Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath PDF × Pearl
A very detailed and meticulously researched study of the controversy surrounding the question of whether the US commanders at Pearl Harbor.Admiral Kimmel and General Short were given adequate communication of the information which General Marshall and Admiral Stark had in Washington in the days and weeks preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 Since the Japanese code had been broken, the intelligence gathered from intercepted Japanese communiques was extensive along with intelligence gathered from other sources which indicated that an attack on Hawaii was imminent Virtually none of this information was ever transmitted to Kimmel or Short with only relative vague warnings for general preparedness provided prior to December 7. While Toland does write interestingly, this is another case of revisionist history which seeks to bring up conspiracy and is made of flimsy material I m not interested in finishing it I do feel bad for the families of Kimmel and Short, the two men which Toland attempt to exonerate from being involved in favor of Washington conspiring against Pearl Harbor. The accepted theory of the surprise attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor which plunged the US into WWII, is that it indeed was a surprise Pulitzer Prize winner John Toland tells us that it may not have been exactly as we have believed all these years and that the hierarchy in Washington, including President Roosevelt, were aware it was coming and did not warn the Pearl Harbor Army and Navy commanders, Short and Kimmel.Toland has done an immense amount of research and was often stonewalled by the authorities as he searched records and communications which proved that there was to the surprise element than was reported It was a convoluted operation that would allow the Japanese to strike the first blow, allowing the US to declare war which would then also bring the country into the European conflict which was the prime objective Confused.it certainly smacks of conspiracy theory but Toland presents very conclusive evidence that Short and Kimmel were sacrificial lambs and that the government military were well aware that the attack was about to take place.The book concentrates mainly on the commissions and hearings that were held after the end of the war and it is extremely detailed with much testimony quoted verbatim That tends to slow down the narrative quite a bit but is still fascinating Several careers were ruined and politics played a major part in the conclusions of those hearings But, there is no denying that there is something very wrong about the use of the word surprise when speaking of the Pearl Harbor attack Toland convinced me. So we all know the basics of Pearl Harbor, right On December 7, 1941, that date that will live in infamy, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, taking it totally by surprise and killing thousands, and also launching the U.S into World War II.Only, what if that wasn t exactly what happened What if FDR knew that the Japanese would be attacking Pearl Harbor, but didn t pass that information along to the commanders there Why on earth would he do that, you ask Perhaps he saw Japan developing as a power that would threaten Western civilization, yet felt the American public neither fully appreciated this threat nor were prepared to go to war against it But, if that power attacked them in a major way they might then support going to war.That s the premise of Infamy, and it s not just John Toland s speculation he backs it up with various committee hearings and reports, none of which are common knowledge today at least that I know of.And there is plenty here to read officers changed testimonies, tales of FDR telling relatives at dinner on December 6 that we would be going to war the next day, etc Upon hearing of FDR s death, General MacArthur comments, Well, the Old Man has gone a man who never told the truth when a lie would suffice Despite this book being filled with dozens of commanders and military high ups, most of which I never could keep straight, I found it fascinating to peer back into history and contemplate that much of what we know may, in reality, be far from the truth. The December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor was hardly over before the public began to wonder how the US could have been caught so unawares The Roberts Commission investigation Dec 18, 1941 to Jan 23, 1942 concluded that General Short Army and Admiral Kimmel Navy were derelict in their duty and blamed them But almost immediately questions arose about facts that didn t add up By the end of May, 1946 a total of 9 investigations had taken place with differing and alternating conclusions each time, and yet questions still abound today John Toland looks at each of the investigations and discusses the evidence and testimonies presented He focuses on a large amount of evidence that many in Washington knew beforehand that an attack was imminent and also that it would occur at Pearl Harbor Some evidence pinpointed the exact date and other evidence the location of the missing Japanese fleet He even presents communications that foreign dignitaries passed on information, and that those in top levels of American government had than enough knowledge beforehand that could have prevented or at least minimized the attack The only ones who knew almost nothing were Short and Kimmel.This book was originally published in 1982 so it s possible there may be newer information, and apparently it is a bit controversial in its conclusions Toland claims that Admiral Stark Chief of Naval Operations and General Marshall War Dept Chief of Staff in Washington had enough corroborated information that at a minimum a clear warning should have been sent to the commanders in Hawaii He speculates that part of the reason they might not have intervened was because they didn t want the Japanese to know the US had broken their code and were reading all their messages but he also presents evidence that the Japanese suspected as much And while