tv Open Phones with Ian Toll CSPAN December 10, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm EST
you are looking at film shot 75 years ago on the morning of december 7, 1941 when warplanes from aircraft carriers attacked the island of hawaii targeting the u.s. specifically at pearl harbor. almost 2400 americans were killed in 1200 wounded. the surprise attacks led to the u.s. entry into world war ii. what the next two hours on "american history tv come, -- american history tv," will be joined by authors.
202-748-8000es are for those of you in the central, mountain, and eastern time zone. for mountain, 202-748-8001. for world war ii veterans, your special line is 202-748-8002. you can also send us a tweet, and we look forward to your comments on facebook as well. joining us from new york city in the first hour of our program is ian toll, the author of "pacific crucible: war at sea in the pacific, 1941-1942," which looks at the war in the pacific in pearl harbor. welcome to "american history tv." how did pearl harbor change the course of history? in many ways, i could go on
for the whole hour just entering that one question, but it is fair to say pearl harbor was the central event in the history of the 20th century, not just for our country, but for the world. it launched this country onto the global stage after a long period in which we had really country.solationist american people were not interested in participating in the second world war or in the affairs beyond our shores. pearl harbor changed that virtually overnight. and it led to this long period of american leadership that continues today. host: in researching this book writings, did your views on pearl harbor change at all? ian: certainly. written both the
political impact on pearl harbor and the military impacts, and their closely related. but the attack on pearl harbor, i think, was really an extraordinarily well executed attack from the japanese point of view. former speaker of the house newt gingrich two days ago tweeted that tweet to the effect the japanese attack had been technically brilliant, and was criticized for that. want totever else you say about newt gingrich, i think he was right in this instance. congratulated the japanese by saying that this was an extraordinarily brilliant attack, tactically it was. the japanese accomplished that have never been accomplished before and came two thirds the way across the pacific ocean and
an a cute, coordinated airstrike. that was something beyond american capabilities, but you capabilities of any navy. it had never been done before, and had never even been imagined that something, that something that technically complicated could be achieved. that is part of the reason pearl harbor became a great shot. host: why did japan attacked the u.s.? ian: that is a question that japanese scholars, and american scholars have been debating for 75 years. is tost way to answer it begin with the understanding priorhe japanese regime, and during the second world war, was essentially dysfunctional. the power was shared across many different elements of the
military establishment. it was an army dominated by government, but the nation -- but the navy had a great deal of power. there were rival factions within each of the services and the two services were essentially at each other's throats nonstop in a contest for control of the national budget and military policy, foreign policy. essentially, the japanese needed oil. they had relied on texas crude. they imported 90% of their oil to run their economy and to run their war in china. inour relations deteriorated 1941, we put in place a number of trade sanctions that essentially cut off all oil exports that create a crisis that the japanese needed to .eplace i
theyder to do that, overtook east indonesia that had productive oil fields. they essentially decided that they needed to preemptively strike us at pearl harbor in order to clear the way for that invasion. host: this is "american history tv." 75th annual program on the attack on pearl harbor. this morning, we are talking to ian toll on his book on "pacific crucible." 202-748-8000 is a number to call in the eastern time zone's. for mountain and pacific time zones. for world war i -- for world war ii veterans, 202-748-8002. first up is glenn from new jersey.
welcome to the program. caller: would you asked the author to ask him about the purple hearts that were issued department come outside of civilians? glenn, i have heard about these purple hearts. you may know more about it than i do. the attacks resulted in an fire from thet of various airbases around oahu there were attacked by japanese planes. fell intoraft shells the residential districts of honolulu. andreated several fires cost number of casualties. and so all the first responders, civilian and military had to get
into the act to respond. i believe you are correct that that was unprecedented at the time. it is just a mark of what an extraordinary event it was an another way to measure what an unprecedented event pearl harbor was. byt: in your book, you write 8:10 a.m., 15 minutes into the attack, the main fleet was tripled. what allow that to happen so quickly? ian: the japanese achieved complete surprise. their first wave came in with little to no opposition from american fighters are anti-aircraft batteries. and they were able to line up on the american battleships, which were in the east block of pearl harbor and a
double file. they were essentially sitting .ucks with no prior warning the crews were not ready to react by closing watertight hatches, which may have prevented the ships from sinking. torpedoes thathe did much of the damage. they were able to hit these and put all eight of the battleship of the fleet out of action. to service after the war, so it was a temporary loss, but at the time, there was still a prevalent view that the battleships were really the heart of any navy's fleet, and were the queen of the seas.
