I just wanted remind everyone in the US that today is the seventy-second anniversary of the attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. The attack was commenced at 0750 by the command of Mitsuo Fuchida, and ended at about 0900 when the second wave headed back to the carriers. In all, about 2400 men lost their lives. Did the Japanese have any idea of what was going to happen after this attack? Yes, the Imperial Japanese Army had appointed a group titled "the Institute for Total War Studies" and in August of 1941, their report stated that the Japanese economy and manpower resources could not sustain the burden of the China War for another five or ten years; that Japan could never win a war with the US and that in such a war, their shipping would be very difficult after late 1943. In its conclusions, they stated that Japan would not be able to sustain the war effectively after 1944. BTW, this group was considered a shadow cabinet, had access to all the latest information, statistics etc. 1
To future generations: Please remember this day, because "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
1. Information on this group from H.P.Willmott, Last Century of Sea Power: From Washington to Tokyo,1922-1945,
Last Edit: Dec 8, 2013 10:02:37 GMT -5 by oldpop2000
I take it the IJN didn't particularly care to take advice from a group appointed by the Army. The Imperial Japanese military had to set some kind of record for lack of interservice cooperation.
The group was drawn from all ages from 31 -37, from the Army, Navy, government and business firms along with the press. PM Konoye and the War Minister Tojo were present at the meeting on 27 August 1941 and were provided with the conclusions. Tojo ousted Konoye in October 1941, and it was his government, Army led, that brought Japan into the war. Willmott makes this statement: "it would seem that the real cabinet paid absolutely no attention to this comprehensive examination of the situation facing the nation."
Willmott, H. P. (2010-03-22). The Last Century of Sea Power: From Washington to Tokyo, 1922–1945 (Kindle Location 7635). Indiana University Press. Kindle Edition.
Here are some more quotes: It is very rare that a state is ever given so detailed an analysis of its own mortality as was the case on this occasion, but perhaps the only safe conclusion to be drawn from this episode is that even the intimation of total and comprehensive defeat may not be enough, in certain cases, to deflect a state from its ordained, self-inflicted, course. But in drawing that conclusion one other point, little noted in Western accounts of these proceedings, need be made: in 1940 and 1941 there was a “weeding out” of middle-ranking officers in the ministries and staffs who were known to be less than enthusiastic about association with Germany and conflict with Britain and the United States. This, apparently, involved both the Rikugun and the Kaigun, and the officers concerned were either retired or shunted into dead-end posts. By the second half of 1941 the process seems to have been more or less complete: officers of proven reliability in these matters filled the key staff
Willmott, H. P. (2010-03-22). The Last Century of Sea Power: From Washington to Tokyo, 1922–1945 (Kindle Locations 7636-7642). Indiana University Press. Kindle Edition.
My conclusion is the same as yours, apparently no one was listening. It's deja vu for those of us who went into the Vietnam War, many in the government, military, press and civilian, concluded that it was a war, we could not win. No one listened then, I can relate how this could occur. Not attempting to be political, just it helps because I can relate.
Last Edit: Dec 7, 2013 18:44:33 GMT -5 by oldpop2000