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USA December 7, 1941– "A date which will live in Infamy"
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  1. #1
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    December 7, 1941– "A date which will live in Infamy"

    My dad was with Patton in WW2, so this date is significant to me.

    May we never forget.

    ==========

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK8gYGg0dkE



    1941
    Pearl Harbor bombed

    At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

    With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an imminent Japanese attack was probable, but nothing had been done to increase security at the important naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was Sunday morning, and many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base. At 7:02 a.m., two radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft in flight toward the island from the north, but, with a flight of B-17s expected from the United States at the time, they were told to sound no alarm. Thus, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base.

    Much of the Pacific fleet was rendered useless: Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded, many while valiantly attempting to repulse the attack. Japan’s losses were some 30 planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men. Fortunately for the United States, all three Pacific fleet carriers were out at sea on training maneuvers. These giant aircraft carriers would have their revenge against Japan six months later at the Battle of Midway, reversing the tide against the previously invincible Japanese navy in a spectacular victory.

    The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” After a brief and forceful speech, he asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.

    The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives.

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-h...-harbor-bombed
    Last edited by JF&P; 12-07-2017 at 03:42 AM.
    JOHN 3:16 / John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you FREE.

  2. #2

    Dec. 7th Day of Infamy

    Never forget

    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  3. #3
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    On this morning I think about that day and on the mornings of many other days throughout the year..............also June 6th too.....

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PghPanther View Post
    On this morning I think about that day and on the mornings of many other days throughout the year..............also June 6th too.....
    Wholeheartedly agree !!!

    As Dosadi said " NEVER FORGET "

    Today, everyone forget your ball games, and remember what happened this day in 1941 !!

    If at your house, or your business, you fly a flag, fly it at half staff in honor of those who died !!!

  5. #5
    I remember the day vividly. I can tell you were everybody was sitting and what they said. We had turned on the radio to listen to a local family band that played at that time. My grandfather had paid a band member a small token to have a tune 'dedicated' to our family. We turned on the radio to hear the band only to hear some guy babbling about an attack at Pearl Harbor.

    I don't think the band played.

    There were seven people in that room, four are gone, so is the farm house and the rest of us are well over 80yrs old.

    The first local causality was a distant relative killed on Guadalcanal. There was an occasional one after that until D-Day. Then the local paper (county weekly) had one-two nearly every week. The local causality rate really jumped when we got into Europe.
    "The misfortune of many is the consolation of fools" Ancient proverb

  6. #6
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    Just visited the Arizona Memorial last month. It is a somber sight to see the oil bubbling up and realize the number of men that are entombed in that ship and the horror that was Dec. 7th. The USS Missouri is docked nearby and she is a beauty! Pray for peace!
    God is pro-life!

  7. #7
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    Ancient history, in the minds of most 'Murkins today. Not relevant to anything even if it is remembered.

    It is a sad thing for a nation to throw away its history like last week's garbage.



    -THE Robert E Lee statue in Charlottesville, VA - shrouded
    The wonder of our time isn’t how angry we are at politics and politicians; it’s how little we’ve done about it. - Fran Porretto
    -http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/10/a-wholly-rational-hatred.html

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    Ancient history, in the minds of most 'Murkins today. Not relevant to anything even if it is remembered.

    It is a sad thing for a nation to throw away its history like last week's garbage.



    -THE Robert E Lee statue in Charlottesville, VA - shrouded
    Yes, it is truly heartbreaking !!! There are so many that are more concerned about their damn ball GAMES, or some stupid TV celebrity !!!


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    Ancient history, in the minds of most 'Murkins today. Not relevant to anything even if it is remembered.

    It is a sad thing for a nation to throw away its history like last week's garbage.



    -THE Robert E Lee statue in Charlottesville, VA - shrouded
    We knew there'd be this whole remnant business going forward. Still does live on for some. My grandpa spent his WWII career in the Pacific; large parts of it are still classified and the family's frankly unsure if it will ever be known what he did there. My other grandpa's career was much less mysterious; he was in Europe.

  10. #10
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    My father had already served 4 years and had gotten out. When Pearl Harbor happened he was called back up and served 4 more years as a staff sergeant and MP.

