Pearl Harbor

69 years ago today, the US suffered a  crippling  attack at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Navy at Pearl Harbor, and other installations throughout Oahu,  in the Territory of Hawaii. It would be the most devastating attack on US soil until 9/11.

The Army took its lumps, to be sure, but the primary target of the Japanese air armada was the US Pacific Fleet, and specifically the ships of Battleship Row. Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia. Some were lost forever. Some would rise again to avenge their mates.

A nation was stunned, but at the same time, it was also steeled for the hard, horrible task ahead.

Lex, CDR Salamander, and the excellent US Naval Institute Blog all have worthy posts.

21 thoughts on “Pearl Harbor”

  1. Thank you, Xbrad. This Post-War Babe will NEVER forget.

    In the 50s and 60s public education was still conservative. The thought that an attack ‘must never happen again’ was inculcated in us, not as a statement of pride or arrogance, but more of an exhortation and warning that we must stay aware of foreign forces against us and their hatred for the American way of life that we considered to be a blessing from God.

    Pearl Harbor became an archetype, an event to be remembered and assimilated with our tenacity, beliefs, and identity as Americans. We turned Pearl Harbor around for the positive — not to diminish the losses — but to honor those who suffered loss by using it for something good into our future: Never again!

    Though ‘Never Again’ was damaged when we were attacked in 2001, I’m praying that we will continue endeavors restoring the fundamental principles of our great nation. I firmly believe that the Sovereign Lord of all continues to bless us as we pick up and carry that banner that speaks of our freedom given by God and our duty to respect the rights of every citizen.

    And Thank You! to everyone visiting here who is or has served in the military. I thank God every single day for you courageous men and women in our military, past and present, who chose to take great personal risk for others whom you neither know personally nor always agree with. This unconditional service is a perfect example of the best values of our beautiful country and speaks louder than words anyone could utter.

  2. Cathy is correct: we all learned Eternal Vigilance from Pearl Harbor growing up. Nowadays, kids are being told we deserved the attack, for the treatment of Asians. Logic means nothing to those people.

    1. It isn’t a question of “deserving” the attack. Roosevelt wanted in to the European war, and during 1940-41 had no success in provoking Hitler. So, trying the back door, he cut off most of Japan’s external trade and 90% of Japan’s fuel supply. That worked.

    2. Or it could be, Majik, that Imperial Japan made the decision in 1936 to seize the Philipines and Borneo and the Dutch East Indies by force, and it took them a while to get around to it.

      The Japanese had long before determined to gain what they wanted by force. Roosevelt had no control over that. Your revisionism shows your lack of background knowledge of the matter.

    3. Brad, there is a great deal of truth to what majik wrote. Th edcision to go south, rather than north, in support of germany, wasn’t made until very late. The oil cut off forced the Japs to turn south. I have as yet to read anything, anywhere that supports your position of the decision being made in ’36. The Japs and Russians had a lot of bad blood between them over Tsushima and later Zhukov kicking Jap tail in the 30s. Stalin had a good reason to believe the Japs were coming north and started slowly drawing down his Far East Forces until it was plain Tojo was not coming north.

      Stinett, in “Day Of Deceipt,” laid out a damning case against FDR and what he did. FDR did want into the European War and started sending escorts across with Brit convoys. Not exactly something a neutral has any business doing, and it was in violation of our Neutrality Act, iirc. When Acheson and his circle were able to order the cut-off of trade, they made war inevitable.

      Contrary to poipular beliefe, we knew trhe Japs were coming, and we were able to follow their progress across the Pacific as they did not maintrain radio silence during the transit. Stinett lays all this out (he got the copies of teh Navy radio traffic showing this) and the outcome is a shame to FDR and his fans.

  3. “By Force”. How unlike us and every 0ther imperial tribe on the planet. And Japan’s decision to move south and east, rather than west against the Russians was made during 1939-41, not earlier. See for instance several volumes in the “Japan’s Road to the Pacific War” documentary translation series:
    1) James W. Morley, ed., THE FATEFUL CHOICE: JAPAN’S ADVANCE
    INTO SOUTHEAST ASIA, 1939-1941

    “revisionist” (def.) : anyone who is tired of being lied to by TPTB.

  4. I am not talking about fault. I am talking about cause and effect. Had I been in FDR’s shoes, given his values, interests, and information, I might well have made the same calls. Or different, and even more/or less disasterous ones. And I don’t quarrel with anyone’s differential moral evaluation of the man or his decisions. I will say this: if you want war, just corner someone. We cornered Japan, and you know the rest. We are now cornering Iran. This is not going to end well. For them or us.

