Five myths about Pearl Harbor

#1


President Franklin D. Roosevelt called Dec. 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” And that day, when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, has lived in infamy for 70 years. Yet even as the memory of the attack has lasted, so have the misperceptions surrounding it. On this anniversary, here are a few myths worth dispelling.

1. The U.S. government had no knowledge of a potential Japanese attack before Dec.

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Article posted automatically from www.PathfinderOnline.co.uk, the UK's first historical military online magazine.

Comments welcome!
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#2
Is it true that it was quite a cold day, by Hawaii standards?
 
#3
Is it also true that the Local srfers tried to ride some of those Shock Waves dude
 
P

PrinceAlbert

Guest
#4
A bit of useless knowledge:

The only ship to survive Pearl Harbour was the USS Phoenix. The yanks later sold the USS Phoenix to Argentina. The Argies then renamed her ARA General Belgrano.....which we sunk during the Falklands Islands conflicts.

The Belgrano was, and still is, the only ship to be sunk in anger by a nuclear submarine.
 
#5
Where did these myths come from?

No.2? Every US Newspaper on Dec 8th headlined the attacks in Hawaii , Phillipines, Landings in Malaya, Hong Kong, Wake, Guam etc.

No. 5? is the most ludicris yet Of course we were going to enter the war after we were attacked who the hell would need convincing? 4 days Later Germany declared War on the USA was their a choice after that point?

Day of Infamy speech - YouTube
 
#7
Now that is fasinating!
It's also not true. Many ships survived the Pearl Harbor attacks.

The Following US Navy SHips were present during the Japanese Attack and were NOT sunk, or destroyed

Heavy Cruisers
USS New Orleans
USS San Francisco

Lt Cruisers
USS Helena
USS Honolulu
USS Raliegh
USS St Louis
USS Detriot
USS Phoenix

Destroyers
USS Allen
USS Schley
USS Ward
USS Dewey
USS farragutt
USS Hull
USS McDonough
USS Worden
USS Dale
USS Monaghan
USS Aylwin
USS Selfridge
USS Phelps
USS Cummings
USS Reid
USS Case
USS Conyngham
USS Tucker
USS Bagely
USS Blue
USS Mugford
USS Ralph Talbot
USS Henly
USS Patterson
USS Jarvis

Submarines
Narwal
Dolphin
Cachalot
Tautog


Well you get the drift there are at least 50 other vessels not named in my post which also survived.

Ships Present at Pearl Harbor, 0800 7 December 1941
 
P

PrinceAlbert

Guest
#9
It's also not true. Many ships survived the Pearl Harbor attacks.
I actually meant "not hit" as opposed to sunk/not repaired. But alas that appears to be incorrect anyway. I learnt that useless fact from QI......I shall be writing Stephen Fry a stern email.

The renaming of the USS Phoenix to Belgrano etc is true however.
 
#10
If the Japs had pressed home attacks on the fuel tank farms they could have done more damage to the US Navy than sinking every Battleship present and strafing Schoefield barracks. the Fuel was never touched.
 
#11
Infamy infamy etc....
 
#13
...
No. 5? is the most ludicris yet Of course we were going to enter the war after we were attacked who the hell would need convincing? 4 days Later Germany declared War on the USA was their a choice after that point?

Day of Infamy speech - YouTube
It's entirely true that isolationism was an extremely popular position, it was the traditional default in US politics and back then there was a strong pacifist strain amongst the Godly.

FDR had been trying to undermine this since the war began and had been following a policy of offshore balancing by supply the Brits and USSR. Pearl harbor and Hitlers stupid declaration of war on the US were something of a gift to him.

The conscript army of the Greatest Generation was rather confused by the US entry into the European theatre on the same side as the USSR and not much better liked British Empire. The large minorities of Irish, German and Italian extraction in particular suffered from divided loyalties and a few went to fight for the axis powers. In general they loathed europe and especially the French and did not see why they should be dying in a squabble between countries their families had abandoned. The great evil of the Holocaust was needed to make sense of it but that was only public knowledge after the wars end. This is evident in their contemporary correspondence if not memory and this si entirely understandable for europeans this was a literally existential struggle while America was safe between two shining seas.

It's very possible to imagine a different leader leaving the USSR and Nazis to slug it out. The British establishment was rather tempted. It might even have been wiser for the US given the close run game of suicidal MAD that followed.

Traumatic wars are often re-imagined. The Irish either saw WWI as a great patriotic sacrifice to preserve Protestant identity (fairly accurate though it changed that identity profoundly) or an idiotic distraction from the Catholic martyrs liberation struggle, a view that is being reevaluated just lately. The Brits turned WWI from a great patriotic war against German militarism to a story of mud and men who die as cattle, walking slowly towards the machine guns. WWII became a struggle of plucky little Britain against the German Goliath when it was really a clash of empires of which the British was still one of the strongest.

Americans romanticized their internecine Revolutionary War and later turned their squalid, avoidable Civil War into a tale of sacrifice for heroic ideals, the chivalry of Dixie protecting states rights or the freeing of the slaves, both are distortions of what was an horrific event. They did much the same with WWII which was grubby and confusing at the time rather than the black and white struggle it is remembered as.
 
#14
Were ALL the US Aircraft Carriers fortuitously out of the Harbour at the time?

The "state" class battle ships were largely made "redundant" and carriers were now the crucial important ships of the new type of naval warfare.
 
#16
The USA had breeched its neutrality by supplying military and naval support to the UK BEFORE 7th december 1941
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#17
Pointer,

whilst you may be correct, whatever support was given was covert not overt......the best example of US support for Britain prior to 1941 was Eagle Squadron of the Royal Air Force..... American pilots in British uniforms - who, sad to say, were significantly outnumbered by Polish, Czech and Free French pilots.

And, sadly, my father's generation are very hard to dislodge from their view of Yanks:

' Overpaid, over-sexed - and over here'

....probably because the support we got from Sam was PAID FOR......and we had only just finished paying for it ( over here it was called 'The National Debt' ) when an unelected Labour PM came to power - and promptly plunged this country back into even deeper financial clart.....

A day of infamy indeed........Kimmel was squarely in the frame.....
 
#18
Pointer,

whilst you may be correct, whatever support was given was covert not overt......

And, sadly, my father's generation are very hard to dislodge from their view of Yanks:

' Overpaid, over-sexed - and over here'



A day of infamy indeed........Kimmel was squarely in the frame.....
Would you describe US Navy troop transports carrying the 18th british division consisting of about 18,000 men from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Capetown as overt? Escorted by US navy destroyers and a carrier, Lexington, I believe. convoy WS.12X but I will check that.

This was BEFORE 7th december. And the Germans knew about it as well.
 
#19
A bit of useless knowledge:

The only ship to survive Pearl Harbour was the USS Phoenix. The yanks later sold the USS Phoenix to Argentina. The Argies then renamed her ARA General Belgrano.....which we sunk during the Falklands Islands conflicts.

The Belgrano was, and still is, the only ship to be sunk in anger by a nuclear submarine.
There's the Ehime Maru, the Japanese fishing training ship, which sank after USS Greeneville, a Los Angeles -class submarine collided with it. :)
 
#20
The USA had breeched its neutrality by supplying military and naval support to the UK BEFORE 7th december 1941
And FDR ordered the US Navy to sink on sight German Subs in international waters in Sept. 1941
 

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