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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Tag: Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN)

Written by Gerald Boerner




Got up late this morning — about 7:30. It felt good to sleep in on a cold Sunday morning. when I checked the temp outside, it was only 36 degrees! I hesitate to think how cold it got during the night; the Weather Channel had projected a low of 38, so we "beat" that!

But today is supposed to be sunny and a chance of some wind. The high is predicted to be in the low-60s. Tonight it’s going to be cold again — about 36! Tasha, I know that would probably a bit toasty for you along the Rhine these days. Take care of those grandbabies and give them a kiss for me.

Well anyway, we have the sun out showing its bright face. I’m still have an adjustment to it getting dark about 4:30 in the afternoon. I have been going outside about that time all summer to read, relax, and watch the birds enjoying the bird batch in the garden. But the shorter day, early sunset, and cold nights are part of our fall and winter weather. I am just thankful that we don’t have the snow to shovel or drive on. I’m not used to it, don’t enjoy it, and prefer to drive an hour to visit it in the local mountains!  GLB

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

[ 1284 Words ]


Quotations Related to Isolationism:


“Isolationism is over.”
— Ralph Steadman

“Hand in hand with nationalist economic isolationism, militarism struggles to maintain the sovereign state against the forward march of internationalism.”
— Christian Louis Lange

“Our view is that economic isolationism is the wrong way to go. Vibrant, successful growing economies that advance the interests of their citizens engage the global economy. And, we’re committed to engaging the global economy.”
— John W. Snow

“Roosevelt was the one who had the vision to change our policy from isolationism to world leadership. That was a terrific revolution. Our country’s never been the same since.”
— W. Averell Harriman


My Musings of the Day: Thinking about Isolationism & War…


On another note, we are in an interesting time of year. We had Advent Sunday a week ago and could start opening the doors on the Advent Calendar on Thursday (December 1st). I have a beautiful one that that I got from Bas Bleu; it is based on the Frauenkirke church in old Dresden. It was restored during the fire bombing during the final days of World War II. Now, I am not Catholic or Lutheran, but am doing a series on my blog this month on a series of Devotions associated with each day of Advent; you can follow it on my blog at: It is my protest against the commercialization of the season this year.

Not only is this the Advent season, but we are only days away from one of the worse days in U.S. history — the Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on December 7, 1941. That day of "Infamy" stands along side of 9/11 as one of the blackest in our history. The speech by FDR to our Congress to request a declaration of war was stirring as well as a reminder of the reality of the world events that the U.S. had tried to ignore in those days in the early 1940s. I have been revisiting those events and their context in my series of blog postings from two years ago. I am revising and expanding them to reflect my better understanding of the events and context of that attack.

While none of my relatives were stationed at Pearl Harbor on that day, and consequently, the event did not have a direct impact on my immediate family at that time. However, it did have an impact upon our country. Ever since the end of World War I, when we allowed Germany to be saddled with all the guilt and costs of reparations; creating the fertile environment for the raise of the Nazis. The attack on Pearl Harbor has been suspected in some military circles at the time, but there was more suspicion of the those of Japanese ancestry who could serve as spies. We had been watching the incursions of the Japanese forces into China and Indochina during the Second Sino-Japanese was in 1940. These steps towards an expansion into the Pacific should have been recognized by our leaders.

But instead, we continued to hid our heads in the sand like we had done since the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War I. FDR has the foresight to circumvent these isolationist policies by providing our British and Soviet allies with food and war materiel via the Lend-Lease Act. But the dominant mood of our country was to distance ourselves from the war in Europe. After all, we were separated from the continent by the Atlantic Ocean. The Pacific was not as isolated. We had protectorates in the Philippines, Guam, Midway, and other Pacific territories that were in the sights of the Japanese. And then there was the jewel of the Pacific, Hawaii.

On that Sunday in 1941, the Battle of Britain was over and England would live to see another day. The planes were parked at Hickham field in tight little groups to protect them from sabotage, and the Battleships were tightly grouped around Ford Island within Pearl Harbor. At sunrise in this island paradise, sailors were sleeping off their extravagances of the previous night, the "proper" people were still asleep, and the crews were preparing for the raising of the U.S. flag on the ships in the harbor. Then the storm descended!

It gave a whole new meaning to references to the rising sun, which occurs out of the skies to the east. On this morning, the planes launched from Japanese aircraft carriers would provide a set of "Rising Sun" symbols arising from the west on the wings of the Japanese planes swooping in to attack our naval and air forces. Our battleships were sunk in the shallow waters of the harbor and our planes were destroyed in their tight little clusters. It was a disaster!

