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Senate vote, Pearl Harbor, FDR, Kimmel, Short & Marshall

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by DogFather, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    OP can you make sense of this for me? It's from the Court of Inquiry.

    Based on Finding VIII, the Court is of the opinion that the defense of
    the Pearl Harbor Naval Base was the direct responsibility of the Army,
    that the Navy was to assist only with the means provided the 14th Naval District, and that the defense of the base was a joint operation only to this extent. The Court is further of the opinion that the defense should have been such as to function effectively independently of the Fleet, in view of the fundamental requirement that the strategic freedom of action of the Fleet [1203] must be assured demands that the defense of a permanent naval base be so effectively provided for and conducted as to remove any anxiety of the Fleet in regard to the security of the base, or for that of the vessels within its limits. Based on Findings IV, VIII and IX, the Court is of the opinion that the duties of Rear Admiral
    Claude C. Bloch, U.S.N., in connection with the defense of Pearl Harbor,
    were performed satisfactorily.

    Based on Finding IX, the Court is of the opinion that the detailed Naval
    Participation Air Defense plans drawn up and jointly agreed upon were
    complete and sound in concept, but that they contained a basic defect in that naval participation depended entirely upon the availability of
    aircraft belonging to and being employed by the Fleet
    , and that on the morning of 7 December these plans were ineffective because they
    necessarily were drawn on the premise that there would be advance
    knowledge that an attack was to be expected within narrow limits of
    time, which was not the case on that morning.

    The Court is further of the opinion that it was not possible for the
    Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, to make his Fleet planes permanently available to the Naval Base Defense Officer in view of the need for their employment with the Fleet.

    Here's why there was no long range reconnaissance. There were only two
    PBY's available to 14 ND. Any other reconnaissance, conducted by the Operational Commander, needed to be considered either as training or as
    mid range recon. Was the command structure that dicey?

    Adm Bloch, COM ND 14, was the Naval Base Defense Officer. Here is an inventory of his planes:
    NAS Ford Island: 1 F3F-2, 1 J2F-2, 3 J2F-4, 5 OS2U-2, 1 RD-3
    Johnston Island: 1 J2F-2, 2 PBY-3
    Midway Island: 1 J2F-2
    Palmyra Island: 1 J2F-2

    Adm Bloch had ADCON over RAdm Bellinger. The definition of ADCON is:

    Direction or exercise of authority over subordinate or other organizations in respect to administration and support, including organization of Service forces, control of resources and equipment, personnel management, unit logistics, individual and unit training, readiness, mobilization, discipline, demobilization, and other matters not included in the operational missions of the subordinate or other organizations.

    Adm Bloch did not have OPCON. OPCON is defined as:

    Transferable command authority that may be exercised by commanders at any echelon at or below the level of combatant command. Operational control is inherent in combatant command (command authority). Operational control may be delegated and is the authority to perform those functions of command over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission. Operational control includes authoritative direction over all aspects of military operations and joint training necessary to accomplish missions assigned to the command. Operational control should be exercised through the commanders of subordinate organizations. Normally this authority is exercised through subordinate joint force commanders and Service and/or functional component commanders. Operational control normally provides full authority to organize commands and forces and to employ those forces as the commander in operational control considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions. Operational control does not, in and of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal organization, or unit training.

    So who dreamt up and endorsed this mess?
     
  2. OpanaPointer

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

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    The whole command structure was a soup sandwich, navarinemex. Bloch wore, IIRC, four hats. The exchange of information between the Army and the Navy was "casual" to say the least. Army guys would say their opposite number was Cdr. So-n-so, and the good commander would say he was completely unaware of such an arrangement. There was no strong leader in charge of either side, and things just stumbled along.
     
  3. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    Then why Kimmel as CinCUS? Could no one else be persuaded?
     
  4. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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    OP,
    Here is the Martin-Bellinger Report, and Bellinger's testimony at the Hart Investigation:

