➾ At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor Download ➹ Author Gordon W. Prange – Saudionline.co.uk


  • Hardcover
  • 873 pages
  • At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor
  • Gordon W. Prange
  • English
  • 20 October 2019
  • 9780070506695

10 thoughts on “At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor

  1. says:

    Nearly seventy years after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor to usher the United States into World War II, the event has started to lose its identity as a historical moment Instead, like Waterloo before it, it has become a metaphor, and worse, political shorthand for those with limited intellect looking for maximum effect After the September 11th attacks, we heard the terrorist attacks were a second Pearl Harbor More recently, health care reform has also been likened to Pearl Harbor Dear Senator Pat Roberts, you re old enough to know that health care reform is nothing like Pearl Harbor, the main difference being that no foreign country is dropping bombs on us This is not to say that I m any kind of expert Before At Dawn We Slept, I d only read two books dedicated to Pearl Harbor The first was Day of Infamy, which is Walter Lord s narrative of the attack the second was Long Day s Journey Into War by Stanley Weintraub, a look at the many events transpiring on December 7, 1941 Everything else I know about the attacks come from sources in which Peal Harbor was not the only focus With that in mind, and inspired by HBO s miniseries The Pacific, I pulled At Dawn We Slept down off my shelf, where it has sat since it was purchased at a used book store many, many years ago The story behind the book is fascinating and sad Author Gordon W Prange researched Pearl Harbor for 37 years He interviewed just about every important surviving participant, including Admiral Husband Kimmel, the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, and Minoru Genda, the Japanese airman who planned the attacks Prange eventually wrote a manuscript that was 3,500 pages long However, tragically, Prange died, and it was left to his two assistants who became co authors to forge a book out of Prange s prodigious work Eventually, Prange s collaborators created a trilogy on Pearl Harbor At Dawn We Slept, which details how the Japanese planned and executed Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor The Verdict of History, which argues that despite right wing paranoia to the contrary, FDR did not orchestrate the attacks, either by commission or omission and December 7, 1941 the Day the Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor, which is a Walter Lord style narrative of the battle itself At Dawn We Slept is separated into three sections planning, execution, and aftermath The first two sections are told mainly from the Japanese point of view This is a result of Prange s original intent, which was to tell the Japanese side of the story Consequently, for the first two thirds of the book, the Japanese personages are fully fleshed out though you better keep a list, since there is no dramatis personae, which would ve been helpful , while the Americans except for Kimmel are never individualized Oh, the irony What I appreciated most about Prange was that he recognized that men created history, not the other way around, despite what Tolstoy would say As such, he gives a great deal of attention to the major players A photograph taken at the height of Yamamoto s powers portrays a man short even by Japanese standards five feet three inches , with broad shoulders accentuated by massive epaulets and a thick chest crowded with orders and medals But a strong, commanding face dominates and subdues the trappings The angular jaw slants sharply to an emphatic chin The lips are full, clean cut, under a straight prominent noseGray hair in an uncompromising crew cut surmounts the whole It is the face of a man of action and a visionary, reflecting willpower and drive as well as sensitivity After briefly setting the context for the attack Japan s Greater East Asia Co Prosperity Sphere and its threat from America Prange plunges right into the conception and planning The idea was the brainchild of Isoroku Yamamoto, who was educated in America and had great respect for the country If you ve heard of Yamamoto, it s probably because of his famous exclamation, following Pearl Harbor, that Japan had awoken a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve Interestingly, though, despite whatever misgivings Yamamoto had, Prange shows him as a man who really believed in the attack When given the opportunity, he advocated for it forcefully While Yamamoto and Genda were working out the logistics, including torpedo tactics that would work in Pearl s shallow waters, the Japanese were simultaneously lulling America into a diplomatic sense of security well, security is too strong a word it lulled America into thinking it had time before war The anger that followed Pearl Harbor came from Japanese perfidy in promising peace while planning for war In At Dawn We Slept, you learn that it s not nearly so black and white In Japan, at the time, the military and diplomatic branches were mutually exclusive, with Tojo s war clique having most of the power You see, then, that the Japanese ambassador, Nomura, was an honest, honorable man, who was lied to by his own country Interspersed with Japanese preparations is the American story, which can best be encapsulated by the 9 11 era phrase, a failure of imagination The Americans never discovered a smoking gun before December 7 Instead, there were dozens of indicators that the Japanese were planning something, including information, days before the attack, that the Japanese were burning their codes The failure of the Pearl Harbor commanders Kimmel and General Walter Short was to conceive of a carrier attack and make adequate preparations Instead of installing torpedo nets, sending out air patrols, and preparing to repel an attack, Kimmel and Short Short especially were obsessed with sabotage and fifth columnists The attack itself is relegated to only a couple chapters These seemed only an afterthought, and were disjointed and confusing I understood going in that the focus of the book wasn t the fight itself, but its buildup still, I couldn t help feeling this was all foreplay and no climax More frustrating still was the third section, dealing with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor These chapters go into great detail about the numerous investigations the Roberts Commission the Naval Court of Inquiry the Army Board Hearings and finally, the Congressional Investigation All this does is iterate what we ve already read You hear about the same mistakes over and over and over In this final section, the Japanese disappear completely There is no epilogue to their story This is made all the disconcerting since so much time was dedicated to them in the early stages Rather, Prange and his co authors choose to follow Admiral Kimmel, and his efforts to redeem himself It s pretty clear that Prange, through his personal contacts with the admiral, had a great deal of respect for him, and thought he got the short end Yet one cannot wonder that Kimmel turned almost morbid He had grown to eminence in an atmosphere of clear cut quid pro quo If one obeyed the laws of God and man, studied diligently, denied oneself, worked hard, took one s place in the community, discharged one s duties, dealt justly with one s fellowman, one would prosper and reach the end of the road full of years and honor Kimmel had done all of these things Prange s title implies that America was caught napping His ultimate lesson, though, made explicit in the book, was that the unexpected can happen and often does My take away is the impossibility of laying blame on any one person For Pearl Harbor, 9 11, or anything else Before Pearl Harbor, there were hundreds of indicators of disaster, but no one person had all the information Instead, all these different people had small pieces of the puzzle At any point along the line, someone could have collected all or a sizable number these intelligence scraps and created a picture As the attack date neared, and warning lights started flashing, there came and chances to blow the Japanese plans the Naval Department could have given Kimmel the Japanese diplomatic intercepts that showed the Japanese breaking off relations at 1 00 p.m on Dec 7, Washington time Kimmel could have had planes scouting the north the Japanese sub sightings could have been reported sooner and the warning from the radar station could have been taken seriously, instead of ignored If any of these things or others had occurred, the attack might have been a disaster for the Japanese Ignoring this reality, and trying to convict one person, is an exercise in ludicrousness The desire to find fault is psychologically rooted It s easier for us to say it was Kimmel s fault or Short s fault or Clinton s fault or Bush s fault than to admit we might be vulnerable, and that our lives might be at the whim of others who are stronger than us At Pearl Harbor, it s not that we were sleeping, but that all the stars aligned for Japan All the things that needed to go right, went right They gambled and won Fortunately for us, they didn t take a long view, and their mistakes failing to bag America s carriers, failing to bomb the oil tanks were far damaging than any American shortcomings.


