To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=148498
64 messages

BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7

07 Dec 12 - 07:04 AM (#3448500)
Subject: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

All the sacrifices made so that we can live the way we do today.
Were they made in vain?
Does freedom ring?
Or are we slaves?
=(:-( 0)


07 Dec 12 - 07:52 AM (#3448518)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

Or is Amerika more like Nazi Germany?
We've adopted so much from them.
=(:-( ))


07 Dec 12 - 08:07 AM (#3448521)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: kendall

Most of our wars have had nothing to do with our freedom.


07 Dec 12 - 08:12 AM (#3448526)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

I know. Protecting corporate interests.
=(:-( ))


07 Dec 12 - 09:14 AM (#3448564)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Rapparee

Hank, your spelling is trapped in the 1960s. Set it free.


07 Dec 12 - 09:49 AM (#3448582)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

I was a child in the 60's.
It made an impression.
=(:-( D)


07 Dec 12 - 01:38 PM (#3448762)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Rapparee

So was I, but I matured. If you were a wine you'd be poured down the drain for being far too young to drink.


07 Dec 12 - 01:48 PM (#3448775)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: mg

Freedom is ringing, tentatively still in some places, but still ringing..in fact I have a song about it called Solstice Bells.

And they did not die in vain..in tragedy and pain but not in vain.


07 Dec 12 - 01:58 PM (#3448791)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

Well. The government has sat on its hands while the country has been invaded by foreign intruders.
=(:-( 0)


07 Dec 12 - 03:41 PM (#3448861)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: kendall

Is that a quote from Chief Sitting Bull? Chief Pontiac? or Seattle?


07 Dec 12 - 04:07 PM (#3448880)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Jack the Sailor

Intruders are American.


07 Dec 12 - 04:19 PM (#3448890)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

I am sick and tired!!!!
=(:-( P)


07 Dec 12 - 04:48 PM (#3448904)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST

And if you get some sleep, you might not still be tired. Sick, now.....that's another problem.


07 Dec 12 - 07:23 PM (#3448985)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

"All the sacrifices made so that we can live the way we do today."

Hmmm. Questionable. I don't think the Empire of Japan was out to change the way North Americans live...nor ever could have done so even if they'd wanted to...which they didn't anyway. They were trying to secure a large Asian sphere of influence in order to acquire vital industrial resources for their limited island economy. I don't think they gave a damn one way or the other about the way we live. Why would they?


"Were they made in vain?"

Yes and no. Depends on how you look at it. It helps if you win, of course. I hate to think how those on the losing side of a war must feel after several years of blood and sacrifice.

"Does freedom ring?"

Not when you pass things like the Patriot Act and the NDAA, it doesn't. Not when you waterboard people in secret prisons. I'll tell you where freedom rings. It's inside your own heart and mind.

"Or are we slaves?"

To some extent, yes. We are slaves to a system. But we are still free inside our own hearts and minds.


07 Dec 12 - 08:01 PM (#3448997)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: bobad

"Well. The government has sat on its hands while the country has been invaded by foreign intruders."


07 Dec 12 - 08:37 PM (#3449019)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Charley Noble

Well, let us pause for a moment and try to remember those who sacrificed so much during World War 2. It was a time when it seemed as if the world was going to be conquered by the Nazis and their Fascist allies, that they were truly unstoppable.

It was years before our government informed the public that almost our entire Pacific Fleet, with the important exception of our aircraft carriers, was either badly damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor or lying on the bottom of the bay.

Charley Noble


07 Dec 12 - 09:16 PM (#3449031)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: kendall

Hitler never wanted war with us. He knew he could not win in the long run, but he had to back his partner, japan.

They failed to do any REAL damage in that attack. Battle ships were on their way out so no great loss except for the men in them.
They failed to take out the fuel depots and of course, the carriers which proved their biggest mistake. Those carriers at the battle of Midway turned the course of the war in our favor.

As Yamamoto said, "I fear we have awakened a sleeping giant."

As I understand our history, we have only had two wars that had anything to do with our freedom. The revolution and the War of 1812.


07 Dec 12 - 09:55 PM (#3449044)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: gnu

bobad... THAT is PRICELESS!


07 Dec 12 - 10:00 PM (#3449047)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

I think Hitler could have chosen not to back Japan, Kendall, but he made an emotional decision rather than a rational one when he declared war on the USA shortly (2 days?) after the Pearl Harbour attack. It was a big mistake. Japan had not done a thing to help Germany when others declared war on Germany. They were pragmatists. Hitler was a romantic...if you get what I mean...he made decisions on the basis of violent emotions.

Yamamoto had opposed the very idea of war with America...he figured it was unwinnable...but he dutifully followed the order when the government told him to open hostilities...and he put together the best attack plan he felt he could, under the circumstances.

The attack did real damage of a pretty serious sort, and it did put the American Navy in a difficult spot for about 6 months, but they were tremendously lucky to have the 3 aircraft carriers in those waters out of the harbour on training maneuvers that day. (Japanese orders were to sink the carriers first!) American admirals expected still to be fighting naval wars primarily with battleships in 1941. That was the old school naval doctrine they'd lived by all their lives. They thought aircraft carriers would be more useful mainly for scouting and commerce raiding, but Yamamota kicked them right into the modern age by sinking most of their Pacific fleet battleships in one day with his carrier planes. They were thereby forced to modernize their naval doctrine, and they adapted very quickly.

That was bad luck for Japan.

