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Posted on Sep 22, 2004 in Stuff We Like

Pearl Harbor – An Alternate History

By Wayne Cassell

Strategically, there would have been little difference in how America responded. Even though the defenses were prepared in this scenario, this would still be considered a sneak attack because the diplomatic messages were delivered too late. The country would have rallied and war would have been declared. Admiral Kimmel and General Short would probably still have been relieved of their commands. The navy would have responded as it actually did, using carrier task forces and unrestricted submarine warfare.

Senior commanders have to make decisions based on the available information. They have to balance the dictates of the mission with the personnel and material available. They have to look at the enemies’ capabilities as well as the enemies’ intentions. They use their training, their experience, and their staffs when formulating a plan of action. They do not always have the benefit of hindsight or the failures of others to point them in the correct direction. They do their best with what they have, which is all any of us can ask of them or of ourselves.



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  1. I strongly disagree.

    While I am no historian I do believe that if the citizens knew Pearl Harbor were prepared for a sneak attack they would be less incline to believe in FDR’s push to join the war and likely protested harder knowing Pearl Harbor did it’s damn best.

  2. What a total ass! He should’ve kept it (Our US Navy) in San Diego far out of reach of any possible attack and closer to back up from air support that’s always there!

    It doesn’t take a pair of geniuses to figure out that putting our navy in one spot in the middle of the Pacific far from outside help is a dangerous path at best. If not from WW2 a different event would’ve done it later such as Korea maybe.

    At least in San Diego the fuel carriers of the Japanese had no chance of penetrating that far without worry of fuel loss and since it’s in mainland would be much closer to resistance if San Diego were attacked for whatever reason our US Air force would be right there!.

    It would be pure suicidal to Japan both it’s people and economy (whatever was left of it) to attempt a sneak attack on San Diego.

  3. BTW: Did you know weather forecasting other then basic temps of yesterday’s high and low and precip was banned due to war measures?