pearl harbor

The nature of the sources I have chosen is secondary. These sources help to analyze and interpret primary sources. They offer significant factual evidence concerning the Pearl Harbor event. The sources may have some of the graphics, quotes, and pictures included. The secondary sources I have selected are an article and a journal. These sources are relevant to the investigation I am carrying out since the first reference carries the information of the shadow of Pearl Harbor, which explains some of the political controversies that took place after the surprise attack.  The second source reveals that before the surprise attack there were warnings before actual took place.

Betts is a scholar from Washington DC Brookings Institution. He has taught at Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Columbia University. He has also written articles on Cold War and statesmen. The purpose of this article is to give a clear overview of the sudden attacks that took place at Pearl Harbor. The source reveals some of the sudden attacks and war that took place; it also explains the warnings that were initially shown before the actual attacks. This source is valuable because it explains one focus on the problem and how to improve the level of intelligence rather than how to improve the response from politics to the warning signs. It puts the some of the political fixations in that perspective. The limitations of this article are that it does not explain the negative consequences of the attacks.

Melosi is a renowned professor serving as the director of the Center for Public History at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. He has conducted a wide research on the history of urbanization besides environmental issues. Besides The Shadow of Pearl Harbor: the Political Controversy over the Surprise attack, 1941-1946, he has authored other works like Atomic Age America that address the issue of nuclear weapons and the impending danger associated with it. The article in focus was written with the goal of exploring the political controversy surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor. The article emphasizes the how the attack degenerated into the use of mass destruction weapon by the US in Japan. This article is valuable in the sense that it explores the consequences of wrong political decision with a particular focus on the debate over weapons of mass destruction. The content of the article is emphatic on political decisions, socioeconomic costs associated with military intervention in international conflicts. Besides, it offers an insight into the need to put in place strict international laws that protect people against the long-lasting effects of nuclear weapons as evidenced in the case of Japan. The article is criticized as it exhibits limited quantitative evidence that is critical to a scholarly work.


In the year 1941, Yamamoto started to plan a surprise attack against the battleships of American as well as carriers as they lay at Pearl Harbor. There was sufficient instance for the strike. The surprise was a basic belief in the Japanese Army doctrine, and the attacks began with the Russia and China. It was confirmed that by the year 1932, the Pearl Harbor had been positively raided by some of the airplanes. At the end of 1940,   the British planes mainly devastated the Italian fleet. The smoke was still coming out from the devastated ship lying in the Pearl Harbor mud when the armies began to search for the scapegoats. This clearly indicates that the attack was a surprise.

Since the attack came as a surprise, most armies and leaders who were involved in the whole fiasco had to blame each other. Some of the conspiracy theorists believed that the master plotter who was at that time in the white house ignored some of the possible hints of a surprise attack on the American people. It can be argued that Pearl Harbor helped to rescue US government from the incredible dilemma, but it is possible that it would have provided the whole Pacific fleet if the ships were required to win the war. Based on the aforementioned facts, the conspiracy theory is criticized due to the fact that it has the inadequate assurance that even if the Japanese were triggered to attack the USA, it would result in Germany war.

It is also worth to note that the armies failed to predict the attack on Pearl Harbor and the suitable materials. The major intelligence risk was the ability to rely mainly on one source.  The allies had to believe in the MAGIC. From the information, other sources were ignored or downgraded. However, the purple only exposed the evidence that was being passed on by the external offices to some of the reps in abroad. The secret code of Japanese’s in which critical signals were conveyed, was not broken to the USA.  The rumors have it that British destroyed JN-25 before Pearl Harbor. However, the prime minister failed to inform Franklin because his main agenda was to instigate America into war. Therefore, MAGIC was considered to be a double-edged sword. Whereas it provided the policymakers in the USA with the intentions of Japanese, it established the state of overconfidence. Thus, MAGIC was believed to be restricted to only, top militaries, navy, war secretaries and president of the nation. The image of public security was self-conquering.

The surprise is considered to have been technological; this attack took place early in the morning, however, the attack on Clark took place later in the day. The actual surprise is considered to have not been intentional from the Japanese army or even the immediate period; it was due to the capability of the Japanese ordinance and pilots to accomplish effectively such attacks. In this entire event, what was not really anticipated from the Japanese? In Pearl Harbor case, the USA army’s intelligence had evaluated the remark of Japanese air displays; therefore, according to the US, the Japanese did not have the ability to introduce wrecks from airplanes in the low surface of the water. Torpedoes were used in the deep water to propel motors to the surface before hitting the floor of the ocean. If the Japanese did not possess the skills as well as technology to help in launching the torpedoes in shallow water, the appropriate place for the USA fighting ships would be the surface water of the Pearl Harbor.

In summary, if the Japanese attempted to drop the bomb on the Pearl Harbor, there are high chances that gunners could have cut them down as they surrounded straight overhead.  What was not predicted was that the Japanese aviators had been furtively trained to scheme their torpedoes in the surface water, hence that astonishment left the marine vulnerable to sink. Therefore, all the USA fight ships were severely destroyed. But, at the Airforce base, there was no potential surprise about the intention of Japan.  The USA commander presumed that its bombers were very safe due to the fact that the Japanese bombers could not reach the Philippines without midair refilling. What was not expected was that the Japanese and the USA had perfected the tactics of fueling? However, in all cases, the USA was more surprised by the technology that Japan used.   The resulting evaluation is that the ineffectiveness strictly reinforced and fitted in with the presumptions that overseas assigns had about the Japanese. Through the stereotypes of reinforcements as well as disinformation, Japan caught the USA improvised for its attacks on assumedly safest Pearl Harbors and variety of airfields.


During ancient times, most historians tried as much as possible to collect the right information so that as far the technology changes past information remained authentic and could still be referred to by the scholars. There are various challenges that confronted historians while carrying the investigation. Firstly, lack of current technology, during the ancient times most historians only relied on manual materials which were inflexible and too slow.  Secondly, the historians did not have sufficient materials to store the information; they had the problem of evaluating and filtering of fine data to further use instead they collected everything and wrote down the information.  In addition, it was very difficult to capture primary information because the practical aspects were dangerous and historians had to wait for a certain period after the war had subsided for them to collect the information. Furthermore, the information collected was not accurate.  The collected information did not give the exact picture of what was taking place. Most things were mainly assumed hence differed from one author to another.