Among the material presented by Edward R. Kimmel
to President George W. Bush for consideration on January 22, 2001

"A Critical Analysis of the Report by the Department of Defense Dated December 1, 1995 Regarding Advancement of Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Lieutenant General Walter C. Short on the Retired List"

by Vice Admiral David Charles Richardson, USN(ret)

August 4, 1997


Included on this web page:

Summary of the major points made in the report, by Vice Admiral Richardson, (ret)

Exhibit M:  "Dorn Report Accusations Summary With Refutations"

Schedule of Exhibits -- list of materials accompanying the report, exhibits A - W

Preface -- Edward B. Hanify & B. R. Inman

The report

Vice Admiral Richardson's January 20, 2001 letter to Edwin Dorn


THE PEARL HARBOR DISASTER
A SUMMARY OF MAJOR POINTS MADE IN THE CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE DORN REPORT
by Vice Admiral, retired, David C Richardson
and
 

A CHALLENGE TO ANY AND ALL TO IDENTIFY WHAT ADMIRAL KIMMEL COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY THAT WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE

DEPUTY SECDEF JOHN H. DEUTCH LETTER TO SENATOR STROM THURMOND PLEDGED;

".— we will examine the matter without preconceptions so that a judgment can be reached on the basis of fact and fairness --" and that "Like you, we seek to arrive at a closure that will be recognized as principled and fair."
THE SUBSEQUENT DORN REPORT FOUND (Inter alia)
"Responsibility for the Pearl Harbor disaster should not fall solely on the shoulders of Admiral Kimmel and General Short; it should be broadly shared."
COMMENT:
The failure of the Dorn Report to identify errors made by others and to assess the impact of those errors on errors allegedly made by Admiral Kimmel and General Short precluded arrival at a "principled and fair" closure. Nor is a "principled and fair" closure achievable when highly significant, pertinent information, for whatever reason, is not taken into account.

 

A "fair" closure is Impossible when assessments are made by individuals who lack experience in the matter being assessed, command performance in this case, and do not obtain expert advice or explanation from acknowledged professionals.
RISKS TAKEN BY THE PRESIDENT:
- Insistence on retaining the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii at force levels substantially inferior to those that Japan could bring there.
- Adoption of hard line policies toward Japan without adjustment or movement of Pacific Fleet forces.
- Issuance of an ultimatum to Japan (Nov. 26, ‘41) while implementing a strategy change to beef up air strike forces under MacArthur in the Philippines.
Transfer of control of major fleet activity in both oceans to Washington to more closely manage politically sensitive fleet operations, thereby inhibiting force movement by fleet commanders in adjustment to their perception of danger.
ERRORS COMMITTED IN WASHINGTON THAT AFFECTED DECISIONS IN HAWAII:
- In April, 1941, adoption of an Intelligence distribution policy that in denial of critically Important Intelligence information derived held in Washington and needed by Kimmel and Short In Hawaii.
 

- Unresponsiveness of the Chief of Naval Operations to the plea by Admiral Kimmel expressed in writing, with reasons, In June, 1941, that he be kept informed regarding policies and developments, including intelligence. (This Kimmel letter is a classic presentation of a major force commander's need for information for command decision.)
- Specific failure through inability from sending patrol aircraft to Britain to fulfill the 120 patrol aircraft commitment to Hawaii needed for air search.
- Naval Intelligence failures (1) to assess with any accuracy Japanese air combat effectiveness, and (2) misadvise the CNO and Kimmel egregiously regarding Japanese shallow water torpedo capabilities, thereby precluding provision of torpedo netting defenses.
 
- Failure to advise Kimmel or Short specifically of:
- Pearl Harbor bomb plot message and subsequent reporting orders,
- Receipt of winds execute message Dec. 4th that identified America as the enemy.
- The sequence of diplomatic messages that clearly foretold war, including the 14 part message December 6th that caused Roosevelt to exclaim "This means war" and "We will be at war tomorrow".
- Failure of War Department to correct General Short's interpretation of war warning message to mean greatest danger was sabotage.
- Admiral Stark's decision to "call the president instead" when urged to alert Kimmel by telephone the morning of Dec.7th.
ERRORS ATTRIBUTABLE TO KIMMEL
- He failed to increase readiness to the next level by ordering General Quarters, an error attributable to inadequate intelligence support from Washington. Dorn Report errors allegedly committed by Kimmel reflect ignorance of operational realities.
COMMENT:
- What Admiral Kimmel did, and for whatever reasons, the fact is that retaining the fleet in Pearl Harbor was his only sensible option, since he lacked air support, his 2 (versus 6 Japanese) aircraft carriers not having yet returned from reinforcing Wake and Midway. His battleship speeds were 18 knots, his striking range 15 miles. Japanese carrier forces speed was 30 knots, striking range 300 miles.
 
- My challenge to anyone to identify what Kimmel should have done differently that would have had a measurable Impact on the outcome stands.
ERRORS ATTRIBUTABLE TO SHORT
- lacking the intelligence available in Washington, he misinterpreted the Army war warning message to mean greatest danger was sabotage. He then dismantling his fighter air combat readiness, and as directed, reported his actions to the War Dept. who failed to correct him.

DORN REPORT SUMMARY WITH REFUTATIONS
EXHIBIT M
 
In a meeting conducted by Senator Strom Thurmond on April 27th, 1995, in response to the request by members of the Kimmel family, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, John M Deutch, pledged that the proposal to restore their wartime ranks to Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Major General Walter C. Short would be examined without preconceptions so that a judgment could be reached on the basis of fact and fairness. The report found that responsibility for the Pearl Harbor disaster should not fall solely on the shoulders of Admiral Kimmel and General Short: it should be broadly shared. There was, therefore, a need to identify errors in judgment that occurred elsewhere and to determine if the errors of others may have adversely influenced the Hawaiian commanders or caused the events that occurred. This was not done.
 
The report failed to consider other factors of major import, four of which can be classified as crucial. There is no identification of nor reference to highly pertinent, highly classified intelligence information then available in Washington but not sent Hawaii that only became available to historians and the general public in recent years. This deficiency reflects a lack of comprehension by the report preparers of the essentiality of intelligence in evolving situations so necessary to wise decision making. No mention is made of responsibilities for coordinating national policy and military force application inherent in national level leadership in Washington, nor of the effects of miscalculations there on what happened at Pearl Harbor. There is no recognition of the essential interrelationship that must exist between commanders at seat of government and those in command of military forces in the field. The report indicates no comprehension of factors that govern life aboard ship at sea and in port that relate to maintenance, training and personnel comfort that bear heavily when specifying conditions of readiness.
 
1. DORN: The intelligence available to Admiral Kimmel was sufficient to justify a higher level of vigilance than he chose to maintain.
 
COMMENT: Not so. This is the old argument that the admiral had not used his reconnaissance advantageously, an argument disproved by Professor Gannon's enquiries. Admiral Trost when CNO had adopted the old argument in his recommendation when responding to a Kimmel family request. Upon later studying the Gannon inquiry, he wrote the Secretary of the Navy that he was disavowing his earlier recommendation, and asked that it be withdrawn. In port state of readiness? Admiral Kimmel's standing orders placed a high state of readiness for all AAA batteries on ships when in port. On cruisers and battleships one half of AAA batteries were to be manned at all times with ammunition ready, with personnel available to man all when so directed. Few people then went off base when on liberty. When leaving ship most people remained on base or at nearby at athletic fields. When the two carriers left with reinforcements for Wake and Midway, they were placed on a full war footing. Anti-submarine patrols were maintained off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Evidence exists in the form of a letter from a participant that in an engagement several months prior to December 7th, a Japanese submarine was sunk off the entrance. Admiral Inglis has testified that within 4 to 7 minutes of attack initiation all (repeat, all) shipboard AAA guns were firing.
 
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One must keep in mind that Admiral Kimmel's forces were substantially inferior to those available to the Japanese, especially in the all important aircraft carrier category, that his wartime initial mission, assigned by Washington, was to control the ocean areas along the islands to the northwest of Hawaii, that given what he knew that war could occur at any time, his readiness requirements for that mission constrained his day-to-day force employment prior to war and that defense of Hawaii was an Army responsibility. Fleet time in port was essential for maintenance, replenishment (underway logistical support forces were inadequate), training and recreation.
 
2. DORN: He knew that war was imminent. He knew that Japanese tactics featured surprise attacks. He knew that the U S had lost track of the Japanese carriers.
 
He had the resources to maintain a higher level of vigilance. He believed that optimum aerial reconnaissance required covering 360 degrees around Hawaii for a sustained period. The Navy clearly did not have enough planes for that. This does not mean, however, that Admiral Kimmel had to choose between ideal aerial reconnaissance and no aerial reconnaissance.
 
The fleet also had cruisers and destroyers that could have been used as pickets to supplement air patrol, but were not.
 
COMMENT: He knew the Japanese had a three for one advantage in aircraft carriers, and that he had none available to him due to orders from Washington to reinforce Midway and Wake the proceeding week. He did not know that Washington possessed the bomb plot message regarding ships in Pearl and related follow up messages evincing interest in kinds and locations of ships in port, the Winds Execute message designating the U S as the enemy, the sequence of messages in diplomatic code advising war "sooner than you think" and the 14 part denouement with delivery instructions to the Secretary) of State that foretold time and place of the attack. When one examines Admiral Kimmel's operational options, it is clear that even without the intelligence available in Washington he did the only sound thing - remain in port in a state of high readiness. Had he known what Washington knew, and what key intelligence people in Washington were urging Admiral Stark and General Marshall to tell him, he could have implemented his sole remaining option - setting general quarters at daybreak. Definitive knowledge was needed, was available in Washington, was not sent to either Admiral Kimmel nor General Short!.
 
One can get a sense of preparedness by reviewing Admiral Kimmel's plans and orders relative to the Japanese submarine threat in the vicinity of Pearl. The simple fact is that nothing Admiral Kimmel did could have made a change in what occurred except, had Washington alerted him, he could have preset general quarters, which would have reduced ship vulnerability by increasing its watertight integrity. No one has yet identified what Admiral Kimmel could have done differently during the preceding 24 to 36 hours that makes sense other than to pre-set general quarters.
 
Insofar as the intelligence information available in Hawaii was concerned, Sunday, December 7th, looked neither more nor less dangerous than the previous Sunday, November 30.  The idea that Admiral Kimmel should, or could, have mounted cruiser/destroyer surveillance, presumably dating from his
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November 27th war warning, given the distances inherent in achieving contact with the Japanese force during daylight, December 6th, is off-the-top-of-the-head stuff. The admiral's logistic support ships were insufficient in number to support any such sustained deployment. The benefit probability was negligible. The consequences, delay in implementing his assigned wartime mission.
 
3. DORN: Different choices might not have discovered the carrier armada and might not have prevented the attack, but different choices might have reduced the magnitude of the disaster.
 
COMMENT: Name one. My standing challenge to any one is to identify any such choice other than, given forewarning, to set general quarters, that would have reduced in any way the magnitude of the disaster. Given the disparity in strength in the all-important aircraft carrier category, the only sensible choice, to abandon the Pearl Harbor base for the West Coast upon receipt of the war warning, was an option available only to the President.
 
An error in judgment occurred within the Army command chain that might have made a minor difference. General Short interpreted, and so reported to Washington, his war warning to mean protect from sabotage. Washington, repositor of highly significant intelligence from codebreaking that identified the enemy, and time and place of attack, did not correct the Short interpretation, and so acknowledged in subsequent inquiries that were held in Washington. This error was not one within Kimmel's domain, although had he known what Washington knew, he might have approached General Short with his concerns. Specifically, it does not reflect a lack of coordination. Rather, it reflects the then established relationship between top field level Army commanders and their Army Chief of Staff.
 
4. DORN: In the certain knowledge that the United States and Japan were moving inexorably and ever more rapidly toward war but not knowing exactly where, when or how Japan would strike, what did Admiral Kimmel do to resolve his uncertainty?
Admiral Kimmel conducted no long range reconnaissance out of Oahu. Thus, on December 7th he could get warning only from Washington.
 
COMMENT: Resolve His uncertainty that war would soon come? The record makes clear just the opposite. Resolution of Kimmel's uncertainty with respect to it's imminence, time and likely place of first attack was a Washington capability. Washington held (and withheld from Kimmel) the Pearl Harbor bomb plot message and follow up messages, the identification of enemy message and numerous intercepted messages that foretold time and place of attack, the last of which was in hand about 12 hours prior to the attack. Admiral Stark had assured Admiral Kimmel that he would be kept informed. This we now know was not done. Also, as was well known in Washington, Admiral Kimmel's resources for search were totally inadequate. Navy Department plans specified 100 patrol aircraft for Hawaii area reconnaissance, but by December 7th had provided none. As to reconnaissance, the two carriers with reinforcements for Wake and Midway were tasked to reconnoiter the area west and south of Hawaii, toward the Japanese occupied Marshalls during return, which direction was thought the more likely route for any approaching forces.
 
5. DORN: This exclusive reliance on Washington for warning is at the heart of the failure at Pearl Harbor.
 
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COMMENT: No. The single at-the-heart failure that caused the disaster at Pearl Harbor or was pursuit of policies in Washington designed to force Japan to modify it's policies of aggression in China, the South Pacific and possibly against the Soviet Union while concurrently reducing Pacific Fleet forces by a fourth in April, ‘41. This reduction in force left the fleet substantially inferior to the forces available to Japan, especially in air strike capabilities. By this stance Washington limited severely the courses of action available to Admiral Kimmel, and presented Japan with a situation that was uncertain only in the degree of success that they could achieve in a surprise air attack. This criticism of Kimmel evades consideration of the essential interrelationship that must exist between senior command at seat of government and commanders of forces in the field. Since primary intelligence functions of necessity reside at seats of government, senior command have inherent obligations to keep commanders of forces properly informed. Dorn Report preparers appear unaware of the essentiality of a commander being kept fully informed regarding known, pertinent information in evolving situations so that he may take prudent, timely action.  No one now disputes that adequate and specific warning was available in Washington. Reference to his reliance on Washington for warning as an
Admiral Kimmel error in judgment reveals a mindset inclined to fault Kimmel despite doctrinal processes that were not followed.
 
6. DORN: Admiral Kimmel had sought and extracted from Admiral Stark a promise to provide all the warning available. Thus, as a practical matter, Admiral Kimmel placed total faith in Washington's ability to obtain and provide him timely and unambiguous warning from the Magic and other intercepts alone. This faith was not justified. It was not prudent to depend exclusively on Washington for timely and unambiguous information.
 
COMMENT: An act of misplaced faith? Yes. More to the point, it was a major system malfunction with it's roots in Washington. Since time immemorial heads of governments have been obligated to fully inform their admirals and generals in the field with all pertinent information. As already noted, Admiral Kimmel's resources were, and were known in Washington to be, extremely limited and unlikely to detect an approaching Japanese force bent on achieving surprise. Interestingly, we have here a major Washington blunder presented as an Admiral Kimmel error in judgment.
 
7. DORN: Admiral Kimmel had 49 Catalina long range patrol aircraft useful for reconnaissance. He also had a significant force of cruisers with embarked scout observation planes, destroyers and antiaircraft guns on ships in the harbor. If the Catalinas had been properly employed in an integrated and coordinated fashion at a reasonable state of readiness these resources might have made an enormous and perhaps critical difference in the events of December 7th.
 
COMMENT: These statements reflect the superficiality of inquiry into the nature of the search problem, the duration of time required dating, presumably, from receipt of the war warning November 27th, reconnaissance forces available, logistics support requirements and the readiness for wartime employment of fleet forces according to war plans. The recent Gannon research published in Naval Institute Proceedings portrays accurately this search problem.
 
