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  • Pearl Harbor

    i am really getting into the pacific war (from 1900-1943), partly because i am working on an arizona model and need to stay focused gor about a year to finish it. i can jump historical periods (afrika korps, modern, napoleon) with a click of the remote so i need the focus.
    what could have been done differently by the commands at pearl harbor?
    this falls into the realm of alternate history but right into the gernre of the magazine. you are the commander. here is the METT (mission, enemy, terrain, troops available). what do you do?
    Just because you don't understand me doesn't make me an artist.

  • #2
    I don't know if this is true, but according to "Tora Tora Tora" the Americans in D.C. knew about the attack around a day before it happened. However, due to commication errors the message to be on alert arrived after the attack. I think have the message gotten there at least 1 hour before the attack, things would have been very different.
    "If my theory of realitivity is proved true, then France will declare me a citizen of the world and Germany will call me a German. However, if it is proved untrue, then France will call me a German, and Germany a jew."

    -Albert Einstein

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    • #3
      Originally posted by scuud
      I don't know if this is true, but according to "Tora Tora Tora" the Americans in D.C. knew about the attack around a day before it happened. However, due to commication errors the message to be on alert arrived after the attack. I think have the message gotten there at least 1 hour before the attack, things would have been very different.
      There is, I think, sufficent evidence to prove that the United States Government knew it was going to be attacked. There is no evidence with credibility to believe it would be Pearl Harbor.

      That being said; Short and Kimmel were not as proactive as they could be. The War Department and the Navy Department SHOULD have informed Kimmel and Stark of the ultra intercepts. It might have shaken off the complacency that seemed to permeate the entire Far East Command.

      The US was in the "It can't happen here" and "they are inferiours and couldn't do it anyways" mode. Just remember how many people believed that the Germans planned and flew the attack at Pearl Harbor.


      Cheers!



      Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

      "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

      What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Pearl Harbor

        Originally posted by wayne3387
        i am really getting into the pacific war (from 1900-1943), partly because i am working on an arizona model and need to stay focused gor about a year to finish it. i can jump historical periods (afrika korps, modern, napoleon) with a click of the remote so i need the focus.
        what could have been done differently by the commands at pearl harbor?
        this falls into the realm of alternate history but right into the gernre of the magazine. you are the commander. here is the METT (mission, enemy, terrain, troops available). what do you do?
        Have more confidence in radar;

        Be more serious and rational about security (erroneous belief that Peral Harbor was to shallow for torpedoes, and that sabotage was primary threat). These assumptions were partly (regarding ships) and fully (regarding planes) responsible for the great losses;

        Have gone to full alert when Japanese mini-subs were detected and sunk (did they think that all the Japs intended to attack with were mini-subs?);

        Have a plan to strike at carrier forces attacking Pearl Harbor, and;

        Run regular patrol routes in a 180 degree arc from Pearl Harbor.

        No defense is absolute, but the defense plans for Pearl Harbor were woefully inadequate, even negligent.
        Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
        (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by scuud
          I don't know if this is true, but according to "Tora Tora Tora" the Americans in D.C. knew about the attack around a day before it happened. However, due to commication errors the message to be on alert arrived after the attack. I think have the message gotten there at least 1 hour before the attack, things would have been very different.
          In fact, several people, from Congressmen, to military types, to writers, to conspiracy theorists, have alleged that Roosevelt had foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor but sat on it because he needed an excuse to enter the war. I place no faith whatsoever in these allegations
          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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          • #6
            Pearl Harbor could have been stopped...

            I have heard that just before the attacks a newly developed radar station detected the Japs coming towards Pearl Harbor. They radioed into HQ, but HQ told them it was a group of B-17's coming back from a test flight. If they had not though they were B17's Pearl Harbor might have been able to sustain minimal damage.
            Navy Seals- The only easy day was yesterday

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            • #7
              Re: Pearl Harbor could have been stopped...

              Originally posted by NavySeals112
              I have heard that just before the attacks a newly developed radar station detected the Japs coming towards Pearl Harbor. They radioed into HQ, but HQ told them it was a group of B-17's coming back from a test flight. If they had not though they were B17's Pearl Harbor might have been able to sustain minimal damage.
              Actually, it was a flight of B-17s coming in from California as reinforcements for the FEAF. The B-17s & the Japanese homed in on the radio which broadcasted all night so the B-17s could find Hawaii. But before crucify the officer in the interception centre; we need to remember that he was untrained (why he was there in the first place) and that
              technically the centre had already closed. If Kimmel and Short had been more alert than more might have been done.

