CLICK TO SUPPORT
PEARL HARBOR ATTACKED

 


Search Members Help

» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

1 members are viewing this topic
>Guest

Page 1 of 212>>

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Kimmel or short..., Greatest blame< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Fortress Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2001

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2002,9:31  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not usually one to get into the blame game, but I thought that for the sake of discussion I would ask this question.  Of the two gentlemen, which do you feel bears the greater burden of responsibility for Pearl Harbor and the devastation of the raid?

Admiral Kimmel was commander in cheif, U. S. Pacific Fleet.  He was "intelligent, forthright, and awesomely diligent, demanding much of his subordinates and more of himself." (The Way It Was Pearl Harbor p.4)   His predecessor, Adm Richardson had "put the fleet on an operating schedule so fixed that its movements were readily predictable, and he considered torpedo nets around his ships an unnecessary precaution."  (TWIW p5) Kimmel apparently did not change this. (Please correct me if I'm wrong here.)
Kimmel was sabotage -conscious, and "failed to make the most 'appropraite defensive deployment' - long-range aerial reconnaissance.  The Navy had responsibility for long-range patrols." (Pearl Harbor Ghosts page 59)

General Short was the commanding general Hawaiian Department.  Although (Gen. George) Marshall had spelled out to Short in unmistakable terms that the Hawaiian Department's primary duty was to protect the fleet in Hawaii, Short looked upon the fleet as protection for the islands and believed that the Japanese would attack, if at all, only were the fleet at sea well away from Hawaii." (TWIW p6)  He was "so preoccupied with sabotage that when he received Message No. 472 from the War Department in Washington on November 27, informing him, 'Negoiations with Japan appear to be terminated to all practical purposes...Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment,' and ordering him to 'undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary,' he took it solely as a warning against sabotage." (Pearl Harbor Ghosts page 56)

Two men of responsibility...both failing in a way that cast them into history as ineffective and, to some, criminally negligent.

What is your opinion?  IF you had to choose one to shoulder the lion's share of the blame (just for the sake of argument), which would it be?

--------------
Cindy
Mother of two sons in the military.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
Historian
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 552
Joined: Mar. 2001

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2002,4:42 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've noted elsewhere that there was one single item that Adm. Yamamoto put forward as guaranteeing success of the attack.  He stated that the trip would be worth it because there would always be a big bag of major warships in Pearl Harbor on the weekend.  Takeo Yoshikawa's reports confirmed this.  Without the promise of a large number of USN "heavies" the Imperial Navy General Staff would never have allowed the attack to proceed.

Predictability is the bane of security men everywhere.  Don't use the same road every day, don't leave at the same time every day, don't use the same car every day.  The notorious Red Army Faction kidnappings in Germany and Italy relied on their victim's routine in planning their snatch-and-run operations.

Adm. Kimmel was supposed to be responsible for keeping the enemy guessing.  He didn't.  He allowed the USN to fall into a routine.  Trouble came from that routine.

Gen. Short, I think, was justing thinking like everyone else, that a military attack on Pearl was very unlikely.  In pre-Dec. 7th thinking he was right on target.  He was also wrong.  

Larry J

--------------
"Sunday's horoscope is noteworthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life."  - "Your Horoscope," Los Angeles Evening Herald Express, Saturday, December 6, 1941
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 3
Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

Avatar

TeamIcon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 772
Joined: Aug. 2001

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2002,2:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Such a nebulous question. Both commanders were products of a system and were operating within it. Yes, you can shout and try and get things changed, but the general attitude of the military in general should take some blame as well. That kind of group think you really can't pin on any one person.

Yes, Both men were culpable, but as Larry pointed out Gen. Short was more worried about sabotage and that's because the conventional wisdom of the time held that the Japanese wouldn't attack from the air or while the fleet was in port. A leader has to have vision but they also have to trust their subordinates and it is a rare person indeed who can make correct intuitive guesses without proper information.