Yamamoto might have done far better to not attack Pearl at all. Had he not, the American fleet would have steamed west toward the Phillipines, seeking a huge battleship duel to decide the war, and the highly trained and experienced Japanese pilots would in all probability have slaughtered them with carrier attacks in deep water, bagged their carriers as well, and the USA (in the Pacific theatre) would have been in very deep shit for at least a year or two after that.

So, I think Yamamoto's best tactic would have been NOT to make a long range forward pre-emptive attack, but to lure the American fleet west into Japanese-controlled waters. He'd likely have beaten them very badly when they arrived, because they'd have been thinking in old school "battleship" terms (a 20 mile punch), and he'd have been thinking in new aircraft carrier warfare terms (a 300 mile punch)...plus, he'd have had the aid of many land-based torpedo bombers like the ones that easily sank the battleships Prince of Wales and Repulse off Malaya.

I'd bet 5 to 1 odds on the Japanese to decisively win that fleet confrontation in early '42.

But it's all hypothetical... ;-) And they'd still probably have lost the war in the end anyway. The USA could build at least 10 ships for every ship the Japanese could build, and the American military forces were good at quickly learning new ways of fighting...when they were forced to.

****

Regarding the War of 1812. I don't think that one was fought for your freedom either. It resulted primarily from American ambitions to conquer Canada. The USA administration at the time thought it would just be a question of "walking" there...since British colonial forces in Canada were very badly outnumbered by the USA. The British never envisioned conquering the USA in that war, and never tried to, they just made some retaliatory raids (like the one on Washington or the one at New Orleans). Therefore, my view of it is that it was fought for Canadian freedom. We were the ones who stood to lose our country. ;-D And that's the way virtually every Canadian sees it. It is the one war we have definitely fought to preserve our way of life.

I'll grant though, that the American Revolutionary War was most certainly fought for your freedom...in the sense of securing your independence as a sovereign nation. I don't think it made much of a difference in terms of normal civil rights. Those were very similar in the USA and all across the British Empire. It was just a question of who was in charge at the top, who would decide about tax laws, etc....and that's where the revolutionaries and the British Crown could not agree. Britain already had a fully functioning parliamentary democracy in place, and the King (a constitutional monarch) had to defer to parliament. Wars had been fought in England previously which secured those rights.

Most Britons at the time thought themselves to be living in the free-est society in the world, given their civil and legal rights as citizens, their Bill of Rights, their courts, etc.

Americans thought the same. My feeling is that there was little difference between them when it came to ordinary social "freedom", but the Americans wanted a homegrown government, not one that had its headquarters located across the Atlantic Ocean.


07 Dec 12 - 10:23 PM (#3449051)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Rapparee

After Lend-Lease and the other support the US gave Britain I think Hitler would have eventually declared war on the US but only AFTER he decisively defeated the UK -- difficult because of places like Canada and Australia. Plans were in place to continue the British Government from Canada -- gold had been shipped there in 1939 on HMS Resolution and HMS Revenge and again these ships left Britain on May 30, 1940 with 40 million pounds in gold bullion (Operation Fish). Ostensibly this was to pay for the US for war supplies, but that Fish was more than that has come out over the years.

Hitler made his biggest mistake when he opened the Eastern Front. Stalin wanted no part of a war with Germany (although he did take his part of Poland).

Japan, short of raw materials in the home islands, should never have attacked the US and Yamamoto, who studied in the US, knew that (he had planned an attack on Pearl Harbor similar to the one executed on Dec. 7, 1941 while studying in the US). But the US Navy, like all military forces, was well equipped and ready to fight the last war all over again -- or even Trafalgar. The two most devastating blows to the Japanese navy, and Japan itself, came at the Battle of Midway and when US aircraft shot down the plane carrying Yamamoto.


07 Dec 12 - 10:30 PM (#3449057)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: gnu

Rap... "difficult because of places like Canada and Australia."

Oh, I know people may be tired of my reminders but... Vimy and Dieppe is all I will say "again" on behalf of Canucks. I'll leave all the in depth analysies to the experts.


07 Dec 12 - 10:38 PM (#3449058)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Rapparee

And the Burma Railway and New Guinea and Suvla and a lot of other places. But I meant that the UK was larger than Britain and hence very difficult to defeat. I know that I wouldn't want to match up against the PPLI or any other Canuck or ANZAC outfit!


08 Dec 12 - 01:21 AM (#3449079)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

It was very difficult for Hitler to conquer the UK, given the small size of the Kriegsmarine and the large size (and experience) of the Royal Navy, not to mention the excellent RAF. I doubt he'd ever have managed it, even without opening an Eastern Front, but I do think he might have made things difficult enough for the British to eventually arrive at a fairly satisfactory "mutual arrangement" with them after a few years of stalemate which could have temporarily ended their war without either side losing it.

How could he have done that? Well, he needed to put all his effort into driving the British out of the Mediterranean Theatre. This he might have managed if he'd left Russia alone and made a much more serious effort to take North Africa, Malta, Egypt and the Suez Canal...and maybe Gibraltar (but he'd have had to convince Franco to help him for that...or invade Spain). With Egypt taken, he could then have moved forces into the Middle East to get the oil there, and the British would have been forced to reroute all their Asian trade traffic around the Cape of Good Hope.

Given such a situation, the British, clever pragmatists that they always are, might have felt it better to bargain with the Germans and arrive at an arrangement where Hitler holds western Europe and they hold the British Empire, get back some of what they lost in the Med perhaps, and the fighting stops.

Just possibly this could have happened with a successful enough German-Italian campaign in the Med.

But it would probably have led to further fighting with Britain and the USA at some point not too far down the road, and the Americans and British would have joined forces, figuring Germany was getting too powerful to tolerate.

