The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

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COSteve
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The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#1 Post by COSteve » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:03 pm

Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every thirty minutes. Last time I was there, we just missed a ferry and had to wait thirty minutes. I went into a small gift shop to kill time. In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled, "Reflections on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941--Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington, DC. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone.

He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet. Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.

There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.

On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?”

Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice. Admiral Nimitz said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.

Which do you think it was?”

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?

Nimitz explained:

Mistake Number One: The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake Number Two: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake Number Three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or, God was taking care of America.

I've never forgotten what I read in that little book. It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it. But any way you look at it--Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism. President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver lining in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.



What we need today is a Government with the guts to stand up to the Socialists, Communists, and all those who would tear the US apart be they in a foreign land or here at home. We need a Media with the integrity to report the news, not manufacture stories to advance their sick agendas. We need a president who is not afraid to stand up to all those who would tear down America.

Oh wait! We have one and his name is President Donald Trump!!!!!
Steve

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#2 Post by gamekeeper » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:13 pm

I hadn't heard that story of Admiral Nimitz, thanks for posting.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#3 Post by octagon » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:03 pm

Steve the Nimitz museum in Fredericksburg Texas is sure worth the trip. IT was rededicated a while back by Big Bush,
I first saw it as a kid in a scout troop. IT has a small Jap submarine that is really cool, and a number of vintage guns, gear etc.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#4 Post by 1894cfan » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:34 pm

It wasn't mentioned, but mistake number 4 was.....ALL of our aircraft carriers were away at sea at the time!!

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#5 Post by OldWin » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:37 pm

Amen!
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#6 Post by Grizz » Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:15 pm

Good info. Thanks Steve.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#7 Post by Ray » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:09 pm

Most interesting.....

See this past post that upset ganjiro exceedingly......

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=74286
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#8 Post by new pig hunter » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:21 pm

I just finished a biography of sorts on Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the first attack wave on Pearl Harbor. In the book are many many insights into the Japanese way of doing things, and the mentality. This is the very first book I've ever read from the Japanese viewpoint. And the book provides insight all the way through to war's end, and beyond.

Here's a quote from the book, "..... this in turn reflected a tendency firmly rooted in Japanese thinking -- the inability to exploit an unexpected advantage ....... Nagumo's refusal to send a third attack wave over Pearl Harbor was only one of many examples (during the war)."

Great Reading !!! https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Samurai-Pil ... 1574886959
.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#9 Post by Ray » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:25 am

new pig hunter wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:21 pm
I just finished a biography of sorts on Mitsuo Fuchida, who led the first attack wave on Pearl Harbor. In the book are many many insights into the Japanese way of doing things, and the mentality. This is the very first book I've ever read from the Japanese viewpoint. And the book provides insight all the way through to war's end, and beyond.

Here's a quote from the book, "..... this in turn reflected a tendency firmly rooted in Japanese thinking -- the inability to exploit an unexpected advantage ....... Nagumo's refusal to send a third attack wave over Pearl Harbor was only one of many examples (during the war)."

Great Reading !!! https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Samurai-Pil ... 1574886959
.
In industry it took decades for them to have a "plan b" or any preparations for extingencies.....

When I worked for them in the automotive industries around about y2k they explained that the japanese mindset has always been national and corporate and never individual and that to "bust a gut or die trying" in plain american parlance was respected more than actually achieving the projected/expected goals.

Reminds me of macarthur's chagrin at the first shipload of wheelbarrows delivered for the reconstruction of toykyo, hiroshima, and nagasaki......

The wheels and axles were heaped on the quay while the navvies fell to their tasks, two to a barrow.....one at the handles and one at the yoke.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#10 Post by Grizz » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:46 am

after a couple hundred words, I scratched that. second cup of coffee, good morning Levergunners

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#11 Post by vancelw » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:44 am

Grizz wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:46 am
after a couple hundred words, I scratched that. second cup of coffee, good morning Levergunners
:lol:
Yes. Believe it or not....my "delete" key gets a lot of use :P

Letters from Iwo Jima is a good book to help understand the Japanese mindset.
Those young men were fighting for God and country (the Emperor) and were told by their parents to not come home alive unless the war was over, lest they bring shame to the family.
Just like you have a hard time believing that a blood relative of your own (cousin, sibling...even parent) can have opposite political ideas as yourself, it is even harder to fathom how another nationality or culture thinks and acts.