it is why the initial shock in washington and the navy and around the country was so great. we had lost all of these ships, put out of action, essentially right at the outset of the war. host: let's go to john in west palm beach, florida, on the air with ian toll. good morning. caller good morning. up in the tv generation of the 60's. my father was a tanker in world war ii at the end of the war. and he took me to the movie -- and he took me to a movie when i was 10. i viewed it the other night again, and after listening to , i am amazed at how accurate the movie actually was. it really was like the first document-drama. get your opinion on it. the producer made great efforts to keep accuracy in his movie.
i wanted to know how he felt about that? ian: yeah, i would agree with you. tora is the, tora, best movie ever made about pearl harbor, including the most recent 2001 movie. thatu say, that is a film tried to use all of the most up-to-date historical sources at the time it was made, and you try to accurately depict what happened. i also think it is terrific that it was a joint effort between american and japanese film makers, directors, writers, and actors. the japanese sequences i think are a real highlight of that movie. and so, i would agree with you, and i wish there were as more -- i wouldink there was -- agree with you, and i wish there was more filmmaking like that
today. we could really use a new movie about the battle of midway. the movie in the 1970's was quite good, but inaccurate in many respects and with the making technology today, there is a great movie to be made about the battle of midway. i would like to point out that the attacks on hiroshima and come in are really sense, the last mile. we have not had a big budget hollywood treatment of those events. of course, that is understandable in a sense why that is not happened, and yet, somebody is going to make a great movie about the bombing of hiroshima, and i predict that that film will win an oscar for best picture. host: our guest is ian toll, the "pacific crucible," looking at the war between 1941 in 1942. newsreelsen american
about that attack on pearl harbor. let's take a look at the japanese newsreels reporting on the attack that day. [video clip] >> declaring war against america and britain on december 8, 1941. the navy attacked pearl harbor. the strongest bombing in the world. carriers go toward hawaii. a strong wind blows. wavesas is rough and the are high. a thunderous noise.
pacific crucible," on the 75th anniversary on the attack at pearl harbor. asking, whatwitter part of the attack on pearl harbor did not go as planned? ian: the attack went largely as planned for the japanese. there was one element of the attack, which was essentially not coordinated with the aerial attack, and that was a number of what was called midget submarines. two-manre small, submersibles armed with for peter does attempting to penetrate pearl harbor, which two of them did get into pearl harbor and may have contributed of thecapsizing battleship oklahoma. , sothe crew did not survive
there is debate about what those the marines achieved. they mightope that some of theecover submarine. but none was recovered. went on as attack they had planned. it was a tactically, brilliant success. they lost only 29 planes. crushed.eir ships was they did expect a counter attack on their fleet. host: we have plenty of calls waiting for ian toll. michigan, norman, welcome to the program. caller: hi. i would just like to ask mr. 1939, there was a
battle between the soviet union manchuria.anese in it was considered a decisive history, andsay in that hadike to know if a bearing on the japanese's americanstrike at the in pearl harbor? host: thanks, norman. ian toll? you can say the experience of the japanese army fighting the soviet army in manchuria in 1939 did contribute to the decision to attack united states and great britain --united
states and great britain in 1941. there had been a debate between the japanese army in the japanese navy over whether they should concentrate their efforts on attacking russia. instead they should take territories in the south pacific? these were two fundamental, strategic directions that japan could have taken. declared, thatr there was a large scale combat, as the caller mentioned in manchuria. the soviet army really got the better of the japanese army in that action. as a wake-up call for the japanese army realizing that going up against an efficient, mechanized army was going to be much more difficult than they thought.