    The Martin-Bellinger joint estimate appears in three places in the JCC hearings record; 1PHA379-382; 22PHA349-354; 33PHA1182-1186.
    MARCH 31, 1941. (Confidential)
    Commander Naval Base Defense Air Force, Commander Patrol Wing Two, Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, T. H.
    Commanding General, Hawaiian Air Force, Fort Shafter, T. H.
    Addendum I to Naval Base Defense Air Force Operation Plan No. A-1-41.
    Joint estimate covering Joint Army and Navy air action in the event of sudden hostile action, against Oahu or Fleet Units in the Hawaiian area.
    I. Summary of the Situation.
    (a) Relations between the United States and Orange are strained, uncertain, and varying.
    [556-e] (b) In the past Orange has never preceded hostile actions by a declaration of war.
    (c) A successful, sudden raid, against our ships and Naval installations on Oahu might prevent effective offensive action by our forces in the Western Pacific for a long period.
    (d) A strong part of our fleet is now constantly at sea in the operating areas organized to take prompt offensive action against any surface or submarine force which initiates hostile action.
    (e) It appears possible that Orange submarines and/or an Orange fast raiding force might arrive in Hawaiian waters with no prior warning from our intelligence service.
    350 CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
    II. Survey of Opposing Strengths.
    (a) Orange might send into this area one or more submarines and/or one or more fast raiding forces composed of carriers supported by fast cruisers. For such action she is known to have eight carriers, seven of which are reported to be capable of 25 knots or over and four of which are rated at 30 knots or better. Two of the carriers are converted capital ships, armored and armed with 10-8" guns each and reported to have heavy AA batteries. Two others are small (7000 treaty tons) and limited to 25 knots. Exact information on numbers; and characteristics of the aircraft carried by these ships is not available. However the best estimate at present available is that the small carriers can accommodate from 20 to 30 planes and the large ones about 60. Probably the best assumption is that carrier complements are normally about equally divided between fighter and bomber types. Lacking any information as to range and armament of planes we must assume that they are at least the equal of our similar types. There probably exist at least 12 eight inch gun and at least 12 six inch gun fast modern cruisers which would be suitable supports. Jane's Fighting Ships (1939) shows over forty submarines which are easily capable of projection into this area. An Orange surface raiding force would be far removed from their base and would almost surely be inferior in gun power to our surface forces operating at sea in the Hawaiian area.
    (b) The most difficult situation for us to meet would be when several of the above elements were present and closely coordinated their actions. The shore based air force available to us is a constantly
    varying quantity which is being periodically augmented by reinforcements from the mainland and which also varies as fleet units are shifted. Under existing conditions about one-half of the planes present can be maintained in a condition of material readiness for flight. The aircraft at present available in Hawaii are inadequate to maintain, for any extended period, from bases on Oahu, a patrol extensive enough to insure that an air attack from an Orange carrier cannot arrive over Oahu as a complete surprise. The projected outlying bases are not yet in condition to support sustained operations. Patrol planes are of particular value for long range scouting at sea and are the type now available in this area best suited for this work. If present planes are used to bomb well defended ship objectives, the number available for future use will probably be seriously depleted. In view of the continuing need for long range overseas scouting in this area the missions of those planes for operations as contemplated in this estimate should be scouting. Certain aircraft of the Utility Wing, although not designed for combatant work, can be [556-g] used to advantage in augmenting the scouting of patrol planes. Other types of aircraft, in general, can perform functions that accord with their type.
    III. Possible Enemy Action.
    (a) A declaration of war might be preceded by.
    1. A surprise submarine attack on ships the operating area.
    2. A surprise attack on Oahu including ships and installations in Pearl Harbor.
    3. A combination of these two.
    (b) It appears that the most likely and dangerous form of attack on Oahu would be an air attack. It is believed that at present such an attack would most likely be launched from one or more carriers which would probably approach inside of three hundred miles.
    (c) A single attack might or might not indicate the presence of more submarines or more planes awaiting to attack after defending aircraft have been drawn away by the original thrust.
    (d) Any single submarine attack might indicate the presence of a considerable undiscovered surface force probably composed of fast ships accompanied by a carrier.
    (e) In a dawn air attack there is a high probability that it could be delivered as a complete surprise in spite of any patrols we might be using and that it might find us in a condition of readiness under which pursuit would be slow to start, also it might be successful as a diversion to draw attention away from a second attacking force. The major disadvantage would be that we could have all day to find and attack the carrier. A dusk attack would have the advantage that the carrier could use the night for escape and might not be located the [556-h] next day near enough for us to make a successful air attack. The
    PROCEEDINGS OF ROBERTS COMMISSION
    351
