Skip to comments.70 years since Pearl Harbor, Americans are still wondering who was to blame
Posted on 12/07/2011 6:00:35 PM PST by presidio9
'Was there a man dismay'd Not tho' the soldier knew Someone had blundered'
70 years ago over 2,400 Americans were killed and about half as many wounded when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the naval and air forces of Imperial Japan.
The usual scapegoats were identified and ruined, but for decades historians have questioned the official account. Between conventional sources of information and radar tracking, it is argued, the Roosevelt administration knew or ought to have known.
Some analysts have concluded that Franklin Roosevelt wanted a justification, no matter what the price, for getting into the war. Others have been content to charge his administration with incompetence. I simply do not know.
When brave men die defending their country, it is always a sad and sobering event, but if brave men have been sacrificed needlessly by incompetence of corruption, as Lincoln's troops were in the Civil War he brought on,
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Oh, yeah; I spend hours on end pondering who was to blame for Pearl Harbor. not
The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
I’m sick and tied of folks who attack America. Being attacked was NOT our fault!
“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with great resolve.”
It’s Bush’s fault.
Americans are still wondering who was to blame
I’m going to go out on limb here and say the Japanese.
Whose fault is it?....Bammy says Bush.
I am not wondering who is to blame.
The Japanese warmongers had already invaded China and Korea and were attacking islands and countries all over the Pacific.
They were the ones dropping the bombs.
Ask any survivor.
There has been no smoking gun nor first person testimony to indicate FDR knew of the attack. I think there was the opinion that Japan was going to attack somewhere..but Hawaii was a stretch. Even if he had known..and put the fleet to sea..the event might have been worse. The Japanese battle fleet might have located the ships and carriers at sea and sunk them where salvage was not possible.
I see our wonderful American educational system has worked it’s magic..............
Nobody even questioned “who to blame” until just a few years ago..
Thank you, political correctness-courtesy of our libtard friends.
Only a jackass would ask such a question. Who is this guy Fleming? Is he an American or an ex-pat living in the UK? Or perhaps he is a European apologist.
Who attacked Pearl Harbor is to blame..."Japanese" is the word even ignorant Brits use.
"It's not over! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor??"
UK journalists are projecting their stupidity onto Americans. Nothing new there. But what I wonder is why the Japanese were so stupid that they could convince themselves that getting into a war with the US was a good idea.
OK...forgive me...I’m going to take a step off of “stuck on stupid” train of thought...country “A” is going about their business...country “B” comes in and drops bombs on Country “A”...lots of people in Country “A” are killed...Country “A” goes after Country “B” and 4 years later Country “B” experiences bigger bombs being dropped by Country “A” and gives up...Now what part of “Stupid move on country “B”” don’t you comprehend?
My thoughts exactly.
>> The usual scapegoats were identified and ruined, but for decades...
So it was the Germans after all...
It’s been so long since high school that I forgot if it was the Germans or Mussolini’s Italians who bombed Pearl Harbor.
Thanks for the remainder.
Both Japanese and Americans underestimated each other. Americans didn't believe Japanese could be good pilots because they had bad eyesight (from the slanty eyes), and that they were small, bucktoothed midgets....
The Japanese thought Americans were morally and mentally weak , and would only be brave just to show off, and cared more for staying alive than risking their lives to fight for their country. The war planners in Tokyo really thought they'd make America cower in a corner because they were attacked, and we'd sue for peace.
Needless to say, both sides were in for a rude awakening.
So glad to see Pearl Harbor getting the attention it deserves today, as compared to the last 20 years when it rated ten secs on the eve news.
This is a poorly titled article. Like most people have commented, we know that Japan was to blame for bombing Pearl Harbor.
That being said, it is a fact that American intelligence was “reading” Japanese encrypted mail long before the bombing. There was plenty in their “mail” which told of the oncoming attack. Now the question remains as to who knew and who told whom what.
Personally, I think if the President did know and made a calculated risk, in hind sight, I think he made the right choice. I wasn’t there, so I can’t judge him.
Of course there were events leading up to the attack. But no action or inaction by Roosevelt or anyone else pulled the bomb release. That responsibility is the pilot's, and his commander's, and his commander's above him. That's what chain of command means. Pretending otherwise is the arena of fantasists and fools.
Who exactly do we owe a big apology to about dropping a few thermonuclear bombs on Japan, if we don't know who to blame for Pearl Harbor?
If Nagumo had listened to Fuchida and Genda, the attack on Pearl Harbor would have probably had a much different ending. Leaving the flattops unaccounted for and the repair facilities and oil storage facilities intact was error that would haunt them at Midway.
Nagumo was haunted by all the wargames that showed the Americans retaliating successfully and sinking one or more of the Jap flattops that were needed in the coming naval ops and invasion of the Phillipines. So rather than launch a third, fourth, or how ever many strikes it took to smash the American fleet, he withdrew.
They could have also committed more of their submarine assets to the attack. The I class subs were the largest fleet boats in the world and could have stayed on station for a long time.
The Americans did not believe the attack would come as it did and did not pay heed to the British torpedo attacks against Italian battlewagons at Taranto, which had the same shallow waters as Pearl.
Bold attack marred by the flattops not being in port, the lack of follow through, and the fleet not being at it’s alternate anchorage of Lahaina Roads, which is unsalvageably deep.
