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A Reluctant Enemy Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto
The New York Times ^ | December 6,2011 | IAN W. TOLL

Posted on 12/07/2011 6:21:38 PM PST by Hojczyk

By a peculiar twist of fate, the Japanese admiral who masterminded the attack had persistently warned his government not to fight the United States. Had his countrymen listened, the history of the 20th century might have turned out much differently.

Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto foresaw that the struggle would become a prolonged war of attrition that Japan could not hope to win. For a year or so, he said, Japan might overrun locally weak Allied forces — but after that, its war economy would stagger and its densely built wood-and-paper cities would suffer ruinous air raids. Against such odds, Yamamoto could “see little hope of success in any ordinary strategy.” His Pearl Harbor operation, he confessed, was “conceived in desperation.” It would be an all-or-nothing gambit, a throw of the dice: “We should do our best to decide the fate of the war on the very first day.”

During the Second World War and for years afterward, Americans despised Yamamoto as an archvillain, the perpetrator of an ignoble sneak attack, a personification of “Oriental treachery.” Time magazine published his cartoon likeness on its Dec. 22, 1941, cover — sinister, glowering, dusky yellow complexion — with the headline “Japan’s Aggressor.” He was said to have boasted that he would “dictate terms of peace in the White House.”

Yamamoto made no such boast — the quote was taken out of context from a private letter in which he had made precisely the opposite point. He could not imagine an end to the war short of his dictating terms in the White House, he wrote — and since Japan could not hope to conquer the United States, that outcome was inconceivable.

I

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: midway; pearlharbor; yamamoto
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1 posted on 12/07/2011 6:21:41 PM PST by Hojczyk
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To: Hojczyk
Yamamoto made no such boast — the quote was taken out of context from a private letter in which he had made precisely the opposite point.

And for the record, before someone posts it, Yamamoto never said invading America was impossible because there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.

2 posted on 12/07/2011 6:28:00 PM PST by Hugin ("Most time a man'll tell you his bad intentions if you listen and let yourself hear"--Open Range)
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To: Hojczyk

The air ambush and killing of Yamamoto is my favorite WWII story. My Dad was on an LST in The Pacific and the long suppressed story of Yamamoto’s end always brings a smile to my face.


3 posted on 12/07/2011 6:28:46 PM PST by outofstyle (Down All the Days)
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To: Hojczyk

Time Mag cover:

http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19411222,00.html


4 posted on 12/07/2011 6:33:46 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (I love how the FR spellchecker doesn't recognize the word "Obama")
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To: Hojczyk

I’ll wait with baited breath for an article from the New York Times which discusses in glowing terms such American WWII military leaders as Gen. Douglas MacArthur or Adm. Chester Nimitz.


5 posted on 12/07/2011 6:38:09 PM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: Hugin

And he also didn’t say that the Pearl Harbor attack had woken the sleeping giant. But in predicting the course of the war, he did predict six months of success but could not promise anything after that.


6 posted on 12/07/2011 6:40:47 PM PST by henkster
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To: Hojczyk

If there are bars in heaven, he’s probably sharing a sake with Robert E. Lee.


7 posted on 12/07/2011 6:41:07 PM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Hojczyk
For a year or so, he said, Japan might overrun locally weak Allied forces — but after that, its war economy would stagger and its densely built wood-and-paper cities would suffer ruinous air raids.

Well he was right about that, and Lt Colonel Jimmy Doolittle
(later promoted to General) made sure it started in April '42

8 posted on 12/07/2011 6:44:57 PM PST by mkjessup (Jimmy Carter is the Skidmark in the panties of American history, 0bama is the yellow stain in front.)
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To: henkster

“I fear we have merely awoken a sleeping giant and filled him with great resolve.”


9 posted on 12/07/2011 6:51:48 PM PST by circlecity
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To: Hojczyk

Good read and thanks for posting it.

An amazing generation and period of history with many valuable lessons we don’t recognize. History makes every arm-chair General look brilliant but we will never know the exact information these men made monumental decisions with.