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But let us suppose that his reconnaissance was successful, and did sight the incoming Japanese strike force some 500 to 700 miles out on December 6th, what options did he have? Would he put to sea without air cover, pitting his 18 knot speed battleships with 15 mile gun range offensive capability against 30 knot carriers with 300 mile air strike capabilities? Surely no. Or would he have remained in port? In that case his remaining option was to set general quarters at daybreak; He had no means to in any way turn aside or deflect the attack.
 
8. DORN: The use of destroyers and cruisers and their float planes in reconnaissance apparently was not considered.
 
COMMENT: We don't know. We do know that the complexity and magnitude of the problem, the logistical and other costs and the very low probability of success before radars were placed in small ships and aircraft would have made that proposal unattractive.
 
9. DORN: The air defense system was not coordinated between the Army and Navy.
 
COMMENT: Wrong! It was fully coordinated, including command connectivities and assigned responsibilities, in the case of Navy to the senior full-time in-port official, to assure that all navy combat units were in compliance with the agreed upon joint Army-Navy air defense plan whenever they entered port.
 
10. DORN: Training patterns could have been altered in response to heightened tensions
 
COMMENT: Meaning? The purpose for going to sea was training. Divisions and squadrons of ships practiced wartime maneouvers and conducted gunnery exercises, working to improve coordination. A limiting factor in time spent at sea was the shortage of logistical support, for which ships had to return to port. Weekends were usually for replenishment, maintenance, athletic activity and recreation for a portion of the fleet. This DORN Report observation is intended as a criticism, but there is no discernable connection to those events.
 
11. DORN: Anti-torpedo baffles or nets could have been used within Pearl Harbor for protection against torpedo plane attack. These items were not furnished Admiral Kimmel, but they might have been requested.
 
COMMENT: An obvious area for inquiry. But not found was the reply by the CNO, Admiral Stark, to the Secretary of the Navy, forwarded as information to Admiral Kimmel, in early 1941 in response to the secretary's concern. Admiral Stark noted the heights, speeds, distances to arm torpedoes and depths of water required for successful drops. He concluded that Pearl Harbor water areas and depths were such as to make use of torpedoes unreasonable, citing the specific figures thought to pertain that supported his conclusion. The sad truth is, as we later learned time and time again throughout the first year of combat action, Japanese torpedoes, both airborne and ship based, were far superior to ours, and warrant designation as a secret weapon. Stark also noted that there were practical difficulties connected with how cumbersome nets were that would limit their usefulness in Pearl Harbor. In those circumstances Admiral Kimmel saw no need, and had no basis, for a request for torpedo nets.
 
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12. DORN: Barrage balloons could have been used in selected areas to restrict the most dangerous air approaches to "battleship row".
 
COMMENT: Air strike approaches for bombing runs are wind driven for greatest accuracy. They commence at high altitudes. The prevailing winds in Pearl Harbor, known as the trade winds, are strong and are from the northeast. Low pressure atmospheric conditions bring winds and rain from the south. Usefulness of balloons would have to be tested to be known. Opinion then held no such defense was needed to protect against torpedoes when in Pearl.
 
13. DORN: Advocates for Admiral Kimmel argue that the failure of Washington officials to provide the critical intercepts to the Hawaiian commanders excuses any errors made in Hawaii. It does not. Placing exclusive reliance on Washington for warning of air attack was an act of misplaced faith
 
COMMENT: Apart from several peripheral findings of fault, which are refuted herein, there are two basic criticisms alleged by Dorn. The first is that Admiral Kimmel should not have placed "exclusive reliance" on Washington for warning, and the second, and related criticism, that he failed to employ aerial and ship reconnaissance. Now, had he been provided the dozen or so critically important (Dorn identifies them. as well, as critical intercepts) codebroken messages available in Washington, commencing with the bomb plot message and related follow up messages plus those translated dating from November 27th, he would have had the opportunity to insist that Washington authorities recognize his vulnerabilities and agree to alleviating measures in a time frame when they would have made sense. He was well aware that his force in the aircraft carrier category was one third that of the Japanese, (one half if Enterprise could be returned to Pearl in time). And , again, we await someone to point out what he could have done differently during the last 24 or so hours, with or without reconnaissance information, that would have made any real difference in the outcome. His sole option was to set general quarters, for which he needed to know what was known in Washington.
 
14. DORN: Admiral Kimmel was the highest ranking commander at Pearl Harbor; it was appropriate to subject his actions to closer scrutiny and accountability than those of his superiors.
 
COMMENT: Closer scrutiny initially, but not exclusively, as in this case.. Subsequent to war's end the entire record of mistakes made, given the numerous loss of lives that was entailed, should have been identified so as to not foolishly repeat those same mistakes at some future time. That this did not happen was due to envisioned domestic political ramifications. Is it still so?
 
15 DORN: The decisions affecting Admiral Kimmel were tailored to his individual situation; what did or did not happen to others is not an appropriate consideration.
 
COMMENT: What did or did not "happen" to others may not have been an appropriate consideration, but what others did or did not "do" that caused or contributed to the disaster certainly merit identification and consideration.
 
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SCHEDULE OF EXHIBITS TO ANALYSIS OF THE DORN REPORT
 
EXHIBIT
A -- Transcript of April 27, 1995 meeting of Kimmel family and friends with DOD officials and Senator Thurmond
B -- The Dorn Report
C -- The Dorn Report Executive Summary
D -- FBI Report Regarding Double Agent Called "Tricycle"
E -- Pre Pearl Harbor Message Intercepts re Ships in Pearl
F -- Pre Pearl Harbor Intercepts Japanese Diplomatic Messages
G -- The "Winds" Messages according to "Cryptologia"
H -- "Pearl Harbor, Final Judgment" excerpt
I -- "A Well Kept Secret" by Admiral Robert B Carney
J -- Navy and Army War Warning Messages
K -- Wartime CNO, Admiral E. J. King, Withdraws Endorsement
L -- Former CNO, Admiral Carlyle Troste, Withdraws Endorsement
M -- Dorn Report Accusations Summary
N -- "And I Was There" by Admiral Layton, extracts
O -- Former Director CIA alleges Roosevelt Forewarned
 P -- General Fellers Report of Information Provided him in Cairo
Q -- Elliot Thorpe Report from Indonesia
R -- Record of Meeting of General Bonner Fellers, General R Carter Clarke and Dr Charles Tansill, May 4th, 1961
S -- Geraldine Weeks Letter to Admiral Kimmel
T -- Air Search at Pearl Harbor Setting The Record Straight
V -- Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly October 1994
W -- German Interception of Churchill/Roosevelt Radiophone conversation of November 26, 1941 According to G. Douglas

A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE REPORT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DATED
DECEMBER I, 1995, REGARDING ADVANCEMENT OF REAR ADMIRAL HUSBAND E.
 
KIMMEL AND LIEUTENANT GENERAL WALTER C. SHORT ON THE RETIRED LIST
 
by
 
DAVID C. RICHARDSON
 
VICE ADMIRAL, U S NAVY (ret)
 
JULY 21, 1997

PREFACE
July 7th, 1997
 
A determination of the causality of the Pearl Harbor Disaster depends upon a competent analysis of how Command Responsibilities by professional members of the armed forces were performed in a time of grave crisis. The basic question is:

"Was vital intelligence with respect to the plans and prospective action of the potential enemy effectively collected, carefully evaluated, and it's significance accurately and promptly conveyed by the High Command in Washington to the Pacific Fleet based in Pearl Harbor, particularly when the Pacific Fleet was known not to have available the secret source of that intelligence?"

This is a variation of the familiar question: "What was known, when was it known?" with the critical addition: "What was done, and by whom, to communicate what was known to those who did not have, and needed the knowledge?" These questions and related subsidiary questions are for the expert witness.
 
In March, 1944, as a Lieutenant (junior grade), U S Naval Reserve, I was assigned by the Navy Department to assist Admiral Kimmel's Chief Civilian Counsel, Charles B. Rugg, in various investigative proceedings arising from the Pearl Harbor disaster. Thereafter I heard all the testimony given before the Navy Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kimmel's testimony before the Army Board of Investigation, and the testimony of witnesses before the later Congressional Investigation. During the intervening half century, I have read the principal books and articles, and seen the various media programs, dealing with Pearl Harbor. I consider Admiral Richardson's "Critical Analysis" to be a unique and invaluable contribution to the understanding of the causality of the Pearl Harbor disaster. On this subject he is the qualified "Expert Witness" whose opinion is both required and considered in our current legal system.
 
For more than five decades after my service in the Navy, I have been a lawyer actively involved in the trial of cases. Frequently litigation involves the issue of whether conduct by one practicing in a profession or specialized field of human knowledge (Doctor, Lawyer, Educator, Engineer, Architect, Fiduciary, Investment Advisor, and others) conforms to or departs from the current standard of care and skill practiced by the average member of his Profession or Specialty.
 
In this area, the Law admits opinion testimony of the expert witness whose qualifications by reason of study and experience are approved by the court. In the absence of such expert testimony, frequently it is not possible to adjudicate a contested issue involving professional conduct.
 
Certainly an Officer in the Armed Services entrusted with High Command Responsibilities is a "Professional". His conduct involves not the fate of an individual client or patient, but the lives of thousands of men and women who serve under him, as well as the fate of his nation. Hence his conduct deserves to be reviewed and analyzed by a qualified expert witness of Admiral Richardson's experience and attainment in the same profession.
 
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Admiral Richardson has preeminent qualifications. In time of war he has exercised grave Command Responsibilities during extremely important naval operations. Through the years, he has also been a tireless and devoted student of Command Responsibilities with respect to the collection, analysis and distribution of critical Intelligence. He has emphasized the need for accurate communications in timely fashion of the significance of that intelligence, including appropriate Orders and Directives, to those directly responsible for our nation's effective response to enemy attack.
 
In the supporting Staff Memorandum submitted with the Dorn Report, the conviction is expressed that in our society the Final Judgment with respect to the causality of Pearl Harbor will and should be entrusted to the academic historian. There are, of course, historians well recognized and competent outside the groves of Academe. In any event, the Darn Report because of it's official character will probably be consulted by historians. Any such consideration must be accompanied by Admiral Richardson's "Critical Analysis" if History is to be faithful to Truth.
 
Edward B. Hanify
Boston, Mass.
July 31st, 1997
 
1 had the privilege during almost 31 years of service with the U. S. Navy to observe operational intelligence usage from the level of strike task forces to the most senior levels of government. Only a handful of commanders demonstrated that they fully grasped the value and optimum use of timely operational intelligence.
 
I have been aware of Vice Admiral David Richardson's distinguished background in Naval Aviation through command of squadrons and an aircraft carrier. But he first came directly across my screen when he was Commander of Task Force 77 during Vietnam while I was head of Current Intelligence for the Pacific Fleet. I subsequently tracked his progress as Commander, Sixth Fleet, and then as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet while I was Intelligence Officer for the Commander Seventh Fleet.
 
Admiral Richardson's use of operational intelligence to optimize the conduct of air strikes in North Vietnam became the model for all his successors. His creation of new organizations and processes while commanding the Sixth Fleet greatly improved warning and collection opportunities against a dramatically increasing threat. His support from the Deputy CINCPACFLT vantage point was critical in over-hauling the peacetime peripheral reconnaissance programs in Asia as well as improving warning and operational development of the Seventh Fleet, even as the final stages of the Vietnam war were being executed.
 
The Dorn Report by the Undersecretary of Defense, Edwin Dorn, of December, 1995, is the latest pronouncement by the Defense Department on the subject of Pearl Harbor responsibility
 
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Through those operational responsibilities and subsequent consulting! advisory roles after he retired, he demonstrated a unique ability to )comprehend the differing roles of the national command authority and commanders in the field. If operational intelligence is derived from extremely sensitive sources and methods, the national command authorities must ensure its rapid dissemination in usable format while providing requisite protection. Commanders in the field must add information gained from collection by their resources and ensure optimum use of their forces. Admiral Richardson should be very proud of the advances he fostered in these critical areas.
 
B. R. Inman Admiral,
U. S. Navy(ret)
 
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But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice and men
Gang aft a-gley.
An' lea' e us nought but grief an' pain
For promis'd joy.
 
--Robert Burns
 
Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive
 
--Sir Walter Scott
 
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A Critical Analysis of the Report by the Department of Defense Dated December 1, 1995 Regarding Advancement of Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Lieutenant General Walter C. Short on the Retired List
by
Vice Admiral David Charles Richardson, USN(ret)
 
INTRODUCTION
 
Acting on the request of the surviving sons of Admiral Kimmel, Senator Strom Thurmond, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee, held a meeting in the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing Room on April 27th, 1995 to permit the Kimmel family to present to the Secretary of Defense reasons why their father, Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, should have his four star rank restored to him posthumously. Senator Strom Thurmond conducted the meeting. Representing the Department of Defense were the Deputy Secretary of Defense, John M. Deutch, Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton and Navy General Counsel Steven S. Honigman. Those present in support of the Kimmel family were former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas H. Moorer; former Chief of Naval Operations, James L. Holloway III; Admiral Harold E. Shear, Rear Admiral Donald M. Showers, Captain Edward L. Beach, author; John Costello, historian; Michael Gannon, historian; Mr. Anthony DeLorenzo, representing the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association; Counsel for Admiral Kimmel, Edward Hanify; the sons of Admiral Kimmel, Edward R. and Captain Thomas K., Edward's son, Manning M. IV and Thomas's son Thomas K. Jr. Navy General Counsel Honigman presented the case against posthumous advancement. The attendees accompanying the Kimmel family spoke in favor of advancement. The Kimmel family spoke in favor of General Short. The outcome was a pledge by the Deputy Secretary of Defense to Senator Thurmond to review the matter of posthumous advancement objectively, and make a report. A transcription of remarks made in meeting is attached as Exhibit A.  [see document] The report by the Under Secretary of Defense dated December 1, 1995, (the Dorn Report) is appended as Exhibit B. [see document] The executive summary of the Dorn Report is Exhibit C.
 
Shortly after the meeting in a letter to Senator Strom Thurmond dated 10 May, 1995, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, John Deutch, stated:

"As I pledged at the meeting, we will examine the matter without preconceptions so that a judgment can be reached on the basis of fact and fairness and the right action can be taken without delay. Like you, we seek to arrive at a closure that will be recognized as principled and fair."

COMMENT: In order to arrive "at a closure that will be recognized as principled and fair" Secretary Deutch's pledge "that a judgment can be reached on the basis of fact and fairness" is a pledge to identify what the errors in judgment were and when and by whom they were committed. To what extent did errors in judgment that occurred at seat of government impact on judgment errors that may have occurred in Hawaii? More specifically, were those that may have been committed by Kimmel and Short of a severity to affect in any significant way the outcome of the surprise attack, or warrant destruction of their reputations?
 
This paper will reexamine the events and related information that we now know was then available in Washington and in Honolulu, present an assessment of their significance when viewed in an operational context, and identify errors in judgment by the parties to that disaster. An additional purpose is to provide for the record information not previously known or, for whatever reasons, not permitted to be included in the several inquiries. The intent is creation of a contextual record of fundamental considerations that should apply in force commander relationships as revealed by errors committed in the days, weeks and months prior to Pearl Harbor in order that we not suffer needless losses in lives in future perilous situations.

In the Dorn Report an administration acknowledges for the first time that blame for Pearl Harbor does not rest solely on the shoulders of Admiral Kimmel and General Short. Others were also to blame. The others remain unidentified, their blame unexplained. The Dorn Report asserts that although neither commander is guilty of "dereliction of duty", as initially asserted in the Robert's Commission Report, both Admiral Kimmel and General Short were guilty of faulty judgment. They must therefore continue to bear blame for the disaster. But then, the Report notes, military commanders serve at the pleasure of senior command and may be relieved for no reason other than a loss of faith in their judgment. For this reason alone, the Report states, posthumous advancement of Kimmel and Short is inappropriate. The point is made that since the Pearl Harbor commanders' retirement in their permanent ranks are facts of history, violate no laws and are in accord with common practice they should stand.
 
