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The Reality Of Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by Panzerknacker, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Yes-the attack on Pearl Harbor was a crushing morale blow to the US, and the loss of 3000 US Personnel was a tragic loss, along with the loss of key naval vessels, but truly, given the United States' supreme ability to build ships quickly, and by looking at US Naval capabilities-say 1944-45, wasn't Pearl Harbor merely a setback-rather than an immense crushing blow that the wider world perceived it to be...
     
  2. grampas girl

    grampas girl Member

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    In sense, you might be right.

    It's even debated whether the US actually knew Japan was coming and let it happen in order to enter the war from a politically "correct" standpoint since nuetrality and peace thinking was so strong in the US at the time. To move into war without direct personal reason "could have been political suicide." Now that I wrote that I'll be skewered becuase it's not a popular viewpoint. I just write it for conversation sake, I guess.

    However, I believe personally, the "crushing blow" was the sense of loss of 3,000 men. We certainly did recover relatively quickly in military and action, but the wounds of that many deaths has been felt around the US until and even after our own 9/11 last September. Pearl was the centering force in bringing hte USA into a "one mind" mentality as far as moving forward into the war. I would be curious to know if anyone knows of specific "peace cryers" in th US after Pearl. I've not heard of any, unlike Vietnam. I htink the general consensus was a pulling together to fight back.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hmmm, yes I´ve for a long time wondered on the question why the Japs never made "the third wave" as many know that the destruction was not complete by then even though a huge success?!

    AGAINST:

    Kusaka ( chief of staff, Rear Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka ) later told Genda ( Commander Minoru Genda, who had shaped the air attack plan )that they had decided at the start of the operation not to carry out any follow-up strikes.

    Spectacular results convinced Nagumo ( Vice Admiral Nagumo ) and Kusaka that all objectives had been met.US Pacific Fleet had been put out of action for six months (???)

    Any further ( the third etc ) strikes could not be launched until aircraft had been re-fuelled and re-armed and aircrews briefed which would have resulted in dangerous night flights and landings in worsening weather.

    Nagumo feared a counter-attack by the US land-based aircraft still operational and those units of the Pacific Fleet, including up to five aircraft carriers, not present at Pearl Harbor, the positions of which were unknown.

    US submarines would be seeking out the task force.

    Most important remaining duty was to return his own six aircraft carriers, the only ones the Japanese possessed, safely home.

    C-in-C, who did not yet know the extent of Japanese losses, decided to leave the decision to Nagumo, whose cautious nature was well known.

    FOR:

    There were still many significant targets worthy of attack. There was a complete infrastructure of dockyard installations, fuel storage tanks, power station and ship repair and maintenance facilities which supported the US Pacific Fleet and without which its rebuilding would have been impossible.

    Also plenty of vessels not touched in the first assaults.

    News of the original raid might have brought the American aircraft carriers back within range of attack.

    Only three ships were total losses, the battleships Arizona and Oklahoma and the target ship Utah. Every other damaged ship was repaired and returned to service at some point during the war!!!

    SOOOO...

    The Japanese failure to destroy the base infrastructure and the American carriers ultimately turned Pearl Harbor into a strategic defeat.
    Had its indispensable support facilities been destroyed too, the fleet would have been forced to retreat to harbours on the American west coast, 2,200 miles further away from Japanese operations.

    http://www.iwm.org.uk/online/pearl_harbour/ph_approach.htm

    :confused: :eek:

    [ 14. November 2002, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Kai-Petri ]
     
  4. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    The Japanese knew they no longer had surprise and the admirals did not want to risk increasing losses in airpower.
     
  5. vonManstein39

    vonManstein39 Member

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    Nagumo was always cautious and wasn't really a carrier admiral originally - he was a cruiser man.

    Yamamoto should have commanded the Pearl Harbor strike force personally, and left Nagumo to run the rest of the fleet until he got back. Yamamoto was the only one who really believed in the attack, as he had devised it, and the only one who really appreciated the true strength of the USA.

    Had he done so, he may well have chosen to continue the attack - he was a gambler by nature and unafraid to take great risks.

    There wasn't much Yamamoto could have done about US submarines, except tell the destroyers to watch out, but since nearly all the US fighters had been destroyed on Oahu, he could have sent out further strike waves with only minimal Zero escort, keeping most of his fighters to defend the fleet against a US carrier strike. With six carriers in the Japanese fleet, he certainly had enough Zeros to fight off any US carrier strike.

    (The US carriers in the Pacific in 1941 were in single task forces, not grouped together as they were at Midway.)

    Sending out Japanese search planes in all directions would have almost certainly discovered the Enterprise (she was very close), and she too would have been sunk.

    If every US warship in Pearl Harbor had been destroyed along with all the oil tanks and some of the dock facilities, and the Enterprise sunk as well, then the loss of one Japanese carrier to a submarine attack would have been worth it.

    A blow like that would have put the US fleet out of action for at least six months, maybe longer - preventing both the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and the Battle of Coral Sea. Without Coral Sea, New Guinea would have fallen.

    And the Japanese would have won the Battle of Midway if they'd have had five carriers present instead of four, and if the Americans had only two carriers instead of three.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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