The New York Times–bestselling authors of Miracle at Midway delve into the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII in “a superb work of history” (Albuquerque Journal Magazine).
In the predawn hours of December 7, 1941, a Japanese carrier group sailed toward Hawaii. A few minutes before 8:00 a.m., they received the order to rain death on the American base at Pearl Harbor, sinking dozens of ships, destroying hundreds of airplanes, and taking the lives of over two thousand servicemen. The carnage lasted only two hours, but more than seventy years later, terrible questions remain unanswered.
How did the Japanese slip past the American radar? Why were the Hawaiian defense forces so woefully underprepared? What, if anything, did American intelligence know before the first Japanese pilot shouted “Tora! Tora! Tora!”? In this incomparable volume, Pearl Harbor experts Gordon W. Prange, Donald M. Goldstein, and Katherine V. Dillon tackle dozens of thorny issues in an attempt to determine who was at fault for one of the most shocking military disasters in history.
In this superb sequel to At Dawn We Slept, the authors examine meticulously the circumstances surrounding the December 7, 1941 disaster and turn up neither villain nor scapegoat. In their analysis of the roles of the president and key cabinet members, of the chiefs of staff, military commanders and war plans officers, they draw the conclusion that much was taken for granted, principally that the Japanese would not attack Pearl Harbor. On the basis of their solid scholarship, the authors refute the revisionist view that Roosevelt deliberately withheld information from the military commanders in Hawaii to ensure that the attack would come unopposed. Included is a discussion of concurrent events and attitudes in the U.S. Philippine command and explanations why General MacArthur, unlike Admiral Kimmel and General Short in Hawaii, kept his command after the disaster and never had to face an investigation. The book closes with a chapter expounding "the lessons the United States learnedor should have learned at Pearl Harbor.'' Illustrated. Military Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate. December 9