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Topic: Opinions on pearl harbour theorys< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Ricky-S Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2005,2:39  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey guys.

:[Head note]:

I would like to say 'nice work' to all the historians on this message board (no im not sucking up, i've just found the posts extremely useful), especially to David and Tracy who seam to answer everything. I've only just registered.. and thats because i haven't needed to before, i've just read through the boards and its answered all the questions i've had in mind.

Anyway...

There are two main theorys backed by popular historians I have come accross, as well as a logical theory accepted by most.

-- 1 --

The first theory i've come accross is one by Robert Stinnett in his book "Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbour" which suggests and gives evidence that FDR knew of the attack and the threat, but neglected Pearl Harbour and, to radically put it, sacraficed about 2,400 men and the 'big 5' battleships of the US NAVY.

This view is very radical and has certain moral and logical flaws such as 'would Roovevelt be willing to sacrafice these battleships just to turn public opinion from its pacifist state?'

There is known evidence that Roosevelt suspected the attack as an update was sent to Kimmel, but wasn't sent urgently and turned up on a bike courier after the attack.

-- 2 --

The second theory was addressed to me by Shelley Tanaka, even though many others have a similar view. Her book is heavily critisized, but the theory she adopts still takes a place in the debate.

She basically stated that Kimmel and Short were to full blame, and described the american men at Pearl Harbour as "untrained, lazy incapable and drunk", and almost making the Japanese as heroic.

-- 3 --

The third theory was the japanese launched a suprise attack kept secret, and attacked pearl harbour savagely, and then stated to Washington it would not further continue any talks.

-- - --

As I am to make a conclusion of a historial debate over the issue of pearl harbour, any input would be much apreciated.

Sorry for the vagueness and undetailedness of my post, but im trying to concentrate with 2 screaming kids behind me and making sure my food doesn't burn :p

- Thanks
- - Ricky-S
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Richard Macchia Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2005,4:12 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello Ricky:

   Let me start by welcoming you to the message board. I hope that you will in time become a valued member.

   As for your three theories, I am a student of the third one that you mention.  Over my thirty years of researching the subject of Pearl harbor, I have never found anything that would prove that President Roosevelt had advance knowledge of the attack.

    There were numerous Japanese transmissions that were intercepted by the United States intelligence agencies. Most of these gave only vague indications of what might be coming, and none ever specifically mentioned Pearl Harbor as a target.

     Remember also that in 1941 there was no government body such as todays CIA. The Army and Navy had their own intelligence services and the lines of communication between the two were rarely used.  Even if there had been a credible indication of something happening, there was also no single procedure in place to spread an island wide alert.

     I hope that this helps clear up some of the confusion. I would suggest that you check back for further postings from the other boeard members whose expertise and knowledge far exceeds mine.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2005,9:39 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Tanaka comments are way off-base.  Sounds like she has an axe to grind.  
The "lazy, drunk, untrained" Navy personnel  were able to start AA fire within about 3 minutes after the attack commenced.  From all accounts I have read, the Japanese were surprised at the quickness of the American response.
A few years ago, in a phone conversation with the late Jesse Pond, who headed Pearl Harbor History Associates, I asked why the Nave had been able to respond so quickly.  His answer, "we were very well trained and drilled."
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2005,5:43 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hope the food turned out all right!  :D

Stinnett: we've hashed his book to beyond the grave here already....

Tanaka: I agree with the axe theory. I haven't heard of her works, but I just put her book on hold at my local library.

3rd theory: a little misstated perhaps. The intention was not for the 14 part message to be delivered after the attack. It doesn't make any of the death and destruction any less horrible, it's just that the Japanese were'nt trying to sing "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah" after the attack.

