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Thread: The Myth of Pearl Harbor

  1. #19
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Myth of Pearl Harbor

    steve ,
    the only problem I have with all this is roosevelt ran on a platform of NOT ONE DROP OF AMERICAN BLOOD WOULD BE SPILLED IN THIS EUROPEAN WAR ! . Once he began the illegal lend/lease program supplying weapons to Russia and England the US was screwed . Had FDR not manipulated Pearl Harbor and threw us headlong into the fray Europe would have been under Axis control and then the US would have really been in an unwinnable war .
    Imagine the Phillipines , Hawaii , Guam and several other Pacific launch points for Japan and then a United Europe under hitler and mussolini's control.Was Pearl Harbor necessary ? YES .But why not enter the war w/o the deception ?
    You know, I think I would rather be a man than a god . We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do.

  2. #20

    Default Re: The Myth of Pearl Harbor

    "the only problem I have with all this is roosevelt ran on a platform of NOT ONE DROP OF AMERICAN BLOOD WOULD BE SPILLED IN THIS EUROPEAN WAR ! ."

    I have no problem with it, if that was indeed his platform, and I don't understand why you would either.

    We were not around then. We get to view it from an historical perspective. The existence of Adoph Hitler required that all bets be called off. His destruction was the absolute priority and if that meant reneging on some campaign promises, then you drop them like a lead balloon. Roosevelt would have been wrong to NOT reject an isolationist platform.

    Roosevelt's actions cannot be faulted. Are you sure your problem isn't with Roosevelt himself? Some kind of axe to grind that is inhibiting objectivity, and creating some kind of desire/need, to believe the worst about him.
    =========================================

    "Once he began the illegal lend/lease program supplying weapons to Russia and England the US was screwed ."

    What a curious comment.You condemn the lendlease, twice now, by emphasizing that it was illegal, but fail to add that England's very survival depended on it. And because the USA insured England's survival, the USA became screwed? What are we to conclude from that?

    One conclusion might be that you think the USA should have remained isolationist and that everything would have been just fine in that case. We could have continued trade with Japan and Germany who would have stopped with conquering England, Russia, Africa, and Asia Minor.

    The problem with that scenario is that Germany would have eventually exerted enough influence in South America that threats to the USA homeland itself would have been viable. At the same time, Hitler's scientists under less war-time pressure would have solved the atomic bomb puzzle. Eventually ultimatums from Germany would have been landing in the White House.

    Then need to defeat Hitler made certain legal niceties moot points. How about Churchill's plan to gas any Germans invading England? Poison gas in warfare was, and is, illegal. But it would have been hard to bring Churchill up on charges with England annihilated, and him dead.
    =========================================


    "Imagine the Phillipines , Hawaii , Guam and several other Pacific launch points for Japan and then a United Europe under hitler and mussolini's control.Was Pearl Harbor necessary ? YES .But why not enter the war w/o the deception ?"

    Assumes facts not in evidence (re: deception). I reject the notion that Roosevelt engineered the murder of members of the US military at Pearl Harbor, just as most historians (and they actually have no jobs at stake) disagree with YOUR historian.

    Bottom line: Anyone who read Mein Kampf, as Churchill did, knew that Hitler must be destroyed. I'm certain that Roosevelt reached the same conclusion. Isolationism was a recipe for disaster for the USA.

    Sometimes a war must be faught. Without the arsenal of the USA opposing him, Hitler wins.
    DSCH: a Soviet artist's reply to unjust criticism.

  3. #21
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Myth of Pearl Harbor

    hitler could have destroyed the british at dunkirk-but that is another mystery .
    the lend/lease was illegal and did allow for the survival of russia and Great Britain -my point is IF we had not entered the war in totality , we would have faced a more powerful axis by ourselves (with the canadians)
    You know, I think I would rather be a man than a god . We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do.

  4. #22
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Myth of Pearl Harbor

    The American military had broken Japanese codes.

    Yes. However, what they had broken were diplomatic codes. During the pre-war negotiations with Japan, Roosevelt often knew what the Japanese were prepared to offer and willing to settle for. The messages sent on December 6th made it perfectly clear to Roosevelt that the Japanese government was planning to declare war upon the United States.

