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Pearl Harbor


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Caleb
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« on: August 05, 2007, 05:07:58 am »



Sailors in a motor launch rescue a survivor from the water alongside the sunken West Virginia (BB-48) during or shortly after the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor. Tennessee (BB-43) is inboard of the sunken battleship. Note extensive distortion of West Virginia's lower midships superstructure, caused by torpedoes that exploded below that location. Also note 5"/25 gun, still partially covered with canvas, boat crane swung outboard and empty boat cradles near the smokestacks, and base of radar antenna atop West Virginia's (BB-48) foremast.
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Caleb
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2007, 05:11:07 am »



The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii on the morning of Sunday, 7 December 1941, which brought the U.S. into World War II. Aircrafts from the Empire of Japan's Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed five U.S. Navy battleships, along with 188 aircraft, one minelayer, and three destroyers and inflicting over 4,000 casualties. The Japanese losses were minimal; 29 aircrafts and five midget submarines were lost in the attack, and 65 Japanese servicemen killed or wounded.

The intent of the pre-emptive strike was to protect Imperial Japan's advance into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies--(for their natural resources such as oil) and rubber--by neutralizing the U.S. Pacific Fleet (in the fashion of War Plan Orange as practised by both sides).[4] The Japanese high command was (mistakenly) certain any attack on Britain's colonies would inevitably thrust the U.S. into the war. By contrast, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had moved the fleet to Hawaii, and ordered a buildup in the Philippines, to deter Japanese aggression against China, or European colonies in Asia.

The attack was one of the most important engagements of World War II. Occuring before a formal declaration of war, it spurred the U.S. into World War Two against Japan and then Germany which declared war on the U.S. a few days later, creating a conflict that encircled the world. Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 "a date which will live in infamy".
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Caleb
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2007, 05:12:49 am »



The two attack sorties of Imperial Japanese Navy were approached from different directions. The U.S. Army radar operator spotted the Japanese attack force at 136 miles, but did not specify nautical or statute miles

Date December 7, 1941
Location primarily Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA
Casus
belli Japanese militarism; Oil and trade embargo by the United States; diplomatic stalemate between Japan and the US.
Result Decisive Japanese victory; United States declares war on the Empire of Japan and enters World War II on the side of Allies; Nazi Germany declares war on the United States.



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Caleb
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2007, 05:14:35 am »

Following the Treaty of Versailles, by which received Japan custody of most of Imperial Germany's possessions and colonies in East Asia, through the beginning of the Showa era, Japanese nationalists increasingly took control over the Japanese government and promoted the divine right of Japan to conquer Asia and unify it under the rule of Emperor Showa (Hirohito). Imperial Japan also resented the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty which placed restrictions on the size of the Japanese navy compared to the American and British navies. Many Japanese nationalists believed Britain and the US were snubbing Japan and ignoring her national interests.

Japan's increasingly expansionist policies brought her directly into conflict with neighbouring countries and empires, initially China and Russia. This ranged from her 1905 war with Russia, deliberate attacks such as the invasion of Manchukuo in 1931, diplomatic actions such as Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations and, finally, the full-scale military invasion of mainland China in July 1937, after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident.
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2007, 05:16:35 am »



Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe seen as visibly distressed in 1941

The Japanese aggression against China was condemned by the League of Nations, the U.S., Britain, Australia, and the Netherlands. These states, except for the League, had territorial interests or colonies in Southeast Asia and had become increasingly wary of Japan's military power and her willingness to use it, for instance after the Russo-Japanese war when the Japanese destroyed almost the entire Russian Far Eastern and Baltic fleets. In response to diplomatic pressures there and for their 1931 conquest of Manchukuo from China, Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933. In July 1939, the U.S. terminated the 1911 U.S.-Japan commercial treaty, an action which showed official disapproval and, more concretely, allowed the U.S. to impose trade restrictions as an additional pressure measure. Nevertheless, Japan continued its war in China and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany, which formally ended World War I hostilities between the two countries and declared common interests. In 1940, Japan also signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy thereby forming the Axis Powers.

