Pearl Harbour and the Carriers. - Ships Nostalgia
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Pearl Harbour and the Carriers.

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  #1  
Old 28th June 2013, 10:17
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Pearl Harbour and the Carriers.

I have never understood why the Japanese carried out the attack on Pearl when their main targets were not in harbour. The general consensus seems to be that the Japanese turned up and were surprised to find the carriers were not there. This does not make any sense to me as we all know that in any home port every bar in town knows when you are shipping out - especially as it was still peace time when the carriers sailed.

My question is, could anyone shed light on how much the Japanese knew about the whereabouts of the carriers? It would not be a difficult thing for an agent to stand overlooking the harbour and watch 3 large aircraft carriers departing or notice that they were not at their berths. Everything I have read and all the documentaries I have watched completely gloss over this fact.

Much appreciate any comments.

Rgds,
LeeJ
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  #2  
Old 28th June 2013, 11:33
kypros kypros is offline  
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LEEJ I believe the japenese task force sailed under strict radio silence orders,and fully expected the USN carriers to be in harbour when carrying out this dastardly attack,anyway its a mistake they paid dearly for just four months later.KYPROS
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  #3  
Old 28th June 2013, 19:24
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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What happened four months later ?.
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  #4  
Old 28th June 2013, 19:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LEEJ View Post
I have never understood why the Japanese carried out the attack on Pearl when their main targets were not in harbour.
What would be the alternative ?
They could either execute a large holding circle (still under radio silence), for an indeterminate number of days, or slope off home, hope they hadn`t been discovered, and hope they could do it all again later, still with the utmost secrecy.
They probably attacked because it was the only realistic option on the table.

One thing it did do for the Yanks was turn their 28kt fleet overnight into a 32kt fleet.
And accepting the loss of the battleships could be seen as a modern day version of the USS Maine, but on a grander scale.
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  #5  
Old 28th June 2013, 19:36
kypros kypros is offline  
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FOUR months later the battle of the coral sea two months after that Midway most of the JAP carriers that failed to catch the AMERICAN carriers in pearl harbour sent to the bottom by those same carriers.KYPROS
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  #6  
Old 28th June 2013, 21:07
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Somewhere along the way, I seem to recall a Japanese Dentist, later captured by the FBI, with his office building overlooking the harbor entrance. Who did report via short wave radio to Tokyo headquarters that the carriers had not returned for the weekend. But due to the raiders radio silence ...

Greg Hayden
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  #7  
Old 28th June 2013, 23:23
Klaatu83 Klaatu83 is offline  
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The Japanese expected that at least one carrier would be in port at the time of the attack. It was pure luck that none were. USS Enterprise had been sent from Pearl harbor to deliver a squadron of fighters to Wake Island. She returned to Pearl Harbor later on December 7th, after the attack was over.
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  #8  
Old 29th June 2013, 01:38
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Thanks for the comments guys, but I think maybe you have missed my point. For example , if the Enterprise was sailing for Wake Island, this would have been known about in Hawaii for days if not weeks before as general knowledge amongst the navel fraternity - if not many of the quayside bars. They may have been under radio silence but you can still receive messages giving updates.

Im even more confused now as I was not aware that the Enterprise returned on the 7th. Why did the Japanese fleet not have out recon flights? They would have had a good chance of spotting her if she was so close to Pearl?

Rgds,
LeeJ
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  #9  
Old 29th June 2013, 09:20
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kypros View Post
FOUR months later the battle of the coral sea two months after that Midway most of the JAP carriers that failed to catch the AMERICAN carriers in pearl harbour sent to the bottom by those same carriers.KYPROS
Your dates aint too good. Coral sea was 7-8 May 1942 ,5 months later and Midway was less than a month after that ; 4 - 7 June.

Anyhow , Coral sea was hardly a US victory , both sides lost.
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  #10  
Old 29th June 2013, 11:56
kypros kypros is offline  
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QUITE right on the dates John just going from rough memory but this had a shock effect on the japs these two engagements up to the the they had a fee ride through SE Pacific.KYPROS
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  #11  
Old 29th June 2013, 13:55
WilliamH WilliamH is offline  
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I understand that on passage to Pearl Harbour the Japanese fleet maintained radio silence, but why could they not receive coded messages inserted into commercial radio programs, a common practice in the European theatre at the time.
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  #12  
Old 29th June 2013, 23:05
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It was normal practice to broadcast messages in Morse code to ships, both enciphered and in plain language. No need for the receiving ship to break radio silence unless confirmation of receipt was required by the originator of the message.
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  #13  
Old 30th June 2013, 01:46
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Not getting any answers fellas. I am assuming that all is not as it seems. Why was no Japanese submarines stationed outside Pearl, for example. They got mini subs in apparently.
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  #14  
Old 30th June 2013, 11:09
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And why weren't the oil installations bombed? There's mystery upon mystery here, but our right wing conspiracy section has got it all sorted out: it was that dastardly New Deal Roosevelt who was behind it all: Hirohito, Hitler and Mussolini were just this anti-capitalistic devil’s pliable puppets:

http://lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis318.html

http://lewrockwell.com/rep3/pearl-harbor-myth.html

http://lewrockwell.com/buchanan/buchanan198.html

http://lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs184.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance189.html

http://lewrockwell.com/orig13/rossini6.1.1.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north26.html