forward,that point japanese policymaking really rested on the idea that they were going to avoid war with the soviet union, and that continued right through the end of the war . there were hopes in 1944, 1945, at the japanese government might be able to execute a diplomatic maneuver where they would bring stalin as a mediator to try to ane a truce and negotiate end to the pacific war, and then never amounted to anything. fact, there was no chance that could've ever succeeded. host: we set aside a line for war veterans which is 202-748-8002. we welcome ray from arkansas. caller: a pleasure. i wonder why it has never been mentioned that the top secret invasion of the mainland of japan has not been mentioned to the public?
more americans, killed, plus japanese killed than the bomb dropped that hiroshima, and it has never been mentioned. it is been taken out of top-secret now. i have copies of the invasion order. it is unbelievable that it has not been put into our history books. it is very important that this be known to the people on what was to happen on november in 1945 that did not happen. we were on our way to japan. we passed the uss missouri the data peace treaty was signed. how big thatw force would have been? unitr: they had every army and every naval unit in every marine unit.
to attack ther japan mainland. it would have been over one million men lost on the beach. host: appreciate your comments. let's hear from ian toll. ian: before we cut the line, i would like to know -- he is gone. ian: i was curious to know what unit he had been in. that is fine. yes, we had planned an invasion of the japanese islands. it was in two stages. first, in november, as ray said correctly. then the main island following month after that, was going to be larger than the normandy invasion. slated to take part in that operation and would have been an immensely bloody, and very
terrible operation, not only for our own forces, but as ray said, for the japanese people. i think that it is in the history books, ray. certainly, anyone who pays attention to the history of the pacific war is aware that we had these plans and they were well advanced. i has been a lot of time talking to veterans who would have gone in. certainly, it was necessary to avoid that operation. now, the question, which he did not directly bring up, did we need to use the bombs in a way that we did? that is something we are going to continue to debate. the entire attack on hiroshima was in the first week of august, 1945.
, the date for the invasion was november 1. that is a long period of time. immediatenot an invasion that was about to occur. from my own view, and i have expressed this recently, when president obama went to hiroshima, i think it would have been a good idea for our own sake to provide an explicit warning to the japanese. that would have been easier to defend. certainly, and this is important when you are talking to a veteran who would have gone in, and might not have survived, i think it was clear that we needed to avoid ending the war with an invasion of japan one way or another. host: we should point out that "pacific crucible" is a part of a trilogy.
from 1942 to midway, issa misinformation you are talking about in the book you are working on currently. ? the i will get deep into plans for the invasion of japan in the third book, which is going to be entitled "twilight of the gods are: host: when will we see that publish, ian toll? ian: that is a very good question. [laughter] host: we won't hold you to it. ian: i would like to say the fall of 2018. host: are right, letter from days in new york. good morning. go ahead, take. caller: good morning, gentlemen. my basic question. .ou refer to this before what effect they did the united states realize that the day of the battleship was over and the date of the carrier arrived?
did he feel relieved that the battleships were his -- were hit? was he in a state of panic that we lost all of our battleships? what i might going to do with all of these carriers that have never been tested in battle, and i have no idea how to use them? i asked when the americans act inthe two ocean navy july of 1940, they included six battleships. by the end of 1942, the central iowa battleships are down to four in the montanas were canceled. i would like to ask them to go into more detail please. was not panic.ly he was a battleship admiral and had been captain of the arizona, and had been an admiral heading up a battleship division himself.
