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"Pearl Harbor: Plenty of Blame to Go Around" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian23 Nov 2021 6:53 p.m. PST

Virtually everyone in a position of authority, from Washington to Honolulu, was culpable for being so thoroughly taken by surprise by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Proceedings Magazine: link

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2021 10:31 a.m. PST

I think its often forgotten the IJN did a pretty good job of keeping the attack as secret as possible. Blame is easy, responsibility isn't!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2021 4:34 p.m. PST

But somebody has to be the scapegoat.

Nine pound round26 Nov 2021 4:59 a.m. PST

Nobody expected the Japanese to shove all the chips across the table. What they expected was probably something along the lines of what had happened a year previously: a move to occupy colonial territory of a European nation already under German occupation, the Dutch East Indids- perhaps, at worst, an attack on Malaya or the Philippines. Everyone could see how gross the long-term power mismatch between Japan and Britain or Japan and the US (to say nothing of the combination of the two) was. Yes, the Allies were weak in the near term, but strengthening rapidly, and Japan was completely embroiled in China. She seemed to be at the outside limit of her warmaking ability.

Under those circumstances, a Japanese attack seemed irrational to the Americans, as it did to Yamamoto, and frankly, even to Tojo. But they did it just the same.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 2:04 p.m. PST

There was evidence, but I think no one understood their abilities and could have stopped it. We underestimated them. And they did a great job of keeping their naval technology and carrier capabilities secrets for years before.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2021 7:45 a.m. PST

But on this 80th anniversary it is worth thinking what a miracle it proved for the US Armed Forces and the Free World.

The carriers were not there.

The battleships sank in 40ft of water and most could be raised

The sailors could abandon ship in a harbour and not in the Central Pacific Ocean, so they survived.

Whatever the loss in planes (many obsolete), the far more valuable pilots were grounded and they too survived.

Nevada did not block the channel

The oil storage and repair facilities survived

Neosho survived intact (imagine if they had gone for her instead of the battlewagons)

Above all, the sleeping giant concept, terrible resolve etc

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