Hitler's original plans for war in the West were predicated on not starting that war until 1944. He felt his navy would be ready by then. So the start of the war in '39 was not what he expected at all, and it derailed the plans he had to build a sizable modern navy that could challenge the British and Americans.

He really didn't think they'd fight him over Poland. That was another one of his big miscalculations. (From his point of view, he couldn't understand why they would even bother fighting on behalf of the Poles! He did not appreciate the fact that Britain and France, countries just as proud as Germany, had simply had enough of his bullying tactics by that time. Of course, he thought he was "the good guy". The usual thing people think. He regarded Poland as an abberation. It hadn't even existed as a political entity when he was a young man...half of if was in Germany then and the other half was in Russia. This, to Hitler, was the normal state of affairs, and the new nation of Poland that arose after the Treaty of Versailles was an "abberation", a land theft from Germany and Russia, a government which had no right to exist. Stalin felt the same way. That's why it was natural that the Germans and Russians decided to divide Poland between themselves in the Fall of '39.)

The Poles, of course, didn't see it that way!


08 Dec 12 - 06:06 AM (#3449130)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: sciencegeek

What was supposed to have happened on Dec. 7, 1941 was a declaration of war by Japan followed by a preemptive attack on Pearl, which was hoped to make America capitulate quickly to cut their losses. Despite the Lend Lease program, most Americans did not want to get dragged into another world war... they had their own problems with recovering from the Great Depression.

We all know what happened instead.

As for Hitler... he was nuts, but had one hell of a cult following. And he had a some impressive military minds to help him carve out his empire... thank god his megalomania made him override their sage advise when he really should have been listening. I think he declared war because he was pissed off by America's aid to England and he too thought that Americans wouldn't have the heart to fight, especially given the large Germanic population within America. Not 15 miles from where I grew up, residents had swastikas painted on their roofs to let German bombers know who not to bomb. So I guess Adolf wasn't the only nut out there.

If I were to postulate an alternate history where America stayed out of the war, I'd say that Japan & Germany would have carved up the Soviet Union between them, England would have been toast, and Canada, the US and Mexico would have been forced into some kind of North American alliance for self protection. imho


08 Dec 12 - 03:58 PM (#3449396)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

It would actually have been a smart move, I think, for Japan to join in the war against Russia early in 1941...and to leave the USA alone. This would probably have led to a Russian defeat, and Japan and Germany would have carved up Russia, as you say.

However, it wasn't going to happen. The Japanese had had their fingers burned in a limited war with the Russians in the late '30s (the Nomonhan Incident). Although they bested the Russians in the air combat over Nomonhan, they did quite poorly against the better-armed Russians on the ground. The Russians had far superior tanks and heavy artillery.

This made the Japanese extremely hesitant to get in a large land war with Russia. They were eager to avoid that possibility at all costs. Thus Hitler got no help from them at all, and they moved south instead to fight a naval war with Great Britain, the Dutch East Indies, and the USA.

Hitler was a very popular man in Germany in the late 30s, as you say. He had an extremely loyal populace (for the most part), because he had greatly improved the economy and strength of Germany in the years before the war. They people who supported him weren't technically crazy...they were just regular people who had confidence in his leadership, that's all. At the time...it seemed to be working...and everyone loves a winner, don't they?

German career officers did not expect Hitler to declare war on the USA after Pearl Harbour, and they must have been shocked and quite worried about it when he did. They already had more than enough on their hands fighting the UK and Russia.

As for Japan, Stalin's belated and opportunistic attack on them in Manchuria in the last few days of WWII may have had just as big an effect on their decision to surrender as the 2 atom bombs did. The one thing they were most afraid of (other than harm to their Emperor) was a major land war in Asia with the Russians.


08 Dec 12 - 04:42 PM (#3449447)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

What would it be like now if they'd won?
=(:-( 0)


08 Dec 12 - 06:54 PM (#3449518)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Who? The Germans? Or the Japanese?

If the Japanese had won their sphere of influence in East Asia and the Pacific, things here probably wouldn't be a lot different, except psychologically speaking (we wouldn't see ourselves as the ruling "cops of the world"). Also, the Japanese would probably still be fighting in central China...there's no way they'd ever have taken over all of it. There are just too many Chinese.

If the Germans had won in Europe? Well, it would have been a very nasty situation for Europe, that's for sure, an absolutely miserable situation for Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Leftists, and Communists, but I doubt that the Germans would ever have been capable of mounting a successful invasion of North America. Like all other empires in Europe, the Germans would have dominated the European scene for a while. They would have gotten into some more wars with other empires...such as North America and/or Japan. And history would have lurched on toward the next thing, as it always does. Power moves around from one place to another. Holland, Spain, Sweden, Italy (as Rome), Portugal, and France were all once great powers who temporarily dominated the European scene...either through war or through commerce.


08 Dec 12 - 07:24 PM (#3449536)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: kendall

Little Hawk, part of the reason for the war of 1812 was Englands habit of boarding American ships and claiming that the crews were British subjects.Even if they had been, which they probably were to some extent, the British Navy had no right to stop and board the ships of a soveriegn nation on the high seas.


08 Dec 12 - 07:34 PM (#3449541)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

They enslaved Americans.
=(:-( ))


08 Dec 12 - 11:59 PM (#3449591)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Yeah, Kendall that was part of the reason...but I think it was mainly more of a handy excuse for what the American presidency at the time saw as a simply grand opportunity to about double the size of the USA. One always needs a foreign "offense" of some sort to get the public worked up, after all, and that one worked fine.

