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Pearl Harbor Conspiracy?

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor Conspiracy Theories' started by broke91hatch, Apr 16, 2008.

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  1. broke91hatch

    broke91hatch Member

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  2. Matthew

    Matthew Member

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    I didn't have time to read all of that but there sure are a lot of interesting facts. I'm now starting to believe that the president might have known about the attack before it occured.
     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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  4. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Sorry, but I don't see anything new here.

    It has always been accepted that:

    1. The US knew the Japanese were going to attack us. Most of the top commanders believed the attack was going to be in the south, few seriously believed the attack would be in Pearl Harbor. It's well known that a few stratigists believed PH could be the target, but it's equally well known that they were in a minority. The Navy was still dominated by "gun club" commanders. They firmly believed that the US Navy could not pull off a major attack 5,000 miles from base, and they also were convinced that the Japanese were inferior to us.

    2. The intellegence received from the broken Japanese naval code was mishandled by commanders in Washington. The conspiracy nuts always want to paint this as intentional, but there just isn't any evidence to believe that it wasn't anything but incompetence, in many cases due to the naval doctrines mentioned in 1.

    3. FDR was resigned to the fact that we were going to war with the Japananese sooner or later, in At Dawn We Slept it was pointed out that he was overheard saying something to the effect that if he had known the Japanese were going to beat us so badly he would have babied them along a little longer. Now it would be reasonable to conclude that this showed he knew the Japanese were going to attack us in advance, and that he was pushing them to attack at that point in time, but I don't think you can necessarily conclude that it meant he knew we were going to be attacked at PH, or that he was forcing Japan's hand in going to war with the US.

    Japan sealed it's own fate. War between the US and Japan was initiated completely by Japan. they did it with their eyes fully open. They wanted Asia for Asians an they wanted hegemony over Asia. To say that FDR was responsible for war with Japan is just plain ridiculous.
     
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  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Agreed. Inevitibly, the US would have been involved in the war. The U-boats would have caused another Lusitania at some point. There is no way the US could have stayed out of the war.
     
  6. domherr

    domherr Member

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    its a old Feldmütze

    welcome to the best busineSS :D

    littele war -->

    look on the WK 1 ... same

    :)mad:)
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Personally I think the shallow water in PH was the reason it was believed the ships were safe. But like we´ve seen during WW2 and other wars it´s exactly then when you least expect that the most damaging attacks take place. Never ever let your guard down...
     
  8. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    That's exactly the ages old problem. We might aspire to never letting our guard down BUT it's always the new unforeseen threat that overcomes that overcomes that guard. In the Pearl attack, it's not exactly unforeseen. It's been foreshadowed by the British attack on Taranto, which the Japanese did study. The problem was that some US officers knew about this too but their views were dismissed.
    The Pearl Harbor attack, I think, is a case study of an intelligence problem. Intelligence had indicated that Japan will attack and senior US officials knew this. But if the intelligence gained is fully relayed to the full organization, it would reveal to Japan that their codes were compromised. A balance needed to be gained in this situation but unfortunately for the US, circumstance caused it to slip and lose balance.
    Personally, I still don't believe that there was a conspiracy at all about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
     
  9. AnywhereAnytime

    AnywhereAnytime Member

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    Good day. My 2 cents...

    I think the conspiracy theory is for those who couldn't admit that the US was caught with its pants down in Pearl Harbor due to bad luck and incompetence. No we're too good for that. There must have been a conspiracy.

    The main argument being FDR wanted the US to unite and go to war so he let the Japanese bomb PH. Well all the Japanese needed to do was to attack a US interest and bingo the US would be at war. It didn't have to be the complete surprise behind-wupping in Pearl that it turned out to be. They could have been ready and they could have successfully defended themselves and the US would still get into war.

    There was no conspiracy. Incompetence maybe. A bit of superiority complex, sure. Bad luck and miscalculations, definitely.
     
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  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Most of the conspiracists aren't really chest beating US nationalists. They are usually part of the groups that think the governments of the world are run by a cabal and are out to stick to the common man and that everything that is done is part of some big master plan for this cabal to get or hold on control.

    You'll get no argument from me on that.
     
