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tv   In Depth  CSPAN  December 10, 2016 8:00am-11:01am EST

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undercutting isis's message. >> that is all we have time for, thank you very much, thanks for coming. [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching booktv on c-span2. ..
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you're watching live "in depth" on booktv.
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>> december 7, 194,a day of infamiliary. even as japanese diplomats were con ferring on peace measures, japanese plains were swooping down on pearl harbor. they dropped their death on the air base, civil homes and schools. a hundred japanese planes and midget sub marines took part. the arizona was completely destroyed and four others severely damaged. three other battleships and three cruisers suffered damage. nearly 200 planes were destroyed and that sunday morning the pacific fleet appeared to be completely immobilized by this sneak attack. nearly 3,000 casualties added to the catastrophe. >> it's been 75 years since over
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2400 american sailors and soldiers were killed in the japanese attack on pearl harbor, december 7, 1941. starting now on booktv, on c-span2, a three-hour discussion of that day, what led up to it and its aftermath. we have three authors joining us, eri hotta, steve twomey, and craig nelson, each of you in your book about pearl harbor and that era ask the question why did 'attack the u.s. >> guest: my conclusion was that -- didn't really have a coherent decisionmaking process. nobody was responsible, they felt, and nobody was brave enough to step in and say, well, this war that they're contemplating was crazy so let's stop. i think people felt that
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somebody else should be blamed for that kind of cowardice. there was no military dictatorship but they felt they had to keep up thunder appearances for each other so it was really a complicated sort of system of sort of passing on the risk possibility to each other and everybody backing off. >> host: steve twomey, what was your conclusion. >> guest: mine is the same. almost a leap into an abyss. it was an attack born more of hope than of actual strategic calculation. we need to remember that the attack on pearl harbor was only a small part of what japan was doing that day across the pacific. we knew what was likely to be happening elsewhere. they were moving forces toward singapore and malaya, the philippines, the dutch east indies.
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that was their primary objective and pearl harbor was an added element, primarily because they thought that the pacific fleet was the only thing in the pacific that could interfere with their plans elsewhere. but basically the idea that they could win this war was on a fairly shaky foundation. >> host: craig nelson. >> guest: i think the great example comes in the most written about japan man in history,am moto -- yamato, claiming that the japanese cannot possibly attack america when it is suicide, don't do it you can't win this war. is so vocal that the rest of the navy is fearful that they're going to assassinate him and it is actually assigned to stay on a battleship to keep that from happening and then at the same time his planning the attack on
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pearl harbor and has to then to quit the service to make that happy because the navy is so against going forward. so he is famously called the reluctant admiral by historians. you can see the attack on america was the reluctant japanese as a whole. >> guest: i found one of the most thrilling parts of hearing about the story was to hear the very first american weather were attacked, which is the japanese air crews came in over the north, and as they did so, they came across three of the california servicemen, saying farewell. their last day after a year of being stationed in hawai'i. they were going to return to california on the 8th and as one final day they decides to use their pilot's license to rent tandems and piper cubs, little tiny ball so -- little ty
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canvas air planes planes that wn were taken down by the japanese, and to think of being in one of those little tiny planes and meet the japanese air force is just astonishing to me but those were the first american casualties. >> host: but at 8:00 a.m., as they've flew over oahu into pearl harbor snow you're seeing 96 ships in the harbor beneath them. the average age of the service men are 19. so everyone are real tiny kids. no idea what is about to help. one of my favorite quotes was, i didn't know they were sore at us. that's how far of away from knowing what was happening. the japanese created a technological advantage with state-of-the-arter to ptsd doughs and their fins break off and they settle and strike the target instead of being stuck in like they're supposed to.
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they created state of the art naval shells to drop from 11,000 feet and extraordinary explosions that hit the powder magazine in the arizona and take it apart and you see them arriving over -- where they arrived is that famous north shore of oahu, and you see them arriving there and i they say, i can't believe we're looking at a nation at peace and about to turn it into hell. >> host: steve twomey, the subtitle of your book is "the 12 days to the attack." what happened in those 12 days? >> guest: the reason for selecting that time frame is that the japanese attacks on november 26, 1941, from the secret assembly point at the far northern extremity of japan. it was going to take them 12 days to get to hawai'i, about a little over 3,000 miles.
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and during those 12 days, the united states was collecting clues of one kind or another that something big was about to happen. i mixed that we knew -- i mentioned that we knew that japanese forces were moving towards the southwest pacific. we knew that from consular and the chinese coast commercial ships. very hard for japan to mask the movement of those particular forces. we never knew about the advancing fleet that was also part of this military offensive. and -- but during the days there was considerable evidence accumulating that something was about to happen. in fact, if i might, 75 years ago today, december 4th, is when washington formally warned its outposts on guam to start burning secret documents and destroying the code machines. that is how much we anticipated
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that something was going to happen. along the way, of course, judgments were made, decisions were made, many cases incorrect ones, and the result was the end of that period, december 7th. >> host: what the fact it happened at pearl harbor a surprise? >> guest: earl harbor has long been discussed as the possible target of any japanese attack, a target even before a declaration of war. all through 1941, the navy was discussing the possibility of surprise at pearl harbor. started in fact with the secretary of the navy, frank knox, writing to his counterpart at the war department in january, that he was concerned about the japanese attacking pearl harbor prior to the declaration of any war. and that theme kept coming up most noticeably or notably, should i say, in a report in march of 1941. in which an army general and a
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navy admiral pretty much theorized exactly what happened as they had gotten into the michael j. fox's delaurean and gone to the future and seen what would happen. they foresaw an air attack on hawai'i from a force that we never would have detected. so, a surprise attack on pearl harbor in theory was not a surprise. the reality was a surprise, however. >> host: eri hotta, what was japan like in 1941? what was going on? >> guest: well, let's remember that japan was already at war in 1941. japan had been engaged in the war of conquest that started out of the exit plan already in 1937, mid-1937. japan start fighting china. trying to conquer it, and they conquer cities but they don't
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quite get the whole huge country under control, and they kept saying that they are winning and leaping from victory to victory, which was really true but they were not winning the war. so, people starting to wonder, this war that was supposed to be quickly over in one month, after four years it hasn't really ended. what's going on? i think that most acute sign of this pro longed wore they didn't know where it was going, was their hunger. their rationing system had put into effect -- went into effect in april 1941 already. and the main target was the staple rice, which has such a huge sacred place in japanese diet. if they don't have anything else to eat, rice is the thing. and as long as they have rice they're happy. but they don't have this rice.
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they have to do with this subgrade imported kind. even then they have to dilute it with potato or something. and that started in -- in early 1941 but by the fall of 1941, all the major metropolitan haves to do the rationing system, which must have been quite scandalous to them and also quite a worrying sign. they can't really question the authority because they already in the semi war economy and they're not really an independent -- since 1931, since the manchurian incident. the major newspapers have been very friendly with the military and they've been trying to boost their circulation by really launching this jungowistic
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campaign supporting the war effort. once you start that kind of self-censorship it's quite difficult to turn around and say from now on we're criticizing you. so 1937 that was ask lated one notch again and by 1941, is there were more regulations about everyday aspects of people's life that people must have felt quite suffocated, uncertain, they also knew that japan went into southern indo-china in the summer of 1941, retaliated by american embargo on oil. when it came to it. so they felt that -- went into this impossible situation of economic plight. only because they wanted to
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survive well and they wanted to be great leader of asia. they also wanted to believe they were doing there is for their asian neighbors as well to decolonialize them. that was part of the claim put into place in the official rhetoric since 1931, so they have this self-putt -- self-pit using emotion, feelingology uncertainty and wanting to get on with life and just move on and secure enough for the family. so -- >> host: why did japan attack china in 1937? >> guest: because -- well, for a number of reasons that -- always had something to do with it, bravado, and also they had a genuine fear of bolsh ivy ism
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and this sense of being cheated out of the rewards or imperial jim because japan arrived too late. all the western powers reaped benefits from imperialism in china and they were lane to even it divide for a long time until they realize that perhaps this very westernized and during kind of charming chiang kai-shek might be the next leader of china so they decided to keep it unified. which japan really didn't like. that was the japanese state. so, they felt that they were the ones who should be protecting chinese and by extension asian interests as a whole, and it's not the america. it's japanese -- they involved the sense of moral doctrine and they felt that they had this special regional interest in that sphere.