    I showed up in 1945 so all I remember is things in books since the old man didn't talk much about those days.
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    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    Ancient history, in the minds of most 'Murkins today. Not relevant to anything even if it is remembered.

    It is a sad thing for a nation to throw away its history like last week's garbage.

    -THE Robert E Lee statue in Charlottesville, VA - shrouded
    The progressives have to erase the history first before they can rewrite it.

    As long as statues and memorial are displayed in public, as long as historical buffs do reenactments have discussions and debates, that can't happen.
    "I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself." -DH Lawrence
    People are crazy and times are strange
    I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
    I used to care, but things have changed

  12. #12
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    My Dad was 32nd Division Red Arrow. They were the first in to confront the Japanese in New Guinea and the last out. Their Division had the longest amount of time in combat. On his death bed he was still seeing his buddies and still fighting the Japanese. My Grandmother would never talk about it from the stress of so many mothers receiving letters of their sons death.

    My time spent in Pearl Harbor for me was living history. I was there when they filmed Tora Tora Tora. All I can say is it was very real. The fires were real both on Ford Island and on the ships. The Japanese planes came in on the same flight paths. The used old ships from the Mothball Fleet to explode and fight fires on. Talk about flipping back in time.
    "They wanted to be left alone to face challenges head-on, and to prosper from their own hard work and ingenuity...harsh country tends to produce strong people."-John Erickson

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    Ancient history, in the minds of most 'Murkins today. Not relevant to anything even if it is remembered.
    The length of time from today to the attack on Pearl Harbor is 76 years. The length of time from when I was born (1960) to the sinking of the USS Maine was 62 years. Adding 14 years to get the same 76 year difference will give you a young teenager for 1960 kids. I can tell you for a fact that virtually no one in my generation ever made it a point to "Remember the Maine!" Should we really expect the kids today to be different than we were?

  14. #14
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    My father and one of his brothers (an uncle) was on Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. Neither one was hurt during the attacks, but my father related how he and his mates had to break into a rifle locker to get M1s to shoot at the Jap planes. This was a few years before I was born, but I definitely remember this date.

  15. #15
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    For what it's worth, a show on PT boats claimed that the first Japanese airplane downed in World War 2 was shot down by a PT boat at Pearl Harbor during the attack. Here's a story about the destroyer that dropped depth charges on the mini-sub that tried to sneak into Pearl Harbor before the attack (you may recall that it got its own scenes in "Tora! Tora! Tora!").

    -----

    Paul Allen expedition finds sunken destroyer that fired first U.S. shots of World War II

    by Douglas Perry
    The Oregonian/OregonLive
    December 6, 2017

    The Research Vessel Petrel, owned by Microsoft co-founder and Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, has found the remains of the first U.S. warship to engage the enemy on Dec. 7, 1941.

    The USS Ward, launched in 1918, is credited with firing the U.S.' opening shots in World War II when it sank an 80-foot Japanese midget submarine outside Pearl Harbor just before the Japanese sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific fleet. The submarine was following the USS Antares cargo ship into the harbor when the Ward spotted its periscope.

    "We have attacked, fired upon and dropped depth charges on a submarine operating in defensive sea areas," the Ward's commander radioed, according to Stars and Stripes.

    The USS Ward went down three years later in the Philippines after being hit by kamikazes -- Japanese suicide planes. The Ward's crew abandoned ship, with only one injury, as flames overtook it.

    Allen's research vessel found the Ward and five Japanese ships involved in the Battle of Surigao Strait. The Petrel used an underwater drone on Nov. 30 to document the sunken ship's remains, returning with stunning photographs and video of the ships' guns, wheelhouse and even broken chinaware.

    "The Petrel and its capabilities, the technology it has and the research we've done, are the culmination of years of dedication and hard work," Allen's subsea-operations director Robert Kraft said in a press statement. "We've assembled and integrated this technology, assets and unique capability into an operating platform which is now one among very few on the planet."

    The expedition, the press statement adds, "reflect[s] Paul Allen's desire to honor the men who served to protect our country."

    http://www.oregonlive.com/history/20..._finds_su.html

  16. #16
    Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · 5h5 hours ago

    Replying to @StratSentinel

    Had USS Enterprise and USS Hornet been in port and subsequently sunk or severely damaged, the Doolittle raid would never have occurred and Japan would have enjoyed total Pacific dominance for much longer than it did, probably even successfully capturing Midway Island.


    Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · 5h5 hours ago

    Replying to @StratSentinel

    If you have seen Tora! Tora! Tora! Then you will know General Marshall sent a war warning to Admiral Kimmel on Nov 27th, nearly 10 days before the 7th. Although it was much too early it did, however, ensure Admiral Halsey was deployed with Enterprise and Hornet, the main targets.

    Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · 5h5 hours ago

    Replying to @StratSentinel

    Because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was later judged in the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime.

    Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · 5h5 hours ago

    Replying to @StratSentinel

    The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time (18:18 UTC). The base was attacked by 353 Japanese aircraft in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged and four sunk.

    Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · 5h5 hours ago

    Replying to @StratSentinel

    Over the next seven hours, there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

    Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · 5h5 hours ago

    Replying to @StratSentinel

    Japanese losses were light, only 29 aircraft were destroyed and five midget submarines lost, with 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

    Strategic Sentinel‏Verified account @StratSentinel · 5h5 hours ago

    Replying to @StratSentinel

    One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded.
    Last edited by northern watch; 12-07-2017 at 03:41 PM.

  17. #17
    I have the dvd Tora Tora Tora and I plan to watch it this evening as part of my remembrance of December 7 1941


    NW

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by northern watch View Post
    I have the dvd Tora Tora Tora and I plan to watch it this evening as part of my remembrance of December 7 1941


    NW
    Same here.

    The Japanese moved so quickly through out the Pacific with their success at Pearl Harbor that they actually began to outstrip their supply lines. It was very well coordinated and planned at all phases but their extent of success was beyond what they expected. They were preparing to invade Australia when they were finally turned above Port Moresby.

    We had broken their code and knew they would attack Pearl but there has always been some dissent on if we knew the exact day. Many people believe we did and FDR let it go forth. My Dad and his Brother were of this opinion and would never say FDR's name without a curse for an adjective. In any event Admiral Kimmel became the fall guy. He never wanted his fleet bottled necked in Pearl nor did he order all the planes to be in a line. In actuality he saved us by Putting the Carriers out to sea and try to locate the Japanese Fleet.
    "They wanted to be left alone to face challenges head-on, and to prosper from their own hard work and ingenuity...harsh country tends to produce strong people."-John Erickson

  19. #19
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    My uncle was on the Arizona less than 10 hours prior to the attack. His discipline and regiment to his early morning workout is what saved him from the fate of The Arizona. He was assigned another vessel but was training officers in boxing on the afternoon of the 6th. His decision to catch a 22:00 launch so as to be at the gym in Pearl Harbor early the next morning saved his life.

    He was a fun and inspiring person and passed as a late octogenarian about a dozen years ago.

    Today I saw our President honor some of those survivors... I just wanted to shake their hands, thank them, and listen to their stories. I cracked up when President Trump told the PHS with the Hawaiian Shirt “Your not a very shy person are you?” as the sailor burst into his WW-2 Pearl Harbor fight on song.

  20. The attack on Pearl Harbor was one small part of a Pacific-wide offensive by the Japanese. Enemy attacks on December 7-8 included Midway, Singapore, Malaya, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), Guam, Wake Island, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Given the ocean-wide scale of that attack, I give less credence to theories that Roosevelt knew in advance that the attack on Hawaii was coming, and that he negligently failed to prepare.

    Here's a web page with more history of this part of World War II:

    http://www.americainwwii.com/article...pacific-blitz/

  21. #21
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    Asked a woman in Lowes what this day was in History. Her Comment was Thursday, I have no idea. Pitiful that no one remembers this day. Pitiful, and the Japs are still winning or have WON

  22. #22
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    On June 13, 1944 we went in Marinas Islands and kicked butt starting with Saipan and on to Guam and number of other small islands north. the campaign lasted two months ending on aug 10, 1944.
    We lost quite a few guys, but the Japanese took a real beating, one island there were said to be 8,500 japanese army troops and when it was over only 340 or so survived to see the end of the war.