  5. Sounds like MajikFireHornet will be pleased with Persian hegemony over the world’s oil supplies. Rogue states are rogue. Neville Chamberlain proved that they will not be appeased.

  6. MajikFireHornet, should the US have continued the flow of oil to Japan so it in turn could continue the rape, torture and death of hundreds of thousands of Chinese?

  7. Japan’s decision to move south and east, rather than west against the Russians
    Ever look at a map? What is west of Japan? China, not Russia. When did Japan go to war against China?

    I am not talking about fault. I am talking about cause and effect
    Yes, you are. If I cause a death or other event, it is my fault.

    if you want war, just corner someone.
    So when the police corner a suspect, they WANT them to start a war? Or come out shooting? No, you “corner” someone to get them to stop a behavior or action.

    1. Japan and Russia HAD fought a war in 1905, and the DID have imperialistic/expansionistic ambitions in that direction. But around 1926, their estimate of likely foes in future conflicts shifted to the US and Great Britain.

    2. They still included the Russians Brad. In fact the Soviets were still quit close and had imperial aspirations still. There were some border fights between them in the ’30s, and Zhukov cleaned the Jap’s clock. When the considerations were made to go north or south in ’41, the Japs reemembered that dust up. The Soviets were still very weak at sea, and the Japs could have done to Stalin what they diud to the Tsar at Tsushima, but on the ground they learned that Ivan could rip them a new one and in the end went where the oil was in the Dutch East Indies as they had no other source nearby.

  8. @Airdale: Nobody “appeased” Germany. The Sudetan Germans were kidnapped at Versailles; Hitler took them back. A fake nation called “Czechoslovakia” then fragmented into two real ones: Slovakia and Bohemia-Moravia. Just as in our own time, when the Reds folded up their imperial tent. Ditto Poland: Hitler said “give back our land and our people”. Poles, via a bogus “security guarantee” from Brits, mobilized and began massacring thousands of ethnic Germans. Hitler struck, and then was backstabbed by Brits…who had spent the previous 5 years elbowing the Germans eastward….toward the Red Empire. Persian hegemony? The only thing that is going to interrupt the flow of mideastern oil (principally, to China and Japan) is an American-Israeli attack on Iran. When/if that happens, Japan and China will dump their dollars and T-bills overnight. 48 hours later, you can kiss your paper money and our Ponzi economy goodbye. And the military strengthy which rests upon it. “Rogue states”? A rogue state is any nation the Hegemonic Power (Israel) wishes the U.S. to attack.

    @mare: absolutely. The China War was a bleeding wound for the Japs. And it was precisely our defeat of Japan in the Pacific War that brought the Reds to power in China. Where most of our productive economy has now gone. Next time the the slants have at each other, let ’em rock.

    @agiledog: both China and Russia are west of Japan. Point is, Roosevelt’s corner plus the beating that the Japs took at the hands of the Russians during their 1937-39 border war decided the southward strike: toward the collapsing European Empires in south Asia. No way they are going to leave the left flank uncovered. Re “fault”: spare me the logic-chopping. Re: “cornering”. Yes, of course. I forgot. In the summer and fall of 1941, Japan cut off 2/3 of America’s trade, 90% of her fuel supply, and in addition demanded that American foreign policy in the Caribbean as well as central and S. America accord with Japan’s Imperial interests rather than our own. I stand corrected.

  9. Shorter MajikFireHornet: It was the Joooooos!
    When xbrad said “bring the stupid,” you took him way too literally.

  10. MajikFireHornet, I don’t want any part of condoning the slaughter of innocents.
    Your use of the term “slants” tells me you not serious, not well educated about the war and are posting comments to “stir things up.”
    You’re kind of a pathetic figure.

  11. Keep it going, this was just getting interesting. Anyone want to posit that we shouldn’t have dropped “the bomb[s]”? Maybe throw in a little “blood for oil” rhetoric?

  12. By the way; if you’ve never been there, you MUST take a trip to Pearl Harbor and visit the Arizona-a trip that will never be forgotten. And if you do, then all of the above discussion is moot. We got attacked and we hammered the aggressors. Period.

  13. Ditto Poland: Hitler said “give back our land and our people”.

    Um, when was Warsaw, for example, part of Germany?

    Hitler struck, and then was backstabbed by Brits…who had spent the previous 5 years elbowing the Germans eastward….toward the Red Empire.

    Well, they must have done a pretty half-assed job of “elbowing” him, considering the fact that he signed the non-aggression pact with Stalin before the two of them invaded Poland from both sides.

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