    disadvantage would be that it would spend the day of the attack approaching the islands and might be observed. Under the existing conditions this might not be a serious disadvantage for until an overt act has been committed we probably will take no offensive action and the only thing that would be most would be complete surprise. Midday attacks have all the disadvantages and none of the advantages of the above. After hostilities have commenced, a night attack would offer certain advantages but as an initial crippling blow a dawn or dusk attack would probably be no more hazardous and would have a better chance for accomplishing a large success. Submarine attacks could be coordinated with any air attack.
    IV. Action open to us:
    (a) Run daily patrols as far as possible to seaward through 360 degrees to reduce the probabilities of surface or air surprise. This would be desirable but can only be effectively maintained with present personnel and material for a very short period and as a practicable measure cannot, therefore, be undertaken unless other intelligence indicates that a surface raid is probable within rather narrow time limits.
    (b) In the, event of any form of surprise attack either on ships in the operating areas or on the islands
    1. Immediate search of all sea areas within reach to determine the location of hostile surface craft and whether or not more than one group is present.
    2. Immediate arming and preparation of the maximum possible bombing force and its despatch for attack when information is available.
    [556i](c) In the event of an air attack on Oahu, in addition to (b) above:
    1. The immediate despatch of all aircraft suitable for aerial combat to intercept the attackers.
    2. The prompt identification of the attackers as either carrier or long range shore based aircraft.
    3. The prompt dispatch of fast aircraft to follow carrier type raiders back to their carrier.
    (d) In event of a submarine attack on ships in the operating area in addition to (b) above:
    1. Hold pursuit and fighter aircraft in condition of immediate readiness to counter a possible air raid until search proves that none is imminent.
    2. Dispatch armed shore based fleet aircraft to relieve planes in the air over the attack area.
    3. Establish a station patrol by patrol planes two hundred twenty mile radius from scene of attack at one hour before daylight of nest succeeding daylight period.
    (4) None of the above actions can be initiated by our forces until an attack is known to be imminent or has occurred. On the other hand, when an attack develops time will probably be vital and our actions must start with a minimum of delay. It therefore appears that task forces should be organized now, missions assigned, conditions of readiness defined and detailed plans prepared so that coordinated immediate action can be taken promptly by all elements when one of the visualized emergencies arises. To provide most effectively for the necessary immediate action, the following joint task units will be required.
    1. Search Unit. 2. Attack Unit. 3. Air Combat Unit.
    [556j] Carrier scouts, army reconnaissance and patrol planes can be employed with very widely varying effectiveness, either for search or attack. Under varying conditions some shifts of units between the search and attack groups may be desirable. Also, the accomplishment of these two tasks must be closely coordinated and therefore these two groups should be controlled by the same task group commander.
    V. Decisions:
    1. This force will locate and attack forces initiating hostile actions against Oahu or fleet units in order to prevent or minimize damage to
    our forces from a surprise attack and to obtain information upon which to base coordinated retaliatory measures.
    352 CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
    2. Subsidiary decisions. In order to be in all respects prepared to promptly execute the above decision.
    (a) Establish a task organization as follows by the issue of a joint air operation plan:
    1. Search and Attack Group (Commander Naval Base Defense Air Force (Commander Patrol Wing Two))
    The following units in accordance with current conditions of readiness:
    Patrol squadrons.
    Shore-based VO-VS units.
    Shore-based carrier VB and VT squadrons.
    Shore-based carrier VS planes not assigned to the air combat group.
    Shore-based Marine VS and VB squadrons. Army bombardment squadrons. Army reconnaissance squadrons.
    Navy Utility squadrons.
    [556k] 2. Air Combat Group (Commander Hawaiian Air Force) The following units in accordance with current conditions of readiness:
    Army pursuit squadrons. Shore-based carrier VF squadrons. Shore-based Marine VF squadrons. One division of shore-based carrier VS planes.
    (Primarily for trailing aircraft)
    (b) Assign missions to the above groups as follows:
    1. Search and Attack Group. Locate, report and track all hostile surface units in position to take or threaten hostile action. Destroy hostile ships by air attack. Priority of targets: (1) carriers (2) large supporting ships. If choice of location is presented priority should be given to: (1) carrier involved in attack (2) vessels beyond teach of surface vessel interception.
    2. Air Combat Group. Intercept and destroy hostile aircraft. Identify and report type of attacking aircraft. Trail attacking carrier type planes to carrier and report location to commander search and attack group. As a secondary mission support search and attack group upon request.
    (c) Provide a means for quickly starting all required action under this plan when
    (a) An air attack occurs on Oahu.
    (b) Information is received from any source that indicates an attack is probable.
    (c) Information is received that an attack has been made on fleet units.
    (d) Define conditions of readiness for use with this plan as follows:
    [556-l] Conditions of readiness shall be prescribed by a combination of a letter and number from the tables below. The letter indicating the part of a unit in a condition of material readiness for its assigned task and the number indicating the degree of readiness prescribed for that part.
    Material Readiness:
    A. All assigned operating aircraft available and ready for a task.
    B. One-half of all aircraft of each functional type available and ready for a task.
    C. Approximately one-quarter of all aircraft of each functional type available and ready for a task.
    D. Approximately one-eighth of all aircraft of each functional type available and ready for a task.
    E. All aircraft conducting routine operations, none ready for the purposes of this plan.
    Degree of Readiness:
    1. For pursuit and VF types—four minutes. Types other than fighters—fifteen minutes:
    2. All types—30 minutes. 3. All types—one hour. 4. All types—two hours. 5. All types—four hours.
    The armament and fuel load for each type under the above conditions of readiness are dependent upon the tasks assigned in contributory plans and orders and will be prescribed therein.
    (e) Establish a procedure whereby the conditions of readiness to be maintained by each unit is at all times prescribed by the Senior Officers Present of
    PROCEEDINGS OF ROBERTS COMMISSION
    353
    the Army and Navy as a result of all information currently [556-m] available to them. In using the above conditions it should be noted that: Condition A-1 requires a preparation period of reduced operations and can be maintained for only a short time as it is an all hands condition. Conditions B-1 and B-2 require watch and watch for all personnel and personnel fitness for air action will decrease rapidly if they are maintained too long. Any Condition 1, 2, or 3 will curtail essential expansion training work. Conditions C, or D, 4 or 5 can be maintained without unduly curtailing normal training work.
    (f) In order to perfect fundamental communications by use and to insure that prospective Task Group Commanders at all times know the forces immediately available to them for use, under the plan above, in case of a sudden emergency, provide, for daily dispatch readiness reports as of the end of normal daily flying from all units to their prospective task force commander. These reports to state:
    (a) Number of planes in the unit by functional types such as bomber, fighter, etc.
    (b) Number of each type in commission for flight and their degree of readiness as defined above.
    (g) After the joint air operations plan under subsidiary decision (a) above has been issued, the task group commanders designated therein will prepare detailed contributory plans for their groups to cover the various probable situations requiring quick action in order that the desired immediate action in an emergency can be initiated with no further written orders. To assist in this work the following temporary details will be made:
    (a) By Commander Naval Base Defense Air Force (Commander Patrol Wing Two): an officer experienced in [556-n] VF and VS operations and planning to assist the Commander of Air Combat Group.
    (b) By the Commander Hawaiian Air Force: an officer experienced in Army bombardment and reconnaissance operations and planning to assist the Commander of the Search and Attack Group.
    Authenticated:
    C-A16-3/A4-3(5)/ND14 (0348) (Confidential)
    F. L. MARTIN,
    Major General, U. S. Army, Commanding Hawaiian Air Force.
    P. N. L. BELLINGER,
    Rear Admiral, U. S. Navy,
    Commander Naval Base Defense Air Force,
    (Commander Patrol Wing Two).
    J. W. BAYS,
    Lieutenant, U. S. Navy.
    BASE DEFENSE AIR FORCE, PATROL WING TWO,
    FLEET AIR DETACHMENT,
    NAVAL AIR STATION,
    Pearl Harbor, T. H., April 9, 1941.
    Addendum II to Naval Base Defense Air Force Operation Plan No. A-1-41.
    Conditions of readiness and readiness reports:
    1. Conditions of readiness will be prescribed by a combination of a letter and a number from the tables below. The letter indicating the part of a unit in a condition of material readiness for its assigned task and the number indicating the degree of operational readiness prescribed for that part.
    Material Readiness
    A. All assigned operating aircraft available and ready for a task.
    B. One-half of all aircraft of each functional type available and ready for a task.
    C. Approximately one-quarter of all aircraft of each functional type available and ready for a task.
    [556-o] D. Approximately one-eighth of all aircraft of each functional type available and ready for a task.
    E. All aircraft conducting routine operations, none ready for the purposes of this plan.
    Degree of operational readiness:
    354 CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION PEARL HARBOR ATTACK
    All times listed in this table are the maximums allowed for the first plane of a unit to be in the air armed and proceeding with the assigned task.
    1. For pursuit and VF types—four minutes. Types other than fighters—fifteen minutes.
    2. All types—30 minutes. 3. All types—one hour. 4. All types—two hours. 5. All types—four hours.
    2. The armament and fuel load for each type under the above conditions of readiness are dependent upon the task assigned in contributory plans and orders and will be prescribed in these.
    3. Readiness Reports
    (a) A despatch readiness report, as of 1500 each day shall be made by each unit assigned to a task group by this plan as follows:
    (1) Units of "Search and Attack Group" to the Commander Naval Base Defense Air Force (Commander Patrol Wing Two).
    (2) Units of the "Air Combat Group" to the Commanding General of the Hawaiian Air Force via Commander Naval Base Defense Air Force.
    (b) These reports shall state:
    (1) The number of operating planes in the unit by functional types as bomber, fighter, etc.
    (2) The number of each type in material readiness [556p] for flight and their degree of operational readiness as defined above.
    (c) The officer detailing VS planes to the Air Combat Unit (paragraph 4 of N. B. D. A. F. plan No. A-1-41) shall inform the Commander Naval Base Defense Air Force and Commander General
    Hawaiian Air Force by despatch of the detail and any changes therein.
    (PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROBERTS COMMISSION.)