In hindsight, Yamamoto’s real brilliance was his predictions prior the war. His failure was not finishing the job by taking Hawaii or finishing the fleet when he had the opportunity. Typical of Japanese leadership for his era, he saw the tremendous victory and did not want to risk defeat after achieving it. He was correct about the end result prior to the war but they might have dragged it out long enough to sue for peace with much of their gains intact.

We had our share of mistakes in WWII but we were truly blessed by bigger errors by our enemies.


10 posted on 12/07/2011 7:04:56 PM PST by volunbeer (Keep the dope, we'll make the change in 2012!)
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To: outofstyle

My Dad served on Subs during WW2, BTW a great movie with J Cagney playing Bull Halsey during the Guadalcanal campaign and the mission that killed Yammamoto.

The Gallant Hours:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0jjOpIOu7s

Great movie. Yammamoto was a military genius.

The declaration of was was supposed to be delivered prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor o course it didn’t happen.


11 posted on 12/07/2011 7:07:02 PM PST by Leto (Damn shame Palin didn't run, The Presidency was Her's for the taking)
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To: Hugin

Ditto


12 posted on 12/07/2011 7:10:09 PM PST by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: volunbeer

Agree. The Japanese were still thinking about their naval victory over Russia that forced the Russians to negotiate a peace. Their goal in attacking the US was a major naval victory that would result in a negotiated peace. I think that’s why Yamamoto’s advice about the duration of the war didn’t carry the day in Japan. They thought they could force a naval confrontation. Of course, Japan was also stuck in China and had a serious problem with raw materials that pushed things on. And the negotiated peace looks better if you ignore US development of atomic weapons. We did the right thing for them and us by using atomic weapon. The cost was high, but lower than it would have been otherwise. Japan was pretty much controlled by the army, and it was determined to go down fighting. An honorable position, in other circumstances.


13 posted on 12/07/2011 7:24:58 PM PST by arfingcat
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To: Hugin

What Yamamoto did say in regards to his nation’s decision to go war against the United States and the dubious results of the Pearl Harbor attack was “All we have done I fear, is awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve’’. Yeah brother, he wasn’t kidding. The folks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki would sure find that out in time.


14 posted on 12/07/2011 7:30:49 PM PST by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: Hojczyk

If Japan had either listened to Yamamoto’s advice not to attack the U.S., or had carried out his actual plan in its entirety, world history would have been very different:

Yamamoto proposed not merely destroying the U.S. fleet, but landing Japanese marines in Hawaii in sufficient force to seize control. The U.S. would have been left with San Francisco as its nearest deep water port to the Japanese home islands, and Japan would have had a forward position in which to base aircraft to harass the U.S. fleet. Fortunately, Yamamoto was not regarded as sufficiently “bushido” and his plan was watered down by folks more in the favor of Tojo and the Emperor.


15 posted on 12/07/2011 7:34:41 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: arfingcat
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

The story is that of Louie Zamperini - a track and field star of the 1930’s, who participated in the Berlin olympics, was part of the US air force in WWII, was shot down over the ocean, was adrift in the Pacific for over a month, was held as a POW by the Japanese forces and finally made it back to his life and has had the courage to live it to its fullest.

The Japs make the Muslim's look like boy scouts

16 posted on 12/07/2011 7:35:09 PM PST by Hojczyk
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To: Leto

Thanks for the link. I marked it & will watch it soon.


17 posted on 12/07/2011 7:42:44 PM PST by outofstyle (Down All the Days)
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To: volunbeer
His failure was not finishing the job by taking Hawaii or finishing the fleet when he had the opportunity.

Invasion or occupation of Japan or the complete destruction of the Pacific fleet would not have "finished the job," if by that you mean winning the war for Japan.

Not having Hawaii as a forward base would have greatly impeded the American counter-attack, but would not have changed the end result in any way. Though things might have gotten very dicey for Oz.

