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Ambassador Grew sent Pearl Harbor attack warning

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by DogFather, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    On 1-27-41, Joseph C. Grew (US Ambassador to Japan) secretly cabled
    Washington DC, with info, gathered from a Peruvian diplomat, that Japan
    was considering a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. No one at the time, believed the info and nothing was done about the cable.

    So it is clear, there was info sent to Washington, long before the attack.
    With this kind of a cable, there must have been rumors flying around.

    In a 1996 History Channel interview, Chester Nimitz jr, said his father did
    have knowlege of a possible attack, and didn't want to be in command when it happened. This is why Chester Nimitz, turned down command of
    the USN's Pacific Fleet. Jumping over other senior officers was just a
    tale Nimitz told. He was happy to take the command after the war had begun......Happy Pearl Harbor Day!
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Not really, but happy Pearl Harbor day to you as well. I personally feel that FDR and most of the US military felt that the Japanese would be inclined to strike south at the Philippines and the oil in the NEI area first.

    This move to Pearl Harbor would put the US Pacific fleet 3000 miles closer to the area, and reduce the time necessary for it to react to Japanese aggression in that area and suppliment the US Asiatic Fleet.

    BTW, here is a link to the entire "memo", and Grew himself dismissed it:

    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/WorldWar2/grew3.htm


    To think that this minor memo which never went anywhere had any effect on Nimitz not "accepting" the Pearl Harbor command is wishful thinking on the part of his son. Nimitz was considered for many positions, including CinCUS and command at Pearl, but Nimitz was head of the Bureau of Navigation at the time, which was a great posting/position. If the offer had advanced beyond consideration and he had accepted it, this also would have meant jumping over 50+ (as I recall) senior admirals. Since the Bureau of Navigation was considered the peach job on the path to CNO (he had control of all officer personnel assignments) he did not wish to aggravate that many of his fellow flag officers, consequently he asked to be removed from consideration. Kimmel was senior to Nimitz,a and he jumped about 33 admirals when he accepted the offer, but please note that the implacable Admiral King was one of those jumped by Kimmel, and that would come back to haunt Kimmel post Pearl.

    After the war, Nimitz is said to have said that he realized that if anything happened it would be career-ending, which has been taken by revisionists (and perhaps his son?) to mean he had some foreknowledge of an attack, but certainly Kimmel would have had the same reservations about the two jobs as he had the same data. He probably accepted the job primarily because of his close friendship with Admiral Stark from their Academy days, since "Betty" Stark had mentored Kimmel. Afterwards, Stark turned his back on Kimmel in the effort to cover his own rear end, and King jumped him. Nimitz didn't have this relationship with Admiral Stark.

    Now another Rogue who posts here under the username "R.Leonard" also posted this on another forum:

    If you don’t mind, could you provide a source for Nimitz turning down the CinCPac job?

    I only ask as I have been re-reading my copy of Dr. E.B. Potter’s definitive biography; Nimitz. I see where Nimitz, as a captain, transfers from USS Augusta to a new assignment as Assistant Chief, BuNav in the spring of 1935. In the spring of 1938 he’s promoted to rear admiral and by then in a new billet as ComCruDiv2.

    Didn’t work out though, he was stricken with a hernia and he was hospitalized and medically relieved of duty. All’s well that ends well; when released by the medicos for active service he is assigned as ComBatDiv1, an even better command. In January 1939 while the majority of the USN is involved in Fleet Exercise XX in the Caribbean, Nimitz remains in the Pacific as SOPA with the collateral duty of ComTF7 (remember, this was in the days when CinCPac was also CinCUS and as such attended fleet exercises) In the spring he is again transferred, this time as Chief, BuNav and by June 1939 he is back in Washington. It fell to Nimitz to oversee the beginnings of the greatest expansion the USN had ever experienced, both in naval and civilian personnel.

    In all Potter’s recounting of Nimitz’ tenure as BuNav, there is absolutely no mention, not a hint, not one word, that could possibly be construed to mean that he was offered CinCPac over Kimmel in the end of 1940/beginning of 1941. Nothing.

    Potter was well acquainted with his subject, they had collaborated in "Sea Power: A Naval History," they were personal friends, and he was personally asked by Mrs. Nimitz to write the biography Nimitz himself would not allow while he was alive.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    And the Peruvian ambassador got it from his Chinese cook. Whom, it is to be assumed, knew Yamamoto's plans before they were even codified. He hadn't spoken to more than 3-4 people about the plan at this time. That would be three full admirals and one Chinese servant. Interesting security issue.

    Please, do keep trying, this if kinda fun.
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Oh, and by the way, there were over one thousand such "tips" reported in 1941 alone. I can "prove" the Japanese were actually planning to attack Seattle if I was to bother digging up the documents. They're in the Magic documents I put online if you'd like to take a look.
     
  5. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    Potter says on page 4 " Nimitz asked to be excused". Here is the link:
    Nimitz - Google Books

    Here is another source: Admiral Chester Nimitz

    But I would like to point out, I do agree R Leonard is a "Rogue".
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    If you post here, so are you. A Rogue I mean, that is the term used to define we members of the forum.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I guess somebody has a new book.
     