    Regards,
    tk
    PS--Vice Admiral Patrick N. L. Bellinger
    “[The Pearl Harbor attack] was a deep-dyed, deliberate plan to get this Country into war with Japan and Germany by needling the Japanese into making the first war move. FDR and his cohorts criminally failed to keep Admiral Kimmel informed of information that was available—information that the simplest mind would have known was of vital importance to the protection of the Pacific Fleet.”
    Paolo E. Coletta, Bellinger, 1987
    Admiral Bellinger, Naval aviation legend and former Chief of Staff to CNO King
    Bellinger Testimony to the Hart Investigation
    “Considering shortages and deficiencies, other necessary deployment of forces, such as expansion training and development of facilities, and lacking unity of command, little if any more in the way of readiness could be expected. It is believed that Admiral Kimmel saw this picture very realistically and I know of no man who, under the circumstances, could have done more.” 26PHA140
     
  5. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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    Mike,
    Good plan. How about this:
    Reasons to Support the Advancement of 
Rear Admiral Kimmel
    on the Retired List to Admiral

    1. The giants of WW II—Nimitz, Halsey, King, Spruance, Kinkaid, Burke, and a host of others would support this action;
    2. Six former CNOs and two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—Crowe, Moorer, Burke, Hayward, Holloway, Trost, Zumwalt—support this action in writing;
    3. The only tribunal that accorded Rear Admiral Kimmel the opportunity to defend himself, the Naval Court of Inquiry, exonerated him;
    4. There is abundant new information since 1946, most never known to Rear Admiral Kimmel, or to investigators, that further justifies this action;
    5. Scores of Army, Navy, FBI, and other personnel could and should have provided information to the JCC as ordered by President Truman, but they did not;
    6. The mendacity of Marshall, Gerow, Miles, Stark, Turner, and Wilkinson constitutes an abuse of power that cries out for redress, and, unrecognized, promotes future official mendacity;
    7. The continued singular denial of advancement of Rear Admiral Kimmel masks the importance of intelligence to operations and promotes future errors;
    8. This matter is important to the Navy as an institution; and
    9. The United States must not continue to perpetuate a lie.
    Regards,
    tk
     
  6. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    .
    Note I did not include an important 6th option – better use of the Army’s considerable radar resources. More focus on the radar would relieve the stress on other resources. The key was to mix different methods so that no individual resource was swamped with the defensive recon mission.
    .
    Others, for no apparent reason, keep posting the OOB of 14th N.D. This is irrelevant - Kimmel had two entire PAT WINGS at his disposal and Short another 40 long range aircraft besides. Short was axed because his anti-aircraft defences were not prepared and his fighters were wingtip to wingtip. Kimmel was axed, IMO, mainly on the image of over 60 PBY’s going up in flames on the ground. No amount of hyperbole can overcome that picture of indifference. These destroyed planes were Kimmel's responsibility, not Bloch's.
    .
    The key variables are the sortie rate that Hawaii could sustain with its heavy aircraft, the active coordination between army and navy, and the length of the dogleg considered acceptable at the outward edge of each plane’s recon flight. (40 aircraft for a 180 degree search to 700nm is about a 60 mile dogleg for each plane).
    .
    Kimmel’s job was to answer these questions and then implement some form of defense that would stand a good chance of detecting a strike. He didn’t bother, and he was punished appropriately for his omission. Military organisations that function well in combat environments tend to set the bar quite high. There were officers in the USN that were ruthlessly weeded out of combat commands during the Pacific War for less. Kimmel was not treated unfairly or differently than other USN commanders.
    We know Kimmel and Short had the staffs to get the job done because when their replacements came in they got the job done. So it wasn’t deficient staff work on Oahu, but rather the indifference at the top to the threat of air attack. Short arguably should have kept his command. Kimmel was treated fairly.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

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

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    Again, why didn't he accept the offer of a court-martial?

    As for advancement, you seriously think he did such a good job that he deserved special treatment?
     
  8. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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  9. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    How many of his Flag peers, after 8 DEC 41, said that they wanted to serve under him again? I know that a number said that he was a good officer, that he contributed to the war effort, etc. No one says that we couldn't have won it without him.
    He was exonerated at the Naval Court of Inquiry, for his responsibility to defend the Naval Base Pearl Harbor. That was always the responsibility of COM 14 ND, though. It's an issue of trust.
     
  10. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    As my post about options outlines, the failing which ensured disaster was poor leadership excercised by Short and Kimmel. The defensive mission inherent to Oahu required deep coordination between the army and navy, and combining the efforts of different force structures within each branch. The staffs had to determine what efforts they could sustain and work together. They did not. The fault for that is Kimmel’s and Short’s.
    .

    .
    One of which was destroyed in the surface bombardment conducted by two Japanese destroyers. And the decision to place a small PBY force on an outlying island while at the same time choking Oahu of resources was...Kimmel’s?
    .