  23. #23
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    For those of you who bemoan the lack of interest/respect/whatever accorded to the attack on Pearl Harbor (and World War 2 in general) by people today, I have another question for you to perhaps help put today's apathy into a little perspective (with the subtext again being, if you can't be bothered about a famously important date in history, why should other people today be bothered by something you care deeply about?): How many of you gave a general thanks to all veterans on Veteran's Day last month (the official day off fell on Friday, Nov. 10th) and how many also took a moment to consider the significance of "the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" on the following day?

  24. #24
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    And in the future, 9/11 won't mean much to most people. It already doesn't.

    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanstaafl View Post
    For those of you who bemoan the lack of interest/respect/whatever accorded to the attack on Pearl Harbor (and World War 2 in general) by people today, I have another question for you to perhaps help put today's apathy into a little perspective (with the subtext again being, if you can't be bothered about a famously important date in history, why should other people today be bothered by something you care deeply about?): How many of you gave a general thanks to all veterans on Veteran's Day last month (the official day off fell on Friday, Nov. 10th) and how many also took a moment to consider the significance of "the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" on the following day?
    I, for one, did. But I remember Armistice Day. We observed it in grammar school with a moment of silence, and a trumpeter from the band played Taps. I don't suppose that is much done anymore.
    "Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
    -Ronald Reagan

  26. #26
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    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://news.usni.org/2017/12/06/two...-harbor-attack

    Two Sailors Honored for Bravery 76 Years After Pearl Harbor Attack

    By: Ben Werner
    December 6, 2017 3:40 PM

    On the 76th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Navy is posthumously honoring two sailors from USS Oklahoma (BB-37) and USS Vestal (AR-4) for bravery.


    Earlier this week, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer awarded the Silver Star Medal to Chaplain Lt. j.g. Aloysius H. Schmitt for gallantry in action against the enemy while serving on the battleship Oklahoma. Spencer also awarded the Bronze Star Medal with V device for valor to Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph L. George for heroic achievement while serving aboard the repair ship Vestal.

    Family members of Schmitt and George will receive the medals during ceremonies scheduled to occur Thursday.

    Navy Chief of Chaplains, Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben will present the Silver Star Medal to Schmitt’s family during a ceremony on the campus of Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.

    Last year, Schmitt’s remains were positively identified using DNA testing and were are re-interred at the Loras College chapel, which was dedicated to Schmitt, a 1932 graduate. A memorial to Schmitt in the chapel includes his chalice, prayer book, military medals and more of his personal belongings recovered in the ship’s wreckage. The book is still marked with a page ribbon for Dec. 8 prayers, according to Loras College.

    Also on Thursday, at a ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Rear Adm. Matthew J. Carter, deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, will present the Bronze Star Medal to Joe Ann Taylor, George’s daughter.

    “The presentation of the medals is not only appropriate but simply the right thing to do,” said a statement released by Spencer. “One of my highest priorities is to honor the service and sacrifice of our sailors, Marines, civilians and family members and it is clear that Lt. Schmitt and Chief George are heroes whose service and sacrifice will stand as an example for current and future service members.”

    As Oklahoma was capsizing, Schmitt sacrificed his own life to assist many of his shipmates’ escape through an open porthole. Schmitt had been hearing confession when Oklahoma was hit by four torpedoes, according to the Navy.

    Schmitt helped a small group of sailors escape, before he attempted getting through the porthole. He was struggling to get through when he noticed more sailors had entered the compartment he had been in, according to the Navy.

    Schmitt realized the water was rapidly flooding the compartment, and soon this exit would be closed. Schmitt asked to be pushed back into the compartment, so others could escape, urging the sailors with a blessing, according to Navy. Oklahoma continued filling with water and capsized. More than 400 sailors, including Schmitt, died on Oklahoma.

    On the morning of Dec. 7, George, a second class petty officer at the time, was reading the Sunday newspaper when general quarters sounded on Vestal. He went outside to see what was happening and saw a Japanese plane go down. Torpedoes passed under Vestal and hit battleship USS Arizona (BB-39), according to the Navy.

    George helped another sailor remove the awning covers off Vestal’s guns and then helped fight fires onboard. As sailors jumped off the heavily damaged Arizona, moored next to Vestal, George secured a line to Vestal and through it overboard to help Arizona’s sailors escape, according to an oral history George recorded with the University of North Texas in 1978.