The Tripartite Pact, war with China, its abdication from the League of Nations, and increasing militarization, among other things, led the U.S. to embargo scrap metal and gasoline shipments to Japan, and to close the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping. In 1941, with the acquiescence of Vichy France, Japan moved into northern Indochina. The U.S. responded by freezing Japan's assets in the U.S., and beginning a complete oil embargo. Oil was Japan's most crucial imported resource; her own supplies were very limited -- 80+% of Japan's imports came from the U.S. and the Imperial Navy relied entirely on imported bunker oil stocks. To secure its oil supplies, and other resources, Japanese planners had long been looking south, especially to the Dutch East Indies. The Navy was certain any attempt to seize this region would bring the U.S. into the war, but with the oil embargo, its determination to seize these resources was fortified. Around 1941, Prime Minister of Japan Fumimaro Konoe had hoped to set up a summit in Hawaii with President Roosevelt to settle their differences concerning the two nations before the war, but it was refused by the US side.
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2007, 05:17:52 am »



Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2007, 05:19:21 am »

War

On July 31, 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy informed Emperor Showa that the navy's reserve oil would run out in two years unless another oil source is provided. In the meantime, Osami Nagano argued to the emperor that if war with the US is inevitable, it should start as soon as possible in order to take strategic positions around the Philippines and Indochina and in the meantime disabling the American naval force's base in the Pearl Harbor to deter assault.

On September 6, 1941, at the second Imperial Conference concerning an attack on occidental colonies, just one day after a tense meeting between Emperor Showa, Konoe, Hajime Sugiyama and Osami Nagano, during which the emperor had scolded Sugiyama for the lack of success of the imperial army in China and for his statement that China will be conquered in three months, the Japanese Cabinet met in the presence of the Emperor to consider the attack plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters. It was decided to commence hostilities against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands to take positions and resources in the planned locations if the empire's demands were not met through diplomatic negotiations by October 10, 1941.

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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2007, 05:21:14 am »



Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito), the emperor of Japan at the time
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Caleb
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007, 05:22:53 am »

On 9 and 10 September, Hirohito had meetings with Hajime Sugiyama about the mobilization for the planned southern advance operation and his fears about a two-front war. Answering to the Emperor's questions about his fears "if pressure comes from the North", on the Soviet front, Sugiyama said "Once we have begun the southern operation, we cannot pay attention to anything else. We have to keep pushing forward until we achieve our objectives. Your Majesty, we need your understanding. If something happens in the north, we will transfer troops up from China but we must not stop the southern operation halfway."

Military leaders like Hideki Tojo, Sugiyama and Nagano were more willing to take military actions and by stating that the time has run out and negotiations didn't bear any fruit, while Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe saw himself losing his argument of more negotiations and possible concessions to avert possible war. Tojo stated during the negotiation phase that

To yield to the American demand and withdraw their troops, would wipe out all the fruits of the China War, endanger Manchukuo, and jeopardize the governing of Korea. To accept troop withdrawal in name only would not benefit Japan either. Withdrawal would mean retreat. It would depress morale. A demoralized Army would be as worthless as no Army. Our troops in China are the "heart of the matter." Having made one concession after another, why should Japan now yield the "heart?" "If we concede this, what is diplomacy? It is surrender … a stain on the history of our empire!

On October 16, 1941, Fumimaro Konoe resigned and proposed prince Naruhiko Higashikuni as his successor. Higashikuni was also the choice of the Army and the Navy. Hirohito choose instead Hideki Tojo as Prime Minister of Japan since, as he told to Konoe, he was worried about having the imperial house being held responsible for a war against Occident.

On November 3, after many meetings with emperor Hirohito about the military strategy, IJN general staff Osami Nagano explained to him in detail the final version of the attack plans of Pearl Harbor. On 5 November, Hirohito approved in imperial conference the operation plan for a war against the United States, Great Britain and Holland which was scheduled at the beginning of December if no significant changes were achieved through diplomacy.

With the Hull note of November 26, 1941, Japan's leaders decided not to cancel the Pearl Harbor attack, in planning for 10 months and in serious training for most of the year. The fleet had been assembling in the Kuriles, and indeed sailed the day the Hull note was sent. US and UK demands to back down from its actions in China, at the exclusion of Manchukuo and French Indochina, were seen as meaning a loss of international prestige for Japan, "losing face," losing national pride, and most of all losing everything gained in the Second Sino-Japanese war and losing access to oil, despite the heavy investments in the military and the five year war with China.