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>> host: craig nelson, how signature -- significant was it when fdr moved the naval base from the pacific to pearl harbor. did that threaten japan? >> guest: not really. fdr was convinced he could get them to calm down about their ambitions against our friends, the chinese, america was very close to china and we are appalled at the americans think can that the chinese were our natural allies in the fight against fascism, much more than the british letch was convinced he had to fight two admirals, river sound and richardson's -- kimble and fdr was conniveses by keeping a big pacific fleet it would main japan nervous and it did not work. what wandded toed a to the portrait by explaining one of the great conflict wes see at this moment is the fact that the united states is looking at the japanese leaders as being like
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the nazis. they're a unified force of fascism uneedded behind a mom dictator and a common way of life and common philosophy, and none of this was truce. in the 14 years of the war the japanese leadership changes hands 15 times, the government changes hands 15 times. the army was fight being if the navy, the navy fight little within itself. a the civilian government was filing with aberdeen and they just lurched from crisis to cries and one of to the mose chaotic governments, and it's very difficult to prepare a defense strategy against an enemy that lost its mind. >> host: steve twomey, the geopolitics had a big role, didn't it? >> guest: yes youch can't separate what was happening in the pacific from what was happening in the atlantic. the fact of a war in the atlantic was paramount in
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roosevelt's mind in terms of using american resources to keep the british in the war against the germans. and in fact by the time of pearl harbor there was a shooting war in the atlantic ocean. american naval ships were escorting british convoys to britain. roosevelt had given orders to shoot on sight any german surface ship or submarine they encountered and that was happening. in fact, couple of american destroyers had been sunk with loss of life prior to pearl harbor. so his focus was the atlantic, and as a result he was stripping ships from the pacific fleet in hawai'i, much to the objection of admiral kim mel, the commander of the pacific fleets, and the last thing roosevelt wanted was a war in the pacific, precisely because it would affect his ability to help the british -- the british were getting sustained in part by the
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resources coming from the far east, and any war was going to disrupt that chain of resources, plus the american navy would shift ships from the atlantic back to the pacific if there was a war. very famously at one point roosevelt wrote to someone, member of his cabinet, saying, i simply don't have enough ships to go around to fight a war in both places. and his preference was to keep it in the atlantic, but, yes, geopolitics was major reason for what was happening in the pacific. >> host: and welcome to booktv on c-span2 can and our monthly "in depth" program. this where is we have one author or one topic discussed for three hours, with your phone calls and your social media comments as well. this month it's the 75th areas of the attack on pearl harbor. here are the phone numbers:
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202-748-8200 for those who live in the east and central time zone. 202-748-8201 in the mountain and pacific time zone, and world war ii veterans, we would love to hear from you as well. world war ii era folks who remember pearl harbor. 6,120,000 or so veterans are still surviving front world war ii according to the va. 202-748-8202 is the number for you to call. now, if you can't get through on the phone lines and want to're pennsylvania tase pate go to facebook dom/booktv or tweet us,@book tv is our twitter handle. we'll get to your calls just as quickly as we can. let me tell you just a little bit about our three authors. let's begin with eri hotta. her book is called "japan, 1941" and came out just a couple years
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ago and he is also taught at oxford university in the past. born in tokyo. craig nilsson -- i'm sorry, steve twomey next. his book is called "countdown to pearl harbor, the 12 days to the attack." he won a pulitzer prize for feature writing at the philadelphia inquirer and then worked to "washington post" for many years and has taught at new york university and city university of new york. and finally, craig nelson, his most recent back is called "pearl harbor from infamy to greatness." a former vice president and executive editor of harper and rowe, high peeran and random house. some of his other books include rocket men ex-epic story of the first men on the moon and author of the first heroes. the extraordinary story of the doolittle raid. >> guest: -- >> guest: -- would who superior of the major players heading up
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to pearl harbor. >> guest: it's eye ron yankee you ask the question because i thought that all the japanese counterpart countries, like germany, italy uk, they have figs, key statesman, the problem with japan is they didn't have effective leaders. they had a handful of fairly ineffective leaders who, by the sheer force of their weak personalities, remained in power, and i think the utmost example is hirohito, who is -- >> host: emperor. >> guest: empour empour ore. he wait to supposed to inter fear will politics over the felt like he had a veto power was
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what reluctant to use it, according to his potion war confession. >> host: could he have stopped pearl harbor. >> guest: i personally do. many people disagree but i think the fact that he felt he needed to explain why he didn't intervene and exercise a veto power after -- immediately after -- a few years after the war. that's very telling because he probably himself felt that he needed to explain and probably could have done so. his reasoning was that he thought if he didn't go along with the joint decision of the military civilian government, that was put up to him, to pursue diplomacy or military or -- he would be undermining the military. probably felt there could be a diplomatic breakthrough within the time frame, which is really too optimistic in hindsight but
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might have felt it because somebody else in the government, prime minister, from conway, who was for three years prime minister of japan out of four years leading up to the war on and off. he is another weak, ineffective leader who managed to perpetuate his bauer because of his weakness and indecisiveness. he was from the second novelist from the japan -- almost like the second emperor, and because he was a prince and he felt that prime ministership was really beneath him, and even if hi makes a mess of something, somebody else will cover for him. that was his attitude all the way through. he escalated the china war in 1937. he allowed a very bombastic and rather maniacal minister to
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reach an alliance with germany and itfully the fall of 1940. he didn't really pursue the opportunity to back out of that infamous alliance when they had a chance after the operation when hitler attacked soviet union and the alliance should have no longer held, and that would have impressed on the american mind that japan was really serious about the peace negotiation with washington. he didn't pursue any of that. then he went ahead and okayed the southern occupation of -- couples of southern indo-china which roosevelt was really -- said he felt like he had a cold bath or something like that. don't know the exact quote. he was waiting to hear from the japanese, a reply to this
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proposal that he -- roosevelt came up with which is really conciliatoriy. if japan decided to with draw from southern indo-china, its troops, roosevelt would make slur that the whole of indo chinese peninsula would be neutralized which should have minute a whole different history for at the region as well. roosevelt wanted to make indo-china the switzerland of southeast asia which could have tipped the balance. one thing roosevelt tried to do for conway was not to link the chronic china war problem with the most recent indo chinese appears so that he would -- conway would have a chance to save his face. conway didn't really pursue that. he again made this deal with the military, okay,'ll let you mobilize for the war and
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continue with this really bombastic war rhetoric, if you let me go talk to roosevelt in person. and have a conference, possibly in hawai'i. hawai'i kept come can back as a mid-point of the peace conference location. and i think he believed that it was possible because roosevelt seemed quite keen to do it. we never know how truly engage head was but roosevelt was that adverse to this kind of theatrical statesmanship where great things were decided by great men in one sitting two sittings like in churchill. >> host: craig nelsonnor,er noding your headey about roosevelt attending a conference. >> guest: the great moment in pearl harbor history because the last civilian prime minister that we have, was very sincere
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about setting this up and really all of these manipulations in the japanese government. you left oust he liked to eat and he was followed by geisha with a bowl out water and he would swish around fish in the dish and put it in his mouth. he spent the first term being very pro-war and pro-military, and all of this, and then he became prime minister again and then became antimilitary. the roosevelt administration saw the hawks and the previous stands said, we can't take their seriously, and conway went so far as to have a chip standing by to take him to oklahoma where he would meet with the prosecute aboard a battleship and then the roosevelt administration passes
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on it and if hey that idaho gone through pearl harbor would not have happened. >> host: why did was it passed on. >> guest: didn't trust the secretary of state and his vote was the dissf vote. his ambassador in tokyo was pushing for the meet can very hard. the thought it was a sincere offer and thought there was nothing to lose by agreeing to some sort of conference but hall wanted to know almost upfront a soviet american era summits where everything is decided long before they get there. hull wanted to know exactly what the outlines of the deal were going to be, and when they couldn't get that he was determined not to have that meeting. >> host: well, to mark the 75th areas of pearl harbor, c-span's american history tv is joining booktv for the first hour of this "in depth." now, american history tv is on c-span3 every weekend with
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archival films, tours of historic places, lectures in college classrooms and much more. now, for viewers interested in american history, and want to know more about pearl harbor you can watch next saturday, december 10th, start agent 8:00 a.m. eastern -- at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. american history tv on c-span3 will have the december 7th december 7th ceremony from both pearl harbor and the world war ii memorial in washington, dc, first personality accounts from pearl harbor veterans and civilians, fdr's speech to congress requesting a declaration of war, and live viewer call-ins with historians. that's all live on american history tv on c-span3 next saturday. well, we're live here and glad our american history tv audience is with us as well. we'll put the phone numbers up on the screen and let's take some calls from viewers. roger in east lake, ohio, you're on the air. >> caller: i'm glad you guys are talking about this.
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there's been a story -- a story i heard back in the '60s i've been wondering about. supposedly it was told by a guy who was a p.o.w. in a philippine p.o.w. camp, and was supposedly high up in -- anyway, the japanese had invaded manchuria, and the russians had troops on the manchurian border to protect the country and what was supposed to have happened, according to there is guy, is that the japanese and the nazis were attacked at the same time, forcing russia to run a two-front war and then -- >> host: roger, all three of our authors write about that. craig in the son. >> guest: what was going on was that when the soviets invadessed
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russia -- when the nazis invadessed the soviet union, the japanese were completely taken aback. they had a treaty with stalin and had their try par tied treaty with germany and thought they were on top of the world, this closure point. they actually thought they were going to be the united nations and they were completely taken aback, and anywhere negotiations over and over hall told the japanese a just like hitler tender on stalin he's going to turk on you. >> host: next call from mike in wichita, kansas. >> caller: howdy. >> host: go ahead, sir, we're listening. >> caller: here we go. my understanding is the japanese diplomatic codes were already broken by the time that this war got started, so that the fdr administration knew what was going on, and i also understand
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that the american aircraft carriers had been sent away from pearl just before the attack occurred. so, the japanese were attacking military targets. so, it appears that admiral kimmel and his men were being betrayed by the fdr administration. then the american response was the attack civilian targets to drop napalm on cities like tokyo. where is your group's response to that? >> host: let's start with steve twomey and see if the other authors want to add to what he has to say. >> guest: he raised several points there. i can go through them quickly. we did break japan's diplomatic code and had been reading the messages between tokyo and washington for about a year, but at no time were there any indications in those messages
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that pearl harbor itself was a target for an attack, and there would be no reason for the foreign ministry to be telling its ambassadors in washington that a war was coming and where it would start. particularly given the confusion within the japanese government about who was doing what. the second point raised was regarding aircraft carriers. this is often cited as i think evidence that somebody knew something was coming. the two aircraft carriers in pearl harbor were indeedway on december 7th but had each been dispatched on specific missions. they were kind of behaving like fedex. they were ferrying airplanes to american outposts in the pacific. they were not told to get out of the harbor because anyone believed an attack was coming. it was pure coincidence and actually extremely -- was in fact extremely fortunate.
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the third aircraft carrier was on the west coast and had been there for some time. so, the idea that they were ordinary out of -- because someone knew it was coming, i don't think it a credible argument. >> host: eri hotta? >> guest: the division of the civilian domain was part of the question. i think of course it's unfortunately that civilians got bombed over and over, in japan, but you have to understand in the context of the history of civilian bombings and how japan figured in that picture as well. the western world was shocked by the nazi booming of danicka, and then japanese follow suit? china. it bombed major cities in china during the china war. so, i'm not excusing the civilian targets but it's part
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of the total war ethos that japan itself was prepared for thought it was preparing for even before the declaration of war was decided within the japanese organization. people were asking, what is tokyo gets bombed? and that was really very much in the back of their mind, or the front of their mind. >> guest: well, i'd like to address this very simple simply by explaining that admiral kimmel received 56 pages of warnings. the japanese over the course of 1941, from washington. he received additional warnings about the japanese from his own staff over 1941. and he received warnings from british intelligence in the pacific, some of which is still not been declassified which he did not pass up to washington so the conspiracy theory is that roosevelt withheld some other messages and if only kimmel had received those three or four other messaged he would have done something. can prepare this story and line up kimmel's incompetence in his
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behavior or at least his inattention in this behavior and make look like he was in league with the japanese, too, and he was part of this. it's completely implausible in every way. >> host: admiral kimmel didn't have a job much longer after december 7th, did he? >> guest: well, actually thought he was treated quite well by the roosevelt administration. he himself removed his starboard from this shoulders and demoted himself. he in short head of the army in the hawaii was placed on the retired his, meaning they kept their salary and -- and kept their tight but no in charge of anyone and how could they be in charge of anyone after this happened. so i thought they were treated very well officially, but then what happened is that the court of public opinion accused them of being responsible. and they weren't responsible. the japanese were responsible and that's why we have this for 70 years enough being trying to
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get their descendents trying to restore their reputation. >> willy from georgia -- afternoon to you, sir. >> caller: i'm on. >> host: we're listening, sir, go ahead. >> caller: the past pearl harbor, i can see the twisted steel in the water and we took the tents there and the question i want to ask, how far is nagasaki from -- we think -- >> host: willie, what was your role in world war ii? >> guest: i was in the u.s. favory. >> host: what was your job? >> guest: my job, i was. >> caller: i was a gunner on the uss hamilton. >> host: what years did you serve, sir? >> caller: it was from '43 to the war was over. >> host: and you mentioned that
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you went through pearl harbor. is was still a mess in 1943? >> caller: it's still a mess. still had the twisted steel. out of the water, and the captain called us to topside and wanted to show us what happened. and we was quite younge and he is very emotional. telling us about those people that -- comrades are down here and the arizona, the talked about the arizona, and it shook me up and like i said, stayed with me to the end of the war. >> host: have you been back to visit at all in the 75 years? >> caller: no, health. haven't had the transportation to go. i saw the tv survivors there but at my time, just a hump of steel, twisted steel, poke ought the water, at pearl harbor. >> host: thank you, sir, for
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calling in. appreciate it. anybody want to respond to what he had to say. >> guest: well, even today, it is a pretty moving place to go, and you cannot not be moved by standing on the platform that is the arizona memorial and gazings down at the arizona. so, i can't imagine what it would have been like in 1943. it would have even been more graphic and telling, i think. >> host: you want to remind if you are world war ii veteran, or if you lived through this era and want to share your experiences, we want to hear from you as well. 202-748-8202. steve twomey, how long did the attack last? what was the damage? >> guest: well, it's interesting to note that in military terms, the attack really wasn't catastrophic in retrospect. the japanese as we talk about
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earlier did not find the american aircraft carriers in the harbor, which proved pivotal in the coming months of the war. and they also did not attack the infrastructure of pearl harbor. the dry docks and the tank farms which were quite visible and without which the fleet would not sail very long because hawai'i does not have any natural resources that a navy needs. doesn't have oil or coal, all has to be brought from the mainland and all the pile -- oil the fleet needed was sitting there. and plane of the ships that are damaged and repaired and found they're way back into the war. perhaps most most notely the battle ship, west virginia, one of the eight in the harbor, wound up in tokyo bay on the day of the surrender in 1945. it had been repaired and fought through all of the war, and the
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battleship nevada, whose story is among the most heroic on december 7th, actually was off the coast of normandy on june 6, 18944, for the invasion of france, providing bombardment cover for the invading troops. so, strictly in military terms i don't think the attack was as great as perhaps our minds tell us. psychologically, it was an overwhelming event in american history and obviously still is. in. >> host: what was the reaction in japan? >> guest: i think one got surfaced over all was one of euphoria just because they were fighting this war in china which had no end, and now they attacked western power and successfully so, so that they could justify the war they head been fighting in china as a war of liberation from the western power.
