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The Attack on Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Powerhouse, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. I dunno. Winston was awfully distracted by what was going on in his own front yard. And remember he was out of power till May of 1940. He claimed to be shocked that no defenses had been built on the north end if Singapore. Why didn't he know? Should he have assumed? One wonders.
    I also suspect that while it may have been militarily correct to give up all of Malaya and Singapore, could Churchill have survived politically if he hadn't put up a fight?
  2. Churchill had a lot of hairbrained ideas and his obsessions cost the British dearly. He was obsessed with the Balkans - something that goes back to Gallipoli; e.g. trying to keep Crete while the war in the Western Desert was the real threat to Britain's survival, and that brilliant play cost the British Tobruk. He also insisted upon the invasion of Italy, which the US was reluctant to do and Churchill originally wanted the invasion of Europe to happen in the Balkans. The Italian Campaign was a huge drain on Allied resources, and apart from two very useful battles in terms of experience of the Allies' conduct of amphibious operations (Sicily and Anzio), it was an attack on a piece of territory that heavily favors the defender. To Roosevelt's great credit, he insisted upon a landing in France, which was the only reasonable course of action. The Italian campaign never really achieved much in terms of bringing down the 3rd Reich and German troops in Italy were still intact and under arms when Germany surrendered in '45. Italy was another of Churchill's schemes. "The soft underbelly of Europe" he called it. Sheesh.

    Re: Signapore- he sent more and more troops there thinking that that would intimidate the Japanese; he also fiddled with the command structure there, sacking the commander in November of '41 and pretty much tried playing the Generalissimo, which he was not. The US knew that the Philippines could only hope to hang on long enough for Plan Orange to get into full swing. The 200,000 British, Australian, Indian and other Empire troops that ended up surrendering at Malaya would have been better used in the march back through Burma. Giving up territory to gain time and marshal resources is a valid military strategem.

    It appears as much as anything that he was more concerned with maintaining an Empire than actually winning the war, sometimes.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  3. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer

    Dec. 3

    Nagumo received the following communication:

    "Combined Fleet Telegraphic Operations Order No. 021730

    December 3, 1941

    To: Commander-in-Chief, Carrier Striking Task Force

    8th December designated as X day.

    Commander-in-Chief, Combined Fleet

    Yamamoto, Isoroku"

    (December 8th local time would be 7th December Hawaii time).
  4. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer

    Dec. 4

    The Japanese ambassador in Berlin asked what the German government's position would be if Japan initiated war against the Allies. Such a possibility was not covered under the Tripartite Pact. Hitler had never been advised of the planned attacks in the Pacific.

    -Japan declared the Netherlands an enemy power and said it would treat the Dutch as if a state of war existed between them.

    -The Japanese Twenty-fifth Army began leaving Hainan Island for the invasion of Malaya and Thailand.
  5. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer

    Dec. 5

    U.S. Naval offices and facilities in Tokyo, Bangkok, Peking, Tientsin, Shanghai, Guam, and Wake were ordered to destroy all but absolutely essential communication codes and secret documents.

    -Japan told Roosevelt it was reinforcing its army units in Indochina because "Chinese troops have recently shown frequent signs of movement along the northern frontier of French Indochina bordering on China."

    -Thailand sought assurances from Britain that if the Thais were attacked by the Japanese London would declare war on Japan immediately.
  6. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer

    Dec. 6

    Roosevelt sent a message to Emperor Hirohito calling on Japan to withdraw its troops from Indochina. He said the large military force there created "a reasonable doubt on the part of other nations that this continuing concentration in Indochina is not defensive in its character. . . . the people of the Philippines, of the hundreds of islands of the East Indies, of Malaya, and of Thailand itself are asking themselves whether these forces of Japan are preparing or intending to make attack in one or more of these many directions."

    -Churchill suggested the Thais defend themselves if attacked and that British aid would be forthcoming. Roosevelt was advised of Churchill's offer and agreed to supply U.S. assistance as well, but neither agreed on an automatic declaration of war.

    -Roosevelt approved research funds for an atomic bomb and a promise of "enormous" resources if the project showed promise.
  7. I'll be thinking of my great Aunt May, also known as Sister Dorothea. An Irish nun who was at a convent on the island and helped with the injured as she was also a trained nurse. I'd love to know more about her, but am struggling to find out any more.
  8. Did she survive? The Japanese did not treat nurses well.

    Not that they treated anyone well, but barbarism towards non combatant medical staff is hard to understand.
  9. My Mum's cousin died on HMS Prince of Wales, so the war in the Pacific had a direct effect on my family's history.
  10. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer

    Dec. 7, 1941

    Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor and other U.S. and British territories and possessions in the Pacific, launching the Pacific war. The major force was directed at the Hawaiian naval base in the hope of delivering a devastating knockout blow to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. U.S. carriers----which would play the major role in the forthcoming battles----were not in port because of a fortuitous decision. U.S. losses at Pearl Harbor were staggering, but the American fleet was not destroyed. Four battleships were lost. All told, 92 navy and 96 army planes were destroyed, 2,334 American servicemen were killed, and 1,347 were wounded. The Japanese lost 28 aircraft, 5 midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men. In a note delivered to Hull at 2:15 P.M. E.S.T., the Japanese said, "Obviously it is the intention of the American Government to conspire with Great Britain and other countries to obstruct Japan's efforts toward the establishment of peace through the creation of a new order in East Asia, and especially to preserve Anglo-American rights and interest by keeping Japan and China at war."



    From Infamy to History:
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  11. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer


    U.S.S. Arizona

    U.S.S. Arizona Memorial
  12. She was at Pearl Harbour Talbot, so yes she survived. I'd love to know more. Will post a photo later.
  13. This is her!

  14. Doublegun

    Doublegun Practically Family

    The Japanese army was undoubtedly one of the most cruel and barbaric of all time. Barbarism toward non combatants? The rape and murder women and children of Nanking, the forced suicides of Japanese citizens on Okinawa come to mind. Japan kicked the wrong dog on December 7th and hell followed thereafter. I pray for those American and allied forces who lost their lives at Pearl and in the war that followed and I will be ever grateful to those who sacrificed in prosecuting the war.
  15. Happened on all sides sadly doublegun. Probably best discussed in another thread (or another forum)
  16. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I think this is the sentiment for today. Other topics deserve their own separate discussion threads.

    "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them..."
  17. EmergencyIan

    EmergencyIan Practically Family

    Remember Pearl Harbor.

    - Ian
  18. kampkatz

    kampkatz Practically Family

    The lesson is simply that all suffer in war, therefore, the only way to win is not to start one(see movie "Wargames" from 1984).
  19. And while we're at it, maybe a thought today or tomorrow for the men who perished on The Prince of Wales, and the Repulse.
  20. Doublegun

    Doublegun Practically Family

    Figured my post would generate at least one typical BS response. Exactly why we should never forget Pearl Harbor without white washing by those who don't want anyone to be offended.

    I'll not take this any further, but only out of respect for those who died on Devember 7th.

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