On 30 November 1941, prince Nobuhito Takamatsu warned his brother Hirohito that the Navy felt the Empire could not fight more than two years against United States and wished to avoid war. After consulting with Koichi Kido(who advised him to take his time until he was convinced) and Tojo, the emperor then called Shimada and Nagano who reassured him that the war would be successful.  On December 1, Hirohito finally sanctioned a "war against United States, Great Britain and Holland" in another imperial conference.

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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2007, 05:24:18 am »



Fleet Admiral and commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet Isoroku Yamamoto
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Caleb
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2007, 05:25:31 am »

In preparation for the expected war, planning began in early 1941 for a Pearl Harbor attack. For the next several months, planning, training, weapons development, espionage, and coordination with other plans to invade British and Dutch colonies to the South occupied much of the Japanese military's time and attention. The decision to attack, unless the U.S. agreed with the Japanese positions in China, Indochina, and elsewhere, was finalized in September 1941 at the second of the two Imperial Conferences considering. Preparations for attacks against Malaya, the Philippines, and assorted Pacific islands were ready by the planned date of early December. Pearl Harbor attack planning was a part of the Japanese expectation the U.S. would be inevitably drawn into the war after a Japanese attack against Malaya and Singapore. The intent of a preemptive strike on Pearl Harbor was to neutralize American naval power in the Pacific, if only temporarily. After approval at the first Imperial Conference such an attack was incorporated into a theater-wide, simultaneous coordinated attack against several different countries, to be carried out if the differences with the United States could not be resolved to Japan's satisfaction. Thus, the future of Imperial Japan was judged to depend on successfully dealing with the Pacific Fleet. The difficulties of such an attack were twofold. First, the Pacific Fleet was a formidable force, and would not be easy to defeat or to surprise. Second, for aerial attack, Pearl Harbor's shallow waters made using conventional air-dropped torpedoes ineffective. On the other hand, Hawaii's isolation meant a successful surprise attack could not be blocked or quickly countered by forces from the continental U.S.

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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2007, 05:26:41 am »

Plan

Several Japanese naval officers had been impressed by British Admiral Andrew Cunningham's Operation JUDGMENT, in which 20 obsolete carrier-based Fairey Swordfish disabled half the Italian fleet. Admiral Yamamoto dispatched a delegation to Italy, which concluded a larger and better-supported version of Cunningham's strike could force the U.S. Pacific Fleet to retreat to bases in California, thus giving Japan the time and space thought necessary to erect a "barrier" defense to protect Japanese control of the resources (e.g., oil) of Southeast Asia and the Dutch East Indies. Most importantly, the delegation returned to Japan with information about the shallow running torpedoes Cunningham's engineers had devised.

Some Japanese strategists may also have been influenced by U.S. Admiral Harry Yarnell's performance in the 1932 joint Army-Navy exercises, which assumed an invasion of Hawaii. Yarnell, as commander of the attacking force, placed his carriers northwest of Oʻahu in rough weather and simulated an air attack on the morning of Sunday, February 7, 1932. The exercise's umpires noted Yarnell's aircraft were able to inflict serious "damage" on the defenders, who for 24 hours after the attack were unable to locate his fleet. Yarnell's tactic was dismissed as impractical.

Primarily, Yamamoto’s idea for a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was inspired by his hero, Fleet Admiral Marquis Tōgō Heihachirō, who in 1904 had, without declaring war, attacked the Second Russian Pacific Squadron at the Battle of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese War. The Russians lost two battleships and several cruisers, and never fully recovered. A year later, a young Ensign Yamamoto was injured in the Battle of Tsushima, where the Japanese destroyed almost the entire Russian fleet.