    When it became apparent Arizona was doomed, George assisted with getting Vestal underway and away from the burning and fast-sinking battleship. Arizona lost 1,177 crewmembers during the attack. Vestal lost seven. George’s actions saved the lives of several sailor from Arizona, according to the Navy. George survived the war, retiring after 20 years in the Navy in 1955. He died in 1996.

    In October 1942 Schmitt was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the Navy’s award for non-combat heroism. The Navy later published a clearer definition of combat for award purposes, making Schmitt retroactively eligible for the Silver Star Medal, the military’s third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. Schmitt’s family petitioned the Navy to upgrade his recognition to a combat valor award, according to the Navy.

    While George was officially commended in 1942 by his commanding officer following the attack, he wasn’t awarded any medal. Lauren Bruner and Don Stratton, two of the Arizona sailors saved by George’s actions, petitioned for him to be presented a medal.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Dozdoats View Post
    Ancient history, in the minds of most 'Murkins today. Not relevant to anything even if it is remembered.

    It is a sad thing for a nation to throw away its history like last week's garbage.



    -THE Robert E Lee statue in Charlottesville, VA - shrouded


    ESAD Niggers!

  28. #28
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    Before the "date which will live in infamy," Pearl Harbor was attacked and destroyed not once but twice ... by American carriers engaged in war games. The first attack was in 1932 by Admiral Yarnell. His simulated attack destroyed pretty much everything in the harbor and on the airfields, but the top brass flat-out refused to believe they were vulnerable. The simulated destruction was repeated in 1938, and again the top brass refused to believe a real battle would reach the same end result. The infamous Japanese attack in 1941 was almost a carbon copy of Yarnell's attack in 1932, right down to attacking on a Sunday.

    By the way, the only battleship to even get under way during the attack was the USS Nevada, but rather than risk blocking the harbor the captain (from Oregon, no less) ordered the heavily damaged battleship beached instead. That also has its own scenes in "Tora! Tora! Tora!"

    -----

    The American Carrier Attacks on Pearl Harbor

    by Lenny Flank
    October 22, 2014

    It is a Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The rows of battleships anchored off Ford Island are quiet, much of the crew barely awake. Suddenly a wave of carrier-launched airplanes screams over the horizon. Unchallenged, they swarm over the entire base, including Battleship Row and the nearby airfields. The surprise is total.

    But this is not December 7, 1941, and these attacking carrier planes are not Japanese. They are American.

    When the Wright Brothers started the air age in December 1903, military authorities around the world were quickly interested, but were unsure what practical uses the new contraptions were best suited for. The first military airplane, the 1909 Wright Military Flyer, was used by the US Army as an aerial observer for reconnaissance and as an artillery spotter. Various navies around the world recognized that the airplane might be useful in fleet engagements too, both to scout for enemy ships and to correct the aim of naval gunfire on targets over the horizon. In March 1910, the French Navy modified a number of Fabre monoplanes by replacing their landing wheels with pontoon floats, and produced a plane that could take off and land on the sea--they called it the Hydravion ("sea plane"). In December 1911, the French Navy commissioned a ship, the Foudre, that was specially-built as a seaplane carrier. She stored four Fabre seaplanes (later replaced by more-capable Voisin seaplanes) in a hangar on deck, which were lowered into the water by a crane, flew off for their missions, then landed in the water alongside the carrier to be winched back aboard. By 1913, the British Royal Navy and the US Navy had seaplane carriers of their own, the HMS Hermes and the USS Mississippi. In the Pacific, the Japanese, who were quickly becoming a naval military power, were also experimenting with seaplane carriers.

    When World War One broke out in August 1914, the seaplane carrier finally got its chance for action. In September, the Japanese navy, fighting for the Entente allies, launched the first naval air strike in history: four Japanese copies of French Farman seaplanes were lowered from the seaplane carrier IJN Wakamiya, flew off to bomb a German base in Tsingtao, China, and returned to their ship to be recovered. Three months later, on Christmas morning, the British launched a more ambitious attack: a fleet of three seaplane carriers, HMS Engadine, Riviera and Empress, launched a group of nine Short seaplanes loaded with bombs to attack the German Zeppelin base at Nordholz, and damaged several of the airship sheds.

