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The Attack on Pearl Harbor Was One of the Best Things That Could Have Happened

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posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:12 PM
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With this being the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I thought that it might be a good time to throw this out here.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was one of the best things that could have happened to the U.S. Navy.

Now, let me explain my reasons for saying this. I spent from 1982 through 1987 in the Navy. My squadron deployed on aircraft carriers. The Navy has a policy of continuing the professional education of it's personnel. One of the main subjects of this is U.S. Naval History. As a result the libraries on Navy bases and on ship have a large selection of reading material. (this was before the Internet) One of those sources are thesis from the Naval Postgraduate School. I read one that was titled "Thank God For Pearl Harbor". I'm going to list some of the reasons in that thesis.

1. The attack saved many lives. If the Japanese wouldn't have attacked Pearl, the Fleet would have gone to the defense of the Philippines. At the time the Japanese Fleet out numbered and out classed the US Fleet. Almost half of the lives lost in the attack came from one battleship, the USS Arizona. Five other battleships were sunk or damaged in the attack, but, the majority of their crews survived, by being able to swim ashore or by being rescued. If the attack hadn't happened the US Fleet would have engaged the Japanese in the open ocean, resulting in a larger loss of life.

2. Four out of the six battleships were able to be salvaged and returned to duty, because of their being sunk in shallow water. Again if the US Fleet had gone after the Japanese Fleet, odds are that they would have been sunk in deep water, with no chance of salvage.

3. The attack changed the doctrine of the US Navy. It forced them to use the forces that they had left. The aircraft carriers and submarines. Prior to the attack, Navy doctrine was to use the carriers and submarines as scouts to locate enemy forces so that they could be engaged by the battleships. Little thought was given to attacking with carriers or using submarines to interdict the enemy's supply lines.

4. The attack forced the US Navy to modernize it's aircraft and tactics. Many planes were destroyed in the attack, but, the pilots and flight crews survived. The few pilots who got into the air found that they were out matched by Japanese fighter aircraft. The Navy was forced to replace it's aircraft with newer models. If the attack hadn't happened they would have gone up against the Japanese in the older aircraft and probably would have lost more pilots and aircrew. This was later proven by how easy the Japanese shot down the aircraft based on Midway during the Battle of Midway.

These are just some things to think about.




posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:23 PM
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Explain that to the family’s of the dead. I would bet you couldn’t convince more than a handful that you are right. You see my cousin was awarded the CMH and we don’t really care. We would rather have our family member back.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

An interesting view.

No doubt the Pacific fleet would have been, for the most part, sunk in deep water if it had went to the Phillipines. They would have walked into the bulk of a superior, at the time, Imperial Japanese Navy.

It wouldn't have been Man in the High Castle different, but it sure would have changed the length of the war in the Pacific.

Imagine if Japan had gotten Germany's Jet tech.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:28 PM
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a reply to: Nickn3

The war was going to happen one way or the other.
Pearl Harbor was in the long run one of the best outcomes imaginable.
Much like Hiroshima, many lives were saved in the long term by a sacrifice early.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:30 PM
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Not touching this thread with a 10 foot dive bomb torpedo.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:33 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

While your statement seems counterintuitive on the surface, I believe it does have merit.

You addressed mostly immediate tactical effects, but the larger strategic ramifications were affected as well.

Prior to PH, there wasn't much support in the populous for joining the war in Europe. The attack on Pearl changed public opinion immediately, and I'm not sure the Philippines, by themselves, would have had the same result.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:35 PM
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The attack was also a failure. Nimitz detailed the three major ones


Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow everyone of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or God was taking care of America.


From: "Nimitz; reflections on Pearl Harbor"



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:37 PM
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originally posted by: Nickn3
Explain that to the family’s of the dead. I would bet you couldn’t convince more than a handful that you are right. You see my cousin was awarded the CMH and we don’t really care. We would rather have our family member back.
I think you're coming off a bit emotional, rightfully so, but still, this is the here and now.

The OP does have a point, the aftermath showed us A LOT.

The past is the past and the results gleaned, we are stronger and much better now. We've forged alliances to insure nothing like this happens again..

Now, the time of mourning had ended long ago and new horizons graced us with the greatest era of world peace Humanity has ever known.

Now, we can reflect on the Post, to see what could have been and should have been.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499




The Attack on Pearl Harbor Was One of the Best Things That Could Have Happened

And so was the atom bomb.

SARC

edit on 7-12-2019 by carsforkids because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:39 PM
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originally posted by: Nickn3
Explain that to the family’s of the dead. I would bet you couldn’t convince more than a handful that you are right. You see my cousin was awarded the CMH and we don’t really care. We would rather have our family member back.


I completely understand your reaction, and that though crossed my mind, as well.

OP , however, is speculating entirely in an historical context, and there is certainly precedent for this discussion.

