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Pearl Harbor Cover Up and Scapegoat Kimmel & Short

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by PvtJohnTowle_MoH, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. PvtJohnTowle_MoH

    PvtJohnTowle_MoH New Member

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  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Is it that time already?

    Consider your source, and it's quite biased viewpoint, then ask yourself "Do I really really want to go there?"
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Move to the Pearl Harbor section (with all the rest of similar threads) and title edited to reflect correct name of the location.
     
  4. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    It is a clear standard of the navy that if something happens, the commanding officer must prove he took all steps to prevent such an event. Many a career was ended because a ship ran aground. The majority of the responsibility lies with Short, yet Kimmel clearly allowed the neglect to happen and as such he is accountable. Kimmel also would never allow an officer under his commander to claim that no one told him to be ready.
     
  5. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    If an officer of Kimmel's rank has to be told that something could happen then he doesn't deserve the job.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    There is plenty of blame to go around and Kimmel and Short deserve their share. It's too bad the desk jockies in Washington didn't get their share, but that doesn't excuse some of mistakes that were made in Pearl Harbor.
     
    lwd likes this.
  7. Dracula

    Dracula Member

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    I don't want to sound like an apologist for Kimmel, but he probably was dealt a raw deal. If I remember correctly, Short and the Army were responsible for the air defence of the Hawaiian Islands and in retrospect failed miserably. But, before judging Short too harshly, He and Kimmel were straddling time periods where some things seem reasonable and just a minutes later those same things seem like incredible incompetence. Kimmel did make the decision to keep the carriers at sea as much as possible, so that is something in his favor.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Kimmel did not get a "raw deal", he made many mistakes, and properly paid for them.

    The Army and Navy were jointly responsible for the defense of Pearl Harbor. Regrettably, there was very little cooperation between the two services and their respective commanders in regards to this matter.

    Short and Kimmel also did some things that seem like incredible incompetence then, as they do now.

    Kimmel did not make any decision to keep the carriers at sea as much as possible. The Quarterly Employment Schedules show the battleships being at sea as often as the carriers. If you look at the quarterly employment schedules, you can see that the sortie dates that the Enterprise and Lexington left on their reinforcement missions to Wake and Midway match the dates that they were schedule to sortie for training, and these quarterly employment schedules were done back in August - early September, 1941.
     
  9. Dracula

    Dracula Member

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    The primary defense of the Hawaiian Islands was assigned to the Army. They had the ground assets, they operated the coast defense batteries and that is why the number of Army air assets were so much bigger and of different varieties than the Navy air assets on December 7th. On December 7th, the Army had available close to 100 reasonably modern P-40 fighters and a small number of Long range B-17 bombers with plans to increase the numbers of both under the June 1940 air group program. The Army, not the navy, had installed and was operating several mobile and apparently effective radar units and the procedure to report air contacts. Contrast this force with the Naval air forces available on December 7th. The total of Marine and Navy assets was 21 wildcat fighters and 25 dauntless dive bombers. The bulk of naval air power was the 69 or so PBY long range patrol aircraft. So who had been given the assets for defense and who had been given the assets for patrolling? By the numbers and the types of assets assigned, the Army had been assigned primary defense responsibilities for the Hawaiian Island, not the Navy.

    As far as the quarterly employment schedules are concerned, we are both right and wrong. I was wrong in that the schedule shows them to be in port as much of the time as out of port. You were wrong in suggesting that the battleships had as much sea time as the carriers.The Enterprise and the Lex were on operating schedule, but someone changed the orders after the schedule was approved in August of 1940. According to the schedule, both groups should have had their BatDiv escorts with them, yet they both sailed without them. So, your statement that " the battleships were at sea as much as the carriers" is false. There is no other reasonable explanation then they were purposely left behind when the Enterprise and the Lex left on their resupply missions. So, Kimmel did have this point in his favor.

    I think that it's really unfair to expect commanders to know what they don't know and to react correctly to what they don't know. Also, Maybe Kimmel and Short were good peacetime commanders but lousy wartime commanders. But someone had to pay unless your name was Douglas Macarthur.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Regretfully you are in error.

    Only the Enterprise was to operate with attendant battleships(BatDiv 1 - Nevada, Oklahoma, and Arizona). The Lexington was not assigned to operate with any battleships, she operated with nothing larger than heavy cruisers. Perhaps, you are thinking of the Lexington's sister-ship, Saratoga. The Saratoga was assigned to operate with BatDivs Two & Four. However, the Saratoga was stateside undergoing her scheduled interim overhaul.

    Now to answer your


    Halsey released the 3 battleships so that they would not slow down the rest of the task force while he carried out his reinforcement mission - the battleships, if they were lucky might make 19-20 knots on a good day, while the rest of Halsey's force were all capable of 30+ knots. Although the battleships did not accompany Halsey on his mission, they did spend their time "at sea.", conducting training and gunnery practice, culminating with a nighttime gunnery exercise on December 4th, before returning to Pearl on the 5th. The Enterprise had been schedule to return to Pearl at this time, but was delayed by very inclement weather.

    So, my point stands, that the battleships were "at sea" as much as the carriers.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    First things first.

    As you have pointed out, the Navy's primary responsibility was reconnaissance. This was not being carried out(Strike 1), nor did Kimmel say to Short that the Navy was not upholding it's end of the bargain(Strike 2) - perhaps, this would have properly motivated Short to make better use of his radar units. Kimmel, nor any other Navy personnel, request Army assistance in carrying out their reconnaissance mission(Strike 3). As can be seen by the time it took for the Army AA batteries to become operational, and the fact that most of the US Army aircraft were on a 4-hour notice, Short was clearly expecting that any early warning would come first from the Navy, and not his ground-based radar systems - which would provide between one hour to 30 minutes advance warning.

    Now, if Kimmel had at least passed the word along to Short that the Navy was incapable of carrying out it's primary task of long-range patrolling, and that Short needed to lend him Army aircraft to complete the task, or else, to provide for a more rapid response times for Army defensive forces, this would go some way to mitigating Kimmel's culpability for the disaster that befell his fleet.
     

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