Pearl Harbor remembered 70th anniversary!

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Messages 81 - 100 of total 129 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:43am PT
Um MH, Care to rephrase this one -perhaps something taking into account the broader sweep of japanese masacres in China that just maybe precipitated some of the "economic and other provocations" snot!

Seriously doubt we wanted war with Japan because of their masacres in China, but their expansionism in general and just politics. Here's what Patrick Buchanan wrote about it

To understand why Japan lashed out, we must go back to World War I. Japan had been our ally. But when she tried to collect her share of the booty at Versailles, she ran into an obdurate Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson rejected Japan's claim to German concessions in Shantung, home of Confucius, which Japan had captured at a price in blood. Tokyo threatened a walkout if denied what she had been promised by the British. "They are not bluffing," warned Wilson, as he capitulated. "We gave them what they should not have."

In 1921, at the Washington Naval Conference, the United States pressured the British to end their 20-year alliance with Japan. By appeasing the Americans, the British enraged and alienated a proud nation that had been a loyal friend.

Japan was now isolated, with Stalin's brooding empire to the north, a rising China to the east and, to the south, Western imperial powers that detested and distrusted her.

When civil war broke out in China, Japan in 1931 occupied Manchuria as a buffer state. This was the way the Europeans had collected their empires. Yet, the West was "shocked, shocked" that Japan would embark upon a course of "aggression." Said one Japanese diplomat, "Just when we learn how to play poker, they change the game to bridge."

Japan now decided to create in China what the British had in India a vast colony to exploit that would place her among the world powers. In 1937, after a clash at Marco Polo Bridge near Peking, Japan invaded and, after four years of fighting, including the horrific Rape of Nanking, Japan controlled the coastal cities, but not the interior.

When France capitulated in June 1940, Japan moved into northern French Indochina. And though the United States had no interest there, we imposed an embargo on steel and scrap metal. After Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941, Japan moved into southern Indochina. FDR ordered all Japanese assets frozen.

But FDR did not want to cut off oil. As he told his Cabinet on July 18, an embargo meant war, for that would force oil-starved Japan to seize the oil fields of the Dutch East Indies. But a State Department lawyer named Dean Acheson drew up the sanctions in such a way as to block any Japanese purchases of U.S. oil. By the time FDR found out, in September, he could not back down.

Tokyo was now split between a War Party and a Peace Party, with the latter in power. Prime Minister Konoye called in Ambassador Joseph Grew and secretly offered to meet FDR in Juneau or anywhere in the Pacific. According to Grew, Konoye was willing to give up Indochina and China, except a buffer region in the north to protect her from Stalin, in return for the U.S. brokering a peace with China and opening up the oil pipeline. Konoye told Grew that Emperor Hirohito knew of his initiative and was ready to give the order for Japan's retreat.

Fearful of a "second Munich," America spurned the offer. Konoye fell from power and was replaced by Hideki Tojo. Still, war was not inevitable. U.S. diplomats prepared to offer Japan a "modus vivendi." If Japan withdrew from southern Indochina, the United States would partially lift the oil embargo. But Chiang Kai-shek became "hysterical," and his American adviser, one Owen Lattimore, intervened to abort the proposal.

Facing a choice between death of the empire or fighting for its life, Japan decided to seize the oil fields of the Indies. And the only force capable of interfering was the U.S. fleet that FDR had conveniently moved from San Diego out to Honolulu.

And so Japan attacked. And so she was crushed and forced out of Vietnam, out of China, out of Manchuria. And so they fell to Stalin, Mao and Ho Chi Minh. And so it was that American boys, not Japanese boys, would die fighting Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese to try to block the aggressions of a barbaric Asian communism.

And here's an interesting round up of japanese move to comply with US demands before the war even started

http://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2011/12/06/did-fdr-provoke-pearl-harbor/
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:33am PT
i see that the late john toland's book hasn't been mentioned on this thread. his infamy is probably the best-researched study of the run up to and the hush-hush over pearl harbor. from the summary and endorsement:

It was the Japanese code that meant war--and the U.S. had broken it! Yet on December 7, 1941--the day that will live forever in infamy--the U.S. armed forces at Pearl Harbor were caught entirely by surprise. Or were they?

John Toland, one of America's most respected historians, has written a shocking and revealing account of the events surrounding Pearl Harbor, uncovering evidence that FDR and his top advisers knew about the planned Japanese attack but remained silent so that the U.S. would be drawn into the war. Even more shocking was the conspiracy afterwards to cover up the facts and find scapegoats for the greatest disaster in U.S. miltary history.