It was a real issue, though. Granted. The British dominated the sea at that time, and they weren't much worried about the very small American Navy, so they basically did what they wanted to in that regard.

If I'd been an American president looking to conquer Canada in 1812, that's exactly the issue I would have used to get the public and Congress onside for what looked like a quick and easy victory. It was a war that ended in a draw with no material gain for either side...and they both claimed victory! ;-) For British North America (Canada) it was a matter of sheer survival, however. Without our many Native Indian allies, we'd probably not have won that conflict. We're grateful to them now, but they got little reward for it back then.


09 Dec 12 - 12:34 AM (#3449594)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

We should invade Canada.
Human rights abuses.
=(:-( 0)


09 Dec 12 - 01:03 AM (#3449602)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Yes Kendall, but British "Press Gangs" filled their naval ranks by forcing many others as well, into military service. Scotland was a favourite hunting ground for these bands of pirates of the crown! They believed that anyone born under sway of the Union Jack to be British citizens, and therefore fair game!
In my mind the military draft board of the USA acted no differently than the actions of the British press gangs during the Vietnam war. The USA tried to enforce its draft on dual citizens and legal residents in Canada during that time, often with help or indifference from the Canadian government of the day. On and on it goes as those create a demand for cannon fodder from our youth hide far beyond the line of fire!
Most wars are fought by heroes but planned by cowards!


09 Dec 12 - 01:20 AM (#3449606)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Henry Krinkle

The real heroes are the ones that refuse to go.
=(:-( ))


09 Dec 12 - 07:54 AM (#3449699)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: sciencegeek

The War of 1812 was the response of the fledgling US to British actions that were felt to undermine the sovereignty of the US... impressing naturalized citizens (many who were Irish born), encouraging and supporting native tribes to attack American settlers, a host of actions that were considered attacks on American honor, and- yes- a small faction that encouraged the belief that Canada needed liberating.... also, America has two strong opposing viewpoints - that of New England and that of the Southern states... which culminated in our Civil War.

Madison often quoted what Benjamin Franklin was noted having said following the Battle of Yorktown: "The War of Revolution is won, but the War for Independence is yet to be fought." - wiki
It was viewed as the second war of independence by Americans.

Incursions into Canada most likely hoped to capture and hold hostage territory for future exchange... the Treaty of Ghent resulted in no change in the national boundaries.

The war may have been a draw... but American's felt that they had stood up to a bully and remained standing. A relations with Britain were still strained and unpleasant.

The real breakthrough in bringing respect between our two nations came through the efforts of an American businessman to assist Lady Franklin in her search for the Franklin Expedition. The Admiralty had written off the continued search as futile, but she continued her efforts. The two American search efforts failed to find Franklin... but an American whaling ship did salvage one of the "lost" British search vessel, the Resolute.... which was then purchased and refurbished by Congress to be presented to Queen Victoria on 13 December 1856 as a token of comity.

A gesture of peace and respect did more to improve relations between England and America than one war and several treaties...

And realistically, why would the US fight a war to "conquer" Canada when we had just made the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the size of the country? Especially when the northern states bordering Canada were NOT in favor of annexation.


09 Dec 12 - 09:08 AM (#3449722)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Some interesting stuff there, sciencegeek.

The funny thing is, Canadians also felt that we "had stood up to a bully and remained standing". And we still feel that way. After all, we did repell an invasion by a considerably larger army. It all depends which side of the border you're standing on as to how you perceive it.

Where the USA has great reason for pride is in how well their excellently built frigates did in some of the small naval battles of that war...and, of course, the successful defense of New Orleans a few days after the war was officially over.


09 Dec 12 - 10:00 AM (#3449739)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: sciencegeek

LH...

there is great truth in the observation, "strong fences make good neighbors"...

the exploration/exploitation of the Americas was pretty haphazard... nations sent out ships & claimed everything in sight (and out of sight - but hoped to be there) that they thought they could get away with.

Native peoples were merely one more obstacle to get around.

The result in North America was a lot of land grants from England, territorial claims by the French and Dutch coupled with trappers/trade companies and settlers moving into new areas... and I think everyone had their own idea about who controlled what.

By 1800, there was a better idea about what was out there... now it was a matter of establishing claims that would stand... for the white population at least.

There was tension between Britain and the newly formed USA about where the boundary between the states and Canada actually was... it took a number of treaties to come up with the present line...

add to that the number of British supporters who left the US for Canada after the Revolution that agitated against the US. There was a fight brewing that had little to do with what the concerned the rest of the US. The border issue was a pawn rather than a rook or bishop in the "grand game of chess" between Britain & America... imho

I do agree that American shipbuilding and seamanship did itself proud... if waging war is something to take pride in.


09 Dec 12 - 01:24 PM (#3449812)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Sounds accurate to me, sciencegeek.

Waging war is a habit we'd all be better off without, that's for sure.

Think how much the North American Indian tribes could have accomplished to each other's mutual benefit if they had not been so busy fighting wars against one another! And the same goes for the Europeans, only even moreso.


09 Dec 12 - 01:50 PM (#3449818)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: sciencegeek

WOW!

agreement on a mudcat thread drift.... LOL

unfortunately for the pre-Columbian inhabitants, isolation left them vulnerable to diseases brought by newcomers.

there has been scientific speculation that the African slave trade was "successful" was because the west african populations had enough exposure to disease that they survived longer than local populations.

perhaps things would have been different if the earliest northern European contact with North America had been more successful... but the onset of the "Little Ice Age" precluded more contact.