So in that reguard I think they were scapegoats. On the other hand I've never liked the idea of awarding responsiblity based on percentages. "XX was 20% responsible" is too cut in dried when at the time the future was murky and cloudy.

--------------
Let's see what this does...

Tracy White
http://www.ResearcherAtLarge.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 4
David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
Moderator-Historian
Avatar

TeamIcon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 901
Joined: Feb. 2001

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2002,3:20 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Cindy,
The persons whom I place blame for the Pearl Harbor Attack are simple and easy...

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and the chain of command both up and down from him...which made 18 April 1943 a necessary step in Admiral Nimitz' mind.
HTH,

--------------
Cheers,

David Aiken, a Director
Pearl Harbor History Associates, Inc.

Keep the largest WWII website on line!
Join NOW: $25
P.O. Box 1007
Stratford, CT  06615

http://www.pearlharbor-history.org/
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 5
Fortress Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2001

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2002,1:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ding, Ding, Ding,  Well said David!

I wanted to see some good debate, and I have.  Thanks!

Yes, it was a nebulous question...purposely.  Blame can be both necessary and terribly unfair, particularly when dealing with men of honor, as I believe both Admiral Kimmel and General Short were.   As we have always said, hindsite is 20/20; all we can do is learn from the past and pray that we never make the same mistakes.

Maybe that's a big reason why we are all here...so that we never forget.

--------------
Cindy
Mother of two sons in the military.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
Curtis Croulet Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 41
Joined: Jun. 2001

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2002,5:18 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Interesting reply, David.  Well, of course, Yamamoto was responsible for the attack, and you're quite right to lay the ultimate blame on him.  But I think the question being asked is, who should take the blame for our being caught by surprise?  Larry's answer will suffice for mine.  In defence of Kimmel & Short, however, we must acknowledge that the advantage always lies with the aggressor, who is always one step ahead of his prey.

--------------
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
Historian
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 552
Joined: Mar. 2001

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2002,8:41 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would put it simply:

The credit for the attack goes to Yamamoto.
The blame for the attack goes to Kimmel.

That's my opinion, and you all know I don't argue opinions, everybody's got one and they all...

Larry J

--------------
"Sunday's horoscope is noteworthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life."  - "Your Horoscope," Los Angeles Evening Herald Express, Saturday, December 6, 1941
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 8
Dobbins Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan. 2005

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2005,12:08 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Blame game!

My Views.

Neither Kimmel nor Short were 100% at fault, bad choices were made in Washington, partialy because they were more focused on the Atlantic than the Pacific. That does not mean that Kimmel and Short didn't make some very bad decessions based on what information they did have.

Even if neither man had heard a single word from Washington, simply reading the newspapers would have told them that tensions between the USA and Japan were very high and that war was a distinct possibility. There is no way either could have been ignorant of Japan's habit of launching wars with surprise attacks.

The Monday to Friday routine that Kimmel left in place during a time of rising tensions insured that Japan would have a maximum chance of sucess with a weekend attack on Pearl Harbor. Kimmel may have had very good reasons not to consider Pearl Harbor the most likely target, but that dosen't excuse not taking the minimal precaution of a varried routine so that Japanese planners couldn't predict where the Pacfic Fleet would be on a given day. Having the crews in port for weekends is good for morale when you are in a secure time of peace, but it was inexcusable in a time of tensions when war with with a foe who had a history of surprise attacks was likely to start at any day. Kimmel deserved to be fired for that predictibility if nothing else.

Short was told in no uncertain terms that his primary responsibility was to defend the fleet. Actions in Europe, most notably the example of Quisling, may have given him good reasons to fear that sabotage might interfere with his primary mission of defending the fleet and to take precautions against it. He went beyond that and let sabotage prevention grow to the point where it overshadowed everything else, including the reason he was there, defense of the Pacific fleet. That alone was reason for his loss of command.