I estimate it would have taken America two additional years to defeat the Japs without Hawaii or a Pacific fleet.

But they would still have had the Bomb in '45, so it might not have taken much longer than it did anyway.

The Bomb might have been first used as a naval weapon. Say goodbye to the massed Japanese fleet.

Those who launched the attack knew perfectly well it wasn't within their power to defeat America. Some probably thought America would roll up and quit if hit hard enough.

But most realized, accurately, that American sanctions were forcing Japan into a position where they had only two choices:

Retreat to the home islands and abandon any hope of being a world power.

Launch a desperate attack in the hope that they might win despite the odds.

What they absolutely, positively could not do was stop where they were.

18 posted on 12/07/2011 7:46:29 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Hojczyk

I’m one historian who does not believe Yamamoto’s raid could have knocked the US out of the war, even if the carriers HAD been in port.

1. Yamamoto could only expect 3 carriers to be in the Pacific anyway: Lexington (CV-2), USS Enterprise (CV-6) and Saratoga (CV-3). The Wasp, Hornet, and Yorktown were still with the Atlantic fleet. Furthermore if the Japanese intelligence network was anything near as accurate as it supposedly was, Yamamoto should have known that Saratoga had just finished her overhaul at Bremerton and wasn’t due to return to Pearl Harbor until Dec. 10th or later. So the Admiral could have only hoped for 2, possibly 3 if Saratoga was ahead of schedule, carriers to be at Pearl when he launched his attack.

2. Even after extensive damage at the Battle of the Coral Sea, Yorktown was repaired in less than a month and available for the Battle of Midway. Given that several capital ships, heavily damaged at Pearl, returned to action within the year, it is not inconceivable that at least 1 Pacific fleet carrier could have survived Pearl Harbor and returned to service by June 1942 (Battle of Midway)

3.American shipbuilders moved so quickly to rebuild the Pacific fleet that even had we lost Coral Sea and Midway, we still would have come roaring back. Replacements for the Lexington and Yorktown were already in shipyards at the time of their sinking.


19 posted on 12/07/2011 7:47:56 PM PST by brothers4thID (http://scarlettsays.blogspot.com/)
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To: Hojczyk
The Japs make the Muslim's look like boy scouts

Thanks for that. I got reprimanded in 3rd grade (1965) for doing "show & tell" with a "Jap" sword my Dad picked up in Okinawa. I miss political incorrectness.

20 posted on 12/07/2011 7:50:19 PM PST by outofstyle (Down All the Days)
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To: Hojczyk

The Japs make the Muslim’s look like boy scouts

I sure hope you’re right about that.


21 posted on 12/07/2011 7:50:46 PM PST by logitech
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To: Hojczyk

What Yamamoto meant by the WH comment was actually super humble:

He meant that if Japan fought the USA at all, the notion that the USA would fight until some brokered political settlement was fanciful.

He was saying that Japan would have to win so utterly in order for the USA to stop fighting that Japan would have had to take CONTINENTAL US territory —his meaning was the exact opposite of what people made it out to be.

He studied at Harvard, and had driven his American convertible all over the USA, admiring the oil industry here.

THAT is why he was fixated on the question of oil & energy —as a navy man he knew the stuff was the lifeblood of combat ops.

In fact he was quite an AmericanoPhile.


22 posted on 12/07/2011 7:51:23 PM PST by gaijin
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To: Hojczyk
Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto foresaw that the struggle would become a prolonged war of attrition that Japan could not hope to win.

I'm not sure the Pacific War was really a "war of attrition," at least on the American side.

That usually implies a conflict in which both sides are up against their manpower and resource limitations and victory goes to whoever can hold out the longest anyway.

In actual fact, of course, American strength did not degrade during the course of the war but instead increased steadily throughout. The Japanese were remarkably ineffective at even inflicting heavy casualties on US forces, after their initial six months of running wild.

Japan lost 3.5% to 4.5% of its population during the war, the US only .32%, and it was also fighting in Europe.