    But the seaplane carriers presented some crippling problems. The ships were slow and unable to keep up with the fleet. The seaplanes could not take off in rough seas and were useful only in good weather conditions. And winching the planes off and on the ship was a time-consuming task. It was quickly realized that naval airplanes would be much more useful if they could take off and land directly onto a fast-moving ship.

    The first experiments took place in the US. In November 1910, a Curtiss biplane took off from a flat wooden platform that had been built over the forward turrets of the cruiser USS Birmingham, and landed on shore. Two months later, the same pilot took off from land, flew to the battleship USS Pennsylvania anchored offshore, and landed on a flat wooden deck built over the aft section of the ship. To stop within the short landing distance, the plane used a metal hook hanging from its tail to snag a series of ropes stretched across the deck and weighted down with sandbags. The concept of the aircraft carrier had been born.

    The British Royal Navy took a passenger ship that was in the process of construction, added a flat wooden flight deck that ran the length of the ship, and launched her in December 1917 as the HMS Argus. She carried up to 18 Sopwith Pups and Sopwith Ship Strutters. The first American aircraft carrier, a converted coal-carrier, was commissioned as the USS Langley in 1922. She carried 36 biplanes, and was used mostly to test various operations procedures. In 1927, the first American fleet carriers were commissioned, the Lexington and the Saratoga. They carried a mix of 78 fighters, dive bombers and torpedo bombers.

    But the new carriers did not find a favorable place in the US Navy. Like all of the other world navies, the US assumed that the battleship was the queen of the sea, and any future naval fight would take the form of two long lines of big-gun battleships slugging it out with each other. The aircraft carrier may be good for coastal defense or patrolling, the Admirals thought, but the battleship was the decisive weapon of the seas.

    One Admiral disagreed. Rear Admiral Harry Yarnell, who had formerly commanded a battleship as well as the carrier Saratoga, understood air power better than the other Admirals, and became convinced that the carrier air group was the true element of sea power and the battleships were vulnerable to attack from the air. In 1932, he got his chance to test his idea. Each year, the US Pacific Fleet, headquartered in San Diego, did a wargame in which a large force of cruisers and destroyers sailed out from San Diego, unannounced and without warning, to "attack" the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The battleships at Hawaii would detect the approaching fleet and sail out to meet it--and always won.

    But in the 1932 exercise, Admiral Yarnell decided to take an entirely unexpected approach. He left all of his cruisers in San Diego, ordering them to keep radio silence throughout the wargame so his opponents in Hawaii did not know where they were. Also under radio silence, he launched a small fleet consisting of just the Lexington and Saratoga, accompanied by three destroyers as an escort. To hide his fleet from radar as he approached Hawaii, he stayed inside a local rain squall. On February 7, 1932, he launched his wave of biplanes from the two carriers at dawn: he had intentionally picked a Sunday morning when everyone was on shore leave. The planes took Pearl Harbor completely by surprise, dropping flares and flour-sack "bombs" that "destroyed" all of the battleships at anchor and most of the defending airplanes on the ground. The biplanes returned to land on their carriers, and the little fleet sailed back to San Diego without ever even being found by the scouts from Hawaii. It was a stunning result. But the other admirals cried "foul", arguing that in a real attack they would have picked up the enemy carriers as they approached and destroyed them with battleships. The lessons went unlearned.

    So they were repeated again.

    In 1938, it was Admiral Ernest King who was in command of the wargame fleet. And rather than send out the massive cruiser squadron, King followed the same basic plan that Yarnell had: he sent out just the carrier Saratoga, escorted by destroyers, to approach Hawaii unnoticed, launch her planes at Pearl Harbor, and achieved complete surprise. Once again, the battleships were "destroyed" in port. Once again, the other Admirals argued that the attack would not have worked in a real war, and once again the lessons went unlearned.

    But one navy was paying attention. In Japan, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was also convinced that air power would be the decisive factor in any future naval war, and oversaw the construction of a large force of carriers for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Yamamoto had heard all about the results of the two American wargames from his sources in Hawaii, and unlike the US Navy, he absorbed their lessons. When he attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, his plan was a virtual copy of the one successfully used way back in 1932 by Admiral Yarnell.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/201...n-Pearl-Harbor

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