December 7, 2010

Day of Infamy: "While diplomats were talking 'peace' in Washington."

Neil Boortz: "It was 69 years ago today ... the sneak Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Here's a holiday that unfortunately seems to be fading into history. There are still WWII veterans away today who were there at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese arrived in their Zeros. If you know one, honor them on this day.

Oh ... and by the way: After 69 years it's still the "Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor." After 9 years we can't bring ourselves to say the Islamic terrorist attack on America. "

Posted by Vanderleun at December 7, 2010 11:55 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Many of those then in Congress served in the Spanish American War or WWI. They understood not wanting to go to war, and the necessity of having to do so.

Today's bunch of elected pussies would bend over and lick their gelded sack rather than own stand up to aggression.

Posted by: Vermont Woodchuck at December 8, 2010 11:08 AM

My God Mr. Woodchuck, you have given the bunch of elected pussies too much credit.....for having gelded sacks to lick. I thought their sacks were retracted into their bodies a long time ago, which is why they always are busy kissing ass. My comment about the footage of the Pearl Harbor attack; haunting, a deep sadness and a rage inside of me that gets pissed off when the media is not covering the historical event like they used to on December 7th.

Posted by: Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas at December 8, 2010 12:17 PM

It would be difficult to find a Japanese today who would disagree that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a strategic disaster for Japan. But less discussed is that the attack was tactically inept. Japan's bombers and torpedo planes struck the least important military targets on Oahu - planes and ships. The planes were easily replaced by America's industry. Replacements for the battleships were already being built before Dec. 7.

But the harbor, as a harbor, was not even touched. The destruction of logistics and supply facilities, especially petroleum farms, near Pearl would have done incalculable damage to America's ability to prosecute naval war in the Pacific. Yet the Japanese hardly touched them.

The Japanese task force had planes enough only to launch two waves of attack. To order a third wave would have meant refueling and rearming the planes. Admiral Nagumo did not order it, for reasons that were and remain controversial, including that the planes would not return to the carriers until after dark. But the Japanese did not know how to recover planes at night.

A legend grew after the war that Captain Fuchida, the strike leader, and Cdr. Genda, the plan's chief architect, tried to persuade Nagumo to send another attack. But Genda, who survived the war, specifically refuted that they did.

Whether a third wave was ever intended, it was not flown. But this only points to the fact that the first two waves were mis-targeted. A substantial number of planes should have been devoted to attacking petroleum facilities from the beginning, with another set neutralizing American airfields to enable the bombers to work.

Attacking the battleships should have been low priority, since without refueling capacity at Pearl, the fleet's use would have been severely restricted. Admiral Nimitz testified after the war that had these facilities been destroyed, it would have taken a year to regain offensive naval capability, with the war lasting into 1947 overall.

Furthermore, the destruction of the battle wagons compelled the US to adopt a carrier-centered naval strategy that senior naval officers had always resisted. Now they had no choice and went into carriers and naval airpower with (literally) a vengeance.

Dec. 7, 1941 - a very poor and ill-advised plan executed brilliantly and lethally.

Posted by: Donald Sensing at December 8, 2010 1:38 PM

Donald Sensing: To expand on what you said, here is a quote from Empires in the Balance, by H.P. Willmott:

What was lost at Pearl Harbor, therefore, was only the battle squadrons, but they were old and slow. None had been fast enough to keep up with the carriers, and none were a match for the new generation of ships then in service with the four major navies of the day. Irreverently, the battle squadrons have been dismissed as a collection of obsolescent scrap iron, but while this is an obvious overstatement, the comment recognizes the fact that the elimination of the battle line removed from the scene some ships of rather questionable value and and forced the Americans to recast the whole of their tactical doctrine. The Americans were forced to jettison any lingering ideas of the battleship remaining the arbiter of sea power and, with the destruction of the battle line, were obliged to develop the war-winning concept of the fast carrier task force. After Pearl Harbor the Americans had to constitute their fleets around carriers for the simple reason that there were no battleships. It was one of the supreme ironies of Pearl Harbor that the Japanese settled the argument within the U.S. Navy over the relative merits and importance of battleships and carriers. For the Americans, moreover, the loss of the battleships had one other, unforeseen effect. In 1941 trained manpower in the U.S. Navy was in critically short supply. The loss of the battle line enabled the Americans to redeploy the survivors from sunken ships onto other warships. This meant that escort forces could be properly manned, and the carrier task forces could be properly constituted and balanced. This, in a very roundabout manner and at a cost of 2,403 dead servicemen and civilians, was one of the very positive advantages accruing to the Americans as a result of the Pearl Harbor operation.

Posted by: rickl at December 8, 2010 6:25 PM

Off-topic, but am I the only one who is positively giddy about the spectacular success of today's Falcon 9/Dragon test flight?

Here are a few links:
SpaceX (The company site, with lots of information about the capsule and rocket.)

Transterrestrial Musings (A fine space-related blog, where I sometimes hang out.)

Space Transport News (Another space-related blog, with plenty of links to other reactions and commentary. Scroll down.)

This is a Big Effin Deal, as Joe Biden might say.

Posted by: rickl at December 8, 2010 6:34 PM