23 posted on 12/07/2011 7:52:53 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: brothers4thID

Just read a book, “Midway” Here’s a number for you... The japs were producing 160 planes a month at in Dec 41, after years of gearing up for war. In 1943 we produced 10,000 planes!!!!.... EVERY MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


24 posted on 12/07/2011 7:54:34 PM PST by Doctor 2Brains (If the government were Paris Hilton, it could not score a free drink in a bar full of lonely sailors)
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To: Sherman Logan

see post 24...


25 posted on 12/07/2011 7:56:08 PM PST by Doctor 2Brains (If the government were Paris Hilton, it could not score a free drink in a bar full of lonely sailors)
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To: Doctor 2Brains

Yup. The Japs also did an atrocious job of training replacement pilots for their carriers. They had a superbly trained and experienced group when they attacked Pearl, but it was disippated over the course of the next year or so, and they never worked out a way to provide replacements.


26 posted on 12/07/2011 7:58:54 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Doctor 2Brains

And they couldn’t train pilots fast enough either. That is the reason the carrier Zuikaku wasn’t available for Midway - they had the planes to re-constitute her air group (heavy losses at the Battle of the Coral Sea and during South Pacific raids)but didn’t have the bodies to put in the planes.


27 posted on 12/07/2011 7:59:05 PM PST by brothers4thID (http://scarlettsays.blogspot.com/)
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To: gaijin

A couple things:

1. The Japanese Navy had a deep schizm; On the one hand there were the older admirals who loved battleships and saw aircraft carriers are uppity contraptions not to be trusted.

On the other hand were folks like Yamamoto —the CARRIER was the new center of navy power.

PH was an air operation, and Yamamoto was in ultimate charge. However Yamamoto was not actually ON SCENE —the person on-scene was a Battleship guy (Nagumo) who still didn’t fully accept the crazy idea of airplanes landing on ships —after the 2nd wave got back safe and sound, he ordered the fleet to withdraw.

In fact all the aircraft carrier people violently urged a 3rd (and even more) waves —they were amazed with their level of success and saw the inertia still in their hands. They wanted to exploit it even further —how about the dry docks? How about the oil facilities? These were left untouched.

If they didn’t have the crusty battleship admirals along, what would have happened?

My view is in fact the US got off MUCH easier than could have been the case.

2. Almost ALL Japanese Navy admirals expected that after the PH attack the fleet would engage in ship-to-ship combat with the US navy immediately off of Hawaii and they FULLY EXPECTED to lose 50% OF THEIR ATTACKING FLEET..!!!

Their level of air success was amazing, but what amazed them even more was that there was NO navy engagement —they got away scott-free.


28 posted on 12/07/2011 8:02:53 PM PST by gaijin
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To: Hojczyk
"By a peculiar twist of fate, the Japanese admiral who masterminded the attack had persistently warned his government not to fight the United States. Had his countrymen listened, the history of the 20th century might have turned out much differently."

Not necessarily.

Having studied works on the Pacific War from both sides over the past twenty-odd years, I can say with some authority that the NY Times is once again failing to look at the bigger picture while making sweeping statements.

By the fall of 1941, Japan had already aroused the ire of the United States with the empire's invasion of French Indochina. And there is no doubt in my mind that even if Japan had not attacked us, her destruction of the British navy and subsequent conquests of Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Dutch East Indies would have inevitably pulled us into war under the premise of defending our greatest allies. Pearl Harbor or not, America would have still become the only free nation in the world capable of stopping Japan.

The Empire, driven by the dream of Hakko Ichiu (bringing the eight corners of the world under one imperial roof) would not have simply stopped when they reached the resource rich regions of the Pacific. America, therefore, would eventually have no choice but to confront the Japanese- not only to aid her allies in Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain, but also to protect our own interests. And we as a nation would have felt morally obligated to do so, in spite of the strident pleas of the staunchest isolationists.

