Dec 7, 2008

Tora Tora Tora

It is more than a middling-grade movie. Tora means Tiger. Said thrice on the morning of December 7, 67 years ago today, it was the signal that the sneak attack was successful.

Some 2,400 Americans died, some ashore, some entombed in a battle fleet all but destroyed in the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor. 

Three and one-half years later the final retribution was administered.


Why all  this which, readily conceded, comes from routinely available secondary sources and which,  again admittedly,  cherry picks among the countless  available facts? Because a few weeks ago,  browsing through some old Jeff Cooper writings, I found, from 1993:

"Pearl Harbor Day slipped by without much notice. I daresay a huge number of our population has never heard of Pearl Harbor...".

And I hate it when that happens.

None of it should be forgotten. Not the occasional heroism. Not the chance that hallowed names in American history -- Roosevelt, Marshall, Hull, Stimson, and others -- should be de-hallowed to the extent of their incompetence in the final months of 1941.

And a fair mind might conclude that while the pilloried Admiral Kimmel and General Short did not operate brilliantly, to say the least, their professional sins pale in comparison to those from whom they took their orders. 

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