"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pearl Harbor 65 Years On.

My original intention was to mention the 65th anniversary of the bombing of
Pearl Harbor and to let it go at that.

Well that was before I did a bit of research and found what a fascinating story
there was there, I’m still not going to do much more than scratch the surface
there are others far more qualified than I who can tell the whole story.

I watched a re-run (for the umpteenth time) of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" recently
and this sparked my first internet search of the subject, which in turn has led
to this post.

The US Fleet in flames.

One of the most published images from December 7 1941.Arizona burning out of control at right.West Virginia, decks awash sunken at her berth and burning fiercely Tennessee trapped between the two raging fires.

A satellite view of Pearl Harbor clearly showing the vulnerability of the fleet
anchored here in 1941

Battleship Row, one of the tragedies of the raid was the plight of the Tennessee trapped in her mooring by the doomed Arizona and W. Virginia, she had to run her screws at high speed to keep the burning oil from engulfing her.

Admiral Yamamoto.

Imperial Admiral Yamamoto, who conceived, designed and promoted the Pearl harbor attack, cautioned against a war with the United States. Having twice held naval attache positions within the Japanese embassy in the U. S. Capitol, he knew well the industrial strength, material wealth and temperament of the United States. Overruled by his superiors, he dedicated his efforts as Commander in Chief of the Imperial Combined Fleet to a successful attack. Upon completion of the attack he is quoted as saying
"We have awakened a sleeping giant and have instilled in him a terrible resolve".

FDR signing the Declaration of War on December 8th 1941

Exert from President Roosevelt’s speech to Congress Dec. 8th

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
This may even have made the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki more palatable.

This attack on the US fleet inspired a huge groundswell of national anger and pride that America swept into the war in full force

The claims made in the book "Days Of Deceit" are that FDR knew it would take an action such as this to get full public support for America to enter the war and that he at best, ignored warnings and at worst, he orchestrated much of what happened.

An exert from the book reads;

Pearl Harbor was not an accident, a mere failure of American intelligence, or a brilliant Japanese military coup. It was the result of a carefully orchestrated design, originated in the Office of Naval Intelligence. According to a key memorandum, eight actions were taken to make sure America would enter the war by this means. Pearl Harbor was the only way, leading officials felt, to galvanize the reluctant American public into action. This great question of Pearl Harbor--what did we know and when did we know it?--has been argued for years.

This is the "Arizona Memorial" at Pearl Harbor today, a much better insight into it can be had "here" see post # 38

"The only people I care about are
the people in Times Square,
across the street from the theatre,
who can't get close as I come in.
If I had light make-up on,
they'd never see me.
This make-up is for them..."


Kelvin said...

Hello Peter from across the ditch. Thank you for this post. For one who was still a twinkle in his father's eye, I learnt more from this post than I did at school.

Maria said...

I was a six year old at the time of Pearl Harbor, but I still remember the fear and outrage of the adults around me as the announcements came over the radio.

Thanks for this great post. It was an interesting, frightening, and rewarding time.

I am afraid the words of Yamamoto "We have awakened a sleeping giant and have instilled in him a terrible resolve". describe too well, my country in its Iraq struggle.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, Peter.

Rachel said...

This happened before I was born but I have seen many accounts of it on the History Channel. Thanks for the post Peter!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, well I think the Arizona Memorial is prettier even than Marilyn.

Boy howdy that was a long time ago -- and at that I was 11 when it happened.

Jack K. said...

Peter, thank you for your post. It is much more detailed than mine, and I am indebted to you.

Thanks for the link to my photos.

I was only six at the time and was able to go to Hawaii with my father in 1947. It was an interesting experience.

I may have to post something about being a minority in another land. A land that has since become a state.


Judy said...

Peter, I have been to that memorial twice, and it is a very sobering place. Mr. kenju had a basketball coach who had been on a ship there when the harbour got bombed. His stories of how he survived were amazing, and I was proud to know him.

Margaret said...

Hi Peter, my faith in human nature would really hit rock bottom,if I were to believe that warnings were ignored, to allow such terrible suffering to occur.However history does show us that we humans can be very treacherous. I suppose I am naive enough to always want the treachery to be on the side opposite to me.
Cheers Margaret

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Ah, Australia really is our stauchest ally. Thanks Peter the Great.

Jack K. said...

Margaret, indeed, the warnings were dismissed by a duty officer who was on duty for the first time. He mistook the radar warnings for a flight of US aircraft that were due to fly in around that time.

It was a very sad time. I sure wouldn't want to be him. That is some karmic debt.

LZ Blogger said...

Peter ~ I actually went to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial on one of our trips to Oahu. It was a VERY SOMBER yet moving experience for me personally. Thanks for the detail of your post. Glad you enjoyed my latest on Brisbane. Of course, you realize I am a BIG fan of the Land of OZ! ~ G'day mate! ~ jb///

Lee said...

It would appear conspiracy theories have always been around!

The Japanese were very cheeky with their attack on Pearl Harbour.

Meow said...

Great post, Peter. I really didn't know much about this time in history ... history was not one of my favourite subjects !! I believe the memorial is quite beautiful, and very interesting.
Take care, Meow

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~ Good post about a terrible
day in history of the world.
I am with Margaret and would like to think warnings were not deliberately
ignored. The Radar man could have made a genuine mistake.

It is a significent day for me also,
as it is Geoff's birthday and the day
that Sandy died. It is hard to believe that your Alan and Geoff will be 50 next year. Take care, Merle.

Karmyn R said...

I happened across your blog -

My father-in-law served as an allied spy during WWII (he spoke Engligh, German, and Czech). It is always interesting to hear their stories. Thanks for reminding us about the Pearl Harbor anniversary.

Hale McKay said...

My father was at sea aboard the Saratoga with the rest of the carriers. I shudder to wonder if I would be around had he been stationed on one of the battleships.

DellaB said...

Noel is a committed conspiracy theorist, he has long believed the stories about how they 'let' Pearl Harbor - he also believes it happened again on 9/11.
thanks Peter..