It is, indeed, true, that military commanders serve at the pleasure of senior command. They may be relieved for any number of reasons. But we have here a major disaster, with enormous military and political consequences, and an issue of historical significance regarding which we need to set the record straight in order to not repeat past mistakes. The Dorn Report also notes the scope and depth of national criticism directed particularly at Admiral Kimmel. It makes clear that Kimmel's relief in particular was driven by considerations other than loss of confidence in his judgment. In this regard the Report states;

"It is important to remember that the state of the allied cause in both the Atlantic and Pacific was extremely perilous in the dark days of early 1942. The greatest national need at the time was to prosecute the global war against both Germany and Japan."

COMMENT: The implication is clear. The nation's leaders at that critical juncture quite rightly feared the loss of confidence that would follow an admission that Washington authorities were in some degree at fault, an admission that in the context of the then existing military situation would have been irresponsible. Nor for several weeks did the extent of blame attributable to the mishandling of intelligence become increasingly apparent to those knowledgeable of the contents of that intelligence. There were needs to both preserve the secrecy of our codebreaking successes and our national political stability.
 
The public mood in the aftermath of the disaster was bitter, frightened. How could this happen? The view of the general public was that laxity and inattention by Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short had left the American fleet vulnerable. The public perception of life in Hawaii contributed to this suspicion. The reality was quite different, apparent to those of us who served there during 1940-41. As the war progressed, with victory clearly in sight, military reasons for blaming Kimmel and Short ceased to exist. But political reasons remained. Requests for posthumous advancement in rank of the Hawaiian commanders have been interpreted by some as an attack against the reputation of President Roosevelt. Is this consideration valid? While other injustices of that time have since been rectified, as for example, restitution made to Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in encampments during the war, the injustice done Kimmel and Short remains unadmitted. If then in the national interest to shoulder the Pearl Harbor commanders with the blame, does that interest apply today? Given that the attack was a Japanese initiative, and by any known measures American intervention a prerequisite to Hitler's defeat, is there a valid basis today for reasoning that the reputation of President Roosevelt would be tarnished by an admission that blame for the damage inflicted lay in Washington? The circumstances then existing saw Great Britain, it's army devastated in it's retreat to and recovery from Dunkirk, fighting alone for survival against Hitler, Mussolini, Japan and, until the spring of 1941,
 
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Stalin’s Soviet Union in uneasy alliance with Hitler.
 
Recorded history accurately notes the all out effort by President Roosevelt, supported by his key advisors, to assist Britain and, later, the Soviet Union in their defense against Hitler's aggression. The American public, on the other hand, was seemingly determined to avoid involvement, certainly not in a combat role. The President first initiated a buildup of our military strength and an increasing supply of military equipment to Britain. After Hitler's assault on the Soviet Union, and evidence that Stalin might succeed in his defensive efforts, Roosevelt initiated economic constraints designed to hold Japan in check to permit the Red Army to transfer military forces from Eastern Siberia for defense of Moscow. These constraints created conditions that the Japanese deemed unbearable. To the Japanese way of thinking, allied as they were to Hitler, achieving the Greater East Asia Prosperity Sphere and it's promise of economic freedom made war with America a necessity. On the other hand, the President knew that if America went to war, that could only occur if America were first attacked. Now this had come to pass. A well planned, superbly executed attack by six Japanese aircraft carriers stunned America and the world by the severity of damage the attacks achieved. In these circumstances an undermined national leadership would exacerbate an already dangerous situation. The course of action to be taken was clear and simple. Let Kimmel and Short shoulder the blame. This came naturally from pre-war mindsets and political self interest. Nor was it then clear that they weren't to blame.
 
Vice Admiral Frank E Beatty, ret, Aide to the late Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, in an interview by U. S. News and World Report, date unknown, (enclosure X) states:

"I can say that prior to December 7th it was evident even to me, as I was reading the "magic" messages, that we were pushing Japan into a corner. I believe that it was the desire of President Roosevelt and of Prime Minister Churchill that we get into the war as they felt the allies could not win without us, and all our efforts to cause the Germans to declare war on us had failed. The conditions we imposed on Japan - to get out of China, for example - were so severe that we knew that nation could not accept. We did not want her to accept them. We were forcing her so severely that we should have known that she would react toward the United States. All her preparations in a military way - and we knew their overall import - pointed that way."

Although Admiral Beatty did not believe that Roosevelt knew of the impending attack, there is considerable evidence to the contrary. It is not conclusive, but not all the pertinent information has yet been released into the public domain. The evidence now known will be summarized, However, the matter of achieving justice for Kimmel and Short does not depend on any information beyond that now known. The known evidence is adequate.
 
DORN REPORT MAJOR DEFICIENCIES
 
The Dorn Report findings are;

1. Responsibility for the Pearl Harbor disaster should not fall solely on the shoulders of Admiral Kimmel and General Short; it should be broadly shared.

2. To say that responsibility is broadly shared is not to absolve Admiral Kimmel and General Short of accountability.

3. The official treatment of Admiral Kimmel and General Short was substantially temperate and procedurally proper.

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4. History has not been hostile to Admiral Kimmel and General Short.

5. There is not a compelling basis for advancing either officer to a higher grade.

 
While this presentation is directed at deficiencies in the Dorn Report, it is only fair and proper to point out that the Report, while lacking comprehension in some salient features of military operational life, is nevertheless exceptional in it's objectivity. While it has failed to include some highly pertinent and significant information that more thorough research would have revealed, we are nevertheless especially indebted for a presentation that permits a point counterpoint treatment of the case for posthumous advancement in rank for the two Pearl Harbor commanders. The Dorn Report is commendable also for recognizing that this subject cannot yet be put to rest. It states:

"On the other hand, sober analysis in the years since the publication of the Joint Congressional Committee's Report has produced a number of works of nuanced and balanced scholarship which constitutes the beginnings of the verdict of history. Those works, based on a careful reading of the entire record of the Joint Congressional Committee and of other primary sources that have come to light in the intervening years, are creating a responsible and increasingly accurate and just understanding of the tapestry of failure at Pearl Harbor. Ultimately, in a free society this must be the function of the academic community, and it is one that the academic community is performing well in this case."

COMMENT: An "increasingly accurate and just understanding" of the disaster's causes depends upon recognition of the essentiality of continuous intelligence inputs for effective command functioning and of the mutuality of command responsibility, one commander to another, in the command chain. As we shall see, Secretary Dorn reflects the general inability of non-professionals to distinguish between strategic intelligence, or statements of general warning applicable across a span of time, and tactical intelligence which provides minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour information updates that indicate change in the likelihood of a specific event occurring. This facet of the problem was clearly not understood in preparation of the Dorn Report.
 
Only recently has the general public learned from "other primary sources" the extraordinarily valuable information derived from codebreaking that inferred both time and place of the forthcoming attack. The importance of this information to Admiral Kimmel and General Short, but not provided them, as we shall see, was not comprehended in preparation of the Dorn Report. There are other basic faults. Given the risks being taken, both political and military, the President thought it expedient to take a more direct control of fleet operations. Dorn failed to take into account the added responsibility incurred by Washington as a consequence of that assumption of authority. More importantly, Dorn failed to recognize the essential relationship that must exist between conduct of foreign policy and employment of military force if we are to avoid disastrous consequences. The report's rationale with regard to important realities that guide and constrain force commanders in their conduct of operations is seriously flawed. Finally, in an assessment of fault, one must examine the operational options that were available to Kimmel and Short before the attack, and whether or not the arrangements that, they made in the context of the information available to them reflected either bad judgment or omissions. That was not done.
 
Although we now have in the public domain much of the information available in Washington, but not in Hawaii, there remains one possibly crucial bit of evidence not yet released - the secure telephone conversation in which Churchill called
 
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Roosevelt early in the morning of 26 November, 1941, that may be central to the radical and sudden change in Roosevelt's attitude toward the then ongoing negotiations with Japan. Information from Secretary Stimson concerning Japanese troop movements to the south most likely accounts for the war warning message sent Kimmel and Short November 27th. The coincidence of timing suggests this Churchill/Roosevelt conversation may also have played a role. Be that as it may, the case for restoring the reputations of Admiral Kimmel and General Short does not depend upon the content of that conversation.
 
WE MUST UNDERSTAND SOME BASIC PREMISES AND FUNDAMENTAL OPERATIONAL REALITIES
 
The commander assigning a mission to a subordinate commander is obligated to assign forces required for mission accomplishment. If force availability is deemed inadequate, the mission should be modified. The practice, and reality, in peacetime is that a force presence signifies intent, or will. Relatively small forces placed in harms way, when backed by clearly discernable national will, enjoy a degree of security and exercise influence beyond that inherent in the force itself. This can create a dangerous situation, however, when basic national interests are at issue, as was then the case with respect to Japan who imported 90% of it's oil from the United States.
 
Admiral Kimmel's forces were inferior to those available to the Japanese, substantially so. His predecessor, Admiral J. 0. Richardson, was relieved of his command because of his unwillingness to keep the fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor because of it's vulnerability to surprise attack. Even so, several months after replacing Richardson with Kimmel, the President reduced Pacific Fleet forces a further 25 percent by transferring an aircraft carrier, three battleships, cruisers, destroyers and support ships to the Atlantic. Our President's strategy centered on providing all possible aid to Britain, including warship patrols in the western Atlantic. Since our military buildup was then in early stages, the President accepted the additional risk in the Pacific inherent in the transfer of major forces to the Atlantic.
 
Military events in the fall of 1941 caused the President to modify his strategy. The German Army was notably successful initially in it's invasion of the Soviet Union. The President foresaw a need to transfer Russian forces stationed in the Far East westward to assist in defense of Stalingrad and Moscow. To offset the possibility that Japan might attack a weakened Russian rear, he directed a strengthening of Army and Army Air Force forces in the Philippine Islands, diverting some forces otherwise destined for Britain. The B-17 bombers arriving Hickam Field, Oahu, the morning of December 7th were enroute the Philippines. These force movements themselves involved considerable chance taking by our national high command, since they could precipitate hostilities in the circumstances. No problem with that. The point is simply that in event of a miscalculation, a reverse or a defeat, a substantial amount of responsibility resides with the political and military leadership at the seat of government, since only that authority can orchestrate the necessary political and military interactions to reduce risks. If a miscalculation occurs, and for various (and good) reasons an admission of responsibility is unacceptable at the time of a disaster, acceptance is an obligation when those reasons no longer apply. The Dorn report took no account of the effect of force inferiority, especially in air power, and it's constraints on the operational options or initiatives that Kimmel could take. Dorn did not acknowledge that American policies and actions emphasizing support of Chunking and protection of the Soviet Union eastern provinces together with constraints on exports of oil served a strategic purpose, and were deciding factors in Japan's decision to initiate war with a surprise attack on the Pacific Fleet.
 
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Admiral Kimmel was concerned at the weakened condition of his forces. He protested the transfer of the three battleships and the aircraft carrier Yorktown Battle Group to the Atlantic. Particularly significant was the loss of the Yorktown, as it left the Japanese navy with six large operational aircraft carriers a sizeable advantage in air strike power. Only three remained to Kimmel, the early carriers Lexington and Saratoga, and the more modern Enterprise. Implicit in this transfer of forces was the degree of faith, existing in Washington, misplaced as we later learned, that Japan would not attack the Hawaiian Islands. Adoption by the administration soon thereafter of hardline policies toward the Japanese, as events soon proved, placed the Hawaiian commanders in untenable positions. A commitment further complicating, if not potentially compromising the President's domestic political situation, was his promise to the British and Dutch to come to their aid in event the Japanese initiated attack against their territories in the South Pacific. These actions were either miscalculations in Washington regarding the relative strengths of naval forces in the Pacific, a misplaced faith that the Japanese would not attack in Hawaii, or the President was willing to accept the risk of a Japanese attack somewhere in the Pacific.
 
I repeat for emphasis - the transfer of three battleships and an aircraft carrier to the Atlantic in the spring of 1941 left the Pacific fleet appreciably weaker than the Japanese fleet, especially in the all important carrier air strike aircraft category. This transfer severely constrained Kimmel's force employment options from that date forward.
 
THE ROLE OF INTELLIGENCE IN THE APPLICATION OF MILITARY FORCE
 
In all the books I have read about the disaster I find a common deficiency -they do not reflect an understanding of the essential interaction between fleet activity and operational intelligence. This is a major weakness in the Dorn Report as well. Even in "And I Was There" that interaction is taken for granted.  It is not explained. The reason is that assessing the significance of intelligence, then exploiting it, is a commander's responsibility, as is targeting of intelligence collection resources. The continuous presentation of intelligence, on the one hand, and exploiting it by redirecting ongoing fleet activity, on the other, makes clear that an extraordinary intimacy must exist between operations and intelligence. Smart command decisions depend upon an inflow of good, timely intelligence information.
 
One must understand the command need for a continuous accumulation of information from many sources for creation of a fund of knowledge that enhances command ability to function effectively. Within that information flow there is a category of time sensitive, operationally significant information (called opintel) that is pertinent to one's own situation and status at points in time. This "coin" has two sides: what one currently knows about a possible threat, and what one wants or needs to know, but doesn't. New information is continuously assessed in the light of other related information. A continuous appraisal is made of evolving situations in light of one's own activity as well as in the context of political developments and military activity elsewhere. The objective is to identify what to do in time so as to not lose control over evolving events, the imminence of which may be measured in minutes and hours. Often, information seemingly benign to recipients elsewhere, is viewed as quite significant when weighed in the context of other related information locally available and one's own activity at the time. For example: A submarine sighting near a port is interesting. If warships are about to depart, it is worrisome. In applying this process force commanders seek to control adversity by modifying ongoing operational activity to counter new developments. The demands of this process are why Admiral Kimmel held a meeting of key staff personnel at 3:00 PM,
 
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Saturday, December 6th, and asked the question about Japanese aircraft carrier locations that most authors mention.
 
A military historian whose name I have forgotten wrote that battles are won by commanders who make fewer mistakes. Mistakes occur when foresight is inadequate. At all points in time evolving military situations are characterized by uncertainty. Knowledge is imperfect. Seemingly minor occurrences are often seen in retrospect to have set in motion a sequence of events that heavily influenced the outcome. The antidote to uncertainty is knowledge. Clearly, and importantly, Admiral Kimmel's 3:00 PM meeting that Saturday afternoon, December 6th, was in search of a more perfect knowledge of the current situation, revealed by his comment about the location of the Japanese aircraft carriers. The story then unfolding in Washington, viewed in the context of intelligence from codebreaking during the previous several weeks, clearly foretold the likelihood of air attack against the fleet in Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning. But all of that information was withheld from Admiral Kimmel and General Short.
 
The central weakness of the Dorn Report is it's failure to understand the necessary intelligence/operational intimacy, and the potential consequences when lacking. Items two to ten, pages 111-7 to 111-11, inclusive, provide accurately what was known to Kimmel and Short. It does not identify operationally significant, time sensitive intelligence known in Washington, but not sent to Hawaii, that indicated both time and place of likely attack. Nor does it take into account the responsibilities of the Director of Naval Intelligence to ascertain and advise regarding possible enemy functional capabilities. Two quotes from the Dorn Report highlight this weakness.

- "Despite this mass of evidence, the practical difficulties of conducting an aerial attack may have caused Admiral Kimmel and General Short to minimize its likelihood." (page 111-10).

COMMENT: The practical difficulties referred to in this first quote, and the failure of naval intelligence to accurately assess the likely effectiveness of Japanese naval men and materials did, indeed, create an opinion that an air attack against Pearl Harbor might be damaging but not disastrous. This failure is attributable to the Director, Naval Intelligence, in Washington. As to the views of Kimmel and Short, any force commander is determined to defeat any attack, whether major or minor. The record is replete with information that neither Kimmel nor Short minimized the likelihood of an air attack. As to the "mass of evidence", the evidence that was both valid, timely and precise remained in Washington in intelligence withheld, as we shall soon see.
 