  2. says:

    This is excellent It holds your interest despite being HUGE He pulls together the whole story every every point of view I got three big points from this book 1 The US Europe first was our idea I had always those clever Churchill had talked us into it It was one of the top men in the Navy The thinking was to fight Japan we have to cross an ocean To fight Germany we have a base in England If we concentrate on Japan first we might lose our base of England 2 Many US leaders were afraid of a Congressional fault finding hearing into Pearl Harbor They feared having to take the stand and under oath having to reveal ULTRA out code breaking efforts I think that attitude has changed 3 A planned third wave was canceled It was going to bomb the sub pens and fuel storage Nagumo canceled this wave The fuel dumps would have burned for a month and forced the US fleet to re locate to San Diego This was the Japanese goal Basically, Nagumo was still a believer in the battleship and had no faith in the tools of the aircraft carriers with which he had been entrusted.


  3. says:

    As the description indicates, this is an exhaustive account of the Pearl Harbor attack Much attention is paid to the issue of culpability as regards both the US naval and army commands as well as the administration of President Roosevelt itself Prange argues against the Beard Thesis and exonerates FDR.


  4. says:

    It s not often that I get to use the word, definitive, but it certainly fits At Dawn We Slept This book offers its readers everything they could possibly want with regard to the who, what, when, where, and why of the planning and execution of the raid, as well as the who, what, when, where, and why of how the U S failed to anticipate their actions and protect Pearl Harbor from a likely attack It is filled with the incredible research done by Gordon Prange over almost 40 years, tracing down not only written information in letters, diaries, newspapers, magazines, and government records, but finding and interviewing well over 100 people, both in the U S and Japan I was surprised that I grew to be so interested in some of the major players in this moment in history that I actually felt for them a great deal of sympathy or, in the case, of some, cheered them on Through this very long book they became like family or close friends Of course, I ve lived my entire life knowing much about the Pearl Harbor attack The following are some of the things I learned which were new to me or different than I had come to believe Yamamoto clearly understood that Japan had no hope of ultimate victory over the United States He perceived Pearl Harbor as a knockout punch damage and temporary containment The Japanese gathered mounds of information about Pearl Harbor merely by having one of their agents drive around the area and take notes Security was so lax that the comings and goings of all ships were published in the newspapers every morning Neither Short nor Kimmel were privy to the Honolulu intercepts of Japanese coded transmissions, which were translated daily, and delivered to a very select few The Japanese originally estimated that the Pearl Harbor attack would cost them one third of their task force because they anticipated that the U S would discover them and respond accordingly Ambassador Nomura had no knowledge of the planning of Pearl Harbor He only learned of it after he had returned from his final trip to the U S Ambassador The Japanese government purposely kept him in the dark As early as October 11 Japan chose the date of December 7 Hawaii time for the attack FDR did not know about Pearl Harbor prior to its occurrence He did not intentionally suppress information in order to bring it about The first blood spilt was by a Japanese and first shot fired was by the U S.On a personal note, the book was too inclusive The editors did the reader no favors by putting in all that was gathered Also, I found it very annoying that they used sic so often when the text was grammatically incorrect, especially since Prange misused forms of bring and take.