The only bright spot in the whole scenario was the absence of the few aircraft carriers in the Pacific fleet. They were on maneuvers at the time, and therefore were spared. This accident would change the face of warfare for not only World War II, but for all conflicts after that. I’m not going into more detail now, since I have been pontificating long enough.

Anyway, the attack on Pearl Harbor was the trigger that plunged us into four years of war. We fought in the Pacific, in the Mediterranean, and in Europe. We would no longer be isolated from the world of nations, but become one of the primary leaders of the nations. But this war cost the lives of too many young men from all countries involved. But those are somber thoughts that we will return to later when we pick these events tomorrow in my next morning musings…

Photo of the Day:

As usual, I will leave you on a somber note with a photo that gives us pause to think. We need to think about ways to settle differences between cultures, religions, political systems, and nations of this earth. May this image, whose source I do not recall, give you an opportunity to contemplate these events and actions so we are not doomed to repeat them…


_Tribute to the fallen

(Photo by Unknown Photographer)


Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved





Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Brainy Quote: Isolationism Quotes…

Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbAs we continue our exploration of the events leading up to the December 7, 1941 attack, by air, of Pearl Harbor and shore facilities by the Japanese Navy flyers. This attack arose as a result of Japan’s need for raw resources, especially oil, and the sanctions placed upon Japan for its invasion of the China Mainland and the Indochina peninsula. Not only were preparation made on the diplomatic front, but plans were in place to simultaneously attack the United State’s military facilities on Hawaii along with the British and French holdings throughout East Asia.


During the months leading up to these coordinated attacks in December, the Japanese military had their observers gathering information about the naval movements in Pearl Harbor and aircraft resources across the Hawaiian Islands. Concurrently, a major naval task force was assembled in the Japanese home islands. This included aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and associated support vessels. This task force would launch the fighter planes, torpedo planes, and dive bombers that would rain destruction upon our naval forces anchored in the bay at Pearl Harbor. Fortunately, our aircraft carriers were on maneuvers outside of Pearl on that fateful morning.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. This task force set sail from Japan in the latter part of November and were in position for the attack on that fateful Sunday morning. We will deal with those events in the coming days.

Now, we need to proceed with our exploration of the Japanese preparations and major players that planned this effective attack on our forces in Hawaii on December 7th… GLB

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

[ 4207 Words ]


Quotations Related to Pearl Harbor:


“Gentlemen, we have just kicked a rabid dog.”
— Isoroku Yamamoto

“I can run wild for six months … after that, I have no expectation of success…”
— Isoroku Yamamoto

“The fate of the Empire rests on this enterprise every man must devote himself totally to the task in hand.”
— Isoroku Yamamoto

continue reading…

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

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner



JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbWhile most of the battles in the Pacific were focused on recapturing those islands that would put our B-29 bombers within range of the Japanese home islands, one of the most significant naval battles occurred while regaining control of the Philippines for General Douglas MacArthur. The Battle of Leyte Gulf pitted battleship against battleship rather than the more common battles between the planes of one aircraft carrier against another. This Battle of Leyte Gulf has been called by some “the largest naval battle in history.”

The naval forces of the U.S. Navy’s 3rd and 7th fleets under the command of Admiral William “Bull Run” Halsey. It consisted of four separate engagements with the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). These were the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle off Cape Engaño and the Battle off Samar. During these skirmishes, Halsey took his Task Force 13, with most of the aircraft carriers, to pursue a decoy group of Japanese carriers; Halsey was criticized for this move.


In the end, the U.S. Navy was victorious and MacArthur made a successful landing of troops on Leyte. This act was a fulfillment that MacArthur made to the Philippine people when he withdrew to Australia at the beginning of the war. He DID return!

But let us now get on with our examination of the general details of this major encounter of World War II in the Pacific. As opposed to the war in the European theater, war in the Pacific theater was heavily dependent upon the Navy and its aircraft. So, let’s get going…  GLB

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

[ 2931 Words ]


Quotations Related to William F. Halsey & Douglas MacArthur:


“I never trust a fighting man who doesnt smoke or drink.”
— William Halsey

“A better world shall emerge based on faith and understanding.”
— Douglas MacArthur

“If you want to go anywhere in modern war, in the air, on the sea, on the land, you must have command of the air.”
— William Halsey

continue reading…