Pearl Harbor: Was there any "outside" help available?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Capt. Vick, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Although this line of inquiry is moot as it never came about, this is something that popped into my head the other day. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, was there any other help available on any of the other islands in the chain? Help in the form of USAAF or USN aircraft from the Big Island, Maui or even Midway as an extreme possibility. Or did the armed forces put all their eggs in one basket on Oahu alone? Again, as events turned out, I assume this was the case...right? :confused:
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Interesting question. I will investigate this for you.
     
  3. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    Just off the top of my head, I don't think so. Short was the commander of the "Hawaiian Department," and all his aircraft were on Oahu.
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I think the only "outside" help the US got during the raid was a Dutch liner that was coming into port. The crew had been at war in Europe for a couple of years already so when they saw an air attack, they knew what to do and did it. Read it in Walter Lord's book a bunch of years ago.
     
  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Well? What did they do? Are you going to keep me in suspence? If not what was the name of the book?
     
  6. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! My "Shattered Sword" brother.
     
  7. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    also am curious had they set up better defense, would end result been much different? probably more japense shot down and less airplanes lost, but i don't think the planes they lost really made much of a difference.
     
  8. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    You're probably right, but the aircrews definitely made a difference. The IJN couldn't afford any losses of personnel.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Sorry Capt, I am pretty sure it was in "Day of Infamy" by walter lord. However, it didn't get into details beyond what I wrote. It was only a couple of machine guns or some such. In reality, Peal Harbor was pretty isolated. While air traffic across the Pacific would stop there (China Clipper and such), and shipping would stop, there really weren't a lot of reasons for other countries warships to stop. Not like the Rock or Murmansk. It's not on the way.

    Matter of fact, it was so unknown to people around the world (who weren't attacking or defending it) that most people didn't even know what or where Pearl Harbor was when the attack was announced. That includes Hitler.
     
  10. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    They had a pretty defense, it just wasn't "on". Like a security system you forget to turn on and somebody robs you, it has to be on to work. Everybody took the weekends off. I guess they figured nobody would attack on weekends or after 5pm.

    Another point. Even if the radar warnings had kicked off a response, the battle wouldn't have changed that much. Maybe you get 50-100 fighters in the air and all the AAA is ready to go. But the US Navy in 1941 was at peace and the Japanese had been fighting since 1931. They were in war mode. The US wasn't. Something similar to that perspective happened at Savo Island in August 1942. The Japanese were ready and experienced. The US was ready but inexperienced.

    Lastly, there is a theory that the Japanese did the US a favor by sinking the ships in a shallow port. Those that could were raised and put back into action. Further, the crew losses in the open ocean would've been a lot higher.

    Sinking all those BBs forced the US to fight a Carrier war. 'Cause that was all that was effectively available for a few months after the attacks. By the time Midway came around, there were a half a dozen BBs available, but they weren't up for the fight they were going to get into. Too slow, too old. Better for Jutland than Midway.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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