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Topic: What's your favorite myth?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2001,8:39  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are many, many myths surrounding Pearl Harbor.  I'm sure I haven't heard them all, but I'd like to have your favorite so I can address them on the Pearl Harbor Myths page.  Myth and rebuttal appreciated, but unresolved myths can be presented as someone else may have the info we need to handle the issue.

Larry Jewell

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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2001,10:01 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha All,
The Pearl Harbor Myths page is expanding...
your help to point out your favorite myth is appreciated...
to  view the page go to:
"www.ibiblio.org/pha/myths/index.html"
HTH,
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 26 2003,7:37 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a few

It is a myth that naval planners did not know that Pearl Harbour was always going to be on the Japanese flank of any move into the Far East and were therefore vulnerable to attack, if the Far East was attacked.

It is a myth that the known movements of Japanese shipping were resticted to only movements in the South China Seas.

It is a myth to say the attacks were a surprise.   There is no evidence to support the belief that the high command did not have an accurate picture of what was to happen in the next couple of days from December 4th, when it was known that Japanese Pacific forces in the Palau islands were moving southwards - this was even indicated in the British and Australian newspapers of December 6th.
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Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2003,2:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Regarding your last point, I think it's a bit vague. There was evidence that the Japanese fleet was moving south. There was no evidence they were moving SOUTH EAST towards Pearl. At least, there is no evidence that stands up under scrutiny and proper cross-referencing.

--------------
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Tracy White
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2003,4:40 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Andrew,
One can generate "myths" on any topic. It is a myth to say that the sun is not hot...duh...

"It is a myth that naval planners did not know that Pearl Harbour was always going to be on the Japanese flank of any [Japanese] move into the Far East"...duh...

"and were therefore vulnerable to attack, if the Far East was attacked"....your monday morning after thoughts are giving you incorrect assumptions as to the belief of the American high command.  

"It is a myth that the known movements of Japanese shipping were resticted to only movements in the South China Seas"...duh....there was a known Japanese civilian ship headed for the United States...what are you suggesting?

It is a myth to say the attack on Pearl Harbor was NOT a surprise. There IS evidence to support the belief that the American high command did not have an accurate picture of what was to happen at Pearl Harbor.

It is a myth to say that the American high command did not have info about Japanese troop transport movement in the waters off Indochina. You seem to be generating controversy -based on suggestions by British and Australian newspapers- where none exists.

Go to your governmental archive if your library does not have a copy of the Congressional Investigation on Pearl Harbor...there you will find the wealth of information that supports that Pearl Harbor was a surprise.
HTH,
David
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2003,6:26 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Your reply distorts the reality of what people any reasonable person would be considering prior to December 7th

Sydney morning herald thurs nov 27

Japanese sneer at Naval move

London Nov 26

Britains action in sending the prince of wales to eastern waters is belittled by the Japanese naval commentator Rear Admiral Sosa in an article in th Tokyo "Yomiuri"

"It is clear that the real object is an attempt to threaten and check Japans southward advance.  

Britain knows that she is unable to win the naval battle in Australian or south pacific waters and therefore is waiting for the United states Pacific fleet to move.

With Japan determined to carry out her policies, regardless of the outcome of the Japan-United States negotitiations, the sending of warships to the far east is like a dog barking at a distance"

Sydney morning herald Tues dec 2nd 1941

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN SINGAPORE

REPORT OF JAPANESE FLEET MOVE

AUSTRALIAN WAR CABINET MEETS

minor snip.

A report from Manila (Philippine islands) says that a formation of the japanese fleet, headed by curisers and aircraft carriers, was observed on Sunday night in the region of Japanese Islands not far from British Borneo.

.........Several paragraphs snipped.

In the Philippines news has been restricted and a total black-out will be enforced at naval bases.

.....minor snip

US BELIEVES SHOWDOWN HAS COME.

snip

The Japanese premier general tojo has announced Japans determination to purge American and British influence in east asia "with a vegengence"

We dont need hindsight the evidence suffices.
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2003,7:49 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha All,
Let us read the newspaper rather than the documents...
Cheers,
David
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2003,9:09 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

David

For an historian a newspaper is a document.  It provides a contemporaneous account of events.   Australian newspapers were censored but still paint a picture of events as they were at the time.   The Australian Government may have had politicial agendas in creating the picture that the censored Journalists have created.  

The historian cannot rely on any one document but must build a  picture of what is true from a variety of documents so that events can be cross referenced.     Its a bit like being in court.

Other documents might show the opinion of those who were there at the time as told to the Pearl Harbour enquiry.   These documents also paint a picture.   Clearly there it is one of tremendous confusion.