"John Toland has been fearless in the pursuit of truth ... INFAMY is not only readable and suspenseful; it is probably his most controversial book to date." -- John S.D. Eisenhower

i can give you some confirmation of this from personal knowledge. my brother in alaska has been involved in politics there on and off, and alaska, being the rather small, though geographically large, community that it is, he came to know the late joe vogler, founder of the notorious alaska independent party. joe came to alaska during world war 2 and stayed. he had no choice. he had been in the military and was aware of the foreknowledge about pearl harbor and started making some real waves about it. they gave him a choice: alaska or jail.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 8, 2012 - 09:57am PT
Very few of the US's leaders in 1941 can have been truly surprised that the Japanese finally responded militarily to economic and other provocations,

Um MH, Care to rephrase this one - perhaps something taking into account the broader sweep of japanese masacres in China that just maybe precipitated some of the "economic and other provocations" snot!

Rephrasing isn't needed, for reasons such as those set out by Karl. There's no doubt that Japan's invasion and then occupation of much of China was opportunistic imperialism, and an ugly business. Particularly when layered onto an ugly civil war. Still, was US policy, for example the oil export embargo, motivated by what the Japanese were doing to the people of China? There was a strategic concern as to growing Japanese power, and as to how to get the US public to support bringing the Japanese to heel. And some idealism in parts of the US government, the "missionaries", with regard to China. But the US had provided a fine example with its invasion/liberation and occupation of the Philippines. The fate of the individuals affected wasn't much of a concern.

I don't for a second buy the conspiracy theory nonsense about the US leadership knowing specifically of the attack on Pearl Harbour, and deliberately doing nothing, so as to ensure that the US went to war. But I believe that most of them knew that the escalating rhetoric and actions in the Pacific would eventually lead to war, even though the real enemy was Germany and then the USSR. It was a natural outcome of the imperialism that began with the war against Spain, if not earlier.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:45am PT
I thought this was a thread dedicated to recognizing and commemorating Pearl Harbor and those who were tragically murdered there?
Mr. Mighty Hiker is the closest one to have swerved into a reasonable attitude on this continuing controversy,although frankly I have not had time to read many of the preceding posts.
I'll say no more.

To the families of those who died at Pearl Harbor -we still remember your loss.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:11pm PT
Remember John Finn too.


http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1180199&msg=1180199#msg1180199
Park Rat

Social climber
CA, UT,CT,FL
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 8, 2012 - 01:52pm PT
I did not expect so much controversy over Pearl Harbor. That was not my intention. It seems to me that some events should be remembered because of their historical significance. That said I will give my two cents on the subject.

Pearl Harbor for better or worse changed the course of the United States forever, we could no longer hide behind our self-imposed isolation. While Europe had been at war for several years we endeavored to stay out of the conflict. If we had not been attacked by the Japanese it might have taken us much longer to step up and help stop Hitler from taking over the world. I personally could not imagine a world ruled by the Nazis, because of Pearl Harbor we don't have to even imagine such a thing.

There is no doubt that Pres. Roosevelt wanted to join in the fight to save Great Britain, but he could not alone sway the country to join in the fight. Before FDR was president of the United States he was the assistant secretary of the Navy. I don't believe for a moment he would've wanted his Navy to be destroyed. That would be the last thing he would've wanted to happen. Yes, I believe he expected the Japanese to attack our bases in the Philippines, that seemed to be a natural progression in their quest to control the Far East.

That is very different from thinking that he expected or could even imagine, an armada of airplanes attacking and bombing Pearl Harbor. Their attack was a complete surprise, audacious to say the least. Just as the attack on 9/11 came as a complete surprise.

At work yesterday, I mentioned Pearl Harbor, a twenty something looked at me and said tell me again what happened at Pearl Harbor!

The same group of young people could tell me chapter and verse about any NFL player or team, but they often do not know even the basics of American history. I find this to be a very sad commentary, especially when it's so easy for anyone to look up the basics on their computers or even cell phones.
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:32pm PT
I personally could not imagine a world ruled by the Nazis, because of Pearl Harbor we don't have to even imagine such a thing.

No, it was because of the Red Army, they beat the Nazis. We beat the Japanese.
Park Rat

Social climber
CA, UT,CT,FL
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 8, 2012 - 02:49pm PT
Gary,

I believe that Eisenhower would've disagreed with you on the point.
I'm pretty sure he thought that we had done our share to beat the Germans.

My late husband Peter Stern was a B 26 bomber pilot in Europe. It's his picture I posted, he's was in France at the time waiting for with the weather to clear so that he could fly is 66th bombing mission.