the loss of the battleships at pearl harbor came as a real gut punch to chester as it did to many officers. thatnk it is fair to say when he arrived in pearl harbor on christmas day, 1941 and spent three days touring, and made his assessment, he recognized that the loss of the battleships was not going to be permanent setback. that several of the battleships would be able to be raised and returned to service. the carriers, having been spared, meant that he had the means to begin striking back at the japanese almost immediately and the first carrier raids in february of 1942. so, very quickly after pearl ofbor, of course, the battle midway, just six months after pearl harbor, was a devastating four japanese's
aircraft carriers were sent to the bottom of the civic. -- bottom of the pacific. they quickly realize that the aircraft carriers would be the most important weapons, including submarines. be awere going to secondary role to protect the carriers. to as a specialized weapon bombard island beaches prior to an amphibious assault. of gut-level kind ,hock of losing the battleships particularly the arizona and 1000 sailors killed in an instant, those were terrible, terrible events.
they were not crippling events. subordinates were relatively quick to recognize that. host: a viewer asked on a related topic, the japanese aircraft the u.s. carriers to be in pearl harbor that day? ian: they had targeted them. so, yes, i think they did expect them to be there. at least, they had contingency plans to attack them if they were the two. re. what is notable is their primary targets -- the attack on pearl theor itself demonstrated carrier was a much more important weapon. because, that is really the carrier can strike across a range of 250 miles.
the battleships, under optimal conditions, may be able to strike an enemy over five, 6, 7 miles and most. so, it was the difference in striking range that made the carrier the most important war with the pacific submarines as a close second. host: one of the photographs inside of ian toll's book looks at the white house on december 7, the night of december 7, 1941. in the background, you can see the christmas trees in front of the white house. people always remember the next day with this speech on capitol hill by fdr. actually spokelt in a radio address the night of december 7. here is part of that address. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i am speaking to you tonight in
a very serious moment in our history. the cap it is convening and the leaders in congress are meeting with the president. the state department and officials are meeting with the president all afternoon. in fact, the japanese ambassador was talking to the president at the very time japan's airships were bombing our citizens in hawaii and the philippines and thinking one of our transports loaded with lumber on its way to hawaii. by tomorrow morning, the members of congress will have a form to be ready for action. we the people are already prepared for action. for months, the knowledge that something of this kind might happen, has been hate over our heads, and yet, it seemed impossible to believe, impossible to drop the everyday things of life, and feel there was only one thing that was important -- preparation to meet an enemy, no matter where he struck. that is all over now.
and there is no more uncertainty. we know what we have to face. and we know that we are ready to face it. i should like to say just a word to the women in the country tonight. i have a boy at sea on a destroyer. for all i know, he may be on his way to the pacific. two of my children are in the pacific. boys who willve not be called upon to go into action. you have friends and family and what has summoned to come in danger zone. you cannot escape the sadie -- you cannot escape the anxiety. i hope this will make you rise above this fears. we must go about our daily business more determined than ever to do the ordinary things, as well as we can.