The ultimate end would be the same. America would still have fought against Japan- but certainly not with the sense of righteous, ferocious, seething rage and thirst for swift and all-destructive vengeance that drove us to all but wipe Japan from the map only 44 months after the Kido Butai's masts broke the horizon north of Hawaii.

29 posted on 12/07/2011 8:06:02 PM PST by 60Gunner (Eternal vigilance or eternal rest. Make your choice.)
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To: Sherman Logan

I don’t disagree with what you wrote at all. I may not have been clear enough with my previous post but taking Hawaii and delaying the seemingly inevitable American victory gave Japan the best chance to keep some of their gains through a brokered peace. We will never know how it would have worked out but there is always the chance that the costs would have been too high or America would have grown tired of war. Japan could have offered to return Hawaii in a brokered peace allowing them to keep other gains.

We will never know if they could have sued for peace prior to the bomb but there is little doubt that we would have been very crippled without Hawaii and the fleet they left.


30 posted on 12/07/2011 8:07:05 PM PST by volunbeer (Keep the dope, we'll make the change in 2012!)
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To: Sherman Logan

I don’t disagree with what you wrote at all. I may not have been clear enough with my previous post but taking Hawaii and delaying the seemingly inevitable American victory gave Japan the best chance to keep some of their gains through a brokered peace. We will never know how it would have worked out but there is always the chance that the costs would have been too high or America would have grown tired of war. Japan could have offered to return Hawaii in a brokered peace allowing them to keep other gains.

We will never know if they could have sued for peace prior to the bomb but there is little doubt that we would have been very crippled without Hawaii and the fleet they left.


31 posted on 12/07/2011 8:07:20 PM PST by volunbeer (Keep the dope, we'll make the change in 2012!)
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To: The_Reader_David
Yamamoto proposed not merely destroying the U.S. fleet, but landing Japanese marines in Hawaii in sufficient force to seize control.

Do you have a citation for that? Never heard that claim made before. Oahu was a fair sized island. It took a division of US Marines to seize a toehold on Guadalcanal. I imagine it would have taken a multi-division force to take Oahu. Slow transports would have made the surprise carrier strike far more difficult as they would have cruised separately.

32 posted on 12/07/2011 8:10:34 PM PST by Tallguy (It's all 'Fun and Games' until somebody loses an eye!)
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To: gaijin

Some more weird facts:

1. HAWAIIAN *LAND* FIREFIGHT..?! — there was a very small gun-battle on the ground on a small isolated island —a Japanese flier crashed there. News wasn’t quite then what it is now, and the people there (I think the island was Nihau, or something) weren’t yet aware of the Oahu attack. The flier used his gun and amity with some Japanese Americans on the island to try to take it over.

All Japanese fliers had been given a map to this small island, telling them that this might be a good divert if they had been 2 badly shot-up to return to the carriers.

The plan was that a sub would later pick them up, there.

2. ESCAPED MINI SUB? They found one of the mini subs substantially intact, and some speculate that the “suicide submariners” may have beached, escaped and blended in with the very large Japanese populace on Oahu. No one really knows how it ended for those guys.


33 posted on 12/07/2011 8:10:43 PM PST by gaijin
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To: brothers4thID

An interesting analysis on American vs Japanese warmaking abilities can be found here...

http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm

On a related note some years ago there was an article in Wings/Airpower regards aircraft production. Grumman aircraft all by itself almost outproduced the entire Japanese airecraft industry.

The Comined fleet website is pretty interesting if you are not familiar with it.

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


34 posted on 12/07/2011 8:25:45 PM PST by alfa6
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To: alfa6

I’m well familiar with combinedfleet.com.

Of particular interest is his take on the potential for a Japanese invasion of Hawaii. (In short, almost impossible to pull off, and even if they could have done it, it simply wasn’t worth the effort, be it for strategic or resource reasons.)