There is no evidence that any military officer, Army or Navy, minimized the likelihood of a surprise air attack against Oahu. Throughout the 30's major fleet exercises drove that point home, and were the basis for the requirement for 120 B-17s for General Short (12 provided) and 100 naval patrol planes (none provided) for the Commandant, 14th Naval District. There is implied evidence that our civilian leadership in Washington minimized that likelihood in establishing national political and military priorities. All shared the belief that such an attack would have limited success. For example, of the two air weapons, torpedoes and bombs, and general recognition that torpedoes had the greater potential for damage where they could be used, that specific threat was dismissed. In response to Secretary of the Navy Knox's concern regarding a torpedo attack similar to that delivered against the Italian Navy, noting the greater depth of water in the south of Italy, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark, in Washington in early 1941 provided detailed technical advice to the Pacific Fleet and the Commandant, 14th Naval District as follows:
 
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"Consideration has been given to the installation of A/T(anti-torpedo) baffles within Pearl Harbor for protection against torpedo attack. It is considered that the relatively shallow depth of the water limits the need for anti-torpedo nets in Pearl Harbor. In addition, the congestion and the necessity for maneuvering room limit the practibility of the present type of baffles - -. - a minimum depth of water of 75' may be assumed necessary to successfully drop torpedoes from planes. 150' of water is desired. The maximum height planes at present experimentally drop torpedoes is 250'. Launching speeds are between 120 and 150 knots. The desirable height for dropping is 60' or less. About 200 yards of torpedo run is necessary before the exploding device is armed but this may be altered."

Given the dimensions of water in Pearl Harbor, with depths less than 40', it was Washington's assessment that discounted that danger. Nor was there capability in Hawaii to remedy that deficiency if Kimmel had reason to think otherwise.
 
The second Dorn Report quote states:

"This exclusive reliance on Washington for both tactical and strategic warning is at the heart of the failure at Pearl Harbor, and of the debate about the failure. The record suggests that officials in Washington believed they had provided strategic warning with their messages of November 27th; neither Admiral Kimmel nor General Short read the messages that way. The debate over the handling of Japan's 14-part message on December 6th and the morning of December 7th is about tactical warning. Admiral Kimmel and General Short did not get tactical warning."

COMMENT: This quote captures succinctly the single most significant area of disagreement in allocating blame for the disaster and does, indeed, go to the very heart of the problem. If, in fact, it is true that Washington thought it's responsibilities discharged by this last of several strategic warning messages, then we have an example of an egregious degree of ignorance by senior naval professionals that is hard to believe, hard to attribute to bureaucratic bungling, especially given the letter Admiral Kimmel gave Admiral Stark in June, 1941. The earlier assumption of authority by the Director of War Plans over distribution of intelligence, then his subsequent failure to assure that this intelligence went out was a most grievous error the net effect of which was to mislead Admiral Kimmel, and directly affect his assessment of the situation in the days and hours preceding the attack.
 
A more reasonable explanation for assertions that providing "strategic" warning was adequate is that it served the political purpose of diverting criticism. As to the Dorn Report, this quote also assumes adequacy of patrol plane resources and other long range surveillance means that simply were not available to Kimmel or to Short, but which means were, in fact, available from codebreaking in Washington. This quote drives home the point that Dorn has no understanding of the role of tactical intelligence in the operational decision process, which lack has also appeared in a number of books written about Pearl Harbor. As will be noted, Admiral King stated a misuse by Admiral Kimmel of his patrol plane resources in his endorsement opposing the findings in the report by the Navy Court of Inquiry. That criticism provided a convenient device to avoid a public relations debacle while the war was still in progress. It was also an endorsement Admiral King later retracted. See Exhibit K.
 
No one has stated the case better for complete and timely support by Washington regarding policy and intelligence updates than Admiral Kimmel himself. Having been informed by Vice Admiral Wilson Brown in February, 1941, that there was "confusion" in Washington regarding responsibilities for keeping him advised
 
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regarding intelligence, and having received in personal letters from Admiral Stark information that could have come only from codebreaking of Japanese message traffic, Admiral Kimmel handed the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark, a letter during his visit in Washington in June, 1941, that contained the following:

"The Commander-in Chief, Pacific Fleet, is in a very difficult position. He is far removed from the seat of government, in a complex and rapidly changing situation. He is, as a rule, not informed as to the policy, or change of policy, reflected in current events and naval movements and, as a result, is unable to evaluate the possible effect upon his own situation. He is not even sure of what force will be available to him and has little voice in matters radically affecting his ability to carry out his assigned tasks. This lack of information is disturbing and tends to create uncertainty, a condition that directly contravenes that singleness of purpose and confidence in one's own course of action so necessary to the conduct of military operations.

"It is realized that, on occasion, the rapid development in the international picture, both diplomatic and military, and, perhaps, even the lack of knowledge of the military authorities themselves, may militate against the furnishing of timely information, but certainly the present situation is susceptible to marked improvement. Full and authoritative knowledge of current policies and objectives, even though necessarily late at times, would enable the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, to modify, adapt, even re-orient his possible courses of action to conform to current concepts. This is particularly applicable to the current Pacific situation, where the necessities for intensive training of a partially trained Fleet must be carefully balanced against the desirability of interruption of this training by strategic dispositions, or otherwise, to meet impending eventualities. Moreover, due to this same factor of distance and time, the Department itself is not too well informed as to the local situation, particularly with regard to the status of current outlying island development, thus making it even more necessary that the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, be guided by broad policy and objectives rather than by categorical instructions."

"It is suggested that it be made a cardinal principle that the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, be immediately informed of all important developments as they occur and by the quickest secure means available."

Several years later, after Admiral Kimmel had learned of all the information held in Washington that could, and should, have been provided him, he wrote:

"The Navy Department thus engaged in a course of conduct which definitely gave me the impression that intelligence from important intercepted Japanese messages was being furnished to me. Under these circumstances a failure to send me important information of this character was not merely a withholding of intelligence. It amounted to an affirmative misrepresentation. - - - . This failure not only deprived me of essential facts. It misled me."

 
The stage for the disaster was set in April, 1941, by the Director of War Plans when he took control of distribution of any intelligence that might prompt a fleet commander to move forces. He did this with the concurrence of the Chief of Naval Operations. It must be noted that this new arrangement was without precedent. It represented a change in a procedure that was doctrinal in nature. Nor was any explanation of the change, or of the reasons therefore, made known to the fleet commanders. The then subsequent failure to keep Kimmel properly informed of obviously important intelligence was an error in judgment of major proportion. This decision increased enormously the responsibility of authorities
 
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in Washington for any consequent disaster if, as happened, the flow of essential information ceased. The record is clear that very significant information from codebreaking, essential to a proper exercise of command, was denied Kimmel and Short.
 
Commanders of forces then and now have no choice but to rely on Washington for wide area surveillance. During WWI "radio intelligence" first exploited enemy use of radio transmissions for their control of forces. This exploitation included codebreaking, which also had great political import, so collection, analysis, security protection and prioritization became located at seats of government. Dissemination of information thus derived became the responsibility of top level military authority. Since a commander can only make sense in his force employment if he possesses related intelligence, top commands at seats of government took on a shared responsibility for force effectiveness and security. As noted above, this obligation was ignored by the Director of War Plans and the Chief of Naval Operations in the months preceding Pearl Harbor. Kimmel and Short were denied, despite their many complaints, information they needed to properly employ their forces.
 
With regard to Kimmel's state of mind, note that when the carriers Lexington and Enterprise departed Pearl Harbor in the days preceding the Japanese attack with reinforcements for Wake and Midway, Halsey placed his forces on a full wartime basis, with authority to shoot. Every senior force commander knows that a direction of this sort is done only with the compliance, or by direction, of the next higher authority. No complacency there! No indication there of an unlikelihood of attack mentality!
 
The Dorn Report criticized Admiral Kimmel for not using his cruiser based amphibious aircraft to augment his search coverage. Consider the search problem. To reach the Japanese air strike launch point 275 miles from Pearl Harbor at daybreak, December 7th, the attacking group would be about 550 miles at sunset December 6th, and 800 miles at sunrise, December 6th. Presumably cruiser searches would have started November 27th. There were few cruisers, their search capabilities very limited. This would have presented severe logistical problems, and logistics support was very limited, an impediment already to even sustained local operations. The comment does reveal the lack of depth of inquiry into the limitations that constrained fleet operational activity represented by the researchers and preparers of the Dorn Report.
 
Dorn's assertion that exclusive reliance on Washington for tactical warning was at the heart of the failure at Pearl Harbor assumes adequacy of reconnaissance resources when their availability was but a small fraction of the requirement. To criticize the admiral for not using his cruiser aircraft for long range search is reaching for straws.
 
As to the likelihood of a Japanese air attack against Pearl Harbor, as distinct from it's expected effectiveness, throughout 1940 and until departure of Yorktown in April, 1941, as a fighter pilot in VF-5, the Yorktown fighter squadron, I personally flew dawn and dusk patrols against that possibility of an air attack whenever the ship was in Pearl Harbor. There was never any lack of "strategic warning" in the sense used in the Report, nor of an awareness of the possibility of a surprise air attack. An attribution otherwise is uninformed and unwarranted. This failure, of course, presumes a degree of ignorance of the intelligence process at top levels of navy command in Washington that may not be true. There may be another explanation, one having to do with the degree to which direct control of fleet operational activity in both oceans was being exercised by Washington. Given the course of international developments on the one hand, and domestic political determination to avoid involvement in the
 
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conflict on the other, the Director of War Plans action is understandable. What is not understandable is his failure to then discharge the responsibilities he so eagerly sought. The subsequent severity of the Pearl Harbor attack made it indiscreet to admit this confused state of affairs. The Dorn Report neither recognizes nor admits to this.
 
A long time, common practice, one that was increased in numbers of units involved in the weeks before the disaster, was protection from submarine attack while warships egressed or ingressed Pearl Harbor. Detection equipment in those days was technically weak, especially as to reliability of identity of contacts. As a result, more whales than submarines were reported as submarines and destroyed in the early days of the war.
 
There is another facet to the problem of balancing risk versus maintenance and training, in which dependence is placed on incoming intelligence. One must understand that deployed naval forces are fully occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in numerous "housekeeping" chores, including maintenance, and training in pursuit of mission assignment. Nor must command neglect the mental and physical needs of personnel that include athletics and recreation after periods at sea. A command, thusly, is always engaged in more or less essential activity, defined in operating schedules, from which one departs as made necessary by incoming intelligence or direction from above. A commander of deployed forces is continuously and directly involved in assessing the significance of incoming information to the end that "harmful" disruptions of ongoing activity within the force occur as seldom as a changing situation warrants or avoidance of surprise mandates. We all know the loss of confidence in command that attends "cry wolf" nervous Nellies. We who served in warships moored in Pearl Harbor in the late thirties before air conditioning came along also know why ships were not buttoned up to resist until evidence existed of a high probability of an attack. In sum, incoming intelligence triggers operational initiatives in a dynamic process on a twenty-four hour, seven days a week basis. The Secretary of the Navy message providing strategic warning simply acknowledged something Pacific fleet commanders had known for several years. For that matter, so did I.
 
So, what was known in Washington that Kimmel needed to know, but didn't? There follows information known in Washington, but not sent Hawaii, from October 9 to December 7, 1941. Some of them highlight Japanese interest in detailed information regarding ships in Pearl Harbor. They can be compared for completeness with that presented in the Dorn Report (page 111-18).
- Dorn cites the "bomb plot" message, translated October 9th, as available in Washington but not in Hawaii. Dorn makes no further reference to this important indicator of interest in detailed information needed by Japan to plan air assaults against ships in port there. Nor does Dorn mention other related information held in Washington. The first such evidence originated with "Tricycle", a German double agent. The Federal Bureau of Investigation informed Navy of Japanese interest in harbor details and warship locations in Pearl Harbor. Navy responded with information then passed to "Tricycle" by the FBI to preserve his credentials as a spy working for the Axis powers. Kimmel was not informed of any of this information exchange. Details are provided in Exhibit D.
COMMENT: The bomb plot message was sent September 24th, 1941 to the Japanese consul-general in Honolulu. It divided Pearl Harbor into five areas, and specified that reports were to be made regarding identity of ships within each area, including those at anchor, those that were moored and those moored alongside others. This information was of a specificity that made plain it's
 
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purpose - planning for an air attack! When Admiral Kimmel learned to this message years later, he remarked to his family that with this knowledge, given his limited force availabilities, he would have been much more forceful in his dealings with the Navy Department.

- November 15th J-19 code # 111 (translated 12/3) Tokyo to Honolulu states as relations between Japan and the United States most critical make ships in harbor report irregularly at least twice weekly.

- November 18th J-19 code #113 (translated 12/5) Tokyo to Honolulu Special report on ship locations requested.

- November 18th J-19 code #222 (translated 12/6) Honolulu to Tokyo Reports additional ship locations

- November 29th J-19 (Navy translated 12/5) Tokyo to Honolulu We are getting your ship movement reports. 

 
Now report even when ships not moving.
See Exhibit E for text of decoded messages revealing sustained and detailed interest in Pearl Harbor, and the identity and location of major warships when moored in the harbor. Their timing in relation to the "purple" diplomatic traffic increases their significance, a point also missed by the preparers of the Dorn Report. In this regard, a factor in assessing the significance of information contained in any intercept is the review of earlier, related information and consideration of other activity that is ongoing in the same time frame as the intercept being read. This observation of a thought process is so obvious that it is a given that Washington based analysts using the intelligence intercepts then available were doing just that. It is in this context that the most significant of all the intercepts, the 14 part message received December 6th and in a separate message, it's delivery instructions, should be interpreted. An attack on Pearl Harbor early on the morning of December 7th was highly probable.
 
While these messages were being decoded and distributed, so were other messages then being sent to Japanese embassies world wide directing destruction of codes and provision of alternative methods for providing information.
 
A second category of Japanese message traffic, that being sent the Japanese Ambassador in Washington in the Purple, or diplomatic code, was being translated by our Army and Navy codebreakers and distributed, but only in Washington. None of these were provided Kimmel or Short. As noted above, when viewed in the context of the other intercepts held in Washington, the diplomatic code messages clearly indicated the time and place of the surprise attack. The more significant ones follow.

- November 5th Purple (Diplomatic) code #736 (translated 11/5) Tokyo to Washington states that because of various circumstances, it is absolutely necessary that all arrangements for the signing of this agreement be completed by the 25th of this month.

- November 16th Purple code (translated 11/17) Tokyo to Washington Refers to # 736 above Advises "--- In your opinion we ought to wait and see what turn the war takes (refers to German assault on Russia) and remain patient. However, I am awfully sorry to say that the situation renders this out of the question. I set the deadline for the solution to these negotiations in 736 (i.e., 25 November) and there will be no change" and "You see how short time is, therefore do not allow the United States to sidetrack us and delay the negotiations any further. ---".

 
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COMMENT: The implications of this message must be assessed knowing that the Japanese are witnessing the buildup of our B-17 bomber forces In the Philippine Islands, and that this change in military posture is very recent...

- November 22nd # 812 purple code Tokyo to Washington Another reference to #736 "It is awfully hard for us to consider changing the date we set in my #736. --- There are reasons beyond your ability to guess why we wanted to settle Japanese-American relations by the 25th, but if within the next three or four days you can (settle satisfactorilly) we have decided to wait until that date." "This for information of you two ambassadors alone".

COMMENT: Reasons beyond your ability to guess? and, in the preceding message above "---. therefore do not allow the United States to delay the negotiations any further." Something big is imminent. Look for clues!

- November 30th #985 purple code instructs the Japanese ambassador to inform Hitler of British and American provocativeness, and that the Empire faces a "grave situation and must act with determination"., that there is extreme danger that war may "come quicker than anyone dreams" and that this information must be held in the most absolute secrecy.

