Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoPeriodically, we will be revisiting some of the series that have run in this blog. These posts will be summarized in a single post such as this one to facilitate your access to these posts. We hope that you will enjoy the convenience and overview of the topic provided by these posts.

Please let us know if this is helpful. Thank you for helping us better serve you. Also, please forward suggestions for other series…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3194 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to Mail

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy , the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. … As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. … With confidence in our armed forces,  with the unbounded determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A gigantic fleet… has massed in Pearl Harbor. This fleet will be utterly crushed with one blow at the very beginning of hostilities…Heaven will bear witness to the righteousness of our struggle.”
— Rear Admiral Ito

“As costly as it was in the lives of our men and women in uniform, in military assets, and in esteem and pride, Pearl Harbor was a watershed moment for America.”
— U.S. Representative Joe Baca

“Today at Pearl Harbor, veterans are gathering to pay tribute to the young men they remember who never escaped the sunken ships. And over the years, some Pearl Harbor veterans have made a last request. They ask that their ashes be brought down and placed inside the USS Arizona. After the long lives given them, they wanted to rest besides the best men they ever knew. Such loyalty and love remain the greatest strength of the United States Navy.”
— Former President George W. Bush

Everybody knows about Pearl Harbor. The thing that really fascinated me is that through this tragedy there was this amazing American heroism.”
— Michael Bay, Movie Director

 

Pearl Harbor: Understanding the Context

    

Editor’s Note:
In 2009, we ran a series of articles for Pearl Harbor Day (December 7th) related to the surprise attack on our Pacific fleet at anchor in the bay at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. The Japanese launches nearly four hundred planes from four aircraft carriers the lay to the north of the island. This raid caught the American troops by surprise; both ships at anchor and airfields/airplanes were damages, destroyed, or sunk. Only our aircraft carriers, which were out at sea, were spared. These carriers and their planes became the core of our retaliation against the Japanese forces in the next four years.

This series of post were written to present a perspective to that attack. If you have read them before, we hope this will provide a review. If you have not previously read them, we hope that you will enjoy them and gain a better understanding on the event that led up to that cataclysmic point in time. 

We hope that you will enjoy them… GLB

    

Introduction

“Sixty-nine years ago, the world was transformed as soon as the first Japanese bombs began their descent over Pearl Harbor in a deliberate attack on the United States. Before that morning, Americans watched a foreign war grow outside of its borders into a worldwide crisis. The sudden attack on Naval forces in Hawaii brought the war home for every citizen of the country. President Roosevelt gave one of the most rousing speeches in history the following day, a declaration of war that entered the United States into what would be known as World War II. The ‘Date of Infamy’ gave rise to the Greatest Generation, and the biggest military engagement in human history.

Little can be added to the pages of history when it comes to December 7, 1941, but one fact must be given immediate and grave attention: the number of Pearl Harbor survivors continues its terrible spiral downward. 2,390 Americans gave their lives during the struggle that day, most of them aboard the USS Arizona. Many more survived the attack only to go on and fight against the Axis Powers all the way to the end of the war. Those that survived through V-J Day and beyond went to tell the story of their commitment and sacrifice. Sadly, more stories are ending every day. Veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack number somewhere between two and four thousand, and only twenty from the USS Arizona. Just five remain in good enough health to travel to the memorial.

Every year, we take this day out to remember Pearl Harbor and the story of sacrifice and commitment that unfolded there. Veterans are the most sacred of our national treasures, Pearl Harbor Vets especially. Remember what they gave us…”

(from: White House Blog, On a Day Of Infamy, Remember, posted on December 7, 2010.)

    

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which is observed annually on December 7, is a holiday to remember and honor all those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On August 23, 1994, United States Congress, by Pub.L. 103-308, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is also referred to as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day or Pearl Harbor Day. It is a tradition to fly the Flag of the United States at half-staff until sunset.

On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941 America’s naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by the forces of the Empire of Japan. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 were wounded. The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships and damaged four more. It also damaged or sank three cruisers, three destroyers, one minelayer and damaged 188 aircraft.

