From: USA Me-FL-DC-Guam-WS-NE-IL-?
ORIGINAL: Joe D.
Well several people anticipated Pearl Harbor ...
Col. Billy Mitchell for one, and after the Army can'd him, the US apologized to Japan.
Today that sounds all too familiar.
I have to disagree with you on this statement, as I do not see that it is adequately supported by historical fact.
Mitchell's comment was not the reason he was drummed out of the Army, nor was it an accurate prediction of what came to be the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Mitchell speculated that, "Japan may unleash a war in the Pacific. She could attack [NB] America by striking first at Hawaii, some fine Sunday morning." Mitchell was talking about an attack on America, not on the US Navy. It was clearly implied from his language that he meant they could use Hawaii as a springboard. The US Pacific Fleet was not rebased to Pearl Harbor until the summer of 1940. Even then, the possibility of an attack wasn't ignored. In 1933, the War Department staged an attack exercise against the base (which succeeded, and which resulted in the defenses being substantially upgraded over the next decade).
Mitchell was court-martialed for insubordination in 1925, and it was not over his Hawaii comment. In 1925, Japan had not yet begun their second wave of imperial expansion (began in 1931), and its mention was likely because Japan was the only other Industrial nation in the Pacific Rim and a natural competitor, given the US conquest of the Philippines (before the Russo-Japanese War in 1903). It was over his taking his spat with the War Department over their building more battleships instead of aircraft, a conflict that had raged for several years, despite Mitchell proving to them that aircraft were destined to play a critical role in future warfare. (Ironically, MacArthur sat on the panel.)
That being said, Mitchell's treatment was clearly short-sighted, counter-productive, ego-driven, and typical of what comes whenever someone challenges an established bureucracy backed by economic interests vested in building more battleships.
On the question of an apology being issued to Japan over his comments, I cannot find any reference to it, but I'm having to rely on the Internet for my search, an inadequate tool for accurate research. Where did you find that historical fact lying about?
And lets not forget that Mitchell also said that carrier based aircraft would always be inferiour to landbased (due to excess weight) and that because a carrier contained fuel and bombs within a narrow hull, it would be a floating bomb, so carriers are a waste of money and ineffectual. Yeah, he really nailed that one. He was absolutely right , wasn't he, about the Japanese bombing PH with land based aircraft? And of course carriers are a waste and always have been , haven't they? Like a lot of "prophets" , he was right about 20% of the time. People tend to forget about the other 80%. Read his book Winged Victory. Judge for yourself.
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