  11. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Incompetence is a tough word, both Short & Kimmel had long records as competent officers. But, they were warned repeatedly of the possibility of war. They did know the general capabilities of the Japanese. ie: submarines infiltrating the harbor channel; the Japanese fleet sorting east to strike our fleet. Such events had been repeatedly entered into the USN wargames during the 1920s & 1930s. So was not that the USN did not believe such things possible. Short & Kimmel had also recieved orders to prepare for war and stand at full alert, in late November. Still their command was caught hungover on a weekend, with junior officers at key command posts, inadaquate reconissance available....

    The torpedo question is silly. It had been clearly demostrated several times in the 1920s & 1930s what aircraft bombs could do to a anchored warship. For a decade the USN had been developing dive bomber tactics to use against armored warships, and we knew the Japanese were working at similar capabilities. In any case torpedos would not be used against the machine shops, oil tanks, drydocks, aircraft, ect... Claiming that lack of knowledge of torpedo capability in shallow water decived anyone about the possibility of a attack sounds stupid.

    Of course MacAurthur had eight or nine hours warning and his bombers were whacked on the ground, interceptors on patrol at the wrong location and with ineffective communications, key reconissance missions delayed, and planned airstrikes dithered over. I that case both Mac & his air commander Bereton were retained in command and allowed even greater opportunities.
     
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  12. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    To me, Mac represents a very low point in US general officers.
     
  13. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    Tough call

    Either you're a paranoid war monger wasting the budget on unnecessary defense, a hard ass C-O running drills perceived as punishment, a paid off toady who'll let your command get wiped out in order to save a promotion or career, a game board Fuhrer clueless as to the enemies weapons and capabilities (that you didn't read in the rules)(printed 2 decades prior), or a complete fool unworthy of being elected dog-catcher.

    Not the same "handle" for any one individual. Perhaps a too long chain of command extending all the way from the Philippines to Washington DC?

    "Too many Chiefs not enough Indians." :confused:
     
  14. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    I'd have to agree with you. His behavior up through the first world war was that of a worthy, gallant soldier, however since that point one is hard pressed to find many positive accomplishments. IMO the negatives far outweigh the positives.
     
  15. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Macarthur is not perfect but I have to disagree when you say "one is hard pressed to find many positive accomplishments."
    First off (though this is not World War II) is the Inchon landing. Almost to a man, ranking officers told Macarthur that such an amphibious operation is not feasible and cited many practical reasons. Macarthur said that those very reasons mean that the North Koreans would also not consider that the UN would attempt a landing in Inchon. The operation was carried out and Macarthur was right.
    Buna: It was a bloody and gruesome fight, many casualties. It taught Macarthur a lesson and from that developed the island hopping strategy.
    Correct me if I am wrong but I do remember reading some years ago that after Buna Macarthur had the least casualty ratio among major US commanders.
    I don't know about you guys but in the Philippines, Macarthur is generally viewed in a very positive manner, despite what happened in Clark Field, Bataan and Corregidor.

    That's enough for me about Macarthur because this is, of course, a Pearl Harbor thread.
     
  16. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Agreed. Japan made this choice not FDR
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The US propaganda at the same time claimed the Japanese did not have 3-D vision and could not thus fly their planes and thus not even bomb the ships. Now THAT is silly.

    Propaganda of Japan and the U.S. During WW II

    In one of the most famous, and perhaps most fantastic and blatant misconceptions of the Japanese, historian Arthur Marder thought the Japanese to be inherently inferior, especially in the art of war, for several reasons, one being “because of their eye slits… the Japanese fighter pilots could not shoot straight, and Japanese naval officers could not see in the dark” (65). Captain Vivian from Tokyo said that Japanese were incapable of springing surprise in battle because they have “peculiarly slow brains”....
     
  18. AnywhereAnytime

    AnywhereAnytime Member

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    Yes, that's the "superiority complex" I alluded to that bred a lot of complacency... thus the "incompetence" that may have resulted from this complacency.
     
  19. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    This is funny because the Japanese thought that they possesed superior night vision to the Americans. The major reason why they sought night battles so often.
     
  20. mavfin

    mavfin Member

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    I would have to agree with this. While his faults and vanity, for lack of a better word, in the later war years are well known and documented, from everything I've read, he handled the Occupation of Japan very well. Not something you would have wanted just anyone to take on.
    (Keeping it short. This isn't a DougieMac thread)
    --Mav
     

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