The Japanese government was to blame, FDR was their enabler, my Daddy was their nightmare.
Aleutian Islands; battle of Attu and Kiska. Two Purple Hearts.
R.I.P. Pops. 1918-1985
Amen to that smurf.
Thomas Fleming is editor of the American monthly, Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture. He has written several books on ethics (The Morality of Everyday Life) and politics (Socialism, The Politics of Human Nature) and contributed to newspapers, magazines, and academic journals on both sides of the Atlantic. In an earlier life he received a Ph.D. in classics and professed Greek and Latin at several universities."
He's an overeducated IDIOT.
He eventually was converted to Christianity and did much evangalization later on his life.
FDR knew of the attack before hand and had the Navy remove the aircraft carriers out to sea out of harms way.
I saw a documentary saying the Japanese Naval Aviation School was training pilots on a Pearl Harbor mock-up for a decade before the actual attack!!
Well...not exactly. Adm Kimmel and Gen Short took the hits from several investigations.
That was after Japan was already occupying a major chunk of China and had humiliated Russia and colonized Korea decades earlier. I think your take is a little simplistic.
Did FDR know it was coming on Dec 7th? Probably not.
Did the US expect that there might be an attack? Yes. Many books talk about the fact that having sanctions against Japan was seen as risking war. The US military had some training games based around it. However, it is also pretty clear they didn’t view Japan as a major threat, or war as likely.
If you read books about Patton and others, they expected that there would be war against Japan, but many figured the Phillipians would be the first place attacked.
Everybody knows it was the Jooze!
German Jooze, to be exact!
Or maybe the Germans if you watch Animal House.
Especially people who might be writing their "Das Tagespost" contributions in German if FDR had somehow prevented Japan's sneak attack.
Now I'm defending FDR on FR? What a world, what a world...
The USS Enterprise left Pearl Harbor 11/28/41 with a load of aircraft for the Wake Island garrison. It was returning to Pearl on 12/7/41. The USS Lexington departed Pearl with a load of aircraft to reinforce the Midway garrison on 12/5/41. The third aircraft carrier in the Pacific was the USS Saratoga, which had just completed maintenance work in Bremerton, Washington and was in transit to San Diego, where it picked additional aircraft earmarked for the Wake Island garrison.
So there were only two carriers near Hawaii on 12/7/41 and both were being used in aircraft deliveries, not sneaking out of Pearl to keep them safe.
The other four American carriers were in the Atlantic.
USS Lexington was close enough to the Japanese strike force so that it might conceivably on a longshot have spotted or been spotted by the Japanese, but neither force was launching recon patrols. The Lexington's deck was full of Marine aircraft that could fly off, but whose flight crews were not trained to land on carriers. The Japanese weren't flying recon because they were trying to sneak up on Pearl Harbor, and any American warship or merchantmen spotting and reporting a Japanese aircraft in the middle of nowhere would have tipped their hand.
And if hypothetically FDR had had foreknowledge, why wouldn't he have moved the battleships out of harm's way as well? Attacks on the U.S. airbases on Hawaii would have been sufficient to get the U.S. into the war. The actual losses among the battleships were not made public until years after the Pearl harbor attack.
Based on the above facts any idea that FDR had the carriers moved out of harm's way doesn't hold water.
1. He is actually a very bright guy with a wealth of historical and cultural knowledge.
2. He is quite the controversialist.
3. He is a very traditional and very faithful Roman Catholic (he attends the same Mass I do every Sunday).
4. I had one daughter attend a once a week class in American History with Dr. Fleming. I attended as well and felt free to pepper him with disagreements particularly as to developments after 1880 or so. He was a reasonably good sport about my vigorous disagreements before his students.
5. He is a major paleoconservative figure and ruins the Rockford Institute. As a conservative of the New Right, I disagree with him on matters of foreign policy and some domestic issues as well. I have never doubted the sincerity of his beliefs or that he is a principled fellow.
6. His objections to Lincoln's conduct of the War Between the States are well thought out and ought to be given consideration by conservatives generally.
7. Dr. Fleming's political views would be rather unpopular on FR other than among the Paulistinians but he certainly has the courage of his convictions. He probably despises Obozo but his reasons differ from those of many other conservatives.
Though I have given him plenty of reason not to like me personally, he never fails to have a kind word for me at Church and so he may be said to refuse to allow differences to affect the relationship between gentlemen. That is a rare quality nowadays and ought to be encouraged.
I found this snippet in Mr. Fleming's article quite accurately reflects his article:
"I simply do not know."
Do yourself a favor and just ask yourself this question.
Would you allow the teeth of your fleet to be sunk in order to enter a war?
Remember, the U.S. had not yet embraced carrier doctrine at this point. Most American Naval commanders still prescribed to the doctrine of Alfred Mahan and would be what we call now “battleship admirals”. The same could be said for former assistant secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Only the temporary loss of these battle wagons caused the shift in American doctrine toward carrier centric strategy. This shift was so dramatic that it still exists to this day.
According to your response, Mr. Fleming does seem like a thoughtful person. I am, however, somewhat dismayed at the direction of his doubts as to whom is to blame for the attack on Pearl Harbor. As learned as he seems, it appears that he should well know where the blame lies.