    .
    Kimmel had the means and the authority to arrange a satisfactory defensive mission. He chose not to do so. The method by which he elected to gamble that the Japanese would not attack is not interesting. Kimmel, not Bloch, was responsible for the destruction of two PATWINGS at Pearl Harbor. As such Bloch, not Kimmel, continued to serve through the war.
    .
    I feel sorry for Short and draw a sharp distinction between the two disgraced commanders. Short may have been treated unfairly. Kimmel fully got what he deserved. Admirals such as Pye, Fletcher, Ghormley and others were later forced out of their commands for far less reasons than was Kimmel. To imagine that King would cashier Fletcher (6 IJN carriers sunk) in 1942 but protect Kimmel, whose arrangements were incompetent, is to defy any understanding of what the US Navy under King actually was.
     
  11. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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  12. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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  13. OpanaPointer

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

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    Still waiting for a reason why he didn't ask for that court-martial.
     
  14. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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    OP,
    In Admiral Kimmel's own words written in 1966.
    Regards,
    tk


    "About the middle of February, 1944 Captain Laurance Safford came to my office in New York. I had known Safford only slightly but he had my respect and admiration because he was tops in his chosen field cryptoanalysis.

    "Safford told me that when Congress was demanding my court-martial he went to the secret files to refresh his memory as he expected to be called as a witness. It was then he found for the first time that intercepted Japanese messages which had been decoded in the Navy and war Departments had not been supplied to me. He had been one of my severest critics because he felt that with the information in the Navy Department which he thought had been supplied to me I should have known the, Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor.

    "He then proceeded to give me verbally the gist of the various messages that had been denied me and in particular the fourteen-part message. I had a pad and pencil and tried to record everything he told me. This was news indeed and played a vital part in our obtaining copies of the messages through their presentation to the Navy Court of Inquiry.

    "I took my penciled notes to Rugg [Kimmel's attorney] and he agreed they were of the greatest importance.

    "I urged the Navy Department to take steps to preserve testimony of officers serving in the war zone and wrote several letters myself. As a result of our campaign, the Navy Department ordered an investigation be conducted by Admiral Hart. However, the Navy Department placed such stipulations on my taking an active part in the investigation that on advice of my counsel I refused to take part in the investigation. I did this with regret but I felt I must preserve my freedom of action at all costs.

    "Admiral Hart's investigation was of the greatest value as I found much later.

    "Rugg handled the political angle and at the urging of Senator David Walsh, Senator Weeks, both of Massachusetts, Senator Wheeler, of Montana, and many others, the Congress in the early summer of 1944 directed the Chief Executive to conduct an investigation of Pearl Harbor.

    "Mr. Roosevelt's answer was to order the [FONT=&quot]Naval Court of Inquiry[/FONT] and the [FONT=&quot]Army Board of Investigation[/FONT].

    "When I arrived in Washington for this investigation, I went to the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Admiral King, and requested authority to send Captain Lavender to the secret files to search for material bearing on Pearl Harbor.

    "King said, "Mr. Knox promised you access to all the files in the Navy Department so I see no reason to refuse." Secretary Knox had died a few months prior to this time and Secretary Forrestal, the then Secretary, was out of town.

    "That same afternoon I sent Captain Lavender to the secret file room. He selected some forty odd messages and had them copied that same afternoon. He was required to turn these processed messages over to the office of Naval Communications. The fact that a junior member of my former staff was in charge of the secret file room helped materially.

    "That evening Rugg, Hanify, Lavender and I had dinner at the Willard Hotel, and Lavender stated he had found the messages described by Safford and many more. This was good news indeed. Up to this time we had only Safford's unsupported word that such messages existed.

    "When the [FONT=&quot]Naval Court of Inquiry[/FONT] convened, I was made an interested party with the right to have my counsel present during all proceedings, to cross-examine witnesses and to introduce witnesses.

    "As the proceedings progressed, I repeated my request to have the secret messages delivered to me or to the Court. I finally wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Navy requesting in writing that these messages be delivered to me.

    "After several days I was informed that my letter had been lost.

    "In the meanwhile I heard by the grapevine that General McNarny, the then Assistant Chief of Staff of the Army, had telephoned the Chief of Naval Communications and said Mr. Roosevelt had ordered that none of these messages be revealed to anyone. When the Chief of Naval Communications replied he had received no such instructions, McNarny replied he meant such an order should be issued.

    "When I was informed that, my letter requesting the secret messages had been lost, I wrote a second letter stating I had been informed my letter had been lost and repeated my request for the messages.

    "I took this letter personally to the Office of the Secretary and delivered it to Admiral Edwards, the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations.

    "I said to Edwards in substance--"Here is another request for the secret messages and you can tell those so-and-so's in the Secretary's Office it won't do them a bit of good to lose my letters for from this day forth I will write a letter every day until I get a reply."