Like Tens of thousands of others he volunteered the day after Pearl Harbor.

Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 8, 2012 - 02:59pm PT
I believe that Eisenhower would've disagreed with you on the point.
I'm pretty sure he thought that we had done our share to beat the Germans.

That's very true. However, by the time we invaded France, the issue had already been decided. Even at the height of our fighting in the west, 77% of the German Army was engaging the Russians.

One important contribution we made to ending that war was that the Germans couldn't surrender fast enough to us and the British, while they fought to the last bullet against the Russians.

Your husband must have been a very plucky lad. How old was he when he enlisted?

This is my favorite photo from Pearl Harbor. It's amazing how young these kids are. They didn't remain kids for long.



Park Rat

Social climber
CA, UT,CT,FL
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 8, 2012 - 03:18pm PT
Peter was 20 years old about to graduate from engineering school when the war started. He was lucky that it took almost a year for him to be called up after he'd volunteered and another year to be trained. The men that went out in 1942 in 1943 really took the brunt of the war. Our planes were not the best and the B 26 became known as the widow maker for good reason.

By the time Peter became a pilot two things contributed to his making it through the war. They added several feet to the wings of the B 26 so it flew better and the Norton bomb site was being used this changed the odds of the men coming home from the missions they flew.

I've been able to do a great deal of research about my husband's bomb group and I can see that he was extremely lucky to a been called up even a few months later in the war.

He always said that the guys flying out of Great Britain had at the worst they encountered more flak and fighter planes thus having many more losses.

Early in the war if you made 25 missions you were sent home. As the odds improved the missions went up 40 and then to 60 at the end the war.

My husband volunteered to stay after his time was up and fly the brass behind the lines in the last months of the war.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Dec 8, 2012 - 04:44pm PT
As horrible a price we paid battling the Third Reich, the Soviets lost 19 times as many.

I love that photo of the Ward crew. They actually fired the first shot, period, on December 7.
Perfectly justified though. Too bad word of it was slow to reach command.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
john toland is no ordinary "conspiracy theorist".
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:27pm PT
No impartial analyst can deny that the Soviets won the European War. The
German Army and Air Force we faced was a hollow shell of what invaded Russia.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:28pm PT
This is my favorite photo from Pearl Harbor. It's amazing how young these kids are. They didn't remain kids for long.

The USS Lane Victory does several fund raiser cruses out to Catalina every summer.

The deck guns are outfitted with propane / oxygen simulators and manned by teenaged Sea Scouts when the mock aerial attacks come in from Chino.

The general reaction is "why are the kids playing with the cannons"

But it's completely historically accurate.

http://www.lanevictory.org/

If you have the cash to spare it's well worth the day and all the money goes to the upkeep of the ship.

Later dates are better.

The early ones are subject to June gloom fog.

edit: I just noticed on the dates they've shifted everything a month forward to avoid that. Also, tickets are usually sold out by January
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:39pm PT
By the time Peter became a pilot two things contributed to his making it through the war. They added several feet to the wings of the B 26 so it flew better and the Norton bomb site was being used this changed the odds of the men coming home from the missions they flew.

Just FYI, it's "Norden" bombsight.

Curt
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 06:46pm PT
Curt, I'm sure he meant the one that Norton invented with Jackie Gleason. ;-)
jstan

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 08:43pm PT
The story I have heard in the aerospace community is that the cross hairs of the Norden sight were hairs. One of the ladies working on the line had hair perfect for that application. Presumably she was bald by the end of the war.
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 8, 2012 - 08:43pm PT
Park Rat, thanks for the story. It was an extraordinary time filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

We and the Russians won for the same reason. Resources. We had them, Germany and Japan did not.

The German Panther tank was said to be the best tank in the world into the 1950s. IIRC, and I may not, they produced 5,000 of them. The Russians produced 35,000 T-34s. We produced over 50,000 Shermans. Attrition is a relentless thing.

I wonder how our tankers felt about this.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 08:55pm PT
Park Rat, with all due respect the Norden didn't increase your chances of coming back from a mission it only increased the chances that you would hit the target you were sticking your neck out for. The B-26 was a pilot's plane. It didn't have the big fat forgiving wing design of the B-17 or B-24 so it was not conducive to low-timers' sloppiness. But it was a terrific design.
Robb

Social climber
It's Ault or Nunn south of Shy Annie
Dec 9, 2012 - 02:42am PT
The B-26....it was'nt called "One a day in Tampa Bay" for nothing.
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