From: Kansas City, MO
By definition, the "Historical Start" automates everything that happened on December 7, 1941. And by almost every conceivable measure, it's clear that the Bombing of Pearl Harbor was the opening act of the Pacific War - certainly the war being modeled by AE. With that rule in mind, a minimal amount of research shows that TF "Z" set sail from Singapore at 1710 on December 8, 1941. However, that time needs to be converted to Honolulu time, since that was "ground zero", and in effect the "Greenwich Meantime" from which all other 12/7 activities must be calculated. And when you run the numbers, it turns out that Repulse and PoW departed Singapore harbor at 11:10 PM on December 7th, 1941.
What? How can 5:10 in the afternoon of December 8th (local time) be 11:10 on the 7th? Singapore is 6 time zones West of PH, so the PH attack took place at 2AM on the 8th Singapore local time. POW and Repulse upped anchor more than 15 hours after PH took place..., and almost at the end of the local day. If you want to go by Hawaiian time, remember that 11:10 PM is after night has has fallen..., which in game terms is the first (night) phase of turn two.
It's simply a game device to make the POW/Repulse vulnerable. Historically they sailed North and were sunk (two days later)..., but as few players will make that choice it's been taken out of their hands... If you don't like it, don't play the "historical start".