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What could Kimmell and Short have done with out knowledge

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by steverodgers801, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    This is not about fault or guilt. I was just wondering what Kimmel could have done to avoid being held responsible for Pearl. One thing I thought of is properly manning the information center instead of having a warm body. The obvious one for Short is not preparing for a sabotage attack
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Preparing for sabotage was actually quite reasonable. It was the rather extreme precautions for sabotage that hurt combined with the failure to consider any thing else.

    Sub attacks should have been a consideration at the very least and given the number of aircraft in the respective services handing off the near shore searches to the Army and allowing the Navy to concentrate on ones further afield may have had some pay off.

    Going to a high readiness state 7 days a week would also have helped.
     
  3. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    Better control of the media would have helped. You don't want the media doing any battle damage assessment for the enemy. Or giving the enemy info
    on what ships and planes, you still have to defend the harbor and surrounding air bases.
     
  4. dna

    dna New Member

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    The problem for the 2 leaders was that, after years of peacetime planning, they could only imagine a war that would start slowly (submarines, sabotage and raiders) and build up to a final do-or-die battle. Meanwhile, the Japanese were in a long war with China. They were fully immersed in combat and moving at full speed. Still if, after receiving the "War Warning," the leaders had agreed that 1) the fleet would never be docked nose-to-tail in the harbor, unless fighter squadrons and search aircraft were in the air (not parked wing tip-to-wing tip), 2) the air control system was important enough to immediately complete the communications to the radar stations and for the control center to be manned every morning from dawn to noon and 3) that it was time to ignore the complaints of Ordinance and store ready ammunition at AA guns that were manned until noon each day. Those 3 things would have likely saved hundreds of lives and cost the Japanese far more dearly. It also might have saved their careers because it was the public appearance that they had magnified the US losses that did them in.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I will check in later.
     
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  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Japanese had planned for years to fight the One Great All-Out Battle, and assumed the USN would be nice enough to follow their script. However, Rainbow-5 had written off the Western Pacific, as far as any serious efforts were concerned, until after Germany was defeated.

    The US Fleet was on banker's hours, as such a fat, sweet target it was. Kimmel should have kept his ships at sea more than in port, which he largely did, but he should have also remembered the cardinal rule, "Don't be predictable." Takeo Yoshikawa told the Kaisho that a large portion of the Fleet was always in port on the weekends. They had been doing this long enough to establish a baseball league!

    Concur on the AIC, the Public Works officer was reluctant to let this new toy out of his control, meaning the people that would man and operate it weren't allowed to decide when it could be used for training.
     
  8. dna

    dna New Member

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    That was exactly their mental error. Even a war warning didn't break them out of their peacetime mentality to change their way of doing business. That's the reason they were both replaced. The public could see that the actions were doing on December 8 - meaning long range searches, CAP, all AA guns manned and armed - could have been done on December 7, but weren't, for no good reason.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Alert-fatigue was a danger, the troops can't be kept on the alert level they were on that Monday for long before things just start going sideways. The amount of time for that to happen requires a lot of variable be determined, but IIRC the commands on Oahu were well below "all out" alert status before the next Friday. No where near as relaxed as they were on the 6th, but at what was considered a sustainable alert level, with a very much shorter fuze of course.
     
  10. Rantalith

    Rantalith Member

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    On thing most people are forgetting....and that is most staff plans for the previous war, then do not plan for what might happen. It was really bad then and is somewhat that bad now.

    Being on alert for extended periods of time would have done nothing but made people get bored and ignore things. Also you are forgetting that radar was fairly new. The US got it from the British and were still not sure of what it could and could not do effectively. Why it was not manned all the time or had a direct link to HQ.

    There was not enough money allotted to keep most of the ships at sea for a long period of time. Remember those ships burned a LOT of fuel oil.

    As far as the planes and ships parked wing tip to wing tip or nose to tail or side by side, those were huge mistakes. But hindsight is always 20/20. They were more concerned about the locals doing things than the Japanese.

    Just my input
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    WPL-46/Plan Dog/Rainbow-5 revamped US thinking about the whole world. So we didn't have that problem in this time period.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I believe that Kimmel was busy planning how he was going to fight the coming war and was mostly leaving the defenses to Short.


    You're getting ahead of yourself. AFAIK, the US long-wave radars, the Navy's CXAM & Army's SCR-268 and SCR-270, were all home-grown. It was the Cavity Magnetron that we got from the British, and that opened up the short-band radars - these had previously proven uneconomical to develop.

    That being said, the radars were still new and essentially untried.
     
  13. Rantalith

    Rantalith Member

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    You are probably correct in that I am getting ahead of myself. The point I was making is that radar was fairly new and there were a lot of people who did not trust it.
     
  14. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    One thing, land-based defenses were the Army's responsibility, so it would have been Short and his staff making decisions about manning the radars and the information center. The importance of radar was recognized, but to be fully effective it needed to be integrated into an air defense system which was still being developed; the men on duty that morning had been told that they were there mainly for training and familiarization. Lieutenant Tyler might have reacted differently if his job had been described to him as protecting Oahu from potential attack. Of course if senior command saw things that way, a lone junior officer probably wouldn't have been in charge of the info center.
     
  15. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    What Kimmel needed was proper intelligence. Layton and Rochfort were screaming for the intercepts that Washington had, but refused to send them. Layton even went as far as using the Old Boy Network in an attempt to get the Japanese diplomatic intercepts, but was told that ONI would decide what Layton got to see, and none of it was the diplomatic messages. Frankly, the elephant in the room that even Nimitz acknowledged, was that if they had done things differently, the damage would have been far greater. If the fleet sortied looking for the Combined fleet (remember, no covering air power from carriers. They were elsewhere.) it's extremely likely they'd have been sunk in deep water, no chance for salvage. If the fighters were up, many pilots with no knowledge of tactics against the A6M would probably have been killed, instead of sitting on the ground alive to fight another day. I believe it was Nimitz who said the damage at Pearl Harbor was cheap at half the price.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Diplomatic intercepts weren't important for the military.
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    Certainly mistakes were made by Kimmel and Short, then again they were also made by the Japanese as well. The crux of the matter in my humble opinion comes down to pride. Then as now we American's have trouble accepting that our adversaries were bolder, cleverer and more determined than we in the opening stages of the war. This was equally true in the opening stages of the European war.

    The common denominator in this seems to be the nature of democracies and republic's. Risk aversion and complacency is one of the down sides to governments of the people, for the people and by the people.
     
  18. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    That was ONI's opinion. Layton differed in his opinion.
     
  19. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yeah, And I Was There is a fun read. But Op-20-G and S.I.S. did the hard work, and Layton chose to ignore the fact that there was no military intelligence in the Purple code decrypts.

    But tell me, have you read the Magic?
     
  20. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Layton conveniently skips over pertinent information at times.
     

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