Pearl Harbor Betrayed: The True Story of a Man and a Nation Under Attack

Overview

For sixty years, myths about Pearl Harbor have proliferated. After six years of intense research, naval historian Michael Gannon has finally separated fact from fiction to re-create the dramatic events surrounding that fateful December morning. Drawing on largely untapped U.S. and Japanese primary sources-including overlooked or unknown military orders, code intercepts, aide memoirs, eyewitness interviews, and private correspondence-the author builds a stunning narrative that penetrates a smokescreen of ...

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Pearl Harbor Betrayed: The True Story of a Man and a Nation under Attack

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Overview

For sixty years, myths about Pearl Harbor have proliferated. After six years of intense research, naval historian Michael Gannon has finally separated fact from fiction to re-create the dramatic events surrounding that fateful December morning. Drawing on largely untapped U.S. and Japanese primary sources-including overlooked or unknown military orders, code intercepts, aide memoirs, eyewitness interviews, and private correspondence-the author builds a stunning narrative that penetrates a smokescreen of cover-ups, top-level military misdirections, and faulty diplomatic decisions. In Pearl Harbor Betrayed, Gannon has accomplished what heretofore seemed impossible: he has set the record straight about the most exhaustively examined and debated event in our entire history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Gannon's account of the events surrounding this unforgettable day is straightforward and intensely detailed. His six years of research in U.S. and Japanese archives, including access to personal memoranda, allow him to plainly describe a drama in which the facts themselves convey enormous suspense."
-Mary H. Meier, The Boston Globe

A groundbreaking and authoritative reappraisal that rewrites the pivotal event that thrust an isolationist nation into war, "a must-read for any student of World War II"--Tom Bowmen, Baltimore Sun

Mary H. Meier
Gannon's account of the events surrounding this unforgettable day is straightforward and intensely detailed.
The Boston Globe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805071825
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Gannon is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Florida and the author of Operation Drumbeat, Black May, and a novel, Secret Missions. He lives in Gainesville, Florida.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2004

    Bigwigs' Blunders Bring Pearl Harbor Under Barrage of Japanese Bombs

    In Pearl Harbor Betrayed, Michael Gannon finds the truth about what really led to the events happening at Pearl Harbor. Most people believe that Admiral Kimmel and General Short simply did a bad job of working together and did not have their troops prepared for an attack. Others believe the conspiracy theory that FDR was so intent on going to war that he knew in advance about the attack on Pearl Harbor and didn¿t tell Short or Kimmel about it. Gannon writes that neither of these is true. He writes that Kimmel and Short were not the only bad guys. Mistakes were made by people high in command, most notably Admiral ¿Betty¿ Stark of the Navy and General Marshall of the army, in dealing with Japan and not warning those at Pearl Harbor well enough of decoded secret telegrams. Gannon points out that the first problem may have been that those in the army and navy thought that Pearl Harbor was invulnerable. They didn¿t believe it would be attacked and also didn¿t believe it could be attacked well because of the way it was set up. Gannon also writes that the attack may have been inevitable. Relationships between the United States and Japan had been going downhill for years and were getting even worse. Japan also knew that to win a war with the USA, they would have to strike first. Japan also had a navy that was comparable in size to the USA¿s. In a couple of more years, the United States would strengthen their navy even more. Japan had to attack soon. However, Gannon writes that Yamamoto thought that Japan would lose the war eventually even with a great surprise attack. He knew that the attack would awaken a sleeping giant. Mistakes were made all over the place by the United States¿ army and navy. Japanese messages had been broken for a long time by the people in Washington. However, they didn¿t have this code called ¿Purple¿ in Hawaii, and the officials in Washington assumed they did. As a result the Japanese diplomatic messages that the officials in Washington thought that they were getting in Hawaii were never received. Japan and the United States had tried to negotiate a peace agreement for months and a deadline was set for November 27. Kimmel and Short were never told of this date being the deadline either. Kimmel and Short messed up when they were advised to put their troops on warning. However, both got confused as to which level of warning to set up against and as a result, they only set up for warning of a saboteur. On the day of December 7th, Pearl Harbor could have even been at least hurt not as badly. In Washington, they received a message about a 1:00 ET time deadline from the Japanese. Kimmel and Short were never told of this. The army and navy offered excuses of not wanting the Japanese to intercept their messages. However, Stark and Marshall could have simply called Short and Husband by telephone to warn them. Even though it may have just been about an hour or less beforehand, it still could have helped. The army and navy in Hawaii also blundered right before the attack. Right off of Oahu, a Japanese submarine was seen and fired upon at about 6:00 AM Hawaii time. Kimmel was notified but still didn¿t put his navy on full alert. At about 7:00 AM, an army private saw a plane on the radar heading for the harbor, but it was dismissed as a U.S. training run or planes coming to stay at Pearl Harbor. Gannon shows that while the Japanese attack may have been inevitable, there were plenty of mistakes made by high-ranking officials who could have prevented or at least lessened the severity of the attack. Gannon did a great job in recreating the attack and the events that led up to the attack. He is thorough and provides a strong case for his argument.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2003

    Climbing Mt Everest

    If Gannon spent six years on his researchm as claimed, he must have spent most of it standing around the coffee machine. Nothing new here that hasn't been said by other revisionists in all of their books. His attempt to demonstrate that Kimmel was denied the ships and armaments shows an amazing lack of knowledge of the situation as it existed in 1941. He claims that war planes were sent to England that were desperately needed in Hawaii. He carefully avoids owning up to the fact that they were obviously needed in England, but their need in Hawaii was not evident to anyone, and the fact that the US was made sparse of these planes so that Hawaii would have more. Pearl Harbor,in fact, was better supplied with arms and equipment than any other US command. His simplistic estimation of the PBY's that Kimmel needed for long range reconnaissance takes no account of the fact that 1) a 360 degree search was nonsensical - no Japanese fleet would ever attack Pearl from the east, or the west either, for that matter. Her only militarily rational options were from the north/northeast (most likely) and the south/southwest (less likely). The Martin-Bellinger report had pointed that out long before. 2) Nor were the PBY's the only vehicle for long range recoonaissance - Short had B-12s and Kimmel had quite a few subs and destroyers, not to mention two aircraft carriers that each could sweep 600 mile recons. he had more than enough resources to detect any Japanese approaching fleet. In fact, Kimmel did nothing, because, as he said later to a friend 'We just didn't think the little yellow bas*trds could pull it off.' That explains Kimmel's actions completely, and why he was caught totally by surprise. All of the other flimsy arguments Gannon puts forth are irrelevant in understanding Kimmel's failure. trying to absolve Kimmel of blame is like climbing Mt Everest in a wheelchair - it can't be done. The evidence of his incompetence is too overwhelming.

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