I think I'll go outside and shoot my double. Africa trip coming quicker than an express train. :D :D :D :D
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#12 Post by jeepnik » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:33 am

The best example of the japanese mind set then and now is their refusal to admit to Nanking and all of the lesser known atrocities. The japanese government still takes umbrage over the internment camp here (I won’t argue the right or wrong) yet won’t admit the cruel and inhumane treatment of both civilians and POWs.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#13 Post by wecsoger » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:53 pm

To shorten up an old military saying, the general's response is classic, he's looking at logistics.

In short, manpower, resources, and supplies.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#14 Post by Merle » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:25 pm

1894cfan wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:34 pm
It wasn't mentioned, but mistake number 4 was.....ALL of our aircraft carriers were away at sea at the time!!
and # 5 was not knocking out the sub pens, especially considering how much damage our subs did early in the war...
Merle from PA

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#15 Post by COSteve » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:06 am

jeepnik wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:33 am
The best example of the japanese mind set then and now is their refusal to admit to Nanking and all of the lesser known atrocities. The japanese government still takes umbrage over the internment camp here (I won’t argue the right or wrong) yet won’t admit the cruel and inhumane treatment of both civilians and POWs.
A friend of my son's taught English in Japan for a year about 8 years ago and he was astounded to find that they spent an entire semester on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but not a single minute on Pearl Harbor.

He asked some members of his class what they thought of the Japanese's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and was horrified to learn that none of them had ever heard of it. Just a vague reference to Japan entering the war on the side of the Axis as a result of the US denying them access to raw materials and oil.

Astounding!!!
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#16 Post by mickbr » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:04 am

Well I think to Japs it was just another action, admittedly not a wise one, but they were picking fights with 20 something countries across east asia at the time and the average japanese person is not going to able to name many of them. Any more than I can name many of the landings in Europe.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki are possibly the biggest war events ever. The two only nukes on human cities, people still studying the effects 70 yrs later.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#17 Post by COSteve » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:22 am

mickbr wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:04 am
Well I think to Japs it was just another action, admittedly not a wise one, but they were picking fights with 20 something countries across east asia at the time and the average japanese person is not going to able to name many of them. Any more than I can name many of the landings in Europe.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki are possibly the biggest war events ever. The two only nukes on human cities, people still studying the effects 70 yrs later.
So you're saying that their planned sneak attack on Pearl Harbor while their ambassador was speaking to our Sec of State about peace in the east was just, "another action?" And this by a nation that says it's people consider personal honor as a duty?

Preposterous! The Japs of the 30's and 40's, talked of honor and integrity while they raped Nanjing, Burma, and the rest of Asia and tried to destroy the US's ability to defend our western shores under the cover of a peace talk. They have no honor, no integrity, no morals.
Steve

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#18 Post by AJMD429 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:22 pm

COSteve wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:06 am
He asked some members of his class what they thought of the Japanese's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and was horrified to learn that none of them had ever heard of it. Just a vague reference to Japan entering the war on the side of the Axis as a result of the US denying them access to raw materials and oil.

Astounding!!!
Not really. Think of how CLUELESS our own college kids are right here in the U.S....

You've undoubtedly seen the street-interviews where they demonstrate not only their ignorance, but their ARROGANCE.

They don't know a thing about how horrible and violent socialism is, for starters, and they don't know the KKK was started by Democrats, or that Saturday Night Special bans were to disarm blacks so the KKK could murder them.

"College Students" are often the least informed individuals there are. Pathetic, but true. :|
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#19 Post by Ysabel Kid » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:16 pm

Thanks for sharing this Steve! :D
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#20 Post by TraderVic » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:44 am

Interesting thread. I took a tour (Jan, 1974) of the USS Arizona Memorial while in Pearl Harbor, on my second tour to SE Asia on board Navy destroyers.
What was interesting to me at the time was that about 3/4ths of the people on this tour were Japanese tourists. This didn't bother me as it did other sailors on the tour, as I had stood at ground zero in Nagasaki during my first tour to SE Asia.....and remember a few "stares" from local Japanese. My ship (USS J.R. Craig, DD885) was in dry dock in Sasebo, Japan and I had an opportunity to go to Nagasaki.
Not only did the Japanese mistakenly not disable the dry docks, they also failed to bomb the repair shops/facilities at Pearl, which also was huge break for us.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#21 Post by jeepnik » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:10 pm

While they didn’t damage the dock and shops they did serious damage to the USS Vestal
She was a repair ship tied up to the USS Arizona.

