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Husband E. Kimmel during Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by niima master, Oct 11, 2007.

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  1. OpanaPointer

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

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    I quite agree with your expansion on my post, Rich.

    An example of the orderly change of command was when Adm. Richardson took over CinCUS from Adm. Bloch. Bloch reverted to RAdm. and continued to serve in the Pacific. Richardson was subsequently relieved by Kimmel, and Bloch served under him as well. I don't remember immediately if Bloch continued after Nimitz took over.

    Peripheral to this thread is the "legend" that Richardson worried about an attack on Pearl Harbor and this was why he was relieved of command. He did complain about the fleet being there, but his correspondence to Washington shows that he was bothered by the poor logistical support at Pearl rather than fear of an attack. He reiterated this in his testimony before Congress. The "legend", like almost all the others concerned with Pearl Harbor, results from "quote mining" and cherry-picking "facts" taken out-of-context.

    (And, yes, it IS good to be back in action. I simply have to stop dying so much in the future! ;-))
     
  2. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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    N,
    According to the Naval Court of Inquiry (NCI), the only one of ten Pearl Harbor attack tribunals that accorded Admiral Kimmel the opportunity to defend himself, and the only tribunal staffed completely with multiple naval officers all having held high command at sea, there was none. Here's what the NCI found:
    1. They found that there was not a scintilla of evidence to support a charge of dereliction of duty against Admiral Kimmel;
    2. They found that Admiral Kimmel committed no errors of judgment;
    3. They approved of all of Admiral Kimmel's force dispositions on the basis of information that he was given;
    4. The President of the Court, Admiral Murfin, opined that they thought Admiral Kimmel had done everything possible under the circumstances; and finally
    5. They severely criticized Admiral Kimmel's only uniformed boss in the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Stark, for not keeping Kimmel properly informed as he had promised to do on four specific occasions.
    Regards,
    Tom Kimmel
    My website: The Story Within The Pearl Harbor Story contains a wealth of information on the subject.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

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

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    So, why didn't Kimmel take his day in court? He was offered a courtmartial, he avoided it like the plague. Only one reason for that.
     
  4. OpanaPointer

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

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    BTW, HE Kimmel must have been totally tongue tied at the FOUR times he testified. Hundreds of pages and he didn't clear his name. No wonder he didn't want a GCM.

    Roberts Commission,
    529-610, 660-733, 1469-1488, 1538-1571, 1744-1747, S1-S226
    Army Pearl Harbor Board,
    1734-1814
    Navy Court of Inquiry,
    273-385, 1121-1135
    Joint Congressional Committee,
    2497-2663, 2701-2915
     
  5. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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    OP,
    Kimmel waived the statute of limitations multiple times, then was effectively exonerated by the Naval Court of Inquiry. He caused seven of the nine tribunals during his lifetime to occur, after which the Navy offered him a court-martial--a court-martial that as a desperate man he had been seeking for five years. Why would any sane man seek a court-martial given the preceding facts? Clearly, he was no longer desperate. He had finally gotten the facts on the record, which was always his stated goal.

    An excellent fictional account of his court-martial is available for your edification: The Secret Court Martial of Admiral Kimmel: Pearl Harbor on Trial by James Edwin Alexander (Paperback - Oct 30, 2002)

    Regards,
    Tom Kimmel
    PS--The fact that the government did not bring a case speaks to what kind of case the government thought they had. Former Roberts Commission member and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) William Standley wrote about the lack of merit he saw in a court-martial proceeding. Ditto CNO King. The fact that the Congress has called for Kimmel's exoneration also speaks to any such case's lack of merit.

    A list of those willing to declare their support in writing for advancement of Rear Admiral Kimmel on the retired list includes:

    Thomas H. Moorer Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CNO, C/JCS]
    Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CNO]
    David H. Bagley Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.) [Chief of Naval Personnel]
    William J. Crowe, Jr. Admiral, USN (Ret.) [C/JCS]
    Thomas B. Hayward Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CNO]
    Worth H. Bagley Admiral, USN (Ret.) [Vice CNO]
    James L. Holloway, III Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CNO]
    Lee Bagett, Jr. Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCLANT]
    Walter F. Boone Admiral, USN (Ret.) [Com Naval Forces E Atl]
    Donald C. Davis Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPACFLT]
    Noel A. M. Gayler Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPAC]
    Ronald J. Hays Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPAC]
    Roy L. Johnson Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPACFLT]
    Kinnaird R. McKee Admiral, USN (Ret.) [D/NAV NUC PRO]
    Horacio Rivero, Jr. Admiral, USN (Ret.) [VCNO, Amb. to Spain]
    William N. Small Admiral, USN (Ret.) [VICE CNO]
    Maurice F. Weisner Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPAC]
    Alfred J. Whittle Admiral, USN (Ret.) [Chief of Naval Material]
    William F. Bringle Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINC US Naval Forces Europe][CINCLANT]
    Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr.* Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.) [COM STAFF COLLEGE]
    Charles D. Griffin Admiral, USN (Ret.) [COMSEVENTHFLT]
    John J. Hyland Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPACFLT]
    Robert L. J. Long Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPAC]
    Frederick H. Michaelis Admiral, USN (Ret.) [Chief of Naval Material]
    Ulyssis S. G. Sharp,Jr. Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPAC]
    James B. Stockdale Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.) [President Naval War College]
    Sylvester R. Foley, Jr. Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPACFLT]
    Huntington Hardisty Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPAC]
    William P. Lawrence Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.) [Chief of Naval Personnel]
    Wesley L. McDonald Admiral, USN (Ret.) [COMUSFLTFORCOM]
    David C. Richardson Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.) [COMSIXTHFLT]
    Harold E. Shear Admiral, USN (Ret.) [VICE CNO]
    Stansfield Turner Admiral, USN (Ret.) [Dir Central Intelligence]
    Waldemar F. A. Wendt Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINC US Naval Forces Europe][Chief of Naval Material]
    James “Ace” Lyons Admiral, USN (Ret.) [CINCPACFLT]
     