09 Dec 12 - 06:06 PM (#3449901)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Les from Hull

As usual people fail to understand Britain's impressment of sailors. As an island nation and the world's foremost maritime power, Britain maintained a large navy, but relied on a form of conscription to man its ships during time of war. So, by Acts of Parliament, British sailors had a legal duty to serve in the Royal Navy. They could not avoid this by serving on board foreign vessels, or by claiming they had become the subjects of another nation. This concept was unknown at the time. In the incident between Leopard and Constitution the Royal Navy was looking for deserters, and US Navy ships were known to shelter them. Four men were taken off, three returned as innocent, the other hanged.

In the action between Shannon and Chesapeake, after the latter's surrender, a party of sailors continued attacking, seriously wounding Captain Broke, who was trying to save further bloodshed. Guess what, British deserters.

There are quite a numer of other cases. I'm not defending impressment, it was a rotten system and very much unliked. But it was the system. If, during the Vietnam War, US Army deserters joined the Canadian Army you might be a bit upset not to get them back.

In spite of a lot that has been written about the naval side of this war, the US Navy never won one single ship action between ships of equal force. After some early success against merchant ships, mostly by privateers, the naval blockade more or less halted commercial traffic and just about bankrupt the US Government. And as for boarding other nations' ships, can you say 'Steamer Trent'?


09 Dec 12 - 06:31 PM (#3449912)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler

Well done Prince Albert! If Britain had gone to war over the incident, it's entirely possible that the North would have lost your civil war. 21st century black slavery anybody?


09 Dec 12 - 06:51 PM (#3449920)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST,Lighter

The Trent was boarded but no British subjects were seized.

Whatever the theoretical justification, from the British point of view, for impressment in 1812, the United States had every reason to resent the systematic interference with its small (and, as you suggest, not especially formidable) navy, particularly since the RN was at that point master of the seas and an arm of the very power that the Revolution had been fought to escape from. And more particularly since many thousands of U.S. sailors, now citizens, were regarded as British subjects by the UK (including the many, many Irish, who felt especially threatened.

It would have been irresponsible, politically dangerous, and probably unconstitutional for the U.S. government not to protect its citizens in such circumstances. The RN even stationed ships in U.S. territorial waters, an obvious provocation likely to bring on war all by itself.

Impressment was not the only cause of war. It is worth noting, however, about 40% of Congress still voted against going to war with Britain.

But we did and you lost. Get over it, Limeys! We fixed up the White House too! Ha!

PS: We planned to get back the VN deserters by invading Canada, but it would have cut off deliveries of Molson so we let 'em go. Lucky for the Canucks! It's all in the Pentagon Papers.


09 Dec 12 - 07:16 PM (#3449928)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: gnu

Lighter... what war did you win?


09 Dec 12 - 08:31 PM (#3449947)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

He won the war in his own mind! ;-) Sort of.

The US Navy presented no major threat to the British in 1812-14, but it did have a few frigates that outclassed any other frigates in the world at the time. They were built larger, faster, heavier-gunned, and with heavier sides (to resist incoming fire). It was these frigates (primarily the USS Constitution) which won some famous encounters with less formidable British frigates.

In the Chesapeake and Shannon fight, however...another battle between frigates...the British won. Captain Broke had a superbly trained crew and he'd been preparing for the battle for some time. He was rewarded with a bloody victory over the Chesapeake in what has been called the fiercest naval engagement of that war.


09 Dec 12 - 09:06 PM (#3449961)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST,Lighter

"They run so fast that the hounds couldn't ketch 'em."

Music doesn't lie.


09 Dec 12 - 09:11 PM (#3449963)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Jack the Sailor

The British Navy used to kidnap British subjects in English ports and press them into the Royal Navy. According to family lore, it happened to one of my ancestors.


09 Dec 12 - 09:39 PM (#3449967)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: gnu

Lighter... either you don't read other's posts or you choose not to answer my question. If I am to assume you have a brain it means you won't answer my question which I will take as you admitting "you" never won "the War", even tho readers have NO idea which war you might, in fact, be referring to.

I could surmise you were referring to the War of 1812 by your post in which you say, "We fixed up the White House too! Ha!"

To that, I would say, when Her Majesty dines at 24 Sussex Drive, they use the good dishes from your White House. Oh, and, by the way, good chap, when they serve brekky, the cereal is made by Kellogs. By George!... that's the VERY SAME Kellogs cereal at YOUR brekky table. Do the arithmetic.

Welcome to the real world, Lighter. Read some real history. You didn't win squat. That's why you still send troops where Her Majesty decides you will send them and when. If you think otherwise, you had better eat your Kellogs while you can.


09 Dec 12 - 10:46 PM (#3449979)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST,DDT

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor because they had no other real choice. The US was engaging in an oil embargo against the Japan who desperately needed the oil. On top of that, the US froze all Japanese assets in the US. Japan was slowly smothering to death and had to do something drastic and fast. The had to seize the moment, as it were. It was a case of "Do something now or go down without a whimper." They had a choice to bomb Pearl Harbor or San Diego. The latter was easier to reach but Pearl Harbor was isolated and completely unready so Japan seized the moment.

The US didn't care about Japan--whom it knew it could and would beat--but about Hitler. The US wanted into the war to get rid of Hitler. They couldn't just jump in because a large portion of the US population was pacifist and had been since WWI. A country had to attack the US to make getting into the war a possibility. If no country did, then one would have to forced to do so and it just happened to be Japan.

So the govt left Pearl Harbor with a big "BOMB ME" sign stuck on it and the Japanese, having little other recourse, took the bait. The meaning of Yamamoto's words were not those of a man regretting attacking America but that the attack was simply not enough and Japan would almost assuredly lose the war. But Japan did what it had to do at that time but was already so militarily and economically weakened that it was too little too late.