when we find a way to do anything more in our communities have a others, to feeling of security, we must do it. whatever is asked of us, i am sure we can accomplish it. we are the free and unconquerable people of the candidates of america -- people of the united states of america. to the young people, you are going to have a great opportunity. there will behind moments, and which are strength and ability will be tested. i have faith in you. i feel list though i was standing upon a rock. and that rock is my faith and my fellow citizens. now, we will go back to the program, which we had arranged for the night. for our 75thve anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor. our guest at ian toll tony is new york city, the author of
"pacific crucible." what he to hear in the tone and words of eleanor roosevelt? ian: that is a terrific address, and i had not heard it until the producer sent it to me yesterday. that was on the night of sunday, december 7. the news of the attack and only arrived in washington in the afternoon. she had gathered her thoughts and written that, or perhaps he had some help writing that. given in the were first hours after we had learned of the attack on pearl harbor. are a couple of inaccuracies, which is understandable given the timing. the japanese did not seek a transport. and president roosevelt was not
talking to the japanese ambassador at the time of the attack. that was a secretary of state, cordell hall, meeting with the japanese ambassador. but those kind of an -- those kinds of inaccuracies happening or in real time, which is understandable. the: for those of you in eastern and central time zones, 202-748-8000. from off and on pacific, 202-748-8001. for world war ii veterans, that line is 202-748-8002. helen, thank you for waiting. caller: thank you. i have a question for ian. during my childhood, my stepfather told us at the dinner table. he was -- he was a graduate of west point, and he told us that what they one professor at west that had told the class
the united states new that the attack on pearl harbor was coming. ,hat they had broken the code but they need a catalyst for the american people to be enthusiastic about going to war. i wondered if you had heard that before because it struck me because he said that the professors had told him that they knew pearl harbor was going to happen, but the people in the u.s. were not behind going to is when japan, and that they needed this catalyst. i don't know who those professors were, but the conspiracy theories have been persistent over really many decades. go to,ories essentially as you say, the fact that fdr
had tremendous political problems in the fall of 1941, statesas he saw that it was going to have to get into -- which was he saw that the united states was going to have to go to the second world war. the isolationist sentiment in the nation was fairly strong. it was even stronger than that in congress. there was a bipartisan movement and congress to keep us out of the war. that many of the -- and that many leading newspapers had taken a strongly-held, isolationist stance. on december 8, the congress voted unanimously, with the
exception of one vote in the house, to declare war on japan. if you are a prosecuting attorney trying to make a case that fdr and other members of our military and political leadership at advanced knowledge of the attack on pearl harbor, you would begin by saying, you have motive. but motive is not enough to prove a case in court, not enough to prove the case in this historical debate. i do not believe that our leaders had advanced knowledge of the attack on pearl harbor. i do understand why the conspiracy theories have persisted, and why they really continue to be quite active, even today. we have broken the japanese read thec codes, and mail between the japanese foreign ministry in tokyo and the japanese embassy in washington. reading thatour
diplomatic mail, we knew, our leaders knew an expected, that there would be a war. and that it might begin even on that day, december 7. i think the evidence clearly shows that the expectation was the japanese might strike us somewhere in the western pacific , and if the attack came, it philippinesnto the and our british allies. there was no convincing evidence at all that anyone in washington, any of our military, political leaders had any reason to believe that we were going to be attacked and pearl harbor in hawaii. in fact, the technical difficulty of that attack, take the six carrier task force across the pacific at that time was really beyond, and would
have been beyond american capabilities. i don't think our military leaders thought it was possible. i could say more about this, but 2001ore recent attacks in on 9/11 is a good analogy that after the sudden attack, there are a number of investigations that will reveal evidence that there may have been reasons to think that an attack like this was going to come, but of course, at the time, you are kind of searching through a haystack in trying to find needles. just as the fbi had evidence came to the hijackers light after the attack in 9/11, at the time, it was very difficult to see that pattern. and so, i do not believe, and very few historians of the second world war believe the
conspiracy theories. host: we will go to duluth, georgia. eugene, welcome. caller: gentlemen, i have certainly enjoyed this program, ll's comments. to the not know much about pearl harbor attack as i intend to learn, but my father died when i was very young, served on the carrier saratoga as an officer throughout world war ii, and after it was put out of by, cozzi, i believe uss k, he served on the carl c. my family is very proud of that fact. i would like to know whether you admiral who was interviewed on a panel i remember having seen, a panel of
high-ranking officers, admirals, and generals, and they were asked a question, what was the most terrifying event in war that you can describe in battle? kazithe apple said the kami attack. saratoga waser -- i the would like to have mr. toll's information on that, and i would also like to know if you degrees with another -- would like to if openhe agrees
knowledge was a great battle of war? ikazi,when he says kam he's talking about suicide attacks? ian: exactly. comments and your your questions. attacks begin in the fall of 1944. begin a last year of the war and very quickly became essentially the principal means that the japanese used to try to get at our ships. it was during that time that the japanese first used this tactic of essentially flying their planes directly into our ships.