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  8. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Apparent Rogue that I am - certainly a compliment from some, but perhaps not from others - I must admit that it has already been pointed out to me that there is a mention of Nimitz turning down the CinCPac job with the ouster of Admiral Richardson on page 4, in my feeble defense, I was looking in the portion of the book that dealt specifically with Nimitz' time as BuNav, pages 169-171.

    I also note that friend Dogfather fails to note Potter's continuing words on page 4: "There is not, however, any indication that Admiral Nimitz in declining the command of the U. S. Fleet had any motive beyond the one he professed, lack of seniority." Apparently that line does not fit his story so is of no importance.

    So, then, Dogfather - now, there is some interesting etymology - are you accusing Admiral Nimitz of being part and parcel of the Great Pearl Harbor Cabal? You know, the "they had to get rid of Richardson so they could put the patsy Kimmel in, but it had to look good so they made sure Nimitz turned it down so they could save him for CinCPac after the attack, and don't forget to save the carriers so make sure they're out at sea on the day the good Adm Y told us he would have his carriers attack and don't forget to gin up some heavy seas to insure Enterprise is delayed at least long enough not to get caught in the mess" Cabal?

    Or Annex A of same “Now that Adm Y has given us the dope on the when and where, let’s let the Japanese sink our ships and kill our servicemen so that the Germans will declare war on us, too” plan?

    Or did you have something more specific in mind? Is there one I left out?

    Oh, YES, there is one I did leave out, the Great Pearl Harbor Cabal that must have involved hundreds of individuals NONE of whom ever so much as breathed a word, not one, not even a death bed confession of how they regret being part of such a dastardly plan to drag their country into war on a grand scale or on a more personal note insure the needless deaths of so many servicemen, undoubtedly including some they knew and knew well; you mean that Cabal?

    Or again, did you have some other accusation in mind?

    And your REAL evidence, you know, like would stand up in court, is exactly, what?

    Must be nice to be able to string together non-events and try to conjure conspiracies out of thin air. Don’t forget to check under the trash can before you go to bed, the children of the GPHC may be watching you.
     
  9. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    Must be nice to be able to string together non-events and try to conjure conspiracies out of thin air. Don’t forget to check under the trash can before you go to bed, the children of the GPHC may be watching you.

    You are more right than you think, on the underlined part of your post.
    I have had contact with Tom Kimmel, Adm Kimmel's grandson. His web site
    is: The Story Within The Pearl Harbor Story.

    Tom Kimmel feels and for the most part I agree, Adm Kimmel was deprived
    of crucial intel, needed to help understand Jap intentions. He was also given wrong intel, suggesting the attack would come in the SW Pacific.

    But you are very wrong on conspiracy. I have never said anything about
    conspiracy. This just your attempt at name calling, to discredit me and
    justify ignoring the reality of what really took place before the PH attack.

    My guess is that Adm Nimitz realized FDR was such a political animal,
    that he would ignore the needs of the military and this could put a
    commander in a very difficult spot. When FDR fired Adm Richardson,
    that sent a message....don't complain to much, or your gonna be looking
    for work.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    DogFather, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and poops through feathers, it's a good bet it's a duck. You promote standard conspiracy theory dogma, that's clear. So that makes you a conspiracy theorist. Even if you don't like the sobriquet.

    BTW, do you know what Richardson was complaining about? And what he didn't feel likely?
     
  11. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    So I guess all those attacks in that area didn't actually happen?

    Didn't the invasion of Malaya begin a hour or two before the Attack on Pearl?

    It could be worse, we could be dealing with 15 of these types of threads:rolleyes:
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm reminded of that old warning, "Never trust anyone who has only ever read one book."
     
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  13. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    Understanding FDR's poor military judgement, before the PH attack, does
    not equal a conspiracy.

    Yes I what Richardson was complaining about. Besides PH's vulnerability to air attack, due to its location and a lack of anti-aircraft artillery.

    Richardson felt the fleet could be kept in a better state of readiness,
    at its traditional base in San Diego.

    As a for instance, Richardson didn't feel housing was adequate and this
    might affect morale of the men under his command. More fundamentally, many realized at the time, the battle fleet was old, slow and had little in
    the way of anti-aircraft weaponry. If the fleet ran into a Jap aircraft strike force, it might be destroyed, with heavy loss of life. Probably, the best use of the fleet, was to patrol the West Coast, at 21 knt, they couldn't keep up with our carriers of that time.

    OP, you either don't understand how much CYA-ing went on in all those
    hearings, held after the PH attack, or you just chose to pretend that it didn't happen. That's way they had 10 seperate investigations, on the PH disaster. The last one in 1995, over 50 yrs later!
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    You are actually suggesting I read the investigations? Really? (Hush, everybody, I want to hear what he says.)
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Oh, by the way, I put the efforts to get Kimmel "reinstated" online when I received a copy from the Department of Defense. If you look you can find it. It's funny.
     
  16. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    I am sure he is a very nice man, but I would suggest that Mr Kimmel just might have a smidgeon of a vested interest in his opinion on dissemination intelligence data.

