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"Blame Alfred Thayer Mahan for Pearl Harbor" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2018 9:06 p.m. PST

… (and Thank Him for Its Failure).

"Americans have Alfred Thayer Mahan to blame for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. They also have Mahan to thank for the attack's failure. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) could have landed a crippling strategic blow against the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet, demolishing infrastructure indispensable to fleet operations in the distant Western Pacific. Instead, Japanese aviators concentrated their bombs, torpedoes and gunfire on U.S. battleships moored at Ford Island.

The results were spectacular but ephemeral. The raid accomplished little apart from delaying an American counteroffensive a few months and firing popular resolve in the United States to unleash that counteroffensive. If you decide to smite a sleeping giant, you had better kill him…."
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ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Dec 2018 3:15 a.m. PST

We can blame him for World War I, too! (The Kaiser was a devout Mahanite).

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2018 10:08 a.m. PST

Can we blame him for climate change?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2018 10:30 a.m. PST



Murvihill08 Dec 2018 11:10 a.m. PST

I wonder if The Japanese read all theories and chose Mahan as the most accurate or if they were drawn to Mahan because he fit their predispositions. I also wonder if the US could recover from a Japanese strike at Pearl on infrastructure slower or more quickly than the actual strike on implements of war.

wpilon08 Dec 2018 4:03 p.m. PST

>I wonder if The Japanese read all theories and chose Mahan as the most accurate or if they were drawn to Mahan because he fit their predispositions.

The Japanese Navy was really created and mentored by the Brits so I expect that's when they bought into Mahan.

The Kido Butai didn't really have enough combat power to materially affect the infrastructure at Pearl. After the two anti ship strikes they were short of ordinance and aircraft and there were thousands of acres of docks, work shops, warehouses, etc.

Even destroying the tank farm (which they didn't really have the capability to do) wouldn't really do much as the Red Hill facility was just about online and would have been ready about the time the ships to use the fuel would have been repaired.

Zimm's Attack on Pearl Harbor has an excellent discussion on this.

Walking Sailor08 Dec 2018 6:38 p.m. PST

Can we blame him for climate change?

No, that would be … Oh wait, I can't say that here.

Yellow Admiral08 Dec 2018 8:15 p.m. PST

Can we blame him for climate change?
This guy does: link

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2018 1:52 p.m. PST



Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2018 7:39 p.m. PST

I've heard people say that if the Japanese had destroyed the vast reserves of aviation fuel at Hickam field it would have been a very serious problem, but I've never looked into that.

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