35 posted on 12/07/2011 8:39:26 PM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: outofstyle

The ambush of Yamamoto’s aircraft was, according to what I have read, was attributable to SIGINT, which had recovered his itinerary. U S Army Air Corps assets knew where and when he would be and they were there to take him out of the game. I got to the Philippines in 1961 and there was still a lot if ill will toward Jap. Then I got assigned to Japan in 1965 and I must say that they’d done a magnificent job of rebuilding in the two decades since the surrender.


36 posted on 12/07/2011 8:47:39 PM PST by Ax
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To: circlecity

“I fear we have merely awoken a sleeping giant and filled him with great resolve.”

He feared correctly!


37 posted on 12/07/2011 9:04:13 PM PST by Bshaw (A nefarious deceit is upon us all!)
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To: alfa6

Thank you, I shall mark that site for further reading.
Due to another discussion, this morning, I was reminded of the great story of the USS Houston “The Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast”. If you have a chance, be sure to check out “Ship of Ghosts” by James D. Hornfischer (who wrote the wonderful: Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailor).

-regards


38 posted on 12/07/2011 9:11:32 PM PST by brothers4thID (http://scarlettsays.blogspot.com/)
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To: brothers4thID

I think I still have my copy of “Tin Can Sailors”

FWIW my interest in the Battle of Samar goes back to 5th grade when I read about it in an SBS novel, of all thinks :-)

I will have to check the local Library for the Houston book.

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


39 posted on 12/07/2011 9:17:37 PM PST by alfa6
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To: arfingcat

In 1938-39, Japan in Manchuria decided to play a game of tag with the Russians, all they got out of it both times was a very bloody nose. The Russian general they were up against was one Georgy Zhukov and he knew how to play hardball


40 posted on 12/07/2011 9:27:12 PM PST by Sea Parrot (%When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can become deadly projectiles)
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To: alfa6

My interest in the Battle of Samar was more personally motivated: my grandfather was injured during the landings at Leyte Gulf. He very well might have died that day had it not been for the brave men of Taffy 3.


41 posted on 12/07/2011 9:31:22 PM PST by brothers4thID (http://scarlettsays.blogspot.com/)
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To: Ax

I was in Dutch Harbor (Unalaska) Alaska in 1969 when a disabled Japanese fishing vessel put into port. There was Damn near a riot by some of the old locals, they were still smarting from getting bombed and damage done by the Japanese in WW2.


42 posted on 12/07/2011 9:40:47 PM PST by Sea Parrot (%When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can become deadly projectiles)
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To: Hugin
And for the record, before someone posts it, Yamamoto never said invading America was impossible because there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.

Why because Wikipedia says so? There's a bastion of valid American research for you. In fact, 5 seconds on Google found at least this, though the author is obviously loathe to admit it. Nevertheless, it appeared he did indeed say it in an interview, and therefore probably off the record as well.

There is some poorly documented evidence that Yamamoto, in an alleged interview with a small New England newspaper, when asked if the Japanese intended to invade the US responded with the "blade of grass" quote.

43 posted on 12/07/2011 10:19:33 PM PST by Talisker (History will show the Illuminati won the ultimate Darwin Award.)
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To: Talisker
Why because Wikipedia says so?

Because there's no evidence or documentation that he said it. No date. No name of the supposed paper he said it to. Moreover he was at Harvard between 1919-21, and served as an embassy attache from 1923-36. It's unlikely that he would have been interviewed as either a student or an attache, and doubtful if anyone in that period would have asked about Japan invading America.

It's impossible to prove that anyone didn't say anything. But unless someone can actually cite a source, including where he said it, and the date, it's not a credible quote.

44 posted on 12/07/2011 10:43:21 PM PST by Hugin ("Most time a man'll tell you his bad intentions if you listen and let yourself hear"--Open Range)
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To: The_Reader_David
Yamamoto proposed not merely destroying the U.S. fleet, but landing Japanese marines in Hawaii in sufficient force to seize control.

The idea of occupying the Hawaiian Islands was a non-starter. Japanese shipping was not sufficient for a amphibious assault on Hawaii at the same time as the Japanese were occupying the Philippines, Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies, and the last three had priority, since the Japanese were running out of petroleum and its products thanks to the American-British-Dutch embargo.