Yamamoto's placing main emphasis on battleships was in keeping with the Mahanian doctrine shared by all major navies during this period, including the U.S. Navy and Royal Navy, which held dominance at sea depended on defeating the enemy fleet, achieved by destroying the battleship force (the "battle line"). Prewar, Japan expected to meet the U.S. Battle Force in a "decisive battle area" around Okinawa, an expectation in startling symmetry with the U.S.'s War Plan Orange
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2007, 05:28:17 am »

Prelude to battle



Planner Captain Minoru Genda stressed that surprise would be critical for this operation.

In the event of outbreak of war with the United States, there would be little prospect of our operations succeeding unless, at the very outset, we can deal a crushing blow to the main force of the American Fleet in Hawaiian waters by using the full strength of the 1st and 2nd Air Squadrons against it, and thus to preclude the possibility of the American Fleet advancing to take the offensive in the Western Pacific for some time... We must use the entire carrier strength that we have. -- Minoru Genda, planning officer

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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2007, 05:29:32 am »

In early 1941, Combined Fleet Commander-in-Chief Yamamoto began considering an attack on Pearl Harbor as a preemptive attack in the event of war. After some conflict with Naval General Headquarters and threatening to resign, he was finally authorized to create the Carrier Striking Task Force, and assigned Minoru Genda to develop the actual attack plan. Genda's plan stressed surprise would be essential, given the expected balance of forces. Yamamoto obtained permission to begin formal planning and training exercises for the proposed attack. By April 1941, the Pearl Harbor plan became known as Operation Z, after the famous Z signal given by Admiral Tōgō at Tsushima: On this one battle rests the fate of our nation. Let every man do his utmost.

Over the summer, pilots trained in earnest on the Japanese island of Kyūshū. Captain Genda chose Kagoshima City for a training area because its geography and infrastructure presented most of the same problems torpedo bombers would face at Pearl Harbor. In training, each crew would fly over the 5000-foot (1500 m) mountain behind Kagoshima, dive down into the city, dodging buildings and smokestacks before dropping to an altitude of 25 feet (7 m) at the piers. Bombardiers would release a torpedo at a breakwater some 300 yards (270 m) away.

Yet even skimming the water would not solve the problem of torpedoes bottoming in the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor. Japan created and tested modifications allowing successful shallow water drops. The effort resulted in a heavily modified version of the Type 91 torpedo which inflicted most of the ship damage during the attack. Japanese weapons technicians also produced special armor-piercing bombs by fitting fins and release shackles to 14 and 16 inch (356 and 406 mm) naval shells. These were able to penetrate the armored decks of battleships and cruisers.

On a beach in Kagoshima Bay, Lieutenant Heijiro Abe, commander of ten high-level bombers, used lime to draw an outline of a battleship in the sand. He ordered his men to drop dummy bombs on it. Only he knew it was the outline of the battleship California
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2007, 05:31:33 am »



Ensign Takeo Yoshikawa, a spy in Pearl Harbor for Imperial Japan.

Intelligence

On February 3, 1940, Yamamoto briefed Captain Kanji Ogawa of Naval Intelligence on the potential attack plan, asking him to start intelligence gathering on Pearl Harbor. Ogawa already had spies in Hawaii, including Japanese Consular officials with an intelligence remit, and he arranged for help from a German (and perhaps from family members as well) already living in Hawaii who was an Abwehr agent. None had been providing much militarily useful information. He planned to add 29-year-old Ensign Takeo Yoshikawa. By the spring of 1941, Yamamoto officially requested additional Hawaiian intelligence, and Yoshikawa boarded the liner Nitta-maru at Yokohama. He had grown his hair longer than military length, and assumed the cover name Tadashi Morimura.

Yoshikawa began gathering intelligence in earnest by taking auto trips around the main islands, and toured Oahu in a small plane, posing as a tourist. He visited Pearl Harbor frequently, sketching the harbor and location of ships from the crest of a hill. Once, he gained access to Hickam Field in a taxi, memorizing the number of visible planes, pilots, hangars, barracks and soldiers. He was also able to discover that Sunday was the day of the week on which the largest number of ships were likely to be in harbor, that PBY patrol planes went out every morning and evening, and that there was an antisubmarine net in the mouth of the harbor. Information was returned to Japan in coded form in Consular communications, and by direct delivery to intelligence officers aboard Japanese ships calling at Hawaii by consulate staff.

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