    "My voice carries when I am worked up and everyone within a radius of a hundred feet heard me. Whereupon a clerk on the run appeared and said to Edwards, "Admiral, here is the letter."

    "This was on Friday and the next session of the [FONT=&quot]Court of Inquiry[/FONT] was on Monday when the secret messages were presented to the Court by Captain Schnirman.

    "I will never forget the look of surprise, amazement and shock depicted on the faces of the members of the Court as these messages were read and the members of the Court realized all this information had been denied to General Short and to me.

    "The proceedings of the [FONT=&quot]Naval Court[/FONT] were drawing to a close when I appeared as a witness before the [FONT=&quot]Army Board of Investigation[/FONT]. I understood I was to be the last witness.

    "The [FONT=&quot]Board[/FONT] examined me at length. Then came the standard last question: Admiral, is there any other matter you can bring to the attention of the Court?

    "I replied, "Yes, there is," and read them a statement I had prepared setting forth the existence of the secret messages which had been received in the war and Navy Departments and which had never in any form been supplied to General Short and me.

    "As I read the statement, one could have heard a pin drop. When I concluded, General Grunert, the president, said we had heard some such rumors but have had no testimony to support them.



    "General Russell put his head in his hand, then looked up and said, "Admiral, will you give me the source of this testimony?" My reply was I will be pleased to do so.

    "I never heard from General Russell but the [FONT=&quot]Army Board[/FONT] then proceeded to go thoroughly into the matter recalling witnesses and taking extensive testimony. [See Russell's book, Pearl Harbor Story, written in 1946, published in 2002.]

    "According to the grapevine, General Marshall was much upset at this development and castigated the Board for having admitted such testimony. [See my website for Russell's comments on Marshall's mendacity before the APHB]

    "The two investigations completed their work in September. Rugg told my wife I had been completely exonerated. We then waited for the publication of the findings. About six weeks later the press carried the endorsements by Admiral King and Secretary Forrestal. These were noncommittal and left me exactly where I was before the investigations.

    "However, Admiral Murfin, the president of [FONT=&quot]the Naval Court[/FONT], told Captain Lavender the [FONT=&quot]Court [/FONT]had found Kimmel had done everything possible under the circumstances. With the public, however, I was left in the same position that I had been before the investigations were ordered.

    "In December 1944 I had an interview with Admiral King in his office in Washington. Among other things, King told me when the President saw the record of the two investigations, "He was fit to be tied!"

    "In addition to Rugg and Lavender, the Navy Department detailed Lieutenant Edward B. Hanify and Ensign Phelan to assist me. Admiral Yarnell also assisted with his wide knowledge of Naval and Public Affairs.

    "Hanify's work was outstanding. Admiral Yarnell was on the retired list but had been ordered to active duty in the Navy Department. At the conclusion of the proceedings of the [FONT=&quot]Naval Court or Inquiry[/FONT], Admiral Yarnell was unceremoniously relieved or duty and practically thrown out of his office. When I expressed my regret that his assistance to me had caused his relief, his reply was, 'If that is the reason, I am proud to be relieved.' Admiral Yarnell continued to assist me and took part in the Joint Congressional Committee Investigations which were to begin about a year later.

    "So the matter stood, until Rugg with his political associates started an agitation for a Congressional investigation where the charges and evidence would be open to the public. While this campaign was under way, I spotted an obscure item in the [FONT=&quot]New York Herald Tribune[/FONT] stating that a bill had been introduced in the Senate to prohibit the publication at any time of any matter that had been sent or received by the Government in secret code. I telephoned Rugg immediately and left my apartment in Bronxville, New York for Washington.

    "I found that both the War and Navy Departments had sent identical bills to the Chairman or the Senate and House Service Committees for introduction in the Congress. This in mid-March, 1945.

    "While I was running down this information, I received a telephone call from Rugg informing me the bill had been passed by the Senate and sent to the House. I was desperate, for if this bill became a law the American people would never learn the truth about Pearl Harbor. I telephoned various members of the Senate and the House whom I knew to inform them of the situation. I also called the publisher of [FONT=&quot]The Washington Post[/FONT], Eugene Meyer, to whom I had been introduced by Admiral Harris who some time previously had brought him to my office where we had a pleasant conversation.

    "When I reached Meyer's office he had two of his top writers, and the four of us had an interview in which I told them of the situation and the fact that if this legislation passed the House and was signed by the President the American people would never know the truth about Pearl Harbor.

    "The next morning great headlines in [FONT=&quot]the Post[/FONT] raised the alarm. The [FONT=&quot]Times Herald[/FONT] had also been alerted by [FONT=&quot]the Post[/FONT] and no member of the Congress could be left in doubt. This publicity in Washington gave us a breathing spell and with Rugg in Washington we made the most of it. Rugg wrote speeches for our friends in Congress and the bill was defeated. I have wondered always if we would have been successful if Franklin Roosevelt had not died on April 12, 1945.