Yamamoto may have proposed the Hawaii invasion as a deal-breaker to make Tojo and company realize the enormity of the war they were entering upon and the impossibility of ultimate success. If so, it was ignored.

45 posted on 12/07/2011 11:27:27 PM PST by Cheburashka (If life hands you lemons, government regulations will prevent you from making lemonade.)
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To: brothers4thID

This historian agrees with you. I also believe that Yamamoto would as well. I don’t think he truly felt he was in a winnable situation and only tried to apply the best strategy he could muster with the demands that were placed upon him.

Even if, as you said, all the Pacific carriers had been in port and sunk that day it would not have knocked the U.S. out of the war. It would have enraged the public just as soundly as the sinking of the battleships did. Even staunch isolationist Senator Wheeler (D - MT) suddenly changed his tune and called for the single minded goal of of defeating Japan. If the carriers had been sunk it only would have delayed the inevitable.


46 posted on 12/07/2011 11:41:28 PM PST by CougarGA7 ("History is politics projected into the past" - Michael Pokrovski)
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To: Sherman Logan; brothers4thID; Doctor 2Brains

The Japanese really set themselves up for failure with their doctrine on pilot training. Whereas the U.S. had established a policy that cycled out pilots in order to train more pilots, the Japanese tended to run their pilots to destruction. The John S. Thach, for example, was sent to Pearl Harbor after Midway to train other pilots in the Beam Defense Position (Thach Weave).

At the same battle of Midway, most of the pilots who flew against Pearl Harbor will downed and killed. They didn’t rotate them out for training purposes and as a result, the quality of the Japanese pilot diminished. This coupled with their noted deficiency in materials just exasperated the problem.


47 posted on 12/08/2011 12:01:20 AM PST by CougarGA7 ("History is politics projected into the past" - Michael Pokrovski)
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To: CougarGA7; Sherman Logan; brothers4thID; Doctor 2Brains; alfa6

Yet another reason to love and support FR: the ability to have informed, well reasoned, discussions such as this.

Thank you all.


48 posted on 12/08/2011 12:48:36 AM PST by brothers4thID (Death had to take him sleeping, else he would have put up a fight.)
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To: gaijin

Actually, one of the crewmen of the mini-sub became the first Japanese prisoner of war.

Japanese naval theory still held that the battleship was the main threat-—and the only reason why they had aircraft carriers was the Washington treaty put a limit on how many the United States and Japan could build. Many of the Japanese aircraft carriers used in the attack—along with the Saratoga and Lexington were built on battleship hulls. Hence, the massive concentration of the PH attack.

The Japanese missed the carrier Enterprise by mere hours—some of the Big’s E scout planes arrived over Pearl during the attack and helped defend it. Other planes arrived from the Enterprise hours later and were shot down by American gunnners thinking that it was a third wave of the Japanese attacks.

The Japanese never thought that the Americans would fight World War II. They thought that they could seize as much as they could and sue for peace. Remember the Americans just lost an entire generation of men fighting World War I, which was nothing more than a family fued among the kings and queens of Europe.

Yamamoto was very concerned about starting a war with America. He didn’t say the “sleeping giant” quote attributed to him, but he did say that he would go along with the attack because his Emporer commanded it.

The Japanese were actually suppose to declare war on the United States before the attack began, but problems with the communications cables delayed them from formally telling the Sec. of State about their intentions. By the time that they were ready, the Sec of State found out the news (remember Hawaii is five or six hours ahead of Washington D.C.)

The Declaration of War on December 8 passed both houses with near unamious support. The only one who didn’t vote for war was Jeanette Rankin, US-representative from Utah, a Republican. She also voted against World War I. She was a pacifist.


49 posted on 12/08/2011 1:13:51 AM PST by gman992 ("I'm a conservative. I'm just a happy conservative.")
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To: Hugin

Back to the top.


50 posted on 12/08/2011 1:54:10 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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