And that's the name of that tune.


10 Dec 12 - 01:37 PM (#3450192)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Les from Hull

But why did the USA impose those embargoes? Was it because Japan was run by a bunch of militaristic shits who had decided that they had a divine right to run East Asia and had started the job in 1937 by invading China. And then they'd signed a pact with Germany and Italy. Over there the Second World War started in 1937.

Maybe they should have just joined the existing war with Britain. They could have taken Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore etc. The Dutch East Indies could not be defended, plenty of oil there. They had a working relationship with Vichy France to use airfields in French Indo-China, if not that would be easy to invade. What would the USA do then?


10 Dec 12 - 02:13 PM (#3450211)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Les from Hull

Actually by 1814 the Royal Navy had more 'super frigates' than the USA. There were Newcastle and Leander, similar to the American ships. There were razees such as Saturn and Majestic. There were the Endymion class of 24pdr frigates, pitch pine versions of the Endymion, a copy of a French capture La Pomone, and the finest frigate in the Royal Navy.

It was Endymion that beat USS President, although she could not take possesion of her prize as her boats had been destroyed and had to wait for other ships of her squadron. And of course by 1815 we had President too, but she was too damaged to take into service. We did make a copy though.

It was such a shame that you had to set light to USS Colombia, building at Washington when your army ran away. And all this in a war you 'won', Lighter.


10 Dec 12 - 03:25 PM (#3450231)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Don Firth

Boy, I can really get impatient with revisionist history!

I've heard a lot of crapola about this, such as how FDR started WWII to get the U.S. out of the Great Depression, which was pretty well over well before we got into the war. And much to the irritation of some of our European friends, FDR was doing his damnedest to keep the U.S. out of the war in Europe, even though he knew we were going to have to get into it sooner or later. Hitler was not about to stop with Europe. He was insanely ambitious.

The fact is (and I was a kid when this was going on, but I was a sharp kid and I remember) that Japan had thoroughly outraged a lot of the world by their policy of trying to turn the Pacific Ocean and all its contents into a "Japanese pond." and the unspeakable brutality of such things as "the Rape of Nanking."

The classic photo, HERE.

In hospitals, after killing the doctors and nurses, they then tended to the patients themselves, HERE.

Are we having fun yet? HERE.

And read THIS—if you have the stomach for it!!

THAT was why the U.S. stopped selling scrap metal to Japan (they were turning it into weapons) and the reason for the oil embargo.

Japan sent a "peace delegation" to Washington, D.C. to negotiate with the American government regarding the embargo, and while the negotiations were going on, the Japanese military sucker punched the U.S. with the Pearl Harbor attack.

The Japanese didn't really know how much damage they had inflicted on the U.S. Pacific fleet, and that they could have invaded the West Coast of the U.S. and there wasn't a helluva lot we could have done to stop the. This didn't come out until the war was pretty well over.

DO try to get it right!!

Don Firth


10 Dec 12 - 04:26 PM (#3450248)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Oh, yes, DO try to get it right, Don! ;-)

Both the Americans and the Japanese had been trying to turn the Pacific into their own "pond" ever since Admiral Togo won at Tsushima and the USA took the Phillipines in 1898. They were 2 great naval empires, both trying to dominate one ocean. Old story.

And we all know the Japanese acted brutally in China and did unspeakable things there. This is no news to anyone.

And there's no frickin' way the Japanese could have successfully invaded the USA West Coast, and they never realistically contemplated doing so. If they had done so...by some miracle of misguided hubris...it would not have gone well for them.

And they knew exactly how much damage they had inflicted on the US fleet at Pearl...right down to every last ship they sank or damaged. How much? Not enough, that's how much. Plenty of damage, yes...pretty spectacular...but still not enough. They missed the carriers that day and they didn't damage the oil tank farm or the essential repair facilities (drydocks). They did one heck of a job on the battleships and the airfields...but that still wasn't enough.

As for the old "sucker punch" thing...that is the whole principle of war. If you're going to attack at all, you try to do it unexpectedly. You take the target by surprise if at all possible. To do otherwise would be foolish in the extreme. Just ask the Israelis about that. Surprise is THE most essential factor in a successful attack on a well-defended military base such as Pearl.

Now, let's waste the rest of our day arguing with each other about all this stuff, Don... ;-) Oh, boy. Fun. It's too bad one can't get paid for doing this.


10 Dec 12 - 05:47 PM (#3450274)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz

Wow Henry...Ah yes, Dec 7, the Christmas lights are going up, and there is a little NIP in the air...

Pearl Harbor, Then Atom bombs, then this...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companies_of_Japan

Whatchagonna do? Count how many Japanese products&services you use & subtract from that the memories of Pearl Harbor, and you come up with the TOTAL = Insanity of war...

There is a real nice guy that runs a depanneur(corner store), who always calls me Sir. About as respectful a man as you'll meet... He is Vietnamese. Don't want to tell him I'm American...

Life can be surreal at times...


10 Dec 12 - 05:49 PM (#3450277)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Don Firth

As I said, I get pretty damned sick and tired of hearing Right-Wing revisionist history. A lot of that got hatched up after WW II by the Republican Party, which was smarting under the regulatory policies put in place by FDR and hated his guts. The idea was to blame anything and everything on the Democrats, particularly FDR!!

They were especially smarting when Truman got re-elected, when they were so sure that Thomas Dewey would win by a landslide, even going so far as to print the newspapers up before the election was over.

Famous photo of Truman the day after the election:    CLICKY.