Other documents created by the Government might have been created for some politicial objective rather than being a true account of the opinion of the government.

Even if a document is found that says 'I pulled the trigger' it can not be relied upon unless other evidence builds a similar picture.

Using the various documents the historian attempts to see life as it was at a particular period.

As he was not there, he can never know what is true and what is not.    At best he forms an opinion on what he feels is the true version of events.

For example, even though Winston Churchill said in the spring of 1942 the attack on Pearl Harbour was forseeable as Pearl was on the flank of any attack into the Far East and says  in 'Grand Alliance' that the Americans 'knew the full and immediate purpose of their enemy', we cannot rule out that he had some political purpose for saying this.

Admiral Turner claimed he was 'not in the least surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbour', but perhaps he had some motive for transfering the blame onto Kimmel.

Other people said they had no idea the attack was coming.  They may be lying or they may be being trueful.

The picture is complicated.   We need to review all the evidence and try to fit each piece into the entire picture.

If our answer to what does not fit our theory is to rubbish it we are not being true to the historical process.    Each document was produced for some purpose and we should still be able to fit it into the final jigsaw.

Edited by interested on --
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Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2003,12:26 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A newspaper is a document as you said. But does that mean that it's the unadulterated truth? Look at Hearst's coverage of the USS Maine blowing up and tell me that newspapers don't try and sell more copy with headlines that over-sensationalize events.

"US BELIEVES SHOWDOWN HAS COME."

What was their source? The US government itself or did they interview some unnamed US sailor or commander? It's an interesting piece but where are the cross references?

Singapore, Australian, Philippines; Everything in that article you posted points towards action SOUTH of Japan, not east. So how does that prove that the attack on Pearl Harbor was not a surprise?

You yourself say we need to review all the material. You've asked for access to material to better understand the attacks, and I'm glad that there are people trying to learn more. But to advance a theory before you've read all of the research is not the work of a good historian.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a trained historian. But I'm also keeping an open mind about this all. There is a possibility that some US commanders had inklings before. You mention that Turner was not surprised about the attack. What he actually said was a two-part sentence; that he had always considered that an air attack on Oahu was a -possibility- and was not surprised when it happened. This is not the same as saying he expected an attack. In the same testimony he also said that he thought Kimmel was reading all the same intercepts that he was. Clearly there was some confusion leading up to December 7th.

At this point I have seen no conclusive proof that anyone in the US knew before December 7th that we were about to lose most of the fleet. I have not adequately investigated the dutch material, so I'll grant that there is a possibility someone knew somewhere. But as of this time I have not seen any evidence to shows that someone was covering up and letting us take a sucker punch.

And please, stop using the phrase "what any reasonable person." Let us discuss facts and not play on peer pressure and ridicule to advance a point.

--------------
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Tracy White
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2003,3:48 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tracy

What you say is fair.

The difficulty with this subject is that there are so many documents and few are online.

Hysterical claims are made but they cannot be checked without a huge personal effort - certainly i am not going to believe one word somebody else tells me unless i can see for myself that it is based on evidence that seems reasonable to me.

Us believes Showdown has come.

Just to justify this one newspaper headline takes a great deal of effort but it can be done.  

Many of the commanders eg General Mcarthur felt that war was inevitable in February as without Oil Japan would see no other way out. PHAH. Hart Enquiry.

I have photocopies of all the British Cabinet papers of this period.   In themselves they provide fascinating insights into what was going on.

Britain expected war with Japan at any day from late November.   4 possibilites are documented and discussed with America, with no mention of Pearl harbour it should be said.

The Australian official war history 1939-1945 makes it clear that the Japanese advance was such that in the final days after December 5th, attack was expected somewhere.

The December 3rd message saying that all japanese consuls were burning their codes and machines adds to the evidence that war was imminent.

The various known Japanese fleets were reaching their destinations, as recorded in Zillions of documents.

Japan was well known for not declaring war before hostilities began.   All the various high commands knew this, and it is recorded in the Pearl harbour hearings that this was the case.

Unfortunately it is not easy to type all this out each time.

Those who dont know how clear it was that war was coming might find it easier to get a feel of what ordinary people who read the newspapers might have expected - hence my use of the newspapers.  It saves a great deal of typing:-)

Please dont now jump to the fact that the folks at Pearl Harbour were surprised.     At first I want you to absorb that an attack by Japan, somewhere, was not a surprise to well informed people, by December it was clearly imminent and could happen at any moment, somewhere.

If you want to argue that the timing of the attacks was a surprise to well informed people then you would need to find some document that supports this theory.

A good background is to read the Pearl Harbour minority report, and then attempt to find evidence that contradicts what is documented there.  

Lets do this one step at a time...

Andrew
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