he doesn t directly condemn President Roosevelt, he certainly casts a shadow by claiming that FDR also had access to the information He cites speculation that FDR allowed the attack to happen as a way to win support from the American public, over half of which opposed intervention into the war in Europe, but his criticism seems somewhat muted.Although this book is nearly 350 pages it s a much quicker and easier read than that number might suggest It was also interesting than a dry and detailed accounting of the investigations might sound Toland obviously places an emphasis on exonerating Kimmel and Short but does a good job piecing together the chronology of the intelligence that was gathered and known in the weeks and days leading up to the attack he doesn t cover the attack itself He discusses those who changed their testimonies as well as the documents which appear to have disappeared such as the infamous winds message For the most part Toland keeps the information from becoming overly tedious, but the main difficulty I had was with the VERY extensive Cast of Principal Characters They are listed at the beginning of the book but my interest was casual and I didn t make the effort to keep everyone as straight as I might have Still, I found it to be an interesting read and disappointing to know that maybe there was infamy behind the scenes than we were led to believe. Very in depth book about the true events surrounding the tragedy in Pearl Harbor A must read for any one with an interest in the events around WWII Pearl Harbour could have EASILY been avoided, and it s not as easy as pointing the finger at one person Yes, the United States did foresee war with Japan during WWII.Admiral J.O Richardson The admiral said he was going to tell a story that the lieutenant could regard as a parable Assume , Richardson said, you were the leader of the greatest nation in the world, and assume that you saw, in another hemisphere, the development of a power which you regarded, and with reasonable support, as a total threat to Western civilization as you knew it Supposing, however, for various reasons, your conception of the danger was not shared by your constituents, your own people And you saw the total destruction of western civilization in the hands of this adversary, and your detected in your own people, at the time, on the basis of everything they knew, a lack of appreciation of the problem Assume you saw that the only salvation of Western civilization was to repel this particular power but that required you to enter a foreign war for which your people were not psychologically or militarily prepared Assume that what was needed to galvanize your own people for a unified approach towards this basic danger to civilization was an incident in which your posture was clearly of passive non aggression, and apparent unpreparedness and the incident in question was a direct act of aggression which had no excuse or justification Assume that you saw this potentiality developing on the horizon and it was the solution to the dilemma, as you saw it, of saving civilization and galvanizing your own people It is conceivable, is it not, that you might be less disposed to create a situation in which there might be no doubt as to who struck the first blow It s a fable You just think about that fable as you study some of this material And, it s conceivable that it might have some enlightening factors That about explains the United States allowing the Japanese to attack her. It was a surprise to me just how suspicious FDR s political opponents Republicans were about who knew what and when about the attack on Pearl Harbor right from the beginning Contrary to my previous beliefs, the country was hardly unified in going to war, even after Pearl Harbor, and that questions were asked as to how the upper reaches of the administration could not have known SOMETHING was going to happen Japan really was egged on into war The winds execute messages were picked up, but no action was taken and the officers on the ground at Pearl Harbor were made the fall guys This would make a great movie, but who wants to tarnish the event that made the greatest generation great There would be no takers for this tale in Hollywood As for the writing, it was tough at times with many names to keep track of and not much narrative flow Not Toland s best, but an eye opener and well worth your time and a must for WWII history readers. This book is not much about the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor It is about the several hearings about who was responsible for U.S military on the island being unprepared for the attack.The mainstream view is that army commander Short and naval commander Kimmel, as well as their commands in the Army and Navy, were genuinely surprised, such indications of Japanese intentions as were known having been tied up, lost or misdirected in the weeks, days and hours before the attack Toland s view, amply documented herein and in agreement with such earlier revisionists as Charles Beard, is that a number of persons high up in the U.S military and civilian command, including the president, were well aware that a Japanese attack was imminent and decided not to forewarn Short and Kimmel so as to galvanize domestic support against the Japanese aggressor and to ensure entry into the European war as well Further, but without much argument, Toland suggests that the Pacific war might have been entirely avoided, at least so far as the U.S.A was concerned.While I generally enjoy Toland, this book was a bit tedious as here he is arguing a case and, so doing, he amasses a heck of a lot of detail in order to be convincing The arguments are therefore strong, but the narrative flow suffers. From a Pulitzer Prize winning historian and bestselling author, a revealing account of the events surrounding the day that the Japanese military launched a sneak attack on U.S forces stationed in Pearl Harbor Includes evidence that top U.S officials knew about the attack but remained silent for political reasons and the conspiracy afterward to hide the facts Photographs.