I didn't get this out of somebody's Monday morning quarterbacking book about the war. Like I said, I REMEMBER it!!

Vas you dere, Sharlie!??

Don Firth


10 Dec 12 - 05:58 PM (#3450281)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Don Firth

As to the endorsement of the "sucker punch," International Law at the time demanded that a state of war be officially declared at least 24 hours before any hostile action

On the basis of this, Japan was guilty of war crimes--violating International Law with the Pearl Harbor attack.

The Japanese "peace delegation" that was sent to Washington, D.C. just prior to the attack was essentially a "kamikazi" mission for the delegates, and a "watch the birdie" move on the part of Japan.

Don Firth


10 Dec 12 - 08:05 PM (#3450332)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Yeah, that's right, Don. As far as I'm concerned, all pre-planned wars or "wars of choice" are war crimes, regardless of the legal technicalities one way or the other. War itself is a gigantic crime against humanity. There's no doubt that the Japanese were long guilty of aggression war by 1941...they started off that whole Asian war when they attacked China in 1937.

(The ordinary Japanese citizen, however, was under the impression that the Chinese had started that war...the usual thing that is achieved by domestic propaganda. Everybody always thinks the other guy is to blame. Germans were also usually under the impression that others were to blame for the wars in which the Germans got involved.)

My suggestion that FDR helped maneuver the Japanese into attacking the USA has nothing to do with rightwing politics, however. Everything in the world doesn't boil down to squabbling between Democrats and Republicans, you know...and I've always pretty much approved of FDR, all things considered. The Japanese were themselves to blame for having invaded China, and starting off the whole mess. FDR was just dealing with the usual political problems that arise between great powers in a time like that, and I think he handled it rather well.


10 Dec 12 - 08:14 PM (#3450335)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST,DDT

>>>But why did the USA impose those embargoes? Was it because Japan was run by a bunch of militaristic shits who had decided that they had a divine right to run East Asia<<<

Yes. According the US and Britain (as the Opium Wars will amply testify) that was THEIR job not some upstart like Japan whom they had never been able to take over. It was a matter of pride, after all.

>>>THAT was why the U.S. stopped selling scrap metal to Japan (they were turning it into weapons) and the reason for the oil embargo.<<<

Right, everybody knows only the United States and those countries that suck up to it are allowed to make weapons. Any other country who does so or that the US even thinks is doing so (ahem Iraq) is what they now euphemistically label "Terrorist."

As for Japan's depredations, no one denies they weren't committing them but, come on, the US LOVES to back countries that commit depredations on innocent people (the aforementioned Opium Wars would be a good example) just so long as the US gets a cut of the pie. The US installed some of the worst dictators the world has ever seen in Central and South America and toppled democratically elected leaders in order to install those dictators. So I'm completely unmoved by Firth's phony crocodile tears.

As for Pearl Harbor being a surprise attack, let's face it--Pearl Harbor was ripe to be attacked by someone. Those planes were detected long before they got to Hawaii and the US did nothing. A mysterious U-boat was seen off the Hawaiian coast and no one bothered to investigate it. Now, I am a proud veteran of the United States Navy and they taught me how to stand watch and it wasn't like that. Those guys should have been put on report, court-martialed, stripped of their rank and some should have been sent to Leavenworth.

The purpose of a military is protect the country against attack (which are usually not announced beforehand) and the US failed. Too bad. But then I don't really believe the govt wanted Pearl Harbor to be vigilant because if they did, Pearl Harbor wouldn't have happened. So either the people in charge of Pearl Harbor were incredibly and criminally negligent or they were simply doing what someone high up in the govt told them to do. That's all the choices you get.


10 Dec 12 - 08:15 PM (#3450336)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: GUEST,Lighter

Reportedly the Japanese had prepared a declaration of war, to be sent at literally the last moment, but a technical screw-up prevented it from being sent until after the attack.

The "negotiators" were apparently kept in the dark.

Tokyo hadn't bothered with a declaration of war on Russia in 1904.

Part (but only part) of the FDR fantasy came from refusal to believe that "near-sighted little Japs" could have pulled off so daring an attack without plenty of help from somebody white.


10 Dec 12 - 10:01 PM (#3450360)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

I think practically no one in the USA at the time had any idea how effective the Japanese were until after Pearl Harbour. The general idea was that their planes were outdated designs, inferior copies of American aircraft at best. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.


10 Dec 12 - 11:41 PM (#3450380)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Don Firth

"Everything in the world doesn't boil down to squabbling between Democrats and Republicans, you know."

I am not so simple-minded, Little Hawk.

What I know about WWII comes from a) being old enought to know what was going on, and b) some fairly extensive reading later on about things I heard about on the radio and read in the newspapers before, during, and after the war. And from several books in my library by eminent and well-respected historians.

Most comments I hear lately are from people who weren't even born when the war happened. And many of them are into the "Whatever happened was the fault of the United States" mindset. And generaally the folks operating on this premise are into rewriting history to make it fit their prejudices.

Now, I'm no flag-waver and have been accused on occasion of being "unpatriotic" for some of my views on things, both recent and historical, so don't make that mistake.

Don Firth

P. S. By the way, I've had long conversations with a man, the father of a young woman I sang several concerts with in the early Sixties, who was a retired Rear Admiral in the navy, and was AT Pearl Harbor when the attack occurred.


11 Dec 12 - 10:24 AM (#3450498)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Les from Hull

With all due respect, history is not necessarily best written by those who were there. Certainly they can make an important contribution, but they will only see one aspect and that will be coloured by their experiences. No, history is best written by historians with access to a full range of sources, both personal and documentary, and with no particular axe to grind.