  6. OpanaPointer

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

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    My question stands. As always.
     
  7. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    I must say, I enjoy this movie, even though I have seen it before! :D
     
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  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Falcon Jun wrote:
    Even worse is that MacArthur had access to "Magic" and could decrypt the Japanese Diplomatic Code. He was therefore aware, at least as early as 30 November, that war was imminent. Kimmel was negligent in that he could have done more to be prepared, but much less negligent than MacArtur. I have seen speculation that part of the reason the decision was made to evac Mac and parts of his staff from the Phillipines was their knowledge that "Magic" existed.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

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

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    MacArthur was a former head of the Army, the IJA would have loved to interrogate him. This was not allowed to happen.
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Very good point, makes sense to me. I guess it's like much speculation, there are usually more mundane explainations that make greater sense.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

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

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    Knowledge of "Magic" was certainly a factor in evaluating his "go-no go" status, but the vast knowledge of the Army inner workings would have been enough on itself to get him evc'd.
     
  12. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    Well the point is the past is the past as much as we like to talk about it we can't change it.
    We have to learn from these mastakes and apply what you learn to make a better future and never under estimate your enemy and get over confident.

    As the famous saying "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future"
     
  13. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    Not sure what the beef with Mac is here. The USAAF blew its first attempt at radar directed intercepts on the 8th. This was due to lack of combat experience. The problem wasn't MacArthur, it was the fact that there was no room for error, and the USAAF had exactly zero experience at this tricky art under wartime conditions.
     
  14. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    I've only read one book on Mac. I enjoyed reading about him, he's a fascinating dude. Nevertheless, he was in command of Philippeans, which was the place that everyone thought was close to number one on Japan's strike list. He got surprised big time it seems, and I cannot understand really why. He was so surprised when he heard that Pearl was bombed, that he seemed to go into a state of semi-shock, or at least that is what I got from reading Manchester's book.

    That, along with a bunch of new B 17s geting destroyed in the process did not win him any point. Also, as much as he claimed that the Japanese force was overwhelming, wasn't it in fact actually smaller than his forces?
     
  15. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    Fletcher often faced the same criticism. Couldn’t be that the Japanese were better that day...
    .
    The general beef seems to be threefold. One, that Mac was a larger than life publicity hound who happened not to be navy, two that he somehow was responsible for the USAAF’s lack of combat experience at the art of interception, and three that he didn’t throw his 18 B-17’s at Formosa.
    In Mac’s defence (1) he would have gladly taken over command of the navy to rectify that fault, (2) even the USN was blowing intercepts almost a year later, because hey guess what? They ain’t as easy as they look on paper and (3) was Mac ordered to take the offensive, or is the picture of ‘semi-shock’ (which seems inappropriate) related to the fact that there was indecision up the chain of command?
     
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  16. OpanaPointer

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

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    Didn't the AAF send an attack at Formosa that was turned back by foul weather? IIRC the planes were refueling when they were hit?
     
  17. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    I agree with you, Opana. Mac had shortcomings but I don't think he should be blamed for getting that attack aborted due to bad weather and then getting caught in the ground refueling.
    Though I share your view about Kimmel, I still wonder if Kimmel could've vindicated himself if he was given another chance, maybe a command at sea.
    Mac got his chance and was able to strike back. Kimmel didn't.
     
  18. OpanaPointer

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

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    I think Kimmel was a good peace-time admiral, he got everything as shipshape as he could. That doesn't translate into fight spirit, however.
     
  19. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Again, Opana, what you say is generally true. There's just no way now for us to determine if he did have the fighting spirit because he wasn't given a chance.
     
  20. OpanaPointer

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

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    True, but I'd look at all the admirals on duty on Dec. 6th, 1941, and see which ones were leading fighting forces at the end, with consideration and comparison of their styles in peace and in war.
     

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