    "This publicity in Washington was matched by the Boston and New York papers who had been alerted by Rugg.

    "This bill had been introduced in the Senate and passed on the same day. This was made possible by the absence of Senator Ferguson from Washington who was away on official business.

    "With this hurdle passed, we pressed for a Congressional investigation as the only manner we could see to divulge the facts to the people.

    "In 1945 the Congress convened in September. The day before the Congress was due to convene, Senator Ferguson went to Senator Alben Barkley and stated, "When the Congress convenes tomorrow, I shall introduce a bill for a joint Congressional investigation of Pearl Harbor. Will you support such a statement?" Barkley's reply was, "I will not."

    "The next day as soon as the convening preliminaries of the Senate were completed, Barkley was on his feet and proposed a joint Congressional investigation of Pearl Harbor and suggested the proposal be referred to a committee.

    "Ferguson, however, was on his feet at once and demanded a vote. In this, Ferguson received wide support and the order for a Congressional investigation was passed by an overwhelming vote. When put to vote in the House, it received almost unanimous support. Barkley's strategy, which Ferguson killed, was to refer the motion for an investigation to a committee where it could be quietly killed.

    "As soon as the vote was recorded by the Congress, the Secretary of the Navy offered to give me the court-martial which I had requested two years before. I declined as this offer was an obvious attempt to divert my energies and those of my staff from the Congressional investigation (emphasis added).

    "With the Congressional investigation, all the secret messages were placed before the public and are now contained in the thirty-nine volumes which record the proceedings and findings of the [FONT=&quot]Congressional Investigation[/FONT], of the Army [FONT=&quot]Board of Investigation[/FONT], of the [FONT=&quot]Roberts Report[/FONT], of the [FONT=&quot]Navy Court of Inquiry[/FONT], of the [FONT=&quot]Clausen Investigation[/FONT] and the [FONT=&quot]Hewitt Investigation[/FONT].

    "At long last the American people had access to the facts upon which are based my book, Theobald's book and a host of others."
     
  15. OpanaPointer

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

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    You still haven't said why he never asked for that courtmartial, just why he didn't ask for it at that time. He lived quite a few years after the war, and never accepted the challenge. There must be a reason.
     
  16. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Tom, are you any relation to Husband Kimmel?

    I have always believed that Kimmel and Short were true scapegoats...somebody, inevitably, had to be blamed.

    Washington has already exonerated these two men. Short of breaking codes, nothing was going to stand in the way of Yamammoto and Co. I have posted an article called "Myths of the Pearl Harbour Attack" (Exploded) written by Adm. Hart's legal representative. He scoffed at the blame game played out against Kimmel and Short, and put to rest the Conspiracy myth at the same time.

    Good enough for me...

    I will admit here and now that i was among those daydreamers who saw Roosevelt as a conspiritor, decietfully withholding information from his Navy advisers and staff in the name of bringing the US into WW2 as defenders, rather than as aggressors. People on other websites set me straight on that score. I had been duped by James Rusbridger and Eric Nave's book "Betrayal At Pearl Harbour", and it took a lot of personal soul searching to swallow my pride and admit that I was the one that had the incorrect impression.

    History is like that, though, blowing away your preconceived ideas with plain facts. Thats why it's such a fascinating field of study.
     
  17. OpanaPointer

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

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    V.B., at age 14 I had a trusted adult tell me about the conspiracy and it took years of research for me to get things straight. Now I just ask "whatcha got" when people tell me about a conspiracy. Anything that isn't made up of whole cloth has probably been debunked already. And for the blame game, I don't care one way or the other, I'm more interested in facts than in urination contests.
     
  18. ULITHI

    ULITHI Ace

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    Not on a factual level, but I have always told people, especially those who try to tie the conspiracy theory to Roosevelt, that it it is hogwash, because FDR used to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy. I think he even attended the launch ceremony of the Arizona in 1915.

    I find it hard to believe that a man that did so much for the U.S. Navy, and loved sea life in general (with his sailing), would sacrifice the fleet and the men like that.
     
  19. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    There was a cute joke about FDR's love of the Navy, and his cold attitude toward the other services. Now, understand it is a joke and not based on any known actual conversation between himself and Gen. Marshall.

    Marshall: Mr. President, I have a simple request to make.

    FDR: Go ahead General, you know how much I value you as my Chief of Staff.

    Marshall: I also understand how much you love the Navy Sir, but would you mind in the future, when referring to the Navy and the Army budgets and budgeting, to not call the Army "them", and the Navy "us"?
     
  20. TOM KIMMEL

    TOM KIMMEL Member

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