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The "Just Let It Happen" school.

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by OpanaPointer, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Very good book and should be required reading for anyone interested in Midway. The extensive use of Japanese sources are particuarly note worthy. It does completely refute the common picture of the Japanese carrier decks being full of airplanes when the US dive bombers hit. Both authers have a presence on the web and they have posted some additional info and corrections.

    Glenn,
    What do you consider their biases and how do you think it affected the narative? Response probably should have a thread of it's own on the book page.
     
  2. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    Thanks for the effort that you went through on the Avalon Project. Did this turn into a "Pearls Before Swine" moment?!?!

    Whether FDR knew the details concerning the meeting between Hitler and Matsuoka is inconsequential. Some can draw an inference that this is proof of a nefarious FDR plot. Namely, that FDR was prodding the Japanese into a war, so that FDR could get at Hitler. Historically, it appears just the reverse. Hitler is prodding the Japanese into a war, so that the Reich could get at the States. I simply find it interesting that Hitler is doing for FDR, what Conspiracists could only subscribe to existing somewhere in the dark recesses of FDR's brain.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

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

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    I would like to have a chat with the folks in charge of that project, that's all.
    Just wondering if you knew of a source that indicated FDR did know about it. Thanks for the reply.

    As for the CTistas: I'm reminded of Burke's "Connections" TV program. Evidently "connection" for him was "it happened on the same planet."
     
  4. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Part of the problem with the JLIH is that nobody considers the Japanese. Nomura thought that the Americans genuinely wanted peace with Japan. He pleaded with his superiors to come to some sort of agreement. I might have to look it up, but I remember Nomura attending a unofficial dinner meeting meeting with Hull, and essentially finding a common ground in which to build upon. He was then rebuked by his superiors in Tokyo for overstepping his authority. Japan simply did not want peace.
     
  5. Glenn239

    Glenn239 Member

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    The author’s tendency to find the worst possible explanation for a particular Japanese failing and then champion it. For example, they neglect altogether to mention to the reader that an important reason why Nagumo did not launch a hasty strike before 0830AM was that the initial sighting report put the US CV’s at over 200nm distant from Kido Butai, far out of range of US fighters. One would not be unreasonable for suspecting that they omit this tactical error because it interfered with their thesis of dogmatic Japanese doctrine.



    Not sure what the problem was then. Put Chinese talks on ice for a few years and permit Japan to import, say, 2 million tons of oil in 1942 to cover consumption. Make it clear that Japan has to get out of Indo, but also assure Tokyo at the same time a period of grace would be given to allow them to save face. Then, spool up and obliterate Hitler’s Germany while Japan watches on in horror. By 1943 the Japanese would have no illusions about the outcome to the war in Europe and would capitulate to Hull’s demands.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

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

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    He actually made a last ditch effort to get the parties talking in person. He proposed a meeting of the heads of state.

    Who: Tojo and FDR.
    Where: Honolulu.
    When: Dec. 8th, 1941.

    This is, I feel, the very definition of "out of the loop."
     
  7. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I think both of these posts make important points. The parts I put in bold print are the essence of historiography. It is only by examining primary sources that we can make any kind of judgments about historical events. If new sources are discovered that contradict "conventional wisdom", then it can lead to an important revision of our understanding of those events. Taking only selected portions of those sources, or claiming to have unnamed and unknown documentation is intellectually dishonest. The problem arises in interpreting those primary sources, whether they be letters, diaries, or official documents. Looking back 70 years, we lack the context in which they were produced. It is all too easy for the historian to project his own preconceived ideas on them, and create an erroneous conclusion. It's important to look at newly discovered sources and see how they fit with what has been known, then try to create situations in which all of the data fit.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

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

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    My decision to become more of an archivist than a conventional historian stems from the requirement to "condense" material in order to make a book of a workable size. You have to leave so much out to do that.
     

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