  5. says:

    A very thorough telling of the steps Japan took to launch the Pearl Harbor attack I well told history, but often repetitive It was difficult to keep straight all the characters Still, a good read and very informative, particularly if you don t have much knowledge of the Pacific theater during WWII.


  6. says:

    I just couldn t finish this I was attracted by the promise that the attack doesn t even happen until halfway through the book, as one reviewer said But I would have preferred going further back in history The book started on 1940 I d like to have gone back to the 1920s.You know what finally broke me, though The repetitive way the author introduced EVERY new character I couldn t take another guy with close cropped hair parted on the left, steely eyes, and a determined chin I only got through 11%, so maybe once all the players were introduced it really took off, but I just couldn t stick it out with so many other books to be read I may try this book again in the future the positive reviews make me want to persist.


  7. says:

    This was an excellent history Very readable, every chapter is bite sized, so one feels brisk progress is being made despite the overall length of the book Many many actors from both Japanese and US sides are engaged, which can be daunting though unnecessary to worry about keeping track of each The major players are evident, and one very quickly identifies those Lots of lessons to be taken away, still applicable in today s world where a plethora of sensors and endless streams of intelligence appear to reduce the potential for surprise, but maybe those advances only lull us into a false sense of security That Kimmel and Short, two very successful professionals, could arrive at these significant positions of responsibility and yet not effectively assess the defense gaps and shortfalls on Oahu, or be prescient enough given the context of US Japanese relations, amazes Pearl Harbor demonstrated one enduring lesson The unexpected can happen and often does Page 279 The navy minister was a full admiral on active duty instead of a civilian holding both whip and check rein Thus, the Japanese Navy, like the Army General Tojo had been made the new premier by Hirohito on 17 Oct 1941 , did not consider itself answerable to the civil government This gave the Navy a large slice of uncontrolled power and helped build up the psychology, prevalent in both armed services, that the country existed to support the military, rather than vice versa Unfortunately Japan also had the bad judgment to employ them the power, the purpose and the plan in a reckless war it could not possibly win.


  8. says:

    An ambitious, academic work on the causes, reasons, outcomes and aftermaths of the attack on Pearl Harbor Its probably one of the most well known events of WWII, but there was a lot that I never knew Especially on the Japanese side, where the idea came from how and when it was decided to go, and the logistical problems that arose Not the least of which was that they had to completely redesign torpedo bombs, as they would not work in the shallow draft of the harbor On the US side, I was amazed to see that bureaucracy and partisanship is nothing new and existed even during the unifying events of the war In the rear view mirror of history, it is very easy to see where things went wrong and how the attack couldn t have been anticipated or prevented In the book relatively little time is spent on the actual attak itself and the last big section deals with the aftermath, mostly around the many hearings and investigations that were undertaken to assign blame Someone has to be blamed, right To be honest, it was here that I tapped out and put the book down and decided to call it finished The politics and who did what to whom, or who didn t do what to some other whom, didn t really interest me Despite this disappointing finish for me , it is a worthwhile read for any history buff Truth is always stranger and interesting than fiction, or at least it usually is He stands before the inquisitive historian in taut watchfulness, courteous, painstaking, and inscrutable, forever holding the citadel of his own personality 6 10S 6 26 16 F 10 30 16 127 Days


  9. says:

    Exhaustively researched and documented account of the planning, execution, and aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Very objective approach to the subject The book describes the detailed planning, training and execution of the assault by the Japanese Navy the political conundrum facing the FDR administration the perfect storm of miscommunication, missed communication, and confusion by American military leadership and almost unbelievable good luck of the Japanese forces, that resulted in what we now call Pearl Harbor.Although this book is probably not for the casual reader of military history due to its length and incredible detail, it is well written and will leave you far informed about the events leading to December 7, 1941, than you could have imagined.


  10. says:

    if you ever think you might want to be a management mentor, make sure you read this incredible treatise on the debacles leading up to Dec 7, 1947 you can learn about how not to run a boat reading this book than any other single book.Prange s scholarship is unequaled His writing is easy and brilliant, and his depth of understanding of the events leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor, from both sides of the Atlantic, paint as clear a picture of that day as anyone possibly could truly a masterpiece.


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About the Author: Gordon W. Prange

A graduate of the University of Iowa, from where he received his Ph.D in 1937, Gordon Prange began his teaching career as a professor of history at the University of Maryland In 1942, he was granted a leave of absence from the University to embark on a wartime career as an officer in the United States Navy Sent to Japan in 1945 as a member of the American Occupation Forces, after completing his