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as well to show that i think the ingrained sense of inferiority because of racism and imperialism and colonialism, we tend to overlook that now daze but is was great and really japanese in general condition to think a lot about the color of their skins in those days. they couldn't change it. were ashamed. so it was their way of demonstrating to the world the thought that they did heart ande they could be brill -- did matter and could be brilliant at some, surface elation may not be really an indication what people some people knew about the western prowess and industrial outputs that really far outweighed japan's, so there were reasons to fear and one of the character that i use a lot throughout the book is this
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novelist called kafu, and his diaries are quite telling what he was thinking about and he had this really cool mind and eyes to say that this is not going to last, and really didn't think that they can win it, even on the day. >> host: has your book been translated into japanese? >> guest: i translated it myself. i really recommend it to anybody. but i'm glad i did it because everything gets -- not everything but quite a lot of things get lost in translation, and the nuances get misinterpret, and one thing to make sure if you speak the language, writing the language, just have to do it, guess, yourself. >> host: so eri hotta, it's for sale? japan. >> guest: for sale.
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>> host: one other thing? >> guest: one major newspaper prize, called asia-pacific special book prize which is humbling to me because i was afraid everybody is going to be very touchy and think you -- why writing about the war? i could not have been wrong. maybe the government didn't like my interpretation, but there are enough reader who were receptive to my writing. >> host: i apologize for not have it but you use a phrase in your book, talking about the japanese character, i in the sense where one is the face and one is the real meaning. >> guest: face and the inner voice or it conclude translated, public face and inner voice. >> host: did that affect your research and ability to -- >> guest: yes, all the time, but a what is said or not said in the conference proceedings -- for example, you really have to look between lines and it's often more significant what
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they're not saying. also, you get a sense that in private records and conference proceeding, between them, you see quite a lot of disparity. people are speaking from both ends of mouth, but also triple talking and quadruple talking sometimes, and you don't really know what the inner voice might be. but you do just have to imagine yourself to be there. looking at photographs or-help a lot in overcome this time differs. >> host: craig nelson in your research did you -- were the japanese archives organized? did you have pretty good access? >> guest: there are three big ones and i got into two of them very easily. the one in tokyo and kuria sit i tried to get into the naval school archives and they want
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resident me in every time we tried to find out why they came up with a new reason. we called the carolina kennedy, the a&m booster to japan, we could call her answer and get this resolved. oh, we don't have any asian speakers her oh, we can't -- we aren't open to that right now. we are -- and i had my -- said mr. nelson says a japanese writer coming to america would never be treats this way and you are not acting like a friend. it was quite a deal. but i want to follow up with when comment about the public and private space face. a couple of months after pearl harbor, the prime minister and the -- called a conference and said, oh, gee, it's such a shame that roosevelt's note to the emperor came to late. if it came earlier it would have change never. then the ememperor was taken
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into custody and met with mar arthur, he said if if tried to stop the war there would have been a coup d'etat and i would have been locked up. so two different interpretation jazz want to show one picture from craig nelson's book. here assistant secretary of the navy, franklin roosevelt in 1914, at the brooklyn navy yards, watching as the keel for the ship, the uss arizona, is being laid. >> guest: i think all of us will say that what we really love about our life is doing research and finding this is like losing my mind. it's 1914, two months before ferdinand is as nateed. 1 years before roosevelt gets polio and here you see him at his height of the happiness and the federal government. he loves the navy. so much he raises the service's budget every year and calls the navy and army until marshall
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makes him cut it out and here you see the berm of the great love, the laying of the keel. its is in brooklyn this arizona was not only in new york where she was from brooklyn. >> host: gary in chico, california, thank you for holding we're talk about the 357th anniversary of -- 75 anniversary of pearl harbor. >> caller: yes, i have a question for your historians. can anybody confirm or deny the actions of an assistant secretary of state named dean ache which -- atchison in respet to -- the policy of roosevelt and hall concerning the fuel embargo that congress passioned toward japan? that's my question. >> host: you were nodding your head.
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>> guest: he acted in concert behind the back of fdr. fr wanted to do an imare embargo he held the reins of and wanted to jerk them tilt. and while fdr was in the conference off the coast of knew found'd, these two guys, one in straight and one in treasury, used their abilities to shut down the japanese purchase and they exerted a full embargo after petroleum to japan. so you're correct about that. >> host: steve twomey, what had u.s.-japanese relations been like leading up to 1941? knee the relationship had been pretty good through most of the years of -- when both were emerging world powers. and in fact when franklin roost on december 6th wrote his
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famous letter to the emperor, seeking to find a way around this problem, i believe he referred to the long-standing relationship between the two countries, but it was clear that these were the only two countries of strength in a naval sense in the pacific, and i certainly think the american navy had been preparing for years, as the japanese had, for the possibility of conflict over control of the pacific. most american navy war games in the pacific, the enemy was japan, in theory. and the -- particularly as the years drew closer to 1941, the prospect that japan was going to be the adversary was obvious, i think, to all, and so that
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long-standing good relationship gradually frayed away i think userry hotta, seemed to be a lot of intrigue in tokyo in the '30s and early '40s. >> guest: many societies then faced similar problems just because it was economically very hard times around the world. i think in japan, the temptation to look back to this marshall part which might be completely imagined, mostly imagined, but they were somehow spiritually ennobled and -- i think that really held sway after the military came up with this idea that they should be the one leading the societal reformation and they're doing that in china as an extension of the domestic reform as well. to blame all the social ills in your society to foreign policy is not a uncommon thing that we
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see repeatedly. >> host: what is the phrase, "torah, --" tora, tora, tora "sunny don't know what it means other. it's tiger, tiger, tiger, literally. don't know why that was used. >> host: that's when it was first used? as far as i know. perhaps -- >> guest: it's tova two syllables syllables and the code for to speed doughs -- torpedoes attack. >> host: i want to come back and talk about -- captain fusly da. but let's hear from sarah from heyward, california. >> caller: i was listen to the program earlier and they were talking about the regime that was in -- 17 or 18 changeovers
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and i didn't hear where that was china or japan, and i wanted to clarify that. and also i wanted to know how i could find out about my cousin, bill banks, who was in hawai'i at the time of the attack. >> host: okay. let start with eri hotta, japanese government's leading up, how many japanese government there are and what was going on in a general sense are sense. >> guest: which -- >> host: right before 1941. she wasn't sure if that change of governments was happening in china or japan. >> guest: talking about japan. which is kept changing hands but conway was in -- to be the main character in all of it until october 1941 when tojo is asked to step in to reverse the momentum for war, and that was the interior paralysis decision
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to give the hardliners a chance to reverse it because i guess hawks can do better at job containing the hawks. so, up until then sort of -- kept changing. the prime minister stayed in power from the middle of 19 -- fall of 1942 up to october -- >> host: because of this lack of leadership. craig nelson, if that caller wanted to find her uncle or her relative, bill banks -- >> guest: i assume you're talking about someone in the navy. there are two ways to look him up. one is now naval heritage and history command, and the other is through his records, service records should be at one of those, and if not, write down, pearl harbor vet and google how do i find him and that will be another way to go. >> host: steve twomey, who said
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this: question have awake inned the sleep giant and instilled in him a terrible resolve. >> guest: well, allegedly yamato said that, admiral yamato, the commander in chief of the combined fleet. don't know it's an established fact he actually said that. but he -- it certainly reflected his sentiment that the united states would be an extremely for mid able opponent. he lived in this country twice and both times as some sort of military at -- at at that day shay at different -- spoke english and went do an iowa-northwestern football game and had an appreciation, also a big fab of abraham lincoln, too. he had an appreciation for the industrial power of the united states, it seemingly limitless
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natural resources and he understood that in any long war, the united states would be able to replace its losses much quicker than japan would, which of course turned out to be the case. but his vote was not the deciding vote on whether to go to war with the united states. he was sort of responding, i think to what was -- he regarded as an inevitable decision. i cannot stop what is about to happen. i'm going to make the best of it by launching this surprise attack on pearl harbor, to eliminate the threat of that existed the pacific to hisships and the other japanese offensive s that were planned for that time he was making the best of a bad situation and i think that quote, whether it was said or not, accurately reflects wallet he thought.
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>> host: would you consider him an anglophile. >> guest: i need to go back because i spent three days on the quote. this is a great example of internet history, that if you look up, we have awakened a sleeping giant you'll find thousands of citations claimingam mode to said this. when i did my citations we had to look up and find exactly where and when he said this, and we couldn't find it. three days later we realize i would it was applied up for the movie, tora, tora, tora and made up from a letter he wrote. i love about yamamoto, he lost two fingers in a battle because his nickname was -- because a manicure cost -- >> host: the u.s. took him out in 1943 -- >> guest: one of the first of
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our interpretations of the military code instead of the diplomatic code, was knowing where he was and the two men who are suppose -- americans who were supposed to have taken him out have been battling the court to this day. >> host: to mark the 75th 75th anniversary of this attack, c-span's american history tv has joined us for this first hour of department depth. -- "in depth." they're goingway from us bus american history tv is on c-span3 every weekend with archival tours, lectures and much more forker viewers interested in american history and want to learn more about pearl harbor join american history tv on c-span3 next saturday morning, beginning at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. there you'll see the december 7th ceremonies from both pearl harbor and the world war ii memorial in washington. we'll hear first-person accounts from pearl harbor v ..
