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  • The May incident.

    Why wasn't the press curtailed in reporting the sensitive information May revealed at the press conference?

    May was responsible for a major release of highly confidential military information during World War II known as the May Incident. U.S. submarines had been conducting a successful undersea war against Japanese shipping during World War II, frequently escaping their anti-submarine depth charge attacks. May revealed the deficiencies of Japanese depth-charge tactics in a press conference held in June 1943 on his return from a war zone junket. At this press conference, he revealed the highly sensitive fact that American submarines had a high survival rate because Japanese depth charges were exploding at too shallow a depth. Various press associations sent this leaked news story over their wires and many newspapers published it, including one in Honolulu, Hawaii.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew...e_May_Incident
    "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
    Ernest Hemingway.

  • #2
    I assume you have a theory?
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      Not sure what applied in the USA but in Britain - contrary to popular misbelief - the government had no power in either world war to censor the press - they relied on a voluntary agreement with D - notices that did not have to be obeyed. I think in the US there is one of those amendments everyone is so fond of. In WW1 Wilson rode a coach and horses through the constitution and did censor but in WW2 FDR did not and relied on something rather like the British - however possibly the US press wasn't as self disciplined as the British.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Actually, D Notices were not optional in Britain during wartime. There were severe penalties for disobeying them.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          Actually, D Notices were not optional in Britain during wartime. There were severe penalties for disobeying them.
          Wrong - please provide your evidence
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            Well, given the postwar analysis of Japanese ASW equipment and techniques the US Navy conducted, I'd say it had exactly ZERO effect on the US submarine war in the Pacific.

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            • #7
              Not withstanding the many wartime spy films in which Axis agents are lurking around every corner showing fiendish cunning (but ultimately always thwarted by the star of the film), Axis intelligence gathering was remarkably weak and there is no evidence that the rudimentary tactic of getting someone in a friendly neutral embassy to buy newspapers and pass them on for analysis was used by any of the Axis intelligence services although Goebbels did obtain copies via Sweden for the purpose of assessing Allied morale.
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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