This was my grandfather’s last ship. He lost friends that day and my mom’s friends lost fathers.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#22 Post by TraderVic » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:21 pm

Just looked up the history of the USS Vestal, a very busy and impressive service record throughout WWII.
Both of my ships spent some time alongside repair ships (Taiwan, Japan and Phillipines). These repair ships were more commonly called Destroyer Tenders when I was in.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#23 Post by jeepnik » Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:51 pm

TraderVic wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:21 pm
Just looked up the history of the USS Vestal, a very busy and impressive service record throughout WWII.
Both of my ships spent some time alongside repair ships (Taiwan, Japan and Phillipines). These repair ships were more commonly called Destroyer Tenders when I was in.
The Vestal was a converted collier. This lamp was made from a practice shell for her 3" 50 caliber anti aircraft guns. I always wondered if those guns got into action on December 7th.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#24 Post by TraderVic » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:24 pm

According to Wikipedia, all of the anti aircraft guns on the Vestal went into action by 8:05 a.m., December 7th, however the 3" gun jammed after firing three rounds.
The gun crew was working to clear the jam when the Arizona's forward magazines were detonated by a Japanese bomb, the resulting explosion literally cleared the decks of the Vestal of all personnel, including the commander......who swam back to the ship and resumed command.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#25 Post by piller » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:26 am

Having seen the Arizona Memorial, I can say that it is an incredibly moving experience.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#26 Post by mickbr » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:02 pm

COSteve wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:22 am

So you're saying that their planned sneak attack on Pearl Harbor while their ambassador was speaking to our Sec of State about peace in the east was just, "another action?" And this by a nation that says it's people consider personal honor as a duty?

Preposterous! The Japs of the 30's and 40's, talked of honor and integrity while they raped Nanjing, Burma, and the rest of Asia and tried to destroy the US's ability to defend our western shores under the cover of a peace talk. They have no honor, no integrity, no morals.
I didn't defend it, just said they were part of an empire in those days, bullying 20+ countries, plenty of atrocities as you say. Pearl harbor was just one of them. I guess its not what japs of the 30's and 40's thought, its what their kids three generations later see as bigger news.
Last edited by mickbr on Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#27 Post by 1894cfan » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:04 am

And of course, no one ever heard of Toranto, Italy! Which is of course where the Japanese got the idea for the attack on Pearl Harbor!

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#28 Post by jeepnik » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:14 am

Major difference being that both attacker and subject of the attack were already in a declared war.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#29 Post by new pig hunter » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:35 pm

I mentioned above a book I read which provided insight into the Japanese mindset.

My Navy pals have since ordered me to read this one about Midway, that it will provide even more depth of knowledge about what the "Japanese war machine" was thinking and doing 6 months after Pearl Harbor. So far I'm on Page 56 ......
https://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Sword- ... 1574889249

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#30 Post by piller » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:21 am

Many things are done during war which may not be easy to accept when viewed through the lens of time and memory. For those who have never been there, it might be best if we do not judge too harshly.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#31 Post by new pig hunter » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:46 pm

Lest we not judge harshly the pre-WWII and WWII Japanese mindset and their benevolent concern & treatment of civilians ......


9th of September 1942 Japanese bomb U.S. mainland.

A Japanese float-plane drops incendiary bombs on a southern Oregon state forest -- the first air attack on the U.S. mainland in the war.

Launching from the Japanese sub I-25, Nobuo Fujita piloted his light aircraft over the state of Oregon and firebombed Mount Emily, alighting a state forest–and ensuring his place in the history books as the first man to ever bomb the continental United States.

President FDR immediately called for a news blackout for the sake of morale and panic. No long-term damage was done, and Fujita eventually went home to train navy pilots for the rest of the war.

The exact spot where a Oregon was bombed in World War II lies deep in a National Forest. On September 9. 1942, less than a year after the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor, another lone Japanese float-plane slipped in over the coastal U.S. mainland and delivered a 170-lb. thermite bomb in to the forested mountains.