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requesting a declaration of war, and live viewer call-in ins a west on american history tv on c-span3 next saturday. >> guest: dan in camdenton, missouri, thank you for holding. >> caller: good morning, gentlemen and miss hotta. my story is a little different.. >> my story is different. i'm not a veteran of pearl harbor or world war ii. i am a korea/vietnam veteran but my experience in japan caused me to have greater appreciation for the japanese, and two pearl harbor japanese survivors in
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pearl harbor. the thing that set me back at first in japan in 1958, established an academic relationship with some of the japanese which turned into a very positive social relationship primarily in yokohama with a family who survived world war ii as well as three officers of the japanese army. >> anything you would like to answer in response to what dan had to say? >> very moving to hear stories like that and to think five years ago we were on the brink of war. also moving for me to be here discussing pearl harbor in
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washington and washington has always been the symbol of japanese/us relationships. and misjudge -- >> how many got stuck throughout the war. it is a round hundred. they included people with passports visiting families and used by japanese propaganda. there is another book to be written about their experiences as well. >> host: who was joseph grew?
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>> guest: a japanese ambassador to japan. and ambassador in washington. he was married to someone who was the grandniece, forced japan to other countries. in the 19th century. it was a sentimental appointment for him as well, for him to see the progress of the society his relatives helped unleash. then you see it suddenly crumbled in a matter of seven or eight years. must have been galling for him. he was a promoter of japanese interest. nobody could make sense of the working japanese government that he tried to censor in his
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eloquent letters. he explains better than anybody in the japanese government could have. >> he was almost in anguish over what was happening to our country he liked very much. 's letters are filled with this is not the country i love. what i see around me. he tried very hard to avoid what was coming. i believe when the war broke out everyone in the embassy was exchanged before ambassador in the mora and members of the japanese embassy exchanged on the east coast of africa. >> host: 1943. >> i believe it was 1942.
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ships had left respectively from new york and i am not sure where in japan, yokohama, and mozambique. very sympathies were exchanged, this was -- they knew each other and respected each other and he was afraid during this meeting that they would meet and it would be an uncomfortable moment and they did meet literally walking down the street of the city in which the exchange was growing and grew resolutely forward even though nomura was trying to catch the guy. it hurt him to ignore his friends, diplomatic niceties, protocol required him not to acknowledge the other country.
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it was a painful experience. >> host: craig nelson, i read in your book that ambassador at 18 was kept about springs resort in virginia. >> we found a journalist who was interned with nomura. what we found out from interviewing him was nomura was really broken by this. the united states and japan were like two children if only the english had been involved this wouldn't have happened and there was nothing he could do to stop it. we also found out, it was the double cross named after the japanese emblem. >> host: next call from dwight in connecticut. >> caller: i have two questions. hopefully you can answer both. one is i read their is a statement between the attack on pearl harbor and the philippines and they didn't really prepare
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very well for the attack before the japanese hit the philippines. secondly no one ever seems to talk about the diplomatic at - a to hawaii at the time who was doing spying for the japanese and commenting to japan, will they be there? he did this intelligence work for almost a year before the attack. i never heard one talk about him very much and don't remember him saying that but thank you for your comments. >> host: craig nelson, you want to start? >> i spent quite a bit of time on the japanese spy who did a fantastic job, the embassy i pretended to work, good time charlie, would show up late, all the embassy staff, no good nick,
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the reason he did that, was actually working for the japanese navy. and outside the embassy the greatest tourist, aerial tours of the island, swimming in the channel, did everything, went to a famous tea house on the outskirts of honolulu. and he got the same thing and he spoke many times of how wonderful it was. there are occasions you can't see any of pearl harbor. >> i think he was more of a self promoter than he was a real spy. you could hardly call him a spy. what he was doing anyone could do. pearl harbor is an extremely easy thing to see if you just
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climb into the hills. we could all stand there and count ships like he did. he had some expertise in identifying individual types of ships. he inflated much of his own margin as years went on. he did send back reports, extremely essential. became more blondish as the years went on. in his own mind. i don't want to understate his significance. providing vital intelligence, the day before the attack. and the subordinate advising barriers a little too much and looks like a good opportunity for a surprise attack, could and
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in fact was intercepted. he is a fascinating character, integral to the story. >> host: the first question -- >> there was an 8 hour delay between when the philippines and hawaii were attacked and one of the great mysteries to this day is what was macarthur thinking that he sat there and did nothing. it may be he couldn't imagine it in the same way kimball couldn't imagine it. >> i think it bodes him to know life for the rest of his life that he was a vilified and somehow escaped a penalty for being surprised in a less excusable way. macarthur went on to great fame, kimmel was only heard of in a negative sense. >> host: 8 am in honolulu. what time is it in washington? how quickly did washington find
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out about the attack? >> washington found out it is 8:00 am in hawaii, 1:30 in the afternoon on sunday in washington. the first word the secretary of the navy received was from a messenger who had showed up at his office where he was at that point talking with the chief of naval operations harold stark. roy ingersoll, the assistant chief of naval operations was there so the three of the my there and the messenger arrives. he is the ranking person. knox is a civilian, a newspaper guy, the republican vice presidential candidate in 1936, he didn't really know naval message terminology. he looked at the message and said out loud this must be the philippines, has to be an error.
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stark took the message. he could read the sender and knew that naval lingo and said this is perl that is telling them there is a raid underway at that moment. at the same moment or a little before, husband kimmel himself came out and stood on his lawn, he lived in brand-new quarters residents built for the commander in chief of the pacific fleet on a little volcanic rise, still the quarters of the commander-in-chief of the pacific fleet and overlooks the harbor. you get a clear view especially than before trees grew up. he had received a telephone call about a report about a midget submarine or submarine attack off the channel. there is an air raid underway, surprised he needed to know that
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by telephone. he can see what was happening beneath him. one of the most poignant moments in american history, he had a spotless record up to that point. everything he had done he had succeeded at. all the decisions he had been making in the previous 12 days were now being literally blown up before his eyes and he knew his career was over at that point. this was going to be catastrophe unfolding beneath him. his neighbor, the wife of one of his offices stood with him on the line, he described his face as being as white as his uniform and you really feel for him that he could be so wrong and of course they got no better from that point forward. >> washington knew within
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minutes that yes. i would say yes. communications between the two were far less sophisticated. we had no satellites that could beam instant television pictures over the distance. there were no television stations on hawaii broadcasting live. remarks that evening to the cabinet, roosevelt was only able to provide sketchy details of what happened. they knew it was bad, but many had been killed, the totality of the strike was difficult, and would remain so. they weren't anxious to make that public. >> roosevelt had his press secretary told the press, we are saying 300 died, close to 2000, we are saying 300 died and when
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cbs among others that our affiliates in hawaii are saying it is worse, you will be giving sucker to the enemy, when you go to separate headline newspapers you will see 300 parish. >> 2403 died, 1178 wounded, craig nelson reports in his book "pearl harbor: from infamy to greatness" that burns constituted 60% of the injured. let's hear from raymond on our world war ii vets line. you are on booktv, good afternoon. >> good afternoon to you guys. i was a veteran of world war ii and served in the philippines and d-day in okinawa. my thing is after the war was over we were dispatched to go to southeast of the philippines to
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pick up 20,000 soldiers and sailors and made several trips to yokohama. when i held guard duty on a tank deck, there was letting it, you learn how to write that, and i said - ucla? i graduated last year just before pearl harbor. i went home, folks stay another two weeks. and and we had 20,000 men back
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in our tank deck. why do some of these guys tear me up. a lot went to manchuria. and came home, they sent them out in the pacific in different islands, you guys are out there because of what the americans are doing. a story we like to tell people, a lot of people i left in yokohama. they were very friendly and always smiling. >> host: have you visited some
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of the sites you participated in during world war ii? >> i haven't, never been out there but my teenage years i was 18 and got drafted out of high school and my heart is out there quite a bit. high school monitor here for a couple years ago. i would always talk to the asian girls to find out where they are from. one girl a year or so ago was from okinawa. i said okinawa? so we got talking a little bit and things really changed that she is taller than i am. most of them were shorter and i was 5 foot 8 and now i am down 5 foot 7. >> host: how old are you? >> i will be 91 pretty soon. >> host: thank you for calling. >> i am moved by these words of
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people going through that, those experiences. i hope we write these down to later generations can benefit. >> host: what about a japanese veteran of world war ii? >> some people keep their memories to themselves. there is an oral history. and does a bit of their own filming as well. not enough i don't think, not enough people are picking them up but as long as they are there, it slips away. >> host: are there survivors from pearl harbor in japan, any
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survivors from the uss arizona attack who were on the arizona that day, do you know of any japanese survivors from pearl harbor? >> i don't. my guess is if there are they are in pearl harbor this week but i don't know that. that is a good question. >> host: met 2 of the cheetah -- >> octopus turns red, he was quite a fascinating character. a pilot at pearl harbor who trained the aircrews in state of the art techniques. my favorite was how they figured out how to do it torpedo because they had to launch torpedoes in shallow water and american naval aviator got a technique for doing this so they followed it and it worked and they came in spiraling and they flew at 12
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feet over the water. dropping 1500 yards before the target and immediately have 2 climb into the superstructure. from pearl harbor, being able to see the faces of the japanese pilots, one of the pilots told me when we drop the torpedoes in the water, it splashed up and hit our wing, we knew we -- you did that! >> one of the interesting aspect of the attack is the fact that with any sort of warning at all, just an hour even, torpedo planes which were the lead planes of the attack and the most vulnerable because they were so low, may not have been able to do the damage they did because if any aircraft fire had been there, they would have been hard to miss but the fact that
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the fleet was still unaware, extremely vulnerable aspect of the attack to go forward first which was essential because the greatest damage was done by torpedoes to the battleships. that is why any number of places, at least the fleet, all hands could have been on deck. waiting for what was coming. >> when you tell the story of his later life. >> two stories of reconciliation. one of the doolittle raiders was jacob who was taken prisoner by the japanese, part of the doolittle raid, he was treated -- he was really abused.
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he came to awakening and turned his life to religion and christianity when he realized he could forgive these people, it would change his life and it did and many years later he was preaching in japan and came across the lead pilot in the attack who was also lost during a period when the japanese repudiated their entire history of world war ii. and he fell under this talk, they were ended up preaching together. all of fushida's descendents are from california. >> host: our next call comes from hawaii. this is sean. >> caller: good morning from hawaii.
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we were -- the first came in the 1880s, sugar and pineapple plantations, during the day of the attack, this was a generation that had become american/japanese. the history of the hawaii national guard. during the battle, the attack he had to secure them to safe places, was suited in his air raid garb and she was in fear of her life.