- December 1st Purple #865 (translated 12/4) Tokyo to Washington Situation continues increasingly critical however, to prevent U. S. from being unduly suspicious, we advising press and others in Japan negotiations continue.

COMMENT: "However, to prevent the United States from becoming unduly suspicious--" Suspicious? of what? We (Japan) will employ deception for "reasons beyond your ability to guess"

- December 2nd Purple #867 (translated 12/3-4) Tokyo to Washington directs specific code destructions.

- December 6th Purple #901 (translated 12/6) Tokyo to Washington Extremely sensitive message in 14 parts coming. Await specific instructions by separate message as to when to present it.

- December 6th Purple #902 first 13 parts (translated 12/6) Tokyo to Washington. This message reviews entire sequence of negotiations, notes the hardening of the U S proposal of November 26th "as a result of frequent consultations with Great Britain, Australia, The Netherlands and Chunking", concludes these nations are as one in ignoring Japan's position.

COMMENT: When read by the President and close advisor, Harry Hopkins about 07:30 on the evening of December 6th, the President exclaimed: "This means war"

- December 7th Purple #902 14th part (translated by Navy about midnight 12/6) Tokyo to Washington States U. S. and Britain conspired to thwart Japan. Not possible to reach agreement through further negotiations.

- December 7th Purple #907 (translated by Army during night of 12/6-7) Tokyo to Washington Directs Ambassador to present 14 part message to Secretary of State at 1300 Washington time, December 7th.

The Japanese decoded message traffic is taken from the appendix in ‘Pearl Harbor, Final Judgment" by Clausen. The complete messages from which the above are listed are provided in Exhibit F.

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Another mishandled, significant indicator of an early surprise attack by the Japanese against either the Philippines or Hawaii was the so-called Winds Instruction message, translated November 26th and provided to Admiral Kimmel, not by Washington, but by the Commander, Asiatic Fleet, and the Winds Execute, or enemy identification message. The Winds Instruction message alerted various Japanese authorities of a possible initiation of hostilities against either Russia, the British and Dutch or the Americans, the choice to be indicated later in the form of a plain language weather report. This arrangement assumed previous orders to destroy codes will have been implemented. This message was intercepted November 19th, J-19 code numbers 2353 and 2354 and translated Nov 26th and 28th. The Dorn Report indicates that Kimmel was informed of this advisory of a soon-to-be-sent identity of who the enemy would be. In an overstatement of it's significance he records as an error of judgment and evidence of an unacceptable state of cooperation between Kimmel and Short, Kimmel's failure to pass this information to General Short.

More interesting, and far more significant, is what occurred following receipt in Washington of the execute message in which the United States was identified as the enemy. Why was that information not provided Kimmel and Short? This second message, the Winds Execute message, was erroneously claimed to have not been received in Washington. We now know that the Winds Execute message was intercepted by Naval Communications Station Cheltenheim late on December 4th and immediately relayed to the Navy Department. It made it's way partially through the Navy bureaucracy, and then "disappeared". Details and sources are described in CRYPIOLOGIA in Exhibit G to this presentation. Confirmation was also provided by Army Brigadier General Clarke, an intelligence specialist, who saw the message. Admiral Kimmel was not. informed of this development, nor was General Short. This message stated that the outbreak of hostilities would occur against American territory and/or forces. If Kimmel's failure to inform Short of the earlier Winds Instruction message was a significant error in judgment, what harm resulted from that failure? How much more grievous is Washington's failure to inform either Kimmel or Short of the execute message?

At least one principle cause of the extent of the Pearl Harbor disaster was clearly understood to have it's roots in Washington. There is a quite remarkable admission by Henry Clausen and Bruce Lee in "Pearl Harbor, Final Judgment" since their comments otherwise are the most critical of Admiral Kimmel in any book on that subject known to me, in an astonishing inconsistency, they attribute the disaster to the foulup in and by Washington in managing highly sensitive, relevant intelligence information, and conclude that had the intelligence been properly handled, the disaster could have been prevented. Their comments are provided in Exhibit H. Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, also suspected the real cause to be mishandled intelligence information. In "Marching Orders" author Bruce Lee states that on January 19, 1942, Stimson charged Alfred McCormack, a trusted associate, to recommend new procedures for handling and disseminating information derived from breaking enemy codes, overruling army opposition in the process. Referring to the decoded message traffic disseminated within Washington prior to Pearl Harbor, (but not sent Kimmel) McCormack writes Stimson that ‘it became apparent that the event had been clearly foreshadowed in the Japanese traffic of 1941". By his action Stimson makes clear his concerns regarding management of decoded messages.

Also in "Pearl Harbor, Final Judgment" author Clausen cites Stimson in equating Kimmel and Short to sentries. Stimson used that analogy in describing the magnitude of delinquency he attributed to the two Hawaiian commanders. But, who were the real sentries, the ones with eyes to see and ears to hear? They were the code breakers in Washington.

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Why, then, did Stimson later refer to Kimmel and Short as sentries? The reason is clear. Stimson entertained two different explanations for the disaster; one for political reasons given the gravity of the military situation we then faced, the other to prevent additional disasters.
 
REALITIES IN COMMAND RELATIONSHIPS. CONSTRAINTS ON COMMAND AUTHORITY
 
Another major contributing factor to the disaster was, as noted earlier, a migration of authority from the fleet commanders-in-chief to the Directorate of War Planning in the offices of the Chief of Naval Operations commensurate with the President's assumption of a more detailed control of fleet operations. Again, no problem, that is, until something goes wrong, for the President was very personally engaged in the two-pronged, dangerous endeavor of constraining Japan in it's aggressions while continuing to provide the greatest possible direct support to Britain. When the President replaced Admiral Richardson (no kin) in the fall of 1940, for attempting to move the Pacific Fleet away from Pearl Harbor, where it had been basing since about March, 1940, every fleet and force commander knew that the President was now exercising a degree of personal control over fleet activity. Henceforth, any significant force movement would, first, have to be cleared with Washington. By his action the President also transferred a degree of responsibility for fleet security from Hawaii to Washington. This is not an error in judgment by the President. As noted previously, the decision to keep the fleet in Hawaii was a move calculated for it's political effect. The potential for disaster arose later, with the subsequent movement of three battleships and the carrier Yorktown to the Atlantic in April, 1941, an action that substantially weakened the Pacific Fleet, especially in air power. As noted, these movements left Japan with a substantial advantage in air strike power and Admiral Kimmel with fewer operational options available to him. This was a risk taken, later proved to be an error in judgment, with it's origin in Washington in the administration.
 
Senior Navy force commanders were further reminded of the migration to Washington of an increased degree of operational control by another event that occurred in January, 1941. "A Well Kept Secret" is an article written by Admiral Robert B. Carney published by SHIPMATE in the June, 1983 issue. The admiral (then a commander) recounts receiving a telephone call from BUPERS on January 31st, 1941, advising that he would receive orders within hours detaching him from Executive Officer of the battleship California, in Hawaii, to report to the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington "without delay". Asking to detour via Coronado to see his wife, he was told "no". Upon his arrival, Admiral Bristol, to whom the CNO directed Carney to report, informed him that (Exhibit I):

"the President had decided to form a special force for protection of shipping in the Atlantic, and that certain ships and aircraft would be allocated to the force. Because of still-existing popular aversion to U.S. involvement in the war, the innocuous title of Support Force was assigned. Bristol would be responsible to the President, not to the Navy's Atlantic Command - a most unusual arrangement."

When Carney submitted to Bristol a budget proposal for $10 million, Bristol replied:

"We would spend that in a week: we will seek $100 million". Thereafter "we" applied the Bristol Factor - multiply by 10".

Thus, in the immediate aftermath of the firing of Richardson, we have the President taking direct control of the soon to be "engaged" naval forces in the Atlantic. Control was moved from the commander-in-chief in Norfolk, VA, in this
 
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specific instance to Washington. Domestic opposition to an involvement in the European war' was strong. This arrangement likely could better assure accommodation to domestic political realities. And, of course, assumption of control of distribution of significant current intelligence, i.e. operational, or tactical intelligence, by the Director of War Plans in Washington to avoid unanticipated initiatives by a fleet commander, as noted earlier, further diminished the authority of Admiral Kimmel, limiting his operational options or freedom to act.
 
OBSERVATIONS AND ASSESSMENTS
 
Having explained that operational options are identified and/or implemented depending upon the degree of knowledge available at the time, is it not ironic that literally within minutes of the time Kimmel and his staff were engaged in assessing his situation in Honolulu, the President in Washington, upon completing reading the Japanese 13 part message to Nomura, remarked; "This means war", then upon return to his dinner guests, "We will be at war tomorrow". See Exhibit S. What possible supposition can explain Washington's failure to advise the Hawaiian commanders of an appraisal of this magnitude, based on information available in Washington but not in Hawaii? On the basis of diplomatic message codebreaking alone the likely location of an attack was indicated at about midnight, December 6th, when the 14th part of PURPLE was received, as were instructions for delivery. The Japanese choice of time for effecting delivery when assessed in the context of the decoded J-19 and Purple message traffic recorded in this presentation, surely indicate an enormous likelihood that war will commence at about 07:30 AM, Hawaiian time. The Japanese penchant for initiating combat with a surprise attack was fully understood by military officers. And time was a strong indicator of place.
 
Diplomats, if anything, are knowledgeable about and deferential to the well known habits of their counterparts. Thus, Washington's knowledge that Ambassador Nomura was receiving instructions to seek a meeting with Secretary of State Cordell Hull at 1:00 PM, Sunday, December 7th, did, indeed, raise very loud alarm bells. That was 07:30 Hawaiian time. Given the then widely known capabilities of carrier based aircraft - that launches took place at first light to accomplish join up, and so that as much time remained during daylight to increase extent of damage - identified Hawaii as the likely target of a surprise attack. As we would now say, it takes no rocket scientist to draw that conclusion. So here, again, the failure to notify Kimmel and Short immediately was another grievous error in judgment. There exists evidence that a meeting of principal advisers with the President took place in the White House around midnight on the 6th. Navy secretary Knox expressed surprise to Admiral Kimmel during his visit to Pearl Harbor following the attack that he had not been alerted to the events of December 6th, an item presumably discussed during that meeting. However, for whatever reasons, Kimmel was not informed.
 
An anomaly among many, one that appears to reflect the tightness of control being exercised in Washington over fleet activity, occurred at about 10:30 Sunday morning, two and a half hours before the attack. The CNO, Admiral Stark, was being briefed on the 14 part Purple message and it's delivery instructions. The briefer pleaded with Admiral Stark to pick up the phone and call Admiral Kimmel. Stark picked it up, thought a moment and put it back down, saying he would "call the President instead". Had he called as requested, Kimmel would have had what he needed to implement his one remaining operational option - setting General Quarters, an action that can be completed in fifteen minutes.
 
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In his statement to the attendees assembled in the Senate Armed service's Hearing room on April 27th, 1995, Admiral Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, notes the strange behavior of the Chief of Staff, U S Army General George C. Marshall and Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark, during the night of December 6th and the following morning. Seemingly, neither was available at a time both they and the President well knew was exceedingly dangerous. (Exhibit A, pages 32, 33.) Admiral Moorer notes that in his view Admiral Kimmel used the forces available and the capabilities available to their extreme. On another occasion he has stated that if Nelson and Napoleon had been in command in Hawaii, the results would have been the same. Admiral Moorer stated to the assembled group:

"So I think in all justice, anyone that has to make a decision on this problem should make certain that they are completely aware; A) of the military situation in Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean and B) the political situation and the information that was available here in Washington. And I believe if one really gives that a thorough look, and uses common sense in his judgment, he will see that the fair thing to do is to restore the rank of 4 stars to Admiral Kimmel."

COURSES OF ACTION AVAILABLE TO THE ADMINISTRATION IN WASHINGTON
 
A too often overlooked parallel to the relationship of intelligence to military initiatives is it's relationship to initiation of diplomatic actions. Diplomatic initiatives can also be taken in the course of evolving situations in reaction to incoming intelligence. We had a situation that December 6th where the President and his military leaders in Washington had an operational option, an initiative available to them, that Kimmel, lacking that information, did not. It matters not that Stark was at an opera and Marshall was who knows where - the intelligence judged by the President as indicating war was available in Washington sixteen hours before the attack. The President could have directed notification of the Japanese embassy, or the Japanese in Tokyo, of his "suspicions", thereby eliminating in Japanese minds any benefit to be derived from surprise. Such notification could have been accomplished in ways that would not have involved a breach of security. His other option was to make sure Kimmel knew. He did neither.
 
COURSES OF ACTION AVAILABLE TO ADMIRAL KIMMEL AND GENERAL SHORT
 
The Dorn Report asserts that the fact that others were also at fault does not absolve Admiral Kimmel and General Short from accountability. If Kimmel and Short were derelict, as the Robert's Commission judged, or used faulty judgment as the Dorn Report claims, that issue is properly resolved by considering the courses of action (operational options) available to Kimmel and Short but not used, or not properly used. Where was judgment faulty, and what resulted there from? Did failures by others create or lead to faulty decisions by Admiral Kimmel and General Short? Was it within their combined capabilities to have initiated actions that would have thwarted the Japanese attack, or substantially reduced the scale of deaths and damage? Is not this the crux in an assessment of their blame?
 
Both aircraft carrier battle groups, the Enterprise and Lexington, departed Pearl during the two weeks prior to the surprise attack pursuant to orders from Washington with reinforcements for Wake and Midway Islands. When not engaged in gunnery and other fleet exercises at sea, units of the fleet were moored in Pearl Harbor.  When in port, crews were required to be aboard in
 
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adequate numbers day and night to set General Quarters and to man all (repeat, all) antiaircraft guns. Ammunition was placed in ready ammunition boxes at all AAA gun sites. The orders in effect required one fourth to one half of the antiaircraft guns, depending on the type of ship, to actually be manned at all times when in port. Small ships had the lower requirement. The specified condition of readiness required that ships watertight integrity be maintained except where necessary for regular access by the crew. Is it not noteworthy that these orders remained in effect throughout the year following the surprise attack? These arrangements assured that the full defensive capabilities of the ships in Pearl Harbor could be employed, a fourth to a half of the ship-based anti-aircraft guns instantly, the balance in minutes. Admiral Inglis testified that on the morning of the attack, all (repeat, all) antiaircraft batteries were manned and firing within four to seven minutes.
 
The 3:00 PM Saturday staff meeting convened by Admiral Kimmel reviewed the general situation and current fleet status.  In the absence of air support, ordering the ships to sea would be unwise, pointless. Apart from his plans for conducting surveillance, his only option was to set General Quarters, thereby making his ships more resistant to damage from air and submarine attack. For this he needed indications that an attack was imminent. The discussion during the 3:00 PM meeting that referred to the lack of knowledge of the location of the Japanese aircraft carriers did not warrant any initiative beyond that indicated the day before, or the day before that. Nor was there reason to take exception to General Short's interpretation of the war warning message In the absence of indicators of imminent attack, indicators that even then were being distributed and read in Washington, and interpreted as "We will be at war tomorrow".
 
However, force commanders remain responsible for making sound decisions governing their force employment whether or not the available intelligence is adequate. To further clarify what Kimmel could have done to greater advantage December 6th, let us assume that Washington had kept Kimmel fully informed, and Kimmel had concluded that an attack was likely the next morning  Or, assume that despite long odds his reconnaissance aircraft had spotted the Japanese attack force during daylight, December 6th. What could he have done that would have defeated the attack, or reduced the extent of damage?
 
