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Ambassador Grew sent Pearl Harbor attack warning

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

  1. OpanaPointer

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

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    How about reading "On the Treadmill to Pearl Harbor", it's more complete. Steely's spin is interesting, but limited to trying to prove a point instead of addressing the issues at hand.
     
  2. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    That book was checked out, when I went to the local library. But my
    understanding is that it says about the same thing as Steely's book.

    Part of the book is on Google Books, but they leave out the good parts.
    What they do give ya that's good, is right next to the ad to sell the book.

    My understanding is that Richardson, was also critical of Adm Stark and
    waited till after his death, to publish the book. Richardson was a good
    navy man to the very end!
     
  3. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    I have to agree that the so-called "bomb-plot" message wasn't the "smoking gun" it's been made out to be.

    If Edwin Layton (who was Kimmel's intelligence officer, not Cmdr. Joseph Rochefort who was a code-breaker) had seen the message, he just as easily could have concluded that it was intended to gather intelligence facilitating local sabotage efforts against US Navy vessels. It did not necessarily indicate an air attack.

    The diplomatic decrypts (MAGIC) prior to Pearl Harbor did not yield a single unequivocal clue to the Japanese intentions regarding Pearl Harbor. That is because the Purple code was used by diplomatic personnel, none of whom were even aware of the Japanese Navy's plan to attack Pearl Harbor.
     
  4. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    I din't say anything about a "smoking gun" and niether did the author of the paper I quoted. It was however intel that should have been shared with Hawaii-to infer that it was just tourist info, as OP has done, is not serious- that is as silly as any conspiracy theory.
    I'm sorry, I guess I assumed the posters here knew that Layton had brought Rochefort to Hawaii because of his understanding of Japanese-not just the language, he was an expert in the principals involved as well-he knew of the Japanese Naval high command as well as anyone in the Navy.
    I believe that had the intel been shared with him it would have been cause for alarm. The fact that it wasn't shared had nothing to do with any conspiracy BS, it had to do with turf. This intellegence breakdown was similar to the intel breakdown we experienced prior to 9/11-one agency was not sharing intellegence with other agencies.

    I believe the posters here should all quit with all the conspiracy crap. There is no evidence of any conspiracy by the administration in any of this. Everything I have ever seen written that has attempted to try to paint a picture of conspiracy within the Roosevelt administration in regards to PH has not passed the evidence test. It is all conjecture. I assume we all know what that means.

    However, there is evidence that intellegence was gathered that was not shared with the commanders in Hawaii. Now we can argue till the cows come home about how it would or would not have helped them on Dec. 7th, but the fact is we do not know because it wasn't shared.
     
  5. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Sorry, the term "smoking gun" is mine; I meant it to denote a piece of evidence that unequivocally points to a definitive conclusion. My point was that the "bomb plot" message wouldn't necessarily have led either Layton or Rochefort to a definite conclusion, and might well have reinforced what seemed to be a predisposition to accord too much weight to the threat of "fifth columnists".

    My understanding is that Layton became Kimmel's intel officer only in 1941. Rochefort was sent to Hawaii by Laurence Safford in early 1941 to establish the Hypo code breaking station. A far as I know Layton had nothing to do with Rochefort being in Hawaii. In any case it was Layton's responsibility to keep Kimmel informed of intel matters.

    I think it is too early to make any accurate determination of what went wrong in the 9/11 attack. In many case, it's not something that bears on WW II and I won't discuss it for that reason.

    Agreed. A lot of people made mistakes leading up to Pearl Harbor, but nothing I have ever read convinces me there was any kind of conspiracy.

    There is good and sufficient reason for not broadcasting intelligence data on a widespread basis. It is my belief that Layton, Rochefort, Kimmel and Short got everything they needed to prepare an adequate defense of Pearl Harbor. They simply failed to do so despite being warned of the imminence of war. They weren't the only ones to fail; MacArthur botched his defenses even after he had hours of warning and knew without any doubt he would be attacked.
     
  6. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    I agree, no definitive conclusion can be drawn either way. There is really no way of knowing which path would have been taken had all the deciphered information been shared with the commanders in the pacific.

    I agree with this looking at it from the perspective of those who made the decisions back then, and I agree that an argument could be made from hindsight as well, I'm just saying that, looking back with 20/20 hindsight information was obtained that could have led the intel people to see that PH was a probable target. I stand by my belief that they (those that actually had the info) didn't consider it (the intel) a threat because such an attack was counter to accepted Naval doctrine of the time. All of the focus was on the southern attack.

    I agree that Kimmel and Short got caught with their pants down and deserved to lose their commands over it-I just disagree that they were alone to blame.
     
  7. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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    Can someone explain this?

    On December 7, 1941 the President of the United States was asked: “How did the Japanese catch us with our pants down?” The Congress of the United States later asked: “one enigmatical and paramount question . . . . [w]hy was it possible for a Pearl Harbor to occur?” On December 11, 1941, the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, thought he had the answer and sent it to the President immediately: Army and Navy Intelligence in Washington, DC had learned the entire Japanese attack plan days before the attack, and sent it to Admiral Kimmel, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii, who did nothing about it.

    Supreme Court Associate Justice Owen Roberts, Chairman of the Roberts Commission, the tribunal immediately appointed to investigate the Pearl Harbor disaster, tried but could not prove that Kimmel had this information and failed to act on it. But then Roberts put blinders on and failed to follow Mr. Hoover’s logically suggested written investigative leads in Washington, D.C., as to whether this information was available in Washington and simply not sent to Hawaii. And then later, Roberts inexplicably lied to Congress about where he got the original allegation against Kimmel.
    FOR DETAILS SEE MY WEBSITE AT: The Story Within The Pearl Harbor Story
    Regards,
    Tom Kimmel
     
  8. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    From what I have read over the years between PatWing 1 and PatWing2, there were only 7 patrol planes in the air on the morning of 07Dec41. 3 planes from VP-14, armed with depth charges on security patrol around Pearl, and 4 planes from VP-24 which were conducting exercises with friendly submarines.

