1940), Pearl Harbor is the 3rd best fortified American defensive position in the Pacific. I expected this to a degree but was shocked to find that only 2 of the 6 main West Coast bases were better defended. (Though I have to admit that I can only find data on shore batteries for use against ships and fixed AA positions, I can’t find anything (yet) on how each facility is set with ASW equipment or smaller mobile AA units). The bases at San Francisco, and Puget Sound have better, and more of everything than Pearl, but San Diego, Los Angeles, Columbia, and Gray’s Harbor (which I almost shouldn’t count since it is so small) are not as well defended.

Another thing I found concerning was just how poorly defended Panama is. I cannot find a single (not one) anti-aircraft installation at that base. I have found 90mm anti-aircraft batteries (8 in total) that will go online in 1943, but right now there is zip.

One final tidbit. When looking at this I kept running across the the 3” AA gun as the standard anti-aircraft artillery piece (these date back to WWI). Turns out the 90mm AA unit only got approved by the Army last March (1940). The first of these come online in 1942 in small amounts and don’t really take hold until 1943. So from an overall defensive proposition, I would say we are currently behind on anti-aircraft technology in general.


44 posted on 07/21/2010 1:49:23 PM PDT by CougarGA7
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To: CougarGA7
"So from an overall defensive proposition, I would say we are currently behind on anti-aircraft technology in general."

Many these days say the US is unprepared for another "Big One" type war. They forget how much more unprepared we still were in 1940.

Indeed, to give Pat Buchanan his due, he correctly points out that, all things considered, our pre-war isolationists did the country a genuine service by keeping us out of a war we were as yet in no way prepared to fight.

45 posted on 07/21/2010 4:38:20 PM PDT by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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