If the admiral had ordered the fleet to sea, what would have been it's purpose? To seek and destroy, pitting battleships against carriers in a venture ad absurdum? To hide? The prevalent professional view at the time was that pitting 18 knot battleships armed with 15 mile turreted guns against 30 knot aircraft carriers with 275 mile air strike ranges was foolish. Given the six carrier strength of the attacking force, even with full information the only prudent option available to Admiral Kimmel was to remain in port and set general quarters at sunrise in preparation for an attack. Presumably he would have done that. Although we are dealing here with conjecture, the point is that Admiral Kimmel did the only sensible thing, which was the same with or without intelligence, and no one has yet identified what he should have done differently that can withstand critical scrutiny. That challenge stands open. Given the relative strengths of Japanese naval forces and those available to Admiral Kimmel, it is clear that the Japanese were in complete control of events. The idea that it was within Kimmel's power to have somehow thwarted or overcome the attack is nonsense.
 
The Navy Court of Inquiry convened in 1943 to inquire into the Pearl Harbor disaster was composed of three very senior naval officers. Their reasoning was that of experienced force commanders. The realities enumerated above were
 
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known, and their significance understood, by these three gentlemen. This court found Admiral Kimmel blameless. Pertinent also is the fact that this court knew of the decoded Japanese messages, including those recorded in this paper, that were distributed in Washington, but not sent to Admiral Kimmel. Their finding, however, was reversed at the political level, first by the CNO, Admiral King, who cited misuse of Kimmel's surveillance resources as his reason, and by further endorsement by the Secretary of the Navy, who cited misuse of his patrol aircraft Kimmel's "most grevious fault". As previously noted, Admiral King in a July 14th, 1948 letter to the Secretary of Defense withdrew his endorsement.
 
Also pertinent in this regard is that in an earlier appeal by the Kimmel family, the then Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Carlyle Trost, relying on a report by the naval historian who also cited misuse of Kimmel's patrol planes, recommended against approval. Upon reading the recent, thorough analysis of Admiral Kimmel's use of his patrol planes by Mr. Gannon (exhibit T), Admiral Trost advised the Secretary of the Navy that he no longer supported the position he had taken, and requested that his adverse endorsement on the Kimmel family request be withdrawn. See Exhibit L. The Gannon analysis convincingly demonstrates that Kimmel simply did not have aircraft in anywhere near the numbers required for even sustained 180 degree coverage. It is noted that Admiral Kimmel sought and followed the advice of his top air commanders in employing his patrol aircraft. His decisions were not arbitrary.
 
It should be noted here that all forces assigned the Pacific Fleet in war plans approved in Washington were for employment at sea away from Pearl Harbor. War plans at war's outset envisioned fleet operations toward Midway to the northwest and the Japanese controlled Marshall Islands to the west and southwest. Patrol aircraft would patrol this operating area to permit a more secure and effective employment of Pacific Fleet ‘s three aircraft carriers (one of which was on the West Coast at the time of the attack) and nine battleships in offensive and defensive operations pending reinforcement. The pace of employment of patrol aircraft prior to war's outbreak was constrained by the needs of that operational readiness requirement.
 
Ships of the fleet when in Pearl were placed in Army plans for coordination of anti-aircraft defenses, with the Commander 14th Naval District the designated adviser to the Senior Officer Present Afloat in implementation of those plans. The 14th Naval District Commander maintained liaison with the Army in effecting those arrangements. Defense of Hawaii was an Army responsibility. Readiness status of Army forces in Hawaii were matters under control of Lieutenant General Short and General Marshall in Washington. Here an error of significance occurred. The war warning message to General Short was interpreted to mean the principal danger was sabotage. Short ordered his fighter aircraft placed in the center of his airfields, with guards to prevent their being sabotaged and, as directed in the Army war warning message (Exhibit J), reported the action he was taking to Army headquarters in Washington. In subsequent testimony General Marshall admitted his opportunity and failure in this instance. The Army Pearl Harbor Board generally criticized the conduct of the Secretary of Army, the Chief of Staff, the then Chief of War Plans Division and General Short, but made no recommendations.
 
Was Kimmel derelict in not objecting to General Short's action? Had he been in possession of the intelligence available in Washington and not done so, he would have been. His interjection, however, would have been limited to
 
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an expression of an opinion. The authorities and responsibilities of force commanders in the field were specified and allocated by the respective chiefs of services in Washington, with approval by the President, not by Admiral Kimmel, who was devoid of authority to change plans that were arranged between Generals Short and Marshall.
 
Despite the pledge by the Deputy Secretary of Defense to "examine the matter without preconceptions so that a judgment can be reached on the basis of fact and fairness", it is obvious that the Dorn Report relies instead primarily on information contained in earlier hearings and inquiries that were designed to deflect criticism from Washington. Statements and accusations that we now know are inaccurate, or false, that appeared in the congressional inquiry reappear in the Dorn Report, and are included with comment in exhibit M.
 
CONCLUSIONS IONS
 
1. In summary, the disaster at Pearl Harbor was rooted in and caused by:

A - The adoption in Washington of a military strategy that weakened the forces allocated to the Pacific Fleet substantially below those available to the Japanese during a time and in an area of likely conflict, while

B - Incrementally increasing the economic, political and military pressures on the Japanese government by limiting sales and shipment of scrap steel and oil products, then shortly before the attack, adoption of a hard line negotiating position including the demand that Japan relinquish it's conquered territories on the Asian continent, and

C - For a variety of reasons transfer of a degree of control over the operational activity of fleet forces, taking it away from their titular heads, the Commanders-in-Chief, to the Director of War Plans within the office of the CNO. which he then exercised imprudently by denying transmission to the fleet Commanders-in-Chief crucially important tactical (as distinct from strategic) intelligence information.

D - The failure of intelligence in Washington to collect information, analyze and distribute throughout Washington and the fleets in the years preceding the attack accurate threat assessments listing the capabilities of Japanese military equipment and personnel performance in combat, and lastly,

E - The thoroughness of planning and excellence of execution by the Japanese attack force.

2. The first three of the above actions, possibly even including the failure to provide current intelligence, were risks deemed required and acceptable by our national leadership given the extent of deteriorating worldwide political and military situations, complicated by our inadequate force structure, in light of our President's overall strategic objective, the defeat of Hitler.
 
3. There was no reasonable course of action available to Admiral Kimmel during the several days preceding the attack, other than to preset General Quarters the morning of the attack, that would have enabled him to thwart the Japanese attack, or limit the extent of damages, and there was no lapse of foresight nor evidence of faulty judgment on his part.
 
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4. Washington's failure to keep Admiral Kimmel and Lieutenant General Short fully and continuously informed regarding Intelligence being derived from codebreaking was a grievous error that may have prevented Admiral Kimmel presetting General Quarters, and did eliminate fighter defense of Oahu. This failure increased the scale and scope of damage to the fleet and to other military objectives, with attendant larger losses in lives of Army and Navy personnel.
 
5. Rear Admiral Kimmel and Major General Short should have their reputations restored, and should be advanced posthumously in retirement to their pre-Pearl Harbor disaster ranks.
 
THE STORY STILL UNFOLDING
 
When asked do I believe President Roosevelt knew that the Japanese were about to attack Pearl Harbor, my answer is; "Yes. A qualified yes". To the query "why the hedge", my answer is that while a considerable body of evidence supports the view that he knew, it does not yet seem beyond reasonable doubt. It is my observation that when a series of apparently dumb actions are taken across a span of time by otherwise highly competent individuals, there is more to the story. If a reason common to all of them can be deduced that makes sense in light of the situations of the moment, then that reason is likely the real reason. The two alternate reasons, protecting our code breaking successes and bureaucratic bungling fit too few of these troubling situations Then, some evidence is unequivocal.
 
William Casey, a former head of the CIA, in his book "The Secret War Against Hitler" makes the flat out statement that Churchill had alerted Roosevelt of the impending attack. Note the last sentence from the following quote, page 7 (Exhibit 0):

"The months before Pearl Harbor showed the bureaucratic problems Donovan would encounter. As the Japanese storm began to gather force in the Pacific, the most private communications between the Japanese government and it's ambassadors in Washington, Berlin, Rome and other major capitals were being read in Washington. Army and Navy cryptographers having broken the Japanese diplomatic cipher, were reading messages that foretold the attack. The British had sent word that a Japanese fleet was steaming east toward Hawaii".

Casey does not explain the basis for his claim.
 
Joseph Leib was a reporter for United Press in Washington, and a confidant of Cordell Hull. Before he died, on numerous occasions he said that he was told on November 28th, 1941, by Cordell Hull that the Japanese were planning an attack on Pearl Harbor within a few days. He tried to get his boss to publish that information, but his boss refused. He was able to persuade an underling to do so. The only paper to pick it up was the Honolulu Advertiser.
 
Constantine Brown was a reporter for the Washington Star. In his book entitled "The Coming of the Whirlwind" he tells of a friend, whom he does not identify, that came to see him on December 5th in a state of ill-suppressed excitement. "This is it", he exclaims, "The Japs are ready to attack. We've broken their code, and we've read their orders". Brown states that he was referring to the "Winds" execute message. The informant brought the word to him in person because he did not trust a messenger. Brown considered the story too hot to publish, reasoning that it might reveal codebreaking
 
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successes, and in any event it would already have been read by the President. According to recorded testimony the Winds Execute message was first reported as never having been received in the Navy Department. Later, in the face of direct evidence to the contrary, the Winds Execute message was declared "lost". It identified the enemy as the United States. As noted elsewhere in this analysis, this is another extremely important message that was not provided Admiral Kimmel or General Short. The Winds Execute message did not indicate a time for attack. The time of attack was strongly implied by the delivery instructions that accompanied the 14-part Purple diplomatic code message broken around midnight, two days later, on December 6th.
 
Brigadier General Elliott Thorpe was a military attaché in Dutch-controlled Java in 1941. Admiral Layton in "And I Was There", advises that we now know the Dutch were also reading the JN-25 Japanese Navy operational code. According to the newspaper account of Thorpe's death at age 91, (Exhibit Q) the Dutch informed Thorpe of the impending attack against the Philippines, Thailand and Hawaii. General Thorpe immediately cabled the information to Washington, but his warning allegedly was not taken seriously. A week later the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Admiral Edwin Layton was Intelligence Officer first to Admiral Kimmel, then to Admiral Nimitz.
 
Major General Bonner Fellers in a letter to Admiral Kimmel dated March 6, 1967, (Exhibit P replicates the entire letter) advised;

"About 10:00 AM Friday, December 6th, 1941, I walked into the Royal Air Force Headquarters in Cairo. Air Marshall Lonmore (spelling) who was then in command of the RAF Middle East, sat at his desk. Immediately he opened with: "Bonner, you will be in the war in 24 hours." He continued: "We have a secret signal Japan will strike the US in 24 hours".

In letters to both President Clinton and Senator Thurmond, Helen E. Hamman of Frankfurt, Ohio, reported that her father, in 1941 head of Disaster Services of the Red Cross, had been called shortly before the attack by President Roosevelt, and told that his intelligence staff had informed him of a pending Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor, and that her father should be prepared to deal with expected casualties. I am advised that a recent review of Red Cross files corroborates that story.
 
Predominant in the many inexplicable occurrences that continue to intrigue researchers is the strange, out-of-character behavior of General Marshall, who seemingly, could not be reached the evening before, or found the morning following the President's exclamations "This means war" and "We will be at war tomorrow . His unavailability compounded by his subsequent dilatory handling of the alert message to the Hawaiian commanders suggest more at work than a casual state of mind. If on the other hand, events were proceeding along an anticipated course, with our leaders awaiting an expected event, it made sense. His conduct suggests a desire to avoid initiating an alert based on Purple Magic information received during 6 December.
 
Marshall's behavior continued to haunt those who were intimately involved with him during that troubling time. On May 4TH, 1961 Brigadier General Bonner Fellers had as his guests for lunch Brigadier General Carter Clarke and a Dr. Charles G. Tansill. Dr. Tansill was a professor of history at Georgetown, and an author of an excellent book about FDR's entrance into the war and Pearl Harbor. General Clarke was a central figure in War Dept. intelligence, directly involved in the analysis and distribution of decoded Japanese message traffic before and after Pearl Harbor.  Clarke stated (additional) confirmation
 
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that the Winds Execute message was distributed in Washington) that on December 4th, the "East Wind Rain" message was received. As already noted, this device to inform Japanese worldwide that war had been decided upon, had been revealed by our codebreakers. "East" meant war with America was imminent. Clarke noted that this information was greeted with no apparent surprise, that senior Army and Navy officers were seemingly unconcerned. This changed, taking on a comic opera quality, according to Clarke, upon receipt of the Japanese diplomatic traffic, December 6th. The record of the meeting is contained in Exhibit R. The unstated but completely obvious implication is that the senior officers to whom he referred knew what was to be, but only on Dec. 6th did they know when. Since the time of delivery of the diplomatic traffic was to occur on a Sunday at 01:00 PM, i.e., 07:30 AM in Hawaii, that would be the optimum hour to commence air strike operations. What is equally clear from this report of meeting is that the over three thousand deaths at Pearl Harbor were still very much on their minds twenty years later.
 
The recorded views of as well as actions taken by many who served on the staffs in Washington of the chiefs of service in positions charged with analyzing, distributing and briefing information derived from codebreaking in the days prior to December 7th, make clear they understood the meaning and significance of that intelligence. The idea that the chiefs of service, the service secretaries, the Secretary of State and other key advisers to the President did not understand is beyond believability. Why would Admiral Stark not complete the call to Kimmel he started to make at the urging of the briefing officer three hours before the attack? The significance of the requested 01:00 PM meeting with the Secretary of State was not lost on Stark's briefer. Why would he put the phone down, saying he would call the President instead? (page 303, "And I Was There"). According to Admiral Layton the call was made, however, Stark was told the President was occupied. What state of mind, or administrative process, then prevented him from calling Kimmel? Does this behavior pattern not resemble that of General Marshall? Again, the purpose being served makes sense if the objective was to not cause change in the flow of events at that point in time.
 
The evidence is persuasive enough that Churchill knew the time, probably the place, of the attack. Several possible sources existed. Soviet agents under control of Richard Sorge had penetrated top level Japanese authorities including a member of the Imperial Family and the Moscow and Bangkok Japanese embassies. Stalin had transferred seven divisions of troops from the Far East to the defense of Moscow, leaving that area defenseless, and was desirous of Japanese force involvement elsewhere. Stalin is therefore a possible source. Another possible source was British penetration of Soviet cipher message traffic. Still another, and the most likely, British and Dutch penetration of the Japanese JN-25 five cipher naval operational code. According to "Betrayal at Pearl Harbor" by James Rusbridger and Eric Nave, the British codebreakers in Singapore succeeded in breaking the JN-25 code. Nave is credited as having lead that effort. The code, itself, was not exceptionally difficult, but success required collecting an unusually large amount of radio transmissions. Singapore intercepted Japanese message traffic being sent the Pearl Harbor Strike Force, was able to decode and determine the strike force's mission, and so informed London, with request that Hawaii be informed. According to Nave "must climb Nitakayma on 8 December, Tokyo time", was the final message sent. This was 7 December, Hawaii time. Nitakayma was the highest mountain in the Japanese empire. What Churchill may have told Roosevelt based on this and other sources remains conjectural. Of interest Is the fact that the JN-25 code was also broken by Mrs. Driscoll, a codebreaker in OP-20-G, working under Captain Safford, but had not advanced to an exploitative stage by that time.
 
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Eric Nave allegedly reported to London that a Japanese fleet of 6 carriers, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser and 9 destroyers had departed the Kuriles for Hawaii and refueled December 4th. London was asked to inform Hawaii. These figures are a match with those contained in the alleged German decrypt of the Churchill/Roosevelt November 26th conversation described by Gregory Douglas.
 