              But you're right in one sense...that between the Ward incident, the radar report all should have rang alarm bells in the higher ups and didn't. It was part of the "It can't happen here" mentality.


              Cheers!



              Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

              "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

              What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

              Comment


              • #8
                It could have been stopped if Winston Churchill had warned the U.S. about the Japanese fleet and Intentions. It was his "Trump card" that got the U.S. into the war. He had British spies in Asia that warned him about the Japanese attack. He declined to warn the U.S. and Roosevelt.
                VonMoltke

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                • #9
                  Not much difference in outcome

                  Even if the radar report had been taken seriously (in addition to the USS Ward's report of a submarine just outside the harbor), not much different would have happened. Being Sunday morning, there would have been a time delay getting the reports up and then back down the chain of command. By time the call got down to the ships and airfields, the attack would have already begun.
                  Now lets assume everything went perfect in getting the reports up and down the chain of command. Army and Navy personel would have had at best 15 to 30 minutes to prepare for the detected incoming attack. General Quarters would have been sounded aboard the ships in the harbor, and the airfields would have been notified. A few more fighters could have gotten airborn; a portion of the anti-aircraft guns on shore, and onboard ships would have been readied for action in time to greet the incomming attackers. Most importantly, water tight doors onboard most of the ships might have been closed in time. But that would have been about it.
                  The Japanese attacking aircraft would have still found the Army and Navy with their pants down! The Japanese would have lost more aircract, but the end results would have been for all practical purposes, the same.
                  Regards, Gregg

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hogdriver
                    In fact, several people, from Congressmen, to military types, to writers, to conspiracy theorists, have alleged that Roosevelt had foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor but sat on it because he needed an excuse to enter the war. I place no faith whatsoever in these allegations
                    I agree that Roosevelt did not have specific information that the Pearl harbor raid was going to happen, but I also think he wasn't greatly disapointed it happened either.

                    One of the biggest oversights of the US was not to have learned from the British raid on the Italian harbor of Taranto that torpedoes could work in very shallow anchorages.
                    Lance W.

                    Peace through superior firepower.

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                    • #11
                      The Americans stationed at Pearl Harbor saw the Japanese planes on their radar, but they thought it was a group of American bombers that were supposed to arrive sometime that day.

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                      • #12
                        How 'bout this:

                        The History channel had a wargame scenario played out with 9 historians/ex-military types who played a scenario where the US-Fleet at Pearl Harbor steamed out to meet the Japaneese when word reached them that the attack was about to happen.

                        The end rasult was that the US suffered HEAVIER casualties, becaue the carriers where hit along with the fact that the sunk battleships could not be salvaged for later use.

                        Remember that the only ship not to be raised again was the USS Arizona, most went on to serve again, while others were scrapped.

                        Either way, only the loss of life was horrible, not the material damage.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by daemonofdecay


                          Remember that the only ship not to be raised again was the USS Arizona, most went on to serve again, while others were scrapped.

                          The only two battleships at Pearl Harbor not restored to duty by the end of the war was Arizona like you mentioned and Oklahoma.

                          Cheers!


                          Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                          "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                          What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You would be surprised how much can be done with a 30 minute warning. The General Quarters Alarm once awakened me at 3:00AM. I was up, dressed and traveled the distance of a carrier, then manned my station with 5 other people, despite only being able to enter it 1 at a time, in less then 4 minutes.

                            Now the navy of the time was a peacetime navy in their homeport so it would have been slower to react, but there is no reason to believe that all guns would not have been manned and most of the aircraft up, or at least dispersed.
                            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pearl Harbor could have been stopped...

                              Originally posted by NavySeals112
                              I have heard that just before the attacks a newly developed radar station detected the Japs coming towards Pearl Harbor. They radioed into HQ, but HQ told them it was a group of B-17's coming back from a test flight. If they had not though they were B17's Pearl Harbor might have been able to sustain minimal damage.
                              The story I hear is that 1) radar was not trusted like it was in England; 2) the officer on duty did not want to risk disturbing his superior on Sunday morning; and 3) as stated, it was decided that it must be the B-17s coming in. I'm not sure how much of a difference a partially alerted Pearl Harbor may have been, though certainly the Japanese bombers and torpedo planes would have had a rude awakening. I can't imagine any ability to strike the Japanese carriers.
                              Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                              (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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