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and in turn american japanese and the second thing, the president of the 442nd, the japanese-americans who served in the unit for one of the greatest. my question, i leave with a question, four other military installations on the island, i want you to come in. >> host: what do you do in hawaii? >> the east -- eastern side of the island and has a big marine base, 20 people died on that base, there will be a memorial service this week coming up. a guy that fought on the base that day shooting machine guns
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so i want you to talk about other installations as well. >> the great american defense of pearl harbor was army air corps, and schofield and a marine base and naval air station, an incredible tale of heroism, all the planes under the orders of the army commander, have lined up to protect against sabotage. they made fantastic targets and they were taken out at air forces that were completely devastated in the attack, biplanes on their way, the chief ordinance -- not going to take it anymore and fools a machine gun out and set it up on the
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apron and starts taking down japanese planes and make a little base for this. the hospital said he was shot 30 times. he was bleeding from 30 wounds when he was brought in including his scalp was torn open and at the end of this it just wasn't my day to die. >> it is interesting, there was an enormous amount of instant heroism on the part of people, ships and bases but in fact it was a very 1-sided engagement. we did not shoot down that many japanese planes. i think it was 29 or 39 or something like that. that is not to diminish the heroism that did occur. the captain of one ship said if he had taken a metal to all those who acted heroically that
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day the whole crew would have to have gotten a metal. roosevelt was asked that night when he was addressing the cabinet how many of them did we get? he quickly clamped out the notion that this was a fair fight because it wasn't. >> host: ten years ago john sims was at the anniversary. here is a picture -- >> he said the greatest thing. what did you think of that ben affleck movie? the actresses were very pretty. >> anything you want to add to this conversation, eri hotta? >> i'm overwhelmed by the tales of heroism but also feel said, had the bad luck of being born to the wrong side. you have to assure commitment to
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the state that protects you with the japanese state didn't, just have to keep giving and giving and giving. it is such an unfair world. >> host: was there subterfuge in hawaii by japanese citizens? japanese americans who were living there? >> at which point? >> host: leading up to pearl harbor? >> guest: the american government detected, i am not sure how accurate, i think the one problem in japanese language newspapers repeated many of the propagandistic reports of the country, anybody could be involved in translation of that information gathering in newspapers. that is quite a blurry line. i might be stating the obvious.
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40% of the hawaiian population were japanese americans. the irony of attacking the island is so enormous and the fact the location was proposed many times in a peaceful venue it is ironic. >> we know the internment camps for americans on the mainland are there as well. >> the western allies, yes it did. they were mostly housed in a different resort, sort of isolated. it did happen. >> host: let's hear from michael in georgia. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i am an african-american and veteran of the vietnam war. in spring of 1944 hour father
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was sent to georgia, the pacific, when black americans did, service work, he became a stevedore. all his discharge papers, he was discharged as a stevedore. my comment is about white supremacy. white supremacy has been part of having america not prepared. do you think maybe if they took japanese people, troops to the philippines, listen to all that, before pearl harbor, supplied pearl harbor, the philippines on
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midway. >> caller: >> host: you talk about race in different ways. >> white supremacy, right there. >> there was colonialism, imperialism. >> you can name little things, the reckless decision to enter a war that it is certain you are not going to win, the history of colonialism, really not the point. you can explain resentful feelings without japanese leaders are included, there is no excuse for misjudgment or
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calamitous decisions you make for predicting. the feeling of being cheated, has been real. the opening of japan. >> host: steve twomey, how do you look at it in "countdown to pearl harbor: the 12 days to the attack"? >> i think racial superiority is a major explanation for why the attack happened is the best evidence of the that that i would start with, shortly after the attack there were rumors in congress that germans helped plan the attack and some of them - the implication being the japanese weren't skilled enough to do this on their own and this
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reflected an ongoing egos in the military that the japanese were second-tier military power, their planes did not work very well, aircraft carriers not too good and in some cases physiologically hampered in their ability to be good pilots, to counteract the tendency they had been born in japan, to educate their superiors, and hard mentality to overcome. and beat them in a minute and it would take nothing at all to overcome japan because they are not that good, when you have that kind of mentality it loads
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you into a belief that this thing you have theoretically imagined could happen, an attack on bar harbor, really could happen. >> i can tell you three stories about pearl harbor. the first has to do with military intelligence agent appeared before the lead admiral in the department of war and does this incredible presentation on how the japanese aircrews had 10 years experience fighting over china, japanese torpedo technology, couldn't hit a thing with its torpedoes. japanese fighter plane was better than ours and as he was doing this heartfelt presentation, people around the table start laughing and he goes what are you laughing about? talking about funny little people. another story after the attack
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happened, commander wheeler of the big airbase, outrageous to me those yellow pastors hit is when everyone knows america is superior to japan but my favorite racism story involves doris miller aboard the uss west virginia. mister miller joined the navy, to the family in texas, because he was black. and the heavyweight champion of the ship, took some less and then during the attack said why don't you hand me the ammunition and i will fire this guy, you fire that gun and i will fire this gun and that was great navy star but died in the philippines. he had not won the medal of honor and accepting the cross so much he became a hero of the civil rights movement which led to truman's dedication.
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>> host: there he is getting that award from chester nimitz to replace husband kimmel as commander of the pacific fleet. we are talking with craig nelson, steve twomey and eri hotta about the anniversary of pearl harbor and their books we are showing you the cover of. we have another hour and 45 minutes to go in our program. if you are on the line don't hang up if you can't get through call social media avenues at booktv, if you want to participate in the conversation. i want to show you one more book cover. this is don stratton, all the gallant men is his book and he is the survivor who was on the uss arizona, one of five still living. we talked to him earlier this
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week. don stratton, where were you on december 7, 1941? >> aboard the uss arizona in pearl harbor. >> host: what were you doing there? >> sunday morning at 5:30, getting ready for chow, no chipping and painting or nothing on sunday. >> host: how did you get on the arizona. how long have you been in the navy? >> i had been on the arizona a little over a year. >> host: where you and enlistee? were you -- did you enlist in the navy? >> yes i did. >> host: why? >> not much going on in nebraska, not much money float
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around. >> host: what was your job on the arizona? >> i was a seaman first class. >> host: what did that entail? what kind of duties? >> maintenance of the guns. we clean them up, paint them up and scraping and painting. >> host: what do you remember about december 7th? walk us through that day? >> guest: i remember a lot of things. 5:30 in the morning, reveille, clean sweep on sunday morning. more engines, to my buddy, to
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nelson, and in my white hand, camara. started out on number 2. the sailors were hollering about bombing pearl harbor and took a look and saw the water tower go over and the meat blower on one of the planes and the japanese headed for my battle station, five letters to get there. >> host: once you reached your battle station what would you
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do? >> an aircraft director. >> host: what does that mean? >> the planes that were strengthening us and dive bombers at high altitude bombers and whatever. 90 °, we couldn't shoot through our ports because the vessel was tied up alongside, we couldn't shoot toward the other side, part of our superstructure in the way. high altitude bombers, our fuses were not reaching, way too short. >> host: don stratton you write in your book all the gallant men about when the bombs hit the arizona, what happened at that
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point. >> 2500 pound bomb went through the number 2 tear, on the starboard bow. and pounds of ammunition, 20,000 gallons of ammunition that blue up. 110 feet on the bow and the fireball went 600 or 800 feet in the air. >> host: did you see the fireball at the time? >> how could you miss it? >> host: what do you recall about the noise or the smells? >> it is a hell of a noise. the fireball went 600 feet in
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the air. >> host: how did you get off the ship? >> that was another thing. the director, burning alive you might say, after the fireball died down, blue the smoke away by the breeze, it was red hot, got a hold of a sailor, on the left side of the ship, had a sailor over there named joe george down there, he told us there was a small line, so the language carries across four five times to get it over there. the heavier line on their but put that across on the arizona. and we go hand over hand across
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that line. 70 or 80 feet. >> host: how long did the attack last? >> i couldn't tell you that we did within the record books. >> host: 335 sailors got off of the uss arizona, 1102 perished. >> 1177 perished. >> host: 1177. five of you survive today. >> that is right. >> host: will you be going to the reunion this year? the 75th anniversary? >> every intention of being there. >> host: when do you leave for hawaii? >> we leave tomorrow. >> host: where you injured in the attack? >> pardon? >> host: were you injured in the attack? >> over 70% of my body. >> host: what was the recovery process like?
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>> it took a year. >> host: what hospital did they put you in? >> they shipped me to maryland, california, and a medical discharge. back home for a year, reenlisted, back in, had to go through boot camp and idaho, the cpl, they wanted me to stay there and send me to treasure island and there was a request for a gunners mate on the uss stagg newton. i went aboard there to the south pacific, and in new guinea, and a couple islands off of their.
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to pick up troops and went back in lou's arms. and led the invasion to okinawa, a number of days and nights, so we can tell people the, thes were coming from japan and we lost 5 ships one night and -- in okinawa. and on leave for a while, 30
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days in san diego, had to finish school and went to st. louis and discharged the second time, december 1945. >> host: icao -- don stratton, what did people think when you reenlisted in february 1934? >> how could i tell what they were thinking? >> host: you write about the fact the draft board was a little perplexed. >> i had to go through the draft board to go back in service, and was not elected at all. >> host: can parts, lauren bruder, the other five survivors of the pearl harbor attack you feel a special connection to
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them? >> lauren bruder was the director with me and across the line, one of the six who went across the line, ultimately still alive. >> why did you wait so long to put down your memoir? >> a thing that happened, living day today and week to week and year to year, whatever, nobody ever said anything about telling the story and it came out a little bit, a lady heard it and her father was a writer and approached me and from there on that is what happens. >> host: your cowriter, ken geyer. you also list in your book the failures of the us military in planning for this attack.
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you say the us is not prepared, did not communicate and was overconfident. >> they sunk that sub-off the harbor and didn't pay much attention to it. the radar picked up planes coming from the north the north end of the hawaiian islands, the planes coming, b-17 come from the united states, there were 200 planes in the air, they didn't pay much attention to it. >> host: when you visit pearl harbor does it bring it all back to life to you, that day? >> it is something i think about
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every day, it nice to go back and pay homage to the sailors and marines and air force bases that day. >> host: don stratton is a survivor of the uss arizona on december 7, 1941, the attack on pearl harbor, one of five still surviving, 335 men got off the ship that day, 1177 perished. thank you for spending a few minutes with us on booktv. >> is that it? >> host: yes, sir. >> thank you very much. >> host: a pleasure and honor to talk to you. >> thank you.