The information that Churchill advised Roosevelt that a Japanese naval force was enroute Pearl Harbor, it's purpose to attack the fleet, is alleged in "Gestapo Chief " The 1948 Interrogation of Heinrich Muller" by Gregory Douglas, a specialist in intelligence research. He states that this conversation took place on an AT@T created scrambler radio-telephone known as the A-3 system that was commercially available. This system was in use in Germany from before the war. I am informed by a former high official in the National Security Agency that the A-3 system was easily broken. Douglas states that this conversation was descrambled and distributed within Germany. According to Douglas, Heinrich Muller brought it and many other intercepts with him to this country, where he lived for 14 years, occupied at least initially, in informing the U S what Germany knew about Stalin and the USSR. A copy of the alleged intercept is provided as Exhibit W. Of special interest is the Churchill question: "What about Chiang Kai-Shek? Is he not having a very thin diet?" which appears elsewhere as well. There is a view that this document may have been a fake, planted after war's end in the German archives. If this were so, what purpose was served, and why did not it's "planters" make use of it? Why did it lay fallow for decades? We do know that the Germans were efficient, successful codebreakers.
 
Admiral Layton cites these same words in indication that news of Japan's treachery had come directly to the President from Churchill. The cover note to the American Embassy in London of 26 November that enclosed Churchill's "thin diet for Chiang Kai-shek" "telegram" was marked Most Secret. It apologized for the lateness of the hour of it's delivery - yet nothing is contained, at least as it is now presented, that could have warranted waking up top level embassy personnel at 03:00 AM. Had it been sent at daybreak, it still would have reached Washington early that morning. Layton believed that another communication took place that date, one not in the record, for which the "thin diet" message serves as a convenient cover.
 
Navy's chief codebreaker, Captain Laurence Safford, expressed outrage that Admiral Kimmel was surprised by the attack, exclaiming "But they knew. They knew". When Safford anticipated that he would be called as a witness in any Pearl Harbor investigation, he began looking for relevant documents. It was then that he discovered that none of the codebroken messages had been sent Admiral Kimmel. He became incensed then, on February 22, 1944, went by train to New York, met with the admiral and acquainted him with the contents of those messages.
 
Safford was called before the Admiral Hart Inquiry where he testified as to the existence and substance of the decoded messages. He was not asked for and did not provide copies to the Hart Inquiry. It became necessary for Admiral Kimmel to request permission of the Secretary of the Navy to provide to the Navy Court of Inquiry the decoded messages. Secretarial stonewalling of his request ended when Admiral Kimmel threatened to hold a press conference to publicize the fact that the Navy court was being denied important information.
 
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Later, in his appearance before the Army board, after Admiral Kimmel had asked if he had further information relating to the disaster, Kimmel then revealed to them the information derived from codebreaking, leaving them "astonished". There were rumors, according to an Army Board member, that such messages existed and that they had been purged from Army files. But for the coincidence of Captain Safford's desire to refresh his memory, their removal from their proper location in Navy files as well by Commander Kramer would have prevented their being seen by Admiral Kimmel's designee, Captain Lavender. Why Kramer did this improper and unusual action is conjectural. It does, however, suggest a coordinated attempt higher up to prevent these messages from being made known to both Army and Navy Inquiries.
 
The date of November 26th, 1941, continues to intrigue many inquirers into the circumstances leading to the disaster. Chapter 18, entitled "Negotiations Off" in Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton's book, "And I Was There" addressed most issues surrounding that date, both known and as yet unexplained. Pertinent paragraphs are replicated in exhibit N. Why, he asked, did Secretary of State Hull confront the Japanese ambassadors on the afternoon of November 26th with the hardline position the Japanese referred to as an ultimatum when, until then, the agreed strategy was to seek accommodation until the buildup of our forces in the Philippines could be completed? Why would Secretary Hull declare the sudden shift in strategy in the course of it's implementation as his decision when there was no doubt whatsoever that the President was in direct control of all our actions then being taken? In Hull's memoirs he claimed as his reason for so advising the President that even a temporary modus vivendi with Japan would undermine Chinese morale, and quotes an extract from a communication from Churchill to Roosevelt that states: "What about Chiang Kai-shek? Is he not having a very thin diet?" How frequently we encounter these words!
 
Of interest is an extract from the report of a recent symposium held at the Admiral Nimitz Foundation in Fredericksburg, Texas, as reported in Naval Intelligence Professionals quarterly, entitled "The Gathering Storm", page 4: (Exhibit V) which states;

"In mid-November Stimson abandoned his hard-line position because of continual warnings from Marshall and Stark -- . Tokyo would not endure three more months of diplomatic procrastinations while their oil reserves drained away. --- On 17 November Hull and Secretary of the Treasury, Morganthau proposed a six months truce in the oil and rice embargo, provided Japanese troops left IndoChina. On 25 November Stimson, Knox, Stark and Marshall agreed to a new "modus vivendi" with Japan. But If they do not accept this compromise, said Roosevelt, how then can we get them to make the first aggressive move? (on that same day a Japanese task force put to sea for Hawaii). Two days later Hull gave Ambassador Nomura and Special Envoy Kurusu an uncompromising ultimatum. We do not know why this came about. We know only that Hull did it with the greatest reluctance, and he did it on instructions from Roosevelt."

There was, indeed, a mindset that a Japanese attack in SE Asia was imminent. Navy's war warning message specifically mentioned the Philippines, Kra Peninsula, or possibly Borneo as likely choices for an amphibious assault. Army's war warning message stated that if hostilities could not be avoided,
the United States desired that Japan commit the Japan commit the first overt act. The expected
 
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amphibious attack, however, did not rule out a concurrent attack against Hawaii. Nor can it be ruled out that despite evidence to the contrary, Roosevelt just refused to believe the Japanese would attack Hawaii. There is another possibility. He may have underestimated Japanese air strike effectiveness, as did many at that time, and reasoned that an attack against Pearl Harbor would have had only minor success, and would have served his purpose. In that case the surprise at Pearl Harbor was the extent of damages received.
 
The altogether regretful thing is that because damages in Hawaii were so extensive, the issue became politicized. Admissions of Washington miscalculations would not only become indicators of presidential incompetence, but would also jeopardize all that he had risked in pursuing his objective -the defeat of Hitler. The consequence is misjudgment of all three principals, President Roosevelt, Admiral Kimmel and General Short.
 
President Roosevelt went to war personally about the time of the fall of France. Aid to Britain in his view was a mandatory first step, our entry into the war an essential later action, and it was clear that an initial offensive combat action by Germany or Japan was prerequisite. His actions taken in defense of his authority and effectiveness before this nation entered the war should be judged in light of his objective - the defeat of Hitler, and of his immediate purpose - to induce an attack on our forces or territory in order to get us into the war. To remind us of the magnitude of the problem he faced, we need only recall that our rearmament after war's outbreak in Europe passed in the congress by a one vote majority. The are numerous examples of presidential deceptions. In war deception, when successful, is a virtue. The many initiatives he subsequently took, both political and military, the deceptive among them, were designed to achieve his wartime aims while hampered by our own vastly inferior forces.
 
The Dorn Report asserts that "The official treatment of Admiral Kimmel and General Short was substantially temperate and procedurally correct". Now, withholding significant information, or attempting to do so, in a duly constituted judicial procedure, if not criminal, is most certainly prejudicial to achieving a just outcome. There is simply no question but that there was a consistent, concerted effort to keep knowledge of the existence of the vitally important intelligence derived from codebroken Japanese messages from the many inquiries into the Pearl Harbor disaster. Was it for the purpose of maintaining security of this capability that was of such crucial importance to the conduct of military operations? Not believable. The fact is we were more open with our British allies than with our own senior military officers designated to head the Army and Navy courts. In 1941 we gave the British two "purple" diplomatic code deciphering machines that had been purchased for Admiral Kimmel's use, and did not reorder. Another decoder was given the Commander, Asiatic Fleet. Given this background, and the intimacy of our mutual codebreaking arrangements with the British, security could not be the real motivator for the denial to the Army and Navy courts. Then what was? The real reason was the desire to hide the fact that crucially important information held in Washington had not been provided Kimmel and Short. Withholding information on the one hand, while employing "substantially temperate treatment" of the Hawaiian commanders by avoiding sworn testimony in courts martial that would inevitably reveal information embarrassing to the administration on the other, is anything but substantially temperate treatment.
 
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Many senior naval officers during and after the war knew that Admiral Kimmel and General Short had been scapegoated. Two references serve to make that point. Admiral Raymond Spruance answered naval historian Samuel Elliot Morison who had written him regarding the disparate treatment meted out to Kimmel and Short as compared to that of General MacArthur. MacArthur's delinquencies included a direct disobedience of orders from General Marshall plus loss of his aircraft to Japanese attack nine hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor because he refused to allow General Brereton to launch them against Japanese forces in Formosa. Admiral Spruance replied:

"I have always felt that Kimmel and Short were held responsible for Pearl Harbor in order that the American people might have no reason to loose confidence in their government in Washington. This was probably justifiable under the circumstances at that time, but it does not justify forever damning those two fine officers.

"The point you raise about General MacArthur is well taken; but the Army would have lost a very able man if MacArthur had been dealt with as Kimmel and Short were."

Admiral Halsey expressed similar views in a personal letter to Admiral Kimmel. Admiral Halsey and Admiral Spruance were Navy's most experienced and honored naval combat commanders in World War II.
 
It is pertinent also to note that both Admiral Stark and Admiral Turner, particularly Admiral Turner in numerous combat actions as the Amphibious Force commander, served with distinction throughout the war. Admiral Turner's resoluteness in his landing of Marines on Guadalcanal, and in his many support and resupply operations were enablers of our victory there. Although both were at the center of pre-war bungling in the Navy Department, they were significant figures in our subsequent victory, and were so recognized. Admiral Kimmel and General Short were denied further roles.
 
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EPILOGUE
 
Divers initially engaged in rescuing entrapped personnel within compartments of ships sunk by bombs and torpedoes during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and in salvaging those ships, describe the murky conditions in the surrounding waters caused mainly by oil on the surface, some of it still burning as they worked. Numerous authors and other individuals who, for whatever reason, inquire into the events, actions and explanations that preceded and followed that Day of Infamy have also struggled with a murkiness brought about by the potential political and military consequences that marked its aftermath. As information that was once highly classified has been released into the public domain, the popular belief that the commanders in Hawaii were to blame for their inattentiveness has steadily changed. Even though all pertinent information has not yet been released, the record is now clear that the errors then committed, and mistakes in judgment then being made, were being made in Washington, not in Hawaii.
 
In his oft repeated observation, eloquent in its simplicity, Robert Burns got it right. When dealing with uncertainty in military situations we see, or think we see, clearly in hindsight what should have been done in various combat actions. When assessing blame for what "Gang aft a-gley" in some military encounter, we must examine whether or not a commander was assiduous in his search for solutions, attentive to the advice of his subordinates, or heedless or unreasonable in one or more aspects of the encounter that were foreseeable. If a commander's decisions were thoughtfully arrived at, but for some unknown or even foolish action taken by an opponent, are seen in retrospect to be erroneous, that commander did not fail his obligations. A more perfect knowledge is the antidote, the distribution and exploitation of which is the obligation of every commander in a command chain. This is my basis for judging Admiral Kimmel.
 
My interest in the Pearl Harbor disaster commenced in about 1982, when I purchased in an estate sale a seven page, hand-written, letter by Admiral Kimmel to the movie star, the Rose of the Silent Screen, Corrine Griffith, which she then had mounted in a frame and displayed in her living room. He and Mrs Kimmel had been invited to one of her parties. His explanation in response to her question about what caused Pearl Harbor was frequently interrupted as other guests came up. So, upon their return home he wrote his explanation in the letter. In it he mentioned Captain Safford, then Navy's chief cryptanalyst, as the one who opened his eyes as to what had really taken place.
 
At that time I was a member of a subcommittee of the Naval Research Advisory Committee that specialized in matters associated with highly sensitive naval intelligence. This group was comprised mostly of scientists and technical experts who were outside advisers to the Naval Security Group, which is the offspring of Captain Safford's OP-20-G. I presented the Kimmel letter to Rear Admiral Dillingham, then Commander, Naval Security Group, for inclusion in the NSG museum in honor of Captain Safford. As an experienced operational commander I knew first hand comand need for and dependence on intelligence support in applying force to greater advantage. As I inquired more into the circumstances surrounding the Pearl Harbor disaster, it became
 
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clear to me that political concerns, then and since, have served to preclude an honest appraisal of its causes. The price we paid was enormous.  The lessons we should have learned are valuable as we look ahead.
 
In earlier times I was a fighter pilot aboard the carrier SARATOGA during the GUADALCANAL invasion then, subsequently, in September and October of ‘42, shorebased there on HENDERSON Field. I achieved four shootdowns of Japanese aircraft, and was myself wounded and shot down. During the Korean War I served as Executive Officer of a carrier with a Marine airwing aboard engaged in direct support of Marine troops ashore. During the Vietnam war I commanded the aircraft carrier task forces in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1966-67. I am a graduate of the U S Naval Academy, Class of ‘36, have also been a student at the Royal Navy Staff College, Greenwich, England, and both a student and staff member at our Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. My duties on the staff involved preparation of critical analyses of combat actions during WWII. I have served in the Strategic Plans Group on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in Strategic Plans and Policy on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. These duties and combat experiences have made clear to me that an accurate historical record of our past political and military events and actions is a rich heritage, highly useful as we work our way through future difficult problems. The Pearl Harbor disaster is a perfect case in point for pressing the need for a proper management and exploitation of intelligence, by political as well as military authorities, and is the yet to be officially recognized lesson to be learned from that disastrous event.
 
A second reason developed as I became more knowledgeable of what had really transpired prior to December 7th. When viewed in the context of operational realities, it became clear that a terrible injustice has been done to the two Pearl Harbor commanders and, consequently, to the historic account of those momentous events. The record should be set straight.
 
David C. Richardson Vice
Admiral, U S Navy (ret)
Julian, California
August 4th, 1997
 
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January 2001 Letter From David Richardson to Edwin Dorn

20 January, '01

Mr. Edwin Dorn
Dean, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
University of Texas
Austin, TX,

Dear Mr. Dorn,

I write as the author of a critical analysis of the report of December, ‘95 that carries your name that has since become the basic line of reasoning prompting many of the initiatives that seek restoration of reputations of the two Hawaiian commanders. It is central to the Kimmel family endeavor of recent years. I write also in response to your recent newspaper article that relates to Pearl Harbor.

I am a WWII fighter pilot, credited with 4 kills, one flying from SARATOGA and three while shorebased on GUADALCANAL during Sept. and Oct., 1942, during which time I was hospitalized with wounds received in air combat. As a flag officer I was CTF-77, commander of our carriers in Gulf of Tonkin, for one year (‘66-67), Commander SIXTH Fleet, ‘68-'70, and Deputy CINC Pacific Fleet until my retirement in ‘72. I wish to impress the point that my duty experiences taught me the dependence of command upon timely intelligence in evolving situations if we are to avoid serious consequences. Please read this letter carefully. It presents the situation from a purely operational view. It is very important that we learn the lessons from our disaster there if we are to avoid their repetition.

I am no kin to Admiral J. 0. Richardson, Admiral Kimmel's predecessor.

There is a uniqueness to the Admiral Kimmel, Lieutenant General Short Pearl Harbor controversy. World War II top level commanders Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, Spruance and Roberts Commission member, Admiral Standley, supported the two Hawaiian commanders, believing they were scapegoated, necessarily scapegoated at that time, as Admiral Spruance wrote in his reply to historian Samuel Elliot Morrison. There were also others of similar mind of lesser statue in the wartime scheme of things. Latter day military professionals of like view include two former chairmen, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Moorer and Crowe, three former Chiefs of Naval Operations, Admirals Zumwalt, Holloway and Trost, and more recently two prominent army general officers, Andrew Goodpaster and McCaffery, father of the drug czar. The uniqueness is the caliber and quality of military professionals on one side of the argument and some lawyers and some historians on the other. Neither of the latter categories have found it useful to take into consideration "expert opinion" as used in courts of law. To do so would demolish their arguments.

