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A moment of silence for December 7, 1941

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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addresses Congress, 8th December 1941
 

Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

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(That's the first link in my post. Reaper asked us not to embed videos on the forum.)

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Thank god for the current friendship with the Japanese, that we have come out of hate and anger and the evils of that time, and into comraudery and peace. No planes fly anymore against our western shores, and no bombs fall on the people of Japan - cherry trees still bloom in Washington, and we and the Japanese reach new heights as allies instead of as foes.

 

May all wars end in the start of a new future - in rebuilding, in friendship, and in the end of hate. And here's to that friendship - we've suffered much at each other's hands, and harrowed hell together, but no war can last forever.

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Thank god for the current friendship with the Japanese, that we have come out of hate and anger and the evils of that time, and into comraudery and peace. No planes fly anymore against our western shores, and no bombs fall on the people of Japan - cherry trees still bloom in Washington, and we and the Japanese reach new heights as allies instead of as foes.

 

May all wars end in the start of a new future - in rebuilding, in friendship, and in the end of hate. And here's to that friendship - we've suffered much at each other's hands, and harrowed hell together, but no war can last forever.

well said!

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Apologies Pingo, I don't click on links. Ingrained habit.

 

If I wonder about them I quote the post and read where the link goes in the code.

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Apologies Pingo, I don't click on links. Ingrained habit.

If I wonder about them I quote the post and read where the link goes in the code.

 

 

You can also right-click and "Inspect Element" to get the same information (anywhere, not just on a message board).

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Apologies Pingo, I don't click on links. Ingrained habit.

 

If I wonder about them I quote the post and read where the link goes in the code.

 

You can also right-click and "Inspect Element" to get the same information (anywhere, not just on a message board).

Not on a mobile device, though.

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The Pearl Harbor Raid

 

 

The Most Anticipated "Surprise Attack" in Military History.

I had several history books in school use phrases like, "surprise attack on Pearl Harbor". But... 

 

Our side was not caught by surprise: The Navy had conducted several anti-aircraft drills in the weeks prior to the attack (because they thought the Japanese might attack). The Army had rounded up all its aircraft and parked them close together in the middle of the field (because they thought Japanese saboteurs might attack). The Navy had the entrance to the harbor blocked with a submarine net and had destroyers patrolling 24/7 outside the entrance (because they thought Japanese subs might attack). The Army had sent one of the first air defense radars in the world to Oahu (because they thought the Japanese might attack). The Navy, remembering its own 1927 Fleet exercise, was launching a full squadron of Catalina Patrol/Search aircraft daily, on patrol arcs, covering all possible air approaches to Pearl Harbor (because they thought the Japanese might attack by air !)

 

 

How To Surprise An Opponent That Knows You're Coming

There are two ways and the Japanese benefited from both: get lucky or get better. It was mostly the latter.

 

 

Three Secret Steps To Victory

When the American Pacific Fleet was moored at its base in Pearl Harbor it was safe. Safe. Admirals on both sides knew this. Here is why: 1) torpedoes were useless, 2) 500 pound bombs were close to useless if dropped on a battleship, 3) patrol aircraft could easily spot an incoming air raid.  What Japan did about these problems is fix them systematically and secretly.

 

Torpedoes:  Torpedoes dropped  into the water from airplanes plunged to 90 feet or more before their gyros and fins brought them back to a ship killing level run depth of 30 feet. Pearl Harbor was only 45 feet deep. A torpedo with its nose buried in mud is useless. The Japanese Navy started experimenting: they slowed their planes down to 5 knots above stall speed before releasing the torpedo, they tinkered with the release mechanism to make the torpedo hit the water at the shallowest possible angle (too shallow and it breaks up: a torpedo is not strong enough to belly flop), they machined hardwood bolt-on extensions for the torpedo's fins and all three changes together bought them the depth they needed. No other navy in the world could drop a torpedo in water that shallow and they kept this a secret. :ph34r: 

 

Bombs:  The biggest bomb they had was 250kg (about 500 pounds). Battleships laugh at such things, because they tickle. The solution was not designing a new bomb (takes months: or years). Japan only had weeks to prepare. The solution was putting fins on a 14 inch diameter armor piercing round normally fired from a battleship's gun. Those they had plenty of. It worked and they kept this a secret. :ph34r:

 

Patrol Aircraft:  Japanese Naval aircraft were all VFR. Needed to operate in daylight. The speed, range, distance from which carrier aircraft needed to be launched were well known...to both sides. That made it easy to time the launch of patrol aircraft, which would all but guarantee an incoming air raid would be spotted. Japan fixed this by training their pilots to launch in pre-dawn darkness, in spite of their VFR rated airplanes. They lost some planes and crews in training doing this, but they learned and they kept this a secret. :ph34r:

 

This meant by launching in darkness and flying into the dawn they could get far closer to Oahu without being spotted than anyone knew.

 

 

Luck Does Help; Bad Logistics Hurts

On the morning of December 7, the PBY Catalina that was assigned the search leg that overlapped the main approach path for the incoming air raid had an engine fault. It was bombed sitting on the apron. If it had launched on time it might have detected the raid when it was 60 minutes away.  The Army's radar station was functioning but was not equipped to communicate what it could 'see' in any useful way, telephone wires were planned...delays, delays... 

 

 

What USN Admiral Kimmel Knew and When He Knew It

He knew his base could spot an incoming air raid in time to prepare for it, that his ships were safe from torpedoes, and his battleships would be difficult to hurt with bombs and he was completely correct about all of it up to about September of 1941.

 

He found out differently the morning of December 7th. The 'surprise' was not that the Japanese might attack but that...

 

 

...they were good, very good, and they had some tech that was better than ours.

Edited by TGP
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