I'm positive he means no disrespect to those who lost their lives that day, or in the years that followed. It's an exorcise in history. Nothing more, nothing less, IMHO.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:40 PM
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originally posted by: carsforkids
a reply to: JIMC5499




The Attack on Pearl Harbor Was One of the Best Things That Could Have Happened

And so was the atom bomb.

SARC


The atom bomb was one of the best things.
Probably saved over a million lives.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:45 PM
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i struggle to find any positives from the incident.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:45 PM
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originally posted by: carsforkids
a reply to: JIMC5499




The Attack on Pearl Harbor Was One of the Best Things That Could Have Happened

And so was the atom bomb.

SARC


Why SARC?

While the bombs were indeed horrible, I don't think one can argue that any alternative would have cost more lives, both American, and Japanese certainly, but also Chinese, Russian, Burmese, etc.

Usually ppl that see it as a black or white choice, fail to take into account the context and reality of the time, in an historical perspective.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: RoScoLaz5
i struggle to find any positives from the incident.


In fairness, I don't think there was any possibility of a positive outcome, only the degree of negatives.

The world was burning. Evil rulers wer murdering ppl on a scale never imagined before in history. The only questions were how many would die before it was stopped, and how long would it take?

I do not have a degree in history, but have spent countless hours studying the period, and "positives" are few, and far between when looking at the short term.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 12:57 PM
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originally posted by: JIMC5499
If the Japanese wouldn't have attacked Pearl, the Fleet would have gone to the defense of the Philippines.


The Navy strategy at that time had already shifted from Plan Orange, directly defending the Philippines, to Rainbow 5 which was a Two Ocean plan with the Pacific seeing a forward base in or near the Caroline or Marshall Islands. This eventually became Ulithi which became the largest active anchorage of the war.



2. Four out of the six battleships were able to be salvaged and returned to duty, because of their being sunk in shallow water. Again if the US Fleet had gone after the Japanese Fleet, odds are that they would have been sunk in deep water, with no chance of salvage.


The Japanese were not expecting Kentai Kessen at Pearl Harbor, they expected to find both the carriers and battleships at harbor and sink them to allow a year or two of free operations in the Pacific. They still believed the United States would rebuild and eventually send out a fleet to hunt down the Kido Butai in the Western Pacific where the Japanese plans were to overwhelm them.


3. The attack changed the doctrine of the US Navy. It forced them to use the forces that they had left. The aircraft carriers and submarines. Prior to the attack, Navy doctrine was to use the carriers and submarines as scouts to locate enemy forces so that they could be engaged by the battleships. Little thought was given to attacking with carriers or using submarines to interdict the enemy's supply lines.


Even if the battleships at Pearl Harbor had not been sunk there wasn't enough fuel for them. Once they were refloated most stayed near the West Coast and the newer fast Battleships of the South Dakota and North Carolina Classes went to the South Pacific instead. The importance of carrier aircraft had already been established when the British lost Prince of Wales and Repulse earlier in the year. Naval doctrine was already moving towards carriers supported by fast escorts to provide anti-aircraft screening.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: Mach2




While the bombs were indeed horrible, I don't think one can argue that any alternative would have cost more lives, both American, and Japanese certainly, but also Chinese, Russian, Burmese, etc.

Usually ppl that see it as a black or white choice, fail to take into account the context and reality of the time, in an historical perspective.

Yeah no I agree with you 100% on that. I just didn't like the way one
could misconstrue the heading. Feel me?



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 01:28 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

to the OP:

you do know Winston Churchill agreed, just saying.


mg



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 01:31 PM
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originally posted by: missed_gear
you do know Winston Churchill agreed, just saying.


Agreed with what? Churchill continually pressured Roosevelt to leave the Pacific for later in the war and pushed for the American fleet to assist the British feet against the Germans immediately.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 01:37 PM
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originally posted by: carsforkids
a reply to: Mach2




While the bombs were indeed horrible, I don't think one can argue that any alternative would have cost more lives, both American, and Japanese certainly, but also Chinese, Russian, Burmese, etc.

Usually ppl that see it as a black or white choice, fail to take into account the context and reality of the time, in an historical perspective.

Yeah no I agree with you 100% on that. I just didn't like the way one
could misconstrue the heading. Feel me?


Personally, I would have worded it differently, but being a history buff, it certainly got my attention.

Such is the "internet world" we live in. Clickbait usually invokes clicks.



posted on Dec, 7 2019 @ 01:48 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus
The Prince of Wales and Repulse were lost three days after Pearl Harbor.
The massive fuel yards at Pearl were undamaged in the attack.
A relief force was assembled for Wake Island, but, Wake fell before they could get there.
Another relief force was assembled for the Philippines but, they fell before it could get there.
The Japanese were informed by a spy that the carriers were NOT in port and still attacked anyway.



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