The bomb exploded, leaving a small crater and circle of charred trees. Unusually wet weather conditions prevented the fire from spreading. The site was eventually overgrown and forgotten, then rediscovered in 1972.

Today, the site known by the US Forrest Service as "Japanese Bombing Site Trail # 1118" features interpretive signs.

Had weather and humidity conditions in 1942 been optimal, one lone flyer with a 170-lb. thermite bomb may have ignited a fire that would have destroyed unknown tens of thousands of acres and taken untold manpower away from the war effort.

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#32 Post by COSteve » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:16 pm

piller wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:21 am
Many things are done during war which may not be easy to accept when viewed through the lens of time and memory. For those who have never been there, it might be best if we do not judge too harshly.
The Japanese then and now "say" that they value 'Face' and 'Honor' above all else. How is the rape of Nanking 'Honorable'? How is the kidnapping and distribution to Japanese troops of 250,000 'Comfort Women' (nothing more than sex slaves) from Korea in WWII 'Honorable'? How is planning and attacking our Pacific Fleet at the very moment that your ambassador is speaking with our Sec. of State about maintaining the peace 'Honorable'?

The Japanese to this day haven't acknowledged or apologized for any of these crimes against humanity. They are guilty of some of the most horrific human atrocities of the 20th century and they've never acknowledged any responsibility for them to this day. But you may say, "That was during a war."

How is the now shamed Chairman of Nissan Motors, Carlos Ghosn, fired for secretly stealing at least $84 million from Nissan and the disgraced CEO, Hiroto Saikawa resigning because he knew about the scandal and did nothing 'Honorable'? How is Takata Company continuing to produce dangerous air bags that killed and maimed people all over the world for 11 years after they knew about the problem 'Honorable'? How is Honda's resistance to recalling the air bags in US cars until some years after they were recalled in Japan 'Honorable'?

Now as then, the Japanese culture claims to value principles while most ignore them completely.
Steve

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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#33 Post by piller » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:27 pm

Steve, as you point out, some actions cannot and should not be accepted. I still say that some things should not be judged too harshly. The use of atomic bombs, while a terrible thing to do, probably saved many lives---both American and Japanese. The Japanese would have fought to the last man if not for the atomic bombs. Do not judge the use of atomic bombs too harshly. The firebombing of Tokyo was horrific. However, would the Japanese people have surrendered had it not occurred? I cannot answer these questions and I cannot judge these actions without a lot of caution.

The taking of "comfort women" does not fall under the definition of an act of war in my mind. Crimes and atrocities were committed during war, but they were not acts of war as they were not at all part of the fighting. Crimes are crimes. I still stick by my statement to not judge acts of war too harshly. I also agree with you that war crimes are wrong. I feel that my position is one which I can maintain.
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#34 Post by mickbr » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:26 am

piller wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:27 pm
Steve, as you point out, some actions cannot and should not be accepted. I still say that some things should not be judged too harshly.

The taking of "comfort women" does not fall under the definition of an act of war in my mind. Crimes and atrocities were committed during war, but they were not acts of war as they were not at all part of the fighting. Crimes are crimes. I still stick by my statement to not judge acts of war too harshly. I also agree with you that war crimes are wrong. I feel that my position is one which I can maintain.
Well sex slavery is a war crime, at least these days, and can be considered an act of war as well. Like mass torture, kidnapping, detainment it can be used to terrorise, demoralise or instigate reactions from populations for strategic gain. I cant personally judge people who were brought up in an empire where captured enemy were worthless slaves you could do anything with. The average guy aint too bright and if his leaders are telling him something is okay, he will probably believe it. That said I think those who partake in these atrocities are failing a basic test of humanity, and if the victors of that war feel they should get strung up for it, its okay by me.

piller
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Re: The Japanese, Pearl Harbor, and Their 3 Huge Mistakes

#35 Post by piller » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:41 am

Acts of war as I see them, are bombing an enemy-even if the populace suffers. Killing prisoners by a small force of commandoes when almost totally cut off and keeping the prisoners would mean the loss of life of all. This happened in some jungle raids. Judging the jungle fighting by our current standards and lack of understanding is rather simplistic. I can go on, but these are what I think of as good examples.

Examples of war crimes in my opinion. Concentration camps. Using civilians as slaves. Raping the women. Killing children. Torture.
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