“On December 7th, 1941, a Day which Will Live in Infamy”

Lest We Forget.

What is the lesson of Pearl Harbor, other than not to park all your ships and planes so close together that a few bombing and strafing runs can take all of them out? I don’t know. I have a few ideas, but I’ll leave that to the dedicated naval historians and military historians, who can fight with the diplomatic historians.

Battleship Row Today, looking toward the USS Arizona Memorial.

The US and Great Britain avenged our dead, but the cost… Hard fought and very necessary.

“The tumult and the shouting dies, the Captains and the Kings Depart, still stands Thy ancient sacrifice, an humble and a contrite heart.

“Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget.”

Rudyard Kipling, “The Recessional”

6 thoughts on ““On December 7th, 1941, a Day which Will Live in Infamy”

  1. My father, three uncles, and an aunt served in the US military during WW2, all in the Pacific theater. We were so lucky not to lose any of them, although one uncle lost a leg to a kamikaze attack on his ship.
    Sadly, they are all gone now.
    They had many good stories, but few about combat (not in front of the children!).

  2. What is the lesson of Pearl Harbor? Simple: Don’t get complacent! I won’t say that the Day of Infamy was avoidable, but I will say that it was as bad as it was mainly because of the total failure of the American military leadership. They failed in every way: strategy, tactics, logistics, intelligence. They underestimated the Japanese Navy in every way: materiel, personnel, strategy, tactics, training. And all because they got complacent.

  3. Well… not everyone was complacent. And generally, it was the captains who had focused on drills and duty, and thinking ahead, who managed to survive and to keep their people alive, and fighting. And the same thing for even ordinary guys — the ones who were trying to be alert and working hard were the ones who managed something, even if they ended up dying too.

    Of course, there is such a thing as bad luck. If you were supposed to be asleep in your bunk, and somebody just came along and blew you up, that’s not _your_ fault.

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