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Topic: Debate about books, Stinnet and gannon< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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tellison Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2004,4:52  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There is a wide difference between these books.

I dislike what Stinnet has done to damage the very cause he seems to promote.

A big problem comes with his proposition that the Japanese MUST have broken radio silence when some destroyers fell behind the fleet because of heavy weather.  This story fills a significant portion of the book.  It makes no sense.

Just what would Nagumo have ordered?

Would he have said: "catch up!"  Any naval officer on the ships that were separated would know that.

Would he have told them how to catch up?  The course and speed of the fleet was in their orders.  They would know exactly how to catch up.  Stay on the prescribed course and speed up to a speed greater than that in their orders.  They couldn't miss.  The date and place of their next course change was in the plans, and the course to follow after that.

There simply isn't any reason why Nagumo would break radio silence for this.  There was no information he could have conveyed to the missing ships they wouldn't already have.

Gannon points out (Pearl Harbor Betrayed) that the McCollum  memo with the 7 point summary of actions that would bring Japan into the war has not been proven to have been seen by Roosevelt.  Stinnet makes this a centerpiece of his conspiracy theory.  Both miss the point, but I believe the target has been bracketed.  Gannon shoots a bit short (to my thinking) while Stinnet's shot went into orbit.

The only point it is necessary to draw from the McCollum memo is that it was possible to make accurate statements about Japan's course if the actions in his summary were substantially implemented.  Whether the president read the memo or not, it is possible to say it is not hind sight to say the president should have known that his actions would bring war.  If McCollum could figure this out, then the president and his advisers either knew it too, or were grossly incompetent.

An essential piece of this is the statement that putting the fleet at Hawaii instead of the West Coast would be a factor in bringing Japan into the war.  How was this the case?

A fleet is a mobile asset.  The sailing time from the West Coast to Hawaii would be about a week at economical speed, much less at battle speed.  A much greater factor than the one week sailing time would be the fact that the fleet lacked a "train" including ships to travel with the fleet and refuel the ships.  The Japanese communications between the home islands and their primary objectives to the south could not be menaced from Hawaii or from the West Coast without tankers to accompany the fleet.  It would take more than a week to get these to Hawaii to support any expedition across the Pacific, whether the battleships were in San Francisco or in Pearl Harbor.  The Japanese making the decisions were military men, and were not frightened by the fleet being at Pearl Harbor instead of on the West Coast.

I propose that McCollum, Roosevelt, et al. knew these things.  So, what was McCollum's reason for saying that the fleet's presence in Hawaii would be a key factor in Japan's decision to go to war with the U.S?

The only alternative was that, by keeping the fleet in Hawaii, the fleet would be an easier target.  Attacking the fleet on the West Coast would not only be a logistical problem, requiring additional refueling, but would expose the Japanese fleet to reconnaisance from Hawaii on the way in, and attack on the way back.  If the fleet were a more difficult target, then war was less likely, not more likely as many propose.

If the stationing of the fleet in Hawaii was, in McCollum's eyes, more likely to cause war than prevent it, then Roosevelt's public statements that it would make the Japanese behave are contradicted.  In the light of history, and avoiding the charge of hind sight by pointing to McCollum's memo, we can see that Roosevelt was not doing what he said, but quite the opposite.

Comments welcome.  Firestorm expected.  I hope you'll admit at least that I made you think!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2004,12:41 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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So, what was McCollum's reason for saying that the fleet's presence in Hawaii would be a key factor in Japan's decision to go to war with the U.S?


McCollum wrote the memo, but could it possible that he was wrong and that the fleet being in Hawaii had no bearing on their decision to move south? I see people bring up the memo from time to time, but not one has really looked to see if some of the events that transpired had any bearing on events or if they would have happened any way.

Now, as to WHY he would advocate such a thing.... he knew Japanese culture. Basing the fleet in Pearl was a provocation in Japanese eyes, and face was very important. Japan could not meekly accept such a provocation and retain face; they would have to react in a way that showed strength; and that way would push them closer to having to go to war with us.

Quote
The only alternative was that, by keeping the fleet in Hawaii, the fleet would be an easier target.  Attacking the fleet on the West Coast would not only be a logistical problem, requiring additional refueling, but would expose the Japanese fleet to reconnaisance from Hawaii on the way in, and attack on the way back.  If the fleet were a more difficult target, then war was less likely, not more likely as many propose.


War was inevitable, regardless of where the US Pacific fleet was. One could also argue that if the fleet was on the west coast, War would have been more likely due to the slower response time. Japan would have more time to solidify their hold on any taken lands and could expect less losses and a weaker US Force with longer supply lines.

Don't forget that the US had bases in the Philippines and access to Australia; the fleet could have sortied from Pearl with minimal tankers and yet still made landfall in either areas for provisioning before battle. I realize the Philippines were attacked early on; I'm speaking strictly from a theoretical standpoint.

Another point I should make is that even though the US fleet was mainly at Pearl, Hawaii was not the US forward point of defense. The US was fortifying the Philippines; neglecting Hawaii in the process. the Philippines were getting all of the B-17s, not because we were trying to make the islands' defenses weaker but because it was possible to strike Japan from the Philippines. Air power was still seen as very effective, moreso than is generally accepted today.  I believe the magic number was around 150 B-17s before the state department figured they were a deterrant (It may have been 250), but the US was building the forces in the Philippines up to that level and McArthur had even asked for data on infrastructure in Japan "his" B-17s could attac.

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Let's see what this does...

Tracy White
http://www.ResearcherAtLarge.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 28 2004,8:22 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You give the impression that Gannon gave a very short shrift to the McCollum report.  I remember his gviing a point by point rebuttal of the Stinnet copnclusion.
The idea that so many honorable men would be complicit in this kind of conspiracy, and all would take their secret to he grave is highly unlikely.
The assignment of the Pacific Fleet to Pearl did not signal an attack on Pearl Harbor.  Only Yamamoto's persistence and reputation within the IJN resulted in the plan being adapted.
These conspiracy theories are getting tiresome, but they are a source of amusement to lots of people.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 07 2004,3:18 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just a couple of small points.

First, the so-called McCollum memo should be called "The memo that went nowhere." Anyone who knew naval administrative procedure of those times would spot the fact that there was no forwarding endorsement by Captain Know on that memo. He merely sent it back to McCollum with his reply. It didn't even get to Captain Anderson or whomever. More importantly, Knox referred to your actions in returning the memo to McCollum. It would make no sense for Knox to refer to McCollum's actions by "your" if he were sending it forward. Since the memo was sent back to McCollum, how did it get to President Roosevelt? Clearly, it did not.  

In addition, a close look at McCollum's proposals shows that few if any were actually implemented. Stinnett uses trickery and specious arguments in claiming that all of them were implemented.

Next, only one vessel had any problems keeping station. It was a submarine that had temporary mechanical problems and fell out of formation early on. However, it caught up with the rest of the KB after four hours. Revisionist or other claims that ships were scattered are mere speculation and have no basis in fact. No justification for such assumption is given by Stinnett or others.        

I will pass on the other items for now.

Phil Jacobsen
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