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>> host: that was don stratton, one of five survivors of the uss arizona. steve twomey, you spend a lot of time, get a lot of information from the survivors? >> i have 2 confess my book wasn't about the survivors so i didn't speak with any who are still with us. one of the difficult things about having been a journalist all my life was attempting to write about something in which i could not interview people on the phone or in person. it was a new experience for me to do that. fortunately the archival record of pearl harbor is so voluminous that you can successfully get a sense of people's personalities and character as you read what they testified to, plus there are many oral histories. the great gap in our knowledge involves husband kimball. he testified a lot but he was not given to writing, he wrote
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no autobiography. he did, a bad one, i have to say. but i don't believe he participated in any oral histories. the letters he left behind at the university of wyoming don't really shed much on his thinking and actions in this period. i would give anything to find letters i am certain he was writing to his wife in the month before the attack. he was and remains kind of a mystery about the whole attack. >> host: have these oral histories been survival -- good to you? >> if you look at the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s you can find nothing. my theory is it was so traumatizing by what happened to
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them that it took until they were in their 60s in 70s facing their own mortality and having grandchildren to breach that terrible ptsd they suffered and in the 90s you have a fantastic record and it starts dying down because it is too long ago. >> host: is world war ii, pearl harbor, discussed in japanese schools like we discuss it here? >> not at all. one of the great motivators, i wanted to figure out for myself, a high school student in the united states, first encountered the question why did you guys attack us at pearl harbor, i had no idea. tried to explain military dictatorship, put it in -- they don't really make sense. i started this question of why
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did japan do that? launch a war they were sure to lose, doesn't make sense to me logically, i think i put my finger on my functioning of the system and dilution of responsibilities, still a chronic problem in japanese culture today. the translation of my book in japan, the subtitle is origins of modern japan. not very flattering but the idea that nobody owns up to responsibility, they think everybody is responsible, therefore nobody is responsible, it is still there. the fact the origins of world war ii and pearl harbor, the
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fact that it doesn't get discussed, the problem is perpetuated in systemic environment of the court of law because america what a powerful ally in japan against these agents which by the way still on and they don't want to upset the power on this moral, rebellious, leftist types that can challenge the conservative order that was perpetuated despite the wartime government. many people stayed in power and the symbol of wartime symbol of japanese greatness was perpetuated in the position, nothing personal, i don't have anything personal against the present emperor. the fact that they take it for granted that he was not responsible, his institution was
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not responsible, or only a group of people tried at the trial were responsible even aids the cold question of why did japan have to start it rather concentrate on their own victimhood, they survived the air raids and atomic bombs, the earthquake and tsunami with a stiff upper lip. active experience is amazing and something to be respected, but doesn't really solve the problem or the question why did japan wage the war. >> host: here is a bit of oral history from the us national world war ii museum. >> translator: i felt in my bones something major was about to happen. it seemed inevitable. the move to pearl harbor was not at all surprising or emotional.
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there was no giving the yanks a taste of what they have coming, none of that is just i guess this is finally starting. the first wave was an hour ahead of us, the scheduled time for their attack sunday at 8:00 am. i figured the first wave was already to arrive by now but could not see or who. then just then, from under the cloud bank i saw something littering white that i knew had to be the hanoi coastline, the airbase at ford island. i headed out toward diamond head and banks right, dissenting to an altitude of 3500 m, then as the unit commander i gave the order to make the assault.
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my mission in the second wave was to attack aircraft carriers and suppress the emergency response and counterattack but the carriers i was supposed to bomb words there, or at least we didn't know their actual locations. at first i was disappointed because my targets weren't there at all. the battleships were all lined up in battleship alley. the tennessee, arizona, west virginia, maryland and all that. i wound up attacking the arizona but nothing happened as a result of my attack. what i mean by that is after releasing the ordinance i realized the arizona was already a meter below the waterline and sinking. the first wave successfully hit the battleship and i realized my bomb was wasted munitions. i saw a large object from 2500 m
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and attacked it. there were no carriers, we were attacking the battleships the first wave had already hit. >> host: you are not in your head and listening to him. was it interpreted correctly? >> i couldn't hear the japanese clearly but seem to have said made sense. ..japanese clearly, but it made sense that he was doing the vast -- he was doing the best that he could do in the job that he was giving. there was no sort of like being a good student and demonstrating your skills and diligence. i think that's probably how they survive this war. so many things didn't make sense and so many things seemed meaningless, so i think you just needed to concentrate on the job in front of you.
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>> host: craig nelson, was there about a vengeance and later battles in this war? >> craig nelson, was there a lot of vengeance and later battles in this work? >> the you take this incredible moment that happens in the navy just responded with a mpened fury. and i think the unexamined heroes of pearl harbor which was the salvage cruise they were able to resuscitate that entire operation, 96 ships in the harbor, and the cover of my book has a horizontal bomber that is striking and the bomb is penetrating to its ammunition so it's turning the ship itself into a bomb. >> the extraordinary to me that they could do that. and then you have this outpouring at midway for of the
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six japanese aircraft carriers were sunk. the others were hunted down. and they great flagship was used as a nuclear test. >> maybe should call you book american range let's go back to our collars and by the way we have a full line set up to show you those. we also have social media can't get through you can tweet us at book tv. or facebook us that book tv. thank you for holding, you are are on with our three authors. >> yes. i am enjoying this amazing year i was a boy in world war ii and we're very well aware of what was going on having the black off and listening to gabriel heater in the news. but you talked about mending the
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machine-gun and he was killed on the bay off the coast and it was sunk by a japanese submarine. that was the third day of the invasion. my cousin was there and was killed on that. there were just a very few survivors. my question was, is there anything about unit 731. in the medical experimentation on people with. [inaudible] so they dehumanize them no one was prosecuted for war crimes on my. i just wondered who makes those decisions to prosecute and you hardly even hear it mentioned anymore.
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on the history books it kind it just the at the tnn square are not even mentioned in history books at all. >> that is larry in centralia who is five years old when pearl harbor happen. and read response for him?? >> i would only say there's a terrific book and it's not mine call were without mercy abouthoa how savage the war in the pacific was on both sides. there are certainly racial beliefs on both sides that contributed to enormous atrocities. far more than in europe it's a fascinating book, i am blanking on the name of the author it has a good plug but i recommend the book for you for further
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discussion. >> albert is on the line about turnover world war ii. >> hello there's isis talk thatf roosevelt it was a tale of infamy that i can never understand why we are having blackouts on the island of aefob lawful about six or eight months before the attack actually camew >> where you station during world war ii? >> at hickam. >> what year. >> caller: and how old are you. >> i'll be 97 and january. >> bless you. thank.or thank you for calling in a contributing, what about the
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blackout? >> they were routinely practicing prior to december 7, exactly that. hawaii had gone separations in terms of pipe possible invasions for months. one of of the aspects of this that i think is most interesting is howor militarized hawaii was prior to the attack. people were used to constant training by army and navy planes. you could hear the fleet practicing it's gunnery over the horizon. military convoys clogged roads all of the time. honolulu was a booming see the as the influx of army and navy troops kept building. and yes, there were blackouts regularly planned and scheduled in preparation for i think what everyone knew was coming which was war. but the local magazine monthly
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magazine called paradise of the pacific was constantly talking about what is just beyond the horizon so air raid practice was given. >> in one of your books you talk about husband kimball when heefe came on as she really boosted training very stringently one of the reasons, the reason that so many people responded so quickly in the opening minutes of the attack was due to him. he had relentlessly trained and been in charge. this was attack master, drillca sergeant people would point out to him that he probably shouldn't be.
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[inaudible] but he insisted on practicingev maneuvers that everyone needed t to be at their position and you needed to know your job and by the late fall you never seen the fleet in better condition. he wasn't there to see it, but the performance of the navy was due to him. >> what. >> what is on the cover of your book? >> it's an image of someone looking through binoculars for an enemy, i think it's moreedepi representational then had a picture of someone that day. >> how militarized was japanese society by the time of pearl harbor. >> i think was militarized by default because so many people
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had to be sent off from china and the home front had to show their support otherwise you would be called unpatriotic so for instance the neighborhood was organized into small block of four or five households and they would spy on each other that they were performing patriotic duties and attending drills against a possible fire or air raids. so they have the job of distributing food, rationed food amongst themselves equitably. that was a source of resentment for many families because people felt cheated. it was a system of neutral distrust.
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but every neighborhood association had an informer for the police. it speculated, nothing to prove but it was based on fear of being singled out. so people had a low profile, jazz music was found and -- was closed and shut down. so there is no overtly entertainment. some things went unchecked because people come i think you didn't want to be singled outth for all of the wrong reasons. >> i think i read in your book that basically private cars were banned because of the use of oil, they invented cars running on charcoal and one bottle of beer every six months or every's
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six months. >> not a society for alcoholics. >> john is in your city, world war ii veteran, please go ahead. >> caller: my story is i was in japan to teach the army in september of 1945 and i got out of the service there and i continued to stay in japan for a total of five years and i taught at a japanese university anyway, i was wondering about the japanese, how they got into this in my experience is the men in o the street really did not seem to understand what they were doing, what had happened.were
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>> host: john, how are you treated in japan when you're there? >> caller: as soon as i got out of the service i continued to work in a japanese university and i was treated as a curiosity of course and i gave i taught the japanese a lot, i speak japanese. >> host: to you remember feeling angry after pearl harbor?i wa >> caller: no, i was young then. we are all kinda crazy about the war but when i was sent to japan i wasn't angry at the japanese at all. in fact i was curious and's what
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i discovered is the man in the street really didn't have any feelings about the war at all. >> and before we have our panel answer that question, one final question to you, do you think it is fair to compare 9/11 to pearl harbor? >> caller: no. well, b >> host: why? >> caller: is i think the japanese, there is two groups of people there and japanese there were common citizens who really were not told very much and then there is the military class, and i made a study of that because i was very curious and when i returned to the united states after five years in japan i gave 105 talks about my experiences
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to the locals and any convention or kiwanis club or or anybody who invited me to speak in my message was always pretty much the man on the street did not know what was going on. >> caller: thank you serve. >> it is true that japan was not an open democracy for various reasons that we discussed already. but to say that military was responsible is oversimplifying the picture of it in my mindthio because military was not a monolithic organ.. it was divided into different interests and navy and army never got along. so it's far more complicated structure bargaining and dealmaking, plus civilians were
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involved in the decision-making as well and the emperor and some direct very strange but very powerful way in the end is very much the glue holding together the different segments of interest. so i think it's okay to say thal of course, nurse and regular people in the streets didn't really know why that happened but it's different than asking why it happened. so i think they shouldn't be ultimately excused or disengage. from the hole, why did this happen picture, myself included is the inherited of that, i think, i think i have the responsibility and the book was one way of dealing with that issue myself but people have different ways of dealing withha it but to say that people didn't know what was going on, people
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in the government didn't know it was going on so let's try to figure out. >> did your family have a connection to world war ii? go o >> both my grandparents and grandfathers do not go to war for health reasons, but i have a great uncle who died in here your -- he was not an engineering student so at the end of the war he went on to a become a, as a pilot. he actually doesn't go, the war ends right before his mission. so i did not know him sadly enough because he died in his 60s and i was quite ignorant about these things and not really conscious about this problem but i think he livedthik with the skilled all along, i think you around the pilotot
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flight school someone the rest coast of america so is in a strange sort of twist of fate, but i don't think he quite new why he was left to live. >> this is an email from robert hyde, from syracuse new york, why did the japanese not invade and occupy the hawaiian islands as part of the pearl harbor attack? >> they were so busy invading and occupying all of southeast asia from the northeast boundaries to the southwest boundaries of india that they really did not have enough left over to take on the 43000 serviceman that were in hawaii, i really think that i was said, hawaii was very much a side sideline item toward this greato
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big operation to expand the chinese territory into all of southeast asia territory. but i do want to explain one thing that we have to make discussed of medicine medicine are reallyt nutty this idea was, something about yamamoto that he spent so much time in america. if week kill people in hawaii they'll say we certainly can't fight them, were just get a turn it over to the japanese. i don't understand why they had that idea and why he was soaking on that. of is so nutty. and you take that into a foundation of why pearl harbor was attacked that makes no sense. >> how long did the japanese occupies the great expanse of city in asia? >> it took them six months tool get it so by the middle of 42
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they had the great empire of japan and they hold onto it until 44. so for two years about. >> host: when was the next major battle or what was the first a battle after pearl harbor?an a >> the great stories about midway which is another three hour conversation we could have because it's an amazing story. midway happened six months after no three months after pearl harbor.ft so that's the only time for twice in their entire life the navy in the army have cooperated and in america the navy and army cooperate twice and this is one of him. six months after pearl harbor comes midway which completely turns the course of the pacific war and they called it the greatest squeaker of all times. but that's a a story for another three-hour panel. >> host: in sylvester georgia we have a caller please go ahead. >> caller: plate thank you for
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letting me join your conversation this afternoon. i've two things. i live down the street in tipton from a pearl harbor survivor in his name probably will ring a bell, william outerbridge and he spotted the japanese midget submarine. they cannot confirm they sunk it because the way it went down but i think they found it 2002 and ironically it was like four years later, december 7, 1944 that same ship that sank the japanese midget submarine was destroyed in the, because if attacked islands. then tell me a couple things things when i knew him he was tl retired as a real as an ameron he is buried in tipton not too far from another famous person i think he flew the plane for roosevelt, but anyhow the guy was a walking history book and i want to ask one other thing and
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i'll let you go, i knew it japanese naval officer from the self-defense academy that i met and the 80s and he told me that they didn't call it worldld war ii they called it the great pacific war and that's how they viewed history. he also mentioned there's an t article in the japanesef milita constitution that prohibits them from having any military operations overseas. i would like you to comment on those two points. >> one of you write about then captain outerbridge was it? tell the story. >> will his stories pretty well known and has brought out binds. i don't think people really understand or know what an extraordinary set of circumstances led to william being in the position he was in. he had been the captain of the executive officer of another destroyed and truly hated his captain. he cannot stay in the man and had been seeking to get a transfer of his destroyer in any way he could.