    The American government knew an attack on Pearl Harbor was coming.

    No. The Japanese government was not in the habit of informing its diplomats of planned military strikes in detail. So while the Americans knew that Japanese diplomats had been instructed to deliver a certain message to the U.S. government at 1 p.m. on December 7 and then destroy their cipher machine and secret documents, and from this deduced that something big was about to happen, they did not know where to expect the initial attack. The Pacific Ocean's a big place, and there were lots of targets available to the Japanese--the Philippines, Dutch East Indies, Singapore, etc. Admiral Stark recognized that the Japanese were planning to attack somewhere, but told his subordinates it would be against either the Philippines, Thai, or Kra Peninsula or possibly Borneo. Why the South Pacific versus Hawaii? Simple - oil supply. The US had cut off the Japanese through an embargo and the Japanese did not take kindly to that.

    It is well known, the American military failed to take advantage of what little warning it did have through bad luck and incompetence, but not intent.

    Did someone had order the US carriers out to sea on maneuvers, leaving behind several outdated battleships, but protecting the carrier fleet?

    While the Washington DC knew an attack was brewing for some destination, they did not know what type of attack o where. Had the air raid been followed up with an invasion, Pearl Harbor could not have held out for long, and the United States would have been without one of its major bases in the Pacific, in addition to having lost the fleet. The remaining carrier fleets would have been withdrawn to protect them. Pearl would have fallen just like the Philippines only faster. Like Midway, Wake Island and Guadal Canal, the Japanese could not have held Hawaii since they were so far from Japan and aside from destroying the US armada, would offer little to no value to the Japanese base of operations, not even as a spear point for attacking the US mainland.

    I might add that military operations and philosophy of the period considered carriers a secondary support unit to battleships and invasion forces. They were to fly reconnaissance and protective cover for the battle-wagons and troop transports. Evidence of this....the US didn't even have a working torpedo far into the war. The Mark 14 which used by submarines and modified for aircraft after Dec 7 where a disaster. The initial designs for aircraft were nothing but duds. If Roosevelt and the top brass in DC wanted to protect the fleet or a portion of it, they would have sent many of the battleships out to sea, not the carriers. Evidence, on Dec 24, 1941 the USS Sargo fired 13 torpedos and all ran amok or hit the target but the detonators failed. 4 months later the USS Tunny fired 10 torpedos at Japanese aircraft carriers. They detonated alright, but the magnetic detonators actuated prematurely exploding to far away from the hulls.

    It wasn't until after Pearl did the brass realize to power of the aircraft carrier and set out to design aircraft torpedos and dive bombs specifically for use by aircraft.
    Last edited by RYou; 09-12-2012 at 10:10 PM.
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  5. #23

    Default Re: The Myth of Pearl Harbor

    Quote Originally Posted by r.payton@att.net View Post
    hitler could have destroyed the british at dunkirk-but that is another mystery .
    the lend/lease was illegal and did allow for the survival of russia and Great Britain -my point is IF we had not entered the war in totality , we would have faced a more powerful axis by ourselves (with the canadians)
    Yes, I believe this. However, you are framing this as a situational ethics question, where the "ethically" questionable actions alleged of Roosevelt are at issue, regardless of how powerful the motive (as you outline above). Most modern historians say the allegations are unfounded.


    This reminds me of the original Churchill-Coventry story, another lesson in situational ethics in war.

    What's interesting is that I thought it FACT that Churchill sacrificed Coventry to protect the decoding of Enigma.That was the conventional wisdom, and I bought into it. As it turns out it appears that it was untrue. Churchill did not know the target of that November night's raid of a certainty and thought it likely to be London.
    DSCH: a Soviet artist's reply to unjust criticism.

  6. #24
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Myth of Pearl Harbor

    off topic yet one of my former wrestler's father worked as a de-cryptor in WWII and (according to him ) the only way Enigma was ever decoded was by having an inside informant .
    You know, I think I would rather be a man than a god . We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do.

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