    Your point is clearly valid, why was Kimmel neglectful in ordering even a limited air search out from Pearl Harbor to limits of where carriers could potentially strike from? His war warning message from late November clearly stated to be on guard from air attack and sabotage, yet he only took measures against sabotage. He deserved to be sacked for not taking the proper measures to safeguard his command. Had he even had a meager air search in place sending planes out to even say 300 miles (PBY's had a max range of over 2000 miles) even had they been oriented to the south and west which was where they expected any attack to come from, Kimmel could have at least pointed to the fact that he was doing something to safeguard from an air attack rather than nothing at all.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

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

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    Snap judgments are convenient, but a thorough study of the material disproves this thesis.
     
  10. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    You make it sound as if Kimmel didn't have enough search planes on hand when to the contrary is more of the case. Kimmel, from just the navy, had on hand Patrol Wings One and Two, each wing containing 3 squadrons. These 2 wings on the morning of Dec, 7th had 7 planes in the air, 54 planes on the surface ready for flight on 4 hours or less notice. (10 of these were actually on 30 minutes notice).

    While the 35 B-17's would have certainly helped on the morning of Dec 7th, it is more likely that the majority of these would have also been destroyed or damaged that morning as were the remaining 12 that were actually there.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

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

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    The problem with the search planes is that anything less than a 360 search pattern leaves approaches open. And to do a 360 out to 700 miles would require 150 B-17s. We only had 117 at the time of the Martin-Bellinger Report. And using the patrol planes we had at the time would have used up the engines pretty quickly. Adm. Bellinger testified in regard to the patrol needs.
     
  12. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    I guess what I was trying to say here is that he could have at least used what he had in some type of air search. If limited in number of assets, one would logically use what is available to search the most likely avenues of attack. Even if Kimmel picked the wrong way to look, he could then have easily made a case that he had attempted to take measures and make what one would hope is a logical agurement as to why he choose that particular direction to search. Instead he choose not to make any type of search at all despite the war warning and that if nothing else was more than sufficient cause for his sacking.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

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

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    That's one reason they fired him. The patrolling wasn't considered as important as preparing for war. They assumed we would have at least a few days notice of the start of hostilities. We didn't get it, of course.
     
  14. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Sneaky little turds weren't they? Oh. that's kind of what the last three pages of this blog was about, they caught us with our pants down and spanked us good.
     
  15. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    This is a complex matter, as you yourself have pointed out much to the dismay of DF. Another sad but true idea was that the Japanese would most "certainly" launch any attack on Hawaii from the southwest. In other words from the direction of its mandated islands from the Treaty of Versailles.

    Even though our own war games had shown that the islands were vulnerable to attack from the north/northwest by carrier launched aircraft. For some reason, that "game" was ignored, and the idea of a battleship based flotilla which would come prancing in from the Japanese Mandate Islands was grasped firmly.
     
  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My suspicion is that they didn't think the Japanese could get in postition there. From some of what I've read they were unaware of the Japanese efforts in underway replenishment and without it the escorts didn't have the range to make it.

    Wasn't there also a war game where the US CV's made a "successful" attack on either the West Coast or Panama or both?
     
  17. OpanaPointer

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

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    This was largely, IIRC, due to the fact that we didn't know the IJN could refuel at sea. Strangely enough, this was yet another thing they kept secret. (And then some berk comes up with "Nagumo violated his radio silence orders for no good reason." They were good at keeping secrets.)
    The Martin-Bellinger Report nailed it. The failure of Kimmel and Short to take that seriously was, IMHO, one of the reasons they were given such a evil eye after the attack.
     
  18. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Are you sure that you have the dates right?
    Because it's absolutely wrong.

    I've done more research into the Singapore/Malaya situation, but the cause of the war is the same.
    "70 Days to Singapore" gives a good background to the Pacific conflict
    (written by stanley Falk, chief historian of the USAF) Stanley Falk

    The Japanese didn't seriously consider an attack against the US until July '41, when options were discussed in an Imperial Japanese conference.

    The dfinal ecision was not taken until another conference in October, when it was resolved to attack Hawaii, the US, British & Dutch colonies beginning in November unless the Dutch could be convinced to sell oil to Japan. (The attack was delayed as negotiations dragged on)

    Had the Dutch not stood firm with the US embargo then Japan wouldn't attack the Allies, they would have continued consolidation of China
     
  19. OpanaPointer

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

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    Um, it was an embargo, not a blockade. A blockade would have been an act of war. The embargo was prompted by Republican Congressmen, partially at the urging of their churches, many of whom had missionaries in China. The isolationists were afraid that providing "weapons and goods of war" to either belligerent would be a step toward war, so they demanded the oil embargo in exchange for the rearmament bills FDR was pushing through Congress. The administration analysis had indicated that an embargo would be a causus belli for the Japanese, as turned out to be the case.

    Strangely enough, Republicans have since declared the embargo to be "the back door to war." Conveniently short memory.
     
  20. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    DogFather is wrong as per usual in some areas, but right in one. The Grew memo was sent to D.C. in late Jan. of 1941. Three months before the Fleet was moved to Pearl Harbor, and nearly a full year before the attack. Just rumor passed on by Grew (as his job required), and ignored by both he and Washington since it was of little substance.
     

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