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Warning Signs of Pearl Harbor

Warning Signs of Pearl Harbor

Research papers on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor claim there were many warning signs of the attack. You can have these warning signs or reasons explained in a custom written research paper on Pearl Harbor from Paper Masters.

On 7 February 1932, nearly ten years before the Japanese attack, a carrier based aerial attack was launched against Pearl Harbor and the Hawaiian Islands and achieved great success. The defenders were caught completely by surprise. The attack was a training exercise with Admiral Harry Yarnell in command of the attacking forces. Yarnell eschewed conventional tactics and used aircraft carriers as his main weapon. After this demonstration, it seems that it would be elementary for the US army and navy to be prepared for such an attack by an enemy. Incredibly, such was not the case.

Pearl Harbor Attack - Not Expected

The head umpire of the exercise indicated that carrier based attacks could not be taken against Hawaii without the carriers being heavily damaged, despite the success of Yarnell's attack. Admiral Harris Laning, another umpire, also dismissed the chances of success for an air attack, stating, "As long as our fleet exists, no enemy is likely to make an attack such as this was". The umpires' attitude is amazing! It goes beyond wishful thinking. The reasons for Japanese success rest in two facts:

  • Top officials did not believe that American Forces should prepare for an air attack on Pearl Harbor because they simply did not believe that it would ever happen.
  • Military officials views were shared by most senior army and navy personnel, so the general staff of neither prepared plans to prevent an aerial attack on Pearl Harbor.

British Carrier Warning

Another warning came in the form of a British carrier based attack with obsolete planes that destroyed half of the Italian Navy on 12 November 1940. The Japanese took note of the attack. American commanders essentially ignored the British success in using carriers. Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet (CinCPAC) rejected ideas of putting torpedo nets in Pearl Harbor as too troublesome. Kimmel felt that Japan would never attack Pearl Harbor from the air because their pilots and aircraft were inferior to their American counterparts. The Commander-in-Chief of the United States Fleet, Admiral James Richardson backed Kimmel in a 7 January 1941 memo to the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). In short, American commanders simply did not believe that the Japanese could or would launch a carrier based air attack on Pearl Harbor and ignored all warning signs to the contrary.

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