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he was hoping for a land assignment so he could be reunited with his family., s wad in late november he was relieved and given command of his own ship, the uss word, he took command of it on friday december commanded a ship until friday december fifth. in december 6 he and the word went out of the harbor on his first patrol evera and they were tasked with patrolling back and forth in front of the harbor channel, it was the next morning when he is asleep that he is awakened with a call to come to the bridge and they spot an object in the water and hears him and who in his first job on this first day and he did not hesitate, he ordered
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his ship to hunt down and opened fire and they did and they knew they hit it too, it would not be confirmed until the submarine was found, decades later but they warns, they sent a message saying they had attacked the submarine thus the object i think i should've said that, heb didn't know what they didn't know it but it was one of the midget submarines the japanese were using as part of their attack. unfortunately his message of averting his of what was happening while this went through peacetime and the vice grip of peace was still in people's mentality and they did not react swiftly enough to what he had just told them. he sent a letter to his wife a few days later saying took command on friday, went to see on saturday started the war on sunday. >> what about the calls.
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>> the terminology, there's a lot in the name and how one choose to call a certain war reveals a lot about your political -- the pacific war asia-pacific war in japan by both right and left i think it was a neutral very sort of on contestable term because or happened i think the extreme right likes to call it the great colonial war i don't know how they expand the argument that way. leftists on the extreme left i think people prefer to call the 15 years were because they see the beginning of the war as 1931 when japan japanese army invaded parts of northeast asia. northeast china.
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so i think there is a lot in the name i think many more just prefer to call it the value free neutral way of the asia-pacific war, the second question has to do with article nine, the close of the constitution which the present administration is trying to revise or do away altogether because he thinks it's cumulation that japan did not have the right to write its own constitution, think the truth is that the suggestion of includin this that renounces war as a sovereign right which japan came about because of japanese suggestion, i think there are
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some evidence to that. and there's been research done on that. to say to say that it was an american in position to disarm japan and emasculate japan is wrong, but then that is how he views it and he's been trying to correct that postwar regime as he calls it, because japan should have the right to defend itself and wage war if need be. so he tried to pass security bills in the past year, but that actually put his administration in a very sensitive position, americans might welcome that japan is finally taking word charge of the military matter in the east asia security in termsp of actual military capabilities, but that also means that japan has to balance power and asia
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itself not by slowly relying on the united states hell. so that might mean, it depends on how the cold war ends, might also depend on how japan faces up to its past and how otherth concerns at governments of asia deal with that and parties stop clinical sizing on memory toadvt their advantage. >> craig nelson in your book you cite some surveys of japanese citizens, american citizens and how they feel about pearl harbor, how they feel about nagasaki, what did you find? >> a wonderful man went through
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all the archives and he found out the number one thing japanese people wanted was for p the american movie about pearl harbor to mention how she man nagasaki. but when you go there there's no mention of pearl harbor there either. there's a tug-of-war and if we apologize who will do it first, i can't can't believe it's stil. going on 75 years later i think president obama was first toprim visit oahu hiroshima but they don't know how her husband's government is dealing, i want to point out that i think one of the great moments in the story happens when you see that is
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something of a stinker and then in career which is another three our panel but when he goes tosu japan as a supreme alley commander he does amazing thing, he does the speech to surrender that will make you burst into tears. it's incredible that a professional soldier gives a speech about peace. he then really begins the process whereby america supports the japanese, this is like two weeks japanese citizens are going through the american army garbage looking for food too.rvy he says you have to send some money these people are starving and they said what you talk about? we just defeated those monsters were not sending them food and he says will give me butter or give me guns.. and he did this undersecretaryge
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of treatment. so america after winning world war ii does east reverse reparations where we rebuild japan and germany. and i think the credible pearl harbor. >> maybe that's a douglas arthur >> thank you for holding, your book tv on c-span2. a couple om >> caller: thank you for taking my call i have a couple of comments and that all hang and listen to the answers.s this is directed to the three authors. have any of them read the road to rainbow by henry cole or john tolan's rising sun, and if they have has it helped with yourse research and your current or future books. my final comments, hopefully cas they can answer this question, i remember remember a few years ago reading about the japanese imperial staff in the long-rangg war plans making the comment
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that there were was not to start until 1947 and then and then it would be against russia. have any of them come up against that comment. >> george who is the first author, roads rainbow?gone. moses name john is gone. john and rising sun and wrote to rainbow. >> i read john tolan's book on pearl harbor, which i which i think had some problems, he buys into the notion of prior warning to a degree and i think the primary source he had and there was subsequently but i don't know the other one. >> host: is there a conspiracy theory in a sense about prior warning? >> oh yes.
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>> host: stanley says i was there is a navy k, my dad set up in bed and said quote, the jabs are bombing pearl harbor. no surprise. it was neighborhood gossip for weeks ahead a time. it was bait set in place by roosevelt to enrage the public sick of war and save england, france, and helen. >> the very first guy to start this was one of the foundries of america's first anti- rooseveltt group. remember that was the group that number got involved with and got in trouble with anti-semitic comments. then it was expanded on by kimball's lawyer lawyer during one of the criminal investigations.nment. that was followed up by guy who wanted to take it away from the navy. so you just have these three people who have gotten together who decided to push this and so for various reasons as of the fall of france in 1940 most americans realize that we had to
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do something. if we lost england it would be a in terrible trouble. this idea that roosevelt had to push back into it, there is no pushing. we are having our shipping taken apart in the atlantic by the nazi submarines. it was already moving. moving. the difference is that without pearl harbor we are not have had to fight two wars on two oceans on three continents. we did not have to become the premier global super power or the americana that is kept it from happening. that's the answer to that. >> i think i think the local backdoor theory that roosevelt about it by way of launching warren japan it could also go to war in europe, i think it just doesn't hold because there is no guarantee that hitler would declare war on the united states immediately afterward, japan
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didn't go to war against the soviet union's and nazi's behalf. there's no reason that germany should go to war against united states for japan. so i think from a logistical sort point of view. >> i would offer to very practical reasons why think that on the 75th anniversary, this is a theory theory that we finally ought to bury forever. the first practical piece of evidence is that we already knew the japanese removing substantial military forces toward the southwest pacific including one of our possessions, the philippines all he had to do is sit back and wait he would know whether they're going to attack the philippines at which point we probably would've declared war, he did not need to sacrifice the pacific fleet and the second reason i would offer is
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roosevelt had no independent means of intelligence, he dependent all the way down the chain of command to ease droppers listening to radio messages and translating them, decoding them and passing them up the chain of command and so hundreds of people would've had to know in order for franklinsi roosevelt to know and it simply defies the belief that all of those people with then go to their graves with their lips sealed, with the greatest act of treason in american history. >> when i did a book about going about a third of when i was researching it night talk to someone under the age of 40 they would say were to show that it's all made up. >> i think some people are close minded and. >> on page 49 on countdown to pearl harbor you wrote that war was coming to the pacific in the all knew it and they all knew no one took that more seriously than husband kimball.
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but keywords was that they knew it was coming to the pacific, is that a general knowledge in a sense? >> certainly by the first week of december it was so well known. >> what about earlier? >> all through 1941 we are negotiating with japan. the idea that the japanese were an arm of nazi germany was quite common that they were engaged in similar activity and when kimball took command of the fleets on february 1, 1941 in his remarks to the fleet he noted that they would be working hard in light of what we all know. i believe that was his quote. he's referring to what was likely in the pacific. war was not the surprise inse 1941. it was the target where it began. and i think that's really important for people to undershoot stand.
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i was sure small story on how likely it was, or how common it was. oh well woman by the name of of helen traveled by ship from san francisco to honolulu with her two kids run november first. she got there and wrote a letter home saying she was thrilled to be alive because she had assumed their passenger liner would be signed by the japanese.. that's how prevalent the idea that war was just around the corner was. now she may have had an additional bleed because her uncle is husband kimball but she said that she totally expected they would die in she was relieved they did not. >> in the second week of november general marshall held in off the record press conference with all of the leading journalists and wire services to get them ready that were was coming in and told them the danger. is the first week of december.
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but after that we won't have any problems because we'll have the b-17's taking off in the philippines bombing the islands of japan and coming back and they said according to your spec the b-17 can't go from the philippines to japan and back, doesn't doesn't have the range in the new york times published their off the record things and this is a war that we couldos lose, and secretary of the army. pan of telephone you, please go ahead.d. >> hello i want to say first how much i enjoy book tv. and. and i have all of your books. >> it's difficult listening to someone this. my grandfather was commanding the task it coming in thatat morning at dawn. because he had some rain watch on that's how they spotted the midget submarine and it was 5000 yards to the starboard. my grandfather's 95 is out this week at pro for the remembrance on wednesday and i spoke to a
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lot of radio guys before they pass their way i'm curious going back about the significance because of his naval doctrine at the time a very well known that if you spotted one japanese submarine they knew to expect a very fast carrier force not too far behind my grandfather was commanding that and he said admiral kimball had them continually planning maneuvers and one of the maneuvers he was involved within that july was if a summary was outside the mouth of pearl harbor or inside it and so people were very conscious and he had even given orders to countermand it. this is what caused the war morning coming out.