(The Enterprise was actually doing her best to get back into Pearl Harbour, but a storm delayed her. She was scheduled to be in port on Dec. 6th and 7th, as shown in the Employment Schedule promulgated in August 1941. No orders were ever received to change this.)
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  #15  
Old 1st July 2013, 01:11
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So the carriers movements were published in an Employment Schedule months in advance? That was my original point. The carriers movements would have been well known. Do you see why I am asking the questions now?
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  #16  
Old 1st July 2013, 01:33
Klaatu83 Klaatu83 is offline  
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"...Coral sea was hardly a US victory , both sides lost."

The reason the U.S. Navy fought the Battle of the Coral Sea was to prevent a Japanese task force from landing troops at Port Moresby, in Eastern New Guinea. Tactically, the battle was a draw. However, strategically, the Japanese fleet turned back, and the landing at Port Moresby never took place. For that reason, it is considered to be the U.S. Navy's first victory of the war.

The Japanese deliberately timed the attack on Pearl harbor to take place at 7 AM on a Sunday morning for two reasons. It was timed to coincide with an ultimatum that was being delivered to the U.S. Government in Washington DC. Also, it was timed to occur when they knew that as few of the servicemen Pearl Harbor as possible would be up and around to oppose them.

Last edited by Klaatu83; 1st July 2013 at 01:40..
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  #17  
Old 1st July 2013, 09:40
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Yes Klaatu, but if the carriers movements were published in advance in the Employment Schedule the Japanese would have known the carriers would not be there on that date! Better to time the ultimatum to when the carriers are in port than the other way round, surely?
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  #18  
Old 1st July 2013, 18:30
WilliamH WilliamH is offline  
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LEE.J. Lets look at it another way could the Japanese have been really after the battleships and cruisers, such ships could have been a threat against Japan's island hopping operations. Japan at that time still believed in battleships they were building them in the 1930's and so must have thought that an opponents battleships were a real threat. Did the Japanese say that there objective was the carriers, I don't know, but the victors wrote the history and Hollywood wrote most of that history.
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  #19  
Old 2nd July 2013, 09:21
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Hi William, no I believe the main targets were the carriers. I bewildered why I cant find any answers on this question. Watch any documentary and it is just brushed over.
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  #20  
Old 3rd July 2013, 21:26
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Just done a little research and found out that the Yorktown was in the Atlantic and the Saratoga had just come out of dry dock and was in San Diego (planned maintaince) which left just the Lexington and Enterprise on delivery of aircraft to Wake and Midway! Man did the Japanese mess that up. Yet I have NEVER heard this deployment mentioned in any book or documentary.
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  #21  
Old 10th July 2013, 07:04
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The Japanese had a spy on the Island who used the sugar cane fields over looking Pearl Harbor to keep track of what ships were in the harbor for each day the IJN needed. This gentlemen was "Never" caught by the FBI. Moreover it was on this man's death bed that he admitted to spying for Japan prior to the attack. He was the main source of intel for the Japanese.

The japanese had no idea were the US carriers were prior to the attack, because there main man on the island did report the carriers were NOT in the harbor. Therefore the task force commander opted NOT to press a third attack which would have destroyed the oil tanks had the carriers been in the harbor.

As for FDR conspiring to get the US into the War, there is NO evidence to support the spin doctors assumpton. NO record or audio recording on that subject in ANY archive that would support that assumption.

If one were the read the History of the Japanese Navy During WW2, it does make mention of the carriers NOT being the harbor.

The FDR spin doctors are stretching for any scrap that would give them some headline news worthy item!

Regards
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  #22  
Old 10th July 2013, 09:30
Leratty Leratty is offline  
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The Japanese are usually very thorough & as I understand it from reading Yamamoto's story & the planning is in there in serious detail, they apparently copied this attack off the RN's on the French fleet? Yes there seems quite a lot of unanswered questions as to the whole affair & one keeps reading about the UK knowing of the attack & advising Roosevelt. Whether it is a rumour with no substance I do not know. It is certainly thought proving to go to the PH memorial see the oil still rising to the surface etc.
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  #23  
Old 10th July 2013, 10:31
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Was always under the impression that the inspiration for the attack came
from the swordfish attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto.
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  #24  
Old 10th July 2013, 11:20
Leratty Leratty is offline  
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John I believe you are correct there. Richard
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