    So, I'll ask you point blank, just what intelligence was denied? Just who witheld the information that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941 at approximately 0755 with elements of the air groups of six aircraft carriers? Who was holding that information and just where did he or she get it?

    Then I'll ask, just what part of "This dispatch is to be considered a war warning" do you suppose Kimmel did not understand?
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What "poor military judgement"? Indeed from all I've read FDR tended to listen quite closely to his miliatry advisors. Care to explain what you mean here?
    When was this complaint made?
    [/quote]
    Richardson felt the fleet could be kept in a better state of readiness,
    at its traditional base in San Diego.
    [/quote]
    Perhaps this is correct. On the otherhand the navy had already decided that it was goiong to take a considerable time before they would be ready to reinforce the Philipines. Moveing to Pearl shortened this time considerably I would imagine. So is it better to have a fleet in San Diego that has a higher readiness rate or one at Pearl that's more likely to be able to respond quickly to Japanese aggression?
    Long term if housing wasn't built he might have been correct in this. On the other hand houseing can be built.
    Do you have any sources for this?
    Do you have any documentation that at the time of the trasfer aircraft were considered to be a huge threat to the battle fleet?
    Do you realize just how absurd that is?
     
  18. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    It is obvious Mr Kimmel is not a totally objective party in all this.

    I have read a lot of different and often contradictory versions, of what
    info and intel Kimmel and Short had and didn't have. To tell ya the truth,
    I'm not totally sure which to believe. Next your gonna ask for my source,
    and I don't remember all the stuff I have read on it.

    This is what Adm Kimmel said in his defense, during those many hearings
    after the PH disaster.

    I believe Kimmel was point in a difficult spot (Nimitz turned this job down after all). Protect against air attack & sabotage, but don't alarm the civilian population. Keep up your training schedule, continue with your other duties, try and keep the local media at bay, and don't give the media
    too much info.

    Kimmel and Short also had very limited resources, to get all this done.
    Kimmel and Short both made mistakes and under estimated the Japs.
    But many in Washington made the same mistakes, for which they
    suffered little or no consequences, as a result.
     
  19. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    But you said he was denied relevant intelligence. Specifically, what intelligence which would have warned him of the attack was he denied? What would have told him of the attack about to fall on his command. Who knew the Japanese were coming, how was that information obtained, and why was not that information passed on? Anything else is would haves and could haves.

    In military/naval circles, there are some very simple concepts understood by all. Very high on the list and one of the most important, is that the commander on the scene with the authority to make decisions and direct action is responsible for everything his command does or fails to do. Kimmel as CinCPac was the commander on the scene and from a command perspective it matters not a whit what anyone in Washington did or did not do. Kimmel, and Short for that matter, fall into this category of being the commander on the scene with the authority and the duty to take whatever steps to insure the integrity of his command.

    Little to no communication or coordination between Kimmel and Short - it’s the other guy’s job syndrome - amply exhibits their mutual failure to act, individually, or in concert. Thus we have all these army fighters, neatly lined up in tidy little rows and no attempt to establish a schedule of alert interceptor aircraft for immediate launch nor scheduling of pilots to man same.

    Surely having fleet units performing exercises during the middle of the week and always being in Port on weekend makes things just a bit predictable and certainly does not convey any sense or urgency at the command level.

    Surely Kimmel was aware of Halsey’s very aggressive intentions for the deployment out to and back from Midway and voiced no opposition; yet took no steps nor issued orders himself.

    Surely Kimmel was aware of the judged successes of the Fleet exercises where Pearl Harbor was attacked by carrier aircraft coming in from the north.

    Surely Kimmel was aware of the Royal Navy attack on Taranto.

    Surely, even with what some call PatWing 1’s meager resources, Kimmel would at the least have ordered - which was within his command prerogative - even limited scheduling of searches out to their limits to the north, the most obvious avenue of approach from Japan. And let’s be clear on PatWing 1’s assets; PatWing 1 had available for operations more than twice the number of PBYs than what were operating out of Midway six months later and they managed to find both of the approaching Japanese task groups

    Surely, in light of the RN success in a shallow water aerial torpedo attack perhaps the acceptance of the inconvenience of torpedo booms just might have been in order.

    Also high on the list of command concepts is another maxim, that one does not plan around what a potential or actual enemy will probably do, but around what an enemy has the potential to do.

    So Kimmel’s own intell officer, Layton, told him that despite late November analysis of IJN radio traffic which indicated the IJN carriers were probably in home waters, Layton really had no idea where the IJN carrier units could be found - and that did not seem to be just a little ominous or significant?

    Is this hind sight? Certainly, of course it is, but so is a whine of “they didn’t tell him what he needed to know.” Again, what, exactly, was needed to know?

    “. . . considered a War Warning.” That’s enough right there.
     
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Kimmel and Short were both relieved of their commands. In the US we fire the coach when the team doesn't have a good season. And both Kimmel and Short had plenty of mistakes to make up for.

    Which, specifically, were the mistakes you are concerned with in Washington. (Don't worry if I respond with numbers, I've got them all on a list and its quicker that way.)
     

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