Edited by Gerald Boerner




On the eve of that memorial day so long ago, we examine some of the reasons for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning of 1941. The U.S. Navy was seemingly unprepared for the attack. The negotiations with the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., had not been completed at the time of the attack, and there was a seemingly sequence of miscommunications between the military leaders in D.C. and Hawaii. All-in-all, The U.S. was unprepared for an air attack at Pearl Harbor.


The Japanese, on the other hand, were driven by both their territorial ambitions and their quest for raw resources. These two drives prompted the military leaders to plan to attack on the Navy’s Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor. Spies were in place in Honolulu. A task force with four carriers were making their way to the islands. All was set for the attack on the morning of December 7th.

But beyond these two obvious reasons, we find that the general culture of militarism in Japan also placed an important role. The leaders of the Japanese government were tied closely to this warrior tradition. This same mindset of militarism would later spawn the Kamikaze pilots who were willing to give their lives in the defense of their homeland.

On the American side, the ambivalent tradition of isolationism within the American Congress resulted in substantial unpreparedness. Communication was misunderstood, instruction to guard the harbor and land bases in the tropical paradise that was the Hawaiian Islands resulted in a generalized fear of spies among the Japanese Americans living in Honolulu resulted in the ships and planes being grouped together in such a manner as to facilitate the mass destruction that resulted from the attack. The one bright spot was the fact that the aircraft carriers being out to sea rather than in the harbor that fateful morning.  

But enough of these preliminaries. Let’s begin our exploration of these critical event in our nation’s history…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4364 Words ]


Quotations Related to Pearl Harbor:


“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
— Isoroku Yamamoto

“After Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor, the war tide slowly turned against the Axis.”
— Alexander Dubcek

“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.”
— Joe Baca

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