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the codebreakers in hawaii. i notice two thirds of the japanese fleet have moved near the marshals and they knew what that meant, so that went back to washington, it was ingersoll and then stark spent the final warning on december 7. after yard let japan make the first offensive mood but kimball countermanded that and that's what my grandfather use that morning. i spoke to to enough eyewitnesses from that morning,d my grandfather was in the admiral's quarters when they cited the submarine, and why he had submarine watch on is because they had been followed from a meeting with the british across the pacific by a japanese fleet summary. >> host: okay let's hear from our authors. >> host: this story is really amazing and they're still a pearl harbor mystery about them which exists to this day which
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is we found one of pearl harbor in the 1960s fully intact and pulled it up and it had no signs of human life in it at all. and the theory is that the two officers aboard the submarine escaped into the hawaiian japanese-american population and survive that way. but one of the many things they tell me is a different opinion one of the thing that upsets me greatly is that after he receives his were warning that his ships are still sitting there with its youngest members aboard and only one boiler left which means most of them don't even have electricity to defend themselves. in my i thought out of all the things mr. kimball couldn't on he could've done that. >> bob in lincoln nebraska, hello. >> hello. i think you answered my primary question about half an hour agoa about the education system over in the war, some good have to go to my backup question, regarding
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the , after doolittle took off and quite frankly insignificant damage, what was the politicalwa thinking after the doolittle raid and was the repercussions up the chain of command as fartt as how they left those bombers attacked tokyo? t >> in america it was considered a great victory because we had not had a world war ii victory yet on our team, pretty much any of them. we had not had much happy new so was taken very well. in japan it was taken very hard because it allowed the emperor to be imperiled and they immediately launch plans to take out the final american defense t forces at midway. so you can say in the scheme of things that ite
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led directly to midway. also it made americans suddenly change their opinion even though the damage was minor and the american mind suddenly they thought we thought the brits and the soviet union cannot possibly win a war against the great japanese in the great german and italian army and now they thought maybe we might win. that was a great moment in history. >> from your book, here is a couple of pictures, fdr on december 8 and a handwritten speech, want to show our audience part of the speech. >> yesterday december 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy.
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the united states of america was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of japan. the united states was at peace with that nation and at the solicitation of japan was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking towards the maintenance of peace in the pacific, with confidence in our armed forces, with the outbound team determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable t triumph, so help us god. [applause] >> host: one draft with some mark outs,. >> someday i'll be able to do that. [laughter]r] and he basically orally gave
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that. >> he gave dictation and then did one draft and that's one of the greatest speeches of american history. >> to this speech get played into japan? >> no. instead. instead they told us tokyo's declaration speech. on it n it really pales in comparison looking at it now. and he has an unfortunate -- not clear enunciation and he does sound like a stage actor. but tokyo was interested in the propaganda of the nazis. so i think he really wanted to stylize this declaration speech in a very effective manner. i think it backfired.
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>> in your book, japan 1941, there seem to be a lot of german influence in tokyo, set fair? >> i think it's fair to the extent that americans it's fair to the extent that americans also had lots of influence. i think inex the 19th century japanese looked up to america than all of europe because they're both industrializing and a great power, so i think there is more goodwill on the civicetl level with americans, and europeans i think the nazis had influence to an extent that so many people were interested by their success, also lots of bright students went to germany in thee 1920s and america go to britain because it was cheaper, the high inflation made it so easy for students and western sciences to go there and enjoy themselves. t and then there was dispatched to
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germany. i think think people were influenced by the kind of t reorganized german thinking, it does not leave immediately to not season. i think that was aeo suspect ideology for many people because a look down on colored people as a third class race. many people did not realize that. people who read who read the translation japanese was omitted from the text, only people who could read german nee about this, so i think this fascination with nazis and is more theatrical in nature as far as my understanding. >> host: what sparked you to read about pearl harbor and about this? i go around the table. >> the most -- of events i took a family vacation to pay to wit
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my son and wife and went out to the arizona memorial. i have have been there before to see it and the exhibits at the national monument are quite good. but i got interested oddlyd enough and perhaps you can tell this in kimball and i realize nobody written a biography of husband kimball. subsequently as i alluded to earlier decided there is a reason and that's because he was not a very, very introspective man. you are not going to get great revelations from him. but once you get into it youim kind of get hooked. i thought a way to tell it was this way starting with that approach or of the japanese fleet. and as we all know, the knowledge today of exactly how we got to that point is fairly thin. i hope as i'm sure we all did that people would come to understand the complexity of the
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moment and also the astounding trauma that it really was. it was sort of a nonfiction thriller in those days. that's why.ed to do >> i actually wanted to do a pearl harbor vocalist 15 years ago because i was living a mile away from ground zero and the friend said there has been an accident you should look at it from your roof so i got up and look in the sky is completely comfrey and i think how could this be an accident and that's on the second plane hit and i blacked out for couple of hours and i spent three years having this on believable phobia about planes. see one overhead and you know wondering where it was going in just not a stuff and trying to solve how is having this problem my track down other people with fear of lanes and there was thousands of them and their survivors of pearl harbor.rb so i have this feeling towardsoe
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it but i do not want to take it on because it's such a tight panic thing to do. when you go to the legislative archives a look at the fundamental documents they are 48 feet longi there are eight of me with a filing cabinet. so it's it's nightmarish. but then i realize that if you look at the definitive's last definitive book it was research 50 years ago.civi people civilians think of history as been set in stone that you read one book and that's it but historians know that history is like water and it comes and goes. and i just thought 15 years later is time to try. >> i agree that the story was to keep on reading history. aside from things i said about the personal state that i felt with the topic, beyond that ii really thought i think that this was a crime
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we know the outcome very well, but there's so many moments that it could have turned around.alls so really was fascinated by the suspense building thing. it's a almost shakespearean as well because it's a bout humid -- and it's a most tragic comedy. it's not just tragedy. fasted what people are discussing are not discussing at the highest levels of government in japan.od i wanted to introduce that too his many audiences so writing in english made sense first. >> host: you mentioned gordon pray, this is from mark, i would like the guests give their assessment of the historical research and works on pearl harbor by gordon praying such as
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at dawn we slept in theirwith colette midway. >> lie think he wrote the greatest book about japanese military of world war ii that is ever been written. he was working with macarthuryo and he was part of the history section and he was supposed to interview every person they came across, and they o his archives were a fantastic source for my own work. however in 50 years time we have all the information coming out from japan we have in fact all new information from the survivors because they cannot talk about what happened to them. if you compare what were able to write about now versus what pang wrote about in the attack itself you think he was sanitizing it and he was worried about waiterou tk sensitivities but he didn't have the so i won't point this book was a million pages of raw document. this still a million pages of my head.
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[laughter] but that's how much stuff we found. spee-01 mike in san diego thank you for holding. you are on. >> caller: thank you. i have a comment in a question. the comment is that there's a reporter covering world war ii in one of the articles is by an american journalist in tokyo at the time of the attack. it's about how he was injured and got back to the states, if i'm not mistaken the title of it is, this is for keeps. the other one is you mention the colorful character at the japanese in the real blame for not being ready was with hoover because they were supposed to have espionage and hoover was so entrenched in secrecy and power. i wonder what you thought about that? >> the fbi on oahu was certainl
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attuned to the japanese american community there and had a tap on the phone of a cook at the consulate. that is how they learn on december 3 the consulate was starting to burn it secret documents. but the special agent in charge in honolulu never thought there was any evidence of sabotage by the local community. certainly never knew about the spot who is operating fairly openly and freely, although they have lists of people they intended to end up as soon as were broke up which they did. there is an a list and a b list of suspected folks in the japanese community, but i'm not quite sure i understood the
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colors point. did the fbi know? no, i don't think they knew an attack was imminent. >> they had one report happened in august 1941 and it's one of my favorite pro harbor stories and it evolves a man who is aan triple agent who are simultaneous for the yugoslav, the british and nazis. he is one of the models for james bond and he appears in august 94, it says, i've beenft standing here for a job with the nazis to assess american defense capabilities and of the three pages of questions i filled filled the third of them is about pearl harbor. and hoover refuses to take this seriously because he thinks he can trust the agent and he knows that he's having an affair with french movie store simone simone and they're both married and so you can't trust someone having an affair with a married woman. so one of the two seriouss warnings about pearl harbor.
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>> host: is from new jersey. please go ahead. >> you're talking about the midget subs but how come the japanese eye boats, i understand they had some some of the most advanced submarines, how come that wasn't used as a primary weapon to search down the ame american carriers. was there a second attack on pearl harbor by seaplanes? >> i think we need to appreciate what a spectacularly daring raid this was on the part of japan. many people in its own navy to not think just militarily this could be pulled off and so secrecy was a prime directive, but it's also important to remember that they had no way of knowing whether these fleet was
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going to be there and whether the carriers were going to be there when they left.the ques so one of the questions they had to have answered en route was, was our plan going to succeed because the enemy was indeed where we hoped they would be. they were in hunting for the pacific fleet and summaries their hunting forward in the harbor because that's where they are the most vulnerable. and it was only in the 24 hours prior to the attack that they realized their wish and hope was going to be fulfilled, the fleet was in fact there except for the aircraft carriers. so when he mentioned why were they using these larger submarines to hunt for the fleet, they had no knowledge of where the fleet was at any time. they were hoping it would be in fact they found it.pi >> host: how do they keep that
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secret? >> i think maybe by mistreating people at the top level. i mean if i'm allowed to talkysr about envoys here in washington dc, they did not know what was going on when they went into and how they have been informed in his hand started shaking to and diplomacy, even then then it didn't really declare war on the united states, so still a littlt bit is not included in the only realize what had happened, so he became a sacrificial man to ensure the success and they were not given enough time to type up the letters and that's why they were late to start with that the state department. it's a chain train of the mistreatment of people.
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>> host: back to where we start, why did the japanese attacked pearl harbor? >> they wanted to keep us from interfering with our plan for operation number one they wanted to strike down and show they were equal, they wanted to ensure source of petroleum andpo be out of out from the united states, and they thought by doing this that america would let them keep their colonies and would give up on trying to proceed in a war against them. >> host: sit steve, wasn't militarily successful? >> the short answer is no. they certainly achieve surprise, but yamamoto miscalculated completely the response to thehe surprise.
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he thought this would weaken morale, it had exactly the reverse effect, militarily and think they achieve in the limited sense the goal of inflicting severe damage on the fleet but as we have talked about, they miss the targets that were going to be the most important in the coming war. the battleship era was already peeking and perhaps had peaked. these were old ships, they were slow, they cannot keep up with aircraft carriers, those were the weapons of the future. this was the first war in which that became apparent. i think militarily by missing the aircraft carriers they probably did not achieve their goal. >> host: you get the last word. >> guest: i disagree, i think he had a split personality of the -- and i think the man


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