.his was a conceptual leap what it allowed them to do was send guided missiles against our before the 20 years non-man guided missile, which was first used in warfare. thissense, to use futuristic weapon. because they had a cadre of young pilots willing to give their lives, yes, i think it was a uniquely terrifying experience for the crews of the ships to be faced with this kind of attack. so far outuse it was of our own warrior culture to have suicide flights on such a massive scale.
did a greatkazis deal of damage. they probably accounted for 6000hing like six or 7 -- 7000 kia. that really came to a crescendo in okinawa. oak and a lot was not the largest naval battle of the war. it was not a naval battle in a sense that ships were never able to get near our ships. it was the largest fleet ever brought into action. this was at the end of the war in april or may of 1945. because okinawa is only a few miles south, the japanese were attackslaunch kamikazi on a massive scale on our fleets. in some cases, hundreds of planes coming at the same time,
and when they are that many planes, it is very difficult to stop them with your fighters are your antiaircraft guns. exacted aey really terrible toll during that period. host: your comments and questions on ian toll also welcomed on twitter. this is one from captain mark douglaso asked about macarthur. how is it that macarthur was so unprepared for the attack on the philippines the day after pearl harbor? it was actually the same day as pearl harbor, just nine hours later that the first japanese air attacks on the philippines. islandn airbase on the of parkfield was bombed -- clark field was bombed. and a dozen of the 17 bombers were destroyed on the ground.
again, this was nine hours after the attack on pearl harbor. macarthur's crew had ample warning that they were on the ground. this extraordinary attack was permitted to occur. why did that happen? the questions are still being asked and have not been answered. i think it is likely that what happened was macarthur and his chief of staff, general sutherland, were hoping that if they did not make any sort of hostile move for the japanese, that the philippines might be spared. think that that is the most likely explanation. but the local commanders of the airbase had called to get permission to get the fighters into the air, and get the bombers into the air, and perhaps launch airstrikes on
japanese airfields. and were essentially grounded. we are told they were not allowed to move. held torthur was never account for that. i think it is somewhat of a mystery. i think a lot of it has to do with the way the news was presented to the american people. and at the time, the american people and leadership in washington began to focus on what was happening in the philippines. by then, the american press had really chosen to portray macarthur and his forces is making a heroic stand. hows a good case study in any their arbitrary way, the way news is reported during a conflict really shapes public perception, and that in turn, strategic andual, tactical decisions.
host: did he suffer any of the disciplinary actions ever imposed upon the commander of the pacific fleet after world war ii? after pearl harbor? ian: no, none. none at all. he was given a congressional medal of honor, which was unprecedented. that medal is reserved for heroism and combat. congress voted to get it to him. , of course, ordered out of the philippines by president roosevelt in april. madent to australia and the supreme commander of the southwest pacific area. a command center set up in the pacific. and led troops from australia back up through the axis of new oceanaand the southern
was eventually permitted to recapture the philippines in october 1944. macarthur remains a very hundred virtual figure, and even today, -- rather amazing very controversial figure, and even today, he is one of these characters in american history that uniquely is able to arouse pretty strong feelings so many decades after his career. he had a mixed record, i think, as a commander. he was an extraordinary soldier in the first world war, highly decorated, extraordinarily courageous, brilliant, first in his class at west point. he had courage and brains, and that are two things you want any commander. he was an effective general. the record will show on the second world war him his campaigns were successful. where his talents really came
the postwarin period when he essentially became a kind of military dictator presiding over the reconstruction of japan. his particular kind of understanding of the asian mindset, his experience in asia really do ao remarkably good job and rebuilding japan -- in rebuilding japan as a democratic country and cementing that alliance, and putting the bitterness of the war years behind us. int: the kid from robert north las vegas, nevada. hello. caller: hello. i sure appreciate your program. i am watching it on c-span3 here. i have two quick questions. i know there are a lot of patriotic folks out there who want to talk, but your book, is that on sale at barnes & noble,