My personal believe is that there were mistakes and errors made by PLENTY of people. Kimmel and Short had the ultimate responsibility, and both made some decisions that in hindsight are questionable. But let's think about Admirals Turner and Stark too. How about Turner's refusal to let any of the branch commands (such as the 14th Naval District in Pearl Harbor) work on decryption?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2005,6:06 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I should have mentioned that Jesse Pond was in the Navy at Pearl Harbor aboard destroyer.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2005,1:22 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well Tanaka's theory goes along the lines of Roosevelt, Short and Kimmel knowing very little of what was coming, and the events on the 6th that changed aspects of the incident, etc the submarine gate being left open, the notifications being ignored and the radar signal from the incoming japanese planes not being treated seriously and writen off as B52's (was it B52's? typing from memory here.).
I agree, that Tanaka's theory is very biast, and can even be seen as offensive to a sensitive topic, but it provides a very strong side to my pearl harbour debate.

Another argument, or detail, that was brought to my attension recently (from an unreliable source) was Churchills involvement from the British side.
The theory states that the British had cracked the Japanese navy code JN-25, mainly due to america not giving code breaking priority, while Britain, at war and seeing Japan as a threat, put funding into it, at their stations in Singapore and Sydney. This enabled the British to see every message sent by the Japanese navy.
Here is a quote from my source :
Quote

On 2 December, the Singapore station decoded a message from Yamamoto saying: 'Climb Mount Niitaka 1208.' This was the signal for the attack to go ahead and gave the date of the attack - 8 December, in Tokyo, 7 December in Pearl Harbor. As each day passed and no Japanese fleet was spotted heading for Singapore or the Philippines, intelligence analysts in Singapore became all the more convinced that the attack would be on Pearl Harbor. They informed London, assuming that the warning would be forwarded to the Americans. It wasn't.

Churchill also insisted on seeing every decoded JN-25 message personally, and gave orders for no message or warning to be sent to America and Roosevelt.
Another quote from the source is :
Quote
Staff shortages in the American decoding rooms meant that Churchill knew the contents of Tokyo's final communiqué to Washington before Roosevelt did. He had time to invite the American ambassador John Winant and Roosevelt's special envoy to Britain, Averell Harriman, down to Chequers for dinner. At 9pm, he asked his butler to bring a portable radio into the dining room so they could listen to the evening news. It announced that Pearl Harbor was being attacked.


As i said before, this source is unreliable, and seems a little hard to beleive, i was wondering is anyone here had anymore information on this, as im drawing blanks on it.

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- - Ricky
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2005,11:16 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It'd be great to know your source. Many times we can decide how much weight a source has by what documents and sources they cite.

I haven't read much about the British cracking of JN-25A or B.

There is also a biography written by a RAF ground crew who said he had advanced warning that he passed on. How reliable is it? I don't know.

--------------
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2005,12:20 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The main source i got this theory from is:
http://www.essentialpearlharbor.com/osehphdebate.html
in The UK Perspective

This site also has a lot of indeptch information about Kimmel and Short, and their lack of communication and fall-outs over certain issues.

Was just wondering if this UK theory was valid, and if anyone has anymore information on this topic, or any opinions that may give a different perspective on it. I would rather debate this than just reprint what i've found on a website and taking every word and opinion it says as fact.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2005,1:51 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote
Well Tanaka's theory goes along the lines of Roosevelt, Short and Kimmel knowing very little of what was coming, and the events on the 6th that changed aspects of the incident, etc the submarine gate being left open, the notifications being ignored and the radar signal from the incoming japanese planes not being treated seriously and writen off as B52's (was it B52's? typing from memory here.).


It was a flight of B-17s.

OK, I just finished Tanaka's ""Attack on Pearl Harbor: The True Story of the day America Entered WWII"

I didn't see an agenda in the book as much as simple sloppy research or writing. She over simplifies and in the process things come out wrong (the implication in one part of her book was that Oklahoma was only hit by one torpedo). Take the title even; officially America didn't enter the war until the day AFTER the attack.

But maybe I'm just quibbling. Is that the book you were referring to or did she have another?

I'll read the Osprey links now and get back to you in a couple of days.

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8 replies since Mar. 16 2005,2:39 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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