    

Posts from Our Pearl Harbor Remembrance…
    

Pearl Harbor: Day 1 — Background of the Conflict (12/2/2009)

A series of historical events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred that contributed to the actual attack. War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility that each nation’s military forces planned for since the 1920s, though real tension did not begin until the 1931 invasion of Manchuria by Japan. Over the next decade, Japan expanded slowly into China, leading to all out war between the two in 1937. In 1940 Japan invaded French Indochina in an effort to embargo all imports into China, including war supplies purchased from the U.S. This move prompted the United States to embargo all oil exports, leading the Imperial Japanese Navy to estimate that it had less than two years of bunker oil remaining and to support the existing plans to seize oil resources in the Dutch East Indies. Planning had been underway for some time on an attack on the "Southern Resource Area" to add it to the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere that Japan envisioned in the Pacific.

For More Info on:
Pearl Harbor: Day 1 — Background of the Conflict…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5128

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 2 — The Japanese Preparation for War (12/3/2009)

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 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.

For More Info on:
Pearl Harbor: Day 2 — The Japanese Preparation for War…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5164

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 3 — U.S. Preparation for the War (12/4/2009)

U.S. civil and military intelligence had, amongst them, good information suggesting additional Japanese aggression throughout the summer and fall before the attack. At the time, no reports specifically indicated an attack against Pearl Harbor. Public press reports during summer and fall, including Hawaiian newspapers, contained extensive reports on the growing tension in the Pacific. Late in November, all Pacific commands, including both the Navy and Army in Hawaii, were separately and explicitly warned war with Japan was expected in the very near future, and it was preferred that Japan make the first hostile act as they were apparently preparing to do. It was felt that war would most probably start with attacks in the Far East: the Philippines, Indochina, Thailand, or the Russian Far East.

For More Info on:
Pearl Harbor: Day 3 — U.S. Preparation for the War…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5184

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 4 — The U.S. Reads Japanese Communication Codes (12/5/2009)

The vulnerability of Japanese naval codes and ciphers was crucial to the conduct of World War II, and had an important influence on foreign relations between Japan and the west in the years leading up to the war as well. Every Japanese code was eventually broken, and the intelligence gathered made possible such operations as the victorious ambush at Midway and the shooting down of Isoroku Yamamoto in Operation Vengeance.

The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) used many codes and ciphers. All of these cryptosystems were known differently by different organizations; the names listed below are those given by Western cryptanalytic operations.

For More Info on:
Pearl Harbor: Day 4 — The U.S. Reads Japanese Communication Codes…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5243

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 5 — Conspiracy Theories about the Japanese Attack (12/6/2009)

The attack on Pearl Harbor (or Hawaii Operation, Operation Z, as it was called by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters) was an unannounced military strike conducted by the Japanese navy against the United States’ naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941 (Hawaiian time, December 8 by Japan Standard Time), later resulting in the United States becoming militarily involved in World War II. It was intended as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from influencing the war the Empire of Japan was planning to wage in Southeast Asia against Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. The attack consisted of two aerial attack waves totaling 353 aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers.

For More Info on:
Pearl Harbor: Day 5 — Conspiracy Theories about the Japanese Attack…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5288

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 6 — The Japanese Attack (12/7/2009)

On November 26, 1941, a Japanese task force (the Striking Force) of six aircraft carriers departed northern Japan en route to a position to northwest of Hawaii, intending to launch its aircraft to attack Pearl Harbor. In all, 408 aircraft were intended to be used: 360 for the two attack waves, 48 on defensive combat air patrol (CAP), including nine fighters from the first wave.

The first wave was to be the primary attack, while the second wave was to finish whatever tasks remained. The first wave contained the bulk of the weapons to attack capital ships, mainly specially adapted Type 91 aerial torpedoes which were designed with an anti-roll mechanism and a rudder extension that let them operate in shallow water. The aircrews were ordered to select the highest value targets (battleships and aircraft carriers) or, if either were not present, any other high value ships (cruisers and destroyers). Dive bombers were to attack ground targets. Fighters were ordered to strafe and destroy as many parked aircraft as possible to ensure they did not get into the air to counterattack the bombers, especially in the first wave. When the fighters’ fuel got low they were to refuel at the aircraft carriers and return to combat. Fighters were to serve CAP duties where needed, especially over US airfields.

