Pearl Harbour The New Evidence: whether Churchill and Roosevelt conspired to allow it to happen.

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,239
Dispargum
#11
The responsibility for base defense was primarily the job of General Short.
The top brass had reasons for withholding intelligence.
The bottom line, given the imminent "war warning", they should have had the radar up and working, and the island's defence HQ properly staffed, even on the weekend.
Which war warning? There were at least two. One was sent the previous weekend, Nov 30. Hawaii went on alert, but no attack came. A second war warning was sent on Dec 7, but it only arrived after the attack.
 
Jan 2015
3,047
Rupert's Land ;)
#12
Which war warning? There were at least two. One was sent the previous weekend, Nov 30. Hawaii went on alert, but no attack came. A second war warning was sent on Dec 7, but it only arrived after the attack.
The war warning wasn't "attack will come today", but more like "hostilities may come soon".
They should have been on alert 24/7 indefinitely, with rotating shifts on a heightened level of alert
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,239
Dispargum
#13
The war warning wasn't "attack will come today", but more like "hostilities may come soon".
They should have been on alert 24/7 indefinitely, with rotating shifts on a heightened level of alert
That's pretty much impossible. Going on high alert metaphorically injects adrenaline into the command. For a short period, maybe a few days, high levels of performance are possible, but then fatigue sets in and performance falls off. Soldiers get tired, machines like aircraft need maintenance. It would have probably been worse for the US if the Japanese had attacked after the US forces were on alert for a few days. That's why Kimmel and Stark took their forces off high alert sometime around December 2 or 3. You can't stay on high alert forever.

As an example of what can happen when you go on alert too soon, consider the Philipines. When word of Pearl Harbor came in, US forces in the Philipines launched their fighters. The fighters flew defensive patrols for a few hours, but then the decision was made to bring the planes down to refuel them and let the pilots eat lunch. It was just that moment that the Japanese attacked. They were lucky. There had been fog over Formosa that prevented an earlier attack. The point is, there are limits to how long an organization can stay at high alert.

But I take your point that more could have been done. The HQ should have been fully manned. Some of the anti-aircraft guns could have been manned, probably not all of them. A few defensive patrols could have been airborne. Maybe some, but not all, scout planes sent out. The bases could have been on alert from 0600 - 0900 daily and then partially stood down for the rest of the day.
 

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