The case for restoration of reputations of Admiral Kimmel and General Short rests on recognition of the situation in which they were placed by our national strategy, their logistical limitations and an intelligence support failure at the seat of government. Their performance must be judged in an understanding of the operational options that were available to them at various times, and what they did in light of the information they held.


The stage was set for all that later transpired in April, 1941. Pursuant to a strategy that emphasized aid to Britain in highest priority, the president ordered transfer of the carrier YORKTOWN, three battleships and accompanying cruisers and destroyers to Atlantic patrol. This transfer gave Japan a 2 to 1 naval strength advantage in the Pacific. Shortly thereafter a corollary strategy, adopted to both assist CHINA and prevent the Japanese from attacking Soviet Siberia, embargoed sale to Japan of oil and steel needed for it's military purposes. A third strategy, a change in emphasis from Britain first to permit strengthening our military structure in the Pacific, was adopted in the fall, 1941, as decoded Japanese diplomatic and consular messages revealed an increasing likelihood of war with Japan, the result of our economic embargo. Now, within the last several years, we have learned from VENONA, from Soviet dissidents and KGB files made available after collapse of the Soviet Union, of direct Soviet involvement in President Roosevelt's issuance of the equivalent of an ultimatum to Japan on November 26th, 1941, which action made war inevitable. This area of inquiry will become more enlightening as to motivation and process with the passage of time. The consequences are long clear.

One must understand at the outset that from about noon, December 6th, the Japanese were in complete control over subsequent developments. This operational fact of life was not factored into the thinking of those who prepared the Dorn Report nor of any of the numerous historical accounts that treat with this disaster. Yet, two major features of the Admiral Kimmel's and General Short's situations were rooted in that fact. These follow:

Kimmel had 7 operable battleships, speeds 16 kts, weapons ranges 15 nm. and no aircraft carriers immediately available. The Japanese had 6 (of 10) aircraft carriers, speeds 32 kts., weapons ranges 300 nm. Thus, their speed advantage was just short of 2 to 1, their weapons range advantage, 20 to 1. Additionally, they deployed 29 submarines off Pearl Harbor entrance and in the waters around OAHU. Both had assorted cruisers and destroyers. Kimmel's eighth battleship, the fleet flagship, was in dry dock in Pearl, his ninth, on the coast. Japanese submarine strength made them every bit as dangerous as their aircraft carriers. Moreover, in view of Japanese carrier speed and weapons range advantages, any analysis worth its salt must recognise that the Japanese achieved full control over subsequent events dating from about mid-morning, no later than noon, on the 6th, Hawaiian time. If Kimmel tried to escape, what Japanese submarines missed Japanese aircraft could seek out and sink. Given this disparity in forces and force capabilities, it is crystal clear that Kimmel was without any viable operational action to either harm the enemy or to save himself. I still await some historian or analyst to factor this reality into their rationales.

The second major feature relates to the character and magnitude of the search problem the surprise attack imposed. The Japanese daylight launch of attack aircraft, essential to provide visual joinups of squadrons and air strike groups of multiple squadrons, was about 0530, when 250 nm out. During the previous 18 hours the Japanese force approached at 24 kts in order to reduce time in the area in which they could be sighted. At 1800 December 6th the Japanese force was about 525 nm out from Pearl. Kimmel's patrol plane air speed was about 100 kts. Thus his search aircraft would not detect the Japanese during 11 hours of their flight time! Probable

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attack force approach routes extended from 180 degrees through 270 to about 030 degrees. Kimmel's total patrol plane resource was 49, with aircraft availability of 70%, ie, 35 operational. With flight path separation of 5% outbound to search area, then parallel, this would permit coverage of 170 degrees of the desired 210 degrees. There were no radars for detection, only eyeballs. My recollection is a 15 hour flight was max. If the admiral commenced an all out search on 28 November, by 2 December he would have maybe half as many planes and air crews still operable, with aircraft and aircrew availability trending sharply downward. His war plans required PBY aircraft for anti submarine search and attack, and surface search in defense of his own air and surface offensive task forces. Since he lacked what Washington held, and should have understood, Kimmel had no reason to mount long range air search, especially given the low likelihood of success.

Washington learned from decryption of the Bomb Plot Report Plan, applicable almost exclusively to Pearl Harbor and Manila, that Pearl Harbor was a likely target. That decrypt divided Pearl Harbor into sectors and required the Japan consulate to report frequently the identity and location of ships therein. Several days before the attack, in J-19 code, the consulate was required to report "even when ships are not moving". Diplomatic code decrypts during the week preceding the attack included "You see why time is so urgent" -"war will come sooner than you think" -"Negotiations are over, but we continue the effort to avoid arousing suspicions". "East wind, rain", which we had learned from decrypts to mean war with Britain and the US, was received in Washington December 5th, and understood. They provide the context for assessing the significance of the 14 part message and delivery instructions decoded and circulated to the president and his military and civilian advisers the evening of December 6th. That none of this crucially important intelligence was sent to the commanders in Hawaii is simply inexcusable. It is in violation of long standing practices and of the most basic responsibility of senior command to a junior force commander. It is also in violation of the promise of the CNO, Admiral Stark, made to both Admiral Richardson and Admiral Kimmel. The idea that a so-called war warning sent 10 days before the above noted decrypts is sufficient in lieu is operational nonsense.

The aggressor in surprise attacks has enormous advantages, specifically so in this case, aided as he was by spies and a reporting system regarding location of all ships in Pearl Harbor. He has full knowledge of the location and identity of all potential targets, constraints imposed and defensive measures in place. He chooses the time, place and circumstances of attack, having made the necessary preparations. In any transition from peace to war, the targeted force commander is a victim of a mindset based on what he knew last month, last week and yesterday, and needs what is known as tactical intelligence in evolving dangerous situations in order to avoid losing control - in other words, he needs it to change his mindset. That this is universal truth is attested to by the statement General Andrew Goodpaster wrote me, quoted below:

"You speak of the aggressor choosing time, place and circumstances of the attack. This caught my eye because it is exactly the point I repeatedly made to NATO and US authority when I served as SACEUR. I emphasize that because they, the Russians, could have the initiative. The Soviets could choose the time, and place and mode of attack.

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Powerful advantages which meant that I should be furnished and be free to act upon the best possible intelligence to provide warning. That is exactly what was not provided to Admiral Kimmel and General Short".

As had General Goodpaster 28 years later, so had Admiral Kimmel in June, 1941, specifically defined in a formal letter to Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Stark, his requirement that he be kept fully informed regarding all developments pertinent to his situation in Pearl.

Given his situation, Admiral Kimmel had only one sensible operational option dating from about noon, December 6th. - To go to General Quarters shortly after daybreak, Dec. 7th. General Short had two: 1)have some pursuit planes airborne, others ready for launch, and 2) plan for and conduct a flyaway of all other types of aircraft.

Why not go to General Quarters routinely? I speak with first hand knowledge of life aboard steel boxes called battleships moored in Pearl Harbor before air conditioning. We used windscoops fitted in port holes to bring in air from the northeast trade winds to achieve a small measure of comfort. These are removed during General Quarters, as is water to toilets, and all access routes are closed. The ship is totally compartmented. One does not order General Quarters lightly, or lacking specific information of an attack. Personnel effectiveness is quickly lost when GQ is long lasting. Nor were the ships undermanned for their need. Half of Admiral Kimmel's AAA was manned, with ready ammunition, aboard his BBs during daylight hours when in Pearl. The other half was blanketed, since the BBs moored two abreast.

I must remark upon a requisite leadership quality. Before an outbreak of hostilities ship's crews spend time ashore when in port, married personnel with their families, others ashore for various recreational purposes. A sure way to destroy morale is to keep crews aboard on hunches. Nervous Nellies loose effectiveness. A criticism by some authors that because some commanding officers of ships were ashore, their ships were without command guidance is sheer nonsense. Command Duty Officers are now and were then, trained and competent to operate the ship in emergency situations. In Pearl before the war (I was there for a year in ‘40-'41) crew members ashore stayed aboard nearby shore facilities and engaged in athletic contests, swimming, PX beer etc. They seldom went into Honolulu. Transportation was scarce. Kimmel very much needed what Washington was learning from decrypts the week before Dec. 7th, in order to modify his daily readiness status as well as to readjust his ongoing operational activity as this threat situation was seen developing. I only wish your report preparers had had some experience with the realities of living under the gun in Hawaii, as it were, and as I did, during the 20 months prior to the attack.

Short's flyaway planning, a massive effort, would inevitably have become known immediately to the local Japanese spy setup. It could have violated his war warning admonishment to avoid alarming the citizenry, especially in light of the magnitude and nature of a flyaway of a large number of civilian and military aircraft. And from what we now know about Japanese preparations it would have, at the least, advised the Japanese that surprise was lost.

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Short reported his alert status to Washington. The number of staff personnel who acted on that message and took no exception indicates there was then general agreement that sabotage, not air strikes, was the Washington expectation. General Marshall testified that he saw but did not "correct" Short's interpretation of his war warning. The record is replete with the views of interrogated key army and navy staff officers, some of whom were in possession of PURPLE MAGIC information, that none thought Pearl Harbor a likely target.

Dorn Report preparers note Washington's intelligence support failure, but then accuse Kimmel for not using his cruisers for searching. They neither considered the logistical problems that option entailed nor the consequent adverse impact on his ability to implement his war plan, which was directive. Kimmel had only 4 oilers capable of underway replenishment. They were committed to the support of his two carrier task forces engaged in reinforcing WAKE and MIDWAY and his amphibious force enroute Johnson Island. Cruisers were refueled every 5 days, destroyers every 3. And there were only 2 heavy cruisers not attached to the three task forces, not 12. A cruising speed of 15 kts. outbound and in to conserve fuel translates to 70 hours, just short of 3 days enroute, of the 5 permissible. One need not complete the math to determine the very low probability for the high cost of this search option. Lacking reference to operational experts, the superficiality of Dorn Report suggested alternatives is not surprising.

In this general regard it is noted that the LEXINGTON carrier task group departed Pearl Nov. 28th with fighters for WAKE, ordered by Washington, the ENTERPRISE carrier task group for MIDWAY December 5 and the Amphibious task group Dec.3rd. If Hawaii had been informed of the decrypts then held in Washington, Kimmel would at least have been given the opportunity to make changes in his Washington ordered carrier task force operations to adjust his force employment in light of developing danger. These later departures could have been modified to increase heavy cruiser numbers if they were to be used for reconnaissance purposes. Also pertinent, and one of the logistical constraints which influenced Admiral Kimmel's operational options, is that he necessarily kept one battleship task group in port in order to avoid depleting his wartime fuel reserves. One must also note that Kimmel's third aircraft carrier, the SARATOGA, was on the West Coast for repairs.

Factors that influenced Kimmel's and Short's thinking included Washington's orders on November 27th to transfer fifty army pursuit aircraft (Short had 100) to reinforce WAKE and MIDWAY Islands. If one disbelieves the conspiracy theory, then a transfer of 50 pursuit planes, half of General Short's inventory, is another clear indication that Washington thought an attack against Hawaii very unlikely. Kimmel substituted Marine fighters because there was no way to offload the army planes, and sent one carrier task forces to WAKE on 28 November, the second, on 5 December, to MIDWAY.

The war warning (the sixth such that year) of 26 November highlighted Thailand, the Kra Peninsula, Philippines, Borneo as likely Japanese initial targets. The war warning and pursuit plane transfer directive from Washington came within a day of each other. The evidence is very strong that Washington did not expect an attack against Pearl when that transfer of fighter planes was ordered.

At 3:00PM Saturday. December 6th, Kimmel met with his staff to review their situation, and specifically inquired re the location of the Japanese carriers. His Intelligence staff didn't know, which was the case over the past year from time to time. That was about 8:30PM in Washington, when Roosevelt, upon reading the first 13 of the 14 part decrypt of instructions to Nomura, exclaimed "This means war." Then to his dinner guests, all family, "We will be at war tomorrow" . No one advised Kimmel or Short. Later, around midnight, the 14th part was decrypted with delivery instructions to Sec State at 1300. Sunday, (0730 Hawaiian time.) in those days carrier aircraft launched at dawn, formed up in large attack groups and proceeded to targets, a process then requiring clear visibility. This was a clear indication that Hawaii was a chosen target. Both navy and army staffs fully understood the significance of the 1300 delivery time and pleaded with both Stark and Marshall to "call" the commanders in Hawaii. Both staffs were exasperated by their leaders unwillingness to do so. Admiral Stark's briefer at 1030, December 7th urged Stark to call Kimmel. Stark picked up the phone, then put it down and said a strange thing. "I will call the president instead", which he did, but wasn't put through. Conclusion: A most fundamental responsibility in a command chain is for a senior to keep his junior commander fully informed of evolving events of possible significance to him. Stark's reason for not doing so was a compelling one, perhaps a presidential order.

When SecNav Knox arrived in Pearl Harbor several days later he asked; "Didn't you get the warning we sent you that Saturday night?" "No". He persisted, asking other staff members. The answer was "no". None was sent. Since neither Stark nor Marshall could remember where they were that night of nights, totally unbelievable, and both being capable, assiduous persons, the only rational explanation is that they met with the president together with other advisers around midnight. There is additional evidence to that effect.

So, let's assume first Kimmel was fully informed on or prior to December 5th, then that he was first informed around midnight, Dec.6th (06:30 Hawaiian time) What might have happened? In the first case, he had two options - retire - head for the west coast, or try to reconstitute his two carrier forces, to operate somewhere near MIDWAY, a task that would have taken about 3 days. with or without his battleships. His intelligence would have given Japanese carrier strength as 4 to 6 aircraft carriers, but at that time we held low opinions of the effectiveness of Japan's pilots. My point is that under this assumption, Admiral Kimmel would have been in full charge of what he did, and Washington would have had no control over his actions. And Admiral Kimmel stated that had he so known, he would have been far more forceful with Washington. We can't know, but given the mindsets of all top level commanders in Oahu, in all likelihood Kimmel would have fought. And lost. Or Japan would have aborted. In both cases Short would have placed his pursuit aircraft on alert, some airborne, others ready for launch, and organized a flyaway of other than fighter type aircraft, to be implemented upon detection of an incoming attack. Most likely this would have made a difference in that Japanese losses would have been greater and our damages less.

Now, my second assumption - Kimmel and/or Short were first notified fully about midnight, December 6th. His best decision would be to stay in

 

Port, but set General Quarters at daybreak, Dec.7th. My point is that for whatever reason, or combination of reasons, what he actually did, except for setting General Quarters, was his most rational course of action. Those lawyers and historians who complain that he did nothing have never identified any initiative that he might have taken that would have made any difference in the outcome.

The fact is the decrypts we held strongly indicated that war was imminent. To those who claim there were ambiguities, then note that Admiral Nomura, the Japanese ambassador and chief negotiator, requested and met secretly with Admiral Stark in which he advised war was inevitable unless the US eased up on it's economic and military demands of 26 November. None of this information was sent Hawaii. Washington knew, Hawaii didn't. For whatever the reasons, Washington is to blame for what occurred.

In summary, Washington's failure to advise Hawaii of their "ultimatum" to Japan on November 26th and to provide the intelligence in their possession during that November and early December so pertinent to the status of the commanders in Hawaii denied both Kimmel and Short the opportunity to make needed last minute adjustments that would at the least have reduced the extent of casualties.

A previous CNO, Admiral Trost, reversed his earlier views in these matters when he learned the advice given him, upon which he relied, by the Navy Dept. historian was inaccurate. He then wrote the Secretary of the Navy requesting that his adverse endorsement on an earlier Kimmel family request be withdrawn.

I've not provided reference material for my statements. If you have questions or disagreements, I would be happy to treat with them.

Respectfully,

David C. Richardson


Details on the pages of the Kimmel Family Record web site come from the collection of
Timothy W. Kimmel of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  You can contact Tim at timkimmel@comcast.net

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