For More Info on: Pearl Harbor: Day 6 — The Japanese Attack…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5313

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 7 — The Aftermath of the Attack (12/8/2009)

In the wake of the attack, 16 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Crosses, four Navy and Marine Corps Medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, and three Bronze Stars were awarded to the American servicemen who distinguished themselves in combat at Pearl Harbor.

In Europe, Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy subsequently declared war on the United States immediately after they began operations against a fellow Axis member…

For More Info on: Pearl Harbor: Day 7 — The Aftermath of the Attack…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5365

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 8 — America Rebounds at Midway (12/9/2009)

The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese.

The Japanese operation, like the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor, aimed to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the Pacific, thereby giving Japan a free hand in establishing its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was hoped another demoralizing defeat would force the U.S. to negotiate an end to the Pacific War on conditions favorable to Japan. 

For More Info on: Pearl Harbor: Day 8 — America Rebounds at Midway…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5403

    

Pearl Harbor: Day 9 —The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo (12/10/2009)

The Doolittle Raid, 18 April 1942, was the first air raid by the United States to strike a Japanese home island (Honshū) during World War II. It demonstrated that Japan itself was vulnerable to Allied air attack and provided an expedient means for U.S. retaliation for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle. Doolittle would later recount in his autobiography that the raid was intended to cause the Japanese to doubt their leadership and to raise American morale:

"The Japanese had been told they were invulnerable. An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders.
There was a second, equally important, psychological reason for this attack…Americans badly needed a morale boost. 

For More Info on: Pearl Harbor: Day 9 —The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5462

         

Pearl Harbor: Day 10 — The Interment of the Japanese-Americans (12/11/2009)

Japanese American internment was the forcible relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residing in the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Japanese Americans residing on the West Coast of the United States were all interned, whereas in Hawaii, where more than 150,000 Japanese Americans composed nearly a third of that territory’s population, only 1,200 to 1,800 Japanese Americans were interned. Of those interned, 62 percent were United States citizens.

For More Info on: Pearl Harbor: Day 10 — The Interment of the Japanese-Americans…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5491

    

Other Related Posts

    

On this Day in History: The USS Arizona Memorial (10/17/2009)

The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oʻahu was the action that led to United States involvement in World War II.

The memorial, dedicated in 1962 and visited by more than one million people annually, spans the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it. Since it opened in 1980, the National Park Service has operated the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center associated with the memorial. Historical information about the attack, boat access to the memorial, and general visitor services are available at the center. The sunken remains of the battleship were declared a National Historic Landmark on 5 May 1989.

For More Info on: The USS Arizona Memorial…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=3094

    

On this Day in History: The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor (12/7/2009)

The attack on Pearl Harbor (or Hawaii Operation, Operation Z, as it was called by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters) was an unannounced military strike conducted by the Japanese navy against the United States’ naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941 (Hawaiian time, December 8 by Japan Standard Time), which resulted in the United States becoming militarily involved in World War II. It was intended as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from influencing the war the Empire of Japan was planning to wage in Southeast Asia against Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. The attack consisted of two aerial attack waves totaling 353 aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers.

For More Info on: The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5304

    

On this Day in History: The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, April 1942 (4/17/2010)

The Doolittle Raid, 18 April 1942, was the first air raid by the United States to strike a Japanese home island (Honshū) during World War II. It demonstrated that Japan itself was vulnerable to Allied air attack and provided an expedient means for U.S. retaliation for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle. Doolittle would later recount in his autobiography that the raid was intended to cause the Japanese to doubt their leadership and to raise American morale:

"The Japanese had been told they were invulnerable. An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders.

"There was a second, equally important, psychological reason for this attack…Americans badly needed a morale boost."

For More Info on: The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, April 1941…
Check out my blog post at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=11069

         

References

         

Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

White House Blog: On a Day Of Infamy, Remember…
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/12/07/a-day-infamy-remember

Wikipedia: National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Pearl_Harbor_Remembrance_Day

Babble.com: Famous Pearl Harbor Day Quotes…
http://blogs.babble.com/famecrawler/

    

Other Posts on this Topic:

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: The The USS Arizona Memorial…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=3094

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=5304

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, April 1941…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=11069

Prof. Boerner’s Exploration: Pearl Harbor: Background of the Surprise Attack…
http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=15682