Friday, November 26, 2010

Japan and Pearl Harbor

You all thought I was going to blog about the history of Thanksgiving, didn’t you? Well, I try to keep my readers on their toes, and tried to stay away from the expected. Thus, I am posting a day after the holiday. Making last minute changes, in retrospect blogging about Black Friday may have been a good choice. But, this is also interesting. So, here we go with my second post of the week.

Looking through my possible topic suggestions for my later post, I found November 26, 1941 the Japanese task force left for Pearl Harbor.

Adm. Chirchi Nagumoto led the Japanese First Air Fleet, with the orders should "negotiations with the United States reach a successful conclusion, the task force will immediately put about and return to the homeland." These negotiations had been ongoing for months and Japan wanted to end U.S. economic sanctions put in place because the U.S. wanted Japan out of China and Southeast Asia.

Neither side was budging, and Roosevelt anticipated a Japanese strike as retaliation, but was unsure where the strike would be. The Philippines, Wake Island and Midway were all possibilities.

Nagumo had no experience with naval aviation and did not like taking risks; he considered the attack on Pearl Harbor to be one of those risks. Chief of Staff Rear Adm. Isoruku Yamamoto felt differently and believed the only way Japan would gain a victory was a surprise attack.

As far as the Roosevelt War Department was concerned, if war was inevitable, it desired "that Japan commit the first overt act."

Everyone knows December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day, but I thought it was interesting how the fleet left on November 26.

I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday. For those going out Black Friday Shopping, enjoy. And Happy History to all!

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