or do i have to order it? ian: it is on sale wherever you can buy books, barnes & noble, amazon. caller: good. i am going to be dead. i was old enough -- good. i am going to read that. to read worldgh war ii, but not old enough to join nazi germany. amongst the fleet on a destroyer division. my two quick questions -- i understand that when pearl harbor was bombed, that was more than 130,000 japanese living in thati, and never heard there were any spies are not. that was my first question, if
you have any information on that? -- icond question understand it comes up every so often that china is still waiting for japan to apologize inthem for the atrocities china. they won't apologize. i just wonder if you have any comments on that? host: ok, robert, good questions . ian toll? ian: yes, japanese americans were the largest single ethnic group in hawaii in 1941. there were more than 100,000 japanese living on the islands. so fear of sabotage or espionage was something that had really occupied the minds of our military commanders there prior to the attack. evidencevery little
that the japanese-americans living on the islands had any structured, kind of connection with the japanese government. there was an incident on one of the outer islands in which they ableed japanese pilot was to get some japanese-americans to help him. of course, he was armed, so it is not clear to what extent they volunteered. no evidence has emerged to suggest that the japanese-americans in hawaii had therole at all in helping japanese navy to attack pearl harbor. it also -- i will also point out that japanese-americans on the interred, and did not occur in hawaii. it was not considered feasible given the size of the population
there, and given the fact that their labor was needed. many of the national guardsmen in hawaii were japanese-americans. and had an important related play in guarding -- and had an important role to play in guarding installations. many japanese-americans worked as translators and the specific -- in the pacific and were listed in the highly decorated combat union that thought in the european theater. that is your first question. the second question, i believe was -- like host: reparations forge upon -- reparations for japan, an apology. ian: yes. the japanese have expressed remorse. the degree to which they have apologized for not apologized, you have to parse their statements because if you look
at some of the statements, including the current japanese prime minister, he has expressed remorse for japanese war crimes, including against the chinese. i think the larger questions in asia about the way the war is remembered, are often not remembered, is really quiet -- sincesignificant 70 years the end of the second world war in asia, yet the memory of the way the japanese treated other asian people continues to be right at the heart really a foreign relations between japan and china, japan and korea, japan and the philippines. decades later, these are still open wounds and a sense. -- wounds in a sense.
a better approach for japan would be to his knowledge that the record of japanese forces in deplorables really in many cases. the way they treated civilian populations in deplorable in many china, philippines, and other places, and there treatment of prisoners of war was deplorable, and even disgraceful. but to say that that was a 15 year period japanese history when those things occurred, and that japan does not deserve to be judged based only on the experience of that 115 year period, would be much better approach. host: ian toll, i want to ask you about an article that was ,"blished in the "boston globe entitled "the paradox of pearl harbor." what is this all about? ian: the point i want to make in
that article, and what is important is there is a paradox, , andhis is to in history especially within an event like pearl harbor, and that is we study these events retrospectively as historians very, very closely, and pearl harbor is one of the most exhaustively studied events in history. there were nine separate investigations producing hundreds of volumes of testimony. we have got to the point where we understand very clearly what happened, why it happened, what were the decisions in japan, where the effects, all of that. we canto the point where say, now we understand, and the understand even better than the men who were there and fought the battle. clearly ining this hindsight, we inevitably begin to lose touch with the kind of immediate sense of shock and horror and volcanic wrath that
results from an event like that. to try to get in touch, again, with the way it felt to those who were on the receiving end is important because that shock, the intensity of that shock, before, the anger that results from it, partly that partly explains our history. , the hour has gone by too fast. the book is "pacific crucible -- war at sea in the pacific, "941-1942. ian tollian toll, once again, thank you. ian: thanks for having me on the program. host: we will be back. we will hear from paul travers, who has written a book of oral histories from pearl harbor veterans. your call and comments