--------------
John Dobbins

No government which fails to provide for its own preservation against the assaults of every probable foe is entitled to the support of its people. (Carl Vinson)
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
RAK Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 64
Joined: Dec. 2002

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2005,3:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

To paraphrase what one Allied airborne commander said to another whilst planning an over-optimistic airdrop plan in Europe during World War II:
But the Empire of Japan, my friends!  The Empire of Japan!
I feel that the only major mistake General Short made, in the end, was for turning inside-out General Marshall's instructions that protecting the Fleet was his first priority, instead focusing on defending Oahu itself from invasion or sabotage.  Since Short was an infantryman at heart, though, it is no surprise he made that mistake.
The only major mistake made between both Kimmel and Short was their irregular and incomplete confering with each other and their staffs.  Considering how dealing with being swamped by raw recurits and material shortages ate up most of their time, though, this, too is unfortunate but also no surprise.
The other mistakes credited to them clearly come from twenty-twenty hindsight and nothing more.
Thus, who really was responsible for the surprise at Pearl Harbor?
The Empire of Japan.
The deception measures taken on the eve of the raid were nothing less than amazing. The broadcasting of fake messages, the changes in naval codes, the complete radio silence of the Imperial Navy Pearl Harbor strike force, capped by the facade of negotiating in Washington, D.C. pumped in an awful lot of "the fog of war" into not only Kimmel and Short's headquarters but also the War and Navy departments in Washington, D.C.
Yes Operation Magic showed that the relations between Japan and America were on the brink of war.  It also revealed many clues about the Pearl Harbor plan, some of which were not even known to Colonel Bratton and Commander Kramer, the Army and Navy officers assigned to Magic, untill it was all over!  Not to mention that even the clues that were known before "Bloody Sunday" were not sent to Kimmel or Short!  Thus pumping in more "fog of war" into their headquarters.
Hindsight not only reveals the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" mistakes of Kimmel and Short, it also reveals something else:
the full extent of the genuis of a certain Imperial Navy officer named Minoru Genda.
Genda had well-planned for [/i]any eventuality at Pearl Harbor, from the Fleet being moved to Lahina Roads on Maui to being at sea.  Where the Imperial Navy most wanted it to be so ships sunk would be lost for good.
Thus, even if Kimmel and Short not made all the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" errors before 07:55 A.M., Sunday, December 7th, 1941, I fear the United States still would have been at least checked if not checkmated thanks to the brilliance of Genda's plan and the skill of the likes of Mitsuo Fuchida and his fellow aviators.
Granted, being on more of an alert would have lessened the casualties if not that as well as the damage done, but Yammamoto and Nagumo -backed here again by Genda's brilliant plan and the skill and dash of Fuchida and his men executing that plan- would have still more than likely trounced Kimmel, Short, and their commands no matter what level of alert we were on.
A bold argument this is, yes, but I find no shame in giving full credit for the day of infamy to the Empire of Japan and not diverting any substantial blame to the commanders in Hawaii or even in D.C.
Thus, Kimmel and Short deserve A. forgiveness and understanding, and B. the phostumous promotions their family members have sought for over sixty long years.

Richard
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 10
Dobbins Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan. 2005

Member Rating: None
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2005,5:09 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

If Captain Bode's family starts a campaign to rescue his reputation for Savo Island, do we promote him to Rear Admiral?

Does Lt. General Fredendall merit a promotion for his performance at the Kasserine Pass?

Retirement at a rank above 2 stars is a privillege, not a right, one that has to be earned. By no streach of the imigination did Kimmel or Short earn a promotion by their performance at Pearl Harbor.

--------------
John Dobbins

No government which fails to provide for its own preservation against the assaults of every probable foe is entitled to the support of its people. (Carl Vinson)
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
11 replies since Jan. 24 2002,9:31 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


Page 1 of 212>>
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Kimmel or short...
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code




Spring into Action Banner