11 Dec 12 - 12:36 PM (#3450538)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

I'm not saying it was the USA's fault, Don. Not by any means. It was primarily Japan's fault, because they should not have gone on a militaristic kick and invaded China in 1937. Everything they did after that derived from their invasion of China and their commitment to seeking a final (and highly unlikely) victory there.

I am saying, however, that the USA and Japan were getting ready to fight a naval war with each other all through the 20s and 30s, and it finally happened in the 40s. It was probably as inevitable as Britain's confrontation with Germany in WWI or Napoleon's confrontation with England. You build all that expensive stuff and you finally get around to using it sometime. It's what happens when competing empires get in each other's way.

I do think FDR deliberately put the Japanese in a position in '41 where they would go to war, and I think he had good reasons for doing so. That doesn't mean the war was his "fault" in a condemnatory sense...it just means he was a shrewd calculator. I think the one way he probably slipped up was that he most likely underestimated Japanese military capabilities...and I don't think he was expecting his battleship fleet to get sunk in Pearl Harbour! (though I do think he was expecting the Japanese to go to war very soon...he most likely anticipated a Japanese invasion of the Phillipines rather than the Pearl Harbour strike. The American expectation would have been that "McArthur can hold out for several months in the Phillipines. We'll send the fleet to Phillipine waters and destroy the Japanese Navy in a big battle...cut their supply lines...their invasion force will be defeated...and we'll have won the war.")

Just speculation on my part, mind you. I have no way of being sure about it.

It's interesting that you knew an officer who was at Pearl Harbour. I'd love to have had a chance to talk to him about it. My father was in the other war, over in Europe. I did once know a Marine officer who served in the Pacific, but no one who was at Pearl Harbour.


11 Dec 12 - 12:47 PM (#3450543)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Les - Good point. I found with my father that he knew a great deal about the specifics of the on-the-ground situations he'd been in...naturally...but he often lacked knowledge about the bigger picture or events that happened in other locations than his own....knowledge which can easily be acquired after the fact by reading a great many factual books about the war.

Because I was such a voracious reader of WWII history, I knew a lot of stuff about that war that he didn't...as he was repeatedly surprised to discover...even though I had no firsthand experience of it. I'd show him the book, and he'd say, "Well, I'll be darned! They never told us about that..." There was a lot of false propaganda flying around, after all. They had to keep people's spirits up, so they didn't necessarily keep them all that well-informed about everything that was going on. The old newspaper clippings he kept are fascinating to read...50% real stuff...50% total BS, calculated to make things look as good as possible from the Allied point of view. I bet the German and Japanese papers were even worse. ;-)


11 Dec 12 - 05:32 PM (#3450674)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Don Firth

That is a pretty good analysis of what was happening, Little Hawk. FDR knew we were going to have to get into the war sooner or later, but he had to deal with the hordes of isolationists in this country. I think he put it off as long as he dared, but even he got caught with the Pearl Harbor attack.

In addition to conversations with the Admiral, I had an uncle in the Merchant Marine who went about everywhere and had some pretty interesting takes on what was going on and who was doing what to whom.

And I had a cousin who was in the Philippines (he was a Marine) when the whole thing hit the fan. He wound up on the "Bataan Death March," survived it unlike many, and spent the war in a Japanese prison camp. Not nice!!

Here in Seattle, we were particularly interested in the possibilities of invasion, and especially bombing attacks, because the Boeing Airplane Company was located here, and they built the B-17 "Flying Fortresses" that darkened the skies over Germany, then the B-29 "Superfortress." Even though the B-17 wasn't used all that much in the Pacific, Japan and Germany were allies, and I'm pretty sure they would have liked to put Boeing out of commission. I remember the blackouts. . . .

I read up a lot on the war at the time and later on. As a kid, I was fully aware, as were most people, that the news and such was not giving us the whole story. People did know the word "propaganda" back in those days, and "keeping the morale of the people up" seemed to be considered more important than detailed news, which might not be so encouraging.

But much of what we were not told or were misinformed about did come out once the war was over.

Don Firth

P. S. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the first radio bulletin about the Pearl Harbor bombing. And when Hiroshima was bombed. And not too many days after, when peace was declared.

I may be an officially ordained Geezer, but I have a very tenacious memory.


11 Dec 12 - 07:56 PM (#3450731)
Subject: RE: BS: Pearl Harbor Day / December 7
From: Little Hawk

Good stuff, Don. It gives me a shiver to think of hearing those huge events announced on live radio! I didn't arrive in the world until 1948, being one of those "baby boom" kids.

You bet the Germans and Japanese would have loved to put Boeing out of business! The B-17 made considerable impact in the Pacific early on, but the B-24 proved more useful in that theatre...I think due to its longer range? Then later the B-29s came, again from Boeing. As for the Germans, they saw more B-17s than you can shake a stick at, as the saying goes. That was one hell of a tough airplane...and a pretty good looking one too, as bombers go.

Even the top Japanese aces found the B-17 a tough plane to knock down. Like the Germans, they eventually discovered that head-on attacks against it worked best...but this required damn good timing and a lot of nerve. Saburo Sakai has some interesting comments about that in his well-known book "Samurai". He flew the Zero for most of the war, and had a number of encounters with the B-17, managing to shoot down a couple of them.

Western Canada was worried about possible Japanese attacks too, but I think there was very little actual risk of the war coming that far east, other than through occasional submarine raids. It was too long a tactical reach for the Japanese, and too great a risk of serious losses if they had ever tried it. Still, I'm not surprised that people were concerned about it at the time.